So, That Was 2020…

I feel like most yearly reviews are going to consist of something like this: 2020, enough said. To be honest, I’ve felt like three separate people this year. So I thought maybe the best way to sum up the year would be to talk about these three phases I went through during the year that turned us all upside down.

“Before all of this started…”

I started off the year on a pretty good note. We were living with Katy’s parents. My work had just moved offices so I was able to commute on one bus, door-to-door, to my job which I really enjoyed (my colleagues in particular were fantastic). I had paid off my credit card. I was reading a new book every few days. I well and truly had thought I had found my groove.

Hindsight is 20/20 (lol) of course so I probably should have paid a bit more attention when my employer’s Chinese-based client went into lockdown and things started to become more fraught.

As news of the virus came thicker and faster, we had to make some big decisions. Living with Katy’s vulnerable parents felt too risky, so in under 24 hours we decided to relocate to stay with other members of her family. While we were packing, I got the call from work to say I’d be made redundant. In 24 hours, my whole life changed.

Making the most of it

Suddenly, I was unemployed (luckily this was later changed to a furlough), living out of a suitcase hastily packed with winter clothes while we were making our way into spring, in a house I’d only visited twice before. Those first few weeks were filled with Disney Plus and 4 pm news bulletins and I tried to figure out what to do next.

The job market was dead. I’d interview for jobs only to find they’d be pulled a few days later as more and more people were furloughed or made redundant.

I was extremely lucky though. Thanks to being furloughed, I was able to focus on Pretty Content. I worked on branding and web projects and I loved every second of it.

All good things come to an end, however, and I was told in July that my redundancy would be happening at the end of the month. Luckily, I’d been contacted by a recruiter at the beginning of lockdown who had asked me to apply for a job that then had to be paused– and they resurfaced right in time! By the end of August I was working full time again, which meant we could start to rebuild our life.

Starting over and settling in

September meant beginning again in a lot of ways. I started my new job, which was tricky to do remotely. To this day I still haven’t seen a single one of my colleagues in person. We rented a new flat, in a town I’d never spent much time in before.

But this time, the transition seemed a lot smoother. Maybe I’m getting used to more rapid changes, or maybe it was just nice to be in my own space again.

I’m enjoying my new job and I’m getting good feedback from the people I work with. My home office is 99% finished and is a space that I enjoy being in. It’s nice to live in the town centre and to go for walks along the seafront.

I’m hoping things continue this way. Now that I’ve settled in again I’m looking forward to striking the balance between my corporate government user experience day job and the branding and web projects I love creating through Pretty Content.

To summarise 2020, I’d say… while much of it was awful and filled with anxiety, it allowed me to take a few chances on opportunities that I have always wanted to pursue but never had the chance to. And I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that the people I love have also seemed to weather the storm.

Hi, I'm Aisling!

I’ve spent over a decade working in agencies and startups, designing for different mediums; coding responsive, user-friendly web experiences; and converting customers into loyal audiences. Now, I am so excited to bring those years of experience to your project, and to share some of my insights on this blog!

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