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Red letter year

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As I was putting away my Halloween costume I missed Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. And while I was trying to figure out who won “Dancing with the Stars,” the librarian asked me to go pick up a Christmas tree. The speed in which this year is leaving us is equivalent to a Porsche GT in the hands of an actor from a movie franchise about illegal street racing.

Two-thousand and thirteen has been a strange year. A year of dichotomies and contradictions. Of simultaneous joy and pain. A year when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, but the House of Representatives won’t bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act up for a vote. A year when three women and a six-year-old girl were rescued from captivity, but a woman in Florida was sentenced to 20 years in jail* for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband.

A year when George Zimmerman was found not guilty for 2nd degree murder, but O.J. Simpson is still in jail for robbery. A year when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, but the Boston Red Sox won their 8th World Series. A year when South Florida did not get a single storm this Hurricane season, but the Philippines received the brunt of the strongest typhoon ever recorded.

A year when a mentally unstable navy contractor passed a background check, but the NSA is keeping track of everyone’s Facebook status. A year when the minority party exercised their power to shut down the entire U.S. government over healthcare, but Americans are now signing up for insurance by the droves.

A year when I changed jobs, but kept the same salary. A year when I traveled to Nicaragua through my job in academia, but have traveled nowhere through my job at a cruise line. A year when I quit my magazine, but also quit smoking. A year when I turned 35 as a human, 12 as a partner, and 11 as a pet parent, but 10 as a half-orphan. A year when started I a new writing project, but failed to finish it.

A year that should end as quietly and subtly as this post, but followed by a better and more meaningful year like the posts to come.

*Marissa Alexander was recently granted a new trial date and was able to post bail.