This year has been tough on everybody to varying degrees, myself included. I have been struggling a lot and lately, I’ve been doing it more publicly. I have felt like I have been stuck in slow motion for most of the last two years. But then I remember some of the things I accomplished this year, and I get a little perspective. I never thought I’d actually achieve the things I have. I always thought that I was dreaming too big. I thought that I was just believing a fantasy.
So here is definitive proof that I’m not dreaming too big. Here are things that prove that even though I see myself with critical eyes, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something worth praising too.
1) I Spoke at Playground Conference
The first time I ever gave a sexuality-based workshop (and workshop in general), I was reviewed in The Varsity. The author described the experience as awkward and uncomfortable. So I thought I’d never be able to do public speaking in my life.
But this year I spoke on not one, but two panels at Playground Conference. While our audiences weren’t packed, I spoke with confidence and I felt like I actually had valuable contributions to the discussion. They had both gone better than expected and I learned from the experience so I’ll be more prepared for future panels.
2) I Started A Podcast
So in 2017, I tried to start a true crime podcast by myself. But I felt like no one would care or listen. Six months later, I decided to drag my best friend into the mix and we launched Sick Sad World. While we aren’t competing with big names like My Favorite Murder or Last Podcast On The Left, we have an active listenership.
Not only that, but we’ve never missed an episode. We have posted late possibly twice in twenty episodes, but we’ve never missed an episode. And this is pretty incredible for me. I typically obsess over a hobby for a few months, get exhausted, and give up. But I’m still excited to post every episode! We talk about things that matter to us, and we actually do bring a new perspective to the genre.
3) I Walked A Runway
So I began to do some modelling part-time last year, but it never really picked up. It’s hard to compete against a pool of models that all look like models that you usually see. I on the other hand, don’t really look like your typical model. So while modelling never really got to take off for me, I’m still proud of the first runway I ever got to walk. Even if I don’t really get to book another gig again, no one can take away how cool I look in this photo.
4) I Interviewed Canadian Authors
I wrote about a summer job that really tried to accommodate me earlier, but it also gave me a lot of experience. Not only did I get to work on foundational skills that have improved my personal projects already, but I also got to speak with Canadian authors and ask questions I thought I’d never get to. I got to speak with authors I read as a child, new authors I’ve been excited about, and authors who had so much wisdom to share.
5) I Helped Launch a Workshop
This summer I also launched the first workshop that I’ve co-facilitated professionally. As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t really think I had much to offer. I didn’t think I could run a workshop or even had knowledge that was worth sharing. Every iteration of our Unpacking Ableism workshop has facilitated many amazing conversations and I felt like everyone walked away with something new to think about, myself included.
What’s even better is that the workshop is starting to pick up speed. We’ve got more scheduled for the new year, and there’s interest from organizations for more! I’m excited for this to become I get to do regularly! My amazing co-facilitators and I even decided to try and start the CRIP collective so we can expand and do different types of work.
6) I Was Treated As A Professional Writer
This year, I was also approached to participate on a panel about Art as Social Practice. I’m still pretty amazed that I was even considered, because I still consider myself a bit of an amateur. Not only did I speak on a panel, but I got to do a mini-workshop about writing. Even though it was my first time putting one together—and it definitely needed some fine tuning—the writing that some of the participants produced and the conversation that followed was really enriching for me.
7) I Published A Short Story
CRIP wasn’t the only collective I got to join this year. I also joined a collective of writers called MultiversityOS. With this collective, I published a short story in an anthology called Toronto 2033. It’s not my first piece of fiction I’ve gotten published, but it is the first one I’ve gotten paid for. Fiction used to be my reason for existing, but recently it’s been pushed aside for more practical forms of writing. While I love all the writing that I do, it makes me hopeful that I’ll never really give up on becoming a published author.
8) I Started A New Exciting Project
The most exciting thing that I’ve probably accomplished this year, is that I have signed onto a project that will mean I get to continue accomplishing things I’ve been dreaming of in the future. Without giving away too much information, I’m embarking on a new project that is a little different from what I’m used to doing. But that means I’m going to be learning a lot and growing a lot, and I’m more than excited to share that work in the future.
So those are the things that I can hang onto to get me through 2019. So tell me in the comments, what are some of the things you’re proud of accomplishing this year?