In many ways, oh-nine was a disaster. I began the year with a massive layoff from the greatest job I have had in a long time. Lived off of unemployment for about 2 weeks, then landed what I thought was going to be a great job at wholesale computer distributor. I miscalculated that one. It was like working for the devil himself.
The month of June was a job-hopping nightmare, and we have been playing financial catch up since. Christmas for the kids was minimal, but they all seemed to enjoy it.
On the positive side, we moved into a new home with a lot more space (and a leaky roof we have recently discovered...wait, this was supposed to be positive). Tracy and I have both come out much better on the job situation. I am actually working for myself for the first time since 1995. I have one client who gives me at least 40 hours a week worth of work to do. Anything on top of that is a bonus. I am close to adding one more client, and my business has expanded from IT Consulting into both Corporate and Freelance writing. I write regular columns for RUSE the magazine and I have been added to the freelance rotation of Lexington Life Magazine. I am also writing two novels, one of which is a collaboration with James, who moved back to SC this year! This will be our first collaboration in many years. I am excited!
Another plus to oh-nine was reconnecting with family and friends I haven't seen in years and making a lot of new friends as well. Facebook, though addictive and at times frustrating, has been a blessing in so many ways.
My family has struggled this year. The children are all growing up so fast, and some are dealing with teenage angst. Tracy and I have had our struggles this year as well, though mostly financial ones. We continue to try to love each other through and look hopeful toward the fact that things WILL get better. Though our cashflow has been far from steady, we still have MUCH to be thankful for.
I made reference to it earlier, but in oh-nine I did some real soul searching, some of which was quite painful. Through the process I have been able to let go of the ministry once and for all, and have rediscovered my two passions outside of family and friends, teaching and writing. I am in the process of pursuing a Master's Degree in Education. I want to teach high school English and Language Arts. I started on this journey when I was 18, and got sidetracked. Now, for the first time in a long time, I feel that I am on the correct path for my life and at the correct time in my life. Since I rediscovered this path, opportunities are availing themselves and I am excited.
For many years, I lived with shame and regret for decisions I have made. Most of my friends are very established in their careers, and I have had trouble just finding and keeping steady jobs. I have a college degree that has absolutely no value in the real world. On top of that, I am not getting any younger. I don't feel old, though I do look it at times. Oh-nine was the year where I purged all of that shame and regret. I am in a good place right now spiritually and mentally. My next immediate goal is to get my body back into shape (translation: last year's resolution bombed).
In oh-nine we lost three major pieces of our youth with the deaths of Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, and Farrah Fawcett. It was very sad to lose these people, and at the same time it was a very stern reminder that I am not a teenager anymore, and that even pop-icons don't live forever. I catch myself saying, "When I was a kid..." to my children a lot lately. It is truly a different world than the one I grew up in. Not better or worse, just different.
I am looking forward to putting 2009 behind me. It was definitely not the best year of my life, but it was not the worst either.
On to 2010!