Monday, December 31, 2012

Thinking about 2012, thinking about 2013.

I did a wrap-up of 2011 this time last year, so it seems fitting to do one now. This blog has been silent since July, because I made a policy of blogging only when I have something worth saying that was positive/productive. I'm working on extending that to Twitter, but it's a slow process. This calendar year has been incredibly difficult for a lot of reasons, which is why I'm so set on making 2013 better. I closed last year's wrap-up saying that 2012 would be the best year yet. Well, I was wrong. But that doesn't mean that I can't be hopeful, and hopefully productive. So, here it is, my month-by-month summary of 2012. It's interesting how little I can remember.

January: I took 2nd-semester German and Women & Religion during winter session. I "learned" German, and "learned" that taking intro level humanities classes as a senior (to fulfill the requirements of my newly acquired, newly developed major) wasn't the best idea ever. I had a fun experience involving a crazy roommate, which is basically why I decided to live alone now.

February: My classmates went off to student teach, and I didn't. It was a big relief to not student teach, and to take classes instead. Things were changing, though, and it was clear that we would all be leaving each other soon.

March: Started spring break at the EMP/IASPM-US Pop Conference at NYU (blog post here), and was pretty stinking inspired by it. By the end of spring break, my car died, I had a complete first draft of my senior thesis, and got accepted to give my first conference paper. I ended spring break helping out at the MTSMA meeting at UD, and talked to nice folks.

April: I gave that conference paper at the AMS Capital Chapter meeting, and had a pretty nice time doing so. The secret to any good presentation is to play a verse or 2 of "Love Me, I'm a Liberal." A week later, I defended my senior thesis in front of some truly great people, and had a lot of fun doing it.  The next week, I dreaded my birthday, but it happened anyway.

May: The end was near, then it happened. I graduated, which was probably the most bittersweet moment of my life so far. The day after graduation, I hopped over to DC for the summer.

June: Got into the swing of things as a 2012 Library of Congress Junior Fellow, which was definitely the highlight of my year. You can read about my experiences as an intern there in my recent archives, so I won't bother summing it up again. It was awesome. I made a few really great friends along the way, too—the types of friends I get to see with some regularity as long as we all stay in this crazy field.

July: More LC-ing. Had a nice time on the 4th, watching fireworks from the Mall. It was about 300 degrees with 700% humidity at all times (with the exception of my cubicle, which was about 4 degrees). Dressing myself was a challenge.

August: Left DC, packed up everything I had owned & accumulated throughout my life, and flew to Seattle. I got my first dose of the Seattle Freeze when all four of my apartment viewings for the first day flaked out.

September: Spent the first week bussing from the Eastside all around Seattle looking for a place to live. I hate Craigslist, and hope to never apartment-hunt that way again. I finally got my fab apartment, and things worked out that way. I prepared to try to figure out how to be an English teacher and a grad student immediately after separating myself from everyone and everything I loved by about 3,000 miles. Yes, I did choose to come here. I just expected a bit more institutional & social support. The first week of classes were miserable, which brings me to

October: The Worst. Un-bloggable, for various reasons.

November: The month started in New Orleans, and it was absolutely necessary to talk extensively with everyone I was missing who came to the conference. When things are awful, it's nice to get a break and remember that there are people out there who care very much, even if they're on the other side of the country. I only made it to a few papers, but the ones I saw were generally great. The rest of the month was still pretty bad, but not as bad as October. The hardest part was when I would be casually asked if I was going home for Thanksgiving.

December: Fall quarter ended, and I promptly got on a plane back to NY. Took a quick trip to Philly, then back to NY. I made a mental list of things that make Seattle better than NY, and came up with a few. Coming back to Seattle was anticlimactic; I still hate it here. I've been saying since the beginning that this would be an amazing place to live if one has friends and is career-satisfied, but those things don't apply to me, at least not yet.

For very major things, 2012 has been a year of built-up expectations with major let downs, and bait & switch situations. Maybe that means that 2012 was the year to learn to deal with disappointment and alone-ness. I suppose that's a good lesson to learn, even if it's not fun.

I have a few un-bloggable new year's resolutions for 2013, but here are a few I'm willing to share:

  • finally run a 5K
  • get re-inspired about my work
  • start creatively cooking again
  • explore the city through the SPL branch libraries (3 down, 24 to go)
  • read Don Quixote, and maybe The Fountainhead (which would be pain-FUL! but is something I feel I should read)
The biggest, most important resolution I have for 2013 is to continue trying as hard as I can to make it work. (Although the song is incredibly disturbing in its original context,) maybe this time, I'll win. 

Happy 2013, folks. Wishing you all the best.