I thought I’d squeeze in one more blog before the new year. Maybe this is a chance to reflect over on a year? To talk about my success, failures and regrets?
So, like most years this one has felt quick, but when I think about all that has happened it seems like it has been a long and well spent year.
On the first day of this year I was in a plane heading for Busan, South Korea. I basically jumped straight into this year, and I feel like it was a good way to start. At the time, I didn’t think much of it – of course I was excited to be traveling abroad and a little nervous about the experience (living in a dorm, sharing my space with a stranger 24/7), but I’m glad I did it. It was an amazing experience, a cliche in some ways – I met some amazing people, I made great memories and friends. I spent a week of self-reflection in Seoul, I met a lovely Israeli guy who made me question my motives in life. I spent time cooking simple, Korean-inspired dinners on a little stove. I hung out with the hostel’s dog on wintery nights when I couldn’t be bothered venturing out into the seemingly unwelcoming streets of a foreign city. And I wish I could do it all again.
Upon my return to Aus it was clocking over to February, and a few days after my arrival, I started an internship at the Duke of Edinburgh’s office in Melbourne. I had the slightly unfortunate title of Oral History researcher. I spent a whole month driving around, interviewing folks and trying to find a picture in my mind of an organisation that has been in Melbourne for fifty years. So what did I find? Well the first week I was lost in the wealth of information and confused by what I was meant to do. The second week I lined up several interviews, met some interesting people and started to become inspired. The third week I started to become disillusioned when realised that I was interviewing people who represented some of the last remnants of British monarchists who didn’t really believe in equality and ran in the network of ‘old boys’ that still flourish in the suburbs of Melbourne. In the fourth week I had an operation to remove a lump and also spent that week moving house. In the fourth week when I was feeling a little bitter and indifferent about it all I interviewed a humble man who lived in a small flat in Caulfield. He gave me water in a wine glass and told me about his life. It was an inspiring hour and I wish I could have spent more time with him. He told me about his work with the disabled and his efforts to support them and enrich their lives. It was an interesting month.
In March I started University again for the year, it was to be my last year at University and I was feeling positive about it all. I signed up for four subjects, dropped out of (technically failed) one and did field work with some great people. March was a time of recovery, I slowly found my way back onto my bicycle after my operation and spent nights talking to my sister about the success of living with my best mate Holly, and the failure of living with my friend Sophie. As I recovered from my operation I noticed that my lump was coming back and I felt a slight pang of stress and acceptance, what is to be, is to be.
In April I went on a long road trip up the coast of Australia to Byron Bay with three friends. It took us a couple of days to drive to Queensland, on the way we stayed in Sydney and dropped off one friend who was continuing her Australian backpacking adventure around Aus. I finally visited Sydney for the first time in my life and realised it wasn’t for me. Maggie, Kyle and I made our way to Byron Bay and set up camp at Blues Fest. It was an amazing week and one of my favourite experiences this year by far. We spent six days at the festival, singing, dancing, drinking, laughing and enjoying life. During that time I met two great people, who have since become two friends I very much love and respect. After Blues we made our way a little further up the coast to Brisbane and thinking back now, this trip had a lot of firsts in it for me. First time to Sydney, first time to Brisbane, first time to a lot of places.
May was studying and catching up on work that I had let fall to the wayside. In the last few weeks of May, Wawwie and Taylor Bird, the two back packers I’d met at Falls, came and stayed with me. It was a busy crazy week and I spent most of the time locked up in my room studying or procrastinating. The work paid off and I got some distinctions but missed out on spending time with new friends.
June was the month of car troubles and job applications. I found myself fatigued with study and searching job classifieds. I applied for a job as a library trainee on a whim, ended up being shortlisted and then chosen. It all felt a little surreal, and uncertain but I went with the flow, cut my study down to part-time and started working there in July.
The next few months really flow into one, July, August, September, October, November and now December. It’s a little sad how once full-time work has you in its grip you lose the ability to think on your feet and fill your days with new and random experiences. Although financially I am a lot better off, money isn’t everything. I guess I have had some small success’ at this end of the year. I’ve written a few essays that I would consider my best. I found my feet a little more career-wise. I became more fit and happy with myself.
There is a lot more, I guess. I feel happy with this year, I think I’ve spent it well. I’ve grown up a little in some ways, and am still a kid in so many other respects.
So back to the start. My success’ would be Blues fest. Originally I just applied for it by myself, I was willing to drive up the coast and experience it as a solitary woman. I’m glad Maggie and Kyle came and Kate, who flew up separately. It wouldn’t of been the same without them. I’m lucky that I met Katejleine (Wawwie) and Taylor Bird, my life feels a little fuller and whole because of friends like these two. I feel lucky that I got to experience Michelle Shocked and Grace Jones live. I’ll never forget those experiences. I’m glad I didn’t pay for a ticket to see Bob Dylan, but I’m glad nonetheless. Meeting other people like Daniel and Andre at Blues made me come out of my shell a little more.
My failures? Probably that statistics class. But that was doomed from that start.
My regrets? Not being completely honest with the people I love. And feeling like I’m not 100% there for my oldest friends this year. I’ve been a bit flakey and work obsessed. I also allowed embarrassment to override honesty at one point. And I still feel a little off about that. But that’s something I can fix.
And even though it’s been well over a year, I still miss my Nan. I love and miss her dearly.
So next year…what do I hope to achieve? I hope to finish my traineeship at the library. I hope to find someone to fall for. I hope to find a new car! I hope to finish my Uni degree and find my path. I hope to travel.
And most of all, I hope that the people I love have their happiness and good health.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.