Well, I'm sitting here in a hostel in Malaysia, after having a lovely Afternoon Tea at Harrods, and contemplating this assignment that I really need to get finished.
What better time to reflect on the year? After all, there's only a little over six hours left in it.
For me, 2011 has been the year of cutting loose.
One year ago, I quit my job, upon the realisation that it wasn't something that I wanted to tie myself to for the foreseeable future. Not necessarily because I felt entitled to something "better", but rather that I hadn't given myself enough options.
I spent the year floating about a couple of jobs, still building my experience through a few projects, but not committing to anything permanent.
And, of course, I've gotten a few more stamps in my passport, from Samoa, Malaysia, Japan, and Singapore.
I also took a break from writing, which feels like a mistake in hindsight, but at the same time, I never felt the compulsion like I used to. But that's okay. There's nothing like forcing a habit to create an anathema.
Living in Japan has also been an experience. It's been a challenge, absolutely, but a good one. It's taught me a lot about personal limitations, in a similar-but-different way to my time living in Darwin. It's made me realise how valuable certain things are in my life. Things like friendships, language, stories, and being part of a creative community. These are the things that I find beautiful and invigorating, and I need to seek them out where I can.
And everything else? I've realised that every moment isn't necessarily as critical as I once thought. You never really burn bridges, and whilst I'm taking time out doing other things, I'm going to come back to an industry/world one year later, where people are still basically doing the same thing that they were doing when I left. That kind of thing isn't for me. Then again, neither is coasting through life on a whim of wanderlust.
So, what does 2012 hold? Something very different. I already have very specific ideas of what I want to do next year, but I'm afraid to immortalise them in blog-form, lest I jinx myself. But unlike 2011, there will be no more throwing caution to the wind. 2012 will be about making plans, making commitments, and getting real again.
See you next year.