Sunday, January 1, 2012

Moving On Up

Having officially said goodbye to 2011, I've had a little time to reflect on it. If you've been following CLTT through the year, you'll know it's been a mixed one, and that it has had a tough start to it. Looking back on my blog has been a good way of watching how the year progressed, and as my own little corner of online, I wanted to sum up 2011. So here goes.

January-February 2011.

At the start of 2011 I was still an undergrad student. And I was miserable. Many will know that my final year was difficult for many reasons, not least the people around me. I desperately did not want to go back to uni in January and February didn't see it get any better.

What did make it doable was support from family, reminders that it would all end at some stage, and some visits from TG.

A VERY windy and cold February walk in North Wales with TG.

I listened to: Rihanna, Only Girl. Faithless, Sun To Me. Florence + The Machine, Heavy In Your Arms.

March-April 2011

As spring approached I struggled with my health in a big way, making the 4.5-5 hour trip home for Dr/Hospital appointments became a 3-4 weekly occurrence and with my final year workload and the added stress of a difficult living situation, things were tough. But I still managed to find some fun.

March brought with it my grandparents' Golden Wedding Anniversary- a chance to celebrate with them and catch up with family I don't often see.

My grandparents at their Golden Wedding celebration.

The Rabble, my family and extended family at my grandparents Golden Wedding celebrations.

March and April also saw me get through interviews for a job I thought would be great, and whilst I came close to having a job offer on the table, I ended up realising that maybe recruitment as a career, wasn't really for me. I was still pleased to see that my CV was doing its job and it appeared I would be employable in some capacity or another.

April was a big month for my blog too. I decided to change the name and the focus of my blog. Chloe Likes To Talk came into being as it is now, and rather than trying to be a fashion blogger, I settled into rambling on about whatever was going on in my life. As well as the overhaul, April was also the month that I brought I'm Not Afraid, To Take A Stand to the blog. Having realised the impact of bullying in adulthood, these three inspirational ladies shared their experiences after I had written about mine.

I listened to: Rihanna, S&M. Aim, Cold Water Music. Robert Miles, Children. Example, Hooligans.

May-June 2011

What a time this was. In May I sat my finals and on my 22nd Birthday just about 24 hours after finishing my last exam, I went with friends to get our degree results. Getting my degree was the biggest achievement of the year, and celebrating with my friends afterwards reminded me exactly why I'd put up with such a miserable 6 months leading up to this point.

Tom, Dev and I, 3rd June 2011. The Modern Languages Triple Major class of 2011.

And as well as my birthday in June, we celebrated TG's in May.

Celebrating TG's birthday in London.

I also managed to sneak away for a holiday in June, after all the hard work through the exam period, it was much welcomed, and I got to show off my tan as I came back to another family Golden Wedding Celebration.

Post Holiday, and one of this year's better outfit posts.

I listened to: Example, Changed The Way You Kissed Me. Swedish House Mafia, Miami To Ibiza. Katy Perry, Hummingbird Heartbeat.

July-August 2011

This part of the summer was hugely indecisive. I struggled to find a direction when applying for jobs and TG was also trying to work out how to progress his career. Between us there were a lot of tough decisions to be made. In the end, TG secured his place at a London university, and I was able to put in an application for the Air Force.

Having started the RAF application process, I also decided I wanted more from a career than head hunting and recruitment could offer me. I decided at the end of of August to do the one thing nobody- including me, thought I would ever choose, a Post-Grad course, to gain my legal qualifications. This is by and large thanks to spending some time with a solicitor who offered me work experience, a bit of guidance and who became (in a closest-possible description) my mentor.

A low point in August- it rained like hell, here in The North.

It rained like fury here in the North for the end of the summer, which meant I got wet, a lot, as I started training for Air Force selection. One of the best things about this part of my year was taking up running. I realised I loved it when I decided to run the Berlin Half Marathon in 2012. There'll be more on that soon, as I have a lot to talk about- well the blog is called Chloe LIKES to TALK?!

But by far the highlight of the summer and the year.

Proud Parents

Chloe Martin-Brown BA Hons, French, German and Spanish. The Triple Major Language Class, 2011. Bangor University.

I was one of just 9 people in the country graduating with a 3 language degree where they were all majors and I'd spent time abroad for all 3 languages. After the blood, sweat and tears, quite literally, that went into my degree I was suitably proud of myself for making it to the gown-and-stupid-hat-that-doesn't-fit stage.

I listened to: The Pierces, It Will Not Be Forgotten. Ferry Corsten, Made Of Love. Oasis, Acquiesce.

September-October 2011

The start of September brought with it some huge changes to my life. TG and I realised we'd been together a year and reflected on how much we had both changed and how much our lives had changed in that 12 months. We also said goodbye to each other as he started university and I started my post-graduate course.

TG and I, September 2010. How it all started.

Starting my GDL turned out to be overwhelmingly positive. I found that I loved it, despite the volume of work to do and I found that I'm actually pretty good at it. Coupled with my work experience, I knew I'd made the right choice following a potential law career.

As Autumn got into full swing, law stopped being a potential career and became my plan A. I was notified by the RAF that I had been declared permanently unfit for all service due to a weak muscle in my right eye, and devastated didn't even begin to cover it. I wrote about picking myself up from it, but it was hard, and whilst I support TG 100% to pursue a career with the Army, it was painful to do in these months.

I listened to: Nicki Minaj, Where Them Girls At. Adele, Someone Like You. Kelly Rowland, Commander. Snoop Dogg, Sweat.

November-December 2011

Winter has come with its own challenges, maintaining a relationship, balancing my job, work experience, my GDL and studies to go with it. But coming top of my GDL class and having made some friends on my course has made it seem so much more possible than my language degree ever did.

I managed a few trips in November and December. London with TG, despite a rocky time for our relationship was a memorable trip if only for the Example show we'd had tickets for since July.

Example at Brixton Academy, December 2011.

I also made it up to Glasgow to a first blog meet and got to meet Ayden, who has extended the hand of friendship this year.

Memories of Glasgow.

If you made it this far, kudos, it's been one hell of a year and a long post. If nothing else, I have learned a lot this year and am moving into 2012 with a sense of purpose and a plan.

I listened to: Example, Skies Don't Lie. Avicii, Levels. Jens O, All The Things She Said. Coldplay, Fix You. Fatboy Slim, Right Here, Right Now.

To all of you, I wish you a very Happy New Year 2012 and all the very best for the coming 12 months and thank you for your own part in making 2011 here on Chloe Likes To Talk.


daisychain said...

a very Happy New Year to you..I hope 2012 is amazing, thank you for your support and friendship x

Maria Fallon said...

I love you! I hope 2012 is fantastic for you!

Maria xxx