Can a year feel like a small lifetime?
In my case, it certainly did. Amazing highs and terrible lows. At the beginning of the year, chaos. Calamity. Heartbreak. Moving into a new place, feeling like a stranger in my own hometown. I went to New York City for the first time, and was entranced by the concrete canyons and the infinite cacophony of merchants, cabs, steaming sewers and neon noise. Of course, this all took place in a relatively small corner of Manhattan, aside from one fine day at Central Park. I saw a friend of mine skate perilously close to death on an icy sheet of free liquor, only to regale us with a torrent of brown vomit that rendered the hotel room uninhabitable. I took pithy revenge upon my ex-girlfriend with a fusillade of pathetic drunken ramblings delivered via text. I also took a lot of photos. The subway is bitchin', and I can see why my father loves the place. It attacks your senses and demands you pay attention, every moment.
I built a metric fuckton of joysticks. Arcade-In-A-Box was poppin'. Street Fighter IV came down like an atomic bomb on the post-arcade scene and brought with it a deluge of orders. Myself, owner Ed, Aaron, and Greg got busy, hacking lesser lemons of pads and making sweet custom lemonade with Sanwa sticks and Seimitsu buttons. It held up all summer long, but like most good things in my life, it ended before I was ready to call it quits.
Dating. Arrrrrr. Scary highs and brutal lows. My first kiss of the year was with an adorable drunken brunette at Club Congress. My last kiss this year was with a busty friend of a friend. Without going into sordid details or brutal statistics, I can only say this: I'm still healing. There's a lot of poison in my soul yet from my last serious relationship, and while I manage to squeeze some out from day to day with distance and pursuit of new things, it's agonizingly slow business. As much as I would like to find love again, I'm pretty convinced I'm not ready.
Karate. Perhaps the best thing in my world overall. I joined the local Enshin Karate dojo with a bunch of my pals back in August of 2008, but I had no idea then what a critical source of enrichment and personal growth it would prove to be during a very difficult time. So many lessons to be learned that have nothing to do with how to punch, kick, block, or throw. There's still plenty of rough stuff though, and I've got a few bumps and bruises to show for it. It's proven absolutely vital in my own quest to renew myself physically. Our sensei offers an enormous pool of wisdom from which to draw, and I have learned a number of things I will take to my grave.
The year ended with a spate of events. I saw two of my favorite people in the world, Angie and Nico, tie the knot. They are sweet, they are smart, and their own little bubble of happiness offers me hope. Of course, the circumstances were bittersweet, but they were worth my attendance so I put aside some of my own shit and made the best of it. I applied to the Media Arts program at the UA and got in, and 2010 is all about finding my place in the art form I hold most dear and immersing myself as completely as possible. My nascent political career is dead, and I'd be the one playing the trumpet in a New Orleans-style funeral for it. Funny how I ended up buying a suit now that I have far less occasions to wear one, huh?
All I can do is strive to be my best, and pursue it with patience, in both my training and my daily life. I owe my family, my friends, and myself nothing less.