If someone had asked me what my resolutions were this time last year, I would have said none. Zero. A year ago I had literally no goals. In fact, it's been a while since I had any real ambitions at all. I mean, I did a masters. That's a kind of goal, I guess. But after eight years of being conditioned to academic work, it wasn't exactly a task that put me out my comfort zone. Plus I kind of just fell into it. Although the whole visa thing was a real pain. Will never forget that experience.
Still, it was all over as quickly as it began - an obvious next step (for me), a further experience of accumulated learning with a longer final paper. Even before my masters, many of my personal objectives were like part of a routine. Get a better grade on the next essay, find another show to audition for, go out more on the weekends. It's been a long time since I had some kind of new expectations for myself. Or at least some that required me to take a chance on my own.
It makes sense then, that after a few years of this, things are beginning to feel a bit stagnant. I find myself regularly overcome by a sense of restlessness and confusion about what to do next. I expect that I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact I think many of my friends do, and a few of them have recently taken steps or made big moves as a result.
What I do know is this: I have one year left on my visa and I intend to make the most of it. Without a doubt this means travel. I'm not quite sure what else it means yet. Maybe a move. Maybe a foray into new career possibilities or extracurricular activities. There's a lot to consider. And whatever is to come will definitely involve jumping some personal hurdles. But it feels nice, for the first time in a while, to have something to live up to, something to push for. I'm looking forward to the challenge.
I had an enlightening conversation with a friend yesterday, during which we discovered that we both knew many people who had found 2012 to be a trying year (ourselves included). Even in the last few months there have been so many changes and revelations, none of which have come easily. Yet despite these difficulties, we also found that people seemed to maintain a great sense of hope and faith in the possibilities of the new year. The resilience and determination of our friends and family were just as astounding as the trials they had endured, and it is this attitude that allows me to believe that 2013 really will be a good year. A year of shedding negativity and abandoning regret. A year of opportunity. A year of taking chances. A year of peace.
I was blessed, growing up, to be surrounded by people who always made me feel as if I had the ability to achieve anything I wanted in life. My wish for all of you, in this new year, is that you are able to recognize this potential in yourselves. The strength and capability that I already see. May this allow you to seize the opportunities presented to you and make this year all that you want it to be. Maybe you will decide to go back to school, or move to a new place, or finally make that trip overseas to see a friend (hint, hint!). Whatever your ambitions in 2013, I hope you make them happen. You deserve it.