18 Great Things That Happened in 2018

Thursday, January 03, 2019

This year has been a big one, so much so that I haven't really had much of a chance to blog during it - it seems like there was always something happening!

On Twitter over the past month or so there has been this "like this tweet and I'll tweet a thing I liked in 2018" and on Instagram people have been Story-ing their favourites from the year, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to merg those two things into a blog post.

So here's eighteen things that were great about 2018!


1. Having my first ever surgery
Granted, this wasn't exactly a "great thing" (because, wow, appendicitis is painful) but it was a big thing for me. The closest I've ever gotten to surgery before this was having stitches when I was around three years old and again at six, and getting my wisdom teeth removed a couple of years ago. But I had never had to stay in hospital overnight before, it was kind of exciting! I did hate not being able to work for a few weeks and the inability to move much (shout out to my Mum and boyfriend for helping me get dressed!) I was bored out of my mind but simply did not have the energy to go out and go to work, even though I tried a week after the surgery but was quickly sent home.

2. Seeing Fall Out Boy live in concert
I was a few years late to the beginning of the FOB fandom, but I think I made up for lost time when I got into pop-punk music in my late-teens, and it was always on my bucket list to see Fall Out Boy live and I achieved that in March - it was everything I could have asked for in a FOB concert, it was loud, it was emo and it was just so darn good!
3. Visiting the Anne Frank exhibition
I read Anne Frank's diary for the first time when I was around nine-or-so years old and became obsessed with her. I did a project about her at primary school and reread her diary more times than I can count. Visiting the exhibition about her was amazing, getting to see all these photos and facts that I had never seen before, it was so surreal. One day I will go to The Secret Annex in Amsterdam and see where her and her family hid for all those years.

4. Playing with red pandas at the zoo!
For my boyfriend's birthday I gave him a "red panda encounter", where we got to go into the enclosure at the local zoo and hold, pet and feed red pandas! They were adorable and it was such a fun experience and activity to do with my boyfriend. I wrote a blog post about the encounter, there's heaps of adorable photos!

5. Coming off my anti-depressants
In April this year I began (with the help of my doctor and also seeing a therapist at the same time) to come off my antidepressant medication, and then in August I was completely off them. I had been on this medication for the good part of four years and had been doing really well with my mental health and was ready to take the steps to come off my medication, it wasn't easy and I am still experiencing a few withdrawal symptoms but I am quite proud of my achievement. I wrote a blog post about what it was like being on them and also how it was coming off them.

6. Attending the C3 Gathering of Creatives Conference
I went to the annual Gathering of Creatives Conference as part of my church at C3 and learnt so much about passion, thinking creatively and even picked up on some new skills! It was a great time roadtripping up to Taupō with my church friends, hanging out and being creative together. Check out my blog post to read more about what I learnt that weekend!

7. Watching my boyfriend graduate from university
My boyfriend and I met halfway through our first year of university and started dating at the start of our second year, so all we had known each other as for the majority of our relationship was us navigating life as students - I watched him develop intellectually but also emotionally and mentally. Watching him walk across (like a cheesy proud girlfriend) that stage and be capped and grab that certificate signalled the closure of one chapter of our lives as students and began the next one as fully grown adults (whatever that is!)

8. Staying in a cabin in the snow
The trip to the snow was meant to be my first time skiing but that however couldn't happen as the weather was so horrible there was no visibility on the slopes. However, that didn't stop me from having a great time spending the weekend with my boyfriend and his family in their club's cabin right up on the mountain - where the snow fell right on the doorstep and the chairlift up the mountain was only a few minutes walk away! I have bought a season mountain pass for this year's winter and can't wait to go back!

9. Participating in Smart Seeds
I participated in a innovative programme called Smart Seeds where I joined forces with other young leaders to come up with a solution to a large problem facing my community. It really pushed me to my limits, not only creatively but also with my time management, my research skills and public speaking. It was a great experience (one I'd definitely recommend - it's worldwide!) and I also wrote a blog post about it, so you can learn what my team's solution was and that we also took out the judge's prize!

10. Seeing Dan(isnotonfire) and (Amazing)Phil live
I have been watching Dan and Phil on YouTube for over seven years, so having the opportunity to see their live show in person was definitely not one I would miss out on! I went with my boyfriend's sister (who is also a massive fan) and honestly it was so much fun - exactly what you'd expect from a "YouTuber's live show", but it was so personable (like they're real people behind that camera!) and such a great time.

11. Trying screen-printing for the first time
Screen-printing has been something I have wanted to do for so long, but it had always seemed so difficult and technical with so much room for error. Turns out, it isn't! I went with my good friend Hollie and we collaborated on a typographic design on some tote bags, they turned out pretty cool if I do say so myself! I love playing with inks (printing presses are so much fun!) and was super stoked that I was able to attend the workshop. I even wrote a blog post about the whole experience, so check it out and attend a screen-printing class if you ever get the chance!

12. Relaunching my "online presence"
Granted, this is still a work in progress but I am excited! I launched a new Instagram account (for my creativity and design work) and am in the process of relaunching my blog in conjunction with my design portfolio/website! I am about halfway through the behind-the-scenes part of the website relaunch and am loving the new "look" I am going for. Expect much more content from me on my design Instagram and my blog this year!

13. Getting to freelance with some great people
This year I got to work with a bunch of really fun people and organisations - from stage shows to charities to a few things in between. I only had a few clients this year because life just got so busy, but the people I did get to work with were fantastic! It is certainly a goal of mine to get some more work going in the new year.

14. Seeing Taylor Swift live
Taylor Swift has been a big part in my life for almost ten years (firstly, wow!) and I have only seen her once in concert before (curse the 1989 Tour for not coming to New Zealand!). And, honestly, seeing her perform live in concert is an experience and a half. There was no ifs, ands or buts when it was announced that the Reputation Tour was coming, and what made it even better was that it was in a stadium - I had never been to a concert at a stadium before! The show itself was utterly amazing, her voice, the choreography, the stage(s) and the overall atmosphere was everything I could have asked for and more! To read a full review of the show, check out my friend, Lydia's review article for The Spinoff.

15. Starting my new job as a full-time graphic designer
Graphic design is something I am incredibly passionate about - making something that is not only pretty but also tells some a story is what I want my career to be, and graphic design fits right in there. At the end of 2018 (literally half way through December) I started a new job as a full-time Graphic Designer. I was only able to do a couple of weeks before the Christmas holidays but honestly I am absolutely loving it so far and I can't wait to see what exciting projects I can get my hands on at work in the new year.

16. Being apart from my boyfriend the longest since being together
Okay, this definitely doesn't sound like a "great thing", but believe me, it kind of is! My boyfriend and I have been together for quite a while (our five year anniversary is in February woo!) and he is currently halfway through a month-long holiday overseas. It's kind of been driving me mad not being able to see him (I certainly miss the snuggles and kisses) but this distance between us has kind of been good for me - I had noticed that I have become clingy and less independent (that sounds like he's controlling, which he totally isn't) and I am always wanting to spend every possible moment with him. Within him being on holiday for such a long time, it has given me a chance to have some alone time and re-find who I am as a singular person, rather than one half of a couple - it's actually been quite theraputic. I am however really looking forward to him coming back, less than two weeks to go!

17. Moving into a new house
Since moving out of home at the start of 2013 I have been doing the typical rent-a-flat-for-twelve-month-then-move-out, but after a few months in each place I begin to notice how bad it is - from dampness, to leaks, to bad landlords, to the location. There has never been a flat I have lived in where I actually loved every bit about it... until this one! Granted, we have only been living in this place for a few weeks and I was away for ten days over Christmas, but I can certainly see us living here for a few years! I'm currently living with my boyfriend and four other friends and it's just such a wonderful atmosphere. The location is very central city so I can walk or bus everywhere, it has insulation and central heating, there's a bath, our bedroom is pretty big, there's a cute patio with a fishpond, and the house is just gorgeous! I can't wait to have my boyfriend back from holiday (he flew out the day before we moved) so he can experience how great it is!

18. Seeing Twenty One Pilots live... by myself
I haven't been a fan of TOP for almost four years and when I fell for this band, I fell hard and this was my third time seeing them live. Similarly to Taylor Swift, their concerts are incredible. From running through the crowd to sing a song at the back of the venue on top of a precarious ladder, to playing on drum kits (literally) on top of the mosh pit... their on-stage presence combined with their high energy songs (even their slow songs have their energetic moments) makes for a wonderful experience. This was my first ever concert I ever attended alone (all my other friends I could hang out with during the show cancelled because it was too close to Christmas) and although I was very nervous about going by myself, once the show started I kind of just forgot about being alone and had a wonderful time!


2018 was a year of wonderful experiences and fun things, it really was a year of music and creativity! I can't wait to see what next year brings to me and those around me. Bring it on!

What was your favourite thing (or things!) about 2018? What did you get up to?

- Louise x

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