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A Round-Up​ of 2018 In Nothing But 5s

Nikki McCaig Blog

This year, I was incredibly tempted to simply write the traditional essay on my life this year. But so much happened in 2018, both good and bad, that I feared my fingers would cramp up before I even reached April. 

So this December, I’m trying out a new format. I wanted to embrace the listicle, with its weird and endless possibilities. 2018 hasn’t been so much of a lengthy ramble for me, but a collection of unexpected and bizarre changes – so what better way to reflect than to simply list them! 

So let’s get stuck in! 

5 Important Changes I Made This Year: 

  • I moved out of my old house and into a beautiful loft-style flat on my own. I decorated it to perfection and now I’m completely in love with my little home. 
  • I ended two relationships that were making me unhappy and began a new one that makes me entirely happy. 
  • I started going to therapy, to finally deal with some of the issues I’ve been holding onto for far too long. 
  • I started two new jobs, both of which I love and now I actually look forward to Monday mornings! 
  • I fully embraced my role as a freelancer and made some serious networking moves to pull in new clients for 2019! 
Nikki McCaig 2018

5 Losses I Suffered This Year: 

  • Family. Earlier this month, I lost a beloved uncle to cancer. Through a fast illness to a peaceful end, the family is still trying to cope with the hole he left and missing him dearly. 
  • Home. My childhood home was put up for sale this year, as my mum took on an adventure she’s been planning for years and moving up north to be closer to the family. 
  • Jobs. A job that treated me poorly finally set me free, and although at the time it felt like the biggest loss I’d ever suffered, in hindsight, I’m nothing but grateful for the lesson it taught me. (thank u, next – am I right?) 
  • Money. With every job shift comes a big worry about money, something I really struggled with this year. From scrabbling around under the sofa for 20ps to get the bus into work to learning how to handle taxes and invoices, I’ve lost money this year – but 2019 looks a lot brighter for me financially, don’t worry! 
  • Friendships. As many graduates feel throughout the year, the friends they once spoke to daily and couldn’t get through the week without can seem to fade out of existence. But I’m a terrible one for keeping in contact with old friends, and it’s something I’m always trying to improve on, but through this distance I definitely lost some amazing friends this year. 
Nikki McCaig 2018

5 Things I Gained This Year: 

  • A budgie! If you’ve seen my Instagram or Twitter recently, you’ll have spotted that my boyfriend’s budgie, Buddy, came to live with me this summer! He’s a little messy and a little noisy, but he’s still the cutest roommate I’ve ever had. 
  • An amazing relationship. In true Jim and Pam style, my best friend became my boyfriend in 2018, and it’s been pretty amazing. I’m incredibly lucky to have someone so supportive by my side and I can’t wait to see our relationship grow in 2019! 
  • Strength! It’s been a rough year, and I’ve lost so many of the things I thought I needed to be strong. But through that, I’ve become the strongest I’ve ever been – confident, resilient and inspired to go on creating. I’ve cried, laughed and felt so alone, but stronger than ever.
  • New Skills. This year, I learnt how to design, how to network, how to find my own style and how to develop a brand. This is something I’m amazingly proud of and has shaped the way I’m going to work in 2019. 
  • A Future. As much as the future is always there, this year and particularly this winter, I’ve actually begun to carve away at the future I want. Planning milestones and goals, thinking ahead without anxiety and looking forward to, rather than dreading, the New Year is a big step for me! 
Nikki McCaig 2018

5 Women Who Have Inspired Me This Year: 

  • Ariana Grande. From her trauma last year to her strength in 2018, the girl got guts and I couldn’t admire her more for it. To go through so much, and lose so much and still come back fighting is an incredible feat and she did it with style, class and genuine kindness. Truly a woman that every little girl should look up to. 
  • Veronica Lodge. Yes, she is a fictional Riverdale character, but almost everything about her is inspirational. She’s smart, business savvy and well-spoken, plus she dresses better than every other character on the show. I can’t get over her strength and determination, and she never ever admits defeat – a true icon of female empowerment. 
  • Meghan Markle. Meeting your boyfriend’s family is tough. Meeting the Royal Family is tougher. Getting married in front of the entire world is insane, and she carried it off with so much grace and dignity and fun. She’s adorable to watch, successful and career-driven and I can’t wait for her next big milestone as a new royal! 
  • My Mum. This year, my mum has made some incredible changes to the life she’s lived for over 20 years. Selling her home, buying a house and retiring are amazing and inspirational challenges and I’ll support her every step of the way! 
  • Myself. Going from a girl who lost a job, a boyfriend, a house and her confidence at the start of 2018, to the girl who sits in a coffee shop with her favourite person in the world opposite her, doing work for amazing clients, in heels, lipstick and a smile on her face – that’s pretty incredible. 
Nikki McCaig 2018

5 Goals For Next Year: 

  • Work. Take on 3 new freelance clients, ones I can help to shape and build, and hopefully start to grow their business into something beautiful. 
  • Fun. This year my social circle has shrunk with all of the changes I’ve made, and yes it has made me a little lonely. I want to carry on extending my friendship circles for good next year and build back up some of the relationships I’ve let slide in 2018. 
  • Money. I want to be smarter with money next year. This means no more takeaways, no more ‘bad day’ shopping sprees, no more letting IOU’s slide and no more overpaying for bills. I want to keep on top of my money and be more aware of strict budgets in 2019. 
  • Mental Health. This year I started a course of anti-anxiety tablets and began therapy. I want to carry on this good work into 2019 and to actually deal with the long-term effects of trauma in a healthy way. 
  • Community. One of the things I’ve mentioned the most this year has been ‘community’ and how I desperately want to get involved with some great community projects. Whether this means supporting my local village, joining a club, helping out as a volunteer or just dedicating some time to my neighbourhood, I want to find the good in my Nottinghamshire home.

If you could summarise your 2018 experience in 5 lists, what would you pick? I found writing this to be strangely therapeutic, and I really would recommend it to anyone looking to reflect on the past 12 months. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and are looking forward to 2019 as much as I am! We got this ladies!