What a weird, long, fucked up year it’s been…
How shall I summarize? I started 2016 feeling utterly hopeless. I was convinced that I was stuck in a place in life that would never improve. 2015 was a year of some major mental health struggles for me and the first part of 2016 carried that weight. It’s hard to describe exactly what was going on with me but it was a really dark and scary place.
Very suddenly, though, things started changing. I took a position on a new team, whom I loved, and got into my groove with my career. I even worked out my seemly hopeless situation with school, got accepted into ASU through Starbucks College Achievement Program (oh, yeah, that’s where I used to work), and started classes again. It wasn’t smooth sailing just yet, though. I wasn’t accepted into the major I wanted because of past issues with grades when I was struggling with injuries, mental health, PTSD… you name it… but I could take the preliminary classes anyway. Officially, I was a Technology Entrepreneurship major, but I really wanted into the Software Engineering program.
For a few months, I lived and breathed work and school, got great grades, and started to feel like maybe I could get the life I wanted. But, in April, I started struggling again. We had some organizational changes happen at work that were a nightmare for me. The next several months were like something out of The Order of the Phoenix. I had my very own Dolores Fucking Umbridge. Every few weeks or so, I’d hear a new rumor start to swirl about me. I tried to stay out of it and keep my head down, while focusing on school, but the situation got completely out of control.
I dropped my classes in April just to keep my head above water at work and, again, felt like a failure. However, my team kept me hopeful and kept me thinking about my future. I got back into classes again in the summer and have been going strong since then.
Happy ending, right?
In September, the situation at work came to a breaking point and I was fired because of one of the rumors. To be clear, it was not something I had done. Not that I was exactly a model employee. I’m a mouthy little motherfucker, but my team liked that about me. I also believe that rules are to be looked at more as guidelines and that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Despite all this, I really wasn’t guilty of what they said I did and I was devastated.
It’s a damn good thing I’m so good at compartmentalizing. For the next two months, all that existed in my world was school and interviews. Funnily enough, I eventually got hired for the first job I applied for on the day I was fired. I was so angry that I went straight home and applied for unemployment and every opening I could find at the company I’ve wanted to work at for several years. The offer I accepted was more than 150% of what I made at Starbucks and I start out with more time off than I had. So, basically, I won.
No, wait, the election also very much existed. Fuck you 2016. Fuck you very much. Hilary Clinton, I miss you already.
In mid-December, I wrote an email to my adviser at school, asking what I still had outstanding to be able to be accepted into the Software Engineering program. Much to my surprise, I was immediately accepted. Additionally, I had completed far more graduation requirements than I had realized so I’m facing a much easier road ahead for getting my degree.
I have 16 months until I finish school.
Baring any major life incidents, I’ll finally have my degree in 16 months.
I get weepy just thinking about it. Like, every time. Oh, and I made the Dean’s List. There’s something I never thought would happen.
But, because nothing in life is perfect, I finished 2016 with the flu and an upper respiratory infection. Yay!
Thankfully, I was on break from school and my new team was ridiculously nice about it.
I leave you with a photo of me that basically sums up how I felt about 2016…
All damn year.