Saturday, January 01, 2011

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."
--Benjamin Franklin

2010 began, as almost every year does, as a promise. A promise that good things would happen, that problems would be solved and forgotten and that nothing would go wrong. As usual, however, things did not go as I expected them to. Which was not a bad thing – not at all.

All in all, I dare say that 2010 has been the best year I have ever had. It has been, before all and above all, a year of enlightenment. Not in the religious sense, mind you, but in a personal sense, one which encompasses the way I see the world – and myself in it. In other words, I expanded my sense of perspective (even though no life form can have a full sense of perspective in order to exist).

Just the experience of living (even if just for a short while) in another country would have been enough to label 2010 as “a very good year”. I fell completely in love with Buenos Aires right from the very first day. Both day and night were calling out for me, and with a little incentive from a good friend I heeded that call, never looking back. I am glad I did. I had the good fortune of meeting some extraordinary people that made the city even more enjoyable, even if just for a couple of weeks – actually, even more so. And I met a different version of myself – one I intend to emulate more and more in the future, because I know it represents growth in a direction I want to follow.

But 2010 was more than Buenos Aires. This year was so good that the whole experience of living there took only one quarter of it (even though these things can’t really be measured). I took on traveling as one of those things that I live to do; I just couldn’t get enough of it. Visiting Paris, Chambon sur Lac, Buenos Aires, Colonia, Amsterdam and Foz do Iguaçu made me realize even more that knowing new places is something that never gets old for me. Having good friends to visit all over the world not only makes it even more interesting, but also serves as a good excuse to go. That said, places like Manchester, Slovenia and Hawaii made it to the top of my “to go” list.

I found within myself the strength to make some long-needed changes; that is my greatest achievement of 2010.

That is not to say, of course, that 2010 was a perfect year; I don’t expect to ever have a perfect year until the day I die. I had my share of problems, big and small.

I am grateful for each one of them, however. They were all opportunities for me to learn something about me or other people, and for a few times, both.

I admit I am a bit afraid of 2011; my expectations are a bit too high for it. And usually high expectations only end in disappointment. But if there is something I have learned in the past few years it is the fact that obsessing about things in advance is rarely a good thing; let 2011 come, and I’ll deal with it, for better or worse, one day at a time.

Happy New Year.