in Markel!

Twenty Seventeen

I was going to use tonight to lament the fact that I didn’t reach much in the way of my goals this year, but then this happened:

So instead, I figured I’d talk a bit about my hopes for the next year. 2016 was a weird one, and for at least myself it felt like a lot of treading water. I want more out of myself in 2017. So in no particular order, here are some things I want for myself, loosely defined so it’s harder to be disappointed in another year:

  • Eat better. I did not make nearly the progress on my personal health this year I’d hoped for. Part of it is that my gym attendance hasn’t been stellar, but the other part—what I think is the bigger part—is that I didn’t shift my eating habits enough. Too much eating out, not enough moderation, still too much drinking diet sodas and not enough water. I’m also hoping to boost my gym attendance, but changing my eating to be more sensible will probably make a bigger change in my weight, health, and energy levels. I’m diabetic, but I still don’t eat in a way that addresses that properly. (I also think that setting this expectation is healthier for me than setting a specific weight goal.)
  • Learn JavaScript. I have a working (but not really proficient) knowledge of PHP that helps me in my line of work, but I have zero understanding of JavaScript and how it works or how to write anything with it. The future is going to slide even further towards things like single-page apps and more dynamic web interfaces. I believe I can succeed at this because it also has a passion project motivation, tied up in my last goal.
  • Be a positive force in the fighting game community. I’m leaving this goal super vague because I do not yet know how or if I will succeed, but I have already made some moves to try to accomplish things, ranked from easiest to accomplish to hardest:
    • I am going to play less and volunteer more at Combo Breaker in 2017. I do this because I had a fantastic time helping other people have a good experience, and because by helping more, I can learn things from the best. At least as a player, attending more than one major event a year is not feasible for me. I need to maximize my opportunity this year, and that means helping, listening, and learning.
    • The JavaScript passion project I spoke of above is learning to work with NodeCG next year and how to integrate it well with OBS for broadcasting. NodeCG has a lot of promise for applications in the FGC, and I’d like to explore that and maybe bring some new things to the streaming table.
    • The St. Louis FGC scene (well, the non-Smash part of it) ran into some rough days in late 2016. Earlier in the year, I had asked some people I trust about the scene, and to be frank, there weren’t too many good things said to me about the StL community in those conversations, and that’s a shame. I’d like to help make some positive change here. I am already sending out inquiries to find a suitable venue for a monthly, and I’ve been doing some work at leveling up my streaming chops to make sure I can present the St. Louis community well. I do not know if I’ll be successful, but at the very least, I can and will try.

That’s what I’m hoping for out of my upcoming year. All I can realistically plan for myself is to give it a shot and see what happens. I might fail. I might find more of my own shortcomings. And that would be OK.

If you see me talking about these things next year, nudge me and ask me how I’m doing. Or I might be asking you from time to time about these things to try to learn from you as I go.

Here’s to leveling up in 2017.