Happy New Year!

It seems impossible to believe that 2010 has come to an end. I remember Gust Proutsos, back in my first year at Procter Hug High School in Reno, told me that I was going to be absolutely blown away at how fast the years would speed by. I was unsure if this was a comment on age, perception, or working in a profession that is so totally locked into a temporal relativity. Regardless, Mr. Proutsos knew what was up. I cannot believe that I started this year in Bali, still a Hong Kong resident, then meandered through Burma and India, then found myself Stateside again in the exact circumstances I had abstractly described as a goal in September of 2009.

It is nothing short of fascinating.

Everywhere I look I am hearing people talk about how they cannot wait for this year to end. They are so over 2010. 2010 was so bad/hard/unfair/miserable… I guess, again, I am an anomaly. Sitting at the Latin American Club last week enjoying a cold beer on a rainy night with a very cute and inappropriate compadre, I was considering things, my life and the like. He looked at me and said, “You are such a positive person. I mean, you love your job, your house, your family. You really love your life.” He kind of chuckled and I smiled.

Yes. Yes, I do.

This year has included more changes for me than any other single year I can recall, though the memory is nothing short of malleable and so I am not sure how accurate that statement may be. This year definitely seems like it has been one of major shifts and transformations. And when I make declarations like this I am inclined to seek evidence to substantiate the claim, and where else to go for conclusive data than the Social Networks (especially because I started this year SURE that I was going to be rid of them.) Both Twitter and Facebook have applications that let you look at your year in review in graphic ways. Or randomized if you prefer. Or both. According to Facebook, the most common words used in my status updates included:

  • Really
  • Know
  • Day
  • People
  • Love
  • Happy
  • Home
  • San Francisco
  • California
  • Time
  • Wow
  • Continue
  • Feel
  • Sure
  • Real
  • Way
  • Thanks
  • Family
  • xoxoxo
  • Job
  • First
  • Full
  • Still

That would be an excellent found poetry list. In fact, I may do just that. According to Twitter, my most common words were:

  • Love
  • Time
  • Totally
  • Awesome
  • Life
  • People
  • Feel
  • Yoga
  • Seriously
  • Happy
  • Amazing
  • Actually
  • Please
  • Pretty
  • Shit
  • Hope
  • Look/ing
  • Glad
  • Cool
  • Party
  • Live
  • Wish
  • Tell
  • Listening
  • Guys
  • Lulz

You can also look at a random selection of your statuses in their entirety. The scope is interesting.

  • I give up Facebook. You win.
  • Have checked in and am heading to dinner and then, um… INDIA!!
  • Wow. That is all. Just. Wow.
  • Soccer is kinda funny.
  • 15 days is not really that much time.
  • So, this morning I got a California Driver’s License. Amazingly simple that to the DMV – seriously. Also got a phone number. Not so simple thanks to Ex #4 –annoyingly.
  • Happy Fourth of July! I ❤ Bolinas! xoxo
  • Putting flowers in my hair.
  • The English Beat and Squeeze @ the Fillmore… Retro fun commencing!
  • I love my family. They are so rad.
  • I just found out I am a chaperone for Homecoming. Lulz. I guess I know I am home for sure now.
  • You know how gorgeous it is in San Francisco today? SO Gorgeous.
  • Did someone just Quack?
  • Alright, I am just going to say it: PEOPLE WHO DON’T VOTE PISS ME OFF.
  • Anachronism: Learn it. Live it. Love it.

It is an interesting retrospective, if incomplete. Of course, that is because I am a total believer that data quantified without qualification is always incomplete. It is the social scientist in me. So, on to qualifications.

JANUARY: Began in Bali ended in Hong Kong. Hot and Cold and lots of yoga with my master, Veerendra. I worked too much, under the misleading information that I would be receiving a fat Chinese New Year’s bonus, which I did not receive, explained away via a surreptitious semantic scandal.

FEBRUARY: A short month that was shortened even more by the arrival of my Aunt Nancy in Hong Kong and 30 years after our first international adventure we rode again, this time to Burma. The country was amazing, and the Road to Mandalay much nicer than Mandalay itself, thank you very much Mr. Kipling. Oh, And I decided to quit my job.

MARCH: I gave my official two months notice at work and was met with pleasant resistance (save for a scandal even more ludicrous than my non-bonus, as a dipshit coworker created a laughable shitstorm.) I worked my ass off and returned to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens – huzzah!

APRIL: I was in the home stretch at work and with several days off due to Easter, I managed to plan a 6-week sojourn to India that would include four weeks of yoga and yoga teacher training at an ashram outside of Bangalore. I enjoyed some days in Hong Kong without work and caught up with my friend Changmin. It was unusually calm. On April 30 I was in Lan Kwai Fong to celebrate my independence.

MAY: On the first day of May I landed in India and began my ashram experience. This was my May. The day I left the ashram was the last day that Norman was seen. I hoped that he would return.

JUNE: The month of the summer solstice became the lynchpin on which my year of transition would swing. The first two weeks were in the most southern reaches of the Sub Continent from Trivandrum to Varkala. And then I returned to Lamma. Norman never came home, and Matilda and I realized we would be making our way forward without our main man. Within fifteen days I finished a year-long photography project and packed up more than five years of my life. I said good-bye, for a moment, to a collection of people who made Hong Kong what it was for me. My gratitude and appreciation is immeasurable, but to Frenchie, Camellia, Adele, Chris, Eric, Tracey, Nickie, Olly and so many more – my life is ever richer for knowing you all. I shipped 500 pounds home on the proverbial slow boat and headed to the airport with Matil where we met Fun Bobby, the individual who marked my entrance to the S.A.R. would send me home. Hong Kong and Rob are inextricably linked for me, and I like it that way.

JULY: I land at SFO. I am spaced out, worried about my cat and never happier to see my main man Ron curbside. After he picked up my passport from the street where I had unknowingly dropped it, he took me to cargo to get my kitty and then… to Petaluma. Somehow full-circle. Back in the hometown, with no home, no job and a rather ambiguous view of the upcoming months, but in the capable hands of golden friends. To Tracy Matil and I are ever grateful. To TanMan and Lola, sorry dudes. And then, to Bolinas I went to celebrate independence. Mine. America’s. Whatever. It was good. And I started looking for work.

AUGUST: In the first week of August I got a job and a place to live. The job was exactly what I was looking for and the home was in the precise neighborhood I had said I wanted to live in the year before. I spent the remainder of the month appreciating the region from where I come and then… I went back to work.

SEPTEMBER: I turned 40. I had back to school night. These two events occurred on precisely the same day; while both may cause some people to twitch in an uncomfortable way and their confluence could create total consternation … I truly relished them both. And then I had an amazing celebration that included friends from all over, from nursery school, high school, college, post-college, the internet, the new job and beyond. It was, erm… EPIC.

OCTOBER: Working. Yogaing. Living. Homecoming chaperoning. San Franciscoing. To Seattle to surprise one of my most favorite humans ever for her 40th. And the San Francisco Giants won the Series. Not sure which of those events would be the more surreal. They were all amazing.

NOVEMBER: Flowing. Traveling. Thanksgiving. I went to San Diego to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of my university (Go UCSD!) and to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, as one should when one can.

DECEMBER: Celebrating. Vacationing. Appreciating. To Vegas to send my first UCSD friend off to London Town and to see one of my most special dudes, M. Then the crazy finish at school and off to the parentals for Christmas as I said I would do one year earlier. A white Christmas in Idaho with family and spaghetti and MRSA. Well, it cannot all be perfect. And then to wrap up what has definitively been a simply amazing year… a night on the town with the girls, in black tie attire, in the City by the Bay.. and some inadvertent tumbling.

What more could a girl ask for?

It would be hard to come up with anything.

Happy, happy, happy New Year.



About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Education, Family, Friends, Geography, Holidays, Home, Hong Kong, Life, Lists, Relationships, San Francisco, The Future, Travel, true stories, Work, Writing, Yoga and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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