Looking Back

2014 is coming to an end, and that means two things for me, and probably for most people. One thing is looking back on the year, observing what happened, how you changed, and I guess assessing how good a year it was for you. The other is looking forward in anticipation of what this coming year will bring, and what mistakes you made this year that you can try to avoid making next year. I know it’s not New Years yet, but that’s only three days away, so this is my New Years post, and probably the last post of the year. So here’s to 2014, and looking forward to 2015.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how 2014 started out. By that I mean that January is kind of a blur. I can say a few things about how it started though. I can hardly believe that that was less than a year ago. A year feels like so little time, but I look back and it feels like an age ago. It was my second semester of junior year, and also when I started writing these blogs. So with those two things in mind, I guess it actually started out pretty sucky. But there were some good things going. I had a few friends who were mega helpful in my struggles. There was the whole ‘Merica Day scandal that was a bigger issue than it needed to be, though at the same time just showed me the flavor of the school system. I remember Mr. Clarke teaching us some really cool things in AP Lang. I got a tutor for AP Calculus AB & BC. I was a part of Seussical for about 60% of the show, the other time I had to sit out because of stupid Calculus grades. I remember having some really bad issues with certain people and certain things, which you can see for yourselves in my earlier posts from March I think. I wrote about having depression, stereotypes, school, anything that bugged me or I felt needed to be said. I remember taking the ACT, which I ended up getting a 33 on without any practice tests or really any preparation. I remember telling my mom that I didn’t feel the need to take practice tests because I took tests pretty well, and I never found the ACT style testing very difficult. I remember the AP tests and getting results that I did NOT expect at all. I remember going to Dare2Share which was pretty awesome, except for having to walk around in the snow in my shorts and t-shirt. It wasn’t that bad of a start to the year, but it was still part of what I would call my “dark times.” I remember all my foreign friends who had to go back to their home countries, the grad parties (some of which I probably shouldn’t have gone to because I really didn’t know the person that well), the final play, “Almost, Maine,” I spent a few hours with a friend one day who’d just moved to town. I did a lot of prep work for my mission to Mexico like yard work and yard sales and such. I killed a snake with a garden hoe! I went on a vacation to California which was pretty cool, but also had some rough spots. Check out my post “Alien” to read about that. And after that trip is was practically time to go to Mexico. Ultimately, I think this was THE highlight from 2014. It, for me, marked the end of my “dark times” and started me on a better path. You can read my Mexico post for more info, but here’s some more.

First of all, I love planes, airports, and bus rides. There was all of that. I love my friends, and I love God, and it was 6-7 days of nothing but that. And to be honest, I love tacos, and they had the best tacos I’ve ever had. That trip was fun, I got to help people, I got to see new parts of the world, I got pooped on by a seagull, I grew as a person, and I came closer to God, and that all combined to be the greatest part of 2014 to me. I came back from that trip happier and more accepting of myself and others. I was looking forward rather than backward. So after that trip, I went to Colorado Springs for the fourth of July. I don’t remember much else of the summer. At some point, maybe back in June, but there was a youth group “Color Wars” which is basically just hurling colored chalk at each other, but in a safe, friendly, fun way. It was sometime around mid July that a few of us who went to Mexico started the Truth Project on Friday nights. It’s a 13 part video series about defending your faith, and it was a good series. Plus we got to grow closer as a group. That was a really cool experience, and there were some nights where just NOTHING got done. When you combine a bunch of young people (yes, you leaders are still pretty young too), Friday night, 7-11pm, some sugar, and exhaustion you get weirdness and hilarity. But still! we learned a lot and had a great time while doing it. Senior year started, I got a lot of personal issues worked out, my school work load was the least stressful it’s been in probably my entire high school career, and I got to jump right into theater. Plus just the prospect of senior year had me really excited and confident in myself. I got to be the Assistant Stage Manager for the first show, my classes were all easy or fun or interesting, and I had friends I liked. I got to be a little excited about looking at colleges and filling out the applications and such. My english teacher was also my newspaper teacher, and she is the bee’s knees. I went to J-Day with the newspaper and learned about journalism writing which is much different than the writing I’m used to. I hosted a cast party that was a pretty big success I think, especially considering a few hours notice, maybe a day. Someone who shall remain nameless set off a car alarm though, causing everyone who was playing Hide and Seek to book it somewhere else before the poor man in the house came out to stop it. I’m pretty sure that an animal got out too because someone was walking around the streets calling something that sounded like a cat/dog name. IHOP and strike and Alley Cat were also pretty fun for the show. It was also the first time my sister did theater. I went on a college preview to CCU. I wrote about that in “Follow My Heart? Which Direction Though?” This most recent show, “The Curious Savage,” I actually got to be valuable in set crew. Or more valuable since I can now use power saws. I went to Utah and had the best time ever, which lead me to choose the college out there called Weber State. The whole trip is detailed in “There and Back Again” if you want to read about why I chose Utah. Pretty amazing. The next cast party was pretty cool. I went to a Christmas party at a different youth group for the college kids, which reminds me, the Truth Project group got invited to go to the college group even though we’re not in college yet. So I went to this Christmas party, and then left for the cast party, since I had to skip the show for the Christmas party. It was more mellow, and I beat this girl at the original N64 Super Smash Bros. even though I hadn’t played it in years. She prided herself as being the best, and then I beat her and she got a little slice of humble pie. We ended up staying at the house until almost midnight, which was odd considering most of the time they die out at 11 or earlier.

Finals wasn’t that bad. I ended up with all A’s and a B which may be turned into an A, but I’ll have to wait and see. I went and saw The Hobbit which was totally epic and incredible. Read about it in “All Good Things.” I completely forgot about it, but I don’t know how I could. I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and fell in love with it. It’s one of the best shows ever. I wrote about it quite a lot. Most of the writing about it is found in my posts “To the Brim,” “To the Brim Part 2,” “End of an Era,” and maybe one or two others. Those posts were not very popular though. It turns out not everybody likes Buffy which makes me sad and I want everyone to watch it so I can talk to them about it. I ended up crying many times, laughing many times, the show was incredible. So anyways, the end of the year was pretty good to me. Christmas wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t my dream Christmas, but it was fun still. There isn’t anything else I can really say about 2014. Go back and read my blogs. I know there’s 45 of them, this one is 46, but still, if you really want to know what my 2014 was like, you can find out in my other posts. A bit of news though is that I’m writing this because I’ve hit 1000 views total on my blog, from 515 different people which is pretty insane for me to think about. 500 different people have read what I have to say about something, many of which came back for more. That’s encouraging to me. I still have about a month until this blog is a year old, but still, 1000 is a big milestone. I average 20+ viewers per post. I consider that a success, so thank you to all of you who’ve read it faithfully, and thanks to anyone who read it only once. I’m blessed that I have the opportunity to write what I want when I want, and people will read it and support it. So it’s a great way to end the year, and there’s still 3 more days of 2014. Naturally a lot more happened, but I think everything I’ve mentioned and everything in my prior posts addresses the largest and most important things that happened this year.

Now here’s to 2015! I can already tell that it’s going to be a really big year. I’m going to graduate, and I’m going to move to Utah, and I’m going to have to say goodbye to all my friends. I’m going to have to take my last AP exams, say farewell to my theater family. I’m going to co-lead the spring musical Shrek. I’m going to turn 18, which means I’m an official adult. I can buy cigarettes, I can vote, I can legally live on my own. It’s gonna be crazy. Next year is going to be a year of endings, and a year of new beginnings, and I am very excited for it. I can’t wait to experience 2015. Bring it on!

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One thought on “Looking Back

  1. Hey Jacob, I wish you all the best in 2015 and good luck with everything! Enjoy the last semester of high school 🙂

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