This is a short blog post (ok, it intended to be short then I started writing, always inevitable right?) dedicated to all you readers out there, to those who have taken the time out to read, review, criticize, comment on, indulge in and support my writing over the past year giving me an overwhelming number of just under 30,000 hits. I’m still getting my head around this! A big, big THANK YOU 谢谢 for making this happen.
I started this blog at the beginning of my PhD days, at the beginning of this academic journey in October 2009. In the three years since then, I have gone from approximately 3,500 (2010) to 10,000 (2011) to now just under 30,000 (2012) views and it’s all because of you. In 2013, I intended to be more regular with my writing, reviews, perspectives, thoughts and general words and pictures about my research as my PhD steps up a gear into its final stages, my professional practice as a curator and artist (slowly returning) manifests into a new domain, my 30th year as I hit “that age”, and my daily life as per usual. You love seeing what I eat and where I cycle right? I hope you continue to follow my journey with me next year…a year that is going to be one exciting, unpredictable, rollercoaster of an adventure both personally and professionally, where I continue to dream big and make things happen in the usual Rachel way…and as you will soon find out, starting from tomorrow.
With Christmas been and gone (somehow far too quickly) and New Year impending, I feel this time of year always ends up being a bit of an odd time, wrapped up in a preconceived belief that it should be a Hallmark card moment of serene happiness and perfection, when in reality it is a crazed emotional time of self-questioning, self-reflection, self-doubt all interlinked with a recognition (or a wanted forget) of some of the things that have happened in the last 12 months. 2012 has been what I’d call a “changing” year for so many reasons, and for so many other people too…the international places I have moved and lived between, those people who have come and gone (some lost) and the unexpected life cards that you never think will happen but get thrown at you like a smack in the face out of the blue. That’s life though right? This year has made me think and live my life very differently and I am actually going to say it, changed my life forever. This holiday period is also a realisation and celebration of the what has been achieved in the last 12 months, the amazing, positive and unbelievable things that for me often feel a bit like a dream. Did that really happen? Did I actually go there? Did I really meet you? All now housed and pigeonholed as memories, being triggered every so often by the strangest of things bringing a small physical smile of contentment to my face. I’m smiling right now at some of them. Even laughing. Really Rachel…yep, that did happen.
So before I head out to toast the New Year (and forget my name for the night), this is me as shown above on my final 2012 day saying THANK YOU 谢谢 again. Wishing you all a very Happy (Western) New Year (we will get round to Chinese New Year in February). Here’s to good (or better) health and happiness and most importantly you…you people, my family, “box of trust BXT” friends, colleagues and acquaintances, new and old. Some of you I know, others I don’t (yet). Put down your digital devices, stop staring at the screen and get out into the world to talk, share, experience, create memories, smile, laugh, surprise, write to someone now, make peace, heal, breathe deeply, take risks, don’t just say – do, be honest, ask for help, hug more, make more eye contact, trust each other and your instincts, break down boundaries, create, say what you want, be who you want to be and true to yourself, look after yourself and each other. We are all special and unique, so let’s remind each other of that. Let’s make 2013 unforgettable…