2018 was awesome. 2018 was terrible. I can say both of those things because I don’t think an entire span of 365 days can be encompassed in one descriptor. The year had its highs and lows.
In terms of highs, I self-published a book! And it was so well-received by people whose opinions actually matter to me! I used to put on all sorts of airs about writing solely for my own entertainment, that I don’t need the support of readers, etc. etc. But having someone like Aerin take such a great interest and be so encouraging when my own motivation would’ve naturally petered out had I been writing for myself alone made all the difference.
Another highlight — I started writing for my friend’s online community, Geek Kind! Lately, my focus has been reviewing the progression of the RWBY webseries’ sixth season; but I write more generically geeky content from time to time. It’s been great working with the rest of the Geek Kind team. Everything starts somewhere and it’s such a privilege to be a part of this project in its early stages.
I also got to fly to Israel for the first time in nearly ten years. I saw Hamlet in the park with dear friends old and new, and it was an overall surreal experience reacquainting myself with my ancestors’ home. A lot changes in ten years, and I saw mostly good ones.
My stance on roller coasters also changed completely as of the summer, thanks to some consensual peer pressure to try new things. This getting-over of a fear culminated in a ride on this beautiful structure in Tel Aviv (videoed by someone else — do you think I’d take a camera on a coaster this wicked?!):
Towards the end of 2018, things went from “meh” to downright awful. But, like the Anaconda, it bounced back at the last minute.
Here’s the meh: I put my freelancing shoes away and got myself a real, steady job that pays well for my needs, but has plenty of stresses. In an era where so many people quit their dreary, fulltime jobs to do the things they love at a profit, I’ve had no choice but to go the other way around. It’s only temporary, though; this job allows me to keep paying for my education (as well as hobbies that don’t require my voice, which has been worn out considerably by constant exclamations of “Can I help who’s next in [this leagues-long] line?”).
Then came the downright awful bit: I was a victim of some serious online bullying. I fear if I mention any specific details (not that they’re anyone’s concern), I’ll be retaliated against further; but if any of the parties involved read this, know that you don’t intimidate me anymore.
You (rather, I) can cut toxic people out of your (my) life, but that doesn’t stop them from continuing to spew toxic hate behind your back. Finding that out, and the lengths to which it was going, hurt like hell. When I finally had the chance to speak up for myself, I was of course hurt and angry; and my expressed anger apparently justified the monster these people had built up of me. Tears were shed far too often, and passwords were reset for my safety, but I’d like to think I came out ahead. The pain is still there, though, and due to its recency and gravity, it remains a huge stain on my otherwise positive memories of an immensely productive year.
These past few weeks alone, however, have been wonderful. I spent them surrounded by people whose presence I immensely value and enjoy, people whom I’m fortunate to call true friends. Sounds a bit like an obituary, doesn’t it? She passed away surrounded by loved ones; thank G-d, I didn’t, but my year has.
I don’t know what 2019 holds in store for me, in terms of writing and this blog. My priorities right now have little to do with writing.
Countless other indie creators find ways to make it work, the balance between worldly commitments and finding time to keep creating art — but they only share the happy, artsy parts on social media, so it looks like they have all this time to do the things you can’t. When they mention off-hand their similar circumstances, it’s a humbling reality check.
I hope to spend 2019 finding (regaining?) my own balance, because I have so many stories to tell and what seems like so little time to tell them. I hope that’ll be just one of many positive ways to describe this new year.
Have a good one!