Friday, December 31, 2010

Should Auld Acquaintance blah de blah...

It's the last day of the year, the day when all bloggers across the continents take a look back at the past 365 days.  I guess that includes me too.

I gotta say 2010 was a pretty f'n fancy year. First and foremost, I got legally married to my partner of 10 years.  The social significance of this event still makes me shake my head.  In retrospect, the Leadership Institute trip I took in May - June as part of my research (which concluded with our wedding at the Lincoln Memorial) lit a pretty big fire under my butt. I feel more overtly comfortable wearing the label of "activist" going into 2011.

Academically, 2010 brought me 14 credits closer to completing my PhD. I also took my written prelim exams this year, a pretty sizable milestone.  There was one question on the exam that I need to re-write, which I will do in January. Once that is done I plan to get my third tattoo (more on that later).

Late summer 2010 will be remembered for the media's coverage of a tragic series of gay teen suicides. Of course this phenomenon is not new; What is new is the public's attention to the matter.  At some point during all the hubbub my own history as a bullied teen rose to the surface, finally reaching what I considered to be the breaking point. In November I sought professional assistance (therapy) to try and stop the god-awful nightmares that I'd been experiencing consistently for the past ten years.  Thru the miracle of modern medicine the nightmares have ceased for the time being, and I couldn't be happier with the gift of a full-night's sleep.

2010 was the best year in decades for me as a record collector.  I bought lots of records in lots of stores in multiple parts of the country.  Just thinking about the sum of experiences makes me feel warm and tingly all through and around my insides.  I bought a lot of new 45s this year, something which I attribute largely to events related to Record Store Day, events that resulted in more bands and labels pressing 7" records in special limited batches.  Nine of the songs in my "Top 40 Fanciest Songs of 2010", for example, are on 45. That's pretty sweet.

Looking forward at 2011:
  • I want to put more effort into my physical and mental health. After three weeks of walking around Chicago, New York, and DC last summer I was in possibly the best shape of my life. I want to get that back.
  • I plan to learn more about applying for research grant/scholarship/fellowship funding. If I ever want to finish my dissertation I am going to need funding. The task feels intimidating from where I currently am in the process, but I know I can't let fear hold me back. 
  • Finally, I aim to learn new and/or more effective methods of cultivating and maintaining peace in my life. I hit some strides with meditation this year that I feel pretty good about, so hopefully I can continue on that path.
Much love to my hubby for participating in this ongoing journey with me.  Thanks to my family & extended family for your support.  Thanks to my colleagues and classmates for your inspirational work and encouragement.  Thanks to the team of medical pros for all of your expertise and compassion in 2010; Without your help I might have been physically incapable of doing half of the things that got me up and moving each day. And of course big thanks, virtual hugs & best New Year's wishes to the growing circle of friends that I've made through this world of blogging.  I can't express enough how much you all rock!

PEACE in '11!!

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