2002 was a trying year for myself, our country, and our world. After so many years of relative peace, stability, and success we entered the year on a discord—still reeling from the September 11, 2001, attacks and beginning to feel the strains of the economic downturn. Likewise, I entered the year with a number of discords to myself—unhappy in my work at Plexus and haunted by the romantic frustrations of my past despite having been with Melissa over a month.

But every year has its problems. Some get solved, some get more problematic, and some new ones always arrive. What strikes me, however, as the feeling of the year is a feeling that is expressed in what has become my new theme song—”What Goes Around.” I wrote it several months ago as a poke to some of the people from my past—Tabatha, Sheena, Amanda, etc.—who lied to and mistreated me so I could find a way to say “ha! I came out alright anyway.” I think I was successful.

But what I’ve discovered is that my autobiographical anthem applies to so much more than my now-pleasantly stable love life. This feeling of cosmic justice—that with time bad people have bad things happen to them, and good people find happiness—has presented itself nearly constantly throughout the year. From the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to a plethora of events in my personal life, I’ve found that this pattern always seems to hold true in the long-term.

Aside from finally seeing some evidence of a system of cosmic justice, I’ve also learned quite a bit about who I am and who everybody else is. Internally, I’ve been able to do a lot of soul searching, writing, thinking, and planning and I think I’ve made great strides in my artistic methods of expression. That much is evident on this website through my writing prose and poetry, my discussions about my music, how much I’ve learned on the bass and acoustic guitars, etc. While I’m certainly not the best writer, and more surely not the greatest musician, these great leaps of improvement have helped to give me confidence in my work and motivation to keep doing it.

Externally, I made a decision early in the year that having a job I liked was more important than having tons of cash, and soon thereafter I made a change from my highly-paid position at Plexus Scientific to my significantly less stressful position at IFIC. As far as my relationships with people, I realized finally how hopeless it was to try and hold on to friendships that are damaging or one-sided and have since ended quite a few of them.

The gist of everything I’m saying is that I’ve grown up a lot this year. Financially, romantically, religiously, interpersonally, and artistically I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I was just one short year ago. It hasn’t always been easy, in fact it’s sometimes been deathly difficult, but here I am—still standing, mostly happy, and always trying to improve. That’s what life is about, right—becoming better people.

So I’ve picked up some new things, dropped some old ones, and come out better and stronger than I was before. So no matter how discordant it may have been at the beginning, or how difficult it might have been in the mean time, 2002 was a pretty good year. I have no doubt that despite impending war, personal conflict, and those constant waves of unclear human emotion 2003 won’t be half bad either. God bless, and enjoy. Happy new year!