2012 in Summary.

It has become a tradition that I fill out the same survey every year on New Year’s Eve. I’ve been slacking on it, but I’ll do it now!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

  • I got on a plane!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

  • I didn’t make any resolutions last year, and I haven’t made any this year. I’m not really into resolutions, but I have certain goals as to how to make my life better and that sort of thing.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

  • No, but 2013 will have at least two births.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

  • My grandfather.

5. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

  • A stable relationship with a straight man, but that’s akin to asking for a flying pig to skate on hell’s ice when it freezes over. Last year’s answer makes me giggle because apparently a flying pig must be skating on hell’s frozen ice. Anyway, I would really like more independence. I would like to travel more. I would like to start something new.

6. What countries did you visit?

  • Still don’t have a passport.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

  • September 3rd, 2012–the date Nick asked me out. December 30th, 2012–the date I finally got over my fear of flying.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

  • Survival? Honestly, that’s a huge thing given how this year went. Also, I got a job, so that’s something.

9. What was your biggest failure?

  • I still haven’t been able to develop a no-calorie chocolate.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

  • Yes. This has been the year for that, it seems.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

  • My car, definitely.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

  • Those who have supported me through the crazy ups and downs and who have always had my best interests at heart.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

  • I don’t even want to go there.

14. Where did most of your money go?

  • Xbox games, new phone, iPad, random stuff at The Grove…

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

  • I’m always excited, but I was ridiculously excited for San Francisco. I also got really excited when Nick moved in, and again when he and I decided that we would take a vacation to Savannah, GA.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

  • Maybe “Shake It Off” by Florence + the Machine.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier.

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter, but taking measures to change my lifestyle.

iii. richer or poorer? Poorer.

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

  • I wish I had taken my needs into consideration more. I wish I had dedicated more time to my studies at times. I wish I had tried earlier to overcome my fears.

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

  • I wish I did less math. I didn’t do any math.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

  • Christmas is over, stop making me sad.

21. There is no number 21.  Well, that’s lame.  Guess I’ll just have to make one up.  How do you feel about 2013?

  • I feel like I’ve made so much personal progress in the past six months, and I am hoping that I’m able to continue that into 2013.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?

  • I can honestly say that I did.

23. How many one-night stands?

  • None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

  • BUNHEADS. Seriously, Amy Sherman-Palladino, I am so glad you’re back.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

  • I don’t hate anyone.

26. What was the best book you read?

  • The Hunger Games trilogy. Oh God, so good.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

  • Sleeping at Last. End of discussion.

28. What did you want and get?

  • Someone special.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

  • BRIDESMAIDS. Always.

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

  • I went to classes. I turned 20.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

  • Honestly, I’m satisfied.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

  • I wore stuff. I discovered leggings, ergo many dresses were worn.

34. What kept you sane?

  • Therapy. Friends. Loved ones.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

  • I have a girlcrush on Rachel Maddow.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

  • The election, all of the measures to restrict birth control, ObamaCare, etc.

37. Whom did you miss?

  • It’s my custom to miss people if I’m not with them.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

  • My counselor.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

  • It takes time, but you’ll get there.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

  • “Honestly, nothing’s ever made sense ’til you were next to me.”
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Terms of Agreement

I know this feeling, and I remember how much I hate this feeling. It’s kind of like the feeling you get the first day on a new job, or the first day of classes when you’re trying to get accustomed to where the clock is and who’s sitting next to you. It feels normal, but everything is different and you don’t quite know how it will work out. That, my friends, is my life. This feeling sneaks up on me in times of distress, and then all of a sudden I’m looking at a couch in my living room that’s been there for ten years wondering if it’s always been that color or if I’ve just ignored it. I question the stability of everything. Nothing is fixed; everything is in a state of flux, and that’s unsettling in itself regardless of circumstance. This shift happens often enough for me to have thought about it at great length. If one thing is big enough to force me to take a step back, all of a sudden every facet of my life is laid out before me, and I think that things need to shift in order to accomodate the latest dilemma. Something to that effect, anyway; I haven’t quite gotten it figured out yet.

Anyway, I hate how I feel in this flux period because I don’t feel sure of anything, especially my ability to make decisions. To be indecisive when you feel like everything is changing is a really terrible thing, really, but in some way I guess I’m appreciative because I know I’m putting 20 times more thought into a plan than I normally would.

Plan. Yes. I have one, I think, which could change tomorrow or an hour from now. To have a plan, though, is progress, and comforting progress at that.

So: tomorrow I will get all of the remaining information about what it would mean to take a leave of absence from school. If I choose to take the leave, which I believe at this point I will, then I will have to get my mom to agree to some terms.

TERMS OF AGREEMENT:
PREFACE: I, your daughter of twenty years, have been through six solid years of hell. You have been there and understand what said hell entails. I have been forced by different pressures to continue as if nothing has changed, and I’ve decided that I need a break. I need to take some much needed time to heal, get my life in perspective, and get my motivation back. This decision is not easy for me, nor do I think you will find it easy to accept, but I am going to take the rest of the semester off to take care of my physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

TERMS:
1) On Fridays through Mondays, I will take care of the house. You will leave me a list of chores that need to be completed around the house. I will buy ingredients for dinner and will prepare said dinner. You will relax as much as possible.

2) On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, you will do the housework and I will have leisure time for whatever I please, whether it be productive or not. If you need help with something, I will help you, but I will not spend the day being your slave.

3) On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, we will spend at least an hour together doing an activity of your choice.

Other terms may be added to this agreement if both parties involved agree to added terms.

I’m ready for this conversation, but I need the rest of my information first. For now, I ride out the flux.

Impasse.

“What is it that you need?”

I need a set of things that are not possible in these circumstances, which to me isn’t the least bit surprising. What happens when your frivolous wants always seem to be met, but not your needs? I can have anything material that I want in about a second if I really have that much desire for it, but the basic things–the things that make the human experience actually humanistic–are the things I can hardly seem to find.

Right now it boils down to an overload of responsibility and a lack of me to go around. I play so many roles that at the end of the day it’s hard to see who I really am without having to be molded for someone else. At my bedside are a collection of masks that I’m forced to wear on a daily basis depending on whose needs are greatest at the moment. At night, in the dark, I can finally take off the last mask and rest, but in the dark there isn’t a way to see me for me. And at that point, who has the energy? One more mask on the rack. One more day to cross off the calendar.

So, back to the question at hand: what do need? I need to be one person, and I need people to realize that I am one person with limitations and a limited supply of sanity. Let’s take a moment to examine what’s been put on my plate in 2013 thus far:

1. You must find yourself a surgeon because you have two cysts that are burrowing into the area around your tailbone. Do this as soon as possible.
2. You can’t drive because your bum ankle gave out again. You can barely manage getting up and down the stairs. Mobility is limited.
3. Your mother, the head of household, has emotionally checked out and/or has placed her baggage with you for safekeeping. You are expected to be her confidant.
4. You are a college student taking two upper-level Spanish classes, a 400-level Psychology class, and a core curriculum class. Everyone around you expects you to get a 4.0.
5. Your best friend (or at this point, former best friend) won’t talk to you, and you have no idea what you’ve done wrong, but you know that it’s your fault.
MISC: You’re supposed to see a cardiologist about your latest episode of palpitations. You’re also supposed to see a gastroenterologist because you get sick more than anyone should. Your bell choir director contacts you at least once a week to see when you’ll be back. Your work expects you to make up your mind about your current employment by Feb. 5th.
BONUS CHALLENGE: Maintain a healthy relationship with your boyfriend.

I need this plate to disappear. Unrealistic. I need at least one thing on this plate to disappear… and that’s what I’m trying to figure out. There are consequences to dropping each item, yet the stakes seem to be greater if I do nothing. As of right now I’m unable to handle anything due to being entirely overwhelmed, so I exist in some kind of stasis, crying on the occasion that I realize what the hell’s going on.

I don’t think it’s possible for me to continue going to school this semester. My mom isn’t going to get better, my surgery won’t disappear, and my ankle will take at least a month to be strong enough to withstand my driving 40 minutes to school. However, if I stop going to school, I risk screwing up my financial aid, forfeiting my counseling, and making my mother unhappy… not to mention I’d be stuck in this house every day until God knows when.

I can’t win. There is no winning and losing… there is only this pile of shit on a plate, and I can’t throw it away no matter how hard I try. I’m exhausted and depressed and frustrated and barely hanging on to any type of positive emotion, which is sad because I like to think of myself as an optimist. After a certain point, though, it’s just not feasible.

What do I need?

I need a way out.

2011 in Summary.

It has become a tradition that I fill out the same survey every year on New Year’s Eve. I used to do it on Xanga, but now that I have a WordPress, why not post it here?

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

  • I sang in a concert where I had a solo. I started playing flute and saxophone, and I started taking voice lessons from a pro. I became known by a different name.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

  • I never make legitimate resolutions. I would like to be a bit healthier in this next year, and I have certain academic and Marywood-related goals, but they’re not necessarily resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

  • No, ma’am.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

  • Person? No. Pet? Yes.

5. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

  • A stable relationship with a straight man, but that’s akin to asking for a flying pig to skate on hell’s ice when it freezes over.

6. What countries did you visit?

  • In spirit, I visited them ALL. In reality, I visited none of them.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

  • I don’t remember dates… I remember events. I will likely remember the breakups, because that’s how I am. I will forever remember the epic trip to Machu Picchu. Then there are little conversations and moments that will stay in my heart for a very long time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

  • Getting a 511/500 average in the most difficult class in my major. Getting a 4.0 GPA. Getting a solo in Choralaires.

9. What was your biggest failure?

  • No failure, per se. Mistakes, not failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

  • Dislocated my ankle twice. Again. The first time in 2011 was the night before our first softball game, and the second was at the Land of Little Horses in Gettysburg. I tripped over a tree root because I was excited to pet a goat.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

  • Funny… last year it was Nikon D5000, and this year it’s Nikon D7000. Beautiful.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

  • Justyn, Bryce, Ripley, my mama, my new Marywood cohorts… and really anyone who was there for me when I needed it.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

  • There are a few people, but none more appalling and depressing than those involved with the lawsuit. It’s hard to believe that it’s been less than a year since the trial happened…

14. Where did most of your money go?

  • Camera equipment, music lessons, Walmart, gas stations, Verizon…

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

  • I got excited whenever I was going to see Adam, I got SO excited about the Machu Picchu skit, I was excited about my birthday and Christmas, I was excited/nervous about the Choralaires concerts, I ALWAYS get excited about pictures and such… IDK, I’m easily excited.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

  • Oh, man. I don’t even know. I’d say “Turn Me On” by David Guetta/Nicki Minaj, but that’s only a recent thing. I love too many songs to be able to choose one for an entire year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Overall, happier.

ii. thinner or fatter? lol, fatter.

iii. richer or poorer? Richer, but I don’t like talking about it…

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

  • Exercise, maybe. I don’t know, I usually do everything I want to do? I wish I had had more conversations with certain people, but usually that’s not something I can choose to do, y’know? Like, “Hey, we’re going to have a conversation now. I don’t care that you’re trying to vacuum.”

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

  • I wish I had second-guessed myself a lot less. I wish I had a better handle on my anxiety and mood thingers, but that’s nothing that I do, necessarily. I was going to say that I wish I had procrastinated less, but who am I kidding? I think I just wish I worried less.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

  • I always come to this question and think it’s dumb because I take the survey right after Christmas is over. Instead I discuss Christmas of that year. So, Christmas 2011… the morning was lovely, the afternoon made me cry, and then the evening was great because my mom saved Christmas. Families are fun.

21. There is no number 21.  Well, that’s lame.  Guess I’ll just have to make one up.  How do you feel about 2012?

  • I am always cautiously optimistic about a new year, because anything can happen in a given second, let alone a whole year. There are lots of goals and plans I have, so my hope is that I can do everything I want to do and achieve what it is I’d like to achieve. WOOHOO VAGUE.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?

  • Ha. Ha. Hahahahahaha. Why don’t we consider another question?

23. How many one-night stands?

  • LMAO, none.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

  • STORAGE WARS. It became my obsession.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

  • Yes, but to be fair, I didn’t know this person last year. Other than that, I don’t hate anyone I used to know, but I have felt some people slipping away, which makes me sad. However, there’s only so much you can do to salvage a relationship before it becomes too tiring and hurtful to hold on.

26. What was the best book you read?

  • It’s always Harry Potter. Let’s just assume that from now until I die, because every year I reread Harry Potter, and so far nothing has made me happier than those books. (Literature-wise.)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

  • Ooh. I don’t even know. It’s one of my goals every year to learn new things about music. This year is no exception. Discovering the wonder that is playing the saxophone was pretty awesome. Also, finding out that I DO have an upper register when singing was pretty badass.

28. What did you want and get?

  • A place to belong.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

  • BRIDESMAIDS.

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

  • I went to see “Pirates of Penzance” and then went to the cast party with Justyn. I was nineteen.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

  • I wouldn’t want to change anything. I guess it would have been more satisfying if I could get my anxiety shit together, but that’s an “always” thing.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

  • Sometimes I dress like a teacher. Sometimes I dress like a student. Sometimes I dress like an awkward combination of both.

34. What kept you sane?

  • Nothing has kept me sane. What has kept me insane is writing, music, photography, my wonderful friends, and my adventures.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

  • Chris O’Dowd because of Bridesmaids.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

  • The whole “let’s censor the Internet!” thing did not fly with me. The fact that gay marriage is still banned in so many places makes me incredibly upset.

37. Whom did you miss?

  • I miss so many people all the time.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

  • Cannot pick just one. I have met the best people this year.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

  • Trust the road. You’ll get to your destination eventually.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

  • “You might’ve heard I run with a dangerous crowd. We ain’t too pretty, we ain’t too proud. We might be laughin’ a bit too loud, ah, but that never hurt no one.”

Overall, this year has been a crazy whirlwind of the good, the bad, the interesting, and the ugly. I am glad to be where I am now, and I’m glad to have had the experiences I had over the last year. I would review this all month-by-month, but it’s 1:00 in the morning and I’m exhausted. Suffice it to say that I’ve been very blessed, regardless of whether times were good or bad. I’m thankful for it all.