Wind It Up: 2009

“This is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an Annus Horribilis.” –Elizabeth II

I know I’ve already written an emotional letter to the year that was (as it will be remembered by history, the year two thousand and UGHHHHH), but traditionally I wind up every year by completing a survey. This will be the seventh year that I’ve done this; it’s an awesome way for me to see where I am now and where I’ve been in the last 365 days. So here it is. 2009 in a nutshell. Enjoy!

1. What’s something you did in 2009 that you’d never done before? I started a secret society. I started a blog. I started running wild. I started having feelings. I started watching Star Trek.

Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more? I’m not even sure what my new year’s resolutions were last year, so I suppose that answers the question as to whether or not I kept them. For 2010, I resolve to:
– Be a good friend to the people in my life.
– Be open and receptive to love in all its forms.
– Make good decisions.
– Be a Lady in all aspects of my life.
– Be healthy, be happy; cultivate stillness and calm.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No, but Victoria is pregnant again!

4. Did anyone close to you die? Three people. I miss them.

5. Did anyone close to you get married? My Jenny Bee and James. Dannette and Charles. Such wonderful couples; I love you guys!

6. How many countries did you visit? I started the year in Australia and I ended it in the USA. Rad.

7. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 09? Stability and calm.

8. Is there a date from 2009 that will remain etched in your memory and why? The fourth of July. I will never, ever forget that day. I will remember it because it was the beginning of the end, and I know that sounds dramatic, but it honestly was.

9. What was your greatest success? Taking care of family stuff by myself. Learning lessons from the shit detailed below.

10. What was your greatest failure? This year, I was an absolutely terrible judge of character. If I’d have deliberately set out with the intention of finding and befriending the shittiest people in the city of Chicago, I don’t think I could have done a better job. Through this one big failure, a whole lot of littler failures were born: I watched as someone was bullied and did nothing. I let people treat me like shit and push me around. I accepted less than I deserve just so I wouldn’t have to spend one second alone with my own thoughts. I went out every single night. I drank to excess. I was hurtful and mindless. I let myself down in a big way for at least six months of 2009 and I paid a fucking steep price for it. Live and learn.

11. Did you suffer serious illness or injury? Severe ear infection leading to deafness, what was probably swine flu, at least one cold every two months, allergies, kidney infection, I was bitten on the arm on one occasion and strangled on another which resulted in a broken blood vessel in my eye. Oh, and cancer. TOTALLY FUN AND AWESOME.

12. What was your best purchase? My MacBook. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

13. Whose behaviour should be celebrated? ALL of my friends in Australia. ALL of my extended family. My mother, brother, godmother, adopted grandmother. The True Ladies. My girlfriends. My boyfriends. Everyone who’s cared about me, loved me and listened to me during this very strange time in my life. You’re so fantastic. Thankyou.

14. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? I usually pride myself on not ratting out even the rattiest rat-bastards in a public forum like this one, but this year has REALLY tested that resolution. Most of the rat-bastards I can’t even really be mad at because I knew they were mean/bullies/evil dictators/bears that can’t open jars when I met them, so the fact that they’d act that way shouldn’t have been a surprise. Lesson learned. There’s really only one person who’s behaviour has made me GENUINELY appalled and depressed this year, just because we’d been such good friends for so long & I expected a lot better from her. That said, I’m not sad about it anymore. It sucks but it’s over. Moving on.

15. Where did most of your money go in 2009? Rent and billz billz billz.

16. What did you get most excited about? I was always excited about SOMETHING in 2009.

17. What song will always remind you of 2009? Here is my playlist:
Help, I’m alive (Metric)
Sleepyhead (Passion Pit)
Kids (MGMT)
Case of the fake people (TLC)
I’m good, I’m gone (Lykke Li)
Slow show (The National)
Two weeks (Grizzly Bear)
You’ve got the love (Florence and the Machine)

18. Compared to last year, are you…
happier or sadder? Happier!
thinner or fatter? Thinner, even though I’ve gained ten pounds since summer.
richer or poorer? About the same?

19. What do you wish you’d done more of? Every year I’ve written “being young and fun” right here, but this is the first year that I’ve done it. Good for me! I think that in 2010 I’ll do more of the following: cooking, having people over, living in the here and now as opposed to ALLE’S DREAMLAND.

20. Done less of? Crying over people who aren’t worth it.

21. How will you spend Christmas? I spent it cooking, then at my godmother’s house with my family. I managed to go the entire dinner without saying anything wildly inappropriate, like “I have a total ladyboner for Sawyer.” Because that was Thanksgiving. I also wore my giant furry white vest. It was a fun day.

22. How will you spend New Year’s Eve? Due to a bleed the day before, my doctor told me to stay home and relax on New Years. But of course, Jamie and Charlotte couldn’t let me ring in 2010 by myself, so they came over with Henry and Curtis in tow and we drank champagne and listened to pop music all night long.

Jamie–on the left–woke us all up at 10am on New Years Day. I stumbled into the guestroom and announced to everyone “I woke up in the morning and I don’t feel nothin‘ like P.Diddy.” BECAUSE I DID NOT. We spent the next hour laughing together until our tummies hurt. Basically an amazing way to start 2010. ❤

23. Did you fall in love this year? I fell in love with the world, with my life, with all of my friends. And don’t tell me that’s not love. It totally is.

24. Have any one night stands? According to the rumour mill, I sure did. But not in reality.

25. Best TV show? LOST. Gossip Girl. 30 Rock. And, um, Star Trek: TNG.

26. What was the best movie of 2009? Up. This movie let me know that I was still capable of having feelings. I have it on DVD now & I cry every time I watch it, even when it’s not a sad part because I know a sad part is coming. I’ve analysed it and figured out that it makes me cry so much because Carl loves Ellie so, so much and I’m afraid that nobody will ever love me like that. SPECIAL FEEEEEELINGS!

27. Best book you read?
“Breath” by Tim Winton. Honourable mention goes to “The Stolen White Elephant” by Mark Twain.

28. Best music? “A ga-ay boy wished for a planet full of unicorns. Planet unicorn, Unicorn Planet. Give it up for Feathers! Ooh, Cadillac! And To-o-om Cruise! Ohhh, Planet Unicorn, HEYYYYYYYY.”

29. Do you hate anyone that you didn’t hate at this time last year? I don’t hate anyone, no matter how much they might deserve it. I dislike a whole scad of people I didn’t even know this time last year & I don’t have any time for them…but I don’t hate them. I just sort of feel sorry for them.

30. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? I turned 25, holy shit I’m getting old! The day started out with Erika and vegan icecream, then I went to dinner with my family & then hit Flatiron with a handful of my nearest and dearest. There was some drama–isn’t there always?–but by and large it was an amazing night & I loved everything about it.

31. One thing that would have made 2009 more satisfying? I don’t know if I’d have been more satisfied, but having thicker skin would certainly have made 2009 easier to navigate.

32. What did you want and get? Freedom. Health and happiness. Friends who love me the same way that I love them. To feel comfortable with the kind of person I am. To feel less alone, less like an anomaly. For things to return to normal. For me to feel like myself again. Also, attention–though I ended up with so much of it that I felt really, really weird.

33. What did you want and not get? The only things I wanted and didn’t get were things that I shouldn’t actually have gotten. Thanks for looking out for me, Universe!

34. What was your fashion concept in 2009? Oscillated wildly. Summer daytime uniform was skinny jeans or jorts with beat-up flats or sequin Converse, my giant sunglasses and a deep V t-shirt from AA. Nighttime uniform was something short/low cut/sparkly with huge shoes and a boozy cackle. Winter uniform so far as been skinny jeans, boots, studs galore and black, black black–all covered by my big fur coat and a sparkly hat. And I go out in the same thing because it’s motherfucking COLD out. Basically I’m a crazy old lady trapped in the body of a young hipster.

35. What kept you sane?
My highly rational Vulcan/robot brain, hah hah hah…ehhh. Actually I’m not sure WHAT kept me sane most of the year, because there was a sizable chunk of it where I had no friends, I was isolating myself from my family…I just had nothing and nobody. I was casually thinking about suicide & I totally acknowledge that things could have turned out so badly. I’m glad I pulled through with not only my sanity intact, but also my happy outlook on life.

36. What political issues stirred you the most? The murder of Dr. Tiller.

37. Who do you miss? Everyone in Australia.

38. Who is the best new person you met in 2009? I met some AMAZING people in 2009; hey Jamie, Berri, Brooke, Kyle & Harrison, Paul…But let’s talk about Erika Gomez. My BFFF (Best Fuckin’ Friend Forever). We met under some extremely trying circumstances but, like killing a troll, there are some things that you can’t go through without liking the other person afterwards. I trust her with my life. She’s the truest, most loyal Lady. I love her more than anything.

39. Best news story of the year? Zombie Pigs First, Then Hibernating GIs. Because I am nothing if not terrified-slash-weirdly prepared for the zombie apocalypse.

40. What’s a valuable life lesson you learned this year? People aren’t always what they seem, so be a discerning judge of character. Don’t give yourself away for nothing; if people want your confidence and intimacy, they have to earn it. And never trust a bear that can’t open a jar. Ever.

41. One song lyric that sums up 2009? Time after time, I think “Oh lord, what’s the use?” / Time after time, I think “It’s just no good.” / Cause sooner or later in life, the things you love you’ll lose. / But you’ve got the love I need to see me through. (Florence and the Machine, “You’ve got the love.”)

. . .

New year, new start! I’m pleased as punch to have rung in the new year–two thousand and START AGAIN!

Thanks for reading this blog. I know there are a million people out there who write more eloquently and about more interesting stuff than I do, and your support means everything to me. BIG KISSES!

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