One of the many reasons I keep a diary is that I like to look over what I have written during the year because it reminds me of what I have done and why. 2015 was an interesting and testing year but there was definitely more good than bad so here we go…
Travel & Transport
At the beginning of the year I was still living in Oxford, my contract with IWGC was going well, life was generally good despite a slight anxiety blip over Xmas. You may remember that in February someone crashed into my beautiful Virago and I went through what I may of felt then is insurance hell as I put in a claim for the crash and then a few days later the same bike was stolen which was partially my fault. If that was not bad enough a driver also managed to crash into me on the day I received a loan bike from my insurance company. It was not a good start to the year and ever since then I have been plagued with calls trying to get me to claim for personal damages. On the bright side I have enjoyed messing with these companies a lot. Faking things like being blind (it’s difficult to drive a motorbike if your visually impaired), tourettes with some very offensive verbal tics and all sorts of fun like that. Fair warning to anyone calling me about these incidents you are dealing with someone who will happily waste your time. In March I bought a new bike and named it Rico after the main character of Just Cause 2 because it felt like it had a strong resemblance to him. It’s not as beautiful as the Virago but I still enjoy riding it most of the time. I intend in 2016 to take the time to either do a DAS and or get my full license and finally enjoy the feeling of an engine between my thighs. Although saying that I have felt myself wanting to buy a bicycle for those trips in Bristol that are a little too short to use the motorbike for.
I did a little travel this year, venturing to Greece, Bratislava, Vienna and then a little tour of Italy. I think because of the way that 2015 panned out work wise I was not able to get away as much as I might of liked. I know I needed to concentrate on work for a while so I don’t feel that bad about this. Besides if I had not worked as much as I did then certainly the trip through Italy would not of happened. In 2016 I certainly intend to explore more and already have at least one trip planned for January and maybe another around March sometime, maybe something slightly bigger too.
Work wise in April IWGC had to end my contract. I was a little sad to finish with them, the work was fairly interesting, the people were lovely and I liked what they were doing which is always a bonus. Still this made me branch out into unknown waters, within a month I had sorted out forming my own Ltd company and got myself a new contract in Bristol working for Kainos with the DVSA MOT project. I moved down to Bristol because of it, slightly glad to get away from Oxford and so far have not wanted to leave which for me is a very weird feeling. The contract in Bristol lasted 5 months, it was certainly less interesting and a lot more corporate than what I had experienced at IWGC but it expanded my horizons which is a thing I am always trying to do. When it finished I took a bit of a break and now have a new contract in Didcot which almost brings me full circle back to Oxford. I am staying during the week with a friend that I made while I was in Oxford and it’s been going really well, retuning back to Bristol at the weekend. It’s a little weird and probably would be more weird if she was still with her partner who I had an odd feeling about anyway. The travel is not that bad except on Mondays when I am beat, people may think I am crazy hanging onto a place in Bristol too but I don’t want to move back to Oxford, it’s not a city that suits me. The contract is for 8 months and I want to try and spend less time in Didcot if they will let me work remote from Bristol. The work is certainly less interesting than IWGC but is in it’s own right a challenge. Throughout the last two gigs I have had to push myself to be more confident and forceful with my opinion without obtaining that ‘arsehole’ attitude that I am so afraid of.
The job in Bristol did it raise anxiety which certainly made me very skittish at the time. However I have learned that sometimes when I feel like the world might be coming down on me I can certainly rise to the occasion. I started the job in a very similar position to starting in Oxford with no real permanent place of residence and then using this nervous anxious energy to push through my first day and make some sort of impression. Since then things have settled down again and despite me now having to live in two places I actually feel very calm most of the time. Now I’m back nearer Oxford most of the week I have felt good mostly because of the friend I am living with there, they have made me feel welcome, been okay with the slightly odd arrangement and dare I say made me feel like part of the family.
Bristol has allowed me to be very open with my sexuality. I still feel massive pockets of insecurity and uncertainty but I am very happy within myself about this. I certainly now have a lot more information about what I don’t want and still every now and then curse myself for not being more vocal with that. This year I have publicly written about bi-sexuality which was very fulfilling and had some sort of relationship with two females as well as been on a few man dates. It always feels odd admitting to having some sort of love life in this blog, if I consider the people that are signed up to read and and how potentially uninterested they might be about it. But then I never really wrote this for an audience. The male dates turned out to be a bit odd, one of them ended with a bit of a snog in the park with him being odd about people looking and then pushing my boundaries a little bit. He didn’t push too far otherwise I would of done something about it but then he was very non-committal about meeting again. We have tried more than once to arrange something and the ball is currently in his court and I refuse to do too much chasing. The female side of things also proved tricky at times. The first chose not to talk to me at all to end things which messed me up for a few days, and the second was ended by them because they though it was not working. That caught me a little off guard because even though I had the feeling they were pulling away I had no idea why and thought asking such questions might demonstrate just how insecure I can be. Yes I still have a massive issue with someone telling me I am fanciable or even believing they are interested in me, I am a whole heap better at this than I was but seriously this is still an issue. With relationships I believe the want has to flow both ways for things to work, and I have only experienced this twice in my life. At least this person had the decency to say this to my face and I respect that no matter how much I don’t understand the reasoning.
I have been trying out being a little selfish. I love my friends very much and will go to great lengths for them which included travelling many miles to see them. From some point in this year I decided I was not going to do this as much as I used to. It does not mean that I love these people any less but I do expect them to take time out of lives to visit me for a change. This is generally a problem with people who live in London, it’s very hard to get them out and that was very true for me while I lived there. I am more than willing to give them the time to visit me wherever I am but I am actively making less of an effort and about time too for this. I have also tried a bit to make new friends and involve myself in some sort of community.
I played D&D for the first time in forever which really pushed me. I took on a character that was way past what I thought was my personality and sometimes I feel like I channel her (my character was female) to conquer situations. It’s not a new thing though, when put into a situation I can react with a huge personality that people sometimes might find hard to swallow but it’s not my norm. This is my stage persona, more confident than I actually am and sometimes I take this on as an attribute that I like to play with. It’s the bold and brash side of me that thinks I am awesome and sometimes it’s right.
Finally is my writing… I feel like I have not written much in 2015 but this is probably not true. I don’t feel like I have travelled that much and considering I do most of my writing while I travel that may be a factor. However this year has seen me branch out a little as in I have started writing random pieces for a website called GeekOutSW. The owner (Tim) has been very supportive even going so far as to tell me that I am talented. I have mentioned before that I don’t really know how to deal with compliments and this is 100 fold more true about my writing. I know that I am my own worst critic and sometimes I need to think about pieces less like works of art and more like a story that I am trying to tell but this does not stop the anxiety and doubt. All that aside I have (at time of writing) produced four pieces for another website that have been very supportive in my contributions. Yes all of these have been for free but they potentially serve a bigger cause than money.
The roughly sums up 2015 for me, it’s certainly been a rollercoaster and not one that I have hated being on, one that I would jump onto again and take the same path. I may be 40 and I may be still learning about me and the world around me but in all honesty I never want that to stop. Here is to 2016, more adventure, more fun, more travel and more discovering.