Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Well, Drat: 2014; Hoo, Boy: 2015

Really, although I proffered the standard ten on January 1, 2014, I had only two goals for this year: get the book I co-translated from Russian into English published and find a job.  I failed on both counts.  

I applied to over 100 jobs, interviewed for half a dozen, and worked at a tractor factory for five 60-hour weeks, and tutored for a while twice a week in English.  But I finish the year as innocent of employment as I began it.  Similarly, I sent off appeals to 7 presses and 13 literary agents, but I haven't gotten a positive response from any.  I'm not giving up on either account--there are probably 70 more presses and 130 more agents I will accost in 2015, and I've already written the author to ask her about her feelings re: self-publication on Amazon (I would still rather have the work issued by a refereed press, but if push comes to shove, I'll go via this internationally-networked print-on-demand and e-book service).  

I did not work so long and diligently translating that book to have it languish unread in a MS Word file.  Nor did I accumulate so much advanced education to be scraping for scraps in the economic wastebin.  I sometimes wonder if it's more likely that I'll be married and expecting quintuplets by this time next year than reach my employment and publication goals, but I'm stubborn and refuse to believe that hitherto hath the Lord helped me only to see me flounder forever.  Of course, I also realize based on documented historical examples that I may have to wallow impotently for a while (learning assorted other needful lessons)--seventeen to forty years, in fact.  I really hope that my muddling won't be that long, and that I will see success in my lifetime, but the Almighty is not obligated to crown my human efforts with success that I can measure or appreciate.

I am substantially ticked off at the moment by an event of more than a month ago, when a fellow on whom I'd had a crush in elementary and high school (we'd crossed paths early, then again, what with my parents transferring me every few years so I'd get the best education available--being the eldest child, I was the pedagogical guinea pig) messaged me out of the blue to say, after some initial flirting, and pouring out of his soul (I had suspected a chemical component to this openness, which guess was subsequently confirmed--not just a serious substance abuse issue, but also the fractured familial relationships that usually accompany it) that he'd "had a crush on me" since we'd last been classmates (25 years ago). Oy. I was initially amused, later angered, especially since a week or so ago he announced that he was "in a relationship" (with a tired-eyed mother of two who favors me superficially), as to why people can't follow Kipling's counsel to "never say one word about their loss" (hah!). I know I am an empress in the realm of Overshare, but how does my knowledge of that particular unrequited love benefit either of us? I clearly did not inspire him to better behavior, to more noble action, to temporal self-denial in hope of eventual joy!  Frankly, it's no more than ironic that we both fantasized about the other as secondary school students, and with this fresh revelation all I can think is "thank God, I was so painfully shy back then--too impaired to act on any attraction--or my life would now be a true disaster!"

Truly, as Grandmommy has told me since I was a little girl, there are worse things than being not married.  I can also say, "there are worse things than being unmarried, unemployed and unpublished." Good grief.  And I am relieved not just for myself--I think about the one boyfriend I had almost 18 years ago, who did want to marry me, and how glad I am for his sake that I decided to break off our relationship.  Even in my current impecunious situation, I have expensive taste, and I have no doubt that ours would not have been a long or happy marriage, given his economically poor background and my affection (which I am slowly, slowly learning to challenge) for beautiful (often costly) things.  I hope he and the nice lady (I knew her vaguely) whom he eventually did marry will be happy and content for the rest of their lives.  They probably have well-adjusted children.  My offspring would have been predestined maladjusted from their genetic makeup alone, no matter how carefully they were raised.

Enough mournful hypotheticals. Let's turn to "mondo beyondo" hopefuls! My 10 ambitions for 2015 include the following:

1) Get a good job with solid benefits.

2) Get the book translation published.

3) Finish the novel that I started several years ago.

4) Translate all the sources that I gathered for my dissertation and rough out the biography of Pirogov that I'd planned to write.

5) Get 3 dozen of my lamps sold in galleries (I didn't make this goal in 2014, ending up with just over a dozen sold).

6) Find a Picasso for $5 and sell it for $50,000,000 (well, probably not, but this is my metaphor for my art collecting ambitions)!

7) Adopt a cat.  A nice striped lapcat who likes to purr and doesn't regularly puke on my rugs.

8) Go abroad. Canada. Ukraine. South Korea. Peru. I'm not picky!

9) Receive more than 100 (positive and thoughtful) comments on one of my blog posts.

10) Keep going to the gym (and actually achieve the non-bubble-butt that was my goal for last year) and be able to do 5 unsupported pullups by December!

Should I add anything?

1 comment:

gnutron said...

Number seven is achievable, at least.