I thought moving house 5 times in a global pandemic in 2020 was enough instability and change in my life but this year I have experienced even more growth and change then ever before.
I started the year with having coronavirus in my flat in Guernsey, questioning if I would ever have the strength to run again or even walk up my three flights of stairs to get to my flat, which made me feel hopeless about my future.
After surviving that, I jetted off to Mexico which soothed my being, shaking off my overworked and permanently fatigued body from shift work and early starts, and opened my mind to the world of possibilities.
Only a week or so after returning, I interviewed for a job which I was then given, changing my entire future in an instant and causing me to pack my bags (and entire life!) to move to Manchester to work with Long Form Audio.
Guernsey was exactly what my soul needed; a reset from London life, my own space to live, the outdoors to force balance and exercise into my life, and most importantly – the confidence to believe in my journalism and style of storytelling.
Lockdown in London gave me the tools to grow, Guernsey gave me the space to implement them. And now I was off to Manchester to build on them.
I moved 4 times finding the right place to live and staying with friends of friends in Manchester until I found a flat with a housemate that suited me. Once I had stability from my living situation, my career developed and grew, producing and broadcasting programmes for Radio 4, 5live and the BBC World service, and now starting 2023 with a new 12 month contract as journalist for an award winning investigative documentary style programme called File on 4, which I’ve always wanted to work on.
I’ve definitely appreciated being much closer to my friends and family and the rest of the world by living in Manchester and seeing so many friends and doing so many things.
But my body and bank balance are urging for a slightly calmer life. So as I look back at my whirlwind of a year of working hard with new opportunities, visits from and visiting friends and numerous holidays, I’m looking forward to spending 2023 investing more in me and my future. Investing in a new contract and what I can bring to the programme and department, investing in a place I can call my own, investing in my own health with more local hikes and Manchester/North West based adventures and investing more time and money on me.
Here’s a look back on my year in sections…
- Broadcasting news bulletins on the evolving war in Ukraine for Guernsey.
- Reported on a multi platform piece for radio, BBC News on TV, and online on mental health – which I filmed myself.
- Put together an investigative radio report on Hirsprungs disease, looking into medial support in Guernsey.
- Broadcast my fifth report for BBC News on TV on endometriosis.
- Included puns in my live news bulletins.
- A new BBC documentary I produced and presented on Guernsey French came out on BBC Guernsey.
- Stopped my IG live series and focused on my Real on Reels.
- Started working for the Long Form Audio department for BBC World Service, Radio 4 and 5live.
- Used as a voiceover for The Inquiry on the BBC World Service.
- Presented and produced programmes for Witness History and Sporting Witness on Ibiza, Jersey and the Mongol Rally.
- My programme stories and guests got picked up by BBC Sport, BBC Bangla and Ukrainecast.
- My first Witness History programme was picked up by El Mundo, BBC Stories, BBC World, BBC Current Affairs, BBC World Service, BBC One and Radio 1.
- I produced four programmes for Four Thought for BBC Radio Four.
- I produced the History Hour for the BBC World Service.
- I produced the prison programme Outside in with Prison Radio Association.
- I broadcast a report for 5live on rental fraud that got picked up by Newsbeat bulletins, CNS and other locals like Wales, London and Oxford, as well as BBC Sounds and Voice bulletins.
- I started working for File on 4 – learning how the programme works and developing my own original idea.
- I was given a 12 month contract with file on 4 as a journalist starting in January!
- Defeated Covid.
- Travelled to Alderney for the first time and saw it’s concentration camp Lager Slyt and it’s quirky pubs.
- Stood up for my values in life and what I stand for.
- Sea swam straight after reading the news all morning.
- Trained myself to run up to 5k.
- Got a new tattoo (my final one!).
- Moved from Guernsey to Manchester all on my own, selling furniture and packing/unpacking/driving my whole life.
- Fell back in love with one of my favourite cities, finally feeling ‘at home’ the first time in a long time.
- Moved 4 times in Manchester and found a great place to live.
- Hiked in the peaks.
- Travelled to Berlin to catch up with friends.
- Travelled to Mexico solo for my 30th birthday and practised my Spanish.
- Travelled to Lago Maggoire for my Mums 70th birthday.
- Hiked the rock in Gibraltar – the first time in summer.
- Saw my friend get married in Crete (and drove in Greece too!) and Bristol.
- Visited a new place in the UK, Cardiff!
- Visited friends in their new homes in Oxford and Cambridge.
- Flew in a microlight flight.
- Hosted a number of friends in my new home of Manchester.
- Took friends to the Warehouse Project – three different times.
- Embraced my new life with climbing after work and joining walking groups.
- Joined an intense HIIT class and kept going until I could keep up.
- Survived a sexual assault emotionally and physically.
- Started adhoc yoga sessions.
- Explored Manchesters art galleries.
- Paddle boarded in Sale and Salford and Kayaked in Oxford.
- Walked away from situations where I know I deserved better.
- Finished two whole books (quite a treat for me)
- But finished dozens of podcasts!
- Drank tequila in Mexico.
- Ride a hot air balloon.
- Be successful in my chosen career!
It’s so important to reflect on your life – especially at this time of year – I encourage you to do the same, you may realise how much you’ve done!