I realized today that I jumped back into posting – having skipped several months – and didn’t write about anything that has happened in those months, including the “mysterious thing” I was tiptoeing around in my last post before going radio silent for awhile.
In addition to applying for graduate school, I decided in January to sign up for my Level 1 Sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, thereby making me more of an asset to my employers at my second job (and, incidentally, increasing my paycheck.)
This was important because, assuming I got into graduate school, I’d also decided I was going to quit the job I’ve held for the last ten years. A steady government job with benefits and a pension. I wasn’t enjoying the work anymore, and – though I believe very strongly in the organization itself – I didn’t care for the way my department was being managed.
Read: I had fundamental differences of opinion with my boss that were absolutely not going to be rectified to my satisfaction. And I didn’t like him much. He’d wronged me and he’d wronged someone else about whom I care deeply, and quite frankly, I wanted to tell him so.
So I did.
And it’s possibly one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I quit, I’m done, and I’m relieved – especially under the current climate – to not be working for the government.
Here’s a rundown of 2018:
- My sweet, funny, fun-loving dad died suddenly and unexpectedly in January. He wasn’t in great health (for reasons I’ve already touched on in a previous blog post), but we had no reason to believe he wouldn’t be around for many more years.
- I passed my Level 1 sommelier exam in Philadelphia in February.
- I found out in March I was accepted into graduate school at St. John’s College.
- I told my department in April that I was quitting the following month. Then I marched into my boss’s office and told him why I thought he wasn’t a good leader and some other things that I thought he needed to know. (This was one of the hardest things I’ve done, actually, but I practically danced out of his office when I was finished, because I was so proud of myself for doing it.)
- I quit my job in May. I’ve literally worked – in various capacities, both in and out of uniform – for the U.S. Navy for all of my adult life. This was a huge effing deal.
- I started working full-time at the wine store I’d been working part-time at and joined a blind tasting group in a nearby city to start working toward my Level 2 certification (after which I can call myself a “sommelier” as an official title.)
- I’ve made a boatload of new friends who help keep me afloat when I’m sinking. This is a profoundly important thing to me in a way that’s hard for me to explain. Most of my life, I’ve considered myself too shy, too much of a loner to make friends easily. I’ve learned in the last few years since my separation and subsequent divorce that I can talk to anyone. Anyone. It’s a skill I didn’t know I possessed until very recently (and I’m 38 years old, ffs.)
That’s a lot. There have been other things. I’ve been through a bit of an emotional wringer this summer that I don’t feel comfortable publicizing in detail, but – suffice it to say, I thought for awhile there that I might have cancer, and I couldn’t immediately get resolution because I was between insurances. I blew it way out of proportion in my head because I’m always afraid I’m living in a tragedy instead of a comedy.
And I thought – through my own stupidity – I’d lost a vitally important friend.
In some ways mid-June to mid-July was one of the worst months of my life.
But … I don’t have cancer. The friend is still there.
Part of me is quite ready to be done with 2018, but so many good things have happened. I don’t want to wish time away. In just over two weeks, I start school. I haven’t been back to school in some time so I’m a bit nervous, but mostly I’m thrilled. I’m going to be reading Euclid and Lucretius and Descartes and talking and writing (which are pretty much my favorite things to do.)
For two years, I’ll be reading and writing and talking and figuring out what to do with the rest of my life. I have lots of things to improve. I wasted so much time in my previous, pre-divorce life just dreaming about doing things.
I’m doing things. Slowly but surely, I’m doing things. In the meantime, I need to start thinking of my life as something other than a tragedy. It might not turn out how I would have written it, but it’s not a tragedy.