I am 4.5 hours away from beginning the celebration that will put 2015 firmly in my rear view mirror, and therefore, it is time to reflect on the year.
“Mixed bag” defines most years in a human life, but in many ways this year has been one of extremes in that regard. I’ve had some of my lowest lows this year, but also some of my highest highs, and the latter often came as a result of the former.
Low point: Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a manageable disease, but still a disease, and a chronic one there is currently no way to cure, only to avoid being hurt by (and that partially with a little luck); having my wife, the most important person in my life, receive the same diagnosis a month before I did. Realizing both diagnoses only came because she went in to have something unrelated checked up on, and that if we hadn’t checked we would have kept eating in a way that was ruinous to our health and potentially deadly long-term. Dealing with the tide of internal and external fat-shaming, diet-shaming, and general feeling of screwing up that comes with a type 2 diagnosis, along with the feeling that somehow this was life laughing at me after I decided to take charge of my mental and physical health this year.
High point: Going in for our first quarterly check-ups on the disease only to discover we have them totally under control with diet and exercise, we have praiseworthy amounts of willpower and discipline, and barring a curveball we should be able to avoid complications for our entire lifetimes. People told us we were an inspiration, and we learned that we are capable of a level of courage, self-discipline, and mutual support that will serve us well in every aspect of our very long, very healthy lives.
Low point: After resolving to submit more stories and novels, batting a perfect .000 for submission acceptances from January to December.
High point: Learning that I’m not the only one who goes through fallow periods like this; the hardship forcing me to learn things about my writing strengths and weaknesses that I might not have seen had I met with even moderate success. I’m finding my writing voice in a way that I never have before, and I’m relaxing into the act of writing in a way I never have before. I’ve also figured out how to set reasonable goals for myself creatively and, as a result, in other aspects of my life. While I am not a financially richer writer after this year, I am a richer writer in every other sense.
Low point: My anxiety went off the rails at the beginning of the year, with multiple explosive crying jags, only further exacerbated by the discovery of the diabetes issues.
High point: The explosions were finally bad enough that I had some conversations with Sonya about our relationship that were absolutely necessary and strengthened our bond as friends, partners, lovers, and teammates — there’s no steel without fire, as I think they say. From that came the decision to grab hold of my mental health as well as physical, and from that came a relatively saner Tyler; not one free of anxiety, because that demon is never truly slain, but one who can take a step back and assess his problems and deal with them rationally in a way he never could before.
Low point: I found a safe space for social justice-minded folk like myself, and promptly said something truly terrible and followed it up with a series of anxiety-riddled mistakes and outright bad behavior that ended in me needing to leave said safe space and in fact helped catalyze a general fracturing of it, losing myself at least two friends and leaving my Internet social media experience awkward to say the least.
High point: That huge screw-up and wrongdoing on my part forced me to confront problematic aspects of myself and my relationships, forced me to accept that there are consequences for my actions in a way that was frankly a little abstract before (being as I am a very privileged person), and took me down the road of learning a whole lot more about how to be less problematic and how I need to comport myself in public and in private. And I did keep a few good friends out of that, who though they are wholly digital right now, are an important part of my support network going into 2015.
High point: I rediscovered my love of comics, especially superhero comics, and broadened my artistic tastes in all fields.
High point: I navigated the waters of how to relate to my friends and family, and how and when and why to identify people who are unhealthy for me and keep them at the necessary distance.
High point: I celebrated a year in a fantastic marriage with Sonya, who has helped me learn to be a better person and has helped me learn just how happy I can be. I love you, sweetie. Hail Hydra.
High point: I recognized, eyes wide open, how truly lucky I am to have the life I have, and how valued my contribution to the world really is.
High point: I made mistakes and still have friends and loved ones. Forgiveness can be so important.
High point: I learned how to be diplomatic when angry.
High point: I got to hang out with my new nephew and niece (marriage grows families in the most unexpected ways) and watch them continue to be interesting and smart and engaged.
High point: I had a tweet liked by Squirrel Girl.
High point: There are way more high points on this list than low points.
2015 kicked me in the bojangles more than once, and it did its level best to get me on the ground and bloodied; but in the end, the scars left by this year are scars I can bear with pride. I’m a better person, a better writer, a better husband, and a better Tyler all around than I was last December, and that is a treasure that will never tarnish.
Next year’s resolutions:
Keep up the writing schedule.
Attend more cons, as a guest and as an attendee.
Keep working on excising problematic language.
Take time for self-care.
Go on more dates with Sonya, and recognize that sometimes, time at home quietly reading is the best date night of all.
Play more board games, especially ones I have not played before.
That said, play more Sentinels of the Multiverse and Red Dragon Inn.
Watch more wrestling that is not produced by the McMahons.
Go to more Fathom Events.
Have a really good beer when the carb count is available.
Love my friends.
Now if you’ll excuse me, two friends and their wonderful son are coming over soon to hang out and play some, oh yes, Sentinels of the Multiverse. I cannot think of a better way to start saying goodbye to 2015.
I love you all. Keep reading, and I’ll keep writing.