“The hills are alive with the presence of a complete loon”

2012. Wow, what a year! 

I don’t even know where to begin, but here goes…

It’s only on reflection of the year, when you really sit down and think about it, that you realise it may have possibly been the worst and best year of your life. I know that is hard to get your head around, “how could it have possibly been the best AND worst?”, but it really was, and that’s the only way I can describe it. The start of the year is a bit of a blur for me. (I could completely side step the reasons, but I am a normal person, and my life isn’t perfect, and you are all my friends). Come August of this year, I came out of a relationship that consumed me and took control over many aspects of my life. My anxiety at this point had spiralled completely out of control and I was a very broken person, pretending to be happy and continuing to smile on the outside. I tried with everything I had in me to make something toxic work, to be perfect for someone who didn’t care about me. It’s only once you a free from the situation, that you realise how messed up the situation really was, and that’s exactly what happened to me. I won’t go into mammoth detail, and there are things only a handful of my closest friends and family know, but it was a very hard time for me. All I hope is that if you are unhappy with something in your life, and you are being completely clouded by negativity and loosing sight of who you are because of how someone else treats you, please have a long hard think. We only get one chance at life, and you deserve nothing but happiness and to be surrounded by people who bring out the best in you. From August onwards, this is exactly what I did.

I feel as though I am cheating somewhat by starting my year from August instead of January, but really, that is where my year began, and everything turned around for me, and I became Zoe again (as cheesy as that sounds, I was beginning to get my spark back).  Bad part of the year now out the way, let’s get onto the good things that made it the best year ever…

Louise turned 25 again this year, and we celebrated in her hometown with Fleur. It was a night filled with girly chatter, pervy men, big fluttery eyelashes, cake and giggles. Although it was very touch and go about whether I’d be able to go into a crowded club and stay there for longer than 5 minutes without dashing to the door, both girls made me feel okay about the situation, and I actually managed to stay out the whole night without a trace of anxiety. Win.

Joe started making YouTube videos and we both embarked on the YouTube journey together. It’s one thing sitting making videos chatting away to yourself, thinking that your family probably think you are a complete nutter, but it’s so cool to actually discover that they think what you’re doing is amazing, and they are proud of you. I loved that Joe decided to give it a whirl too, and he’s doing amazingly! You can go to his YouTube channel HERE. He can’t think making videos is uncool if he’s doing it too! ;) 

One of my favourite days of the whole year, was when Louise, Tiyana and Darcy came to stay at mine, and we went to Longleat for the day. Longleat is a safari and amusement park here in the South West. The day completely cheered me up and we all has such an amazing time that I forgot what being sad was! 

This year, I feel that although we were already such great friends, our friendship was cemented and Louise and I became the best of friends. You only ever see us larking about in videos together, exchanging banter on twitter and uploading still images on Instagram, but beneath all that, Louise was the one person this year that was there for me no matter what. I never felt alone because I always knew she was just a phone call away at any time, and she was the one who helped me get my spark back, and held my hand through everything. I really don’t know what I would have done without her. She knows how much I love her and value her as a friend, and that whenever she needs me i’m there for her too. If I could award a “man of the match” in terms of “best person in 2012”, that would certainly go to Louise. *makes award*.

Another thing that I have loved about 2012, is seeing Darcy grow into a little lady. I know she is not my child but I care about her a lot, and I feel hugely privileged that I get to share moments of her life growing up. I love the cute little moments Louise shares with her too (like the one pictured below). Darcy now gets excited when I arrive to stay, sad when I leave and looks for me in the dining room (where i sleep on a sofa bed) when I’m not there. It melts my heart. They are both my two favourite ladies, and never cease to put a huge smile on my face. 

At the end of the year, I decided to say yes to more things. This resulted in me going to YouTube parties and more events (like Summer In The City), meeting other youtubers and viewers and really feeling a huge sense of involvement. Through this I also made friends with so many other people who I value very highly in my life now. You know when you just meet people, and spend a lot of time with them, and you instantly all click because you all have so much in common? That’s exactly what happened. I never realised genuine, honest, nice people were so easy to find, and this was so refreshing after the horrid start to the year. I was spending time with people that brought out the best in me and made me feel happy!

I also said “yes” to going to Reading Festival for the day. No accomplishment for a lot of you, but for me it was a big deal. I went with my brother and met up with Alfie (Pointlessblog) and had an amazing day/night. I got to see one my favourite bands Two Door Cinema Club, but most importantly felt a huge sense of accomplishment that i’d managed to go to something like this and not run away in a panic. I stayed, and I enjoyed myself. 

Louise and I took a trip up to Manchester to visit our fellow blogging friend El (AThriftyMrs). I had never ventured that far north in my brum brum before, but the journey up, the day there and the journey back were all so memorable for me. I laughed all day with friends. It’s certainly a day that really sticks out for me. El is one of the loveliest people you will ever meet. She is so warm and genuine and such a giggle! (her blog is also one of my all time favourites). Louise and I also had a 2.5 hour singing and bopping session in the car on the way up, where Louise was singing “call me maybe” to fellow lorry drivers as I giggled in the drivers seat. The journey home was also something I will always remember, as we had one of those really deep, meaningful conversations that last 3 hours but feel like you’ve been talking for 10 minutes. My favourite kind! 

Come September I went to London Fashion Week (on my own – WOAH THERE) and spent the day snapping away at pretty people with amazing hair, faces and clothes. I also met up with my fellow blogging chum Lily (What I Heart Today) where we took London Fashion Week posing to the next level. P.S. Lily’s blog has been one of my 2012 favourite reads so do go over and see for yourself.

I bit the bullet and uploaded a video surrounding everything anxiety and panic attack related. I was very nervous to upload this video, as writing feelings down is a lot easier than speaking them out loud, and it made me feel very vulnerable and exposed. I think it’s easy for people to forget that underneath videos and blogposts, I am a normal girl with problems just like you, I just don’t always talk about them. The response I received from the video was so overwhelming that it actually brought many a tear to my eye.  I would even go as far as saying I feel like it was my biggest achievement of the year, because it meant that I got to help so many of you, and that’s what really meant the most to me. I knew that if it helped just one of you, it was 100% worth it. Just turns out that I helped a lot more than one person and you will never understand just how much comfort that brings me :)

Towards the end of the year, we went to the DailyMix launch party. 5 of us all stayed in a hotel in London and really made the most of our night. It was so fun getting to spend the evening surrounded by amazing friends and swanky drinks and canapés. Beauty/YouTube events were something I used to love going to since 2010, but with my recent bad bout of anxiety they almost seemed like a thing of the past so I was excited that I managed to stay out and have a hoot with all my favourite people!

 Photo by Paul Monckton

So there we have it, the best and worst year of my life all rolled into one blog post. Thank you all for joining me on my journey, for leaving me an abundance of amazing comments, messages and emails throughout my entire social networking-dom and for supporting me through the hard times and the good times. I’m so pleased that I get to share the things I get up to with you all, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Massive hugs to those of you who have been here at the beginning in 2009 and to those of you who may have just started watching or reading in 2013 and also everyone in between. I hope you all had an amazing year and that you if you didn’t, you learnt from it and 2013 will be a fresh start for you.

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

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