2009: In Review

Due to all of the work that I need to get done this weekend, I'm going to skip a real post and instead steal this meme from my good friend Steve and I hope that you all enjoy it. This really brought back some amazing memories (and maybe a few regrettable ones as well). 

1. What did you do this year that you've never done before?

I made Dean's List at UMB, started attending (and totally rocking) trivia nights at some local bars, and really got to know one of my cousins. We quite literally hadn't talked more than five minutes at a time before but decided to become roommates and so far it is a huge success!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I'm pretty sure I made some - I don't remember them and probably didn't keep them!

3. Any new births this year?

Yes! Baby Sierra was born in August - congratulations Lauren! She's the best baby ever! This is a photo of my "older sister" and her beautiful four month old on Christmas Eve!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately, yes. My Pepe passed away in February after 73 wonderful years of marriage to my Meme. He was really something special and I feel so blessed to have been so close to a great-grandparent, not many people can say that.

In June, one of my very good friends from high school, Marcello Ventrella, passed away at the very young age of 19; he was a passenger in a crash that resulted from drunk driving. He and his friends were served underage at a bar in Providence, RI and made the poor choice to drive home that night. This has taught me so many valuable lessons and allowed me to reassess some of my own behaviors. Rest in peace, Cello. 

5. What countries did you visit this year?

I stayed in the US this year, and with the exceptions of VT and RI, I didn't leave the state. What a boring year for travel!

6. What would you like to have in the next year that you lacked this year?

Free time! I don't see it happening though. Maybe instead I would like to make better use of the free time I do have. I hope to be more productive this year.

7. What date from this year will remain etched upon your memory - and why?

July 4th. I decided to be spontaneous and even a bit touristy (if you know 
me, you know that almost never happens!). Very last minute, I took the commuter rail into Boston (I had been living at home over the summer between leases) and went to the Esplanade for fireworks, The Pops!, and Neil Diamond with Nick and some of his friends. We had a picnic of Vietnamese food and mojitos! I also fell in love and didn't realize it until many months later. Also, as you can see in this photo, we saw some amazing fireworks! After all of the fun, I learned that Nick owns every season of Saved by the Bell on DVD and we watched our favorite episodes until about five in the morning. The spontaneous fun on the 4th gave the the courage, and a million new reasons, to finally end a very abusive relationship for good. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I got a huge promotion at work! My job is now more along the lines of what I would like to be doing ten years from now and I am learning so many new things. Finally, I feel challenged in a job, I have gained a lot of new responsibility, and I got a nice raise to go with it.

9. What was your biggest failure of the year?

Unfortunately, I allowed myself to stay in a really horrible relationship for a very long time. But we don't need to get into that. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing outside of the usual, luckily: a few bumps and bruises from my klutziness and some sniffles here and there. 

11. What was the best thing you bought this year?

I expanded my shoe collection to no less than ninety-seven pairs. This sounds crazy to most people, and maybe this also sounds a bit self-centered; I just love them. There's nothing like a good pair of shoes to scream "confidence." Marilyn Monroe put it best, I think, when she said, "Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world."

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Jon and Kate Gosselin. These two managed to cause so much drama in the media, I found it hard to find any real news to read, and they have probably ruined the lives of their eight children forever. Divorce is hard enough on children, but carrying out a divorce on the cover of US Weekly and national television has to be even worse. A close second on this would have to be Tiger Woods. I'm really disappointed in him; he seemed so classy!

13. Where did most of your money go this year?

Bills. I know, I know, not a very exciting tale at all! But such is life for us broke college students. I would estimate that about 50% of my take home pay goes to utilities, cable and internet, rent, tuition and other very boring items like groceries. 

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about this year?

My new apartment! I was very excited to move to Brighton and I still love this place. I also got really psyched up for the Bruins making the playoffs in the 08/09 season and hope they can take the Cup this year! 

15-17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

- happier or sadder? Much happier. I have some amazing new friends, a wonderful family, and not much at all to complain about.

- richer or poorer? About the same. I may be a bit richer as I have finally started building a savings account.

- thinner or fatter? Thinner! I've lost a bit of weight this year and managed to stick to my running regimen for the most part. I also took up Wii Fit which I am loving.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Sleeping. At some point, it stops being okay to go to bed at 3am and wake up for an 8am class. I need to work on this. 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Worrying. I am such a worrier, and hope to do better this year when it comes to thinking things through and letting the things I have no control over just happen. 

20. How did you spend the holidays?

I'm going to consider my 21st birthday a holiday - I spent it at the Garden, cheering on the Celtics to my first legal (and very over priced) beer!

I spent Valentines Day in Vermont with my former boyfriend and I got to visit Joe while I was there.

The 4th of July was spent with Nick in Boston as previously mentioned.

Thanksgiving was pretty low-key this year - I had a great sleepover with my little cousins the night before and helped make a big turkey dinner in the morning!

Christmas Eve was, as always, a giant ordeal - I spent it with family and friends at my house and it was very festive and fun.

Christmas Day was better this year than most - we went to my Granny's house for a nice dinner and a huge Yankee Swap.

New Year's Eve was spent with an old friend from high school and was generally full of shenanigans.

21. Did you fall in love this year?

I did, but I didn't manage to tell him until about an hour and a half into 2010.

22. How many one-night stands did you have this year?

Zero. I'm the classiest girl I know! I did, however, have many fun dates this year. 

23. What was your favorite TV program for the year?

The best thing to come out of my bad relationship was a love of LOST which I have now watched through twice. I am highly anticipating the final season this coming February. Some other notable mentions are Glee which I have fallen totally in love with and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia which I have just started to watch, courtesy of Nick.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I try not to hate; it's tiring and takes up too much energy. There are people with whom I have parted ways, but I try not think about them. 

25. What was the best book you read this year?

I absolutely loved My Sister's Keeper and Handle With Care, both by Jodi Picoult. This was my year of embracing chick-lit shamelessly. 

26. What was your favorite film of the year?

Inglorious Basterds was by and large the best movie I went to go see this year. It was so refreshing to see a movie in theaters and not instantly regret the high ticket prices. I also discovered my inner trekkie and was glad to have spent the money to see Star Trek in IMAX on opening night. JJ Abrams can do no wrong in my book. 

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year?

Rockin'! This year I embraced (and totally pulled off) boots, bright tights, skinny jeans, tunics, and statement jewelry. I also landed an internship for Second Time Around which is a chain of designer consignment stores. My job is to update their Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts; in return, I receive $100 a week in store credit which has really helped me spice up my wardrobe on the cheap.

28. Whom did you miss this year?

Ronald Reagan. I started missing him even more the day Obama was inaugurated. 

29. Who was the best new person you met this year?

I have met so many fantastic people this year!! One of my co-workers, Naike, has become a very close friend and it's been nice to have such a tight friendship with a girl, most of my friends seem to be boys. Monday mornings seem less miserable now that I know I will have someone to gossip with about the weekend and share all my crazy stories with!

Photo is of Nick, myself, Isaac, and Naike at our company's holiday party.

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned for this year.

Honesty is always the best policy. I learned to be a lot more honest with people - not that I lied to them before - but I stopped telling a million white lies to give people ego boosts and I've found that people actually respect and appreciate it. I've also started telling people what is on my mind, because I was reminded that life is short, and I may not get another chance. 

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