Monday, January 4, 2016

My Year in Review

I always find the passing of any sort of time milestone interesting. On the one hand, time is a human invention. Cats don’t really care if it’s 11:03, what they care about is if it’s feeding time, and if it’s not feeding time when why isn’t it yet feeding time. But humans have set up an entire system based on the idea that it’s 11:03, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to each lunch at 11:00, but not 10:59, so yes, cats, 11:03 is technically time to eat.

New Year’s Day is no different, really. At some point, 2016 years ago, someone set up a calendar and said that the year they were in was 0. Now that it was 0, the next year would be 1, and so forth. I’m sure it made the year end recaps sort of interesting, but at the end of the day it was what someone decided. Thus, the concept of time as more than a method to show when it was safer to plant crops or that you’re less likely to encounter a bear was born.

I don’t know too much about this. I’m making things up for dramatic effect. But the bottom line is, eventually the passing of one year to the next became a giant celebration involving hats and standing outside in a cold city WAY longer than our ancestors would have. In fact, they would have taken the cold as a sign that they should probably be inside.

It’s always surreal for me when time changes like this. I do reflect back to when things change like this. Big moments usually denote some kind of chance to think back and wonder… where they hell the time went. Did I waste it? Or did I spend it doing something important, or at least what I consider important? (Doctor Who Marathons aren’t going to watch themselves, people.) And yeah… this year was important.

When I did quit my internship for the many reasons I’ll eventually be brave enough to tell you, my mentor teacher did request that I tell the class why it was that I was quitting when I did. I told them the truth, because at that point what truth wasn’t I going to tell them? I wanted to study abroad, I wanted to do something different, I wanted to write. I wanted to present papers at conferences, and get published.

Other than get published, 2015 is the year that I did all of that. 

I went to England to study theatre. Not just watch a few plays, but immerse myself in it in a way I never thought possible, even going so far as to travel to Stratford Upon Avon… WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S HOMETOWN… to watch a play written by the man himself. I was able to walk around the streets of London, Cardiff, Edinburgh… for no other reason than I was a scholar, studying what I wanted to study. I went to Ireland to study great literature, to learn how to hon my craft, and to learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guiness. That last part wasn’t school sponsored, although I went there with my instructor. But I left the country to study twice this year. Seriously, for two whole months out of the 12, I was in Europe, and had access to much getter chocolate. I’m just saying.

I taught. I started my own tutoring business, which got a lot stronger this year. I’m up to four families I’m tutoring, and all of them are making great improvements. But 2015 is also the year that I managed to teach at the college level! I taught my first college level class, and it was strange but pretty amazing. It was also chock full of Firefly and Simpsons references, as one might expect from a class taught by me. 

And, of course, I continued my studies, taking amazing classes in Literature, studying with world known instructors. One of my instructors even managed to help me present a paper at a conference, and the Cultural Conference will forever know more about Green Arrow thanks to me. Whether that’s good or bad, you’ll have to ask them.

My whole point is, at this time of year its easy important to focus on the good. I travelled far this year, metaphorically and literally, logging more hours on an airplane and going forward to reach my goals. And the thing is, I didn’t really realize it while it was happening. I just sort of… went with it, and it made the year that much better. I still have a ways to go, and I have big plans of what I’d like to accomplish as this year starts up… but this past year has proven that I can do it.

This is also the part of the year when people make resolutions. Little things they hope to change in order to make their lives better. Lofty ones, like lose weight or read more, and then without a definition of what they are, they continue to slide until it’s November and they wonder why they haven’t reached that goal. I’m not saying don’t make those resolutions. I’m just saying slow down a little bit, and make smaller ones, one’s that you’ll keep. 

As for me? I know why I want to do, mostly to lose weight and start reading more. Of course I have to narrow it down. But for my resolutions… well, I’m going to be making some changes. That I’ll probably be posting here, on Bad Shakespeare, as they happen.

Looking forward to a wonderful New Year, everyone. Here’s hoping 2016 is just as exciting.

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