I don't have any flashy achievements this year. Just quiet ones. My grandmother died and I did what I could to help my parents out. I helped my mom with things at home and did whatever she asked of me. When my dad left for Afghanistan and I tried to help in whatever way I could. I called him, I called my mom, I went home more often, I helped my dad plan our finances. Last year I went to Canada and got a guide dog, but this year I just tried to be stable, dependable.
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My resolutions usually consist of, 'be healthy.' I'd say I kept mine but it's one I want to continue.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, yes. My grandmother passed away this spring after her third bout of cancer.
5. What countries did you visit?
None this year : ( My parents have talked about visiting basically everywhere: Dubai, England, Germany. We'll see if any of these things actually happen.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More certainty about the future. I don't know what school I'll be going to after undergrad, or where I'll be living, or even what program I'll be in. I'm going to apply to two vastly different fields, and whichever one I go into will have a huge impact on my future.
7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The last day I saw my grandmother. I gave her a mother's day card and helped her drink a cup of water.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through the year itself. I did everything I could to make my parents proud, to be responsible, to do what was expected of me, because that was the only way I could help them with everything that's happened.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I always feel like I haven't worked hard enough. I fall asleep thinking, 'I could have done more today.'
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Anything bad?
I don't get sick often, and I've never broken a bone, but I'm starting to suspect that my vision is declining even more.
11. What were the best things you bought?
My education. This definitely counts. Money had to pay for it.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister. I am so proud of everything she's done in the past few years. When Mallory was younger she got into some trouble and had bad friends, but she has achieved so much now. She's a senior in high school and I will be proud of her no matter where she ends up going to school next year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Most of the friends I made in college have disappointed me this year. I think the third year of school is more stressful than others, and that has probably had a big influence on the people around me. I am constantly amazed at how often people revert to prejudice, because they're tired, because they're ignorant, because they willfully choose to go without the truth. This is what bothers me most. Some days I feel like being blind is similar to being from a foreign country. People are interested in you for the novelty, but it's hard to see you as a real person because you're so alien from everything most people have grown up with. It's an unconscious thing but it seeps into every part of how people treat you.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
President Obama part 2
16. What song/s will always remind you of 2012?
"Somebody that You Used to Know," by Gotye. This song was on the radio non-stop this summer. And it's catchy.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder? Happier
ii. Thinner or fatter? Basically the same
iii. Richer or poorer? Definitely not rich, but a little less poor than I was a year ago
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Running. Exercise helps me feel less stressed out.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Studying. I do it too much and it makes me stressed out.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my mom and my sister. And Dad, via Skype.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I don't know if Ben and I are in the "love" stage yet. We haven't said it to each other so far but I am in definite early-relationship-like with him.
22. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone.
26. What was the best book you read?
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick. This book is like a memoir of six different NK-escapees. These were ordinary people who lived under unimaginable circumstances. I didn't know much about daily life for North Koreans before I read this, I only knew what I'd seen on the news about the Kims and the famine in the '90s. If you're interested in this country, this book will really educate you about the circumstances for ordinary people under the regime, and what led them to flee North Korea.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
M.I.A. She wasn't even on my radar until this year.
28. What did you want and get?
A portable CCTV, otherwise known as an electronic magnifier for the visually impaired. Mine is about the size of a credit card and it's awesome!
29. What did you want and not get?
I wanted some frivolous things like clothes and makeup, but I didn't let myself as for them.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I saw Les Miserables yesterday and I think that one was the best, at least out of the films I went to see at the theater.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to my cousin's house and had key lime pie with two of my friends. I turned 20.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having my dad safe at home in the U.S.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Sunglasses every day all the time.
34. What kept you sane?
Sleeping as much as possible. Naps are important to my well-being.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Not really sure, though Tom Felton has grown up to be quite handsome.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Disability rights and income disparity.
37. Who did you miss?
My sister. I wish we could have seen more of each other.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
If you act like you're stable and dependable, your life will feel stable and you will feel like there are people you can depend on in turn. I've discovered that I expect a lot from people, but I think that's because I put so much into everything. I give a lot and all I want is the same in return.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.
Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.
--"Man in Black," Johnny Cash