Hey guys! Here I am writing another reflecting on the year post and 2020 seems to have flown by and dragged at the same time. This certainly hasn’t been a normal year by any stretch of the imagination with the pandemic and even as we enter 2021, coronavirus is still hanging over us. But hopefully with the vaccine, we can stop the virus and return to normality, whatever that means. This year has been one of the best and worst years of my life for a variety of different reasons and while there are some bits I’m glad to leave in the past for good, there are some parts that I wish I could relive all over again. In this post, I’m going to talk about how my blog has gone this year and look at some key events from this year before reflecting on what this year has taught me.
In 2020 overall, I had 5,757 views, 3,003 visitors, 641 likes and 281 comments. These have all decreased since last year but for the first time, I’m not really bothered. I’m creating content that I love on this blog and I’m very grateful for all the support I receive for that whether it’s more or less than previous years. I’d much rather be enjoying blogging like I am than be obsessed with my stats like I have been in previous years.
One thing I am aiming to do more in the new year is involve myself more in the blogging community. I’ve really fallen out of it this year and I do miss reading other people’s blogs. Speaking of reading other people’s blogs, I want to say a massive thank you to my top commenters of 2020 who are Hannah and Chloe! Please check out their blogs they are both amazing and I am very grateful for their support this year.
FAVOURITE PLACE TO VISIT: Normally, I would talk about my favourite event from the year but since a lot of events have been cancelled or postponed this year, I thought I’d talk about my favourite location that I’ve visited instead. This year, I have of course spent much time in my home county East Yorkshire but as far as travelling goes, I’ve had holidays in Derbyshire and North Yorkshire. It’s really hard to pick just one place because I’ve seen so many beautiful locations this year. But I think I would say Whitby because we stayed there for about a week in the summer and it has everything I love: cute, independent shops, a rich history, some stunning locations for photos and of course access to a beach. I’m already desperate to return again and I’m hoping that we will be able to once covid restrictions ease again.
- 20 reasons why 2020 should be the year you visit Hull: This post did not age well at all. I published it right before the pandemic and of course it was completely overshadowed by that. But I’m really proud of the post and I think the concept of it was really good too. Also I’ve never had a post that blew up on Twitter like this one did. I can remember sharing it to Twitter and then not going on it for a few days. When I went back on it, I had a plethora of notifications linked to the post and it was being shared loads. It was an amazing feeling.
- The Coronavirus diaries: These were released during the pandemic and they documented the feelings and experiences of different people in the UK during the lockdown. It was actually my Auntie’s idea and working on this project during lockdown gave me a sense of purpose. The diaries themselves are little pieces of history and I am so proud to have them on my blog.
- AG Travel Diaries: Whitby: This is one of the two travel diaries I have written this year and it honestly brought a bit of normality to my blog in what has been a very crazy year. I loved my holiday in Whitby so much and I feel very lucky that I got to go away at all this year. My travel diaries have become a key part of my blog and not writing some this year wouldn’t have felt right.
- My braces journey: Part of the reason why I love the content I have created this year is because it reflects my life and this post is a perfect example of that. I had braces on for two years and it was interesting to write about the experience I had with them on this blog. Hopefully this post might also help someone if they are struggling with the idea of getting braces!
- GCSE Results day 2020: This post documents one of my favourite days in 2020 which was of course GCSE results day. It’s really special because it gives you, my readers, an insight into one of the happiest days of my life and it was so fun for me to write.
OVERVIEW OF 2020: I can’t say I’ve loved every single minute of 2020 as that would be a blatant lie. But I can say that 2020 has given me some of the best friendships, helped me to appreciate the beauty of the world around me and changed me for the better.
January and February were so normal but they are my least favourite months usually because of how cold they are. I can’t remember much from them except that I met up with my friends and family a few times and had an awful cold in late February (which I often wonder whether it could’ve been covid or not??)
Then came March and my world was shifted onto a new trajectory. The early part of March was so normal that it seemed almost laughable. But after 23rd March, schools had shut until further notice, my GCSEs were cancelled and the country was put under a national lockdown. April and May were hard, mostly because of the social isolation and boredom I felt. I had no school work to do and the highlight of my day was often face timing a friend or going for a walk around the local area. I often wondered when this pandemic would end. I hoped for a solution by the summer. Too optimistic.
June, July and August were amazing. We slowly regained our freedom, slowly came out of the lockdown and lifted the restrictions. First we could meet our loved ones outside socially distanced. Then shops reopened. Then pubs, cafes and restaurants re-opened their doors. Hairdressers could operate once more and places that had been shut throughout lockdown continued to re-open. I like to think of it as a sweet period of the year. Everything seemed happier, brighter, more hopeful. I made some of the best memories in the summer as well such as the parties I went to, the holidays I had and the people I got to meet up with. It went by in a flash but it was amazing.
September and October saw the introduction of new restrictions again. The rule of 6 came back into play and soon the UK was ranked by a 3 tiered system with restrictions suited to how many cases were in your area. East Yorkshire spent much of these 2 months in tier 1 which had the least amount of restrictions so I still lived quite a free life, visiting cafes and restaurants and meeting up with friends and family. I was back in school after starting sixth form and I was loving every minute of it.
November was where everything seemed to unravel. The cases peaked in Hull and became the worst in the whole of the UK. Not long after this, we were put under another lockdown for a month. Then me and my sister were asked to isolate for 2 weeks after people at our school caught the virus. We didn’t leave the house or go anywhere during that time and it was such a relief when our quarantine period ended.
December was weird but mostly good. Hull was put into tier 3, the former top most tier, along with most of the country and the restrictions turned out to be not as bad as I thought they were. Shops reopened and you could still meet in a group of 6 in public places. Mostly our time was spent preparing for Christmas and exchanging gifts with friends and family in outdoor settings. It had been announced that we could form a Christmas bubble with 2 other households from the 23rd to 27th December but when cases in the South of England near London started to spiral out of control due to a new variant, the government had to reduce it to just Christmas day. But they have started administering a vaccine for covid and I just hope it will be enough to beat it for good! As of the 31st December, most of the country has now been put into tier 4 (Hull has managed to stay in tier 3 by some kind of a miracle) and deaths have gone above what they were at the peak of the pandemic in April. Personally I think we’re on the cusp of another lockdown and I honestly question why we aren’t in one right now.
For all the times that I’ve moaned about this year and the pandemic, 2020 has actually brought some really good things into my life.
My best memories mostly come from the summer. I fondly remember the results day party, the prom party, GCSE results day itself, our holidays in Leyburn and Whitby and staying with my grandparents in Derbyshire. I had many social distanced get togethers with pretty much all my friends which I enjoyed immensely. I had lots of days out with my family and we spent loads of time together. I finally got my braces off after 2 years! I started sixth form, have made new friends there and for the first time in my life, I genuinely love school. There was also our murder mystery party in April and my birthday itself which my parents worked so hard to make extra special. I’ve also enjoyed celebrating my friend’s and family’s birthdays with them albeit on a smaller scale than usual. All these things are proof to me that good things can happen even in the midst of chaos.
I’m so thankful for the people I’m taking into 2021 with me. I have such an amazing family who I love very much. This year and the lockdown has made it blatantly clear who my true friends are and although I’ve lost some friends, I’ve gained some amazing ones and deepened my friendships with the ones who’ve been in my life for a long time now. I think having a good support system around you can either make or break you as a person so I’m very lucky that I have one of the best. Friendships and family relationships bring so much joy to my life and they have made the world so much brighter in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Best of all, my faith in God has grown this year. The pandemic brought me closer to Him and I have felt that he has used this year to shape me into the person he wants me to be. As a result, I have become more confident in myself and have been made more aware of the characteristics I need to work on in myself. God has been my comfort through some of the worst parts of 2020 and he blessed me with so many amazing things. I hope to continue strengthening my faith in 2020.
Thank you for reading and for following my blog! Your support means the world to me. There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull