A new year, a new lesson to learn.

I don’t know what it is about the change from one year to the next that lends itself to navel-gazing, but here I sit, in a pensive state, pondering what I’ve accomplished, what I haven’t accomplished, and what opportunities the year ahead will afford me.

I’m turning 31 in a month. Yep, 2009 marks my 31st year on the planet. I’m officially older than Jay Gatsby was when he died and still a couple away from beating out Jesus. I have a steady job, a good job, in a field that I love. I live in a city that challenges me on a daily basis. I’m infinitely more secure in myself and in a healthier place than I was 12 months ago. I’ve come a long way from that woman mired in darkness and despair, though perhaps not quite far enough.

Last year was the year I discovered Facebook, and thus discovered all the good parts of my past that I nearly tossed out with the parts I don’t like to remember. I’ve reconnected with so many old acquaintances from elementary school all the way to college, from the Indian community to a place where I’ll always come “full Circle.” And I’ve been able to reconcile the awkward, spastic girl I was during most of those times with the person I’ve become.

I experienced some of my most trying professional times last year, as well as some of my biggest professional highs. I worked my ass off through it all, and that’s sometime I can be proud of.

2008 was also the year where I moved back to Queens, accepting that sometimes practicality really does outweigh the glamour of living in Manhattan.

Each year that goes by, I grow more comfortable in my own skin, I carve out another little niche for myself and my life, and I learn something.

So what am I going to learn in 2009? I don’t know. To trust? To love? To make guacamole from scratch?

I’ve got 12 months to find out.

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