2008: Time To Grow Up

If I had to sum up 2008 in one word, it would be “woah.” If you could give me an extra word, though, it would be “growing up.” In my personal life (and in some ways the world around me) this year has been about growing up.

2008 was the year I finally had to come to grips with the fact that not everyone I meet or spend time with will like me. And even when I’ve apologized as much as I can (or even farther), other people may still decide not to forgive me (despite what they say to my face). And in the end, what I’m responsible for is forgiving them; anything past that is in God’s hands.

2008 was when I was hit in the face with the fact that the best laid plans of mice and men will quickly come to ruin, especially if God has anything to say about it. Case in point: this time last year I was hoping to get a web development job in Greenville. Between February and April, I shifted focus and ended up taking a .NET programming job in Charleston after being offered my ideal position in Greenville. Crazy, huh?

2008 was when we as a nation finally realized that placing most of our investments in funds and bonds that were so complicated even the best economists didn’t know exactly how they worked was a bad idea. Those funds? They were backed by shaky mortgages. Maybe easy access to credit isn’t such a great idea after all…

2008 was also when we as a nation took another giant step forward in moving past racism. It already says something when people in my generation have to be reminded that racism exists. I know that it is far from eradicated–and this election doesn’t change that–but as a symbolic gesture, the fact that we have elected a president whose skin tone is different from the majority of the population says that it is far less of a stumbling block than it once was.

2008 was when I realized that maybe I had skills other people might want. I thought it would be much more of a struggle than it was to find a job. Yes, I interviewed several places that said I wasn’t experienced enough, but I still received more than one job offer. I still ended up talking to organizations that I never thought would consider me.

And that spilled over into other areas too. See, 2008 was the year I finally got tired of being the odd-numbered wheel. But since I wasn’t willing to try my luck with anyone around me, I signed up for an online dating service. And said so on facebook. And was promptly chewed out by someone I was kinda interested in. See, there were people around me that I was afraid to notice. But when I finally decided to allow myself to think in that direction…

2008 will always be the year I graduated. The year I got my first job. Moved out. Finished my CD. But I will always remember this year as the year I fell in love.

Maybe growing up isn’t so bad after all…

Evan Hildreth @oddevan