Au Revoir, 2013

Thanks to iDoneThis, I was able to review 2013 on a day by day basis, which probably skewed my understanding of the year, ironically. By bringing a magnifying glass to the life events in my year, I think I may have lost sight of the bigger trends. But it did remind me that 2013 was a busy year, one of many reversals: I moved into and out of an apartment in the first half of the year, and then into and out of my grandmother’s house in the second half; I got a gym membership at the beginning of the year and then canceled it at the end; I started work on a friend’s startup and stopped; I quit social media – twice; I had a shield commissioned for The Starter League and then wrote a blog post about how it was a bad value proposition; And in what proved to be the most educational of all, I fell in and then out of love in a few short months.

My grandfather was still alive in 2013. My sister graduated and we went on a camping trip through Michigan. I put a bid on a house, which I lost, thankfully, because I quit my job. I started the Project Euler Sprint meetup group. I started guitar lessons. I was fortunate enough to be able to perform with Dance Crash in Austin, TX. There was the car accident – my first traffic collision. And I left Chicago and the United States altogether to spend my birthday and new year’s day in Toronto with Alex and George.

I’m still learning about myself. As Alex said, he is trying to achieve complete self-awareness. This is something I’m beginning to realize is far more important than having ambitious goals. Ambition without understanding is a setup for failure, not just in reaching those goals, but also, having reached those goals, realizing that they are meaningless.

Moving back to my parents’ house in the suburbs means taking things slow, which I’m also beginning to value. Speed can be useful, but it can also be utterly distracting and demotivating.

I discovered new kinds and depths of friendship, and began to understand how difficult practicing loving kindness can be. When things get heated, I sometimes need months alone before I am able to think coolly. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s even possible.

Always, always questioning myself. Sucks sometimes, but I feel relieved when I do figure things out.

For 2014, I have a mess of questions tangled together like strands in a ball of yarn: Where will I spend 2014? How will I make things work, financially? Can I figure out the happy secret to better work? Am I pursuing my passion? What are my passions, really? What about love?

Somehow, I don’t expect answers. I just expect more questions.