I am aware that the time for 2018 reflections is past and it is now time to be thinking ahead into 2019. But isn’t the ability to reject ‘topical’ timelines the whole point of a personal blog? If not, then it should be..
Last year I finally stopped crossing my eyes to look at the bridge of my nose in a (pointless?) attempt to balance my favourite glasses. Result: I looked outwards to see the world in all its glory. I still scrunch my face occasionally of-course (you didn’t really believe I stopped caring about the glasses on my nose, did you?)
2018, you’ve been great in every way. So how do I love thee? Let me count the ways..
1. An exhilarating, life-affirming tour of the United States of America in February was the best possible start to the year. There is no other word that can best describe the adrenaline, excitement, and contentment of my three weeks there. Along with my trusty suitcase, I visited 8 cities across 7 states and three timezones. I slipped in the snow several times. I ate more burgers and fries and pizzas and sandwiches and cookies than a person should. I visited New York and completed my trilogy of visiting the fabled great city trio of London-New York-Paris. I left my heart in Chicago with the broad streets, high-rises, Frank Lloyd Wright and a sense of the old, the regal, the traditional. I fell in love with the eclectic vibe of Arizona with cactii and palm trees and the most gorgeous sunsets.
2. I returned to my work on a special educational technology project (which I am not allowed to disclose, yet). There was the magic of being with a bunch of constructive, positive people who laughed and worked and made every day a great joy. There was the purpose and belief of solving a real problem. There was the confidence and self-awareness of exactly where we stood and what we set out to do. In short, it was a space which resonated with every personal value I hold dear and brings out the best in me. After years of hopping around, I found something that made me reconsider my long-planned PhD and wonder if I should push it by a few more years to work in a place that I could finally settle into, without thinking of the enemy of any real work – “what’s next?” That is pretty special and I am very grateful to have had this experience.
3. The (inexplicable) desire to pursue a PhD brought me to Arizona State University in Tempe. Here, I fulfilled an old wish from my girlhood – of living in my own apartment, inhabiting my own space. In the years of college and later, of heady highs and lows where dreams were woven and shattered, I had forgotten about this particular wish. I realised it through the peace I found in my ‘own’ space, through the wonderful solitude of my evenings on my patio, through my sudden impulse to buy art and vases and table-mats and scrub the kitchen clean. This apartment is a small statement to my constant struggle to live an independent life and the fulfilment of this girlhood wish brings me immense happiness.
4. The year rounded off with a fabulous vacation to the Grand Canyon during Thanksgiving. Stargazing in the Canyon goes down as #1 life experience yet. The walk from Hermit Point to Hopi Point with spectacular views of the Colorado river is a close second. Our old, cozy log cabin in Williams was straight out of a children’s storybook. The best part of this vacation were the people I shared it with – especially the women with whom I laughed late into the night, every night. This vacation was about re-discovering sisterhood with constructive, independent, strong women figuring out their places in this whacko world. It was about sharing and laughing at the ad-libbing that adulthood is. It was about feeling well-cared for and relaxed because women just know what needs to be done and do it without direction! I am certainly very grateful (in a brand new sense) for all the women I know, who are always up for a chat or a few chuckles as much as they are there for the ups and the downs. I always had great women friends but last year, I acknowledged their presence more keenly.
2018 turned the tide. A decade since I turned 18, adulthood feels like home.