Saturday, 31 December 2011

Reflexiones y Prepósitos

It wouldn't be New Year's Eve without the obligatory resolutions and reflections on what you've done over the last 12 months, so here they are.

Come to think about it, 2011 has been possibly the best and most exciting year of my life. There have been some big milestones, such as finishing my dissertation (on judicial activism in the age of terrorism if you're at all interested), graduating, spending two months in Nepal and moving to Spain to start my first 'proper' job. I've also had the chance to get to know some amazing new people and share fantastic news with some of my oldest friends, two of whom have just got engaged!

Put simply, 2011 was a year of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It's been a year of saying 'yes' to things I wouldn't usually say 'yes' to and it's worked out pretty well. I hope to live 2012 in a similar way. I do, of course, have a few resolutions for next year though:

Stop bloody worrying so much.

I've always been a bit of a worrier. I thought I was finally waving goodbye to worries and fears when I moved to Spain, but that now my circle of friends are starting to acquire grown-up jobs, mortgages and fiancés, I occasionally seize up with terror that I don't know exactly where I want to be or what I want to be doing.  'And dear God', I think, 'maybe soon I'll become one of those lonely, crazy cat ladies.'  This is exacerbated by the fact that I don't even really like cats all that much.

In the book I've just read, there was a character who is full of worries about everything from what she's going to wear tomorrow to how to eradicate world poverty. When I identified with her agonising over the correct way to sign off an email, I realised that it was time to chill out a bit.

The point was driven home in a lovely passage where a friend / lover / man who is very bad at punctuation writes her a letter that amused and reassured me:

    'I know that you feel a little bit lost right now about what to do with your life, a bit rudderless and oarless but that's okay that's alright because we're all meant to be like that at twenty four... I certainly don't have a master plan I know you think I've got it all sorted out I haven't I worry too I just don't worry about the dole and housing benefit and the future of the Labour Party and where I'm going to be in twenty years' time and how Mr. Mandela is adjusting to freedom.'
Be less 'permissive.'

The word 'permisiva' is a term that my flatmate came up with to describe me. Definition: 'habitually or characteristically accepting or tolerant.' But not in a nice, easy going way – it's more of a 'do/say whatever you like to me and I'll just sit back and take it because I'm very non-confrontational' way. Sadly, I think she makes an excellent point, so next year I'm going to be a bit more 'inpermisiva'... or whatever the opposite of 'permisiva' actually is.

Keep learning.

I'm aware this will sound immensely sad, but looking back on the last year, some of my happiest days were spent holed up in a library with my head stuck in a copy of Human Rights Law Review or International and Comparative Law Quarterly. I probably didn't appreciate this enough when I was at uni, but I love  getting my head around theories, constructing arguments and applying the law to real life situations. So more of that when the teaching's over, por favor.

But while the teaching continues, I resolve to keep up my language learning. After all, I have only five more months to stop making senseless gramatical errors in Spanish!  

And then after those five months... I don't know.  But I'm not going to worry about it.

¡Feliz año nuevo a todos!


David Ruiz Urraca said...

Happy new year!

Claire said...

Gracias, Happy New Year to you too :)

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