2011

Stolen from Scrivener! And probably a good alternative to the New Year’s post I was already planning.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Gave a public reading. Worked full-time. Sex.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I can’t remember if I actually made any last year. The only one I really made for this year was to write more, which I’ve started right here.

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
I spent part of it at Sherwood’s, but the bulk of it at Sarah’s with her and her family plus Nolan, Brett, Paul, Meri, and Brett’s friend Carissa. We played drinking games, drank moonshine, and got pissed when Erio wanted Meri to leave to go see him.

4. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

5. Did anyone close to you die?

No, but my mom’s co-worker lost his son. Everything about that was and still is weird, even though I only met the kid once or twice. He was younger than I am now. I got freaked out thinking about it too much.

6. What countries did you visit?
None.

7. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn’t have in 2011?
More time and more peaceful, happy times with Paul. We had a rough summer, especially. Validation that my friends like him, even though they actually have no reason not to and I’m really just being paranoid and I know it.

8. What date(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I’d say the day I graduated from college, but I don’t remember the date because I didn’t go. Maybe the day I started my job. Sexytimes.

9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating from college, getting my first full-time, post-college job, completing a manuscript as my graduation requirement, giving a public reading, and making it through said rough summer with Paul to make it to a one-year anniversary. Neither of us has actually dated before, so that’s pretty impressive.

10. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting published, but that’s a tough thing to do and I don’t consider it a failure.

11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Multiple colds, including two or three since August.

12. What was the best thing you bought?
My iPhone and MacBook Pro. The book “Dinotopia” for Paul.

13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Paul’s, Sarah’s, and Nicole’s. Sure, Paul made some epic mistakes relationship-wise, but he always fixed them, vowed to do better, and pretty much succeeded. He didn’t give up when it would’ve been really easy to. I even got a few rambling, drunken messages about how I deserved better (Terra’s fiancé, Scott, wins in that department, though–he actually cried and threw up in her bed while saying similar things.) Sarah, meanwhile, made an effort to be a constant friend again, and Nicole changed from the controlling girlfriend she’d first come off as.

14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Erio. Obviously.

15. Where did most of your money go?

Nights out and gas.

16. What did you get really excited about?
Seeing Robyn. Going out into the world as a real, functioning adult.

17. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Hmm. Maybe “Super Bass” and any and all Adele. “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes because the Craigs are obsessed with it. “Video Games” by Lana del Ray for the same reason.

18. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– Happier or sadder? Overall, happier.
– Thinner or fatter? Fatter.
– Richer or poorer? Definitely richer. I mean, I went from freelancing at $40 an article to making $10 an hour.

19. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t really hate this time last year?
I have strong issues with people I didn’t a year ago.

20. What do you wish you’d done more of?
General exercise.

21. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing.

22. How did you spend Christmas?
Opened presents at home, Uncle Clark came over, went to Paul’s for a few hours, brought Paul back to meet Uncle Clark.

23. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Paul. You know it’s love when you make exceptions to your phone-hating.

24. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I was already in love as of the end of 2010.

25. How many one-night stands?
None. I’m in a relationship, for one, and I’m not sure I believe in one-night stands.

26. What was your favourite TV program?
I can’t remember what I watched, because I haven’t watched TV since I started working, partly because my job is watching TV. “White Collar” is a gem.

27. What was the best book you read?
I’m having a hard time remembering what I finished, but I did quite like “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “The Lovely Bones.” I’m also still working on a professor’s memoir. Lori Jakiela’s “Miss New York Has Everything.” I quite enjoy that. Oh, and her poetry chapbook “Red Eye.” And her husband’s book, “Please Don’t Shoot Anyone Tonight.” He’s Dave Newman. Oh, and Joan Jobe Smith’s chapbooks. Wait, am I just name-dropping now?

28. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mumford and Sons, plus tons of great musicians that made their way to me through In Your Speakers. House of Wolves, Evening Man, You Can Be a Wesley, Oh No! Yoko, Shenandoah Davis. Lana del Ray, Blue of Colors, and Robyn. And Joel’s band, Poolside Eye Candy!

29. What did you want and get?
An iPhone and MacBook Pro. Books. Clothes. Shoes. All those types of girly things, including Muppet nail polish. A car.

30. What did you want and not get?
A new place to live.

31. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter and Bridesmaids.

32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Had sexytimes with Paul. Got presents from him, which included a cheesecake. Went to dinner with about half the Craigs, where I was presented with a picture of Abe Lincoln with googly eyes from Nolan and Brett as a pre-house-warming gift. I think my card included some crude drawing. Other presents included jewelry and a bottle of rum. Drank. Played Rock Band. Went swimming at Sarah’s. I turned 22.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finding a job sooner–sort of. While it would’ve saved frustration and two nights of bitter tears that have more to do with Paul’s mom, I love what I do. Also, less drama. More concerts.

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
The same as usual–mostly jeans and T-shirts, but with a little more flair than in the past. Still not following trends. Explored business casual when I started work, but so many people wear jeans and T-shirts that I’m moving more towards that.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I developed a girl crush on Robyn and my Gillian Anderson girl crush has recently been resurrected.

36. What kept you sane?
Paul, the Craigs, and Terra, all at different times for different reasons. Writing. And of course, my lovely beagle, Duke.

37. What political issue stirred you the most?
The fact that people want Obama out so bad for reasons none will adequately explain that they’re more interested in blocking all attempts to get shit done. The fact that so many politicians are still letting their religious beliefs impact others’ lifestyles, including gay marriage and these crazies that want to outlaw some forms of birth control. You don’t want to see me without my birth control.

38. Who did you miss?
Grandma and Pap Pap.

39. Who was the best new person you met?
Brett, who actually showed up New Year’s Eve 2010. He’s since become a good friend. Even Paul, who was put off by his outlandishness initially, now admits he’s a good guy.

40.Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Love isn’t actually the most important thing in a relationship–mutual respect is. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes, and some things you do for yourself aren’t really selfish at all, especially if you’re acting in your best interests. Just because someone can screw up epically in a relationship doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Don’t give up on any good thing, especially when a solution can be reached simply. Don’t be afraid to speak up when something isn’t right. Take charge. Strained friendships can be repaired. I CAN write. I don’t NEED validation (despite previously saying I wanted it). You can live without anybody–it’s just a matter of whether or not you want to. Don’t be afraid to cut out the shitty people around you. Long-distance relationships muddle both the head and heart, so just stick it out. Don’t make any decisions until you’re speaking face-to-face. Okay, that’s a lot more lessons that I had any clue I learned.

41. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Home is wherever I’m with you.”

42. What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Realizing that my cousin might be in an unhealthy/codependent/emotionally abusive relationship. Every issue Paul and I faced, especially his mom lecturing him when I was still unemployed about said unemployment and the times I nearly broke up with him and the time I drove to his house mentally preparing myself to get dumped the whole way.

43. Where were you when 2011 began?
On Grandview on Mt. Washington.

44. Who were you with?
Brandon, Meri, Erio, and maybe Marissa and Marion, too? I forget who all walked out there. Plus all the other strangers with the same idea.

45. Where will you be when 2011 ends?
I was at Sarah’s house.

46. Who will you be with when 2011 ends?
I was with Sarah, her whole family, Meri until she left, Nolan, Brett, Carissa, and Paul.

47. What was your favorite month of 2011?

Probably August. Paul and I were doing a lot better then and I started my job.

48. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2011?
Yes. I mean, I had a few shots of moonshine on the last day of 2011 alone.

49. Did you do a lot of drugs in 2011?
Not a lot.

50. How many people did you sleep with in 2011?
In the sexual sense? Just one. Innocently? Plenty. Probably nearly every Craig.

51. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
I am ashamed of the fact that I ask lots of questions that sometimes annoy Paul but I don’t quit. Props to me, though, for not having done that in months.

52. What was the worst lie someone told you in 2011?
I believe early in the year, Paul didn’t want to come home for a weekend because of the hassle and not wanting to leave his own space. He comes home to parents and five siblings. He didn’t lie about it, but he was making all these excuses for why he couldn’t come home until I called him on it, he felt really bad, and came home anyway.

53. Did you treat somebody badly in 2011?
Well, I spoke some harsh truths to both Meri and Paul. I felt they were necessary, though. Still do.

54. Did somebody treat you badly in 2011?
I wouldn’t say Paul treated me badly, but he certainly had some things I threatened to dump him over. I occasionally felt disrespected, and in one of our worst moments, he’d been kind of insulting my degree without realizing he was doing it.

55. How much money did you spend in 2011?
Easily a few thousand. I mean, the Mexico vacation alone was about $600 total, MacBook was $1,500 or something, plus all the money I spent on gifts, nights out, myself, clothes, and gas.

56. Best app of the year?
I’m currently hooked on Music DNA and Seven Little Words. And shit do I love the PNC Virtual Wallet.

57. What do you think was the top news story of 2011?
The end of Iraq war, the protests basically everywhere, and Bin Laden’s death. Bin Laden’s death was particularly crazy for me, just because it was weird to think about what he set into motion and how it’s led to me living about half of my life in a country at war. I mean, on 9/11, I was 12 years old and in a middle school class room. Nearly 10 years later, I was drunk on Mt. Washington.

58. If you could go back in time to any moment of 2011, what would you change?
I’d go back as early as possible and try to talk Meri out of living with Erio. Maybe tweak little things that sparked issues with Paul.

59. What are your plans for 2012?
Move out of my parent’s house. See where Paul and I are as a couple when he graduates this year and really, seriously think about the possibility of marriage. Write more. Submit more for publication. Blog more. Get promoted. Depending on where I move to, get a cat! Work out a little more.

60. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?
Milestone. Game-changer.

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