2017 In Reflection

12.12.17


So, here we are, nearing the end of 2017.

This year has been a very significant year for me in many ways: There's been a lot of changes, a lot of ups and downs, and a lot of 'new' to contend with in my life, and, honestly, all in all, I'm really not sure what to make of it. I'm not sure whether this year has been good, bad, or simply just 'meh'.

But I guess, until we go back through it all, we can't really tell, can we? So, let's start at the beginning...



At the start of the year I felt completely at a loss. I'd entered the year, that was inevitably meant to be 'my year' and 'the year everything went right', with a hand that I'd sliced open on a glass (by knocking it over as I waved my hands in the air in excitement... I mean, why God, why?!), drunkenly dancing to Defying Gravity, and singing along like I was a West End star, at the very end of my amazing New Years Eve. And, well, this meant that for the first 2 weeks of the year that I had to shower wearing a bright yellow washing up glove over my vertically positioned hand to stop it from getting wet, and then try to get on with my work by only using one of my limbs.

Simply put, it was a bit of nightmare.

However, something that totally cheered me up at the time, was the amazing response that I had to my post 'Learning To Like Yourself When Suffering With Your Mental Health', which is still one of my most popular posts to this day.

The response to this was so amazing - I honestly couldn't believe the amount of messages, comments and love this post received. It was lovely, but so overwhelming - I wasn't expecting it!




At the end of January, I headed to the Go Glam Gala, an amazing event organised by Scarlett London, that totally brought my new year (and newly recovered hand) in with a bang.

I finally got to meet so many amazing ladies (i.e. Rhiannon Ashlee (who I've adored for years!), Bethany Elstone, Faye Fearon, Maddie Bruce etc. etc.), as well as bumping into gorgeous familiar faces too (I'm looking at YOU, Charlotte Goodayle) - it was just amazing to be in a room full of like-minded, creative people (and also have some free tasty cocktails on tap too, haha).


"Surround yourself with people who reflect what you want to be and how you want to feel"

Then, something totally un-blog related, on the 26th of January, I passed my Driving Theory test - woohoo! I was so so pleased with myself, after having not taken any sort of test or exam since leaving High School in 2014, it was so weird to receive a little piece of paper with 'PASS' written on it and feel super duper giddy over it.




In January, I also got to shoot with the very talented Joe Galvin whilst he was up in Manchester for a couple of days.

We got some amazing images despite the super cold weather and rain - I still love to go back and check out the images to this day! They went along with another blog post of mine (one which I was super nervous about), all about Paranoia and how I dealt and deal with that. That's another post that received lots of love from you guys, so thank you!

But hey, that's enough about January, let's move onto February.

I decided during the second month of the year, to tackle even more personal subjects over on my blog.

I talked about everything from 'boobs' to 'sex appeal' and even things like 'Why Do I Get So Angry?', and it was just nice for me to start opening up, and feeling more free to discuss what I wanted to, over in my own little internet space.


"Never be afraid to do things that make you feel free"


One of my favourite posts from the month of February actually, was one I had written right after heading to London Fashion Week for a couple of days with Bethany Elstone

We were only down in London for 2 days, like I said, but the experience was still amazing - it's just nice to be in the atmosphere of it all. 

I remember heading to the Strand, there were cameras and fashionable babes EVERYWHERE, and it was just so cool to be surrounded by such a 'fashion-orientated' world.

Anyway, I digress... 

The blog post I wrote was, 'Here's The Fools Who Dream' - a title and post based off of my love for, and how inspired I felt by, the film La La Land (which I had been to see with my Mum earlier that month too and instantly fell in love with). 

I loved the reflection I felt whilst writing that blog post (kind of like I'm feeling writing this right now) and how I could feel myself really starting to be a part of the 'blogging world' - something that I never thought I could be involved in.

Plus, it was also during February that I was also featured in LOOK Magazine - crazy, right?! - It was super super cool for me, and just seeing little ol' me on the pages of LOOK felt very surreal... I mean, it was ME in a MAGAZINE!



2017 was the year that I had vowed to succeed in all aspects of my career. I told myself to 'up' my blog photography, get out more, challenge myself, and simply just model my arse off, as much as I could. 

It was the year that I waved sayonara to my mascara and embraced my blonde lashes, and it was the year that I discovered my love for colour, for more 'out-there' clothes, and really began to figure myself out. 

It felt like the world was finally letting me have 'my time'.

I was actually scouted by 2 other modelling agencies at the beginning of this year - something that felt very very bizarre to me, just because I never even think of myself of someone who's worthy of being scouted to be a model (despite that being exactly how I began my career haha). But, honestly, let me tell you, no other agency that I've visited, or experienced, has ever given me as much love, and treated me more like a human being, than the agency I'm with right now, and I'm incredibly grateful for that and wouldn't want to change it for the world. 

No matter how much you want to 'strive' and 'be the best', don't sacrifice your happiness or health. That's something I've learnt that is so so important this year. 


In April, I booked a modelling job that would challenge me in more ways than I could ever imagine. 

I was going to be modelling in Belgium... another country.... I couldn't believe it! And, whilst on the surface I was super excited for this next step in my career and felt ready to take on the world, deep down I was absolutely petrified. 

"Sometimes what you're most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free"

Now, I won't go into too much detail, but that trip taught me A LOT about modelling and what you have to deal with if you want to succeed. 

I was so incredibly homesick on that trip, and I was only gone for 4 days. Everyone around me didn't speak my language and I was sooo far away from home (not just a simple 2 hour journey on a Virgin train this time) - it was just a whole new world for me.

However, there's not a part of me that regrets that trip. I think it's something that forced me to grow up and challenge myself - it was something I needed to do for myself.



After traveling back from Belgium, I pulled in at St Pancras station and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I was home! (ish... I mean, I know London more than I know Belgium, that's for sure). I headed to a lovely little cafe, treated myself to a nice Eggs Benedict (as any good blogger does) and went back to my little Premier Inn room and had the longest 16 hour sleep of my life. (LOL)

The next day, without even knowing it, I was about to have one of my favourite shoots to date (that would also supply me with my favourite photo of myself of ALL TIME).

This shoot was for the beauty brand DHC and the team I worked with were absolutely incredible. It was a gorgeous sunny day, we were in a lovely little studio, and we even went out for a cute Italian lunch together at lunch time, which was just what I needed after a week of feeling so alone in Belgium. 

I just remember feeling so so happy after that shoot. I felt comforted by the team around me and it was amazing to be seeing images of myself that I just LOVED - what an absolutely amazing shoot.



Now, despite all the amazing things that have happened this year, it's also been in a really tough year when it comes to my mental health. 

I've struggled a lot with binge eating, with feeling extremely depressed again, and just not had the best time with it all, honestly. 

Back in April, I wrote a post about my relationship with food, 'Food: My Enemy and My Best Friend', which is also one of my most popular posts to date too. It discussed the issues I've dealt with, the way I feel about food etc etc, and it was just nice to get it all off my chest and also hear that it helped some of you or that you could relate to it in some way.

That was a very important post for me.



May was the month of Press Days, it was the month of meeting friends and coffee catch ups (I'm talking about you Ashleigh Hamman, Chloe Carpenter, Sabrina Carder and Zac Mahrouche), and it was the month I got to shoot for Dolcis and Glamour Magazine too!

I spent my days in London, jumping from tube to tube, running round press days such as the one for Push PR, the Boohoo A/W17 Collection, or, one of my favourites, the Arcadia Press Day (which had many an item which I am now the proud owner of *lucky meeee*)

I got to finally drink coffee with Ashleigh, shoot photos with Chloe, dance around giggling at our terrible humor with Sabrina, and also shoot with the super talented Zac too - all amazing people who I still bloody adore to this day!

Then, last of all, I got to head to an amazing studio and shoot a lovely little photo to be featured in the August issue of Glamour, which was just so so exciting for me! I remember feeling so so nervous, but equally giddy at the same time!




Now we're onto June...

And, well, June is probably the most significant month of 2017 for me.

"I think it's beautiful the way you sparkle when you talk about the things you love"

On 4th June 2017, I met Tyler. Tyler, who, if you didn't know already (because you're not a class A stalker or a number 1 Holly White fan) is now my wonderful boyfriend.

Now, don't ask me how I managed to bag a boyfriend, because honestly guys, I do not know. 

One day I was there, swearing off boys forever, fearing I would be living alone at 80 with my 6 cats and my Friends DVD box set, and the next I have a 6ft 1, Film Photographer calling me 'darling' and holding my hand as we walk through Manchester... it literally just HAPPENED.

I even remember drunkenly snap-chatting my friends, saying 'everyone meet my boyfriend', and they'd literally thought I'd kidnapped some poor creature and held him captive. 

But, alas, nope. I actually had a boyfriend now.

And, I'll be honest, no matter what happens, where life takes me, or us, or whatever, I'll be forever grateful for that month of June - for that first month we met - because it completely woke me and changed me for so much better. It made me realise that before that, I had isolated myself, I wasn't living and I wasn't as happy as I thought I was. And, it made me realise that despite how much I may not love myself, other people can and will love me. 

It was a wake up call for me.



Speaking of calls, on the... 9th of June, I think it was, I received a phone call about my biggest modelling job yet. I was flying to Prague, that very Sunday, because I had been booked to film for the H&M Christmas fashion film/advert. 

I WAS GOING TO BE MODELLING FOR H&M, AND BE ON TV! WHAT?!

My life had been made. 

I honestly couldn't believe it. 

It was probably one of the best experiences I'd ever had too - sooo completely different from when I went to Belgium. 

I got to meet some gorgeous, lovely models, walk around Prague in the sunshine, eating ice cream, and hang round in a huge-ass studio with an amazing creative team - it was brilliant! 

I feel so so lucky for that trip, for that job, and for that entire experience. It was amazing.




At the end of June was my 19th birthday, which was one of the best birthday's I've had in years. 

I had an amazing evening at Hotel Gotham in Manchester, drinking cocktails with my newly found love, and two of my bestest friends, Sophie and Annie, before heading to Canal Street where Tyler and I stumbled unintentionally into a drag show and sang 'I Will Survive' at the top of our lungs. 

The next day was even amazing too. We had breakfast at the Hotel in the morning, overlooking Manchester through a gorgeous giant window to the side of us, before heading to Megan Ellaby's Charity Event at Jimmy's and bumping into the beautiful Hayleigh Mccullough in the process!

I got to finally meet Megan (a lady who I've loved and had a girl crush on for YEARS!), as well as the gorgeous Robyn Roxburgh, and even picked up an amazing jacket, which I'm still obsessed with now!

Then, Hayleigh, Tyler and I, went on a little 3 person date before heading to the famous Northern Quarter Kilo Sale and styling ourselves in matching thermal ski jumpers. #FASHION 

It was just an all round amazing weekend and I don't think I could have asked for a better birthday.






Ah now, heading in July/August, I spent my time falling in love (eeew, I'm soppy, I'm sorry), doing some super fun shoots, and then just checking myself out in every copy of Glamour magazine in every shop I could find it in, haha!

One of my favourite shoots in August was one which Tyler and I did with an amazing photographer, Darina, on one gorgeous sunny afternoon in Manchester. We shot by the canal, with the gorgeous sunlight right on us, and amazing styling pieces from the fabulous Manchester We Are Cow store. I loved the images from that shoot soooo much, that I think I spammed you with them for a least a week and a half! (sorry! haha)

Another shoot I loved was the one where me and a bunch of the amazing models from IMM, got together and shot a super fun promo video, singing 'American Boy' all day, and danced around like a bunch of fools - it was another day that was just truly unforgettable for me because it just made me so happy and pleased to be with such a caring and amazing agency. 

And then, last of all, at the end of the month of August, I got to shoot for Primark Beauty, which was another amazing job opportunity for me. 

It was a lovely day, with a great team, and the images were just wonderful - some of my favourites! (I just can't believe I've modelled for Primark... eeek!)




In Septemeber I finally got to meet my babe Starr Clare and do an amazing Christmas shoot for Paul's Boutique

We met at Euston Station, had a big ol' embrace, and jumped straight in an Uber to the studio.

We then spent the day prancing around in tinsel and playing with giant props, whilst also chatting and giggling away in the dressing room too - I seriously LOVE that girl, and I adore the photos from the shoot too!

"It lives in the small things... joy"

Also in September I got to work on a lipstick campaign with Estee Lauder, which was literally just a dream come true. 

As someone who has adored red lipstick (and every other lipstick for that matter) for years on end, to then be working with Estee Lauder, posing in an Instagram photo, and chatting away on my Instagram story, to promote their lipstick, was insane!




September was also the month of the fringe. 

That's right... After probably a year and half of wanting a fringe, dreaming of looking like Jane Birkin, I finally got one cut in.

I was so excited to have finally bit the bullet and gone for it, and, I actually adored it too. It lasted a good 2 and half months... but sadly, it's on it's way out now, all for the sake of having my signature blonde eye brows out again, BUT, I swear to you, I did love it!

Anyway, fringes aside and moving onto October.

In October, I decided to take a bit of time off from my modelling. My mental health had dipped and I ended up in a bit of a crap place, (plus, I'd just epically FAILED my driving test because my anxiety went through the roof - absolute nightmare) but regardless, I tried to keep myself occupied with blogging work and surrounding myself with people I love.

For example, I traveled to London with Tyler for the first time, which was really nice. 

We hopped on a Virgin train, ate some Sainsbury's bakery cheese twists, and headed into the city. Sure, it rained the for the whole duration that we were there, but it was nice to finally get to go there together and experience a bit of London life haha.

I also got to collaborate with amazing brands like All Saints and Garnier, and even Hartley's Jelly that month! Who'd have thought it!? I feel honored to have worked with the brands I've worked with this year!

And, lastly, I met up with wonderful photographer Michaela Tornaritis too, and we shot some amazing photos that I am still just over the moon with (what a talented lady!!!)




Throughout November I worked with Nike on their #ForceIsFemale campaign which was super exciting for me. To get to collaborate with such a huge brand, and on such a cool campaign, was mind blowing. Plus, as the trainer lover I have become, this made my feet very very happy haha.

During this month, I also worked with a bunch of super talented photographers: Adam Bird, Rachel Cottam, Ema Crompton, Rosie Butcher and Jessica Davies! All people who's imagery I just adore!

I also headed to a couple of press events - the Royal Exchange French Connection store opening and the Boohoo SS18 collection preview - whilst getting to meet the gorgeous Kiera Courtt in the process! (I've gone on about this fab lady before, so won't go on about her again haha)

"I want excitement"

On the 28th November, the H&M advert came out which was amazing. I love seeing little ol' me waving back at me on my TV screen! Plus, it was just sooo nice to be able to tell you all all about it too!



Now we're in December and looking back over the entire year, maybe it hasn't been as 'meh' as I thought.

Sure, there have been 'meh' moments, especially in the mental health department - I'm in a pretty 'meh' place right now. BUT, this year has been good. A lot of good as happened. 

I've laughed a lot, I've worked a lot (and with a lot of great brands too - I just want to give Miss Selfridge, New Look, Public Desire, Carat London, Thomas Sabo, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, Daniel Wellington, July Child, So Soy Candles, Nobody's Child, Ted Baker, Lola May, Rock On Ruby, Missy Empire, Neon Rose, Joanie Clothing, Paul Hewitt, 3INA, Ghost Fragrances, Topshop Beauty, Nasty Gal, Paisie London, Radley, Christian Louboutin and We Are Cow a shoutout - I didn't forget you guys!) and I've met a lot of new people - I can't say much bad about that.

I'd like 2018 to really be my year though. I'd love to feel content in all aspects of my life and not just the work department. I'd love to learn to love myself, to improve myself and finally find peace with my issues.

That'd be amazing for me. 

And, on top of that, I'd love for 2018 to bring even more amazing work opportunities my way and for me to have as many wonderful days as I had this year, again next year - that would be lovely.

So yeah, bring on 2018, let's hope it's everything I hope it can be.

10 comments

  1. I loved reading this post Holly! It sounds like you've had some real highs this year (as well as the lows). I hope things continue to improve for you in 2018 :)

    Shannon xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow I loved ready this post Holly. So personal and insightful and you've have a great year work wise. I think it's good to look back as it really does help to put things into perspective and see how much you've done. Also I love every single shot in this post. So gorgeous! Oow and the day you got the phone call about your shoot in Prague, that was my birthday. I always say the 9th June is a wonderful date haha. :)

    Samio xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Samio! So glad you liked it :-) Looking back definitely puts things into perspective!

      And no way - it's definitely a wonderful date haha! xxx

      Delete
  3. You look amazing in all these photos Holly :) so glad you've had a great year - the past two years have been so up and down for me but I have a feeling 2018 is going to be my year. Merry Christmas!

    Kindest,
    Jen x

    Latest Blog Post: Cosy Fashion for Winter 2017
    jenloumeredith.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Jen! I hope 2018 brings you lots of happiness!

      Merry Christmas lovely xxx

      Delete
  4. Loved reading this post! It sounds like you had a wonderful year with lots of new opportunities, despite the ups and downs. Glad you had some time off to take care of yourself, it must be lovely to look back and be proud of what you have accomplished in 12 months! All the pictures are beautiful x

    Holly x
    www.thetwinswardrobe.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much lovely!
      Merry Christmas xxx

      Delete
  5. Wow! I really loved this post! I enjoyed learning so much about you and your year that I didn't know before. I'm wishing you the best in your new year to come. I wish you happiness and a life full of love and friendship! Can't wait to read some more of your posts.

    jayolivia.blogspot.ca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jay, I hope you had a wonderful New Year and have a great 2018! xxx

      Delete

Latest Instagrams

© The Simple Things. Design by FCD.