2022

It pains me to report that 2022 was quite a shitty year. Not everything was bad, but most of it was. I'm quite tired and frustrated, so please excuse the disjointed nature of this recap.

The positive

The new job is going great. I have zero personal interest in the project itself, only professional interest, which is actually great as I don't self-pressure myself into work. It's challenging, in a good way. Some parts are going too slowly, which frustrates me, but that's the way things are, especially this year with the recession.

The job forces me to go to Paris every month which tires me, but it's actually worth the time. I work with great humans, which makes our encounters pleasant. I also reconnected with a lot of old Parisian friends, some of them not seen for years. It's been such a pleasure to catch on with everyone. I also made new friends, which is always great.

During the first half of the year I also did some freelance work for a nice client. The project was cool, on a topic I enjoyed working on. But it was also bigger and took more time than all of us involved expected. Still a very positive experience in the end.

I went to a meetup with the European members of the Merveilles community. It happened on an island near Venice, so I took the time to visit the city! It was beautiful, my first true vacation since 2019, as well as my first solo travel for a very long time. And the folks were exactly the kind of splendid human beings I expected them to be. I'm glad I met them and I can't wait to go back again this year

I draw a lot this year during my drawing classes! I have a ton of paper sheets I need to order, a lot of them will go to the trash as the drawings are terrible, but that was such an joyfull experience. I wrote about my relationship with drawing, and how I see it. I also started taking online lessons and writing notes on the topic, but did not progress as much as I wanted.

And finally, I made some progress on personal issues. As I wrote last January I managed to recover from depression and stopped taking antidepressants. I also worked with my partner to evolve our relationship, which she accepted and I'm grateful.

The negative

Health.

I got COVID in August. I coughed for two months and had to stop going to the gym, which resulted in terrible mood swings. COVID also reactivated my asthma and weakened me a lot. My partner still has long COVID, among several other health issues, that requires my help from time to time, but mostly it hurts morale.

When I was just recovering from COVID, I caught the flu. A strange kind of flu that lasted for weeks, once again preventing me from doing any exercise, social activities, personal projects like going to my drawing lessons, which I had to quit for months.

And now I have osteoarthritis on my thumbs, as well as inflamed hands, which is not a good things when your job depends on them. It was triggered by a caulk silicone gun, and since that time it's been progressing, slowly but surely, to the point where some mundane everyday actions now hurt.

I've always been someone that could physically do almost anything in a carefree manner, and coming to the realization that those times are now over has been hard. I can still do most things, but I need specialized tools to avoid forcing. At 36, it hurts morale.

What also hurt morale was seeing my grandmother slowly but surely losing her independence, to the point where she had to be placed in an retirement house. She feels better now, but it triggered a chain of events that took a toll on everyone involved, and also conversations with parents about that to do about them when it happens.

And, finally, when I thought the year was finally ending and nothing bad could happen in the last short few days of the year, a friend died from a stroke on Christmas day. It's the third person I know, in tree years, that suffers from a stroke due to stress, and the second to die from it, and I don't like this trend.

It was the final trigger that made me choose to stop freelancing. I've transferred my clients to colleagues, and will solely focus on my daily job and hobbies from now on.

Also:

Did I achieved my 2021 goals?

Details for 2021 goals are written here.

Draw more
Success! I installed a drawing corner, and I definitely draw more. I've done mostly human bodies, muscles, portraits, but no erotica. I'm probably too shy.
Write more
Failed! I should start writing fiction again, but I'm tired.
Engage in more unproductive activities
Mixed bag! I worked during the first six months, but played a lot of video games during the rest of the year.
Code less
Failed! Again because of freelance work, but I also started a new personal project with a friend and did some things there and there.
Explore more
Success! I've been coming into terms with a lot of things, dared to try several others, and will continue in 2023.

2023 goals

They are basically the same, but refined:

Draw better
I need to focus on my own process this year, and work on some long term, finished pieces that require thinking.
Engage in more unproductive activities
Big focus on my pile of comics and books. So many books to read!
Code for fun
I'll continue this personal project I mentioned before, and probably work on new personal tools for habit tracking and time tracking.
Self exploration
That will be the more challenging one, but it's also very personal, so I won't go into details here.

See you next year!