Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010

One of my biggest pet peeves is that, every single time that the year starts coming to an end, I hear a bunch of people saying “I can’t wait until this shitty year is over.” Even though I’m sure it’s happened in the past, I can’t remember a time when a friend celebrated how great their year was, and how they’re looking forward to the new year not as wiping away the previous shitty year, but as continuing all the good stuff that happened in the passing year. Sure, things happened this year that were “unfortunate,” to put it lightly, but all in all, 2010 was a great year. At least, it was for me.

I try not to do this, but blogs are primarily a public diary of sorts. I have typically chosen not to use mine as such, but I’m going to make an exception for this. Here’s a rundown of why this year was great for me:

The year started with my dad turning 80. Even though his mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be, he’s still surprisingly active for a man of his age. His birthday party this year also gave me a chance to introduce my girlfriend Nelissa to pretty much everyone on my dad’s side of the family.

I came to the conclusion that Library Science wasn’t something I want to major in, and quit the SJSU MLIS program. This is big because the library has always been my safety net, and walking away from this is going to force me out of my comfort zone.

I was finally able to pay off my student loans. For the first time in seven years, I am completely debt-free. That debt kept me chained to my job because I was terrified of not being able to pay it off. There is really no way to adequately express just how fucking magnificent it felt to write the check that took it all away.

This was my final year in the CSUF Linguistics program. Shockingly, I was able to do a project on a subject that I love (language evolution), and I worked with someone who formulated, along with her colleagues at UCLA, a theory on language development that finally made perfect sense to me. I was able to do a paper that I was proud of, and that I feel can be backed up by evidence. I am more proud of this project than any other thing I have ever worked on, and when I go over it again, I’m surprised that I was able to do it. Plus, I passed the Comprehensive Exam and ended my MA program with straight As. The following week, I drove to work and was having a really bad day, and when I got there I discovered that my coworkers threw me a surprise graduation party.

I beat Mario Galaxy and Tetris!

The Lakers won championship again this year, this time against the Celtics. This victory was made so much sweeter in light of Paul Pierce’s “we ain’t coming back to LA” comments.

An interesting chain of small events happened that lead to something big. First, Scott’s wife Diana posted a link on Facebook to some site called “Far Beyond the Stars”. The article that was linked was called “27 Reasons Why You Should Never Have a Job.” I read it before I went to work and it planted a seed in my head that just kept growing. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to have a job anymore. In fact, when people would ask me what kind of job I was going to look for now that I graduated, I began telling people, “I don’t want a job anymore,” and I was dead serious about that. I told this to Scott during my work shift, and throughout the day we bounced around the idea of starting a publishing company. A few weeks later I was co-founder of a small business, and in a few months we have been more successful than I could have anticipated. I feel like there is a very real chance that, if it continues doing well, I could eventually live my dream of not having a job. This is very exciting to me, and it all started with a Facebook link. The lesson? Embrace the random.

In similar news, I was finally able to get some books published on Nook. At this moment, my combined personal eBook sales are doing well enough that, if I were laid off from work, I would be OK.

This year Nelissa and I decided to try to lose some weight. Before being sidetracked by my comp exam and project, I lost 35 pounds in around four months. Unfortunately I got lazy after I graduated and gained back close to 20 pounds, but now I know for a fact that I can lose it again. I’m still thinner now than I was the same time last year. That’s an accomplishment.

My entire life I’ve bought shitty, low-grade computers because I didn’t have the money for a good one. This year I upgraded to an iMac with a 27 inch screen, and I love owning a quality computer for the first time in my life.

On a similar note, I finally got rid of my old Wing phone and upgraded to the MyTouch 4g. This is my first Android smartphone, and I love it.

I finally went to Bombay Beach and saw all the old wreckage, and we also took another trip to Salvation Mountain (then Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Cabazon, and Morongo). Best of all, Nelissa and I took our best road trip yet, driving to Colville, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, and San Francisco all in the same trip. I came to the conclusion that, when there’s sun out, Washington may be the prettiest state I’ve seen.

I finally went to a Lakers game. It was against the Suns, and even though they lost, it was a lot of fun and something that I definitely want to do again.

I compiled every single library-related blog I’ve written into a book, and asked Scott to publish it as a free book on the iBookstore. It has been downloaded over 7,000 times and at its peak hit #2 on the free bestseller list. Also, all of the written reviews on the page have been positive.

So there you go. 2010 was a fantastic year, and set the bar high for me. I hope I can raise the bar even higher in 2011.

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