Goodbye 2014… Hello 2015!

As another year draws to a close, I love to reflect on all that’s happened. The good, the bad, the ugly.
2014 has been a great year, living in London.. Crazy busy, but filled with fun!

I’m now a year closer to graduation… A year closer to being a registered children’s nurse… That in itself has scared me. To think that I’m halfway through my studies!… But, 2014 has been manic, study-wise. Placements that made me want to cry. Some of those definitely tested me and I questioned whether this was really what I wanted to do. On top of that, finding motivation to get up out of bed for 5am to get to a very, very tiring 12 hour shift. That was tough… Exams and assignments too… And learning that procrastination is the most stressful part of studying!
But it wasn’t all bad. As much as I complained about my placements, I loved them. Especially seeing some of the kids that I nursed last year, all fit and healthy now… And especially seeing the boys that were now cancer-free. That definitely got some tears out of me!! There’s also the fact that I’ve made some great friendships at university… It’s nice to have a little group that are all in the same boat as me… It’s nice to have someone you can have hour-long conversations about children’s poo and vomit with – it’s all part of the job!

I’ve found, it’s also been quite a good year socially… I was thinking about this last week, about 2014, and initially I thought it was just an average year. Nothing amazing, nothing terrible. Just average… And then I started looking though my photos. And it’s been quite a good year, really. Socially, I’ve found some great friends at uni. At least a couple who I hope will be life-long friends… There’s also the case of finding some great friends early in 2013/2014 at church, to have them all but unfriend me when we left it… That was painful. I’m a very friend-focused person. I don’t know why, it always annoyed me just how much effort I put into friendships, because generally, most of my friends wouldn’t put as much effort in and would disappoint me one way or another… Moving church and having most of the people I regarded as friends disappoint me, well, that really did hurt. But then I realised that friends are there for seasons in your life. As much as I really wished I was still friends with some of them, it was good while the friendship lasted. We had fun! So although my friendship group is nowhere near as large as it was when 2014 started, I’ve learned a few things from this…

But socially, it’s been a good year. I’ve seen some great bands and comedians live. The comedians especially, it was great just having my face hurt from laughing so much!!! I also went to my very first English football game! And I had a few friends from home visit me here in London, which was lovely! On top of that, I saw some very close family friends who are very frail and old and well, I hadn’t seen in, over 10 years! I call them my grandparents, because they’re really the closest thing I’ve ever had to grandparents… It was both lovely and really sad to see them… The last time I remember seeing them, they were full of life and energetic… And now to see them so old and frail, it was really quite depressing. It also reiterated that I could definitely not do adults nursing, just because seeing them like that had me on the verge of tears!

What else, what else…

Church… Like I said, as a family we moved church around August 2014 for personal reasons, really… That was tough, especially seeing as we felt God call us to that church, and we’d been a part of the planting of it since early 2013… But, you know, God has a plan, and He knows what He’s up to! So we’ve been to a number of churches recently, searching for a new one… I’ve found personally, Hillsong to be the closest to what feels like home… Although I’m really not sure because although I do get a lot out of the worship and the service, I just find it quite difficult to, I dunno, fit in… It’s almost like I don’t feel welcome, and all my attempts to befriend people there feel quite forced by me. So I’m really not sure about it…
But I’ve been to most Hillsong services since about September, including one night session at Hillsong Conference at the O2 Arena. That was spectacular. It always blows me away to see what God is up to in London! It’s amazing to see thousands upon thousands pack into an arena that is normally used for popstars or comedians… But instead, that night, it was used to declare the love of Jesus over our city and to see His name lifted higher than any other name! I also went to one of the Hillsong’s women’s event – Sisterhood. It was put on in a club within the O2 complex and again, it was amazing to see so many women gather under the name of Jesus and to stand on every promise He’s given us! Honestly, I used to always hate large gatherings of women – I thought it was so fake, too judgemental and full of gossip, I always tried to get out of going… But since I’ve been in the UK, Jesus has sorted that out in me. I’ve realised that those events full of women that I hated, they’re the birthplace of something amazing, something beautiful! Anyway, that’s another story for another day…

The other thing I’ve loved last year is being able to give back. I know that sounds super cheesy. But I’ve loved being able to volunteer for stuff and help out just because I can. I volunteered at the Tower of London when they had the Poppy installation. That was special. 888,246 poppies spread out on the Tower of London’s moat, symbolising every single man and woman who laid down their life for our freedom in World War I. Seeing all those people who gave their life for our freedom. The whole installation had such an impact on the UK, and I’m really glad they did it. I’m really glad I could be a part of it too.

As well as volunteering, I’ve been given a great opportunity to work at university too last year, and then later being promoted into a senior position. Not only is it some extra cash, it’s helped me to build up contacts and friends within the university. It’s a mixture of things, ranging from working with highschool children, to answering phones, to taking tours, and I’ve really, really enjoyed it! It’s also given me something fun to look forward to outside of the actual university studies and placement…

And so, that was my 2014. As I said, it’s been a good year. It’s been a year that I can say, I don’t think I have any regrets. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ve enjoyed what and who God’s brought into my life.

So now, 2015. I don’t really know what to expect.
It’ll be my second-going-on-third year of university, meaning more responsibility, harder work and higher expectations.  Also now as a senior student ambassador, I’ll have more responsibility too. I’ll also be 25 this year, ohhhmy!!! Scary! I’ll be like an actual adult… So, 2015 is the year of more responsibility? Who knows! I do know though, that this year is God’s year to do what He wants.

I must admit though, I never keep my New Year’s Resolutions… I think because I usually make this huge to-do list and just can’t really be bothered… But I’ve got three New Year’s Resolutions for this year, 2015…

1. Blog regularly. At the very least, once a week. I just want to write down my thoughts, maybe one day they’ll turn out useful!
2. Fall ridiculously in love with Jesus. I’ve found last year, that friendships come and go, but this year I don’t want my bestfriendship with Jesus to go anywhere!
3. Fit into my ball gown… It’s embarrassing to say, I tried my 2008 ball gown on last night, and it didn’t fit. So, I want to fit back into that by my 25th birthday… Six months. Hello new body!

Other than these three resolutions, I just want to have a fun year! And learn to stop procrastinating….
So really, that’s 5 resolutions…

SJ x


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