Happy New Year!
Before I begin posting about recent adventures, I feel compelled to reflect a little bit on 2008. A year ago today, this is what I wrote as my last sentence:
"I'm hoping 2008 will be better than 2007. And it'd be great if it was anything close to 2003. So this is the new year..."
In retrospect, I realize how ridiculous of a statement that was. And not because I was hoping for better times, but because in a way, I desired a piece of my life that had already come and gone. Now, if living in London for the last few months has taught me anything, it's that life can change in the blink of an eye... and that incredible, new experiences are always around the corner. Clinging to the past just makes you blind to the present. But I guess that's always been a bit of a tendency with me.
Fortunately, I'm in a wonderful place this time around - and I think I can talk about 2008 with a better mindset than my last year-in-review.
2008 was one for the books. It had all the good old traditions and the usual bits of "everyday" life - Big Bear trip with friends in January, working a lot throughout the spring, family get-togethers and epic nostalgia sessions... but it's also been a year of intense change.
I spent a lot of time this year assessing the value of my relationships and have again reorganized my "most important people" list. Sounds terrible, I know... but we ALL do that - admit it. The good news is that there's been some consistency, which makes me feel good because I know I'm not incapable of maintaining closeness with some people. Others have been (for lack of better words) "promoted" to the top tier of my friendship chart - mostly because they've been just extraordinary friends in the last year. And others have fallen down the ranks a bit, but I have no bitterness. I'm not going to name names, because that would just put the cherry on top of my pretentiousness sundae... but I'm pretty sure they know who they are - and that's what really matters. Some of the most important moments of the last year have come down to one thing - being unafraid to tell people how much I love them.
This becomes more and more important to me as I get older... and nothing else can better remind me of that except for death - which has been another serious theme of 2008. Too many family members, friends, friends of family, family of friends and even far-away celebrities have died in the last year. It's been a major reminder of our mortality and perhaps the best way to deal with it (at least in my case) is to see it as a sign of changing times - not necessarily in a negative way, but as a lesson in enjoying life as much as possible. Rest in peace, dear ones.
Other notable first-time things that have happened in 2008 (in no particular order):
-Fran got a B+ in science
-My little brother moved back from SF
-I got back in touch with my roots in the Philippines
-I quit my first job that was actually part of my career track
-I saw Radiohead live... TWICE...
-I was part of an art show
-I bought my first pair of all-black, leather converse
-I started wearing skinny jeans
-I went to Thailand
-I learned to crochet
-I moved to London
-My best friend got engaged
-I went on a late-night rendezvous down Mulholland Drive
-I tried cannabis in Amsterdam
-I saw Scotland for the first time
-Kim moved to Edinburgh
-I made latkes
-My mom smoked hookah
-Nathan graduated from high school
Things that have stayed the same throughout 2008 (in no particular order):
-Fran still plays the piano
-I still smoke cigarettes
-Becky is still my best friend
-Converse are still my favorite shoes
-I still wear dress socks with designs on them
-I still drink coffee religiously
-I still love Harry Potter
-Procrastination is still my favorite pastime
-Sushi is still the best food ever
-I still love writing (no professional regrets, whatsoever)
-I still want to marry Jack White
-I still play music
-I still love home
For the most part, even though a lot has changed in my life, I still feel like the same person - except now, I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. But I guess that's the ideal situation as life goes on.. 2008 has been the most amazing year of my life, despite some of the tragedies. But I won't say that I want to repeat it - because each new year should bring about a new set of valuable experiences - just as important as the ones we already treasure and file away in our minds. Welcome 2009!
"In the end... the love you take, is equal to the love you make..."