Funny how one arbitrary number changing can have such a profound effect.
I remember in 2008, which still holds the title of being the absolute worst year of my life, sitting and waiting while each interminable second seemed to tick its way at the slowest possible pace. Everything about that year seemed to be a massive eff you aimed at my face. Even New Year’s Eve — I’d planned to spend it in Toronto with my best friend Julia.
Until my flight was canceled and I ended up in a hotel lobby near La Guardia Airport because I couldn’t afford a room for the night, watching Always Sunny reruns and finally writing a blog post that I hit publish on as the clock struck 12. Alone.
I remember the power of that moment, of seeing 2008’s ass disappear through the door into 2009.
It was like something allowed my chest to reinflate after crushing it for months, shouldering its weight aside just enough for me to gulp a breath of air.
While 2014 didn’t hit quite the trauma notes as 2008 did, there was a distinct buzzing of “fuck you, 2014” in the air as the seconds ticked down. A couple weeks ago, with gas prices dropping alarmingly and my new job giving me holidays off, I made a snap decision to drive to Cincinnati/Bloomington for a whopping day and a half to see Kelly and Kristin. I hopped in my car at 3:30 PM on December 30 and crashed that night in Columbus, Ohio with my aunt and uncle. The next morning it was onward to Cincinnati and then Bloomington, where we arrived in time to help Kristin and Drew move into their new home.
We all spent a quiet evening together, laughing, drinking hard cider, eating cupcakes and Kroger pizza, and watching 2014 gasp out its final breaths.
When it came, we were all almost giddy. And a little drunk, but who’s counting?
And again when the clock hit 12, I felt that sense of relief. Already 2015 was better — spending it with close friends and getting to be there, surrounded by love to see in the new year? Yeah. Better already.
You all already know what 2014 did to me — or a lot of it, anyway.
Looking forward, there are some things I want to get out of 2015. I suppose they’re resolutions. More, they’re just goals. Things I can hopefully control in some way.
So here they are.
1. Get healthier. I lost 30 pounds in 2014, and most of that due to anxiety. I’d like to keep up the trend in 2015, but with actual deliberate healthy choices instead of, you know, the stomach-churning nervousness that kept me from eating most of last spring.
2. Write at least as many words again. In 2014, in spite of everything going on, I wrote 350,000 words. Yup, you heard me. Including working a full time job and all the travel. That’s some words, that is.
3. Get paid for writing. So far that hasn’t happened, except for a wee $8.24 check from Amazon for my Eva books. (Please don’t do that math on how much I made per word….blerg.)
4. Find some sort of financial stability. I’m actually in a pretty good place right now, thanks to you all. It gives me hope for the year.
5. Find some sort of work life balance. I’ve been working about 80 hours a week since 2009 between day job and writing. I seldom let myself take a day off, and when I do, I feel guilty for it.
That’s kind of that.
At the end of this, I’m typing on a Saturday I’d meant to use as a writing day. 2014, by the end of it, sort of zapped a lot of my drive. I’m trying so hard to get it back, but 2014 wore me out and stripped me bare. Where usually I have a well of words, lately there’s a two ton block of concrete on top of it, keeping me from drawing from its depths.
There are some good things coming after a lot of hardship. I’m looking forward to greeting them.
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