One of the most important lessons I’ll take from 2019 .
Why not me?
I have always struggled with the assumption that I wasn’t good enough… pretty enough… cool enough… ‘whatever it is’ enough. Or that if I was I would inevitably fall at the last hurdle and feck up whatever it was I was working on.
My lack of self-confidence drove my parents to the brink of despair and I guess over the years I’ve turned down various opportunities because it was easier than trying and failing. I mean come on I could potentially have been a weather girl on bloody Calender News had I followed up the invitation to audition many years ago.
In 2019 I guess something shifted … combined with the loss of my mum a few years before … I gained a new frame of mind.
So back to my revelation.
Back in early autumn I announced excitedly to a few people [including a few influencers] that I had been asked to be a Regional Ambassador for M.A.C.
The look on a couple of their faces was priceless. Maybe it was my age, maybe they thought my following wasn’t large enough … whatever it was it screamed “you? why you??” some people really need to work on their poker faces.
I admit to thinking that myself initially but I always question EVERYTHING. I joked about how they had obviously emailed the wrong person, but it did make me think …
or rather why NOT me?
This year has been one where I have well and truly stepped outside of my comfort zone and I think I’ve probably grown as a person in the process . I have laid some groundwork for a hopefully amazing 2020 which also happens to coincide with my half century.
Without sounding OTT I have experienced things this year that I quite frankly never dreamt I would . It’s sent my anxiety sky high; at times I’ve experienced serious self-doubt but when I’ve completed whatever it was I was doing it’s ALWAYS left me feeling exhilarated.
So today I thought I would look back over the past year and share some of my favourite moments.
It’s my 2019 highlight reel
The year started with a beauty event at Clinique [ I do love a good beauty event ] where we were sipped fizz and were introduced too the new ID skincare range.
Katie is a kick-ass writer and what Fi doesn’t know about skincare , frankly isn’t worth knowing.
In March much to my surprise I was invited too and attended my first ever over-night press event in London with the fabulous company that are Josh Wood Colour. I travelled to London all by myself to meet a group of people and influencers I had never met before .
It sounds crazy … especially at my age I guess … but it was a BIG deal for me ! // read more HERE
Spoiler – basically I made Italian bread that if it hit you on the head would probably knock you out // you can read more HERE
I was also invited to my friend Katie’s [ mentioned above] book launch. She wrote and published her first book ‘A Little Pick Me Up’ I was so happy and extremely proud of her .
I can now add ‘friend of author’ to my CV!
In June it was the ladies annual weekend away . My friends and I have been doing this for as long as I can remember ; you can’t beat a few days away with your besties.
We decided on Malaga again and had an absolute blast. It’s an amazing , beautiful city with so much to see and do BUT the accommodation left a lot to be desired .
It didn’t dampen our spirits though . Well maybe it did for the first hour or so especially as the restaurant we took ourselves off too to cheer ourselves up served a variety of dodgey looking, dog food type tapas and every time the waiter walked past we almost passed out from the whiff of his horrendous BO.
After that however it was smiles and laughter all the way! // HERE
Also during June I attended my first ‘insta meet’ with 4 AMAZING ladies I had been talking too on and off on Instagram for a long, long while
They were every inch as fabulous as I knew they would be. We had such a lovely, fun day and York is always a pleasure.
Having breakfast at The Ivy [ below ] …
Maybe the funniest event this year for allsorts of reasons but mainly for the official photos. On several of them it looks like I’m licking Natalie’s bum [I’m not] in my ill-fitting-thrown-together-at-the-last-minute gym gear … was held by Move GB.
At the beginning of July on maybe the hottest day of the year I attended what can only be described as killer boot camp with this set of fabulous ladies – Leanne, Prue, Natalie & Charlotte. We sweated … but we didn’t half laugh too!
I said I’d try and get fit in 2019. It didn’t happen …so I’ll try again in 2020. Please don’t hold your breath – I’ve been saying the same thing since about 2010!
In September I landed myself a new part time job working as a consultant for the fabulous Josh Wood Colour in Meadowhall .
I’ve always worked in an office environment so retail was a new venture for me [ I’ve dabbled a little before but only a little ] and it’s one I’m enjoying.
A few of you guys have popped in and said hello which is lovely but I cant help but feel slightly embarrassed. When I sit singing in my car or posing like an absolute plonker against my bog-standard white wall … I never actually think I might be seen in real life !!
Despite ‘my first‘ earlier in the year I always said I wasn’t one for attending lots of insta meet-ups , it’s something I never envisaged I’d get involved with. I’m not sure why … but I guess it’s a mixture of nerves and I’m not stupid . I know that by the law of averages not everybody will be my cup of tea , and vice versa. Not everybody will like you. However saying all that I braved it and attended my second insta-meet this time in Leeds.
We met, we kissed , we fell in love… Actually we ate and shopped! We divulged on very ‘more-ish’ cocktails and food at The Ivy which is a stunning venue that I definitely hope to revisit.
Meeting people you are overly familiar with via their squares on Instagram but who you have never actually met before is both strange and a little daunting in a ‘what-if -they -don’t -like -what -they- get -in the -flesh‘ way. I can confirm it was a fabulous afternoon and everyone was just as I had envisaged – lovely
Also during September I went on my first event with M.A.C I attended London Fashion Week which included backstage access to the House Of Holland show.
I know … pinch me now what an absolute privilege! Apart from feeling like I was in the way a lot – it is like organised chaos – I loved it.
Me – Backstage – London Fashion Week …
if you’d have said that to me a few years ago I’d have laughed my socks off !
This was followed shortly by another event with M.A.C. The ‘Starring You’ Christmas Collection launch.
We ate dinner under the moon at the Natural History Museum . It was Bloody Amazing ! It’s something I never dreamt I would do AND I only [ very briefly ] bloody met THE queen of skincare herself Caroline Hirons !! // read more HERE
I met the legend that is Joanna Lumley at the opening of the new spa at Sanderson House , Fox Valley.
My mum adored her , in many ways she reminds me of my mum . I was close to tears when she gave both Rachel and I a big hug. She is extremely warm, extremely beautiful and says darling a lot in normal conversation . Year made !
I have been George and featured on Andrew Ridgleys insta-stories !
I’ve been to see some amazing theatre shows – for transparency- some were gifted , some purchased myself . Sheffield Theatre’s really spoil us with the shows they produce at The Lyceum and Crucible.
Did I ever tell you that ‘Everybody’s talking about Jamie‘ showcased at the Crucible a few years ago?
Only about a million times Tracey !
It’s back showing at The Lyceum this February… we are lucky, lucky Sheffield people! It’s AMAZING
I’ve worked with and been introduced to some fabulous brands .
It’s funny [ but not actually that funny ] that until I started looking back through my old photos I didn’t realise just how many. I hope to continue , build my relationships and work with some of these brands again next year.
I say some as a few brands I worked with earlier on in the year don’t get in touch with me anymore.
I can only presume the reasoning is there are so many ‘influencers/bloggers ‘ to choose from they can swap and change to hit different audience’s . They simply don’t like what I’ve produced … or that saying no to attending events in London [were you’ll maybe receive a free pair of knickers] but that cost you an arm and a leg to get too is a no-no and gets you knocked off their PR list.
It’s a big learning curve but paying money out of my own pocket to promote a brand doesn’t sit well with me.
It’s definitely been a year of firsts and like I said earlier a big learning curve.
I’ve yet to master IGTV; I’m not sure I ever will to be honest. But never say never!
So the moral of my blog post. . .
You don’t have to fit a certain mould to fit. [I’m not going to start wittering on about hexagons again, don’t worry]
My mum used to say it takes all sorts to make the world go around and she was right. It’d be awfully boring if we all looked, sounded, thought and acted the same.
So if anybody ever, ever, ever makes you doubt yourself; looks at you with a quizzical “why you?” face- look them straight in the eyes, smile your biggest, brightest smile and give them your best “and why ever not!“