reflections on a year, looking back at 2008

Well, seeing as it’s December 31st, it seems like a good time to look back on this last year — something I’ll do again at the Chinese New Years, when the Year of the Rat (aka my year) ends.

2008 definitely hasn’t been terrible, but I can’t say it’s been the best year either. But overall, I’ll be leaving this year with only a few ill feelings.

For one thing, I’ve held my job for about 13 months now. So this has been my first full year of no schooling, replacing it instead with full time work. It’s had it’s ups and downs, and frankly I plan on leaving this position (if not the university) in 2009. I’m well appreciated, have amazing benefits, and paid well… but I can’t deal with the tedious data entry and just not utilizing my skills. I do much better when I’m organizing, planning, arranging and managing… I’m hoping grad school will give me a good out. Otherwise I’ll be starting my job search around the time I move.

2008 also included a move up to the Northern Territories, in which I went from a small studio by myself to a two bedroom with a roommate and three cats and friends living right upstairs (and also down the alley). This living situation has definitely been healthier for me, as I was becoming a mildly depressed recluse in my studio. However, this living situation has also been challenging as well. And even though I’m ready to get into a different apartment, I’ll miss living with the girls. Late night giggling and jokes that only the 5 of us would ever get — and meals that should have been video taped…

There have been a lot of new additions in my life this past year… A major one would be my new stepmom, Cynthia. I didn’t even know dad was seeing someone until he was thinking about proposing. Granted, things moved quickly — they started talking in January, engaged by July and married in September. She’s a great woman though.

The kittens are another new addition this year. Tuija and Kaija have definitely been a joy, a bundle of neurotic joy. Not only do they preform some spectacular aerial acrobatics and flips, but they’re little purr machines and cuddle monsters. Though they had a rough start with tapeworm and then ringworm, they’re doing great now.

This year I’ve also done a decent amount of shopping… I have yet to count how many shoes I’ve gotten, but I know there’s a lot. And with the new job, I got new clothes… and some not-for-work clothes too. Other big(ish) purchases also include my Nintendo DS and my Wii. Even though I really need to start saving my funds, I don’t really think I’ve gone overboard with my spending.

Unfortunately this year, being on my own, has meant that I have to cover my medical bills myself. I did pretty well for the first part of the year. Then it was back problems, my vertigo acting up again, anxiety problems, and now my wrist. Nothing too major, though I did go through all of my sick days pretty fast. But I feel like I’m getting better overall — and well, no ER visits other than for my wrist, so that’s good.

Another big negative for this year would probably be a drunken misadventure from this summer. Not my greatest moment. I had never been that drunk before, and haven’t since. I was in a situation that I couldn’t control. I knew it was a situation that I shouldn’t be in, but I couldn’t vocalize it. Luckily, despite a lot of regret, I wasn’t stuck with the other possible consequences.

Also in regards to relationships, this has been another year of singleness. There have been a couple dates, but nothing beyond that. I’m generally okay with it. However, as I know I’ve mentioned before, it’d be nice to have a steady make out partner, and well, just someone to connect with. I’m still having fun and just enjoying life, and hopefully someone will see that and want to be a part of that too.

Anyway. One great thing from this year has been all of the new friends that I’ve made this year. In general I’ve got an amazing group of friends, and things are only getting better. I’ve gotten to know some great new people, and gotten to know other people a lot better. From some crazy band nerds, the girls at work, the group in the Southern Lands of Pilsen, to a long-haired Catholic, a tall-skinny linguist with amazing cats and his bread-eating roommate… There’s even more people, but they’re harder to force into little groups. I’m looking forward to meeting and getting to know more people this next year. (And yes, a few of them might be because I have some sort of interest in them..)

Anyway. 2008 has been interesting. And even though Wench has only been around for the last part of it, it’s definitely been an enjoyable part of this year.
I’m not one for making New Years resolutions, so I’m going into 2009 blindly.
I don’t think I’ll be welcoming in the New Year with a kiss, since I don’t currently have plans for tonight, but just hoping for the best and enjoying what comes along.