Thursday, January 06, 2011

Reflecting on 2010

Gosh, has it really been 2 months since I posted last? I don't know how many of you are going to be reading this - you must all be bored of my absence by now and given up coming here. But I thought it would be good for me to explain my absence, and also do a bit of reflecting as we head into 2011...

I knew 2010 was going to be a tough year. It started off with us handing in all that we'd been up to in the first semester of my final year studying illustration. I'd worked really hard and was determined to concentrate wholly on my degree and nothing else this year. Unfortunately I wasn't really happy with the feedback I got from the tutors. I felt I hadn't quite achieved what I had wanted to and that made me quite sad. But I thought I still have another (my final) semester and I was going to pull myself up through it all.

I worked really hard that last semester - but it always felt a bit unsatisfactory. My coursemates were all jumping over personal hurdles, and I just felt stuck. I worked so hard I exhausted myself. Eventually, during Easter break, Sunshine took me away to Milan for a few days. We were one of the last planes out before all the airports were shut down due to the Icelandic volcano eruption. So although Milan was great, it took us three extra days to get back to the UK travelling over land and sea. Somehow I felt I never quite managed to catch up with work after that.

I wasn't particularly happy with my graduation grade; but I was too tired to care. We also had a really strong year so no matter how good you were, most people were ignored and the same handful of about 5 people kept getting all the interest from commisioners. Now don't get me worng - I'm not bitter ... those few people DID deserve to get all that interest. But having gone round lots of other shows I realised that most of our even mid-range students were more talented and creative than some of the best in the other colleges. Anyways, lots of other little things happened within college those last couple of months that left me quite disheartened by it all, and I didn't end my degree in a particularly happy place.

Summer I was determined to get my life back and reconnect with my Darling Sunshine who'd pretty much just seen the back of my head in front of a screen for the last year. It was a good summer. We didn't really go away anywhere, but bought a tandem and spent lots of time just cycling around and having quality time together. It was a wonderful few months.

As the new academic year 2010/2011 started in September/October; and Sunshine had to get back to his university lecturing job; I thought I'd take the time from then till the end of the year to re-do my portfolio and have a re-think about what actually I wanted to do with this illustration degree. I definitly wanted (and still do) want to become a freelance illustrator - but I needed to work out within what specialisms and whether I wanted to do stuff for myself (designer-maker) or commissions, or some combination of the two.

Then at the beginning of October we got the awful news about the death of our very good friend (and wedding photographer) Burning Dan. Within a day I also received some upsetting news about a family crisis too (which is still unresolved). I spend days crying as one thing would remind me of the other and it just spiralled. I tried to distract myself with illustrating - but was having real self-confidance issues and just couldn't bring myself to produce anything decent.

So there I am trying to keep it together, when we find out that I'm expecting! (bravo to you those that have read this far and managed to get the news!). We had been trying, but with all the rubbish news, it still took us a bit by surprise ... The hormonal imbalances meant that I lost all creativity and was just feeling tired all the time. Then at about 8 weeks the symptoms really hit and December was pretty much a washout with me having all-day sickness; Sunshine catching the flu; me catching it off him... etc etc. No cards or greetings for anyone.

We had the dating scan just before Christmas and got to see Little Wind for the first time. He/she seems to be doing well (despite momma being so ill). Started telling family over Christmas and friends just after that. Happy news all round.

Sunshine and I spend New Year's Eve at a dear friend's who looked after us very well and we vowed that 2011 was going to be a much better year than 2010. And with that thought we went to bed. On New Year's morning, just as we were getting up and having breakfast, I got a phone call from my Dad. "Happy New Year dad!".. "Mithi, are you alright?", "Yeeessss ....?", "You sure you're alright? I have some bad news ..." Oh dear! For a second there I thought it was to do with that unresolved family crisis from October ... but it turned out to be that one of my dear cousins, only 27, had died tragically in an accident the night before. I put the phone down and cried on Sunshine for a while. Is this how 2011 was going to start?

So, I have't been really 'here' physically or mentally. I've been meaning to blog since Christmas ... but its been one thing after another ... I haven't given up on PlanetMithi, but it will still be a bit quiet here for a while. I'm getting much better but the pregnancy symptoms seem to attack quite randomly at times so I'm not quite there yet. I'd love to start crafting for the baby and showing you all what I'm doing here - but I've been mostly just curled up in bed fighting fatigue and nausea and sadness. Writing this post has been my achievement for the day.

Thank you for reading this far - may you all have a Fabulous and crisis-free 2011!


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