At the beginning of the year I wrote a post about saying yes more. 2015 was going to be the year of saying yes, in an attempt to finish getting over the rather horrible break-up that 2014 gave me, to help me settle into Birmingham and get me out of my comfort zone.
I tried to keep the goal in mind throughout the year. In a lot of ways, it was really positive. I said to yes to more blogger events, and stopped allowing myself to pull my usual trick of deciding on the day that I didn’t want to go. I’ve had a lot of fun, met some seriously talented women and it has made a difference to the offers I get for my blog. It’s also helped make me feel more a part of Birmingham. I know places and people better, and it’s been fantastic. I said yes to cosplay photo shoots and gunned hard to promote my Facebook presence as a cosplayer. I’ve just broken the 500 likes milestone on my page, and secured my first ever invite to appear as a cosplay guest at an event. I came second in Untitled Nerd Podcast’s ‘Untitled Nerd Girl of the Week’ contest and was interviewed with David for Chatting Shizz Podcast. My cosplay was featured in the Birmingham Mail, the Evening Gazette and Take A Break Magazine. I pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone by choosing to cosplay as Silk Spectre, which was mildly terrifying, until I got into the convention hall. I loved it. I love the photos of her. I felt in control, and I could not be happier.
Somewhat unexpectedly, this year also taught me the power of saying no sometimes too. I said yes to as many thing as possible this year, and I got burnt out. I said yes to a hell of a lot of conventions and cosplay events. I’ve had lots of fun, and made loads of new friends and been part of a charity calendar, but by the end of September I was exhausted. A large chunk of my weekends were being spent so busy and I hadn’t given myself a break. I learnt to say no, and as of next weekend, I’m officially on a cosplay break until a certain secret plan in February. A couple of months out will do me a lot of good. After a few not great experiences, I said no to Poison Ivy. I retired the costume, and decided to start planning a new version. I’ve decided to be more selective about who I work with when it comes to cosplay. I have some great friends in the scene, but trying to help out has led to some frustrating experiences.
I think the key is balance. I did and do need to say yes more. But mostly I need to learn why I want to say no. I want to say yes instead of no because I’m nervous, or no because I think I’m not good enough. I do need though to be strong enough to say no when I need a break, or no when the experience is going to be more aggravating than rewarding.
It was definitely an interesting experiment. For 2016, I want to carry on. I want to say yes to the good things, no when I need to, and generally have more adventures and more fun! I want to keep exploring Birmingham, keep going hard on my blog and the cosplay and get even more out of 2016 than I did 2015. Without the burn-out, hopefully.
Things have definitely turned out differently to how I would have predicted. August was the one year anniversary of moving to my current flat. I’m still there, making it the longest I’ve lived anywhere since leaving home for University. After 6 months here, a year there, 6 months somewhere else, it’s wonderful to have somewhere that feels like home. I’ve nested in nicely and now I’m entering a phase of feeling proud of my place and plotting new ideas for it. I love the area I live in too. After a long time looking, I feel like I’m at home.
I’ve taken a somewhat unexpected turn career wise too. A job I loved very rapidly became a job I did not love at all, which was upsetting, but ended up being a great thing. I took quite a step up, both in job title and salary, for my current position. My contract means I can say very little, but I can say that while it may be the least glamorous industry I’ve worked in, after Arts, tech and the quirky cool of Custard Factory, but it is by far the happiest I’ve ever been in a job. It’s been a hell of a challenge too, of course, but rewarding. I’ve started studying for my Diploma in Professional Marketing, so this time next year, I’ll hopefully be writing about my exciting new qualifications!
There are more adventures to come before the end of the year. I’ve got MCM Birmingham, a 30s themed 30th birthday to go, the wedding of the first of my old school friends to get married (scary!), and plenty of fun over the festive season. I won’t pretend 2015 has been all sunshine and rainbows, but I’m winding it up happy. 2016? Bring. It. On.