Every year around the holidays, like many of you, I like to take a moment to reflect. I do so by writing a semi-annual post about the past year of my life. These posts act as a journal for me to look back on, as well as a way for me to communicate with friends and family about where my life has taken me over the last year. For the rest of you it gives you insight to the life of the guy who is chatting it up with you on Plurk, or throwing links and randomness at you on Twitter. In the past many of these have been emotional rants, but over the last few years they’ve become a bit more composed.
2008 has been both a trying year and a triumphant year for me. So as in years past this post will be lengthy, but I hope you find some interest, inspiration or value in it by the time you’re done reading.
2008 marked the fourth year of marriage to my wife Misty; it also celebrated my first year of fatherhood. Sadly, it almost marked the last year of my marriage and the last year of fatherhood as I knew it. Throughout the last few months of this year Misty and I struggled with a separation and nearly divorced on a handful of occasions. We’ve since taken a step back to reassess the situation and have opted to try and reconcile our differences and should be at least living together again by the beginning of 2009.
As with everything negative there is a balance in the positive. Though this experience has nearly destroyed our marriage it has, in my opinion, made me a more responsible father and has also strengthened some significant relationships that have developed over the last year.
Had it not been for a handful of close friendships that didn’t really get their foundations until early in 2008 I probably wouldn’t have made it through a number of nights during the separation. Their love and support got me through a number of hard nights, some sober and some less than sober, and for that I am very grateful.
I am also thankful for one individual in particular who has been a shining star and a guiding light throughout 2008. She has reminded me the importance of being true to myself and helped me find my way back to the things that are most important to me. She reminded me how much music speaks to my soul, how lyrics can tell a story, and how the ability to write from the heart is the most powerful ally you can ever have. Had it not been for her I would still be wandering the roads of this life lost and unhappy at the core. She came into my life at the perfect moment and has been a huge force in my life since then. Together we’ve built the foundation for what I hope is to be a lifelong friendship. Her patience, understanding, and friendship has meant the world to me throughout this trying year.
2008 was a big year for me and my career; mostly because I finally had the opportunity to practice search marketing. I transitioned into the search marketing industry in mid 2007, but the unexpected birth of twins derailed my career through the last months of 2007 beginning in October. In January of 2008 I returned to work and jumped in to SEO head first. I became much more active in the SEO community doing all I could to learn more and gain as much insight as possible.
2008 also introduced me to the world of Social Media, and sadly a new addiction. From Twitter, to Plurk, and everything in between you will now most likely find my face somewhere within the thousands of member profiles. Social Media had a serious appeal to me because of the conversation, the connection, and the networking with people from all over and from all walks of life. I have since made a number of connections and been introduced to the ideas and lives of numerous people from the search and social media industries.
This year also brought Musings for a Darkened Room into primetime. Blogging and journaling used to come at random, but in 2008 I made it a priority and beginning in January I made a commitment to update this blog on at least a bi-monthly basis. That pace has increased over the last few months and new posts are pounded out weekly and range from topics like SEM and Social Media, to Twilight and green living.
In 2008 I made a commitment to myself and the planet to live as green as possible. While there is still significant room for improvement (less dining out, more organic food, less waste, etc.) I continue to my part through increased recycling in the work place, using organic toiletries when possible, and buying and consuming as much local and organic produce and food as I can. Unfortunately moving to an apartment in July limited the recycling I can take part in now and also left me without energy efficient appliances.
This year has brought forth a ton of great change for me as a father. Aiden and Cambria began crawling, then they started climbing, and most recently they started taking their first real steps. This year also marked their first trip to Disneyland, their first Jack-o-lanterns, their first haircuts, and their first time opening Christmas presents.
In 2007 they spent their first Halloween in the NICU at UCI Medical Center. This year they got to experience the excitement of a pick your own pumpkin patch, the guts and glory of carving a jack-o-lantern, and they got to sport their first real Halloween costumes.
When I look back at 2008 and everything wrong with it I also see everything right about it and wonder how I can top it in 2009. If this year taught me anything it taught me how to love, and it taught me the importance of building relationships, both personally and professionally. Had it not been for love some of the most memorable experiences of 2008 would probably have never come to fruition. Had it not been for some of the relationships I built this year I might not have ever second guessed my choices regarding my marriage (Thank you Lori Bourne) and I probably wouldn’t be taking the steps I am now to try and make this marriage work.
So what is my resolution for 2009? I don’t have one. I recently read a statistic that only 23% of people in a poll of 15,031 kept their 2008 resolutions, and that’s a bit disappointing. So in 2009 I simply plan to do the best I can with what I have. If I lose weight great, if I become financially stable even better, and if I share some incredible moments with the people I love most I won’t complain.
Please remember that 2009 will only be what you make of it. If you want to be skinny in 09, you know what you have to do. It might not be easy, but it can be done. Want to be wealthy in 09? You’re going to have to work at it, but people are already doing it. Want a sparkly vampire boyfriend? Well that one probably won’t happen, but if you find a guy who really loves you, you can probably convince him to cake on the shimmery body powder they are selling at Hot Topic and you can at least pretend…
I want to wish all my readers, friends, and family a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. I look forward to sharing my life, my insight, and my thoughts with you in the coming year.