This is the ''year in summary'' section of my annual Christmas email:
I started out the year on a beach just north of Auckland, having just returned home from Edinburgh. The first few weeks at least found me in a bit of an emotional mess, but I was lucky enough to have some of my best friends in the city with me for a few months at least.
I completed two temporary admin assignments (both employers wanted to keep me), and enrolled last-minute in the Cambridge English Teaching to Adults (CELTA) course for May. Not having expended any academic energy in the past 7 years, and not knowing what my tolerance for teaching would be, I was vaguely apprehensive. It was a gruelling full time, four week course for a group of twelve wannabes. Sadly, we lost one on the way, but everyone else managed a passing grade (despite my ridiculous verbosity in classes). I discovered that I actually enjoyed the teaching a lot more than I had anticipated, and my brain enjoyed being used for more than working out 24 hour time at the airport.
Newly qualified, I had a cameo appearance at the last temp job, and attended both weddings of some good friends (Melbourne and then Aberdeen). Oddly enough, this meant I was in Scotland for my fifth summer. Who could have predicted another Festival for me? After recovering from a fairly intense ordeal with UK immigration ("I'm going to a wedding, honest!"), I had another fantastic couple of months in Edinburgh and around.
The nagging feeling that I should have been doing something about my future employment status merged with a chance business trip a friend was taking, and I found myself meeting her in Hong Kong. After playing tourist for a while, I found myself in what was honestly the loneliest and most difficult few weeks I can remember. Chances to meet people were slim, and feeble attempts on my part to find work and sponsorship returned little in the way of positive responses. Not wanting to dwell on this, I decided to meet up with friends for a trip to Laos instead. Three and a half weeks later, we're on our way back to Thailand, and the decision to break from Hong Kong is definitely not regretted. We've had a fantastic trip, and in the meantime I've heard some encouraging (although not recruiting) feedback from some earlier applications.
All in all, it's been an up and down year, with a vague direction which I'm still in the process of taking. Next year I think I might get a job. I guess I'm okay with that.