2013 was an interesting year for me – filled with both highs and lows, but that’s life. I’m confident that 2014 is going to be a much better year for me, though, and I’m very excited to see it through.

Here are the defining moments of 2013 for me.

Stillbirth – R.I.P. Pixie Rogers

I’ve always wanted a family more than anything else. That’s what makes for the happiest Marty!

My girlfriend was due to give birth to our first child in January of 2013 – it was meant to be the happiest time of our lives and certainly the best possible start to a new year, but it didn’t work out that way.

At 37 weeks and 4 days into the pregnancy, which is pretty much full-term, Nora (my girlfriend) was a little worried as she had not felt Pixie moving for a little while and so we decided to head to the hospital to listen in on the heartbeat, but nothing could be found, even when they tried a better machine.

That was the most devastating day of our lives, and we had no idea why it had happened until later.

A couple of days later, at 38 weeks, we went back to the hospital so that Nora could give birth naturally to our stillborn daughter. It was horrible and quite surreal – we should have been waiting for the delivery of our perfectly healthy first daughter, but instead were greeted by a lifeless but beautiful little body.

It was a knot on the cord that caused this loss for us – a tragic and rare accident.

We had some time with her before they took her away. We dressed her in her little clothes and held her as if she was just sleeping – I kept waiting for her to start crying, but she didn’t.

I don’t remember much after that – just the funeral when I carried her tiny little coffin from the car into the church, and my brave girlfriend reading out a poem that she had written herself. It was heartbreaking to see and hear, but I’m so proud of her, and I know Pixie is too – she did amazingly well.

This is likely the hardest thing that anyone can ever go through in their life, and we survived it and are now expecting another little boy or girl in late January / early February. We’re a very strong couple!

You can read my girlfriend’s more in-depth story here if you’d like to.

Realisation – No Motivation to Work

Before I started at Epic New Media in August, I had worked at home since leaving College at 18. I did quite well for somebody that young – but I never took advantage of momentum – probably my biggest regret.

The idea of working from home is brilliant – the reality though? Not so much.

Unfortunately, I lost the desire and motivation to work from the confinements of 4 walls many years ago, but I didn’t want to admit it because I was doing something that most people could only dream of – yet it was making me unhappy, and it was hard to get myself up in the morning to work for more than 2 hours.

Once we found out that my girlfriend was pregnant for the second time, I decided it was time for me to join the real world and finally get my foot on the career ladder. It was a daunting prospect for me!

4 Interviews & Epic New Media – The Beginning

When I finally took the plunge and decided that I would start applying for jobs – I went hard.

I applied for many, many jobs a day which resulted in, on average, 1 job interview a week. I don’t know if this is a good success rate or not, but I was happy with it considering it was my first time applying for jobs.

I knew my CV would be getting tossed aside 9 times out of 10 as I had no previous job history – only claims of self-employment which, for all they knew, could be lies. I didn’t care, though, I just continued to apply and even thought about ranking pages on my blog for digital agency names to grab their attention.

I had 3 interviews as a result of my applications – these were at Northwest Online in Prescot, Motionlab in Preston and Max Web Solutions on the Wirral. Although I felt that all of them had gone quite well, I still knew that I would be at a disadvantage compared to those who had agency experience.

It was then that I got a call from a recruiter who was acting on behalf of Epic New Media – he had discovered my CV on CV Library and got in touch inviting me to an interview at the Royal Liver Building. WOW!

I did my research right away – they didn’t have much of a search presence and so I instantly saw my opportunity to help them to grow there because that is my thing after all. Less than a week following my interview and I was working at Epic New Media with a diverse bunch of talented people.

I have been at Epic for just over 4 months now and I love it. I’ve learnt so much in my short time there already and know that there is still so much more for me to learn moving forward, which is very exciting.

2014 – Two Simple Goals

2014 is going to be about my family and career. That’s it – keeping it simple!

My girlfriend and I will soon be moving into our first house together, which is very exciting. It’s a bit late considering our little one will be arriving later this month, but it’s going to happen and then we can start making it into a home for ourselves and our little son or daughter. It’s going to be lots of fun!

Career-wise, I plan to stay with Epic New Media and focus more of my time on helping them to grow their business online. This blog is going to be a little quieter than it once was as I will probably start putting all of my free time into their blog and improving their rankings – not that I’ll have much free time.

That’s it – 2014 is going to be an awesome year for me! :)