Relationships change you, in good and bad ways. What I like about J and me is we're always pushing each other to do something different, to try a new experience, no matter how small. Don't get me wrong, we're not trying to change each other, we're just pushing each other's boundaries. And whether you come out of the experience hating it, loving it or just relieved that you're alive - you will have changed, just that little bit because you opened up yourself to something new and different.
So in my obligatory reflective post of 2012 in review, I thought I'd give myself a pat on the back for the things I never thought I would do...but I did.
I never thought I would...
- ...skydive! This is probably one of my biggest highs of 2012. On the 30th of December, somewhere over the Byron Bay hinterland, I jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet! After 60 seconds of free falling, I cruised along on the parachute for about 5 minutes before hitting the ground and going "OH MY GOD. I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST DID THAT!!" I am not very good with heights. I get wobble legs looking down from not-so-high bridges. I don't particularly like balconies in high rise buildings. And I'm not the biggest fan of roller coasters. So skydiving was a pretty amazing achievement and I really enjoyed it, to be honest. I'm super proud of myself!
- ...crave a steak! This is a source of amusement for most of my Australian friends I know but hey, when you grow up in a country where the cow can be holier than people, you don't exactly develop a palate for steak. But you can't have an Aussie boyfriend and get away with that really. In the past year, I have not only grown to like a (properly cooked) medium rare steak, I actually even crave it sometimes. Sorry cows.
- ...scuba dive! This is a partial achievement because I still have to finish part of the course but hey, I'm claiming it. I am not 100% comfortable under water so scbua diving was never on my list of things to do. But J got given a voucher for his 30th birthday and well, I sort of said a "yes, I'll do it too" without really thinking what I was getting into. Next thing I knew, I was spending 4 hours in a pool, learning how to scuba dive. Yay me!
- ...learn a language! Another partial achievement but sometimes just starting and committing to something is a big achievement. In July 2012, J and I started taking Spanish lessons and 6 months later, I am at least confident about having a basic conversation with people, asking for (and giving) directions, asking for help, ordering food and even making reservations. I've always wanted to learn a language but never thought I would seriously do it so I'm pretty stoked we're doing this so seriously.
- ...drink beer! Again, silly but a huge deal for me. I never drank beer until probably 3 months ago. I didn't like the taste. But on our trip to Melbourne, some friends took us on a really cool pub crawl through Fitzroy and convinced me to order some pale ale at the Little Creatures brewery. "You can't order a wine at a brewery!" I have since been hooked to White Rabbit. I'll admit I will probably still hate a lot of beers (I'm looking at you VB and XXXX Gold) but I do like many more beers now. Especially the shmancy boutique beers ;-)
- ...do a Body Attack class! I'll be the first to admit cardio fitness isn't one of my strong points. I have to work a lot harder at it than most people and see results a lot slower. So the thought of doing a 1 hour high-impact, sporty cardio class that involves lots of jumping, running, aerobics and more, really intimidated me. But I went along for the ride one Saturday morning (I think I was too sleepy to realise what I getting myself into) and despite the struggle, the shortness of breath and slightly achy limbs - I loved it! I started doing it twice a week and it's a Saturday morning staple now. Gym classes are more amazing than people give them credit for (more of this in an upcoming post).
- ...be happy! Ok, not never but I did feel unhappy for a very long time and wasn't sure I'd ever be able to be happy for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time. But I am. Something has changed this year and I am more positive, happier than I have ever been. I feel like I've found a lot of peace and am so much more aware of what makes ME happy. Still searching for my zen, but I'm happy knowing I'm getting there.