I’m a little afraid of 2009, not just because it’s the number next to the “Expired in:” section of my Harvard ID card, but because I’m pretty sure that it’ll be less awesome than 2008.

This has been a year in which I worked incredibly hard but was also really rewarded by it. I met lots of super cool people. I helped organize a crazy conference and got mad internet cred for it. I got into Asian-American identity politics. I learned how to look at the cultures and subcultures I am immersed in critically. I got addicted to Twitter. I listened to a lot of Blue Scholars (and I mean a lot). I learned the exhilarating feeling of loving my schoolwork and, perhaps more remarkably, my job. I got lost a lot but also discovered that in a pinch, I can actually navigate if I need to.

Sometime in the middle of all of this, I felt my brain turn on for the first time in a while, and I suddenly became capable of creativity and thinking and ideas again. All in all, I think this was a year in which I really grew up and came into my own, which feels like a huge relief. Thanks, 2008!

So, this here is a list of all the firsts that 2008 has brought me. It’s quite a long list! In the days to follow, I’m planning to post favorite pics, favorite tracks, etc…but don’t hold your breath. You all know how good at updating I am.

(As a side note, compiling the following lists makes me really grateful for my external brain–Google Calendar, Twitter, this blog, Last.fm, and perhaps most helpfully, Flickr. I know I’m supposed to be worried about privacy and who owns the data and all that, but at the end of the day I’m so extremely glad to be able to look back and relive 2008 in a pretty complete way. Hooray for personal (and not-so-personal) archiving!)

2008 Firsts: