It’s December 31, 2009. We’re a few hours away from a new year, but naturally I’m looking back at the last twelve months and reminiscing.
What a year.
Though still working for the same company, I left my former team and moved into a completely different job in April. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet several wonderful new teammates and a great new boss, though I do miss the sort of work I did in my previous role. Still, a good learning experience, and a good way to branch out from what I’d been doing.
2009 was the first calendar year of Sal living with me in Charlotte, having finally conned him into moving here late in 2008. Like any relationship, it’s had its ups and downs, but I struggle to remember a past (or envision a future) in which we didn’t share a life together.
I met several wonderful new friends in Charlotte, mostly through local theatre circles. Sadly, I lost touch with other Charlotte friends, and hopefully will make up for that in the new year.
Of course, 2009 included some incredible travel opportunities, though not as much as 2008’s whirlwind tour of US cities. We spent a fair amount of time visiting New York City and Central Florida, which will probably come as a surprise to no-one. There were also several unique trips to less-frequented locations. Yes, the tradition of the group adventure continued strongly in 2009.
There was an unforgettable trip to New Orleans with Jenn & Mike from Florida and Adam & Billy from California. Sal and I had visited New Orleans in 2008, but had been chased away by Hurricane Gustav. Refusing to take it gracefully, we vowed to return for Mardis Gras, and according to the photos, we seemed to have had a good time. 😛
We later spent a week with Adam & Billy, and visited Becca and met her boyfriend (now fiancé!) Matt, in the Bay Area. Getting to spend time with them all together was remarkable — I’m a sucker for bringing different groups of friends together. We even got to briefly see Will and Brendan while out that way.
And of course… 4th of July week on Miami Beach was incredible. We spent most of the week lounging out at the beach, relaxing on the sand or in the ocean. For someone like me, who grew up in a beach town but never took much of a liking to the beach, it was a remarkable experience.
September brought the two-year anniversary of Sal and I meeting, and a vacation to Playa del Carmen (just outside of Cancún) to celebrate. It was also relaxing, and well timed, since Sal and I were going through some difficult times together and needed the vacation. It was perhaps most notable for being the first trip we’ve taken together where we didn’t know anyone there and didn’t have anyone traveling with us… A different sort of adventure, to be sure.
Wow, it’s sort of eye-opening to me, seeing how much of my stream-of-consciousness retelling of this past year revolves around traveling and spending time with friends. I should find a way to do that for a living.
2009 was a terrible year in real estate – a planned sale of my New Mexico house, with just enough proceeds to pay off the debts and taxes on the place so I could walk away, fell through unexpectedly. Then there was a seemingly-neverending series of repairs needed on the house, sucking my bank account dry and ensuring that the house wouldn’t possibly pay for itself this year.
That house and the rental condo in Charlotte were both vacant for months, further demolishing my bank accounts and raising my credit cards to their limits. These factors, and the plummeting real estate values around the country, practically guarantee that I’ll be in Charlotte for at least another year.
Yes, my oft-threatened move to New York City is delayed yet again. Until I can get rid of my current two rental properties, I will definitely not be able to leave Charlotte comfortably. Hope you like having me around, Queen City, ’cause you’re stuck with me for awhile.
Which brings us to next year… But for thoughts on 2010, you’ll just have to wait.