2013 in Review

I know that I am behind with New Year Resolutions, but haven’t had a chance to write till now, though I have been thinking about it quite a lot. I enjoy the opportunity that New Year’s gives us to reflect on the past year and to think about the new one that is here.

So 2013. (This will be a bit of a stream of consciousness). One word that comes to mind is hard. It was a difficult year–full of loss and death. I lost a friend to suicide in April, a student from my fall semester class died a week later accidentally slipping in the shower, and my housemate’s father died in October after battling lymphoma for a few months. I don’t know what it is about the particular river of my life that keeps death and loss so close, but the grim reaper keeps visiting, and I could use a break from grief. I am often reminded that we never know what tomorrow might bring.

Still, 2013 had many wonderful moments as well, traveling to England, Austria and Hawaii, celebrating B and I’s anniversary in July, a beach weekend with close friends in August, camping with my sisters and a queer women’s potluck in October, many, many hours spent playing with the beautiful children in my life, throwing the stick for my housemate’s dog Puck, swinging in my hammock, Friends-Giving, and Thanksgiving in cabins, to name just a few.

And it was a year of wonderful firsts, especially in regards to relationships. First Valentine’s Day, first anniversary. Academic firsts too: first conference presentations, first chapter published about my research on queer kids.

And sadly, first major break-up. It was mutual and loving, but it was and still is hard. I miss her so.

In other reflections on the last year, I did accomplish quite a few of my 2013 resolutions:

Health: I managed to run quite often, write in my journal on an almost daily basis, eat healthily (for the most part), and went to the dentist. These are all good things. However, in general, health-wise it was not the best year–as I dealt with lots of morning sickness (from anxiety, not pregnancy) in the fall, spent a week in bed with the flu in December and in general felt pretty worn down. Still, I did discover the wonder of acupuncture, removed some stressful elements from my life, and I am determined to pay even more attention to my body and mind in 2014. Also, my bad habit of picking is still not completely gone, but has improved a lot!

Change it Up–Body Edition: As I had planned to do, I cut my hair short, first in January and then again in August. The August cut was shorter than I have ever had it–a pixie, which I have wanted for years, and which I absolutely love. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Well–I do, family pressure and my own insecurities, and I am so glad that I finally moved past those and took the plunge. (Thanks to B and my friend C. for encouraging me to do so!). I also got my ears re-pierced, or as the dude who did it said, “re-opened.” Turned out they were less closed than I realized. In just a few months I have amassed quite the collection of bird earrings and am enjoying having pierced ears, even if it was a bit of an adjustment to having something marked “feminine” on my body.

Academic goals: This was a hard year academically in that I worked my butt off and felt quite burnt out at the end of the fall semester, especially as I taught two sections in both the spring and fall. It’s amazing to think I taught 100 students in 2013; 100 students that now have a different understanding of feminism. 🙂 Overall, it was a year of academic successes, showing that my hard work paid off! I finished my second and third benchmarks–my interdisciplinary paper in April and my final comprehensive exam in October. I attended 5 conferences and presented at 4. I also had a chapter published in August in the anthology “Chasing Rainbows” by Demeter Press, and overall am feeling good about where my research is going. Unfortunately I am not done my proposal as planned, but definitely will be ABD by May. Phew, no wonder I was feeling tired at the end of the year–I did quite a lot!

In conclusion: 2013 was a busy, busy year, full of ups and downs. I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings!

Cover image: “Calendar” Aleah Phlls.


One comment

  1. […] As an academic I tend to think of “years” in academic years, which can be confusing when I tell people that I will do something “next year” and they think I mean the following spring, and I actually mean the upcoming August. I am also excited about the turning of the calendar year, and like to take a moment to reflect on what I have accomplished in the last 12 months. As an archivist I enjoy having a record, although I have not always written a review it is fun to look back at previous years: 2012, 2013, 2016.  […]

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