Life Changing Year – 2008

Well, that’s most definitely NOT the way I feel about this year. Rather it’s been one of the most amazing years of my life. For me, it’s been a year of extreme highs and extreme lows. I feel like I’ve ended the year , though in a pretty good state of mind, and with a high degree of optimism and positivity about the future.

For the first half of this year, though, I was really really very unhappy. Although I had travel plans which I’d been anticipating for quite some time, I hadn’t felt very happy in myself for quite some time. I felt my career was stagnating, and was actively seeking an entirely different professional path. And despite the wonderful friendships I have, I was feeling a little bit lonely. Perhaps the result of living alone for all these years?

As I left for my extended overseas trip I was pretty burnt out. I really didn’t know what the future held. But almost as soon as I touched down in Singapore, and realised there was a world outside Sydney, and a world outside my life as it had been, all of the bad thoughts and feelings I’d been having, suddenly disappeared. Going away and in being in places where people didn’t know me, and where I had nothing to prove, was a life-chaning experience for me. Very quickly I realised that I had a purpose in life, and an instrinsic human value that I guess I’d under-estimated for quite some time. Almost as soon as I arrived in Sweden I felt like a dark cloud had been lifted.

Looking back on the year, I realise that going away for a while was the way I dealt with and survived the more fundamental human issue: the mid-life crises. It was the sabbatical I needed to have to feel a little more comfortable with who I am. And a result, I feel like I have a new sense of direction and a revitalised level of creativity in my job. And personally, I’m not having those awful feelings of loneliness anymore either. I’m much more inclined to go out and “do something” when I feel like a day is slipping away from me, than staying indoors and just “writing it off”.

As I approach 2009, though, I don’t have the “grand plan” for the year I had last year. As a result, I hope I don’t myself in twelve months time feeling as though 2009 was a year of treading water. I don’t think it will be, though, as I’m feeling much happier in myself now than say six to eight months ago. Who would have thought my life would have changed so fundamentally in such a short period of time? Whatever life throws at me this year, I think I’m ready for it.