JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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Farewell 2014. You were a cruel year, though your intentions were good (I think).

As 2014 draws to a close, I hope I do not see the likes of it again for a long time.

Two moves. New city. New job in a new industry. Old wounds reopening in the form massive migraine clusters emanating from my brain injury way back in 2006. Constant feelings of being lost and of loss itself (for all that I left behind in San Francisco).

I hope what they say about that which doesn't kill you is true. We'll see.

But for all the hardship, I cannot forget the silver lining. Because we have endured all of this change for a good reason, the best reason: our family. Back in SF, we were being buried by the ever-rising cost of living. Our girls were facing a very iffy educational future (public schools in SF are notoriously bad, private schools notoriously expensive). My job was eating my soul. And the only light at the end of the tunnel seemed to be shining from the oncoming traffic I would face as I commuted to SF or the Valley from some distant suburb, as I tried to balance life and work.

And so here we are. In Austin, Texas.

Texas.

Damn.

Of all the places for a Bible-thumping atheist like me to end up. Is this God's sense of humor, to put me in the land of gun-totin', Bible-quotin', devil-smotin' True Believers? Maybe. But you know what? The Texans I've met are all great people. Plus, we now own a home. Our girls are in a stellar school. I am with a company I respect. And my commute is nothing, maybe 20 minutes and always complete with a bit of NPR and rock and roll (only Howard could make it better, which I am considering).

So, 2014, while you have been hard on me, perhaps you are like a Marine drill sergeant who grinds his troops through a crucible of sorts not to ruin them or rid of them of hope, but rather to do the opposite of all that and to set  them up to be ready for whatever lies ahead. 

Was that your intention, 2014? No need to answer, I'm just going to go with it.