What Did You Learn In 2008?

2008 is finally coming to an end, and just like every year, we will watch it go with a strange mix of bewilderment, sadness, elation, and relief, wondering what 2009 has in store for us.

Let's just get this out of the way: 2008 was completely insane. The highs were incredibly high, and the lows were horribly low, and even the most "normal" days of the year were thrown about in one direction or the other by a crazy piece of news. I know people who have simply given up on 2008: other than the election, the year has been a complete disaster for them, and they are currently in hiding until January 1, 2009, hoping that a new number means a new direction in life.

I thought about writing an ode to 2008, but in all honesty the year was just so bloody weird that I'm not quite sure I can articulate it, even if I wanted to. 2009 is a bit of a strange cloud, looming about, full of unknown things and potentially even wackier circumstances; it's almost as if everyone is bracing for a year of tough transition, one of those years you have to go through to get to a really good one at the other end.

But surely there were a few things we learned in 2008 that we can carry with us into 2009: whether it be a new way of thinking, a way of saving money, a way of carrying one's self, something you didn't know about yourself, your friends, your family, your country, a recipe for Black Forest Cake, a beauty tip, who Agyness Deyn is, whatever. For every major thing that happened this year (and there were many), there were a ton of tiny things that affected us in different ways; every year has its share of the craptacular and the spectacular, though the balance between the two is usually a bit off.

So what did you learn this year? What will 2008, in the end, mean to you? Or is it too soon to really tell? Or is your 2008 calendar already in the trash, the blank space on the wall just waiting for a new number, a chance to fill another 365 spaces with the tiny things that add up to another weird year?