Happy New Year, everybody!
I started a “reflections on 2013” post a little bit ago and never finished it, let alone published it on time (story of my life), but I wanted to get something up, because in many ways 2013 was a BIG one for me. It was a strange old year, actually: there have been so many ups and downs that I think even calling it a rollercoaster is an understatement.
2013 was the year I graduated. I didn’t really want to graduate, because I hate endings at the best of times – seriously, the end of the latest series of Gogglebox caused me grief let alone the end of the best three years of my life – but actually it was easily one of the best days of my life. My brother said that in every picture, I have the most ridiculous grin and he’s right, because I loved every second of it – especially the moment I crossed the stage and met Floella (although the moments immediately preceding that were terrifying). I loved the outfits, both the funny gowns and everyone’s nice dresses, and I just loved getting to see everyone I’ve spent the last three years with, whether I shared a house or a seminar group with them. Graduation was like having all your birthdays come at once and I LOVED it.
2013 also brought a few trips I didn’t think would ever happen. First, that time me and eleven members of my extended family descended on Disneyworld for a mid-dissertation holiday (I don’t want to condone that exactly…but it didn’t seem to have any effect on my grade. Just saying!). I’ve wanted to see my gorgeous little cousins in Disney for as long as I can remember – having the littles around made it a totally different kind of trip and I loved it all!
Later in the year came our spontaneous trip “home” to Williamsburg. Booking flights to the States a week before departure and not telling anybody about it is the kind of thing I would always have dreamed about when I was younger – it’s exactly the kind of carpe diem move I’m always chatting on about and it could not have worked out better. The whole trip, what with the exhaustion and jet lag and general homecoming madness, was like a bizarre and surreal dream, but I will never ever forget the reactions of some of our best friends. One of my presiding memories from that trip is sitting in the sacred College Delly shortly after arrival, surrounded by some of my favourite people in the world, and thinking I had never ever felt so happy in all my life.
As much as I’d love to talk about all the fun stuff and forget the negatives, I can’t mention 2013 without mentioning my brother’s accident. All that time in the hospital and the ensuing rehab was no fun at all and it was traumatic to say the least. All the rehab stuff continues and there have been a few setbacks along the way, but I’m pleased to report that the patient is (hopefully) well on his way to being entirely mended, and is adapting to one-armed life in the meantime. Cringe alert, I also think that actually, everybody has come out of the other side stronger (with the exception of Dom’s right arm…). Plus, the crash indirectly led to us getting Jimmy, the cutest & most mischievous puppy there ever was. After waiting for almost two long months to finally meet him, I have fallen a bit in love and have loved getting to know him properly over the Christmas period!
Besides all that, though, looking back on it now summer 2013 actually had more than its fair share of highlights. Between the gorgeous weather, all the endless sunny days with Exeter as our playground, trips to Fowey and Southwold and Portugal and some 21st celebrations I’ll never forget, I had outrageous amounts of fun and I don’t want to overlook them all!
In terms of every day life, my slightly irresponsible fourth year looked to be turning into an absolute disaster sometime around the end of August. Three months in, and it’s not the funfilled rush that was undergrad, but some great things have come out of it already. Everybody needs a Tas in their life and even Rory’s not that bad…but actually though, we’ve got a fab little group in Exe this year. Even though everybody’s really busy all the time, it’s nice to know that they’re just down the road and from our little (!) tapas dinner party to our Thanksgiving celebrations, we’ve had a lot of fun.
I’ve also seen this little blog grow and grow, and looking back, it’s actually been a huge part of this last year. It was a great outlet for me during the worst moments of the summer, and a good way to keep the world at large updated not just on Dom’s various injuries but, more importantly, what restaurants I was eating at. I’ve “met” a whole bunch of lovely girls both on the blogosphere (how I hate that phrase) and even in real life and I am hoping to meet many more in the new year!
I don’t reallyyyy go in for New Years resolutions, mostly because I’m pretty happy with the way I live my life anyway. I feel like I want to get a better balance between work, play and MA and I really need to get my act in gear re: the whole job thing. Which is quite stressful actually. It’s a bit weird that I have no idea where I’ll be this time next year, but then I guess if you’d asked me last January 2nd what I’d predict for the year, I probably wouldn’t have come up with any of the above. I think if I’ve learnt anything from my tumultuous 2013, it’s that all you can do is take life as it comes. And also that One Direction have strange powers of infiltration that can turn you from vague indifference to all-out fan in the blink of an eye.
Here’s to 2014, everybody!