All over my Facebook feed, people have been like, “Fuck 2016, this year sucked.” I don’t get it myself. The election of Donald Trump sucked. And I suppose the whole campaign was an awful experience. But I’m fairly sure no greater a number of celebrities died this year than they did in any other year.
Personally, I cannot say “Fuck 2016.” I thought this was a great year. It’s true I did get depressed (twice!) and evicted from my apartment in Berkeley. But then in the course of a month I moved in with my girlfriend, proposed to her, and saw the release of my debut novel!
A friend congratulated me on both, and then he said, “Of course, it’s not like those two are equivalent.”
I was genuinely curious as to which one he thought was much greater, and he said publishing a book was obviously a bigger event than getting engaged. Lots of people get engaged, relatively few publish books.
For me though it was just the opposite. Seeing my book on shelves was a lifelong dream, but almost no event in my life could be as momentous as getting engaged.
I won’t say I was particularly emotional during the actual proposal. After all, I’d had months to prepare for it. But I do feel very satisfied at being engaged. I’ve been single for most of my life. To go from that to having a life partner is an amazing experience.
My fiancé is social media averse, so I don’t post much about her here. However I feel so lucky to have found her. We have almost no interests in common. She doesn’t and has never watched TV, so she often doesn’t understand even basic pop culture references. Like if someone were to say, “Oh, you need to be cool like Spock,” I’ll turn to her and be like, “Spock was a character on this show, Star Trek.”
Nevertheless, we can talk for hours. She’s curious and politically engaged. Very silly and funny. I mean she’s awesome. Just trust me on this. I knew from the moment we started texting (we met online) that she was something special, and I knew, after a few weeks of dating, that I was eventually going to propose (unless she got to it first, which was definitely a real risk).
Yes, I don’t mean to be cheesy, but it was like movie love.
Recently I was telling a friend about this, and she was like, “I despair of ever experiencing that.” But the thing is…if you experience an emotion like this, you marry that person. Doesn’t matter if they’re unemployed or ugly or the wrong race or gender. Unless they’re a drug addict or a Neo-Nazi, you marry them.
But I feel very lucky to have found Rachel.
So that was my big thing this year. I also moved to San Francisco. That’s been cool. Berkeley is still my favorite city in the world. Once somebody asked me where I’d live if I could live anywhere, and I said, “I can live everywhere, and I chose to live in Berkeley.” It’s a fantastic place: truly a wonderland.
San Francisco isn’t quite as nice. It’s a bit too urban. The buildings hem you in, blocking out the sun (at least at evening and morning). The weather is cooler. There aren’t as many hippies and slackers.
But it also has a lot going for it. I do enjoy being able to walk everywhere. I live in the Mission, and there’s basically nowhere south of Market street that I can’t walk to. It’s an extremely pleasant place to stroll around in. I’ll stop someplace for coffee or peek into a bookstore. I know lots of people in San Francisco (possibly more than I did in the East Bay), because half of my college graduating class has moved up here. Every other day I encounter an acquaintance on the street. I’ve made some new friends, and I’ve become closer to others. Hard to say what the future holds for me now that I’ve bound myself to somebody with a real job, but I’m not unhappy that I’m in the city for the near future.
And that’s it, pretty much. See you next year.