Let’s face it, I’ve lost track of how to keep this place neat and tidy. I’ve been writing for years, and at first there was some semblance of organisation. I did a catch up every 100 posts. I’d do a NYE round up of the previous 365. It’s not the 31st of December, but I can’t be bothered waiting. I used to be considerably more strict about order, and it was likely for the better. I’m not saying that I Have My Doubts has dissolved into a flagrant dung pile, but that I’ve steadily lost interest as the years have continued. I’m honestly toying with the idea of closing up shop at some point in 2020, unless sentimentality takes over. This project has been by my side through the wonderful, weird and woeful, and I regularly question whether I still need it. Who’s to say? But that’s not anything I need to decide today.
Today is about getting the band back together and reliving a tradition that dissipated years ago. 2019 has been a mixed bag of mostly highlights. While many suffered heavily this year, I found myself buoyed by some life changing upswings. Let’s get into those topics.
Egads, things turned around. I had a bunch more disappointment flow through from 2018. Application after application gave me rejection after rejection. I did interviews and came away with good impressions, which failed to materialise. So of course the one job I didn’t interview for was the one I got. It involved a bunch of last minute hustle, which all came up Milhouse. Now I work in Described Video. I love my job. I’m happy to go into the office. I get to be creative all day long. It’s a combination of writing, performance and audio production that seems to be at a crux of every skill I wanted to harness. What a weirdly fitting position to be in. The pay is excellent, and the work life balance of four days on/four days off is unbelievable. After struggling for years, the gratitude I have for this role is staggering. If anyone expresses the slightest curiosity for my work, I’ll gladly talk their ear off. I’m passionate about it, I love the craft and I’m so happy to finally be doing something that helps others. It’s Ikigai pure and simple, and I still can’t believe I’ve found it.
This was a big one. After years, maybe decades, of suffering through undiagnosed depression, I finally got a diagnosis. Turns out all that time I thought I was depressed, I was. Getting my diagnosis was a cluster of factors. Firstly, a couple of friends posted openly about their experiences with medication. On some small level, I had a personal stigma against trying it. I’ve long carried a deep seated mantra that if I can’t do something on my own, I don’t deserve to have it. Stupidly, mental health got sucked into that moronic morass. Secondly, I’d been seeing an OHIP sponsored therapist, and we weren’t clicking. We’d been looking into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a method, and the results were minimal. During one session, the therapist talked candidly. She said that I was entirely understanding CBD and using elements of it myself, but the methods weren’t helping. She said that there’d be nothing wrong with bouncing between therapists, but I’d be wise to consider that maybe medication was the way to go.
I talked to my GP, and she was amazing. She consulted me on every decision, carefully taking the time to explain anything and everything I could want clarified. She gave advice, but ultimately left choices up to me. Together we worked out which medication would be best, and it worked. My bioaccumulation period was mercifully gentle, and the medication did what it needed to. It softened sharp edges. It froze spiralling thoughts quickly enough that I could work out what was worth caring about, rather than getting overwhelmed. It helped me take stock of my life, and turn things around. I’m not gonna say the power of positivity was my saviour, but releasing the constant tension in my brain did wonders for me. I worked through my issues slowly and methodically. I came to terms with what I had the power to change, and things that weren’t worth the significance I gave them. In no small terms, it turned my life around. It was the best decision I’ve made in years.
I know “less is more” is a common enough expression, but it sounds like quitting talk. In 2019 I did very little comedy, and mostly gave up. The desperate creativity my depression forged fell away with the medication. My thoughts are less jagged, but my mind feels less sharp. It’s been a worthy sacrifice, but it has driven away my thirst to do comedy. I’d wager that while I became happier, 2019 has been a low point for my writing in general. It’s felt obligatory to an extent that it hadn’t in previous years. The saving grace, I guess, is that I’m producing a friend’s podcast at the moment. Perhaps that’ll ignite something, or at least I’ll get the joy of enabling someone else.
2019 felt like the first year that poly paid off for me. I’ve been able to more adroitly narrow down what I’m wanting out of it, and that’s really helped. I’ve realised that I don’t have a ton of bandwidth for full on relationships. What I’ve been seeking are close friendships that may or may not involve sex/romance. To that end, 2019 has been a resounding success. I’m going into these connections without expectations. Some of these people I’ve kissed, some I haven’t. Some I’ve gone further with than others. They remain in flux. Just because I’ve shared romance or sexual activity with someone, it doesn’t mean that’s a mainstay of our friendship. Maybe we’ll do it again, maybe we won’t. In either case, it doesn’t change the friendship. I’ve been enjoying that kind of intimate entanglement with others, to whatever extent it encompasses. Finally, after years of instability, it’s felt like I’m starting to understand how poly fits into my lifestyle. All good things.
Look, I’ve watched a fair bit in 2019, but most of it was Pre Cats. Cats was an insane fever dream that should not have happened, but defined the laws of nature and decency to exist in abundance. The screening was unreal, a collapse of order in the highest level. It was thrilling and unexpected at every turn. This film is unquestionably abysmal, and I will see it again in theatres. I cannot wait for it to become a mainstay of midnight screenings, in the vein of The Room and Rocky Horror. Also I think I made a personal pact not to see Disney movies in theatres anymore. We’ll see how long it takes me to break that oath. I’m fucking tired of big tentpole franchise films. It’s cool that they exist, but I’m okay with Marvel sitting a few years out. These live action Disney remakes are needless nonsense, and Star Wars films have stopped being special.
It’s almost 2020. I ordered a nice new cheese slicer. Things are looking up.