The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
It’s been a quiet year for me on here. I can safely say it’s been the most difficult year of my adult life so far – despite having to write up and be examined on my PhD the year before. That wasn’t actually too bad, all things considered.
I didn’t know whether it would be good to write something personal and share some of that, but I’ll try it and see, readers.
I am not fishing for sympathy. Despite all of the difficulties I am sharing here (and it certainly isn’t a complete or very detailed account), I am very lucky to have amazing, supportive friends and I go to them when I need to. And I know so many people have dealt with similar and worse, and there are many people in this world who cope with what is unimaginable for us every day. I hope I will be able to write more this year.
A year ago I was in Finland celebrating the beginning of 2013 with a truly amazing holiday; snow, love, new friends, and trying not to worry 100% of the time because my father was in hospital.
He almost died just before Christmas 2012 and it turned out he had a lot of cancer in a lot of places. Anyone who knows me well knows I have a strong dislike for smoking (to put it mildly) – this is but one reason. I grew up with his chain smoking and I saw what it did to him in the end. I know you “know how bad it is” for you, but trust me, there is no way you deserve an end like that. Just stop, please – for your loved ones if not for yourself.
Treatment wasn’t really an option so I spent the next 6 months going home to my parents periodically, trying to be helpful (and often failing), watching him slowly and painfully waste away. He turned 64 in March. My last memories of him are unpleasant, but actually many of my memories of him are, so it’s been a strange and difficult thing to deal with, for all of us.
I declined to travel as much as I had been planning to because I felt it was right for me to stay here and be available – travel also makes me anxious and really I didn’t need more of that at the time. I was also unemployed and looking for work, luckily I found some but the emotional toll of things at home made it very hard to concentrate. Thankfully I have also been lucky in having wonderful, understanding employers, which is priceless.
Unfortunately all of this, culminating in my father’s death in June 2013, put a lot of pressure on (what I thought was) an important relationship (but it wasn’t), already under the strain of maintenance over a distance and at a time we were both making big life decisions. I had been looking forward to a summer together, but events conspired and in the end my trust was betrayed – so that’s over, too – and an already horrible situation was made many times worse. I was crushed and am still processing everything.
Then my cat died, which might seem like a small thing but after 18 years knowing her, I miss her too. It’s very hard as a rational person to reconcile strong emotions and the facts of situations sometimes.
Again, fortunately, I have had a lot of people to talk to, help me understand and get through it (thank you, you know who you are).
At times I had to withdraw from everything to keep myself safe and I hope the worst has now passed. I have questioned myself, I have pleaded for the world to be more fair, I have snapped at people I care about, I’ve lost friends and I’ve wondered where I’m going.
For now I am glad to be where I am, doing a job tailor-made for me that I enjoy, with my friends and colleagues, with my mum, sister and brother, and getting to know myself again – it is not the same me going into 2014 and I am hopeful that this year will be nowhere near as bad as the last. Maybe even good?
So, apologies for the radio silence and I hope to get back into sharing my thoughts with you this year, such as they are. Thank you for reading, and happy new year.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.