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2013: A year in (distorted) review

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: travel, scotland, sad, moving, inspirations, immigration, homeland, holidays, happy, goals, friends, fear, family, faith, expat, ego, edinburgh, crazy, america

As 2013 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the year’s ups and downs. I’ve been thinking about the good points and the bad points and all of the points in between and I’ve been trying to think of how to recap the year.

There is part of me that wants to say that 2013 was a horrible year and that I’m glad to see the back of it. There were visa struggles. There was a heart-breaking end to a special friendship. There was the agony of packing up my home (again!). And there was an emotionally turbulent visit to the Homeland where I stressed about visas a bit more, worried about leaving behind my ageing parents (again!), and realised that friendships can’t always be maintained over long distances.

Yes, 2013 was filled with so many things that I never want to experience again. It was filled with so many things that marred my memories of the entire year.

But then, part of me wants to say that 2013 was a wonderful year and that it was filled with so many joyous things. There was the re-kindling of a treasured friendship (before it failed again). There were several joyful days spent with family and friends in America. There were numerous reminders of the amazing family and friends I have in the UK. There was the joy of being accepted to three different PhD programmes. And there was the excitement of finally beginning my PhD back in my beloved Edinburgh.

Yes, 2013 was filled with so many things that will bring me treasured memories to last my entire lifetime.

Like everyone else, I have the ability to choose which reflection I want. I can pick the distorted view that 2013 was a horrible year filled with horrible things, or I can take the other side of the distortion and say that it was a tremendously wonderful year filled with amazing things.

But this year, I’ve opted to take a less distorted view and a more realistic view (recognising that hindsight is always slightly distorted no matter what). This year can be summed up as just being another year; as just living my life.

Yes, 2013 was just life. Good. Bad. Indifferent. Life.

There was laughter and joy; there was heartache and tears. There were successes and celebrations; there were failures and lamentations. There were new friendships formed; there were friendship ended.

Yes, 2013 was just life. And whilst I would like to forget the bad, I know that some of the good came about because of them. So, here’s to the misery I faced in 2013—and to all of the joys that followed close behind.

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