The Year that Was

I just realized it’s been almost two years since I last wrote in my blog.  It’s funny – I guess I just didn’t have that much to say.  Or maybe I was just too busy doing.

Another year is drawing to a close and, as always, I get a little bit retrospective.  I have to say straight off that it’s been a very good year.  A great one, in fact.  As scary and exhausting and exhilarating as always – even more so, really.

I heard a radio programme the other week that talked about whether it was a good idea to follow your dreams.  The guest was saying that it was not – that one is better off keeping one’s dreams as a hobby and follow a smarter career path.  While he made some good points, he did say repeatedly, whenever someone called in who had succeeded in their pursuit of their dreams, that is was easy for them to say that it’s a good idea to be a dream-follower, as they’re the small percentage of “winners”.  To this last statement, I simply say this: BULLSHIT.  There is nothing easy about success – especially where dreams are concerned.  It is frightening and draining and a breeding ground of self-doubt – primarily for an horribly insecure person such as myself.  It requires self-motivation even through the darkest times, a great deal of strength, a lot of faith and unending blood, sweat and tears.  Full stop

2014 has been an amazing year, but there was nothing “easy” about it.  Where 2013 was a year of introducing myself to a new world (primarily the world of film), 2014 was a year of proving myself.  And as always, there where incredible highs and crushing lows, but I made it through and, dusting myself off now, I can look back with pride of what my crew and I have achieved.  I started the year not really knowing what to expect.  By early March, a snowball of interesting projects started rolling down the hill and it’s inertia took it right up until this past week.  We worked on many shows that came out of the blue and ended up being some of our most fun / challenging / gratifying work to date.  Ironically, I set my sights on three particular projects that I really wanted to be a part of and none came to fruition.  And looking back, I’m completely fine with that.  There is something to be said about the rush that comes out of the totally unanticipated.

Looking back, there is one great lesson that I can take out of 2014 and that is this:  I am by far my worst critic.  Throughout 2013, where I had a bit of an out-of-the-frying-pan introduction into a new world, I made a lot of mistakes – mostly because I was overwhelmed by the situation I found myself in.  Coming out of it, there were certain projects that I felt went very badly (two immediately spring to mind – ah yes, and there’s a third…) and I truly felt like I would never hear back from the people involved those projects ever again – I had just hoped that the positive experiences would outweigh the negative in the long run.  Interestingly, in 2014 I heard back from each of those three designers that I felt I had let down in the previous year – resulting in three of the most memorable projects of 2014.  I guess I have to learn to cut myself a bit of goddamn slack…..but that’s not really in my nature…..

Looking back on the resolutions I made two years ago, I think I’ve done pretty well (except for the limiting my technology time, but I do need some vices, right?).  The dynamic in the shop has changed a lot – it is a more fun place and the team that has assembled is incredible.  I count myself very lucky to be surrounded by such a talented bunch of artisans.  Weekends were few and far between in 2014, but I took the down time where I could. And no question about it, I am continuing to push myself harder and harder, every single bloody day.  And the rewards from that can be amazing at times.

I’m not exactly sure what 2015 has in store, but it’s already looking like it will continue on the trend of challenge, excitement and growth.  As I count down the last hours of 2014, all I can think is this:  bring it on

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