15 months ago I arrived in Glasgow, a little more than a year ago. One year is a noteworthy milestone because well, we tend to think that a “year” is quite important, though it could always be arbitrarily defined.
I felt like 2015 has been a stark contrast to the previous years in many ways. 2014 was a year of instability. I was back home, unemployed for a while, and at one point worked three part-time/freelance jobs. And in 2015, I seemed to have “settled down” again. None of that mobility scheme during my PhD where I was moving between France and Belgium every few months. It was Glasgow. Scotland. And I was here to stay for three years whether I liked it or not. And thank God I do like Glasgow. To think now that soon I would be halfway into my contract is quite…unfathomable, if not scary at the same time, for lack of a better word to describe my feelings. Where has my time gone?
I began to think a lot more deeply into a lot of things – human relationships, freedom, responsibility, the academic field, the future, God and faith…the list goes on and on. I gained many friends, lost a few, laughed a lot, cried a little. I wrote a lot less because many other things kept me busy. I fell in love with hiking, fell in love with cooking and travel all over again, and well, fell in love.
Have I grown within the past year? Certainly. Did I learn from my past mistakes? I’m not sure. Am I optimistic about the future? I had never been anything but optimistic.
But what about now? I think that though I have found my place in this rainy city that I now call home, I still have a lot to learn and discover. There is a sense that God must have placed me here for ulterior reasons behind those that I’ve already realised, and the joy and anticipation of unravelling the unknown keep me curious and hopeful. As my old friend liked to say, “We’ll see…”
In the end, I may still be by myself, but I’m anything but alone.
Small house-warming party with some lovely lady friends at a new flat in Glasgow, January 2016