A Farewell to 2016

As 2016 comes to a close and I look back on this arbitrarily branded chunk of time, I am met with a feeling of relief. For many, it seems, 2016 was a bad year. It’s difficult to say whether this difficulty was really higher than usual, or only seemingly made so with confirmation bias on a background of major celebrity deaths.

For myself, 2016 wasn’t so bad. Come to think of it, it wasn’t that great either; sort of a mixed bag. Here are some of highlights and lowlights from a year now come to a close. I’m going to try to get this in chronological order as best I can remember.

The Arts Entrepreneurship & Business Development Course offered locally through the Sask Arts Board in conjunction with Creative Saskatchewan proved to be a major growth point for me. I met some great people and I learned a lot about how to run art as a business. I came to some realizations about myself, about my art, and about my struggle with mental illness and how that affects my art.

Changing my name was an act that was inspired by the aforementioned course and I am so glad I did it. I realized that my name was holding me back from really wanting to pursue anything major in my creative career. I wrote more in depth about it here. Changing my name also acted as a catalyst to me starting this website, which brings me to my next point.

Starting this website! Prior to starting this, my blogging and online presence had been floundering for a while with a few false starts. With a new name, a new website, and a virtual clean slate, it’s been nice to have a place to store my art and my thoughts. I haven’t been all that consistent with it yet, but I’m hoping to change that in the new year.

Being sick. A lot. It seems like this year has been an olympic event for my immune system. I’m okay. My doctor says everything is normal and that it’s simply a side effect of having a child in daycare/school.

Being sick in another way. I am foggy on the exact timing, but this year has been one of experimentation(again) with psychotropic medication. I tried Prozac for a little while, and switched to Wellbutrin shortly after. It seemed to work okay for some months but soon enough I began to feel like more of a zombie than a human being. I wrote more in depth on my decision to go medication free again here.

My son started school. It was a scary time – for me, not for him. Sending your child out into the big scary world and hoping that they do okay is overwhelming, but he’s doing better than I ever could have hoped. He loves school, his classmates, and his teacher, and they all love him too (this doesn’t surprise me).

I wrote a novel. When I dove into the deep waters of NaNoWriMo, I had no idea what to expect. I learned a lot and I came out on the other side with a novel in desperate need of editing, which I’m going to begin soon after my much needed break from the story.

We got a puppy. Her name is Daisy and she is wonderful. She’s a rat terrier and definitely keeps us on our toes. She’s so smart and adorable. You’ll see more about her soon.

With all this written out, I’m feeling pretty good about my 2016. It was a year of struggling with my health both physically and mentally, but getting shit done anyway, and for that I’m pretty proud.

 

Wendy V. Blacke

Artist. Mother. Space Vampire. Horror Buff. Knitter. Makeup Enthusiast. Matriarch. Bookworm. Writer. Lover of oddities and genuine weirdo.

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