reflection

2006 In Review, Looking to 2007 (Tiny Pictures)

Time for the obligatory. Heh. What a year 2006 has been. It’s really hard to believe I am where I am in my life right now. Makes me very curious about 2007.

01. Was 2006 a good year for you?
Yes, I’ll have to say, for the most part, it was. It certainly was interesting.

02. Where were you, and who were you with, when 2006 began? And where will you be when it ends?
I was at Chad and Christy’s house, at a New Year’s Eve Party. Some of the people I was with included Kim, Ben, Caty, Christy, Abbie to name a few.

Ben is the Mack Daddy! Happy Girls Christy and Me

I will be here in my apartment, wearing my blue footie pajamas, and hanging with Aidan when it ends.

03. What were your biggest achievements of the year?
– Aidan, Aidan, Aidan, and Aidan;
– signing with a big time literary agent;
– making it through the year with no accidents or speeding tickets;
– taking huge leaps of faith in regards to my personal life;
– taking a chance with a new job;
– taking my first “road trip” all alone;
– reading more than 100 new books;

04. What was your biggest failure or regret?
– Not selling ONLY YOURS.
– CRUSH getting rejected.

05. What did you do that you’d never done before?
– saw Bob Dylan (twice!);
– saw Wicked;
– ate rattlesnake;
– visited The Grand Canyon;
– visited Philadelphia, PA;
– visited Phoenix, AZ;
– attended a Writers’ Conference;
– took a ghost tour (I ended up taking six!);
– cooked a Crock-Pot meal;
– attended a Writers’ Conference;
– started a debt management program;
– got a flu shot;
– friendship journal with verytruly and selfstyled.

06. What did you hope to do but didn’t manage to?
Save money. Visit . Sell Only Yours.

07. Are you going to try to do these things this coming year instead?
Yes.

08. Did you make any major decisions? If so, what were they?
a) I became separated.
b) I asked for a dissolution.
c) I changed jobs.
d) I decided to wean myself off of the Lexapro. I am down to 10mgs a day instead of 20mgs. So far, so good.

09. Did you explore any new ideas or concepts you had never considered before?
Yes.

10. What did you learn?
That there is a lot more to me than I ever imagined. And that I like it.

11. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My friends tell me that MY behaviour does, because I was strong and taking charge and blah blah blah, but I have to say THEIRS did, because they’ve gone above and beyond to make me feel supported, loved, taken care of. crimsonghost_oh, meimeigui, swankivy, selfstyled, adamselzer, verytruly, wlotus, helenatural, starrlyte, I love you all and I am very grateful to have you in my life. Thank you for everything.

12. Whose behaviour upset you?
No names, but the people who decided to stop talking to me because of decisions I made with regards to my personal life.

13. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Traveled more. Planned more. Written more.

14. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Holding back. Keeping secrets. Stressing out. Worrying.

15. What did you get really excited about?
a) Visiting Chicago all the times I did. :)
b) Seeing the Grand Canyon.
c) Bob Dylan concerts.

16. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that I know of.

17. Did anyone close to you die?
Grandpa Davis. :(

18. Did you attend any weddings or funerals?
Grandpa Davis’s funeral in February.

19. Did you miss anybody?
Yes.

20. Which countries did you visit?
N/A. Dang it.

21. Which new places did you visit?
Ft. Wayne, IN., Philadelphia, PA.

22. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing unusual.

23. What was the best thing you bought?
All of my plane tickets to Chicago, and my digital SLR camera.

24. Where did most of your money go?
Bills.

25. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? the same
b) thinner or fatter? fatter
c) richer or poorer? poorer, most definitely poorer

26. What was your favourite film of the year?
Clerks II.

27. What was your favourite TV programme?
N/A.

28. What was the best book you read?
The Giver – Lois Lowry.

29. What did you want and get?
A DSLR camera, an agent.

30. What did you want and not get?
A publishing contract. Constant financial security.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32. Bizzy came over and we ate spaghetti and watched The Boondock Saints.

32. What was your personal fashion concept of this year?
Jeans, sweaters or tee-shirts, my cheap Champion shoes. Or peasant skirts and camis.

33. Did you make any significant changes to your appearance?
I stopped wearing makeup, except for powder to tone down the shine. I began wearing my hair shorter, although that wasn’t really my choice. BUT, I did stop straightening it so much, and started letting it air dry.

Curly Sunday New Hairdo

34. Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
I didn’t really fancy anyone, but I did have a raging crush on Trent Ford for about ten minutes.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Execution.

36. What world event affected you more than any other?
Too many to get into right now.

37. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 29, 2006, for reasons I want to keep private for now.

38. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing outside of the ordinary.

39. What song(s) will always remind you of 2006?
“My Love” by Justin Timberlake
“Sanctus” by Philip Riley and Jane Elleson
“What Goes Around…/…Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake
“Sorry” by Madonna
“Gotta Go, Gotta Leave (Tired) by Vivian Greene
“Believe In Me” by Pleasure Center

40. Did you fall in love in 2006?
I did. With Chicago. With pretty, dramatic sunrises over the Columbus skyline. With the American Heritage dictionary. With copyediting. With photography, using filters and lenses. With my little boy, as he grows and becomes the person he is meant to be–funny, charming, affectionate, smart, amazing. With much, much more, that I want to hold inside for now.

41. How many one-night stands?
Negative.

42. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t think so.

43. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I enjoyed “discovering” Bob Dylan, Josh Groban, and Justin Timberlake (again). Oh, and Jennifer Berezan. The Returning CD is ace.

44. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Selling a book!

45. What kept you sane?
My friends. Sometimes, I just don’t understand how they put up with me!

46. Who was the best new person you met?
Adam Selzer. He’s awesome.

47. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Getting your dreams, it’s strange, but it seems, a little well, complicated. There’s a kind of a sort of, loss, and a couple of things get lost. And there bridges to cross you didn’t know you crossed until you cross.”

48. What would you like to happen in the coming year, either personally or in a more global sense?
I want to get better with money, and MAKE MORE OF IT. I want to finally publish a book. I want to write and write and write. I want to travel more. Continue enjoying the copyediting. Pick up some freelance jobs. For adamselzer‘s prediction to come true that 2007 will be a good year.

49. What are some of your personal goals for the new year?
Get a promotion. Publish a book.

50. What would you like to avoid?
Drama. Living paycheck-to-paycheck.

51. And finally, where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
I have no idea.

* * *

Were you in school (any time this year)?
Nope.

How did you earn your keep?
McGraw-Hill for most of the year, then I moved to Zaner-Bloser starting in September. Still in the publishing world.

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Nope.

Did you encounter the police?
Nope.

Where did you go on vacation?
In May, I went to Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, and Phoenix. In June, July, August, and September, I went to Chicago. In November, I went to Philadelphia.

What did you purchase that was over $500?
My digital SLR camera.

Did you know anybody who got married?
Holly & Robert. I photographed the wedding.

You know anybody who passed away?
Grandpa Davis.

Have you run into anybody you graduated high school with?
I talk to Andy all the time.

Did you move anywhere?
Yes, I moved out of the house on Bauer St., into my own place in Clintonville.

What sporting events did you go to?
None.

What concerts did you go to?
I saw Bob Dylan in Ft. Wayne, IN, and I saw him in Philadelphia, PA. In addition, I popped in on a Tony Lucca gig that was local.

Are you registered to vote?
Yes.

If so, did you do your patriotic duty on Nov. 7?
It’s not a duty to me. It’s a priviledge and an honor. And yes, I did vote.

Where do you live now?
Columbus, OH (Clintonville neighborhood)

What’s the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2006?
See Wicked!!!

What is one thing you regretted this year?
Spending too much money. Bah.

What’s something you learned about yourself?
I guess I’m a lot braver than I thought.

Any new additions to your family?
No.

What was your best month?
June, and September.

What from pop culture will you remember 2006 by?
– Justin bringing SexyBack. Oh my.
– Actually LIKING the damn Paris Hilton song (Stars Are Blind).
– Britney’s crotch. Double oh my.
– TomKat madness. Oh help.

How would you rate this year with a scale from 1 (lousy) to 10 (excellent)?
I’m going to have to say a 7.85.

* * *

IN 2006 HAVE I:

Hugged someone? Of course!!
Gotten into a fight? Yes.
Cried? Yes, far too much.
Smoked? A bit.
Drank alcohol? Yes.
Kissed someone on the cheek? Yes.
Reunited with an old friend? Yes.
Been suspended? No.
Let something go? Yes.
Been whipped? No. Unfortunately. ;)
Learned any important lessons? Yes.
Got a kiss on the cheek? Yes.
Kissed someone on the lips? Yes.
Considered suicide? Not seriously.
Cut/dyed your hair drastically? No.
Flirted? Sure.
Been backstabbed? Yes.
Missed someone? Yes.
Hit someone? Oh yeah. >:)
Broken something really important to you? Yes.
Cuddled with someone? Yes.
Broken somebody’s heart? Yes.
Done something you really regretted? Don’t even get me started.
Laughed so hard that it hurt? Yes.
Cried so hard that it hurt? Yes. Too often.
Got cheated on? I hope not.
Gone on a date? No.
Got dumped? Yes, by some “friends.”
Dumped someone? No. More like stepped back for a bit.
Made a new screen name? Yes.
Lost a friend? Yes.
Gotten any tattoos/piercing? No. Dammit.
Watched porn? Hell no.
Been in a love/hate relationship? Eh?
Loved someone so much that it hurt? Yes.
Been grounded? Nope, LOL.

FRIENDS:
Lost: I’m not going to list them because it doesn’t matter anymore.
Drifted: Can’t really say because friendships are so static.
Found: Adam, my writing friends. Friendships with others have grown deeper, like with Rosa, and Wanda.

Me & Adam Me & Mandy Group Shot

BODY:
Weight: Went up five to ten pounds. I’m now 115-120lbs. Eep.
Piercing/tattoos: N/A
Height: 5’2″ ish.
Hair: Short.

WORK:
– repeat

STUDIES:
N/A

BAD THINGS I HAVE DONE:
– As if I’m going to admit them here. >:)

GOOD THINGS I HAVE DONE:
– Grand Canyon.
– Chicago, a lot.
– Bob Dylan.
– Raised Aidan.
– Debt management program (that means I can accumulate no more debt!)
– Taken a HUGE step.
– Got a new job.
– Traveled a lot.
– Let go.

NEW EXPERIENCES:
– repeat

THINGS I HOPE TO DO IN 2007:
– Sell my novel.
– Finish a new novel.
– Go back to a Disney park.

* * *

I’ve read well over 100 new books in 2006. These are the ones that made the most impact on me:

The Giver by Lois Lowry
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Freedom’s Children by Ellen Levine
To Be A Slave by Julius Lester

* * *

My 2007 Forecast from one of those astrology sites:

This is the year that you have been waiting for as your key planet, Jupiter, makes its once-every-twelve-years return to your sun sign, bestowing grace and opportunity onto your life. As the Archer, you aim your arrows of intent high; your targets are often far in the distance. Now you can see even further, and your power is even stronger. Jupiter’s influence works like a magnifying lens by making your life even bigger. But you like grandiosity, so this will feel quite comfortable, even familiar. There are other planetary influences this year, but jovial Jupiter in your sign — from Nov. 23, 2006, until Dec. 18, 2007 — will likely be the most obvious and should provide a fortunate underpinning for a very successful year. Jupiter was last in your sign in 1995, which may have been the beginning of the opportunity cycle that is currently coming to a close. You see good news now everywhere you turn, yet this will also require you to make a number of long-term decisions.

The Year Ahead

Although this may be a truly wonderful time, there are potential pitfalls that demand your attention. First, because Jupiter can make anything appear better, be careful about accepting an opportunity before you really check it out. Whether it’s a fantastic job offer or an exciting new romance, the joy of Jupiter will eventually pass, perhaps leaving you with less than what you imagined. Second, because Jupiter encourages you to overextend yourself, be cautious about making a commitment that you cannot keep. Third, because Jupiter widens your perspective, you can gloss over important details. Remember that sloppy work and hasty thinking will not be rewarded, so use extra diligence.

The slow wave of the Jupiter tide recedes from April 5 until Aug. 6. Shore up your plans and conserve your energy during this retrograde period. Jupiter dynamically squares erratic Uranus three times — on Jan. 22, May 10, and Oct. 9 — creating an exhilarating yet destabilizing sequence of interrelated events. With Uranus in your 4th House of Home and Family, unexpected changes, a physical move, or even the purchase of a new home is not out of the question. Meanwhile, serious Saturn harmoniously trines Jupiter on March 16 and May 5, balancing the melodramatic Uranus scenario with clear thinking and patience. Still, you may feel dissonance between the commitments you willingly make and the freedom you wish you didn’t have to sacrifice.

* * *

And finally, looking ahead:

In the year 2007…

Will you be looking for a new job?
Yes, a part-time second job.

Will you be looking for a new relationship?
No.

New house?
Maybe.

What will you do different in 2007?
So much.

New Years resolution(s)?
a. Take better care of my teeth.
b. Start doing Yoga, hopefully 2-3 times a week.
c. Write a new book.

What will you not be doing in 2007?
Eating out, shopping.

Any trips planned?
Chicago in February. That’s all for now. If people want to fund trips anywhere else, I am willing to go! :)

Wedding plans?
No.

What’s on your calendar?
Chicago in February.

What can’t you wait for?
Chicago!

What would you like to see happen differently?
I’d like more money, please.

What about yourself will you be changing?
– I hope to become more assertive, less likely to freak out.
– I’d like to completely be off of Lexapro.

What happened in 2006 that you didn’t think would ever happen?
– I signed with an agent.
– I moved out.
– I drove myself to Cleveland.

Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
Yes.

Will you dress differently this year than you did in 06?
No.

Will you start or quit drinking?
I don’t drink, nor do I plan to start.

Will you have better relationship with your family?
*shrug*

Will you do charity work?
I’d like to, but I don’t know if I’ll have time or money to do so.

Will you go to bars?
Doubt it.

Will you be nice to people you don’t know?
I usually am.

Do you expect 2007 to be a good year for you?
Not sure. I hope it will.

How much did you change from this time last year til now?
I changed very, very much.

Do you plan on having a child?
Just the one I already have.

Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
I hope so.

Major lifestyle changes?
Oh yes.

Will you be moving?
Don’t know.

What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 2007 that happened in 2006?
I am not sure.

What are your New Years Eve plans?
I’d love to sleep, but we’ll see.

Will you have someone to kiss at midnight?
I think Aidan. :)

Wish for 2007:
SELL A BOOK!!!

That was long, but fun. :) Happy New Year!

Comments Off on 2006 In Review, Looking to 2007 (Tiny Pictures)

There are some things I expected to happen, but still hurt a bit.
People shunning me because of the choices I’ve made.
“Friends” who don’t want to speak to me or him because they’re afraid we’ll somehow “taint” them and their “perfect little Christian” relationships.

Then there are the wonderful surprises.
Unconditional love from family members, regardless of the circumstances.
Unconditional love and support from friends all over.
The ocassional feelings of peace that wash over me.

Then there are the unexpected painful things.
Crying over what should have been but will never be.
Guilt for taking charge of my own life.
Fear over what will happen.
Denial that this is my life now, and that I chose it.

This whole thing is a mixed bag of feelings. Relief, pain, hurt, shame, disappointment, fear, happiness, peace, doubt, excitement, guilt, surrealness.

But I will go on. And it’ll be okay.

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Reflections on History

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the Civil Rights Movement lately, and reading of black history, pre-Civil Rights. Some fiction, some true. All scary. But also inspirational and and uplifting. I’m learning more than I ever thought possible.

It’s fascinating, yet terrifying. Infuriating, yet amazing. So much hatred, so much strength, so much love, and so much weakness.

The first question that pops into my head everytime I read something about violence against a person or a group of people, or the way people are treated is: How can anyone ever treat someone that way?

Mouth-dropping things. Lynchings, burnings. Bombings. Tar & Feathering. Some done to “punish” or put someone in his/her place. Some of it just for “fun.”

Some fun.

Dehumanization. Brought about during slavery. There were some who felt badly about treating people that way. Well, guess what! Just consider them NON-people, and all is well. She’s not really a person, so it’s okay to force her to sew all day and all night. He’s definitely not a person, so to make him do back-breaking work in the fields is perfectly fine. Who cares if they hurt, bleed, die? THEY ARE NOT PEOPLE, SO THEY DON’T COUNT.

Slaves were considered 3/5ths of a person.

Objects.
Property.
Things.

Bred for strength, or stature.
Sent to be broken, when they got “out of line.”
Used for sexual favors and/or amusement.

We know happens when a person becomes objectified.

Violence.
Rape.
Mistreatment.

Slaves were not allowed to read. To do so would cause “discontentment.” The slaveowners knew what they were up against, even if they didn’t want to admit it.

After slavery was abolished, the attitudes remained. Black people were less than. Nothing. That’s where racism took hold and grew. And grew and grew and grew. In the fertile soil of The Depression, it spiraled exponentially. Black men could be beaten for looking for work, if there were poor whites who were out of jobs.

Years of mistreatment, segregation, inequalities were challenged like CRAZY during the Civil Rights Movement. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about that lately, and some of the things I come across made my jaw drop.

Not without some anger, though.

Regardless of what my skin looks like, this IS my history. These were my people. They were/are Aidan’s people. Your people. Everyone’s people. And they risked their lives to fight for equality for everyone.

So why in the fresh hell had I never known about this?

Then some shame.

Because I was probably taught it, but didn’t pay much attention. That stuff was pretty boring when I was in junior high. I was more interested in whether or not that cute boy could possibly like me too (definitely not)

I do remember the story of Emmett Till. That affected me. I learned about it in 8th grade. He was a teenager from Chicago, visiting relatives in Mississippi. Fourteen years old. Tortured and killed for allegedly behaving inappropiately toward a white woman. He was from the North, had no idea of the ways of the Deep South. In the Deep South in those days, blacks knew their place.

I remember the horror I felt when they showed his picture on the video we all were watching during history class. Then later, I remember, my senior year of high school, playing Elizabeth Eckford from the The Little Rock Nine–the first nine black students to attend Central High School.

Reading the stories of those people during the Civil Rights Movement–the violence and hatred they faced, the bravery and courage they exhibited, and the fact that it was all done non-violently by those who wanted change amazes me. Really, truly amazes me. The way I live right now is because those people fought for what they knew was right. And they did it admirably and bravely. They risked their lives. They were horribly beaten, maced, harrassed, picked on. Still, they kept on. Non-violently. Showing a strength that was surely God-given.

I have to ask myself–would I ever have the guts to participate in a sit-in? Would I dare go on a Freedom Ride? Walk for a year rather than ride a bus? Go to jail multiple times? Be the first black person to enter a high school, in the midst of pure hatred and scorn?

What about you?

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Musings From Dane Cook

So, Dane Cook has a joke on one of his Retalion CDs about how in every group of friends, there is one NOBODY likes. (For simplicity’s sake, he uses the name KAREN). Karen is a “douchebag.” No one likes her. They just put up with her. They make fun of her when she’s not around, but they’re nice to her face.

Most people in the crowd agreed and laughed. But then he said the people who were disagreeing–THEY were the ones nobody liked!

I can’t think of anyone in my circle of friends who is the KAREN. So does that mean it’s me?

ETA: I’m not having a crisis or anything–I’m just curious!!!!

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