Today is Orthodox Christmas in Lithuania (and, I suppose, in all of the other places where there are lots of Eastern Orthodox people). I totally forgot about it until I saw an old friend from the dorm at the University and she wished me a “bright christmas” (not merry, mind you). Then I forgot again until I was standing at the light at the Cathedral waiting to go onto Gedemino and Santa grabbed my elbow, scaring the shit out of me, and ruining any chance of me being able to talk to him in Lithuanian. He was a chatty Santa, too, but the young man next to me saved me by striking up a conversation about (I think) where Santa lives in his off time?
I have spent the last few days hiding in my room evaluating the past year and trying to come up with some goals for the coming year. Other than the ever-present get healthy, eat better, lose weight ones. Because they are perpetually on the list, so pretending that the new year is going to make me strike out anew in search of those elusive goals is pretty silly. (I have been doing the Shred, though, and I can say with all seriousness that Jillian Michaels is a tough bitch.) So! I have been working on different goals, and I am pretty hopeful that I can achieve these ones, or at least make some headway:
1. Learn Russian to the point that it’s not totally embarrassing to try to talk to people. Be able to talk about things with native speakers without looking like a total jackass.
2. Work on my French, because it has been ten years (oh, god) since I have studied it and I am still better at it than Russian. Goddamn language crystallisation!
3. Visit Paris, St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kraków. Why those cities? Well, I have always wanted to see Paris, Kraków is a place that I feel that I have to see, and seeing it has been a lifetime goal, and the Russian cities because it is really fun to be able to relate to what you are studying.
4. Graduate from ISU. That English degree is in the BAG provided that all my credits from here actually transfer. Think of the career prospects that await me when I achieve this goal!
5. Pay off all my debts besides my student loans, because graduate school will let me put those off for a few more years.
6. Read books FOR FUN, even when school is in session.
That’s it. I think that will make for a year that is much more interesting than the ones that have come before.
Oh, is NOT going to your ten year high school reunion considered a goal? Because if it is, I will put that one on the list as pretty much done already even though it doesn’t take place until July right around the time that I come home from Vilnius. I was so hoping that it would take place while I was in Vilnius, but alas, my convenient excuse is not going to be effective. So, I will do what I have done with the entire high school experience since I last made a fool of myself walking across the stage to get my diploma, and pretend like it’s not happening.
2009 in Retrospect
This is hard, because leaving Idaho to come to Lithuania in August is such a break with the life that I knew before that it feels like the rest of 2009 just didn’t happen. I have scattered memories, classes, drunken shenanigans, walking the dog, but I can’t really put my finger on any of them.
2009 is the year I left my home and survived. That’s it. Okay, that’s not it, but I will have to think a little more about 2009 before I can post on it without just barfing a bunch of disconnected memories out onto the page.
(damn wordpress grammar checker keeps telling me my expressions are too complex. DO NOT try and reduce my “achieve” to “do” or “make”. I am an English major, dammit, complex expressions are what I DO!)