I don’t honestly know what to say about this year. It’s been probably the most unremarkable year I’ve ever had. At least for a long time. Nothing really major happened. I was kind of just treading water until this next year came up. Since I’ve taken on the tradition of doing these posts after college, I figure I have to find something interesting to take on with it. And I think I may have my angle. But it is going to bore a lot of you to tears. Why? Because I am going to be talking about a very adult problem that all people who work in a professional environment have to deal with, and the lessons that I learned from that experience. As I think about it now, more is coming to me, so let’s get down to it. Let’s talk about this year.
Right out of the gate I started this year on a very dour note. Coming back from Christmas, I had a bitter taste in my mouth. Why? Because I was stuck having been the source of a family hero worship session on Christmas Eve following me doing something nice for my aunt. Things kept getting different, because the aunt friended me on Facebook, and as anyone can tell you, who I am online and who I am in person are two very different people. Only one person has seen the part of me that virtually no one else sees. It is someone whose relationship I respect and I nearly lost.
Let me set the scene for you. A few months later, my dear friend and I are out drinking. It was a rough day and she said that we should go out drinking. Of course, for me it was just a single drink and some food, while she was downing Long Island ice teas like it was no one’s business. She got white girl wasted. What followed was an experience that was over two hours long and I can’t get into specifics about. See, I made a promise that I would never talk about it again, and I am a man of my word. Let no one say otherwise. I’m bringing it up just to set the stage for you. Suffice it to say, some things happened, some of which I ended up telling her and some things I am keeping all to myself because what people don’t know can’t hurt them. Especially now that she is married.
Anyway, something to know about me is that I have a bad habit of just running my mouth in casual situations without thinking too much. The whole night between my friend and I was something of a sour spot, and I said just the wrong thing at just the wrong time. What’s more, since I can’t help but exacerbate a problem, I decided to try and confront the issue. What a terrible, terrible move. She lost it on me and things between us died pretty hard for a while. Then one afternoon I get a call when I’m at home and she lays out what she thinks our future is as friends. I nearly watched my friendship with her die because I couldn’t think before I speak in this instance. It took me damn-near begging for another shot. There were stipulations. Ones that I have tried my best to keep to, though I do still catch myself slipping every now and again on some of them. However, when it comes to the biggest stipulation – that we would NEVER speak of that night again, I have kept to that one religiously. I’m never going to speak of it again.
Time passes, our friendship is saved and things are okay. Then she joins the Navy officially and is heading off to boot camp and then A school, followed by C school. I kept diligent track of things. While she was gone, I wrote her letters. As soon as I had her address at basic, I wrote her every week. When she got to A school, and we were talking again on video chat or via text, I still wrote letters. It was somewhat soothing. But when she left, it was the loneliest I have ever been. Ever. There hasn’t been a period of time that I felt more cut off than I did when she was gone.
One thing that happened around the same time as my friend and I’s relationship falling apart was that I decided to reach out to a vast plethora of people and write messages to them apologizing for wrong-doings. It was kind of part of a grander design I have for things in my life and my final act. But it felt like the right thing to do. Virtually no one replied. That’s totally fine. I get it completely. Pretty much everyone I wrote to hates me in one way or another. Still, was at least hoping I’d get a few more responses. Not to fix things, but at least to bury the hatchet. I don’t know.
There was one person I reached out to that I think made things worse. It was someone who I had told something to after a truth about me got out that I figured would get back to her eventually, and I wanted her to hear it directly from me instead of from other people. But I lied to her about it. Said it was one thing and it was something else. I decided that I had to come completely clean. Figure I made things worse. There is so much distance between us. Even now. Maybe if I had told her everything when I was much younger. I don’t know. Wish I did.
However, there was a plot twist. See, another friend of mine wanted to come up to my state again and asked if she could stay with me. As luck would have it, at my new apartment (I moved this year. The new places is 1000X nicer than my last shit-hole apartment) there is a guest bedroom and it just so happens to have a bed in it. I bought covers and everything for if anyone ever needs it. I get the feeling she is the one and only person who will ever use it. As in ever. A couple of people I can dream of using it, but that’s all it is – a dream.
The first couple weeks that we spent together were legit awesome. I had so much fun with her. It was just like old times, and since I am a pretty easy person to live with, we had no problems there. Hell, I made dinner for us and it was pretty nice. We went on adventures and I felt like things were so fun. Made for a pretty nice summer. Since my Navy girly-mate was gone, this was a good distraction. As is want to happen, something went wrong.
See, when the girly-mate who was staying with me left, she had been in a relationship that was very long and it hadn’t ended well. Coming back up here, she found things with that person picking up. So she ended up staying over at his place a lot. More and more as time went on. What’s more, the two of us would make plans, only for them to get totally crushed because she was over at her ex’s, pining for him. It made me more than a little pissed. But after a while, I was done with the roommate situation we had going. It had gone on for months, and since she was never here anyway, I was ready for her to be out.
Eventually she did go back home to the states, and here I am feeling very lonely again. I was lonely before she left, really. Because we didn’t have time together. We had time we were in the same house, and time she was with her ex, and that time was virtually all one-sided against me. I had no desire for us to be a thing, but I was hoping for us to at least be roomies who could hang out. There were a few things I was looking forward to, but nope. It all just died. I didn’t even get to see her off. It sucked.
More time alone into the fall, until my Navy girly-mate got back in touch when she got into A school. Listening to her talk about all the amazing things she was learning to do in school made me more than a little jealous. I felt like my life was nothing but a giant waste. Here I am doing absolutely nothing of any real value, while she is learning skills that are beyond impressive. For those who may ask, I wish I could have gone down the career path she had. But after my head injury, any of that was out. Believe it or not but before I busted my skull open, I had thought about it. Oh well. One can dream.
Here’s where I get to the adult thing I learned about a professional environment. See, there was a shakeup of management and the best thing to happen to my department happened – Brent. He is the single greatest manager I ever had. He gave feedback and was a genuinely good leader. He encouraged silly behavior, but still had high standards. He gave us tools to help unwind. This man became the best thing to happen to me at work. I was genuinely feeling good for his time there. It’s where I learned about office politics in a way I hadn’t before. I wrapped this guy around my finger so hard. Got an amazing letter of recommendation out of him.
There was one thing I had said to my girly-mate before she left for school – that if I was still in that office by the time she got home, something had gone horribly wrong. I don’t honestly know how many interviews I had up til now. So very many. Something went horribly wrong. All that work, and I am still there. Still getting yelled at on the fucking phone all day by deadbeat parents who can’t deal with their burden. I hate it. Makes my Navy girly-mate telling me about all the amazing things she is a part of hurt that much more. My life is such an abject waste.
Navy friend returns, and it was like she never left in a lot of ways. But she came back a different person. I’d like to think I did a little growing up myself, but I know that that isn’t the case. Since interviewing to get out of the dungeon I am trapped in hasn’t worked, I decided to try and be more clever about it and try and escape by transferring to a different department. That might have worked, except my luck still is so profoundly bad.
Which brings me to now. All this time later, and I’m really nowhere. I’m exactly where I started out at this time last year. Nothing has really changed, and I feel so disappointed in that. My life sucks, and there’s no escape. Everyone is doing cooler things than me. I feel like a waste of skin that no one would miss if I died tomorrow. Anyway, off to bed I go, to greet the new year fast asleep. Whatever. I don’t get invited to New Year’s parties. Never have, never will. That would imply people wants to invite me. That just isn’t true.
Until next time, a quote,
“Being by myself. I’m afraid I’ll end up alone.” – Ellie, The Last of Us