Now THAT was a year

2011 takes the prize for the most intense year of my life. It completely caught me by surprise. Dizzying highs and lows with a smattering of creamy middles. I learned more about myself then I ever thought I would. One of the big monsters in my closet is anxiety, and this year we’ve made a formal introduction.

For a long while there was not much change or growth in my life. I knew I wasn’t reaching my full potential for happiness, but didn’t know the first steps to take. I’ve built a fair number of barriers from my emotions for a long while now. Now I’m starting to peek over the walls I’ve built. Its frightening and exciting. The whole process is very delicate. If I start observing myself opening up, then the moment wanes.

My long bouts with insomnia in 2011 have been crippling, and my relationship with sleep has fundamentally changed. I’ve learned to function on far less sleep then I imagined I could. A useful lifelong skill.

I now see myself full of contrasting identities. I’m both frail and strong. Selfish and generous. Spontaneous and rigid. An adult and a child. My role as a father has become more and more part of my identity as Jasper transforms into a toddler. He’s popping up in my dreams for the first time.

I need to fill my waking moments either actively engaged (working, playing with Jasper, coding, music, yoga) or being passively engaged (reading, tv, etc). I am very uncomfortable with time when I am not engaged. What I thought of previously as boredom smells a lot more like anxiety now. Therefore, I’m attempting to spend more time being present and peaceful. I’ve always admired people who can be peaceful. I am taking steps toward having more moments of peace in my life, and its been rewarding. A followup revelation was recognizing that being contemplative is an important aspect of being peaceful. So I’m consciously doing more reviewing of my recent past, and I now find that I’m looking at my past more overall. Its a like a muscle that I need to exercise.

I’ve been pouring myself into new general fuzz tracks lately. I’ve been slaving away at them, and only recently have I realized that I was doing this to distance myself from my latest release. I’ve been going through a period of shame and negativity towards “miles tones”, a sharp contrast to how I was feeling when I was finishing it and putting it out there. No one ever claimed being an artist was easy.

I’m working on 3 major personal projects right now, which is incredibly fulfilling to me. I’m a little obsessive about these projects though. The balance is tipping so that I’m more motivated by the destination then the journey. It might just be when there’s enough momentum, I want to run free with it. When I can see the checkpoint ahead of me, I really want to get there. I already know that reaching the checkpoint itself can be a letdown, but maybe a relief as well.

I lost my friend Graham at the beginning of 2011. I still haven’t recovered from that. My inability to process that event was the catalyst for everything that followed this year, but I only know that in retrospect. He lived far away, I only saw him once to twice a year, and yet I miss him a lot. There are a few things I would like to ask him, and those questions will stand unanswered. I really would have like to talked him about my current coding project.

All in all, I’m pretty optimistic about 2012. There’s a lot to look forward to. I’m got a lot fires cooking. I’m just hoping the intensity level will dial back a bit.