2018: A Year of Resilience

2018: A Year of Resilience | LIFE | Justine Spencer

2018, where do we we begin? It literally began at the beach with a take-away bag of McDonalds and an incredibly intoxicated boyfriend in tow. We’d abandoned a disappointing NYE event, but I was impressed. We’d ditched the event rather than wasting our time and forcing it to be something spectacular. What a good way to start 2018, I thought. Life’s too short, so why spend it unhappy and unsatisfied? Fast forward three months, and that was exactly what we did with our relationship. Adios. Sayonara. Au revoir.

It was the kind of break up that came out of the blue and bowled me over onto my ass. Not only did it mean a broken heart, it meant a sudden and frantic move from my old apartment and into a new home. My car was packed to the brim and when I found a place to crash, I sprawled my belongings across the room. Simply getting from the door and into bed felt like an obstacle course. As a structured and organised person, I loathed this way of living. But it was my first step in my year of resilience.

It took just over a month to find a new apartment. Within that time I slept in six different houses. While my ex was already out enjoying his newly single life, I spent most of my time unpacking or working late. Any spare time I did have, I usually spent it with a bottle of pinot, UberEats and Netflix. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.


My goal was to find my place in the world again. But being the procrastinator that I am, I started online dating. Dating is not my forte, so I felt just as uncomfortable as my month couch surfing. But it was another experience that strengthen my resilience. Compared to my short and successful three-week Tinder stint in 2015, Bumble exposed me to dull conversations that didn’t lasted more than three sentences. Anything that did result in a date usually lead to being ghosted.

To avoid being seriously disappointed all the time, I re-evaluated how I handled online dating. I decided that whatever I did or said needed to empower me. Dating shouldn’t make me feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in any way or form. Once I made feeling empowered my goal, the shitty conversations and ghosters were no longer the bane in my existence.

Given that almost everyone back in Perth is in a happy five-year relationship, online dating in Melbourne hasn’t been easy. But along with the resilience and empowerment I’ve developed, I’ve got a handful of hilarious dating stories.


Woven into all these affairs of the heart was work. You could probably call it ‘affairs of the head’ because it was not an easy year. I found myself spread thinly across almost every brand and department of the agency due to a tremendous amount of departures. I was picking up the pieces from social community management, content creation, account management, digital and social analytics, media planning and buying. Jumping from department-to-department, brand-to-brand was another opportunity to test my resilience. I had to be adaptable and I had to believe in what I was doing as I didn’t have the time to second guess myself.

While it wasn’t an easy year for myself or the agency, my efforts were rewarded. A couple of months ago I was promoted to Account Manager. Not only that, they’ve hired a new Account Executive to cover my junior responsibilities. This means that not only have I been rewarded with a new title and salary, they’re supplying the resources I need so I can thoroughly do my job. Which. Is. Awesome.


Seeing as the last 2 months of 2018 have been beyond hectic with work deadlines and dates (or the romance kind), I’ve tried to spend the final weeks of this year resting. Despite how hard I’m trying to relax, the daunting question still lingers: What do I want out of 2019?

One BIG thing that I have to complete in 2019 is moving apartments. Yep. I’m moving for the third time in 18 months. While I’m not looking forward to packing and carting everything down three flights of stairs again, I’m excited for a new chapter. I’m also hoping there’ll be more opportunity for content creation and blogging once I’m in my new apartment.

But in general, I know I want to create more and experience new things in the new year. Be it joining a writing or reading group, baking more and trialing experimental cooking, taking up rock climbing or strengthening my photography. I want to continue to grow and learn.

In conjunction, I want to keep my health on track given the progress I made in the last six months. With wholesome eating and routinely gym and yoga sessions, I know I can make some great leaps both physically and mentally with my health.

So that’s the end of another year, with a new year only hours away. Whoever you are, wherever you are – if you’re reading this I hope you and everyone you cherish have a fabulous start to 2019.


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