Greetings, fellow 2013 survivors! It was a pretty fantastic year, but I’m ready for 2014. As you probably know, my family has a tradition of answering a few questions every new year. It’s a great way to reflect and reinforce memories from the last year and remember the good and the bad. I also think it’s a lot better than making resolutions, but I also have horrible will power. I WOULD say something like that. Anyways, if you’re interested in playing along just copy and paste these into your site or my comments! Maybe just take your favorite 3 questions and leave them in the comments below. Now for the questions!
The most beautiful place I saw this year:
As I drove home from Minnesota, I worked my way south to the mountains of West Virginia for the first time. They were gorgeous! (Ithaca, Grand Canyon and rural Delaware beaches were honorable mentions)
The person I most enjoyed meeting:
While we met a few years before, I really got to know my coworker this year. Working with her and learning more about her has been an absolute treat. She’s been the best working partner I could have asked for and has really saved this year at work for me. I hope I can find someone at my next job who is half as enjoyable to work with!
The day I would most like to repeat from this year:
It’s pretty fresh, but the first day with a great friend on our trip to Delaware was arguably a arguably a perfect day. I would be hard pressed to come up with a better one.
Someone I would like to get to know better in the new year:
I’m going to say Anthony Hook. We have lived at great range for some time, and I hope the move gives me chances to get to know him more. Fun guy, diverse interests, very kind and passionate about life. Go check him out: google.com/+AnthonyHook http://anthonyrhook.com/ (maybe this post will be the one to get him to fix his website).
Something I was glad I did but hope to never have to do again this year:
Took part in the largest work program I have seen in my time there. It was horrible. Haha, maybe that’s harsh. But I realized that I’m not really interested in building large IT systems in a wild-west environment. I like rigor and vision and integrity. This experience really showed me how much those things matter to me and how little I am interested in waiting for those to come along!
The thing I am proud to have accomplished this year is:
Getting a great new job with a firm in downtown Chicago! I don’t know if I’m going to be as qualified for this next position as I am for my current one, but I am going to do everything in my power to be the best employee they’ll have in 2014.
The thing that I got better at during this year :
I got a lot better at taking risks and saying no; I think I’ve used this one previously but it’s definitely true. I left a work project, followed my passions, and found a new job. This is uncharacteristic for Mr. Go-with-the-Flow.
The thing I would most like to accomplish in the new year:
I would like to have enough friends in Chicago to be able to host a full Christmas dinner. Maybe we won’t have a Christmas dinner, but it’s a fair measure.
Something new I would like to try in the new year is:
I think I would like to try sailing. I’ve been on plenty of boats, but all with mechanical motion.
The Scripture verse/passage that meant the most to me this year was:
“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17:28. This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard, and if more people heeded it often the world would be a much better place. I’m not changing my answer from last year.
A place I would like to visit in the new year is:
My favorite outing/trip/visit was to:
My summer trip across the Midwest was unbeatable. Friends across 10 cities, long time to myself on the open road. It was absolutely great! At the end of 2013 I have been to* all but 10 states in the US! 3 more carefully planned trips and I’ll have them all! I think it’s time for me to update my list of states though.
States remaining: Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island.
I most enjoyed watching the following change this year:
My satisfaction with my job. It sounds depressing, but I’ve rarely gone from loving something so to hating it. To see it play out on this scale was fascinating, if painful. This is the first career job I’ve ever left (since my fast food days) of my own volition. Better yet, it was a job with lots of upward mobility and a future. But once you realize your heart isn’t in it, you can’t stay; it’s not fair to anybody to stay. This is true for many things, but it was true for me this year. I’m leaving with a lot of respect for my colleagues and a lot of love for the work they do, but with a song in my heart that I can look for what makes me happy.
One thing I wish I could change this new year:
Myself. I can see the person I want to be, but I’m not there yet. Very close. A combination of personal interest changes and taking time to experience those is what I need.
A special prayer answered this year:
In the spirit, not the letter of this question, it was my chance to get to know someone very special.
My favorite special event this year:
We had a really great dance party this year that was unforgettable. I wish I could share pictures but the guilty must be protected. It’s between that and our dinner cruise on the Potomac. To be honest, there were a lot of great memories.
My favorite holiday memory this year:
I loved spending thanksgiving with my cousin and her family in Virginia. They are really fun, warm, amazing people.
Someone I missed seeing this year:
I’ve been unable to spend my time with one of my best friends on the east coast. I hope that will resume again next year! He’s having a grand old time right now though. Cheers, B.
Someone I hope I can visit this new year:
I would love to visit my aunt and her family in Texas again. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen them.
The scariest thing that happened to me this year:
I said something stupid to a coworker and immediately felt horrible. It was by far the most scary thing that happened all year. I do not like to hurt feelings of people I like, and it bugs me that I’m even capable of it.
My favorite possession of this year:
Considering the amount of money I am spending on it, it has to be my new car. While I loved my carless lifestyle the car freed me up to do some things I wouldn’t have been able to do this year.
My most satisfying accomplishment this year:
At the end of the year I developed a tool from concept to execution that will have a huge impact on my organization. Nights and weekends made manifest into a huge impact on the organization. I’m pleased as punch about it.
Something new I learned realized about Faith:
Is that the word faith is not a positive one. This year I’ve been wrapping my head around the only definition that makes sense “the belief in something without sufficient evidence, or in spite evidence that conflicts with the belief.”
I experience personal joy when I remember:
My time spent living with Carlos. He is an absolute pleasure to know and an incredibly wonderful roommate.
The hardest thing to let go of this year:
Relationships from the past. I’m getting used to the idea that everything changes and you have to get used to the new environment. That idea of “you can never go home again” turns out to be one of the saddest thoughts in the world.
I really felt at peace when I:
Laid out by the pool with Carlos on my furlough days with relaxing beverages in my stomach and a hat over my face.
The most embarrassing moment of this year was when I:
This is a good one. At the beginning of the year, I was out to dinner with two old friends (F1 and F2, both 4+ years). F1 brought a male friend along and I asked him how they met. Very quickly F1 and his friend responded “Oh, on a gay dating website”. F2 and I responded, “Cool” with the general subtext later agreed to be “Wow, what a fascinating way for two straight men to meet!” It was entirely amusing 4 months later when we were out again and a situation arose wherein I asked him in more veiled words than this “wait, are you gay?” To which he said “absolutely”. At that point I realized that F2 and I are the WORST at telling if someone is gay or not. He’s a really great friend so he hasn’t given us too much grief over it, bless him. (The honorable mention is when I wore shorts, dress shoes and white socks to the government shutdown day. I said if they’re not paying me to work, they’re not paying me to wear work clothes. Most found it amusing, my my closest friends ensure me that I should be most embarassed about the fashion choices there.)
[NEW!]I felt like a fish out of water when:
I walked into the Honda dealership looking to buy my first new car. Surprisingly easy….and I love my car…but I am not a car person. I told my friends that I pay an “ignorance tax” every time I get oil change/tune up. They say “we recommend this $100 package” and I just say “yes” to whatever it is. It’s okay, I know a lot about other things; I can be dumb about cars. I WOULD say something like that.
I am really looking forward to :
Chicago, a new city, new challenges, new friends, and new gang rivalries through which I will be purified and ultimately arrive at a senior but low-competition position as Chief Operating Officer of Gangland. Or maybe I’ll pick up tennis.
Something I tried for the first time this year:
Driving day trips with good friends. It’s such a wonderful thing. I want it all the time.
I hope I get to do this again this year:
Have a long, carefree brunch with friends and talk too loudly for too long.
Something I have been working on but don’t expect to complete this year:
My video project. I wanted to have it done this Christmas, but now I have 12 months.
If I could name the year just passed, I would name it the “Year of the _____________”:
Just one more time I would like to:
Sit on the national mall without a care in the world.
In the new year, my wish for you:
Is that you remember who you care about the most and care about them. Just shut up and do it.
Here’s a list of the major events that defined this year for me:
March: Made an incredible friend in DC and got a new temporary roommate April: Knee deep in furloughs, unpaid time off May: First good friend moved away, actual new roommate June: Transitioned jobs at work, horrible bug invasion July: Worst work project yet August: Cross country trip to Minnesota, last grandparent passed during trip September: Second good friend moved away, lonely month October: Rapid progress in Congress means more unpaid leave November: Interviews, interviews, interviews. Trip to NY. Accepted new job. December: Trip to DE Beaches, Closing up shop, vacation in CO/AZ * Raymond’s “been to” check for states: driving 2+ hours in each state. This is controversial, so don’t take this as law. I’ll write a post on it soon.