roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (Vast and solemn spaces (Buttercup Festiv)

Well, that was an incredibly rough year for me. Probably the grimmest of my life to date.

Most of the badness was concentrated in the second half of 2016, and woo boy was it concentrated. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and underwent two major surgeries and some chemo, and my grandmother and my aunt both sickened and died with very little warning. (Grandma had some pneumonia that seemed to be getting better until suddenly it wasn't, and she was gone by the next day. That's my last grandparent gone, btw. Aunt Shellie got a pancreatic cancer diagnosis with a prediction of three to six months, which turned out to be an overestimate; she lasted about one.) We still don't know how Mom's disease is going to go; this is the sort of thing where they talk about 50% average 5-year survival rates. I know that nobody's "average," but the point is anything could happen. We got good-ish news from the pathology report after the liver resection. I don't know.

And then there's all the nazis.

To be honest, I'm not sure what else to say here. It was incredibly hard and the future looks very dark. I'm going to be seeking therapy, because I kind have to assume something in my brain has been strained past its normal operating condition by all this. I feel a little... I don't know, thinned-out, let's say. Stretched and translucent.

Not busted, though. I'm still going. More resilient than I thought I'd probably be.

There was some good this year, too, but I kind of don't even want to talk about it in the same breath as all this other stuff? There's no personal scale of fortune that balances (or partway-balances) out; the good things happened at full volume and the bad things happened at full volume too, and nothing mitigates anything.

Well, I'll guess I'll say this: I've had some hard years before, and they were almost always hard for internal reasons: wrestling with depression and loneliness, unhappy with my job, unhappy with the distance between the person I was and the person I wanted to be. This year was brutal for external reasons, but I felt secure in who I was, I felt like I generally understood the correct thing to do when shit came up, and I mostly felt strong enough to do it. A better Nick in a worse world. So there's that.

roadrunnertwice: Scott fends off Matthew Patel's attack. (Reversal! (Scott Pilgrim))
OKAY, that was an eventful week! The short version is that today was my last day of work at Quiktrak, in an hour I'll jump in a taxi to the airport for a trip to Turkey and a rendezvous with [personal profile] katealaurel, and on the 15th I'll start work at Puppet Labs.

I don't really have time for the long version, but the sort of medium-length one is that I'd been getting pretty dissatisfied about where I was going in my job, and decided a few months ago to start looking around in earnest for a new thing. Before I'd gotten far, our very same [personal profile] katealaurel tipped me off to the opening at Puppet, and that started happening.

In the meantime, I'd already scheduled this trip to Turkey before even starting the job hunt. Once Puppet's selection process got down to the last couple stages, I wasn't expecting to hear whether I'd made it until during or after the trip, but it sped up right at the end, and I got the job offer last Friday night. Then I started freaking out about the whole two weeks' notice situation, since Puppet wanted me to start on the 15th and I wasn't sure whether Quiktrak was going to ask me to stay a full 10 workdays, which would, well, problems.

Shouldn't have worried--my (newly reorganized) manager at QT independently suggested making today my last day, which worked out great. This way, I get a clean break, a nice vacation, and several days to recuperate once I get back stateside.

So yeah, I have successfully jumped from a stable but unfulfilling job to a salaried position as a writer during the worst job market in my lifetime, and now I'm about to go spend a little short of two weeks with a beautiful girl in an exciting European and/or Asian locale. Shit is looking up.

(Obligatory Scott Pilgrim: If my life had a face...)
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Crow on signposts)
New year, huh? Sure, bring it on!

Like I said on Twitter: I had mixed feelings about 2009, but you know what, "mixed" is a hundred percent better than my feelings on the year before that. 2009 had some gnarly downs (hey August and September: eat a dick), but it also had some actual ups, and so I come to neither praise it nor bury it. Well, I guess it's technically buried anyhow. Whatever?

Anyway, onward. In the new year, I would like to do more of everything: I plan on writing more, exercising more, spending more time with my friends and with people I want to be friends with, making more stuff, exploring more of my city and my world, and hopefully having a lot more sex. The lot of that may take some cleverness, on account of working 40 hours a week and commuting another 10; I don't understand how the rest of you ninetofivers do it, much less folk like [ profile] b_zedan who spend a helluva lot more time en route than me. I do have a couple ideas of my own, though:

  • Kathleen mentioned that her dad eats at his desk and spends his lunch working out, which reminded me that there's a Bally's Fitness literally next door to my job. I could extend my day to 5:40, take an hour lunch, and buy a gym membership, which sounds like a much nicer habit than getting home in the dark and trying to convince myself to go running in the rain. Not that I don't sometimes enjoy it, but Jesus it's hard to keep that up.
  • I'll keep writing on the train, but I also want to find a few two or three hour stretches a week where I can just sit in front of my computer and get some serious shit done. That pair of 40-minute bites every day are great for keeping me on-horse and the rough direction of things steady in my head, but sometimes you just need more focus than that.

Actually, I think that's all I got right now. Well, that's okay. It's winter, and life is slow 'til the weather improves, which is fine.

Also, I guess it's the end of a decade. I don't even know how to parse that; it's been ten years that felt like twenty, and most of the time I feel completely disconnected from who I was in, say, 2000.

This was the decade I grew up in; do I have anything more to say about that? No I do not. Happy New Year.
roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (Vast and solemn spaces (Buttercup Festiv)
So I apparently just lost my job. Not in the sense that I got fired, but in the sense that said job i.e. the business itself ceased to exist. As in, job not found, abort/retry/fail?

I am somewhere in the neighborhood of as upset as you would expect me to be. Goddammit, I liked that job. Pretty much everything was going the way I wanted it to go. Finances were stable, I was learning stuff and having fun. Now everything is in pieces on the floor: I can't imagine I have health insurance anymore, so that's pretty awesome. And I need to come up with a source of $1050/mo. pretty much within the next two weeks (HA!).

Plan was to go to WA this week and visit with Laura, and now being away from Portland that long is suddenly a source of anxiety and fear instead of just a relaxing jaunt. I'll probably do it anyway, because We ♥ Laura; I'll just be a little distracted, so please forgive me in advance. o_o

It sounds like there's still some packing-up to be done on Tuesday and maybe a few days in addition to that, but I'm at liberty tomorrow. Guess I'll polish up my résumé and go drop it off at five or six places. At least I've gained some skills in the last few months; I'd really rather stay in retail than go back to canvassing. Hey, maybe I can get some kind of technical job, that might be nice too. And I'm pretty confident Abundant's managers will give good reference for me.

Still: I'm a little worried. I've got something like $1500 to my name at the moment; I'll be getting another half a paycheck, maybe a bit more; let's be conservative and call $1700 the total. I don't like that number one bit. Expect me to be a little bit tense for a while. And if you get any interesting leads on jobs around town, do please pass them on.

Posting without friends-lock, because why the hell not, right?
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
God bless you and your sidebar, Patrick Nielsen Hayden—that was exactly what I needed to read just now.


roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
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