2012, The Year of Decision

January 1, 2013

Hey everyone! I know I usually post this sort of thing on the last day of the year, but thanks to my brother we had a heck of a good party on New Year’s Eve. Now, I will take the time to reflect on my resolutions from last year, as well put some together for the big ’13 ahead of us.

I want to start off by thanking my family and friends for all of the support I received this year. I managed (FINALLY) to graduate from college, get my teaching certificate, and head off into the world with my head held high. I would never have been able to do this without my incredible family, my hilarious friends, and my amazing girlfriend. You guys seriously rock.

Let’s take a look at last year’s resolutions:

1. Get my bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate.
Pretty simple. I want to put SPU in the rearview mirror for good.
Finally, finally, finally, I managed to get myself out of school and out into the world. Finding a teaching job has been significantly more difficult than I thought it would be / was ever told it would be, but I remain resolved to get myself into a classroom.

2. Continue to get my work published.
I really like sites like the ones who have already published me and I think it’s good for me to have the critical review.
So far, things have been quiet on this front. With actually graduating, (re)learning Spanish, and looking for a job, my writing quest has taken the back-burner. Looking back, I am impressed with my work this year. Seventeen new pieces remind me that I am still continuing my literary journey.

3. Work on and/or finish the short-story I have already started.
It’s going to take some effort, but I think I’ve got what it takes.
I actually did continue work on it, but my other expectations took over a bit. I plan to keep whittling away at it until I feel satisfied.

4. Travel outside of the country (legally).
I’m not talking “Into the Wild” or anything. I just want to see somewhere new.
I was so close to doing this one! My Dad and my brother and I were planning on heading up to Vancouver B.C. for a day or two but our plans fell through. Now that we’ve all got those fancy “enhanced” licenses, we will be heading up there soon, I’m sure!

5. Send hand-written letters to my friends abroad.
I think there is something to be said about getting snail mail these days.
The irony of this resolution is that my biggest contributor to “snail mail” as I have called it is my dear friend Alexa, who has almost single-handedly helped me with an entire postcard collage in my room. I should like to send some postcards of my own, if not some letters as well.

6. Read the Tolkien trilogy again.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve done this already, but I want to read it again.
Tolkien trilogy: no; some other very good books this year: yes.

7. Meet a famous author/poet face to face.
Listening to Neil Gaiman’s city hall lecture really got me inspired for this one.
While I didn’t manage to get into anything in particular this year, I did manage to sit down and have lunch with Sherman Alexie once or twice… I would count that as achievement.

8. Move back to Seattle.
I love my folks, but I feel like the emerald city is where I belong.
We don’t have to get into why I’m still not there but change is in the air, folks.

9. Get my own classroom.
Even if it was just as a substitute, I want to do what I love this year.
Alas, still no bites. Getting a teaching job is monumentally harder than I thought it would be, even just a substitute position. People keep telling me to look bigger or in different subjects but I’m only certified for English. Maybe I should work on another endorsement instead? Who knows.

10. Start saving for my future.
I’m turning 25 in little over two weeks. It’s time I start thinking ahead.
Not a bad idea, and one that I managed to deliver on somewhat. Having two jobs during the month of November really helped this one become a reality, considering I’m still just working part-time.

Nothing too spectacular, but I’m glad to see that my goals had been more or less achieved. When I look back at the last year and think of the difference between where I thought I would be by now and where I actually am now, I am astounded. However, I believe there is a reason to my trials and that in the end I will be better for the experience. Let’s see what I can come up with for this year…

1. Rewatch the television show LOST.
Those of you closest to me know how into this show I am, and I think it would really get my creative engines going again to watch those guys on the Island.

2. Get a teaching job. For real this time.
I’m out, I’m certified, and I’m ready to get in there.

3. Continue saving money and become more financially responsible.
I made this one resolution instead of two because they go hand in hand. I want to get myself in a place financially where I can handle life instead of just survive it.

4. Visit a national landmark that I’ve never been to before.
Yellowstone? The Grand Canyon? Disney World? All of the above would be awesome.

5. Become a better human being.
There have been times in the last year and a half (approximately) where I have felt that I have fallen short of where I want to be. I try hard to be a good person and let life happen as it will instead of freaking out or becoming negative but being a human is hard. I’ll work on it this year.

Yes, there’s only five this year. I felt like condensing things a little; more because I think I need to focus more, less because it’s simply easier to do five than ten. Get over it.

Thanks again for reading, and keep reading my blog! I have another poem brewing already, and the winter is traditionally a pretty good time for me creatively. You are all wonderful and I can’t wait to hang out with you again, preferably over a hot cup of tea / hot cup of coffee / cold glass of beer.

MSBQ

2011, The Year of Revolution

December 31, 2011

“You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world.”

Once again, it is the time of year where it is common to be nostalgic and think about the events of the past twelve months. It’s been quite a year for this planet Earth, and I think we can all agree that it won’t be one that is forgotten too easily.

As for myself, I think the overwhelming sense of déjà vu is what struck me the most. I am one test away from finally escaping graduating college for good and becoming a bonafide teacher. I’ve spent the last ten days in Laurel, Maryland visiting with family and enjoying some time off. I feel so blessed to have so many people in my life that have stuck by me, and I want each of you to know that I couldn’t have done any of this without help.

Reading through my past resolutions, it has also struck me that I have been so stubborn about where I’m going and “making things happen on my own steam” that I have fallen short of my goals. It is because I have people in my life who make me smile and tell me to get back on the horse that I have achieved everything I have thus far. So thank you. If you’re reading this, I probably talked to you or thought about you or, heck, even dreamt about you. Thank you for making 2011 a crazy year!

Let’s take a look at what I said I’d want to do last year:

1. Go to at least 5 live concerts this year.
I’m tired of always hearing about the most awesome show in the world. I WANNA GO!
While I didn’t make it to five shows, I did get a chance to see my favorite band live with my younger brother… and what an awesome show it was!

2. Talk to a publisher of some sort about putting out a collection of my work.
Who knows? Maybe someone out there will like what I have to say.
Getting your name out is harder than you would think. Thankfully, this last June, the poetry blog called Anatomy & Etymology published a handful of my work. My friend, Gabriel Gadfly, also published me via his site this year. With luck, there will be even more in the future.

3. Visit California, including the Happiest Place on Earth.
No dice here. I never got a chance to make the trip south this year. I still would like to though!

4. Help out a stranger in need.
I feel like I made a pretty distinct effort to help people out this year. Whether it was one of my students during my practicum or just talking to someone who needed an ego boost, I did my best to keep the morale high this year.

5. Graduate from SPU.
Hmmm. This continues to elude me. Those of you closest to me will know that this has been something I have truly struggled with this past year.

6. Start saving some money.
HA! Yeah, still not doing this one… But I’m getting better with what money I have, which, in its own right, is a major step in the right direction.

7. Get my own place again.
See, on this one I think I took a step backwards. In September I moved back in with my parents. They were gracious enough to accept me and have been more supportive than I probably deserve. Truth of the matter is that the stubborn, independent Capricorn side of me really just wants to spread its wings!

8. Sponsor a child in a third world country.
Check this one off the list. Twice this year, through an organization called PLAN, I donated money to education and survival needs of kids in central Africa. If I had the income to do a monthly donation, I would. This is something I think we can all benefit from as the human species.

9. Get a tattoo.
Nope. I think it’d be cool, but to be honest I think the pain issue has been as much of a factor as the financial one. Maybe this year will be the year I finally get inked?

10. Get a dog.
Thanks to the tumultuous summer I had, this one was quickly crossed off the list as not feasible. When I do have my own place, this one will be taken care of.

 

It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it? I have worked so hard and so long to become what I believe I meant and meant to become, and yet I still have a ways to go. Yeates once wrote that “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The more I have learned about myself, the more I have burned to become a better and brighter flame.

 

Let’s take a look at my resolutions for this year:

1. Get my bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate.
Pretty simple. I want to put SPU in the rearview mirror for good.

2. Continue to get my work published.
I really like sites like the ones who have already published me and I think it’s good for me to have the critical review.

3. Work on and/or finish the short-story I have already started.
It’s going to take some effort, but I think I’ve got what it takes.

4. Travel outside of the country (legally).
I’m not talking “Into the Wild” or anything. I just want to see somewhere new.

5. Send hand-written letters to my friends abroad.
I think there is something to be said about getting snail mail these days.

6. Read the Tolkien trilogy again.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve done this already, but I want to read it again.

7. Meet a famous author/poet face to face.
Listening to Neil Gaiman’s city hall lecture really got me inspired for this one.

8. Move back to Seattle.
I love my folks, but I feel like the emerald city is where I belong.

9. Get my own classroom.
Even if it was just as a substitute, I want to do what I love this year.

10. Start saving for my future.
I’m turning 25 in little over two weeks. It’s time I start thinking ahead.

 

Although I may not be at the local party with you, or giving a toast at your house this New Year’s, know that I am with you all in spirit. It’s my favorite holiday, after all. A new beginning, and a chance to start fresh. Have fun, and be safe, everyone.

 

MSBQ