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elise_sketch

Reflections on 2011 - Inbound

This is about my life in 2011.

2011 was pretty quiet, lonely year for me. A large part of it was spent in a kind-of-relationship that didn't work out but which I don't really regret trying, and since that stopped I've had a completely quiet social life combined with a slow exploration of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia seems a pretty okay city. It's not my kind of city; it has the wrong flavour and the wrong size. It's grown on me though. It has nice infrastructure, great architecture, and a decent urban design. It also has a reasonable set of coffeeshops. It's not as lovable as Pittsburgh or Austin or Santa Barbara, but it's likable.

Early 2011 saw me wrapping up my job at CMU, visiting PHL a few times, and preparing to move. I was very actively working on improving my sketches (right now that's kind of on-hold, like my other hobbies, while I try to put my head back together), working on improving my cooking (I've learned a few new tricks!), and trying to improve my accordion skills. I also briefly had a chanter, but it was defective and when I returned it they refunded my money rather than send me a new one; I haven't gotten a new one yet.

In mid-July I moved to the western suburbs of PHL, to a very nice apartment in a very dull neighbourhood. Suburbs suck! It is not safe to bike or run here and there is not easy access to woods. Things started to get better once I decided to get a train pass, which has changed my habits to the extent that most days I'm somewhere in the city proper. I also met some adorable chickens (which have a lot of the cuteness of Igs). The apartment's taken some getting-used to, and it is underinsulated and without any visible means of controlling the thermostat. It's also in a large building, so I feel weird about practicing accordion. Still, much of it has hardwood floors (which I really need to take better care of; I should have put my bed on top of carpets because its couch/bed transform maneuver has scratched the floor, and the cats have left some stains before I decided to put their litterbox in the kitchen where there are tiles). Still, there's a lot of light, the ceilings are high, and it is much more roomy than I need. Also expensive.

I was hoping to have hiking and camping and biking and running be part of my daily life, but that hasn't really happened yet.

There was a place called IndyHall that I joined for awhile; coworking seems pretty neat if you find the right kind of people and organisation to manage it. IndyHall is pretty close to that, but not quite right for me; it's full of business-entrepreneur

I applied for a variety of jobs, did reasonably well in most of the interviews, but for various reasons haven't taken one yet. I've decided that it'd probably be best if I focus on NYC for now.

Occupy was pretty great. Good conversations, direct provision of social services, community, new strategies in activism, a new activism culture. I regret that we lost the space, although I was pretty sure we would in time. Occupy made me less lonely for awhile and gave me a lot to think about.

I have almost been visited by a number of people. Yay? No, not really. This is more a source of bitterness, especially for a period of two weeks where 3 visits failed to happen.

I also got to hang out with my cousin Jess a lot, which was pretty great. She has a law degree, I have a lot of interest in philosophy of jurisprudence, we both care about social justice and follow world events, she's lived all over the world, I've studied many of the things she's experienced, etc. She recently moved to DC, but nothing lasts forever.

I still miss Pittsburgh a lot. Only a few people; I didn't really have close friendships at the end of my stay there, but definitely the places.

For 2012, I hope:

  • To move to NYC (or possibly somewhere else)
  • To get back out of the glum state-of-mind I'm in now
  • To have a fun and interesting job that will give me neat ideas, make me feel I'm doing something useful, regenerate my savings, and fill the time until next winter, when I will apply to grad school
  • To manage to build a new social circle
  • To have a not-entirely-dead relationship and sex life, perhaps to establish a life partnership with someone, perhaps just to have good companionship for a time
  • To get back into my hobbies (both to-learn like knitting, meh like drawing, and rocktastic like running, and ideally go on a few camping trips, ideally involving mountains
  • To keep learning to cook (which I don't think of exactly as a hobby)
  • To get back into shape
  • If I can afford it, to see Svalbaard, Madagascar, or Nova Scotia
  • To continue to be exposed to new ideas and have some of my own, so I can continue to tend my mental gardens
  • To get health insurance so I can talk with a shrink regarding a few longstanding difficulties, and talk with a doctor regarding a few health concerns
  • To be less bitter. This will probably require my life improve
  • To consume lots of spinach, black-eyed peas, indian food, and med food

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