I really enjoy doing “year in review” posts and I absolutely plan to do one for 2018, because this year has been, in a word, bananas. However, this is not that post, despite what the title probably led you to believe. It’s only October! I can’t make calls on my favorite things from 2018 with two months left in the year! Instead, this post is a reflection on why 2018 has been bananas and how frankly, I can’t fathom that it’s only October and yet I am so far from where I was in January.
B a n a n a s.
I walked into 2018 with a vague set of goals and I’m walking out of it with concrete plans for how to grow all the seeds I’ve now planted. Is this leveling up? I’m pretty certain that it is.
Way back in January, I put a few things into the universe: that 2018 would be the year I quit my day job, that this year I would start “seriously working on my book,” and that this would be the year that I launched an inclusive space for fat women and non-binary folks who wanted to be active, but didn’t want to lose weight. Ten months into the year, I haven’t entirely quit my day job, but I have severely reduced my hours in order to accommodate more freelance writing. But wait! That’s not all!
For years, I’ve talked about writing a book. Years. As in, I was voted “Most Likely to Become a Best-Selling Author” in my high school senior edition supplement to the yearbook; as in, when my professors in college asked me what I wanted to do after I got my degree, I responded equally with, “I want to be a music journalist” or “I want to be an author.” The book I am writing — the book I queried with Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary Agency — is nothing like that vague, book-shaped thing I formed in my head the first time I read Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland as a kid and decided to become a writer. That’s both exciting and terrifying, but mostly? I’m just thrilled to finally be making serious progress on one of my longest-lasting goals.
As for the last thing on that little list above… Well. I’ve written and tweeted and Instagrammed and yelled from the rooftops (not quite literally, but close enough) about Fatventure Mag. I never could have imagined that this project would have such an incredible response, not just from the fat community but from all kinds of non-fat people (and media outlets! What?!), too. I cried when our design editor, Carrie Alyson, sent Alice Lesperance and I the first digital proof and I cried when I saw the finalized digital version of our first issue (which is available for purchase right now on our website, for the record. Hint, hint).
When I receive some of the physical issues ahead of our launch party at Bluestockings Bookstore in a couple weeks, I know I’m going to absolutely break down. Hardcore ugly crying, all over my apartment. Possibly as soon as I see the box on the porch, before I even get into my apartment. Sorry, neighbors.
But then — somehow — this year has also presented me with a wealth of other, seriously unexpected and seriously awesome opportunities. I got to attend my first-ever New York Comic Con as part of the team covering the con for The Beat, where I’m going to be writing more frequently now. I developed relationships with and published pieces at places like Bustle and The Mary Sue, two websites I’ve been reading for what feels like eons. I got the chance to attend networking events and meet others in media whose work I adore.
Along the way, I started advocating for myself, believing in myself, and trusting that as long as I stayed true to my convictions and demanded my worth, everything would work out in the end. I took a lot of risks — ones I never would have taken even a year ago, for fear of losing an opportunity that could, maybe, potentially, possibly, get me somewhere, someday. I stopped hemming and hawing.
And reader? I had one of the best goddamn years of my career. I also had a lot of fun. I went to Flame Con with Reed, met internet friends I’ve known for years but never gotten to hang out with in person, interacted with creators whose work makes my world go ’round and honestly, this year has been exhausting but oh so worth it.
What I can’t quite fathom is that it’s not over yet; with two months left in 2018, it feels like I’m just getting started.
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