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2012: A Year in Review

Tonight is the last Friday night of 2012, exactly one week after the world was supposed to end. A lot has happened in 2012, and I decided to highlight everything significant that happened to me this year, month by month.

gs2012

It’s been one heck of a year at GingerSass.

January

Not much happened in January. I turned 22, which was actually a better birthday than my 21st. My friend convinced the bartender at a local bar that I should be given a free bottle of champagne because my 21st coincided with a blizzard and I didn’t get to celebrate. I received a stuffed unicorn and zebra print seat covers from my parents. I, once again, pleaded to Ellen as to why we should celebrate our birthday together and she ignored me. Ya know, the usual.

February

I made it onto PostSecret for the first time. Whitney Houston died and I was devastated so I wrote a poem. Ryan Murphy pissed me off so I wrote him an angry tumblr post turned into a letter, which he never responded to.

March

March was a very important month for me– I STARTED GINGERSASS! (All of the posts posted before March 25th were transferred from my tumblr site.) Fun fact– GingerSass was started because I was pretending to be an investigative reporter at the Sex, Love, and Dating Conference. Also, Adrienne Rich died, which devastated me. A lot.

April

April freaking rocked. Highlights of the month include:

volunteering with NOH8 and later being featured on their website
meeting Frank Warren at my first PostSecret event
saw an opera and a concert in one week
my Poefy (poetry-wifey) was fantabulous in The Vagina Monologues and I wrote about it

May

May was a good month for me. Obama came out in support of gay marriage. I won an award. I graduated college. Life was pretty awesome to me in May.

June

June was an interesting month. I started it out writing about suicide after finding out that the partner of my friend who had committed suicide also committed suicide. I wrote a bunch of 10 Minute Musings for a grad class and reconnected with myself. I came out to my family as a blogger, with the support of Cady McClain, aka Dixie from All My Children. I even inspired her alter-ego, Suzy F*cking Homemaker, to create an internet meme. Suzy also encouraged me to write a post on why I want to be a celesbian…so I did. I also  booked and performed my first paid poetry gig, which was pretty darn awesome.

July

July started off with a roadtrip to Massachusetts with Poefy to the wedding of Taylor and Mike. I basked in the glory of cheeseball goodness. (This post is still one of my most-visited posts, btw.) I fell in love with my job over the summer. I also figured out What Obama Taught Me. I indulged in Restaurant Week. Then I got serious about my blog, invested in an actually site host, got free magnets, and was overwhelmed by the idea of going to BlogHer. I also posted about teacher dress codes, which is also one of my most-visited posts of all time.

August

August started off with me going to BlogHer’12 and MY LIFE CHANGING FOREVER. I made so many blogging friends through BlogHer, and I’m going to (eventually) categorize them on her so you can so who I’m reading. I also won a happy hour party in August and celebrated with wings and food at a local bar with my friends. Woohoo! To top August off, I started my new job, got an apartment to go along with it, and ruminated on why Res Life will always be a part of me.

September

September was an emotional, crazy month. I had an awesome first week of September. I was a national runner up to be the next Verizon Ultimate Insider, mentioned on AfterEllen, and yogurt was on sale. I made it through the one year deathaversary of my friend’s suicide, and I participated in yet another walk for dead people. September was emotional, tough, and trying, but I got through it.

October

October started off with me reflecting on how much I love my car. I also met Jack Hanna, which was a childhood dream come true. I had a kickass lesson on bullying on National Coming Out Day and fell even more in love with teaching. I went to the Dodge Poetry Festival for the first time as an educator, and I helped my students fall in love with poetry. I met Geena Davis and she told me, “You’re changing the world to be a place I want to be in. Keep up the good work.” I saw Melissa Etheridge in concert. I survived Hurricane Sandy, was really upset that Sandy canceled Halloween, and was upset by the whole Sandy experience.

November

November feels like such a long time ago. I participated in NaBloPoMo for the first time and wrote about how I’m a Jersey girl, how Sandy domesticated me, and what Obama’s win meant to me. I also talked about bacon, ghosts, and just how important it was that I found my voice again by going to poetry open mics. I cut my hair, took silly webcam pics, and thought about my future. I ended my first NaBloPoMo experience by being grateful for stickers, and really having peace in knowing that I’m on the right track for what I want to do with my life.

December

December flew by. I think the biggest thing that happened to me this month, right before my student teaching internship ended, was that I realized why I want to teach. I arranged for an assembly for my Creative Writing students, and  it really changed my relationship with them forever. It taught one student to not be afraid to be who she is, and this, in return, encouraged me to come out to her. She then wrote me a note and made me cry. Then the Newtown, Connecticut shooting happened and it hit really close to home, as it was the first school shooting that has happened since I began student teaching. My students asked me if I would take a bullet for them, and I was able to respond honestly and say yes. Student teaching ended, and I managed to make it to the parking lot after school before crying. I got creeped out by the whole Elf on a Shelf phenomenon, but secretly loved my creepy little elf.

2012 was a year of growth. I rediscovered my writing identity, and GingerSass became a very large part of who I am. I’m grateful for the opportunities blogging has given me this past year, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 holds.

Happy New Year, folks! What are you looking forward to in 2013?

PS I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not, but if you’ll be at home this NYE, consider joining in on #Tweetin13. There are prizes, fun people, and it’s hosted by two of my favorite ladies. Get on it!

NaBloPoMo 2012: November 5th- Election Day Thoughts

Monday, November 5, 2012
What are your thoughts about tomorrow’s election in the United States?

I accidentally already wrote and shared this post over the weekend, during the free-write. Here’s more in-depth thoughts on tomorrow’s election.

For the first time in my life, I am terrified of what may happen on Election Day.

In the last presidential election, I was an excited 18 year old. It was my first Presidential Election where my vote mattered, and I WAS A PART OF HISTORY. Not only did I vote for Hilary Clinton in the primaries, but I voted for Obama to be President of the United States. There was a certain air of excitement associated with the 2008 Election, and it was really excited about it.

Since he became President, Barack Obama has taught me a lot. I’ve learned a lot of different things from him, and I actually blogged about it in July. One of the top things he’s taught me?

Mixed feelings are a natural part of life.

On November 4th, 2008, I voted for Barack Obama because a) I didn’t like John McCain and b) it was the right, radical thing to do. The next day was a mixed feeling of defeat and victory. When it was announced that Obama had won the election, my entire quad (the dorm area I was living in) erupted in cheers. People ran out to the grassy quad area, started rocking out, and an all-out party exploded well into the night. When I woke up the next morning, feeling like I was part of history and the world was about to change, I also found out Prop 8 had passed in California. I wasn’t out at this time to my family, but I was devastated to know that same-sex marriage was so heavily discriminated against. It was the first of many times during my college years that I realized I wasn’t like everyone else, and that there was a world beyond the gay bubble I lived in.

My excitement mixed with sadness at a protest on campus following the passing of Prop 8 in November 2008.

President Obama has also taught me to expect the unexpected. Never in my lifetime did I think I would be able to vote for the first biracial President, and never did I think that President would come out in support of gay marriage. I also never thought I would meet Jack Hanna, but that dream came true as well. Maybe the Mayans were right about this whole 2012 thing afterall…

Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama is making me do flips or go crazy with excitement. Both candidates have their flaws (some more than others!), and both candidates have their strengths. But you know what? One candidate respects me as a strong, independent, lesbian woman with a need for healthcare. Barack Obama has my vote tomorrow, and I hope he can keep his promises to me. If Mitt Romney wins, I am scared for my future.

For the first time in my life, I am voting as a “real” adult. I am 22, almost 23 years old. Four years from now, I will be almost 27. In the next four years, a lot could happen to me. I know for sure that I will be graduating with my Masters Degree in the next year, and looking for my first “real job” soon. (Gasp.) I will turn 26 in a few years, which means I will need to find my own health insurance. I need to be sure that my medication is covered, and that I am not left with any chances of getting seriously ill. In the next few years I might even get my own apartment!  (Ya know, one that isn’t paid for by my University!) I could meet the love of my life, get engaged, and want to start a family. If Mitt Romney is President, there’s a very good chance none of this will (legally) be possible. That makes  me so incredibly sad, and it makes me hope and dream for a better tomorrow. Simply put, I want a President that believes in me, and, in return, I’ll believe in him.

No matter what your political affiliation, if you are registered to vote, I encourage you to do so tomorrow. You can make the difference, and it is very important to realize that every vote counts. If not because of me, do so for your future. Your vote can help determine the path our country takes. No matter who you vote for, simply let your voice be heard.

NaBloPoMo 2012: November 3rd- why my politics have been turned upside down

Okay, so today is apparently the start to the weekend (I barely know what day of the week it is anymore), and with that, it’s a NaBloPoMo free write.

Most of my posts/tweets/Facebook updates lately have been me coping with the aftermath of Sandy, and, well, you’re just going to have to freakin’ deal with this.

In case you didn’t know, Election Day is on Tuesday. Before Sandy, I kind of felt like I couldn’t tell who was going to win the Presidential election. Although I was all gung-ho Barack Obama in 2008, this time around he really only had his support of gay marriage, his Obama-care plan (I NEED healthcare people; this lets me stay under my parents’ insurance until I’m 26!), and Michelle Obama’s arms going for him in my eyes.

Let’s be real. Her arms are running for this Presidential election.

Joking aside, I’ve been a hot mess this week. I’ve been lucky enough to walk away from Hurricane Sandy with no injuries, no losses, and no family suffering. I’ve been very blessed, and I don’t take that for granted. This week has shown me how to appreciate what I have. It’s also shown me to expect the unexpected.

For example, I found myself gaining respect for NJ Gov. Chris Christie this week. I think it’s admirable how well he’s handled the hurricane aftermath, and, dare I say it, I’ve even found him likable. This has been a mind blowing realization to me, but I give credit where credit is due. Despite my previous hatred of him and his hatred of me (teacher/gay/registered Democrat/middle class worker), he has done a really good job of helping keep Jersey “Jersey Strong.” It’s also been really incredibly amazing to see Gov. Christie and President Obama put aside their differences and work together.

I never thought I’d see the day where these 2 would be working together, or where I supported Christie in any way, shape, or form.

(I also kind of think Obama has an edge now. People are seeing him as a badass again. You can’t mess with a President who is kicking a natural disaster’s ass.)

You know what I find ridiculous about the election on Tuesday? That people are still expected to vote in the effected areas. Towns have been DESTROYED. People are living in shelters. There is a fuel shortage in New Jersey to the point where there is a state-mandated gas rationing system in place. There are still people without power, water, or heat, and a Nor’Easter is expected to hit all of these people on Tuesday or Wednesday. So, no, I cannot even begin to understand how people are expected to vote on Tuesday.

What do you think? Is it illogical to expect those whose lives have been turned upside down to vote on Tuesday?

Note:

Right before I hit “Publish,” one of my friends posted this article from NBC. Apparently displaced voters in NJ will be able to vote via email. Ya know, because they all have electricity and internet access right now.

 Thoughts?