Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Wrap-up

A friend recently asked me to describe the year 2010 in one sentence. I thought it would take a long time to come up with one simple sentence to sum up an entire year -- I mean, so much has happened. But when I brought it down to a personal testament, I was shocked to find out it didn't take long at all.

'Rather bipolar, and pushing the limits on opposite ends of a very tested spectrum.'

That's the sentence that came to mind with regards to 2010. I was surprised because this seemed rather deep coming from me. But I think those words perfectly sum up the year that's been. I've had moments of such joy and happiness that I wished they'd lasted forever. And on the other end, I've experienced tests of absolute loneliness and sadness that I'd go to bed in hopes I'd wake up with a smile. I know this sounds dramatic. But I also know that I'm not alone in experiencing these feelings.

2010 has been a roller coaster of a year for a lot of us. We've all entered new chapters in our lives -- new jobs, new loves, new schools, new additions to the family and in some instances, new lives in new countries. Chapters filled with so much excitement and adrenaline, they make your heart want to leap out of your chest with joy.

Then by the same token, 2010 has also been a year of losses -- we've mourned the loss of family members, friends and pets, jobs and businesses, homes, and so much more. There's been so much heartache and sadness stemming from events that have certainly been tests of faith.

I'll admit that by the looks of it, this may seem no different from any other year. But it is, and I'll tell you why. 2010 marked the 10-year anniversary of the new millennium. People came into the 21st century with high hopes and great expectations. A lot of us started off the year 2000 with a 10-year plan. And 2010 came as a reality check to many people.

Over the course of the past year, many of us found ourselves faced with that pivotal moment where we had to ask one simple question:

'Am I where I thought I'd be 10 years ago?'

And the truth of the matter is that some of us are, and most of us aren't.

I mean, life changes on a dime. In most cases we go to bed believing one thing, and wake up the next morning to an entirely different set of truths. Imagine all that can change over the course of a decade. Imagine the different paths and roadblocks we've encountered. Imagine all the moments where we we're faced with forks in our journey.

'Do I go down the beaten path or create my own tracks in the snow?'

2010 was a year for reality checks, I think. My little cousin claimed this was a great year for her -- not only did she graduate from high school, but she also left home and went away to university. She's filled with such excitement, and I adored the hope and stars in her eyes.

A friend is is looking forward to 2011 because she's finally finished 'educating' herself. 'I'm done studying,' she proclaimed. 'These past 10 years were spent in libraries, labs and classrooms. I'm glad this decade is done!'

Needless to say she has high hopes for the decade ahead, and I wish her the best in her endeavours.

As for me, well, I capped off the decade with a year abroad. I tested my limits and pushed the boundaries I'd created for myself. I felt I was able to meet parts of my soul that I'd keep suppressed for a long time. I was blessed with the gift of travel and met some amazing people along those journeys -- each who has left their own unique imprint on my grateful heart.

Moving back to Toronto was a test in and of itself. I've encountered more difficulties over the past few months than I ever imagined possible. I've been tried, tested, torn apart, and pieced back together. If I learned anything by coming back it's that no matter how far you run away from your problems, they'll sit patiently and anticipate your return. But I'm hanging in there. If I've got anything on my side, it's my stubbornness and resolve to make things work.

(Notice how this has been a bipolar kind of year yet?)

Someone once said, 'You can never really go back home.' And I guess they were right because going away and coming back has been a shock to the system.

But here's the thing -- Toronto never really was my home. I've spent years in this city just existing. And my year away made me realize just how much I enjoy living. And I'd like to make an attempt at living in this city.

Of course I don't think I'm anywhere close to satiating my love for travel. That's the one absolute joy I won't let anyone take away from me -- but everyone needs a place to call their own. Perhaps Toronto is it for me? I suppose it's worth finding out, right?

So here I am entering a new year. A new decade. A new chapter. (Because as much as we may debate it, a new year is like a fresh page. And when you're given a fresh page, you better find a unique way to leave your mark.)

Here's hoping my romance with Toronto soars in 2011.

And as for you, dear readers, I'd like to share some of Charlie Brown's pearls of wisdom for a happy new year. Take them as you will:

Peppermint Patty: It's been a great year, Chuck. You'll have to admit that. What you do think, Chuck, would be good rules for living in the new year?

Charlie Brown: Keep the ball low, don't leave your crayons in the sun, use dental floss every day, don't spill the shoe polish, always knock before entering, don't let the ants get in the sugar, never volunteer to be a program chairman, always get your first serve in, and feed your dog whenever he's hungry.

Peppermint Patty: Will those rules give me a better life, Chuck?

Charlie Brown: The better life, and a fat dog.


I wish we never run out of hope. I wish we always have reasons to laugh until we cry. I wish all of us peace, security, good health, and the kind of love that starts in our toes, sizzles up through our bodies, and pours out of our hearts.

I leave you with one of my favourite quotes and a simple pinch of inspiration to start the New Year right.

See you in 2011. Cheers!


Image courtesy of Google Images

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