2014: The Year That Was
Originally, I set out to write this post in mostly a negative tone -- a public lament of my year, if you will; all the wrongs that happened and the terrible times through which I suffered. I had half of the post typed out, but kept getting distracted by reading articles on how to be a morning person, habitual Instagram scrolling, and of course, by the Gilmore girls acting as my constant life score in the background of my home, all day, every day. Then, my dad called. My dad doesn't call me often; don't get me wrong, we have a great relationship. Enviable sometimes. But our main form of communication is via text or just waiting to see each other in person since my parents live 20 minutes away in the suburbs and they're my own personal Costco when it comes to toilet paper and paper towels, so frequent trips are necessary (girl's gotta wipe and clean, ya know?). The phone conversation went like this:
"I'm gonna say something and you're not gonna like it. But I have to say it. I just read the status you wrote on your Facebook blog page about your year in review post for tomorrow and how 2014 was horrible, and I just hope you won't actually write about what a shitty year it was. Because it wasn't. It really wasn't. Why can't you be positive? Put a positive spin on things. Don't be such a hater."
I said "okay," and we moved forward in conversation. Once we hung up, I stood there for a second, thinking. Maybe he had a point. Was my year really that terrible? Terrible enough to dedicate an entire "year in review" post to its undeniable atrocity? So bad that it was capable of canceling out any minor moment of unterribleness that might have happened along the way?
The answer I concluded was a resounding "No."
Sure, there were bad parts. Horrible parts. Momentously scary parts. But these parts were necessary. Necessary to shape my present and my future; necessary to live through to understand what I do well and what I can do better; necessary to experience so I can one day be able to pass on the wisdom gained from said horrible events to my own flesh and blood and let them know that Mommy went through some shit, too and it's more than normal.
I got indirectly dumped by a pseudo boyfriend who avoided actually carrying out the act face-to-face so cowardly, I wondered if he ever really had a penis or if it had been a stand-in.
But, I knew deep down it wouldn't have worked in the long-run (he carried a Louis Vuitton wallet and wore a flashy Star of David necklace on his person at all times), and the pseudo breakup with the pseudo boyfriend inspired one of my favorite pieces to date: "No, I Will Not Hang Out With You."
I got turned down or just straight up ignored by numerous writing figures and publications to which I had the balls to reach out for guidance/freelance jobs/a chance at more exposure, and it sucked. A lot. And still does.
But, I got published in Cosmo magazine (South Africa). So that was an incredibly nice consolation prize, to say the least.
I got fired. Unexpectedly and with no prior indication, I was fired as a real working adult in the real working world. It was very easily one of the worst/scariest days of my life so far.
But, it taught me major life lessons about the workforce and ultimately carried me away from an unhappy place that would've most likely only become unhappier and harder to leave had I remained there.
I was unemployed for six months. The anxiety, worry, and not-knowing were enough to outdo any panic attack Woody Allen has probably ever had. At one point, my mom suggested that if professional criers were a thing, I could work for a week and most likely immediately retire from my earnings.
But, I hustled harder than I ever have before. I pulled out a lot of stops, reached out to a ridiculous amount of humans behind email addresses, and put my dignity, pride, and sense of security on the line. Doing all this didn't garner the kind of results I hoped and still hope for, but the hustle is never over. It's only just begun.
And, after all this, eventually the sun broke through. In a series of uncanny and, cliché enough, totally not sought after events, conversation with a man I had previously met and known sparked, which led to a date, then another, then another, until suddenly we both looked up and realized what an easy, happy, fulfilling courtship we were producing together. Shortly thereafter (but not without one more crying fit to top all prior crying fits), I was offered a full-time job at a wonderful company with exceptional people that I am enjoying more and more with each passing 40-hour week. And a few freelance gigs trickled in that reinstated my self-worth, self-confidence, and passion for what I do.
So, all in all, was it the greatest year of my life? No, definitely not. But I wouldn't go as far to say it was the worst. Shit happened, because shit happens. But I prevailed -- not superbly what with my collection of freakout moments, but I prevailed nonetheless.Years like this build character. They give you more to talk about, more relevant tips and perspectives to bring to the conversation. They both suck the life out of you and breathe it back into you moments later.
I mean I'm still here, aren't I? I'm still able to write, to make fun of myself, to enjoy the small and big things, to look back and say "Whewie. Glad I made it through all that." Luckily, the last few months of the year collectively patched up the other unfortunate months of the year, almost making me forget about them altogether. Almost. But not quite.
So, here's to 2015: do me good -- I'm counting on you.