I’m typically a sarcastic person. And a pessimist. I call myself a realist, but really that’s just the justification.
So as soon as the New Year was rung in, and 2012 turned into 2013, I immediately thought that the year was garbage. And a waste.
Because I just think this at the beginning of every year.
But when I really stop and think about it, 2012 might be the best year of my life thus far.
In January/February, I started the band that I’m currently in, and that has provided me more happiness than any other human interaction I’ve experienced in my life: Irish Wristwatch. [Sure, the name is weird, but that’s part of the charm. Just try to say that fast. See? Yeah, you’re right. It’s dumb. Whatever.]
The spring of 2012 was my last full semester of college. This didn’t actually dawn on me until May, on the last day of exams. I was walking away from the Mass Communications building at MTSU and I turned around and almost got choked up. I just sort of nodded my head and thought to myself, “You’ve come a long way, kid.”
Speaking of which, my big brother got married in May of 2012. And if that wasn’t special enough, he let my band play at the wedding. And if that wasn’t special enough, we played some songs that he sang on for his new bride. And if that wasn’t special enough, when we played “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, she cried and I felt a little bit like a super hero.
In the summer, I completed an internship at The Tennessean, which was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Mostly because they didn’t treat me like an intern, but rather just another reporter on the staff. I wasn’t 100% that I was supposed to be a journalist before that internship. Afterwards, I can’t believe there was ever a question in my mind.
It wasn’t just the internship itself that was so great; it was the people I worked with. Jessica Bliss is one of the most talented writers I’ve ever known, and she took the task of showing me the ropes. Not just how things were done at The Tennessean, but what it means to be a journalist. I’ll forever be grateful to her and everyone else at the paper. They all changed my life for the better.
After my internship was over, I graduated college. Even typing that sentence now, months later, it’s still difficult to believe. Not too long ago I was lost and confused, on the verge of being a college drop out. And before that I bought into the notion that I was destined to be a starving artist (well, that might still be in the cards).
That was just a few years ago. But I met someone who was very special to me, and she inspired me to get my shit together. And she pushed me to stay in school and do everything I can to make something of myself. And so it was extra special that it just so happened that we graduated together.
Our romantic relationship may not have worked out, but I’m still happy you were and still are a part of my life, Tristan. I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I saw you walk across the stage. And I certainly won’t forget the feeling I had as I heard my name called out and heard one single “Whoo!” shouted out from you.
After graduating, I dealt with the prost-grad blues that many, many people have gone through before me. I struggled attempting to choose whether to chase a career in journalism or music, along with all of the voices I had in my ears telling me what I should do.
Of course, to end the year, there’s always the holiday season. Christmas is always a special time of year for a lot of people. For me, it’s not even about the giving or receiving of gifts. It’s not about the spectacular food that my mom fixes for the family. It’s not about watching football (well, ok, it’s sort of about watching football).
It’s about being around family with everyone being genuinely happy for at least a short time. I get to hang out with my family a lot. Usually, we’re all at war. But for this brief period, everybody gets along. I dig that.
And the year ended with me spending the new year with two of my favorite people. Sure, maybe I’m lame for being 24 years old and not being out with a bunch of friends doing cool stuff. Or partying somewhere that was important enough that I felt the need to post pictures on Facebook.
But, man, I was hanging out with my not-so-little-anymore little brother and my mom. And they’re cooler than most of my friends anyway.
So there you have it. I think 2012 might be the best year of my life. But hopefully I’ll be saying that about 2013 a year from now.