My witching hour began at 11:00 p.m., when I started to look back on my 24th year and review it, in order, from my birthday celebration last year (Aruba, a plethora of drinks, a birthday jam, and being driven home by Sean, bundled up in my 200-pound evening coat; then the next day, taking off for Tahoe where I snowboarded for the first time) to this final night (Hanukkah celebration wherein I made my latke-making debut). And like an accordion, a year of memories can either be an abbreviated blip that can flash through your mind in the space of four seconds, or it can stretch itself out for miles and hours as it constantly makes room for the smaller details that slip into all the empty spaces.
Twenty-Four was the year of the start of my civil degree and my introduction to geology. It was the year I really got into dancing and the year of my first competitions; in spring, I visited Kyoto and Osaka, and over the summer, I had a brief tryst with Maine and a tumultuous love affair with D.C., and in between all that I got to know more and more of the Bay area. At 24, I moved into my first house and planted basil and papayas and apple trees and flowers. I re-taught myself CSS, then promptly forgot it all (mostly) again. I started writing (fiction) again. I became a plain-tart frozen yogurt fanatic, aficionado, and snob. I finally found the name of a song that had been eluding me since I’d been 23. I met people and un-met people, and I got suckered into using Facebook on what is now an almost-daily basis (effectively trading places with my Myspace account, which gets checked maybe once a month).
And then in October, in a desperate need to get away from Vegas for a weekend, I went to Austin, which was the catalyst for a surprise visit (to me, in Vegas) two weeks later, which was the catalyst for a week-and-a-half after that, when it was officially love. Love, Big Love, love that came, actually, entirely out-of-the-blue, considering only a month before then I’d been fervently swearing off any and all matters of the heart, most dramatically marked by my scornful disdain of "P.S. I Love You".
It’s funny, but when I go through my last year in my head, everything prior to October 17 is cast in a different light than everything succeeding. On the one hand, it could simply be because of seasons, because (duh) winter and spring and summer light is different from that of autumn. On the other hand, as disgustingly cliche and trite and banal (pronounced the superior way, just so you know, here in my posts: BAY-nul) as it is: my life changed at that point. Or not changed so much as– came to an epoch? Towards where
have always been coming to. Since my time began. And when I go away
from here, this will be the mid-point, to which everything ran, before,
and from which everything will run. (A.S. Byatt, "Possession")
So yes, the Year of Twenty-Four was good and plentiful, spilling over with trips and travels and books and movies and music and drinks and food and friends and family, as I have been lucky enough to have be true of most of my years. I was 24, and I was all of the things that came with my being 24, and now that year has passed, but now, still, I am myself. Now, I am simply all of the things that twenty-four years of existence has enabled me to become: now, I am twenty-five.