Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What was important in 2009?

Coming to the close of 2009, and like so many others, I find myself considering the year that has passed, and what the future may hold. Back in March, I wrote a reflection on how much my life had changed (and it was a lot!), but even in the nine months since, things have continued to do so. So what things made my 2009?

Let's get the negative out of the way first. In 2008/2009 I made the huge mistake of moving into a rental with housemates. I'm not going to dwell long on this fact, but for 6 months, I was miserable. I hated being at home, and hated that I was stuck in my dark room. What could have, and should have been the positive experience of moving into a unit with friends quickly turned sour. The silver lining? I learnt a lot about myself, and it prompted me to reassess what was truly important to me. I quickly learnt who my real friends were, what my limits were when it came to boundaries and beliefs, and finally, pushed me into breaking my lease and moving back onto Res with the people that I loved and admired. As far as I'm concerned, losing my bond was money well spent in order to save my sanity.

I also really regret that I stopped going to the gym. My knee injury was much to blame for this initially, but at the same time, I think fear of further injury, and even a chord of laziness had just as much to do with it later on. My self-confidence took a major blow as I lost fitness, and knew I couldn't do a lot of the things I loved. The gym was one of those things (a look back to March is evidence of this). In 2010, I'm going to strive to get back into that positive mind-set, even though I know I'm going to be incredibly frustrated at the fact that I've lost all of the fitness I worked so hard for in 2008. I plan on feeling the burn, and working on regaining those killer legs!

As well as the setbacks, 2009 was filled with a lot of the amazing. My relationship with myself may have suffered slightly, but I also learnt plenty about myself, and continued to grow. The friendship that had developed with The Muso* grew into the great relationship we have now, and even with the differences we have, I trust him more than most, and usually more than myself. He introduced me to great music, the beauty of winter nights spent arguing over what movie to watch, and a side of myself that I never actually knew existed. <3

My resi friends put up with my many rants, and still decided I was worthy of their time and love, for which I am eternally grateful. They were the ones who kept me sane, who let me share in their amazing lives (even the bad bits), and occasionally let me share their mums when mine was half a country away. The big nights out, the dinners in, the advice, the rides to the super, it's all contributed to making this year awesome. I also want to thank the other guys at Porter Av. for giving me a haven away from my insane life, you guys are awesome. Also awesome is Jim, for coming over from the UK and visiting for a crazy few days mid-year, for prodding me to perform at my ninja writing best, and for still being my best friend despite months at a time not being able to talk to each other!

In 2009, my life revolved around pretty much one thing, and one thing only – The Honours Project. For 9 months, it dictated almost my every thought and action, hijacked almost every conversation, and took up almost every hour, waking or otherwise. For 9 months of quite literal blood, sweat and tears, especially the tears, my boyfriend, my family, and my friends were knocked back by the words "sorry, can't, project", and still stuck by me, letting me rant and rave, and the regular de-stess sessions were greatly appreciated.

However, given all that, when I handed it in on the 16th October, I had a huge feeling of achievement. The project was one of the most defining experiences of my life thus far, it pushed me to extremes, made me sick, made me question my ethics and beliefs, questioned my integrity as a researcher, and even as a human being. I may have looked upon the thing with some measure of loathing, but now, the thesis is a document I look at with a sense of pride. Since then, I had to find something else to do, after having the "now what" moment, and I was lucky enough to find a summer job that I love, with people I like, that pays ok, and is located right next to the beach. It's not where I want to stay, but it has let me take stock of my life, and assess where I want to go in the future.

And where do I want to go in the future? Glad you asked! Fingers crossed some form of scholarship funding will come through to allow me to return to university to start my PhD. Yes, 4 more years of being a lab rat. However, this time, research is not going to be allowed to take over my life, and I intend to continue being the happy, social person I've found this summer. This blog has been a fantastic outlet the last few weeks, and I have big plans for its future, big plans! I've missed writing for the love of it, rather than the necessity, and whether it's blogging, roleplaying, or the book, recreational writing is back on the agenda. If you've been reading for a week or so, you'll know a house by myself is on the cards, meaning plans to make a space my own (so exciting!). My family, and my friend are going to remain high on my agenda, and I have every intention of making time to go and catch up with the people who graduated this year, who have moved away, and those who are still around, as well as time spent with my amazing mum.

My life in 2009 was somewhat blessed. Whilst there was some bad, there was also an insane amount of the good and beautiful. I can't put a lot of it into words, which is bizarre for me, but true none-the-less. Everyone I met, spent time with and talked to, every blog and book read, every journal critiqued, movie watched, music appreciated, club danced in, every experience gave me something which shaped the year into the wonderful blur of memory it now is. 2010 is so full of promise, perhaps even more so than 2009 originally appeared, and if so, I can only imagine what wonders there are in store.

What about you, mes amis? Did you have a beautiful 2009? Do you have a memory or person who shaped your year? What are your resolutions for 2010?

*Ok, so I've been asked a couple of times why I've been concealing names of people, in particular my boyfriend. Basically, my blog has readers from all over, some I know, some I don't. Giving away my identity is one thing, but identifying others to strangers is another entirely. My boyfriend is known as The Muso because music seems to form such an important part of his identity, and it was one of the things that drew me to him originally. Mystery solved!

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