It’s been a strange, kind of momentous in a quiet way type of year for me too (though there wasn’t any getting naked with thousands of people like 2010). I can’t help but think that somehow 2011 was a big turning point and 2012 will be even bigger.
So here's my highlights of what I did this year in no particular order:
1. Stopped working full-time
Have you ever fantasized about not working? At the start of the year I was pretty much burnt out from my job and couldn’t quite bring myself to get back into the rat race. Then my boyfriend found out he was being posted to Vietnam and I was going to move with him. Both of those things meant that for most of this year I haven’t worked. It’s been amazing. Some wonder what I’ve been doing with my time- the answer is not being stressed and unhappy. I’ve travelled, played an awesome housewife (for those who’ve wondered, it’s GREAT), and fostered my internet addiction.
2. Met my new nephew Callum
I unashamedly LOVE babies and so I was absolutely ecstatic to finally have a nephew. He’s absolutely gorgeous and happy baby. He has fat legs and I want to bite them!
3. Had 2 fun part-time jobs
Although I haven’t worked for most of the year I’ve had two part-time jobs which I’ve loved. Firstly, just before I left for Vietnam I worked in my dad’s Malaysian restaurant Kopitiam waitressing which I liked because I got to make people happy and socialize. Right now I’m working at a publishing house as a producer on some of their women’s magazines websites- and I love it (I might be in my honeymoon period so we’ll see!). The pace is a refreshing change from working in an ad agency.
4. Got arty
This wasn’t something that immediately jumped out at me until I uploaded it all to a tumblr- but I’ve created a hell of a lot of artwork this year, mostly thanks to Sparkapolooza (which will be back next year). You can check it all out here.
5. Started riding a bike again
I haven’t ridden a bike since I was a kid- at least until I got one this year when I asked for one for my birthday. People ask if it’s scary riding in the Hanoi traffic and it’s not at all! I feel far safer there than I would in Sydney and it's really the only practical way to get around. I love the convenience and the freedom it brings as well as the fact it’s pink and has a garland of fake red flowers on it.
6. Moved to Vietnam which meant…
Getting to live with Johnny for the first time, in a big beautiful apartment, and make a home. I’m very thankful because we would never be able to live in a place like we do in Sydney simply because we couldn’t afford too. It also meant making some wonderful friends who I will force myself upon for the rest of our lives and getting to cook and bake lots.
7. Played host to lots of Visitors
There’s something so terribly exciting about seeing friends and family overseas and Johnny and I were lucky enough to have lots of visitors in Vietnam. This meant I got to show off where I live a little and get lots of validation that yes, Hanoi is a crazy city to live in.
8. Put on art exhibition & got interviewed
I’m combining these into one because they both have to do with my side project Sparkapolooza. Earlier this year in an ad hoc moment I decided that Laura and I were going to put on an art exhibition. I didn’t care how lofi it was, we were just going to do it- and we did! I can tick that off the life list. The other life list tick goes for being interviewed. It’s something when I was younger I always wanted (I thought I'd be a CEO of a massive company) and earlier this year Juice Magazine interviewed us about our project.
9. Did the the 70km KOTO Bike Ride
Anyone who knows me knows how outrageous this is. I’m wussy when it comes to most things so even I’m amazed that I completed this “fun ride” (not fun). I partly feel this doesn’t count because I only finished because Johnny was with me the entire time (if I was alone I would have quit at halfway), but I’m still happy because I can tell people I did it and more importantly never have to do it again.
10. Went to some amazing gigs
Specifically, Leftfield @ The Enmore- I loved that every single person there went nuts, Max Cooper @ GoodGod purely because he’s an amazing artist unlike anyone else I’ve heard, and Cobblestone Jazz @ Becks Bar because well...you had to be there!
11. Travelled lots & saw lots of family
Living in Asia meant that I got to visit and see family a lot more. We went to Bangkok twice (though it’s never quite long enough) and got to do touristy stuff for the first time. I also went to Malaysia twice to see lots of family as well as go to a wedding and probably spent more than a month there altogether. I also ducked down to Singapore to visit Ray!
12. Got skinnier!
When I was younger I really well and truely thought I would be skinny without having to do anything FOREVER. This is obviously not true and I'm wondering why no-one prepared me for the truth earlier. This year, because I had the time I went to the gym lots and was able to fit into all these clothes again. Win.
13. Discovered Pinterest & Google Reader
I have talked all year about how these were going to make it to my highlights list, so here they are. Both of these have changed my life for the better and have filled a gap in my internet heart.
So there we go. I'd love to know some of yours!
Image by Cow & Co via Trebleseven