I found these in my wallet the other day. Looking back at the year which is coming to a close, it’s safe to say that only one of those fortunes came to pass.
After 2011, I had somewhat predicted this would be a breakout year of growth and good things. Unfortunately, an honest look reveals that not to be the case, at least not in the ways I had hoped. It was a year of loss and transition, yet also another blur in the landscape of my mid-twenties as time flows on. Here are some happenings which stand out from that blur as I look back:
- Early in the year, my attempt to start a “tech relief” side business heartily crashed and burned. But I also learned that I wouldn’t want to do that full-time anyway.
- At the beginning of April, I took another trip to visit my girlfriend in Spain. This trip could not have been any more different from my previous one in August 2011. The weather was wet and unseasonably cold, and we spent more time in Granada with her team than traveling. After a week together and some deep talks, we admitted our lives were on diverging paths, and I returned home single for the first time in well over two years.
- My paternal grandmother, Lola Marie DeLong, passed away on April 19th after a battle with Alzheimer’s. She was the closest family member I’ve lost yet and an amazingly hard-working woman who did all she could to care for her family.
- Beginning in May, I spent a few months involved with a solid group of brothers and sisters at People Loving Nashville. Though my involvement faded through the summer for various reasons, it was exactly what I needed at the time to anchor me again.
- I was able to go to my first Cornerstone Festival, though it was the final one and nothing as grand as it was in its heyday from what I understand. Still, it was great to check that off the list since I had wanted to go since high school.
- In July, I took part in another great mission trip to Honduras. This time we distributed about 75 water filters which will provide clean water to families and communities for years, reducing sickness and malnutrition.
- The opening of The Well coffee shop was a marker of sorts, as it gave me a new default hangout for reading, writing, and working on things.
- We got Netflix at the house, which is probably one reason I didn’t accomplish as much as I would have liked, save watching the entire series of 24.
- Lots of things changed around me at work, including our switching to developing on a Mac platform and beginning our transition to coding in Ruby on Rails.
- I actually went swing dancing a few times early in the fall.
- At the end of September, my roommate and I moved from our 800-square-foot house in the thick of the city to a larger yet cheaper townhouse just a few miles away. All in all, it’s incredible, including the parquet floors.
- Joe and I wrote an entire album for Hilltops and Coffeeshops and recorded the vast majority of it. We just never got around to wrapping it up yet…
- Throughout the year, I read a few books which expanded my mind:
- The Will to Meaning, Man’s Search for Meaning, and The Doctor and the Soul by Viktor Frankl. These were a godsend and strengthened my worldview even as they helped me see things in a different light.
- The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman
- Wisdom Meets Passion by Dan Miller
- Culture Making by Andy Crouch
- I also discovered or purchased these excellent albums, even if they weren’t released this year:
- “Sever Your Roots” by The Felix Culpa
- “More than Conquerors EP” by Least of These, my favorite band discovered at Cornerstone
- “Young Mountain” by This Will Destroy You
- A passionate self-titled EP by my friends in Black Mask, which is not for the faint of heart
- “Awakened” by As I Lay Dying, my album of the year
- “Penny Black” by Further Seems Forever gets an honorable mention
- And I joined Spotify, which definitely affected how I discover and consume music
So that is how I experienced 2012. As with any year, there were ups and downs, triumphs and devastation. Yet we keep moving forward. It’s the only option, really. I have virtually no idea what the coming year holds, even if I do have a few goals of my own. With the way my slate was somewhat cleared, who knows what God’s will may be for my next trip around the sun.