The Year in Review: 2011

Happy New Year! The holidays have come and gone, and now there’s a shiny 2012 just waiting for us to unwrap. Are you excited? I’m excited. But before I get TOO excited, let’s look back at The Year That Was, shall we?

2011 was weird. On paper, it looks like it was a horrible year…but honestly, it didn’t FEEL that bad. So I guess that’s something. Anyway, let’s make with the retrospective! 2011: The Year in Review.

1. What’s something you did in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Hold on to your hats, guys, because this was nothing if not a Year Of Firsts. This year I: Filmed for CNN and Korean television. Made a snow angel (and the video to match it). Woke up at 4am in order to watch the wedding of two people I DON’T EVEN KNOW. Beat up a mugger. Had several stress tests. Got involved in an “editorial dispute” at a paper that, though a series of events waaaay to bizarre to relate here, led to the greatest adventure of my life. Became a card-carrying (okay, laminate-carrying) good guy. Found out firsthand what institutionalised sexism looks like. Flew in a private plane. Fired guns, plural. Was almost shot. Went to Virginia and made the holy mother of pro/con lists. Threw cupcakes out of the window of a moving car, because why not. Got in a car accident. Went through three months of physical therapy involving people I don’t know very well touching me, and I hardly freaked out at all. Changed my hair. Developed upper body strength. Had an MRI. Cracked some ribs. Cracked something else. Tried to keep it together, and actually did okay.

2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more?

Last year I wrote: In 2011 I think I should a little more mindful of love–love tends to be something that has to drag me kicking and screaming from one place to another, so I think this year I will be a little more relaxed about it.

I also hereby resolve to be less rigid and take more risks. I will take things as they come in 2011 rather than needing a plan at all times and freaking out if I don’t have one.

2011 was not a banner year for love. I was so busy and isolated that I didn’t really have time to date, let alone fall in love, and honestly I didn’t really want to. I don’t want a relationship right now, I’m not ready for one, and I’d probably be terrible to/for any dude who DID want one (500 Days of Summer-style). So, there’s that.

On the risk-taking front, I think I did okay at that. I took some pretty big risks and lived to see another day. Where I really excelled was on the take-things-as-they-come front. Gone are the days of a meltdown because I don’t have enough time to properly pack a suitcase; now I can throw my life into a bag and get to the airport on four hour’s notice. I never thought that I could be a flexible person, but now I realise that all I needed was a serious push.

In 2012, I’d like to at least be ready for a relationship. I will continue working out (five days a week, I CAN DO IT!), I will settle myself in a new place and ready myself for adult life. I will be the best friend, daughter and Auntie Alle that I can. And I will put this year, and everything that’s happened, behind me.

I’d also like to learn to play the ukulele which I bought in a fever-induced fugue state on Christmas night.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Stephanie and Adam had Julian. Pami and Florian had Liliane. You guys make adorable babies. And I also found out about a baby due in 2012…Jen and James are having a little bub of their own, YAY!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

A friend committed suicide. I should have reached out to him more, and the fact that I didn’t cuts me up inside.

5. Did anyone close to you get married?

TL Amanda and her handsome man, Kyle. Blake and Christie. Becca and her husband. Mary, my roommate from college. Morgana snuck in there too. And Tasia eloped. Congratulations, you guys.

6. How many countries did you visit?

Two. O, Canada. You were very cold.

7. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 11?

Every year I make a plea for STABILITY, but this year I found that there was quite a lot of stability within the chaos that surrounded me at all times. How’s that for a zen koan? Anyway, in 2012 I think I’d like to have a bit more of the normal kind of stability, not the chaos-kind. Though wanting anything normal seems pretty far-fetched for me.

8. Is there a date from 2011 that will remain etched in your memory and why?

August 6th, the day I was hurt in a car accident. It’s etched in there because I have had to write it about a million times on a million forms.

9. What was your greatest success?

My greatest success involves a pending trial, so I really can’t get into it. But it’s pretty great.

10. What was your greatest failure?

I’ve pretty consistently failed at stuff with my brother; getting him help, or making anyone else help him. I know that I’ve done what I can and you can’t FORCE someone to do things, but it’s still a failure and it still sucks.

11. Did you suffer serious illness or injury?

Heart problems, car accident, possible brain injury (turned out to be a false alarm, but it was still a worrying couple of weeks) and broken ribs. Plus I have strep now, which isn’t really that bad, but still.

12. What was your best purchase?

I bought a lot of dresses this year, which I’m pleased about. But I think my best purchase was some hair, some pink dye, some weave thread and some clips…for with that, Unicorn Weaves were born.

13. Whose behaviour should be celebrated?

Let’s give three big-ass cheers for Michael Davis. He went through a major breakup and came out the other side as a happier, healthier person (I didn’t think it was possible for him to be happier, but it was). He and I abandoned our mocking-joking-picking teenage friendship this year and became mature adults who talk about serious things and demonstrably care about one another. He’s been a rock for me, the Watson to my Sherlock, and one of the few people I can confide in about Things. Even when he makes me his defacto long-distance GPS system. A lot of people seen to think that men and women can’t be friends–I myself may have cast aspersions on it last year, but I was bitter–but Michael and I are living proof that they can. And I’m so glad.

14. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

My brother.

15. Where did most of your money go in 2011?

A large chunk of it was spent changing my hair from black to my natural dark blonde. It’s kind of funny that I spent so much time and money making my hair into what it would be like if I never coloured it, but nevermind. I love my low-maintenance blonde! Am I the first person ever to say that?

16. What did you get most excited about?

On Halloween, I was standing in the kitchen of Debonair with my friends while they got ready for their show. It was freezing cold and Charlotte and I were huddled over by a pizza oven while trying not to kick over a bucket of dirty mopwater. And I thought, I’m out with my friends, this is fantastic. I couldn’t have been happier or more excited about that moment.

Oh, how my standards have changed…

17. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Super Bass, for various (and hilarious) reasons.

18. Compared to last year, are you…

Happier or sadder? Sadder in the world-weary sense, happier because I know I’m Doing Good.

Thinner or fatter? I weigh exactly the same as I did this time last year, but I take up less space. Muscle is weird.

Richer or poorer? Eh.

19. What do you wish you’d done more of?

A couple of years ago I wished I’d gone out LESS. This year I say that I wish I’d gone out MORE. It’s harder than you think to go out EXACTLY THE RIGHT AMOUNT. However, I did drink 75% less in 2011. Maybe even 90% less. Go me?

20. Done less of?

I liked everyone at my physical therapy very, very much…but having to go through more than three months of excruciating pain, general discomfort and full fathoms five freakouts was something I could have done without.

21. How will you spend Christmas?

I spent Christmas sick with strep, high out of my mind on medicine, at my Godmother’s house where I ate a lot of cranberry sauce. Then I came home, fell asleep for four hours and (remember that fugue state I mentioned?) woke up long enough to go on Amazon and buy a ukulele. It was the best Christmas ever.

22. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?

I was/am still getting over strep, so I was at home by myself watching Twilight Zone and wearing really ugly pants. NYE is overrated to me; it’s the night where the people too chickenshit to wear sequins all year round feel obligated to bust out a sparkly dress. Amateurs.

23. Did you fall in love this year?

Only with myself.

24. Have any one night stands?

I really do need to come up with a concrete operational definition of “one night stand” otherwise I’m going to continue to lie/weasel my way around this question every year. Like I have right now. Except that I didn’t have any, and thus have no reason to weasel? This is weird.

25. Best TV show?

Here’s where you all learn how much I honestly love tv.

Best new serious show: Homeland.
Best new trashy show: Revenge.
Best show to tweet about: Secret Circle.
Best show involving vampires, dopplegangers & good writing: The Vampire Diaries.
Best show in this or any universe: Fringe.
Best show that I constantly force friends to watch: 30 Rock.
Best show I can’t believe I haven’t been watching this whole time: Breaking Bad.
Best show, possibly ever: Downton Abbey.
Best show that nobody else watched: The Hour.
Best show with the biggest broadswords: Game of Thrones.
Best show starring biggest babe/possible soulmate: Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch, BE MINE).
Worst season of previously good show: Dexter.

26. What was the best movie of 2011?

I know it’s probably very cliche, but I did love The King’s Speech. Bridesmaids, Hanna & Drive deserve honourable mentions (now I get Ryan Gosling). I also sat through Dirty Dancing for the first time; now I get Patrick Swayze, too, but alas, too late.

27. Best book you read?

I read a lot this year, like every year. I really liked The Marriage Plot, Winter’s Tale, A visit from the Goon Squad and IQ84. The Sisters, which is a biography of the Mitford sisters, was also really interesting. But I think you already have to be a bit interested in them to like it.

28. Best music?

Ugh, I can’t even pick. Bon Iver? Nicki Minaj? Florence and the Machine? Antlers? I don’t know, give ’em all a Grammy.

29. Do you hate anyone that you didn’t hate at this time last year?

Who hates anyone anymore? I have people I’ll never work with again and people I won’t hang out with socially, but hate? Bad for the complexion.

30. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

I turned 27 on September 11th, the ten-year anniversary of 9-11. It was an odd day in that everything seemed unusually subdued. It was also much warmer than I thought it would be, and I sat outside for lunch with my Mum and Godmother. Later I saw my Wondertwin and we had cake & watched True Blood.

31. One thing that would have made 2011 more satisfying?

Who even knows. An end in sight, I guess.

32. What did you want and get?

I think at some point I may have thought to myself “I’m so bored. I wish something exciting would happen.” And then TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT. So I should be careful what I wish for.

33. What did you want and not get?

I wanted to be ringing in the New Year in Perth, but I’m still in Chicago. So.

34. What was your fashion concept in 2011?

Last year, I wrote: I aim to go full-on Auntie Mame eccentric this year, so bring on the turbans and the kimonos and the furs! I’m ready! And I was ready. That was exactly my concept this year, and I pulled it off beautifully. In 2012 I aim to continue wearing clothes that fit, are seasonally appropriate, and most importantly aren’t all black all the time. I think I’m going to streamline things a little bit; Auntie Mame meets Holly Golightly, maybe?

35. What kept you sane?

Having a really grounded liaison/partner.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Occupy protests. I couldn’t attend any of them or oh, the trouble I’d get in! But my heart and sympathies were out there. This really has become a country run by terrible principles and things do need to change. Telling people to buck up isn’t enough anymore, it’s obvious that it isn’t, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to open their eyes.

Also, no woman can overlook the batshit crazy loons trying to take away our reproductive rights.

37. Who do you miss?

Everyone, all the time.

38. Who is the best new person you met in 2011?

Shoutout to that exceptionally grounded partner/liaison I mentioned. Couldn’t/wouldn’t have done any of this without you.

39. Best news story of the year?

Does anyone else feel like 2011 was shrouded in mist? I know that I read the news…but I can hardly remember a thing that happened ALL year. I’m going to go ahead and blame a wizard, and then “WIZARD STEALS 2011” can be the best news story.

Also, I think we can all agree that this was the best video:

40. What’s a valuable life lesson you learned this year?

“You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped” is an oldie but a goodie. Might have to get that tattooed on my forehead, or possibly on the foreheads of others so that I’m reminded whenever I look at them.

41. One song lyric that sums up 2010?

All the girls will commend as long as they understand,

That I’m fighting for the girls that never thought they could win.

Nicky Minaj is a boss bitch, basically. And I’m the best.

I hope this is a beautiful year for you guys. I’ve got a pretty good feeling about it already.

2 thoughts on “The Year in Review: 2011

  1. What a fascinating journey you’ve had! Thank you for sharing. Your advice on terrible moods & always needing to have a plan, is very helpful. I look forward to following along with you 🙂 Thank you for sharing your insight! Darcey

    1. Thanks Darcey. It’s strange, because until I set it all down like this, I didn’t think a whole lot about this year. Now I see how really weird (and awesome, and scary, and sometimes not so awesome) it’s been. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Cheers to 2012!

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