"I've come to realize that we're only here briefly, and while I'm here I want to allow myself to feel joy. So fuck it." -Amy, Her
"Don't know if we will survive your departure." -Robbie, President of Germantown
What can I say about "The Year of a Buscabulla?" I'm not quite sure. Mostly, there is so much I can't really tell you. Hence, the name of the year. But at the same time, there is so much. Too much almost. It was a whirlwind and I'm still trying to catch up. One thing is clear, it has been one of the best years of my life. At the beginning of this year, so much was left unknown. I had no idea where I would be in the coming year. I had to say goodbye to way more than I wanted. There were so many new beginnings. But most importantly, there were so many wonderful people that coursed through the fabric of my life at any given moment. And because, the last song on the annual mix was this one, I wanted to share it again, because I want you all to know just how much I love you and thank you for all the wonderfulness that you bring into my life. So, cheers to another year to all of you and keep bringing all that joy to me in 2015, my darlings.
So, what were some of the highlights of this past year?
1. First and foremost (and obviously), one of the most important aspects of my past year has been Germantown, my old neighborhood in Nashville. 37208. I loved it so much, I had it tattooed on my forearm. Saying goodbye to it was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I'll never forget that morning when I drove away in the Penske truck on my way to Flagstaff. I felt as if I was leaving behind a huge part of my life. And I was. However, I know it is always there with me, right next to me with all the memories.
And some of those memories...Gals of Germantown, 8th Avenue Market, the Rite-Aid folks, the Farmers Market, the Red Bicycle, The (Germantown) Cafe, 312 Pizza, City House, and all those really random nights at Silo (mostly, with the President of the neighborhood in tow). It sure was nice being the First Lady of Germantown for my last year. One of my goals in the new year is to put together my pictures from #28daysofgermantown, a hashtag I created for my final days in the neighborhood with the purpose of capturing everything I've always loved about the neighborhood. More to come on this one. And soon.
But yeah, Germantown, because I've never known a neighborhood so fucking fantastic.
2. Obviously, my career. I had the chance to present my work at the Young Scholars Social Movements Conference at Notre Dame and meet some of my scholarly heroes, I published my third article, I spent *most* of the year doing interviews on the job market (like, 13-14 phone interviews and two in-person interviews), I got a job offer (on April 23rd), I got a R&R on a collaborative article, I took a new job at NAU as an Instructor in which I've fallen in love with the department and students, I've continued to work on my dissertation (as time allows). One of the things that I can say about my career this year...I picked the right job. I love being back in the classroom. I remember while I was trying to decide about which job to take this past year, one of my mentors reminded me, "This is YOUR life," and it continues to ring true.
So, yeah, Sociology. You continue to rock my world.
3. I watched a shit ton of television. And I loved all of it. The list is incomplete, but some of my favorites this year: Sherlock, Doctor Who, Queer as Folk, OITNB, True Detective, Orphan Black, Gilmore Girls, American Horror Story, The Wire, Black Mirror...trust me, the list goes on and on.
4. "MARRY ME, PLEASE!" I realized in going through my last year that this statement originated from my New Year Day celebration with Ashley and Michelle from our watching of Valley of the Dolls. It happened here first. But then at the Capitol Street Festival in Germantown (see, I told you, it would come back again), it came to epic fruition with Russell. I don't think there was ever a moment when Russell and I didn't grasp one another in a huge hug and scream out, "Marry Me!" And, only a couple of weeks ago, when I was missing my friends in Nashville something awful, I got an audio message from Russell that said just this same thing, "Marry Me! Marry Me!" And Russell, in case you are wondering, the answer is YES!
5. All those late night conversations with Jennie Ann, Allison, and Carly. Ladies, y'all keep me sane.
6. Um, BASEBALL. The Sounds groundbreaking event in our neighborhood with Michelle, all those games with Michelle (like a ton of them), the #lastcheeratgreer, #mylastcheeratgreer, those crazy ballplayers, listening to baseball on the radio with Michelle on the stoop, listening to the games once I moved to Flagstaff and tweeting the game with Jeff, a trip to ABQ to see our guys play and well, and lastly, all those weird exchanges (ahem, buscabulla). ABQ, baby, ABQ. See y'all at spring training.
7. Finding my winter fashion. You know, the one that looks like a child put together my outfit.
8. Those Nashville rock shows. The Pixies with Anna, Allison, and Ryan; Neutral Milk Hotel with Erin; Tacocat with Allision; and Dave Dondero with Manny, Allison, and Heath.
9. My brother John's amazing wedding to Jessica in Mobile, Alabama.
10. Sam Favata. (I thought about specifying all the reasons why, but I think Sam just deserves one line that reads his name after his presence in my life this past year).
11. All those amazing out-of-town visitors to Nashville and Flagstaff. You know who you are darlings, Ian, Manny, and Bobby. Let's add more to the list for 2015. Yes, I'm looking at you, Jennie Ann, Allison, Ashley, Michelle, and Robbie. You heard me!
12. Sleepovers with Allison. Actually, all of my times with Allison. All the shenanigans. But mostly, when we would wake up in my bed after a long night, screaming to Igor or whomever else may be in the house. Our random and weird nights throughout the neighborhood and all of Nashville. That gal is one of a kind.
13. QDP. Not once, not twice, but maybe thrice. With all sorts of guests. With all sorts of pictures. With all sorts of shenanigans. And all the moments when I felt like Leslie Knope (I hope you get the joke, because pokerfacepokerface, I felt like it was true at the time).
15. My going-away party.
16. All the new friends I've met in Flagstaff, but mostly, the wine o'clock Friday celebrations with Marisa and the Wednesday Super Supper Club with Marisa, Michael, and Krystin.
17. Yvonne in Flagstaff...and all our wonderful conversation over bottles of Malbec and the foods.
18. Every single time I've remarked, "I really need a burner phone." Because, it is true. Trust me, for those of you in the know, I've got a collection. In fact, enough to make an entire calendar, or two.
19. Idris Elba.
20. The Flagstaff earthquake. Not to mention, the fact I thought it was simply Sabine running up the stairs in the apartment.
21. The amazing generosity of my friends and loved ones who helped me financially get to my new destination. You all were amazing and I still can't believe I raised enough money to get get me here. I couldn't have done it without you. Literally, I couldn't.
22. Robbie and our shenanigans. Every single one of them. The list. You know the one. I almost completed it. So close, but yet so far. And, always, walking home from Robbie's house and every single scar I brought home from those nights.
23. 8th Avenue Market. That weird show in East Nashville. QDP. Afterwards. An afternoon. Then, three afternoons. And the fact that, actually, if anyone has really been there for me since the move, it was you.
24. Silo. That weird and wild bartender, An-tony(!), the formerly Tiny Chef Larry Bird, and his hat, and all the other shenanigans that took place...including the many, many nights that we (as, in all of us in the neighborhood) ended up there with cheeseburgers and drinks.
25. All of you that have entertained my weird late night text messages.
So, I guess what I've learned from this year; if 2013 was about learning who I was, 2014 was about learning who I wanted to spend time with, because if anything, this year was about spending time with the people I love, every single one of you.
And on this last day of the year, I think forward to a new year and what that means. As the year comes to a close, I find my heart heavy with some potentially bad news. I can't help but try to think of the sun shining in my face and to relish all the joy of the people that I love. Here's to hoping for good news. And most importantly, as one of my loved ones said to me today, albeit in his broken English, "Forget it and start fresh new year."
So, to all of you, no matter what your year brought, forget it and start fresh new year.