Probably a lot of people who made it through 2014. I don't know about some of you, but this year brought some of the biggest personal upsets I've experienced since 2011. All in all, despite how unpleasant the changes were while I was going through them, I think I'm mostly in a better place. I hope you can say the same thing as well. How come, when they talk to you about 'character-building' in Temple or at Sunday school, they never explain that those experiences are usually something no one in their right mind would sign up for, but after which you couldn't imagine who you'd be without them? *rapid blinking* I am definitely a lot more paranoid.
… and still not the worst person I know! *fist-bumps Margot Verger*
Incidentally, I actually ran into my old manager in Wal-Mart at the beginning of December. If you'd asked me what I'd say to her, I would have listed a thousand things (all of them unpleasant, some of them extremely graphic)… yet when the time came and I opened my mouth, I had no idea what was going to come out. Turns out, what I said was, "Hello, Ms L---! How are you doing?" in such a pleasant voice that my brother for a moment thought he'd misidentified her. I've never seen a look like that on anyone's face, but she yanked her cart around and got out of the pharmacy line, stalking away while I said, "I really hope you're doing well!" And was some of that cheerfulness practically Satanic? Probably. Am I a horrible person for being satisfied that she couldn't look me in the face or speak to me?
Yes, I am a horrible person. Again, still not the worst! ;-)
All joking and snide, ironic incidents aside-- I am very grateful. I have a good job, with a company that is willing to pay for additional training and invest in my professional skill set. It's not the sort of position I ever imagined myself in, but things rarely work out the way we envision them. I went for a week's worth for SQL training at the end of November and really learned a lot. I still have a goal of eventually, someday, working in Anti-Money Laundering or Credit Fraud for the government, and database skills will be a big bonus on the resume. For now, I take it a day at a time, a task at a time. There's nothing up at my desk but a single print out of a stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany-- I know better than to jinx myself by using the words 'stable' or 'future'. But I'm okay.
LC came home for twelve days around Christmas, which was initially a bit worrisome simply because I didn't know if we could keep him entertained and out of trouble for that long. But I forget sometimes that, while I can spot his swagger all the way on the other side of the airport, he's growing and changing too. Despite the fact he was on vacation, he still did a lot of work from the kitchen table trying to get commission and shaking down customers (he repossesses cars in Miami Beach). He ordered a pack of 64 liquor filled chocolates, but only ate five of them, and he offered me a sip of his chocolate martini when things with the extended family got a little rocky on Christmas Eve. Every night, he showed up with laptop in tow, and we all watched a movie on Netflix and then played a round of Super Smash Brothers or Mario Party. He's always been a good kid under all the bluster, and I'm proud of the man he's become.
I also want to say that I am proud to count you all as my friends. I know so many beautiful, amazing and talented people-- gamesiplay, minttown1, bibliotropic, sanlynn, badly_knitted, loneraven and macadamaity to name just a few. Given some of the heartbreaking news lately around identity and self-acceptance (not to mention the acceptance of others), I think it's important to say that-- while it is the nature of humanity to be flawed-- each and every one of you is perfect just the way you are.
Happy 2015, everyone!