Well, this has been an eventful year, to say the least. A lot of ups, a whole lot of downs, but mostly a lot of change. And since we’re nearly at the end of the calendar year, why not wrap things up, clip-show style?
At the beginning of the year, I moved into a new apartment with my partner of almost 2 years. It was small but it was cute and the location was great, and more importantly, we had the place to ourselves. Fantastic! Definitely an ‘up’.
I got a new job doing IT support. Decent pay, set my own hours, work from home, cool friend for a workmate, perfect! More importantly, I was earning money again, which felt great. Also an ‘up’.
My partner and I split up. This was a ‘down’. But these things happen, and all we can do is move on.
I moved in with a friend! Very near to my old place, much more spacious, even closer to the train line. Also the place is like a fortress. Bring it, zombie apocalypse. This is an ‘up’ despite being unplanned, and comes with an apology to my friend for disrupting her perfectly clean and organised home. Hopefully my company (and rent money) made up for it. I certainly enjoyed getting to know her better. Also I learned a lot!
I had surgery! Specifically, I had my genitals re-arranged into a much more suitable and aesthetically pleasing formation. The surgeon was great, the hospital staff were lovely, and the recovery was smooth. But before that, I had dozens of people show their love, acceptance and support by donating money, sharing the link for donating money, or just generally being awesome to me, and without that, it would have been impossible. Not just because of the money, but also just knowing that I would be safe and looked after. Another ‘up’.
After, like, three weeks (because I am an idiot) I started getting out and being social and doing stuff. And it felt great! And for the first time in my life, I felt normal. I could talk to people and be myself without being paranoid about my appearance or how I sounded or whether people would like me or if I had anything interesting to say… I was just me. And it made me that much more approachable and likeable, as far as I can tell/have been told. So another ‘up’.
A bad thing happened on the internet. I don’t care to repeat details, but a lot of women I really respect and look up to found themselves victims of a constantly growing harassment and abuse movement, and the internet became a dangerous and unwelcoming place for women in games. For some of them, the real world also became dangerous. Big ‘down’.
So a bunch of super awesome women got together and created a secret feminist cabal/general supportive environment. I joined, and met some amazing, wonderful women, and I realised that I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. ‘Up’!
I applied for the assist program and got sent to GCAP, a developers conference here in Melbourne, where I met so many amazing and wonderful people, including a lot of the awesome women from the cool group. And I learned a lot, and got hecka inspired. Big ‘up’ and also a big thanks to the people who organised it all and gave me the opportunity!
After that, PAX. A big-ass gaming conference. For three days, the exhibition centre was filled with gamers. After the big internet fiasco (that was still going on) I had a little trepidation but as it turns out, everyone seemed excellent and I had a great time, and met more people and made new friends. I also went to more great panels and learned and was inspired again. ‘Up’ again!
Other things: It’s been a great year for so much of the media I consume. I wrote a whole post about games, even! But I’ve been watching a lot of fantastic animated shows, and one of my favourites even gave me an ending that was so perfect I actually squealed and jumped out of my chair when I saw it. Multiple comics have warmed my heart AND included queer relationships, just as I was starting to sour on the medium. I read a huge pile of queer fiction and that made me want to write a bunch of queer fiction. I did, too. Some of it you can even go read right now. I also finished another novel, which I’m now editing. I have two games in development, both a lot more ambitious than anything I’ve done before, and I’m working with some cool people to make them happen. Also, I have the basic rules for a pen & paper RPG that I’m just about ready to start playtesting.
And as far as my memory is concerned, that about wraps up the year! I know it was very second-half heavy, but I think that’s reflective of my actual year. Before the surgery, everything seemed unimportant and I found it difficult to engage. Now that it’s over, well, I’m expecting 2015 to be a whole year like the very end of 2014. I’m very excited.
Also, y’all are great and I think you’re rad <3