So That Was 2018...
Christ on a bicycle haven’t the last two weeks been an absolute whirlwind? Barely had time to catch my breath. Took a delicious break from work and blogging and focused completely on family time and eating cheese - which did result in a near strangulation of my brother when I was trying to watch Bandersnatch and he wouldn’t stop talking. It’s the little things.
But! I’m back in London, back at work, back at my desk, and ready to tackle 2019. It feels like it’s going to be a good year. A year of necessary change, a year of things happening, a year of keeping the raw and uncensored conversation going. There’s going to be a lot happening around these blog parts. I have big ideas. Whether or not they’ll come to fruition I have no idea, but it’s nice to dream right?
But before all of that - a reflection on the year we have just waved goodbye to. I saw it off in a little pub in Clerkenwell with some of my most beloved people in all the world, drinking good gin, and kissing anyone who got in the way. It’s probably my most favourite new years celebration yet, and I do have my gorgeous friends to thank. It was so fun to see the new year in with the people I will probably be spending the most time with this year, and going on plenty of adventures.
I have very much digressed.
Whilst NYE18 was fun, it was only one evening out of 365. And boy, were the other 365 evenings/days/mornings/nights quite something.
2018 was the first year that I ended feeling truly myself. Throughout the year, and particularly since August, I really settled into being who I wanted to be, and finding my tribe. Some of the best people started to come into my life and I started to create some beautiful friendships, as well as realising what was truly important to me. I worked out what I needed from the people I spend time with, I started to have big conversations and big thoughts about what I wanted the future to be, and I went to a lot of drag shows.
In a nutshell, 2018 was a rollercoaster, but the most exciting and exhilarating and thrilling and scary rollercoaster yet.
So lets review, shall we? Month by month (if I can actually remember wtf happened) we’ll work out the highs and the lows, and then I shall be refreshed and ready to tackle 2019 and throw absolutely everything I have at it.
To be quite frank, I don’t entirely remember what happened in the first few months of 2018. It snowed, I went to a work thing down in Brighton and thought I was going to get stuck, and attended a couple of shows hosted by RPDR season 9 winner Sasha Velour. As far as I can remember, not much else happened. Nothing big, nothing awful, nothing great.
Oh! Something wonderful did happen! I started studying with the Open University, and for the first time since 2015 had to put my brain back in proper gear and get to grips with some tricksy material - as well as continuing to work full time and have some semblance of a social life. No wonder nothing really happened, I was STUDYING.
Whole months filled with sundays and snow.
I turned 22! That was… about it. The weather got really good, mum came up to London for a weekend and we had a glorious time mooching about and cheering on the marathon runners whilst gleefully reiterating how we would never do that. Took a boat trip down to Greenwich, felt the wind in my hair, felt very grateful for the first time in a long time that I had made it to 22, and I hadn’t succeeded on my promises not to see 18, 19, 20.
April for me was about being alive for the very first time in a very long time.
May brought Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns from New York to London, and it’s still one of the most beautiful shows I have ever attended with some of the greatest performers NY and the UK have to offer. I don’t believe anything else happened. I started going to more and more London drag shows at this point. Yes, the first few months of 2018 were just about being alive, staying sane, and seeing drag shows.
It doesn’t much change from there.
The tailend of June this little blog was born! I was tired of just writing for work and for uni and not writing things that were good for my soul. Cordelia Moor was born out of an intense need to write, and a longing to share my story and hope that it helped at least one person. I also wanted to be able to justify all my beauty purchases by comfortingly telling myself that I would just ‘write about them’.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t.
Oh, it was so hot. I just remember endless sunny days melting into endless stuffy nights. Pride, at the very beginning of the month, was one of the best days of the whole entire year. I spent it with my beloved pal Phill, and we watched the parade and then spent the evening sweating in Her Upstairs, watching some of the most incredible performers in London take to the stage to do what they do best, and taking it in turns to stand outside and breathe in some (marginally) cooler air. I would not have changed a thing. It was perfect.
July was also a month of juggling. Juggling work, social, uni, and blogging. My little space grew a little, I wrote some posts I’m still really proud of, and kept my head. Mostly. I did lose it slightly in the summer.
But I made it through.
Simultaneously one of the saddest months, and one of the best months.
On the 8th of August Her Upstairs in Camden closed its doors. I sobbed for hours, and felt a deep sorrow for days. That sorrow has lifted now, thanks to an abundance of other shows cropping up, but HU was one of the first places that taught me how to be myself, and gave me some incredible people who I am thankful to call friends now. One day I will write about what HU meant to be, a baby gay who had just moved from the countryside. But for now, the emotion is still too raw.
The end of August saw Dragworld, one of the greatest weekends of my life. Drag queens, new friendships, wearing stupid shoes and wanting to cry come 4pm, quiche in the bath. It was utterly, stonkingly glorious.
This is where I really had to knuckle down and get my uni work finished, for it was final essay month! I really didn’t do much else. It was writing, writing, writing until I was convinced I was going to lose all my fingers and/or my head. I kept both, but it came close.
I began to feel like myself again. Blogging was going really well, I had had some incredible responses to some really raw pieces, and was beginning to find friendship within the blogging sphere. I am so thankful to everyone who started to come into my life at this point, and for the support I had when I still didn’t really know what I was doing or who I was. There was probably a breakdown or two, those all tend to meld into themselves.
Autumn man. It’s where I come alive.
Shows on shows on shows. I have never attended as many shows as I did in November, and I’m very thankful to all the incredible performers who I got to see. I love them all, as you can probably tell from the multiple reviews I threw at you. Loved November. Felt like I’d really changed and become a person who I wanted to be. Hated myself a little less. Just a little.
Shows, friends, Christmas. Bloody lush it was. Had an incredible work Christmas party, fucked off to Devon halfway through the month, ate more cheese than you could shake a stick at, went for some darling walks through the woods and down the beach.
And now we are here. January 2nd, 11:32am. Buzzing with ideas for the blog, eager to find a new career, ready to start studying again in October. For the first time, I am excited to see what this year brings me. For the first time, I am ready to take life by the bloody bollocks and give it a good shaking.
(Check back next year to see if I actually get any of this done.)
How are you feeling about the new year? Ready to face it, or not ready to leave 2018 behind just yet?