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The Most Simultaneously Depressing Yet Uplifting End-of-the-Year Blog Post Ever

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This year sucked. It was just awful. Really, really bad. I’ve been looking forward to the end of 2015 almost since the year began. And now here we are, one sunset away from 2016. To which I say: good riddance, 2015. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

What was so bad about this year? Aside from ‘all of it’? Let’s take a little walk down memory lane, shall we? It’ll be fun. You know–fun like a root canal. (Wheee!)

2015: The Worst Year Ever

Me, sadly waving goodbye to airline status on my last flight of the year.

Me, sadly waving goodbye to airline status on my last flight of the year.

January: Spending my birthday breakfast eating Hampton Inn waffles alone and the rest of the day in a hotel conference room. Seven flights in one week. More than once. Snow. More than once.

February: More snow. Seeing my husband almost never.

March: Losing my nana, the woman who pretty much raised me, after having just lost my pappy–her husband–five months prior. Being at work in another state when she passed. Reevaluating all of my life choices.

April: Losing my job, which I loved. Finding out that my mother was very sick. On the same fucking day. Naming an armchair in my living room The Chair of Despair and frequently refusing to leave it.

May: Weeks spent alternating between looking for work applying for ALL OF THE JOBS and hysterically crying. Sometimes I even managed both at once (picture me sobbing while scrolling through LinkedIn.)

June: Crippling self-doubt. More crying. More applying for jobs. Many interviews.

July: OH MY GOD I NEED TO GET OUT OF MY HOUSE. More applying for jobs.

August: Finding out that the company that actually did hire me in July can’t actually use me because I’m geographically not-ideal. Personal serious health scare (on same day as finding out about not-job, because that’s how 2015 rolls, apparently.) Getting too drunk and freaking out about money at the bachelorette party I hosted for a friend (sorry, friend.)

September: Giving up the job search; deciding to work for myself. Brief moment of joy.

October: Realizing that I suck at self-marketing so I will never be a successful freelance writer ever. More applying for jobs.

November: Turkey. The poultry, not the country.

December: No Christmas presents. Because broke. Still no job.

I think we can all admit that’s a pretty bad year.

But that’s not what (most) people saw. While yes, I did occasionally go off on Facebook rants about how much my life sucked, what my friends and family mostly saw was me trying to cope with The Worst Year Ever in the only way I know how. Like this:

2015: The Worst Year Ever Still, But With Some Good Shit Thrown In

Celebrating with mom in Disney World!

Celebrating with mom in Disney World!

January: Southern Florida in a convertible. Restaurant week in Chicago. An unseasonably warm day in North Carolina.

February: Driving to the Keys one afternoon for no reason. A weekend in Cape May with my husband for Valentine’s Day. A Chicago snow day I prepared for by purchasing excessive amounts cheese and wine.

March: Madrid and Barcelona. So much ham.

April: New Orleans. Kayaking in the San Juan Islands with my favorite ‘cruise’ company. 

May: The California coast in a Camaro.

June: Volcanoes, hot springs, monkeys, and hidden beaches in Costa Rica.

July: Enjoying summer at home in Pennsylvania. My garden. Butterflies. So much spaghetti squash.

August: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail. My favorite travel writing conference.

September: A spur-of-the-moment South Dakota road trip! All of the buffalo!

October: Celebration trip to Disney World with my mom, who kicked chemo’s ass.

November: Turkey. The poultry, not the country.

December: Enjoying history, nature, and craft beer in Tallahassee. Finally getting to see the Osborne Lights in Disney’s Hollywood Studios thanks to a friend whom I love very much. Christmas at home with my tiny family (two of whom are small, fluffy dogs).

I’d like to end with some kind of deep statement about how the second version of my year cancels out the first one. But that’s simply not true. All of those terrible things happened–and continue to happen. I still sometimes think I should stop by and visit my nana and pappy–before realizing once more that I can never do that again. My mom is still struggling with her health. I still haven’t found work. And the crippling self-doubt persists, as does The Chair of Despair.

But.

People still ask me why, after everything, I still continue to travel. They wonder why the work I’m looking for isn’t necessarily something which requires sitting in the same brick building for 50 weeks out of the year.

This year is why.

Because it brings me joy in the face of despair.

Because life is so fucking short.

Because I still can. 

So here’s to 2016. May it bring you whatever you desire most. And may it bring me a great job which can be done remotely and/or requires travel. Oh–and which pays moderately well. That’d be great, 2016. Thanks.

Happy New Year, all!

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