The Year in Review.
Well, dear reader, this has been one hell of a year. I had some of the biggest changes of my adult life, and almost all for the better. The year started, (well, last Dec 21st), with me being offered my dream job at a prestigious medical center. I accepted it, and that plunged a huge number of things into motion. First, I had to quit the job I had then. Then I had to move to the East Coast. Start a new job. I got a swanky apartment right in the middle of downtown East Coast City, and took a month off between jobs to learn the city, and discover what it had in store.
Answer: lots. ECC is a fabulous town. Easy access to the entire Eastern Seaboard. Great culture. Fascinating institutions. A lively intellectual community. Lots of twitterers. A good AA community. One of the things I had to do when I moved here was get a new sponsor. I did. He’s pretty cool. He also works at Major East Coast Medical Center, but in a different department, different building. I’ve never seen him at work.
I started my job and had some success right away. I petitioned for and was granted Principal Investigator status. To get that – because I’m not faculty – I had to submit my CV to the IRB, and request formal permission to conduct research at MECMC. They approved me to conduct non-clinical research (i.e., no live human subjects). Which is exactly right because clinical research is not my interest or capacity. I won a small grant – the first external funding in my department’s history. I submitted two papers, one of which has now been published. The other remains in review.
The paper I got published is my first ever senior-author paper. In general, my work is such that I should be both senior and first author. My idea, my writing, my grant. I don’t have any post-docs who do the research or writing or programming for me, and thus would be appropriate first authors. But for this paper, one of my colleagues, an up-and-coming administrator, was perfect to take the first author role. And since the paper was my concept, I was senior. We wrote it, revised it, and got it published in a very respectable niche journal appropriate to our discipline. I’m hopeful it will be read. I completed one simulation and have two more that are essentially done. Professionally, it was a good year.
Personally it was a better year. I fell in love. Just, stupidly, madly in love. She’s not in ECC, which sucks, but we’ve managed to see each other about every two weeks for the past eight months. We’ve been on two short vacations, one to Maine and one to Bermuda. We’re going to Japan and Korea in March for two weeks. It’s dazzling. I mean that literally. I look at her, and I’m dazzled as if staring into the sun. Teared and blinking in the brilliance of it all. Staggered and liquified.
And now I’ve bought a house. That I will be moving into in about 2-3 weeks. I have to furnish it and put appliances in it and just, guh, so much. It’s daunting. Moving again for the second time in less than a year. But then I’ll be settled. And I am happy. My life is blossoming. I’ve come so far from being an unhappily married drunk. Light and freedom prevail in my life right now. That’s a blessing. And I know it might not last. But I know that I can face whatever might come next.
I owe it all to the practice of the very, very simple principles of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s often difficult. But never complicated. And what amazing promises come true when I work the program. I calculated recently that I have probably drunk 250+ gallons of pure ethanol in my life. But none in the past nearly-six years. And what heights I’ve risen to without it.