Every year, I write in here that I want to switch things up a bit and be more present on YouTube. I guess that's it. It's my first ever lookbook and it's the first blog post of the year. I've been working hard on it and it would mean the world to me if you could just click on it even if you don't like it and close it after a few seconds. I just need your feedback and your support.

Here's the sum up of 2018:
January: My grandfather unexpectedly passed away in early December. January was pretty tough because I was all by myself in London dealing with this. And by "all by myself" I really mean it. My family was in Paris, staying strong together; my friends went completely silent radio on me, no message of support, no calls, no nothing; I was having a tough time at work with my agressive boss and my housemate was still being extremely rude to me. I couldn't see the end of January...

February: I was laid off my job - they decided not to renew my contract, probably because me and my boss were all at war (and also because I sucked at this job to be honest). But thank goodness during that period, my dear friend Justine came to visit me and we went to Brighton. It felt good. It was the last time we saw each other before...

March: ... Miami ! See, when we say "God has a plan" He really has. If we didn't plan this trip months ago, I would've stayed in London, crying over losing my job and worrying about what next. Instead, we flew to Florida, went to the Bahamas, road tripped across the Sunshine state and completely deconnected (I might have posted a pic or two on Instagram haha). It was exactly what I needed, when I needed it.

April: I started training for this new job, but wasn't sure where that was going so I moved back to Paris mid-April. We buried my grand-father on my birthday.

May: And the following weekend, my most supportive friends (minus one but she was busy) drove to my country side house to celebrate my birthday. I was still a bit shaky following the burial but it was very nice to have them around and soak up the sun in laughter. I will never forget that they came, even if it was a long way, even if it did not sound like the best weekend ever.
Who knew that age 26 I will still learn a lesson on friendship and betrayal? Well, I still learned the hard way after my grand-father's passing that sometimes you can give EVERYTHING to you friends, be there for them during tough times, they will not necessarily be there for you when something terrible happens. So yes, my friends were still completely silent, except one. But I also learned a big lesson on loyalty on the first week of May and I have to admit that I am still really struggling with what happened. But hey yay I got the job and moved back to London !

June: I moved to a new house, not in my favorite neighborhood but hey, London's housing market is cray. The housemates were terrible - again - and it was freaking hot and loud in there ! I tried not to be disappointed and tried to see my friends as much as possible. I also started listening to all the ChristChurch London's podcasts on my iPhone. The rest was work work work work work work work...

July: World Cup ! All I can remember is night shifts, weekend shifts and world cup games ! Also, I remember the heat in London and how I did not shave because all I did was work sleep eat repeat, so it was a nightmare being in jeans in 35 degrees. Dammit patriarchy !

August: More World Cup and the big victory ! Woohoo ! I also got Kanye West'd by someone who thought it was clever to tell me that my anxiety and clinically diagnosed depression was a "choice" but hey France won the World Cup so suck it !

September: I moved back to East London, with grown ass men who did not know anything about cleaning and energy saving. Needless to say after a week I knew I'd need to move out - again. But I was closer to church and Syana and all the cool spots.  I started a new job as well ! #GodProvides

October: My sister moved to the US and left me on the other side of the pond ! My new job turned out to be trickier for my mental wellbeing than I thought but as Avril Lavigne says "God keep my head above water !".

November: Moved into a new house share with cool housemates - not in my favorite part of London but that will do. Started watching Buffy again. Otherwise it was just me being busy with work.

December: I went back to Paris to see Michelle Obama but she cancelled on us because Bush senior died. So I got to spend some quality time with my family. And then it was Christmas, and then I flew to New York to be with my sis ! I also finished listening to all the podcasts available from my church on the podcast thing of the iPhone.

So yeah, the beginning of the year was pretty intense and tough but in the end, I tried to let go and just keep moving forward. I do not want to set goals. I just think I need to work on myself to let go of grudges I keep that keep pulling me back. I also need to let go of people, even if we had amazing years together, I don't need to have these years holding me back from cutting them off. And that will be the most difficult part, but I think it's time for me to look for a new church. The sense of belonging I had when I joined back in 2014 is fading, I now struggle each time a bit more with social anxiety when I go because I feel rejected. Let's see how this goes...

Armelle De Oliveira

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