So. It’s almost 2015 and whilst I’ve been pretty shocked by how fast this year has flown by, I’m really looking forward to 2015. I’m so focused on this blog, creating new recipes, growing my readership, network and photography skills and I am ready to throw myself into it all in the New Year.
Anyone who knows me, knows that when I set my mind to something, I put 110% into it and want to be the best that I can be, so I am super excited to get started on a new year of recipes!
However, before I can close the chapter in my life that is 2014, I’ve been thinking about all the things that have happened this year and, as a blogger, I just felt the urge to WRITE about my year! 😀
I have to start with a huge thank you!!! Honestly, you guys make it worth getting up in the morning. Without you, this blog would be nothing and I’d be doing some boring office job or I’d still be trying to be an Interior Designer when I had been really put off by Uni.
I’ve been so overwhelmed with the support, comments, emails… basically LOVE from you all! Thank you for sharing my recipes, thank you for making them, thank you for your kind words – I love you guys and I hope we can continue our journey together in 2015!
But… where to begin with 2014?!
The first half of the year sort of passed in a blur… I don’t even remember it. I’m not sure if that’s because I was so unhappy I’ve blocked it off, but I’ve tried to remember and I really don’t!
All I know is that there was a lot of stress, a lot of sleepless nights and I just wanted it to be over. I couldn’t stand not being in the kitchen, but somehow I am still glad that I didn’t quit and that I finished my degree.
I’m not a quitter, but there were definitely some times when I just thought that I could not do it anymore. How I found the strength to finish it, I’ll never know, but I can say I’ve accomplished it and it looks good on my CV! 😉
Soooo, then there’s life AFTER Uni. Some time before I finished, OH and I sat down and had THE TALK. 1) Am I going to look for a job straight away? 2) What about my contributing to bills etc.? 3) Should I take this leap of faith and try dedicating my life to dirty bowls, endless washing up and cake crumbs on my phone?
OK, that last question wasn’t exactly how it went, but you get the gist. We decided that OH would continue financially supporting us whilst I lost myself in the kitchen. I will forever be thankful for his support and without him there’s no way I could have spent so much time working on my passion.
I decided that I would give myself until September for things to have grown, otherwise I would start looking for a “regular job” because I was not brought up to live off of other people’s hard work.
It got to August and I was still working and working and nothing was happening, so I started feeling really rubbish, comparing myself to other blogger’s (which I know you should NEVER do!) and thinking that maybe I’m not good enough, just like I’ve told myself since the beginning.
You see, I have real confidence and self-worth issues. I NEVER think I’m good enough and I never put myself first, I’m working on the putting myself first lark because I reached a point where things just had to change, but I still really struggle with confidence. I still break out in a sweat when my boyfriend takes something I’ve made to work. “OMG WHAT IF THEY THINK IT’S DISGUSTING?!”
“WHAT IF THEY JUST SAY IT’S NICE TO MAKE ME HAPPY?!”
Then there’s the feeling inadequate as a photographer. I know I’m not the best out there, but I work hard and put every thing into it, I think there has been a huge leap in quality since I’ve been blogging full time because I have time to focus on my set up and get it right. Food styling is not natural to me at all, but reading other blogs, articles and books helps me learn – but then to really learn, you just have to practice.
Then I think, I’m actually being employed as a photographer by somebody, so maybe I should start believing in myself. That’s going to be one of my New Year’s resolutions: start believing in yourself girl, you certainly work hard enough!
^^ this is so true.
Despite all the worries and anxieties I have about myself, things started happening in September and ever since I’ve had the most exciting opportunities!
There was this Chicken and Bacon Salad recipe I got to develop with Sainsbury’s.
I got invited to the BBC Good Food Show and to visit an event out of the country. I’ve been working with OXO, The Happy Egg Company, V8 Juice, Adagio Teas, House of Fraser…etc. I can’t believe that companies like that have heard of my little blog!
Yes, I basically have 2 full time jobs, I pretty much eat, sleep, work and that’s it, but I love my jobs! I couldn’t ask for a better career – it has totally paid off to take that leap of faith! My hard work is finally paying off! It’s certainly not easy and I have to describe what I do alllllll the time, but it’s worth it. (and I get “don’t you need a REAL job?”) *rolls eyes*.
I have problems with people assuming I make like one cake a week then sit on my butt, but they’re just obtuse and I don’t need that negativity in my life. Overall I adore my jobs, but at the end of the day there’s always going to be that one day every so often when everything goes wrong and you just go back to bed with whatever job you do.
I enjoy the whole process of blogging; writing new recipes, developing them, photographing them and then getting to share them with all of you, I hope that my personality comes through in my writing – the fact that I’m pretty funny, sarcastic and don’t take life too seriously.
Honestly, life is too short to be miserable! I laugh at myself daily and I’m pretty sure there isn’t a day that goes by without me having a proper belly laugh with my boyfriend.
I love opening up my kitchen to you and telling you random stories about how I can’t find candy canes, or try and explain the crazy ramblings which happen in my head every day.
I know I’m sounding like everything is just perfect, but it’s not. I am truly happy, which I couldn’t say this time last year, but there are still struggles; I feel like I’ve come an awful long way this year with my eating disorder, but being around food all day every day is still incredibly hard sometimes.
I feel like I’ve come the furthest this year in my recovery. I’ve relaxed a lot and I no longer beat myself up if we go out to dinner, but I still sometimes feel like I lose control when I bake something because I keep picking and can’t stop. I think I’d be much better if I sat and ate a whole cookie or slice of cake, but because I pick it’s hard to quantify and that’s when I have problems.
I have learnt that I’m definitely not going to just wake up fat if I eat a cupcake. I feel like there’s more balance. If I continue to exercise and eat healthily most of the time, I seem to be OK. I don’t weigh myself now as it’s too much of a trigger for me, and sometimes I feel bigger, but I try to go on how my clothes fit and if I’m feeling a little bloated (I have digestive problems so this is quite frequent) then I go easy for the next few days.
That voice inside my head telling me that one bite will make me fat has definitely quietened down, it may always be there, but I do feel a bit more normal and I’m looking forward to being healthy and strong in 2015!
My health has still been up and down, I injured myself a couple of times and just back pain like always, but I can’t say this year has been bad because the good outweighs the bad 1000 times over. I’m so excited for the future and hope that you will join me on this journey next year!
All that’s left for me to say is:
Are you wondering what’s next for Annie’s Noms? Well, blogging is a strange old thing and whilst I don’t know exactly what opportunities 2015 has in-store for me, I do know that in the couple of months, this blog is getting a MAJOR overhaul!
A total redesign. New theme, new layout, new framework, new logo…. I want to make Annie’s Noms more visual and easier to navigate. I want it to be super user-friendly for you guys – I’m so excited!