I have a feeling this might be a long post.
I’m not quite sure how to begin, so I’ll just dive right in: 2008 has been weird. I’m not going to be one of those people whom says it completely sucked; it had it’s good moments. There are some goals I wanted to achieve for 2008, and some hopes I had. Unlike New Year’s 2007, which felt like any other day, something about 2008 made it really feel like a new beginning (to me, at least), and I am sitting here relatively surprised by how the year progressed.
At the beginning of the year, I was in my final semester at Mesa Community (I’d been balancing general education classes on the associates level with upper-division courses at University of Phoenix; a backward way of doing my degree, but it was working) and was doing great in work, school, and life in general. In February, Justin and I (not together at this point) took a trip to San Francisco, using up an airline credit that had been previously accumilated while we were still living together (under the coupe to attend Skon’s wedding together in Orange County). On the trip, we realized we missed each other, but none of us were ready to admit it yet – which was probably for the best at the time. A month later, we were back together. The year was continuing to go great, and I had even secured a book deal for my (at the time, second) book, Peace and Destruction from the Ramparts at Damascus Gate. It was due to the publisher on April 15. A week before, feeling that I was rushing it, the publisher called to give me an extension to September 15th.
While April 15th proved not to bring a contract and royalty check, what it did bring was a massive five-car pile-up on the I-10 on my way to work at University of Phoenix. I was the first car hit in a chain of four, severely hurting me and totaling my Suzuki Forenza. Ironically, not even 48 hours before the accident, I was driving on the steep and bumpy Apache Trail near Roosevelt Lake, taking it extra easy on my car so as not to cause any damage. That accident, just like the one I had in late 2001 that totalled my Chevy Blazer (also not-at-fault) was a change in course that altered the majority of my year. I was in severe pain for months on end, and could only halfway function via a nice cocktail of muscle relaxers and pain killers. Of course, this caused my job performance to take a downward spiral – not only was I only working a 40-hour a week job about 15 hours a week for several months, but I was completely high on the medications when I was at work. I also had to drop out of school for the semester.
Of course, the insurance claim for the accident took forever due to five cars being involved and the length of my treatment (it’s just now being resolved). Other things started happening which took their toll, not the least of which was Justin’s collapse at work causing his head to split open and a few key vertebrea to break. That happened in May; he just returned to work two weeks ago. While my job performance only partly recovered, I parted ways with University of Phoenix in mid-October. After a short stint at a coffee shop, I decided to begin pursuing my freelance writing full time. November supported me well, but December has had it’s setbacks, which is expected during the holidays. January looks promising, as do some other gigs I have lined up in the freelance world for the next part of the year.
In an effort to end on a high note, I was also able to release my (now) second book, “Dear World – A Novel” on the three-year anniversary of the release of my first book, “Churches, Pubs & Hostels.” I am currently reviewing some goals I set for myself the year previous; and also looking at what I can set out to accomplish this next year. It is amazing what I feel is possible with having – really – all the time in the world to work on my projects and learn what I need to learn. It is exciting and overwhelming to not have to be anywhere in particular every single day. When I was chained for the past four years in a cubicle, I would often daydream about the things I could accomplish if time were not an issue. I can’t yet say that money is not an issue – it most certainly is, but one that is being taken in with a bit of smarts and personal restructuring. For now, time is not an issue. I can write, read, dream, and think about what the next steps are.
Even in these last two months as a freelancer, I’ve been operating to a fraction of my potential. If I had to go back to a 9-5 tomorrow, I would feel that I’ve relatively squandered the last two months – even though I accomplished a good deal. I’ve allowed myself to do this as a way of relaxing and looking ahead to what I need to do – and with the new year and the end of the holidays, I have nothing but a desire to dive right in. Never before in my life have I had no major hinderance to some of my key goals – now or never, right? If I don’t go for broke and succeed, I have no other external factor to blame.
More to come soon.