2010: Looking Back, and Looking Forward

As I go blog-surfing on my day off, I am seeing loads of fellow bloggers post entries on New Years’ resolutions, and goals for the coming year and in life.

As 2010 brought a very significant amount of change in my life – positive more than negative – but even the detrimental is significant enough to put a twist in my life – I’m going to take some time to reflect on a number of these changes, and what I plan on doing with the hands I’ve been dealt in life.

Several bloggers and Tweeps (Twitter companisons) made a post or two about not so much thinking about resolutions, but goals for the year and for the future. Because in agreeing with them, issues aren’t really resolved per se. Resolutions to me may be viewed as a one time thing. But life is a process, an ongoing one. And goals are stepping stones to bigger goals; they are part of the whole self-improvement process. Oh yeah, you can surely achieve something and then stop at a certain point if you want. But I guess it’s easier to think of goals as something a little more continuous. Resolutions give me the impression that once an answer is found or once some threshold is met, that’s it. You can relax now.

To me, well, I’ll give myself that day of rest, that pint of beer or that pat on the back. Maybe that cool dress at Anthropologie if I’ve really surprised myself. But then, I’ll just keep going and plugging along.

If I like what I do, and if I do what I love, the rest takes care of itself. I pride myself on being driven. I can’t just sit around. I’m wired and engaged in the world around me, and I like it that way.

I’m not saying this is what works for everyone, or what should be for everyone. But it’s what works for me. And no one – not even my family – will dictate otherwise.

That said, here’s a look at 2010 through my eyes and what I plan on doing what what I have, or what I want, in 2011.

Running/health/fitness: Probably the easiest thing to discuss and the most concrete. My love of running is most easily explained through this journey I’ve already documented.

One step led to another. Get fit. Run my first 5k. Run my first half marathon. Meet people doing so. Continue to run more half marathons. Stay injury-free as my regiment increases in duration and intensity. And conquer my first full marathon.

This process of steps has taken me a year and two months. When I finish (barring injury) MCM 30 October 2011, it will have been just over two years since I made that life change.

Career, part 1: Getting back to school and finishing my graduate degree here in the City of Brotherly Love. Killed the GMAT earlier this month and got into the schools I wanted. Getting my MBA had been a major goal of mine as a working professional and this spring, I will be taking a major step towards that goal. The process of learning continues.

Career, part 2: When I left my last job, I was lost. I was cynical. I hadn’t clicked with my last bunch of coworkers for the most part and I couldn’t figure out why. When I left, the recession didn’t help. I was unsure of whether I’d remain anywhere close to home hearing all the horror stories. But I persisted, I put my best face on. Made use of networks. And whatever luck I had up my sleeve, I capitalized on it. February 2010, I started my new position. And what a world of difference. My coworkers have been fantastic; these days most people are relieved with a “decent set” of cohorts. But here I am still in Philly, working a post I am loving every day, regardless how challenging or how difficult clients or other conditions may be. This year has exceeded my expectations careerwise, and not being one to take anything for granted, I’m going to make the most of every opportunity I get.

Friendships and relationships: If I had to put it in one sentence, I’d say this past year was me trying to grow past the last 7-8 years of isolation. Partially due to family influence (positive and negative), I found myself in survival mode. This year, once I had more free time to get out, as my new job allowed, I saw a dramatic change in my social life. I’ve met a lot of friends from my alma mater and through other circles, and actually started dating again after nearly 8 years. There have been certain awkward moments in my relationship with Jeff, largely caused by my lack of social interaction, but as I re-integrate again with my peers, I’ve also learnt the process of developing oneself can be as lengthy as the process of healing.

I’ve really had to be patient with myself. As I spend more time with people I hope to cultivate the relationships that I would have loved to have had during my university years.

Family, Part 1: I’ve really had to push myself and come up with new ways just to mentally get through things as our situation continues to get worse. I’ve kicked myself every day telling myself that even after almost 12 years, just don’t cave in. Don’t lose yourself. There’s a lot of good things waiting for you that will get you through. And finally, understanding that more people are understanding that families in general aren’t as stable as they used to be. Not being paranoid of the stigma, and finally, learning to trust people again a little more readily.

I’ve learnt to be more prepared, more wired, as I anticipate the bottom will fall out sometime late spring 2011 when she returns from her trip abroad. I can’t change who I was born to or what her actions might be, but I can control how to deal.

Family, Part 2: Finally as my own immediate family becomes more inaccessible for obvious reasons, I’ve had to branch out to cousins and extended family who are supportive of my lifestyle. My brother and I for one thing have become closer than ever, and arguably at this point, he is my closest confidante even as work takes him further from us.

I’ve got to keep that going as much as possible.

The last couple of years have culminated in my transformation into a completely new person. What I feel I’ve become:

– Someone more fit and physically healthy.
– Someone who knows what she wants in life and knows even better how to acquire it.
– Someone who is a little more patient with herself in getting the things she needs and understands the good doesn’t necessarily come right away.
– Someone who knows when she needs help and furthermore, who isn’t (as) ashamed to ask for help when she truly needs it.
– Someone more confident around nearly all different types of people, particularly with so-called power players in business, and particularly with those who are vastly different from her.

I barely recognize myself from before 2010, but I haven’t forgotten what I’ve learnt. I’m hoping that in spite of the anticipated bumps that 2011 will continue to build upon the success and healing of 2010. 2010 was probably one of the best years of my life, definitely top 3 comparatively speaking, and seeing how much control I had (not total of course, but a significant part) just gives me more confidence and realization of what I can do if I play my cards right.

Here’s hoping we all have a happy and healthy New Year everyone.

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