In keeping with my annual tradition (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008), this New Year’s Eve I’m reflecting on everything that’s happened this year.
My favorite video game was Return of the Obra Dinn. Runners up: Outer Wilds, The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, Heaven’s Vault.
My favorite book was Dreadnought by April Daniels. Runners up: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar. And I finally read the first 2.1 thirds of The Kingkiller Chronicle, which was amazing.
I watched a lot of Mario Maker, BreadTube, How to ADHD, Kurzgesagt, Electron Dance, and Jacob Geller.
I learned that 90% of the challenging interactions I have with other people, and with reality, are because of my ADHD. I also learned a lot about particle physics, parasocial relationships, astronomy, feminism, loneliness, capitalism, socialism, economics, game design, bridging, activism, quantum physics, alt-right political tactics, and how machine learning algorithms make people create weird videos and influence them in disturbing ways.
In January, we went to Amanda’s birthday party for a hot minute. I don’t do large groups of people anymore, but I still wanted to see Amanda on her birthday. Then we visited Dru for his 21st birthday! He kicked my butt at Smash, then we had dinner at Olive Garden and got to meet Natalie.
In February, Jean stayed with us for a couple of days, then we moved to Tacoma! Kyeli and Amanda had a harrowing roadtrip, while I stayed behind in Austin to handle the move-out, then caught up with them via plane.
In March, we celebrated Kyeli’s 42nd birthday, and I gave her an underpromised, overdelivered limerick quest. Kyeli won the battle for her soul and realized that God is everything and nothing, and I laughed at the Big Cosmic In-Joke, but Kyeli wasn’t pretending she didn’t get it, she really didn’t get it. (at the time) I finally began catching up on 11 years of avoiding doctors, starting with Dr. Miller, who turned out to be fatphobic and, while I wouldn’t say transphobic, a little bit trans-awkward.
In April, I finished Compass Rose! We flew to SoCal for EmmaCon 2019! We ate a ton of amazing food at a restaurant owned by friends of Emma’s parents, all of us but Kyeli went on a boat tour, I got sensory overstimulation and hid under four pillows, and we talked about lots of awesome stuff like office politics, spiral dynamics, Keger’s five stages of adulting, being slightly famous, high-demand groups, relationship boundaries, capitalism, bridging, racism, and Emma’s book of inspiration.
In May, I started working with my new psychiatrist, Dr. Angela. We went to a meetup of the Feminist Utopia Book Club. I went to Austin for Metroidvaniamania – Brandon and I began working on a Metroidvania together.
In June, we went to Liz’s to celebrate EJ’s birthday with a Harry Potter party. EJ played small chunks of several different video games, and Jon and I tagged along. Amanda came to visit for a week, during which Kyeli and I had a big hot messy fight. We saw the worst-ever production of Mamma Mia, we all got Pride pedis, and Amanda cut my hair and and dyed it pink. I saw Dr. Yearian, an orthopedic surgeon, who told me that my arch pain was due to genetically too-short gastrocnemius (calf) muscles, so I had surgery to have the right one lengthened. (Thanks, Snowcrash!) The surgery went okay, but I got misgendered a bunch at the hospital, which sucked a lot. This is also when Kyeli’s mental health started improving for the first time in, like, ever. (Thanks, Dr. Angela!)
In July, Kyeli started painting. We spontaneously drove out to the lighthouse across the bay and loved Tacoma. I went to Austin, and Brandon and I canceled our Metroidvania – my reason was hard mode. In fact, I swore off indie gamedev entirely because it has too low of an effort-to-output ratio. We celebrated JYule, and Kyeli gave me a clothes shopping spree that made me cry! Due to the self-love work I’ve been doing in therapy, I’m finally able to feel good about what I want to wear, and be really intentional about it instead of just wearing Kyeli’s hand-me-downs.
In August, I had a dream about Sheikha. I did “Q&A with a trans person” at the hospital, both to help others and also to decrease my chances of being misgendered during my upcoming left leg surgery. It went totally smoothly! Jo, the chaplain, is amazing. Dicey Dungeons was finally released – I’m in the credits for “detailed playtesting”!
In September, Kyeli encouraged me to enter the IFComp, and I wrote Limerick Heist in Twine and loved it, so apparently I’ve un-sworn-off indie gamedev. Kelly visited for KellyCon 2019! She made the cover art for Limerick Heist, and it came in 8th place in the IFComp! I took StrengthsFinder again and felt very little dissonance this time! And as a result of my KellyCon masterheart, I improved my spiritual infrastructure, including doing the Evening Wird when my dervish friends are available. Kyeli’s dad was diagnosed with cancer. I still had more limericks in me that needed to get out, so I put together a little questie for my besties, then started working on Rhyme Ninja to make future limerick writing easier and better.
In October, I wrote Limerick Night in 4 hours for EctoComp. Kyeli gave me lots of fun and delicious birthday surprises, including a spoon rest and a new PACE flag! We restarted doing couples therapy. I got a ton of dental work done, and now I’m caught up! I had bubble tea with Adrian.
In November, Kyeli and I celebrated our 14th anniversary! She made a video of couplies with Adventure from Fez. I got to teach a class on Limerick Heist! We decided to make Tacoma our forever home, started looking for a house, and met with a realtor, Zenika. I started listening to the Feminist Frequency podcast. AllonI sent us a sweet email. I switched to Kyeli’s doctor, Dr. Skedd. I’ve got very mild osteoarthritis in my left hip, high blood pressure, and I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which means I’ll have to stop eating gluten real soon now. I interviewed a potential new therapist, Debby, but she misgendered me 4 minutes into our first session so I fired her immediately and she blamed me for not being patient enough with her. We put all our Tacoma stuff in storage and moved to Austin for the winter. Bastion and Kyeli had a really rough flight. I asked a stranger to please stop hammering at 11pm, which previously would have caused me major social anxiety.
In December, I finally made peace with being a multipod. We had a secret masterheart with a secret BFF, who helped me with gluten-free planning. We visited Kyeli’s dad in the hospital, and he told me to be careful. Dru came to visit for Yule, and we had League Appreciation Practice, the Dru’s Commentary version of The Great Gatsby, and lots of amazing conversations. JK Rowling came out as a TERF, and I processed a lot about how to support the art without supporting the artist. We bailed on our family vacation to Harry Potter World, not because of JK but because it’s not accessible enough. Emma visited for a day and it was lovely. I designed a Yule quest for Kyeli involving welcome mats, Limerick Heist, and a Spy Safe House escape room! Kyeli got me Beat Saber for Yule and now I play it all the time! It’s my new DDR! Kyeli and I reviewed our entire decade, distilling the most important takeaways. One thing I learned is what I love in a creative project, so I quit working on Rhyme Ninja, threw away a couple more coding-based project ideas, and started writing a book of spiritual limericks.
2019 was a year of mental and physical health. I got my psych meds figured out, and started making progress on all the physical ailments that had been piling up during my 11-year hiatus from doctors. My word of the year was “engage”, but I needed to engage with my own health before I could engage deeply with Tacoma. And as always, I need to engage with my heart, to stay present in my life so I can feel and be and hurt and heal and love, instead of just tagging along for the ride.
Why do I always resist?
My reminders, so simply dismissed?
I’ve got to forestall
forgetting. I scrawl
a hasty note: “SEE OTHER WRIST.”
In 2020, I’m gonna keep on keeping on. I’ve still got some big medical rocks to adjust to, most notably gluten-free, and then I plan to put down roots in Tacoma and continue to engage with my heart, my body, my friends, and my life.
Feel clear and confident about your direction in life!
Do you wish you could follow your heart, but it seems impossible? I can help you find the clarity and courage you need.
In other words, I can help you find your path.