2010: Brilliance

It’s that time of year again, when December’s warm embrace starts to loosen, and the frosty, fresh face of January peers its head around the corner, reminding us all that this year is coming to a close. Along with gifts of all shapes and sizes, the highs, lows, challenges, victories, and experiences of the year get packaged up too, to be stored in the vault of memory, ready to be reminisced at a future date with  nostalgia. 2010 has been nothing short of brilliant, as too have years past – and though the colour may fade a little with every passing sunset, as the present moves further into the past, the edges becoming that little bit blurrier – my collection of memories is growing ever bigger, and ever more full of fondness.

2010 has, hands down, been the most amazing year of my life. I want to gather up every part of it and chronicle it forever – I’ve never seen so much of the world, felt so passionate, so determined, so comfortable with myself, and so on the right path. I’ve never felt such enormous change, met such wonderful people, or felt such friendship and love. I’ve never been so blessed. This year had its ups and downs. Some people’s chapters in my life ended this year, and some just began. Some changed dynamic, some grew, some withered, but it all happened for a reason, and I’m a firm believer that it’s a good one. The Universe played an enormous part in 2010 and I can’t wait to see what it brings in the days that lay ahead. 2010 was a year of growth, and has fuelled me to keep trying desperately to keep going, keep slapping fear in the face, keep trying to learn more and be more and leave more of a positive impact in my little corner of the globe. 2010 was a year of determination and brilliance.

Highlights of this year include:

  • January: Travelling to the Dominican Republic with Sweet, escaping the Arctic conditions that are Winnipeg at this time of year, sunbathing under palm trees and swimming with dolphins
  • February: A whirlwind trip to Toronto for just over 24 hours, where we explored the city entirely on foot, ate beer-coated chips, reminisced with old friends and queued up with a hundred other devoted Mumford and Sons fans outside an intimate venue, buzzing on the electric passion and energy that coarsed the veins of everyone there while we witnessed one of the most magical concerts I’ve ever seen
  • March: Learning to let go, have faith, and have amazing things delivered in return
  • April: Getting published for the first time in a glossy print magazine! Singing for the Internet. Quite possibly experiencing the most unlikely of unfortunate events, leading to potentially the grossest story ever? Taking a Creative Writing class which led me to reading my work in a public bookshop!
  • May: The next chapter in the Tattoo Saga. Sucking it up and trying to go ahead with the cover up, having my back go into uncontrollable spasms, and being insulted and yelled out of the shop. But… led somewhere else, somewhere that will eventually make this something beautiful, and for now, something that’s unfinished, but more importantly not what it was initially. I also took a leap of faith and posted something controversial about blogging, explaining why I refuse to subscribe to what’s commonly seen as the “right” way to be a blogger.
  • June: I hosted two radio shows and shared my favourite music across actual airwaves. I watched England lose at the World Cup, but spend weeks in flags and facepaint at British pubs with all the other expats and loved every second. I celebrated 2 glorious years with Sweet, met some amazing people, and made the list that’s fuelled the momentum of last six months.
  • July: A big, giant theatre and arts festival came to town, and along with it distant friends from all over who I only get to see once per year. I made it to the final 7 of a national wedding competition, and had the support of the entire blogosphere. This month, I felt truly, truly blessed.
  • August: ENGLAND! Home, glorious home. I spent 9 days trekking across the country with Sweet, visiting family and friends, showing off my home, seeing places old and new, and making some of the best memories of my life. I also found out we’d won the competition, and with it, a trip of a lifetime. 🙂
  • September: The Great Chicago Blogger Meetup. I spent a whirlwind three days with some incredible people in a breathtaking city, and loved every second.
  • October: We hosted a massive Friends Thanksgiving, everyone cooked, shared, laughed, played games, and it was fantastic. I decided to shelf the past, that I’m a proudly nicheless blogger, and learned why being an introvert is perfectly okay.
  • November: I learned about the dangers of perfectionism, and took a massive, scary leap into something terrifying yet thrilling – musical theatre.
  • December: I got married to the man that’s stood by my side through ups, downs, and everything in between. The man that’s helped me see the world in a new light and inspired me to be a better person. The man that I’ll still be holding hands, watching Star Trek and kitchen dancing with forty years from now. The man I am proud to call my husband.

I think it’s been a pretty epic year! No, it wasn’t without its challenges – I almost had no job, got attacked by cyber trolls, fell out with my best friend, went into debt, got a messed up tattoo, became the subject of gossip, worried about the health of dear family members, stressed myself silly with worry, and fell down a flight of stairs almost breaking my arm a week before the wedding… but the tough things that are the biggest proponents of introspection, reflection, and action plans. Everything worked out… because I think maybe the Universe listens when you choose determination over self-pity. I leave 2010 with excitement for the next year, and incredible gratitude for this one – and with the hope that 2011 will be even better. 🙂

Merry Christmas, to every single one of you – so many of you have brought so much joy to this year, and for that I am truly thankful. May your holiday weekend be full of happiness, friendship and love.  What themes ran throughout your 2010, and what were your highlights?


  1. It sounds like you’ve had an amazing year, Emily, and I’m happy that you chose to share it with us!

    I hope you and Sweet have a wonderful first Christmas as a married couple!


  2. You have had quite the rollercoaster of a year, wow! I really like how determined you are never to be a victim of life’s curveballs, it’s inspirational and you are proof that when you stand up for your self that great things can come your way.

    Merry Christmas girl and hope 2011’s a great one for you!

  3. You’ve had quite the busy year, my dear! But you’ve come out of it a stronger, more confident woman. Kudos to you and here’s to an even better 2011!! 🙂

  4. congratulations on such an amazing year, emily! i’m so proud of you. you’ve definitely blossomed into a more confident and happy person, and it’s been so awesome to watch you make all these strides and face all your fears head on. you’re an inspiration. i can’t wait to see what 2011 brings you!

    sending love on a seriously large scale,



  5. what a fab year em! i’ve got to agree with the girl above its been amazing watching you grow this year and you should be proud of yourself to have come so far. i know your going to check off everything on your list in 2011 and i can’t wait to read all about your continued blossoming into this incredible person. merry christmas to you & david, have a great first one as a married couple! xxx

  6. I love this post! It’s been so wonderful getting to know you through your blog. You’re simply amazing and your writing is so incredibly honest and genuine, and I love that about you. I’m looking forward to reading/hearing all about what 2011 has in store for you!

    Congrats on the wedding & have a wonderful Christmas, love!!!


  7. Ohhh I love this. Have a very “married” Christmas! 🙂 I’m doing a reflection post like this on my blog next week before the New Years hits!

  8. This post kind of made me want to stand up and cheer for you. Since I only started reading a few weeks ago, I sincerely want to tell you I am so glad you stopped by my blog and left a sweet comment. Otherwise, I never would have stumbled over here. I can’t wait to read all the posts highlighted here and learn more about the fabulous Emily Jane.

  9. That’s quite the exciting year you had! Here’s to 2011 being even better.

    BTW, being a relatively new reader, I went back and read several of your posts from this year and the “flying snot” post has got to be the grossest thing I’ve ever heard of happening to anyone. I’m fairly sure I would have vomited on the spot.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  10. You have had the quite the year, and the amazing thing? I have gotten to read about it from start to finish. So proud of you Em!

    I got my first publishing as well in October! Hurray!

    SO happy to know you love.

    1. Oh my goodness, I am so so happy to know YOU!! You have been such an inspiration and do such incredible things in the world, I am lucky to be able to call you my friend 🙂 And YAY for your first publishing!! The first of many, I know it!

  11. You’ve had such an amazingly remarkable 2010! I like it when I get to know people through their blogs. You’re one of the most honest and inspiring bloggers I know.

    Merry Christmas!! 😉

  12. What a year this has been for you, my dear!

    I think my word for 2010 was probably growth. Or perserverance. I will say it will probably go down as one of the toughest years of my life. From goign through career challenges/changes to break ups – I can’t wait to kick the door shut on this year. But I get a fresh start in 2011 and I have to hope and believe that it WILL be a better year.

    Merry Christmas, Emily!

    1. You have had a crazy year my love, but your spirit of determination and positivity has been a shining example and I just know that 2011 is going to be FULL of good things for you ❤

  13. What a big year! As someone who only found your blog recently, I feel like I missed out on so much. But I’ll be here through 2011.

    I also feel a bit like a nicheless blogger. le sigh.

    1. No, being nicheless is a good thing!! 😀 High five!

      Thank you so much for starting to read – I’ve really appreciated having you around this last little while! Have a wonderful Christmas 🙂

  14. I came across one of your postings on another site, and decided to check out your main blog. You truly are a very impressive writer to be so young at age 25. The depth and passion of your writing and experiences seem to be of one many years your senior. Keep the faith in yourself and continue to strive for excellence, as you are currently so doing. All your dreams are yet to be forefilled by your wonderful talent.

  15. Hi Emily,

    Thank you so much for sharing the great year that you had in 2010 with us. I am glad to have been part of the journey even though I just got on the train towards the end. Still, now that I am on the Emily Express, I doubt I would want to get off and I am looking forward to the stops that you would make in the year to come.

    I look at the trials and tribulations that you have triumphed over and I see that you have gained much wisdom and experience. More importantly, you have not allowed your trials to overcome you or make you bitter. Neither have you drawn the wrong conclusions from them. You are a great source of inspiration to us all with the posts you share. I look forward to the journey with you in 2011. This time I will be along for the full ride! If 2010 was brilliant, may 2011 be glorious for you! 😀

    May you and your loved ones have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 😀

    Irving aka the Vizier

  16. I love year-end recap posts and you have had a CRAZY year! I’m so glad I got to be around for the ride as just about every post you’ve written has inspired me to forge my own path. 🙂 I can’t wait to see how 2011 turns out for you!

  17. What a wonderfully full year- so many amazing things to look back on and be happy for. And you know what? A lot of it is because you made it happen, you made 2010 a great year for yourself!
    Congratulations, lady. You deserve ever speck of awesomeness.


  18. Okay so how on earth did I miss your wedding post? I’m off to check it out right after commenting here!

    It sounds like you had an AMAZING year and I hope 2011 is just as amazing! Happy holidays Emily!

  19. Ahh! This has been a spectacular year! I loved reading about your highlights, and as I was going down the list, I remembered reading about each one. You are definitely a source of inspiration, especially when it comes to getting over your fears and just telling them to suck it! Hehe. I have to say that so far, 2010 has been the best year of my life as well. A year of taking charge and finally doing things I’ve always said I’d do. It’s so exciting, and makes me that much more excited for 2011! I can’t wait to see what comes next. Much love! ❤

  20. Yay Em!!!! Love this post 🙂 And yes, your post made me realize being an introvert is ok, as well.

    2010 has been a year of deep self-discovery and making new plans for my life. I believe 2011 will be the year to put some of those plans in action, and seeing where they go!

  21. You have certainly had one incredible year! I just love meeting up with people from the blogosphere who have become dear friends. My next one is in NYC next month. YAY!

  22. wow–your year sounded fantastic! i want a year like that.
    filled with a lot of big exciting things… no better time than the present!

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