This was a busy one, I tell ya. I wasn’t going to try to label this year anything in particular, but once I started thinking about it, there is one word that sums it all up best: surprise. This was a year filled with moments, actions, and people who I never expected. Well, some of them I might have expected leading up to the moments themselves, but if I jumped in a time machine and went back to the beginning of the year to tell myself what was going to happen in 2009… the Past Mark would definitely raise his eyebrows with a, “Really?”
In a year that ranged from divorce to engagement, I remained mostly stationary. Of course, that wasn’t so much the case for those around me.
On February 12, 2010, I’m not getting out of bed. I’m scared. Last year that was the last day of my dog’s life. This year that was the day my friend Nick’s marriage ended. I’ve known other folks around my age, even other friends, who have married young and divorced not long after, but I was close to this one. I remember talking to Nick through email about meeting the girl, and I was around for many of the rough times. It wasn’t a sad thing, necessarily, as it wasn’t good from the beginning, but still… those were indeed an interesting few weeks after they split. Things move on, though, and I’m very happy to say that Nick moved on to much greener pastures and has found contentment in life with his own place and a fantastic girlfriend. Quite a journey within a year’s span, eh?
Speaking of journeys, my oldest friend just put an engagement ring on HIS girlfriend’s finger a few weeks ago. I was glad to be a part of that, and while Joe’s year-long arc wasn’t quite as broad as Nick’s, he’s still found a wonderful way to end the year :).
What about Mark Mushakian of MarkMushakian.com, though? Well, as I said, I’ve stayed put. I ended last year looking forward to a Hollywood career and finishing Get Back. Well, Get Back folded, and I never went to become a movie star… so things remain status quo. As usual, you’ll find more value in charting my ups and downs throughout this year by browsing the archives, but when it comes down to it – I’m in mostly the same place I was back then. Well… at least I’m about 10 pounds of hair lighter ;).
Obviously, good and bad things happened this year, but for the most part I had some fabulous highlights. This summer, in particular, was one of the most fun I’ve ever had… and that’s due to who I spent it with ;). On June 1, very much to my surprise, I met a gal named Korkie and have had an absolute blast with her ever since. I’d never met anyone quite like her, and in many ways, that’s because she’s so much like myself… and who in the WORLD is like me?? I’ll definitely talk more about her in my upcoming “farewell to Blockbuster” post, but outside of work – it’s been a heck of a great time. Of course, in August I finally obtained another wonderful friend – my PS3. Since it’s launch, I’d been eager to buy one, but the price kept me at bay. That changed the very day it dropped in cost, and I’ve been having an absolute ball playing with it.
In general, this year was really amazing. It introduced Guitar Hero (and subsequently Rock Band) into my life, I met the best hugger in the world, “band practice” night began and eventually transformed into “game night”, I saw amazing movies and had wonderful creative ideas of my own, I laughed with my friends more than I may ever have in a single year, and so many other things that I really couldn’t write them all down even if I tried. Just writing this post has reminded me of so many great memories (“So… how’s it going?” “Arrivederci!” and so much more), and when I reflect on them all I realize that as much as this was a year of surprises, it was just as much a year of friends. It was a great year FOR my friends, yes, but it was a year when, more than ever before (which is saying a lot), my friends were the defining factor in how good my life is. I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that most of this year’s fond memories were due to two folks, Nick and Korkie, so to the two of you… Thanks for a heck of a time :).
As for what the next year holds, I’ve never had less of a clue than I do about 2010. My parents are both working lousy hours at Walmart just to make ends meet. I’ve been searching for a decent job for months to no avail. I still ain’t found a girl and my creativity has been lagging. My Blockbuster store is shutting down, and just this Tuesday my poor ol’ car nearly died getting me home from Nick’s place. I don’t even have enough liquid cash to pay for the necessary repairs (I’m able to borrow from someone, though, don’t worry), and with no fresh income pouring into my accounts until who knows when… I’m ending 2009 in a state of helplessness and COMPLETE uncertainty. There may very well be upsides to all of this down the line (which I’m going to talk about in a future post), but for now I’m just holding onto my hat and trying not to fall out of the boat until we reach the shore. At least my friends are there waiting for me and waving me in :).
I can’t end on any kind of sour note, though, so don’t forget just how great this year has been for me. I wouldn’t trade the zillions of memories I have from 2009 for all of the certainty in the world. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not hoping for 2010 to be the Year of Success ;).