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2009 [Reasons to Celebrate]

Posted on December 28th, 2009

In what is becoming a bit of a tradition, the end of December marks a time when I would sit down and reflect on the year that was. Last year, it was a year of firsts: my first year out of school and, consequently, my first year of having a full-time job. It was also the first year that I was going to spend in New York with no definite end in sight. Suffice it to say, then, that it was an exciting year with a lot of promise for this one.

At the beginning of this year, I set out some goals for what I wanted to accomplish: there were professional, physical, intellectual, and social aspirations. How did I do? To be honest, pretty terribly. While I think that I have done quite well in my career at Bloomberg over the past year, my dedication to the gym/diet has been inconsistent (with a full three or four months of inactivity), the CFA never happened (for work-related reasons), I haven’t been cooking as much as I would have liked, and I still feel that friends back in Canada have been given less attention than they are due. But there are some gems in 2009 that I feel compelled to share and archive:

1. Work has been quite amazing this year. I feel that I have significantly increased my exposure at Bloomberg and have been working on really cool and important products. This year has been one of transition for my team, as we have been hiring aggressively and have been adjusting to a new management style, and I have been able to get involved in projects and with people beyond the realtime space, which is my current area of expertise. The highlight was delivering our flagship realtime product to the BlackBerry and iPhone platforms, which was a huge win for the team and our clients.

2. I found an amazing church. I have written about Forefront before, but much has changed since that original experience. The first thing was getting involved with a small group, which was a big step in getting connected and developing a commitment to the church. Then it was deciding to lead a small group. Then it was deciding to help out with the worship team. I haven’t feel this plugged into a church since the days of insanity at The Embassy, where I somehow had my hand in a lot of what the church was doing. Volunteering has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I cannot wait to get more involved with this great community.

3. Part of the reason that I am so keen on getting more involved with Forefront is because of some of the people that I have met there. The small group in the spring/summer grew together quite quickly and a bunch of great friendships were borne from it. There was this cool balance of people there, with the right mix of humour, sarcasm, vulnerability, boys, girls, shyness, craziness, Canadians, and so on. From small group, I got plugged into the community group (which is a gathering of several small groups). It’s kind of like a church away from church. In this larger group, I met even more wonderful, genuine, talented, and passionate people.

But this year wasn’t just about meeting new people; despite earlier claims of leaving my friends in Canada high and dry, I think that I have been doing better than before. I have certainly maintained my friendships, and have managed to reconnect with some old friends from whom I have not heard in many years. (Clearly if they haven’t deleted me on Facebook yet, that means I’m doing something right, right?) I feel really blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people from both far and away, and I really hope that I can be a better friend. Even for those from whom I have not heard in a while, I am assured that it is still not too late. (Encouraging everyone to get on Google Talk is step number one!)

4. Love was everywhere! I went to a handful of weddings this year where friends of mine were getting married to other friends of mine, and there were other still that I couldn’t attend; indeed, a group of FOURTEEN of my friends got married to each other!! It was such a joy to have been a part of the weddings (and apologies to Laura/Phil and Ashley/Chris for missing out!) and I wish all of you the happiest of days ahead.

5. I did lose someone special: my grandma. But even though it was a loss for me, she has been freed from her broken body and is hopefully in a better place now.

6. At long last, I have moved into my own apartment! This is a big step in my life and has opened up all sorts of doors in my life. (I had some excellent roommates but, let’s face it, I can’t have roommates forever.) As I continue to fill the apartment with things that make it more homely, I am very much looking forward to taking advantage of the new freedoms that having my own place affords me. Especially the delicious kitchen.

So, given all of this (and there is much more that I haven’t said), I think it stands to reason that 2009 was a very good year for me! Probably one of my best, actually. Perhaps the icing on the cake is that there is so much to which I can look forward in 2010; I wait with bated breath for what’s in store.

As the year winds down, I hope that all of you have had many fond memories of the year that it was. Of course, all the best to an even better 2010!

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