Pride and accomplishment: My year in review

It’s hard to believe this year is almost over already. It feels like just yesterday I was happily doodling my 2019 games list (most of which I never even got to, rip) and coming up with a pile of ideas for what I wanted to do.

One thing I’ve noticed I’ve been pretty bad for this year is feeling like I’m too busy, like I haven’t done the things I wanted to, like I’m a failure for not being productive enough.

And as I stared at the task I’d put on my calendar to make a parody song for Christmas, I couldn’t really bring myself to do it. I wanted to do something good for me instead—and something I hope that you can do for yourself, too.

Today, instead of drowning myself in everything I didn’t do this year, I want to celebrate everything that I did do—because even if my brain doesn’t let me see it, it was a lot, and all of it happened in my spare time on top of a full-time job, a promotion, and a lot of overtime.

And to go along with it, dear readers, I hereby challenge you to share your own year too—and celebrate how you grew, what you did, and what you’re proud of.

I did my first-ever actual launch.

Yes, I’m talking about Girl Boss Academy. And yes, it flopped terribly, and it’s now that weird thing that I never actually talk about because I’m not proud of what I created.

But if I’m being honest, it’s still a huge accomplishment that I did it! A launch is something I never thought I’d do, let alone trying to create something I could even vaguely classify as a product. But I tried, and I learned, and now, I at least have a semblance of an idea of what I’m doing.

You know, for when I do something that I’m way more proud of and actually fits what I want to accomplish with my life and my blog. Hint hint.

I wrote a lot about FFXIV.

This isn’t terribly surprising, because naturally any gamer-x-blogger is going to talk a lot about the game they play the most. But it surprised me a little just how much I wrote about it!

I covered everything from mental breaks to reviewing Shadowbringers to housing items on a patch-by-patch basis, and it’s pretty clear just what I do when I’m spending hours online playing FFXIV.

And that isn’t an exaggeration. My game time as of this writing is almost 3,100 hours, just on my main character, Diana.

From a blogging perspective, it was kind of interesting to watch because throughout the year, my FFXIV posts took over as the stars of my entire site’s SEO pull. Now I want to see what I can do with other things, too.

I also wrote a lot about D&D.

Once upon a time, I would never have dreamt I’d even be playing D&D, let alone telling the world everything I was learning about it.

But this year, I did two big things: I made up two unique races, and I learned how to build effective characters without any help! Yes, a lot of them use table rules, and no, it doesn’t sound like a big deal—but anyone who’s ever tried to figure out how the heck feats work in Pathfinder will understand.

I grew to 100 subscribers on YouTube.

I honestly never thought I’d even be the kind to make a YouTube channel, because I hate being in videos and I don’t know anything about making videos, but it happened.

The first few were jumpy, but I found a home (pun) in making videos about housing techniques in FFXIV—and even though people tell me after literally every patch that they don’t work anymore (they do), it feels good to see how many people I help just by doing that.

After all, the way I see it, I spend way too much of my life learning this stuff, and there’s no reason anyone else should have to spend that time, too.

I rediscovered my passion.

I spent a lot of this year feeling lost and without direction. Especially after everything this summer, it got pretty hard for me to keep calm and carry on. There were three occasions this year where I thought (or said outright) that I should just shut down my blog and be done with it.

I have Shane to thank for the fact that I didn’t. He reminded me that I’m here because I want to be, because this is what I enjoy doing, and that it makes me feel like I’m making a difference, even an infinitesimal one.

And he reminded me that if I don’t feel like I have a direction, then I need to make one.

That same day, I rediscovered my passion for blogging and for Instagram, and did the first complex flatlay (once my signature style) I’d done in over a year.

Now, with my creative flair coming back, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next year.

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