Friday, December 31, 2010

The End of an Era

I usually try to not be so self-indulgent here, but all things considered...
  1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
    I got my own apartment and started living on my own! Getting a real job, paying bills, etc.--all the things that go with living on my own--were new to me as well. There were little things, too, but that is the main thing that sticks with me.

  2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I don't think I made any resolutions, because I can't remember any... but I definitely did make a set of twelve for 2011. I did, however, reach a few goals, including my 100th つくれぽ on December 29.

  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    No--my friends and I are definitely not at that life stage.

  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    Very thankfully, no.

  5. What countries did you visit?
    None, but I did go to the West Coast for the first time. Also, parts of Japan came to me.

  6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
    Love, or, more specifically, love that doesn't make me question myself.

  7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    March 31, 2010, for destroying so much of what had been constants in my life, and May 27, 2010, for forcing me out into the real world, diploma in hand.

  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    In a most typical and concrete sense, graduating from college and starting my first real job. On a more personal level, spring semester of my senior year is something I look back on and sometimes can't believe. I took four classes, worked in lab, planned the 40th anniversary of a benefit exhibition (and then some), made new friends, and survived the overnight collapse of a five-year de facto relationship.

  9. What was your biggest failure?
    I don't know--not forcing my Godot situation, I guess. At the time I thought I was doing what I needed to do to protect myself from a dead-end situation--and I was--but I also failed to act on my emotions and to actually force a serious consideration of what was going on.

  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    Thankfully, no.

  11. What was the best thing you bought?
    I'm not sure... maybe my graduation dress from Ann Taylor? I don't buy many things, and that dress was lovely and expensive.

  12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    I think everyone who donated their time, services, and talent--especially at the eleventh hour--to the benefit exhibition reminded me of how good people can be, even when some of those closest to me were showing just the opposite. That will remain with me for a long time and remind me to similarly act with generosity and compassion.

  13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    My Godot's, and Jisha's, probably in that order.

  14. Where did most of your money go?
    Rent, I would say. I don't really spend money in general.

  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    That's hard to say... the Kids' Skate? Haha. Actually, most (if not all) of April 15-17, 2010. Spending time with のんちゃん, getting a job... I'm not sure. I don't get "really, really, really excited" about many things.

  16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
    Ugh, who knows? I listened to so many key songs depending on the funk I happened to find myself in. Hallelujah, I'm Not That Girl, One Day I'll Fly Away, Troublemaker, Monster, and M all received disproportionate representation, but I'm not sure that listening to any of these songs a while from now will trigger 2010.

  17. Compared to this time last year:
    a. Happier or sadder? I think maybe both. I spent a lot of time being upset about the way things in my life would ultimately end up, but was also happy because I was reassured that my emotions weren't completely unfounded. Now that that reassurance is gone, I am distinctly less confident in myself and what I believe, but logically I know that in the long run this is the point at which I become happier. Freedom can be addicting, and I am pretty happy with my life right now.
    b. Older or wiser? Again, I am probably both. The transition to 22 from 21 was fairly minor, so I am probably wiser than I am older, but I still feel the need to accomplish things and have these experiences during this period that everyone seems to call the best in our lives. I am wiser to how things find a way of working out in the end, but moreover I am wiser to how deceptive some people can be.
    c. Thinner or fatter? Ugh, I was on my way to becoming thinner, but then the holidays happened. I think I am tending towards thinner, though.
    d. Richer or poorer? Well, I have my own income now, but I'm spending most of it on rent...

  18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    Do random things with my friends.

  19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    Waiting for my Godot.

  20. How will you be spending New Years Eve?
    I will hopefully see some of my friends, but I will primarily be basking in the two-and-a-half-hour glow that is 嵐 hosting 紅白歌合戦.

  21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
    No. I was already in love, but I also slowly forced myself to fall out of it.

  22. How many one-night stands?
    Hah, right.

  23. What was your favorite TV program?
    Probably ひみつの嵐ちゃん, although I discovered I love 食わず嫌い and きたなシュラン/きたなトラン from とんねるずのみなさんのおかげでした.

  24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

  25. What was the best book you read?
    Sadly enough, I don't think I read anything that wasn't assigned. This past year has been a whirlwind, and I haven't worked on my To Read list since the summer of 2009.

  26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Priscilla Ahn, probably, whom I found through Other than that, I rediscovered, among other music, Hallelujah and the soundtrack from Moulin Rouge.

  27. What did you want and get?
    Freedom, a job, an honors diploma...

  28. What did you want and not get?
    I can't even begin to list... Well, closure, for one. Closure, an explanation, a satisfying ending. I wanted a real relationship with real love. I didn't get the fellowship that I wanted that I thought would let me run away from everything, but in hindsight I love the alternative that I have now. Of course, I wanted various things when I went shopping, but I refrained from pretty much all of it, but that's not really something I'll remember.

  29. What was your favorite film(s) of this year?
    I don't really watch movies all that much... I watched Ponyo and thought it was cute, but I wouldn't call it my favorite. Julie & Julia was fun, but again, not a long-lasting classic.

  30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    For the past seven years my birthday has either fallen on AP Exams or finals. This year I spent most of my 22nd birthday writing a paper on carnivorous in the dining hall. Exciting, I know. I did go out for drinks though with a bunch of friends--nothing that long or amazing, but lovely nonetheless.

  31. What would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    I don't know--a confrontation with my Godot? I probably wasn't ready for one, though. Finding a non-Godot replacement would have been an amazing SCREW YOU. Maybe knowing with complete certainty that medical school is in my future would have helped.

  32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
    I hope it was elegant and classy, even as I stayed casual. Several people have mentioned this to me over the past couple of years, and I found that incredibly flattering. I went for a lot of classic pieces, as usual, but also made a conscious effort to go for more immediate trends and less practical items.

  33. What kept you sane?
    Gchat and Google Docs. More seriously (not that my appreciation for Google isn't completely serious), my schoolwork and my labwork gave me goals that helped me temporarily block out a lot of what was going on around and inside me. Knowing that I could always go back to my sister was kind of comforting too.

  34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    What? I don't think any of them.

  35. What political issue stirred you the most?
    Let's see... I felt motivated enough to write a post on the validity of hate crimes as its own category, so I guess that counts. I am also still staunchly against affirmative action. I followed the DREAM Act near the end, and would have been much more "stirred" had it passed. Sometimes I don't understand liberals. At all.

  36. Who did (do) you miss?
    I miss my relatives in Japan and basically everything about the country, and I really miss my Godot.

  37. Who was the best new person/people you met?
    This is a difficult question with a multilayered answer... I appreciate so many of the people I met through the benefit exhibition this year because they reminded me that I can be loved and cared for. I look back and remember their incredible generosity towards patients they have never met and will never meet, and recall their kindness towards me in a time when work was the main thing that kept me going. They were the ones who first enabled me to construct a monologue in my head, for whenever the need might arise, that didn't end in anything self-destructive.
    "There are people backstage, right now," I would say, outside the rink, "who have known me for less than two days or have only seen me for a total of nine days in the past three years. But they care about me and they want me to be happy and they want me to be less stressed, and they came up with all of this compassion in such little time. So if after five years, you can't find it within yourself to care about me, even the slightest bit, then that is your shortcoming and not mine."

    Of course, I never did have the chance to say this.
    I also really value the friends I have made since starting my "real life." Many of them I had already known before, but my social network has widened and various relationships have become stronger.

    This is odd and ironic, but lastly one of the best people I met this year is my boss. Really. He is kind and patient, and that is all I need.

  38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
    "The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned." -JK Rowling

  39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
    "But love is not a victory march / It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah"

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