A year that’s new (2): Thoughts, Moments, Lessons, Hopes

Moments

Just like every year, when 2011 began, I had no idea what it had in store for me, and for all of us. I have to say that, this holiday season, I was quite excited to let 2011 slip on by and was ready to welcome 2012 with open arms. It wouldn’t be fair to say that it was a bad year (although I must admit, I have said it a few times already!) but it certainly was an eventful year — both in a truly positive and truly negative sense. I’ve had a couple of big, eventful years in my life so far, but 2011 was by far the most up and down year ever – with very high ups and very low downs.

The past twelve months have held the biggest challenges, scariest experiences and most-eye opening realizations ever. It was a year that shook me up intensely, probably just to see how well I could still stand, in the end. It pushed me in hard ways to change my perspective, and to somehow find a balance between changing and growing, yet staying fundamentally the same. It brought along the most amazing triumph I’ve accomplished in my academic life to date, and the sweetest experience of discovering how much joy a tiny baby can bring to our personal lives. It gave me awe-inspiring and absolutely memorable travel adventures that I would not have experienced if it weren’t for my academic career, and for that I am incredibly grateful. It forced me to find a balance between health, PhD work, family and my passions – writing and photography – and to discover, sometimes through intense hurt and disappointment, which people in my life are here to stay, and which relationships are simply not meant to be, for one reason or another, as much as you want them to be. It renewed my faith in second (and third, and fourth) chances, yet broke that faith as well. It brought many smiles and moments of pride and confidence, yet many tears and moments of sheer doubt and hopelessness. It also made me realize that this is probably just the beginning of such up-and-down years — we’re growing up, after all, and life is bound to get more and more complex, throwing fast-balls and curve-balls that we may never be ready for, but still have to catch somehow.

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