December 24th, 2003:

a year gone by, and another year to come

I had originally sat down to write a recap of this past year. I had planned on breaking down life, month by month, summarizing every important event. But, as I started to write, I realized that many of the things that happened were so important that I couldn’t possibly summarize them. And other things, while seemingly important at the time, really didn’t matter at all. So instead I’ll just write what I feel like writing, and you’ll deal with it.

This year started off in what seemed to be the most horrible fashion that any year could ever start off with. In the end, however, it turned out that this event ultimately led to both Jess and I realizing that we wanted nothing more than we wanted to be with each other forever. And, when the end of March came, we decided to do it.

One week of planning, and so much thank due to my family for trying to make our wedding as nice as possible in one week’s time, and we were married. While I can’t say that, considering our entire lives, that particular day was incredibly important, the choices that we announced in front of our friends and family that day certainly were. Almost 9 months have past since that day, and I can say with absolute certainty that it was the smartest choice I’ve ever made. Despite the haste in our decision making, I don’t regret anything about that day or the choices we made.

An amazing girl came to visit us at the end of May. She has an incredible passion for life that is more than contagious. I found myself wishing I had a chance to learn more about her and wondering if there was anything I could do to shorten the distance between us. I’ve yet to find a truly feasible way, but, until I do, I look forward to seeing her again.

In August we moved. That was unimportant. More important was the fact that two of my closest friends and their beautiful daughter moved away to Indiana. It wasn’t until they were gone that I realized how much having them around meant to me. They are still sorely missed and I cherish every minute that we do get to spend with them. And Morgan, just so you know, I’ve got a pocket full of “Queens” with your name on them.

At the end of September, Jess starting working. It took some getting used to after having her at home all day for so long. There were a lot of things that she took care of each day that I just took for granted. I think we’ve adjusted well, however, and, for the most part, things are back to normal again. I’m very proud of the work that she does and the name that she has made for herself there. She is very hardworking and her managers and co-workers recognize her regularly.

October brought a trip to Indiana. Aside spending some much needed time with people that I don’t have to constantly explain myself and who am I to, I learned a lot about life just staring at the fall leaves and sucking in the cold air. Most importantly, I realized how badly I want to get out of Dallas. My attitude towards where I live is most certainly I choice I make. And there is no doubt that I could make a lot more out of Dallas than I do. However, I also know that culture, fellowship, and attitude mean a lot to me. And this place is filled with versions of all three that I simply can’t appreciate. Of course, in the end, I’ll put my own desires aside and do what is best for my life as a whole and the lives of my family. But, if I get things my way, I won’t be here forever.

And that brings us to now, the end of 2003.

More than anything, I am eternally grateful for Jess, the happiness that she brings soul, and the peace she brings to my heart. Regardless of what tomorrow brings, knowing that she will be beside me means I know I can handle it.

There are lots of things I wish for. There are lots of improvements that I need to make in myself and in my life. There are lots of things that need to be changed. And, as with every year before this new one, I’ll do my best to make those changes, fulfil those wishes, and improve myself. But, as with each new year, this year, I do so with a little more experience, and a greater understanding of myself.

I realize, after reading back through the records I’ve kept of this past year, that I need better records. There were so many feelings that I never mentioned. So many important things that were never announced. So many small, but meaningful, moments that have been lost in the expanse of time and memory. Sure, it’s okay if they aren’t recorded. But I can only imagine how much personal insight I could reap from them had they been. So, this next year will see a greater effort from me to document even the most insignificant of thoughts and feelings in my life. I’m not quite sure where those documents will be kept, and how public I’ll make them, but, the important part is that they’ll be there, for me.

I also realize that I need to control my temper. All too often what could be priceless, meaningful moments in time are wasted without reason. I worry too much, stress too much, and let too many tiny things eat at me. In the end, I am worn down and left with the inability to appreciate those things that are right and wonderful in the world. Despite what life deals to me, in the end, I alone choose how I will let it affect me. I need to realize that sometimes it’s better to make a wrong choice then it is to spend so much time thinking that I never have a chance to choose at all.

Finally, I realize that I need more time for me. I don’t mean more time to relax, or more time to watch TV. I mean that I need more time for the things that I love. I need to spend more time playing guitar, more time writing poetry, and more time making photographs. And I need to waste less time watching TV, less time worrying about things that don’t really matter, and less time arguing with myself. There are so many things worth enjoying, and I let too many of them pass me by without notice because I’m too busy doing something that doesn’t really matter in the end.

I wish each of you the best in the new year to come. May you learn more about yourself and what makes life truly wonderful and be more aware of each amazing moment that you share with those who truly love you.