Well, it’s almost over. In two days it will no longer be 2015. In two days it will be a proverbial blank slate. I know a lot of people out there like to be Debby Downers about the New Year and how it doesn’t actually have any meaning or anything and to those people I say: Shut up. No one cares. Go be miserable and unmotivated somewhere else.
I have two periods of fresh start and renewal in my life and they are New Years and the beginning of a new school year. Being a teacher means that usually calendar years mean nothing to me. My year starts in August and ends in June and I like it that way. But that also forces me to really reframe when i’m thinking about time, when i’m thinking about impact, and when i’m thinking about actual calendar years and the goals i’m setting. It’s fun to have two big chances to start fresh each year and it’s fun to break it up. For the most part next year I only have really solid and concrete goals through June because a lot of stuff changes in my life during the summer. I like having the opportunity to mentally schedule a time to revamp. I like schedules. I like order. I thrive off of to do lists.
So how was my 2015: In a word: Great. In actuality: Challenging. In effect: I learned a lot and I GREW tremendously. Especially this past fall. I can’t tell you how much I feel like i’ve gotten stronger mentally and emotionally, or at least I feel like i’m on a path to be stronger now. I feel like I have such a greater understanding of myself and of my relationships in life. I’m working on both of those things constantly, and next year i’ve got a pretty solid outlook on how and why I want to work on those things because of what I learned this fall.
I think that 2015 is the year I grew up. This is honestly the year that I stopped going “ugh how am I this old!?” and “No way am I an adult! Ugh i’m so not an adult.” No. Freak no. I’m an adult. I’ve got this thing going on. Am I an expert adult? No. Is anyone? No. I’m 25, I own a home, I’m actively working on my career and planning my future. I’m working on bettering myself, I stopped talking snidely about self help books, I realized condescencion wasn’t cool and that there really is a difference between venting and complaining. I grew up this year. And I like it. I don’t like feeling like a child. I don’t like the idea of poopooing my maturity any longer. I don’t want to. I’m an adult. I own it.
Not only was 2015 the year I finally accepted and embraced being an adult but it was also pretty great for lots of other reasons. Here are the things i’m thankful for in 2015:
- We fostered three dogs this year! Two with Texas Cattle Dog Rescue (Mae and Sly) and one personal foster (Zoe). All were adopted to amazing families!
- Mando and I celebrated our 5th anniversary this December!!! I think he would agree with me that this has been our best year too. It just keeps getting better and better and I can’t tell you all how thankful I am to have found him. He surprises me every day and every time I think I couldn’t love him any more, I do. He’s pretty great and we kicked a lot of ass as a couple this year. We grew a lot. Hashtag blessed y’all!
- Neil Gaiman Year: Libia got me a signed copy of Trigger Warning. He retweeted my donorschoose project and pretty much got the thing funded. AND I got to see him in November and pick up a signed copy of The Sleeper and The Spindle! Neil Gaiman year for sure.
- I saw Amanda Palmer live in Austin in all of her pregnant and emotional glory. I cried.
- I cried again when I saw Andrea Gibson live and “I Sing the Body Electric, Especially when My Power is Out” was the second poem performed that night.
- I saw La Dispute, Damien Rice, and Ingrid Michaelson in Concert. I realized I really need to stop going to concerts in Houston, the crowds here are something else. Like, imagine being at a Damien Rice concert where there was “WOO!”ing during every quiet moment of every song. Not only from the people in front of you, but just everyone. Every where. Fitzgeralds shows however, still on point, have always loved their crowds.
- Plays: I saw Once: The Musical for my birthday and saw Peter Pan 360 with Brooke in August for our 20th friendshipaversary! I also got to see both Macbeth and Merchant of Venice fo’ free during Houston’s annual Shakespeare in the Park this summer!
- Visited Austin several times. Got tattooed one of those times.
- Visited Dallas to see my Bae Julia.
- Went to Boston during the blizzard! It was fantastic.
- Read 30 books!
- I had 4 hair colors this year!!! Green/black, then blue, then red, then fuschia shock! That’s not even including the few weeks I rocked the bleached out blonde in between my green/black and blue phases.
- So much media! I read books, I watched movies, I got really into podcasts! I think podcasts would be one of the biggest new things that 2015 brought into my life, thanks Serial!
Book in a series: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. Maas forever has my heart and soul.
Stand alone book: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This perfectly fed my favorite guilty pleasure: Imagining what I would do in the event of a non-zombie apocalypse situation where most of humanity disappears. Usually flu pandemic. I watched a flu movie when I was little and it got stuck in my head. Contagion freaked out Mando and thrilled me. This book was alternating POV and non linear narrative, I loved it.
Podcast episode: The Problem We All Live With Parts 1 and 2 by This American Life. If you haven’t listened to these yet, do yourself and favor and do so immediately. Especially if you’re in education. But also especially if you’re just a human being.
TV Show: Is there a goodreads for tv and movies? If so I need it. I watched a lot of TV this year (too much) and I honestly can only remember the things I watched recently. Luckily Netflix keeps track of everything i’ve watched on my account. But while browsing I realized that the best thing I watched this year was Over the Garden Wall. I want to live there. I want to have that creators brain. I want to be that creative. Not only that but the show was beautiful and everything I want in a fantasy series. Absolutely beautiful. Second runner up: Steven Universe because duh.
I did a lot this year and none of it was what I expected. But i’m glad it all happened because I think this is the year that I really and truly got an idea of what I wanted and how I was going to get it. I grew up, I moved past a lot of baggage, and I learned a lot about myself and i’m not sure I could ask for more honestly. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses but by George did I learn.
I went back and re-read my goals post from the beginning of 2015 I have to chuckle a little bit, if only because that post itself is proof of the changes i’ve made. Changes to my focus, changes in my understanding of achievement and of realistic goals. And proof that at some point this year I stopped viewing myself as a to do list and started viewing myself as a person. It’s not a final step in my personal evolution, but this closes a huge chapter in my life. The chapter of desperately scrabbling for proof of personhood and of self realization. I struggled for so long to establish myself and I really feel like I have done that now. It’s only up from here.
Here’s to a great 2015 and to an even better 2016!
Until next time,