Holy buckets, Batman. 2014. This has easily been the most challenging year of my entire life, and I am 100% glad that this year is finally over.
Adventure Buddy, if you’re out there somewhere, thank you. There is no part of my life that hasn’t been made better because of you and your presence in my life. Thank you. Thank you for everything. I know I’ve said thank you a dozen different times in a dozen different ways, but you really are that awesome and amazing. Thank you.
I spent several months learning how to walk again. Between getting off of crutches and the months and months and months of physical therapy, the waking up in the middle of the night in pain, the lack of pain killers, the falling down the steps of my ladder to my loft, the countless days and nights crying in the corner, the working so hard to fix something I broke that I shattered the most important friendship of my life, and those in charge of me telling me that everything I’ve worked for in my career is over because I broke my ankle, it’s been a long year.
It’s been hard.
But it really hasn’t been all painful destruction.
As much as things in my life have sucked, I wouldn’t be who or where I am right now in life if everything hadn’t fallen apart.
I wouldn’t be who I am right now if it weren’t for the most intelligent, fun, smart, ethical, hilarious, and fantastic Adventure Buddy. Even though we haven’t been on speaking terms this entire year, there is no part of my life that hasn’t been made better because of Adventure Buddy’s presence in my life. I’m a better person because of you. Thank you.
I’ve rebuilt my life in the best possible ways. I had so many adventures in 2014. I went to Vermont and had a great time at a water park during a giant snowstorm. I visited California multiple times. I started work on my Master of Fine Arts degree and finished my first semester for that. I saw at least three musicals and participated in an adventure murder-mystery evening in a large city. I read fantastic books, watched different movies, reconnected with a lot of people I’ve missed, and made new buddies. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve learned a lot of lessons, and I’ve done what I can to help people and to make the world a better place.
All my time up until this year has been a study of my indomitable will. I have been successful in my life and throughout my career because of my tenacity. My refusal to quit has meant that I took a lot of actions that were best for the career of Adventure Buddy but that didn’t do very many good things for me as a person. I did what I believed was right professionally, even though the cost appears to have been the best, most important friendship of my entire life. This year has given me something more powerful than my thick skull and stubbornness.
This year has given me hope.
If I can get through 2014 and come out better, stronger, smarter, more caring, more generous, and more stable than I’ve ever been in my entire life, then that means I can survive anything. That means that I can do anything. It means that I really did spend a lot of time leveling up this year. I am absolutely ready to face the challenges of 2015, and I will face them with a heart filled with faith, hope, and love. The faith that everything happens for a reason and that things are the way they are meant to be. The hope for the future, that someone who means so much to me will give our friendship another chance. The love I have for all those I care about – the family, friends, and people who are close to me, as well as the people I know only through the internet, those that work with me, and the strangers I have never met. My definition of love has absolutely nothing to do with sex. If you want to know what love means to me, listen to Valerie’s letter in the movie V for Vendetta.
1) Read ONE book per week. As there are 52 weeks per year, and my goal was to read and write a review for at least one book per week, I absolutely succeeded in this goal because I posted 56 book reviews throughout 2014. I read everything from graphic novels to fantasy classics to haunted horror novels to science fiction space adventures to urban fantasy to young adult to children’s classics. It was a very eclectic year for my book reviews.
2) Write ONE movie review per week. Again, there are 52 weeks in a year and I successfully posted movie reviews of 52 movies during 2014. As it turns out, there’s a direct correlation between me reading more books and watching less movies.
3) Listen to TEN songs or ONE album per week and then organize my music correctly. I have so far organized 1,062 of the 2,348 songs I’ve been trying to go through and listen to and categorize. This is an absolute WIN in my view. Even if I don’t do any more with my music this year, this is much more than I actually anticipated getting through in the entire year. Especially the Homestuck music, which takes up 678 songs in my music library. Some of it was kind of painful to listen to, some of it was kind of fun, and there was a surprising amount of music that I actually really enjoyed. The other side of this is that three days ago, my laptop crashed and I lost everything. I’ve been trying to rebuild it all, but it’s slow going. And I haven’t even touched my music files yet. Still, I consider this a win because I did save at least some of the playlists and I remember the songs, if nothing else.
4) Revise Affinity. I have not worked on any revisions in any capacity. I know I should be working on it, I’m just trying to get too many other things done right now.
5) Participate and win NaNoWriMo in 2014. This didn’t happen for me at all. I didn’t even pretend to try because there was just too much going on in my life in November.
6) Draw and color at least ONE full size pattern. I have one pattern that I’ve been working on that is almost complete and another, much larger pattern that I’m also working on that I hope to be able to complete in the next couple months. Since progress is actively being made, I’m going to call this a success so far.
7) Run two miles in under 16 minutes. This is likely to never happen, as my orthopedic surgeon is pretty adamant that I’m never supposed to run again. I can walk as much as I want, but running is supposed to be strictly off the books. With that said, I’ll still have to run two miles every six months or so, and I’ve improved my run time by a minute this year. That’s actually really huge. So I’m going to call this a win.
8) Stop swearing. I have made significant progress in accomplishing this task. I will call it mostly a win.
9) Attend one cultural event or location per month. I absolutely achieved this goal. I also saw this as the adventuring that I did. I travelled to California and Vermont. I went and saw The Wizard of Oz musical at a 100 year-old theater and I participated in a motorcycle movie night. I went camping and rock climbing in North Carolina. I spent time at a waterpark in the middle of the winter when snow-covered everything in drifts taller than me. I helped work with a shelter that takes in abused horses. I’ve been to multiple gaming nights with over 30 people per night and learned about a fantastic role-playing game about Werewolves. This goal was designed to get me out and experiencing life again after everything that went so wrong in the last year.
10) Climb a 5.10 wall. I DID THIS!!! I went outdoor rock climbing for the first time in my life and had such an amazing time! We drove out a really amazing place in North Carolina and spent the day climbing real mountains and then we camped and then we went climbing again the next day. It was such an amazing trip and I can’t believe how high up and how fantastic that adventure was!
Overall, I’m going to call my year a success. I made huge amounts of progress in the categories I wanted to, and I learned a lot of very valuable lessons from this very challenging time during 2014. I’m even working on a new story right now and things are going fairly well. I’m more balanced now than I ever have been in my entire life. To all those who helped me along this path during 2014, thank you. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it hadn’t been for you. If you want to help me out for 2015, I’d really appreciate your thoughts, your patience, and your ideas as I work towards the impossible-feeling task of convincing Adventure Buddy that I’m a fantastic and awesome friend and to give our friendship another chance.
2015 will potentially be filled with great change in my life. And I am filled with faith, hope, and love for that future. If I have only one wish for 2015, it’s that Adventure Buddy will give our friendship another chance. Because friends like us are unbelievably rare and throwing our friendship away is a very sad mistake. Because I’m fantastic and amazing and I deserve to have wonderful and awesome things and people in my life. And Adventure Buddy deserves to have a loyal, caring, hopeful friend like me.