I have debated for longer than it’s worth whether I wanted to do an end-of-year wrap up post. I guess I do? But then I also wasn’t sure how to organize things — chronologically? Thematically? So instead we’re just doing some general categories.
I spent 2011 working with different teams on different contract gigs before landing a full-time job as a project manager for a social games start-up in early December. I’m absolutely loving the work, so I’m very excited to see what the next year brings for the game and the company. I also started a local monthly event, Women in Games Boston, which has been growing like a weed (the last few meetings in particular). It’s still weird that I’m in charge of WIG Boston, since I really just show up and talk into a mic for 90 seconds — all of the wonderfulness from the event is generated by the awesome people who show up and hang out with each other.
I’ve got a couple of really big (or at least big psychologically) goals that I want to achieve in 2012. Of course, since they’re related to videogames, I can’t actually go into details yet on any of them, but there are at least three things I want to Actually Finish this year, and so there we go, that’s my goal.
I feel like it’s an asshole move to be ambivalent about a year when it’s the year you got married, but there it is. (Getting married was really great, by the by. I feel like I downplay my partnership with Darius a lot in writing – both on here and on Twitter and even in our family holiday letter (and yes, we do those, judge away) – and I suppose the reason is that it feels like bragging. Also because there just aren’t words for how wonderful he is and what a mysterious joy it is to have him in my life, as my partner, every day. But to say that feels like a comparison to other relationships, and I don’t know, I assume not everyone has what we have, but then that makes me sad and then I feel like I’m judging other peoples’ happiness. As with most things, the conclusion is: I’m an asshole.)
However, 2011 was also really tough in other ways. I have friends who are either unemployed or underemployed or have the kinds of psychologically damaging jobs that in other economies would result in walking out and not looking back, but instead it’s just, y’know, a really damaging job. My mom came to live with us in the spring, and while she’s finding her feet now career-wise, it’s also at the point that it’ll probably be easier for her to just stay with us until we buy a house. (Oh, yeah, we tried to buy a house this year. It was terrible. I almost wrote that it was the worst thing for my family in 2011, but then I remembered that our cat Teddy died in June, which I still forget and then re-remember at least a few times each month. Sometimes I catch myself reaching down to pet him when I’m half awake and expecting him to be curled up at my hip. I both hate all these lingering habits and cling to them, because once I’m no longer looking for him, Teddy will be gone absolutely.)
The family goal for 2012 is absolutely to buy a house and move into it and make it amazing. Also, to keep Book Club going, since I started a book club with a few friends this year and it is no shit my favorite social event every month. If you have some smart friends, make them come over and talk about books with you, it is the best.
2011 was the year I put on my big girl pants and decided to try to do something about my chronic digestive health issue(s). Not to get too TMI, but when you’re in your late 20s and your doctor is all, “you have the colon of a 45-year-old”, you should definitely…wait a few years until you turn 30 and then deal with it. I guess. But so yeah, I tried a few different experimental changes in diet throughout the year to figure out ways to reduce the number of times I wake up in the middle of the night crying in pain, and I’ve mostly got it figured out now, I think. So that’s what the whole Courtney Is Vegan Now (WTF) thing was about during the summer…and no, I’m not vegan anymore. But also no, I’m also still not really eating dairy. It is, as modern philosophers The Backstreet Boys would say, tragical.
This year was also the year I stopped doing burlesque. Long story short: it’s not that interesting to me to take my clothes off on stage when I’m not a size 20 anymore. (It’s so predictable, whenever my body’s in the size 14-16 range, strangers start stopping me to tell me that I’d be so pretty, “if only you lost some weight.” Size 20? No one say shit. I must look like I’m not worth body shaming when my waist is thicker, I don’t know.) But anyway, the closer I feel like my body conforms to beauty standards, the less interested I am in displaying it. If you want to see a mostly naked white lady with an hourglass figure…you can already get that many, many other places. Eh.
The upshot of not doing burlesque anymore is that I got to clean out my costumes and makeup, and maybe you don’t know this, but cleaning out things is probably my Favorite Thing To Do. I’ve figured out that to get through life as Courtney Stanton, you really only need two lipsticks, four eye shadows, and one blush. There are still a few odds and ends that I kept because I can use them up (probably) over the next year, but yeah, my entire makeup regime can fit in an airport-approved Ziplock bag now. Considering that I used to need a train case just to hold eye-related makeup (liners, shadows, gels, false lashes, glitter, etc), I really enjoy the simplicity. Also yes, my hair is still pink.
Personal goal for 2012 is to be able to do a push-up. Yes, really. (And a real one, not the modified (“girl”) ones we used to do in P.E. …and no, I can’t do one right now. Shut up, so’s your face.)
The Weird Intersection Between Professional and Personal That Is This Blog
So yeah, you’re probably reading this blog at all because one time in January 2011, I happened to be the first person to point out on Twitter that a pair of games fanboys had pulled a piece of merchandise from their web store. (And yes, truly, that is the only thing I did. Well, that and decline to speak at their fan convention because of said merchandise and then have the poor timing of writing about the refusal two days before the merchandise stopped being for sale.)
If you missed that bit, I envy you.
So! A thing that happens when the majority of incoming search traffic for your site is strings like, “[your name] rape” and and “[your name] internet trolling” is that your blog stops being a lovely corner of the internet for you to play in at your leisure. Instead, it’s like, “oh, the place I write where I have to let people yell at me sometimes.” The problem is that I started my blog in October, 2010 and it only had a handful of posts before so many people got so very upset about a t-shirt, so the majority of my experience with my own website has been as a post-harassment space. And unlike Twitter, people can yell at me here for much more than 140 characters, and even if I don’t approve their comment, I still have to read the damn thing in order to delete it and blah blah blah yawn complaining again. And thus, I’ve composed dozens more posts in my head than I’ve actually written this year, simply because I don’t have enough spare energy to field whatever potential shitshow might occur in the comments.
So I’m at a bit of a crossroads: I like writing, but sometimes…I don’t really want to hear your feedback, is that what I’m saying? That’s a dick move, and also not really the point of the internet. And I like talking to people about things, except that they seem to mostly want me to opine about the behaviors and motivations of a couple of gamer dudes I’ve never met and it gets to a point where I just want to point out that hey, no one’s calling it the Courtney Stanton Debacle, so how about you go interrogate those two “nice” guys you continue to support financially instead? I’m sure they’ll be just as mature and level-headed as the fans they work so hard to keep.
I don’t know what the conclusion is to this part. I mean, I’m not going to stop writing, because that’s probably not something I’m capable of doing, physically. I have some abandoned half-written articles, mostly about movies, that I’ll probably be brushing up and jettisoning into the blog-void over the next few days. (Get excited.) I’ll do a year-in-games post so you all can dismiss my opinions about how great Tiny Tower is. (Get *super* excited!) Some day, the much-promised Dragon Age Post To End All Dragon Age Posts will happen? Probably?
So yeah, I guess the conclusion is this, the greatest image of 2011:
As far as goals go, I feel I could do a lot worse.