Updated: Jan 1
So . . . 2019 was a rough year for me. I wanted this post to be about some of the challenges, the difficulties, you know, to be vulnerable, and yaddi yaddi yadda.
But instead, here's a list of positives from 2019 (one of my New Years resolutions is to perfect doing bait and switches. How'd I do?)
ONE: I DISCOVERED VOICE DICTATION
I wrote the first draft of this article using voice dictation. And that's something I've started doing, using voice dictation to write first drafts. Here's the thing: writing includes a lot of typing. A lot of typing includes strain on the knuckles and wrists. But, using voice dictation allows me to split my writing so I don't end the day with sore joints. I find first drafts are usually spitballing a million ideas anyway, so it makes no difference if it's through voice dictation or not. Besides saving my joints, it's also changed my writing. I mean . . . having things written out the way I say them is a lot different than typing things out the way I think them. My prose writing has definitely changed from the process.
TWO: I STREAMLINED MY INTERESTS
As an emerging artist, I really put my hands in a lot of proverbial pots. Writing. Film directing. Theatre directing. Producing. Stage management. Acting. You know, trying to find and get as many opportunities as possible. All these were great learning experiences, padded the resume, but now I realise it's time to streamline things. I mean, what do I really want to do? There's a finite amount of time in a day or week, and this year I decided to put that time into writing and producing. A few other things here and there maybe, but not with the same fervour as my early 20s.
THREE: I REALISED I LIKED SWIMMING
I loved swimming as a child. But then puberty hit and I associated swimming with cold water, uncomfortable swim suits, and rashes in the worst places. This year, my doctor recommended I start swimming because it's an easy exercise for my joints and back. And you know what? I actually learned to like it. It's a nice exercise where, when I'm done, all the joints just feel nice. The muscles feel worked out, but relaxed. Not like the "feel the burn" you get from weight lifting and sprinting on the treadmill. It's just . . . the most pleasant form of exercise.
FOUR: I MET A LOT OF GREAT PEOPLE
I had such an amazing circle of artist friends when I lived in Seoul. One of the scariest things about returning to Winnipeg was the fear I wasn't going to connect with other artists. Those fears proved to be false. Less than a month after returning, I already connected with some actors and filmmakers in Winnipeg. Some through Facebook, some through serendipity, others friends I reconnected with. Even though I'm abroad at the moment, I am so happy to add these great people to the list of people I'm friends with no matter where we are in the world.
FIVE: MY FAMILY
It doesn't escape me that I'm really privileged to have a family that let me move back in with them for a few months. I needed a place to touch down and figure out what my next steps were. Relocating countries is a lot of work. But I was also burnt out and needed to rest while I decided how to . . . yenno, make a living, support myself, and get back on track in terms of my career.
In writing this list, I realise that a lot of things that had caused me to struggle also brought out some positives (cliche as it sounds). There were a lot of good things to come from this year.
I didn't fully realise those good things before making that list.