1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Took a trip to Puerto Rico. Moved to Pittsburgh. Found a job that seems to actually be a good fit for my skills. Paid off my student loans. Gave yoga a chance and found I actually like it. Bought a bike.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I kind of kept my resolutions (here and here). I started out 2011 pretty strong, and then fell off the wagon toward the end of the summer once I moved to Pittsburgh. I’m not sure what my resolution will be for next year but I’m thinking about a few things that I’d like to work on.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Heather had a beautiful baby girl named Emery and a friend that I used to work with had a beautiful baby girl as well.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thank goodness.
5. What countries did you visit? Puerto Rico. That’s...about it. Hopefully we can go somewhere cool in 2012.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? I’d like to spend more time with friends and family, which will be hard considering I live even farther away from them than I did last year. I also want to learn to like Pittsburgh, or at least not actively hate it any more.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? July 31, which is the day we left Chicago.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Probably paying off my student loan. Also surviving the last 5 months of the year in a city I wasn’t crazy about. Some days that feels like a major achievement.
9. What was your biggest failure? I’d have to say not giving up caffeine, even though I tried in earnest about 3 different times.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I had a pretty annoying hamstring injury for a while there but (knock on wood) my physical therapy and strength exercises seems to have cleared it up for the most part and I’m back to running pain-free.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Probably the unlimited yoga Groupon I bought in August. Before I started physical therapy, yoga was the main way I dealt with my hamstring injury, and it really helped me work through some of my flexibility issues as well. I also found that I like yoga, pretty much, and I definitely plan to continue with it as I ramp up my running for the spring and summer race season.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? D, who gave up his career as a nuclear engineer to go back to school for a PhD in Physics, impresses me every day with his passion and commitment to his dreams. I’m so, so proud of him.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Rick Perry, who, after running the state of Texas into the ground, is now costing Texas taxpayers $400,000 a month to provide security for him (when the other candidates are paying for it out of their campaigns) as he runs what I hope will be an unsuccessful campaign for the republican nomination.
14. Where did most of your money go? My student loan, the move, the security deposit that my former landlord has refused to return to us (asshat kept the ENTIRE thing).
15. What did you get really excited about? I’m really excited about how much my running has improved in the past six months or so. I’m really excited that I managed to pay off my student loans and, if I continue to save according to the plan I’ve drawn up for myself (fingers crossed), will knock 2012 out of the park, financially speaking.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011? That terrible Rebecca Black song, because it’s an inside joke between me and D that cracks me up every single time.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: – happier or sadder? Probably happier, despite living in Pittsburgh. – thinner or fatter? Maybe a little bit thinner? Mainly just in better cardiovascular/running shape. – richer or poorer? Well poorer because I paid off my student loans, but ultimately richer because my net worth has gone up now that I’m debt free.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Hmm not really sure. I wish I’d done more to stay in touch with far-flung friends, but I still talk to pretty much everyone from Austin and Chicago who are important to me so I’m happy with that.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Be sad about living in Pittsburgh. Fight with D about leaving Chicago and having to live in Pittsburgh. Have a bad attitude about Pittsburgh. Are you sensing a theme here?
20. How did you spend Christmas? Same as I did last year: in Texas with my family.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012? Not with anyone new, only more in love with D.
22. What was your favorite TV program? How I Met Your Mother. Seasons 1-6 are on Netflix instant and D and I have watched every single episode over the past few months.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nope!
24. What was the best book you read? Probably The Paris Wife by Paula McCann.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I don’t know that I made any great musical discoveries in 2011.
26. What did you want and get? A job I can stand, that I actually like. And my own office, which is a pretty amazing perk. 27. What did you want and not get? To stay in Chicago or move back to Austin.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? I’m...really not sure. I can’t remember seeing anything truly amazing, but I didn’t see a whole lot of movies this year.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? We went to brunch at my favorite brunch place in Chicago, Bistro Margot, and then walked around Old Town for a while. Then D had to fly to South Carolina for work, so I probably threw myself a pity party and watched a bad chick flick. It was a Sunday. I turned 27.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Knowing that my horrible former boss was going to get exactly what he had coming, and that it would happen only three months after I quit and moved away.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? I never thought I’d spend so much money on clothes and shoes that are designed for you to sweat in. 32. What kept you sane? D. My friends. Running.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I don’t know about the word “fancy” but Barack Obama is pretty amazing and I’m so, so glad he’s our president.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? Healthcare, and the class inequity issue that seems to be stirring up anger in a lot of people lately.
35. Who did you miss? My Austin friends, whose lives continue to hurtle along without me. My family. I miss them every day.
36. Who was the best new person you met? Hmm maybe some new friends at work? I haven’t met a ton of new people, which is kind of sad considering I moved to an entirely new state and all.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
I guess I’d have to say that I learned I can choose to be happy and positive, or at least try to be. Things could be worse.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I don’t know that I have a song lyric that sums up my year, but I do try to keep this quote in mind “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”