1. What did you do in 2021 that you'd never done before?
Made jewellery. Turns out it’s something I really love doing and don’t find it all that taxing, given the results. I’d really like to get deeper into it with the aim to turn a profit, but that’s reliant on me getting the job I’m angling for in the new year - that’ll allow me to finally get out of the benefits system and be free to generate income as I want. I’m working on a new style, alongside the rosary ones, and hopefully I’ll be able to reveal that next week!
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t make ‘em. Especially at a time like this when Covid could take away all my agency without warning. As for goals (if we just ignore the pandamnit for now)... I need to kick a couple of bad habits, which I’ve already started on, see more people and meet new people, brainstorm the possibility of relaunching Shenanigans, keep on putting money aside for the future, stick with the gym thing, and even if I don’t get the job I mentioned, consider all the factors which make it such an appealing prospect, and really think about how I could replicate those factors and go looking for an alternative. I’d love to add in learning to drive, but even if current opportunities align, I doubt I’ll be able to afford it until 2023.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few people from my friends circle had kids, but I’ve lost all sense of time so I’m not sure if that was 2020 or 2021.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no. And in the current climate, that makes me very fortunate.
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?
Financial security without being under the government and parental thumbs.
7. What dates from 2021 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Christmas Day, despite how much I’d like to erase it.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not dying, getting approached for a job opportunity rather than the other way ‘round, not totally dropping my basket, getting a gym membership I actually use (when I’m not hiding from The Plague).
9. What was your biggest failure?
Opening a door I should have left shut.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Managed to avoid Covid (as far as I know). Had a stinking cold in October but luckily it passed in a couple of weeks. I busted my ankle really badly on a run in the summer. Fibro remains in remission which is pretty damn spectacular, so I can keep that off the list. Though I spent a lot of time feeling crappy, my mental health on the pathological level might have been the best it’s been in a long time, thanks to the miracle of propranolol. Oh yeah, also developed an overactive thyroid.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My amazing upcycled desk, with the kind help of Michele.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My WhatsApp crew who are always around to enable my nonsense and send memes and pet pictures. And Lara, for letting me spew far more angst in her direction than any one person should have to deal with!
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
A good proportion of the general public. Aside from that, this year really left it down to the wire before letting the appalling loose. I don’t care to go into specifics, but I can say that I’m done with those who’ve systematically emotionally abused me for longer than I should have endured.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Responsible adult things like rent, bills, and groceries.
15. What were you really, really, really excited about?
On any notable level, nothing. I’ve been smacked down way too many times in the past two years to let myself get worked up over anything. The best I can do is low-key look forward to stuff under the assumption it won’t happen.
16. What song will always remind you of 2021?
Fool Anyone, by Losers
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
I’d say about the same, just in different ways. I can say I’m more emotionally stable. I was prescribed propranolol for a pretty severe essential tremor, which it took care of, but it also reduced my general anxiety and emotional dysregulation in a way which blew my mind.
b) Richer or poorer?
From the point of view of disposable cash, my finances are the same, and I’m keeping on top of them shockingly responsibly. This has been a bit painful, because it meant not taking advantage of lifted restrictions and going off to do all the stuff I wanted to. Savings-wise, I’m better off, simply by dint of keeping to my schedule of putting money aside every month.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Planning - I promised myself I’d make a structured timeline for advancing my life once Covid had receded and I mostly failed to do that. Maybe it was too overwhelming, or maybe it was because with no certainty the pandemic wouldn’t spike uncontrollably, my subconscious saw it as a pointless exercise which would just disappoint me. And reading. I think I’ve managed to make it through half a book in the past year before my mental bandwidth gave out. It’s hurting my heart.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Having imaginary conversations and arguments with people. At first it helped me work shit out in my head, but then I just ended up playing out the same scenarios over and over in my head, to the point I can’t tune it out now. I also wish I’d been able to control my compulsive comfort eating.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Nope. Not talking about that.
21. How many one-night stands did you have in 2021?
22. Did you fall in love in 2021?
I did not.
23. What was your favourite TV programme?
The Great and ST: Discovery have been knocking it out the park this year. But for totally new stuff, HOLY SHIT YELLOWJACKETS!
24. How will you see in the New Year?
Pretending it’s not happening. Luckily it’s Friday, so the whole getting silly on wine, alone on my sofa, and staying up obscenely late can happen without it feeling unusual. Likely to stick my Nuras on just before midnight so I can block out and celebration noises from outside.
25. Do you hate/dislike anyone now that you didn't hate/dislike this time last year?
Not hate. To hate the people who’ve done me damage would be to give them way too much agency, energy, and importance. In fact, I’m trying not to invest much emotion in that direction at all, because it’s not deserved. But when I do think about it, I am thoroughly disgusted.
26. What was the best book you read?
See Q18... I got half way through Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and enjoyed it very much.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hmmm.I guess I was pretty late to the game that I've only recently started listening to a bit of IAMX. Two standout tracks are the Noone remix of No Defense, by 7 Days Before, and Run Me Out, by Zola Jesus + the Mivos Quartet. Yesterday I heard and loved Almost Faded, by Message To Bears, and I get the feeling I’m going to like the album it’s off (though it may make me cry). Aside from that, Main-De-Gloire released a couple of bangers, and I revisited This Is Radio Silence for the first time in an age!
28. What did you want and get?
Some actual in-person social contact. A return to my kink life. Enough closure to put a toxic citadel of bullshit to bed. Also a couple of things which can't be repeated in polite company :p
29. What did you want and not get?
A demonstrable tail-end to Covid.
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Huh. I’m not sure I watched any new films which stood out. Desperately want to see Spider-Man: No Way Home ASAP!
31. What did you do on your birthday?
Mostly napping with someone who’d gotten sick with a bad case of inconvenient timing, then went out to the pub to meet a few lovely people. Had a lot of rude stickers put on me.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Funds and opportunity to travel.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2021?
Either shut-in, or insanely overdressed. No middle ground to be had.
34. What kept you sane?
Propranolol. Honestly not sure I’d still be here without it.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Due to my rewatching of Killjoys, Aaron Ashmore. Due to my rewatching of Supernatural, Jensen Ackles.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Just don’t fucking start… (I’ve not even bothered editing my answer from last year)
37. Who did you miss?
Lucy. DAMN YOUR DEPARTURE. And aside from the few people I managed to see, just about everyone.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
I reconnected with and became closer with a number of people I’d fallen out of touch with, so it was kinda like finding new people. The Southend Coven will have to fall under the heading of one entity, lest I offend any of them. Jude and Tim. Christina. Joe and Max. Kim. Mossy.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021.
Just because you fought to climb a hill, doesn’t mean you have to die on it. Also... that abusive people aren't moustache-twirling villains. They don't start every day calculating how to cause you misery. They just don't care if you're miserable.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"You don’t fool anyone, oh no, except yourself."