2016: Realizing Things and Kylie Jenner
I started 2016 in a really new fresh space. I’d recently moved back to London from France, I lived in a new area in London and I’d broke off a long relationship. It’s safe to say, everything felt very new. I started 2016 learning about myself - what I liked - and what I wanted to do. I was in the final year of University, which naturally causes panic: the dissertation, the pressure, the money, the everything.
Don’t get me wrong, learning about myself was fun. It was 2016 I started my “adult dating” life, god knows if you’ve listened to Coffee with Dani, I’ve had some bloody experiences. I cannot wait to have kids one day and tell them all about the morons mummy met when she was 21/22 before she met daddy - honestly, I could write a book.
While I was finishing off my final year at University, those few months between January and May blended into one, a mush of house hunting, soul searching, money hustling and a ton of dissertation writing. Reigniting my love for YouTube was the best thing to come out of the start of 2016, I religiously recorded my life (most) daily. I shared my struggles with you, we struggled together, lord knows it was a struggle - I received the sweetest messages of encouragement. I wasn’t selling out or filming my life for entertainment, it was more a selfish move. Who else can watch back their life as they wrote their dissertation? Who else has a hard drive full of footage which didn’t make it on to YouTube, but you can look back on whenever you want to see what your life was like age 21/22? I can.
During this blur of early 2016, I started Coffee with Dani which provided a place for me to speak even more (yay) and pursue my dream of inspiring more people, sharing stories and creating a safe space. Coffee with Dani is more than a podcast, which took a few months of creating for me to realise - it was actually happening! I did not realise the impact of my tiny show - recorded over coffee (or sometimes something a little stronger) with friends and boss gals’ on people’s lives, but it was and is incredible. But like many things, the show needs adaptations, I started it with very little planning, the day after turning in my dissertation. But these ideas morph and evolve with time! The show has evolved, still paying homage to its core purpose but moving more in the direction of where I see the show and its audience going.
If you’ve read my blog, watched my channel or listen to my podcast, you’ll know I didn’t start any of this for the chance of fame, adoration or money. But like Kylie Jenner said (I cannot believe I’m quoting Kylie Jenner) 2016 was the year of “realizing stuff”, the opportunities I have been given due to me starting my Blog, Youtube and Podcast - I cannot begin to explain. Remember that week I spent in Spain reviewing a Hotel? I mean come on!? I graduated in July from Queen Mary University of London, with a BA (Hons) History and Politics degree (yes, I vlogged it for my own selfish good) and I flew out to New York 2 days later, where I stayed until October.
I had no friends in when I arrived in New York, not a single friend. I had a few amazing members of family who took me under their wing and guided me. But mostly, I was full time adulting. My apartment got broken into - shockingly I didn’t cry, but it did hurt. I was across the Atlantic Ocean! I couldn’t just catch the train to my mum’s house - but I did call her at 3am GMT, and felt awful doing so. But, that’s what parents are for. New York was both incredible and hard, I was lucky that I met some amazing people - but making friends is hard, I’d never worked harder in my life - but I also learned my worth. I lost tons of weight, I never rested, I wanted to see it all, do it all and make the most of my experience. And honestly, there is not a single day of my time in New York I regret, so that’s good. But, age 21 fresh out of University, just learning my worth - I knew it was not the right time for me to be in New York, so I came home.
Coming home was hard. I flew home October 10th from JFK. My family took me to an amazing Caribbean restaurant in Queens before we headed to the airport, I’d never ate so much. I remember the feeling when I sat in the departure lounge in JFK, I had the same gut wrenching twists of uncertainty I experienced before I flew to New York. I began to question myself, “I’m going home, why do I feel so anxious or is this food? Did I over eat?”. Dear Reader, I had that feeling because I knew deep down I no longer had a job in London, I no longer had flat in London, my mothers house is no longer my house - it’s my home, but I didn’t want to live at home.
I flew home and October was a strange month - another month of realising things (damn you Kylie), I constructed my own craft, I built my own client base. I very much found myself back in January, new job, new flat, newish area of London, with newish flat mates (well I’ve known them my entire life).
I landed a great contract, which is taking up 98.99% of my time currently but god I’m learning so much daily. So, I love it. Oh, and I turned 22 with the people I love around me.
I’ve grown a lot in 2016. That’s why 2017 the blog will be changing a lot. I started this blog in my first year of University - my first year, I was a little fresher, never did I imagine the impact it would have on my life and all you amazing people I get emails from. But, due to this the blog must evolve and grow with me. I want to talk about grown up shit, I want to work with amazing brands I’m passionate about and think you would benefit hearing about - so, I will. And, I hope you’ll continue to read, listen, watch and like because you’re making my dreams come true. See you in 2017.