Alternate titles for this post include, "Depending on When You Start Counting," and "Happy New Year."
I must confess that I don't do holiday's very well. It's not that I'm a huge curmudgeon (though I probably am) or that I don't like celebrations (though I don't much.) More, I think it's that I'm mostly a homebody, and given the option, will in most cases, choose to spend any given evening at home writing and hanging out with the cats. Furthermore, I'm generally of the opinion that formal excuses are not needed for spending time with your friends and family. Nevertheless there is a certain sort of cultural momentum around holidays like New Years, and its hard to avoid them entirely.
For many years, my annual cycle has largely been on the academic calendar. Indeed for a few years after I graduated formally, I still took a few classes, and was wrapped up in applying for graduate school and enough of my friends were still in school that I seemed to stay on the academic year. This year with, I noted the beginning of the academic year, mostly because for the first time, really the first time in a long time I wasn't in school, I wasn't trying to be in school, and that wasn't a bad thing. I still have a lot of academic habits: the impulse to review and summarize my work about every four months, the way I stricture and organize my work is very reminiscent of a sort of academic way of looking at things. Shrug.
But it's a new year, depending on when you start counting, and given what a ride 2009 was, it seems like a bit of reflection is in order. The most significant thing was the fact that I took a job half way across the country and moved in late June. This has lead to a number of interesting developments: I met a number of people in "real life" who had previously been on-line friends, I've learned a lot about my skills and abilities and myself as a writer, I've developed a circle of friends that delight me.
This isn't to say that it was a stellar year. I spent six months not working (really,) and a lot of time unsure about what I was going to do for work, let alone "my career," all my friends were in graduate school and most of them weren't anywhere near where I was, and so forth.
But I kept, hacking away at various projects, kept thinking and writing about new things, and did my best to seize opportunities when they arose. And somehow it all worked out. In retrospect it's all very weird, to think how monumental this year has been, and the ways that I've really pushed myself to do things that don't seem very "me" like. In the end I'm pleased with where I am and where I've come.
But perhaps, more significantly, I'm excited to what the next year holds.
As it should be, I suppose. I hope you all are doing well in this regard and I look forward to talking with you throughout the year to come.