I've done this review post before, but I figured since this was both the worst and the best year of my life, it was worth revisiting. I'm sure you'll recognize the questions...
1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
See my previous post.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I made non-resolutions with varying degrees of success:
1. Cash: make it.
I have a full time job now, so I'm gonna call that a kept resolution.
2. Fiction: sell it. Then write more of it.
3. Blog: get better at it. (ie: get off my ass and start responding to comments again.)
4. Ass: reduce it. (I gained 17 pounds in 2009; in 2010 I'd like to say goodbye to them.)
WIN. I lost that weight and more. My ass is my BITCH, I pwned it.
5. Read: just as many romance novels, but significantly more literary/mainstream fiction.
I stopped reading half-way through the year. Like, ABRUPTLY. For a while there, reading was like taking a vacation from my life. These days I'm enjoying my life way too much to bury my head in a book.
6. Kids: read to them more consistently and hit the library weekly.
EPIC FAIL. For a writer, I sure suck at making time to read to my kids. It just seems like we're always running around and then BAM, it's past bedtime and we only have time for one chapter. This is DEFINITELY big on next year's list.
7. Husband: do him, preferably on cruise-liner.
Not touching this one with a ten foot pole.
8. Music: listen to more of it, preferably LIVE and with my sister.
WIN! This was the year I rediscovered music: live, recorded and in my own head.
9. House: keep it.
10. Friends: see them more often.
I dropped off the face of the planet for all but a tiny handful of the people who were close to me before the divorce. I'd done such a good job of protecting my starched reality that I felt like I'd betrayed my closest friends when I left Dave. Which made it hard to look them in the eyes. I did make a lot of NEW friends, though and that helped soften my fall.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin Scott and his beautiful wife Renee had a baby boy. He is utterly delicious.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
The People's Republic of Portland.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I moved out on July 1st. That's a date I'll never forget.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I've never been healthier, mentally or physically.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
An airport express wireless hub so I can stream iTunes to my Bose TV speakers and control it all with the remote control app on my iPhone. PRICELESS.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister, Audrey's. She was the first person I told about the divorce. It was terrifying not knowing what her reaction would be. The night I decided to finallly tell her, I drove to her place with my heart on my sleeve.
"I'm leaving David," I told her.
"Well I'll always love Dave like a brother," she said, barely missing a beat, "But I totally understand."
I hadn't known EXACTLY what the perfect reaction would be, but leave it to my baby sister to teach me. She's good like that and she's been my backbone all year. The fact that she's my own personal Dan Savage is just a perk.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
At times David's. More often my own. But I never felt more like a paraiah than during the 4th of July weekend when certain members of Dave's tribe wouldn't look me in the face. I won't name any names and I know they were just trying to rally behind him, but man. Ouch.
14. Where did most of your money go?
This lovely apartment.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Dating. If I have a superpower, that's IT.
16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Anything by Al Green or Booker T and the MG's.
See also: Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? HAPPIER.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer. Flat busted, in fact.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I spent the morning with these two fools:
21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Predictably, I fell smack dab in love with the first man I met after the divorce.
One minute we were just really great friends and the next... GAH! You know that love you feel for your kids? That ugly, scratchy, raw THING you wish you could turn down a few notches because the idea of anything bad ever happening to that person fills you with enough murderous rage to light a small country for a decade?
I got to feel that way - about a MAN - for an entire day.
Which was honestly the LAST thing I wanted - to fall in love with the first guy I met after a 12 year marriage - how LAME! I wanted to DATE! To get out there and have fun! Figure myself out!
Fortunately for both of us, it wasn't mutual. He picked someone else and I never saw him again. Which was... unpleasant, to say the least. But that crazy, cocky bastard and his 3000 text messages got me through what should have been the most painful transition of my life. I didn't get my happily ever after (or even a happily next week), but I harbor nothing but gratitude and goodwill toward him.
I'd love to say something self-depricating about how I really don't need to repeat that experience again any time soon, but that'd be a bucket of bull. There is nothing more terrible-wonderful than falling in love. If nothing else, I learned from it: Look! Love happens! I'm still capable of it! And hells bells, I can even recognize it when it happens to me!
I can't wait to do it again. Baldman better watch himself!
My inner romance novelist had a very good year.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Archer, that creepy little cartoon on FX. I no longer have cable, but I loved it with the heat of a thousand suns.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate the game, baby, not the playa!
24. What was the best book you read?
I'm not sure what the BEST book I read was, but the LAST book I read was Fight Club. A damn good one, at that.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My dad's hand-selected jazz collection. It was the best gift I've ever received and I bawled like a baby when I opened it.
26. What did you want and get?
27. What did you want and not get?
See number 21.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
FRED. It entertained the hell out of my children. I finally had to delete it from our streaming Netflix queue so Genoa would stop watching it.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I can barely even remember my 34th birthday because it was P.D. (pre-divorce), which is all becoming a blur. I just know 35 is gonna be epic.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Feeling more connected to my children. I've lost some ground with them this year, but I'm determined to get it back.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
32. What kept you sane?
Approximately 40,144 text messages.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Christina Hendricks. She's bringing size 12 back, baby!
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Don't ask, don't tell. For me the issue is black and white: if you aren't professional enough to take orders from a queer, you're entirely unfit to represent my country.
35. Who did you miss?
Esther, my last boss in California. Man it would be great to have her on my team again.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
One Joel Gunz: inimitable bastard.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
Catch me if I told you this one before, but right before my father walked me down the aisle to get married, he pulled me aside and tried to tell me something.
"You're always looking ahead to what's next, Amanda. You should try to be happy with your life now."
All I could say was, "Dad! Not now! You're gonna make me ruin my makeup!"
It took me almost 13 years, but I think I finally understand what my dad was trying to tell me. I've been looking forward to the next big thing my whole life: finishing college, the wedding, the job, the bar exam, the house, the babies, the bigger house, the college fund, etc.
Stupid me, it blew right over my head that the only thing any of us ever has is NOW. For the first time in my entire life, I don't have a five year plan. Or even a three year plan. I can't even see into next week!
This was the year I learned to live without an agenda. My only goal is to BE HAPPY NOW. Not when. Not if.
It's a work in progress, but I've never been happier.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Poppin bottles in the ice, like a blizzard
When we drink we do it right gettin slizzard
Sippin sizzurp in my ride, like Three 6
Now I’m feelin so fly like a G6
Like a G6, Like a G6
Now I’m feelin so fly like a G6
HA! Just kidding.
According to iTunes, this was the song I played most in 2010, so let's just go with that...
If I gave you my love
I tell you what I'd do
I'd expect a whole lot of love out of you
You got to be good to me
I'm gonna be good to you
There's a whole lot of things you and I could do
What about the way you love me
And the way you squeeze me
Yea, ya simply beautiful
Yeah, yeah, beautiful, yeah
When you get right down to it
Baby, yeah, when you need me
I'll be right there
Beside you, girl
You know I care
Sometimes when you're feeling low
All you got to do is call me
you're simply beautiful