Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time as an antidote.

Every New Year's Eve since the dawn of Y2K, I've sat down at my computer and in a few fitful, frantic hours of self-reflection, poured out anywhere from 5 to 15 pages worth (single-spaced, 10 pt font) of memories from the past year, resolutions and hopes and fears for the next, predictions, memorable songs and movies and books of the year...and, in recent years, a big meme-esque survey with information like General Mood, Newest Friend(s), Last Big News Item, Last Thing Eaten, etc. My only rule is that aside from the Resolutions list, I'm not allowed to look at or read my entry again until New Year's Eve 365(/6) days later.

So what does all this mean? The 10th birthday of my New Year's Eve entry tradition this year! And it means that aside from a couple years in there whose entries I lost in a computer transfer, I have a record of where I've been at the beginning of every new year for the last decade - not just physically, but emotionally, too.

For the first time last year, I didn't put running a marathon on my list of goals for the year. Instead, I backed it down to "Run my first official half-marathon." And check it out - jinxes aside, I pulled off both a half and a full one! In other goals/resolutions from my 2008 entry that I actually managed to accomplish in 2009:
- Get a satisfying, well-paying fulltime job (Well, 1/3 isn't bad in this economy, right?)
- Move someplace new (Mission accomplished!)
- Be a terrific girlfriend to Alan
- Get something published somewhere (Thank you, Carolyn, for all the opportunities!)
- Keep up better with current events in the world (Still some room for improvement here...)
- See my mom

Cha-ching! Check.

Last year, I was in Kansas, in interim between Ohio as a college student and Ohio as a recent grad...

Two years ago, I was in London, drinking black tea and playing Scrabble and Guggenheim all day long...

Three years ago, I was on the verge of my road trip down to New Orleans to rebuild homes...

Four years ago, I was in Colorado with my dad on a snowboarding trip...

Five years ago, in Kansas again, shooting off fireworks with Katharina and her family, long before she'd married and moved to Europe with Ryan, before my parents got divorced, before I even knew that I'd be going to Oberlin College, before I'd met Daniel or Shari or Ruth or Becca, before my mom had moved back to Holland, before Dick's Sporting Goods, just a few short months after having met Seyeon...

It's ridiculous how much changes in so little time. And yet, to some extent, acknowledging that is comforting. If you feel stuck now, the possibilities are endless, given the power of a bit of a time.

This year, I was in Seattle, and got to spend New Year's with Alan. We went out to Seyeon's favorite bar in Seattle, a place on Capitol Hill called Linda's Tavern - a great local spot with a western saloon vibe and a huge selection of Northwest microbrews, good music, great bar grub, an outdoor terrace that I'm sure is nice in warmer months. We had a couple drinks there before being joined by Zanna and her friend Leveda, with whom we trekked all the way through a rainy downtown to the Space Needle.

We got there just in time to swim in with the crowds a few blocks away and catch the fireworks show at midnight. It was pretty spectacular, and made better still by the iconically sentimental value the Space Needle holds for me by now. I've been in this city for nearly half a year now, but something about the fireworks that night felt very much like, "Woohoo! The beginning of your first full year in Seattle!"

I sure hope it's going to be a good one. I feel like it is, though...


  1. Yitka! Wow this is amazing! Indeed, it's insane to think how far we've all come in a few short years. I hope your resolutions this year will be similarly accomplished!

  2. Yitka, amazing blog entry, thanks for sharing, as always! You have all my love and support as we go into this year together!!