What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
This year was a mess. I'm focusing only on the positive things!
- Ran in the Fargo Marathon 5k (my first chip-timed race)
- Watched my little brother get married!
- Watched my auntie get married!
- Visited the Bahamas
- Went parasailing and wakeboarding
- Hung out with Spoonbridge and Cherry (landmark of Minneapolis)
- Rented a bike
- Played "Cards Against Humanity"
- Got a female housemate! I've previously only ever lived with males, aside from my mama.
- Sang at an open mic (just an Aimee Mann cover with a friend)
- Was recorded in a professional recording studio
- Played a song on the ukelele
- Conducted a feasibility study
- Applied for college graduation
- Finally dated Brandon
Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Still haven't taken a shot of liquor out of a ski. Dang it. That resolution's going to follow me forever. I didn't really have a resolution for last year other than I wanted to focus on finding more of a career path. That's still a work in progress, though I've got some cementing ideas in my mind about what I could be capable of. English is an adaptable degree and I'm getting a lot out of the program.
This year, I resolve to proudly accept a degree in English Writing.
I resolve to join a CSA and use up all the fresh produce I get from it.
I resolve to attend a Fargo Force game with Brandon.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin had a baby. :) A couple of my friends had babies, too, but nobody I'm super duper close to.
Did anyone close to you die?
I lost Cody, a friend I'd known since I was in middle school. Brandon's grandfather also passed away after a very long and well-lived life. I'd only met him twice, but we had some bonding moments. He reminded me a lot of my grandma Myrt. It's been a very tough year for a lot of us here in Fargo; lots of my friends lost loved ones this year. One of my friends just lost his father yesterday.
What countries did you visit?
What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Peace of mind! I'm well on my way.
What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?
Well, not to be too negative, but March 21st, 2012 was the worst day of my life thus far. :P I don't think I'll forget it, though maybe in time I'll be able to. It was the popping of my idyllic bubble. I saw what Mike had been saying about me and discovered he'd been lying to me. A lot. It was loss, betrayal, humiliation, a rug pulled out from under me and a gutting like I'd never experienced before, all at once.
On August 30, 2012, Brandon picked me up and we went on our first real "date." VIP dinner and the Eboo Patel speech. We'd gone on tentative coffee dates before, and we'd hung out as friends many a time knowing we liked each other, but this was the first time we admitted it was a bona-fide date with frills like dressing up a bit, his offering his arm to me when we walked, and our first good-night kiss. :) Though the express commitment we have now wasn't something I was ready to consent to until well over a month afterward, we still consider August 30th the beginning of our relationship.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I was pretty proud of the many big projects I pulled off over the school year! The feasibility study and its accompanying speech were a formidable challenge for me, but I pulled them off. And I still made it onto the Dean's list last semester when stuff went DOWN during midterms. I even got an A in a math course. :) In my most recent semester I wrote several scripts and got some really good writing out of my poetry course, including a rumination on a trespassing project; something unique and completely different from anything I'd done before. I feel like I also carved out a place for myself here with my friends; I have a much stronger sense of who I am and where I fit in, and I feel like I deserve to be here.
What was your biggest failure?
Not checking my paychecks closely enough to discover that hundreds of dollars were being taken out each month.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I'd say so.
What was the best thing you bought?
Christmas gifts! A spot in the Color Run and thus time with Will!
Whose behavior merited celebration?
My aunt and brother got hitched! Carissa's got her nose to the grindstone and is working really hard on her novel, and I think that's AWESOME. Brandon's making some big strides in a personal obstacle and I'm so proud of him. And, as my friend Tony and I discussed last night, the more you get to know Brandon, you just continue to uncover layers of benevolence and sweetness and gold. "He's like an onion of goodness," said Tony, aptly. My friends are wonderful.. my heart is warmed just thinking of them and how good they've been to me over this past year. If you're reading this, you're one of them. Thank you so much. I had never needed a good friend more than I did at points in 2012.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Hmm. Could it be.. Michael?
Where did most of your money go?
I paid a lot of extra money in rent, had some huge vet bills, and was unintentionally doubly insured.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
This wasn't the year for that. Even the really good times were at least a little tempered by my overall state, which included some newfound pessimism/realism that made it difficult for me to get excited in the unfettered way I was accustomed to. Not that I didn't get excited about some things.. even really excited. But I'd say they scaled more as "hopeful." "Really, really, really excited" was a pipe dream. :P
Compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder?: Sadder.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer.
What do you wish you'd done more of?
I don't think I could've done this year much more differently than I did. I had a lot to get done and work through, and when I could, I tried to unwind. I went out to see local music a LOT, and it was absolutely great for me.
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Trying to justify the unjustifiable. Stressing over changing false reputations when reality stood strong.
What was your favorite TV program?
For a while I really loved watching My Fair Wedding with David Tutera, but then starting around March I didn't want to watch anything about weddings. :P I have some good memories of watching The Twilight Zone into the wee hours with Brandon shortly before we started dating. I love that show.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope. Thankfully hatred isn't a part of my life.
What was the best book you read?
Christopher Moore's Fool. Thank you, Brian!
What was your greatest musical discovery?
What did you want and get?
A sweet bod. Safe, happy travels to see my brother and aunt get married.
What did you want and not get?
A continuation of the life's trajectory that I saw for myself.
What was your favorite film of this year?
Will and I went to Ted and laughed a lot. Otherwise pretty much the only film I saw was the new Twilight movie. Not gonna lie.. I loved it. Don't judge me! I love the whole series in an ironic way but I must contend that the new movie had moments of brilliance and I genuinely enjoyed parts of it.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was my golden birthday; I turned 29. I nearly cancelled the party because it was just over a week after I learned of a large extent of Mike's betrayals (still had more to discover over the next few months), but I figured I'd go for it anyway. Several of my friends came out with me to a sushi dinner and/or an open mic afterward. Lots of my musically talented friends played, and it was the last time I saw my friend Cody. I was showered with love and support and even a couple of gifts. It turned out to genuinely be one of the best birthdays I've ever had, if not THE best.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not being slandered. Winning back at least a portion of what I erroneously lost from my paychecks.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Last year I said, "Classy and laid-back, comfortable and tasteful. Lots of cuteness in my wardrobe this year." This year was a continuation of that for sure. I've been wearing a lot of leggings with dresses and long cardigans, and recently I discovered LEG WARMERS.
What/who kept you sane?
YOU. Rusty Bottoms. My parents. Brandon and his wonderful family. A lot of my other friends, especially Travis, Sagi, Patrick, and Stacy.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Epic sax guy. I like his pluck.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay rights, as always.
Who did you miss?
I still miss my grandpa and Chelsea Belle dearly.
Who was the best new person you met?
I must say, Brandon's entire family is exceedingly warm, kind and laid-back. I've had so much fun with them. They exemplify what "love" is.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
TRUST NO ONE. lol. Nah.. This year I learned many things, and I'm still processing it all. I'd say, probably this: You're not wrong for trusting. You're never wrong for loving. If you're true and the honor is not reciprocated, you're no less true and no less honorable. If the other party takes advantage of your trust and love, that has nothing to do with you.
I also learned to help keep my fears and negativity in check in this way; rather than saying "I don't see how it can get better from here," just admitting "I don't know what the future holds." Sometimes you can't see past the darkness, and that's normal. That's the nature of darkness. Light still exists, whether you can see it or not.
I learned how valuable a good, true friend is. I am surrounded by some wonderful, intelligent, sensitive people who care about me, have their heads on straight and can tell me like it is. That's an honor. I was reminded of just how important having worthy allies is while navigating through life and its obstacles this year. It's unsettling to think of where I would be right now if I hadn't had them. Hypocrisy, superficiality, untruths and bad advice became its own animal between Mike and his friends; I was caught up in it, but it really hammered home how fortunate I am to have nothing but stability from those I hold close. It's half by design, and half pure dumb luck that I've crossed paths with such lovely souls.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
"Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." - Garth Brooks
Overall, as difficult as this year has been, it's been worth it.
Yeah, that's right. I actually said "worth it."
Am I delusional? Yeah, maybe. But I can make a strong case for myself.
I really, really understand the difference between being treated well and being treated poorly. And I really, really value good, honest people.
I could say that before, too, but it's different now. I understand it to my bones. I'd been treated poorly in the past, sure, but being treated SO poorly by somebody I SO loved and trusted really hammered this all home.
I had to do a lot of soul-searching. It helped to clear a few things up.
Sure, I lost a ton of money. Double insurance reamed me financially, as did the many unexpected vet bills (about $1500) and having to pay a hefty rent alone when Mike moved out. I also got very disorganized; acquired several late fees and paid some interest I wouldn't have had to if I'd had my wits about me. But I'm glad I never had the need to find out about my double-insurance all year. If something had happened to me I'd have wished for the health over that any day. I got that wish; that's how I'm looking at it. I'm still in one piece, and I'm still making enough to survive, and now I DO have my wits about me. My paychecks are going up with the new year. Money's only money anyway; a number, and as long as my needs are taken care of, an arbitrary one at that. I wish I could have made it to Carissa's wedding, but other than that, the financial decimation of this year didn't affect me in the long run. So I'll take it.
And guess what? I'm ending this year with more than I've ever had.
I have friends of gold who I love and admire, who've proven their meddle over time and didn't hesitate to lift me up when I needed it the most. My family did the same. I faced some of my worst fears and learned a whole new way of existing, humbled and liberated and wiser, in tandem with them. I'm improved, inside and out. My house is starting to feel like a home. And somehow I'm even ending this year with a boyfriend; one who is in fact proving himself to be as genuine, witty, talented and kind-hearted of a person as anyone could hope to meet. Would I have all of these things if the year had gone differently? Read: As I wanted it to? No freakin' way.
So, yeah. Somehow I'm sitting here at the end of 2012 with my eyes stinging of happy tears, realizing that I'm at peace, feeling full of hope and love. Knowing that I can't change the past, but not feeling the need to anymore. Not resenting anything; just happy to be where I am.
How do you like them apples, 2012?
Or maybe I should say.. thank you, 2012.