When I look back on 2008, I think about change. We saw the election of the first black President, an event that most of us though we'd never live to see. We also saw the collapse of the economy and homophobia and discrimination in its purest form with the passage of Proposition 8. It was year that seemed to mark the end of us vs. them politics and the "culture wars."
However, I don't think of change just because Obama drilled that word (and hope) into the national consciousness, but because it has occurred time and time again in my own life throughout the year.
My relationship status changed from boyfriend to single to boyfriend again. I escaped the domiciles of the damned (also known as on-campus living) and settled into an apartment. And I finally decided to follow my gut and ditched private piano lessons to make voice my major instrument for my music performance minor degree.
On a deeper level, I think in '08 I finally began to truly express my emotions and share more of myself with people. For years my goal in life was to not feel anything--joy, sadness, anger, nothing--because to feel anything hurt too much. I just wanted to be numb, and an emotional wall and a steady supply of weed more than helped me accomplish that goal. But over the past two years, I realized that the more I allow myself to feel emotion and not run from it, the happier I've become. In other words, I've feel like I've come full circle.
Change not only happened to me however. One of my friends is about to become a father and has gotten a place with his baby mama, while another one has moved to Houston and gotten his own place. Everyone's either in a relationship, employed (or both) and seems to be moving forward with their lives. All this has made it harder for us to get together, a big change from a few years ago when we'd spend almost everyday together. But change is a part of life. Sometimes it can be scary, as is the case with my impending graduation next year. But ultimately I think we need it. Change shakes us out of our comfort zone, makes us reexamine who we are, what we believe and what we want out of life, and helps us move into the next phase of our journey.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. See you in '09.
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