It’s coming up to that time of year again, birthday time!  Another lap round the sun, during which a full 365 days have passed.  At this point I often stop to ask myself, what have I done this year?  Was it a year wasted?  I’m coming up 22 now, and as my mother kindly told me “22 is kind of the age where you start thinking you have to have your shit together”.  My shit still isn’t together.

The Halcrows walking off into a sunset

So what have I achieved in the past 12 months?  Well, I successfully road tripped with my younger brother, with only 2 minor blow outs.  A bonding trip we will cherish for years to come.  I visited Hawaii with my family and saw amazing things – volcanoes erupting, turtles, millions of brightly coloured fishes and stars for miles and miles.  I visited Canada, with a promise to return.  I bagged myself multiple different jobs, a parcel creator, a lunchtime monitor, a chalet host and my most recent job – a treetop trek instructor.  I returned to the UK started recreating my life here, I then promptly left for Meribel for 5 months where I had a great ski season filled with snow sports, alcohol, new friends and funny stories.  After months of stressing, weeks of driving and multiple interviews, I got into university to study to become a primary teacher.  I’ve had a my first relationship which blossomed and then died a death – a worthwhile experience none the less, which in a round about away taught me more about myself and what I value in others.  I’ve managed to reinstate a vegetable plot in our garden and am waging a war on slugs.

Corrie is the best walking pal


I am now back in the UK for the foreseeable future, obviously with a trip here and there.  I’m learning to appreciate what is right in front of me, the opportunities I have available and readjusting my opinion of what a nice day constitutes!  Getting back in touch with my Lakeland roots has been delightful especially as the weather through May has been gorgeous.  My obsession with being outdoors has yet to cease.  However what I will take away most from this foray around the sun, is the people.  The friends I have made, the friends I have kept and the ones who have fallen by the wayside.  I think the people in and around me will always define my life.  Whether they be for a day, a season, or for life.

Olivia after wild camping at this spot

So has this year been wasted? I’d say not. I learnt that I am way more flexible than I thought I was.  I am able to do things I hadn’t yet imagined.  If you were to tell me at 16 this is where I’d be and I’ve achieved the things I have achieved I would have laughed in your face and told you “I’m going to be a Doctor.”  But would I have been happier?  Having watched friends go down the medical route, I can tell you 100 per cent, I am far happier having lived the life I lead.  Although my shit isn’t together it is slowly starting to be.  And with that I will that I’m off to buy some slug poison.

21 was fun, but I’m looking forward to 22.  PC: Tom Finn



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