Looking Back.

Recently, I’ve noticed people reminiscing on social media about where they were – physically, emotionally, mentally, what have you – 10 years ago.

It’s been interesting seeing people’s photos of their younger selves alongside their current selves, or sharing what was happening with them in 2009.

It’s funny, because 2009 seems like a lifetime ago to me. So I decided to peek back through my own social media to remind myself of what my life was like.

Man. What a different time.

Thirty-two-year-old me, frustrated with work (amid job cuts), travelling overseas,  flitting around to various parties – costume parties, dance nights, a wedding – trying to navigate online dating, pining over young men, deciding to hang up my backpack to save for real estate, considering joining Twitter, agonizing over what getting a Blackberry for work would mean for my personal time, and wondering what the future would hold.

But still optimistic. Still having authentic interactions with strangers.

And my dad was still around.

Who I am now: Older, heavier, wearier, starting to grey. I’m less prolific with my writing in this space and not mooning over men. Grousing about work much less, but still grousing. But at least I’ve resumed trying to satiate my wanderlust when I’m able.

Has my optimism been extinguished? I don’t know. I suppose there are times I still look for the silver lining. But I think my youthful hope has been replaced by wariness.

I feel like I’ve shrunken inwardly. Maybe it’s due to sadness. Disappointment. A constant awareness (and dread) of my own mortality. Despite my ability to still be social and outgoing, despite all the good moments I’ve had in the past 10 years, I feel quiet and small.

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At this time 10 years ago, I was probably preparing to ring in the new year with friends.

Today? I’ll probably just head over to my mom’s condo for a few hours, then head home to ring in the New Year, quietly, on my couch.

I’m sure my 32-year-old self would be a bit bewildered.

But I’d probably tell her to pipe down, adding that when she’d understand when she got to my age.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing. In a world and at a time that feels like it’s rarely quiet, some peace and solitude is sometimes necessary.

So, my wish for you is for some peace and solitude for the first few moments of 2020, so that you can gather your strength to take on the moments that follow.

2019: No Theme This Year. For Now.

I’m about a week late with the greetings, but Happy New Year, folks.

I know that by now, I’ve posted a long manifesto (having used the lull between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to have a good, long think), stating my intentions for the year ahead, and the things I’d like to see happen.

But if I can be perfectly frank, I simply don’t have one this year. Not at this point.

Last year, I worked. A lot. My full-time job, as well as a freelance writing job which – while new and challenging – also occupied whatever hours I wasn’t working full-time. So I was a bit frazzled.

Even when I took vacation days off work, I didn’t really feel as if I really had any time off. A lot of it was spent writing. It wasn’t until my freelance gig was put on hiatus that I was reminded that I could take some time to enjoy (the remainder of) my summer.

I realize, in writing those last two paragraphs, that I probably sound a bit ungrateful for the opportunity. I’m really not. But from a time-management standpoint, this was challenging and frustrating. And exhausted. And I lost my work-life balance.

Maybe that’s why I’m just drained from the year that just ended. Maybe I’ve got a whopping case of ennui. But I don’t really have any grand intentions for 2019.

On New Year’s Day, I got up, fixed myself my yearly stack of pancakes … joined a group of “urban explorers” for a neighbourhood walk downtown … ran home for a quick dinner … then back out again for a movie with a friend.

I’d say that was pretty good start to the new year.

But beyond that … there are wants and thoughts swimming in my brain, but it’s submerged in a soupy fog.

Perhaps my immediate strategy is to do the things I want, as I think of them.

Or maybe I’ll get some clarity in the next week or two, when I get some decent nights’ sleep.

But right now, no lists, no intentions, no goals.

Already, everyone’s making plans. But all I really want at the moment is a chance to re-calibrate and find my footing.