This year is quickly approaching its conclusion. Everyone has notions about where they will be in the future, yet rarely does the present notion of the future actually match the future.  There was this unfocused image in my mind of what this year would be like. As the weeks passed, the image slowly came into focus, and it was a very different picture from what I was expecting. Time passes and new images form in our heads; it is an endless cycle that occurs in all of our lives.

Even when is — are a ridiculous amount of things to be thankful for, it is easy to fall into the trap of being constantly disappointed or experiencing general unhappiness when things do not go our way. It seems to me that it is impossible to suddenly and completely stop feeling a certain way, especially over matters we really care about. This is my attempt at having a balanced perspective on life by being thankful.

My peers had internships, research and jobs at delis or something. With the ever-looming pressure of adult life, I spent the whole summer at home with my family— probably the last one. My sister and I do not share too many interests due to a sizable age gap; I just cannot get interested in Monster High and Club Penguin. Bryan Cranston was amazing as the high-school-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin in “Breaking Bad,” but I did not truly fall in love with him until “Malcolm in the Middle.” We spent weeks watching all 151 episodes.

The one downside to a summer at home that I failed to account for was the fact that nothing demanded my attention. When my girlfriend started drifting apart from me, I could not escape my own worries and thoughts. I lost interest in everything— even food. For some reason, “Orange is the New Black” drew me in. Piper’s relationship while incarcerated felt similar to my long-distance relationship. It helped me get through the situation with the weird story and the even weirder characters. The show focused more on being entertaining but still had an emotional weight— I could not stop watching.

The paper you are holding in your hands requires a ton of effort put in by a ton of people every single week (except next week, but my point still stands). This year, for some reason, I have made friends with a lot of those people. It could just be that the folks who already graduated were just losers. The likely reason might be that the folks currently working are also losers, so we all get along better. I have met some amazing people who can make me think and laugh and be generally happy (along with folks I’ve met from TigerTV). I am hopeful that I can keep my oddness to a minimum so I can convince them to be my friends.

“Django Unchained” released right at the end of 2012, so a lot of the conversations and awards surrounding it took place in 2013. The thing I am most thankful for is the director: Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino is hated by some (he is kind of a jerk), but loved by many. His movies are so iconic and ingrained in pop culture. His movies are smart, stylish and filled with interesting characters. Broadway 50/50, a restaurant chain in San Antonio (if two restaurants count as a chain), contains a tribute to Elvis Presley, but is mostly packed with homages to Quentin Tarantino. The tables and walls are littered with stills from the movies , and the menu items are named after characters, movies and places from his movies. A girl— a big fan of Tarantino— and I walked through the Skybridge and through University of Incarnate Word to find the restaurant closed due to a grease fire. In the end,  though, neither the restaurant nor the director matterd. I was just thankful for the company.