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31 December 2006

An Amazing Year

Here we are in the last few hours of 2006. Midnight has already fallen over the entire eastern hemisphere and is rapidly approaching. I'd better make this post count. So I'll start by comparing this year to my expectations last year:

Honestly, as 2005 wanes, I hope 2006 will bring some exciting "firsts" into my life. I don't know what they'll be, but I'm really hoping they'll be fun.
This is what I wrote one year ago today in my New Year's Eve post for 2005. And for the most part, that's exactly what happened. With 2006 being the first full calendar year I've had this blog, I can actually go back and look at what I've documented... which is good, because I don't think I'd otherwise be able to think of much in time for the new year. Time to get reflective.

I started January by making a little something in Photoshop in honor of the year, and in doing so, opening the doors to the world of opportunities that awaited me. Four days in, I turned 18, which was certainly the first of many milestones. Actually, if you count December 2005, which is when I got accepted to Pitt, I was in the middle of a big stretch of "happy," which continued on 13 January when I received notification of my awesome scholarship. But, as always happens when classes are ending, the stress of finals and papers came on in the latter part of the month. So much stress, in fact, that I created a Wall of Shame to vent my frustrations. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that since.

February was an emotional month. I lost my girlfriend for still-unexplained reasons, and I met a new friend who helped me through my sadness. I reflected on the antics of other friends and escaped the threat of another Friday the Seventeenth. And of course, the Steelers won the Super Bowl. How great is that? Meanwhile, District Choir was preparing me for things to come...

March and April were probably some of the most fun months of the year, but they were also extremely stressful. It started with Region Band, where I missed States by one chair. Then Region Choir, where I made States. A few days later, we said goodbye to the cats we'd been babysitting, and before I knew it, my family was with the marching band in Florida, and I wasn't really able to practice my music for States while we were gone. But I ended up getting fifth chair anyway; quite an accomplishment! And amidst all this, I was switching Calculus books and finalizing my decision to go to Pitt. Missing all that school gave me a bad case of senioritis, but I stuck through and finished the incomplete work I'd had from the third quarter. And of course, I got measured on Easter, only to find that I hadn't really grown much at all.

May was madness. The first ten days were overflowing with blog-fodder so much that I wrote a huge post that got lost in the abyss of cyberspace, so I declared and celebrated a day of remembrance for it. Which reminds me, I'd better save this post right now. Anyways, I got a new girlfriend; I was a little worried about going off to college, though... she didn't think it would be a big deal. I wonder who was right.

June was a big deal. As I said last year, "For almost my entire life, June 2006 has been the endpoint of any long-range plans I have had." We had our senior class trip on 06/06/06, then baccalaureate the next day, adding gum to my locker, and by the time it hit me, I was halfway through my speech. Minutes later, I graduated. Preparations for college rapidly progressed after that, as I went down to Pittsburgh for orientation late in the month, which unfortunately was my then-girlfriend's birthday. This had been scheduled long before that, though.

I started July with a huge graduation party, and we celebrated Independence Day by watching my grandfather almost die while holding a lit emergency flare. Good times... But then I got really sick and started writing thank you notes. It's probably a good thing, though, because at least they got done.

And then August came. I got my driver's license, and then was thrust into college life. Things get sort of lumped together from here.

Throughout September and October, I learned a lot at Pitt: about myself, about others, and about life in general. There was lots of stress in varying shapes and sizes, but eventually I adjusted to the situations. Getting involved with the band certainly helped me there.

In November, I had another busy week, and my girlfriend and I finally broke up as a result. My streak of avoiding Fridays the Seventeenth had ended, but I don't have to deal with that again until August 2007.

And in December, I got my grades back, some pretty good numbers to show for all my hard work. The year came full circle with the arrival of my new computer, much faster and cooler than the now thirteen-year-old machine I mentioned last New Year's Eve, which still sits in our basement. And I finally got to see some family that I'd been missing... and some that I hadn't.

All in all, I really did do a lot this year. I loved 2006, but we're on the verge of 2007, and we must move on. You can imagine, however, how I felt as I sat in church this morning, and the substitute pastor said that 2006 was behind us, and that "we must bury it, approaching 2007 in a new way." Don't get me wrong; I'm very optimistic for 2007, but 2006 will hold a special place in my heart. But why wouldn't it? We shouldn't bury all of our past. How else would we learn from our failures, and enjoy our successes?

And so, before New York's ball drops in a few hours (and Pittsburgh's ball rises), let me say as I said back on the first day of this year, it's 2006 and I'm proud of this year, dangit!

4 comments:

Miles C. said...

yay!

Happy New Year!

Maybe this year I'll meet you? You live in Pittsburgh now and all.

Miles C. said...

that was from andrea, not jay.

Beverly Cwalina said...

Hmmmm... I wonder which category I fall into...

Tim said...

You were definitely one of the ones that was being missed... sort of. I mean, I'd just seen you a couple weeks prior.

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