2011 in 12 Sentences (& 12 Photos)

March. PICTURE OF THE YEAR (because it always makes me smile)

Taking a leaf out of another bloggers’ (metaphorical/electronic) book, I thought I would go ahead and summarise my entire year in 12 sentences – one per month. Having spent several days over Christmas reading National Geographics, I feel suitably inspired to add in 12 photos as well (not necessarily month-wise).

January. It’s a new year and that of course means new dancing: salsa nights, a swing residential and Egyptian bellydance…and my final semester at university, I guess.

February. Getting my arse royally kicked by that damn Masters Research Project, while dithering hopelessly about whether to compete in a DanceSport competition or not (I said Yes, by the way) and bonding with the chemists.

March. Attempting to balance up the big DanceSport comp with my f***ing c*** of a Masters Research Project – which even I admit was a stupid, stressful and time-consuming thing to do – yet I pull it off and know I did the right thing(s).

April. Thanks to the deep-seated fear that my final degree mark is sitting between the wrong classification brackets, I barricade myself away from the real world for a frentic, isolated month of Easter-break revision.

May. Still trapped in a Revision Ivory Tower I face my revision and final exams while my world shakes and threatens to fall away from under my feet…so I go to another dance competition.

June. An utterly blissful, easy-going summer month featuring my beloved Philadelphia, lazy mornings in Edinburgh coffee shops and of course Graduation.

July. Sadly, it feels like my time in Edinburgh is very much up…so I pack my bags and head over to begin the next stage of my life in Basel, Switzerland.

August. The slow and painstaking process of fitting in at work and earning the respect and trust of my colleagues.

September. Language barriers rear their ugly heads, but when I take a swim in the Rhein I realise how much of a home Basel is becoming to me.

October. Frustration at the never-ending Grad School Application process – and the slowess of settling in to Switzerland – cause my behaviour to shift erratically, leaving me feeling trapped.

November. I have a truly wonderful trip back to Edinburgh, but I realise that Basel is my home now (where I’m back in the running game, visiting art galleries, attending German classes and starting to form the circle of friends that I want).

December. Despite the Eternal PhD Stress, it finally feels like Basel is…working, just when I have to go home for the holidays.

March. DanceSport competition in Blackpool (the best I've ever looked)

2011 hasn’t been an EASY year, not by any means… 

March. The Chemistry Ball.

 …I’ve had to cope with my future, which suddenly seems a lot closer and more important than ever before…

June. Philadelphia

…and yeah, occasionally I just messed things up spectacularly (even/especially the simple stuff you’d think wouldn’t be too difficult for a science graduate to manage)…

June. Bellydancing in the park during a heatwave.

…2011 was the year I had to learn how to forgive myself for my mistakes, I guess…

June. Graduation

…Also the year I had to move to a foreign country and re-start my life from scratch…

July. Basel.

…when I already called two wonderful places home already (Philly & Edinburgh)…

July. Summer BBQ with my work Department

…but I learned something important…

August. Dragonboat racing with the Basel Dragons Running Club.

 …that F*cking Hell, YOU’VE got to make it worth it…

October. Zurich

 …even if you screw up badly it’s never the end of the world, there’s always another chance to be had somewhere in this universe…

November. Edinburgh.

 …you just have to be strong, keep the faith and go look for it.

December. Basel Stadtlauf.

 Here’s to the many more difficult, challenging yet worthwhile years ahead. All the best for 2012, guys.

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