What a year! A year of professional triumphs and personal failures. And at the end of the year, just before writing this post, I saw this entertaining aphorism pass by my twitter feed:
Always give your all. If you set yourself up for failure, make sure your failures are spectacular.
– via @Pribblicious
I ran through my memory and photo album to highlight all my achievements and failings of the year 2013. Read on, stalkers!
I went to my first writing convention, in Canberra, and didn’t immediately alienate the Australian genre writing community.
I discovered I really like Canberra, although their public transport system only seems to exist in the Northern half of the city. Also it’s full of fucking politicians. The city, not the public transport system.
One of my stories was selected for the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror collection, and I was so proud to have a place among Australian writers whom I consider friends or at least drunken acquaintances.
I continued to enjoy working at my day job, mostly because of all the great and entertaining people who tolerate me there.
I didn’t have the urge to strangle my children more than a handful of times.
My daughter continued to impress me with her leet gaming skills. She started the process of growing into a bona fide teen/young woman and I am proud to have contributed 50% of my genes to her.
My son continued to entertain me with his obsessively narrow skill set, which includes pitch perfect renditions of ancient arcade game themes and teaching himself how to program visually using Scratch.
A relationship ended.
I connected with an old friend in a way I didn’t think was possible (make your sex jokes in the comments, assholes).
I lost one of my closest friends because life, but at least I failed spectacularly.
I made many new friends and strengthened existing relationships.
I learned experientially that depression sucks.
I discovered I can trust my instincts, for worse or better.
I learned that when some idiot starts reversing in the middle of the road while you are stopped behind him that he may not even have looked behind him.
And I learned that taking a photo of someone’s license plate after they run into your car pays off if they speed off afterwards.
I started paying off some ridiculous credit card debts, mostly unrelated to those gadgets. Mostly.
I continued to feel that the idea of owning a home (or rather, a mortgage) is an expensive, insane Australian cultural fever dream and I eschewed it despite wishing I could paint walls and rip up carpets and replace ancient wiring.
I continued to throw Literarium together in my spare time with the help of my co-conspirator Lucas, got it working for my own use, then ripped out the user interface and replaced it, meaning the motherfucker still isn’t done.
I wore out a pair of running shoes by running over 500km while training for races.
I lost almost 10kg and put on muscles in places I didn’t even know I had bones, and became the fittest, strongest and healthiest I’ve ever been.
I discovered I could have a conversation about ‘supplements’ and ‘weights’ and ‘reps’ and sound like a tedious gym junkie.
I learned to love my Vanilla Ice Cream dessert protein shake.
I drank…ridiculous amounts of beer and am still alive.
I discovered my eye laser beam drainage canal blasting surgery from last year was successful and my formerly unhealthy eyeball pressure is perfectly normal now.
I ran almost 50kms of obstacle races, including the Spartan Super and Tough Mudder.
I dodged sideways into an electrified wire at the Tough Mudder and briefly knocked myself out, but at least now I know how a computer feels when I reboot it.
I grew and kept a beard for the first time in my life and everyone except for my mother told me it looked great, and since I don’t have to kiss my mother that is ok.
I didn’t read remotely as many books as I wanted to but was finally introduced to Leaves of Grass.
I spent most of a month writing daily Post-It Note poetry and went to an amazing private poetry reading night.
I saw many awesome movies at the French film festival and Brisbane International Film Festival, with friends and loved ones.
I went to the inaugural PAX Australia convention with my wife and daughter and mad gaming friends and had the best gaming holiday ever.
I took a cooking class with a bunch of strangers and had some of the most fun I’ve ever had cutting stuff up and eating it afterwards.
I continued to have the most loving and supportive partner in the world.
So all in all there were lots of achievements in 2013, yet I felt like I squandered my professional time and failed to complete projects and on top of that it became one of the saddest years of my life, so I cannot wait to roll it into a shallow grave and stomp the earth down over it.
All my love to the amazing people, digital and real life, work and hobby and casual, and those odd intersectional subsets, who entered, left and passed through my life this year. You know who you are. You’re all first-grade, excellent motherfuckers and life would suck without you.
The only way is up, so bring on 2014 already, chumps!