I know we’ve just started a calendar year (2016, in case you’re reading this in the year 2525 or something), but I feel like my own life moves in cycles that start in late August or early September.
(On this basis, I won’t be making any New Year’s Resolutions here… except perhaps to wear the FitBit my folks got me for Christmas, and keep exercising!)
Maybe it’s simply because school always started in September, with the last bit of August being thus apprehensive, or it might be because my birthday’s in early October and thus late August marks the anniversary of the moment when my brain first started working as I grew in my mummy’s tummy. Or, it’s just a huge coincidence and I’m talking about nothing as usual.
In any case, just as my life began to pick up in late 2012 after a particularly bad time, I feel that things really improved for me at the end of August last year, when I found my current job, and that the academic year before that, beginning in August 2014, was somehow a “lost year” of my life in which I didn’t really achieve anything except to get a year older with nothing to show for it.
But is that true? I didn’t get a girlfriend (okay, no surprise there), and I didn’t find a permanent job (except the one I lost almost immediately), and I spent a lot of time stressed, anxious and wishing I’d stayed at Camden, doing mindless admin for a half-decent wage, instead of leaping faithfully into IT. I would actually go so far as to say there was nothing enjoyable about the last few months of 2014, and that each phase (unpaid internship, 24/7 shift work and unemployment) made the previous phase seem better by comparison… and the six months of admin work I did after that was less a job and more a form of therapy, as though I’d come out of a coma and metaphorically needed to learn to walk again.
You know what? Screw that — 2014 to 2015 may have sucked while I was going through it, but it was a necessary time of my life. Much as I wish I could have left Camden and gone straight to the job I do now, that would have meant not meeting the three nice ladies at my 2015 admin job who I still meet for lunch now and then, who supported me through the bad times (and introduced me to St. John’s wort, which is still there if I need it again). “Best mate” similarly helped, standing by me and trying to keep me cheerful; moreover, if this was January 2015 instead of January 2016, he’d still be living in that awful place in Manor House, rather than in my house and feeling much better about his life.
Most of all, though, if I hadn’t suffered through that horrible time of my life, I wouldn’t regard my life as it is now as such a blessing — I wouldn’t have earned this job, and in all probability would be snapping impatiently at staff members instead of being patient and amiable with them over relatively simple problems. Something in this year-long ordeal changed me and made me the kind of man who can be the “face” of an IT department, and so I don’t begrudge 2014 to 2015 for having existed.
As a final note, I was listening to my grandmother’s classical music CDs in 2014, and now, nearly two years later, I’ve finally got around to ripping them all and putting them on my phone. This means I can start listening to them again from the beginning, and really appreciate a genre of music that I’ve been trying to bring into my life for years now (as you may recall), instead of just putting Gwar on rotation all the time.
Not that I’m going off the Scumdogs of the Universe, but I don’t want to, ahem, wear them out. It was hard to enjoy them in 2014 to 2015, and perhaps I’ll always associate their last three albums with that time of my life, but as long as I’m listening to them to feel good and not, in some quasi-narcotic way, to try not to feel bad, I’ll be just fine. On a related topic, I’m getting back into learning the guitar (by the simple expedient of actually practising chords, in the hope my fingers will grow calluses), which was one of my pledges in 2014; maybe I’ll never be able to jam with Gwar, but hopefully I’ll be able to knock out a few tunes.
And if I have the time, I’ll study CCNA and get that under my belt as well…
(Don’t worry, I won’t go on at length about how the academic years 2000-2003 were similarly “lost” years, due to my having to live with my folks in Worthing between my undergrad and postgrad days, because I’m sure you’re all thoroughly sick of me doing “then and now” posts!)