TO believe in my OWN magic.
Really it has.
I was thinking how best to sum up this year and I struggled for a while. It’s been a real mixed bags of tricks for me on the personal front – some highs, some lows. But on a professional level, this year has been one of my best.
If not the best to date.
2014 has been quite something from a freelancer and blogger point of view. It’s been a year when – to use the old familiar cliche – dreams really have come true.
And so, I’m going to continue with the magic theme that I started with just before Christmas because for me, it sums up this year brilliantly.
Back in February I was the cover girl for Essentials magazine – one of the most popular national women’s magazines in the UK.
Although I did the shoot just before Christmas last year, actually seeing my ol’ mug on the front cover of the magazine in shops, supermarkets and petrols station was quite something. I mean, I even popped up in my local Lidl much to Elsie’s delight!
As a little girl I used to dream of two things – magazines and fashion. And so to be styled and model for Essentials magazine really was a ‘pinch myself’ moment.
I still can’t believe how lucky I am, to have been asked to do that. And to think it all happened because a freelance journalist came across this blog of mine and liked what this blog is all about.
That is the power of blogging my friends.
This year I’ve also been fortunate enough to make friends with a group of wonderful women, who have inspired, supported and encouraged me to become bigger, better, best. All of whom I have met online and through blogging.
I never thought it would be possible to make friendships online that transpire to be as strong and as brilliant in ‘real life’ but I was proven wrong.
And so I feel very lucky to know these women (as well as my old dear friends) and to have them in my world. As I always say, women together are stronger.
So what else?
Well this year, I’ve also fought some fears and tackled a few things head on. And I’ve learnt that nothing is as scary as you fear. Nor as frightful as you can imagine.
I channelled the beauty and sultriness of Monica Bellucci in a photo shoot only to realise that actually I was far happier in my own skin and just being my self.
And I finally got to grips with my Northern accent and learnt to accept it.
Yep, I’ve never been a fan of my Rochdale twang but at 35 years of age, I’m actually beginning to rather like it.
This year has been all about embracing my voice and ability to talk for England, Northern tones an’ all. I took part in my first podcast interview in which I talked about motherhood and freelancing and then, just days before Christmas, I did my first radio interview.
As a trained journalist, I’m used to asking the questions. As a PR, I’m used to setting up the interviews for my clients. But to sit in the ‘hot seat’ myself? Well that was something else.
In the end – as I’m continuing to learn as I get older and a little wiser – my fear was totally unprompted and I ended up absolutely loving it!
Big thank you to Rony for being so lovely on his super show and to BBC Sheffield for inviting me to take part. (You can have a listen here if you fancy. I’m on about 1hr 20 mins in, talking about my blog and recent blogging win).
And finally, to top the year off in style, I won my first blogging award. Yep, Pouting In Heels (which is still just a mere toddler in blogging years) was awarded Parenting Blog of the Year, by The Bloggers’ Lounge! Another ‘pinch myself’ moment right there.
So you see, 2014 has been filled with magical moments for me.
I’ve tackled some fears, fulfilled a few dreams, learnt to love myself a little more (freckles and dulcet tones an’ all) and had a hell of a lot of a fun along the way.
I’ve also made dear friendships and learnt more about myself as a person than I thought possible. 2014 really has been quite something.
As we prepare for the New Year, I’d like to leave you all with a couple of thoughts to take with you into 2015.
A few pearls of wisdom from yours truly…
1) Never doubt your OWN magic.
Your life is in your hands. You can make it as brilliant or as dire as you wish. It is entirely up to you.
We all have the potential to change someone’s life or to do something extraordinary.
2) Create your OWN magic.
Believe in yourself. Tackle your fears. Say yes to opportunities. Ask for more. Work hard. Be grateful. Support others.
For it’s not just magicians who have bags of tricks my friends. No, no, no.
We all have the ability to pull a little magic out from within our sleeves. Even when people may be watching or listening to us.
Happy New Year everyone! May 2015 bring you much happiness, love and joy.