leaving 2017 behind

As we say too-da-loo to another year I like to reflect on the things that have happened over the last twelve months. On a national level if 2016 was a year of shock, highs and lows, 2017 was a year when consistent crap seemed to be the norm. Brexit limped on, inflation continued to rise, and horrendous ‘breaking news’ featured so regularly there was no room for horrified, wide-mouthed reaction or you’d have permanent jaw ache. It wasn’t all bad, but you get the gist.

On a personal level, 2017 brought around the year of change. My friends started having beautiful babies, got engaged, and moved out.  I changed my home, my job, and my relationship, even my hair! I went from ridiculously happy, super positive to the saddest I’ve been in ages, back to being pretty content.

The whole ‘consistent crap’ has also been a continuing theme in my family situation, and my new life in London definitely hasn’t quite turned out how I imagined it would. It also appears having my hair chopped off consequently lost me all my powers (so I believe…)

However, if there’s one fact I do know about this year- it was the year of love. Absolutely nailed it. Forget Megan and Harry, Straw and Cox was the biggest love story of 2017.

I said goodbye to any toxic relationship I’d ever had and welcomed with open arms the sort of love only seen in Disney films. It is glorious. If you’re in a relationship that doesn’t fill your stomach with butterflies and your heart with joy get out now. Trust me, you can do better and it’s worth the wait. When the person you’ve fancied for ages turns out to be everything you’d ever hoped for, and also weirdly appears to be the male version of me, it’s pretty fucking awesome. I not only get to wake up with a man who’s beam brightens my mornings, but I also get to wake up with my best friend.



I can’t believe how different this feels from last December, and that’s why I like to write little roundups at the end of my year on the blog as it’s a nice reminder of what’s happened and also how I feel. We can never really measure progress unless we record it, so I’d definitely recommend starting if you don’t already.  Letting my barriers down was the best decision I ever made. Rule book out the window, feet first.

Alas, as they say, I wish you could have it all. I sort out my love life and everything else turns to shit.   I moved to a city of chaos where I felt lonely and sad. I’ve given up the hobby I’ve loved since I was 7 in exchange for a job that frustrates the hell out of me. There’s this huge inner conflict in me, which sounds ridiculous and, if anything, I hope it royally fucks off next year. I’m like the worst needy girlfriend- I just want London to love me, even though I despise the hell out of it at times.

It’s been a weird old move. I moved for my career and for my relationship and I’m not going to lie I feel like a fraud. One thing I have learned is exactly what I DON’T want to do anymore which sometimes is just as helpful as knowing what you want to do.  I just miss horse riding and my yard so damn much.

2017 was also a year of realisation. I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or just taking a positive from spending so much time alone, but I realised I’m actually very content in my own company. Maybe it’s because no one cares in London but I’m more than happy now to go for dinner on my own, and it feels GOOD. I also realised the value of friendships and who my true friends really are. When you leave somewhere you’ve lived for a long time you leave a mass network of connections. The ones that matter become vividly apparent.  Thank you to every one of you who has listened, cared, and supported me this year. I love you all and it means more than I could ever show. I hope I can do the same for you.



To say I’m gutted not to be seeing in the New Year lit up by the fireworks in Sydney is mahoosive fat understatement. But I’m also looking forwards to finishing work and watching the incredible fireworks in London on our balcony.   As I mentioned last year I don’t like to make resolutions, in fact the only thing I said I’d do this year was to carry on doing as much exercise as I could, which will continue.  I also want to travel as much as possible. In 2017 I’ve managed to visit five different countries including four that I’d never been to before.  This is pretty good for the average person in my eyes, especially as two were the other side of the world.  I also managed to do quite a few creative shoots this year, and working at Wimbledon was the BEST.  However, there are a few things that I would like to keep at the back of my mind next year, and I will read this post again in a few months to remind myself.


One of my favourite shoots this year, and one of the best days


Firstly, I want to be grateful for all the parts of my life that make me feel good and for all the successes I have, no matter how small. I would never, ever have expected to be writing this sitting crossed legged in a London newsroom this time last year, so here’s to the unexpected and making the most of it. Last year I ran away from it all, in 2018 I will attack it all head on.

I need to let go. Let go of the things I can’t control. I can’t fix my family, I can’t make everyone happy and I can’t always be on top of everything. Toxic people don’t have a place anymore and I have to move on. Sometimes silence is the most powerful weapon.

On the other end of the scale, praise and support is more than welcome. This year, if you spent ANY amount of time on social media, there’s always some pernickety argument or actual shit storm brewing. Judgments, criticism, and bitching. People pointing out the smallest mistakes, or jumping immediately on anyone’s failures or flaws. I want next year to be the year we’re all a tad more supportive, god we need it!

I spent several days away from social media at Christmas and I wasn’t even bothered. I didn’t miss the glutinous pictures of the piles of food consumed, the endless videos of next-door’s kids, or the brags about the ‘#BestChristmasEver’. When we don’t feel great, and we don’t feel good enough, enter social media. There’s nothing like the illusion of inclusion to make you feel utterly miserable.  I guess ultimately this time next year I’d like to have a bit more balance, and also patience. When we notice a void we try to fill it, I’m just not sure what I want to fill mine with yet.

So before we all march into 2018 like we’re embarking on a life-changing voyage, with a heartfelt promise of leaving all misgivings and mistakes behind, let’s not be shortsighted enough to act as though these are exclusive to the last twelve months. Maybe the order now is the acceptance that this IS the status quo, we either put-up-and-shut-up, or do something different.

Happy New Year and thank you for all your support,

Jem xx



2017 in pictures:

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