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One Big, Great, Aweful Year Over

December 31, 2011
Toast

A toast to what all the things 2011 was, and to all the things 2012 can and will be.

So, I’m sure I’ll miss something and I’m pretty sure that I’ll get something out of order too, but 2011 was a pretty big damn year for me. There were some big events, some great events, some awful events and…well a lot of important ones.

So, here are the ones I can think of off the top of my head:

525,600 Minutes on Stage

This year I got a chance to hit all of the high notes in Rent for an actual audience. Okay, so I didn’t get the part I should have and that is my fault — at least in part. I should have made them listen to me sing “Take Me or Leave Me” at call backs, because I’m amazing and I should have been Mimi. But since when is local theatre in Rapid City even close to perfect?

It was a pretty emotional situation for me too for a lot of reasons. Of course being in the chorus again created a lot of emotions. Also, my best friend and all of her sisters were in the show — which was amazing in one sense, but in another I felt like a big outsider in one of my very important relationships.

But I also got to perform at my high school again and sing some very important music that has a lot to do with the person I have become. So I have to be grateful for it.

The Jewel of Minnesota

Near the beginning of the year I got to visit one of my best friends in Minneapolis. Seeing the city and seeing her at the same time (along with my bestie Dee) was amazing in so many ways for so many reasons. I just wish we hadn’t wasted so much time looking at the U of M campus. Boo.

I love you Jewels and I miss you even though I got to see you just a week ago!

Said the ‘C’ Word in Public

That’s right. And I talked about vaginas and I wore red and I met a lot of lovely ladies. while helping a great cause. And I think I got the part because of my aunt Sylvia. Copying her accent got me into the show. Love and miss you aunt Syl.

I also have to say, I love reader’s theatre. It’s so great to be able to put on an awesome play in just a month! I also got to meet my Toms that night and they have been a wonderful addition to my life this year.

Grad School Fail

That’s right, I didn’t get into grad school. And, strangely enough, I didn’t really mind. I still might try to go again, but I’m confident that it doesn’t matter if I ever get in. Although I was newly energized to get out of my job that was sucking my life out through the eyeballs on a daily basis. Do you know how much it sucks to know that you’re doing a bad job every day? I do, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Dream On

So, I didn’t get into grad school. But I did get a new dream almost immediately — like the same night I read the last rejection letter. Several really. And I haven’t been able to fully realize them, but I have taken steps toward them and it feels pretty amazing. I’m free. I’m empowered. I’m newly committed to daydreaming. It’s one of the most useful things I’ve ever done.

My Name is Crystal, I’ll Be Your Server Today

That’s right. I started waiting tables again. I went to college and graduated with straight…eh, Bs, and worked in my field for six and a half years just so that I could be a server again. Ain’t life a bitch?

Well it is and it isn’t.

I started waiting tables for extra money to pay off debt and save up for that whole dream thing. And it went pretty well once I got over the fact that the last time I waited tables was when I had dropped out of college for a semester. It’s funny, I looked back on waiting tables as motivation to get through college (so that I would never have to wait tables again) and now, in a sense, I’m back where I started.

This time though, I like it a lot better and I am much better at it

I also lost 20 pounds in the first few months. I’m sort of getting paid to work out, eh?

I Paid the Piper

Waiting tables worked. I was able to pay off my most significant credit card debt, incorporate my business and save up a few thousand dollars of capital as well as a few months of living expenses. And honestly, I didn’t think I would be able to even pay off one credit card waiting tables for six months.

While working both jobs my apartment became incredibly messy and several of my friendships suffered. I’m rebuilding all of that now. But because it was for a short time I do feel it was a worthy sacrifice. But I miss those friends and my poor blog died a little. Here’s to new life in the New Year!

I Quit!

That’s right, I quit, my regular, stable, soul-sucking job. And it might be the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. (Only time will tell, I suppose.) So far I’m making more money and working less often — at least it feels like it because when I work I get to do it in my pajamas if I want.

Let’s get Started

You may have figured out from the previous bits that I started my own business. Well I did and it’s going great. I love it. Most of it. And it has been a great first step toward one of those dreams –as well as the full realization of my dream to quit that job. Hooray!

We’ll have to see how the next steps work out.

That’s Write

After I quit my job, one of the first things I did was teach a writing class for community education. Two in fact.

The first one was a blogging for business class. And it went pretty well. I liked my students and I learned a lot about teaching. The second class was about memoir writing and the personal essay and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life so far. My students were amazing and I know we all learned a lot.

In fact, it looks like we may try to get together for sessions in the coming year and I am stoked. I just have to find a place.

Grandma Died

Yeah, not exactly a high note to leave on for the year, but it is very significant. The day before Thanksgiving my mom’s mother — the only grandparent I remember — Catherine Bennett, left us all behind. She was the oldest child and daughter of the oldest child and daughter in her family. Just like my mother. Just like me.

I’m crying about it again right now as I type this. All I can say is LOVE.

Luckily, I was able to spend about a week with her before she left. And every time anyone calls me (or anyone else) “honey,” I will think of her. And probably cry a little.

Publish This

In the last few weeks of the year I have been doing a lot of work for my business (ironically the contracts have been with my former employer) and I have already made back the majority of my initial investment. The work has been fun. Writing, photography, page design and advertising.

I also have plans for new projects in the new year. I’m still waiting tables on the weekends, and I probably will be for quite a while. But I do enjoy it — as long as I only have to do it for a few days each week.

My counsellor asked me on Wednesday what I want 2012 to look like and I’m not completely sure yet. I want my business to continue in the direction it has taken in these first few months and I want to create something with it that will make this a better place to live.

And I still want love. And maybe an apartment where my puppy can live.

Oh, there’s more, but I will write about it for all of you (and for myself) very soon. Happy New Year (and New Year’s Eve) toall of you. Please feel free to share your most significant momentws from 2011. I’d love to know all about it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2012 7:06 pm

    I enjoyed reading your good news, and I hope there is more to come for you.

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