2010 In Review

I hate to say this because I feel like it may be unfair to other years of my life that are simply too far away in my memory to stand out, but 2010 may have been the best year of my life. What really stands out the most for me was that I was happy for more of this year than any of the past ones. Even through the experienced heartbreaks, mistakes, regrets and challenges, I’ve managed to create something new for myself. There were two very important precursors for this change. The first was a hugely motivating quote:

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live with unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and incredible beauty.” — Jon Krakauer

There were some components of my life that were creating unhappy conditions in my life, and after reading this quotation, I began to set the conditions of my happiness. Which brings me to the second cause of the change; a personal mantra that I developed in order to combat my number one mistake in life

Stop relying on someone else to make you happy. You are in charge of that now.

People have the capacity to let you down, and I would always depend on boyfriends/friends/etc to create happiness in my life, but once I started taking matters into my own hands, I changed the things in my life that made me unhappy, took risks, and began to see the beauty of a life free of monotonous security.

So in honour of the year, here are a few (slightly vague) highlights of the past 12 months. I picked not necessarily the things that were the most significant, but that make me smile when I look back at them.

What I Did / Swam in the ocean on the first day of 2010 (brrrr!). Turned 19 and became legal everywhere in Canada. Was in Vancouver, with no school for two weeks, during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Danced in the streets of Vancouver with over a thousand other citizens of the world in celebration of life, love, and music during the Decentralized Dance Party. Watched countless free concerts all over the Vancouver area thanks to the Olympics. Worked at a bakery at SFU campus. Finished my first year of university at SFU. Played with my wonderful soccer team during the spring soccer league and came in 3rd overall. Got accepted to the University of Guelph. Walked across the Lions Gate Bridge for the first time. Worked at Starbucks and made amazing friends there. Went to the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. Went to the Cat Empire concert, got invited backstage by the lead singer and drank wine with the band. Volunteered at a kids’ wilderness summer camp, marking my ninth year there. Attended soccer bootcamp all summer. Spent 4 days at Quallicum Beach with our second family. Watched many improv comedy shows. Saw Niagara Falls. Danced at a Down with Webster concert. Moved to Guelph, met incredible people, explored Ontario and made it back home in time for Christmas (there are really too many amazing things about my semester at Guelph to begin to address). A real American-style Homecoming experience.  Went to Toronto for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Sat on the top of the highest building at SFU on top of Burnaby Mountain. Not to mention all the little things, like ice cream dates, trips to the beach, window shopping and adventures with friends that make life that much better.

Where I Went / This year hasn’t been very exciting in terms of traveling, but I’d say that moving to the other side of the country makes up for it. Vancouver. Portland. Various locations throughout BC. Guelph. Mississauga. Toronto. Niagara Falls. Seattle.

Some Favourite Songs / Older Than You – Eskimo Joe. Hands All Over (album) – Maroon 5. Love Letter to Japan – The Bird and the Bee. Falling – the Cat Empire. Be My Thrill (album) – the Weepies. The King and All Of His Men – Wolf Gang. Elle N’a Rien Compris – Christophe Mae. Rich Girl – Hall and Oates. All Over Now – Eric Hutchinson. Contra (album) – Vampire Weekend. Of Men and Angels (album) – the Rocket Summer. How Come You Don’t Call Me – Alicia Keys. Nothing Like You – Frightened Rabbit. Free Fallin’ – John Mayer. Failure – Laura Marling. Being Bad Feels Really Good – Does It Offend You Yeah. Write About Love – Belle & Sebastian. F*ck You – Cee Lo Green. On The Road – Angus and Julia Stone. Meet Me In The Basement – Broken Social Scene. Barbara Streisand – Duck Sauce. Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine. O’ Children – Nick Cave. Live in London (album) – Regina Spektor. The King and All of His Men – Wolf Gang.

What I’m Looking Forward To / Making the most of my new years resolutions. Finishing second year of university and starting third. What I know will be an amazing summer. New Orleans Jazz Festival. (Hopefully) my trip to New York. Volunteering at summer camp. The last Harry Potter movie. Meeting more amazing people and having great experiences and learning incredible things with friends old and new.

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