So, 2005 comes to its miserable end tomorrow. I cannot say I will miss it.
Other than 2001, which saw my mother's death and the nightmare of September 11th, I haven't experienced a more foul year in my 40 years on this planet.
Let's catalog the joy:
I left my last job under the most disgraceful of circumstances, thanks to the extremely poor judgment of some federal workers. Somewhere in their small, dark hearts, I hope the people who wrongfully accused me feel shame for what they did. They should be embarrassed, frankly. It was pretty despicable behavior and only served to further reduce any faith I have in our federal government. It took ages to clear my good name and took a tremendous toll on my psyche and my physical health. (Bastards.) For 2006, I wish these cretins better judgment, a measure of (sadly lacking) ethics, a greater sense of human decency, and a big enema. They need it. Especially the enema.
(Actually, I'd like to order a truckload of suppositories for the White House, too. Maybe CVS is having an after-Christmas enema sale...)
I was out of work for 8 months. I think that says it all, right there. There were a lot of tears, a good measure of insomnia, and so much leaning on friends, I will never be able to repay them for their kindness. I have a wonderful circle of friends who have helped me, supported me, and just listened when I needed to talk out my fears and hopes. I am so grateful. I owe each of you such a great hug. My respect, love and admiration for each of you grows daily.
I went through all my moolah and credit being unemployed for 8 months. Being out of work and theoretically "self-employed" blows. It. Really. Blows. And being completely broke - well, that's a laugh riot, especially for a single woman turning 40. Yeehaw.
Job hunting wake up call: no one really wants to hire seasoned professionals in international development to: brew coffee, sell clothes, or answer phones - they know you will flee when a better job opens up. This is most certainly true, and I don't hold that judgment against any of the retail folks who wouldn't take a chance on me.
I have had mice playing their jug band jamboree in my kitchen all frigging year. I hate rodents. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes I do.
Yes, 2005 - you mutherf'er of a year - good riddance to bad garbage.
But, in the midst of this stinkfest, there have been some gems:
I started blogging again after a year's break, and the blogging not only kept me sane, but has introduced me to some wonderful people, some of whom I've had the great chance to meet, and some I hope to meet soon. Blogging also got me a chance to do commentary on public radio, which is a wonderful little dream come true. Yeah, I'm not exactly Sarah Vowell telling engaging stories on "This American Life," but I'd like to think I could do that someday. Maybe you have to have been a Midwestern kid, growing up listening to NPR, to appreciate the "wow, cool!" factor of being on public radio for 4 minutes each month. Call me a cheap date, but I love the little wonder of it. And I hope those who listen enjoy what they hear.
And then, as this dark, sickly year began to spiral down to its bitter end, I found a new job at one of the most remarkable places on the face of the earth. I work with a team of funny, smart, and dedicated people, and I feel very much at home with them. I look forward to each and every workday. I learn about something new and fascinating every time I hit the office. I meet archaeologists and oceanographers, filmmakers and photographers, and I get to appreciatively grill them on the work they pursue. "Oh cool!" has become the phrase most often heard coming from my mouth. I hope that never changes.
I saw my doctor today. She told me she was proud of me for keeping my head above water this year and for having come out of it with a measure of hope and optimism. (Plus she told me my cholesterol was 141 and my blood pressure was on the low side of normal - Jesus, I never figured that would be the case after Hell Year '05.)
So, what will next year bring? I'm not sure, but I'm just glad to still be around, kicking and laughing. I'd like to get a book written. It's time to catalog the stories of Mutha Russia. I'm looking forward to hearing my friend Thomas Dolby perform in January. I'm an 80s girl, and finally getting to hear Dolby play- surrounded by dear, wonderful friends - will be a real kick. I hope to meet more of you fine folks in person. (You know you have a willing tour guide if you swing through DC!) And I hope to keep blogging fairly regularly - as long as the stories and the random thoughts keep coming to me.
Thanks for being along on the ride this year. May 2006 be a very good year for us all.
Now, I need to go to Safeway. Knowing that my cholesterol is in check, I think a nice steak and a couple glasses of Yellow Tail cabernet will be a fine way to welcome the New Year.
God bless us, everyone.