31 December 2008
rear view mirror
so this is it. 2008 is just hours from being over.
this is the time when we're supposed to stay for a moment and ponder what has gone on in our lives in the last twelve months. of course, the barrier between years is fake. if you wanted to reflect on your life at a certain time, you could pick any point during the earth's annual orbit of the sun. the only reason we do it at the end of december is because that's when everyone else we know does it and because the digits on our calendar change.
that said, i think that quiet reflection is an underrated activity, so i don't mind taking the excuse to do it and i really can't think of anything bad that comes from people reflecting once a year en masse. if only the spirit stuck with them past the first monday in january when they all went back to work.
there are usually a few high and low points that i can point to during any given year. in that way, i think i'm exceedingly normal. this year, however, is a little different. this year, there's been so much change that i hardly know how to start processing it all. in fact, my life seems different in almost every way on december 31st, 2008 than it did on january 1st.
i spent much of january 1st on a train from montreal to toronto, saddened to be leaving and determined to return soon. it was appropriately bleak and snowy outside and i spent those hours wondering what i was going to do until the time that i could make the big move, something i had been tossing around in my brain for years, back to montreal where i've always felt more "at home" (despite the fact that i'm not from here).
in point of fact, much of the first half of the year was awful. a friend and i even decided to fire 2008 at the end of june because it had been so bad. the opportunity to travel, briefly, in april and re/connect with a few friends in london was a positive experience, but mostly, life seemed to mirror the near-record snowfalls outside: a never-ending stream of crap seemed to land on my head.
the culmination of this, of course, was losing my feline companion morgan, who'd been with me for half my life, on may 29th.
that really represented the nadir of 2008. after that, i quit my job, packed up my belongings and two remaining cats and came back to montreal. some would say that leaving a stable job and taking off to another city is a sign of some sort of instability. i count it as one of the best decisions i've made.
the move allowed me to reconnect with the friends i have here, who are as close to me as family.
it also allowed me (almost immediately and unexpectedly) to connect with someone very special, who finished off the year by moving into the spacious pad i'd found for myself.
if there's one thing that i regret from the year, it's that i'd hoped to cap it off by having an anthology of short stories published. that's in the works, but it'll have to be my first accomplishment of 2009 (information to follow).
still, after years of looking back at some minor highlights and low-lights that comprised a single year, it feels good to sit and reflect and feel like i've been through a lot. i can remember that train ride twelve months ago, i can remember it quite clearly, but it's a concerted effort to remember my own mindset, my thoughts and feelings. that's kind of an accomplishment.