Dec. 31st, 2016

bluealoe: (BlueAloe)
If history is any indication, 2016 will be a dramatic year.

I wrote that line exactly one year ago, and I wasn't wrong.

[I'm going to focus on personal events, because if I get into larger national/global events, I'll get too depressed and scared.]

Three very good things happened this year. I finished my last semester of grad school and successfully graduated. That's something I never dreamed would happen. It was definitely satisfying (but scary too).
I got a job. That was absolutely amazing. It happened much faster than I thought, and now I have a steady job in the education department of a very good museum. The job isn't perfect, but overall I enjoy it and feel much better that I have some stability.
And we got a new cat. That was totally unexpected, but she walked into our lives and chose us to be her humans. We couldn't say no. And every day I'm thankful that we have Goldie; she's a total sweetheart, a purring machine, and has brought us so much love.

We moved to Alaska. This was both good and bad. It's wonderful to be back in a place I'm familiar with, and I feel more like myself in Alaska than I do anywhere else. And of course, having a job is good. :) But the move itself was very stressful (if you ever get the chance to drive four thousand miles in eight days with your mom, husband, and two cats...don't.) Dealing with the in-laws has been difficult; they REALLY didn't want us to move. And Fairbanks is filled with old ghosts I'm still trying to deal with.

On the bad side, Rory went through some very rough times. His boss turned out to be emotionally abusive and controlling, and that job ended with hurt feelings on all sides. Rory's dad reacted very badly to us moving to Alaska, and said some incredibly hurtful things to both of us that are going to take a long time to heal. And there's been ongoing issues with his mom that came to a head this summer, and still haven't been resolved. About the only salvageable aspect of the situation is that Rory is learning to stand up for himself and not give in to guilt trips. It's a work in progress, but getting better. And he's settling in very well in Fairbanks; he's very comfortable in Alaska.

And the absolute worse thing that happened was losing Jade. It was almost exactly one year after Sapphire, and totally unexpected. She was fine, and then she was gone, and there wasn't a damn thing we could do to save her. It's even worse this time, because while I loved Sapphire dearly and miss her every day, Jade was...well, she was JADE. I can't explain it better than that. She was a very special cat that touched so many peoples' lives, and I still can't adjust to a world without her. And it happened so suddenly...at least with Sapphire, we had a little bit of warning.
For so long, I had the two of them, Sapphire and Jade, always the two of them. And now they're both gone. And life will never be the same.

Other things that happened this year: I traveled to Massachusetts, South Dakota, and four thousand miles to Alaska (I think we crossed nine states and four provinces). We attended the wedding of our dear friends Lynds and Lauren. My friends Caitlin and Mark got married as well. My cousin had a baby, two of Rory's friends had babies, and at least four more friends have announced babies on the way. Rory and I went to a family reunion in July. A very good friend died of cancer in May, just before graduation. My mom, sister, and nephews came to visit for Christmas, and while it was hectic, we survived. I reconnected with some old friends in Fairbanks I hadn't seen in a long time. We went to Chena Hot Springs three times.

It was a hell of a year, but I won't be sad to say goodbye to it.

For 2017, I have one major goal: stability. I want to stay in the same house for an entire calendar year (the last time that happened was 2010). I want to get better at my job and feel more settled at the museum. I want to be more financially secure. [Of course, all of this might change with political developments...we haven't ruled out immigrating, if it comes to that.]

As the Monkey gives way to the Rooster, I hope the new year is kind to all of us.

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