A year that didn't suck

Created: Friday, 29-Dec-23 13:11:09 UTC

So do you remember my blog post from last year where I described everything that happened to me in 2022? Well - another year has come and gone, and this year was also really, really interesting. In January I could just about walk one hundred, maybe two hundred metres. By the end of the year, I could walk several kilometers, walking pre-accident distances, and I managed to finally make it to my office Christmas Party, which this year happened to be in Tokyo. In fact, by the end of the trip the only thing that stopped me walking so much was that I developed really bad blisters on my feet, because I didn’t have space to pack both my walking shoes, which are comfier and more flexible, as well as the Timberlands that I wear as smart/casual footwear, which I needed for the meals out.

I think the main thing I will take away from this year is all the amazing friends I’ve made, and the places I’ve been. A year ago, I found the Isle of Man pretty isolating and quite frankly, dull. A year later, I still find the island dull, but I’ve made friends there and memories I will never forget. I also have colleagues that are really, really cool people who I get to see five days a week, and sometimes even hang out with on weekends.
One thing about being back in London is it makes me realise how dull life on the island really is. I am starting to weigh up my options a bit more than I was previously. I love my job, and that hasn’t changed. I also love that the island gives me the ability to explore, and meet different people than that I would usually meet with my socio-economic background. In addition, the island gives me a sense of independence, plus a source of income, but I miss having the regular connections, communications and thirty minute friendships I have in London. I also find I never get bored there.
Do I miss the hustle and bustle of living in a large city? Hell yes. Do I wish flights were more reliable so I could get away more often and not worry about if I could make it back for Monday? There’s no doubt, but I’m starting to adapt to living on the island, even if it is still tough for me.

This year I’ve been around the island to various places, like Castletown and Peel. I saw my first ever T.T., which is the main tourist draw to the island. I wasn’t sure how into it I would get as I’ve always preferred cars to bikes, and I found it hard to follow from afar over the years, but I got really into it and loved practically every minute of it. (Even if the guy I adopted as my favorite rider unfortunately died during the competition). I got to watch some good friends of mine open a bar that sells craft beer, whiskey, and cigars, and through them made many good friends. I got to experience the tin bath boat race, watching people in fancy dress thrash about and sink.I also got to experience my first ever Tynwald Day, which is their national holiday. I had a lot of fun.
This year I was also blessed with the opportunity to visit Japan, which was my first time in Asia, let alone Japan. Japan has never really appealed to me as much as it has to some of my friends, because I’m not into Japanese culture like anime or manga, However, I loved every minute of it and wish I had chosen to stay longer (even if I’m not sure what I would have done with an extra week).
I have so many memories that I will never forget, like the awesome views at Shibuya Sky, waking up at 5am to go to Tsukiji fish market and have some of the freshest and best sushi at what is practically weeb Billingsgate. There’s so many things I could talk about, that I could probably dedicate an entire blog post just to thoughts about my Japan trip alone. I got praise for adopting the culture whole heartedly, while really trying to embrace learning the language and try to communicate in Japanese.

I also got praise for doing really good work this year. I published a game and it got bought by a major European airline, and I’m super proud of myself for that. At work I did a lot better than least year, but that’s also because I got assigned more work to do and didn’t spend half my time in a hospital or physios office. I’m not expecting to improve as much next year, but I hope I get better at my job and continue to expand my skillset year on year.

You may have noticed that this website is still pretty bare bones, the same as it was last year. To be honest with you, I’ve seen no real reason to work on the CSS. The PHP, database, and backend stuff, all work. So now all the features I wanted for my website are here. It’s just implementing the CSS to get it to not look so ugly. I’m slowly getting around to it, but if you notice a massive jump in site quality, that means one of two things have happened. Either I just got very, very bored one week, or I’m actively looking for a new job. There’s no real motivation to implement CSS changes when I spend the rest of the week looking at C++ code on a computer. However, if I suddenly end up in a position where I’m looking for new work, I will spruce it up so potential employers know what I have done in the past.

I suppose one of my biggest concerns going into the new year is how fragile my health is. After I broke my leg, I lost the ability to run, or walk without pain, plus I gained 20kg in weight. I thought I would burn it off as I started walking longer distances and eating healthier. Some of that weight has gone but much of it is very much there which I’m very, very self conscious of. I got told I have liver issues, and kept on drinking alcohol at, although a more controlled amount, a still high amount, which went off the rails during the T.T. and this current Christmas/New Year period. I know if I can survive into the new year, things will be better for me. But I have a strong fear I won’t make it into the new year. I also stoped taking my anti-depressants without informing my doctor. I found my alcohol consumption went up on them, and to be frank I didn’t really want to start them in the first place, but here we are.

I just turned 27, and I guess my only real objective for the new year is not to join the club. I want to lose weight. I want to continue making kick arse friends, I want to go to cool places, I want to continue to make and save money, and I want to make many more amazing memories, I want to drink cool new alcohol, but they all come secondary to just surviving the year.
I’ve always felt like I was going to be the first of my brothers to die, despite being the middle child, because I constantly throw myself into new opportunities without any real regard for my own personal safety. I want to leave a legacy, be remembered, and live a short but satisfactory life, and right now I’m happy with how that’s playing out. You never know which day is going to be your last, and you need to live with that in mind.

To summarize, 2023 was a great year for me. It was so much better than 2022, and I definitely feel like my life changed significantly for the better this year. To be honest, it was probably the first year of my life where I ever felt truly ‘happy’, even if everything isn’t perfect.
I met cool people, went cool places, did cool things. I hope 2024 brings me health, happiness and prosperity. I hope I’m still here in a year to write to you about the cool shit I did, and all the cool people I met, and all the women I managed to pull, but that’s a story for another day.

Tags: Post-Mortem