All in all, 2012 was a good year.
I don’t do resolutions, but I do set goals (which are pretty much the same thing). In 2012, my goal was to begin working on becoming a Licensed Social Worker. I accomplished one tiny step toward setting that goal in motion and that was to find out it would cost a bit of money. So for now, it’s a long-term goal.
The year started with a kiss from a dear friend as I rang in the New Year in Portland, OR. We hit the Eagle and Casey’s, enjoyed the fabulous drag show at Embers and had a tremendous time. Another highlight of the first month of the year was my first trip to Mexico. It was work-related and took just over 36-hours to accomplish.. but oh what an experience! I have forever been corrupted by the taste of fresh tropical fruits and the amazing people I met there. I certainly hope I can go back and stay a bit longer next time. I could get used to 80 degree days in January.
February – April
The spring went by rather uneventfully. Looking back at my calendar, there was a lot of activity at work; meetings, court dates and training (both giving and receiving). Two kitties adopted me and gave me someone to come home to. They settled in and I experimented with numerous brands of kitty litter to keep the smell at bay. I found that Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat formula works best. There was a brief blip on the social calendar, but distance and other “issues” kept it passionate, but short lived.
I was given the honor of being named Board Chair of Umatilla – Morrow Alternatives a human dignity group. One of our first events of the year was to attend the Rural Organizing Project Caucus in Woodburn, OR. I heard from other people working with non-profit organizations in rural areas around Oregon. There are a lot of people doing some serious work around the state in places very few have ever been. The weekend wasn’t all about the noble work of human dignity, I got to have some serious fun with the gorgeous male dancers at the Silverado in Portland, even partaking of my first lap dance from the fine specimen pictured at right. Sadly the bar has a “no pictures” rule, otherwise I would have some great fantasy material to enjoy.
I participated in my first Pride Festival in Portland. My camera malfunctioned, so there is no photographic proof of my experience. But what an experience! I am looking forward to going again… maybe to Seattle Pride.
The summer rolled along with many opportunities to present the work of UMA at local festivals. We tabled at the local Pride Festival, there was a HUGE difference between Portland Pride and Pride in a community of 200k. Later in the month I was able to attend another conference for non-profit groups at Reed College in Portland. I met a number of amazing people and made friends with a couple of them. While there I had an opportunity to hear a speaker who is studying the tea party movement. The primary take away… Tea Baggers are racist, homophobes… I know! I was as surprised as you!
I took time off from work to spend some time with my kids and to help at the UMA booth at the county fair.
I took on a new caseload at work that has certainly been a challenge, but one that lends itself more to my passions in life. I also participated in a Diversity Conference in Salem that did an admirable job of shining a spotlight on people of color and females, but did very little to talk about the issues of LGBT individuals who work for the state. I’ve wondered on several occasions if there is anything I can do, anyone I can talk to that would make a difference for the 2013 conference.
I had a great deal through most of 2012 with my landlord where I was mowing the lawn for the complex for a reduction in rent. I came home one evening to a letter on my door notifying me that that arrangement was coming to an end AND my rent was going up. On top of that, I was notified that my child support was going up by a significant amount. One of my goals in life is to be financially stable. I make a decent income, but only a small portion of it makes it to my bank account. It is difficult to give my kids anything extra. Such is the life of a divorced father.
November – December
Living a life of austerity, fearing the cluster-fuck the Republicans have set up for us on New Years Day; I had resolved that I didn’t have much to offer a relationship at this time. The amazing thing is that when you stop looking, it happens. I met a tremendous man and I’m enjoying spending time with him. The holidays were stressful because they are so filled with the stress of what the kids want, what I want to get for important people in my life and the limited resources available in the bank.
As the year comes to a close tonight… I’m poorer than I was a year ago, but I’m also happier. Happier with where I am in my career and happier with myself.
Cheers to 2013!