I think overall 2018 has been a good year for me, but it had it’s up and downs.
2016 and 2017 ended up draining me financially, starting with 2016 and Hurricane Matthew. A mandatory evacuation was issued, the portions of Georgia or South Carolina that I would have gone to had hotels already booked by residents of Florida. I lucked out by getting hotel rooms in Pensacola, Florida. Far enough west that I was safe.
When I got back, a very large tree branch had fell onto my house. I had to remove it, and repair the roof. My insurance covered all that luckily. The part that took a toll was my decision to get the tree that the branch fell off from cut down.
The tree was kind of leaning towards my house, plus, it’s roots were expanding towards my neighbor’s house. He’s a very mean middle aged man and I feel like he’d try suing me if those roots started causing foundation damage to his house, and since it looks like I won’t be moving anytime soon, it was something I had to do.
If that alone was the only curveball thrown at me, 2017 would have been a decent year. But Hurricane Irma popped up and I had to evacuate again. It didn’t come nearly as close as Matthew did and I kind of regret leaving because from what people who stayed told me, there was really no need to evacuate (but a mandatory evacuation was issued). Being cautious is always the best course of action, but in this case I really could have done without paying for hotel rooms, all the money it took to get to the destination, and the costs of the trip back.
Things could have been much worse. It wasn’t like I was struggling to pay bills during that time, it was just that I had to cut out bills that were not a necessity. My old PC crashed in mid 2016, so I ended up cutting out my payments for Internet service, and I didn’t get around to buying a new one until late 2017.
2018 ended up being a rebound year in many ways. I started saving up my money again and it started to accumulate. I was able to re-add all those comfort but not exactly necessary payments into my budget. Throughout 2017 and most of this year I didn’t have a Nintendo Switch, but I finally bought one at the beginning of June.
I would also consider my return to the Forums another rebound. I could have got active again sooner but I was kind of ashamed I didn’t even have a Switch and couldn’t talk about the newest games. I’d pop in at points in 2016 and 2017, but didn’t feel like I could just jump back in without it being really awkward for me.
Also keep in mind the state of the Forums when I went on my hiatus. The Forums were planned to be merged with the Zelda Informer Forums. From the talk at the time it was assumed a lot of members from that community would be melding in with ours. While I was gone I had this idea that there would be alot of new members, and I was unsure how many of the members I knew would still be around. When I popped in and looked at members online I only recognized some names. There were new usernames and I was like, that must be ZI members or just members who joined while I was gone.
This Forum meant alot to me in the past, which is weird to admit because I never expected I’d get attached to an online community or anything. I missed the friends I made here, but while I was gone I thought I’d probably get active again, find other means to stay in touch with those friends on the Forum, and then drift away again eventually.
I’ve stuck around since I got back, and I have no intention to leave willingly.
Coming back when I did was pretty hard because the unexpected happened. Only weeks after I started catching up with everyone I found myself reading Beaut’s Blog entry about Jamie. I’d never had to deal with the death of a friend before now. While I wasn’t as close to Jamie as others were, there were point in 2014 and 2015 when we’d talk daily, and it was always a complete joy, from sports, to Zelda, other video games, or just random stuff. And if I had something that was bothering me Jamie was always willing to listen and give advice.
What always gets to me, and I’ll never be able to forget this, was a reply to a post of mine that I wrote real quick one of the times I checked in on the Forums in 2016. It was a response about BotW (then still just called Zelda Wii U) and how many hours I wanted out of the game, I said something like, “I want to spend at least 100 hours exploring the openworld”. He liked that post, and replied to it. He was like, “I hope to see you active again on the Forums soon!” Talking to him again was something I was looking forward to, unfortunately I never got to. Back in 2015 he told me he suspected the Chicago Cubs would win a World Series, I am a fan of the Cubs and I was skeptical considering the Cub’s track record. I never got to celebrate their 2016 World Series win with Jamie. Aside from NBA basketball, he was pretty big into MLB Baseball too, and a Cubs win was something he told me he’d be just ecstatic to see as me.
There is an aspect to the Forum that will just never be the same after his passing. I honestly probably would have left the Forum to avoid memories of him, but then to see so many members share their experiences with Jamie, and to give testament to what an amazing person he was, and how much he meant to all of us within this online community. I came to realize that I’d do better to stay here because I think it’s what he would have wanted us to do, to stay connected rather than splitting up.
I do regret not speaking when we did that large group call in remembrance of him on Discord. It was just really hard to keep myself together, if I would have said anything I would have choked up. Everyone else who spoke at least kept it together. It also didn’t help that for some reason a former Forum member who was in the call singled me out and was like, “SMS isn’t saying anything!? What a coward!” It was so inappropriate. Many members didn’t say anything for the same reason as me. That aside, the group call was a good experience I’m glad I got to listen to.
Reconnecting with many of my friends here has been great, so coming back to the Forum turned out to be a good thing. Some members I know even better now, after these last 6 months, than I did years ago.
So coming back here has ended up being a big part of influencing this year for me.
Aside from that, I attempted dating a few times this year, one relationship didn’t turn out well. One nit long ago lasted for about 2 months, and I really liked the girl. But she wasn’t from here, is part of the coast guard and was stationed here, but then moved again. We decided it’d be best not to try keeping a relationship alive over long distance, and we are still friends at least and talk.
College has been going well for me, only a few more years left!!! I’m considering maybe taking a course for literature next year, Creative Writing maybe, may as well see if my aspirations to commit to the literary form could be a reality, or should remain merely a dream.
I am looking forward to 2019. Right not it’s only an hour away. I rushed to write this, lol.