I can honestly say 2018 exceeded my expectations, but now I’m tired and I need a holiday. I will use this post to round up things I loved about this year and this year’s struggles… but really just to share my shiny new Christmas pictures I took at home with @zzeroid.
2018 Achievements – Writing and Being A Somehow Public Person
2018 was the year in which I said “Fuck it!” to conventional publishing and self-published my novel Bad/Tender. It wasn’t without its hurdles, but it’s finally out and I can move on from it and from the story that inspired it. I’m now looking for an agent for my next novel, a detective story with a twist (wink wink if you’re an agent and are reading this).
Bad/Tender did not turn me into an international superstar, but it got more engagement than I could imagine. Through it, I was interviewed by Cosmopolitan, British Vogue, Sister and Why Magazine. I got reviewed by Kettle and wrote for Metro. I kinda still have to pinch myself for all these opportunities, and I’m overwhelmed with pride every time I think about them.
2018 was also the year in which I realised I’m kind of an activist. I have a voice and I’m using it for a bunch of different reasons. The Undergraduate Awards 2018 were the perfect way to wrap this up – watch me talk about academia, abusive relationships, mental health, feminism and the like while also showing butt videos right here.
2018 Achievements – Academia
In 2018 my university somehow trusted me with teaching 18 and 19-year-olds. It’s been a wild ride. Initially, I took everything personally: if the students didn’t talk, or didn’t show up, I’d be massively upset about it.
Having now taught seminars in two different criminology modules, and guest lectured all around the journalism BA and MA, I feel a lot more confident now. I try to see any hurdle as a challenge and to avoid feeling too upset about the small things. Mainly, all I care about is enabling my students to think rather than answering their “OMG WHICH ARGUMENT SHOULD I MAKE?” questions. More info here.
This year, I also spoke at three conferences (one in London, one in Brussels and one in Washington DC) and got a paper published out of one of them – it should come out by the end of the month or early next year. I’m incredibly proud of having been accepted to speak in places so meaningful for international relations and policy, and to have been sponsored by either my university or the organisers to present my research. I’ve also got two more academic papers set in the pipeline, set to come out in the new year, and I’m really excited about them.
This year, however, has also been the year of very little financial security due to payroll fuck-ups. That sucked, so next year I vow to be an even more annoying freelancer than I was in 2018.
2018 Achievements – Pole Dance
This year I performed five times and won my first ever competition – which was my first ever solo performance, too! I really enjoyed dancing at Floorplay London (more info here) and at Filthy Friday (more info here), as well as all the other performing engagements I took on. Even more so than before, this year pole has made me more unapologetic than ever about my weird life – so much that I now perform almost entirely butt-naked. #lifegoals
2018 was also the year where I got rejected by two major competitions. To be fair, I am glad it happened. It was a learning experience, and I wasn’t actually as prepared as I would have liked when I submitted my applications. I was even hating the whole applying process, and since pole is a passion, I shouldn’t hate it. I should just create concepts I believe in, rather than rush through them.
In 2018 I finally feel like I’ve become stronger and more confident with my body. I now live by myself and have my own pole in the house, where I work on conditioning and resistance. In just a couple of months, my flow has been improving and I really love messing around with house poling and floorwork.
This year I’ve also begun to teach twerk and loved every minute of it. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more in 2019!
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Just in time for twerk tuesday… literally gonna milk the hell out of this outfit. Plus, you can’t take the repressed teenage angst out of dis bitch. Full vid in my IGTV – this was my last class teaching with @twerkologynation at @londondanceacademy for the year but hopefully more to come!
2019 Please Don’t Kill Me
I only realised I was going through some form of burnout last week, while on holiday in Porto visiting my best friend. He forced me to slow down and suddenly I felt happier, more relaxed, less scared, less anxious.
So my 2019 goal is to yes, maybe get an agent, maybe get into another pole competition, but also survive unscathed and to look after myself and my mental health better. Although this year I’ve learnt to ask for help from my friends and family more effectively, and I’m now being treated through talking therapy and CBT for my anxiety, next year will be time to better connect with my needs. And this is why you won’t see any post from me until mid-January.
P.S. If you’re thinking: “God, maybe I should get a grip and do more stuff,” just don’t. Look at this picture. This is how 2018 left me: #dead, with some Christmas balls and some pride about my achievements.
All Pictures By: @zzeroid