"I’ll only write briefly about maturity and adulthood (as this seems to be a theme) because, more than ever, 2009 didn’t make me feel particularly adult and I certainly didn’t mature. Maybe that’s a lie. I got excited when my 401k started to make its turn for the better and is almost back to where it was two years ago. I also got depressed about the BS housing market. While 2009 may not have brought about a newfound view of what it means to be an adult, it did bring about some “adult” problems. More than anything I may or may not have learned, I have become more appreciative of the extraordinary people in my life.
This year was less about growing up, and more about growing impotent. I realized what little control I have over my life. The housing market is a major contributor to this. I’ve seen friends take steps towards changing their lives – specifically by going back to school. I’m unable to afford to take time off to complete a graduate degree because I have a mortgage (and a house I can’t sell). The transitions I’ve witnessed have made me anxious especially because I’ve been settled for a few years and I’ve been working in the same industry for seven. But, I’ve seen friends struggle with job loss. I’ve seen friends struggle with their civil rights. I’ve seen friends lose tremendously important people. My troubles are trite (and I have years to sort them out). Perhaps that’s what I gained in 2009, a sense of perspective and a realization that, for now, I shall just drift along in the ebb and flow of the world.
Although the year brought about a bit of a prison that I thought was an investment, 2009 truly provided a sense of contentment. Contentment is a seldom-experienced feeling for me. I usually become anxious about stagnation and fear that contentment is just another word for complacency. This year was different. Maybe, I listened to fewer new artists, which made me feel old and out of touch. And knitted more scarves, which also made me feel old. And really wanted a cat, which is inherently old. And purchased more cardigans than any year before, which is obviously something old folks wear. Mostly, I laughed and rode and read and made a fool of myself. I also danced my ass off, not unlike that show on Oxygen. And that is the source of my contentment – an increasingly wonderful marriage and the friendships that flourished throughout this year. 2009 really kicked off when I had the opportunity to travel to Portland for my birthday in April and it just so happened that we were able to meet up with our good friend Zuhair. After my birthday, started a tidal wave of amazing weekends and Thursday nights filled with friends and drinks and laughter (and occasionally costumes). Capping the year off was more time spent with friends. I’ve realized that it’s less of where you live and more of who you spend time with.
Oh California, forgive me for not appreciating you in the past years! Forgive me for my indiscretions and my brief love affair with Portland. Though intense and beautiful as it was, more than ever, I’ve come to accept you as my home and the friends here as family. Though I may still look for jobs at the art colleges there, your sunny days and purple (k)nights ground me. 2010 cemented that sentiment as I rode my bike off into the sunset this past weekend. There could be worse places to be confined to and worse people to do some time with."
Kelly Canavan Vargas is a "professional employee" in Glendora, CA. She enjoys bikes, beers, and cutesy little animals. Like owls. I'm pretty sure she likes owls. And puppies.
She doesn't have a blog or a twitter so instead I've linked to this, which is just another picture of her in full-sass mode.
If you missed any of the previous entries in this collection, here are the links.