What a year this was.
Each year, I think about many of the events that have formed my life during the last celestial swing around the sun. At home, I have a bulletin board on the wall where the kid(s) and I post mementos from our adventures. Ticket stubs, birthday invitations, wristbands, postcards, etc. Sometimes it is drawings my son has made or even jury duty summonses.
We start off each year with a blank board and a bunch of thumbtacks and at the end of the year, the whole thing is covered with souvenirs. I also tend to write about my experiences, though this year, I have been keeping up with them as they happen on this blog as well as Gettingoutmore.org.
Here is a list of highlights and low points that comprised 2019. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…
I started off the New Year horribly certain about the path my “relationship” at the time had taken. I had been ghosted. It’s not a nice feeling, and it speaks very much to the character of the person doing the ghosting. When you get a 2am response to a Happy New Year text you sent at midnight, and have no idea where they are, this is an indication to give the hell up.
This time last year, I had bronchitis, depression, and I was struggling to make ends meet because my child support had doubled at the end of October.
In January, the “relationship” officially ended. Anywhere between four and six months after the real end had begun. I read several books on Boundaries, Dating, emotional pain, stress, co-dependency, and over the next several months, those words percolated and allowed me to be much more functional and sure of myself. Sometimes it’s not you, it’s them.
I took a roadtrip with my cousin to take him to Tuscon to be a ranch hand. The trip was 16 hours one way. We started off in -5 degree temperatures and at the destination it was 45 degrees and rainy. Unfortunately his employer turned out to be an ex-beauty queen psycho bitch who was using him for slave labor. I’m not exaggerating. He has since escaped (by literally jumping a fence and hitchhiking the hell out of there). Glad he is off to better places now!
On the way home from Tuscon, I decided to work towards my goal of travel writing, which has been an interesting and yes, fulfilling experience. I talked with some friends and family about it while walking around downtown Santa Fe at night. Most of them tried to discourage me from doing it. That’s not something you hear about much. hahaha!
I booked tickets for the UK in May as well as an AirBnB. I had grand plans for where I would go and what I would see. Then the State took over half of my tax return because of the aforementioned child support increase. Undaunted, I trimmed back some of my plans.
I took several road trips, dealt with an HR nightmare at work over a review from a supervisor who just flat out doesn’t like me, and enjoyed time with my son. My insomnia waned. My depression thawed. I weathered a series of layoffs at the day job. I reconnected with an old friend at the end of 2018 and we parted ways once again midway through this year. In other words people come into your life and they leave. It’s just part of it.
I took my son to church, and afterwards, decided I didn’t want to go anymore. My faith wasn’t shaken really. I just don’t believe that God lives in a building.
I went to the UK and had an amazing experience. It was my first international solo trip. I have been doing solo trips around the state for years. The learning curve was sharp and steep, but at the end of my ten day trip, I got a handle on everything and affirmed my desire to travel write. The first day I landed, I had no idea what I was doing. At the end of my trip, I was giving directions to Austrian tourists on how to get around in London. I met myself and let go of a lot of crap. I was happy with being by myself. Content for maybe the first time in my life.
I spent the next month writing about it.
At the last minute, I bought a ticket to the 1940s Ball and made new friends and enjoyed the experience without the trepidation I had the year before by myself. I met my girlfriend at Rick’s Cafe, at the end of World War II. She appears in many of my adventures and I couldn’t be happier. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, I am glad she walked into mine.
My son had a lot of fun with Cub Scouts and we experienced winter camping…in June. We hit Renaissance Festival again, this time with company. It’s always a great sight to see someone’s face light up when they walk out of that changing room in a new costume for the first time. ❤
Trips to the grandparents, lots of hiking, bike rides, summer camp, video games, cigars on the back porch, road trips and carousels, Fuzzy’s Tacos, nervously meeting the parents for the first time, people watching, sad choices watching, T-Fury shirts, fire-pits and wine, innumerable stops at Dutch Bros. and so many points in-between filled my summer and fall months. The end of the year was met with a feature article in the UNC student newspaper from a fan of my travel blog. I picked up a couple copies to include in the box which holds the contents of the bulletin board. I reconnected with one of my best friends from childhood after 20 years. It was like we hadn’t seen each other in just a few weeks. As Dre would say, “we dippin’ again.”
My birthday was a wonderful experience, unfortunately because of some asbestos abatement done by a fly-by-night crew in the building at work, it turned into pneumonia, which I fought all September. Happy 44th. As a result, I got behind on writing, work, and life. But today, I am healthy again. In mind, body, and spirit. Things continue to grow and opportunities to write keep coming. I’m working on the novel still, but lately I am more focused on this.
Money is tight, work generally sucks, but for the most part, I am happy. I sleep well. I am grateful. And for the first time in maybe my adult life, I am sure of myself. Confident. Ready to take on the rest of my days.