Monday, December 22, 2014

The Devil Waiting at the Gate - 2014 Year in Review

As is traditional for this time of year - there are a lot of "Year in Review" types of posts - both for major media outlets and not-so-major-media-outlets and, of course, the ever-present Family Christmas Card letter, where moms everywhere inform everyone what little Johnny and Sally accomplished this year and that Bob got a raise and a promotion and our family life is wonderful - Merry Christmas to you and yours! And it's not limited to people with kids and families and dogs. Even we single people find interesting things to talk about and look back on with fondness.

For myself, I already did a retrospective with my Five(ish) Fangirl compadres. Take a listen -

If you prefer the Cliffs Notes version, here it is in list form -

What was good about 2014 for me:
- New baby nephew (that kid - and his big sister - bring me life)
- FanX, Salt Lake Comic Con, ToshoCON
- Marvel kicking all kinds of hind-end, both at the movies and on TV
- The officially licensed return of Sailor Moon to North America and the premiere of Sailor Moon Crystal
- Fandoms new and old - Doctor Who, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, 24: Live Another DayAgents of SHIELD, and many more
- The Five(ish) Fangirls Podcast (coming soon to an iTunes feed near you!)

What was bad about 2014 for me:
- Just about everything else

Never have I ever looked forward to much to the end of a year than I have this one. I mean - what is a new year, really? You buy a new calendar (hopefully one with pretty artwork) and stick it on the wall so your plans match up with what the rest of the world's doing (at least, tangentially). Things like anxiety and depression don't really care much about fitting into a set schedule. But so much bad happened to me in starting in January 2014. I can't help but imagine some little brain imp watching me from around the corner of last year, cackling madly to itself while waiting to pounce and give me all kinds of hell for nearly twelve-months straight.

Something like that.
Just to give you an idea without going into a lot of specifics (we'd be here until next summer if I did that), I've been going over some of my journal entries from this year (because that's what I do when I'm feeling like hell - I write. I've written a lot this year). One entry in particular stood out to me as (A) Being a particularly good piece of writing just on its own (with a little polishing, I could publish it and maybe make some money) and (B) Something that would probably give Edgar Allan Poe nightmares, but my literary fiction professor from college would likely put me in touch with a publisher (yet I can't get my friggin' fantasy novel to amount to anything. My life, ladies and gentlemen). I even remember the mindset I was in when I was writing it and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Think of the most scary thing you've ever encountered - times that by 100. You have a good idea of what I feel when I look back and think about the places I've been mentally and emotionally this year. No. I don't want to reflect on that any more than I absolutely have to.

However - it does make me that much more grateful for the good things I've had that balance out the bad (even in the smallest way). Friends, family, complete strangers, people I have no hope of ever meeting but they still make me smile in some way - it's all helped. There are too many to thank here, but you probably know who you are (even if you aren't - just take the credit anyway). To everyone else, I'd just encourage you all to be a help to other people. Be cheerful and look for the good things. Don't add to the anger and hatred and turmoil and flat-out meanness out there. Maybe that's what I can learn from this experience - and it brings to mind a quote from a man whose wisdom and counsel helped shaped my teenage years and who I still miss dearly to this day: "Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight." Heaven knows the storms seek us out enough that we don't need to do their job for them. (Also - "Life is to be enjoyed, not merely endured.")

So - yeah, even though it makes zero sense to be angry at a measurement of time, 2014 can go stick its finger in an electric socket. On New Year's Eve, I will be happily showing this year the door and looking forward to something better in 2015 (this year was featured in Back to the Future Part II, it can't be a complete waste, right?)

In the meantime, I'm going home for Christmas. I'll enjoy some family time, watching Christmas movies and opening presents and seeing this year's Doctor Who Christmas special and (likely) playing some Doctor Who Legacy.

As we part from 2014, I have only this to say -

Dear 2015 - you have a lot of room to make improvements. I suggest you use it.

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