Everyone encouraged me to go with the flow on this journey, and believe me, I’ve been trying. Whether by choice or lack thereof, I’ve tried to shed some of the planner in me and adopt a more easy-going attitude and mindset. It’s a challenge to operate outside of our natural preferences, especially on a daily basis, and I have to trust that I’m growing from all of this adapting O:-)
The problem I face now is that I’ve tried to be so open that I’m absolutely confused by the options before me! Several people have invited me to join them in upcoming road trips. A new friend who knows I may look for work in Sydney invited me to move into his apartment when the second room becomes available in two weeks. And I find myself in the midst of a 3-round interview process earlier than I anticipated beginning the job search. Until I know whether I have a job offer or not, I can’t move forward with road trip commitments or apartment searches.
My mind is a swirl of thoughts, and last night it took a good hour to fall asleep with options and “what ifs” bouncing back and forth like ping pong balls. With being so preoccupied, I’ve found it impossible to write anything new of substance. My fingers itch to share events of the last two weeks, but once I power up the laptop, words escape me.
Now that I find myself in limbo and feeling at a sort of crossroads, I think it’s a good time to stop looking forward for a moment and instead reflect back on the year that got me here.
Written previously for my “old blog”, here’s a year-in-review for 2009.
In the 2008 review, I said I had a feeling 2009 would be a big one — and boy was I right.
1) It all started in London. I rang in the New Year from Croydon at Andi and Amy’s “New Years through the Ages” party. The trip marked my 4th time to London and my 2nd New Years with the gang
2) My youngest sister turned 21. Since we weren’t able to make it to Vegas, we brought Vegas to her.
3) I hosted a “breakfast for dinner” birthday party for myself O:-)
4) After watching a few UFC fights, I also attended some local MMA events. Yes, I like mixed marital arts.
5) We once again became a “party of five” when my middle sister moved back in with us.
6) I visited Nicole in Buffalo and went to Niagara Falls for the first time.
7) Instead of taking a 3-week trip abroad, I used the rest of my vacation days to take 4-day weekends for 6 consecutive weeks. It was so nice to have that break, but it made coming to work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday very challenging! To be honest, I was actually ready to get back into a routine. Don’t think I’ll try that again
8. Four of my colleagues resigned to take new positions elsewhere, bringing the grand total of people who have left the office since I started to 18.
9) I hosted a super fabulous “Freedom for the USA and Middle Earth” Lord of the Rings marathon party on the 4th of July.
10) Another year of sun, sand, and seafood at the OBX for a week I was in the middle of a training program for the Women’s 4 Miler, so jogging on concrete sidewalks with high humidity wasn’t fun, but it did help in the long run. And, we had some fantastic lightning storms.
11) Ever since my first trip abroad in 2003 to Ireland, I knew I would return for my 30th birthday. Last summer 12 friends and I began planning the trip (which was in March 2010 and you can read about it here)
12) Toward the end of the summer I reconnected with someone I knew from my time at Virginia Tech. And we ended up dating for a couple of months. Yes, I dated someone (even though it was relatively short lived), thank you very much.
13) I hate running. But I like what it does to my body. So I trained — VERY SLOWLY — for the Women’s 4 Miler. People said there really wouldn’t be any hills on the course. They were lying. But I still finished in a very respectable time. And I went on to participate in the 4th Year 5k (for the first time!) a few months later.
14) In part due to the departure of the 4 folks at work, I received (and earned) a promotion! I celebrated by buying myself my first iPod (5th generation nano) and a Nikon D3000 (on Black Friday). I still love my (very) old Kodak EZShare, but I needed an upgrade.
15) Buying that camera led to running into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a long time. We started talking about cameras. Then we decided to get together and take some photos. And then we went to dinner, a basketball game, and a movie. And now we’re dating. (Yes! Me! Again with the dating!)
We dated until the day I left for this trip.
16) I enjoyed another year of acting at church — back in the summer at VBS and then as the narrator in the Christmas production. The lines came super easy to me this year. And I’m pleased that I can still remember my favorite line…”Not everything we hear at Christmas is festive. Not everything is bright and cheery. Because, let’s be honest. Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean that our fears have gone away. That our anxieties have diminished. Or that our loneliness has vanished. In fact, it may very well be the one time of year we need to hear from God the very most. The one time of year we secretly wish everything else would get quiet and He would speak.”
17) This is something that I can’t share openly yet, but last year was HUGE for me for a very, very big reason. And I’ll reveal that reason soon. If you’re reading this, I’m 100% positive you already know, but you never know who’s new that may stumble upon your blog
Obviously #17 was that I had finally decided to make long-term travel a reality! For most of 2009, I researched possibilities and had to keep the secret within a small circle of family and friends.
Back to the present…
Within the next 24 hours, I will check out of the hostel and move on to destination unknown! Wish me luck and/or say a prayer — being spontaneous isn’t me!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariareyesmcdavis/ / CC BY 2.0