I've been meaning to write a New Year's post because I'm a blogger and if I don't tell you about my 2014 with a stream of perfect photos and inspire you with my resolutions then I've failed. Alas, I don't really feel like being a blogger today and haven't really felt like being one for a while now. Being at home over the last two weeks has given me a chance to catch up on my blog-reading and get all excited about whimsy photographs and creative projects and all the bazillion ways I can drink and document my coffee experiences. I love it, I really do. I love reading people's stories, I love celebrating engagements and cooing at wedding photos, I love exploring the world through the lenses and words of other people. However, it makes me doubt myself. It makes me miss travelling and exploring and question why on earth I'm still living in Bristol when I could be living in Berlin or Florence or somewhere in the American wilderness. 

Unfortunately, it is not just blogs that make me feel like this. Coming home for Christmas has been like stepping out of a bubble and into the real world, where everyone's life has moved on without you. It dawns on me that a lot of close friends got married this year whereas I ended my 2.5 year relationship. Others got exciting jobs that pay well and moved to the cities to start that exciting young professional existence, whilst I moved back to my university town to start a postgrad course with limiting career prospects. Others went travelling or bought houses or started amazing projects that are going to have huge impacts on society. But I made a choice. In fact,  this year has been a series of choices that I made independently. I could have had these things but I chose something else. When I stop being critical and actually REALLY look back over the year I see myself choosing to fight for a life worth living; I chose to fight mental illness and finish my degree, I chose to invest in edifying friendships, I chose to travel when I could, I chose to make space to find God again, I chose to take the risk and pursue my dream and above all, I chose to be kind to myself. My life might be going at a slower pace to others, I might not have a proper income, I might never find someone to marry and I might never own a house and shop at Waitrose but I am absolutely not a lost cause. I don't feel stranded and I don't feel torn. There comes a point when people start to enter different life stages but it's not a competition and it's not a race. My life may be less bloggable and my instagram account may be full of people dressed in leotards but I feel alive. 

In his book The Artisan Soul, Erwin McManus writes: 'We will never create anything more powerful and significant than our lives.' If the only masterpiece I leave behind is the life that I lived then I want to take time to craft it well. I hope this year you won't compare your choices (big, small, easy, difficult, significant, insignificant) to anyone elses. Make them and be proud. Our choices reflect who we are, how we see the world and what we dream about. Please don't belittle them. 


  1. In my first year at Uni, when I wanted to drop out, and I hated Oxford and hated studying German and hated the people around me, and generally just spent far too much time hating things, my tutor sat me down and said "You chose this". I was shocked, because I'd so easily found myself wanting all these other lives and experiences and wallowing in powerlessness when actually I had CHOSEN not to reapply to Edinburgh, had CHOSEN not to move back to Germany.... It didn't exactly make me like my life more, but let me have a little more pride in myself. I choose this. And by knowing that, I stopped hating it.

  2. I love this post. You should know I have a similar life to some you have mentioned and sometimes I dream about having a life more like yours. The grass is always greener :-)

  3. thank you so much for this ellie! you're words are so valuable.