2018: A Year of Patience

Sixty some days into 2018, I found myself stuck on I-80 for 20+ hours. There was snow and someone decided it was just best to shut I-80 down, regardless of how many cars were still on the snowy roads. With a cell phone that lacked service (Verizon happened to be down seven hours that day) and a limited amount of snacks, I sat in my trusty Malibu for 20 hours, listened to Wilkes Barre’s alternative radio station, put on an extra pair of socks and waited to move just an inch. Compared to 2017, which I had dubbed the year of movement, in that moment, I wasn’t doing a lot of moving.

I start my 2018 recap post with this story because I’ve been thinking about that 20 hours a lot as the year closes. This memory even made my “top three accomplishments” on Twitter.

While this event happened early in 2018 (sometimes I forgot it was in 2018), it did play a role in how I went about the rest of the year. In those 20 hours, I was just stuck. Even though I lost it around 3 AM, I took a little nap and powered through. I took that night minute by minute, with the hope that eventually, we would move and I would make it to Jersey. My only option was to focus on the present and that experience pushed me to just chill, since I couldn’t change a thing.

2018 has been about patience. It has been about putting in the time to things I care about, both at work and outside my day-job. At work, I’ve had to practice patience as I settle into my job and try to make change. Understanding what student engagement is and how the libraries play a role hasn’t been an easy peasy task, so I’ve been finding ways to enjoy the challenge. I’m always thinking of the little story my boss told me this year: change is like a wave, slowly pushing against the shore. Changing the shoreline takes time, but requires a consistency. Overtime, the shore will change.

LibParlor has continued to play a big role in my life in 2018. I’m lucky to work with some incredible ladies (shout to Chelsea, Charissa, and Nimisha) and we’ve had to practice patience as we try to grow the blog and community, in a sustainable way. Managing LibParlor has helped me stay patient as I build my own scholarly record (which is slowly growing and now includes blogging for ACRLog!!).  

In my personal sphere, I finally got my clarinet out again and joined the clarinet choir on campus. I’ve been surprised how much something as simple as playing with a group once a week fires me up (and I’m actually motivated to practice). I continue to see the necessity of putting aside time to spend time with family and friends (in-person or virtually). It feels good to be there to celebrate the big (like weddings or getting a dog) and the small (like a good day at work) and work though the various challenges of life. I’ve even been patient with dating, went on some dates, and learned a lot about myself along the way. I’m cautiously optimistic for 2019.

In 2018, I got to travel -- to Croatia, to Houston (twice), New Orleans, Denver, Cleveland, Jersey, Minneapolis, Philly, and good old Wisconsin. Having that long trip on I-80 helped me to chill out a bit more when traveling. Sometimes, you can’t change things and you just have to take it minute by minute. Eventually you’ll get to your destination. It seemed appropriate that on one of my last trips in 2018, I got stuck on an airplane in O’Hare, because our plane arrived too early and our gate wasn’t free. I ended up missing my connection due to this wait and while a few of my friends were like, “Oh no, that’s horrible” I was okay and ready for the next flight. I hope to carry that vibe into 2019.

So while I’m not sure what travel adventures 2019 will bring my way, I do know that 2018 was good to me. I’ve always been bad at being patience and just taking things minute by minute, so this year has really pushed me to focus on those elements instead of a long timeline of potential events and rushing to get everything done and accomplished. I’m glad I got to experience 2018 with so many wonderful people and I can’t wait for the next adventure.