The garbage year that was 2016 is about to wrap up, and so naturally, we’re all starting to take stock of what’s been and what might be.

Dumpster Fire

I have the tendency to reset my anxiety at milestones. Lately, this has happened on a monthly cycle, where I feel great about where I am and what the store did on the last day of a month, and then find myself super anxious a day later when I stare at a calendar that is empty and begging for goals and thresholds to be met. While rationally I know that I have the means to work through the month and get at least close to where we need to be, there’s a small voice in the back of my head that keeps whispering “this is it. This is the month it all falls apart.”

The worst part is the implication that I will be forced into a form of pacifism as everything slowly falls apart. I can understand where my brain gets it from: ever since Danica and I started Variant Edition, we have been met with outside forces beyond our control that have seemingly conspired to keep the whole enterprise down. A phone company that can’t figure out how to provide simple internet and phone access. A bank contact who will disappear for long stretches at a time who is terminally slow at processing your information. A business partner who… well… maybe let’s not get bogged down on that last point. That could end up being a whole big post unto itself. Suffice to say, when my brain looks at a fresh month, it attempts to convince my body that it should prepare itself to feel like garbage. Coming up to the end of the year, I’m a little afraid of how that anxiety will translate into the start of 2017.

For those of you who have been visiting the blog this past year, you know that our 2016 didn’t get off to a great start, which was a trend that continued through the year. At about the midpoint, we took some drastic measures to change this circumstance, and while things still aren’t great, we’re finally in a bit of emotional and financial control over our situation. Other than some of the last outstanding bits with our former business partner (a running theme of 2016: waiting for folks to actually accomplish their end of business transactions as promised), we are in control of what we have and what is spent, both physically and emotionally. It’s all on us. While at first glance, that might seem a bit daunting, after this year, it feels great to have that kind of control over our lives – even if it does mean it’s all resting on our shoulders.

Eat it, 2016

So. To combat what will surely be an anxious January 1st, I’m starting to get my house in order early. It started with Danica suggesting we build a game plan for ourselves both in terms of business goals and personal goals moving forward. It’s extended to the point where we’re starting them now and ramping up to 2017 instead of resting on our laurels, waiting for the clock to tick down before attempting to shift.

I want to say that 2017 will be our year. 2015 was supposed to be our year, and it almost was until the end of the year where it became readily apparent that our now-former business partner had very different goals than we did. That infected the entirety of our 2016, and we are finally clawing our way out of that.

So… 2017. One way or another, this year will determine the direction our entire lives go from here. It will very much be a “sink or swim” thing, one that we are now at least ready for. It… it probably won’t feel great, as we continue to find our footing while running at a full sprint, but… at the very least, it will be lived with purpose. It will be a reflection of who we want to be, and what we are fighting for. 2017 might not be our year in a “we made it” sense, but it will definitely be our year in terms of a statement of purpose.

Thank you for coming along with us on the journey so far, and thank you all for the support that you’ve shown Danica and myself over the past few months and years. Without you, I’m not sure where we’d be, and… hopefully you’ll stick with us through this new year, and see where we all end up. We love you all, and we’ll talk with you soon.

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