I realized this morning over my coffee that while I had a great year, it was a pretty tumultuous one for me. Since I'm prone to being a ridiculous list-maker, I've got a big one for this year.
1- I completed and received my Masters Degree in English Literature. For me, getting this advanced degree wasn't really a question. I love learning, and I know that in my future there is at least an MFA in Theater if not a PhD in English forthcoming. While I would enjoy teaching at a larger university, getting these advanced degrees is something that I do for myself; I love the process of learning, the excitement of finding answers to problems, and the ultimate feeling of relief, happiness, and excitement at finding a new project at the end of the journey. Getting my MA was a way for me to stay in academia, and be able to share my passion of reading and learning with others.
2- My trip to Yosemite opened my eyes to a whole new world of adventure, possibilities, and fears that I hadn't been able to dream of until now. Yosemite taught me to take calculated risks, and occasionally face my fears and challenge myself to do something I normally would not. The payoff was incredible, and I will never regret my time there. If anything, it only fueled the need for more trips down the road. Already in the works is a month-long jaunt to Wyoming this summer to climb Devil's Tower, the Wind River Range, backcountry backpack into Grand Teton National Park and climb the Grand Teton itself, which at 13,777 feet will be the highest elevation I've ever climbed. It'll be hard to pack it into a month, but after the last trip I doubt I could do less.
3- Teaching dance for three competition lines for the first time last year was eye-opening for me, and having my dances and my girls get high scores in all the competitions was fantastic. It's really forced me to become more diverse as a teacher, and use different approaches when teaching something like tap dancing, which can be very frustrating to learn if your body isn't cooperating. This year's season is half in, and I'm very excited to work with my girls again, as well as take on numerous soloists for competition and even help with some adult tap classes!
4- This year has also been very up and down for me for relationships. A very long one ended, leaving me pretty messed up for awhile, but I'm finally really doing all right and I'm happy with where I am now. Bright thoughts down the road in this category... ;)
5- I tried to begin to push my comfort boundaries this year. I started by signing up for a 5K race in September, and training for running for the first time this fall. I'm not a runner- I will climb thousands of feet in the air, do long complicated tap dances and modern dances and ballet, and bike 20 miles for a triathlon team, but running for long periods of time (aka more than a mile) was usually beyond my grasp. My cardio is less than steller, and to push myself I've been signing up for small races to keep it fun. Coming up in March for me is the Mustache March Run, all of 2.65 miles along Duluth's boardwalk, but it's a fun way to stay in shape over the holidays. Plus if I'm going to be hiking the Grand Tetons, I'll need the cardio workout. :)
Overall, 2011 has been a bit on the crazy side for me, but it looks like 2012 isn't going to be too much different. I'll do a knitting re-cap next post, since this year was pretty full of fuzzy goodness and big challenges, plus some thoughts and hopes for the year to come.
For now, off to refill my coffee and begin packing for another big thing- I'll be moving to a different address in Duluth in a few days to start off the new year! It's not terribly far from my old place, but it's nicer and it'll be fun to settle in somewhere new. For now, lots of boxes, packing tape, and discovering exactly how many books I have... eeep...