Year in Review: 2010

I can’t believe it’s been a year (over a year) since I last wrote here. A lot has happened! I quit my job, moved back to Chicago, spent 10 months unemployed, tried out for the Foreign Service, saw all my friends and family, got a job (two actually), got a boyfriend, went to two weddings, visited several states, made a lot of muffins, spent six weeks in Spain in summer, drove to Philadelphia with my cousin, and am now planning on moving back to Spain with said boyfriend. Whew!

Sometimes it really feels like I have lived a thousand lives. There have been so many places, so many different people, so many apartments, and jobs, and coworkers, and friends, and flights, and windows, and conversations, that sometimes it seems like it can’t have been done in only 28 years. This year was another life. A year at home, with renewed friendships, and family, and traditions, and all the things I always miss when I am not in Chicago.

But the year is over, and spring will come soon, and it is time for yet another life, in Spain, with Isaac. So here, in brief, is my year in review – it’s something I write for myself every year since I got this questionnaire in an email several years ago. It helps me remember the big moments of each year, and how I felt, and more importantly, whether I’ve learned anything in the year since. I’m looking forward to 2011, and I hope that this next life will make for new adventures to be written.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Stayed home in the States. Every time I counted, it seemed like it had been years since I had done certain things, like go to the Taste of Chicago, or go sightseeing in the city, or be at home for Thanksgiving… the list goes on and on!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t even remember my New Years’ Resolutions!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but some Facebook friends did (what does that say about Facebook?).

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?
The US and Spain. I think that’s a record few! But I did spend a lot of time discovering my own country: I drove to Philadelphia, New York, went to Rhode Island, Boston, plus went north to Wisconsin and downstate through Illinois to Missouri.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
An apartment and a stable, permanent job.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 15th – our anniversary!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting partway through the selection process to become a Foreign Service Officer.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting all the way through the selection process to become a Foreign Service Officer.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was sick for like an entire month at the beginning of the year with some kind of terrible virus…what a lovely impression I made on Isaac on our first date!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Tickets to Spain.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My friends, who are able to pick up where we left off, no matter how many years it’s been.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The Republican party!

14. Where did most of your money go?
That’s what I’d like to know!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Foreign Service. And Isaac.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
“Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Hmm, not happier, exactly, but more optimistic, maybe
b) thinner or fatter? Ahem…well, I’ll be needing new pants, let’s put it that way.
c) richer or poorer? See #14

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I would have made more of an effort to call (i.e. harass) my friends, to let them know how much I miss them and value their friendship.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying about being unemployed.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Being sick! Actually, I had a lovely dinner in Wisconsin, with plenty of prime rib, alcohol, and cranberry pie, then drove for hours through a terrible snowstorm to get home because I wasn’t feeling well. That was Saturday night. I didn’t leave the house again until Thursday.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Most definitely.

23. How many one-night stands?
I beg your pardon!

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Modern Family, and anything on the Food Network or HGTV. I especially like The Best Thing I Ever Ate and House Hunters International. I’m such a dork.

25. What new foods did you discover this year?
Everything! I basically let my imagination run wild in the kitchen all year. Would you like me to tell you about some of the wonderful things I made? You would? Well, then – I made homemade bread, many kinds of muffins, homemade potato chips, homemade ice cream, pesto and tomato sauce, soups, cranberry pie, lasagna, pork tenderloin, cookies, cookies, cookies, etc. Culinarily, it was a great year!

26. What was the best book you read?
Well, I read a LOT of books: World Without End (liked it), A People’s History of the United States (good, if you like nonfiction), all SEVEN Harry Potter books (love them), The World Without Us (loved it), Pride and Prejudice (a classic), The Secret Garden (also a classic), The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (not worth it), The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest (also not worth it), Haunted Ground (liked it), Twilight (definitely not worth it), The Book Thief (excellent), and Outlander (still reading it!).

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, the Duhks

28. What did you want and get?
A job! At Google!

29. What did you want and not get?
A job that I could do from Spain and that would be permanent.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I guess I didn’t see many films this year, because I can’t remember a single one.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 this year, and my mom (whose birthday is the 23rd) and I spent a whole WEEK celebrating, taking advantage of our special days by telling every restaurant we went to that we were celebrating, and got free tiramisu, free chocolate mousse, and free cheesecake!

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A career, and more time with Isaac!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
American – very casual and comfortable.

34. What kept you sane?
Positive thinking and occasional righteous indignation.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Iker Casillas, who led Spain to win its first World Cup ever!

36. What memorable world events occurred this year?
Hurricane in Haiti, Chilean miners, Volcano in Iceland, Dems losing to Reps, the World Cup, the oil spill….

37. Who did you miss?
Isaac – luckily I didn’t have to miss my friends and family because I got to spend a lot of time with all of them!

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I actually got to “re-meet” a lot of old friends I hadn’t seen in years.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
“Don’t waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you’re ahead
Sometimes you’re behind
The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”
– From my favorite song/poem/writing of all time, “The Sunscreen Song”

40. A quote that sums up your year:
Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.


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