Looking Back on 2009

Dec 31, 2009

At the start of the year, I wrote that this year would “definitely very much a defining period for me”, and that “[t]his is the time of my life where I have to step up, like never before.” It’s coming to the end of the year now, and I think it’s about time I look back and reflect on how things have gone. So, this is going to be a really personal post, feel free to skip it if you wish.

So, 2009. Where do I even begin? Honestly, it’s been one hell of a whirlwind year. I started off the year taking a hiatus from this blog, because having to be in the army was really affecting me and I didn’t feel like I was in the right emotional and mental state for maintaining this blog. And honestly, I don’t regret that decision.

I was in a really bad place at that time. I was bordering on depression (perhaps more than just “bordering”). My temper was at its all time worst, I was flaring up at everything and everyone, and my punching bag at home was being put to great use. I broke a couple of things in my room as well, flinging them against the wall in anger at various times. And to add to that, I was drinking a lot to take my mind off things and to get me by. In a nutshell, I was doing really badly.

In the midst of that, though, I do think I’ve grown. I’ve developed more resolve, to not accept things the way they are and to push for the change that I want. And things have definitely improved. I’m now a clerk in my unit, helping out with various projects such as my unit’s website on the army’s intranet. It’s definitely a job that’s more up my alley.

That happened around the middle of the year, and I started finding my feet in the army, now that I had a more suitable job scope. But I wasn’t quite ready to come back to this blog yet. The time away from the blog made me realize that I needed to prove myself. As I mentioned at that time, I didn’t want to come back to the blog until I thought I was able to back up what I was writing. I needed to prove, at least to myself, that I had some sort of value.

I struggled a lot with that. And truth be told, I still do. I still have a huge amount of self-doubt, as to whether I’ll really become the person I think I’m capable of being. Or whether I’ll end up a flop, who didn’t measure up to expectations. But worrying about it can only get you so far, and you never fully know until you try.

So, in about August, I finally got around to kickstarting a project of my own, DreamFledge. It’s going to be my biggest endeavour yet, and only time will tell how it’ll go. The site is being developed by Morgante Pell, with design help from Miriam Brafman. The original idea was mine, but a lot of people have played a part in shaping it. I’ll share more about that when I announce it’s launch. But basically, I’ve finally gotten around to trying to do something. And I’m happy about that.

About a month ago, I also started a new blog, Counting the Odds. It’s a personal experiment for me, sort of. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you can make a living doing what you love to do. But I think before I try to spread that message, I need to live it. So that’s what I’m trying to do with Counting the Odds. I’m trying a number of different things there, and seeing whether I can build a reputation around the niche of the mathematics of poker. And whether I can possibly monetize that in a year or two (outside of any income from the actual poker game itself).

In between all of that, I’m thinking of applying to college next year. Rather, I’m in the midst of applying. But I’m refusing to do a standard application, because, well, that’s just who I am (actually, no, I have my reasons, and I’ll share them in a future post soon).

That’s how my 2009 has been in a nutshell. Started out with me falling into a mild/moderate depression. After I got out of that, I fell into a strain of self doubt and questioning my ability and my worth. And finally, being able to get out of it and take action.

So, yes, it’s been a whirlwind of a year. I still have my struggles, and my friends will more than happily attest to that. But I do think I’ve manage to come out of it, and to come out on top (kind of). I’ve got two projects in their infancy, and I’m really looking forward to what 2010 brings and whether I can make those two projects successful.

What about you? How has 2009 been for you – and what does 2010 hold?

Photo by A_Gude