Archive for January, 2008

h1

What I Have Learned This Past Year

January 1, 2008

When I was 15, I came up with the brilliant idea to write a year’s worth of reflections in an email and send it to all of my friends. My thoughts were filled with all the reflections that one has in high school. All things that seemed to matter then. Inside jokes, basketball games, pep band, McDonald cheeseburgers and prom dates. I can’t say that the content has gotten better, but I am very happy that some of you have received these every year.

This past year I truly understood what it meant to be a commuter. I was driving 50 miles a day to my job at Washington Business Week. Armed with a grande americano and NPR, that drive was bearable most days. Then it happened. On a rainy day in March, a black late model pick up truck, driving too fast, took out my 2000 Toyota Camry. My rental car was a laughable dijon yellow PT Cruiser, which I even drove to the coast. But after two weeks, I finally got my 2004 Honda Accord. And in October, eight months later, the accident was finally resolved. This past year I learned that the easiest part of a car accident is actually getting rear ended, the rest is a bitch.

Seattle’s Decembers can be brutal. Not in the snowy, frostbite on your special parts way, but with constant light rain, urban flooding, gray skies and that indescribable “wet cold.” To top it off, my apartment in the U-District had leaky windows. And when the rain really got going, my carpets would be wet. So in January of last year, I moved. My new place in Capitol Hill was built in 1922. It has hardwood floors, a reverse bathtub, a tiny kitchen, and a den. My apartment manager said in the forties that it used to be home to a lot of military wives and there used to be a playground (where the parking lot is today), where all the children would play until their fathers came home. But most importantly, the windows don’t leak, my neighbors are wonderful, and it is in a fantastic location.

I was feeling a little depressed on Thanksgiving 2006. The holidays have a way to do that to someone. And this bout of holiday depression led me to randomly sign up for eHarmony. And for better or worse, I started to go on a lot of dates. I learned from the microbiologist why I should never eat sushi. The firefighter in training couldn’t throw a frisbee to save her life. I spent the forth of july with the Montessori School Administrator and after dating for about two months, that would be the last time I saw her. The Starbucks accountant wanted to share a messy pulled pork sandwich at a Capitol Hill martini bar – that still cracks me up. The bank employee was allergic to dairy, among other things. And I had a serious crush on a artist who went to that school where Inside the Actors Studio James Lipton hails from but she never felt a spark after we kissed. I accidentally asked out the ultrasound technician for a second date on valentines day – thankfully she rescheduled. There was a marketing manager from the eastside (kirkland) but the distance would have been too great. I even went out on a date with an enthusiastic undergrad and I learned why you should never do that. All of these first dates have been good. You truly learn what you are made of when you are trying to sell yourself to a near stranger.

In May, my coworker showed me a job posting for a development coordinator position with a diabetes research organization. She told me that it was located a half mile from my new apartment and it was more money than I was currently making. On a whim, I applied. In my cover letter I compared buying a new bed with finding a new career. And surprisingly, it worked. Now I walk to work (though romance of walking to work quickly fades in the rain and the cold), I share an office with no windows (I used to have a private second floor office with a huge window), but thankfully, I have reclaimed these beautiful Seattle summers.

This past year has been another great one. There is nothing like having a glass of wine while looking at the stars above and the city below. Or spending a week with longtime friends in southern california. Or having a first kiss. Or eating a mustard covered, campfire roasted hotdog after a death hike. 2007 will be the year when got a new job, a new car, and a new apartment. It will be the year when I went on my first backpacking trip. It will be the first time I saw a Joshua Tree. Or when my best friend had his first son.

I can’t believe how much I have grown up since I wrote my very first one of these in December of 1998. How does one go from loving frozen taquitos to cassoulet in 10 years? Or loving grape soda to loving a dry merlot? Then I think about how little I have changed. I am still loud, crass, and even annoying from time to time. I still love video games and one of my favorite songs is still Semi Charmed Kind of Life by Third Eye Blind. And tomorrow I am going to pack a baloney sandwich for lunch. Maybe we don’t change but are circumstances do.

Well I hope this email finds you all well. And if you would like to help me cure diabetes, you can donate online at www.pnri.org/howtohelp/gifts/gift.html. And you can read this entry and more at my old school blog http://www.geocities.com/nickoroni.

Remember to live life to the fullest, dream, wonder and explore because, you never know. To everyone, Happy New Year!