There is a concept that I learned when I was in high school that is applied to history called Micro/Macrocosm. It's one of the main things that I took from my studies there and I've used the concept before to make parallels with various historical concepts and events.
This year was a year of change. The concept and words were everywhere this year. We just elected a new president on a platform based on major reforms and changes to the way that the country is governed, to counter the past eight years. The price of oil has gone from a record $130 + per barrel to $35, the result of which is a drop in demand for automobiles and a change in the way that we drive. This change is part of a global slowdown in demand for goods, resulting in recessions across numerous countries around the world. Change has been present in other, smaller things as well. Several of the bands that I've listened to for a while have released new albums, exhibiting changes in their styles and sound - Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, Ray LaMontagne, and a couple others. It's been an interesting and gratifying shift, and with these changes came commentary from others, which has made me realize: with change comes thought, and changes are both good and bad.
I've been working to change. Since my final years of college and the first years out, I've changed many things. I've had some things in my life shift, over the past couple years, but it really hasn't been until this year that I've really begun to question things - how I interact with people, what my personality is and how that guides me to approach life, and in the past year, I've realized that there's a lot about me that I've come to dislike. I've been selfish, shallow and insecure. I don't like that.
Looking back over the year, I've realized that there was one point where I was able to throw all that away, and I didn't realize it at the time. It's only been in the past couple of months that I've realized this and been prompted to make changes to how I do things. I've questioned much the assumptions that I had about my life before this summer began. I'm returning to that point, because that's who I am.
The changes don't stop. My job and my school is on the brink of major changes because of the economy and internal issues. On January 20th, we'll see a major historical milestone, and hopefully the changes promised over the past eighteen months will begin. In August, I'll finish my master's degree in Military History, which will hopefully have some additional changes for me professionally. There will be other, unexpected things that will happen that I can't predict, that any of us can predict.
It's interesting how the micro/macro can be applied to almost everything. With the changes in the world, I've found changes in my own life at the same time. I can only imagine what next year will bring.