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It was a very good year

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader


December 20th I was sitting at Au Bon Pain in the Boston Design Center feeling melancholy. And it was Judy Garlandís fault. The P.A. system was playing ďHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,Ē and for some reason, that is the one holiday tune that can bring me to tears. I didnít bust out crying, but I came awfully close. I donít know if it was because my job training is about to be over, or thinking about future plans that Iíve had and wondering if a different path might be in store, or what.

One thing I do know, this past year has been the best one of my lifeóso far. When I look back, something good happened just about every month of 2007. And some months, more than one good thing happened. So, I think it averaged out that overall, something good happened each month. Hereís the breakdown for all five of my readers:

January: I graduate from trucking school a second time, with a 93% average. The night we graduated, I cried because I didnít want it to be over. The instructors were great and so were my classmates.

February: I enter an online writing contest and win a life coach (for three months) and a Borders gift card. Iím not sure if working with the life coach actually changed my life, but I used the gift card to get The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, a collection of articles from that publication. If I published a magazine, it would be Vice. They rock. And itís amazing to think such a fun, wacky, in-your-face magazine was created by Montreal drug addicts. Maybe thereís hope for this former Lorazapam user after all! Also, this is the month I start writing fiction again after a 16 year hiatus.

March: A dark haired, dark eyed stranger posts a question on my blog and ends up changing my life. Also, the first website I contacted bought my short story and says it will print more of my work in an e-book. My short story quickly becomes chapter one.

April: I make my debut as an actress in ďSenseless Acts of ComedyĒ at the Firehouse Theater, and as a fashion model in a fundraiser for Artlink. The Doggie Fashion Show was a lot of fun, and my dog Daphne (the best damn Silky Terrier in the world) and I both wear coordinated outfits of pink and white tutus, which are the hit of the show. A huge thanks to Rose of Retroactive Vintage Clothing for having exactly what I needed.

May: My 40th birthday, celebrated with good friends and great food. Truly a night to remember.

June: A pretty crappy month; the only thing that really stands out is how much I hate my temp job. Iím forced to clean every night for at least an hour, if not more. The only good things about this job included meeting some great people, and the seven hour workout I got each night. Since it was so hot, I didnít eat much, which meant I lost weight. But mostly, I was miserable because I worried every day that Iíd be fired.

July: More of the same, except on the 28th, at approximately 3:15 p.m., I pass the Indiana Class A commercial driverís license test, and thanked the examiner for being so patient with me (I took the test eight times before I passed). The next night, I walk into work, clock in, and after the pre-shift meeting, my supervisor asks us if we have any questions or comments. I speak up with a brief list of grievances and close with, ďand youíre going to have to find a new cleaning lady, because I quit.Ē I walk out to stunned silence and celebrate my ďtake this job and shove itĒ moment with a classic single value meal from Wendyís.

August: I attend Beatlefest erÖ umÖ The Fest For Beatles Fans in Chicago, and celebrate getting my CDL with a party.

September: I go to Indianapolis to start my training. It ended up with me sitting in the trucking companyís wing of the cut-rate hotel for a couple weeks. The only bright spot was my roommate Dorothy who became one of my first friends in the trucking industry.

October: Fed up with waiting for a trainer, I come home only to head back to the mold-filled confines of the hotel. I get a trainer in four days. She seems okayóat first.

November: A little over halfway through my training, I realize my trainer is terrible when it comes to teaching people how to back up. Another issue is hygiene: if Iím lucky, I get to shower once a week when Iím on the road. I learn how to pee in a cup in a moving truck, but my trainerís suggestion that I throw my urine out the window while weíre speeding down the highway strikes me as being disgusting. Yeah, we ARE truck drivers, but disposing of human waste like this is too much even for this down-to-earth, low-maintenance chick. Youíve been warned: any yellow liquid coming from a semi in front of you might be Mountain Dewóbut it might not. Still, I luck out and my friend Dorothy finishes up with her trainer at the time Iím getting frustrated with mine. A few phone calls and five days later, I end up with what has to be the best trainer the company has.
Also, I had the best Thanksgiving Iíve had in years. Thanks to the Enders, the Hartmans and the Diazís for a busy, wonderful day.

December: Despite being low on funds, Iím hopeful my new career will be the first step to a financially better 2008. Iím also looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years. This has been an amazing year, filled with amazing people. As bitter and cynical and pessimistic as I can be at times, this year taught me that there are special folks out there who can take you places youíve never been been and make you realize that yes, you can do it.

I hope that 2008 is as good as 2007. And I hope you have the best year of your life, too.

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