Looking Back at 2012

January 2, 2013

After a month in Maine, I’m back in Dublin, jet lagged and slowly getting my house back in order. With all the traveling, I’ve been thinking a lot about last year, trying to sum it up in my head. It’s one of my favorite processes – getting a grip on the last year before diving into the next.

Ending 2012, I have a really great memory of the year. But the reality is that it wasn’t so rose-colored the whole way through. I actually spent most of the year in an internal (and very external) discussion and battle about whether to quit my job. Michael and I talked about it endlessly, my girlfriends and my family listened to me hem and haw day after day. For months.

At the start of 2012, I declared that by December 31st, I was going to be working for myself. I made plans and goals, and worked every weekend and evening to make it happen. But even though I knew in my gut it was what I wanted, it took a long time for it not to feel like a selfish decision. Leaving the stability of my day job felt like I was letting Michael down. And it felt like I was failing or giving up.

But when I finally decided to leave my day job, it felt like I could breath again. The space in my brain that had been reserved for hashing and re-hashing whether to leave was free again. I can finally listen and hear my friends and family again; I can focus now that the constant should-I-shouldn’t-I conversation wasn’t running nonstop in my head.

I haven’t cried (except for leaving my family in Maine and watching the coverage of the Sandy Hook tragedy) since November. Michael and I haven’t had more than a few minutes of arguments in two months. My heart is light and my brain feels calm.

One of the casualties of my career situation last year is that I stopped writing about myself and my life here on From China Village. There are a few reasons: I couldn’t write about my unhappiness about my job in a public forum, although that probably would have made my decision for me a lot earlier. This blog would have been a very boring place if even half of the posts reflected my inner frustration!

But mainly, this space was my refuge. It’s where I could channel all of my ideas, and share things that made me smile and gave me hope. It’s where I could picture what my life would look like when I could work for myself.Β I’m proud of so many of the posts I’ve put together here during the last year, but I know I’m also ready to put more of me back into the words.Β 

Now is the time of year when bloggers typically thank their readers for sticking around all year, but really and truly, thank you for reading all year. There were so many days when your comments cheered me up at exactly the right time. The emails I got throughout the year with questions about Dublin or suggestions of projects to check out were such welcome surprises. The friends I’ve made because of this website have been invaluable; the companies and organizations I’ve been able to start working with because of this space have given me freedom and confidence I hope I never take for granted.

And of course, without From China Village, I simply wouldn’t have even realized that this is what I want to spend my days doing. Because of your encouragement, I’ve realized writing and sharing are things I’m happiest doing.

I’m closing 2012 with a happy heart, grateful to be able to make a living from something I enjoy so much. Thank you for the enormous part you have played in this process. I want to wish you and your family a happy, healthy new year, filled with peace, blessings and light hearts. Here’s to 2013!


  • Reply Caitriona January 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Happy New Year & here’s to a very successful 2013. X

  • Reply Jenny January 2, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    I can empathise with your post and that inner turmoil having left my job and gone back to college in September. Here’s to a great 2013!!

    • Reply emily January 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Good for you, Jenny! It’s tough but worth it!

  • Reply Holly Kennedy January 2, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Great post Emily. I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds for you!

    • Reply emily January 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks, Holly!

  • Reply Cara January 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Happy New Year Emily! It seems like this year will be so exciting for you. I’m so happy for you that you are getting to do what you love (and are so good at) and look forward to seeing where it takes you – no doubt it will be wonderful!

    • Reply emily January 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks, Cara! I so appreciate your encouragement over the last few years!

  • Reply Vanessa January 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Smiling big smiles for you, Emily! Thrilled you’ve found a way to get yourself on a happier, more fulfilling path! You rock!!
    Happy 2013 to you and Michael!

    • Reply emily January 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks, Vanessa! I’m so glad I was able to meet you both!

  • Reply Torry January 3, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Happy new year Emily! I love that the change to working on FCV full-time has brought you such happiness – yay for following your heart. Looking forward to reading more from you this year (and belated congrats on the Irish Times article last month – very cool!). x

    • Reply emily January 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks, Torry πŸ™‚

  • Reply Rincy January 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    A very happy new year to you pretty lady! And an even bigger congratulations on being the BEST you. Super excited for the things you’ll get up to this year. Cause it will be FABULOUS– believe it πŸ™‚

    • Reply emily January 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks, Rincy! Saw your face on Decor8 the other day! Looked like fun!

  • Reply Gerry January 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    It will be a great year, Emily, now that you have your hustle on 24/7. Go get ’em!

  • Reply lois January 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Love it. And looking forward to hearing more about “you.”

    • Reply emily January 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      You might get enough of me already! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Loving Your Work Series on Image Daily | From China Village April 17, 2013 at 8:55 am

    […] you’ve been reading From China Village for any length of time, you know I’m an enormous proponent of loving your work. I think it’s essential for a person’s happiness, and I love celebrating it. So […]

  • Leave a Reply