Dec. 31st, 2015

bluealoe: (BlueAloe)
Well, that was a year.

There was a lot of good and a lot of bad, in almost equal amounts.

On the good side, I applied for and actually got the internship I desperately wanted. I got to spend three months in Seattle working at an awesome museum, spending lots of time in the Chinatown-International District, and being close to my sister and nephews. We also lucked out with an incredible landlady who was very kind to us. I successfully finished two semesters of graduate school, plus the summer internship, and only have one more semester left. I also successfully helped plan and run a huge event in March. I got much closer with my classmates, and we've formed a very tight-knit group.
I got to attend two weddings; my sister-in-law got married in July, and my dear friend Thomas got married in September (YAY!). I also visited my friends Heather (and family) and Susan, both of whom I hadn't seen in several years. I traveled to Canada twice (both sides: Victoria and Montreal), California, Vermont, Massachusetts, and of course Washington State. I visited New York City for the first time, and was very overwhelmed. I went to the Museum at Bethel Woods, the site of the Woodstock Festival. I saw two amazing Pixar movies, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur. I watched all of Cosmos.
I got to meet lots of chickens. This year truly was the year of the chicken; we house-sat for one of my professors, who has chickens; held baby chicks at a farm in Massachusetts; spent all summer with nine chickens in Seattle; and saw even more chickens in Vermont.
In family news, my mom traveled to Antarctica and Europe, my sister seems much happier with her life, both of my sisters-in-law are making great strides in personal matters, and my cousin-in-law has completely turned her life around after the birth of her son. One of my cousins had a baby, and another cousin is due in May.
And of course I got to spend another year with my incredible husband. Without him, going to graduate school wouldn't have been possible, and I appreciate his support, loyalty, sense of humor, creativity, and goofiness more and more every day. Oh, and his cooking makes everything better. :)

On the bad side of things, my internship did not go exactly as planned. I had issues with my supervisor, and did not get to do as much as I had hoped. Living in Seattle was rough at times, and I hated dealing with the public transportation and the traffic. Finding a place to live was also very stressful, though we lucked out in the end. The fall semester was also really difficult; I seriously clashed with one of my professors, and wasn't the only one who had issues with her. School in general was pretty chaotic, and communication between faculty and students was very poor, for a variety of reasons. I had a nervous breakdown in front of one professor, which was very embarrassing. I also started to get very tired of school, and by the end of the fall semester was definitely ready to just graduate and get out of here.
Rory had a lot of problems finding work once we got back from Seattle, and went through a pretty rough patch. Watching him feel bad about himself was incredibly difficult for me. (Luckily things are going better now.)
There were a variety of family issues. My stepfather-in-law fell and seriously injured his neck, and has been recuperating for months; his quality of life will probably never be the same. Rory's uncle was diagnosed with cancer and died the day after Christmas. There were also a few sensitive matters with Rory's family; they didn't directly involve us, but were very stressful anyway. And one of my mother-in-law's dogs also got very sick; she's okay now, but it took several months to figure out what was wrong and how to treat it.
And the absolute worse thing that happened this year was losing Sapphire. At the beginning of the year, she was frail but generally healthy. Then she got an eye infection, had dental surgery, and developed a lump on her cheek. She still acted like herself, was eating and drinking, but over the course of three days she went downhill fast. Watching her lay on her side, struggling to breathe, refusing even to drink, trying to walk....I'm not exaggerating when I say it was the hardest thing I've ever witnessed. It's been almost three months since she's been gone, and I still haven't adjusted to life without her. I miss her like crazy every single day. I've lost pets before, but this was by far the worst. She really was one hell of a cat, and life will never be the same again.

In history is any indication, 2016 will be a dramatic year. Every five years seems to bring big changes, and since I'll be graduating in May, I'm sure changes are coming. All I want is a stable job in the education department of a mid-sized museum that focuses on telling the stories of marginalized people and is devoted to community engagement. Is that too much to ask?

My goals for the year are to get through the spring semester and successfully graduate, get a museum-related job, work on being financially stable, and continue to enjoy spending time with my amazing husband, family, and friends.

Happy New Year, everyone. May the Year of the Monkey be kind to all of you.

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