It was only three years ago when I suffered my own “annus horribilis” and life seemed to get just a little too tough for this grasshopper. So I waived the metaphorical white flag and surrendered. Back then, there were three natural disasters in my personal sphere, as well as some other heavy shit going down, which meant I was glad when 2011 was done.
This year for me, in comparison, has been a mix of annus horribilis (a year of misfortune) and annus mirabilis (a year of wonder or miracles) yet I am kind of looking forward to it being over, too.
On a global scale, we’ve had to deal with three major airline crashes, resulting in hundreds of deaths, far too many far-fetched conspiracy theories and the subsequent media reporting on unsubstantiated waffle. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who is just a little more fearful each time I fly these days.
We’ve also unfortunately learned who ISIS is and come to understand what they’re prepared to do to get the attention they think they deserve. And as has happened so often in history, journalists sent to cover the story, became the story themselves and ultimately the victims.
Cracking jokes about someone having Ebola if they coughed became par for the course, even though thousands of people died of the disease this year, which of course is far from funny.
For those of us in Australia, terror came to our very door-step when a deranged coward held up a Sydney coffee shop for hours while the mainstream media gave him exactly what he wanted – non-stop coverage. Two lives were lost that day while our nation looked on in horrific live streaming. I have written about this many times and remain convinced, as a member of the Fourth Estate myself, that our unpalatable desire for instantaneous ‘news’ needs to be tempered with common sense and some serious adherence to journalistic ethics. When a madman holds 17 hostages, and a nation, to ransom in the quite accurate hope of gaining national or global attention, then surely it the media’s job not to fulfil his demands?
Yep, there certainly has been a plethora of bad news of late.
On the very big plus side, this year has been a time of quite awesome transformation for me. I started the New Year going to the movies by myself, working in a job that I should have left two years before, drinking myself ‘happy’ at the weekends, and having sworn off dating forever because all men were idiots (apart from you, dad).
Within three months of the start of 2014, I’d landed a cool media gig that I didn’t even apply for, quit drinking two weeks after that (I’ve just celebrated 10 months on the wagon) and a week after that I clapped my eyeballs on B across a crowed room (yep, just like in the movies) for the very first time and knew I was in big – but very sexy – trouble.
There’s been a lot of change, a soul renovation if you will, and with that has come a whole host of possibilities that I mostly thought were lost to me. I guess that’s the amazing thing about life. You really never know what’s going to happen. Sure, sometimes it’s crap and makes you cry for people you didn’t even know, but sometimes it’s so astoundingly beautiful that you wonder whether you really deserve it at all. Good old life. It sure does keep you on your toes, doesn’t it?
Here’s to 2015. Thanks for sticking with me.