By nature, I'm reflective, often to a fault. Today, I've been thinking about what I was doing a year ago, how much I've learned during 2009, and what 2010 will hold.
Last New Year's Eve, I had a party at my apartment in Oslo. I'd just been traveling in Portugal and Spain for two weeks, soaking in the sun and largely spending time alone. I was really glad that I would be able to see the New Year in with friends. It wasn't a large party, but it turned out to be meaningful for several of the people who attended (Susie, Ben, Stine, Cathrine, Hilde, and Yannike). Susie brought tarot cards and did a reading for all of us--I remember that we all felt like what she told us really fit what was happening in our lives. And over the last year, Susie and Ben became parents, Stine got a job teaching in Spain, and Hilde bought a place of her own. I'm not sure if ground breaking events happened to Cathrine and Yannike, but I hope their year was amazing. I think about how atypical that party was, how quiet, how thoughtful, how focused on understanding who we were and what life was all about--strange fare for a New Year's Eve party--but that party turned out to be a fitting beginning for 2009 . . . at least for me.
What has my year been like? My last six months in Norway were filled with adventure and affection for so many people, both those I met on school visits and the good friends who came to visit. I had some incredible experiences including dog sledding, celebrating the National Sami day, eating award winning food with friends in Sandefjord, teaching wonderful students in such places as Bergen and Trondheim, talking with dedicated and smart teachers every where I went, and enjoying my friends in Oslo. I traveled outside of Norway, as well, going to Paris, London, the Canary Islands, and Copenhagen. My year in Norway was stunning, both because of what I've listed above and also because of the time it gave me to get distance from every day life and rethink who I am and how I want to live my life.
During the last six months, I've been trying to make changes. For years, I had not taken good care of myself emotionally and I hadn't worked to get out of some destructive mindsets. I've been trying to break out of those bad habits in order to embrace life and live more fully. I succeed but I also fail sometimes. Sometimes I'm radiantly happy and sometimes I'm violently depressed. But through it all, I know that I'm changing and growing. I'm discovering new parts of my psyche--and I haven't allowed my return to "real life" to become a return to the status quo.
So . . . 2010. I hope that I can continue to overcome fears, try new things, be honest about my emotions and about who I am. I suppose that's my big resolution--to continue the self work that I've been engaged in this past year.