First of all, let me wish you all a happy new year! Hope people didn't get too drunk. Not gonna lie: I rung in the new year watching the NCIS marathon on USA and I think I may have actually fallen asleep. But, oh, well.
2011 was a hard year for me, especially toward the end. It started kinda meh. I was happy where I was for the moment, but knew I wanted to move on. Just after Mother's Day, my grandmother took a bad fall that messed up her back and I started looking for jobs in Austin so I could be there to help. That didn't work out too well.
By summer, she had been in and out of the hospital three times and we could see her quality of life getting worse. I have to admit: we were getting really frustrated because we didn't realize how bad her back was. Turns out it was a compression fracture that, because her osteoporosis was so bad, had basically pulverized two vertebrae. Looking back, I feel like a terrible person because I kept thinking that, yes, it hurt, but that was part of physical therapy and she should just buckle down and deal with it.
In September, she had a procedure that basically was an attempt to put a resin around the vertebrae and fuse them in place, thus reducing her pain and maybe making it possible for her to walk again. Unfortunately, the anesthesia fried her brain. Her grasp of reality after that was tenuous at best and downright wrong at worst.
She started to decline rapidly after that. My grandmother, matriarch of the family, died 11 November 2011 at 11 am. Yes, that's 11-11-11 at 11. I think she was trying to make it to 11:11, but she just didn't have the strength.
Some of you may have noticed that I have been...distant of late. Now you know why. It was hard. I loved her, but for a good portion of my teen and college years, I didn't like her. She was the kind of person who thought everyone should do things her way because her way was best and, because of that, she could be...not kind. I have a distinct memory from my teen years of talking to her on the phone, crying silently because she had gotten on a tear where she just kept telling me that I would be so pretty, such a beautiful girl if I would just lose some weight, if I would dress like a normal girl, if I would do this and that. I know now that she was trying to help, but all I heard was "you're not good enough, you're ugly, nobody wants you the way you are, so you should just be someone else."
In the end, though, I managed to find it in me to forgive her because I do know that she didn't mean to be cruel, but she just didn't know any other way to be. Personally, based on what I know about her own childhood, I really think that's how she was raised and that she never learned to express love. But that doesn't mean that I don't still feel the sting when I think about it.
But that's not what this is about. I loved her and I miss her but I move on. And move on, I have. Even though that whole time was made even worse by us losing our beautiful Ninja Kitty about two weeks before to bad kidneys that she'd apparently had all of her short life.
I graduated in 2009 with a BA in Criminal Justice and Political Science. I thought to go into either law enforcement or go to grad school and study international affairs. Both of those things have proven impossible for various reasons. I took a step back, I reevaluated and I decided I needed a new direction.
In 2012, beginning 9 January, I will be attending Culinary School at the Art Institute of Austin. That's right. Culinary school. I'm excited. I'll never stop loving criminal justice or political science (or linguistics or history or any of the other things I considered), but there's something about culinary that calls to me. Because I have a degree, I'm looking to get my diploma in about a year, with the possibility of continuing on to get another BA if I decide that I want the management portion.
As far as my writing, with everything happening with my grandmother, that all kind of stalled out. I had to push myself pretty hard to get the three stories for ficathons that I did this year (Lewis Secret Santa, yuletide and 3_ships), but I think it's been enough to really push me back into gear.
I'll be looking to finish writing stuff for help_japan
as soon as possible cause I know people are waiting for it. The Sherlock fic for marill_chan
is likely to happen first just because I have a lot written on that already. Granted, it's all handwritten and needs to be typed and edited and I need to get past the block that I wrote myself into, but I have ideas again.
The Sanctuary OT3 for nomorefrostbite
got a huge inspirational boost from the Season 4 finale (and OMG, how about that?!?) mostly from a single line of dialogue. Thank you, Helen, for telling me more about where you were during WWII.
The Haven and Constantine fics will come after that. The two Moleskine's worth of fic that I'm doing are coming slowly but surely. I just watched a bunch of NCIS and that gave me some more fic fodder to play with so I just have to make sure I actually write it down instead of getting lost with the two epics that are happening right now.
2012 is looking better all around. I'm giving 101 in 1001 another shot (my list is here
if anyone is curious. I have quite a few writing goals, some huge reading goals, and a long list of things that simply couldn't be categorized.
I hope everyone else is as psyched about 2012 as I am. But now it's time for me to get some sleep. Love to you all!
Tags: 101 in 1001, a real job, family, life, rip, school, work, writing
Current Location: home
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: Sirusho - One & Only