Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year in Review

2012’s theme was to Dream Big. I can’t say that I did that because everything I’ve done and accomplished were all realistic and planned out.

I launched two new blogs.

Library Hopping in PDX” (with Carly) made me appreciate libraries even more with how much they do for the community, and for me. In fact, because they offered free classes, they helped me with a personal milestone- becoming a citizen! I feel I have more of a voice to shape the world (or, at least this country) for the better. Getting to vote during my first election was truly a thrill.

The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer” has been a great way to share my passion of children’s literature. I’ve gotten to know interesting people through the popular meme “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” (IMWAYR). It’s kind of an incredible feeling to know people out there are actually reading words I write/type. It’s also been hard work and a continuing learning experience to maintain a blog.

In other book-related news, I became a Friends of the Multnomah County Library board member. I’m always going to try and help libraries any way I can. This year in particular, there have been lots to do. I’m glad I was part of making library history by voting it to form its own district. I recently just took on chairing the Membership and Marketing committee so I’m excited for that challenge!

I also participated in World Book Night- in which I rode the streetcars and handed people copies of one of my favorite books, “The Kite Runner.”

I got laid off in May. Working at McKenzie Books and Cash4Books for over 3 years had been wonderful. Lots of people there have become friends. I’m glad I left there on a positive note.

 It’s funny how what may seem like a bad thing at the time is actually a blessing in disguise. One of the best things to come out of getting laid off was getting to spend a wonderful summer of service. My original volunteering goal was 100 for the year and I’m ending at 315 hours! Some of the highlights include participating in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend of Service, being a Volunteer Leader for The Children’s Book Bank, participating in Hands On TeamWorks, being a volunteer for Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading program, and Potluck in the Park’s Christmas Dinner.

I got a job at Green Bean Books. I couldn’t have asked for anything better! I love bookselling. I’m never more in my element than talking about books and finding the right one for a particular reader! I love the other things I get (and have gotten) to do like holding author events, selling books at Wordstock, meeting authors who come in the store, getting to know the customers, and making shelftalkers, mustaches, snow globes, and jack-in-the-boxes. I’ve been inspired to be creative while working there which was one reason I finally finished the Christmas Cards I originally conceived of four years ago!

I moved out from my studio and into a house with four other people. That was quite a change for me but, as I’ve come to realize, the people in my life are just a wonderful and crazy cast of characters who support me and make me happy. A lot of my goals, I couldn’t have done without family and friends supporting me. Without them, things probably wouldn’t be as fun. Some festive moments over this past year included parties, volunteering, my birthday, the holidays, “summer of spark,” and of course Library Hopping.

Once again, I’ve had to say goodbye to people who’ve gone too soon.  It doesn’t get any easier. I still miss them and try to honor them by trying to be nicer and just having an open heart.

With recent horrific events in the news, I hope no one ever has to feel so alone that they'll ever consider doing something drastic to themselves or others. Or, that if they're going through something, I hope they have someone to go to to help them. Maybe if we're a little bit kinder to everyone certain things will be avoided. And that in the face of unbearable sadness we can be there for one another.

In a way, I can relate to feeling like an outsider. For the longest time, I was struggling with who I was, how I fit in, and whether I would be accepted. But I made a huge step in the right direction of living a life that was most authentic to me. It wasn't the end of the world- neither was December 21, apparently! In fact, life got better because it was one less thing I had to worry about.
I don’t know if it’s all this planning ahead but I love this feeling of excitement. I’m so looking forward to 2013. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be TRIUMPHANT!


Eric said...

Glad it was a terrific year, Earl. Very happy to have met you!

Best wishes for 2013!


Andee Zomerman said...

Earl! I didn't know about this blog (and found it from your twitter post). Cool, now I can follow your personal life, too :) And your hours of service are definitely something to be proud of.

Earl said...

Thanks Eric and Andee. It's amazing how many people I've met in 2012 who blog about their volunteer experiences- and all with a different approach to it. Here's to a great 2013 for the whole world!