2013: The Year in Review

In Japan, where James and I are now, New Year’s Eve is generally spent with family and there are no official countdowns or celebrations to count in the new year. Some temples will ring bells, but the Japanese usually welcome in the new year by watching the sun rise, and by celebrating various “firsts” of the year. So in farewelling the year gone by — which is what the Japanese do too — this is a survey I did last year as well. I thought, what better way to reflect on the wonderful year 2013 was?

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Photographed two gigs in a night, arrived home from a night out at the ungodly time of 3am, and a myriad of other things both before and after dark, including having my first Starbucks drink, and these particular “firsts”:

2. Did you meet any of your important goals this year? What are your goals for next year?

I didn’t set myself any important goals. The main thing was to get through university and improve my skills in photographing concerts, which definitely happened. For next year, I just want to find a new job, and be happy.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

A second-aunt of mine. She died of lung cancer. It was very sad, because she never smoked or hung around people who smoked. It was one of those unlucky, unexplained cases of people of her age group and ethnicity being prone to getting the disease. She left behind a husband and four sons.

5. What countries did you visit?

James and I visited Hong Kong, a country I last visited when I was about five years old. Of course, I barely remember the trip, but my mum tells me I lost my first tooth there. James and I are currently spending the latter half of December, and the new year, in Japan.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Emotional strength and willpower.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • 19th January 2013 — I saw Weezer. I spent $100 on my ticket, and I don’t regret it one bit. It was one of the most amazing concerts I have ever been to.
  • 2nd May 2013 — I finally met Kim, an amazingly vibrant, bubbly girl with so much personality. We had been friends online, and shared a comprehensive love for the same music and bands.
  • 9th August 2013 — I met Tristan, someone who was a lot like me in personality, but someone who helped me grow, change, learn and find myself.
  • 12th December 2013 — I finally met Daniel, someone I have been close friends with for many years online.
  • Every time I saw Hey Geronimo play live.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


Oh, and this:

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not being able to say no.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My ear bled all over my hands (it’s not as serious as it sounds). I also had pelvic congestion syndrome and there was a lot of pressure on my lower abdomen, making it impossible to walk. I had my first panic attack some time in the first half of the year, staying up to do a university assignment and eventually getting so devoid of sleep it affected my head.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Probably my 30mm f1.4 camera lens. I have been having so much fun with it, and it has really helped me take better shots at concerts. Another would be my MacBook Air. It’s really nice to finally have my own MacBook.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My mother for being the best mother ever. Years ago I resented her protectiveness of me and took her for granted, but this year we have shared a lot of emotions together and I’m so glad to have her. She supported me and made me feel better on so many occasions. I am really happy that we got to talk a lot this year, because I previously never made any time for her.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I don’t want to name this person.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Funding the production of various different album/EP releases of some of my musician buddies; too much bubble tea; a new camera lens; an iPhone 5c; a MacBook Air, and this radical trip to Hong Kong and Japan.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The release of Hey Geronimo’s EP “Erring on the Side of Awesome”, and being a Tone Deaf contributor.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Into Your Arms by The Maine.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Happier. A lot of crap happened in 2013, but it all blew over and I’m glad it did before the year ended.

b) thinner or fatter?

About the same.

c) richer or poorer?


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Taking two-hour lunch breaks. Ha ha.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressing out, complaining, crying.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

James and I went to Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, Japan. It was a lovely, mellow sort of day, away from all the commercialism that Christmas has become over the years. A bit like a celebration, but not completely going out of our way to have a party or anything extravagant.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

You know unconditional love, the kind you have with your family, sometimes with friends you really care about, when you just care about them no matter what, no matter who they are, who they become, or what they do? Yeah. That kind of love.

22. Read any good books?

I finally read Looking For Alaska by John Green. It was an emotional, humourous and heartwarming read. Honourable mentions include The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Fortunately, The Milk… by Neil Gaiman.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

I didn’t really have one because I didn’t watch much television, so this probably stays as Doctor Who.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Not particularly. I try not to hold grudges against people. There are people I don’t like as much now, but I would not say I hate them.

25. What was the best movie you saw?

James and I watched Amélie (Dom recommended it!) and Away We Go. Amélie was a very good movie. I also re-watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and it was hilarious to watch over again.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Velociraptor. I completely regret not getting more into them last year when I heard about them. But I am thrilled that I went to so much trouble travelling and going through rain to see those guys.

27. What did you want and get?

A new phone.

28. What did you want and not get?

A gothic lolita dress.

29. What did you do on your birthday?

I went out for lunch with James, I think. I don’t remember much because I was feeling quite sick around my birthday, and I also had a huge university assignment due. My parents gave me a huge box of Twinings tea though! :)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

University not existing.

31. Who kept you sane?


32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jeremy Neale. I adored him the most. I wouldn’t say I fancied him, though. He was just a huge inspiration overall. His music was beautiful, he was kind, he joked a lot, we got along well, and he never treats his fans like “just fans”. He always attempts to have conversations and he makes people feel valued.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

That whole thing with Australians spying on Indonesia was just uncalled for; Tony Abbott not apologising was just disgusting, and it’s not so much that I’m part Indonesian, but more the fact that he was too much of an arrogant prick to just say sorry. It was just a massive humiliation for our country, especially since we have always had a good relationship with Indonesia with previous leaders of our country (Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard).

34. Who did you miss?

Lilian. I always miss Lilian.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Tristan. After having to wait around after I didn’t get put on the door for my own university’s event, after meeting him and finding out we were practically neighbours, after he ordered a mushroom pizza without knowing I was pescetarian, after all the tiny small-world coincidences — universe, what are you doing?, I questioned — I honestly believe it was fate that we met.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

I’m so much stronger than I think.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Time slips away
Gone the days we’ll never see again
I don’t care ’cos we were there and I’ll always feel the same
And that’s where it can remain as long as we’re okay
Are we okay?

– Are We OK?, Jebediah

Comments on this post

Happy New Year!

It sounds like you’ve had a lovely year. I’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong – you’re so lucky. I’ve never travelled anywhere out of Britain so it’d be nice to see anywhere.

It’s nice that you’ve got closer to your mother. I think it’s easier to get along with parents when you’re older ’cause they’re not enforcing as many rules. I always used to get annoyed at my mum for not letting me do what everyone else was doing, but now I’m really glad she didn’t. I wouldn’t have wanted to get involved with all that stuff when I was 14 in hindsight. Hope things keep working out well for you.

OMG I want to read Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but I hardly ever have time to read books unless their for university (English degree moan!). I cannot wait though!

Congrats on the crossword! I usually get frustrated and want to use the newspaper as a weapon against the bin haha.

The picture of the enraged man at the penguin show may appear on my blog at some point soon – just as long as his freakishly angry eyes don’t terrify me too much beforehand! But maybe.

What a year! Happy New Year! :)

I love how so many of your achievements are food related. You are so cute. Those eggs do look delicious though and now I want some eggs.

I hope that 2014 is just as good to you, if not better!

Happy New Year, Georgie! I wish you the best in 2014. And you had a busy year! I had to say I nearly fell over seeing that watermelon sandwich of yours. That’s certainly different, and I’m glad it tasted good to you!

Oh wow. so…in contrast to christmas, japanese have their NYE hm…quieter then? well, i didn’t expect that. i first thought they’d blast it off the same way they celebrated christmas, with fireworks and merry stuff. I like the reality, though. I can almost picture the family gathering, heartwarming moments (uh wow.. japanese dramas much..)

I should try putting melon into my sandwich too! haha sounds interesting /bounce are you a sandwich person too? 😏

wow. I’m actually surprise you had your first starbucks and pad thai last year.. so…what brand of coffee do you usually order then? in here, everyone flocks over starbucks for coffee. me included, personally. sometimes, when i want a pure vanilla/vanilla latte, i’d go to coffee bean though since coffee bean uses vanilla powder while starbucks uses syrup. 😒

Man, I would love an emotional strength and willpower too. I succumbed to the urge of depression just days before dec 31 kicked in. sigh.

No.10. /ehh
WOW, they sound serious are you sure they weren’t …. /ehh
ah… my ear bled too like..twice or more thanks to my nails.

hm…wide angle lens, huh… never tried one but i wonder which one is a lot more fun? 30mm or the 50mm? i’m talking about everyday shot because carrying a standard zoom annoys me 😰
I’m actually thinking of replacing my standard zoom with a 135mm f1.8…do you think it’s a good idea? hm..

I agree with no.19. so much.

Looking for Alaska eh..I should try that. the first john green book i read was will grayson, will grayson and it was just okay. his writing is..okay. a lot of people worship the fault in our stars so much it makes not wanna read it.

I agree with…quite a lot of what you wrote there, wow. not gonna list em one by one though…it might eat up your comment box. I’m sorry I’m rambling on too much..my fingers just love typing.

Anyway, happy new year to you, G! XD

Some people go to clubs, but that is only the younger generations and people who are really into the loud music and dancing. I sort of like that kind of thing, but not in a club… I prefer concerts.

I don’t normally like sandwiches, but I tend to like toast with simple toppings. I just heard of a famous grilled watermelon and bacon burger and decided to put my own spin on it by making a watermelon/salmon/cheese number (also since I don’t eat bacon).

I don’t really drink coffee because I don’t like it that much, my first drink at Starbucks was a tea latte. The coffee in Australia is usually good in most places. I see no reason to fuss over what is essentially “bean water”, and most people in Australia are the same.

I used to carry a normal zoom but it wasn’t good in low light, and I need a higher aperture for concerts and stuff. 30mm also isn’t really as wide as you think. I find myself having to step back a lot for portraits when I use a 50mm, and a 30mm makes quite a bit of difference.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson was also my first John Green book, and I didn’t like it that much either. His other books are much better. It might have something to do with the fact that WGWG was a collaboration.

Happy new year! :)

Congrats on completing your goals, and good luck on finding a new job! Sorry to hear about your second-aunt though. My grandma also died of lung cancer even though she didn’t smoke :(

I still think it’s awesome that you got to spend Christmas and new years in Japan! I also like the achievements you listed. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a crossword in the newspaper, and it’s hard to make perfect sunny-side-up eggs :)

I just now started using my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 more, and I love it. It’s so nice to have a very high aperture as an option.

Aww, I’m glad you had such a great relation with your mother this year! That’s awesome to have someone so supportive. I’m also glad you’re happier this year compared to last!

Happy new year! I hope 2014 will be great for you!

Happy New Years, Georgie! You’re so lucky to have been able to travel to Hong Kong! I love traveling, but have still never made it out of America /ehh Maybe 2014 will hold new travels for me?? And congrats on being a part of the iPhone 5c club! I’m seriously in love with this phone after being stuck with my (overcapacity) iPhone 4 for three years /rose
I might snatch up this survey and do it myself! It seems fun /wave

Oh man…those eggs and tomatoes look phenomenal. Even though I’m not an Australian, the Indonesian spying issue bothered me too. Hell, any spying is a great way to bother me, but this all just seemed wildly unnecessary.