Sunday, January 2, 2011

Growing Up

So, what I've learned in 2010.... oh what's that? You thought you were going to be spared the New Year's retrospective because this thing wasn't titled "My 2010: A Year in Review"? Well too bad suckas! Here it is.

2010 was the best year of my life.

2010 was the worst year of my life.

Both of these statements are true.

This year brought a lot of new revelations for me. I had to work through things, figure stuff out, and face a whole slew of decisions I thought I had a much longer time to make. This was the year that forced me to accept reality, to deal with the future—with what I want and who I want to be. Those are some pretty big judgment calls, and to have to confront them all was daunting.

In short, too much of this year was spent in struggle. I struggled for four months with the roommate from Hell, learning what it was like to actually hate another person (which, by the way, proved that Star Wars is right—hate is the absolute worst emotion, and dealing with it is impossibly hard. It's difficult to feel happiness or hope when hate is trying to pervade every aspect of life). I struggled with my schooling, starting a downward slide this summer that culminated in the past four months, where my faith in education and love for learning has been shaken. I suffered the ever pervasive relationship issues, not just with romantic partners, but with building friendships and even interacting with my family. I struggled with facing my parent's mortality, manifest when my dad had a stroke not too long ago. I struggled with having to leave a job I had worked at for two years, a job where I was comfortable, safe and secure.

All this was heaped on top of the multiple identity crises I was having with more and more frequency throughout the year. In this sense, 2010 was the Year of Self-Doubt. But then, we continue to look at my title. I had to grow up this year. I had to accept that adulthood was fast approaching, and I must either deal with it or perish. So I sucked it up, came to terms with my fading youth, and moved forward.

It's odd to be so young, yet so old. Live in Provo and you'll know what I'm talking about. What a magical land Provo is, where a unmarried 22 year old with her Bachelor's degree is an anomaly.

But at this crucial time, I take solace in the mighty words of Oasis. "Don't Look Back in Anger." I won't, Noah and Liam. I promise.

Because you know what? 2010 was incredible. Last year I:

-Watched the X-Files.
-Finally embraced the phenomenons that are Jones soda and Cafe Rio.
-Caught a catfish, using shrimp and WD-40.
-Took some lovely walks in the rain.
-Had the best time at Lagoon ever.
-Found an awesome tree behind some office buildings in Provo.
-Longboarded down Provo Canyon.
-Bid a fond farewell to Lost. I may have cried, but only a little.
-Read The English Patient, and fell in love with beautiful writing.
-Passed my last general (Physical Science), and only went to class twice. Subsequently, I was able to enjoy my summer.
-Finally admitted that Ben Gibbard is a talented man.
-Went on a fantastic road trip to San Diego, where I attended Comic-Con. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
-Taught multicultural high school students a class on how to pass the ACT reading test.
-Ate hot dogs roasted over a fire.
-Watched nineties comfort movies projected on the back of a house.
-Sat in a hammock.
-Went camping by Utah Lake.
-Moved into an apartment with delightful roommates, all of whom are attractive.
-Bought the first season of Community.
-Read Chuck Klosterman. Gained a new hero.
-Played Werewolf.
-Debated the best Hostess treat.
-Saw some amazing movies. My favorites? Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, True Grit, the Social Network, Easy A, and Inception.
-And finally, saw SO MANY CONCERTS. It was the best year ever, concert wise. This was my favorite activity this year. I got a full range of musical styles, venues, and experiences. God bless music, because it saved my sanity. And God bless Sir Paul McCartney. Here's the list (as far as I can remember), with my very favorites bolded. All of these were good (with the exception of MGMT), but some just rocked my world.

Cat's Concert Countdown, 2010
-The Vibrant Sound (2) -Can't Stop Won't Stop
-Vampire Weekend
-Isaac Russell (2)
-The Black Keys
-Imogen Heap
-Portugal. the Man.
Modest Mouse
-Big Boi
-The Indecision (2)
-Temper Trap
-Ben Folds
-Ghost in a Jar (3?)
-The Utah Symphony presents the music of Led Zeppelin
-Colin Hay
-She & Him
-Mates of State
-Jenny and Johnny
-Seve vs Evan
-Imagine Dragons
-Fictionist (2)
-Joshua James (2)
-Sufjan Stevens

So there you have it. Cat's year in a nutshell. It was awesome and terrible, which is really all you can say about life in general. It's all about having a positive outlook that will balance those two traits. Incidentally, that's my goal this year. I want to look at life with optimism and hope, to find things to love about it. I've cherished a cynical persona, but I'm an idealist at heart and it's alright for me to let that show. Contrary to popular opinion, intellect does not equal cynicism. In fact, when it comes to people I truly admire, they are usually the ones who have risen above the world with unfailing love. I want to emulate that.

I think Conan O'Brien said it best: "
All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen."

Let's allow this New Year to be full of love. Life is good. This world is beautiful. And this year will be amazing.


Pat said...

You're blog is the best. And you've definitely inspired me to go to Comic-con next year.

Congrats on embracing Jones. I'm not ready yet to accept Cafe Rio or Ben Gibbard into my life - but who knows what's in store for me in 2011.

That's an awesome quote from Conan.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I'm so glad I recognize some of your highlights for the year, and it was an honor to be a participant with you. Cat, you're pretty remarkable all around and there isn't anything I cherish as much as I do people like you that are so in love with exploring new obsessions and favorite things.

Sierra Robinson said...

Beautiful! This is the experience I had last year actually too. Very interesting how life works sometimes. You're a beautiful writer. I'm glad we're friends.

Jason said...

Dear cat,


P.S. You forgot how meeting me was life changing. Jk. Seriously though, you're awesome.

David's Holla Atchya! Blog said...

You really should come to DC. In my three days here it's been everything I thought it would be and more. Growing up isn't all that fun, but it happens to everyone. I liked that a 2010 highlight for you was eating a hotdog over an open fire. Also, that picture with you and the fish is really cute. (Can guys say things like that?)

Ashley said...

I'm proud of you.