Saturday, December 27, 2014

Things that Happened in 2014

January: I finished the first draft of my "long story," a novel-length murder mystery set on a post-apocalyptic farm. I did my due diligence and set out copies to a half-dozen friends for review and comment; they were generally kind, which gives me hope. I haven't had time since then to pick up the story for more work, but I think about it every day.

February: I visited my friend Jess in Montreal for her baby shower; she's my first close friend to have made a kid. Last year, I went through some Big Feelings about kids/fertility, but somehow, it's been easy being her friend through her pregnancy and new motherhood. Most of that credit goes to her: in addition to talking about maternity leave and breastfeeding, she also knows about things like Serial and Straphanger and Jian Ghomeshi. She's pretty rad, as far as motherhood role models go.

March: I started a new job, and the results, as they say, have been mixed. However, I did make headway on a my work-related anxiety and confidence. So there's that.

April: M and I got engaged. We had been talking about marriage for a while, but when we went for a walk up to Casa Loma on a beautiful spring day, I didn't know he was about to get down on one knee and propose. It was pretty magical.

May: We really started to dig deep on the wedding planning. Five months is not a long engagement, and there was so much to do: what would we feed people? Where? What would I wear? Who would we invite? How much is postage? There were so many moving parts, and each one took time and intense conversation.

June: I interviewed two people who cited their workplace's community and connectedness as a major plus for them, and I realized that this—since I worked alone—was a perk that was lacking in my own job. These two interviews are probably what began 2014's maddeningly slow thought process about my own professional story: What do I like to do? How do I turn that into work?

July: Technically, Emmett's annual Dominion Day party was in June, but it felt like the kick-off to this summer. We ate mad barbecue, drank whiskey, went on a meandering hike, and I read White Noise by Don Delillo, which was weird (and I liked it). There was also a huge bonfire, which conveniently doubles as a lazy metaphor for personal rebirth and renewal.

August: Honestly, I spent a lot of August feeling pretty lonely. Our wedding loomed large and unconquerable on the near horizon, my bank account was being drained like a fatted pig, and I felt unshakeable workplace ennui. I also was loathe to talk about it, since that felt very spoiled: "Gather round, friends, as I complain about my life choices!" I cried a lot. I read about Detroit. I made kombucha.

September: Then M and I got married. Our summer had been filled with filthy work weekend and aching muscles, but all of the work paid off big-time. We had two lovely, shining days: a teeny ceremony at city hall (+ dim sum), followed the next day by 88 of our closest friends and family eating tacos, drinking cider, and dancing until 2:30 in the morning. M and I had often turned to each other in the weeks leading up to our big days and said, "If we can get through this, we can get through anything," and I really do think that's true.

October: One of my oldest friendships ended. It was a long time coming, and it was honestly for the best, but I felt pretty crummy about it. It made me ask myself uncomfortable questions about what my boundaries are, and how much evil I carry in my heart (we all carry some), and my abilities to sustain any long-term relationship if I couldn't keep this one going. I miss my friend, but I don't miss feeling terrible about our friendship.

November: M took me to Luma for Taste of Iceland, and we all got really (really!) into Serial.

December: My first Christmas as a married person was also the shortest one I'd ever had: two and a half whirlwind days with my in-laws, my parents, my dad's extended family, and my husband. I made the decision to wear control-top underwear to Christmas dinner, which was miserable and masochistic. I enter 2015 as a woman who will never again be punished by restrictive panties.

Image via Mathew Borrett