Friends, this is my sixth and final post of 2011. I could say that I am a terrible blogger, but I’m not sure I was ever really a blogger in any consistent sense of the word. I can’t make any promises for the new year, just that I’ll try to remember this blog is here and that a small smattering of you are kind enough to stop by from time to time.
What a year, eh? December has been hard, not only because it was our first holiday season without Dad, but because I’ve been overwhelmed thinking about everything that’s happened in the last twelve months. Three grandbabies were born. Three! What would we have done without them this Christmas? Probably sat around arguing and been one big lump of sadness, that’s what. I am convinced that the universe timed their births for this year so that we’d have little people to take the sting out of Dad leaving this world so soon, too soon.
My first year of grad school was hard, but in a good way. I often say that it felt like one continuous punch in the face. I learned how much I didn’t know, how much I had yet to learn, how hard this writing thing really is, and how glad I am to have this opportunity to grow as an artist and as a person. This year I started teaching and untangled the mess that would become my thesis. I found some peace in knowing that I’m not here to immediately publish some New York Times Bestseller. I’m here to learn and take that knowledge with me into some future where maybe, a bestseller awaits.
I’m looking forward to a post-grad school life. I get to start over again, career-wise, life-wise, which is awesome and terrifying at the same time. I’ll eventually end up in the Bay Area again, though I don’t know if it will be sooner or later. Maybe I’ll live in another country first. I know I’ll travel a bit. That much I know. I get frustrated with my siblings sometimes for not reaching higher, farther. I often remind them that Mom and Dad weren’t able to give us much in material goods when we were growing up, but what they did give us was opportunity, and boatloads of it. Seize it. Grab it by its horns and ride it out ’til another one comes by. As the guru Tim Gunn says, “Make it work, goddammit!” (I’m paraphrasing.)
Oddly enough, I can’t say it was the worst year on record. I’ve got my health. I’ve got a partner who’s been here with me through the darkness and the light. I’ve got some darling, amazing, wonderful, beautiful friends who’ve been dears this year. I’ve got a crazy family who Dad would be proud to see are sticking together through it all, just like everyone remembers us, like how all eight of us would share a single room on vacation when we were young.
This is the real shit, people. Life. We’re gonna be all right.
Happy new year.