On New Years Eve, I shared a post on Instagram about how this time last year I was in a VERY different place to where I am now…

I started 2018 with no fu*king clue about where my life was headed.

Over the 2017 Christmas period, my boyfriend (of 3 years) and I ended our relationship.

We were meant to be relocating to Sydney in 2018 and starting the next chapter of our lives together.

But it simply wasn’t meant to be.

You may remember me writing a blog post about my reflection on 2017, and mentioning that I had been through something super tough and personal.

It was the breakup, and it truly truly shook me!

I spent the first few months of 2018 questioning my identity. I questioned who I was as a person, and I truly didn’t know where I saw my personal life and career heading.

I visited a Kinesiologist, spent lots of time both with my closest friends and family and on my own, and I also put all my efforts into working on my self development and my businesses.

I remember when I was going through this tough time, my beautiful Mum said these words to me.

“Jemma, I guarantee you that by this time next year you’ll be in a completely different place both personally and professionally, and you won’t feel like this”. Of course at the time I shrugged it off, but my oh my did she end up being spot on!

It’s now the beginning of 2019, and I’m sitting here (in Japan!!) a COMPLETELY different person to what I was at the start of the 2018.

I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been, and I have so many reasons to be thankful for how 2018 turned out.

 2018 Highlights

Successfully got through my first breakup

Breakups are the absolute worst.

You question everything about your life when you go through a breakup, and everywhere hurts.

I had absolutely no idea what to feel when I went through mine – and it was the first big one that I’ve ever experienced.

As much as I tried to fight the feelings, in the end I learnt that I just needed to feel sad and allow myself to cry and cry and cry until over time, I gradually felt better again.

During this time I questioned everything: my life purpose, my career, my business, and my self.

However over time, I learnt how to feel happy again and more importantly; I learn’t how to be myself again on my own, and for that I am so proud!

Won a Bupa Blog Award

In November 2018, I was awarded a Bupa Blog Award.

To say that I was shocked to receive this incredible award would be an understatement.

When I started my blog as a hobby back in University, never did I think that one day I would win an award for it!

My blog is something that I have been working on for years, and it felt SO amazing to be recognised for all the work that I do, by a reputable, Australian company who is committed to supporting and working with bloggers.

Part of winning this prize means that I am now part of their blogger community, meaning that I get to work with the Bupa team in 2019 on lots of projects!

Explored more of Australia

One of my goals for 2018 was the travel more for both work and play.

Whilst I managed to squeeze in a lot of trips to Sydney and to Melbourne, I was so grateful to receive an opportunity to work with the King Valley Wine Region on their La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival!

This involved travelling down to Victoria with a couple of my best friends to partake in a campaign photoshoot and work with the team there to develop some content to promote the festival and the region.

It was a part of Australia that I had never visited before, and the trip seriously opened my eyes up to a part of the country that I now love and want to visit each year!

Got to work with brands I’ve only ever dreamed of working with

In 2018, I worked on some incredible collaborations with brands that a few years ago, I only ever dreamed of working with.

Every day I continue to be amazed by the fact that people actually read my blog and enjoy the content that I post!

A few of my favourite collaborations for 2018 included: Larsen Jewellery (where we got to do a photoshoot in the middle of George Street!) , Birdsnest, Canberra Centre, Forever New and the King Valley Wine Region.

Thank you to all the brands and businesses that chose to work with me in 2018, it was an absolute pleasure. I look forward to working with you and many more in 2019.

Travelled on a solo trip to Bali

In November 2018 I travelled over to Bali for what was an “Eat, Pray, Love” trip which truly changed my life in so many ways.

I was surrounded by beautiful women who taught me so much about life, and I learnt more about myself too!

Travelling to Bali was never on my radar at the beginning of the year; so I find it crazy that a trip that I didn’t have planned when I was going through my worst at the start of the year, was what changed my entire perspective at the end of the year!

Appeared on the Today Show and openly spoke about my mental health story

In late November 2018, I received a call from a Producer on the Today Show, asking if I would be comfortable with sharing my mental health and OCD story on the show with one of their hosts, Georgie Gardener.

Whilst I was a little apprehensive at first (I’ve never shared my story on LIVE TV before), deep down I knew that it was something that I wanted to do, and am SO glad that I did.

Sharing my story on the Today Show gave me an opportunity to open up and promote conversation about a topic that is so very important.

Survived my first year in business & grew!

They always say that the first three years of business are always going to be the toughest, but I’m happy to say that I’m still working for myself and loving every minute of it.

Sure, there are moments where I want to pack it all in, but the good times ALWAYS outweigh the bad, and I’m so thrilled that I am able to run my own small business.

There are so many projects and ideas I have for 2019, and I simply cannot wait to continue to grow Dak & Co and push it into it’s next phase!

I want to take this opportunity to say a very big THANK YOU to each and every one of you who supported me in 2018.

It was a year that started with a massive low, and ended on an absolute high.

It is with your support, guidance and kindness that I have been able to do all that I have done in 2018, and all I will say is watch this space for 2019!