It's the end of the year. The end of... something. For me, it's the end of school.
For eight years, I've been an undergrad. Eight years. Hell. However, I've put three degrees in the can and I think I'm better for it. I started at Briercrest College, a small-ish Christian college in southern Saskatchewan, where I hammered out two bachelor's degrees, one in theology and one in the humanities (vague, I know). I spent five years there, and though it didn't really open the doors I'd hoped it would, the training that I received there - academic training, moral training, personal, spiritual, etc - has been invaluable. I am who I am in large part because of that place and so I am grateful. After that, I skipped over to the University of Saskatchewan with every intention of banging out an English Literature degree with as much haste, and posthaste, as possible. However... see above closed doors. The transfer credits didn't amount to squat, so I spent three years (well, two and a half, plus some summers) padding my educational resume and fulfilling the requirements. I am, as of now, and notwithstanding some as-of-yet still unpaid tuition fees, an English graduate. Degree number three, in the bag. Now, on to bigger and better things. Bigger, at least. Greener pastures, right?
So it's been a good year. And it's been shitty. Upon reflection (and what else is the end of the year for besides reflection? Oh right, booze. Well, I'm drinking wine as I write this so I've got that covered), every plan that I made, every hope that I laid, turned brittle, fragile, and pretty much crumbled at my feet. I graduated, but just barely. It was a fight to the finish. (I'm speaking financially, by the way. Academically, I nailed it.) A conspiracy, its tentacles seemingly stretching into all sectors of my life, both public and private, was launched against me. At every turn, and on every front, frustration bit me in the ass. Scholarships were denied. Loans were reduced to rubble. Jobs disappeared. Things that I had assumed were guaranteed turned out to be smoke, vapor. Life is fragile. Dreams are even more fragile. Both can be upset by the smallest decision of another. Both can be set back, darkened, and even snuffed out.
But I'm being dramatic. I'm indulging. I did get that third degree locked down, and I did it with style. I'm proud of the scholarship that I can produce. Academically, I'm no slouch. I may slouch in other areas of life, but not in school. No sir.
So 2008 is done. Good. Get rid of it. It was a stressful year. Highs and lows, ups and downs, cliche here, cliche there, etc, etc. All that proverbial knowledge, all those gnomic sayings and all their sickening banality, their tedious mundanity... they are all true. School is tiring, family is tiring, money is tiring, lack of money is tiring. Life is tiring. What I'm saying is I'm tired. I need a break. I have eight months to kill before I enter graduate school, which seems like a good thing but I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do and it's a bit scary. I thought I had a job lined up but... the conspiracy. Thwarted again, and at the very last minute, at just the moment when the conception becomes reality, where life is most fragile.
I'm not sure what's going to happen in 2009. Actually, I'm quite nervous about it, and that's not good. There are two things I can't deal with like an adult, being bored and being uncertain. Both tend to drive me towards unhealthy trespasses into my past: a renewed interest in the heavy metal music of my adolescence and re-runs of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Both are comfort food to me, and they tend to appear, like not-so-subtle screaming klaxons, right when I'm most depressed.
Yes, lately I've been listening to Tourniquet and crushing on Sarah Michelle Gellar. Again. I'm in a state of emotional regression, I recognize that. Thanks again, 2008.
So here I am, on the raggedy edge. Graduated. Unemployed. Three degrees. Tired. Damn it. I need a new year, maybe one a little less fraught with peril and disappointment. Also, a miracle would be nice. Maybe a finger stretching out from the clouds, pointing the way. Yeah? Yeah? I know, probably not going to happen. It's not that I don't believe in intervention. I do. I just don't expect it, not for myself anyway.
Okay, enough. Like 2008, I'm done. This post is upsetting me now. It was supposed to be ironic catharsis. But now I'm not sure what it is. It's more sincere than I intended. That bit about Buffy... that's revealing more of myself than I'd planned. Of course I could delete all this. I'm considering it. But I won't. Maybe tomorrow I will.
Anyway. To 2009. I'd toast but I'm out of wine. Cheers anyway.