December: Then and now

In preparation for the end of the year, I decided to pull together a list of things I’d like to write about in the last month. This year, December has five Mondays, the last one coincidentally the very last day of the calendar. So I will spend these last Mondays writing about the years: last year, this year, and next.

Today’s topic is “then and now”, where I compare 2011 and 2012, particularly this time of the year.

***

Me_2011  Me_2012
late-Nov, 2011 — early-Dec, 2012

How much has changed between the times these two pictures were taken?

Surface level, I think I lost a little weight. I seem to gain and lose a bit every year.  One difference I’m proud of is my hair! Despite the salon treatments I went through in the past one or two years, parts of my hair almost always end up frizzy and unruly, like that awkward side-wisp in the 2011 picture. But now, for some reason, my hair’s been falling the way I want it to on most days, even when I’ve just woken up.

Beyond appearances, a whole lot has definitely changed: I ended a ten-month relationship, turned a year older (maybe wiser), made up my mind about some things, picked the people I really loved, looked for something to fight for, and sometime learned how to be okay.

What parts of your life have improved? What parts seem to have slipped?

This time last year I was utterly homesick, not having been home for twelve months. But my six-week vacation during the summer remedied that, and now the nostalgia hurts a little less.

This time last year I had a terrible experience where I grew paranoid and doubtful of people that I called my friends. I closed down my Blogger, and didn’t blog for months, until I finally made my epic transition to WordPress in March. For the record, I have not looked back since. I had too much ugly history in Blogger, and WordPress became sort of my clean slate.

This year I revived some friendships and strengthened others. Sometime in August or September, I came up with a very important list: a list of the people that I am not allowed to lose. These, I decided, are the people who are really worth exhausting my efforts to fight for.

This year I started falling in love with new things and writing new lists, and I’d like to think I learned a lot about people, about myself, about choosing carefully, about words, about loving, and about life.

Things weren’t always great this year, but I considered it a great achievement to be okay at the end of the day. August wasn’t good to me (then again it almost never has been), September asked me to try, and October called me to kick its a**. It wasn’t the best, but I tried. I really really tried.

Right now, are you where you hoped/thought you would be this time last year?

This time last year was pretty low, and all I really wanted was to be in a better state than that. And I think I’ve achieved that. There’s something about this time of the year that pokes me like quiet sadness, so I don’t think I could be a thousand leaps happier between Decembers. But lately I feel an inextinguishable hope of “maybe” that cradles and coos me, even when I’m having a life crisis at 1AM, and I think that’s all I wanted last year.

I’m not in the best of places right now, but a few things have been happening to keep me together. And every time I remember what my life was like this time last year, it makes me wish suffering had a face so I could punch it. I know I’m not that strong, but the recklessness with which I want to try makes me think that I might have grown up a bit more than I thought, and it makes me a bit proud.

Did you have a New Year’s resolution last year? Did you accomplish it?

I don’t remember ever having an actual New Year’s resolution, simply because it was never something I was really taught to do while growing up. (Never mind that my goal last year was to make it through the winter without emotionally dying.)

Will I make a New Year’s resolution this year? Well, I have a month to think about it. And anyway, I don’t talk about next year until the last post of my series.

***

December series:
1. Then and now
2. In other words…
3. I’m sorry.
4. Thank you.
5. Now and then.

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