... or better yet, brunch! Either way, I've just returned from a whirlwind trip back to Cincinnati for Christmas, where my greatest gift was spending time and catching up with family and friends who now live far, far away. Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder, or in my case, it makes me realize the importance of my roots. Remembering where I came from was a theme that resonated throughout my 7-day trip to the Queen City, after having been gone a year - the longest absence I can remember in my life. Fortunately, the city of Cincinnati changes more slowly and more stubbornly than any of my human friends and family, so it's not too hard to figure out what I've missed and what's sprung up since I saw it last. I'm grateful for that much.
I was once accused of having the personality of a chameleon, a revelation which didn't offend me so much as it made me realize that I love to communicate with people, many different kinds of people. I like it so much in fact that I challenge myself when making new friends by associating their names with their incredibly rich stories, and I inevitably find something about them that amazes me. It's not hard to remember the stories of my Cincinnati friends though - their stories are my stories, since I spent much of the last decade creating my own history. It's absolutely SURREAL to me that I'm about to begin a new decade, with a new group of friends, and a new job, in a new and wonderful city. I mean, 2010? Where did that come from? I didn't see it coming at all. You'd think since I'm good at basic math, I'd have noticed that it was 2009 and been a little more prepared. But I'm not, not really.
In truth, most good people amaze me. And since nearly everyone I want to spend time with is a good person, most of the people I know amaze me. So by now you're thinking, "but wouldn't this mean that you walk around dazed all the time?" and the answer is YES, I do! Which is why I have to concentrate extra hard to get things done, and when driving. :o)
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing people I saw in the last week; first, my entire family, including all of my aunts and uncles, my young cousins (all taller than me now, the buggers), my great aunt, my step-family, and my parents. And then my friends, who put up with me trying to see as many of them as I could and didn't mind my crazy schedule; Adam, Ryan, Clair, Aaron, Suzi, Ciara, Chip, Loraine, Lauren, Amanda, Patricia, Laura, Chris, Dan, Ron, Forest, Zak, a new friend named Josh, and Liz, who got food poisoning but still managed to come and see me for 5 minutes. Last but not least, my best friends, Katie and Caroline, who still enjoy kidnapping me whenever possible (and which they did this last week). I do miss seeing my other friends - including Scott, David, Steve, Abby, Andy, Gretchen, Miguel, Kendra, Erin, Jason, Ian, Gerad, Dana, seriously, there's too many to call out - but I know they are all out there, scattered, and doing good things, and generally being awesome. But I look forward to making new friends here in Portland, which is also full of generally awesome people, so that's exciting too.
So I dedicate this, my last post of the year, to all of my friends, both old and new. Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, and here's to hoping that 2010 is better than 2009. Because 2009 really sucked, right? Sheesh....