The second half of my year proved to be much different, but still a whirlwind, nevertheless. You know, it’s strange how life works out sometimes, and yesterday, prior to writing this post, I finished up my sixth book, a poetry collection titled, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare, which is a story about my time spent on the road over the past few years. It’s half fiction and half memoir, and let me tell you something friends: writing it was one hell of a journey.
So let’s take a look at what else was with me on the road this year:
June: After Ireland, I came back home and finished up my employment at Carlow, while still managing to head to Seton Hill University for alumni weekend. Michelle came up to spend the weekend with me, and the two of us drove into Greensburg to see tons of friends and mentors, old friends and new, and it was a blast. We also snuck in some major girl time (which was much needed), and she got me hooked on Lucifer and Vampire Diaries.
July: Come early July, I jumped in my car and headed out to spend a few days with Jen and John, and we visited the Washington National Cathedral and the National Museum of Health and Medicine, and then binge watched Arrested Development and caught up on life. I had a blast, and then shortly afterwards, I got to head to the Ai Wei Wei exhibit at the Andy Warhol museum, so unemployed life was treating me well.
July also brought with it a new draft of the aforementioned poetry collection, a new interest in Japanese film, and most importantly, NECON36. It was so nice to get back to Rhode Island and see my other writing family for a bit, and the memories were plentiful (not to mention hysterical). I roomed with Kristin again, and we had our share of gummy sludge and sticky drinks with Mike, and then I got to meet some new friends (hello, Mark Morris, Michael Rowe), and see tons of old ones. Hell, Brian Kirk and I even got matching glow sticks and Gardner and I shared many, many laughs, some of which, I’m sure will come back to haunt me in the most beautiful ways, ha!
August: By August, I was starting to feel a little stir crazy, but I had plenty of job interviews. Plus side? I landed one of those jobs by the end of the month. Down side? My aunt’s body was found in the damn that I used to fish at as a kid. Suicide had once again struck my family. R.I.P Aunt Chris.
September: Come September, things were starting to return to a normal state again as I had started my new job, and was freshly inked with a beautiful new thigh/hip piece. I also reconnected with an old friend from my freshmen college days who ended up taking me out for whiskey and dinner and kickstarting a romance that should have begun years ago. By the time I was at the RDSP retreat in Milton Delaware running around with my crew and sharing a bunk-bed with Jesssica McHugh, I knew that I had fallen in love with Dennis and I couldn't wait to get home to tell him just that.
October: Early October, Dennis and I started dating, and things were perfect. I was settled into my new job, and head over heels (still am) for my new guy. But God must have gotten a memo that said things were too perfect, so while I was in the middle of singing alongside Patti Smith at her concert, I got a phone call from my brother who said our family dog, Rufus, was having multiple seizures and that Mom and Dad were on their way to the vet to have him put down. Thankfully I was able to make in there in time to hold our sweet boy and cover him in kisses before I said goodbye, but my heart was ripped in two.
Weeks passed, and thankfully we had a fantastic Halloween together with friends, and after years of failed Halloween attempts, I finally landed a guy who wanted to watch Pet Semetary and go out and dance. We ended up at a warehouse(ish) party dancing the night away, and man, I don’t think I’ve smiled that much in years. It was a blast.
November: By mid-November, Dennis and I decided to move in together and we spent Thanksgiving at both of our parent’s and gorged ourselves on turkey and stuffing. That holiday weekend, my best friend, Kat, came in to spend the weekend with me, but life stopped when I got a call from my brother early that Sunday morning that our grandfather had passed way. Scott and I had just visited with our pap a few days before and the news hit me hard, and just like that, everything changed.
December: The first week of December, we buried my grandfather. Death had touched us frequently this year and finding peace was getting more and more difficult for me as my entire 2016 had been about mourning the things that I’d lost, but thankfully, Dennis is an angel, and he helped me through it in more ways than one. I grieved the loss of my pap and mourned him by making a beautiful memory box in his honor, and that helped put my heart at peace a bit. A week or so after that, I started to return to the world, and I celebrated the release of my first novel, The Eighth, and on top of that, Dennis and I even managed to throw some Christmas fun stuff into our busy schedules.
But having said all of that, one guy in particular really helped bring out the happiness in our lives again this year.
And he’ll make an appearance in our home this Thursday.
With devious smiles and an excited heart,
Stephanie M. Wytovich