The Best of 2009: Part Two.
I don’t know why I thought the Best of 2009 Challenge was only Day One through Day Twenty-Five. Maybe I’m on some kind of Advent kick or something. But it’s not, it’s actually Day One through Day Thirty-One (which, you know, makes sense given the fact there are thirty-one days in December). But I am sometimes slow to catch on to the obvious, so forgive the fact that this part two is slightly longer than part one.
December 13: What’s the best change you made to the place you live?
This year, I moved from Hoboken, New Jersey to Manhattan, New York. Which is not a terribly dramatic distance since you could see the Empire State Building from my bedroom in Hoboken. However, I NO LONGER LIVE IN NEW JERSEY. That’s pretty much the best change I have made, regardless of where the destination is. No girl grows up in Oregon thinking, “Someday, I want to live in New Jersey.” No, of course not. You grow up saying I WANT TO LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY!!! I mean, they make movies about this! And I did it!
December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?
This is a tough question for me to answer, because I feel like this answer could come from a few different places. I felt a rush when I raised over $3,000 for diabetes research, which is the most amount of money I have ever raised since I was diagnosed nearly 16 years ago. I felt a rush when I was in the hotel bar with twenty-nine of my closest diabetes compatriots. I felt a rush when I said “I love you” to my boyfriend for the first time. I felt a rush when I moved to New York City and felt like I was finally here.
December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?
This past summer, I lost my ticket purse. My ticket purse was a Coach change purse than my grandmother gave me for Christmas last year and it’s where I kept my train ticket, Metrocard and PATH card. And I lost it. I left it on a train. I was crushed. It was the only thing I owned of Coach, thus making it the only “designer” thing I owned. I really liked it and was devastated I lost it. For my birthday, my boyfriend bought me a new one. This one was purple and it was beautiful. Inside the pocket of the change purse was a 10 pass card to a ballet studio near where I work. I had talked about starting to take dance classes again. The Coach purse was definitely the best packaging for a birthday present that I have seen. It was a present within a present.
December 16 Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What’s yours?
I am so not a tea drinker. I am not even much of a coffee drinker, now that I live in New York City – the dark zone of good java. But I did go to Tea & Sympathy a couple nights ago, and they have delicious tea. It’s owned by an English expat and if you’re looking for a good cuppa tea, this is the place to go.
December 17 Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. “2009 was _____.”
New. 2009 was a new year because so much was new. Although I started dating Erik in 2008, we had only been together for two weeks when 2009 started. I had a new relationship. In August, I moved to New York City and I had a new apartment and new roommates. In October, I quit my job and in November, I started a new one. I have a new family in the form of my boyfriend’s family and they are wonderful and I really couldn’t ask for a better new family. They are lovely people.
December 18 Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?
I don’t really shop at the same store very often. I tend to be pretty scattered and not very devoted to one place over another. However, I live in a very commercial part of my neighborhood, and I would say that Barnes and Nobles is one place where I frequented quite a bit, mainly because I have to pass it on my way home from work.
December 19 Car ride. What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?
I took quite a few car rides, thanks to my boyfriend who has a car (and I don’t because owning a car in New York City IS STUPID). Newport, Rhode Island was a lovely car ride, and I enjoyed that trip very much and everything we did and saw on our way there and on our way back. I am looking forward to making Newport a regular stop on our traveling circuit.
December 20 New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?
My unsung hero of 2009… I would have to say that I have met or developed a handful of friendships with some ladies in New York City this year and for that I am very grateful. I can’t really think of one particular person that stands out, because to me, it just feels nice to feel like I have friends again. I don’t see them nearly as often as I would like, but the girls who I have spent time with one-on-one this year are wonderful and I really love the fact that I feel like I have a bit of a social life again. I am looking forward to continuing to develop these friendships in 2010.
Erik is a pretty great friend too, even if he isn’t a lady.
December 21 Project. What did you start this year that you’re proud of?
I actually didn’t start any projects this year and that actually really bums me out. When I was in high school and college, I always had some diabetes website or project or program I was working on or helping out with. But I didn’t have anything this year and that is definitely something I am working on changing for next year. So stayed tuned and maybe you will see some developments in the near future!
December 22 Startup. What’s a business that you found this year that you love? Who thought it up? What makes it special?
The best start-up that I know of isn’t so much of a business as it’s a non-profit and community builder led by the one… the only… the man I am thrilled to call my friend…. MANNY HERNANDEZ! I am continually amazed and awed by what that man is able to accomplish with his band of merry men (and women). He’s amazing, he’s genuine, and he knows his stuff. I am not as involved with the TuD community as I would like, but every year I am more and more impressed with the attention this man is getting for our community and our cause.
December 23 Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn’t live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.
I actually haven’t started using anything new this year. I attempted to use Tweetdeck over the summer, but I ended up scraping it after awhile because keeping up with all the different columns and the fact that people were responding to other people who were not in the same column as they were made tracking conversation a bit difficult actually. So I will say that there are no new web tools on my front but I am always happy to hear what others are using.
December 24 Learning experience. What was a lesson you learned this year that changed you?
Even when you are absolutely terrified that you will fail, if you reach out to your community, there will be people to pick you up and make sure that you succeed. I have never felt such a connection to people as I have this year. It just continues to grow stronger every year and I am so glad that this Internet thing is not a vacuum, that I am no longer a 13-year-old girl writing her secret thoughts in a journal that no one else can see but that there are people out there who are listening to me, who know me and who can help me when I’m not sure how to help myself.
December 25 Gift. What’s a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?
I bought myself a Macbook. It’s AWESOME.
December 26 Insight or aha! moment. What was your epiphany of the year?
That loving someone is just as scary and sometimes uncomfortable as I thought it would be but is SO TOTALLY WORTH IT. I am loving every minute of being in love.
December 27 Social web moment. Did you meet someone you used to only know from her blog? Did you discover Twitter?
Dear Lord, when am I not meeting someone from the Internet? Between a big diabetes meet-up this year in honor of Cara and Amylia being in town, my trips to BlogHer and the Roche Diabetes Social Media Summit, I met a TON of new people who I have actually known for a long time.
December 28 Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?
The only stationary I received this year was from a giveaway at Fantabulousy Frugal. I won a pack of stationary that has my name on it from Expressionary.com. It’s very cute stationary, but I have never been a stationary person. I am more of a notecards kind of gal, and I didn’t actually buy any stationary or notecards this year because I didn’t really need to. I still have some left over from years past and since I am more of an email girl anyway, buying extra stationary doesn’t seem very green, if you know what I mean.
December 29 Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?
It’s tough to pick a specific moment of extreme laughter because I know a lot of very funny people. I have laughed a movies, I have laughed at – and with! – my boyfriend, I have laughed with friends, I have laughed with groups of people, I have laughed when a speaker tells a joke. I don’t really have one particular moment that stands out in my head. I appreciate every laugh.
December 30 Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?
Living in New York City, I am surrounded by advertisements every where I go. From the moment I step outside (there is an Apple store near my house) to the subway ride to all the website I go to, to the street corners of my neighborhood and places I visit in the city. Again, I don’t really have a specific advertisement that made me think. I tend to dislike heavily male-oriented commercials – usually on principle – but there usually isn’t one that makes me “think” in a different way. Though I did recently see an advertisement that Trident gum did where they incorporated tweets about their product. I thought that was very clever. I hate gum, though (gives me a headache) so I don’t really think it’ll work on me, but I thought it was a cute idea.
December 31 Resolution you wish you’d stuck with. (You know, there’s always next year…)
I don’t think I actively made resolutions last year because I have my 101 Things list to work on, and that has basically taken place of any resolution I may have made. I do know that there are a few that I wasn’t able to start this year and thus won’t be able to finish by my September 28, 2010 deadline, which is writing handwritten notes to family and friends and sending out a birthday card every month. I don’t know why that was so hard, because it isn’t, really. But something about these real world tokens of thoughtful consideration of another person seem really hard these days. Something I need to work on for next year.