We are fast approaching the end of the year. It feels like everyone is looking back, and I am no different. It’s been another rough year and for me, this one has felt especially so. I’ve been more or less in voluntary lockdown the entire year and even I am starting to feel it. We’ve developed a sort of routine, which is nice. 

I both miss and fear being among people. Every time lately that I’ve had to go through even moderate crowds, I get on the verge of a panic attack and just have to get away. And yet, at the same time, I miss everything about it. I miss conventions. Landing at the airport of a new city and trying to figure out my way through there. I miss turning down weird streets and finding something gorgeous. Concerts and comedy shows. I miss hugging people who aren’t my spouse or my sister. And yet, these things also really scare me.¬†

Anyway. 2021 has been quite a year. Just mostly a year that feels like nothing really happened. I’ve edited a book, or at least mostly edited a book. But it’s not done. I queried another book and nothing came out of that either. A few nibbles, but nothing solid. I still have three queries out waiting for an answer, but my expectation is that those are also going to be no’s. The moment might be over for Space Opera for anyone who isn’t established. So anyway, I think I’ll be done enough with the book I’m editing to start querying that this coming spring and that is great. I’ve not lost hope about writing¬†

I started a new job at the beginning of the year and that has been truly wonderful. Of course there are ups and downs, as with any job, but in many ways this has been my dream job for most of my career. We’re working on some really cool things there – that I can’t talk about publicly – and I get to do so many things that have been missing from my work life for the longest time. And nothing has changed there either in almost a year. But maybe I have. And that’s kind of cool.

Last week, I talked about the clothes and accessories that I’ve made this year. I think I’ve grown as a sewist. I’ve gotten more confident at making clothes for my body instead of settling for clothes where someone else has defined the body they should fit. And I think that the process has also given me permission to love the body I’m in much more than I previously did. And that’s amazing. I’m also a lot faster than I was at the beginning of the year. I’m more familiar with the kinds of changes that I usually need to make to make clothes fit me, and a lot of the time, I’m doing those changes before I ever cut a piece of fabric. And that honestly feels really good. But it also feels like I’m mostly where I was a year ago.

And that’s kind of how some years go. I’m keeping my head above water so to speak. The water’s warm, and there’s nothing to bother me. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll get tired and start feeling all the treading, but for now, I’m actually kind of enjoying this metaphorical swim. And that’s pretty much how I’m going into next year as well. I’m hoping to make some stuff actually happen, change some things. I’m trying to finish the books that I’m working on; one to edit, the other to finish the draft and at least start the edit. Maybe draft the next one. Maybe get a couple new short stories out there. I want to make more of my own wardrobe. Maybe even something to wear for a more active life. But maybe I’ll be in essentially the same place next year.

Maybe things around me don’t have to change, as long as I keep doing so.