Looking back, looking forward, and everything in between

2009 sucked. I think that has been a universal constant no matter who you are and for once economic globalization worked as a great equalizer in that it spread crappiness on a global scale. Moaning about all that was wrong about this year for me personally is pretty pointless as it has already happened and I can’t change a damned thing about it. All I can really say is that looking forward, there were a great many lessons learned.
For starters, how the hell did I manage to be out of the country for so long, have so little paid work, and yet manage to keep my apartment in San Francisco as well as have some (admittedly not tons) of money in the bank still? At the start of the year, I was coming back from Spain. Then, in the summer, I went to Spain again for an extremely ill-timed wedding. Then I went to Ghana. Then after coming back, I went to Spain (again), France, and the UK. I guess it had to do with lower air fares as well as some kind of mojo I don’t even know how to replicate. That part was good and it made me have to travel on a strict budget again, which is something I had become rather lax about in years past. All told, I am guilty of contributing 10,025 kg of CO2 waste to the planet, which sucks to know, although it’s a great deal less than other people, who should also be tracking such things, ahem, ahem.
While all things job are usually quite slow in January and February, I should have realized that when it wasn’t picking up in March and April, hightailing it out of San Francisco needed to be on the table. Where I would have gone to, I have no idea (Washington DC was a possibility) but SF is a massively expensive town to just hang out in. I think you need a minimum of about $2,000 a month clear to simply exist there and quick frankly, that’s quite a pile to fork out each month simply for the joy of San Francisco. I still love the town a great deal, but elements such a this are indeed wearing thin as I move in the middle of my third decade on the planet and need to think more towards the future. I mean, this is the third downturn I’ve been through in the 11 years I’ve been in San Francisco and it’s getting old. In other places in the world, you earn a great deal less, but it’s a reliable less.
Interviews sucked. I think that between my most most hated thing in the world: the phone interview, and actual in-person interviews, I had something like 50 this year. I had one that actually panned out in to a job, but turned out to not actually be a real full-time job, which just added to the pile of overall irk. My neighbor has had similar experiences and he just found a job two weeks ago, so I’m hoping that the tides are turning to some degree as he needed visa sponsorship as well.
Of course, we’re not seeing any “Holiday sales were up!” or “The worst is behind us articles” in the media. There is a reason for this given that more bad news is actually coming down the pipes. This article is a great write up about how we’re going to see a pile more foreclosures in the next year and the Obama administration is taking preemptive steps to deal with the political fallout of that prior to the 2010 elections. That being the case, I’m not really wanting to take any risks and am currently working on a plan to be out of the country for the first half of this new year, but more on that later once plane tickets, visas, and general shittery is all dealt with.
Looking at 2009 and looking ahead to 2010, all I can say to friends and family is, “Thanks for helping me out when I needed it. I am working to not have to do this again for a long time, although I can’t make any promises.” And for everyone out there who has a solid job, stick with it. Find yourself a safe port in the storm as the waters ahead are looking to be very choppy. We have a lot of half-assed fixes that went in to place this year and things like that half billion (yes, $500,000,000) deficit for San Francisco and multi-billion deficit for California next year aren’t going to go away anytime soon.
Thank you for your continued readership and here’s to a good second half of 2010 or maybe, even a good 2011?