The year ahead
Saturday, Jan. 05, 2019 - 4:58 pm.

Happy new year.

Andrew and I welcomed 2019 on the top of the hill, by the cemetery near our house, watching fireworks. It was windy but not too cold. We walked around the neighborhood for a while, came back home to toast with prosecco and then went to bed.   

I feel like I've been off to a slow start, since it's only the 5th, but that slow pace is working to my advantage. 

I got back to working on my thesis on the 2nd. I'd planned on starting the next day, but the university opened the second day of the year so why not. The Department, and the whole city for that matter, seemed to need the second half of this week to fully wake up after the holidays. I love quiet environments, and it felt good getting back to the groove under such conditions. 

Actually, I didn't quite "left" the groove, and by groove I mean thesis. I didn't work on it as much as I wanted over the holidays, but I made some progress and didn't fully disconnect from it. That made the end of the holidays, well, not painful. I'm still aiming to have the thesis ready by the end of January. It's like 80% done, I just have a lot of editing to do, and that can take me ages. It also makes me feel like I wasted my time writing so much in the first place.

Just get it done, I tell myself. Let go of high expectations, don't fall in love with paragraphs, just go straight to the point. Or go bi to the point, as you wish, just don't stop and smell the flowers. It's not the time to be poetic, just write about what you've done and what people can take away from that. 

I'm modestly worried because of the thesis and the year ahead. I think it's easier if I break down what I'm looking at:


-Do finish the thesis, for the love of God. 


-Day trip to Lincoln. Maybe to Newcastle? These are trips scheduled by the university's give-it-a-go program. I want to see more of England before my time here's up. 

-A guy I met in university back home is coming to stay with us for a few days with his girlfriend. He just told me yesterday. The relative he was going to visit in Spain separated from her husband and returned abruptly to my (our) home country. The guy's been planning this trip for a year with lots of effort. It'll be nice to see him, but his visit screws up other plans I had for February, and we're not close, so I don't feel particularly excited to have him over.

-My friend Ahmed will also visit for a few days. Now, this excites me, but he may or may not coincide with the guy above, and I'm crossing my fingers they don't. Ahmed is one of the most interesting people I know, I met him when I was working as a secretary in my home country (only time we met face to face). He's from Puerto Rico, has a not-at-all Latin-American/gringo name but the most Latin-American surname, and lives in Southern Africa. He travels a lot around Africa, Europe, and the United States due to his job. I have tons of postcards from his travels, and he once gave me a book of the 1001 places to see before I die. I should've brought that book with me here, but it's massive, and frankly, a bit of pressure. If anything, when I go back to it, I'll probably be able to tick off a few places.


-A couple of Chilean friends are coming to see us. They are our closest friends there. She's Andrew's best friend from ages ago, and our cats' vet. She and her husband are the ones storing our stuff in Chile, mostly books of mine, wall-length bookcase included. 

-Hopefully Brighton to see Anna, and maybe London with Andrew. 


-First week: Iceland. Fucking Iceland. A one-week road trip across Iceland. This is with another of Andrew's best friends and his wife. I'm not thrilled over being on the road for a week, sharing space with another couple, but also, it's a bit stupid to complain about doing a trip like this one. I like Andrew's friend, he's funny and he strikes me as non-entirely heterosexual; he could be one of my own, or maybe he's just nice. His wife...well, I feel less inclined to making conversation about certain topics with her, but I like her, too. They let us stay in their apartment with our cats for a couple of days before we moved here. Oh, and they're both professional photographers. They'll put my own Iceland photos to shame.  

-Second half of the month: My sister visits! I can't wait! I am somewhat upset, however, that my aunt is coming along without even talking to me. I've kinda worked through that by now, I just have to suck it up. I'm not a firm believer in the "they're family" card to put up with other people, but in the case of my aunt and her family, that's also worked the other way around for my benefit. I think of having her over a a bit of me paying back.


-Andrew and I are finally flying to Houston and to New Mexico to see Brothers 1 and 2, and their families. We have yet to work out dates, but it might be in the last half of the month, depending on...

-...Our viva. Our PhD oral exam. Assuming Andrew and I each submit our thesis on time, we might have it scheduled for this month. 


- ??? Hopefully do a little more traveling (or alternatively, save some fucking money), and start packing up our UK camp. My heart will begin to crack. 


-I want to do Brighton Pride with my friend Eric along. If I'm going from this country, I want to go with the queerest bang possible. 

-The 30th. Andrew wrote to the letting agency saying that was out last day in this house. I protested. I was reluctant to commit to a date, and I said it should be September. Alas, it is what it is. That's all one can say here. 

-Submit our thesis corrections. Become doctors. 


-I guess by the end of this month, we'll be back in Chile. 

Somewhere along these plans I hope to finish my new manuscript, and find something useful to do with my life. At the moment, I've made peace with the fact that most of my mental energy is being poured into my thesis.  

I feel somewhat excited, but also sad. Bye for now. 

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