There’s a strange air of neutrality that hangs over 2006. It was a year. Just a regular, plain year where I just went to school and worked at No Frills. I made some good friends, had some fun times, and slowly assembled myself into who I wanted to be in very small, subtle ways.

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This was the best year of my life.

There were setbacks. Bad things happened. Not everything worked out in some perfect fashion. Obviously I didn’t find love. But when I think about the year as a whole I am filled with warm feelings that few other memories provide.

You know why?

Because even the worst parts of this year were cinematic.

Everything worked towards one big story. There were big endings, big beginnings, and most importantly- a sense of possibility. The future was a wide open movie screen, a new dawn filled with golden sunlight.

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It’s a year I wish I could erase from my past entirely. Just drag and drop all the memories into the trash bin, right click and select Empty Trash.

But it’s time to revisit 2004, shine a harsh light on the patchy facial hair and poor choices of teenage Dusty.

2004: The Year of Cringe

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I’d put down a few foundational blocks for the House of Dust (my fundamental character) in 2001/02, and in ’03 I added a few more – for better and for worse. Objectively speaking not too much happened, but I did make some significant personal choices that led to this being a pivotal year for me.

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TIME Magazine had a great line in their end of year write-up about 2002 that referred to it as an extremely uneventful year in terms of international news, and that sentiment applies to my life too. While there were some major changes in my life, the whole year can be whittled down to a few paragraphs:

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