As 2013 comes to an end, I’ve found myself in Indonesia again. With Granddad turning 86 and deciding to take an extended 2 month trip, it seemed like an important time to go and events in my own life lined up well — no finals, no school until January 13th, and no particular attachments in Bloomington. I’m spending 10 days with family, then off to Bali for 5 days, the beach for 4 days, 2 more days in Bogor, and then back to America. As in 1990 and 2007, I will leave on January 8th, 2014, which is apparently my Indonesian expiration date.
The opportunity to explore Bogor and just unplug from my normal life has given me time for reflection and pause on what has been an eventful and fantastic year. I summarized much of the first half of the year earlier, but since then I’ve been moving swiftly.
In July, I returned to DC to give a talk at the International Association for Computing and Philosophy, came back to Indy to give a poster at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, and then left for a 2 week vacation in the Bay. The vacation was amazing: I saw The Postal Service reunion, went on a road trip down California 1, checked out a music festival in Santa Cruz, then headed to Outside Lands in SF. When I got back, I ran off to Illinois to give a presentation and then moved down the hall to a new 2-bedroom apartment with a loft and 2-story ceilings. September and October were a blur of shows, homework, and settling into my new place.
Perhaps November is the most emblematic of all the ways I’ve grown: I ran my first half-marathon (2:03!), organized my first retreat, hosted Friendsgiving, played with The 123s at The Bishop, gave presentations for all my classes, and hosted Mom’s Thanksgiving. None of these things would’ve been possible at the start of the year.
For the first time in years, I feel caught up on life and comfortable in my own skin. While I still get overwhelmed, I’m starting to recognize that it’s going to work out. 2013 was a rediscovery of my values, and it feels like 2014 was the destination. I can’t wait to see what’s next.