Dear 2013, you’ve been amazing …

The last time I posted in this blog, I was in a very different place.  Just to recap what’s changed since, I’ll make some comparisons …

I’m not unemployed!  This was a welcome one.  I found a position with an amazing company, a professional association of SQL Server developers.  Nerd speak?  Perhaps – but the co-workers I have are an amazing, funny group of people, and my managers & boss are (no exaggeration) very humble and understanding.  The office is located in the Water Building of Gastown, and if you’re a sucker for a) heritage buildings, b) brick walls, c) cute renovations and d) Gastown, you’ll burst in fits of squeamishness.  I was stunned at the size of my desk, the computer, the fact my first week was in North Carolina for our annual conference, the alcohol … and the best part of it all is that my company has a very strict “No-Drama, No-Politics” policy which makes for an incredibly liberal, safe environment.  (I also get to engage with over 10, 000 very active community members – which is a social marketer’s dream come true.)

The view from my desk

The view from my desk (my co-worker occupies the desk by the window)

My position in Marketing was never in my plans 5 years ago – that being said, it’s funny how life hands you experiences and it’s not until a moment of clarity where you realize that hard work, being able to create a path for yourself, and determination are three essential factors to finding out your “fit”.

My career path has changed, for the better.  Back in September, I felt confused – I had not one, but TWO, degrees in Arts, but while these fields of study stimulated my academic needs, they never really gave me this clearcut path towards an occupation.  Grad School?  Policy analyst?  Mining?  GIS?  Journalist?  But as I exited university, I realized I needed a career that gave me the freedom of creativity, while allowing me to produce empirical results – it was why Geography (a combination of Environmental & Human) was such a great fit.  I realized Marketing is this beautiful combination of analysis & using your creative mindset – I never would’ve went into business 5 years ago, but I’m happy it’s taken me this long to figure out that’s why I wanted to do.  I approach business from different angles granted by my Arts degrees.

I’ve started to make long-term plans for myself.  Own my own place by 28.  And I can’t stress enough how obsessed I’ve become by home ownership and looking at condos & figuring out mortgages & savings & payments … it’s … thrilling?  I’m (on my way to becoming) an adult!

Dating sucks & dating rocks.  That’s all that can really be said.  You live and you learn: I spent about a couple of days in a despondent mood, reblogging faded images with thin sans-serif font bemoaning “the memories” on Tumblr.  Then I snapped out of it, and realized I needed to move on and get a life.

I think this image speaks to the level of ambiguity, teenage-era angst & mental hand-writhing I (and 89.6% of Tumblr) felt.

I think this image speaks to the level of ambiguity, teenage-era angst & mental hand-writhing I (and 89.6% of Tumblr) felt.

I had a tumour & surgery. Yup.  This one’s a pretty big one.  The day before I started my position in the office, I went in for a blood test and an ultrasound, a decision triggered by an earlier routine blood test that showed high liver enzymes.  Lo and behold, I had a tumor on my liver the size of a Mandarin orange – so for about five long weeks, I was rushed into MRIs, CTs, blood tests, CEA tests, specialists’ offices, balancing appointments with the surgeon’s office to try and figure out what this little mass of flesh meant.  Dec. 5, I went into VGH, and thanks to a talented team of specialists, surgeons & nurses, I went into major surgery and had this tumour removed.  Tests revealed that the tumor was benign thankfully – but 2013 looked like it would close on an ambiguous cancer scare. Luckily, I am healthy, happy and save for this giant scar on the side of my body, unscathed.  I realized that nurses have a difficult job to do every day, and that our healthcare system is under quite a bit of strain – but I was taken care of, and am forever indebted to modern medical technology and the human heart behind everyone who cared for me.

Beyonce.  The concert.  The album.  I can cross the former off my bucket list, and add the latter to the list of things that have KILLED AND SLAYED ME.  That surprise release …

Long live the Queen.

Long live the Queen.

So … let’s see.  2013 has been a huge year for me.  I left behind CVC, a club that meant the world to me, and hopefully my mark.  I graduated from university, an insane accomplishment.  I travelled for 2 months in Europe, exploring 15 cities in 60 days.  I found a new job, after only a month and a half of unemployment.  I finally got data (this is a huge deal for me, ok?!) I got to travel to a part of the United States I would never go normally (holla, Charlotte, NC!).  For the first times in my life, I boarded a plane alone.  I had a cancer scare.  I had surgery.  I went through serious ups & downs – days where I wasn’t even sure why I was waking up, and then days where nothing seemed to bring me down.  I am happy with the person I am now, and am closer than ever to my friends.  I feel that 2013 has led me to come to terms with a lot of who I am as a person … 2013 has been one of, if not THE, most personal and most formative year of my existence.

2014, you have big shoes to fill.  

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