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 But I think my youthful hope has been replaced by wariness.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.

2017: Where I’ve Been.

Almost a year ago, I took up my annual tradition of typing out what I wanted to do in the months ahead.

I had a freezer full of food. I had plans to go places. I was cautiously hopeful, but confident that I was going to be Doing The Things and writing about them as I went along.

And then … I ghosted.

Yeah. I’m afraid it’s become a trend for me the past couple of years.

So, what did I do with all that time away from this blog?

Well, to start on a positive note, I did go places.

The last time I posted, I was making plans to head to Montreal for my 40th birthday – and I did, with six of my friends. It was a low-key sightseeing-and-eating affair. No complaints here – at least, not from me.

A few weeks later, I took off to Cambodia for two weeks, seeing new towns and temples, side-stepping scooters, riding down long, winding rivers, taking in as much of Angkor Wat in a day and a half as was humanly possible, eating great food, exploring a cave or two, losing my handbag and getting it back — all while travelling in the company of six other human beings.

That probably would have satisfied my travel bug for the year.

But I also squeezed in a short hop to Las Vegas in May for a few days of drinking, slot-playing, canyon-hiking and club-hopping, and I finally visited Prince Edward County with one of my good friends — small towns, wineries and scenery packed into a few days.

What else?

Work’s been … okay. It’s been okay. I set out to change things, and over the course of the year, things have gone through their own set of changes. It’s affected what I do a little, but I’m fumbling along and trying to adjust like everyone else.

My main creative outlet turned out to be this podcast that I’ve done with my friends for the past couple of years. It’s still a work in progress, and we’ve come a considerable way from where we first started. But it’s turned out to be my only creative outlet. My motivation to write – which I’d hoped would catch fire, or at least start smoldering – was pushed to the back burner.

Okay, who am I kidding? I shoved it at the back of the freezer, next to that 8-month-old piece of apple pie I forgot to eat.

Speaking of freezers …

I did try to batch-cook a number of my meals ahead of time. But just as often – if not more – I was throwing my wallet at fast-food joints. Especially this month. I did exercise – and still try to – but it’s been in fits and starts. Sometimes, I’d hit a groove with exercise, but then strain something … which meant scaling back on the workouts … which then gave way to my disinterest regular in exercise.

And my sugar monster is enormous and just as present as ever.

One step forward, four steps back.

Well. I did say I was going to fail. Hell, I’m failing now.

But I’m not going to beat myself up over what I did and didn’t do.

Today, I’m going to get myself to work and try to take things one moment at a time, and do the best I can.

I’m sure it’ll be just fine. And if it’s not, I’ll just remind myself that I never have to repeat it.

After all, tomorrow’s a new day – and a new year.