It is hard to believe that 2017 has come and gone already. A lot happened this year, personal and world-wide. I think David Mitchell summed it up beautifully in the 2017 Big Fat Quiz of the Year when he said 2017 had been “personally adequate, and internationally disastrous”. To wrap it up, I thought I’d go through some of my personal highlights of the year.
starting the year right (with an existential crisis)
2017 started off quietly in Melbourne for us, visiting Liz (my wife)’s family. I spent most of my time in early January reading, visiting animals and relaxing. 2017 was initially supposed to be the year I headed back into higher education, with the plan to start my Masters degree in Education. Not long into that process, though, I realised something I’d been repressing for quite some time – this was not the life I wanted. It was the life I thought I had to have. It was quite a remarkable moment of self-realisation for me – the woman who has always valued safety, security, financial independence and wealth. I thought I could enjoy the life I’d been starting to carve out. However, a month-long existential crisis helped to clear my head and instead I had a new goal. I was going to start a photography business.
Meanwhile, 2017 continued to speed by me, and it brought quite a whirlwind of travel. In March, I travelled to Melbourne again for a work conference and enjoyed a day exploring the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and some more of Melbourne city. Straight after that, we headed to Gympie for a family do, and then in the blink of an eye, it was May and we were back to Melbourne. I (temp) dyed my hair purple, and we enjoyed a wonderful day/night at Groovin’ the Moo in Bendigo, before getting up at a ridiculous hour to head into the city for All Hell Breaks Loose, a Supernatural convention – the highlight of which was seeing our friend Rosie, who lives in Japan.
turning twenty six
And then, suddenly, I was 26. I felt like I had fallen asleep as a 21-year-old and suddenly I had woken up an adult at 26. Admittedly, I was (and suppose am) doing well for 26. I am happily married, I have a good relationship with my family, good friends, and a good, well-paid job. But turning 26 seemed to awake in me an urge to be creative, to do more, to be more, that I hadn’t felt in a long time (if ever). I started creating Youtube videos, and “real life” continued to speed up.
travel, travel, travel
In early June, we saw San Cisco at ANU Bar, then hopped on a plane the new day and went back to Melbourne for Liz’s Dad’s 50th birthday. Straight back into work, I enjoyed a newly negotiated part time workload and started focussing intently on photography in my free time. I got another tattoo, a sunflower, which was a gift from Liz, and then that same day was in a car accident (not of my own fault) which saw our car rendered undriveable and in repair for almost 2 months. There were sparks of great fun in those two months, including booking our Japan holiday, our one year wedding anniversary, marathons of Studio Ghibli movies, and dominating Supernatural trivia with some of our best friends. At the end of July we headed to Shepparton for my brother in law’s 30th birthday (probably the only time I’ll see a washing machine set on fire), participated in another year of GISHWHES, and then in August we were off to Sydney to watch Liz graduate from her Masters degree, which was an incredibly proud moment for me as a wife.
Then in September it was back to Melbourne yet again. For work this time, I also brought my father and got to take him around my favourite places in the city for a father/daughter Father’s Day. I also took (with Liz’s support) a huge leap and bought a full-frame pro DSLR. Things with photography were officially getting serious. Then, hearts breaking, we said goodbye to our rabbit, Wombat, in mid-September when we found out he had an inoperable tumour and he started to be unable to eat. It was an almost impossible decision, but looking back I know we did the right thing for him, as much as it broke our hearts to do so.
In late September, we started the absolute highlight of the year, a trip to Japan. It was a crazy, amazing two weeks. I can’t sum it up in words, here or maybe ever. I took so many photos and was creatively jolted – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so inspired. It was a spectacular trip and I’ll never forget it. Look forward to a Zine of our travels, my photos and sketches coming in early 2018.
returning to canberra
Inspired, exhausted, and exhilarated we returned to Canberra to “enjoy” the final weeks of the Australian Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey. There were moment of levity, of escapism and of love and kindness in October but it was generally a very hard month to be queer in Australia. Thank goodness for our friends is all I can say. I got yet another tattoo, one that I’d been excited for, in late October. It is by far my biggest, most detailed and best tattoo and I absolutely adore it. It did however mean a day trip to Sydney so it was an exhausting process. In late October/early November I threw myself back into my day job and my photography to get through the end of the vote. And I managed to organise my first ever gigs.
When the postal survey came back as a “Yes”, we breathed a small sigh of relief and began the testing process of listening to the bill being drafted and debated. In this time I did my first engagement shoot, a gift for some dear friends, and headed to Spilt Milk where we heard Lorde live (a truly spectacular experience) along with others, and then did my first paid shoot, a family session with a family Liz and I truly adore. I drove to Sydney and back in a day for a conference and successfully navigated myself, alone, for the first time.
And then, it was December. December passed in a blur – watching gay marriage be legalised live in Parliament House, attempting VLOGMAS, making and buying presents, working and editing like crazy. In the week before Christmas we were invited on my brother in law’s family houseboat. And if you’ve never swam in a nearly deserted lake, surrounded by mountains – let me say, it’s one to add to the bucket list.
And then, Christmas. We ate, we talked, we played a lot of Settlers of Catan and then, with just two days of the year left, we became foster parents of a ginger cat named Jesus. What a year it has been. I do apologise that this is so long, it’s been huge and there’s so much more I could talk about. But let’s leave it here for now. I look forward to writing again soon – maybe a monthly recap rather than these huge posts, hey? :)
Hannah is a 26 year old photographer from Canberra, Australia. She is a Ravenclaw, a nerd and an INFJ. She is most often found taking photos, playing with her cat, drinking coffee, or writing terrible bios in the third person. For all enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.