Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 1: What Am I Thankful For?

Okay. I am currently swamped in finals work (three papers, three finals in the span of one week – God help me) but this is something I’ve wanted to do this year. Starting today, and lasting until Christmas, I want to write one post a day about something that I feel Christmas is all about. I know I haven’t been the best at keeping schedules (Tower of God Chapter 2 is coming soon!), but hopefully this will be able to buck the trend.

So, for today – December 12, 2012 (12/12/12!), I’d like to start with the most fundamental reason why we celebrate Christmas: looking back on this year, celebrating how far we’ve come, and looking to the future as well.

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Where was I 353 days ago, on January 1st? It was winter break, I was indulging the sunny Southern California weather, and my life was going nowhere.  I weighed approximately 220 pounds; my family was worrying about diabetes; my grades were down the toilet; I had no friends because 1) I had been a jackass to them or 2) I simply didn’t want them.

Now, at the end of the year, I take a look back and – at the risk of sounding pompous – I marvel at how far I’ve come, and yet, how far I’ve still to go.

I weighed myself yesterday. 195, the scale said. For the past couple of months, I’ve completely revamped my eating habits – no midnight pizza, cut down on the Chipotle, no more carb binge-fests – and have started working out regularly, making an honest effort to hit the gym at least once a day (sometimes more, if I felt up to it).

I’ve lost 25 pounds in five months. It’s a respectable drop – but 195 is still far, far away from where I want to be. I want to look down and see a flat stomach. I want to look at myself in the mirror and see my face not clouded by a double chin.

I threw out most of my clothes and bought new ones; partially because they were getting too big, but also because I didn’t like wearing them anymore. Fashion sense was something I’ve always lacked – my old friends will verify that fact – but I’ve been putting in effort to dress better, neater, and fitter.

Unfortunately, if there’s a downside to this transformation it’s that my wallet has taken quite the beating.

Relationship-wise, I think I can say that I’ve managed to re-kindle old relationships (of a totally platonic nature) and gained several new ones. Although I still have yet to find the one – the mythical other half – I’m confident that she exists somewhere, and that’s more than I can say for myself at the same time last year, when I seriously considered living my life as a recluse because I simply didn’t enjoy talking to people.

School. Ah, school. If the fact that I’m writing this when I should be studying is any evidence, I still have a long way to go before I really do wake up to the fact that I’ve become a far cry from my 4.0 GPA middle school days.

But I’d like to think that I’m making progress. I’ve submitted my application for the School of Journalism – journalism being the profession that I’ve always harbored a liking towards, and communications being the career that I’ve always visualized myself in.

And if and when I get in, I am confident – unfounded, perhaps, but still, confident – that I’ll start to do better. But once again, studying is my Achilles heel, schoolwork my kryptonite. I have no excuse on this front.

But, on the whole, I’m thankful for the changes that have taken place in my life. Have I become a better, wiser, older person? I think so. New friends acquired, old friends re-acquired, weight un-acquired, and decent grades not-acquired.

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