I share your feelings of anger and disappointment, and your revulsion towards the president. I’m also going to keep the angry portion of this post short. It is exhausting to even try to keep up with all of the ways that the president and his ilk are using power to benefit themselves while grinding the poor, the marginalized, and those in need under their feet. Here is my question for the portion of the Christian community that rallies around hateful men because they are “pro-life”: how can you support someone who takes away funding for children’s healthcare, who makes it more difficult for mothers to access help, who separates children from their parents because of their undocumented status, who ignores the suffering of citizens because they are on a far-away island, or who refuses entry to refugees? Are any of those things “pro-life”? Take the plank out of your eye and then maybe take another look at the gospels and at statistics on abortion. Surprise: the easier it is for women to access birth control and health care, and the better sex education is, the fewer abortions there are.
I am very aware that I am writing this from a place of privilege, and that my ideology and theology are not flawless. I also know that 2017 was the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and you know what? Maybe it’s time for round two.
Okay. The year.
February was a very weird month. I wrote about it earlier, but here’s a run-down: I had a delightful trip to California, Josh and I got engaged, and my grandma passed away. Those three are the most memorable events of the month, but I can remember feeling like everything was happening all at once, that I was on a very fast rollercoaster that I had no control over, and growing more and more exhausted. The courses I was taking were good and interesting, but I was struggling to get through the semester. It set a tone of anxiety for the rest of the year and left me very tired. ETA: Turns out my memory of the first part of the year is faulty. My grandma died in the beginning of March, not in February.
Near the end of the semester and at the very end of March there was a small fire in the basement of my house, and there followed a strange time of air-mattress sleeping, and a great deal of laundering. In the end the smoke smell and then the strong cleaner smell gave me very bad headaches, and I had to move out earlier than I had planned.
Josh and I bought a house. It was built in 1956, and is very cute, and has an absolutely giant yard. The only things we’ve done to the house are paint one room and replace the front door, and I’m glad we didn’t move into a project house. I don’t know how we would’ve handled renovating along with everything else. I didn’t work in the summer, because my sister was getting married, Josh’s sister was getting married, we had a ton of wedding planning to do, and then we were getting married so really: I did not have time. What I did have time for was a great deal of gardening, and let me tell you, I have already started making plans for what I’m going to work on in the spring. I’m going to plant sunflowers and a couple goji berry bushes, and more lavender, and I’m going to attack the creeping bellflower and grass that are invading the garden, and I’m going to do my utmost to weed out the bed with the strawberries in it. I also made friends with Barney the neighbourhood cat, which may not seem like a large event BUT he’s a great cat.
2017 was also the year that I started on hormonal birth control, and it’s been…a journey. Long story short is that I had to go through getting an IUD inserted twice in the space of a month and a half, because it was sitting incorrectly the first time. It was a traumatic experience, and honestly I’m still working through it. I’ll probably write the full account here someday, but it is not this day.
Bronwyn got married and Christina got married, and both of their weddings were lovely and I’m very happy for them. They got married a week apart, and then two weeks later we went to another wedding. June and July were both a bit of a whirlwind.
I got married! This was, obviously, the biggest event and change in my life this year. Our wedding was an extremely beautiful day, and I was so happy, even with a small moment of feeling hangry because I hadn’t eaten enough. It’s hard to explain exactly how that day felt. Josh and I had done so much planning and preparing, I had been constantly thinking about it for months, and by the time the day came around I was very ready to not be thinking about wedding planning anymore. I’m very glad we had a shortish engagement.
I was so happy on our wedding day. The weather was good, we were surrounded by people we love and who love us, there was just enough smoke to make the light gorgeous but not enough to cause too much coughing, your speech was amazing (I go back to reread it regularly), the whole day was beautiful and I’m so glad I’m married to Josh. I tried to pick a couple photos to share and surprise: I picked a lot of them. You, of course, looked great, and I’m glad you reminded me of the “f*ck this hair” moment because I had somehow forgotten it, and it is hilarious.
The last portion of the year was taken up by school, and, of course, school-related anxiety. 2017 was the year I kept telling myself “no, really, you need to go to counselling” and then never making the time or taking the necessary steps. In one of my classes I designed and then carried out a modestly sized research project, and it was gratifying to be finished. I might edit the paper a LOT and then submit it to be published. I also wrote a paper about Coptic bookbinding – specifically about the Nag Hammadi Codices and the St Cuthbert Gospel – and my professor said I should flesh out the paper and then consider trying to get it published as well. It is very weird for me to look at my work and say “this is valuable enough for me to try to get an academic journal to publish it”.
By the end of the semester I was once again exhausted, and I am very glad that I am nearly done this degree. I’m very excited to graduate and be done school, although the now-I-have-to-find-work aspect of finishing my MLIS is less exciting. I might take some time off before looking for work, or I might try to find some part-time work, or I might have to start looking right away. The other day Josh and I drove by the huge Labatt brewery in Edmonton, and I said, “how hilarious would it be for me to work as a librarian at Labatt” but apparently it isn’t a good idea to work somewhere as a joke, so I guess I’ll have to keep looking elsewhere.