Monday, 2 January 2012

Pinch, Punch … Second of the Month?

So, 2012 is here; how about that. Who’s going to miss 2011?

…No, me neither.

Although, to be fair, 2011 tried its hardest in the last few months to bring the average mood of the year up, and to give it credit where it’s due, it did. The rating, after September to December, for 2011, rose from “Kill me now” to “meh”. So that was a pretty good few months.

Anyway. Let’s not rehash what was so bad about 2011 for me, most people know. If you don’t, forget about it. I’m done with self-pity. It took me far too long to realise it doesn’t earn me anything and, in fact, makes me look like a bit of a dick. I’ve done some stupid things this year, said a lot of things I regret. I wish I could take a lot of things back, but I can’t. There are also a lot of things I could still say, but I won’t.

So we’ll leave it at that, shall we?

The good things about 2011, though, were really good, I mean life-affirming good in some cases. At first, they were momentary distractions that made me feel better for a short time. As it turned out, though, those ‘distractions’ proved to me that things were still actually pretty good, that life wasn’t all the doom and gloom that it had become for me. And so I felt better.

It was a year for firsts. My first gaming convention – Eurogamer – was a maddening, frenetic, queue-a-thon, but I loved it. For the curious, interested mind, every little nook and cranny had to be explored, every game discovered, every technology analysed. I was only there for one day, and there was far too much to see in that time. Next year, I’ll do it bigger and better. So long as there’s enough to go for, obviously.

Next; my first (and then my second) gaming symphony. The first was the Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony; that was something special. It was really amazing to celebrate the series that made me such a big gamer, and and the same time anticipating (at the time) the next Zelda game just made for a magic night.

Then, not two weeks later, it was Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy. The long-awaited first UK performance of the long-running show, my friends and I bought our tickets almost a year before the event, and perched expectantly, waiting impatiently, for almost that long again. It did not disappoint. Much like the Zelda Symphony, it was special to be able to sit and revel in the sounds of the franchise that helped make me a gamer, as well as reinforcing the idea (as if I needed it to be) that games are creative art. Distant Worlds is returning on the 2nd November this year, and I’m already excited for it. Again; bigger, better.

So those are the firsts, the big events, the headlines of the year, and they were brilliant. There were other things, though, more subtle things, that redeemed the year, and they’re just as important as the big events. NaNoWriMo was a big thing I went on about a lot, but I suppose it really is quite a personal undertaking. You can tell people ‘I’m writing fifty thousand words in a month’ and have them be adequately impressed or horrified, but the act of writing those words, forming the story, and getting anything out of it, is ultimately intrinsic to the individual. I wrote that novel (that novel that, despite being over 50 thousand words long, still isn’t finished…), it is my achievement; its successes and failures lie entirely with me. Luckily, I can call the whole thing a huge success and, hard as it was, I’ll be giving it another crack next year.

I figured out who my friends are, and made a group of new ones that I’ve grown really rather fond of. These are people who helped me out of the deep rut I was thrown into this year, and for that, for them, I'm eternally grateful. And finally, after a year or two of wobbling around sort of thinking I’d like to do one thing, but maybe another, I think I’ve figured out what I’d really love to do. At the very least, I’ll give it a crack when I get the chance and see if I like it.

2011 will be a year, in the end, I will try not to remember, especially if 2012 builds on it in any meaningful way. Personally, it was a rollercoaster year, but outside of this little naive bubble I call my life, the world went to hell in a big way. A big, tragic way. Tsunamis, revolutions, bloodshed. It was, in so many ways, horrific. Woefully bad year in general terms. So, hard as it might be for many more people than myself, looking forward and trying to move on is the best, if not only, thing we can do.

So this year, 2012; what’s the plan? Well, simply put:

Write more, do more, live more.

Maybe I’ll explain more as the year goes on. We won’t know until we’re there, will we?

Happy New Year, everybody. <3

- Pierre