Thanksgiving is always a good break for me. I get four days free from work (mostly). That time off gives me room to breathe, gather my thoughts and take stock of the year. And deal with a minor medical emergency1. But like most people, I think we can all agree 2016 was the absolute worse.
One of the nice things about keeping a journal is that it gives you a record of your past. It’s one of the best features of Day One that it now reminds you of past entries on their anniversary date. And also one of the worst. I wrote about my creative goals in January this year and I haven’t come close to accomplishing any of them. I didn’t go to any conventions. I didn’t finish The Walk. I didn’t produce any mini-comics. I didn’t relaunch Drunk Elephant Comics. I had to turn down an opportunity to work with Kevin Church again because I was too busy with client work. And I certainly did not finish a rough draft of a graphic novel. Don’t get me started on finishing Moby Dick.
Today, I’ve been making an action plan on getting back on track. For now, that means picking back up on The Walk. The last page I completed was done a year ago last week. I want it done and out of my life. So that’s all I’m doing for the foreseeable future.
The year wasn’t a complete failure for me though. I designed and built a huge website for a client that gave me a ton of ideas moving forward with my own web presence. I did read a ton of books for the first time in years also. Maybe it’s time to give up on Moby Dick? I created 30 pages of comics for a magazine project that will hopefully be released in the near future. I participated in Panel Explorations here in town and contributed to the program.
2016 has mostly been defined by loss. Loss of time, in the above instances. But we all lost people we loved, either near to us, or artists who influenced us. I received the call from my mother that my grandfather had a month to live on New Year’s Eve. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. Leonard Cohen. Sharon Jones. Gene Wilder. Muhammad Ali. Merle Haggard. Garry Shandling. Prince. So many more. That’s a crazy list. And then we had an election that still puzzles me. In so many ways it feels like hope died this year.
I’ve spent more time talking with friends in need this year. And we all need each other. I needed a lot of solace myself. Art, film and music are good go-to’s for myself. But I got solace where it really counted. The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series.
At the end of a long day, I’ve found myself going to YouTube and watching videos upon videos of that amazing Game 7, and of fans’ reactions. I always tear up, just like I did during what seemed like the entire month of October. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, you can’t help but feel the raw emotion of these videos. I may have purchased Eddie Vedder’s unofficial Cubs theme song, Someday We’ll Go All The Way for the darker moments to find some solace. Some hope that things can change. Because if I can live in a world where the Cubs finally win the big one, then anything is possible.
- 1 ↩︎ I ate too much sodium during the holiday festivities and needed to start a water pill regimen to get it out of my system. I’ve already peed 8 pounds of water weight off in two days. Just a reminder to take care of myself a bit better.