2014 was an interesting year…
I figured I would do a blog post because if I didn’t, my video about 2014 would go on for hours. But like I said in my video, like most people at the end of the year I tend to reflect a lot on what’s happened over the past year, how I’ve changed, what I’ve achieved and what my goals are for the next year (which I won’t go into just now – hint hint). I also spend a lot of time thinking about de-cluttering my room and my life in time for 2015 kicking in. It’s also the time of year where I decide I can’t cope with my life and need a PA to handle things for me (although this year, I actually looked into it briefly – apparently there’s some company that can come in and spend 2 hours organising your shiz so you don’t have to. Bit expensive though).
Soooo. 2014. It’s fair to say that the past year has given me some of the best experiences of my life. Unfortunately it’s also given me some of the worst experiences of my life, which I’ve never really mentioned. Luckily, the number of good experiences in the year outweighs the bad, even if the bad did have a bigger impact (but they always do, don’t they?) And I always find that you tend to forget the good things that happen more easily – even when jotting down my video plan I had a few “OMG I totally forgot about that!” moments. So I’ll be looking back on 2014 with a positive attitude, remembering the good experiences because those are what got me through the bad parts and continue to do so.
Let’s start at the beginning! 2014 was a year of trying new things, and it was also a year of change. Towards the end of last year, I started feeling a bit stuck in my job, and so in January I moved to a completely different kind of job. I was so apprehensive about moving, because I enjoyed my old job, I loved the people that I worked with and the work was interesting; but I’m quite ambitious (I don’t know if you can tell!) and the thought of not being able to progress really frustrates me. After 6 months in my new role, I moved again into a slightly different position in the same team. It’s a challenging job to say the least, but there’s potential to really move up through the company. And more money means I’m able to do more with my channel and blog! Obviously it’s not all about money, and I don’t make YouTube videos for money, but I’m a firm believer that if you’re gonna do something, do it properly. My job does stress me out sometimes and it can affect my schedule in terms of filming and uploading but I try not to let it control me – I have more important things to be doing than working and getting stressed!
At the same time as I started my new job, I was halfway through my video course at college. It was only 10 weeks as a lot of you guys know already, but the course was definitely a highlight of 2014 for me. I learned so much and had the best time shooting our “short film” – I don’t know if you’d even call it that?! Frankie had a crazy idea about her dog Holly doing time travel – we couldn’t bring a dog into the college (plus getting dressed up seemed like much more fun) so we danced our way through the eras! Honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever done and if made some awesome friends in the process. You can check out our college video HERE.
I also went to see As It Is in January – mild fangirling over Patty Walters ensued but the whole band are so lovely! I’m so happy that the guys got signed and are doing Warped next summer, they’ve worked so hard over the past couple of years and it’s great to see it all paying off. I also met Miss Vincent, one of the support bands – if you haven’t heard their material then you should totally check them out, they’re quite punky! They remind me of old-school AFI (kinda like the Black Sails era). Alex was well happy when I told him that! Definitely one to watch for next year, they play quite a few shows down in the London/South Coast area.
March was just an insane month from start to finish. I managed to get a Monitor Party bundle ticket for one of the Glasgow All Time Low shows which was just CRAZY. We got to go backstage and hang out in the dressing room with the guys, then we watched the full set from the side of the stage. I can’t tell you how awesome that night was, honestly one of the best nights of my life. How many people can say that they’ve watched one of their favourite bands from the side of the stage? Although, I do wish I hadn’t sung my wee heart out to Remembering Sunday, because the microphone on my camera picked up my awful vocals perfectly. Ruined! Then 10 days later I got meet & greet for the second show through The Hustler Club – a state of shock doesn’t quite cover it. But that was amazing, I didn’t feel quite as terrified this time round and the photos with the guys are brilliant – plus Jack gives the best hugs ever. He also loves my hair! The show was fab and then Jack held my hand during Dear Maria – I sound like a total fangirl but I don’t care! I also went to see Fall Out Boy the day after – not quite up to the same standard of show in my opinion but tbh I think I was overtired and still buzzing from the night before…
In April I got VIP tickets for The Summer Set. TSS are one of those bands that can instantly cheer me up, I’ve seen them a few times over the last couple of years (not to mention John Gomez is a total beaut). So I got to meet the guys before the show and get photos and hugs, they’re all so down to earth! Honestly one of the most humble bands I’ve ever met. I even got Stephen to pose with a post-it for my friend Laura (we have a Gomez brother each you see). I thought John was gonna pick me up when he hugged me, he squeezed me so tight! The show was brilliant, it was one of the few shows where all the support bands were great! Paradise Fears were fab, they reminded me a little of twentyonepilots and then William Beckett was just a total darling. I met him after the show, such a lovely gent :)
Like I mentioned in my 2014 video, May was absolutely incredible. The main highlight, and pretty much the highlight of 2014 for me, was being able to take part in the BBC Radio 1 Academy. Getting to play with the big-boy cameras again was awesome, at the same time as just letting go and having fun. I always find it a bit awkward when someone tells you to act a certain way, but we had so much fun making the Happy video that we almost forgot the cameras were there. I don’t really make a habit of pulling faces in public and dancing around whilst jumping off things, but that afternoon was honestly hilarious. Then when Dan and Phil walked in, it was like the most surreal thing ever. Like 2 worlds colliding pretty much. I can’t really explain it, it’s like, my world is in Glasgow, and then part of my online existence shows up and mashes the two together. We got to have a chat with them which was just so nice (Dan literally came up to me and told me my hair was awesome, like wtf?!?!), then after the workshop was over me and Sacha headed to the Q&A which the lovely Radio 1 folk recorded, so you can watch it HERE. After the Q&A we got to get hugs and photos with the guys, they’re honestly just so lovely. I don’t really know what I was expecting them to be like, but they’re literally the exact same as they are in their videos. The same can be said for every YouTube that I’ve met this year actually – and that’s partially why I’m really happy when anyone who knows me irl tells me that I come across the same in my videos as I do just talking to them. I think it’s important to be yourself when making videos like the ones I do – no point in being someone you’re not, unless you’re deliberately acting! The other practical workshop was the vlogging workshop, where I ended up working with Doug Armstrong. I had never seen his videos prior to doing the workshop, but now I watch him all the time. His cooking skills are amazing! He was so down to earth and really good at helping us think outside the box in terms of structuring the video and what we wanted to do (although walking around a campus with a bowl of fruit wasn’t really what I was expecting!) I got to edit the vlog as well, and having an established YouTuber tell you that you’re good at editing and presenting really boosts your confidence! I ended up recording a jingle for a sound workshop in the middle of filming too, that ended up getting played on the Breakfast Show. Apparently I’m pretty good with ad lib :)
Big Weekend was bittersweet for me. I had been feeling pretty unwell for a week beforehand, but I was damned if I wasn’t going to that show! Nothing was stopping me from going. Turns out I was tempting fate, as I ended up in hospital on the Sunday and missed the full day, but I enjoyed the Saturday! I still felt really rough, but seeing so many artists was worth it. Highlight was definitely Ed Sheeran, whose albums I’ve FINALLY got round to buying (arrived today, cheers Amazon). I also really enjoyed seeing Pharrell Williams, the guy is just a legend! Although even the best have wardrobe malfunctions, bless him. Calvin Harris was incredible, he always is, I’m just gutted I couldn’t see his full set before I had to go home cos I was ILL.
The next couple of months really weren’t the best for me. I needed a pick-me-up, so when Summer in the City announced their first ever Creator Day in August 2014, I was totally torn about whether to go. The flights weren’t the cheapest, hotels were really expensive, I only had a few weeks’ notice… plus my channel got even less traffic then than it does now, could I really justify going to an event aimed at Creators? I decided that I needed a day to get away from everything around me and focus on the one thing that was keeping me going, so I flew down to London for the day. 7am flight to Luton, and a 9pm flight back (that ended up delayed). The day was totally exhausting, and I swore I’d never do a one-day trip again (yeah that didn’t last long) but I learned so much there. I attended seminars on content, branding, networks, generating income, social media… it was really beneficial. Plus I saw so many YouTubers as well, I saw Tyler Oakley, PJ, Patty Walters & Dottie, Luke, as well as reps from talent management agencies and all that jazz. Incredible sense of community, I felt like I belonged, even if I was too shy to speak to anyone. I am shy, honest!
October was an emotional one, with the final farewell to Kids In Glass Houses. I got to see the sound check and hang out with the guys before the show, and many tears were shed. The Blackout’s final show in March is gonna be a really painful one as well. But no band calls it a day without good reason, and I wish the guys all the luck in the world with everything they go on to do. I’ll miss you!
I guess those are the main highlights of my 2014. It’s been an eventful year, but I’m taking the good and bad parts with me into 2015 and using them in the best way possible; I can rely on the good memories to get me through anything, and I can draw on the strength I’ve developed during the bad times to support me as well. I have a feeling 2015 is gonna be an even more crazy year – I’m all geared up to book Summer in the City 2015 (the full weekend this time!) and I’m investing more time in my videos and my blog. I’m gonna be making a video really soon about my plans for 2015, so I won’t go into too much detail here. All that’s left to say is thank you for being a part of my journey, it might be a bumpy ride but I’m excited to see where it leads. I have no idea where I’ll be this time next year – I guess we’ll see! x