2008: A Personal Recap
Wow, what a year. I will admit that 2008 was much better than 2007 — which was arguably the worst year of my life. 2006 was topsy turvy, as I have mentioned before, and the beginning of a prolonged downturn in my life. This past year gives me pause for reflection, because there were some things that appeared to give an inkling to restoration of order (i.e. taking back my SPOT). The year certainly began inauspiciously and with tons of ambivalence on my part. Again, coming off 2007, that was understandable. But having endured two near death experiences and continuing to press forward since those massive obstacles, you knew I was not going to quit.
I really miss my grandmother Kathryn R. Robinson Wright. It was very crushing for us to really believe she would make it back home in 2007 after a relatively routine health issue. I probably took the loss harder than anyone outside of her children. Some of my cousins took it rough, but given that I am not a crier, it is assumed it did not rock me to my core. It did. I am not foolish or naive by any stretch, but my grandmother was as strong physically and as active as anyone I have ever known in my life. She was 79 and prior to going into the hospital she was running around and doing heavy lifting and hard work around her house just as she had done when I was little. She had slowed down only VERY LITTLE. Even more crushing to me was the fact that she will not be here to see me graduate from UNCG. If only I had not been so consumed with showing these young cats how to ball (which is some of the STUPIDEST nonsense ever, but I digress — to you cats who think you are doing it, please move on to something constructive) I would have finished three years ago from St. John’s (instead of UNCG). But again, that’s another blog.
As a means of preserving my grandmother’s memory and continuing to unite our family, which is spread out literally all over the place (and I am going to take the initiative to do research to tie up loose ends, meet cousins and other relatives I’ve never met both in North Carolina and New York and New Jersey who have been under my nose as I’ve lived in each state in my life) we began having family gatherings once a month on April 5 (the date my grandmother passed in 2007) at different family members’ homes. I have never expressed it, but those were exactly what I needed this year. This summer was DISASTROUS for me on so many levels. Seeing my cousins several times this summer helped save me from going into my self-destructive shell that I have gone into so many times in the past.
I’ll just go back through the months and recap the things that have occurred. They will give both myself and my readers a better understanding of what this year was like for me.
The spring 2008 semester began strangely for me. Upon returning to UNCG after Winter Break, I began suffering even more pain in my back (lingering effects of a herniated disk that I had initially suffered in August of 2006 — made worse by bulking up to 200 lbs last year and trying to execute basketball moves at age 28 that I was doing at age 20 — in other words, NOT WISE). The pain progressively got worse and I lost tons of mobility and became less and less active as the month went along. My roommate Phil and I had committed to going to the gym and lifting and/or playing basketball a few times a week, but after one week the pain became so great that I could barely walk to class. For those of you who do not know that kind of pain — do not EVER rupture a disk in your back and don’t think for a minute that someone who has that injury is a wimp for sitting down with it. It is only rivaled by the pains of child labor/delivery. Trust me.
Anyway, in the classroom, my grades were B+/A- as usual, but I was unable to focus because of the pain.
Things continued more of the same. I was taking six classes, so in my free time I feverishly looked for jobs and applied for jobs both in Greensboro and in New York, as I had been planning to move back since early 2007. I spent just as much time in the doctor’s office due to my back as I did in class.
Spring Break got here and I couldn’t afford to go anywhere. Nonetheless, I made the most out of things by continuing to get my paperwork in order so I could apply to transfer schools and there was March Madness. Still a pretty nondescript year.
We had our first gathering, and it was bittersweet, because my cousin Donald was killed and passed away the day we were supposed to meet up. It was surreal. By this point, my schoolwork was wrapping up and I finished up pretty strong, as I usually do. The main objective at this point was trying to ensure that I had a job in place when I moved back to NY. Of course this did not happen, as I have pointed out.
OK, with the semester ending and warmer weather, I’m pleased because I’m just CERTAIN that my move will be seamless and I will be able to get help for my back; which would allow for me to work. Needless to say that did not happen. The rest of the summer was pretty terrible without the family gatherings, to be perfectly honest. This is not how I planned this year to go. Nothing had gone right by May.
I spent the entire month waiting on my IRS rebate check; the delay causing me to miss the Alicia Keys show in Atlantic City — which was a late birthday present to me from one of my then-friends (to think she got upset with me about something that was out of my hands LOL). I also missed Funk Flex’s car show out in Edison!!!
I was in Harlem for a while, although I wanted to get everything straight at Hunter and City College — they STILL had not processed all of my documents. This summer was really shaping up to be one of the worst ever. OK, nothing can top 2007 or those summers when I nearly died in high school.
We did have a few family gatherings this month, which REALLY helped me get over the malaise of the year to that point.
School’s back in.
We did have a couple of family gatherings, too.
Surgery was a success, and my cousin Leavery got married in Wilmington, DE. I had not been to Wilmington in a couple of years (and that was just by accident with Mikey and AJ last year on our way to New York). What a depressing place. LOL the wedding and reception were awesome though.
A month full of nothingness.
More of the same. Applied for 50 jobs to this point — no dice.
Thanksgiving restored joy for me.
This month has been brutal. Finals weren’t too bad, although my very last one was a killer. I had three A’s, including an A+ and STILL only had a 3.0 this semester because I nearly flunked Stats!!!
Christmas was… different… and I don’t mean in a good way. I didn’t get to see any of my cousins or other family until the next day and that was only to see my grandparents. I’m still riding high off that.