There remains but only a few days of this year. I have spent the past few days reflecting on the year behind me, and what a year it has been! Every year I try to create some sort of summary of the year behind me, putting everything in perspective, in the correct compartment in my head, ready for whatever is to come! Well...this year I have more to report than ever before; it has been a year of changes, mostly good, and I am leaving the year in almost the opposite frame of mind to how I entered it.
So, please allow me to indulge as I head back over the past 12 months and pick out the most important parts!
What happened in 2009?
- I fell in love
The unfolding of our relationship was the most exciting, romantic and passionate thing I have ever known, and our growing together is the warmest, most magical and most revealing thing I have ever known. I am excited for what is to come in 2010, for more adventures and more normal things becoming not normal when they are shared with someone else. This thing that I thought only existed in stories does actually happen in real life. If I had always known that, things would have been very different in the past, and I'm so glad I didn't know it!
- I graduated
After four years of hard studying, a lot of fun, late nights, early mornings, getting fat, getting thin, living abroad, not leaving the house for days, making friends, arguing, writing and writing, reading and reading, talking French in my sleep...finally, I graduated with a 2:1 as Catherine BA (hons) in French and German (Language and Linguistics). Graduation itself was such a lovely lovely day, maybe the most special day I have ever had, and, despite the bitterness of not quite getting that first that I so wanted, I felt incredibly proud of myself. Still, my student days didn't end there, as I now struggle through the first half of my MA. I wasn't done with learning then, and I'm not quite done now. Nearly.
- I had my hair cut off
I always wanted to, and finally I had the courage to go for it. To anyone else thinking of doing something outrageous with a view to feeling new, liberated, whatever; I say go for it! I loved my hair long, but it will grow back, and I currently love it short. I can't loose :-)
- I walked to the Lake District
"Aaaah 86 miles is nothing" I thought. Man, I was wrong. Genuinely, this was the only time ever in my life that I have doubted myself. At one point, by the M6 as we were crossing over into Cumbria, I actually thought I couldn't do it. This was scary. Really terrifying. But I did do it, proving that even the things that seem impossible can be done. Daniel kept saying it, and I agree; 20% physical strength, 80% mental strength (the ratio kept changing as we moved along the route...). If the mind is strong enough, the body will follow. The biggest achievement of my life; bigger than A levels and degree all in one, bigger (just) than music exams.
I really learned a lot this year, both about myself and about things in general. Probably my eyes were opened widest on Christmas Day, when I saw exactly how strong it is possible for people to be. My family have achieved something incredible this year; I was lucky enough to not be in the middle of such a difficult time, I was only an onlooker, trying my best to do what I could from afar. But they, unable to escape the worst of life's offerings, pulled together and stayed upright and didn't moan or complain or give in. If they cried, they did it when no one else was looking. They make me see how I complain too much sometimes. It isn't necessary to wear troubles on your sleeve.
I leave 2009 massively in love, immersed in academia, and with exciting plans for the future. I have some idea of what I want from my career, a proper direction to follow. I'm also quite afraid of what is ahead; I am no longer complacent about what I have, maybe too aware that the things we love can dissappear all too quickly. The only thing to do about that is to celebrate the moment and the people in it.
I haven't made any resolutions; really I just want to stay healthy, climb some mountains, enjoy my MA, spend time with friends, run a half marathon. And finish knitting my scarf and reading my book! If I haven't done these last two things by this time next year then I promise to give them both up as a bad job ;-)
*Woah I look like my Dad in this photo!