Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in review!

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1.What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

legally changed my name!!! fundraised to publish my book! made this thing real, finally finally finally. those two have been on my to-do list for years. also: learned an ex has raped someone & dealt with the complications around that (including what to do with a large body of autobiographical writing where he is portrayed pretty un-harshly). visited seattle. taken the train across the country (twice). worked on christmas day. worked all night, multiple times. talked a stranger out of committing suicide. filed a missing person’s report (also multiple times).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

i published my book! although it’s not back from the printer’s yet so idk if that counts. i got a job and i loved in a sustainable way. i dunno what my goals are for 2014.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? yeah, but i’m not close with any of them. aly & tara just gave birth yesterday, separately.

4. Did anyone close to you die? sean, although we weren’t close. a few clients, although again, we weren’t close.

5. What countries did you visit? none.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? financial security, paid vacation time.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

swimming naked in the pacific ocean with nora in october was one of the high points of my entire life, let alone the year. i will remember intense moments at work, dancing by myself besides the SF bay, some really intense and healing conversations with a new friend, some moments with my book, taking some pittsburghers to the hot tubs and marvelling at the strangeness of life and how we all got here, sailing to treasure island drunk with eva, dave and their weird marina neighbor, playing on ziplines in seattle with monica, murph and adam, lizzie surprising me with a picnic on my birthday, laying in the hammock with jordan after a devastating and scary family fight, my mom getting excited about the giant duck, listening to my ipod as the train chugged through gorgeous mountains in seattle, reading strangers’ tarot cards on the train, reading maranda’s tarot on the steps of my old house, going to the bay with jill, i don’t know, lots of stuff!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

doing a lot of good work. changing my name.

9. What was your biggest failure?

not setting appropriate boundaries with certain people. a few things that i fucked up at work.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

i got the flu recently which was awful, and i fucked up my neck in july & had to go to the chiropractor. other than that i’ve been mostly ok.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

the legal notice for my name, the cover of my book (three hundred bucks from a friend, and totally worthwhile), plane/train tix to the east coast, tasty food, my new coffee pot.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

my friends & my sweethearts, some clients, some co-workers.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

the city of san francisco.

14. Where did most of your money go?

student loans, traveling, and moving.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? my new apartment, visiting the east coast, and publishing my book!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

i dunno if any new songs really came into my life this year. embarrassingly, “same love” by macklemore will always make me think of this summer.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  a little sadder, but still okay.

b) thinner or fatter? thinner, but that’s cuz i just had the flu 😦

c) richer or poorer? i have a lot of $ in my bank account but it will all be gone soon.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? writing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

dealing with people’s bullshit.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

already spent it. i was at work all day but there wasn’t much to do so i got paid double time to eat snax and go on the internet. rad!

21. Did you fall in love in 2013? stayed in love.

22. How many one-night stands? none, but i made out with a few new peeps.

23. What was your favorite TV program? orange is the new black.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? i hate the same person more.

25. What was the best book you read? “telegram”, “do it anyway”, “dear sugar”, “welcome to my country”, “the way forward is with a broken heart” and probz a lot more.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

don’t ask me for a musical discovery, i’m hardly cutting edge. i spent most of this year listening obsessively to beyonce & jawbreaker.

27. What did you want and get? published book & name change, meaningful work that i am good at, cali-friends, lots of (unpaid) vacation time

28. What did you want and not get? a good night’s sleep, a paid vacation, recognition from higher-ups, etc

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 31, i was in pittsburgh. lizzie surprised me with a fancy picnic in front of the library, then jessie picked me up and we gossiped, then shea & stephy took me out for pizza and we gossiped some more! i talked for like ten hours straight and it was a good day.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

probably more money. and my friends standing in solidarity with me and no longer hanging out with my shitty ex.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

the same.

33. What kept you sane?

validation.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

just the gentrification of SF & the cutbacks that affect people i care about.

36. Who did you miss? east coasters.

37. Who was the best new person you met? everyone at work! also i am glad that asher came back into my life ❤

why yes, it has been a long december.

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at work, we keep all the knives in a drawer or a locked cabinet, sweep the house to make sure that there aren’t any laying around. most people won’t do anything with them besides chop vegetables, but you never know. one of my co-workers is traumatized by something awful that happened recently with a pair of scissors, while she was working all night alone. i worked with her on christmas day and she kept asking, “where are the knives? where are the scissors?!” hypervigilant. i don’t blame her.

i’ve been working a lot and i am exhausted and burned out. one co-worker, who i met for the first time on christmas when he was coming in for the night shift, talked to me for ten minutes and said, “you need a vacation.” my sister sent me a letter yesterday where she said that i sound “tired” on my blog. i dunno if she means this blog or the one related to my book, but she’s right! i am tired, the kind that sleeping or coffee can’t touch. yesterday i worked thirteen hours and it was exhausting but i did a workshop based on a piece from doris zine which some people really seemed to like (it was from the Q section of the encyclopedia of doris, the piece called “quitting”). i got to share it because it changed my life when i first read it and i thought it could change someone else’s life too. i got to share it because i wanted to and nobody is going to tell me no. i also got three hugs, a few high fives, a few sincere thanks. all of these things make me feel good, keep me going in the face of trauma, despair, and futility.

it was good but i’m glad i have the next two days off, where i can wear inappropriate shirts and be restoratively silent and go to the vegan coffee shop with my boyfriend and generally chill the fuck out. my apartment feels a little like a hotel room, temporary, like it will never be a real home. i had a moment of genuine loss for a second but i don’t want to write about that. the white walls kind of bum me out & i can’t paint them. the white curtains. everything coming into my life seems to be white, or at least i see the white spaces more. i am a colorful person and it’s kinda harshing my mellow–although, of course, i am still infinitely grateful to have a home at all in this city, and a safe one at that. i’ll ride it as long as i can, and then do something else, i guess.

what i’ve been doing.

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enjoying my new apartment, in a slow quiet way. working too much & feeling burned out & stressed. applying for loans, financial aid, and credit cards. realizing that i may not get any of them and therefore won’t be able to do anything i want to do this year. trying to be okay with this and figure out some alternate way.

eating lentils. learning adobe indesign. laying out my book and feeling super glad that i didn’t have the money to outsource this step, cuz now i have a new skill, and now i know my book on another level. i know it in a way that i will never know any other book in the world. it’s a nice feeling.

disgruntled with work lately, but today we had to go to some bullshit meeting in which i thought they’d be taking away one of the few benefits we have; so i wore my IWW shirt that i got from a freebox that says, “the working class and the employing class have nothing in common.” my co-workers applauded that, even the ones that were severely pissing me off just a few days ago, and the fact that i can show up for a staff meeting in a ripped-up radical t-shirt and have people be delighted is one reason to enjoy my job. another reason is that a guy stopped me on the street, a former client. i honestly didn’t remember him, but he remembered me and shook my hand, said he’d been sober for three months and was looking for work and couldn’t have done it without us. it was truly heartwarming, because the clients who are doing well don’t come back to us, so it’s easy to feel that we don’t help anyone, and important to remember that we do.

i’ve been the busiest i’ve been since moving here; since losing my job in pgh in may 2012, actually. it’s overwhelming but mostly good. laziness and numbness are not good for me. feeling kind of too scattered to read, even, but i have a big stack of library books by my bed and i’m slowly picking my way through them.

i hated winter but i crave it. i don’t want 5 months of winter like back home; more like two weeks. maybe i can get a flight deal in february or something. but i don’t know. i’m edging towards being broke and it makes me so nervous; i’m not one of those people who can be happy with a huge credit card balance, with debtors calling. i live within my means and i’ve survived 13 years of poverty with my good credit still intact, which is no small feat. i think those days may be over & i’m trying to be okay with it. trying. trying. that’s all you can do, i guess, is just keep on trying.