January 2, 2023
The Mirror, 2022 in Reflection

With a number of blog and social media authors writing up their individual year in review posts, I wanted to share some of my own thoughts on not just how 2022 went, but on how I hope 2023 to be a vast improvement. I can’t say that the past year went necessarily bad, but it did have its moments. 

A 1-way mirror (or 2-way mirror) is where my normally analogous-leaning brain landed, as I wasn’t keen on doing a full retrospective. Rather, I wanted to look forward. Into the next room. Into 2023. All without losing touch with the events that brought me here, to this point in time.

The mirror allows us to see both behind us, as well as forward. All depending on how you look at things. By using the mirror to look at the past, we can see how important it is to learn from our experiences and grow as individuals.

Family life

Just over two years ago, on December 14th, 2020, my Mom passed away in the hospital. I visited her everyday until she was gone. Since then, my wife and I have spent every Saturday taking turns visiting with my step-Dad. We bring medications, groceries, and play cards. It’s become a thing, because I recognize that the one thing he values the most is time spent with loved ones. 

This is important to me, because he and I had a difficult time aligning on a lot of issues when I was growing up. We weren’t very close, but being able to use my mental mirror has really helped stay focused on improving the relationship I have with him now. 

Additionally, my wife is now a full time teacher (4th grade)! This has been amazing to watch and support. I’m thrilled to be witness to the wonderful things that she’s been doing with her school kids. In return, I do what I can do to keep things smooth here at home. 

Social life

A decade or so back I had learned about having ADHD. Which explained a lot about things I didn’t understand. It seems to be a sort of common thing among designers, so I’ll refrain from heading too deep down that rabbit hole. Maybe it’s just what makes us who we are. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This past year, I gained a stronger, more transparent look at how fiercely independent I am as a person (sometimes to a fault), and how deeply passionate I am about my family. I discovered nuances about my behavior that I hadn’t picked up on before. Odd traits that affected how I think and communicate with others. I think this past year very much helped me tame these traits with little brain hacks; organize thoughts, make lists, improve communication habits, and so on. I also started reaching out to friends that I hadn’t spoken to in a bit. That was the biggest improvement, I think. A need for friends.

Reuniting with some of my online social friends has made an amazing difference in my life, and I cannot begin to thank the members of Cowrok (a Plasticmind jam) enough for their support this past year.

Now, social media life is an entirely different beast. We all know what’s been happening at Twitter, and although I have joined Mastadon, out of curiosity and interest. I still keep up with the bird site, since none of us can really tell how long that can continue to thrive.

In the coming year, I would like to continue to expand my network. Meeting new friends is always interesting.

Professional life

I spent the past five months looking for work. During this time, I sought out full-time employment, part-time, or short-term contractor, all in the fields of things I knew I was very capable of. I kept full records of each position I applied to. It became a game, and I was in an uphill battle against myself. The spreadsheet grew longer (ugh, so long), there were a few calls, but the market seems to have changed. I grew weary of the process. I was wearing a dirt circle in the yard of my mind from running around in circles so much.

Sometimes the hardest thing to have is faith. Our home doesn’t come from wealth, but rather hard work and a lot of positive energy. Money comes and goes like water, and when it’s gone, we have to really plan things week-by-week. But somehow, it works out, every time. Whether this is because of our efforts, our faith in life, or something else entirely, we are certainly glad that we can stay clear-eyed and open minded about where we are at.

The mirror glass helps me see that the way forward is to do what I love. To help others on my own, as a self-employed designer and artist. I’m aiming for a specific audience with Webflow, with illustration as an add-on service. That’s what I’m going to be doing for the coming year. It won’t be easy, but it will be a ton of fun, even if it will mean a lot of work to make it happen. Anything other than success is not an option.

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