The year that just ended is a difficult one for me to summarize. It was not the best year of my life, nor the worst. But it was possibly the most complex, with a number of major events and changes. As we get older, time seems to accelerate, and it often seems like years slip away. This year wasn’t like that for me, for the most part. The beginning of the year feels like it happened years ago to someone at a much different point in their life–and then there were years of experience in between then and now.
I started the year with a promotion, one that promised to upend my life just as much as if I had changed employment entirely. It more than fulfilled that promise. It was difficult and rewarding work. I learned a lot about what I am capable of. I also learned a lot about what my limits are. I went in there expecting it to break my heart, and I wanted and needed it to. Again, it more than fulfilled that promise.
Halfway through the year, I was offered another promotion, one that would yank me from the new trajectory and what my life was shaping up to be. It was not an easy decision overall, but circumstances lined up to where I decided to seize the opportunity. It’s taken me longer to adjust to this position and it’s responsibilities.
It was also a big year on the creative front. My first book as sole author, A Cold Fire Within, came out, the culmination of a lot of work and patience. It’s a bewildering feeling to see it in the world, and it means more to me than I would have ever imagined. I also helped set up a new publishing imprint, Stay Strange Publishing, as editor, and I and my partners saw our first release.
While at NecronomiCon Providence, I had the first major episode of atrial fibrillation in a couple of years, and I had to go to the emergency room. This was frustrating and distressing on a number of levels. I was on a working vacation at a convention I always look forward to, with friends I hardly ever see. My episode came about from ridiculous circumstances. In the past, it had been from physical exertion. This time, it was from minor stage fright performing karaoke. Waking up alone in my hotel room and still feeling my pounding, jittery heartbeat was terribly demoralizing. As I recently wrote, I have a plan in place, replacing the current one of treating my condition medicinally with a surgical solution.
And hardly least, I fully came out as genderqueer. This was something I had been considering for a long time, and I had already begun the process in 2018 in certain contexts. I’ve more or less understood who I am and what my perspective on gender, sex, and sexuality is for over twenty years. It has primarily been something internal rather than something to publicly acknowledge, and I had basically always thought it would remain that way. But experiences over the last few years led me to finally be explicit about this fundamental aspect of my life.
There are other significant events that took place for me this last year that had a profound effect on me, but these are the ones I can share publicly. It certainly seems like plenty.
I know a lot of people who have had a difficult and overwhelming year. I thank everyone who stood by me in my own struggles and offered their support. I can only hope that I have and will do the same for you.
Farewell, 2019, you messed-up monster of a year.