Wow it's already Jan 1, 2010. Figured I may as well do the year end wrap up Ive done now for the last two years. In case you want to keep track, here is 2008 and 2007. I have to admit, this year has been a bit of a blur, so there may be some things that I have forgotten!
1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Moved to a new country/continent; drank alcohol at 9 am local time (it was 4 am "my time"); wrote a masters thesis.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really have resolutions last year, but I have been really bad about getting sleep since I moved to Utrecht. I will make resolutions this year. They are: learn to speak Dutch; complain/worry less about being single; find my equilibrium in the Netherlands - get my confidence back; find the joy in life again.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My best friend Anne (and her husband) gave birth to Noah.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Uncle Tom died of brain cancer.
5. What countries did you visit?
USA, Netherlands. (Kinda Ireland too, I had a beer in the airport there on my layover). No new countries though ):
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Stability. A significant other.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My sister's wedding, the day I moved to the Netherlands, the day Noah Serrell-Dube was born, the 12 days Kevin visited me in Utrecht.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a Master of Health Sciences in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I finished knitting a couple things I have not yet seamed.....
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Oh yes. After moving to the Netherlands i've been sick with all sorts of crazy things. I'll spare the details.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Dutch bike. My Obermeyer winter coat.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My co-worker who let me crash at his place when the trains weren't running and drove me to the airport in a huge snow storm.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Lots of Americans - in general. Many random Dutchies.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Moving. Rent. Moving. Air tickets.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving to Europe. Meeting Noah.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
First taste by Triggerfinger
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
Sadder, thinner, more debt but also more spending money due to a steady paycheck.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Seen the USA. Seen the Netherlands in the summer.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it with my family in Illinois.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I have fallen completely in love with baby Noah. I told him I wont be having kids for at least 5 more years, so he can be the love of my life.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
In the States I watched Lost, Deadliest Catch, How the Earth was Made, South Park. In the Netherlands I watch Weeds and Californication.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope, no hate.
25. What was the best book you read?
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Triggerfinger!! Them Crooked Vultures!
27. What did you want and get?
I'm drawing a blank here
28. What did you want and not get?
too many things this year
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
didnt see many films this year. But I did see some amazing ones this past week: Avatar, 500 Days of Summer, Up, District 9. Also saw Old Boy for the first time, pretty mind-blowing.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 27. It was pretty crappy. I didnt do anything. My sister's wedding was the day before and no one was interested in me. Wouldnt even drive me to the train station so I could go downtown Chicago. No cake either. Why bother? - they had cake the day before at her wedding.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Feeling like I belong somewhere in this world.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Same as 2007-2009: Wear whatever doesnt make me look like a pudgeball - it involved lots of black.
33. What kept you sane?
I'm pretty sure I lost my sanity this year
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one really
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Marriage equality - no reason the States should discriminate. Immigration rights. Now that I'm an Expatriate/Immigrant these things are important for me.
36. Who did you miss?
My friends who are not in the same country as me. My Grampa.
37. Who was the best new person you met? Why?
I met so many new people!! - I cant pick just one! Brent has been awesome for teaching me Dutch; Sue and Tamara live in my building and are great neighbors; the knitters on tuesdays have listened to my immigration woes and offered advice; my Dutch office-mates Eveleine, Marieke, and Axel help me with cultural integration; co-workers Wouter, Bas, Bart, Claudia are fun to drink with; Andras has helped me with all the Dutch animal experimentation laws, regulations, and paperwork; and I reconnected with Kevin after loosing touch for over a year - he really helped me through the bad times when I first moved.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Life as an immigrant is like a sine wave: it's in constant motion, there are very high highs and very low lows and you can flux between the two states very rapidly.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I dont have a song lyric, but I do have a quote I've been thinking about (Amanda posted it on her blog a while back). "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my own ship" ~Louisa May Alcott.