Well, 2010, it’s been real.

I can’t believe 2011 is happening so soon. It feels like 2010 just started, but I guess it has been a whole year. So much has happened. So much hasn’t happened. So much should have happened. So much will have to happen next year to make up for lost time in 2010.

I started 2010 in the apartment I shared with my sister in SE Ohio. I watched the ball drop and went to bed, hoping that 2010 was going to be my year. It was and it wasn’t all at the same time.

As 2010 started, I was starting my second of three quarters of graduate school for Journalism. I was hoping to become better friends with the people in my program (10 weeks fall quarter was just not enough time to get to know people… especially when more than half of the people in my program weren’t in any of my classes, and my assistantship was off of the main campus). I was hoping to figure out a topic for my thesis. I was hoping to figure out where I was going to be in 6 months when I was done with school.

I honestly thought I was going to finish my thesis before school ended in June and was going to move somewhere awesome and get a grown-up job doing something I loved. You know, living to work as opposed to working to live.

The winter months in SE Ohio were dreary as per usual, but my spirits were up. I did become better friends with some of the people in my program. I was doing well in school. I thought I was figuring it all out.

Spring Break was spent with my mom, sister, brother and an entire high school marching band. (My sister was a band teacher… and her kids were off to Disney World to march in some parade. I was chaperoning, kind of.) I thought it was going to be a pretty lame spring break, but it ended up being kinda awesome. I had a lot of fun with my family. And while pieces of that trip will now forever cause me simultaneous happy smiles and sad tears, at the time I was actually really happy. I hadn’t felt that happy in a long, long time.

(Full disclosure, I’m actually tearing up while I’m typing this… I am going to blame hormones for a majority of those tears. I seem to be extra emotional right now. One of those times of the month where I have the potential to tear up at a commercial for the Home Makeover show. You know what I’m talking about…)

Anyway – I was happy. In fact, I was so happy back then, that I decided I was going to wait to work on my thesis in the summer and I was going to finish the rest of the school year focusing on my classes and my friends. I don’t regret my decision, though there are surely times where I have questioned what I did or did not do with regards to everything. (btw – I know this is all probably epically cryptic. Not that anyone is actually reading this. But I’m not naming names and I’m not spilling super personal stuff. This is the Internet. I know once something is out there, it’s out there. So I shall continue my cryptic broad strokes…)

I admit, I kinda lost it a little bit spring quarter. My grades were fine. I was getting my class work done. I figured out what I would be doing for my thesis and I assembled a committee. But, my personal life was caving in like whoa. I didn’t know what was ahead for me. I didn’t know where I was going to be. I didn’t have any sort of job lined up. I didn’t know who I would be living with. I didn’t know what I was going to do. People had been talking about moving to Los Angeles. People had been talking about moving back home. People had been talking about doing this or that. I had dreams of moving to NYC, but I didn’t have the money to just up and move to the city.

My BFF was going to be moving to MN to go to school, so I finally agreed that I would move in with her. My parents lived in the same town, so I would just live with them over the summer and then move in with my BFF when it came time for her to come to school. While at my parents house, I would live rent-free and work on my thesis. And everyone would live happily ever after… right?

Hells no.

As my school year screeched to a halt, I found myself wondering what was going to happen to the friendships I had made over the last 9 months. I had befriended several people in my program and we had various levels of friendships/relationships. Some got stronger as the year ended, others started to fall apart. I knew I would be back in the area in a little over a month and that most of my friends would still be in town.

You wouldn’t believe how much can happen in a little over a month.

During that time, my mom and sister went on a 6 week road trip around the entire country. I lived with my dad in MN. My great-grandmother passed away and I found out while sitting in the parking lot of a movie theater after seeing Toy Story 3. I got a shit-ton of reading done for my thesis proposal. After a lot of discussion with my parents, we decided that it would be best if I didn’t move in with my BFF because of my financial situation. Among other things…

So, I get back to SE Ohio to try and finish packing up my sister and my apartment. Also, see some friends from school who I missed dearly.

It’s amazing how much can happen in less than a week.

(12/31/10 – Okay, so I did a bad journalist thing and deleted a couple paragraphs that I had typed out and posted. I was borderline venting and though I meant what I wrote, I shouldn’t have written it.)

Needless to say, I was beyond grateful when my mom said that we had to leave SE Ohio a day earlier than planned that week because my dad got injured. Not only was my dad waaaaaaaay more important that my personal life, but it was just nice to not have to be in Ohio anymore. (Even though, for the record, I wish I had more time during that visit to spend with my best grad school friend ever. You know who you are, Oh mighty thesis dominator!!!)

I am giving myself exactly one more day to cringe at that week in OH and the events that transpired. I am giving myself one more day to question what did or did not happen during grad school and why. I am giving myself one more day to dwell on the past.

See, I have a really good memory. Like, freakishly good. I remember conversations. I remember where they happened. Who was there. What people were wearing. What the weather was. Facial expressions. Body language. What I was feeling. What I was thinking. What happened. What didn’t happen. What I wanted to happen. I remember movies. Who I was with. What we did after. I remember dreams. I remember nightmares. This goes back to grade school and before. Whether I want to or not, I remember a lot. Maybe not everything, but enough to have completely vivid mental images of a lot of moments in my life. Happy ones. Sad ones. Regretful ones. Proud ones. I seem unable to repress the ones that I want to forget. If Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘s plot were real, let’s just say that there are some things I would pay to not have to remember. I’m not saying that I want to erase anybody, but sometimes I wish I could just forget something, or at least have the ability to let it go for awhile. But I can’t. And all this information – happy, sad, regret, proud, joy, loss, celebration, etc… – is just always there, and it just weighs down my brain sometimes. (Like now… one would think that with each tear that falls, some of the weight would be lifted. But instead, it just seems to weigh me down even more.)

But I digress. Boy, do I digress.

Anyway, after I got back to MN in July with my mom and we made sure my dad was all right, we got into our new routine. Yes, I live with my parents. I am in my late 20s, I have one degree and am working on completing my second one and I live with my parents. (Talk about something that weighs down my brain… yikes.)

I got a (crappy) job to pay my bills. My BFF goes to school in town and I get to see her on occasion (though not as much as I’d like… hopefully in the New Year she’ll also want to hang out more). I am working on my thesis proposal. (I am emailing my thesis chair after New Years and asking him to let me know what I need to edit so I can defend the fucker already.) Life’s not perfect in the slightest, but it’s pretty darn good.

I have a family who loves me unconditionally. I have some friends who I love unconditionally. I can afford to pay for the bills I have. I am trying to save up some money so I can move out of my parents house as soon as humanly possible (hopefully this summer). I am working on my thesis proposal and coding when I can (I am at 700+ cases already!). I have my health (which can totally be improved… but I will be exercising and eating better in the New Year, for sure. We have several Wii dancing/cardio games to help with that. Woot.).

I know that in the New Year, if I want a good job and success that I will have to work my ass off for it. I am ready to face the world and conquer where I can. I am going to finish this thesis. It is going to make a difference to someone. I am going to make a difference. I am going to work hard. I am going to be a better person. I want to keep in better contact with people. And I am going to make 2011 my year.

I still don’t know where I’m going to be or what I’m going to do exactly. But I want to be happy. I am going to be happy.


To you and yours, Happy New Year!!