Earlier today I was at a brunch party where a guy clapped his hands together and then clenched his fists as if being filled with power. He did this while expressing his enthusiasm for the new year. “I believe in new year’s,” he said. “It’s the only day that celebrates the passage of time.”

Although I didn’t say anything, I thought, “Um…birthdays.”

However, I do agree that it’s important to recognize the passage of time, to reflect on the past, acknowledge mistakes and successes, and hope and plan for a better future.

This past year has been quite a journey for me. At the beginning of the year I was still married, but living in my own apartment, having separated from my wife the prior August. I was searching for new direction and studying for the GRE, planning my letter of intent for CMU, launching the new ITNS website, and working for the University of Pittsburgh.

Shortly into 2006 a second person died on me, the first being a client during a meeting just before Christmas.

In March, my divorce was finalized, I received word that I got into CMU, and I went to SXSW.

In April I spent a week in Barcelona at an apartment owned by my previous landlord, who offered the apartment as payment for a website about the apartment. I then skirted up to Amsterdam.

I quit working at Pitt in June, and then started a six-week design fundamental course. And then I began my new life as a full-time graduate student at the end of August.

School and Yum Yum Web—my business—consumed most of my time early in the semester. I managed to launch the Manchester Bidwell Corporation site with Little Kelpie in October. After that, it was all school all the time, only taking breaks for soccer. Speaking of which, my team ended the year on a high note, winning the championship in November.

My brothers and I all got together for Thanksgiving at my youngest brother’s place in Dallas. My mom came as well, making it the first time we had all been together in over two years.

In mid December, the school semester ended. The final week allowed even less sleep than usual. But it was a great first semester. And while I measure my success more on how much I feel I’m learning and improving, my grades were also very good. I am extremely happy with my decision to go back to school.

So, like I said, from full-time work and marriage to divorce and school, it’s been quite a change. Though overall, I feel it’s been a great year and I’m happy with the direction my life has taken.

Thanks to everyone who helped get me through the rough bits. Good luck with the year ahead.