2014: Books I Read and other memory aids.

Covers of all the books I read in 2014 according to GoodReads

Almost three weeks into the new year isn’t too late to post a year re-cap post, right? In any case I’m starting my first ever permanent full-time job (in archaeology, even!) tomorrow, so it seems like an appropriate moment.

I have a pretty awful memory. I think it used to be better before depression really hit me in the face about 5 years ago, but it wasn’t ever that outstanding, probably. That’s why I like using sites like Goodreads. When I remember to update them, they work really well as a memory aid. Although for 2014, “really well” might be overstating it. But looking at the reading I’ve done this year prompts my foggy head into remembering a little bit of what was happening.

Recollections: I don’t really know what I was doing in between Shaman in January and the audiobook of 12 Years a Slave in April, to be honest. Logic suggests it was mainly weaning off SSRIs and having a lot of weird and vivid dreams. I got a temp job in late spring, which wasn’t great but saved me from having to go to the job centre, at least, which is a boon to anyone’s well-being. I applied to a funded PhD place and failed to get it, and spent a bunch of time panicking about my career and future. I started feeling my way back into archaeology with some courses and volunteering at a dig.

The summer was pretty excellent, with family holidays, and nerdy things, and seeing friends and making new friends. Nine Worlds was a great achievement and good feelings high point, culminating in a very clear memory of McDonalds in the middle of that last night that no-one wanted to end. I followed that up with a stay in a certain flat in Sweden full of books and warmth. A good summer.

I got some experience working and being frustrated at not having the time and energy to do art. But my skills improved and I had a lot more ideas, I think. I didn’t finish any large project like I was hoping for this time last year, but there’s been a few times recently where I’ve felt about drawing and writing a bit like I did when I was a teenager. In a good way. Maybe all of those self-indulgent concentrated packages of tropes that I consumed made me less self-conscious. That’s something I’m going to try to nurture.

2015 is shaping up well so far. I got that archaeology job that’s starting tomorrow; an unexpected late birthday gift from the universe. I’m going to keep making things, but I’m not going to put pressure on myself for that, lest I scare the ideas away. But my goal for the year is this: I will read diverse books, and I will write down my thoughts about them as I finish them. (I already have a slight backlog, but I am working on it. Shhhh.) And if I can manage it, I’ll keep a diary more often, too.

And now I’m going to sleep, so I’m well-rested tomorrow.

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