A rather bumpy year is about to end and I feel drained, exhausted and ready for a fresh start.
I still remember my end of the year post in 2015 very clearly. 2015 had been a very good year for me and I felt highly and confident that 2016 would be even greater. I was kinda wrong about that. Still I feel hopeful for 2017. Let’s grab a cuppa coffee and chat a little bit about life in the last 52 weeks and what’s hopefully to come in the next year out loud.
2016 made me feel…
Because nothing bad had happened to me but nonetheless I felt unhappy and overwhelmed. It just had not been my year.
Work had taken a toll on me. There have been so many moments when I felt like I couldn’t keep it up anymore. I am a strong believer in the need to change a situation when it starts to become toxic. But there is a time for everything in life and this is not the time for me. I am working on it though. Apologies for being a bit vague. This is just because I haven’t figured out the whys, hows, whats, whens myself yet. It will take me a bit and I feel the need not to rush it.
A good support system is so much worth and I am eternally grateful for having a bunch of strong and wonderful people in my life. First and foremost there is my husband who’s by my side unwavering for over 13 years now. We laugh a lot and I love it!
And there are my friends. Those beautiful people who lend me a shoulder to cry on, who make me laugh and pull me out of the funk, who are there to discuss life, the future and give me their honest opinion. Those who tell me funny jokes and don’t mind my bad ones. Who tell me to get my shit together and to stop being stupid. Those who volunteered to proof-read my thesis and give me honest feedback. Those who goof around with me and insult me because they know me well enough to know that I love that!
Travelling is my happy place – so to say! The opportunity to explore and see new places is something that leaves me giddy with excitement. I was fortunate enough to being able to spend a whole month travelling North America. 2016 brought me to many new places and also some I’ve been before. I marvelled over the beauty of the desert nightsky and played wave breaker in the Pacific Ocean. I walked through the streets of Chicago and rode on a speed boat through white water rapids. I ate too much in Toronto and wet t-shirt contested in a slot canyon in Utah. That is what fuels me. Those experiences is what I live for. It motivates me to work and keeps me going. This is what excites me.
It also brought me back to London – a place I like to call my second home. But even there it’s easy to find new and exciting things to do. Even though in the end of the day I am tired and filled up to the brim I’ll get up and roll through the streets the next day. If travelling is a fool’s paradise I’ll happily be that fool!
2016 was the year I finally decided to really dig into photography. While I am usually an autodidact and like to figure out things myself I decided to take a different route this time. I took a few photography classes and asked for help from friends. Frankly speaking I was overwhelmed by all the technical details and needed someone to teach me the basics. Honestly this was the best decision ever. I started to explore the possibilities, learned how to shoot in manual and properly post-process my pictures (ha I wish!). Then about 6 months ago I upgraded my camera. It has been even better ever since.
All I can say is that in some of my happiest moments last year I had my camera in my hands. It gives me a rush of excitement. Photography sparks a crazy happy feeling I have never had with anything before. At the same time it frustrates me more than any other hobby ever had before. I still love it. I am never really happy with the results and it’s definitely a huge learning curve but every step thrills me and every setback motivates me to try again to do better the next time. Even writing or talking about it excites me. I feel like I am in love.
(photo credit goes to the man I travel with and this lovely lady)
2017 will be a year of…
One thing I know for certain that is going to end in 2017 is my investments in my thesis. Everything is taking a backseat because of this book and I am going to finish and hand it in whatever happens. This is an ending that is long overdue now and I am more than ready to close that chapter of my life.
Then by the end of next year my contract with the university ends and due to laws and regulations it can most probably not be renewed. Both endings will change my life a lot. I will have more free time and ressources to do the things I want. At the same time I need to find a new occupation to support myself and my costly hobbies. Travelling and photography can put a remarkably dent in one’s finances.
Even though I should be sad about the ending of my work contract I like the opportunity to re-evaluate my situation. At the moment I know for sure that I am neither going to pursue an academic career nor will I go back into a corporate work environment. But apart from that I am open for a new challenge. Figuring out what my next step is will for sure take me a while. At the moment these thoughts are still in its infancy and to be honest a bit all over the place. Coming up with a new game plan is going to challenge me in many ways.
… opportunities to explore
Even though a lot is going on and most certainly 2017 is going to be a busy year for me my urge to explore is going strong. We are toying with the idea of different long-distance travel destinations for the end of next year but I will make sure to get out and explore Europe a bit more until then. There is the option to go to Italy with my in-laws in summer. Also Stefan is going to spent a week or so in Sweden with a friend and I have my own plans for that time. I’ve never spent a vacation without him but I am looking forward to finding out what it’s like.
Whatever happens I have a good feeling for 2017!
Happy New Year folks. Let’s make it a good one!