2019 Year-in-Review & 2020 Word of the Year

๐Ÿ“„ I didn’t feel ready to write a year-in-review post before now, but here we are! So what did I get up to this year?

This year I:

  • keynoted IndieWebCamp New Haven
  • had my first freelance librarian gig
  • visited Knoxville, Atlanta, DC, and North Myrtle Beach
  • dealt with at least 5 house contractors
  • finished Project READY
  • worked as an exhibitor at a professional conference for the first time
  • weaned M.
  • went to 3 fan conventions
  • learned how to use MaxQDA
  • hosted M.'s third birthday party
  • moved M. into his own bedroom
  • got anxiety meds
  • tried and loved flotation therapy (still waiting for my ESP to kick in, though)
  • cosplayed 3 different characters
  • special ordered pies from Phoebe Lawless
  • wrote my lit review
  • drafted my proposal
  • passed my comps
I decided to focus exclusively on the positive here. There have been a lot of hard days this year, a lot of illness, a lot of scares, but even the worst days each had something redeeming in them, and I think that's important to remember.

Collage of Kimberly Hirsh in 3 costumes: Luna (cat version), Ariel, Wednesday Addams Cosplays of 2019: Luna - Cat Version (Sailor Moon), Ariel (Ralph Breaks the Internet), Wednesday Addams (The Addams Family, 1991 film)

My word of the year for 2019 was PHASE. My goal was to accept cycles and understand that all things pass. I’m pretty satisfied with how I did with that. I think I’m a much more chill parent at the end of this year than I was at the beginning. In addition to embracing that energy, I wanted to own my personal goth aesthetic, read for pleasure, and have a good time. I think I did all of those really successfully.

With respect to my aesthetic, I expanded it so that it shifts seasonally (tying the phase energy in even here!):

I read a lot for pleasure in the first half of the year, but once comps really ramped up, my brain just wouldn’t take in any more words. I met my goal for the year, thanks to counting single comic issues as books. And of course, if I’d counted every article I read, well… I’ve read a lot. I’ve also read many words of visual novels, but I don’t think GoodReads tracks those.

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Kimberly has completed her goal of reading 24 books in 2019!

I definitely feel like I’ve had a good time this year. I went to Retro films several times, went to Silent Book Club a few times, had a blast wandering around DC with SILS folks for dinner, an escape room, and some Harry Potter Wizards Unite fun, and watched my kid continue to grow. I saw Frozen II and laughed and cried, and Will and I saw Knives Out twice and Benoit Blanc is my new favorite character.

The year’s not over yet, and I’m looking forward to a lot of family fun, submitting the final draft of my dissertation proposal, another trip to North Myrtle Beach, and maybe seeing The Rise of Skywalker before the year is out.

…but onwards, to 2020!

My word of the year for 2020 isย FULL.

While there’s been a ton of good these past couple of years, I have more than once felt empty or hollow, like a pumpkin after you scrape its guts out. I’m done with that nonsense. I’m going to fill my well.

I’m also choosing full in the sense of going full something, in my case Going Full Kimberly. This means refusing to suppress all of the weird bits of myself that make me who I am. Obviously, we behave differently in different contexts, and that’s fine. But too often I find myself thinking things like, “Oh, I won’t double down on my affection for Star Wars because W. is out on Star Wars,” or “I won’t wear those sparkles because I’m too old,” or whatever. And I’m done with that. I’m 38, and it’s time to just be myself unapologetically.

I told W. that for my mid-life crisis, I’m just going to brush up my sewing skills and start creating adult-sized versions of all the sparkly little girl fashion at Target.

When I was a teenager, with only a few rare exceptions, I really liked being myself. Leonie Dawson talks about how you should love yourself, because you’re rad. I’m rad. You’re rad. Let’s stop acting like we’re not rad, y’all.

In the spirit of goingย FULL KIMBERLY, of being Kimberly af, here are the things I’m feeling, my non-resolutions, for 2020:

  • Continue to read for pleasure.
  • Play video games.
  • Pursue my core desired feelings of ease, creativity, and connection.

And then my beautiful, auto-text-generated resolution:

Featured image is a photo I took during Bull Moon Rising, when the Museum of the Moon (by Luke Jerram) was in town.

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