The Year That Was - 02.05.01

For the last two years, I've written pieces that sort of summed up my past year in one big lot. It was about this time three years ago that I actually sort of wrote down my first batch of resolutions ever. I wasn't super specific, as I didn't want to lock myself into anything too much (but at the same time wanted to challenge myself to accomplish quite a few things). At the beginning of the very next year, I wrote a piece that told what I'd actually managed to get done, then followed it up the very next week with another batch of resolutions.

That process lasted for two years before I decided at the beginning of the year 2000 that I was just going to throw all caution to the wind and just go with things. I told myself that I didn't need any list of reminders to do anything and that I would just keep myself motivated and inspired by constantly pushing myself. It all seemed very rough and loose at that time, and although I couldn't have predicted it, I had what I would consider my most accomplished year ever over the course of the past 12 months. Obviously, I didn't change the world or do anything too groundbreaking, but I managed to not only clear up a lot of things inside my own head, but get out a lot of different ideas and build this website up into something that I was really proud of (not that I wasn't before, but this past year I've started a few things and continued others that I really do think are special).

If I go way back to the beginning of the year, I was one sorry fellow. I think it was a sign for me when I sat out on the lawn of a strangers house all by myself while everyone inside partied down as the clock was rolling over to the new year. It was completely insignificant and no different than any other year (and probably actually less exciting actually) and looking back I think that maybe some sort of spark lit up at that point and slow-burned over the course of the next couple months.

It was actually those first few months that were the most difficult for me. The biggest relationship that I'd ever been in during the course of my 25 years on this planet had ended about 3 months previous, and although I tried to tell myself that I was fine, I wasn't. It was during these couple months that I thought a lot about things with myself and things that I'd done wrong in the last relationship. I tried to figure out the things that I'd look for if I were to get into another relationship and the things that I need to change about myself before I even started thinking about such a thing.

Just about the time that the winter was starting to thaw out and the sun started staying up in the sky longer and longer, I found something else that helped propel me through the year. While my website had been sort of a constant vent of sorts for me over those first few months of the year, I started getting outside every time that it was nice and absolutely pouring myself into exercise. It was to a point where I'd go as hard as I could every night until my body felt like it was going to collapse, then I'd come home and think and write and try to exhaust myself mentally.

This whole thing went on for literally months (basically from late spring through summer) and although I wrote what I consider to be a lot of funny and solid pieces in that time, I also came across as very bitter during a lot of different points, and my thoughts, perceptions, and memories of relationships manifested themselves in a series of vignette-type pieces called "Re:(Elation?)ship Thoughts" (numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4).

The culmination of all my thoughts and fears and a summer of worrying and exercising and slamming my body came to sort of a head in one piece in which I basically ripped myself to shreds about nearly everything. In a way, it was both a low point and a high point for me. It was low for reasons that are pretty obvious upon reading the piece (I was really really uphappy when I wrote it, and it took me several days to decide whether I even wanted to post it), but it was the purging in that one piece that sort of cracked a hole in the clouds that had been covering my head for so long. It was overdramatic and angsty and kind of immature, but it was exactly what I needed to do at the time. After all that, I not only put over a 1000 miles on both my bike and my rollerblades, but I also think I managed to sort just about everything out in my head that had been making me sad.

It was after I wrote that piece that things just started going better for me. Perhaps it was the final thing I needed to get out of my head before I would allow myself to be more happy, or maybe it just happened to coincide with other things. It was also around this time that I slowly started easing myself out of the rather hermitous state that I'd been in and went on two different trips over the course of two months that I really had a lot of fun doing.

By the time the end of the year rolled around, I looked back on things as a whole (as I do now) and realize that although the year started out on a rather bad note, things slowly got better as the 12 months progressed, even if they didn't outwardly look like they were doing so. Not only did I accomplish a lot of different things with this site, but I took on some other freelance gigs and even managed to keep myself in decent shape in the process. Also looking back, I realized that I spent a lot of time worrying about myself and got myself to a point where I'm happy with things and that one simple goal I have for this year is to give back to other people more. I'm not sure what the complete definition of that statement will be, but it's what I'm going to try to do.

Basically, 2000 was a year of change and completely unlike what I could have expected from the outside. This year has already started out in a place 180 degrees different than last year, and if it continues the upward trend I'll be a pretty darn happy person.