When I look up at my 2012 probably-Instagram’ed-monthly calendar of Paris, hanging in pieces from rope and clothespins from a vent in my wall, I realize I don’t want to take it down. I could stare at Paris for years, but I digress. It’s almost the new year and while that doesn’t really mean much, it’s an end and a start point for lists. Personally, this year has been a rough one; the last four months making up the worst. Things are looking up though, particularly in the area of personal strength. While I’m still trying to calm my sporadic, nervous, and anxious tendencies, I see glints of a more sanguine, willing, and resilient side scantily shining through almost daily. Though there have been hardships, there have also been goodships. For end of the year purposes, I’d like to recap the finer times of the last twelve months as an exercise in keeping positive anecdotes. And obviously for reference when I’m older and feel the need to reminisce. That is, if I don’t delete this account due to the assured embarrassment that proceeds from reading one’s own writing.
Positive 2012 in a nutshell:
January: Took some of my (favorite–can I say that?) GSA students to the annual MLK Banquet where we got to see a great friend and LGBTQ district leader win an award AND hear Jessie Jackson speak. Pretty sure I didn’t understand fifty percent of what Jessie Jackson said, but this would be the first of two times seeing him speak this year, as he randomly showed up at WHS to give a speech one day. Understanding half of two speeches counts as one, right? The banquet was inspiring for the students, I hope, to see a great LGBTQ role model being awarded and recognized in our community and for the first time at the MLK banquet.
February: Bought a bike, or a frame rather. Bart built the bike for me. Rode it this summer. Still a little nervous through busy places, but German Village randonées are fine for my car loving self. Next summer I will venture farther than downtown, I’m hoping.
March: Officially graduated with my Master’s. Even though I left OU in ’09, I still had one class to take (so it would be easier to get a job with technically only a Bachelor’s degree). Two and a half years later, I decided to finish it. It took me three quarters to write my thesis though and let me tell you, it was a bitch. I wish I had completed it before leaving OU. But alas, the Bobcats were rocking out the NCAA tourney during my graduation weekend so the wait turned out to be more than a small celebration.
May: Took students on the second annual field trip to La Chatelaine for French noms. No students were lost or injured, so…success? I love being able to take them out of school. So much more life experience is learned on those types of adventures.
June: Took students (and my mom) to France for the first time. I led them on a ten day adventure through the Riviera, Loire Valley, and Paris fairly successfully, I would say. I finally got to see the Mediterranean and the south. I also got to meet up with my long lost copine, Ashley and her mari, Jon in Parieee. It was the most challenging (a year and a half in the making), but rewarding experience of the year. Those students will never forget their time there and I’m pretty sure I just created some new life-long Francophiles. It was also important for me to get my mom there finally. After all, she was the one who inspired me to go to France in high school through her stories of travel to Quebec in her high school days. It was nice to show her from where my obsession for the French language and culture comes and to repay her for supporting my past travels. Also in June, I got to march in the Pride parade with the Whetstone GSA in the first ever Columbus City Schools float. Awesome! I also attended a Franco-American colloque in D.C. with some people I traveled to France with in 2008. Also got to attend the HRC Gala for the OEA at the end of June and collected signatures for the Freedom to Marry Ohio campaign. Yay culture and human rights!
August: Got to see a couple of good friends get married (Dann & Andi, you are the best) as well as a second cousin of mine. Got to know a few of my other second cousins better because of said wedding. Open bars at weddings can certainly bring cousins together. La famille, c’est important, non? Also, began my fourth year of teaching, third at Whetstone, and while I’ve lost some motivation for my job recently, I have hope it will come back. I really do think that my school is a great place to teach and it’s a job I want to do. Also, my good friend Jessie moved back to Columbus from her Brooklyn abode. I had missed her so.
September: My long lost Ashley came to the states to visit. Had some good hangouts and I’m looking forward to more in 2013 on her side of the pond again. I’ll ignore the rest of September and most of October for their awfulness doesn’t need to be revisited.
November: I voted in my first non-absentee presidential election and Obama won! Progress looks more promising.
Concerts I saw that can’t remember in which months they happened: The National, Wilco, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Seedy Seeds, Real Estate, We Were Promised Jetpacks, and The Love of Everything. Bombay was my favorite, as they are every time, and I have gained an affinity for them that will not be replaced anytime soon. And Love of Everything slept in my living room. Eeeeeep. Looking forward to the awesome shows already lined up for 2013: Morrissey, Why?, and Joan of Arc for now.
In the last few months I have: started running again (a very slow process), given up vegetarianism (oh my god bacon), and started putting in some much needed time again with some old (and some new) friends. Seriously, I am so lucky for my friends and the varietal and comedic aspects they bring to my life.
Many things to be happy about, but I’m happy that 2012 is just a thing to look back on now. So, here’s looking at you 2013. Please let this year be better than the last.