2014 in Review

Happy New Year to you all!!! (At what point in the year is it not okay to use this anymore?)

2014 was a long year, but as all things must, it came to an end. So as a sign of respect to a very tumultuous year, my first post for 2015 is a goodbye to 2014.

The year 2014 was born at midnight, January 1, 2014. I don’t quite remember how I celebrated the new year, so I don’t think it struck me as being any kind of special year.

By January, the 1st semester of my Film and TV Production Program was done and after being completely traumatised by how little I knew practically and theoretically about film as a Masters student, I decided to read every book in the library on the subject. I think we both know how that ended.

As a late birthday present to myself, I travelled to Shanghai alone at the beginning of January. I had always wanted to go to Shanghai and always wanted to experience solo travel.

The Shanghai Skyline
The Shanghai Skyline

At the end of January, I went to Istanbul, Turkey with someone from high school. We had just happened to reconnect on Facebook and then he became my long-distance beau. Interesting how that happened, but long distance relationships, I don’t think they should be.

Chad and I
Chad and I
The Galata Tower
The Galata Tower
Traditional Turkish Breakfast
Traditional Turkish Breakfast

After returning from Istanbul in February, Beijing seemed dreary and terribly unexciting. It didn’t help that I came back smack in the middle of the Spring Festival, when everybody and their dogs desert Beijing and return to their home towns.

2014-Year-of-the-Horse1

It wasn’t long before school started and I had renewed determination to work hard and get this filmmaking thing down. Unfortunately, life had other plans for me.

One of my greatest fears about coming to China was that my grandparents would pass away while I was here, and it was realised. My maternal grandfather passed away in 2012, but I wasn’t able to go to the funeral. So at the end of February, after receiving word that my maternal grandmother had passed, the first thing I did (after crying and getting over the shock of course) was to look for tickets to Jamaica.

I left Beijing in March and stayed in Jamaica just a little under a month, returning to Beijing in April.  April and May went by without any major incidents.

June came and it was graduation time for a lot of my friends. The first part was filled with stress about thesis and graduation requirements (not me, I was just looking on). The second part was filled with celebration and joyous moments (which I shared in). Then it hit me, all my friends would be going home, but I would still be here.

Graduation
Graduation Day
Graduation Day 2
Graduation Day 2

Then July began, and my world as I had known it and carefully built up over the last three years, shattered. 1 by 1 or 2 by 2, they slowly trickled away until one day I woke up and realised that no one was there. To make matters worse, my school was undergoing a serious face lift. Everytime I stepped outside, I felt like I had stepped into the middle of a dust storm.

To take my mind off things I threw myself into the gym during July and August. I even hired a personal trainer, a very expensive experiment.

Then September, school began. Life slowly returned to normal and during October and November we had classes and for the first time I felt like I was learning something that would make me a better filmmaker. I made my first documentary called “The Odd Ones Out” which led to so many learning experiences.

In November too, I happened upon a cooking competition by Crowne Plaza Beijing Airport where I was one of 5 contestants. With the help of my friend, Sheree,  I decided made Escovitched Fish and Rice and Peas, and because my dish sold the most servings, I won two tickets to the Maldives.

Jamaican Escoveitched Fish
Jamaican Escoveitched Fish
The chef who I taught to make the dish and I.
The chef who I taught to make the dish and I.

Then as of November I began working on my final documentary film which is based in Lang Fang, Hebei. During December I went back and forth between Hebei and Beijing, and I am still doing that. On Christmas day, I celebrated my 25th birthday by accompanying a friend to the hospital in the morning and then going to Christmas dinner with a few other Jamaicans at the ambassadors house.

Finally, on December 31, 2014, the year 2015 took the torch as I quietly said goodbye to 2014, then went to sleep.

So here’s to all the good and bad things that happened in 2014 and a wish for great success in 2015!

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