Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello, 2012!

Happy 2012 everyone! I can't believe a year has passed already - at this time last year, I had no idea that in a year 6 months, I'd be in Shanghai. So what a crazy year it's been. Super eventful - I met lots of new friends while teaching and traveling, and learned so much more about myself, my family and this country I temporarily call home. I think that you learn so much about yourself and how to really appreciate what you have when you try to carve out a life for yourself in a foreign country. Not that it doesn't happen at home, it's just more noticeable because the learning curve is much higher and you're kind of forced to go with the flow even when you have no idea what's going on. Definitely brings out parts of yourself you never even realized existed. Anyway, enough with my self-reflection, which leads to my resolutions for 2012:

1. Get started on my career. I knew I wanted to get into publishing before I came to Shanghai, but after not doing it for 6 months I am itching to get back into it. Teaching has been great, but I think publishing is just where I'm the happiest. I can't wait to write, edit and lay out again, so wish me luck on the job hunt!

2. Exercise more. Extremely cliche, I know, but while I take public transportation and walk everywhere in Shanghai, I know this isn't always the case at home. I'll definitely have to make a conscious effort to get out and move. Why is staying healthy so much harder at home? (And I vetoed the whole eating healthy resolution because I know for a fact that when I get home I'll be gorging myself on Mexican food, In n Out, and Nutella brownies for at least the first month. Possibly more.) Maybe I should pick up yoga or tennis again?

3. Get back into the cello. After 6 months of no practicing, I am already wincing at the idea of how this is going to go. It's kind of like going through the stages of loss - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance... I can already see myself emoting by sawing away unsuccessfully at some Bach. It's infuriating how out of practice your fingers can get at something you've done effortlessly for years :(

4. Learn something new, or get involved in something new, and hopefully be passionate about it. I'm not sure if this counts as a resolution, since this kind of stuff usually happens when you're not looking, but I don't want to fall into the whole work/eat/sleep rut again that I was in last year.

Time to write this on an index card and stick it in my wallet as a reminder.

Since I'm quite a few hours ahead of most of you who are reading this, have a great NYE, and happy 2012! I celebrated earlier tonight by going to the Bund and Nanjing Road. It was SUPER crowded, as expected. I almost didn't go, but then I figured what the heck, this is probably the only chance I'll have to be in Shanghai for New Year's. Verdict: I prefer celebrating with friends back in good 'ol California. I'd take champagne and sparklers in the backyard over a pyrotechnic spectacular in one of the world's most crowded cities, any day.

The fireworks, car alarms, and yowling cats outside my window finally stopped. Time for bed.


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