Ah, the end of a decade. So much has happened in the past ten years whether it was politically, culturally or personally. It’s been a huge decade and we sure as hell made it through. I’m not really one for looking back and holding onto the past anymore but this time of year always has me feeling reflective. For me, the last ten years were huge. I went through the most change and well, I’d like to make an ode to the 2010s – but I must start at 2009!
2009 – the year of self discovery
In 2009 I would have been turning 12 years old. At this point in my life I had just discovered what “emo” was and who the band Thirty Seconds To Mars were through Guitar Hero. I’d always been quite the tomboy growing up, I loved video games and cartoons such as Teen Titans, so it only felt natural to me that I also ended up liking rock music and the whole emo aesthetic. 2009 sure was the year of self discovery, I explored with my style and personal interests as I was standing in my pre-teen year and even discovered which kind of people I allured to, and funnily enough I didn’t gel as well with the people I had everything in common with to the people that I had some things in common with. My best friend at the time definitely wasn’t into the whole emo thing but she was one of the most supportive people in my life.
2010 – the year of music and tumblr
To be totally honest I don’t have a lot to say about 2010; this was definitely more of a blur for me than any other year probably because nothing too major actually happened, I turned 13 at the end of the year but 2010 was definitely another self-discovery year in some ways, I discovered Tumblr thanks to my sister showing it to me and instantly became hooked. I felt like, and do still feel like, Tumblr was a major pitstop in every teenagers life. The platform allowed me to discover lots of different ways of expressing yourself and definitely was the first place where I wanted to have a neat aesthetic. Whenever I feel nostalgic and have a look on my old Tumblr site and go through my archive, I’m always impressed by how my younger self really stuck to a theme. This was also the year that I started to think a lot more about my emotions and deeper feelings, I learned about what mental health was but not yet how to take care of my own.
2011 – the year of confusion
This is a year that doesn’t mean much to me because it was such a dark time. I definitely don’t look fondly at 2011 and felt like I turned very cynical during this time. I think that I closed myself off to the world and needed to find something that would pull me out of this state of mind. I honestly stayed this way for a while and didn’t learn much or do a ton of growing this year. I was sad, and yet, I just needed time.
2012 – the year of “hipster”
At this point I was turning fifteen and had just discovered what a hipster was. I was so, honestly, invested in this idea. In hindsight I was making a poor attempt and the term hipster now definitely doesn’t mean what it meant back then, but I was reblogging my arse off on Tumblr, posing with the moustache necklaces and contemplating cutting my hair short just like everyone else. I was super into Wavves and that whole garage-punk aesthetic and dreamed of California.
2013 – the year of lessons
This was a big year for me and it’s one I look back on in hindsight a lot. At the time I didn’t realise the lessons that I was learning but whenever I look back at this year I realised it began to teach me to:
- value friendship and respect boundaries
- put myself first sometimes
- think clearer
This was the year where I had definitely become, not myself. I definitely sometimes wish I could have words with my younger self and tell her to stop pushing the people that I loved the most away, family wise and friendship wise. This was the start of a bad few years for my mental health because not only was I struggling with discovering who I really was, I was in one of the most toxic relationships of my life. I definitely didn’t realise it until I took a good hard look at where things went “wrong” but 2013 I definitely made a lot of mistakes that I had to learn from and which shaped me into being a better person in the long run. I do have to admit though that I didn’t learn these lessons in 2013, but the lessons definitely began.
2014 – the year of understanding
It was 2014 when I began to understand why I did certain things the previous year and also I began to understand my current position. This year I was definitely the most unhappy I had ever been – I was still a kid but I was definitely going through it. I had left school and was in college studying fashion; it was the only thing that I looked forward to each week because it was something I still loved, but I felt aimless and as if I was just floating through life waiting for something to happen.
I shared my regrets with those closest to me, those who could still bare to be around me, and found understanding in the why.
2015 – the year of letting go – and the birth of Georgia Anne blog
Well, technically it was the birth of itsGeorgiaAnne, a name I would only hold onto for a year before buying the domain Georgia Anne. This was the year that I finally completely ended my toxic relationship and it was actually after he had spent time away on vacation that I launched my blog. I realised that I needed a hobby, something different to that person that I could really focus on and get into for myself. I’d always loved writing and at the time, as I said, I was studying fashion. I had already discovered fashion journalism through my studies and was already very interested in it, I had considered pursuing it because it put two of my loves together: writing and fashion. But then I discovered fashion blogging. I’d heard of vlogging and even watched YouTubers but I had never seen a blog before. I got hooked on a few of them which was the lead up to the birth of my own. The content was short and snappy and the photos were taken on my iPhone 5 but I loved it, and I felt pleased.
Then as I said, I broke off the toxic relationship after a ridiculous argument – I realised that I actually preferred being without that person, and I then valued my friendships more than wanting a romantic relationship, I had a feeling that I’d discovered freedom. I still had a lot of change to go through and definitely more growth, but I got there. I was doing things for myself, buying things because I liked them. I was so happy for the first time in ages.
2016 – the year of making amends
In 2016 I definitely made an effort to make amends with myself and with my family, throughout 2016 I got really close with my little sister, a bond which I still cherish and love. We spent a lot of time together and our interests aligned, I lost a few friendships throughout this year as well because I was still making silly mistakes, forgetting to text back or generally getting too aggravated too quickly.
Even still, I learned to understand when I was in the wrong and apologise for it. I realised that apologising doesn’t make you the lesser person and that in order to move forward and let grudges and bad feelings go, a sincere apology is the way to do that. There are people that I never got around to apologising to because I felt like it was too late, the moment had passed, and now, it was just teenage drama and I still don’t know if apologising is the right thing to do there, but this year taught me that if I ever get the chance, if the right time ever comes, I can do it – and I should.
2017 – the year of family
This was the most exciting year for my family. The Christmas before, my sister announced her pregnancy with her daughter. We were so happy and as the baby would be born in 2017 – excited for the year ahead. We were close as ever and lots of planning and purchasing was around her pregnancy. We hosted her baby shower in a tea room and counted down the days for July 4th – when it came and she was overdue (by 9 days) it was a long process. But, Harriet finally joined us and the family felt like it was finally starting to grow. I had never felt strong feelings towards a child before, but I can honestly say that Harriet was the most special baby in the world.
2018 – the year of love
It was actually the end of 2017 when Pedro and I officially started dating, but 2018 was definitely a year full of love. I visited portugal in the Spring and in the Summer and realised the value of not taking someone for granted. After a nasty bike accident which shattered Pedro’s knee, I also realised that we were not meant to be long distance. We agreed to move in together in the Spring but because of what had happened with his knee, we were doing a lot of waiting and it would actually take a year and a half for us to make that move. But throughout 2018 I had bought almost all of my home necessities and they were packed neatly in boxes underneath my bed.
2019 – the year of change
Out of all the years my biggest life changes came in 2019 just before I turned 22. If I’m being honest some of these changes came later than I had originally would of liked them to, but they happened and I couldn’t be happier about it. I feel like I’ve got a lot more to learn and a lot more growth to go through but 2019 really put me in a great spot. I don’t like to say my blog was thriving, I always feel braggy when I say it. But honestly, my blog did really well last year. I found a middle ground for what I want to write and how I want to write it and I also felt like I discovered new interests and hobbies which benefitted my content.
I also obviously moved out of my family home and began living with Pedro, this has been the biggest learning curve for me. Moving in with your partner is great, especially when you’re best friends, but adjusting to someone elses way of living is hard and we both felt it. I definitely do things more immediately and Pedro has the most laid back attitude, I’ll eat pasta with a side of fries and he refuses to cook that because it’s two sides. But these are the things that you grow to understand about each other and it may take a while, we’re still learning things, but it’s such a big step and was definitely worth all of the waiting.
I actually felt sad to see 2019 go, and I know that not everybody had the same experience or the same feelings as I did, I understand some of you are probably glad to see the back end of 2019s and say goodbye to the last decade. But I’ll definitely remember this past decade fondly, through good times and through bad.