I’ve had an interesting year. And it’s not over yet.
It started bad. Real bad. It improved, and looked like it might turn out to be one of the better years we’ve had in a while.
Things hummed along like a well-tuned American V-8 after Q1 2008. Nothing terrible came our way, but we couldn’t wrangle normalcy down. We managed with our means, and reached “doing all right”. We didn’t break any banks with our cash influx, but had everything we needed and a little for fun. Not much, but enough. To me, that was “doing all right.”
We did okay with happy too. Things were … okay. I had lots of writing time. (Not that I don’t now.) And motivation. (That’s missing right now.)
But it didn’t hold together very long. Our center never does.
I got into something I never meant to, with someone I thought of as a friend. It went downhill in a matter of hours. I don’t have that friend anymore. A couple of months ago, something that might’ve been kind of like a sort of olive branch passed fleeting between us, but never materialized or deepened. That person’s gone now, and I think of her from time to time and wonder if I should make contact. Just sometimes.
Our work situation changed because the financial industry – and a lot of others with it – collapsed. Unexpected unemployment became a looming shadow in the dusk. Then it overtook us. Again.
Other things went awry too.
Recently, things erupted in an incomprehensible way with someone to whom I felt close. My wife was baffled. I was baffled. My friends – the few I have left – said forget it, push it aside, let it go. Move on. Who cares? They weren’t a true friend then, right? I suppose not. (One of those friends now feels differently about it.) We’d been there during a dark time for that person. Stood by them unconditionally. While they were reviled as wicked and unrepentant, we stood beside them. But, when it came to choices for them, they chose against me and LOML by association. No backward glance. Not a parting word except those fired in defense of their decision. Dust, wreckage, ruin. Gone.
I’ve been banned, insulted and ridiculed for my thoughts on the Internet more this year than any other time before. I don’t mind most of it. Those who’ve banned me did so in “fear.” What’s to fear? What can I do? I guess I could critique your work. God forbid you should learn something. I remain banned, forgotten, feared and relegated to the dustbin of disagreement of ideologies. And that’s fine.
I was reminded not to speak things I can’t defend in an argument. A good lesson. It came at too high a cost. I’ve not decided if it was worth it yet.
So I’ve been near a flame war for the first time in more than 13 years, been discarded by not one but two friends, got close to losing another (I still don’t know where that stands, and can’t figure it out), got banned from a page or two and started my own critique group with a new, budding friend.
It’s not over yet.
I wonder what next year will bring?