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well, that was a year

saturday 31st december 2022

2022.. really knocked it out of me. i didn't know if i would have the energy to write something like this.. but here we are! i'm doing it!

life is so different now to how it was this time last year. usually, these kinds of shifts in my life have been marked with moving house, but this time we've stayed in the same place and everything seems to have shifted around us. come february, this will be the longest i've lived anywhere except my childhood home, and we're planning on staying another year. is this settling?

last december, we were running weekly Show & Tell ⧉ sessions, in the basement of a pub in the city, committed to not missing a single one because then the timeslot would stop feeling like it was also a space. this year, we actually have a space. for so long, this was every single one of our goals, and we're here living in it - but as ever, it doesn't feel like we're actually 'out the other side' of anything in particular.

Ambition's Graveyard ⧉ is the product of a lifetime of ambition. it's its own oxymoron. it's hard to know how a space feels about anything, but i hope it can feel the love and care we are/will be pouring into it. for now, it's just a baby - a bit cleared up but still leaky and imperfect and there's no internet in there yet - but soon it will be the home of (hopefully) a bunch of cool artmaking and space sharing and world building. we had a launch event a couple of weeks ago, on the day the first rent became due, to prove it as a concept to the world. to fill a space with such hope and life and joy was truly fantastic. this year, the real work begins of actually using it, building it into our work patterns and habits, and filling it every day with something new. hopefully, it will start to give us back some of the energy we've given it.

in 2023, i'm going to try to regain some of the space i need to rest. it's tough to imagine how this might look - on top of our usual expenses i'm now having to shoulder the shortfall from AG for the moment too.. but there are some shafts of light peeking through. i'm going for some funding, both personally and for previously mentioned projects. if i get the funding, it'll not only give me the time to make things, but also some time to rest. i've felt in debt to myself this year - like i need to spend a month just sleeping and moving my body and making time to eat a bit better, and just go a bit slower. hopefully i can wrangle the pieces into place to make that rest a reality.

it almost seems counterintuitive to have such a big project just spinning up as i talk about needing to rest - but if it goes really well then maybe that can start to pick up some of the slack on its own behalf. a dream would be for the space to bring enough funds in that we can not only pay all of its expenses, but also pay ourselves for the time we put in there. right now we're reliably bringing in about 2/3 of the expenses costs each month, purely through memberships. that's not bad for something which barely even exists yet. it's all about agency anyway - i can be busy but feel rested if my time is my own. i'm trying to make sure more of my time is my own this year.

i wanted to talk about music from this year too, because music is so important - but i don't have many recommendations to make. this year has been a bit of a playlist year for me - letting the algorithms recommend what they wish. i stopped using spotify early in the year, for a while making do with MP3s, but i did start streaming again, this time with apple music. there were too many new things i was missing. stand out albums for me, this year:

in terms of personal achievements.. this year has been huge. i did a talk. i got over my fear of improvisation. i was on a podcast episode that people actually listened to. i learnt how to code HTML and CSS from scratch (which is also how i'm writing to you right now), and how to host those files on my own server, that lives in my bedroom. i deleted my twitter account, permanently. i flew to hamburg on a whim to sit in a room with people who wanted to talk about the internet, and it inspired me to change my whole life. i started an MA. my vending machine artist residency programme passed a year of monthly residents, with more coming in the new year. i made so, so many new friends - and reconnected with a couple of old ones. everything's different now.

if you read the post i wrote titled 'interdependence' i might have touched on this a bit - but i feel like 2022 broke me open and let me build something new in the cracks which formed. it was violent, traumatic, and total. it is still painful, to a degree i've honestly never felt before. at the same time it revealed things to me - made me take notice of things which i needed to change, or needed to fix. 2023 is the year i take my own advice, and work on fixing it.