Although I've been meaning to pick up blogging over the past few years, the only thing that's been consistent blogging wise has been my years in review posts. See here for 2014, the year of Ugandan mischiefs and crying over my dissertation, and here for 2015, the year of finishing uni and discovering life as a young professional (aka my most SATC year to date). Every year I seem to say "this year has been mad" (lol), although that seems to be truer for 2016 than before. Lets have a look.
We rung in 2016 at a house party in Hollywood Hills, which was about as bizarre as it sounds. I felt like I'd been teleported into an episode of the OC where champagne and cocaine flowed freely and skinny girls in tiny dresses were tiptoeing around trying not to fall into the pool. Pretty OC-y if you ask me. On New Years Day we took the Pacific Coast Highway trough Big Sur, and stopped for a quick skinny dip along the way. We did 36 questions in the car and there were both tears and laughter. My trip ended in San Fransisco before I flew back to London, where I felt increasingly uneasy about overturned budgets and uncertain projects. To cope I turned to yoga, and booked a ticket to Sweden where we spent an entire weekend doing nothing but laughing and going for long walks in the woods.
First day back at work after my little retreat to Sweden I was made redundant. I really should have seen it coming, but I didn't. The boy picked up a takeaway steak tartare from my favourite resto and fed me red wine as I spent the first evening compiling lists of recruiters and agencies I wanted to meet with. Over the coming weeks I worked 16 hour days as I reached out to people, prepared for meetings and interviews and negotiated the terms of my redundancy. I was taken out for a little spin in a tiny two-man plane over Hertfordshire, and I went out for cocktails with my mentor who promised me things would be fine. And after a lot of back and forth, my old job still let me got to NYC for the company trip that had bee planned for months. It was my first time there and although the trip was slightly overshadowed by my unemployment and general uncertainties, I still had a great time.
March kicked off with more interviews and compiling endless media strategies, press releases, and campaign ideas for prospective employers. Thankfully, it all paid off. Perhaps somewhat unbelievably, five weeks after I was made redundant - one week during which I was in New York - I had five solid job offers on the table. It felt great. Amazing, even. In the end it was an easy decision, and I signed the papers to join a boutique agency that sat in the same building where I did my first PR internship all those years ago. The boy took me out for celebratory bubbly and a three-course meal, and I was so relieved I think I at some point cried. In March I also did a short stint working on a campaign for National Apprenticeship Week, which included me manning all the regional press activity and desperately trying to understand all the various British accents over the phone (not an easy feat). Once again I hopped on a plane to go over the Atlantic, this time with the boy. We visited NYC, Connecticut, Baltimore and Washington DC. It was marvellous. We celebrated our six month anniversary at The Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan, something I think I'll remember forever.