Friday, January 11, 2013

a look back at 2012.

I wasn't planning on doing a look back at 2012, but then I read Holly's and found myself answering most of the questions in my head so I figured I might as well do so here.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Flew. Moved to a new country. Walked along the beach with a guy (yah, it was cheesy, but it was really nice, too). Bought and wore leggings. Was a bridesmaid. Ate raw fish and octopus. Ate a scorpion. Enjoyed beer! Visited the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven. Owned plants and kept them from dying (although a couple appear to be fading). Dealt with an insurance company. Saw Ingrid Michaelson in concert. Rode in a limo. Enjoyed a beach vacation.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions and will you make any for this year?
I didn't really make any resolutions for 2012, but I tried to keep this in mind. I think I did really well at the beginning of the year -- I noticed an improvement in my attitude and presumably that was reflected in my actions. By the end of the year I think I was getting bogged down in the little things again, especially after moving to Beijing. So, I suppose it should be my resolution for 2013 as well.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
People I know gave birth -- to some awfully cute babies! -- but no one I'm particularly close to, unless you count favourite bloggers. When my friends start having babies, I will be so over the moon excited!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?
Finally, I can say I've visited countries other than the US! (Not that I don't love America, because I do, I really do! Cara, you can attest to this.) 2012 was the year I moved to China and visited the Philippines. Other travel highlights included long weekends in Montréal and Vermont.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Not sure if this makes much sense without an explanation -- or maybe it makes more sense without the explanation -- but I want to feel more like myself.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
Surprisingly, there aren't any dates that jump out at me other than graduating with my B.Ed. on July 11th and flying for the first time on August 21st. Not including birthdays, anniversaries, etc. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I'd have to say it was moving to China and being okay. Being more than okay. 

This move included a lot of firsts for me: My first time flying, my first time moving far away, my first time leaving North America, my first time living in a big city, my first time teaching, my first time being away from friends and family for an extended period of time, etc, etc. 

I think my friends and family were/are especially surprised at my... success, I guess I'll call it. Not because they didn't believe in me, but because they know me. I am the type of person who can get pretty stressed/worked up about things. And they knew it would be a lot of firsts.

I am and I'm not surprised about how well I did/am doing. Yah, I've felt some homesickness and I've been stressed and worried about things. But not as much as everyone (including myself) probably thought I would be.

9. What was your biggest failure?
No one thing comes to mind, which is good. Unless there was such a failure that I've completely blocked it out.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major in the sense that I won't be okay, but I dealt with and am dealing with a couple of health issues that I'm not comfortable delving into in a space called sunshine and whimsy

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The first thing that comes to mind is my Kobo. I was so against e-readers, pretty much vowing to never own one... and then I decided to move to China. I read a lot and you can't exactly take a stack of books on a plane with you. Not if you want to have room in your luggage for clothes, a couple hundred tampons, and a handful of deodorants, anyway. So, I bought a Kobo Touch and I love it. (Although I do miss paper books.)

12. Where did most of your money go?
I don't have a spreadsheet or anything, but I'd say most of my money went to St. Thomas for tuition and housing. And a good chunk was probably spent on food and drinks: appetizers and wings and drinks at Snooty, burgers at Relish and the Rogue, meat sticks and rice at No Pork, street food, and lattes at Read's, Second Cup, Starbucks, and Costa Coffee.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Candied dates on a stick! Holiday drinks! Palm trees! TV shows! Blogs! Time with friends! Signing a contract! Ice cream! Sun roofs! Books!

If I'm being honest, though, I didn't get nearly as excited about things as I used to. (Which is part of what I mean in my answer to #6.)

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
"Carry Me Home" by Hey Rosetta!

15. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer? 
Happier, I think. Fatter, maybe. Richer, financially and in experiences.

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I'd read more books. No matter how many books I read, I always want to read more. I wish I'd slept and exercised more. I wish I had appreciated things more, instead of wishing time away.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying. Complaining. Arguing and fighting.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
I was in Boracay. I ate crêpes, drank beer before noon, laid on the beach, swam in the ocean, and ate seafood pasta for dinner while listening to live music.

19. What was your favourite TV program?
The West Wing and Friday Night Lights -- better late than never. Girls. The Newsroom. And Parenthood, always Parenthood.

20. What were your favourite books of the year?
Okay, so here's the thing: I read a lot of books, but am not so good at keeping track of them. I started (kind of) using Goodreads last year so hopefully I'll be able to tell you next year what my favourite books from 2013 were. For 2012, I'd say The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and State of Wonder by Ann Patchett were definitely in my top reads.

21. What was your favourite music from this year?
Ooh boy, this could be a long list. Ingrid Michaelson, Joshua Radin, and Mumford & Sons are always favourites and they all released new albums in 2012. I also discovered Katie Herzig, The Lumineers, and Fun. Random songs I played on repeat included "Devil Town" by Tony Lucca, "It's All Okay" by Julia Stone, "Something Good This Way Comes" by Jakob Dylan, and "Carry Me Home" by Hey Rosetta!, not to mention a ton of old favourites.

22. What were your favourite films of the year?
Apparently I am not good at remembering what I read or watch, at least not off the top of my head. I know I did see some great movies this year. After looking through old blog posts, I can tell you I loved We Bought a Zoo and was pleasantly surprised by 21 Jump Street.

23. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I turned 23 and although it was a good day, I ended up crying at the end of it.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 
Saying no when I wanted to and yes when I wanted to. And knowing which I wanted to say more.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Was I supposed to have a personal fashion concept?

26. What kept you sane?
Family. Friends. Music. Books. Myself. Mostly friends, I think.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012. 
Everything always works out. (So STOP WORRYING!)

(Image is a desktop wallpaper designed by Angela Taguiang, via DesignLoveFest)


  1. Very interesting year in review

    as I said earlier - so proud & happy for all that you have accomplished at such a young age. If I could tell my younger self something. I would say go read Amanda's blog and be inspired & be brave - the world is your's if you just take it. Much love, xo Susan

  2. Aww, Susan, I think this is one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me. Thank you so much! It means a lot coming from someone who inspires so many people with her photos and words!

  3. St. Thomas? A fellow Maritimer? (I'm from Cape Breton.)

  4. A fellow Maritimer, indeed! I'm from New Brunswick.

  5. I LOVE your answer to #24. I mean, it's a shame that it's a "wished I'd done" instead of a "did do," but it's such a good goal and so well put.

    Also, anyone who moves to China is pretty much my hero because I would never in a million years be brave enough, so go you!


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