Tag Archives: sexual orientation

2009 in Review

I think it’s important to take time and reflect on one’s year. Unfortunately, it’s something that I only manage to formally do about once every three years. In any case, below is a survey that I’ve previously filled out in 2006 and 2003.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

I began contributing to a 401k. I know that’s not exciting, but doing so really solidified my identity as an adult.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

In the past, I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions — I try to better myself every day so in some ways what others do at the beginning of the year, I do throughout. However, I do think there is a lot of value in writing down the ways in which one tries to improve. Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post on the things I’ll try to do better in the coming year!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. My maternal grandmother passed away in January 2009. It was an event that rocked my small family to the core and I don’t think we’ve yet fully recovered. (Read Dealing with Death in a Digital Age.)

5. What countries did you visit?

Although I did some travelling, it was all domestic. (2009 took me to Florida, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania and of course back to Massachusetts.)  I am looking forward to getting back to really exploring the world in 2010 – I already have planned trips to the US Virgin Islands as well as Mexico and have a grand European vacation in the works!

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

As of now, I have no idea where I’ll be in 2014. But this year, I think I would like to give more thought to the direction I see my life taking in the next five years. Regardless of whether I choose to carry out my plans, I think having long-term goals is something that I lacked in 2009 and would like to define in 2010.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The obvious one is January 6th, which was the day my grandmother passed away.

I think another day that will remain with me was January 20th — the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. I am fortunate enough to live in DC and was able to “attend” the Inauguration. The feeling of excitement and of hope was palpable and an amazing thing of which to feel a part.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

This is a hard one. I’m not sure if this is my biggest achievement, but I recently took part in Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing University. I participated in 15 webinars and then took an exam on the material that was covered, becoming a certified Inbound Marketing Professional after passing the exam with a score of 100%.

It was very satisfying to seek out a program that allowed me professional development, to feel like I was learning and exercising my brain, and then to pass the exam with a perfect score and have something to show for my work…

9. What was your biggest failure?

Ugh. I joined a gym this past year but was definitely not as diligent about going as I should have been.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No. For that I am thankful.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I bought a computer which was great until the hard drive crashed taking all my pictures for 2008-2009… I also bought a healthy amount of airplane tickets.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I have a friend with whom I became much closer this year and she was someone who was a much needed source of support and encouragement this past year. That certainly merits celebration.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I would never embarrass someone in a public space like this, so I am skipping this question.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Unsurprisingly, the majority went to pay my rent. I would assume most adults answer this way.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My visitors and my travels.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Hmmm… How about “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? sadder. (At the end of 2008, I had a very positive outlook and was genuinely excited for adventures that were in my future. Unfortunately, 2009 was a hard year for me personally, so while I am again optimistic for the things to come in 2010 there is a part of me that is forever changed by this past year.)

ii. thinner or fatter? fatter.

iii. richer or poorer? richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

While I think that I do take advantage of the fact that I live in DC, I would have liked to have explored the city more. This is something I’m recommitting myself to in 2010.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sleeping. Seriously, I could have gotten a lot more done if I had been able to sleep less.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I’m spent Christmas Eve in New York and then took a bus back to Boston on Christmas Day. That evening, I ordered Chinese Food and went to see The Blind Side with my mother.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Yes.

23. How many one-night stands?

None. Never.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Desperate Housewives.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. Hate is a strong word.

26. What was the best book you read?

I have to say that reading Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations helped me wrap my head around the way marketing, communications, and organizing have all changed thanks to the Internet and the emergence of social media.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I can’t get enough of Lady Gaga. Owl City is pretty great, too.

28. What did you want and get?

I had a grand plan of flying back to Boston in August to attend CountryFest featuring Kenny Chesney, an annual tradition with some of my friends in Boston, spend a week on the Cape with my family (another annual tradition) and then fly back to DC in time to  attend a wedding of a college friend. Thankfully, everything worked out and I was able to do all three. 🙂

Also, now that I’m thinking about it. I really wanted/needed to get new glasses. It was a very long process but in the end I came away with a pair that I love.

29. What did you want and not get?

I am extremely grateful to be at a point in my life where I don’t feel like there’s anything material that I am lacking. However, as I mentioned earlier, something that didn’t happen for me this year was finding someone with whom to share my happiness and success. (Read On Being Single.)

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Blind Side? I Love You, Man?

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 24 this past September. I celebrated at a local bar with a big group of friends the weekend prior and then went to dinner with a small group of female friends on the actual day.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I have a job I enjoy, great friends, and a supportive family. I feel fortunate to never be lacking in ways to spend my time but as I’ve mentioned, having someone special in my life would have made my year more satisfying.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Attempting to stay current on recent trends but with an emphasis on comfort. Professional yet fun. And well put together as much of the time as possible.

34. What kept you sane?

My friends. 🙂

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

None. I’ve never been one to “fancy” celebrities. I prefer to spend my time on realistic endeavors.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Marriage Equality. (Read Sexual Orientation Equality: The Civil Rights Fight Of Our Time.)

37. Who did you miss?

My grandmother.

Also, everyone I left behind in Boston.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I’m going to cheat on this one a little bit. I met one of my coworkers in September 2008, but we became very close in 2009 — She is a great mentor, friend, and source of support to me.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Stop when you are at your happiest to take the moment in. It will become what sustains you in the hardest of times.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

In Repair by John Mayer and Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls are two that come to mind.

Sexual Orientation Equality: The Civil Rights Fight Of Our Time

On Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, I saw Milk, a movie describing the life of Harvey Milk who, as member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, became the first openly gay man elected to public office in California and who successfully fought in 1978 to pass a gay rights ordinance for San Francisco as well as to defeat Proposition 6 (also known as the Briggs Initiative), which would have banned homosexuals, and their supporters, from working in California’s public schools. Milk was assasinated less than a year after being elected but due to his significant contributions he has become an icon for gay rights activists.

What struck me about the movie is that thirty years later not much has changed.

The passing of California Proposition 8 last November, which changed the state’s constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marriage, highlights the discrimination and ignorance that still exists surrounding the LGBT community.

The fight for gender, racial, and religious equality was won by previous generations of open-minded thinkers. But the civil rights fight of our time is that for sexual orientation equality.

I was fortunate to grow up in liberal Lexington, Massachuetts (the “birthplace of American Liberty”, no less) where we were taught that how others label themselves is irrelevant, it’s who they are as individuals that matters. (Crazy idea, right?)

My town and its schools have come under fire before because of our acceptance of the LGBT community, most recently in 2005 during an annual Day of Silence and when a parent filed a federal civil rights lawsuit after his son brought home a book depicting same-sex couples.

These two events prompted the “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, headed by Fred Phelps, to stage anti-gay protests at five Lexington churches and at Lexington High School’s Class of 2005 graduation.

Unfortunately, the church is planning once again to protest Lexington because of its strong support for LBGT indviduals.

But this time, I feel like there’s something I can do to show that there’s no place for this type of intolerance in my hometown – and in my country.

Driving Equality is hosting a Phelps-A-Thon to counter Fred Phelps’ hateful message. For every minute the “God Hates Fags” clan is protesting, Driving Equality will be collecting donations for Lexington High School’s Gay Straight Alliance. Pledges can be made in any amount (even $0.25!) for every minute of the group’s demonstration or at a flat rate for the entire time.

During the protest, Driving Equality will display a sign in front of the “God Hates Fags” clan tallying how much money is being raised for LGBT equality. After the event, the church will be sent a Thank You card for their help in raising the funds.

This is an opportunity to turn something so negative and hateful into something positive. I hope that you will help me spread the message and will consider joining me in donating to the Lexington High School Phelps-A-Thon to show solidarity with the LGBT community at Lexington High School – and worldwide.

(More information on the Lexington High School Phelps-A-Thon can be found here and pledges can be made here.)

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