Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 and what I want.

Afternoon strolls in Darjeeling and Pelling, India

It's only been in the last few years that I started the ritual of writing out resolutions to mark the start of a new year.  I think this space has been good for that and, in general, for documenting the past three years. 

It's my lunch break at work. I've just finished a Sri Lankan meal of pumpkin curry and banana leaf salad. In ten minutes, if my client is on time, I will have to start an appointment.  But for now, I'm clearing the space to jot down what I want out of this year.  Writing keeps me honest and accountable.

I didn't accomplish all that I resolved to accomplish in 2012.  While I did move out of Cambodia to pursue other work, I still grapple with balancing work and personal obligations.  Six months after my departure from Cambodia, I'm also still working out how that experience fits into the rest of my life.  I published my research in Cambodia, but I failed to complete the manuscript for the journal article that I was once so psyched about.  I accepted summer vacations back into my life and, during one such vacation to Indonesia and India, I became engaged to Ethan.  All in all, I would say it was a good year, despite difficulties.

2013 will be more flux, more change. In July, I will be married. The prospect of having a family is a notion I never really entertained before (at least, not seriously).  But for the first time in my life, it's what I want. (Being exposed to wonderful women who appear to balance fulfilling careers and aspirations, along with family obligations, has helped.)  Finally, there's the possibility that we will be back in the US some time this year - for how long, I do not yet know.

My resolutions this year:

  1. Another summer vacation - If and when I do return to the US long-term, one thing I will struggle with is having to fit back into a two-week annual vacation.  This year, I am blocking the month of July for wedding and honeymoon travels. Period.   
  2. Publish - There is one research project that has been languishing since last year and another on my desk regarding gender-based violence/persecution claims before the UN.  I want to have both manuscripts completed this year and hopefully, published or at least publishable.
  3. Push through the fear (of change, of rejection, etc) -One thing I tend to do is shrink or be paralyzed when I see all that change coming at me, all at once.  I hope to be able to push through despite my fears. One example is that, in the past two months, I've been a candidate for positions that I thought were out of reach (and very well should have been before Cambodia).  I made many excuses in my head not to try, but I eventually I did.  It's too early to tell how it will pan out, but the process has been surprising and a lesson in itself.  Most importantly, I should allow myself to dream.
  4. Cook simply - My cooking mantra for 2013 can best be summed up in this book by David Tanis.  Again, a girl can dream.
  5. Spend more time with family and friends - Three years abroad. Enough said. 

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