“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
New Year’s Eve always makes me all reflective. Like those strips on your running shoes so cars don’t hit you in the dark.
Tomorrow is for looking forward; today is for looking back.
2012. What can we say about 2012?
2012 was a roller coaster of a year. And listen, it is a fact about old Lucy’s Football that she HATES roller coasters. They make your stomach hurt, they bounce your head all around, they dig your earrings into your neck and they make you dizzy. I’d rather walk through the animal barn at the fair or something, that’s less distressing and sometimes you get to pet some sheep with their warm fleecy wool and soft noses.
There were good things this year and there were bad things this year and I’m still not sure if I consider it a win or a loss, to be honest. I’d like to say it’s a wash, but I don’t know if that’s the case, even.
But let’s not make this TOO depressing right out of the gate, right? I mean, do you come here for total depressing navel-gazing? What’s that? Sometimes you do? FINE, never let it be said I don’t deliver.
Let’s go through the highs and lows of 2012, yeah? It’s the day for it if there ever was a day. Tomorrow we can optimistically opine about 2013 but today we can look back on the year that was.
Fired. There is really nothing like being called into a conference room with your boss and the HR rep and to be told you are not only being fired, you need to be out immediately. And then being escorted to the door because you’ve possibly become a scary liability who might cause some sort of scene. In this economy, it is one of the most frightening things ever. Especially when you totally kind of brought it upon yourself because the reason you were fired was ostensibly for too much internet usage and also blogging at work even though you kind of weren’t REALLY blogging at work, only writing the drafts there and setting them to publish during work hours once you got home at night, and the only reason you were using the internet at work at all was because there was very seldom enough for you to do and the days stretched out looooong in front of you.
However, when you hated the job – and I mean hated, hated, HATED, to the point you had to pep-talk yourself into going in every morning and not sit in the car weeping, you kind of think, huh, maybe this isn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened, on some level. Then the unemployment stretches for about four and a half months, and you spend a month of it sitting on the couch so depressed you can’t take a full breath or move and all you want to do is sleep, and the remaining three and a half months working 50-60 hours weeks just to pay the bills…well, you get tired. July to December was a very long stretch, and a good third of my year. It’s hard to look back on 2012 without thinking of it as the year I lost a third of it to working too hard and being technically unemployed and worrying. Constantly. From the minute I woke up to the minute I fell asleep.
It’s not all bad, though. If I hadn’t had that part-time job that became full-time when I needed it to, I would have been living in my car, or back home with my parents. I was lucky to have it. It saved my life and sanity.
Hired (x2). But for every bad, there’s a good. Finally, after months and months of worry and work and toil and trouble, I was lucky enough to find not only a full-time job, but a wonderful full-time job, with people I love, doing something I enjoy, at a location I really like, getting paid enough money to not only live on, but live on comfortably. I pinch myself daily. I’ll never think I deserve nice things, and when they happen, I always wait for the other shoe to drop. I still wait. I have one ear out for that other shoe at all times. I feel like it’s going to be a very loud, very clunky platform sandal of some sort.
Not only did the amazing job come through (thanks to theater friends) but ANOTHER job came through thanks to theater friends and I now can say I write for the paper. And I get to see plays for free, and review them, and people can read what I’ve written, and how much that actually influences people, I don’t know, but it’s what I do that I love more than anything else. When you have a job that doesn’t at all seem like work…well, you might be the luckiest person alive. It’s what we all want, isn’t it? It’s what I always dreamed of for myself, a job that I loved, that I’d do even if they didn’t pay me. And I have one now, even if it’s very much part-time.
Friends. Any recap of 2012 would not be complete without mentioning the friends that have walked through it by my side. I’ve made friends this year (one of whom is, I’m quite sure, my sister separated at birth – sj, my love, what would I do without you? I can’t even imagine) and become closer than I ever thought possible to others (Andreas, my beloved Science Fellow from the land of the Finns, you are a blessing I will never stop being thankful for), both near and far. I know some of the best people in the world, both that I’ve met with my face and that I’ve yet to meet but talk to on a daily basis. I’ll never stop being grateful for this; I’ll never stop being a little tearful when I think of how lucky I am.
I have also lost friends this year. It’s the way of the world, I think. Life’s constantly changing; things happen, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the…well, not-better. People change. You change. Whether you want this to happen or not. Sometimes you can fight this; sometimes you can win. Sometimes it’s beyond your control and you lose, or you’re just so tired of fighting the inevitable you just give up. Sometimes the loss is a good thing. Sometimes the loss leaves you unable to breathe and with a heart so filled with sorrow and regret and memories that sneak-attack you when you least expect it that you don’t know how you’re going to pick yourself up from it because you never imagined a life without that person in it. But you do, of course. Pick yourself up from it. Of course you do. Life goes on. It’s what life does, right? No matter how shattered you are inside, life just keeps on truckin’. And every day things hurt a little less, until the most hurtful thing that’s left is how something that once mattered so much is now no more than a distant ghostly memory.
Sometimes being an adult is all eating chocolate for dinner and staying up past your bedtime and sometimes it’s the deepest sadness you can imagine. We don’t tell our children this when they’re little. Otherwise they wouldn’t want to grow up, now would they?
Book. For all of the other things it was, 2012 was the year I finally had a book I’d written published. It is possibly my proudest moment of not only the year, but of my entire life. Holding a book in my hands I’d written…hearing from people who’d read it, talking to them about words I’d written and labored over and worried about and lived…seeing reviews of it go up, seeing it hit number one in the Kindle store, even if for a very brief period of time…absolutely amazing. All of it. I’ll never get over that as long as I live. Thank you to all of you who bought it and told people about it and geeked out with me about it. You helped make a dream come true. Someday maybe I’ll do it again, who knows? Life’s a funny place, really. You never can tell what will happen.
That’s one big apple. It wasn’t a year of much bon vivantery, but the teeny amount I got to do was awesomeness. I got to go to my favorite city in the world and meet one of my favorite PEOPLE in the world, my wonderful Susie. And we had a day of adventure and walking and talking and shopping and eating and so many things. Say what you will about the interwebs, but if you do it correctly, you can meet the best people the world has to offer. My Susie is one of those people, and meeting her in person just proved that. Love you, Susie!
Blog. What would a year-in-review be without talking about what takes up a majority of my free time, this here thingamabobber? The day in 2011 when I decided, “what the hell, let’s start a blog, Ms. Amy, what have we got to lose, really?” will live in infamy as the day a very silly off-the-cuff decision led to rewards beyond imagining. Without the blog, where would all these words in my head go? Without the blog, how would I have met all you wonderful people? Without the blog, how would I be this person I am now? The answer to all of those questions is a big old, “I don’t know.” A lot can live in an “I don’t know.” A lot of emptiness and sadness. I love it here. I love what we’ve all built. I love every bit of this. Thank you all for being part of this. Without you, it’d be a lot less fun, now wouldn’t it?
Half an hour trumps three and a half hours. As of two days ago, The Nephew and his mom have officially moved half an hour away. Half an hour is much better than three and a half hours, visiting-my-favorite-person-in-the-world-wise. I’ll be polite. I’ll give them some time to settle. Then I’m going to show up like the magi bearing gifts and I’m going to read him books and play with him on the floor and giggle with him and tell him stories and big words that thrill him and I will be happier than all the things in all the land.
So if we weigh the good and the bad…well, I guess the year was a wash, all-told. But not the awesome kind of Wash like on Firefly.
More than ready for my 2013. Big plans for you, year. BIG OLD PLANS. Starting with a whole day off tomorrow in which I will do whatever the hell I want.
Hope you all had the best 2012s known to man, and that your 2013s are amazing wonderful sparkly affairs full of wonder, mystery and magic. It’s all I want for you, really. It’s not too much to ask, right? Right.