The year 2008 was a year of adjustment for me. When it began, I'd been married for six months and working as an international business reporter for a few weeks less than that.
As with all years past, there are many items on my list of resolutions that were left undone. Instead of losing weight and toning my body, I put on a few extra pounds. Instead of mastering Chinese, I couldn't translate my passion for the language into the discipline I needed to study. And while I know with my head that my spiritual life needs the most investment of all, I really did little to feed it.
Am I resigned to these failures? Am I happy with them? No, but in the blur that was 2008, I at least can say that I realized their importance in a greater way than ever before. I turned 24 last October, and now that 2009 is here, I can no longer say "last year" when someone asks when I graduated college or got married.
That does weird things to my psyche. It's like a secondary adolescence. I feel really grown up at times. I have all the responsibilities someone my age should, and I'm handling them well. But part of me still wants to go dumpster diving with my buddies in the middle of the night.
While I'll never let my adventurous heart die, this year has helped me realize that while growing up is hard, it's not all bad.
There are a lot of awesome things about becoming a man. Your wife often rewards you with awesome food. And there's freedom, albeit a different kind that the kind college offers. I can't drive across the state for a concert or skip work like I did class, but I have real money, and that provides a lot of opportunities that scraping the barrel doesn't.
I have a mentor who speaks in metaphors, similes and old sayings. When I got married, he said I should live the first year as if I were a soldier in the Israelite army. In that culture, newly married men got furlough of one year to live happily with their new wives before venturing off to defend the kingdom. My year has long expired. This year, it's time for battle.