My review of 2020
Updated: Mar 5
2021 is nearly upon us…thank goodness. It can only be an improvement compared to this year, and I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m feeling optimistic and hopeful for the year ahead.
This post is quite self-indulgent of me, and I’m not expecting anyone to be interested, but as well as this blog being a place to document my work and write other articles, it also serves as a bit of a diary for me to look back on in years to come.
As far as 2020 goes, it has actually been a positive year for me in terms of career progress. From January until July I was working on my NCTJ studies through distance learning and working part-time alongside that. This wasn’t a social time for me. Throw in a three-month lockdown and life was basically just studying and dog walks (below...any excuse to share a photo of Luis). You can read about how I stayed motivated and my routine in lockdown here.
Lockdown was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise for me. It gave me more time to study and took away a job that I really wasn’t enjoying. No longer working evenings and weekends also meant that I had more time to relax with my family. As I’m now hundreds of miles away, I feel that chunk of time with them was really needed especially because I now only see them a handful of times each year. It also meant that due to having more time to study, I got better grades than I was expecting.
What I do feel lucky about is that I decided to travel to Africa before the course started rather than afterwards. Obviously if I’d left it until August when exams were done it wouldn’t have happened.
After exams I then had two jobs running alongside each other from July until September which was exactly what I needed because it meant I was saving up and applying to journalism jobs. It also kept me busy, and I get bored so quickly so that was really helpful to pass the time.
I got a job offer in August (left...cue the celebrations), and I handed in my notice at work that night – eight years of bar work and waitressing was finally coming to an end!
Both jobs finished September 5th, giving me two weeks before moving. Again, this worked out well because it gave me time to prepare and also see everyone before I left. Typically I got ill in that period too, but I think that was just my body’s way of telling me I needed to slow down for a minute before everything was about to change again.
I moved on the 19th, started the job on the 21st, and I’ve been here ever since!
It really feels like this year everything has paid off. I’ve been aiming to be a journalist since I was 15, and now I’m finally doing it! I couldn’t have done it much quicker either. I was expecting job hunting to go on for much longer, so I just feel incredibly lucky that all the work and isolated studying has all come this – I’m doing the job I wanted, and I’m loving it. Read about my new life in Eastbourne (below) here, and my first three months as a trainee reporter here.
The reality of moving in a pandemic has meant that I’ve learnt the job from home (well..new home). I’m limited when it comes to meeting people and doing things, but at the end of the day I’m happy and healthy and so are my loved ones so that's all that matters.
2021 already has a lot in the pipeline. I have a number of gigs lined up and I hope to see friends and family a lot more. I’m now settled into working life so 2021 will be the year to start doing all the fun things that 2020 has lacked.
I’ve missed live music, travelling, being in a crowd, and surprisingly I’ve missed clubbing too. I also look forward to being able to see people again without worrying about rules and restrictions so I can actually hug them. I was never a hugger before...but I'm craving it as this point.
The vaccine roll-out has started and I’m hoping that by the time we get to early summer things will be on the road to normality, until then I’ll keep my head down and stick to the rules because we’re so close now – the end is in sight.
Bring on 2021!