I’ve been reading a LOT of friends’ updates on Twitter and Facebook grousing about 2009 and looking forward to its passing. Perhaps even more have done the same for the decade in general (although you guys DO get that the decade really ends next year, right?).

I’m one of those people who believes life is what you make of it. The first half of the Oughts didn’t rock for me compared to the 1990s, but it had nothing to do with external forces — it was all because of personal decisions I made and was forced to deal with. The latter half, meanwhile, sucked way less and it’s because I took active control of my life. I put out awesome, and got awesome back. Go figure.

Of course, external forces are inescapable for a lot of people. The economy took a dump. People lost their jobs — good friends, especially. People lost their homes. Family members and loved ones die. These are all pretty good reasons to call out a year or decade or century or whatever for sucking.

But we have to remember that some of that stuff is — and forgive my bluntness, but this is me here — our own damn fault. Economic crisis? We made that, my friends, we bought into the myth of quick returns, sure-fire investments and “declared income” mortgages. “Declared income?” What the hell is that? “Why yes, Mr. Lender, I absolutely make $100,000 a year walking my neighbors’ dogs!” Our national savings rate — you know, the percentage of our incomes we stash away when not making bad investments or buying toys we don’t need — actually dipped below zero at one point. I mean, you wouldn’t think that’s possible, but it happened.

So was 2009 overall bad? I don’t know. I guess it depends on your perspective. Depends on whether or not your political party won offices. Whether your favorite sports team won its respective bowl/championship/series. Whether you bought your house this year or in 2006. Whether funding for your gender reassignment surgery came through.

Me, I like to spread around the awesome. It’s easy for me to say 2009 wasn’t as awesome as, say, 1993 or something like that. But I was 16 in 1993. So really, nothing beats being a teenager with a car and a job and parents to take care of all the real sh*t while you just spend your money on coffee and music and leather pants (maybe that was just me?) and your free time playing music, chasing girls and sleeping in until 3 p.m. But overall, it didn’t suck. And I guess, a month or so late, here are the things for which I’m thankful from the year of someone’s lord A.D. 2009:

  • The fabulous Miss Sara surviving another year living with me. She is obviously as insane as she is awesome.
  • Despite losing a member a few months ago, celebrating two years together with my band, As Yet Unbroken — the second-longest relationship I’ve ever had.
  • Meeting all sorts of new people via Twitter (for better or for worse)
  • The birth of my awesome nephew, Zack Attack!
  • Editors still not figuring out that I’m a hack writer
  • Making comic books — and people actually buying them!
  • Traveling, even if only to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando and central Michigan
  • Seeing my best friend from my freshman year of high school for the first time in 18 years as a result of said travels (and the magic of Facebook)
  • Buying Casa Awesome
  • Not dying

Those are just the highlights, I guess. Mostly, I’m pretty lucky to be surrounded by so many smart, caring, entertaining, driven and plain awesome friends. You people are the ones who keep the mayor of Awesome City going! So yeah!

(Also: Exclamation points. I could not live without them.)

So 2010 should be even radder. But all of us need to pull together. We need to focus the awesome. Hone the awesome. BECOME THE AWESOME. etc etc.

I’m going to Santa Barbara for a few days, to start off 2010 right: near a beach, possibly in pajamas, possibly crunked.

Be safe tonight, kids. And see you on the other side.



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