Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reverb 13: Prompt 1 - The Year

Prompt: Where did you start 2013? Give us some background on the year.

I almost didn't take this Reverb on - this year has been... One of Those Years. I was traveling for the first few days of the month, but I want to catch up and I want to follow through on this Reverb because I've had trouble following through on a lot of things recently and I'm hoping and searching for ANYTHING to take me out of my slump.

So let's try this.

January 1, 2013 had me at home, sleeping off a food coma from an awesome New Year's party. I had so many hopes about my career, a half marathon, and a trip to Israel... I started the year with a lot of hope.

In March I went to Israel on a trip with 2 dozen other young professionals. It re-awakened a side of my religion and spirituality that I had lost a long time ago between relationships and career choices. It was an amazing adventure. I had a lot of anxiety as I entered the trip... even though I'd traveled a little bit for work in the past, it was never for so long, and never with so many peers. I knew how to act in a group of professional peers. But what about kids my age? I'm alarmingly lost in that area. But I was also anxious because I was 1/3 of my work department, leaving for almost 2 weeks without cell reception. That's a lot for this work-a-holic to swallow.

Turns out my workaholism could take a break (and should have) because just over half way through my trip (my trip of a lifetime, a trip where it took me a week to stop checking work emails, where I was finally starting to act my age and let go a little bit), a rogue text found me and told me I had been laid-off. SO! You take a workaholic with mild anxiety, stuck in a foreign country... and lay them off. Social experiment? Aanndd... go! Luckily, with the help of some truly wonderful new friends and a few mid-flight panic attacks... I survived and even occasionally enjoyed the remainder of my trip. 

I came home to some of the most humiliating and liberating weeks of my life. To sit home all day, every day, for 7 straight weeks, obsessing over the number in your back account, how many jobs you applied to that day, is that a new one or a repost? Have I cleaned enough to value-add to my house-hold? Did I miss Price-Is-Right?? This period of the year, although short (thankfully), helped me learn a lot about myself (good and bad) and about my career aspirations (sometimes desperate). The "Value-Add" to the household was difficult for me... Without a paycheck, how do you quantify a person's value to the home? I know how many households manage with stay-at-home parents, and so on. But how much am I worth without a paycheck? I didn't bother my husband nearly as much as it bothered me.

All of this brings us just to May. In May I started a new job. Didn't love it. Sometimes hated it. And I am still learning to live day-to-day in this situation. It's new and it's weird and it's affecting me in ways I never knew a job could bleed into the rest of one's life.

I went to Vegas with family. I walked a half-marathon (after hurting my ankle. AGAIN). And then I lost one of the most beautiful, intelligent, and strong women I knew. My grandmother passed away and I had to choose between her funeral or my father-in-law's 60th birthday bash in Vegas. I missed the birthday, and had an impossible time during the weekend. I don't know how else to verbalize this in this space except to say that there is a void that I cannot process, even 4 months later. 4 months, 4 days, 4 years... day-to-day it can flux between. Like this weekend during the holidays, it seems impossibly close. But a few short weeks ago, it seemed impossibly far away. How can life just move on without her? And then it does. It moves on. We move on. The world moves on even if we don't. 

Things happen in my day and I think of her. Little things... like how I can't bring myself to change the contact name in my phone to delete her name. How when she was around there were plenty of photos, but now that there will never be another new photo, there doesn't seem to be enough of the old ones.

I just celebrated a fantastic Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with my parents in Denver (our first one there... ever? It's been ages since I've been home for Thanksgiving...). There were lots of tears of sadness, but we spent a fair amount of time looking towards the future, too. We will move on. But moving on means nothing about forgetting.

A novel later... This year was a whirlwind. I remember it in a few poignant pieces and the rest is a blur of emotions. And I cannot wait for the relief of 2014 to come. Where new whirlwinds and emotions await; a time when I can move on without forgetting, but without always feeling, too. To a time when I can remember without the hurt of missing her. Or when I can recall the incredible trip to Israel without always tying it to the loneliness of being at home afterwards. That's the only thing 2014 can really promise us, isn't it? The progression of time.

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