This year, I grew up. Really, truly. I learned the nature and flavour of true friendship, and how to look after myself. I’m still not very good at ‘being on holiday’, but that’s something I’m trying to work on. I pushed myself to do things I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with, and I’d like to think I turned out all right in the end. In some ways, I think I am more ‘me’ than I have been in the past three or four years. I’ve stopped putting pressure on myself to continually write fiction, I’ve started to read a whole bunch of literary fiction for fun, and I’ve fallen back into the loving embrace of ‘classical’ music.
I’ve made so many good friends this year, and they’ve stuck by me through thick and thin. I’ve also made some false friends, but I guess that’s always the risk you take. It’s really just a part of life that sucks a little more than it should. At the same time, I think I knew it was time to leave those people behind, and I just needed that little nudge to push me over the edge.
I think I also managed to give myself a little more direction this year than in any other. Interning at BWF had a lot to do with putting me in the right headspace to make those decisions, but there were definitely other pieces in play. It probably helped that my impending graduation meant I had to really think about it instead of coasting along into ‘another year of university’? In any case, I’m relatively happy (as happy as someone like me can be) with where I’m at, where I’m going, and what I’m doing.
As it turns out, in the past month and a half, it’s gotten tremendously confusing again. Feelings, and such – and embarking on what seems like a new chapter of my academic career. I know there are so many more things for me to learn – things about myself, about other people, about how the world operates. But I look back over this year, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve managed to achieve.
(Also, my New Year’s Resolutions for this year were to try/drink more cocktails, and look after my skin, and I feel like these things happened to an acceptable degree)
Finally, I feel like I can’t write a summary of this year without noting and/or addressing some of the atrocities that have happened both here in Australia and overseas. I’ve written about some of these before, and to those of you I see on a semi-regular basis, probably also ranted at you about them. Sometimes I fear for the world as a whole, and maybe as one small speck of human on a tiny planet in a giant universe I’m not really entitled to have that fear – but it’s there, nevertheless. I’m usually quite pragmatic in the way I try to live my life and to deal with situations as they arise, but (and I don’t know if this is to my detriment) at the end of the day, I will always believe that humanity as a whole is ‘good’.
Maybe that’s just something I’ve now come to believe because of everything that has happened – but I also think that we can’t allow ourselves to be consumed by hate and pessimism. As a whole, I don’t necessarily feel like I am a ‘good’ person (I’m probably about a chaotic neutral?), but I know people who are good and kind and honest and brave to their very core, and I feel like we owe it to them to do everything we can to prevent the world from completely collapsing in on itself.
I usually don’t set New Year’s Resolutions – but I feel like the theme of next year will be “get through this enormous pile of reading so you can write something semi coherent for your Honours thesis which you need to do well in because it’s setting up the rest of your career”. Which isn’t intimidating at all. Which is why I’m going to listen to some more of my good friend Elgar with a side of Grieg and/or Saint Saens, and laugh to myself at all the science jokes I have on my phone.