What a dumb year. Grumpy Cat, YOLO, Kony, awful music bringing about the certain end of entertainment, elections, too many crimes of violence...it genuinely was a strange year. That word alone obviously does no justice to the wild ride that 2012 has been. The world didn't end, which means we all have to deal with being humans for a little while longer before you know, the robots or whatever take over.
Also Kim Kardashian has a baby growing inside of her? Let me check. Yep, no one still cares.
Personally, I can't recall any one of my 24 years being as ridiculous as this one. I'm quite certain I made enough dumb decisions in 2012 to make up for being a rather well-behaved kid growing up. I guess I just wanted to catch up for all the chaos I missed. On top of that, monumental once-in-a-lifetime events occurred, which I'll get to in a minute. Despite all the tomfoolery, several good risks were taken. I fell short some times and succeeded other times. The turbulence of 2012 will never be forgotten and for this reason I would like to take a look at the past 365 days and cherish the moments where I was pretty stupid and others where I was utterly blessed.
Let's get to it!
Yep, that's my sister and I Tebowing after graduating from college earlier this year. I also managed to Tebow on stage shortly after I shook all the hands of the higher-ups. I've still yet to see that photo, but I suspect that it will turn up later in my life as incriminating evidence to prevent me from being more awesome than I currently am. LIKE THAT WILL HAPPEN.
I'm only going to look at this year in halves, not fourths or sixteenths or any other dumb numbers. That's because this year was split right down the middle - I spent half of it in at school in Texas and home in California and the other half in a cold corner of the country. These environments are the complete antithesis of each other, in more than one way.
Let me make this clear. I made most of my worst decisions of 2012 in the first half of the year. That may be shocking to those of you who know me now, but that tells you how much of a crazy person I am. I began this year looking back on a traumatic 2011 that was riddled with awful relationship issues, a suicide attempt, and a subsequent diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder which resulted in the first medication I've ever had to take in my short life. Because of this, I looked at the impending final semester of my undergraduate college career in January and decided to stay the heck away from relationships because they burned me too much the prior year and I was graduating anyways, so what was the point? I wanted to focus on academics.
In short, that didn't happen. I proceeded to make the worst relationship decisions ever, prompting more trouble than I've ever been in when it comes to girls. Now I know that's vague, but it's not particularly a period of time I'm proud of. It's still hard for me to talk about it and even harder to come out here on the internet and mention it to the world, but I'm all about honesty and introspection these days. Let's just say I broke some hearts, used some people, was used by people and had my heart broken - and leave it at that.
Of course, on top of that - I graduated, which I guess is a big deal. It took me six long years (including five semesters as a freshman and being wholly unaware of this fact at the time), a transfer, and a change of majors, but somehow I managed to do it. I never got the best grades in high school but I pulled a few 3.8's and a 4.0 at ACU. Let's be clear: college is hard. Take the academics out of the picture and it's still rough. It's a turbulent time that can often be unforgiving. But it is also wildly rewarding and you really learn a lot about yourself.
In addition to this, I literally did not know where I was going after college until the week before finals. As a history major not pursuing further education, I created approximately zero options for myself in the post-grad job world. After contemplating moving to Fort Worth with some of my best college friends, pondering on an education in audio engineering in places like Chicago and Nashville, and thinking of rotting away in the black hole that is Abilene, I decided to throw a curve ball and attempt to swing at it as well by moving to a place where I knew two people, had no job prospects, and no place to live.
Kids, don't do this. First of all, don't wait until the week before you graduate college to choose where you're going. Everyone will think you're insane. Of course in my case this was already a predetermined fact, but whatever. Do yourself a favor and be less unpredictable than me unless that's your style.
To put the highlights of the first half of the year in list form, I imagine it would look something like this:
- Getting to do a lot in the way or recording and writing my own music
- Trolling pretty much everyone on ACU's campus (ask for stories, they were swell times)
- Joining a social club of some of the best guys I've ever known - after years of resisting
- And of course, graduating with most of my friends and my sister and brother-in-law
Spring and early summer were silly times, but I must say they were nowhere near to the second half of 2012 in terms of general chaos and adventure. Lets take a look, shall we?
Many of you know the story of my improbable decision to relocate to the PNW so I won't retell it, but from June 6th of this year until now, I've spent my time as a genuinely clueless person and loving every second of it.
Naturally, people don't make these kinds of decisions expecting a lack of backlash. To be blunt, I've had my fair share of it. I've been on several awkward dates, had around 10 job interviews (and 2 different jobs), switched churches 4 times, moved into a new place 4 times, had another suicide scare, endured the most frantic and hectic holiday season ever, and put my solo music project on an indefinite hiatus. Not quite sure how I'm still standing, although I have the feeling that someone bigger than me is watching out for me.
All that madness couldn't pull me down. I wouldn't be Jordan David Smith if it did - the roguish paragon of virility oft emulated but never equaled. Ponder on that. To bury the sad thoughts conjured by the previous paragraph, I'd like to point out the highlights in the same manner I did with the first half of the year:
- Making some awesome and truly ridiculous friends
- Finally being part of an awesome band
- Being a nanny (still wondering how that happened)
- Watching the Bengals go the playoffs for the second straight year
- Completely owning everyone to snag a fantasy football championship
- Just being in Seattle!
The move up here is something I will never regret. In fact, after spending a brief amount of time in San Diego for the holidays - where the high was usually in the 60s and the sun was out everyday - I still missed the PNW. Isn't that weird? Honestly, I blame science.
The brevity of this reflection doesn't come close to the story of my 2012. In fact, I've contemplated writing a book about it but I quickly learned that the story is still being written and I'm not far enough removed from the chaos to know where to start, let alone end. While the first half of the year was filled with several bad choices, a world-shaking decision and a monumental milestone being reached, the second half contained long stretches of discomfort and uncertainty, wonderful adventures, and a sense of trust in God that I didn't think I would ever have.
If there is any chance that 2013 is like this past year...well let's just say I'm not so sure I'll make it to 40.
Ok, that was my last bad joke of the year.
UPDATES & SUCH
Well, I haven't done this in a while, have I? Consequently, some things have shifted around.
I finished reading The Hobbit in time for the film (which was awesome, by the way) and started Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian after thoroughly enjoying The Road earlier in the year. I quickly figured out that I don't really like books set in the old west and now have a choice between starting The Art of Racing In The Rain, The Snow Child, or The Bell Jar. Check them out here and here and here.
I've pretty much only been listening to my favorite music of 2012, metal and non-metal, with some random Metallica thrown in there.
Lastly, I'm excited for the fact that my team (the Bengals) and my family's team (the Redskins) both made the playoffs. Prreeeettyyy sure that hasn't happened in my lifetime. Also, a new year begins tomorrow. DUH.
I suppose that about covers it.