I was looking back through old posts recently and found the following statement on my birthday post from last year 

I usually don't have positive attitudes toward even numbers for some reason and this is no different. However I thought 35 was going to be great and it actually was more sad than happy overall, so maybe my number sense is off. I guess I'll know one year from now when we look back at the year that was.

That got me thinking that it would be interesting to look back on the year through my blog posts.  So let's start with the really big items.  

1.)  Dad.  My father contacted me after a multi-decade absence and now we are communicating, although minimally because of my lack of Spanish skills.  He has invited me to Panama and I will hopefully be going in November.  The most amazing thing that has happened is that I now have relatives coming out of the Facebook woodwork.  People who say they have known about me all my life and have thought about me and wondered about me.  This is such a strange and surreal experience.  And it is awesome.  And scary.  And exciting.  And awesome.

2.)  Ike.  Ike, Ike and more Ike.  The magnitude of this storm is still unbelievable, especially since hardly anyone in the US talks about it.  The first major domino in the economic collapse happened days after the hurricane and virtually wiped hurricane coverage off the map.  That is why I appreciate Rachel Maddow so much for calling attention to it.  Just to remind you, Hurricane Ike was the third most destructive storm in US history.  It caused $24 billion in damage in the US alone.  The scars from the hurricane are everywhere and some will never heal.  

3.) Travel.  I first wrote this post in November about wanting to make travel a part of my life.  A month later I set down concrete ideas in my New Year's Resolutions post.  Four months later I have taken my first overnight Texas trip to Goliad, took a spontaneous day trip to Quintana Beach, have set my dates and booked my airline tickets to Chicago and tentatively have a trip to Panama in the works.  I can't believe that I have actually followed through with these goals and have started making real changes and seeing results.  Travel makes me happy.

4.) Heartbreak.  When I think of things that happened to me in the last year this is one of the things that comes to mind first.  I try not to dwell on it, but it is there and will probably always be there.  Not much more to say about it other than to point you to the posts here and here.  

Photography wise I had a lot of good stuff happen.  I moved my website to Pixyblog and it has really re-invigorated my focus on my photoblog.  I got a new camera, began a partnership to sell my photos  and even got to play wedding photographer for a day.  

I started volunteering at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  I got to see The Drowsy Chaperone, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Eddie Izzard, and Les Miserables (for the sixth time).  I discovered the joy that is Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, fell in love with Firefly and became a fan of Edward Cullen of Twilight fame.  I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite authors and began preparing myself for the eventual goodbye to my beloved Gypsy.  I experienced my very first snowfall , set out some reading goals, and got to see a new era in politics.  I feel like the last two years of personal missteps with the Houston online community is finally starting to fade into the past.  I am much more at peace with myself and with what I want from my interactions and have made a handful of wonderful friends who genuinely care about me.

Even after all that I'm not really sure how I feel about 36.  I doesn't stand out as spectacular or horrific even with item #4. Saturday I will start number 37.  More than ever I feel like big changes are ahead.  I hope I'm right.

PS.  This blog post makes me smile every time I see it.


ABCs of Me