This is my favorite photo of me from 2009, because this is one of my happiest memories and it doesn't make my heart ache at all. I am on my brother's boat in the Gulf of Mexico with my family, holding a jellyfish in my hands. The picture is sort of blurry because someone got sunscreen on the camera lens. That's okay, though.
Fuck Off 2009
2009 was both one of the best and one of the worst years I've ever had. It was calm perfection and it was also chaos.
After two full years of digging myself deeper and deeper into lots of different holes, I finally emerged from all of them and decided to do something more productive than digging.
I completed a really great internship at the Colorado Springs Independent where I think I discovered how I'd like to spend the rest of my nonfiction writing career, that is, as a HOBBYIST or FREELANCER, hah. I had a cover story, a huge story, about 2,000 words, and it looked amazing and I've had prouder moments but that one was up there for sure.
I really stopped dicking around at school and actually managed to graduate from community college. I have an associate's degree. It's small, but I was amazed at how easy it was to get and how simple it had all been, and felt shocked and silly that I had been struggling for so long with this school stuff. I also brought up my GPA in a huge way and learned how to study. I think I actually learned how to learn this year.
After too many shoddy attempts at relationships with too many boys I didn't really care about, I finally managed to tie myself down to one. And I entered a relationship for the first time since I was 17 with honest, genuine feelings of love and trust and goodness, and he didn't want me in the end, but it still feels good knowing that I had that in me after being the cause of so much hurt and distrust and anger in other men.
I hiked giant sand dunes, the tallest sand dunes in America. I made lots and lots of paintings and drawings and squids and cards and embroidered and learned to hoop knit. I read things I missed out on as a child. Some I just missed. I went swimming and saw friends.
For the first time in my life, I can look back on a year and literally have no regrets. I made all the right choices and I never missed a step. Sometimes I might have been a little too quick to decide, but in the moment those choices were right, and they still are even if I've changed my mind. I didn't do anything wrong this year.
Here's a meme. I only did some of it.
1) Was 2009 a good year for you? Yes and No.
2) What was your favorite moment of the year? Being in love.
3) What was your least favorite moment of the year? Being heartbroken.
4) Where were you when 2009 began? At home, doing needlepoint with my sick boyfriend.
6) Where will you be when 2009 ends? In bed, asleep with my dog.
8) Did you keep your new years resolution of 2008? I only had 3: Finish my AA, Move to Denver, Be More Organized. The only one I didn't keep was to move to Denver, because I changed my mind.
9) Do you have a new years resolution for 2010? Be amazing.
10) Did you fall in love in 2009? Over and over and over again.
18) What was your favorite month of 2009? The Summer ones.
21) Did you lose anyone close to you in 2009? My best friend.
22) Did you miss anybody in the past year? My mother.
26) How many concerts did you see in 2009?: 2, I think. Neko Case and Tim and Eric.
33) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2009? I don't think I lied much.
34) Did you treat somebody badly in 2009? No.
35) Did somebody treat you badly in 2009? Yes.
37) What was your proudest moment of 2009? Feeling good about all of my accomplishments and all of the bad things I didn't actually do.
38) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2009? Being in love with someone who doesn't love you back is pretty embarrassing.
39) If you could go back in time to any moment of 2009 and change something, what would it be? I wouldn't change any of it.
Favorite Albums of 2009, in order from first to last. No favorite movies because I didn't watch as many new ones as I usually do.
Books I read in 2009, listed in the order in which they were read. I really liked adventure stories this year, and children's literature. Bolded means I loved them. Italicized means I read them for a second or third time.
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Miss Hickory - Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions - Neil Gaiman
Beowulf - Anonymous
The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Night - Elie Wiesel
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
2010 is coming and my one resolution is to simply Be Amazing. Do Amazing Things. Generally be a wonderful person again who makes few mistakes and stands by her decisions. I do have lots of plans, however.
In mid-January I'm going back to school to finish my BA. I know I said I'd be moving to Portland, OR. but it's just wiser (and cheaper) for me to finish up school here in Colorado. There's always Portland for my master's program, but I've been considering Minneapolis, MN., too. That's a few years off, though, so anyway. I'm going to stay local for this first semester, see how I like the program, and by Fall 2010 will know whether or not I'd like to finish my degree in Boulder or Denver or stay here, live with my parents for free, be a sponge, but an educated sponge and then finally leave the old nest when I'm 25-ish. We'll see.
I've spoken to my brother and it has been decided. This June I'm flying out to Florida, along with my mother's cremains (what a disgusting word, but you wouldn't know what I was talking about if I just said "my mother"..) and we're finally going to put her to rest. Much like in life, she decided to be difficult in death and asked that half her ashes be scattered in the Gulf of Mexico and the other half in the Smoky Mountains. So we've decided to head out to the Smokys in an RV, check out Bonnaroo, do some dancing, see some bands, and also some hiking to say our final goodbyes to our mother. After that I think it would be fun to do some cross-country traveling, so I think I'm going to take a bus or train to San Francisco to visit my oldest and goodest friend for a few days, then maybe I'll go somewhere else to sleep on another old and good friend's couch. I've never been much for traveling, but I like the idea of seeing the country from the window of a coach, and I like the idea of being slow and unwashed and simple for several weeks this summer.
I also fully intend to get over my ex and to make some friends and write for a newspaper and make more art, but I think all of that goes without saying.
Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2010
A fresh start, going back to school, studying, reading, feeling less lonely, new episodes of Skins, new Magnetic Fields album, Bonnaroo and seeing my brother, traveling, my brother's wedding in October, writing, learning, new outfits, being more independent, being comfortable being alone.
I am very excited for this year to be over.