31 December 2018

2018 │The Highlights

Happy New Year Everyone! 
2018 has been a complete whirlwind. It's been a year full of success, a lot of celebrations and a few life lessons along the way. Unlike recent years, the high points have definitely outweighed the low points and I can truly say that 2018 has been one of the best years of my life. 

This year saw me achieve things I never thought possible. I graduated, went back to Disneyland Paris and finally walked along the cobbles of Coronation Street. I've seen myself blossom with a new found confidence and learned a lot about self-acceptance, especially when it comes to my skin. I also learned a lot about love; how I deserve/want to be treated and that I shouldn't settle for anything less. I've had a bit of heartbreak this year and it completely knocked me back. I realise how lucky I am to have someone who literally puts a smile on my face every single day. 2018 has also seen me reunite with old friends, put past arguments behind us and experience one too many crazy nights out. It really has been the best year and I feel so lucky to have met some of the most beautiful people, especially in this last few months. 

Tonight I'll be welcoming in the New Year the only way I know how, with a glass of gin and surrounded by the people I love. This time next year I hope I'll be telling you about 12 months full of love, more success and exciting travels but until then, I'm going to share my *many* highlights of 2018. 

Theatre

I started the year in theatre as I went to see three of my favourite shows in the first three months. As I've said, January to March was a complete blur so going to the theatre was literally the only break I got from the Library. In January, I went to see my all-time favourite musical Jersey Boys. It was so good that I went to see it twice in two days and was lucky enough to meet Michael Watson after one of the shows. 

In February, I took my Grandma to see the Rat Pack live from LasVegas which was such a fun evening. We saw Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr and I don't know who loved it more. Then finally in March Mum and I went to see Wicked. It was my fifth time seeing the show but I could watch it over and over again. Along with Jersey Boys, it's definitely one of my favourites. 

Emmerdale Studio Tour

Fast forward to April and I'd finally submitted my last ever Uni assignment. As I had a lot of free time on my hands, Mum and I jumped on a train to Leeds and went to see the Emmerdale Studios. We love the soaps and Emmerdale is one of our favourites so to be able to see some of the famous sets, pull a pint in the Woolpack and watch how they bring the village to life was so much fun. Sadly, we didn't see Ross or Cain. 

Graduation Ball

In May, we had our Graduation Ball. It was a night full of love, laughter and a lot of prosecco. Not only did I finally go to the stunning Oh Me Oh My in Liverpool, but to be able to stand on the rooftop garden, overlooking the docks and celebrate the most amazing three years with the people who meant the most to me was the best way to end my University experience. I should also mention that I only got in at 4am and somehow managed to be in work early the next morning, still in last nights make up...lovely. 

This kicked off the best Summer of my life. 

I Got Published

Each year InTheRed, a Liverpool magazine for writers, release a copy filled with short stories and poems from Liverpool's best writers. I've been trying to get published by them for the past three years and this year, it finally happened. My short story 'The Date With St Clair' was published in the 2018 edition of the magazine and I feel so honoured that my work is there alongside some of the most talented writers. If you'd like to have a read, you can find the magazine online here

My 21st Birthday

My birthday was one of my favourite days of the year. From the moment I woke up, I was treated like a Princess. I've never been one to make a MASSIVE fuss on birthdays but my parents went above and beyond to make the day so special. The day was full of surprises, we went for afternoon tea, had a meal with the family and then they whisked me off for a special holiday to...


Cornwall

The day after my 21st, my parents and the dog took me down to Newquay for the week. Cornwall holds a special place in my heart and it's the place I've called my second home for the past ten years. To be able to celebrate my birthday there was the best gift I could've received. The sun was blazing, we chilled on the beach and drank cider on rooftop bars. I don't think I've ever felt more content. 
What a way to start 21! 

Coronation Street Tour

In July, a childhood dream came true as I got to walk down the famous cobbles of Coronation Street. This was another treat from my mum for my 21st and we had one of the best days. It's surreal watching it on the telly, knowing that you've walked down that exact street and knocked on all the doors. We also had fun exploring Media City and Salford Quays. I wrote a blog post all about it if you fancy a read. 

65th Wedding Anniversary

July also saw my Grandma and Grandad celebrate 65 years of marriage. They got married on the 4th July 1953 when my Grandma was only 20 years old and my Grandad 21. Here they are with their special letter from the Queen congratulating them on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. They love each other more today than they ever could and to me, they're proof that true love really does exist. 

Graduation

I couldn't talk about 2018 without mentioning the fact that I GRADUATED!!
Three years of hard work, a lot of stress and a sprinkle of imagination saw me graduate from Liverpool John Moores University as a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. I remember writing my 2017 highlights a year ago and thinking, 'this time next year, I wonder if I'll have actually graduated.' Well, guess what girl. YOU DID IT! 
I'll be honest, it hasn't sunken in that I'm not going back to University ever again and I miss all of my friends so much. However, the 13th July 2018 will forever hold a special place in my heart. 
The proudest day of my life. 

Lytham Festival

The Graduation celebrations continued with a trip to Lytham Festival to see Nile Rodgers and Chic. This was one of my favourite nights of the year as we didn't stop dancing for the entire night. I've always wanted to see Nile Rodgers and Chic at a festival so this was the perfect way to end what had been my favourite month so far. 

Meeting My Favourite Authors

In August, I went to my first ever authors event and met three of my writing inspirations; Giovanna Fletcher, Lindsey Kelk and Paige Toon. I've been reading their books since I was fifteen years old and they've inspired me endlessly throughout my studies. To be able to meet them, chat with them and listen to them talk about their passion for the genre they write in was so refreshing and completely restored my faith and motivation in what I do. 

Liverpool

September saw me reunite with old friends and spend a lot of my time in Liverpool. I've taken more time for myself this year and spent a lot of this month at the Docks, in Costa reading a book. If anything, I've realised the importance of taking time out for yourself to do the things that you want to do. I also realise how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful city. 

Halloween

Halloween was so much fun this year. I spent it with my work family and it was such a laugh. I'm so lucky to be able to work for people who I get on so well with. Apart from that, October was a quiet month but still a month full of change. I met someone at the end of October who completely changed my view about my life and myself. I feel so lucky to have met them and incredibly thankful that they've been there for the last part of the best year of my life. 

Heather's & London

In November, I was reunited with my lovely friend Jade. We took a trip to London to see Heathers the Musical (starring Carrie Fletcher) and it's up there with one of my favourite days of the year. Heathers was absolutely amazing. I purposely didn't listen to the soundtrack because I wanted it to be a surprise and it completely exceeded my expectations. Carrie was the perfect Veronica! After the show Jade and I explored London, taking in the sights of Oxford Street, Carnaby Street and she finally convinced me to go on the tube! 

Christmas In Disneyland Paris

And finally December, the month I returned home to Disneyland Paris.
In September Chloe and I decided that after two years, we were long overdue a trip to Disney and what better time to go than Christmas. It was a holiday full of pure magic from the moment we stepped off the Eurostar to the moment we said goodbye to Main Street. I'll never be able to explain how much this place means to me, the only thing I can say is that I'm incredibly thankful to have ended the year there. Also, being able to spend the holiday with my favourite roomie was even better. Chloe and I are literally the same people and we didn't stop laughing for the entire trip. 

Rugby With Dad

2018 saw me actually take an interest in a sport for once. 
Dad and I have spent the majority of our Friday nights at the Totally Wicked Stadium cheering on the Saints and it's been absolutely brilliant. Being able to spend time with my Dad doing something we both love has been a pleasure and I can't wait for the new season to start. 

Ohana

I don't know how I would've done this year without my family. They've been so supportive and so loving throughout and I can only hope that I've made them proud. I don't thank them enough for everything that they do; my Mum for bringing me coffee on those all-nighters doing uni work, my Dad for distracting me with the rugby, my Grandma and Grandad for consistently making me laugh and my little Buster for being there with a cuddle.  I'm so lucky to have them.

Friendship

I've learned a lot about friendship this year; it's not about the size of your social circle but the people in it. My Uni gang have been my personal cheerleaders since we met in our first year and being able to graduate together was the best feeling. Thank you for putting up with my many breakdowns and telling me I could do it when I was so close to giving up. Laughter is so important and the laughs I've had this year have kept me going, from our crazy nights out to riding bikes around Liverpool at 3am. I'm so bloody thankful to have had such beautiful people be a part of my year. 

Overall, it really has been the best year ever. I think the only thing that could've topped it off would've been if England won the world cup. 2018 has been my year. I'm thankful that I'm still healthy and that my family are too. I feel extremely lucky to have had so many life changing experiences and to have met some of the most amazing people who I hope will continue to brighten my life in 2019. I've got a feeling that 2019 is going to be a quiet one, but I'm ready to make it another good one. 

I hope you have a fantastic New Year and that 2019 is filled with love, happiness and a little sprinkle of pixie dust! 

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx





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