Every year I feel as though I write it was “a year of change.” I’ve discovered that I thrive on change. I get bored easily.
I started off the year “self-employed” aka unemployed with a few freelance jobs, and occasionally helping out our lovely dog-walking friend Helga.
In February I took on a full-time freelance job at Tourism Toronto for a few months through one of the recruiters, and acquired some new friends, thanks to our tight-knit team…
In March I took a woodworking course at OCAD. I discovered how much I really enjoy the physical, hands-on, making process.
We went to see Frank Turner, and it was one of the best shows I’ve been to. He is such a fun performer! Here are my favourite moments from early 2016.
In April, my partner and I went to visit/meet his family and friends in Australia for 3-weeks. On our way home, his permanent resident visa was approved (hooray!). Blog posts from that adventure here.
Also, travelling is always a highlight. I went back to work at Tourism Toronto when I returned. Here are some top moments from Australia.
Then on July 1st, we moved out of our condo and into an apartment in a house, in a different part of the city. We bought a charcoal bbq, which was a big deal because I love bbq!
I had my wisdom teeth removed in July, and I was such a baby, i’m pretty certain the entire dental staff ridiculed me when I left.
After we moved into our new place, I built a kitchen island with my dad. I got to use a bit of my woodworking skills, though mostly I just assisted my dad and did the finishing myself. I hadn’t gotten to that point in the course, since I was more concerned about trying to make more stuff! I really enjoyed sitting on our patio, coating the island in tung oil. Very therapeutic.
I also saw one of my dearest friends, Marie, marry her long-time love. It was a very special day.
In September I returned to London to stay with my bestie, and see the wonderful people I miss so much from there. We had a glorious spa day, and an overall amazing time! See the blog post on that one here.
I went back to Tourism Toronto after my trip, but this time not through the recruiter.
I took on quite a bit of freelance work in November, I helped the Ontario Medical Association come up with a logo for a fantastic new advocacy group, which was a really rewarding project.
I also tried to learn how to build a website entirely in Photoshop for TKEES, but that gig fell through after doing most of the work. Always happy to have learned a new skill!
I got to do some illustration, and really make use of my drawing tablet, thanks to Tourism Toronto as well as Build Toronto.
At the end of this year, I participated in a feedback session at Tourism Toronto. As a freelancer, it felt a bit funny to be included, but it was interesting to hear how much has changed at the organization since before i started. My coworker and daily coffee buddy, Andrew, announced he was leaving, which made me terribly sad.
Just before the Christmas holidays, my manager at Tourism Toronto offered me a permanent role. I was kind of shocked, but absolutely pleased. I’m excited/a little nervous to make the transition to a permanent employee in 2017. I went a bit crazy when I found out and splurged on some new ikea office decor I really love my little work space.
BIG STUFF THAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR
This year I worked really hard at saving. Not knowing when you’re going to be out of a job is a pretty good motivator (who knew!). We lowered our rent by moving into an apartment in a house (which ended up giving us more space and an amazing patio!). I cut down my expenses as much as possible, though I did buy a coffee almost every day, and we ate out A LOT. Somehow I still managed to save nearly $10,000. Quite possibly because I was getting paid a proper amount when I started working directly with the organization I was freelance for. It seems nearly impossible to find decent paying work these days. It helped to take on a few smaller freelance projects when they popped up.
I feel as though I put in a lot of effort into my work and produced things that I’m really proud of. I even showed my grandma the red foil passes I made for an upcoming event in Austin, Texas.
On top of the extra freelance work I took on, I finally bit the bullet and started building a website for Emilia and I’s passion project – Worship – the music publication we produced in Uni. Check out the website here. I am now struggling to find the energy to gather more content.
In January I have to have gum surgery, and i’m absolutely terrified.
My partner will be coming with me to London for the first time. I’m extremely excited to show him around my favourite city and introduce him to his future best friends, ha!
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN 2017
• MORE LITTLE TRIPS
As I tend to get a bit antsy/unhappy if I don’t have new things to see and do, I think taking mini trips, or weekends away will make a HUGE difference in my happiness.
I have a lot of places I want to go, right now the top of my shorter trip list includes: Hawaii, Mexico/Puerto Rico and Banff/Lake Louise.
• MORE SAVINGS
The goal is to try and save another $10,000 by the end of next year.
Well that’s it! I hope 2017 is a brilliant year for everyone!