As last year’s “A Recap Of 2017” post has made it’s way onto my “popular posts” bar, I thought it only right that I do a recap of 2018. I’ve had some great opportunities this year, but I’ve also struggled through some really hard times.
So here’s my year in review.
This is the biggie that has put a downer on most of the year. In the first week of January, I had quite a heavy New Year’s Eve, then went straight back to working 11-12 hours shifts (I live in Reading and work in London 5 days a week so my work schedule is horrendous). I also ended up doing things after work most evenings and had a couple of bouts of insomnia meaning I was running on a backlog of sleep. At the end of the week, I started getting these unnerving tension headaches that didn’t respond to any form of painkillers. These continued into the next week, and I was convinced I had some form of serious head condition. I had a few panicked visits to the doctors, but they assured me it was nothing serious. This continued for about the next 2-3 months, and the pain spread to my entire back, arms, and hands. Eventually it got so bad I had to be signed off work for 3 weeks. The doctors finally gave me some medication, which it toned it down to a manageable level.
Neither acupuncture, massage, or yoga could shift the pain completely, so I was fairly limited in what I could do in terms of nights out and dating (I couldn’t spend too long on my phone as it made my hand pain worse). Towards the end of the year, I tried switching my shoulder bag for a rucksack and doing a Yoga With Adriene sequence for upper back pain, and it eased it out- and after my first session at Reading Climbing Centre the hand pain disappeared.
The first part of the year was obliterated by headaches, so I didn’t do a lot of dating. However, for the first time in my life I ended up having a date on Valentine’s Day with a guy I’d met on Tinder the previous year. We hung out sporadically a couple of times after that, until I questioned what the deal was, he said he was up for a relationship, his responses to my messages fizzled out, and I blocked him in annoyance.
I forced myself to go on the apps on and off but struggled to find the time around my long work hours. I tried to go with my social experiment of chatting to them for longer beforehand and seeing if my judgement of them over text was accurate. Annoyingly, I found that anyone I thought I’d get on with fizzled off, and those I was less keen on came in for dates. However, I found that lack of a “click” over message tended to translate to lack of a click on the date, so there were lessons learned.
In October, I finally met one guy I liked through a Meetup group. We kissed, but then he said he wasn’t looking for anything serious and just wanted to be friends. I figured he might have attractive friends, so why not?
I figured out how to set my location to Reading on Tinder Plus so started using apps on my commute home and started to get a bit more traction. Had one good date, he ghosted, had a few more promising chats, they all ghosted. The search continues, I guess.
Weekends this year were packed with family time. My cousin gave birth to her first child, Oliver this year- the first in our generation to have a baby. We’ve been to Kent to visit him quite a lot and it’s astounding how quickly he has grown, he now crawls and tries to pull the dogs’ tails!
On the other side of my family, sadly my Grandad died this year, so we’ve been up in Bradford quite a bit visiting my Grandma. The silver lining though is that I’ve been able to catch up with family members I haven’t seen for a long time, including my cousins- one of whom is getting married so we have that to look forward to next summer.
I’ve had a couple of negative experiences holidaying with friends, so a few years ago I vowed that from now on I’m travelling solo. However, I ended up going to Prague with my friend Zey this year. We managed to spend 4 days together without killing each other, so we ended up going to NYC this year too. I thought we’d got to that point last year, but this year I feel we fully cemented our status as best friends, and I can see us being in each other’s lives forever.
I decided to do a “friendship cull”, and cut out a load of people where the effort had become one-sided. Things went downhill then exploded with the girl I had lined up to be my future Maid Of Honour, and I learned my lesson about jumping into a friendship too quickly. However, on the positive side, I’ve also made some great new friends through Meetup. I set up a politics discussion group, and through it met a sweet and caring girl called Chelsey, who reminds me of a miniature version of me. We have been slowly getting to know each other and getting closer, and she is becoming like a little sister. I’ve also become pretty good friends a vegan guy I met through a Meetup group, and through him met some other great people, taken up climbing, and learned a lot about where I’m going wrong in dating.
After spending a year or so blogging with static traffic, finally luck swung in my favour. In unexpectedly won Best Individual Dating Blog at this year’s UK Blog Awards. The Sunday Times then released a study that found milennials are in fact having less sex than previous generations, and 1 in 8 26 year olds they interviewed are still virgins. Off the back of an article I wrote for Bustle a year ago, The Telegraph got in contact with me asking me to write an article for them. After that, I got a few other offers, including appearing in Closer magazine, having an interview on Talk Radio (lesser known, but more in depth and in my opinion defiitely worth a listen), and most notably, appearing on ITV’s This Morning.
After that, my page views perked up a bit, although sadly not as much as I’d hoped. But hopefully now my health has improved and I’ve commit to getting a better work-life balance, things should continue to grow onwards and upwards.
How has 2019 been for you? Let me know in the comments!