Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Salute to 2011

Me, Summer 2011

All over the web, yearly review posts much like the one I did for 2010 are popping up, mostly exclaiming that 2011 has been great. For me, however, 2011 was a little bit of a kick in the nuts. If I had nuts, that is. If you've purchased Ambitious Happiness and read the introduction, you'll have a little bit more of an idea why.

2011 was a year that gave plentifully, as my tarot reading predicted, but it was also a year that took away in equal measure: I gained a First Class degree; I lost a great love. I gained roots in a lovely little flat to call my own; I lost a sense of adventure.

Because it was a dodgy year, I haven't really felt inspired to wax on about how great it was. Though I do know in my heart that it would probably make me feel better to focus on the tonnes of awesome that did go down, I'm way more into the idea of getting excited about 2012.

Aberaeron Beach, Summer 2011

I have decided that 2012 will be a year of what I'm calling a personal evolution; there will be an evolution of this blog, and an evolution of myself into career-woman, grown-up and bona fide adventurer. I've been given back my independence and I intend to make the most of it; it's what you might call rolling with the punches or, in the words of author David Whyte, "the need to catch the tide while the tide is in and travel out with it as it ebbs."

I'm travelling out with the tide, kids.

But down to business. I might have had somewhat of a tough ride this year personally, but dang did I do some great writing off the back of it! So, to celebrate that facet of the year that was, let's take a stroll through the past twelve months of Charade.

// January was when I asked how do we value? And decided we should all just keep getting better:
"What matters, of course, is that we try; that we attempt our goals. Just by trying, you are one of a magical, minute percentage of individuals who go after what they want, as opposed to what is conveniently presented to them. You may not know it, but you’re already up there with the greats."

" can’t hate yourself and improve yourself simultaneously, things just don’t work that way. There is a stark difference between aiming to develop yourself, and aiming to substitute yourself."

// March was when the year really started to get a bit shaky, but I asserted that emotional crisis need not destroy you and that you should let yourself cave-in - you can rebuild yourself better.

// The end of May brought the end of my adventures in Spain and I gave you a free-spirit manifesto.
"Dreams are there to be followed, and only if we can free ourselves from the constraints of “shouldn’t you...” or “hadn’t you better...” by not minding how our life-résumé looks from the outside; by knowing innately that we’ve got it going on, regardless of popular opinion – only then can we say we are following those dreams authentically."
// In June I challenged you to get ahead of yourself and gave you 25 ways to feel better.
"But the magic is in pulling it back; feeling the pain, healing the pain, and using the pain as progress. If life were a computer game, these periods would be the level changes; the points where you have to fight the big bosses, to ultimately move to a higher point in the journey."
// During July I asked you to stay smiling and consider whether the universe might be preparing your upgrade.

// In August we went all archive-y with vintage classics such as the ultimate geek's guide to fashion budgeting. And Charade turned three, yippee!

// September saw me ask you what do you do when life gets in the way of your dreams? And suggest you have a restart.

// In October we discussed letting go of the thread and I cobbled together a guide for the newly single.

// In November I shared a suggestion to start a good news diary and 7 ways to celebrate yourself daily:
"Recognise that your life really is the product of the intention you are investing it with. Intend on enjoying your first cup of tea of the day. Intend on getting the most from your work day. Intend on walking home rather than catching the bus to get some exercise. Intend on celebrating."

// For December, this glorious month that we are still only just in, I chose to share my thoughts on how to be happy.

A beautiful Welsh garden, also Summer 2011

My last salute of 2011, of course, goes to you. You with the precious, priceless ambition. You who had your heart broken along with mine. You with the fears, acting out your dreams regardless. You having your voice heard in the comments. You quietly enacting great change.

Thanks to all of you, for lending an ear into which I've had the opportunity to do my web-whispering. You are all in my heart, all of the time. 

I wish you a 2012 to be proud of, whether it brings challenges or lucky chances; joyous leaps or hard leg-work. You'll be up to it, and it'll be worth it ♥


Haz said...

Happy New Year Megan! Can't wait to begin MYLA '12. Here's to 2012, let's make it awesome :)

Kaite said...

I've only recently discovered your blog, but this post really chimes with me. I've had some significant professional accomplishments in 2011, but some major personal setbacks. I'll definitely be following you throughout 2012!

And Aberaeron Beach is one of my favourite places in the world - I was there over the summer as well, for their seafood festival. I still get flashbacks to that amazing seafood and wild mushroom risotto with saffron aoli...

Megan said...

Haz - Happy New Year to you! And yes, let's make 2012 the dictionary definition of AWESOME.

Kaite - Thanks for following! I haven't been to the seafood festival as I'm veggie but I might have to go next time and try out that risotto... :)

crunicorn said...

Happy New Year Megan...Looking forward to what 2012 has to bring and coming along with you for the ride!

Megan said...

crunicorn - Happy New Year! And I'm SO GLAD to have you :D

Maria said...

Happy New Year Megan! Just came across your blog a couple of days ago and am really loving your message! Looking forward to what you'll bring us in 2012...

Maria xx

Stephybabes said...

Your writing always reads beautifully! :-)

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