Summer of 99: When It all went to Hell

This time of year always brings me back to the Summer of 1999 when I experienced a terrible Series of Unfortunate Events.  I lost my job.  I broke my toe.  My roommate and I were not getting along.  I got mugged.  And I let someone special get away.

Hat tip to Nina Vallone of YouKnowKeen.  She inspired me to write this based on this post.  

It always works out in the end; if it hasn't worked out, it's not the end

It always works out in the end; if it hasn't worked out, it's not the end

Back in the day, before the Marathon Era of my life, I ate, slept and breathed Volleyball. I wasn't tournament level good but I was decent enough. We use to play volleyball on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Lincoln Park.  We would play until the sun went down, then head to the bar. It was usually very late nights but I still managed to get home just before midnight and get enough sleep to make it through my mindbogglingly boring job as a paralegal the next day. At the start of summer the sun would still be out while we were finishing up the last games. But about this time next week or two, it would start getting a little darker as we finished our games.
Those were fun times but I don't think I really ever appreciated them for what they were. I should have really just appreciated the fact that I was enjoying all the city had to offer.

"My life was a mess. I was breaking down who I had become. Knowing all too well, I was existing for the moment, living my life, hurried and worried."

And it all came to a head on the Friday of July 19, 1999.  This was the day I got fired from my dead end job as a paralegal at Big Bucks Law Firm 1.0.  That morning started out on the wrong foot.  I was running late and as I entered the lobby, I ran into a former co-worker.  We hugged and did that thing were you try unsuccessfully to catch up on two years in 30 seconds.

Seeing her was a foreshadowing of things to come.

I don't want to relive the dirty details of all the Unfortunate Events.  The broken toe meant I couldn't  defend myself well against the muggers; the getting fired made me too embarrassed to call her back.    I was in G-school but couldn't get a job in technology because I had neither a degree or experienced.  The irony of that is I wasn't any smarter the day I got my diploma than the day before but we value that piece of paper, or at least we use to.

At the time, I felt like I was at the end of my rope.  And then I had my epiphany.  And then my Year of Hell, taking on student loans and 3 course per quarter so I could graduation within a year.  And a crappy job at a DotCom.  Things didn't get better until they did.  And there were other special someones until there was The Special Someone.  And I learned not to be afraid of the Dark.

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