2016

  

The end of the year makes for such a good checkpoint, doesn’t it?

Around this time last year, I found myself reflecting on having purpose in life. It was shortly after Leelah Alcorn died, so thoughts of having a purpose in life and improving things for people were on my mind. I made a single resolution: I would do whatever I could to be a better role model for people.

It was an ambitious and vague guiding principle. But, hey, it fit in a tweet.

Did I pull it off this year? In some ways, sure. I’ve become much more vocal about social issues, acknowledging and trying to help address things that need to be talked about. Ever since Easter, I’ve been massively open about being a furry, putting forth a more confident attempt to be myself. I’ve made myself more visible professionally, giving multiple talks and getting an article published. And I took on the responsibility of an actual honest to God rabbit.

But I can’t say I’m that much better of a person, though. I still let myself be impulsive and irrational, hurting myself and others due to frustration and anger. 2015 ended one of my oldest and strongest relationships. And I definitely fell short on a number of projects I wanted to pull off.

I’m happy with how much happened, though. In January, I started going to pub trivia games, leading me to my most consistent circle of real-life friends. I took a stab at XOXO in June, nearly forgot about it, and wound up stumbling into another great circle of friends.

I’d be hard-pressed to say I had any circle of real-life friends last year beyond the people I met at meetups (which was a relatively inconsistent group). Now I have several. And they know me as I am, not a facade created to be more professionally palatable.

So, things happened. Hard to say I kept the resolution, though. By what measure have I been a better role model? I don’t have any answer for that.

Next year will be different. (Don’t we all say that?)

I’m setting specific goals for myself. There are things I want to do with myself, but generally I’ve been afraid. And at this point, it’s become clear that I have less to fear than I think I do.

Publish two books by the end of the year

I’m already working on one, The Latte Segment. I’m shooting for that to come out in March (best case, in time for Zootopia’s opening, because yes I’m that kind of person). The second will likely be one of two business satire books I’ve had in mind. That’ll be late in the year.

Read 12 books over the year; one per month

Apparently, when you get Amazon Prime, they just give you an ebook every month for free. (I didn’t know it was a thing, but it is.) And if I’m going to be a better writer, I should try to be a better reader. So, there’s the opportunity. If all I ever read are the free books, then I should be in better shape.

Have a net positive income from writing

Sounds easy enough – write an ebook, sell one copy, done. I already have income from writing thanks to The Recompiler. But, I’ve spent more than that on services to make my writing better. Which they have, but that means I’m in the hole. I know I can make money from writing, so the goal is just to make more than I spend.

Maintain weight and health throughout the year

I managed to lose at least 10 pounds over 2015. I don’t need to lose more weight – I didn’t even need to lose that, technically – so I’m putting myself in maintenance mode. My only goal is that my weight at the end of the year is at least my weight at the beginning of the year. That should keep my health in good shape, giving me one fewer thing to feel bad about.

Vague and uncertain goals

I’m setting any goals that depend on other people off to the side, in a sense. They’re still important to me, but I know they could fall through without any fault on my part. Same with things I just can’t specifically measure.

  • Record the first Mighty Missoula album/EP
  • Make progress on being capable of relaxing
  • Find a boyfriend

I’ll be keeping busy, for sure. It’s how I am.