Tuesday 15 December 2009

A decade in the life of...

Scanned from an old photo, hence rubbish quality

2000 - I took my A-Levels, got my heart broken by my first love and went to New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC (amongst others) with my parents. It was also the year I chopped all my  hair off and began my spiky phase. I started university in Nottingham and made some lovely friends, G and B. B was the first person I ever spoke to in Nottingham and G was the second and we're still close friends now. Aww. The first six weeks of university passed in a haze of fancy dress parties, dancing till inappropriate times in the morning and eating more takeaways than you can shake a stick at. We went out every night for six weeks. Pretty hardcore.

Me in my uni days. Frightening, no?

2001 - I was going out with a boy I met on the internet. Back before internet dating was acceptable. I met him on the 4later forum. HA. In the summer I went on a girls' holiday to Sidari in Corfu. Ten girls, two weeks, mayhem.

2002 - I was depressed. Quite severely. I'd been dumped and failed my second year of university. I started to resit the year in its entirety in September. I don't remember much else about 2002. Not a good year.

2003 - The mother of all rubbish years. My Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer (she went through a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and has now been clear for 6 years), I failed second year for a second time and I had a horrific car crash. I did meet a lovely boy though, P, who I went out with for almost three years. I met him in a terrible nightclub in Nottingham. Having had far too much to drink. The pinnacle of which was my friend buying two double vodkas with a shot of blue aftershock in each. Yes, IN. Oh, and P was 18. I was 21. Harlot. Ooh, also went to my first Glastonbury. And went to Magaluf. Ha ha.

A studenty me in 2004. Complete with duffle coat and Harry Potter badge. Ha.

2004 - I was in the middle of a year without residency from university at the start of the year and working at a local hotel. I retook an exam in July and, ta da, finally passed second year. Third time lucky. I went to Glastonbury again. And had a magical weekend in London near Christmas, including a wonderful day at the Tate Modern.

Seriously Helen, the hair doesn't suit you

2005 - I graduated. FINALLY. And with a 2:1. Shocking. Sadly, my graduation was on the day that the London bombings took place. Kind of took the shine off it. But it was still the proudest day of my life (and my parents'). Upto that point anyway. I moved home for a couple of months in June and then moved back to Nottingham, into a gorgeous city centre apartment with my friend G. We had a whale of a time. I took on the role of unemployed layabout for a couple of months, before landing a Customer Services job. Grim. I used my unemployment wisely though and spent the whole time drinking iced coffee, doing puzzle books and entering competitions in Take A Break. Oh, and me and Paul split up towards the end of the year. Sad times.

In Pacha, Ibiza. Word.

2006 - G and I went our separate ways in January and I moved into my very own apartment. Bang in the centre of Nottingham and utterly gorgeous. I loved living on my own. My friend L lived in the centre of town too and we spent our weekends dancing till dawn, eating roast dinners and watching horror films. I was still working in Customer Services though and decided that the time was right to actually use my law degree, so I applied for the Legal Practice Course. Alas, being accepted meant that I would have to move home, as the extortionate tuition fees meant there was no way I could afford to stay in Nottingham on my own. I was accepted. During summer I went on a coach tour of the Deep South (USA) with my parents and it was incredible. Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee. I also went to Ibiza in 2006 and it was ludicrously expensive. Fun though. Apart from the evening when someone got shot in the bar next to us.

Glastonbury 2007. Grim.

2007 - January took me home to Cheshire. Back to the parental home. Back to a place I thought I'd left behind for good. All was not rosy for the first few months and adjusting to life at home was not easy. I was used to living alone and doing as I pleased. I worked in a recruitment agency for a while, then spent six months working in the prosecutions department of a Government department. Muchos fun was had while I was being paid £9 an hour to photocopy and read cases about drug smugglers. I went to Glasontbury in June. It was muddy. So muddy I nearly wept. Fast forward to September and I started my Legal Practice Course. Which turned out to be the most tedious use for £10,000 ever. Still, at least it was better than working in Customer Services. In November I met a boy. A boy I really liked. The boy that became the reason this blog began.

Me at V Festival, 2008. Not a good look.

2008 - I documented the year pretty well in this post but it can be summarised thusly: Gigs, camping, festivals, wine, cheese, Dublin, Greece, nights out, coaches home at 5am, duvet days, black hair, debauchery, heartbreak.

Me in New York, April 2009

2009 - Well, what can I say about 2009 that hasn't already been documented here? Not much, to be honest. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I'm (nearly) always completely honest on my blog. I write things here that I wouldn't say out loud (despite most of my friends reading it), it just seems easier somehow. It's my way of communicating. My sounding board. My high horse. My rooftop for shouting from. This year has been ludicrous. Cancer, broken wrists, more heartbreak. But also New York, Glastonbury and wonderful times spent with wonderful friends.

It's been a funny old decade. Reading it back there have been some truly awful times. Two lots of cancer, four relationship breakdowns, one car crash, two failed years at university.

What I haven't documented in any detail in this little review, of course, are the nights spent laughing until my face hurt, the injokes, the nights of dancing and drinking and tomfoolery. The years I spent growing up and finding out who I am. Bizarrely, the majority of my growing up has been in the last six months. Funny that. At the age of 28 I'm finally an adult.

An adult with a tendency towards idiocy, excitability and daydreaming. But an adult nonetheless. An adult who always hopes for better things, who always wants the best for everyone and who always, always believes wholeheartedly in love.

I'm happy with that.