2010 was nothing like I'd imagined it. The year ended appropriately, with me drinking four lemon-ginger martinis in quick succession before I even made it to the evening's main event, quickly plummeting from high spirits to complete desolation as I sobered up, and shuffling down Milwaukee Avenue as the hands of time crept toward midnight, crying on the phone to my mother as doormen and drunken revelers shouted oblivious good wishes for the new year.
I was washing my puffy, splotchy red face as 2010 became 2011. No new year's kiss. No noisemakers. Just the hum of my furnace and the lonely late-night WBEZ jockey celebrating with horrible party music.
I stumbled through New Year's Day in a sort of haze. The same way I ended the Old Year. So this is the new year…and I don't feel any different.
But I've started to climb out of this valley of desperate transition from one year to the next. Today, I signed my lease and got the keys to my apartment. I move next Wednesday back to Lincoln Square. Wicker Park hasn't been so bad, but it's felt a lot like New York did: In retrospect, I'm happy to visit, but it's a bit much to live there.
And last night, I finally convinced an insurance company to sell me an individual policy. It goes into effect next month. The thought of the money I'll be saving — and the sheer personal satisfaction of having triumphed in this stupid health care game — puts a spring in my step.
Yes. Things are looking up. And it's just the first week of the year.