As I said goodbye to 2011 and welcomed 2012 last night, I looked around and realized that I was once again, in a very calm and happy place to begin a new year. A house party with friends I’ve made and relied on since I moved to Chicago and one of my best friends from San Francisco, here to keep me company for the weekend was the perfect way to ring in a new start…again.
Last year at this time, I wrote about what the previous year meant to me and what I had planned on doing for the coming 365 days. Quick review of my check list of goals for 2011, lets see how I did.
- Move: Last year I promised myself I would finally leave San Francisco, and California and get a clean slate started in a new city. Well, I’m writing this from a small but wholly rented studio in a somewhat rough neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago. [Check-plus]
- Cheering: I told myself I would keep on cheering as long as there were people willing to be thrown and caught. I did finish out the season with Premier all Male and Cheer San Francisco, but cheerleading hasn’t really been something I’ve been able to do here in Chicago. I’m not totally happy about it and I miss the sport and camaraderie, but I’m not totally closing that chapter of my life yet. I’m just going to leave it as a draft for now, to add more later. [Check-minus]
- Turning 30: Not that I could stop this one, as much as I really wanted to, but I can say the party was just what I wanted and needed. [Check]
- Love and the search of: I said that I was going to make time for dating. Well, I did. I had LOTS of time when I moved to Chicago. But dating kind of takes a back seat to paying rent so until I nailed down my current job, I was kind of avoiding it. Not so much anymore, I’m ready and I’m going to make sure it’s a goal for 2012 as well. [check-ish]
- Yes: I wanted to say yes more often. To keep myself from not learning or experiencing new things and to open up to new places and make new stories. I think I did pretty well. [Check-plus]
- Passport stamps: Shortly after my trip to Germany, my passport expired. It is still sitting in my drawer at home, waiting to be renewed. Needless to say, no new stamps in that puppy. [Check-minus]
- Gym time: A few hours 4-5 times a week is what I told myself I wanted to do. Except for the months of November and December (thanks to a bunch of excuses that don’t feel so valid looking back on them). I’m still considering this to be a goal well accomplished. [Check-plus]
- Swimming: I never got back into swimming as much as I wanted to. Sure, I kept it up for a while, became mayor of the local pool and even moved up a few lanes, but every time Big Blue called, I answered and left the water. [Check-minus]
- Ars gratia artis: Along with moving, I said I would decorate my own place with drawings and painting and photos that I did myself. Well, I’ve been here going on 6 months now and…the walls are still bare. Since I’m not moving anywhere anytime soon, I still have time. But since i still haven’t picked up a canvas or brushes or even paint…I can’t consider this done. [Check-minus}
- Get up, and get out: Told myself not to spend my days in front of the TV or computer. Seeing as I’ve covered more roads, coffee shops, neighborhoods, states and monuments in the past year than i have in my entire life…I’m going to say job well done with this one, with so much more to come. [Check-Plus]
All in all, not a bad job I have to say. I always start off strong with things and ebb and flow with others, but I fee like on the whole, I’ve made the most of 2011. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to make the most out of 2012, but I’ve got some ideas:
Learn how to run: Since cheerleading is kind of on the back burner and I’ve recently discovered that I’m kind of competitive, I decided that I need a new team sport to play. Although I’ve been avoiding any sport with running involved because I hate it, I’m going to give Rugby a shot, and see what happens. So throw me some cleats, I’m hitting the field, er…pitch?
Cook: Since I moved to Chicago, I’ve survived cooking my own meals in a skillet or crockpot. Fortunately i have no problem eating leftovers cold straight out of the fridge. Unfortunately, they usually don’t stay leftovers long enough to cool down in the fridge before I eat them. My bad.
Budget: Know how I said in my Chicago Manifesto that I was going to make myself poor and start from scratch? Have you ever played Sim City? If you have, you know you have a few options to start the game off with. One with lots of cash. One, with minimal cash. And one…with a decent sized debt. Guess which version I’m playing…In order to win the game, you have to build a city, and make it profitable. So in order for me to win, I have to build a life, and make it profitable. Goodbye starbucks every morning, hello quaker oats…
Take more photos: I know, sounds easy, sounds cheesy, but I’m still fascinated with Chicago and all the new sights and sounds and surrounding areas that I want to share them. Plus it’ll be interesting to see what catches my eye from when I first got here, to maybe the end of next year.
Show my folks: I live 1,800 miles away from mom and dad. I’ve seen them twice since I moved, now it’s their turn. I want my parents to get on a plane, come here and let me show them what life is like here, if only for a long weekend.
That’s it, it’s a pretty short list. But I’ve got all those check-minuses to turn into check-plusses this year, so I think I’ve got plenty of work cut out for me. Something that I’ve always enjoyed.