Life lessons I’m taking with me from 2017

coffee girl blogger emmixbowles

Here it is. December 31st. The last few hours of 2017 before we venture into the unknown that is 2018.

Now let’s be real, for many of us New Year’s Eve is just another day. Heck we’re off to Ikea today. But for some people New Year’s Eve is all about settling up anything you have in 2017 ready to move onto a fresh, new year.

I’ve been trying to be a lot more positive and mindful in life so I thought I would give this reflections thing a go.

The past 12 months have, as cliche as it might sound, been a whirlwind for me. I graduated from university, moved to Manchester and got a flat with Paul, landed myself an amazing job and launched a magazine website.

I could go on talking about all the things that I have done or achieved in 2017 but personally I think that’s boring, and what everyone does when writing these types of posts.

So instead I want to look at a few things I’ve learnt about myself and my life over the past 365 days.


This sounds pretty obvious – it doesn’t exactly belong to anyone else. But what I mean by this is that my body is mine to do with as I please, the same way that it is mine to deal with.

Quite recently I had to come to terms with my health, my weight and decide what it was that I actually wanted for my body.

Now I’m not going to be one of those people going into 2018 saying “new year, new me”. But 2017 has made me come to terms with the right and the wrong way of going about things with regards to my body.

It’s made me think twice about what I put in it as well as how I treat it – whether that be with food or negative thoughts about it. Nothing good ever came from negative thoughts.


Despite having a Fashion and Beauty section on this blog it has become very clear to me that it’s just not for me.

I still love buying new clothes, trying out new mascaras or perfume, and I’m in love with all things skincare. But this isn’t who I am.

I don’t wear make-up everyday nor do I care about getting dolled up to go to the shops.

I have my own version of what consistusets as fashion and I am happy with my oversized jumpers, classic vans and comfy pyjamas. I’ve also found that the comfier I am the happier I feel.


Back in November I wrote a post about making time for your relationship. This was something I felt was important to get down in a post because since moving to Manchester Paul and I hadn’t really been out together.

We live together now which is great. We see each other everyday. But those special moments or date nights were gone because our time together just because normal.

It’s made us both realise the importance of no technology nights, meals out and just spending time to talk rather than watching the TV.


I know that this is a super cliche one as everyone says that “you can do whatever you put your mind too”, but it’s actually true.

I remember being sat in our little flat contemplating whether or not to go through with an idea I had had for months.

There was that little voice in my head listing all the negatives that could happen. But the reality was, what did I have to lose? Sure it might not work out but so what if it doesn’t?

If you want to do something then do it. It’s your life so who cares. If it fucks up then it fucks up. If it works then brilliant it works.

This is the mentality I want to take into 2018 because without it I never would have launched The Growing Up Guide.


With everything in life we get told to work hard and good things will happen. Whether it’s your exams at school, losing weight or practicing a hobby.

The harder you work the better you will be apparently. I’ve always believed in this but I’ve also always believe that some people just get bloody lucky in life.

They will land their dream job because of who they know. They will win some money in a competition. They will get noticed for their blog or music etc.

Then you have Joe Blogs working his arse off but not really getting anywhere.

Well the truth is working your arse off will get you there, but it just takes a lot longer.

I learnt this within my final year of university, I’ve learn this through my blog this year and just generally in life.

It can be frustrating at times seeing other people getting ahead before you, but slow and stead will win your race.


I started this blog in November 2016. Since then it had grown with over 370 of you deciding to pay attention to whatever it is I have to say – something must be wrong with you all because I’m not very interesting.

At times I have thought about doing more make-up stuff or writing similar posts to everyone else – this seemed to be the way to “get big quick”.

But why?

The truth us blogging is becoming so saturated and although it’s great that there are lots of people out there all writing about their favourite make-up bits from 2017, or all doing the same sponsored posts – this isn’t the content that’s standing out.

It took my awhile but I learnt in 2017 that being different is great.

Sure I don’t have thousands of followers, my Instagram doesn’t have the swipe up option, nor do I get lots of emails from PR’s about working together.

But what I do have is something different. Something nobody else has.

I’m so proud of what this blog has achieved over the past 12 months, but I’m also proud of myself for opening up and writing content that I’ve been wanting to get out for a long time.

This includes; My experience with counselling, My relationship with jealousy and Learning to smile again.

I plan on continuing to create different, honest content like this, opening up a lot more over the next 12 months.

I’d love to know what you’ve learnt about yourself and life in 2017 and what you’re going to be taking with you into 2018.

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© Emmi Bowles

Photos by Alice over at Twenty Something City





1 Comment

  1. December 31, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Some great lessons in life and you have achieved so much this year. It’s been amazing to be a part of The Growing Up Guide and you should be incredibly proud of it. All the best for 2018!!

    Steph x

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