While much of the world is out partying, or at least celebrating with friends or family, I am sitting in my room alone reading Pincher Martin and waiting for the time to pass. I like to pretend it’s just another day, because, in reality, it is. I hate New Year’s. I have had too many forgettable experiences on or around the changing of the year, plus I despise the excessive fanfare and overblown hype and noise. And it’s part of my Big Three after Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the last of my holiday uncheer still looms.
In all my years, I’ve never seen one as enigmatic as 2012. Should I call it positive? Negative? I usually consider myself a realist, but I honestly have no clue how to assess this year as a whole.
I moved across the country. I left a lot behind – close friends, a great city and climate, and everything I started. Bad because I felt like a failure for giving up on what I originally moved to SF for. Good because I was doing the right thing and trying to make a positive change where I felt at home.
I couldn’t find or keep a job. I worked a number of temporary jobs for less than two weeks. I participated in focus groups and market research studies. I moved boxes, entered data, parked cars, analyzed the Chicago real estate market, and acted as an online merchant. I was with four temp agencies and had little luck with any of them. Bad because I need income and work experience and something to keep me busy. Good because I had free time to figure out myself and fix up my apartment and read good books and hang out with my girlfriend and travel and exercise and explore the city.
I started at a new school in Chicago, to finish the master’s degree I initially began in San Francisco. Bad because I still don’t know if I want finance (or anything) to tie me down. Good because, obviously, I am finishing something that will benefit me in the future and provide me with a sense of accomplishment.
I began and ended a relationship. The craziest relationship of my life. A lot happened in a short time. (The relationship was) bad because I’ve never hurt or been hurt by someone else as much in my life. Good because I got to know an awesome girl and had great memories and so much fun while experiencing new feelings of happiness and sharing part of myself with someone I adored.
I started taking Adderall after being diagnosed with ADD. Bad because I don’t like taking drugs. Good because my mind badly needs help focusing, and thinking more clearly has lessened my depression.
I started to become more aware and critical of the actual Curtis. I had deeper conversations with close friends and companions. I used a number of means to express myself more effectively. Bad because it’s so freaking challenging and because what one finds upon introspection is not always pretty. Good because I am on the road to figuring out my interests, my goals, and my optimal path.
Maybe I’m not smart enough to determine whether 2012 was positive, negative, or a wash, but it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is this: I made strides in the right direction, strides I have never thought about taking before. Becoming an adult has more appeal to me than it did at the beginning of the year. Characteristics I started seeing in myself: responsibility, assertiveness, self-confidence, and hope. I have made baby steps in the right direction. I have become increasingly conscious of my inner being, and there are so many bright possibilities that have arisen from the thinking I have forced myself to do. As long as I build on the things I experienced this year, I can consider it a success.
A sad goodbye to the many things and people no longer in my life, and a happy hello to any new things that will stand in their place.
My resolutions for the year to come? Don’t be with someone who doesn’t really get me. Play an instrument. Don’t over-overanalyze. Consume very little gluten. Get a dang job. Figure out what makes me happy, and do everything in my creative power to go for it. Skydive.
Now that 2013 is here, the lights have dimmed, and the dust has settled, I’m ready to put the Curtis train into motion. I fully intend on making progress this year in numerous ways. My feelings aren’t going to wear off after a couple days, trust me. I hope you see how hard I am trying as we go along.