2010 was a big year, a year in which so much changed. In many ways, 2011 was a variation on the theme. A much louder variation: more adventures, more new friends, more ideas and more opportunities. It’s hard to imagine that we’re at the end of the year now. I seem to have completely lost track of time; it seemed not so long ago since Christmas 2010, yet things that happened in January and February feel like a lifetime ago.
This October in Manila I met up with an old friend. We had dinner, then took a stroll to one of Manila’s many (too many!) Starbucks. We chatted, talking about everything and nothing in particular.
Halfway through the conversation he stopped and asked, “How did a quiet shy girl in a polkadot uniform become… this?” He gestured with a laugh, referring to the travelling, the documentary filmmaking, the campaigning, the activism, the lobbying politicians, the socio-political blogging… everything.
I thought for a bit, but I didn’t know how to answer him. Truth be told, if you went back in time and told a 16-year-old me about all the things I’ve done this year, I would never have believed you. Perhaps I would have thought it sounded quite good, but I wouldn’t have believed that I would become someone who would do all these things.
But now I am doing them, and hoping to go even further. 16-year-old me would lose her shit.
…I walked into a relationship, then walked out of it.
This would be one of the few things that happened this year that I do not look back upon with satisfaction. If I could go back and do things differently I probably would, although the end result would still be the same.
…I voted for the first time ever.
I was also a last-minute counting agent for the Singapore Democratic Party, which was really interesting. It was such an exciting, charged time of the year, when everyone was excited and fired up and anything seemed possible. Friends who had never shown the slightest interest in issues before were suddenly talking about things, which was wonderful.
I might have hoped for different results (especially for some GRCs), but for the most part I think we’re taking baby steps towards something better. We just have to not forget that fire we all felt in May.
…I won an award for this blog!
That was very nice – thanks again to everyone who voted! I still have a whole bunch of random little freebies in a corner of my room that I can’t bear to start using ‘cos they’re so pretty. I didn’t get to go on the trip to Melbourne in the end, but the win was enough of a confidence boost.
…I made new friends.
It was my second year at the Effective Communications Training/media camp, my first as a trainer. Just like in 2010, I met lots of amazing people and made really good friends in the short span of two weeks. It merely served to lengthen my travel wishlist: how and when will I get to go to Portland?!
…I left The Online Citizen.
(Sorry, I don’t have a photo of this!)
The Online Citizen was the first thing I got involved in when I moved home in 2010. Through TOC I have met many people I would never have had the chance to know. I got to see a whole new side to Singapore that I had never even heard of before. I made many close friends who have played big roles in shaping who I’ve become in the past two years.
This year, I continued to be a regular contributor, administrator and team member after the gazetting, and even did a stint as the Deputy Editor. But things just got too crazy – between work, travel and all the other things I had got myself involved in, it just got harder and harder to give TOC the time it needed and deserved.
…I got accepted into Cardiff University.
Very, very exciting stuff. It’d always been a bit of a dream of mine to live in the UK, even if it was for a little while.
I’m applying for various scholarships to help me fund this at the moment. Here’s hoping for some success!
So, those were some of the highlights of my 2011. It’s by no means a complete list, because so much has happened in this year. But it’s enough to just look back on these for a little while before I look forward once again to 2012.
NOTE: The featured image is of Crystal’s oldest daughter E, with baby sister in the background. I picked it because I think it’s a pretty good representation of my crazy year, much of it spent glued to some form of tech gadget.