Well, here’s the post. The wrap-up/looking-ahead dealio.
I can’t say 2010 worked out the way I wanted it to. If you haven’t heard, I lost my job. I’ve been rejected from a dozen others. But it’s a funny thing, because as I reflect on the past 12 months, all I can think about is how this year was bloody fantastic.
Two days after I was laid off, I turned 24 and summer began. The rain abated, and something surreal happened: it stayed sunny for two months. It’s like the universe said, “Oh hey Candice, let’s make this easier on you.” My friends rallied an awesome party for me. Then I booked an impromptu one-way ticket to Halifax, where I spent two months with two of my best friends. I explored Atlantic Canada, and gained newfound appreciation for Newfoundland.
I was published in print, and soon will be blogging for AOL Canada.
I put faces to names at TBEX in NYC, made amazing new friends, and partied my face off with some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.
All in all, I think I did okay.
So what’s up for 2011?
Awhile ago, I wrote about the rut I was in. The “black hole” of unemployment. Hours wasted watching television, being listless and completely hopeless. Scouring job ads to find nothing.
I don’t really know what happened, or why, but something clicked. Some combination of forces, I guess. An email from a friend encouraging me to move abroad, making new connections, and realizing my unemployment benefits are ruining my life.
So I made a decision: unless some amazing, stellar, life-changing dream job pops up over the next few months, I’m going to move abroad in 2011. I have no idea for how long, or where. I’m trying with all my might to get to Greece. Call me crazy, call me stupid, but it’s where I want to be more than anything in the world. Now might not be the perfect time to get there, but if not now, then when? I do want to settle eventually. Maybe I’ll own a house. Maybe I’ll have two kids or three, but right now…what do I have? No job prospects, no boyfriend, and lots of freedom.
My second major decision is to stop letting my financial situation dictate my life. I spent so much time paying off my debt, watching it all come undone is absolutely devastating. But that’s the thing…chances are, I’ll always have debt. Whether it’s a $10 credit card bill or a mortgage, debt is a part of my life. I’m not letting it stop me anymore.
So I’ll reduce my student loan payments to take care of the “bad” debt first. I’ll do it slowly, but I won’t add anymore bills, and I won’t exhaust myself worrying about it. I’m angry that I spent so much money paying for a great education that ultimately left me unemployable. There’s more to be learned in life from outside the classroom.
I’m going to spend more time improving my writing and getting published, but I’m going to let my career unfold naturally. I will spend more time working on this blog. I don’t expect to be a mega-famous travel blogger, and I choose not to join the ranks of country-counting and blogging hierarchies. I’m going to pick up part-time retail or bartending work after Christmas, and end my unemployment benefits. I cannot sit around being idle any longer.
I bought my very first DSLR yesterday, a Canon Rebel XS. I’ll be a triple-threat, a pen wielding, camera touting, bar dancing superstar.
I’m in the process of packing up my life. How does one person accumulate so much? Who needs 40 different colours of tissue paper for scrapbooking? Why haven’t I thrown out the old bottles of congealed nailpolish? Most of it I can sell, the rest I can store at my parents’ house.
I’m trying to get to Ireland in April, and Vancouver in June. Although, if I’m being honest with myself, it’s unlikely I can afford TBEX this year. I want to be Canada’s Newfoundland representation, but I think I’ve done a good job of that already.
I’m the happiest I’ve been in months.
So long, 2010. I’m about to make 2011 my bitch.