I'm months behind in blogging and it's time for that annual re-cap of the year. But 2010, the year in question, has not been the best and I am trying to find ways to sum it up with a little...je ne sais quoi. It wasn't the worst, either, at least – 2004 still wins that prize, with 2005 a close second. I know I can count myself as extremely lucky for the good things that did happen this year (we'll review those in a bit), despite how stuck I have felt, how see-sawing my emotions have been and how numb I have been left by...life? I'm not sure. I am still feeling things in a very muted way; I find I am not as amazed by life and I keep hoping this fog will lift. That I will be back to feeling that sparkly, heady sentiment toward the world...it just hasn't happened yet. But let's not get muddled in that bit of self-pity. Instead, some of the good and better things that have happened in 2010:
- I actually can't believe it was just this past January that I quit my office job (and that it was just this past summer I ended therapy), but it was. It seems so long ago now.
- In May, I got my Census job and worked on that all summer; part of the time, it was an ideal job – being out in the sun (when it wasn't pouring), talking to neighbors who were, surprisingly, mostly nice and forthcoming. Of course, the last several weeks of it became stressful, but the money was decent and I did have some fun.
- I also began attending regular meetings with a local writing group that was such a lucky find. This blog entry doesn't show it, but I do believe my writing has improved a great deal since I've been involved with the group.
- In the spring and summer: Kathy & I went to see her cousin perform in a high school musical version of “Charlotte's Web” and we attended a Rasputina concert, where I met a Livejournal friend I had never met in person before; we saw the Neofuturists' stage reading of “Supergirl” and “My Little Pony: The Movie” and we devoured the first several seasons of “Mad Men,” making it our new TV obsession; we spied on weddings (heh), had drinks and conversations at a nearby block party, volunteered to help out at the Women & Children First book sale, headed out to Market Days (where I never got to see Joan Jett, but that's okay), and I finally met my friend, Jon's other friends (*smirk*), who were all adorable.
- In September, I began volunteering at Gerber-Hart Library (a GLBTQ non-profit library off the Granville red line). Kathy & I went to see our playwright friend's play at Prop Theater and “Daredevil's Hamlet” at the Neofuturarium (twice!). I also had a conversation with my favorite crafter/maker-of-handmade-perfume-oils at the Renegade Craft Fair. And, of course, I scored my awesome second library shelver job at the Evanston Public Library which I am beyond grateful for. I would rather spend my time in libraries than just about anywhere else, as you guys probably know.
- October: Bill & I hunted for Halloween costumes in Boystown; I gathered with library shelver friends, friends of friends and members of Kathy's family for the Weird Chicago ghost tour; SPL friends and I had breakfast for dinner in Wilmette; Kathy and I drank dirty martinis at Scooty & JoJo's “Carpenter's Halloween” at Circuit nightclub and we dressed up as a zombie bride and bridesmaid (complete with a severed arm as the “groom”) for Halloween.
- November was, of course, dedicated to finishing the zillionth draft of my first novel (okay, it's maybe the second or third draft depending on how you look at it). And December was busy, busy, busy with getting ready for holidays, though I managed to make time for good friends from SPL (an outing to the Shedd Aquarium) and my writing group.
And now it's January. It's 2011. Another year and, I hope, one that will bring good things about in a less sparse, more unexpected manner. I can't keep resolutions to save my life, but I will say there are a few things I am hoping against hope for in the new year: (1) I'd like to feel something again that is close to euphoria; to feel amazing and amazed, smart and interesting, a little more confident, a little more like my old self; I would like to stop feeling numb when it comes to anything other than anxiety and anger. I'm not sure what it will take, but I'd like to figure it out. (2) I'd like to save up enough money to move into my own place: it's time, I think. I am so far from work, I need my space, there are so many things that having a place of my own would mean to me – among them are peace and independence. (3) I would like to continue to improve my writing, working toward that ever lofty goal of publication. I could just about write an “acknowledgments” page already of the number of people who have played muse, of those who have helped with the fundamental elements of improving my work, who have offered support and encouragement for my writing, etc.; I hope that list continues to grow. (4) And I would like to re-enroll at UIC, finish my last fuggin' class (plus one, if that helps me obtain a decent amount of financial aid) and get my Bachelors; that still overwhelms me stress-wise, but I really don't want to be 35 and still without a degree.
Those are the big ones - although, of course, I am forever dreaming of travel and bettering my French. I can put Paris off for a few more years – yet, I do have a plan (I know, I know...best laid plans often go awry), a savings account and a fantasy itinerary.
And, as always, I would like to blog more – but we all know how that goes. So I'll either be writing another entry in a few days...or a few months. We'll see.