It's a bit late coming this time, but it's time for my annual reflection on the past year in the form of a blog post! Let's see what I come up with this time.
2017 was split into two halves that I can easily sum up as being the "motivated" and "too tired to do anything" halves. I feel like I started pretty strong in 2017, as I did quite a bit of art, including two short-but-polished animations, which itself is pretty impressive all things considered. I also did a fair share of streaming--both viewer-suggested art streams and gaming streams--and it was a fun thing to experience again even with my the technical limitations I have. I wouldn't say I made anything that went above and beyond (although I was really proud of my Luigi animation), but for a while I was fairly consistent with my work.
But things sorta took a dive around the middle of the year. I can't exactly pinpoint when, but at some point I started seriously losing motivation to do much during my days. I can't even say that there's one thing that made me start going downhill, but it might've had to do with not having anything to do in general. 2017 was my first full year out of school and first full year back living with my parents since 2011. I didn't have a job most of the year and didn't have any classes to go to, and the latter especially took a real toll on my motivation. Not having that constant source of inspiration going to school with other artists gives you is probably a main factor in my big rut of this year. It's hard to keep up by yourself, y'know?
I did end up getting two jobs in November, though. One is a typical part-time retail job that I'm fond of, but the other was a midnight-4am truck-unloading job, and kind of cost me my sleep schedule. Because I wouldn't get home and go to bed until the late late night, I wouldn't wake up until late in the day and become too tired to work on anything, or just feel bad that I 'wasted' the day away. So you can imagine that that didn't do me any favors when it came to self-motivation. I've since left that job but still find myself staying up really late sometimes. Hard to tell if that's just because of me or a lingering side effect of that job.
I still feel bad for myself that I couldn't keep up too well with my art, because what a typical thing to have happened, right? Graduating from art school, moving back in with the folks, not doing as much art the following year, and getting a minimum wage retail job. I know in reality that's not really anything to be ashamed of, because y'know, shit is hard when you're an adult, but there's a core part of me that just feels like I let myself down. You can even look back at last year's wrap-up blog post and see what kinds of goals I had for myself. In retrospect maybe some of them were a bit unrealistic, though, particularly the one about being hired and moving out within the first half of the year.
There was a point in the year I remember where I came to accept that I'm gonna be living with my parents for a while longer, though. In the end, I'm really grateful that I do have a place to stay while I build up some funds without the worry of rent or being kicked out. My folks are really loving and I'm glad I have them, so I came to terms with it. But the possibility of them finally moving out of the place is rising every time the topic comes up, and it's possible that I will have to move by the middle of this year. I was able to keep the retail job I mentioned earlier after the holiday season, so it's reassuring to know that I'll still have a [small, but] steady source of income I can save for whenever I may need to make a down payment or something. So that's a thing. Kind of scary, but there's no way of stopping the inevitable.
Despite all of my personal shortcomings (and the other, generally negative aspects of 2017 for everyone), the year did have its high points! I started dating an awesome girl who I'm still with today, which has been really fun and has kept my social life active. The Switch was released, and by extension, the year was one of, if not the best year of video games in recent history, which is something I could write a whole blog post about if I'm being honest. I actually started dating my girl the day I got my Switch at launch, so that'll always be a really memorable day for me~
So here comes the hard part. How is 2018 gonna be for me? Well it's only gonna be as good or bad as I make it. And I shouldn't worry about making one huge change in my life or compare where I'm at to other people. Go with the flow and just do stuff. Start those projects you've been thinking about. Get out of your chair and walk around for a little bit. Maybe I'll revisit that survey I made before writing my 2017 wrap-up if I need some ideas. But the core thing to keep in mind is to keep doing something. If you're not doing something, you will stagnate, and you don't want that. As long as you have something to keep you occupied, you'll feel better about yourself.
Doing these wrap-ups makes me realize that people really do divide their lives up by years. When you take years out of account and see life as a continuous timeline, it can be hard to get yourself to make goals, and hard to look back at where you were at one point in time. In some ways it could be interesting to not limit setting goals and reevaluating your lifestyle to just the end/beginning of the year. We're constantly told that there's a specific start and end point in the form of years, but is it wise to always think that? January is the month that comes after December, it shouldn't be thought as jumping back to the beginning. It's important to know where you're coming from, and using past experiences to better yourself for things to come.
But that's just kind of me rambling about a random thought I had. As always, you can keep up with me on Twitter and YouTube, as those are the sites you'll find me active on the most. Here's to making the most of this new chapter of life, and I hope yours will be a good one too~