No year has ever been as up-and-down, comfortable and scary, rosy and gloomy, as 2007 was for me. After getting about ten months of free time in 2006, during which I embarked on the most passionate journey my heart has ever taken, it was time to atone. I robbed Peter in ’06 and paid Paul out the ass in ’07.
For example, counting two contract gigs, I actually had five jobs last year… and went to a trade school. And, speaking of that school, I came out of class riding a high that I would have never imagined. The income potential (though it wasn’t really “potential”, it was virtually guaranteed) alone was staggering to my little mind. Plans were laid for a early fall launch of the new business until two things happened: 1) The tools required for this career added up to an ungodly amount of money, and 2) The state legislature had a new law party. After September 1, it looked as though all my training – not to mention my student loan – was for naught.
And that is when I took the second contract job, one that was to last for two months. At first it was for the above-mentioned tools. In September, it became more about survival. But it also led to the best decision of the year.
On one of the many days that the Leemerette was able to ride along with me as I did my job, we found ourselves in Muenster, Texas. As we drove from the local meat market to the locally owned grocery store, we started talking about how great it would be to just pack up and move and start all over somewhere else. Dawn mentioned it on a whim and was surprised to learn that I often felt the same way. Suddenly, the conversation turned quasi-serious. We started talking about where we’d like to make this transformation.
I nixed her first idea (Houston – sorry, family) and she shot down mine (Colorado – too hard with the kids in Texas). But then we started talking about Austin. In fact, we progressed so far as to make plans for her to work for her company in the capital. Then the pendulum swung and lopped off the head of that idea when Dawn got laid off. So much for her working in Austin.
However, a few weeks later, I got a call from the company I was doing the contract gig for. When asked how far I live from McKinney, I said about two hours. Too bad, the boss said, because he had a full-time opening there and had hoped to put me in that position. Then I told him of the waylaid plans for an Austin move and we ended the conversation… until he called the next day offering me the same postion in the city Dawn and I were meant for.
So I had a job waiting for me in Austin, a state-issued cargo van to move shit while not working, and the wife and I had optimism again. On one episode of Seinfeld, Jerry equated himself to the proverbial “Even Steven”. Well, folks, that’s me. Just when one door closes, another opens. I like to think of it as karma points, rewards from treating others right as I have lived my life. To wit, just as things were really looking up, I found out that the state had “grandfathered” me. In other words, as long as all my education certificates were turned in before 2008, I could still get my license to practice the trade that I had studied.
But things were rough after the move for a while. Typical of us, we sold things rather than move them. I wasn’t making a lot of money at my job, but we needed it because it got us the apartment. So, although the bedrooms were furnished, the downstairs living area was bare. And that wreaked havoc on the psyche a little, especially as Dawn was searching for a job.
Tempers got short, and there were a few tense nights here and there, but we fought through it. We had/have each other, and everything else is pretty much ancillary. Plus, true to the “Even Steven” theory, I got a call from a recruiter for a new job offering more money and Dawn nailed her interview for a position that is far better than either of us could have hoped for.
So now the kids get to get a college degree for free, and my niece gets a 25% discount on her tuition (past and present), and another niece may take advantage of the same offer. And the owners of the company I work for think I hung the moon, when in actuality it was just some party favors, and they plan on utilizing me at another of their locations when I am done with my work at the first. All the while, I am still working Monday through Friday – a major plus since I got a letter from the state on Friday that cleared me to take my licensing exam.
Oh – and radio in Austin kicks ass.
Manic-depressive. Even Steven. See-saw. Up-and-down.
Call it what you will, but I choose to call it a new year.
My typical year-end entry will be next. Curve it until then.