Looking back over the blog posts I've written in the past twelve months, more than a few things surprise me:
First, and maybe most surprising, is that I actually kept my commitment to write and post something on this blog once a week. Some posts were very brief and personal, others were closer to full-length articles, but most weeks (4 out of every 5 weeks on average) I posted something.
As I had dared to hope, this regular commitment really did jump-start my writing practice and inspired me to invest more time and resources in writing and other creative pursuits throughout the year.
Another pleasant surprise was that some people outside of my immediate family found useful information, even inspiration, in some of my blog posts. It was more than enough for me that my own daughter found this blog helpful when she was getting ready to move home after a semester in France. I was surprised and touched by some of the comments from perfect strangers who found my words comforting.
Among the topics that I wrote about during the year, the one that surfaced most frequently was culture shock and cultural adjustment. Maybe this is because I'm still trying to figure out my own personal experiences with cultural adjustment, or because I work with so many people who are in the midst of some kind of cultural transition. I'm not really sure why, but this definitely stands out to me.
As I look forward to 2012, I can't wait to keep writing and I'm curious to see where this blog will take us. I've decided to stay closer to home in 2012, not actively planning or seeking out opportunities to travel much outside of the Pacific Northwest (although I probably won't say "no" if great opportunities pop up!), and wonder what new (or old) topics will emerge as a result of that intention.
Maybe instead of culture shock and cultural adjustment, I'll be exploring the deeper roots of my own culture, or the value of reconnecting with one's home.
I hope you'll stick around to find out!
Happy New Year.