Despite going to bed at midnight, I woke up at 6:30 this morning. I’m in a reflective mood – thinking about the last year and just how different my life is now. This time last year, I was living a double life – pretending to be happy for fear that the reality would consume me. Today, I feel like myself again, and that feels great. This morning I decided to change up the breakfast routine with toasted seeded bread with home-made lemon curd (so easy and much nicer than shop-bought) and home-made hot chocolate (a Danish friend’s recipe) with my favourite magazine – The Economist. I always start reading magazines from the back. I wonder if this means anything… Any psychologists out there?
October marks an important moment in my life, a new chapter so to speak, for so many reasons. Today is my first day back at school. It’s a part-time degree which I’ve been thinking about for the last two years. It is a major life change and an investment mentally, financially and socially. To be honest, despite being offered a place on the course, I wasn’t going to enrol. I don’t know why, I suppose I was afraid of change, fear that I’d be the oldest person in the class, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or be as good as the other students after so many years out of education and the list goes on and on. I shared all of this with a friend – Lasca – over afternoon tea at The Savoy (review to follow shortly) recently and let’s just say that she gave me the proverbial kick up the backside I needed! Enrolment done, fees paid and student ID card received. School starts today! Excitement overload. I still have some fears but my life motto has always been “no regrets” and that’s not about to change.
Speaking of change, I’m so happy with my newly-designed website. What do you think? I wanted a change – something more professional and gorgeous – and instead of getting drastic and cutting my hair short (never a good idea when you have crazy curly hair), I have a new blog design. I had so many ideas and inspirations and was so excited to start my search for a web developer. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know all about the tears of frustration, faux-developers and those four minutes when I thought I would not only teach myself CSS, but would also design my own website. Craziness in London! Like I said, four minutes. I feel no shame in admitting that I have sat staring at my laptop, hands in my hair, wailing “I don’t understand why you’re doing this to me!”. Okay, maybe a little shame but hey, we’re not all perfect.
Enter Jenny Beaumont. I met Jenny when I lived in Paris for all of a few minutes at one of these fun expat evenings and subsequently found her on Twitter and since then, she’s been my WordPress, Linux and well, anything geeky guru. To this day, I don’t know how she knows all of this stuff. What I really like about Jenny’s approach is that she is about do the technical yet explain in an idiot-proof way. Before any work commenced, Jenny had me look at designs I like, narrow it down to two and then I sent her a list of likes, dislikes and changes. Simple yet effective. Probably the most important question she asked was “is this design your ultimate site?”, which allowed me to think about all the features and styles I’d incorporate into the site without any time or financial constraints. Adding a Japanese section is something I’ve wanted to do for years but I simply didn’t know how to do it. I spoke to so many so-called developers who told me it couldn’t be done or that would have to be done with different programmes which aren’t available on WordPress etc. Two long conversations later, without any technical misunderstandings, Jenny began working on my little ole blog. I think it’s fair to say that I have never exchanged so many emails with one person in such a short period of time. Over 3-4 days, Jenny designed and developed my blog. It would have taken me months, maybe even years. I’m not going to lie, I’m hard to please but other than the use of Serif font, which I’ve never liked, there wasn’t anything to change. Somehow Jenny was able to understand the site that I wanted before I even knew! I’m so crazy in love with the blog – if it were a person, I’d break British tradition and hug it! The best part about working with Jenny is that she wanted me to be happy with the site. It wasn’t a case of just get it done and more on to another project. For me, working with someone who cares about what they’re doing is a rare and wonderful treat. As if the design and development weren’t enough, she emailed detailed guides on how to use the translation plug-in, image functions and notes about how to change little things so I can be in control of my own site. The problem with the internet is that there is so much conflicting information available. Having Jenny as my trusty source is an absolute bonus. I highly recommend Jenny so if you have a blog or website and need some help, check out her site and/or Twitter.
Sometimes change really is a good thing.