pixkris: (joy...puppy)
I'm stealing the title of this entry from Douglas Adams, obviously, but also from another board I post on. They have a yearly "Goodbye and Good Riddance" thread, which this year was subtitled, "So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish." Here's my entry, which I feel is fitting to include here.

So 2009. I'm glad we have the thread title we do, because 2009 gave me a lot of fish, figuratively speaking. 2008 had been the year from hell, and I limped into 2009 praying it would be a better year. It's not that it was a perfect year--it had its moments of stress and sadness--but it was a year of resettling and reaffirming the choices I'd made.

After a tough 2008-2009 school year, this fall semester has reminded me why I teach. I love my students, and working as the New Faculty Coordinator also allowed me to mentor new teachers, one of my passions. I'm only teaching three classes this year to provide time for my work with the new faculty, and that has been perfect. Just enough time in the classroom to fire me up about teaching and remind me that I have the best job in the world without being so overwhelmed with grading that I lose my life outside of school. Because of the pay cut I took when moving from the first LA school I worked at 2005-2006 to this one, I only finally got back to the salary I made when I first moved out here last year...and now the recession means I'll probably not see another increase until 2010-2011 unless something drastic changes. It's a little demoralizing making close to the same salary for five years straight when I've learned and grown so much, I'll admit, but I understand the realities of the economy and have faith that that will change at some point. I'm still very grateful to work somewhere that makes me happy and loves me as much as I love it. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

In and out of work, I have been deeply grateful for my friendships this year, including those with my family. My LA friend base really solidified, and I finally have a core group of best girlfriends here that bring a lot of joy into my life. It takes a long time for a new city to be home, and finding that urban family can be difficult, especially when so many people have to or choose to move away. 2009 was when I realized that I have a group again, a clan, an urban family. I cherish them. Of course I also cherish my online family, who has been witness to so many of my ups and downs in the past six years. You people are often my sanity, and I'm so grateful to have you in my life.

We started renting the back house at the end of 2008, and Drew really turned it into a working office/studio/base of operations for Diablo Sound in 2009. One of our greatest blessings has been his company's success. In a time of recession and layoffs, his company grew tremendously, and he was able to hire three full time workers for a six month contract. Over the course of the past six months, he employed 20+ other folks at least here and there, so we can feel good about the company's success, but also its success in providing more work when work was scarce. I am so proud of him. He has been a professional sound designer and self-employed for 10-15 years, and most of those years were very, very sparse. He lived on Mac&Cheese and ramen noodles and shacked up with two or more roommates for most of them. In the past five years, his business has gone from spotty to solid, and it all stems from how hard he works. He strives to be ethical, fair, and generous as a businessperson and a boss, and that makes me want to be with him even more.

Speaking of, the highlight of this year for me personally was the unique, heartwarming proposal I got last May (see tagline). Sharing that moment (or, I should say, those moments) with all of you was wonderful. Drew and I have been through a lot together since we started dating in 2005, and everything that has happened has convinced me that he is the love of my life. We leave tomorrow to fly to Hawaii (meep!) to get married on Tuesday the 5th, and I can't wait to call him my husband.

So thanks for all the fish, 2009. You saved a very difficult decade for me. And 2010? I'm expecting great things!

November 2010



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