It’s hard to believe 2014 is almost over. 2013 was emotionally trying. The excitement of being in Australia gave way to homesickness and a sense of grieving. In August of that year, I wrote an entry about how everything sucked. By January, life didn’t suck so much. I was more comfortable getting around Melbourne, I had taken up hobbies, and even obtained a local driver’s license.
In February, I participated in the Expat Blog Challenge. It was fun and good to be in the habit of writing everyday. It also brought to the surface a lot of the issues about being an expat that had made 2013 so challenging, but I was able to look at them with fresh eyes and I discovered I was more detached from them though I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
March and April were fun. I spent a weekend in the Mornington Peninsula with the Preston Photographic Club and another weekend in Beechworth with my partner. I had a lot of fun with Melbourne Djembe and I took up birdwatching.
In May, I was busy wrapping up my visa application and, in June, it was lodged and I received a bridging visa. I immediately applied for Medicare and began looking for work. Medicare came in handy because another major thing that happened in June is that I learned I had a severe iron deficiency. A few procedures later and I was a new person. During these months, I also made a bunch of new friends who share my spiritual beliefs.
July saw one of the biggest changes in my life here in Australia: I got a job. I was hired by Quiip, Australia’s leading social media and online community management and moderation company, and my first gig was at realestate.com.au, which was so much fun to work at.
Through August and September, I was mainly focused on work and the direction of my blog. I was finally starting to feel more settled in Melbourne and was feeling the need to move beyond being an “expat blogger”.
October was pleasant and, for me, the beginning of the holiday season. I celebrated Halloween with pumpkin carving and even a party that my friend threw. Although my birthday is in November, it was a largely uneventful month.
December has been full of ups and downs. The month started out beautifully with an event with Gala Darling, one of my favourite bloggers, and then many visits to the CBD for breakfast with Social Melbourne or shopping and seeing all the wonderful Christmas decor. But it soon turned sour. Stella Young, an Australian comedian, journalist, and disability activist, died. That was followed by a hostage crisis in Sydney which ended with the deaths of two hostages and the gunman. Then, in Cairns, a woman murdered seven of her children and her niece. Meanwhile, in America, the fatal shooting of Michael Brown sparked an ongoing series of protests and civil disorder over centuries of racial oppression.
Amazing scene here at QuickTrip: exiled Tibetan monks here & people are in awe, hugging them, wanting photos. pic.twitter.com/Tk0ZIgsSqD
— Amy K. Nelson (@AmyKNelson) August 17, 2014
Christmas came and went. I put up the tree without a lot of enthusiasm. My partner cooked a delicious pork roast for Christmas lunch. It’s no secret that I don’t enjoy Christmas in Australia that much and I’ve been trying to keep myself distracted with work and various personal projects. I don’t expect New Year’s to be all that special either, but I am looking forward to 2015. Are you?
How did 2014 treat you?