…before I stop talking about 2015 / new year and get back to a regular blogging schedule.
When everyone came over on New Year’s Eve, we found a Buzzfeed list of questions to ask yourself as 2015 became 2016. We didn’t ask all 30, and I probably won’t answer all 30 now, but I thought it’d be interesting to answer a few and then do the same at the end of 2016 and see what, if anything, has changed.
What did you do in 2015 that you were proud of? The thing I was most proud of last year was making rent from my own business. Finally, I had enough to live on every month. Things were sometimes tight, especially at the beginning of the year, but I finally did it!
Who did you meet this year that inspired you? Jaya Baloo. She speaks about tech and security and stuff. We were at this event at which the director of GCHQ and a load of similar people were speaking, then Jaya got on stage and basically ripped into anyone who believes the public shouldn’t have privacy. It was a bold thing to do, especially to that audience. Hero.
What did you read that you think bettered you? Weirdly, I think The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen. I didn’t enjoy it, because he was a racist, sexist asshole, but I decided to read it because people kept saying you should read stuff by people you disagree with. And actually, bits of it were interesting. In between the ridiculous viewpoints.
What song defined this year for you? Karma Police by Radiohead.
I’ve never been a fan of Radiohead – I just don’t get it, and I know this makes me unusual. But on that day when I discovered the company I used to work for was bought by the devil, I stood in my living room and realised I’d found the part of myself that felt like it’d been lost for years. The thing I’d been searching for. And I didn’t find it in India, or at a silent retreat, or whilst doing yoga. I found it at the bottom of an empty change jar, in a house that was falling down, because at least it meant I wasn’t working for He Who Will Not Be Named.
What were some fears that you had at the beginning of the year that you overcame? I think the main thing this year was that I grew in self-confidence. At the beginning of the year I was afraid I’d not make rent. By the end of the year I had more faith in myself, and this helped it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
What is your favourite photo that you took this year? This one. It’s the Waccamaw river in South Carolina.
In which place did you feel true joy in 2015? South Carolina. I have never fallen in love with a place so hard, and so quickly.
What was your biggest regret of 2015? Another South Carolina-themed answer. I was in Myrtle Beach, it was my second night there, and I went down to the beach. The moon was full and beautiful, and I decided to go for a swim. But before that, I had to deposit my tablet in my motel room across the road. When I got back to the room, I decided to just go to bed instead, and that swimming in the moonlight could wait for another night. There wasn’t another night like that one, and I didn’t get to do it this time. It reminded me that if I feel like I really want to do something, and there’s no real reason why I shouldn’t, I should just grasp the moment and do it. A lesson for 2016, then.
I wonder what my answers will be at the end of this year?