Monday, December 31, 2007

Cardboard's 2007 Accomplishments

This has been one craZy year for me. I've snapped up some good opportunities but I've also had to face (and climb over) a few nasty obstacles. I half-jokingly describe this year as my "best worst year ever."

So as I fluff the pillows for 2007's big sleep and feel the eager breath of 2008 on the back of my neck, I find myself loosely wrapped in reflection. I spent the past few days puttering about my house, full of coffee and thought. I'm listing my 2007 feats here to help me figure things out, to allow myself to (as they say) recognize. I hope it moves you to make your own list, whether you choose to share it or not.

I turned 30 this year. My darling family sent me a gift for each year, each individually wrapped and stuffed together in one big exciting box. And I celebrated this milestone with (what else?) Meat Cake.

I also began erasing the unfinished details of a relationship gone very bad. This is part of the "worst" of my year and I'm, even now, getting rid of the evidence. I'm also still working through my feelings on the matter, as angerhurtregret tends to crave attention. But I'm proud of myself, jeez...still being here...not playing dirty...and something new every single day.

Then my sister Bamboo moved in! Yippee! For her arrival, I had to quickly turn a room that had been an office/art studio into her new bedroom. The "junk room" had plywood subfloors, no window coverings or baseboards, and was covered in paint splatter. I didn't necessarily want to "finish" the room (install flooring) because, if she moved out quickly, I wanted the option of making the room messy again. So, I dismantled the stage tech shelving, fixed the holes in the walls, and painted the room. Then, using my limited resources (money not being one of them), I made baseboards from wallpaper, commissioned curtains from our favorite seamstress, and stained the plywood to look almost rich. And I done did it all by myself. Awwww, yeeeeah.

I made some new friends this year, both IRL and in the blogosphere. I also re-connected with some lost pals and grew a bit closer to those currently in my address book. Believe it or not, I planned and/or hosted my first grown-up parties (outside of a dorm room).

I auditioned for and got a part-time editor position with the much-revered Apartment Therapy (Chicago). This is my first PAID freelance-esque writing gig. Working for AT has not only created connections and opened up avenues, but has also hinted to me that I might be able to do what I love - to write - for a living.

And so I wrote. One of my short stories was published in an anthology called Further Persons Imperfect. This project is important to me on many levels. It's my first piece of published fiction. I worked with a tremendously dedicated and talented group of writers to create the book in full. I also conceived the book's design, roping Porcelain in as the cover model and lassoing another friend of ours to take the photograph. All in all, it was a successful collaboration. Since I had spent the early half of 2007 regretting joint projects, the efforts put into this book restored my faith in partnership.

Now onto my continuous struggle with King Neptune. I certainly can't say that I've won the war against His H2O Highness and I won't even dare say that I've won a battle (without knocking on solid, firm on-land wood). But I have held my own. This year, Neptune lashed out hard and obvious with one doozy of a Chicago storm. Flooding threatened my humble abode and I held it back. Recently, Neptune moved in, cloaked and insidious, with a behind-the-wall leak from my bathtub faucet. I (thought I) had the leak figured out and fixed. I patted myself on the back for the decent albeit amateur regrouting/retiling/recaulking job. I started to (foolishly) believe I could see Neptune coming. But, after all the repair work, he came back with the same exact sneaky leak that was there before. King Neptune, you're officially a jerk but I now see the value in our sparring because I'm learning from you. Whatever doesn't drown me, only makes me stronger (and more buoyant).

Lastly, there's design boner and all you guys. Each of you reading this is one more reason to write it. Thanks for making 2007 mean something, especially you, Porcelain. You're the best friend a little ol' scrap of Cardboard like me could hope for.


Leah said...

Huzzah for you, Cardboard!



Amy Turn Sharp said...

I am so into yr site
2008 yahoo

Porcelain said...

Oh man, you so made me teary eyed!!! You're the bestest friend I could ever hope for!

chinesetwine said...

What a beautiful way to wrap up a very mixed year. Lovely tribute to Porcelain!!! You two are the best.

LOVE those floors!!!

FrugalFag said...

congrats! I can't wait to see (first hand) what you'll do in 2008.

Reinessa said...

Hey--so that's how that floor turned out. Very appealing look--I like it A LOT!