It’s December 31st, and in 11 short hours (from when I started writing this) the calendar will start saying “2015.” A lot of folks are taking to Facebook and Twitter to reminisce about the year that was and what is to come, and I would too…but what I have to say wouldn’t fit in a Facebook status. It’d be more like a blog post…so here we are.
2014 was a Jekyll and Hyde kind of year for me. There were some great things I got to do and see and be a part of, and there were some moments of pure dog shit…well, just one I guess, but it still has a lot of lasting implications. Indulge me as I rattle off some bullet points in taking a look back and you’ll see what I mean.
– I went to Aruba with my wife in January courtesy of Pat Sajak and company, and any tropical vacation I plan from here on out will be a return trip. That place is amazing.
– I gave up social media for Lent (which doesn’t sound like a big deal) and in turn updated this blog more than I ever had before. I feel like I should try that approach for all of 2015…or at least limit myself.
– I visited my cousin in Chicago in one of the best weekends of the year. That city is so damn cool and I hope I get to go back for family or professional reasons (I’m looking at you, NetherRealm).
– I watched the end of an era for one of my childhood icons, and my post on the subject still fits right now. With recent events I wish he had won and his streak be potentially broken by a certain white face-painted individual, but alas I can’t change the past.
– I performed as a major lead in a stage show for the first time in nine years, and boy oh boy was it a blast. Getting into that theater troupe was an amazing choice, and I’m looking forward to hitting the stage again very soon.
– May 28th. That date turned my year completely upside down. Getting laid off from the job that paid the bills was awful, and I’m still feeling the ripples even now. I tried the full-time freelance thing for a while and I’m still not in a spot where that alone can sustain us, so I recently went back to the working world in November. However, 2015 is the year that I stop with the bullshit and get the full-time writing gig I’ve been longing for. No more excuses, no more games. It’s time to move on.
– Two weeks later I was reminded why I want to write full time in the gaming industry, as I had the most successful E3 of the four I’ve attended. I took a bunch of selfies, had multiple outlets paying for my words and came out doubling what it cost me to get there. This year I intend on the same if not more successful outcome, and I already can’t wait. (Is that weird that I look forward to E3 starting January 1?)
– Just before the show I joined up with Luke Brown and his site ArcadeSushi.com, and being a part of it was a major part in me having my most successful year as a games writer period. I landed just about every review copy I requested, writing more reviews than ever before, and for five months I was contributing news stories every single day (which I plan to return to, I promise). I am indebted to Luke for bringing me on, and I hope I can continue to be a part of his site for as long as he wants me around.
– I also saw one of my reviews published in a gaming magazine for the first time ever, as I wrote a review for Play Magazine in the United Kingdom. Getting that magazine in the mail and seeing it for myself was surreal.
– I visited a game studio for the first time ever with Walmart GameCenter, flying down to Orlando to visit EA Tiburon in July and jetting to San Francisco in September for a date with 2K Sports. Both were very interesting experiences that really showed me how things work in game development, and I hope I get a chance to go back there soon.
– I started on The Epic Quest To Get Dad To Like Craft Beer by taking him to his first beer fest in August. He loved it, and has since tasted every weird beer I’ve brought to his house since. He’ll be a connoisseur yet.
– I briefly became semi-Internet famous all because of a shirt. Every time I see that pic pop up on a new site I laugh a little.
– I’m sure there’s stuff I forgot, so this dash is holding a place for something I’ll be reminded of as soon as I post this.
I want to hate 2014 for being the year that I lost my job, but reading that list I just can’t, too much cool stuff happened. This was the best year of my life as far as my dream career is concerned, and I have to build on that and continue to rise in the future. All of that good stuff came my way in 2014 and I never even mentioned the weddings I attended, the holidays with family and friends, and the countless laughs, smiles, hugs, and kisses I shared in these last 365 days. 2014 wasn’t the best, and an argument can be made that it was the worst of my soon-to-be 28 years in existence, but everything that happened will just make me a better writer, friend, husband, and man.
So what of 2015? I’ve written a brief bucket list of things I want to achieve (which I’ll share as I achieve them) and the first Really Cool Thing of 2015 is coming up fast as I attend the 2015 Royal Rumble with 14 friends in late January. I just have to get out there and make things happen, and that is what I plan to do.
If you’ve read this to the end, thanks for doing so, and thanks for supporting my dopeyness throughout the year. I write because I love sharing information and telling stories, and I hope you enjoy reading my rants and ravings. Have the happiest of new years everyone, and I’ll catch you all in 2015.