Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year 2011: A Retrospective

I decided to write a retrospective this year, mostly because I'm sitting around, sick with some sorta stomach thing that leads to wondrous bouts of diarrhea.

Stupid stomach, get better!

Anyway. There's been a number of awesome things that have happened this year. I guess I'm gonna list a few of the areas of my life that I think are noteworthy, and move along with that. The order isn't particular, it's whatever popped into my head before I decided I was done.

This was a pretty good year for anime. Ergo Proxy, Evangelion, Eden of the East, Requiem for the Phantom, some pretty evocative stuff. And that's just to name a few. But there's one anime that stood head and shoulders above the rest: Trigun. I know I'd just written a glowing review, but I gotta say, Trigun was my favorite anime of the year. And I'm a bit disappointed it's not on the top ten list, but I suppose I could do an official one.

Eh, already did that, whatever. I'll do another in July or something.

Point being is this: Trigun is easily one of those shows I'll probably spend a lot time writing about. I'm glad that I listened to Carpe and finally finished this show. As far as watching TV shows from Japan went, this was a very good year. I didn't think I was going to find something in even the same league as Clannad, but I'm happy to say that Trigun is that for me.

I started going to Benedictine College for a Bachelor's in Art in January. It was very painful at first, because I had recently recovered memories of being molested as child, and working with art brought them back. But I've persisted through it, and am growing to really enjoy working on things just for the sake of working on them, although it'll probably take til my graduation next Fall to actually get that far.

I can guarantee that I haven't worked so hard in my life, and have produced quite a few works that I'm very proud of. My favorite icon that I did this year is Christ Bridegroom, done for St. George's Romanian Parish:

There's something serene in his face, something I really hope to keep putting in my icons. At some point I promise I'll do it on purpose. Equal to that is the Resurrection icon I did. I'll have to post a picture of it tomorrow. All in all I completed 7 icons this year, and am very proud of the work God managed to do through me this year.

What about non-icon works? Well, first you're asking me to like something I've made that's not an icon... kidding... sorta... but seriously, I'm glad for the secular stuff I've done. The themes in my secular work revolve around relationship (or the lack thereof) in anxiety, and are made as a way of processing the abuse that I went through as a child. My favorite for this year has got to be Love:

It's a bit difficult to see, and that's exactly why I made it that way. Love has a way of peering out of the most unlikely of places, particularly when part of it comes out of yourself, and the other part is directed at you.

This has been a ridiculously good year for RPGs. My 4EMOD is running quite well, and the articles will go for quite some time (I hope). I started a campaign in 4EMOD, and am playing in a 4th edition and a World of Darkness game (run by Carpe, and played with Maria and another friend). Without having an actual position of authority I'm one of the leaders of Benedictine's RPG club, and I'm really impressed with just the sheer variety of RPGs that are being run. 4th edition, Pathfinder, Star Wars Saga, World of Darkness, Supernatural, Scion... it's really awesome to be a part of. Now I own Burning Wheel Gold, almost entirely on the suggestion of Carpe, and I'm excited to see what the game is like!

OK, so it's all personal, but I guess this is just more of a rambling of sorts. Ever since I started working through all this abuse thing, life has gotten much much better. Gosh, does it feel good to not bottle everything up and to express all the anger and hurt! Letting the anger and hurt out, however, let's everything else out. Good stuff. A lot of good stuff. I'm developing friends on purpose, seeking them out and the like. I'm not gonna lie, I still feel pretty skittish at some points, but thankfully nobody really notices that cause I'm so loud. I guess more than anything I guess what's different is that I'm actually trying.

Which brings me to the relationship I'm in with Maria (one of the former writers of The School's Trees).  There are times when people don't make sense to me, when I think they're brutal, selfish, and full of so much bullshit that it makes me want to lock myself away for eternity. But, honestly, being with Maria makes me try harder, to be a better person, to be... myself. And all of this by just hanging out and making it through life. I'm very happy to be dating such a wonderful and beautiful young lady, and I'm even gladder that the feeling's returned. I'm very blessed to have spent one year, five months, and four days dating Maria, and I hope God gives us many many more.

This brings me to my last part, on God. I've never had issue believing in a God. The reality of someone making this entire world was never something difficult for me to comprehend. The questions has always been if that God is building things for our benefit or His. Personally I've always been more of the Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God typa guy on the inside, but for whatever reason I've felt an attraction to Eastern Christianity. While I may have issue with the sickening amount of optimism that Christianity has, I gotta admit, it's appealing.

And you know what's wonderful? Slowly, but surely, I find myself believing in that. Blame it on me falling in love with Maria. Attribute it to watching Trigun. I don't care. I know someone else is behind this. I can feel it. And I know that, whoever it is, He may not be as bad as I originally thought. Who knows: Andrei Rublev might be right!

Not by me.
So, from me, Nathan Hicks of the Kitchen Sink, have a wonderful New Year!