I’ve been sitting here pondering the year past, and it’s left me a little hollow. When I started browsing through my posts for reminders as to what all went on this year, the answer is: not much. Oh, plenty of things happened, and plenty of good things, at that, but the endpoint of 2011 (from this day last year) isn’t leaving me at any very interesting point. I’m where I usually am… barring a few points.
1. “Hi, I’m Mark… let’s talk about our feelings.”
2010 was filled with just about every kind of emotional post on this site that you could imagine. I dug deep, and it came out in some interesting ways. This year, I felt a bit more even-keeled. My buried emotion and anxiety finally came to the surface, to stay, when I wrote about my stress-level troubles, but other than that, it’s been a fairly calm year. I’ve definitely had some interesting revelations concerning my Christian walk, but the back-and-forth madness of previous years seems to have (possibly) finally fallen by the wayside. Not that I ain’t still a little nuts ;).
In January, I started shooting my first “real” movie – a short called Aaron. It wasn’t finished, and it probably won’t be, but the entire experience gave me what was probably the highlight of my entire year. In a hotel room, late on a Friday night, I delivered a performance as the titular character that I had been very nervous about… and I nailed it. I haven’t even seen all of the footage from this movie, other than reviewing clips after we shot them, but in kind of a funny omen of my upcoming bout with troubling anxiety, I dealt out the one emotion that had always terrified me most about acting. Tears. Whether or not the movie was finished, I had that – as a confirmation to myself that I could reach that point, and that I could do it well.
3. Artistic Perseverance
While my performance above deserves its own mention, I’ve also pushed myself in other creative ways this year. From the regular continuation of Out of the Box, to digital paintings and sketches (which I’ve faltered on horribly, lately), if I stop and look at what I’ve done this year, it really isn’t much… but for me, I’m proud of where I’ve gone so far. Heck, I’m even a good way through the first draft of a book – which is an accomplishment in its own right, for a variety reasons.
Haha, well… maybe for the 2012 post ;).
Like the year before, I spent most of 2011 unemployed and looking for work. It was rough. After Michael’s let me go from the seasonal gig in January, I didn’t land anything for months – until getting into the service deli at Ralph’s. That was a very trying experience, because I knew how hard it was to find a job, but I absolutely hated it. I stuck it out as long as I could (another personal accomplishment, for as short as it was), but then I spent my summer jobless again. My employment at the new Lego Store has been a great blessing, and in the few months I’ve been there, it’s really become a home away from home. It’s not a position that’s a lifelong career, but I’m comfortable and safe there… and that’s a very nice feeling to have again.
6. Red’s Return
No, not Red Dead Redemption. I’m speaking of one Korkie Bullard. She’d been living in LA, and we hadn’t really seen each other anymore, but a little while ago she moved back down to south OC, and my life’s been all the more fun for having her around again :).
With how I began this post, I don’t want it to seem like I’m in a dour place. Certainly, the preceding list (less #4) is filled with good things that have been both blessings and signs of personal growth. I suppose what I was hoping to get at was that I still haven’t really gone anywhere. I’m very grateful to have a fun, reliable source of income again, and I’ve been enjoying having my ol’ friend Korkie around again, among everything else, but it’s almost like I’m just getting back to where I’d already been. I often talk about my hopes for what the next year will bring, but in the 4 years I’ve been running this site, it hasn’t brought much. This year, especially, it feels like I’m building with LEGO bricks, but I can’t yet see how they all work together. 2011 was a year of pieces, but the set is far from complete. By next year I’m hoping to at least be able to see what it’ll become – even if I’m not finished with it, yet :).