24 June 2009

[Imported] MMVIII

I've been trying to write a 2008 Year in Review entry for the last week, and have had a hard time getting beyond this first sentence. It was a…difficult year – yeah, that seems to be an apt word, 'difficult' – but it certainly wasn't the worst. No, that honor is still held by 2004, and short of a black hole swallowing the sun leaving all of us on Earth to die a slow, freezing death in any given future year, that is a title that I fully expect (and pray, pray, PRAY) 2004 to retain for a long, long, LOOOONG time.

I guess I'll start with January, despite it being a terrible start to the year.

January: I moved to Florida on a whim. I allow myself to act upon one whim a year – obviously, I used this one pretty quickly – and given that the whim I acted upon the previous year led me to making out with a Moroccan looking for citizenship, and given that this particular whim of 2008 failed miserably, I think I might reduce my moments of spontaneity to once a decade. Maybe I'll choose my moments a bit more carefully then.

Anyway – Florida. I think it was a move made more out of desperation than reason, because even going into it, I had a feeling it wasn't going to go well. I was just that unwilling to return to school, and I would have taken any excuse not to go back at that time. Nevertheless, on the surface, it seemed like a decent idea: I was still listed as a seasonal employee at Disney, and I knew people personally who had returned to work for a week here, a week there; and while I knew Splash Mountain was down for refurbishment, I still had hope that I could either be stationed outside the attraction with the other Cast Members telling guests that the ride was indeed closed for the season, or that I could be crossed trained on Big Thunder Mountain. In my defense, I didn't officially decide to move down there until I talked to some ill-informed lady in Casting who said, "Oh, yeah, sure! One of those options will most definitely pan out for you. You'll be working within a week once you move down here." I'm just going to cut the story short and say that, duh, it didn't work out – the soonest I could have been stationed anywhere was April, and I did not like the people I was living with down there enough to wait that long. Their sex was too loud. Ew.

February-April: I don't remember much about these months, I was probably too consumed with my Floridian failure, boohoohoo. My father finished up his second government-sponsored vacation, as I like to call it. I had to break my silent treatment to him once he moved back in with his mother, because it was too hard to figure out how to visit her without seeing him. Eh, I got a couple hundred dollars out of the deal, and I really have no problem with that being my motivation. Probably not the most Christian attitude to have, but I'm working on it. Or rather, God is working on me. I'm just being stubborn.

Sorry God. :/

May: The official start of theme park season! And what a season it was. I started off by meeting up with one of my fellow "Splash Trash" friends from Disney. He lives in Maine, but he was visiting his family in Virginia, so we met up to do Six Flags America in Maryland and Kings Dominion in VA. A week or two later, I went to Pennsylvania with my mom and aunt to claim my hard-earn prize of being one of the first people to ride the brand new roller coaster at Hersheypark – Fahrenheit. As you may know, it didn't go exactly as planned, but it was still a fantastic trip.

June: Okay, wow, I really don't remember any single thing about June. I had to go digging through past blog entries to figure it out, which is a very dangerous thing because once I see how bad my writing is from my fresh perspective, I get very delete-happy. But to recap June: I nearly drowned in my living room and my laptop still looked like this. That's pretty much it.

Oh, and I just noticed that I took another trip to Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens with my former neighbor, her husband, and brother. I hadn't forgotten that trip; I just could have sworn that it was in July. The date on the pictures, however, tell me otherwise. It was a good trip, but I did learn something: while sharing the PB&J-making responsibility for our lunches, I learned that I have a very different opinion of what amount "a lot of peanut butter" actually is. (My opinion: if there is any peanut butter remaining in the jar after two sandwiches, you have not used enough. Everyone else's opinion: "Good God, woman." )

July: Man, what a great month to travel, right? What with those record-setting gas prices? My mom and I took a 10-day, 2,400 mile whirlwind trip filled with family and friends (and Six Flags Great America, w00t) and gas-guzzling - right when gas reached its peak. I swear, the day we returned, gas dropped 15 cents. Oh, the timing we have. This is the only post I have semi-documenting this trip, though prepared to be underwhelmed with the amount of recapping I do. But you can at least see our whole trip mapped out here.<

August: Theme Park Review trip. BEST. TRIP. EVER. 10 parks, 6 days, one terrifyingly exhausting drive home.

September: School. Eye roll.

October: I was not done with my theme parking for the year, hohhhh no. I had a perfectly good 6-day weekend (thank you, Tuesday-and-Thursday-only classes) for fall break and I was not about to waste it. Plus, I had a perfectly good Six Flags season pass ticket, due to the three other SF parks I had done earlier in the year; so I figured it was the perfect time to go to Six Flags over Georgia, especially since there were four credits I'd yet to conquer. And since my dad (ugh) only lived 2.5 hours away from that park and only 1.5 hours away from Dollywood, I stayed with him on the condition that he actually take me to Dollywood. Which he did, like the good daddy he buys himself to be. The parks? Awesome. I did SFoG alone, but that's never stopped me from having fun before. And we took two of my cousins to Dollywood with us, so that definitely helped make my dad more bearable. But, I unfortunately learn that not even theme parks are worth spending the night with my dad, not anymore. It was awkward, annoying, and truly just a gut-wrenching, soul-selling experience. I think I'll keep any future visits with my dad under 24 hours, thank you very much.

November: Thanksgiving at Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. You can read the not-yet-finished trip report here. This trip ties with the TPR trip for being Best Moment of 2008. On one hand, I made a ton of friends on the TPR trip, got lots of exclusive ride time, shared a room with an Oscar winner, and nearly died when we rode a roller coaster non-stop in a lightning storm for an hour. On the other hand, Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth, I finally got to see all the beautiful Christmas lights in person, and the trip was almost entirely free, save for gas. I don't know how I could possibly choose between the two.

December: The year ended about as well as it began. I failed my history class, I watched my grandpa fall into the Christmas tree after drinking all morning, and then I was present for the poorly-planned intervention with him that failed miserably that night. There was a lot of yelling, a lot of crying, and a lot of my grandpa being an absolute jackass. There's 20+ years worth of guilt behind my grandpa's drinking and there's 20+ years of repressed anger in my family toward my grandpa over the thing that causes his guilt. It ended in a mess, our Christmas, and I can only hope that 2009 is the year in which the pieces will be picked up.

All in all, 2008 was as difficult as it was fun. I should have graduated this year, and I never regretted leaving my music major behind once until this year when I saw all my clarinet friends from Indiana graduate and get jobs with orchestras, bands, ensembles, etc. I don't think I was cut out for that world, looking back at it, but there's still a part of me that wishes I had been. I gave up a piece of myself when I left that practice room building for the last time, and I think I will mourn that loss for the rest of my life.

I've been flaky this year – these past few years, really – and that's not me at all. It's not that I can't commit to anything, it's just that I can't make up my mind on what to commit to. I was certain before with music, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and that path landed me in the hospital. My health - physical and mental - was at stake, but that didn't make the decision to leave any easier. So I've been second guessing myself ever since, terrified of finally choosing something for fear that I'll choose wrong again. And now that I have finally chosen something, all these decisions have to be made surrounding it – do I stay in the free school for four and a half more years despite the fact that I'm utterly burned out with all these gen-ed classes they want me to take? Or do I take out $30,000 more in loans for another school just so I can save two and a half years of my time and sanity by not needing those extra, non-related classes? It's so much to consider, and I'm just so tired of it all. I almost didn't go to my first day of classes today, because no matter which previously mentioned option I choose, this semester won't be a benefit for me in either case. I decided to go at the last minute, because the extra money in my bank account is a nice cushion until I get a job. Plus, I had nothing better to do. Not exactly the ideal motivation, I suppose, but something had to make the decision for me.

But I digress. That last part didn't have much to do with 2008. But it at least leads me to now, to 2009. And I do have hope for this year – hope that is entirely unrelated to Barack Obama, fyi. Because at some point, progress toward my degree will resume, one way or another, at one school or another; and perhaps that light at the end of the tunnel will start to emerge once I stop spinning my wheels as I have been doing for some time now.

By the way – light at the end of the tunnel? Spinning my wheels? How clichéd am I? Gag.

P.S. I think I'm falling.

No comments:

Post a Comment