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Year in Review: 2012

rubenfeld

This year, for me, featured the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Physically, I climbed along “the top of Europe.” It was the first full day of my first trip abroad, to Switzerland, at Jungfrau, the highest point by train in Europe. A friend and I, along with an Indian couple we met on the ride up, hiked along the glacier to a mountaineer cabin, where I ate the heaviest meal of my life. For a week, I zipped around Switzerland, spending days in cities I never dreamed of seeing, tasting food I never dreamed of eating, riding trains I never dreamed of riding. Easily the best experience of my life.

Other travel this year included a long weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C. to see a friend from high school, and I drove down to Fest again. The experience was probably even better this year than last, and I knew more of how to handle myself through the four-day marathon of beer, friends, bands and mosh pits. Our return to New York was delayed due to Sandy; we spent a night in Durham, N.C., waiting out the storm.

As with last year, I saw more bands at more shows than I can ever remember. Some highlights that stick out include Propagandhi at Le Poisson Rouge, Future of the Left at Knitting Factory, Toys That Kill at Boca Fiesta, Hot Water Music at Gramercy Theater and GZA at Music Hall of Williamsburg. (My list of top records for 2012 is here.)

I moved into an apartment four times the size of my last one, having negotiated the price down to something I could afford. My bedroom is now as big as my old living room. I have more space than I know what to do with. 

The blog for which I write continued to dominate in its beat. My byline appeared on WSJ.com a total of 883 times in 2012, an increase of about 55 from last year. I worked on a two-part story (one in print and the other online-only) that led to a company being subpoenaed. I also got more stories into the paper than I did last year, including my first appearance in the Greater New York section. 

This year, I tried dating—for the first time in my life. Some experiences were better than others, but I think I’ve learned a bit about myself in the process. I need to cope better with the knowledge that most (if not all) of the time my feelings will go unrequited. It’s exposed my insecurity, self-loathing and vulnerability, yet left me constantly hopeful for a better outcome. I’ve at times alternately felt emotionally raw, bitterly depressed and irrationally exuberant, and sometimes a melange of all three. I end 2012 as I started it: single.

I booked my first-ever concert: A celebration of my 25th birthday on Feb. 25. More than 100 people showed up to see my friends from high school and college play at a tiny bar more than 15 minutes away from a subway in northwest Astoria. I’ve never felt so loved. I don’t remember anything after 10:30 p.m. that night—after the first band finished. (I was told I was physically carried out by two people from the bar and driven home.)

I lost a great-uncle with whom I felt a closeness that I never had with any other part of my father’s side of the extended family. He (a Korean War combat veteran with a purple heart) and I bonded during my frequent visits to the VA hospital where he spent his final years. Later on in the year an uncle had twins, and we welcomed two new members into the already large family.

Once again, I didn’t read enough books. I only finished one this year. With a new Goodreads account, and some encouragement to buy an e-reader, I may start reading more books, along with my healthy regimen of news and longform journalism.

I hope 2013 can bring me better mental health, along with continued professional success.