I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t believe in them. I think they force you into a competition with yourself and are a set up for failure. Who the heck wants to begin a new year that way? Certainly not me. But I do think the end of one year and beginning of another is a good time for some self-reflection.
This was my first full year living as an expat and living in Ireland and I learned quite a bit about myself, some things pleased me and some I would maybe like to change – though not via a resolution:
- I am a risk-taker. This never really dawned on me until I made the move to Ireland, but I guess I really am a risk-taker. I’ve come to realize that not everyone would have had the “guts” to move to a city they’d never been to before, knowing absolutely nobody.
- I am a worrier. It’s true. I like to think I project an aura of self-confidence but inside my head I am worrying about absolutely everything. I am seriously able to jump to the worst possible conclusion in a single bound.
- I am happier when I am in better shape. I have managed to get horribly out of shape over this past year and frankly, it pisses me off. I could blame it on the pints of Guinness or the pub food or the plantar fasciitis that hobbled my workouts, but the truth is, I have no one to blame but myself. I need to make a change. This isn’t a resolution. It is a fact.
- I am good at my job. In fact, I don’t think I’m being immodest if I say that I am really good at my job. I kind of just jumped right in at my new job in Dublin and it’s worked out quite well. I think I’ve had a real positive impact there. Of course, it also helps that I love what I do. That hasn’t always been the case for me, so as a result, I think I have been that much more appreciative of my current work situation.
- I can actually be a social person. Those who know me well know that I am not what one would consider a “people” person but, since moving to Dublin, I have surprised myself by being more social. At first, I didn’t really have much of a choice – I didn’t know anyone, and I needed to make some friends. And now, a year in, I find that I really enjoy things like the Friday night happy hour after work, meeting up with friends for dinner or drinks on the weekend, and even random solo events like a wine tasting at my neighborhood wine shop.
- I am on my own. Yes, I have made some lovely friends here in Dublin and have wonderfully supportive family and friends back in the States, but this year has really driven home the fact that when you get right down to it, I am on my own. It’s just me. Sometimes that is liberating. Sometimes that is lonely.
- I have absolutely no idea what happens next. People are always asking me how long I see myself in Dublin or in Europe in general. The truth is, when I start to think too far into the future I freak myself out. I know that I would like to stay in Dublin for now. Permanently? I have no idea. Even when I lived in the States I never considered anyplace I lived to be “permanent”. It may not be the most responsible way to live my life, but I can’t help it. The whole “five year plan” has never really been my thing.
So, those are my reflections on the past year, such as they are. This was a big year for me, and all in all, I think it went as well as it could have. It was definitely one heck of a roller coaster ride but I think I’ve emerged from the year no worse for wear. And I am definitely excited about what the next year could hold for me.
Thanks to everyone who read my blog in 2013, here’s to a fantabulous 2014!