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three and one

I don’t really celebrate much (read: any) holidays other than birthdays. This means that I don’t do the typical ‘end of the year’ reflections that many do at the end of December. Instead, one of the ways that I mark my birthday is doing my ‘year in review’ on the day I get a year older.

That day is today.

It is kind of amazing all that has changed in a year. Year 30 was a big deal for me. I changed my name (although not legally, yet, sighs heavily and shakes fist at government). It is weird to think that very few people know my actual name these days (since I’m not legally keeping ‘de Jesus’ but using it professionally for the sake of continuity).

Viewed from one angle, my career is kind of at a standstill. I’m at a place where I almost (but not quite) have the knowledge and skills to do the stuff I want to do, while not all librarians need to know how to code, I’m pretty sure this one does. I feel like it is making me have to make a decision, namely, I need to either step off this path and pursue a different angle in librarianship or I need to fully commit and take the requisite steps to gain the skills I need (which largely means spending more money on classes).

From another angle, things are taking off. I started blogging about nine months ago focusing on topics like information ethics, tech culture, librarian culture, etc. And now I have a few writing projects that have arisen based on this, which is exciting and super awesome ‘cause I really do like thinking/talking about this sort of stuff. Of course, this is also the sort of stuff that isn’t really putting any money in the bank (but, yes, the derived social capital can be leveraged into actual money later on). It is weird to think about since I’m also feeling like I have to make a decision about how academic I want to be about all of this. I have the skills and ability to produce research (and probably publish it too) but in this regard, I somewhat lack the motivation and desire. Contrasted with above, where I have the desire and motivation but not really the means.

Additionally, I have a few side projects that I’ve been working on in my (fairly ample) spare time that are potentially on the cusp of getting big enough for me to want to talk about.

This is all good (or something).

A challenge is ongoing health stuff, which I still don’t have answers for (since my hope of easy-ish biological answers isn’t panning out and this means pursuing the mental/psychological angle which is far more costly and time consuming). The days where I’m barely functional seem to be increasing and it worries me because while I know I need to keep searching for a full time position, I’m unclear as to whether or not I could actually do one. My lack of concentration and focus has become bad enough that I can’t really read for the first time in my life (and this coming from a person who once read four novels at over 1400 pages in a single day) – at best I manage about five or ten minutes before my attention is gone or I start falling asleep. Which of course activates my anxiety over whether or not this stuff has started to creep into my job performance and so it goes.

Nonetheless, overall I’m happy with year 30. Mainly because I’m again living as myself and I feel more like me than I have in many years. I took many important steps last year that culmulatively add up to a lot of really positive change with the potential for more and more awesome (even the health stuff, since it was the first year of me really taking my own mental and physical health seriously and while some problems are outstanding, some have been identified and addressed). It was a year for taking risks.

Year 31 looks like it’ll be a time for the seeds I planted in recent years to begin growing. And my focus likely should be on figuring out how to nurture these things in to stable realities of my life.

And maybe… it is the year where I keep taking risks, stop playing it safe, and just go for the things that I want.