Welcome to my obligatory all-things-New-Years post.
I figured I'd kick things off with a meme I stole from Abbey. The basic premise was to just post the first line from the first post of every month over the past year...
However, I cheated a little, because this post is going to be a little about endings and transitions, rather than beginnings. As such, I'm taking the first line of the last post of every month.
January: It's an odd thing, realizing you are someone else's therapist.
February: It becomes a little deflating when one realizes not only how much rudeness occurs in a big city, but also the negative impact that other people's rudeness has on you.
March: I think life knows my silly little traits, and decides to challenge them every once in a while, just to remind me how ridiculous they are.
April: Yep, finally!
May: Dave the Obscure Fetish Prankster is definitely NSFW (not safe for work).
June: I'm going camping this weekend!
July: I'm sitting somewhere over the Rockies at the moment, a little dehydrated and fatigued.
August: I have the tendency to get a little stir-crazy at times.
September: The Scene: A busy sushi restaurant on Friday night with four other friends, two of each gender.
October: This Halloween, I decided to put my craft skills to the test.
November: Things you may already know about me:
December: For unfathomable reasons, it was decided that the most effective way of confronting the awkwardness was head on.
While this time of year tends to focus on changes and new beginnings, it's also the time to do a little reflection on what has come to pass over the last 365 days.
2007 was the transition I desperately needed after what may have been the most draining 6 months of my life, in which I negotiated a Masters thesis along with the end of a 6 year relationship while spending a month living on someone's couch. I defended my thesis in December, was falling head over heels for my new fellow, and was ready for a new mindset.
So what did 2007 provide?
On the education front, I kicked off January as an official PhD student, with a big fat three year research grant to boot.
I survived ethics oral exams, did my first conference talk, and after much searching, found a (paid!) part-time practicum in a forensic clinic, which has challenged a lot of my beliefs about what I am and not capable of (note- thankfully, the cards are stacked on the capable side).
On the travel front...
Memphis brings both a brain full of conference related learning, as well as drunken excursions to Beale Street and hungover excursions to Graceland.
Nearly three weeks at summer institute in Austin brings swan attacks, epic rain storms, riverboat rides, sweaty elbows, phone stalkers, and the most rigorous schedule of partying with more learning squished in there.
I also manage a few weekend excursions with the boy, which provide delightful distractions from city life, even if one was spent mostly trapped in our hotel room. These trips also allow us to share our mutual love of tidal pools.
May long weekend was spend with twenty of my closest on a nearby island, whereas July long weekend was spend with one of my best girlfriends camping in a ridiculously high rolling site.
I also managed to make it home more times than usual, including a fabulous end of summer road trip with the Duke, and a quick trip home for Thanksgiving.
Although these trip in and of themselves may not be particularly glamourous, they are what took me out of the day-to-day, and thus they are what I will remember about 2007.
Another trend that made 2007 special is great music. This was the second year into what I call my real discovery of music, and I went to a lot of amazing concerts. Some of the highlights including the Arcade Fire, Bjork, Stars, Regina Spektor, Damien Rice, Feist, the White Stripes, the Arctic Monkeys, Tegan & Sara, Les Savy Favs, Black Mountain, Queens of the Stone Age, Ratatat, and the list goes on. It's nice to have a venue where you can truly escape from your thoughts and get enveloped in something so completely.
However, what I will also remember about 2007 is losing a friend.
This year also brought about my first move into an apartment I'd picked out completely on my own. The move was incredibly cathartic, and felt like I was finally leaving the last stitch of my old life goodbye.
I also began blogging early in 2007, and completely underestimated how big of a role it would play in my life. Not only have I met (literally!) some incredible people, but I feel like I have finally found my way, however informal, back into the world of (non-academic) writing that I used to enjoy so wholeheartedly. I also feel like blogging has provided me with an opportunity for much needed catharsis and to learn a lot more about myself, as writing has become one of the best coping devices I have.
And, finally, I fell in love.
Not such a bad year, hey?
Last on this New Years extravaganza is how the actual 2007 to 2008 transition was spent...
Up a long driveway on a snow-capped mountain, where the stars burned brightly and cell phones didn't reach, with a few of my closest friends.
Yes, the happy couple were there. Yes, I was a little apprehensive, and my mother may in fact have forgot that I'm no longer in high school (seems to be the trend, doesn't it?) and lectured me about not spending any more time with them (ironic when she is okay with my sister going to the Bahamas with a stranger, it seems).
However, I am pleased to report that the last post was not a false epiphany. It was like some fundamental disconnect had taken place between the past and present, and their antics were now irrelevant to me. It felt so free not to care, and not to worry about anyone misinterpreting my actions in that way. As we all fell asleep on the living room floor, and I drifted to sleep, I heard the rustling and wet noises of kissing. For a second, my mind fell back in time-- but it was more out of skepticism than reminiscing. Things were different, now, and the nostalgia is gone.
There were a lot of insightful and thoughtful comments on the last post. However, the one that sticks out in this moment is by Crushed, who said "In a weird kind of way, it seems to have allowed you to draw a line under C, to say goodbye to him without guilt or remorse. And what better time of year for that?"
That's it in a nutshell. Though I officially got over him many, many years ago, he was always the one who it ended with before it felt right, as every other relationship has ended when it should have, or maybe even a little late. As such, especially with his tragic story, I always looked back on him as a little more special than the rest. Now I realize, though what we have may have been special in the moment, its sparkle is a little lost, and our connection has long past faded. It also makes me realize that all the years of desperate maintenance of TG's and I's friendship after her past betrayal may have simply been throwing a blanket over the truth. Thus, with the beginning of 2008, I am doing some letting go.
The highlight of the evening? After catapulting off our crazy carpets for third or fourth time on a particular hill, one of my dearest friends and I laid in the snow, under the stars, convulsing with laughter.
Once I catch my breath, I turn to her and say "I think falling may be the best part."