I have been thinking a lot about 2009 over the last few days. As the end of each year approaches, I typically find myself waxing nostalgic about a great many events gone by, teeming with regret over others, and petrified with fear that I may find myself a year from now facing year 2(insert a high number here, probably 6-9) without a great deal to show for it. I like to, in this circumstance, attempt to mentally catalogue the things that I have learned, be they positive or negative, so that by 30 I may reach a state of relative perfection/nirvana. So here are a few of the things that I learned throughout the last 365 days.*
1. Passing a kidney stone is an activity apparently not only reserved for men in their mid-late 40's. Also, passing a stone is every bit as unpleasant an endeavor as I had imagined it would be. I mean, so many times that I lay awake at night, or beneath a blanket of clouds, or sitting in the calm, sublime quiet of nature, pondering the likelihood of a future passing, and just what such an even would mean for my bowel region. Imagining, amidst the scuttling clouds, or in between dreams, the fiery agony of a tiny, pin sized stone forcing its way through the narrow tracts of my abdominal plumbing. I guess what I'm saying here, is I learned that passing a stone is a real BITCH.
2. Hearts (especially my own) are finicky. They betray us at the moment least expected. Perhaps mine functions mostly improperly.
3. I am not as eternally immune to puking my guts out as I thought. 14 years of strict vomit avoidance came to a close, as I puked a record 4 times this year. Some of that puking may have been my own fault.
4. Living alone and getting trapped into occasional 40 minute conversations with the cat lady from the dwelling below, is very much preferable to living with daily toilet seat urine, constant and every present rotting refuse in the kitchen sink, and carpet that turns bare feet black. Even if that conversational snare involves discussing cat dander, skin and inner ear problems, missing wind chimes and watches, 2 year old Dodge Calibers, the merits of a 5 disk CD changer, the life, times, rescue scenario, and history of (and personal introduction to) at least 4 different cats, the scalding nature of her shower if I happen to flush my toilet, and the 1600 dollars a month paid to her by social security for having been a working woman all her life.
5. Graduating from college has put me no closer to obtaining a "grown up job" than have every fantasy book I have read over the last year. And I read WAY more fantasy books over the last year than I did college books throughout my distinguished academic career. I guess what I'm saying, is I might as well have pursued a fantasy degree, for all the bloody good history has done me.
6. Related to number 5, a history degree was a poor, pooooor life decision. And in this economy rife with absurd government spending, and no large scale job recovery in sight, history may have very well damned me to a much longer career in the food service industry than I had heretofore desired.
7. I hate serving food to people. But I suppose I have been learning this the last 3 years. But I REALLY learned it this year. It sort of really sank in when I realized that graduating college didn't mean an insta-job as I had always expected it would. "Just getting a degree is all that matters." -Lots of People. BULLSHIT.
8. Being an uncle is about as great as I could have ever imagined. And in conjunction with that, I don't think I am quite as excited to have my own little bundle of screaming, pooping, puking, fussy joy as I thought I was. Had someone offered to sell me a mostly cute baby for under $50 dollars several months ago, I'd have probably made such a transaction. Until I realized how much those things don't sleep, how much breast feeding sucks (no pun intended,) how limited one's actions, activities, and comings and goings become, and how much those things cry and get pissed off at basically nothing. I'm suddenly okay that I am childless. I shall continue to enjoy my niece. Until she cries or poops. Then, off to find my sister.
9. I apparently have a propensity to be, what I assume is a realist, but really is more likely a pessimist or a cynic.
10. While owning a motorcycle does make for easy dates, it has yet to secure me the wife I had always assumed it would. Perhaps I simply need to give it more time.
11. I have discovered that I love cuties at least equally as much as I love candy, and have therefore been able to greatly reduce my artificial sugar consumption through a treat paradigm shift; natural treats instead of high fructose corn syrup.
12. Number 11 was misleading; I still eat a lot of high fructose corn syrup.
13. Each year I find I love more people than I did the year previous. Being somewhat of an antisocial person, I thought this number would likely plateau. I guess this year especially, I have learned that I have a greater capacity to love people than what I had previously suspected.
14. This capacity unfortunately, seems to escape me in the realm of permanent female companionship. I've got philia-agape down, now I just need to work in an eros-agape combo for the win.
15. After 10 plus years, I will never EVER grow tired of NOFX.
16. I am not allergic to bees and/or wasps, as was made evident by the dual stinging I received at the hands (asses, really) of 2 very cruel creatures during the summer. On the same day, no less. While on a motorcycle.
17. Idaho bees apparently hate me way more than Utah bees.
18. I have the ability to ruin most subsequent kissing, upon breaking up with someone. Good luck girls. And sorry?
19. The likelihood of my own personal wall of shame seems ever more eminent. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a wall of shame, it is thus; a wall in one's parents' home which showcases the triumphs of wedlock amongst the various siblings of the household--all save one. And the wall is potently more shameful if the one happens to also bear the title of "first born." WIth both baby sisters married, and a baby brother well on the road to successful post missionary 3 month courtship, I seem doomed to suffer a fate worse than embarrassing high school pictorial revelation--THE WALL OF SHAME.
20. I'm not nearly as afraid of 28 as I was of 27.
21. Even after a year, a bidet is STILL the best 90 dollars I have ever spent. EVER.
22. After 2 months of intense effort, the left side of my face grows a much more respectable beard than the right side.
23. Respectable, in reference to my beard, is probably relative to, say, a Native American. Or a 15 year old boy.
24. Even if you are a strangely unattractive female working at the 7-11 (not that an unattractive person working at 7-11 is strange, mind you) a mostly obese female patron will still take a great deal of offense if you ask her, "So when are you due?" Especially when said obese female's boyfriend says, "Ouch," and then chuckles in response. I suppose there are a lot of lessons learned there. First and foremost, you never ever, under any circumstance, for any reason, whatsoever, at all, in any situation, ever, ask an obese female "when she is due." Never ever. EVER. Secondly, an obese female who has just been asked this question can stare an almost palpable, noxious look of death so potent, that man cannot even know, nor angles tell the true consequences of being on the receiving end of such a look. Thirdly, if ever I have an obese girlfriend/wife/friend, I shall never take her into 7-11 after 10:30 pm on new year's eve.
These are the things which have most readily come to mind, upon pondering the important life lessons learned in 2009. As more come to me, I shall let them be known. Because I know you all hang on every word, every experience noted in the annals of this blog. Because my life is SO interesting. Because everything I learned in 2009, you should certainly take into account and personally apply. Ignore these lessons at your own peril.
Go ahead. Take a big girl into 7-11. DARE YOU.
God bless, and happy new year.
*please note the time this was posted. SAD.