I did not see that shit coming.
I ended a relationship. I moved out of an apartment I’d lived in for almost 2 years and moved to the coolest zip code in town. I lost 20 pounds, gained back 10 in muscle, and then got skinny as a rail when I quit working out 4 times a week. I started learning Mandarin.
I made the 10 hour drive to Marfa, Texas for no particular reason, got there at 4am, and didn’t see the Marfa Lights. But I did see the sunrise. Then I came back. I drank too much and introduced my face to a parking space, breaking my glasses and a tooth in the process.
I got a promotion to management. Two months later, without a job offer or a whole lot in savings, I quit my job to find something better. I got media passes to a music festival and saw a bunch of my favorite bands for free. I got swine flu. I think. The Monday before Christmas, almost two months to the day after I quit my job, I was offered a better one.
And I met a girl.
Carly. Carly, Carly, Carly.
There were moments this year where I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. There were moments I was afraid or uncertain. There were moments where I wasn’t sure I would make it to the inchoate better future I was trying to invent for myself. They were never more than moments because she believed in me, and knowing that someone so incredible believed in me gave me the strength to move mountains.
Her drive to create is inspiring. Her tireless work and seemingly constant success makes me jealous in that motivating way that only writers can be jealous of each other, but more than that it makes me proud. Her wanderlust has given her an endlessly fascinating mind, with perspectives and ways of understanding that I’m still joyfully unraveling every day. Girl’s got a wit like a switchblade.
I may as well be transluscent when she’s around, because she seems to see right into me without the slightest effort. I know it’s partially because she understands me deeply, but it’s also because–like so many of the greatest writers–she has an intuitive understanding of how people work.
And she gave me swine flu. But she helped me get better too. Her family has welcomed me, having me over for the Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays and giving me a place to blog for fun and–if this idea of a dub reggae band called “Lil Big Soundclash” takes off–a new reason to play the guitar.
In a year full of surprises and wild turns, she turned out to be the biggest surprise of my life.