Last year was not a good year for me. I’m not sure any year has. But last year I ended up unemployed yet again and remain so. Maybe to help combat crippling self-doubt and depression I’ll look back on 2012 and pick out my top five moments of the year:
- Quitting My Job – I was miserable there. After a week of fighting with my boss he demanded that I develop a plan for getting along with him better. I decided to just end the aggravation and say “it wouldn’t be worth the effort.” On the one hand, I feel somewhat ashamed that I didn’t try to overcome an obstacle. On the other hand, I think back to the time that I spent a Sunday evening in complete dread of having to go back to work for no particular reason other than I dreaded facing my boss at all, and accept that the worst thing that could have happened (worse then being unemployed for the past 10 months) was if I’d stayed there.
- Driving Cross Country – I decided to visit a friend of mine who moved to Albuquerque, NM a year and a half prior. It was a really interesting experience for me to drive cross country (well, okay, I was only as far as the eastern side of the Mountain time zone, but still it was a pretty far drive.) I’d never seen desert roads, flooded plains, driven up mountains, or gone 48 hours of driving without hitting a single traffic jam before. It was an amazing experience going to and from New Mexico. The drive back was especially interesting as I wandered a bit and went sight-seeing in Coffeyville, KS (because I got lost,) St. Louis, MO (because there was a Star Trek exhibit at the St. Louis Science Center), and Metropolis, IL (because a friend said I should.) It’s an interesting experience doing all that by yourself. I guess most would say it’s pathetically lonely, but I just like to think of it as being comfortable with oneself.
- Seeing Old Friends – A big part of the trip was to see a friend who moved away from here in late 2010 and another who I hadn’t seen since Jr. high. It was actually surprising how easily rapport can be restored. Also, in communicating with some people from my past I learned that people have a better memory of me than I do of myself. This of course creates a problem; I’m comfortable with myself (as mentioned in the previous point) because I think I’m a terrible person? But it was great to see them again and see that life is treating them well.
- Being Happy at Work – I only managed to get about five weeks of work after quitting my job. It was a temporary accounting assignment or fairly rudimentary complexity. At one point I was awestruck to realize how … not unhappy I was (dare I say I was even happy) to be working a straight 8-hour day (even with an hour-and-a-half there and back) with no stress. A lot of my coworkers complained about the task being beneath them, but I was so incredibly pleased to just be able to work and get paid for it and have no baggage otherwise.
- Listening to Old Music – I know I usually deride music as the work of the devil. I’ve been uncomfortable talking about music for a very long time because one’s taste in music is so closely tied to others’ perceptions of your social standing. One thing I did this year was make a concerted effort to rip the last of my CDs (or track down torrents of them) to add to my iTunes library. While cranking away at not unpleasant temporary job I listened to them and really was mentally transported back to the times I used to listen to these albums. It was … magical!
And some other things:
- At the Albuquerque Botanical Garden, I tried to get into the dragonfly sanctuary pond because I’ve always thought dragonflies were pretty. My path was blocked by this really ornery duck! It was just standing there, in the path, and every time I got close it would start squawking at me like Gandalf telling the Balrog “you shall not pass!”
- Getting an e-mail from my former boss a week after I stopped working wherein he complained about me.
- Learning I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get along with my boss.
- Being one of only a select few people to see Piranha 3DD in theaters.
- Spending election night among the young Democrats.