18 Things from 2018

We’re already three days into 2019. It already feels like it’s going too fast. Just the other day I was making Pigs in a Blanket using homemade gluten free dough and a broken, broil-only toaster oven. I took those said Piggies to a friend’s place, indulging in said food and more for the New Year countdown.

How is it already January 3?

To close out 2018 and gear up for the rest of 2019, here’s a list of 18 things that happened, in no particular order, for better or worse:

(1) I wondered whether my “new year” should actually start on January 6, my birthday. Then I wondered, “why not both?” Nothing came out of that except half-sized commitments to improve myself.

(2) I was let go from my job at a small East Harlem nonprofit in March. It was a mixed blessing. While I felt for the mission and enjoyed working with my colleagues and students, the job itself sucked my soul and left a wheezing body on the verge of death.

… Okay, that is a slight exaggeration but the level of despair and hate I had was real. When I got my “pink slip” I felt at once relieved and anxious. Relieved to be rid of the ball and chain the place has become, yet anxious about the impending financial consequences as a result of being unemployed. It was scary and I wished I was in a Ph.D. program instead of needing employment.

(3) My parents got a dog. A Beagle. Its name: Momo.

(4) I learned that a family member was receiving treatment for cancer. In a whirlwind of personal emotional struggle, I was angry about the information.

(5) I received unemployment. It was less complicated than I thought it would be. Of course, this might have something to do with loving in New York City. If I were any where else, I imagine it wouldn’t have been as streamlined and painless.

The initial form to sign up was tedious. I mean, what government thing isn’t? After all was done the weekly “check in” was straightforward and easy to use.

(6) I’m already regretting making this list. This probably won’t count, since it’s from 2019.

(7) Job searching consumed me. I was also in the middle of a pseudo crisis of figuring out what I wanted to do. I saw the lay off as a chance to “start fresh.” Of course, with an urgent need for income, my job search looked more like a widely cast net of ALL the things I could do: journalism, social media, research, data analysis, editing, and so on. I don’t recommend this.

There were two times I stopped my near-manic job search and application submissions because I was losing the plot. I made lists of my skills, then a list of what I enjoyed doing versus what I absolutely hated doing, and so on. This helped me refocus during my searches until I had to hit pause again.

(8) That leads me to new employment with another education nonprofit. I’m doing what I do best, what I’ve been doing for almost a decade: social media management, email marketing, and website management.

I can’t get away from it. I’m pretty sure if I’m “addicted” to social, it’s because of my jobs.

Bonus: taking and editing photos of events.

(9) I realized it’s been two years since I graduated with my master’s degree. That went by fast.

(10) A friend and former roommate got married.

(11) Our lease in Bushwick ended in August. My roommate and his wife moved to Park Slope. M and I moved to Borough Park. This will be our first time living without roommates. We’re pretty excited, just not as excited about being in Borough Park. (“The rent’s too damn high!”)

(12) I’d like to thank my parents for their help in securing the apartment. And for all the other times I needed a pinch hit.

(13) I miss my favorite dog, Liza Jane. She passed away in 2017. The holidays were not the same without her sweet face.

(14) I got back into photography. Baby steps. Got a bit serious about trying to turn it into a viable service and business. If you’re looking for a photographer, hit me up.

If you’re looking for art prints to decorate your home, you can purchase prints here and support my future projects.

(15) My bike sat on deflating tires more than it hit the glass-strewn pavement.

(16) From January to March, I completed the Grow With Google challenge — a three month course on HTML, CSS, JavaScript basics.

(17) In April, I received a Grow With Google/Udacity scholarship to continue a six month Front End Web Developer nanodegree. I received my certificate in November. I’m looking for projects. hit me up.

(18) I tried to write every damn day. I failed. I learned I don’t have to write every damn day. This isn’t a chore. It’s a way of life. It’s an art. It’s a way of being.

(19) (Because #6 didn’t really count:) I learned to start holding myself to better standards while also being less harsh on myself. I am my worst critic (aren’t we all?). I’m learning to love myself, to be emboldened, to feel the flow of the universe.

(20) (bonus edit:) During my unemployment, I had a crazy opportunity to be part of a podcast in the making. It’s called Voices of the Revolution. I supported the project’s social media, and even got to write a bit of the script for one of the episodes. Not sure if it’ll be used. The write-up was more an exercise to see what I could do. Nonetheless, it was a fun project that I didn’t get to see through to the end. I hope it comes to fruition.

Here’s to another year ahead of us.


6 thoughts on “18 Things from 2018

  1. Colline says:

    Reading your statement on how you made a list to help you make a decision makes me think I should suggest that for my daughter. She is in the process of deciding what to do next year as she is in her final year at school.

    1. Gina says:

      I found that the list helped in clearing up my jumbled thoughts and to figure out what I really wanted to do, what I was okay doing, and what I absolutely did not want to do. It was also a great way to reassess my skills and my abilities. You can never go wrong with a list/map/doodle to clear put your brain!

  2. Gary A Wilson says:

    Hi Gina. I don’t recall if we’ve met for coffee before. Given the history that some of the regulars in this group, I think I’ll always be one of the new guys running around behind those of you who know this world much better than I do. You mentioned storytelling – which is a passion for me. Long story, but this is exactly what I use my blog for. I create, polish and share stories. My current project is described in my coffee share, but in short I tell fun, short stories about growing up. If you need a laugh, check out my index for a story or two. I limit each one to 2000 words so most readers can finish one in 10 minutes or less.

    There were gobs of things to love about your coffee share, but I certainly don’t love unemployment. Did that gig once for 18 months. It was hugely stressful as I have 3 kids, a wife, a house – pretty much the American dream to pay for. We were homeschooling the kiddos at the time, so alternate sources of income were limited. Anyway, I hope 2019 starts with a great new job for you and hope to see you for weekend coffee often. You sound like a gal with spunk and passion – my kind of folks.

    All the best.

  3. Kathleen Howell says:

    I love this list, thanks for sharing with us. #18 happened for me too. I probably won’t attempt NaBloPoMo again.

    1. Gina says:

      Thanks for reading! I didn’t know NaBloPoMo was a thing!

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