The most bittersweet year. For me 2014 holds some of the best and worst memories of my life. It’s a year I will never forget, that’s for sure.
I thought it only fair to write a summary of such a whirlwind year and to add a little message for what you can expect in 2015. So without further ado, here it is in as much of a chronological order as I can recollect.
In the first couple of months of the year Dylan was very ill with Norovirus and suffered a series of seizures. He was in and out of hospital and remained on oxygen since then.
The highlight of March was going to see Derren Brown’s Infamous tour (Christmas present from my parents). I’m a huge Derren Brown fan, I know there’s that saying floating around the internet “Always be yourself, unless you can be Beyonce, then be Beyonce.” but I think “Always be yourself, unless you can be Derren Brown, then be Derren Brown.” is much better. The show was mesmerising and astonishing as expected and to top it all off he even picked on me in the show! So chuffed.
Other than that it was a boring couple of months while I was finishing my A-Levels (Art, Photography, Mathematics & English Language) and working 60 hour weeks to save up enough money to take my mum to Paris. I would wake up, go to college, go home, get changed, go to work, get home, go to sleep & repeat. Looking back I’m not really sure how I managed but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.
Our long-awaited trip to Paris. I’d saved up enough money to fly me and mum to Paris and stay in the beautiful Eiffel Tower Suite of the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan hotel in the city center.
The view from our room was incredible. Paris was the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. We had the perfect little break, drinking coffee in cute little cafe’s, visiting landmarks and galleries. Our four day trip was over so quickly, we wanted to go back the next weekend!
June consisted of a couple of trips up to London, lots of going to work and lots of going to the gym.
Mum and I went up to see David Bailey’s Stardust exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery. There were some amazing pieces of well known celebs, as you would expect. But our favourite room by far was full of pictures of his wife and children. Real personal, intimate works of art. They were so beautiful, I would really recommend at least giving them a google search.
My second trip up to London was a present to one of my friends to go and watch Keaton Henson. It was his only gig date of the year so it really was a bit of luck that it happened to be just after my friend’s birthday. It was an incredible gig, which, if you’ve listened to his music, goes without saying.
The 25 June was Dylan’s 17th birthday. By this point, as much as we all hoped it wasn’t, we thought it would be his last. So at the weekend we went to West Wittering beach, his favourite place, and had a smiley, giggly day full of fun and laughter.
Then we spent Dylan’s birthday at home with all of the family, lots of lovely presents and a very cheeky birthday cake made by mum.
Another relatively boring month come to think of it, maybe I should try to work less and do more in 2015. I spent most of July at work or at the gym, what a thrilling life. The only exciting thing to happen in July was my first ever tattoo (Thanks to Luke Wrigley). It says 25.6.1997 in roman numerals, Dylan’s Birthday.
The birth of chloehelenmiles.com! It was in August that I finally finished setting up my blog and let you all know about it. This is one of the highlights of my year. The love and support from everyone following me and the belief of so many companies has helped me to more than double my social media followers over the last four months. It’s been truly incredible and really quite fascinating to experience. Quite overwhelming at times. I often get asked “How did you get so many followers?” and I honestly have no idea. However, I am extremely glad that I do because you’ve enabled so many opportunities for me this year.
August was a pretty busy month. I got my second tattoo (also by Luke).
I’ll do a post on my tattoos and what they mean next year. (Sounds like it’s far away, but it’s not)
A couple of days after I had my tattoo done I took my mum up to London for her Birthday. We stayed at the Grange St Pauls hotel with a fantastic view of St Pauls cathedral right outside our window.
I got us tickets to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which never disappoints. We also went to see the BP Portrait Awards exhibition (my favourite) and a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition at Tate Modern. Followed by a three course meal and massages. A fantastic trip for a fantastic woman.
Another highlight of August was our family trip to Longleat Zoo. It took a while to get there but it was well worth it in the end.
Last but not least, at the very end of August was the Public Desire Launch Party, the first blogger event I went to and still my favourite. A lot of shoes, far too many cocktails with Emily and a drink in the stunning sky bar in Manchester.
In early September I started my Vocal Diploma at The Academy of Contemporary Music. I’ve been waiting/wishing to go to ACM for 5 years. Ever since I started singing at secondary school, I knew that was where I wanted to go. Getting into ACM is probably one of my greatest achievements. It’s a very competitive industry and you have to perform a song of ACM’s choice in a live audition for a chance to get in.
Shortly after I was invited up to London to view one of my A-Level Art final pieces that was on display in a Fujitsu exhibition. (Another proud moment)
The worst month of 2014, and without any exaggeration or intentional over dramatization, the worst month of my life.
I’m sure most of you will know that my younger brother, Dylan, passed away on the 24th October. Anyone who knew me personally, or even probably through social media will know how much Dylan meant to me, and to my family. He really was the center of our world. Everything we did revolved around Dylan, and we were happy for it to. Dylan was always so much more than a brother to me, in many ways he was my best friend and I think from being taught how to care for him from a young age he was always kind of like a son to me too. We had a really special relationship, a rare chemistry that neither of us had with anyone else. Dylan loved us all so much, but in such different ways. Mum’s always said Dylan thought I was ‘entertainment’. As soon as Dylan saw me or heard my voice his eyes would light up with expectation, thinking “Come on Chlo, do something fun!”, I always did the best I could, which was always good enough to get a giggle or a smile at least. The harder I’ve tried to write it the more I’ve realised that there aren’t really any words that will ever do Dylan justice.
Dylan was diagnosed with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome when he was a baby, an incredibly rare genetic disorder. He suffered with a long list of illnesses throughout his life, pneumonia, swine flu, norovirus, you name it, he probably had it. But despite his disabilities, he was the most wonderful, gentle, incredible human being I’ve ever met. Always so happy and full of life. He was thought to have a mental age of six months throughout his life so we don’t know how many memories he had, if any. He certainly had no concept of the future so he lived in the moment, every single day. Making the most of everything he possibly could. That’s what was always so refreshing about Dylan. You could have had the worst day at school/college/work, but as soon as you see Dylan it would all go away because you have to be part of his moment too. He had the power to make you forget about everything but him.
In March 2013 Dylan was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Failure and we were told he had 6-8 months left. Being the incredibly strong boy he was, he fought harder than we ever thought possible for an astonishing 20 months. He was truly amazing and will live on forever in our memories and in our hearts.
November 6th was the date of Dylan’s funeral. It was a tough day but my family were very strong, we held each other together and I really couldn’t be prouder of them. We were told that “In the best way possible, it didn’t really feel like a funeral.” Which is exactly what we were going for, a celebration of his life.
At the beginning of December I got a few new tattoos (All Luke). Mum and I now have matching “D”‘s for Dylan.
My 19th Birthday was on the 4th, I was very spoilt by my lovely family and by Sam who took me on holiday for a few days in a beautiful little lodge.
I then proceeded to be spoilt even more over Christmas! It’s been extremely hard to have my first Birthday and Christmas without Dylan in 17 years.
I wouldn’t have made it through the last few months if it wasn’t for my family and for Sam.
The highlight of my year has definitely been rekindling my romance with my childhood sweetheart. I don’t know what I would have done without him.
So 2014 has been a bit of a rollercoaster/trainwreck. 2014 has been the worst year for me and I know that 2015 will be the hardest. I’ll try to keep myself busy and hopefully, now I have my new camera, post a lot more for you guys and work a lot harder on the blog & my YouTube.
Main life lessons I’ve learnt from 2014:
-Live in the moment as much as you can, you never know how long you have.
-Life’s too short to work away, before you know it you’ll have lots of money and no memories.
-Cherish the people who help you at your lowest points/don’t waste your time on the people who should have been there but weren’t.
-Be nice. Effort spent on nastiness is effort wasted.
I’d like to write a short thank you to everyone who’s sent their love and support to my family over this tough time. My relatives, family friends, my friends and all of you for your lovely messages. It really does mean a lot to me and to my family.
For the final part of my Farewell 2014 blog post, here’s a little list of what you can expect from me in 2015;
-Healthy Meal Ideas
-More Fashion Posts
I’m sure there’s a lot more I’m forgetting to add but I’ve got the attention span of a toddler at the moment so I’ll have to add it in later.
All that’s left is to say, a massive thank you to all of my followers and everyone I’ve collaborated with this year, I’m wishing you all a very happy 2015 <3