Last night, I celebrated the arrival of the new year with a small group of friends and acquaintances, music and a whole bunch of champagne. On this, the morning after, I couldn’t help but turn to introspection on day number one of year two thousand nine.
2008 was a funky little year filled with moments of heart-aching disappointment, glowing ecstasy and nearly every flavor of human experience in between. Turn on the evening news on any given night and the headlines gleam with tragedy: Murders, muggings, seemingly never-ending bloodshed in Gaza, corruption, greed, ever-growing poverty, despair, babies left in dumpsters/alleys/stairways-to-anywhere-but-Heaven. It’s always been true that it can be an ugly world out there, but perhaps this year shed light on some of the ugliest sights we as a people have observed in recent history.
And yet, if you look hard enough, unprecedented beauty persists, like a shimmering raindrop on a wilting leaf. This was a year of plusses and minuses, losing and learning, winning and loving. I don’t really do resolutions, but am all about self-reflection and nostalgia, so here’s a little stream of year-in-review.
(+): Intern, lights and music; Out and About – alphabet soup of the year – really?!; Graduating from University of Wisconsin, honors, journalism, B.A.; One last summer of loving and laughing in the bubble; Returning to writing – reunited; Magic; Found and finding my way in my new home; Obama, hope and change; Day job, commute, paycheck; Hired for an editorial position – this is my calling; Fell and falling in love – this time, for good.
(-): Indecision, stress, lack of motivation; Lonely lonely; Overworked and underpaid; Goodbyes; The bubble’s burst – so long, good friend; Unemployed – month one, month two, month three, tears, daytime-TV-dinners (before and after); Not being sure, not knowing why or when.
Through the bleakest moments, I’ve come through it stronger. And for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say that I am happy and fulfilled. I’m working in my industry – beginning this month, I am the EDGE Chicago Regional Editor, am surrounded by a circle of amazing and inspiring friends the world over and am wildly in love.
Thanks for the ride, ’08. Nice to meet you, ’09. Happy new year, everybody!