It is the end of another year and I always like to reflect back on my travels. This year was a slight hiccup though. The beginning of the year started out a bit rough with some financial and emotional lows. It resulted in me spontaneously jetting off to Las Vegas in February to see Bon Jovi in concert.
After I returned from the concert I attended my company’s annual holiday party that had been pushed from December 2016 to February 2017. It was Mardi Gras themed including a psychic available for readings. Now whether you believe in psychics or not, hear me out on this. As I sat with the psychic she gave me her reading that I would have a life-changing experience in April of this year.
Although it was not April, but May 2nd, that this event took place. We will give her a break as she was only two days off. My life changing event was that I lost my job in May. Fortunately, it was a job I hated and would have continued there miserable for years if I had not been let go.
Sure I would dream of not working there. Pulling up in my converted travel van, waving to everyone standing in the parking lot as I laughed uncontrollably, pulling away, never to return. But alas they beat me to the punch. And I guess I should be grateful. Because working there was about as much fun as punching myself in the face. Which I thought about often because of me being so weak by continuing to work there.
I was confident that I would not be unemployed long. But week after week went by. I passed the time expanding my dog treat business to include Washington Farmers Markets while I looked for another job. As I applied for job after job, trying to be pumped up each time I got an interview or trying not to be crushed each time I was told I had been passed over, it became waring on me.
I decided to spend the summer doing something that I do not normally do. Hiking. It was an attempt to keep the depression at bay. Sure I was relieved to not be working at my old job but the constant rejection of the places I was applying for and my ignorance of thinking I would find a job quickly was not setting well. So I decided the best way to ward off depression was to exercise. And so I walked a total of 78.9 miles this summer.
It was not until the middle of September, still unemployed, that I realized I was experiencing my own “summer of George”. In the 8th season of Seinfeld George loses his job with the Yankees and is given three months severance. George decides he is going to use this time to “really do something”. Some of his ideas were crazy, like “reading a book from beginning to end” but his idea “this is gonna be my time. Time to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down my chin. I proclaim this the Summer of George” was how I saw this 2017 summer for me. Granted I was not happy about my life paralleling George’s, but hey, when I was younger I always wanted to be an architect too.
Oddly enough I even slipped and fell hiking near the end of my summer, spraining my ankle, much like how George slipped and fell down the stairs on the invitations he was picking up for Jerry’s girlfriend.
Although I did not end up with muscle atrophy, like George, I did spend quite a few weeks on the sofa with my foot propped up and our hiking adventures halted. But I had Seinfeld to keep me company… and Frasier… and Scrubs … and Twin Peaks… and X Files. It was a long few months and binge-watching TV kept me off my ankle.
I landed a job at the end of September which brought an end to the Summer of Brittany. In some ways, it was good because I needed to start making money again as farmers’ market season was coming to an end and my unemployment was running out. I also felt bad about leaching off my dad but he did help me keep a roof over my head, and for that I am grateful.
With any new job, there is a lag time before earning vacation. However, that has not stopped me from planning my next travel adventure. 2017 was the first year in 5 years that I did not visit a new state. It was a bummer to have broken my streak. I had Texas and North Dakota in the works. With the job loss and lack of money, I was not able to finagle visiting either of those states. So I am hoping for us to get back on the one new state a year track again in 2018.
I ended the year much like I started the year. Fortunately not with a panic attack, but with a rock concert. I saw the Foo Fighters a few weeks ago, who put on an incredible 4-hour show including the opening act. I highly recommend seeing them if you can! And just like that, I sandwiched my year with two fantastic bands. Now if I only would have been slightly irresponsible over Labor Day weekend I could have caught Guns N Roses touring. I’m listening to GnR right now as I write this and the salt is adding to the wound. Here’s hoping those boys can hold it together, keep touring, and I can grab myself a ticket later!
So I will end my year thinking about Axl Rose’s endless swagger dancing, all the delightful new beers I have consumed this year and look forward to 2018. Hopefully, 2018 brings more adventures and more beer… of course!