Friday, December 31, 2010

On Looking Back

I'm not much for looking back. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the first to jump on Facebook memes like "My Year in Status" but in general, I find that it is more useful to look forward in life. Still, it's important to look back every now and then, whether it's on the first day of spring, on your birthday, at the end of the academic or calendar years, or even at Thanksgiving.

The point of looking back is not to re-live the good times and get down on the bad ones. For me, it's an opportunity to learn from past experiences and be thankful for all the progress I've made, to see how far I've come and where I now stand on the path (or new path?) that will lead me to my goals - and my future - whatever they may be. Whether or not you believe in destiny, I think we can all agree that every now and then, it's good to take stock.

So what tools have I added to my trusty toolbox of life skills in 2010?

Patience. Accepting that some things will never change. Spontaneity. Letting go and learning to truly relax. Venting in private. Trusting my instincts, even when they're saying things I don't want to hear, let alone believe. Rekindled family relations. ENJOYING life, and each and every moment in it, without over-thinking and stressing out over everything's significance.

Quite honestly, I'm still working on fine-tuning a lot of those skills. But I'm getting much better at being a better person, and at being the bigger person.

This past year, I volunteered at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler. I finally met my Irish aunt, who has become one of my dearest family members, and my cousins too!

I went to Cuba for the first time. In fact, that's where I rang in the new year, by the ocean.

I did excellent work for an ethical and needy cause by providing media services (and so much more!) as part of the World Partnership Walk organizing committee in Montreal.

I rediscovered nature: oceans and forests, animals and snow, through travel and sport. I had a wonderful time with the outdoors this year and hope to spend even more time enjoying it in 2011.

I visited Kingston, then moved to Kingston upon being accepted into the Socio-Cultural Studies of Sport programme at Queen's University.

I worked for new clients, made new contacts, and learned a lot more about the world of live sports and broadcast production. I also made some great new friends in the industry.

I translated some very interesting museum exhibitions - and forgot to visit the finished product, every time.

I was in Toronto for G20 madness and a wedding, one of many weddings I attended that summer.

I saw friends and friends of friends get engaged, married, and have babies. Not necessarily in that order, and not necessarily the same friends. Many of my friends also started cool new jobs. It was an emotional struggle for me to balance my happiness and excitement for them with my irrational jealousy and "want".

I did a whole lot more reading, at first for pleasure and then for business. Or rather, for school. I hope that 2011 will bring more balance in this area - I would really like to get back to reading for fun!

I went to my first academic conference in a while - and my first as an attendee, rather than as a reporter. NASSS was a wonderful intellectual experience and I learned a lot from it.

In fact, in 2010, I learned a lot about myself, from optimal study habits, to spending habits, to TV-watching habits, to my friend-making habits. And possibly, the most important thing I learned is that "friendship" means different things to different people, and that once you figure out what kind of friendship you have, you can manage expectations and figure out exactly how much to invest in it so you don't get hurt.

Still, I learned that it is important to take (moderate) risks in life or you won't reach the targets you set for yourself.

In 2011, I vow to take more of those moderate risks, to be more proactive, and to stop trying to figure out my life, what things mean, and why certain things happen and just live. I will keep trying to be more patient and will accept that there are some things I can't change, at least not by attacking them head on.

In other words, I will continue to live my life and let my experiences guide the person I should become. I will take care of myself, body, mind and spirit, so I can thrive in this world, no matter where it takes me. I will not make a New Year's Resolution, but I will keep this promise to myself:

No matter what happens, doors will close. But don't despair! In time, another will open. It's up to me to find it and decide whether or not to go through it. But through it all, I will stay "me".

This mantra of sorts has become my new unspoken philosophy in life. It's time to face up, face the facts, and roll with it. Life will take care of itself as long as you try your best to be the best that you can be.

May this lesson from 2010 guide me into 2011. And may it be another blessed year full of life and love, for me and for you.

Happy New Year to all! :)


Rosy Outlook said...

Great reflective post, N.
Happy people realize that success is a journey, not a destination and I am certain you are on your way.
Here's to good time along the way in 2011!

Naila J. said...

Thanks Rosy!! Hope you have a good journey in 2011 too! :)