Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fare Thee Well, 2008!

Well, 2008, it looks like your time is drawing to a close. I felt some trepidation when you first arrived (only natural, considering how utterly and unspeakably DREADFUL 2007 was), but you shot far above my low expectations of you. In fact, I consider you to be the best year so far out of the twenty-four I've had. 2008, I am really going to miss you.

Let's recap just a few of the great things that happened, both to me and to others, in 2008:

~I came to Korea! Yes, that definitely had to come first on the list, since it was the smartest decision I have ever made.

~The USA took a very big step in the fight against racism (one of the things that I hate most in the world). I may not agree with many of Obama's views and ideas (no, I didn't support McCain either), but I am really glad that he won. If he accomplishes nothing in his four years, they will still be successful because of the turning point in American history that they represent. I don't think for one moment that we'll ever be free of racism, but at least we can make it less prevalent.

~My best friend Steph got a job that will allow her to pursue her dream of missions work and will place her close to the country (Mexico) that God has put in her heart. I'll miss her mightily, but I couldn't be happier for her.

~Jasper came into my life. He's crazy and certainly one-of-a-kind, and he's made this dog lover very, very happy.

~I finally fulfilled my dream of visiting the Philippines, and was able to see firsthand several of the places to which I have dedicated years of study.

~I learned that I'm good at teaching - I had always thought I would make a lousy teacher.

2008, you served the annals of time well, and earned your future place in the history books of tomorrow. All that is left now, in these remaining 30 minutes, is to bid you a fond adieu, and to drink a toast, both in honor of you, and in dedication of your replacement, 2009. I only hope that 2009 can live up to the excellent standard set by you. I also hope that 2009 will be a bit kinder to the economies of the world, which was your great short-coming.

Farewell, 2008! Welcome, 2009!

Happy New Year, everyone!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"