29 December 2013

This past year

Bad librarian here. I have no idea where I got this from (I
think it was from a book) but it was to good not to use.
It's that time of year again where everyone looks back on the past year and talks about what is to come in the upcoming year.  I of course have decided to follow that pattern, not simply to follow the herd, but because of other reasons.

This past year was not a normal year for me.  2013 was one of the most difficult years I've had in oh so many ways. The biggest struggle of course was dealing with depression and anxiety and more recently another diagnosis that was like lightbulb going off in my head.  I'm not ready to discuss that diagnosis yet (everything is fine, so no worries.)  The depression and anxiety seemed to get the better of me a lot this year, causing me to doubt myself, causing me to doubt who I am and what I'm capable of, impacting work, and more importantly impacting friendships that I have both in real life and online.  If I were to have been writing this a few weeks ago I probably would have talked more about what I left undone, but you know what?  Fuck it.  I'm tired of talking about that.  Instead here's what did go right (in no particular order at all, just whenever I thought of it):

  • I was able to attend TCAF and Heroescon with my dad, which was awesome.  We both got to geek out over graphic novels and comics and I just love being able to share that with him.  Plus I got to meet so many great people, both fans, and writers and artists that loved meeting and talking with people.  
  • Other events this year I got to go to: SPX, Decatur Book Festival, and a Bill Bryson book signing.  All of which were fun, fantastic, and so many great people and authors and artists.
  • Beginning in January I'll be writing for No Flying, No Tights, one of the best librarian/graphic novel blogs around and I'm so excited to be writing for them.
  • I wrote a guest post for "Letters to a young librarian" on being an ILL Librarian that was picked up by ALA Direct!  First time (I think) for that's ever happened.
  • I presented at my state library conference, COMO, on graphic novels and formed a partnership with two other great folks, which will lead to some great future endeavors.
  • I've got a presentation accepted for Computers in Libraries 2014.
  • Publishers continue to send me review copies of books, which is completely awesome because how can I not like free books to read?
  • I started a graphic novel group at MPOW and while it wasn't well attended it was fun to plan and professors kept introducing me to students as "this is the guy you need to thank for starting the graphic novel collection.  Tell him what else to order"
  • I completed LibraryJuice's Certificate of User Experience course.  Which was awesome and I just realized I need to write a blog post about it.
  • I was accepted into the Certificate of Advanced Data Studies at Syracuse's iSchool to begin in January.  I'm really looking forward to getting my brain hammered in new directions.
  • I submitted my first ever article to a library publication.  Still waiting to hear if it will be accepted, but keeping my fingers crossed.
  • I served as the outside reviewer for two faculty hirings in one of my liaison areas, which was interesting to see how things worked in other areas.
  • Finally did a sleep study and was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea.  
  • Served on Jury Duty for the first time ever.
  • Went horseback riding a couple of time.
  • Attended a Julia Nunes living room show, which was awesome!
  • Attended the wedding of one of my best friends from college and being able to see her walk down the aisle.
  • Attended the wedding party of two online friends and got to meet them in person for the first time, as well as a few other folks from online.
More importantly though, I found just how many people were willing to stand by me throughout the year, both in real life and online.  Friends that encouraged me when I was down, that kicked my brain when it was needed, and told me the truth when I needed it even more.  I'm not even going to attempt to list them, mostly because I'd fail at it and would invariably forget someone and tick someone off...

But to those of you on FriendFeed, on Twitter, on Facebook, or heaven help us all, in real life thank you for the comfort, the joy, the agony, the tears, the encouragement, and everything else that you've given to me this past year.  I would not be where I am now without you.  For those that have stood by me more than others if I haven't already gotten on my knees and thanked you, please know that I'm doing so now.  You are awesome and I'm glad to have you in my life.

For the upcoming year my plans are:
  • Work on the advanced Data certificate program 
  • Present at CIL
  • Submit some presentations to ACRL
  • Work on a book proposal
  • Keep learning
  • Do awesome
And for my own sanity sake say "fuck it" more often and follow my heart and gut, even if it means going against the advice of friends.  I am going to follow my own path more often, even if it isn't the way most people would go.  And I'm going to do what makes me happy, even if if that's sitting in my apartment, with my cats sitting on me, and reading a good book.

So farewell 2013, I look forward to the challenges you bring 2014.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a year of awesome accomplishments! I like that you weave your personal interests into your work-related achievements. I struggle with the idea of keeping my personal and work lives separate.

And I commend you on being candid about your anxiety and depression. I too struggle with both of these (and have since I was 15!) and it really can zap a person of their confidence, motivation, and all-around personality. Being a first-career librarian (or first career anything, I imagine) is tough. It's awesome that you're getting out there.