2014: A series of bad ideas, fun and revelations.

As the curtain falls on 2014, I wanted to recall a short (ish) account of my personal roller coaster ride of a year. Despite the ups, downs and a general rocky ride 2014 has been pretty good.

I have loved more than I have lost
Spent more than I earned
Cried hard, laughed louder
Forgave but haven’t forgotten
2014: The Statistics
2 jobs.
4 houses.
1 TV appearance.
1 tattoo.
9 aeroplanes.
0 cinema trips.
Approx. 90 nights out.
1 wedding.
0 Funerals.
2 phones.
2 iPads.

Paid my first bills.

Hair colours: brown, blonde, blue, green, grey.
Places visited: Manchester, Liverpool, Bangor, Ibiza, Dublin, Leeds, Burnley, Blackburn, Lincoln, Birmingham, Portugal, North Wales.
Highs of 2014
1. Spending time with a happy, healthy family at home, in Portugal and London.


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2.Spending time with friends on amazing adventures in: Dublin, Festivals, Amsterdam, Leek, and Ibiza.


3. CSU Above And Beyond awards in June.


4. Attending the National Nursing Awards in May, seeing Julie Sheen win National Nursing Student of the Year award and meeting my broadcasting hero Fiona Phillips.

10254015_319576628190296_467975264224093368_n5. Reached 25,000 views on my blog.

6. Memorable nights out: Welcoming in the new year in Dublin, Dressing up as a washing basket and then getting black eye from the wiring the night before graduation, getting a camel tattood on my toe, 100m sprint down the track in our underwear, Manchester Pride, 118 night with the Burnley FC girls, army night with CWF, our CSU leaving do, dressing up as a granny for varsity, pretending I was Miley Cyrus on more than 10 occasions, legs birthday night in Liverpool, seeing Calvin Harris in Ibiza, seeing Kelly Llorena in Rosies and Bangor with Berry and co.

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7. I did Feminism and spoke out about it.

8. Presidential Palace – The most craziest house to live in! We had a Fork stuck in the light switch to make it work, blue liquor in the super soaker, katie’s nail stuck to the door, stuffing newspaper in the skirting board so the spider didn’t come out, pre drinks with every person in Chester, attacking people through the widow with a sledge-hammer, discovering homeless people living in the garden, smashed a window by trying to be romantic to the neighbours, and sitting on the roof after a night out setting the world to rights as the sun came up over the Cambrian hills.

9. Met some great people including: @ShitChester who made lego figures of Katie and I, Giles Brandeth at Graduation and having a selfie with the Lord Mayor, Bob Rudd at his Mayor making and then afternoon tea in the Town Hall.

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10. Fraping katie. 146 likes:

“I can’t believe I have been accepted for take me out straight after being Pres!. Fernandos here I come”.

A year of revelations and lessons learnt: (a.k.a Lows of 2014, but we are going to remain optimist, silver lining and all that…)
Mental health 
If I broke my leg, or my arm, or even my tooth you would be able to see the injury. You would be able to tell me to rest and it will be ok. Telling somebody struggling with their mental health that everything will be ok is probably one of the worst things you can do. Because the person suffering is sat at the pit of a very deep, dark, empty well, it seems to them that there is no escape, how will it ever be ok? In 2014, I saw a number of close friends struggle with mental health, the hardest part as a friend for me is seeing the person they once were being sucked out of them with every depressive day spent for them in the well. You can see their twinkle diminish from their big eyes, you can feel their tiredness as everyday activities consumes every last ounce of energy and you can sense the pain that they try to fight every single day by masking it with laughter.
The good news is that good friends can help. Even if you feel worthless, for them, knowing that you are there to cry on, to talk to makes all of the difference.
Things I have learnt this year: 
Being a friend is not always about running through fields of lavender, playing on a summer’s day with super soakers but being there through the thick and thin. Protecting them, holding them, letting them snot on your shoulder whatever it takes to get them through. A good friend is one that will say everything will be ok, a great friend is one that is not afraid of asking how you are feeling. A best friend is one that will lower a ladder into the well being patient whilst they wait for their friend to reach out for the help you are offering.
Secondly, I have learnt the importance of looking after yourself and that listening to your family is important:
April 2014:
Mum (on the phone): “Bex, there is only so long you can live off adrenaline and pints of beer’.
Me: “I am fine”.
Oldest brother calls later: “Hi bex, I want you to listen to me, there is a flight booked for you next week, you are getting on it and having a break.”
I slept for the whole week. They were right.
Leaving CSU
I wrote a blog (shock) about the conscious uncoupling.
Things I learnt: 
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.
It is easy to wish you were still part of something, instead, smile because it happened.
in 2014, I failed an academic piece of work for the first time in my life. I cried. And had the ‘what is the point of me doing this’ conversation.
Things I learnt:
So what if I failed? As long as I learn from my mistakes whats the big deal?
Turning down a move to San Diego 
Yet again, I cried at this decision. Torn between a life in the sunshine coaching the sport I love, living in big houses and seeing the West Coast or applying for a job that I might get and that I might enjoy.
Things I learnt:
This decision will probably haunt me forever, but on reflection I went with my heart, San Diego would have been an adventure where as this job is a journey.
When people you care about and trust the most hurt you and let you down, it really bloody hurts.
Things I learnt
Life is too short to hold grudges. ‘Short’ to me is not about the length of time but the depth of the feeling. How deeply we love, think, behave. Holding grudges and sweating about the little things gets in the way of feeling what it is like to live.
Saying goodbye
2014 was a hard year for saying goodbye to some of my closest, wisest, prettiest friends in the world. To name a few: Katie Badman, Cat Cassidy, Callum Hogg, Dan Lee, Niamh Levell, kerrie Sprigings, Laura Stott and Sian Williamson.
Things I learnt:
I will always remember what it was about these people who inspired me, made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurt and made me cry when they left in order for me to be a little bit more like them.
Predictions for 2015
  1. The biggest, loudest, silliest Lees wedding in March.
  2. I may or may not have a job after July.
  3. I probably will dye my hair.
  4. I will spend too much money on things I do not need.
  5. I will not exercise enough.
  6. I will make a clown out of myself on several occasions.
  7. I will not study enough.
  8. I will get plenty of sleep.
  9. General Election frenzy will sweep the country resulting in a new leader.
  10. An event will happen somewhere that will change the world forever.
  11. I will still not appreciate fully the things I have, the places I go and the job which I do.
  12. I will be heading towards 25 – there will be a light at the end of the tunnel which will either be the joy of coming to the end of self-discovery (aka what i want to do with my life) or a train.
Bucket list for 2015
  1. Complete a tough mudder challenge.
  2. Complete a half marathon and beat previous time.
  3. Book an expensive holiday to Thailand.
  4. Get published somewhere, anywhere.
  5. Get on an aeroplane at least 6 times.
  6. Start dissertation.
  7. Figure out what makes me excited and passionate and do more of it.
  8. Stop beating myself up over small things and don’t be afraid to show emotion once in a while.
  9. Be honest with who should be in my life and ditch the rest. You are 24, it’s a little late in the day to have frenemies.
  10. Keep in touch with good friends in other locations – it is not that hard yanno!
And there we have it, 2014 reduced to a blog post of pretty pictures, honest reflections and positive lessons to take forward into the new year.
However, I will not be doing the whole new year, new me thing. I will wake up on 1st January in an unfamiliar house, hungover, next to a group of friends, piecing together what happened and cursing the fact that we will be doing it again in 2 days time for my birthday.
Life is too short to worry.
Lets make 2015 one to remember.
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2 thoughts on “2014: A series of bad ideas, fun and revelations.”

  1. Hi Becky

    2014 was certainly a year to remember. You look as if you’ve enjoyed every moment of it. I’ve certainly enjoyed being in your company, it’s great to be a friend of yours. Have a great New Year and hope to see you soon.

    Best wishes



  2. Becky that post is one of the best and most original that I have seen, well done.
    Have a fabulous New Year Hun.
    Love n hugs
    Sue xx

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