I normally sit down to write my thoughts on the first day of the year. But this year I actually for once had plans on January 1st and was busy and out all day. So here I am on January 2nd, sitting at my local Barnes & Noble on a Monday writing about things.

2022 was interesting. Like most years, it all starts out with a sense of hope and ambition for what the year can bring. Coming off of what was a rather boring and uneventful 2021 I had hoped last year would finally give me what I had been working towards for so long. And in a way it kind of did, but at the expense of months of introspective work and frustration at why my mind seemed to be working against me.

When the war in Ukraine broke out earlier in the year, I sort of started spiraling mentally. Seeing as how the state of the world was once again being tested, I kept thinking to myself, “what if these idiot-ass world leaders end up bombing each other and life as we know it stops? Why even bother being excited about my own work if it will all mean nothing in the face of global catastrophe?”

That line of thinking really messed me up for so long. It was like suddenly being covered in mud with no water faucet around to clean myself up. I couldn’t shake off that feeling of dread and hopelessness. Days just went by where I would sit at my desk and I’d just stare at my screen and yell at myself “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!?”

I could not focus on any task for work or in my own personal projects. Thankfully my job at the time was fairly chill and low-key that I didn’t have lots of mentally taxing work to do. But even the smallest task would take me a lot longer to do just because I was dealing with utter hopelessness and nothing really helped.

Luckily I had family and friends all around that I could chat about this kind of stuff with and I made the decision to not beat myself up over it. If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself and how my mind works its that my creative spirit ebbs and flows. When I’m at the height of inspiration and productivity, I know that that won’t last very long. Then when I’m at my lowest point of creativity, I also know that it won’t last either and I’ll be back to my usual creative self. The only difficult part is learning to manipulate and curve those waves to be tighter so that my highs stay higher for a longer time and my lows stay moderately low for a shorter period of time.

And in a way I feel like I finally figured it out. I ended off 2022 on an extremely productive note and prepared a lot of things so that I could hit the ground running in 2023. I once again separated my personal portfolio/blog into its own website and left the shop as its own thing thing. This way I won’t feel like some things I want to write about or post won’t actually fit in with the vibe of it being on an e-commerce shop.

I also imported a large majority of my old blog posts dating all the way back to May 2013 to keep an accurate record of the randomness I like to write about and how my tone has changed over the years. Also seeing all of that content piled up makes me feel like I actually have done a considerable amount of things over the years and haven’t actually wasted my time like I feel I do when I reach my lows. It’s a good reminder to see how far I’ve come and a big motivator to continue putting out content in the future.

My hope for getting back into writing again is to help me get back a sense of who I used to be before COVID. The random adventurer with a camera who would eagerly wake up super early to go hiking at Griffith Observatory and take photos or go exploring at the Natural History Museum all alone. Ever since I moved to the OC in late 2020 I’ve been dying to begin exploring the areas surrounding me but world circumstances and mental health issues have all prevented me from doing any of that.

The fact that I have my cameras just sitting in drawers gathering dust is so annoying to me. I just need to get up and get out there and start taking photos and finally recording some movie-quality stuff with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K that I bought in 2020 that I haven’t yet properly used in any real capacity. That all ends this year. I will get back to doing all of that stuff and more.

Some other things I plan on picking back up on are music (writing, recording, playing guitar/piano) and drawing (hand-lettering, digital art, maybe 3D art). So clearly as of the time of this writing, I’m feeling a hell of a lot better than I was all year. Even the past 3 years combined. But even knowing how I’m feeling now, I know it won’t stay at 100% all the time. The trick is knowing how to find that balance and how to pull myself back when I need to. I’m trying to set myself up for success at every point because honestly, being creative and making things and seeing how excited people get over what I do makes it all worth it.