Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Thursday, December 31, 2009

As the ball drops

Tonight, my plans include eating greasy food, watching Evil Dead, and listening to a lot of metal (mostly courtesy of Coatsworth). My plans *also* include being awfully bloody happy that this year has finally gotten over itself and ENDED.

A friend of mine told me recently that, had he only read my blog and not known me in person, he would take me for a far less happy person than I am. And truth be told, I am ferociously, obnoxiously positive most of the time. But there is something about having this little island of electronic publishing all my own that creatively inspires me to bitch.

2009 was not horrible. After the mangled trainwreck of a shitshow that was 2008, The Worst Year Of All Time, 2009 couldn't *possibly* be that bad. And it wasn't -- a lot of lovely things happened. However, a lot of very challenging, unexpected things happened too, and despite my ridiculous reserves of energy and stubbornness, by the end I confess I am worn down. I am ready for something fresh. I am ready for a beginning.

So, to commemorate the end of a difficult year (and a difficult, wonderful, strange decade), I've decided to balance my whiny-ness and positivity, and generate a pair of lists.

6 Awesome Things That Actually Happened in 2009

- I traveled around Canada quite a bit, visiting Calgary, Vancouver (twice!) and even Northern Ontario. Vancouver in the summer is shockingly beautiful.

- I spent a full month in Los Angeles, teaching, sightseeing, and getting the first real tan of my blond, pasty life.

- I finished a full draft of my next book, Supervillains, and managed to talk the astonishingly talented (and just plain cool dude) Evan Munday into illustrating it.

- I attended Chris and Sandy's awesome wedding and the Calgary reunion that sprang up around it, reconnecting with people I care about deeply. I also got to stand in Emily ad Jim's wedding. I've known Emily since we were both three years old, and it was an incredible honour to be at her side that day.

- My younger brother received a SSHRC, started his MA, traveled to Europe, and moved in with his delightful girlfriend. Basically, he managed to become and even cooler human being, and made me even prouder of him.

- I got better. I cannot overstate and enormity of this positive thing. Late in 2008, I started to consider myself well on the way to being healed, if only because I was so much better than I had been. Then something incredible happened: I KEPT FEELING BETTER AND BETTER. It did give me pause, wondering exactly how long it had been since I was really happy. But then I stopped being all philosophical, because this year I became really fucking happy, and I could not ask for a greater gift from the universe.

6 Cartoonishly Awful Things That Also Actually Happened in 2009

- I got laid off, got rehired to teach a workshop abroad, lost my job again (permanently), and nearly found replacement jobs twice only to have them fall through at the eleventh hour. All told, I spent nearly five months without any income.

- I was served with divorce papers, received my judgment a full four months late, and got my Certificate of Divorce in the mail. Getting my certificate was actually a great relief, as that was the last bit of paperwork that will every have to be processed around my own personal disaster. However, it was still a part of The Thing That Happened, and therefore counts as Cartoonishly Awful.

- I came down with H1N1 at the exact same moment as one of my roommates, meaning that for a solid week all the two of us could do was moan, drink tea, and be nonsensically feverish while my other, saintly roommate got us to drink warm, nourishing liquids and silently cursed us for being human petri dishes.

- My uncle Ron, dear friend of my parents, who officiated both at my baptism and my wedding, died after a long battle with illness. His passing was a very hard one.

- I may have finally had The Falling Out To End All Falling Outs, something that has been brewing on my life's horizon for a very long time. While it is a decision as much as it was an occurrence, and I know it is a correct decision besides, is has still been incredibly difficult and draining.

- My ability to sleep, which has always been fickle, has taken to deserting me again this year. While it does help me get things done, it has done nothing to alleviate the rather impressive dark circles developing under my eyes.

So it's been a year of recovery and travel and celebration. It's also been a year of sleeplessness, death, poverty, and loss. While it was never simply wonderful, or simply horrendous, the rollercoaster did get overwhelming by the end. For that alone, I will be glad to see this year draw to a close.

Though, neither is that fully a complaint. In a line in a Kimya Dawson song that I love, she sings "my rollercoaster's got the biggest ups and downs/ as long as it keeps going 'round it's unbelievable."

So here's to 2010: may the coming year, and the coming decade, be even more ridiculous than the last.

p.s. I want a hovercar.


Natalie Zed updated @ 5:43 p.m.!!