I have good news and I have bad news.
The good news is that if you’ve read Part One then you’ve made halfway through my Year in Review for 2018 and most of the “big events” happened there. The bad news is that we still have six months to go and in there are a few noteworthy events, plus the emotional fallout of a lot of Part One’s events, plus the year-end finale in December. If that doesn’t get you jazzed for Part Two I don’t know what would.
The shit-storm of stress at my job quadrupled when my Team Lead left for maternity leave on the 3rd, and it was assumed that since I was the only person who knew how to do most of her job, that I would be taking on all of her responsibilities even if I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Plus, given that the Director of Finance had only joined the practice in February, she had been relying heavily on my coworker for things like practice analysis reports, so I got the privilege of doing executive level work for menial level pay. I was already overwhelmed and I refused to continue doing overtime because the money was not worth the stress, particularly when the company informed us that our yearly reviews, which were always done in July, would not include a salary increase this year.
My mother bought a sectional in fairly good shape that she found at the Good Will store. (This might not seem like much, but it’s important later.)
I had to fix the retaining wall that I had built for the first of what would be three times that year thanks to people running it over.
We celebrated Bella’s first birthday as part of our family. She was quite spoiled with ice cream cake and many toys.
During my search for another job, I came across a position that looked like a great fit for my mother. I knew that it would be difficult for me to leave our company knowing that she was stuck there in the phones department, so I was really happy that she agreed to interview for the new job, and then I was even happier when she accepted their offer for the position. I, on the other hand, continued to strike out on the job hunt, so I began to explore the idea of going back to school.
My Lupus began manifesting itself in crippling stomach spasms. I’m honestly surprised that something like that didn’t happen sooner given all of the stress, but it made up for the delay in spades. I like to think that I have a high tolerance for pain so when I say that the spasms were crippling, they were truly excruciating.
I heard about a position with a book publicity company, and even though I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance in hell of being called, I gave them my resume
My mother officially completed her last day at her old job on the 7th. It did feel a little depressing driving into work myself the following Monday after four years of working together.
My friend who had lost her brother-in-law in January, lost her daughter-in-law to sudden complications with her Lupus. She was only 36 years old and left behind an 11 year old daughter.
At the end of the month, to my utter shock, I did get a call from the book publicity company. Even more shocking is that they said that they would call me again to come in for an interview about two weeks later…
…and most shocking of all is that about a week after my interview, I was offered the position. Accepting it was both huge and terrifying for a number of reasons, but I knew that I had to take it and I’m just thankful that God had presented me with the opportunity, and that I had the support of my family to pursue it.
My last day at my old company was the first week of November. In the five years I had been there I had seen many people leave, and nearly everyone who left sent their final “Thank you” email specifying that they were “not saying “goodbye but ‘I’ll see you later'”. I always found this a little melodramatic because if we’re being honest, when you leave a job, it really is the last time you will ever see the majority – if not all – of your coworkers. So I decided that I would say “goodbye” in my final email. This was partly to be ironic because unlike everyone who promised “I’ll see you later” and then disappeared, I actually would keep in contact with the people that I cared about. (And since I’m writing about this long after the fact, I can tell you that I did keep my promise.) But the other reason is that I really did want to bid goodbye to that company and the atmosphere of stress and anxiety that it created and to the people who exploited that to their benefit. Also, there was a bit of satisfaction in the defiant act of saying the word that everyone expect you to avoid.
I started my new job, and also the process of cultivating new relationships and a new routine.
Remember back in July when I said that my mother found a new couch at Good Will? Well it became the catalyst to tackle the other half of the first floor in the Massive House-Wise Renovation Project because it was supposed to go into the living room which was still the subject of wretched carpeting and that bloody popcorn ceiling. Rather than move the couch twice, we ripped up the carpet and scraped the ceiling in the living room…
Which is connected to the dining room…
So that meant ripping and scraping the dining room too.
And that’s how we reached the HUGE milestone of scraping off the last of the popcorn ceiling in the house.
That was the week before Thanksgiving and I thought that I pretty much kicked ass over the past three weeks between leaving a job after five years, starting a new job, beginning classes, and ripping apart two full rooms, in fact I expected to be finished enough to start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. (Unlike the previous year but that’s another story.)
Then it was Thanksgiving and I was suddenly holy shit I left my job of five years, started a new job in a completely new field, I’m starting classes but I don’t remember shit about school, and am in agony after ripping apart two full rooms with uncontrolled Lupus! What the f*** was I thinking?!?! I ironically had just talked myself down from a meltdown on Sunday when I received a call from the friend who had lost her brother-in-law and daughter-in-law this year to tell me that her sister had found their mother on the floor of her bedroom and that she was gone.
There were four weekend before Christmas in December and every single one of mine were booked. This would be exhausting for a normal person but, when you’re an introvert who need ten hours to recoup for every one of being social, it’s a nightmare – especially when said introvert is already stressed out of her mind.
One nice things though was that I was able to actually do one of the things I had written down to do this year back in January and that was seeing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. But in addition to this I had a gender reveal party, a holiday happy hour, and an ugly Christmas sweater themed first birthday party so that by the time Christmas Eve and my annual Feast of Seven Fishes came around I was ready to pass out. And that’s exactly what I did.
This should probably be an entry of its own, but given that I can’t give a full firsthand account I’m going to drop it here as the finale to 2018.
On Christmas Eve, two hours before the party was supposed to start, my stomach started spasming. Despite medication it continued to get worse so I went upstairs to lie down and try to get the pain under control. However when I heard the first guest arrive, I decided to try to muster through, but did not even make it out of my bedroom before I dropped to the floor. I don’t know how many of you have passed out but it’s a very disorientating experience. When I started to come to there was a strange man crouching over me, grabbing my shoulder, so my oxygen starved brain went to its default defense mode and I slammed the heel of my palm into his arm and sent it flailing away from me. I vaguely remember his look of shocked alarm before I drifted back into an oblivious sea of pain and nausea, and thankfully the man did not shoot me or arrest me, but let an ambulance take me to the hospital, because as it turns out, he was a police officer. I did convince the hospital to release me almost as soon as I got there, but unfortunately the party was a bust. I suppose it was a fitting end for the kind of year 2018 was.
But on the bright side I can now tell the story of that time I assaulted a police officer on Christmas Eve.