2014: After A Well Jibbed 2013, A Janus Year Awaits

Posted on January 1, 2014

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Ottawa Winters2013, this time last year, I liked the cut of your jib. It seems that I was right to do so. It’s been a pretty good year.

The most significant event, I suppose, was being given a permanent position at work. After two years on short-term contracts, a couple years of freelance work before that, the uncertainty of political work before that, and almost a decade of scholarship income, the extra security of a permanent paycheque comes as a welcome bit of relief. I’m not motivated by money, but the stability of a permanent stream of income gives a measure of independence that nicely offsets the requirement to report to duty five days out of the week. Who knew?

I also travelled a lot in 2013, which is probably not unrelated to the whole permanent paycheque thing. I went on a cruise to the Caribbean (via Miami Beach!), I went to Vegas, I went to NYC to celebrate Wayne’s 40th birthday, and I went to San Francisco to secure the coveted “first friend or family to visit award” from Nadine. I even found time to weekend in Montreal and Toronto! It all felt very middle class, until a friend pointed out that “upper middle class” might be more appropriate. My secret: no car, no kids.

I started to work on learning French again. This time — and this is important — because I want to learn it. I will say more in a future post.

I was about to write that my creative productivity dropped off considerably this year, but then I remembered that I wrote a one-act play that was successfully and profitably produced by Wayne, I devised a publicity plan for the production that worked perfectly, and I blogged the crap out of the whole process, while working full-time and vacationing. Maybe, that’s reasonably productive all things considered. True, my blogging did drop off considerably after the play was produced, but that break is already starting to feel more like a tactical retrenchment than a permanent state of affairs. Well-needed breaks often pay dividends down the road.

As far as you, 2014, I have a hunch that you’ve got some kind of big change in store for me. Now, because I don’t believe in prescience, this can only mean I’m on the lookout for some kind of big change. When you look for it, more often than not you find it.

More simply, it might just be me aggrandizing my firm, 100%, double stampsies, commitment to move out of my apartment. As of February of 2014, I will have been in this apartment for seven years — the longest I’ve ever been in any one spot. Ever. And I don’t even like it that much.

Of course, that also means in February of 2014, I will have been in Ottawa for seven years. That’s about 800% longer than I might have guessed when I first arrived. Perhaps, I’m feeling the seven year itch? Or, maybe, I’m finally getting ready to accept the fact that I’m here for a while and will finally settle in. Of course, with my luck, I’ll commit to Ottawa and Ottawa will break up with me.

I suppose, for many people around me, the fact that I’m turning 40 in August will probably seem significant. As far as I’m concerned, it’s no big deal. I stopped worrying about birthdays after my 26th (I have to round up to 30, I’m practically dead!), so for me it’s not a significant milestone in itself, but it may be a good excuse for an elaborate party/trip. It’s definitely a possibility.

On the artistic side, I will play coy about a potential collaborative project that is currently in its nascent stages. In part, because it is very nascent and, in part, because we’re likely to adopt a slightly more secretive approach to the publicity campaign this time out. It will, nevertheless, feature one usual suspect and one unusual suspect, if everything comes together. I am looking forward to it.

It is often said that you need to fail to learn. If that’s the case, I’ve been learning a lot lately, as far as music goes. I bought a synthesizer just before the holidays and have been working on making music again ever since. No success as of yet, but, hopefully, I will have something worth sharing soon. Curiously, as much as I am enjoying the synthesizer, I’m also being drawn back to my guitar.

So, 2014, what’s it going to be? Is this the year I get my first grown-up apartment, or do I pull a Henry Miller and run off to some exotic locale writing all the way, or, perhaps, this year, I will find a satisfying way to strike a balance between those two visions of self. Whatever the outcome, I think it’s going to be fun.

Posted in: My Life