Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2015 in Review

A lot of exciting changes happened to my life this last year. Some were good and some were bad. All were for the better:

* In January I met a young man named Josh. He worked next door, and he helped me work on a project for my office. The next day I went next door to thank him. We spoke for 45 minutes straight.

* In February I started drinking heavily again. I don't recommend heavy drinking. I don't have weird rules about drinking (one does not become more drunk if one drinks at 11 a.m. versus drinking at 11 p.m.); I do have rules about drinking until one is sick, one has health problems, or one is showing up inebriated to important functions. Do what you want - but don't use me as an example of healthy behavior.

* In March Josh and I started officially dating. It was apparent that he was smitten with me early on. I was fairly certain during our very first conversation that he was a catch, but it took me a while before I was sure I wanted another relationship. I am one of those weird people who actually enjoys being single. I enjoy being single even more when I'm with Josh. :)

* April was a frustrating month for me. I spent spring break at the office pretending to do work because rather than simply closing shop, the director insisted on keeping our doors *literally* open. FYI, no one is on campus during spring break. I could have used the break. My health was rapidly deteriorating, I was sick pretty much constantly, and walking 3-6 miles a day in all weather in nothing but cheap pleather flats was not doing my feet any good. My boots literally came apart off of my feet as I walked home (two pairs in one week), my clothes didn't fit, and I couldn't afford proper food. I survived for six months eating leftovers from work (where they had no problem spending $1600 on catered food that they then threw away, since the university dining services had a rule banning patrons from taking leftovers....).

* By May I was becoming extremely burned out at work. I was responsible for 80% of the daily functions (with the students taking care of the other 20%), and even though I was given many opportunities, none of them included an increase in pay, an improved job title, or even the ability to request a day off during a holiday. I still had to work, even though no students were present, and even though there were no job requirements. The fact that I was responsible for office management, staff supervision, the entire budget, institutional and department research, supervising our copy editor (including launching a university-wide publication), and doing all of this for less than I was making as a graduate student was, apparently, irrelevant to management - who happily discussed blowing a $50k surplus (Yes, CLCE, you're welcome.) to ensure that they maintained their overall budget, rather than investing in higher pay for students or, I dunno, their office assistant, who clearly could have become an assistant director and/or replaced both Program "Managers."

* In June I quit my job. I didn't resign. I didn't tell anyone it was happening. I straight up pulled an "Office Space" and stopped going. Under normal circumstances I would never have done such a thing. I don't recommend anyone do it. These were not normal circumstances. I have no regrets. The people at the office were so abusive, incompetent, and shameful as human beings that I simply wasn't willing to go another day.

* I spent most of July avoiding checking my email and volunteering at Second Chance Ranch, a retired racehorse rescue in Cle Elum. I consumed a lot of cannabis and spent a lot of time cuddling Josh. I also had a reality check regarding the LDS church. Although I left 11 years ago, and resigned two years ago, I have been defending what I believed to be an ultimately honest, sincere institution for the better part of a decade. Unfortunately I discovered a few truths that shamed, stunned, and saddened me. (For the sake of any LDS readers I will not go into further details, except to say that I know my LDS friends and family members to be true people, regardless of what the leadership does/says/did/said. I do, however, invite them, or any other readers, to contact me if they have questions.) Josh and I spent about a week in Provo for his older sister's wedding. It was beautiful, Utah is glorious. I wish it wasn't polluted by corrupt and vile people.

* By August it was decided that Josh and I needed to leave Ellensburg. We made a few plans, freaked out a little bit, and, in the final week of the month, held a massively successful three-day estate sale. We smashed our sales goals each day, and, obviously, our weekly goal. We were highly motivated to continue a resale business. Unfortunately, September happened.

* In September I proposed to Josh. :) We moved to Kennewick to stay with his parents and work the Benton Franklin Fair. It was a disaster. I was elated to gtfo and continue our eastward travels. I am proud of myself for putting up with the crap I did without punching anyone in the face or burning any houses to the ground. Josh and I did a lot of work, including fixing up his car. I should have become a mechanic. It is pleasing work.

* In October Josh and I moved to La Grande, Oregon. It is glorious. Rea got married. It was lovely and the weather was lovely and everything was lovely. Some day maybe I will have a lovely wedding day, too.

* November was extremely stressful. Our funds have been dwindling rapidly, despite our best efforts to find work. Thanksgiving was spent just the two of us, mostly with me freaking out over my horrible failed attempt at making pie crusts for the empanadas. At least the flavor was great!

* December. I turned 30 on the 4th. I was awfully depressed - not about getting "old" (uh, 30 is still super young), but about the fact that I am unemployed, stuck in a small town, and have no direction. Mom and MATT! came up to take us to lunch, and we had some good conversations. I was still awfully depressed, but, fortunately, I was able to support Josh in his efforts to get back into school for his final 9 credits, and we were successful in that endeavor. I also consumed a lot of vodka - which helped me remember a great lesson my friend Jed once taught me: Being good at many things is not a curse, but ultimately one must simply choose *one* direction. Thus, I made an obvious choice: I am going to be a writer. I have many job skills, but the most frequently used and praised is my ability to write. I can write anything and everything. I may not be the best creative writer, and I most certainly am not a great blogger, but I can and will write. Perhaps I will fail, in the end, but at least I have some direction to go in, and a better idea of how to present my resume and direct my job search.

So, here's to 2015. It was a good year. I bet 2016 will be even better.

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