My Year in Review

2015 has been a big year for me, probably the biggest of my young life. I’m not normally one to expound on what I’ve achieved, although I’m going to make an exception and have a closer look at someone of the big changes in my life this year.


  • I attained my black belt in the system of Wu-wei Dao, taught by the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts. I feel like I’ve always been a black belt, that I’ve tried to act like one since the first time I ever stepped into a training hall, and I think I’m growing into it every day. I still have a lot of work to do on facing my fears and being willing to push myself, and I’m sure all of that will come in the New Year.
  • I got my first full-time job as a social worker. Man, after all the shame of having a degree that I wasn’t using and enjoying the freedom of working casually, I finally knuckled down to a 9-5, Mon-Fri social work job. It wasn’t without its problems, though it lead me to where I am now, and that’s not so bad at all because:
  • I won an award for Employee of the Year, despite only being with the organisation since January, and despite senior workers and managers being nominated with me. I guess I am pretty good at this work, though it’s still a little hard for me to accept that.
  • I moved out of my parent’s house. I probably stayed too long, being mothered and having everything done for me. When I first got that full-time job I moved out as soon as I could, and the freedom was well worth the cost of the rent. I did a lot of learning about what sort of disciplined lifestyle I enjoyed, and also its hollowness. I lived by myself and only for myself (despite having two housemates – I barely saw them because I kept myself so busy), and while I enjoyed it immensely, I’ve also learned not to be so self-centred.
  • Getting a place with Bethwyn has really helped with that. It has been so, so special having a space to shape however we’ve wanted. I loved buying our own washing machine, and filling the cupboard with our own mugs. I’ve loved setting up the study and sharing a bed every night. I’ve loved all the time I’ve spent with Beth, all the kisses goodbye in the morning and all the cuddles welcome home in the evenings. I’ve never felt so homely about anywhere in the world, and I am so grateful for this den of comfort.
  • Getting a cat! Holy crap guys, meet Peppermint Silvermane!11037013_10156411565550220_2416657079313269018_n
    I guess I haven’t really mentioned her because she’s not on my mind that often any more. She mostly ignores me and spends much of the day hiding. Well, that’s a tad unfair: she’s about 50-50 now in terms of bolting when I approach, and she’s spending more time wandering around and less time under the bed. So far she is not the cuddly lapcat I was hoping for, though when we first got her from Cat Haven (via Petbarn) I got the sense that it would take her a while to open up and that when she did it would be so worth the wait. I still have that sense, though I’m a little impatient for it!
  • I participated in my school’s 30th Anniversary (see my teacher’s blog post about it here) and am really proud of how polished my performances were. It was a wonderful motivator to train hard, and I hope everyone who came enjoyed it!
  • I also performed a simple Japanese tea ceremony (ryakubon) at Melville Matsuri festival! I shook like a leaf, and I might have rushed it, but it was tremendous fun learning a new set of skills in an elegant and highly structured art. Just my cup of tea.
  • I crafted my own set of Ascended Gear in Guild Wars 2. It looks hideous, and the stat increase is negligible, but by jove I did it. During the Heart of Thorns release, as well, which basically doubled the price of the components. I’ve almost finished crafting my ascended longbow next.

I feel like I’m missing some big’uns, and I guess that’ll have to do for now. It’s certainly been a big year in terms of life-style changes. Next year holds the wedding, the honeymoon and a new mental health project I’m part of leading back towards full-time working hours. It’s going to be another big year I’m sure, though I’ll take it one breath at a time. Thanks for your support this year everybody. Here’s to 2015.

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