2022 Annual Review: Weddings, writing, and my relationship to work
This was a year where I continued to reflect on who I am now, who I want to be, and how I want to live my life.
I’m still figuring out a lot about myself. The goalpost is always moving as I change and evolve, but I sense that I’m inching closer to my truth. I’m striving toward a life of freedom, adventure, and amazing relationships. I want to become a man who is resilient, caring, inspiring, and of service to others.
With that, here is my year in review.
Landed a new job in Restructuring
Did a photo shoot with Bells of Steel for their fitness equipment
Went offroading with the boys in Ghost Lake
Went skiing most weekends (Kirk and Haley visited from Michigan)
Saw a moose up close
Travelled to Costa Rica for Annie’s wedding (Caught a Pacific Sailfish!)
Canoed down the Columbia River
Visited Whistler to watch Maggie and Kira run a half marathon
Went to the F1 Grand Prix in Montreal for Paul’s bachelor party
Travelled to PEI for Greg’s wedding and had a blast in Nova Scotia for the weekend (seafood and pergolas!)
Munched on bull kelp while kayaking in Victoria (tasty)
Saw Nora En Pure live and she was amazing
A few more weddings (Karen, Chris and Marisa, Carla’s cousin in Victoria)
Had Mr. Dot (cherry angioma) removed from my forehead
Built a sauna with my dad
Had a $300 traffic ticket thrown out
Was offered a Junior Copywriting position (ultimately turned it down)
Went to the Ottawa Christmas Market and tasted maple taffy for the first time (pour maple syrup on snow and twirl it on a stick)
Attended regular counselling sessions
Landed a job in Restructuring lol
Had an MRI as part of a study and found something in my head (nothing to worry about I don’t think, but was scary)
Caught covid and was out of commission for about a week
Didn’t write at all
Rejected from a job that would have been a better fit
🧬 Stuff I discovered this year
A dozen lives by Stew Fortier
Build a business, not an audience by Jakob Greenfeld
The Opportunity Cost of Everything by Jack Raines
Excuse me but why are you eating so many frogs by Adam Mastroianni
Want to build a side business? Just buy a great Domain Name by Peter Askew
According to my Spotify Wrapped, my mornings started with “Peaceful Calm Quiet” and I embraced the night with “Angst Hype Lit”
Top songs were:
Top Artists were:
Ed Sheeran (my boi!)
Bring Me The Horizon
🧪 Life lessons
Don’t put off the things you want to do. Life moves fast, and if you wait for all your ducks to be in a row before you do the damn thing, you might miss your chance.
I can accept my life path as being different. Things would be a lot easier if I could put my head down and work a traditional career, but I won’t be happy with easy, and I’m okay with that now.
No one—not your family, not your partner, not the people you trust the most in this world—has the answers for you. Take advice from others, but discard what you don’t need and question everything.
It’s okay to have a few too many beers with friends or binge a show every once in a while WITHOUT feeling bad for being unproductive. We’re all going to get swallowed up in the end.
❓Questions to ask myself
Alignment (The ship’s rudder)
Do I truly want this?
Do I truly want to be a copywriter? I had made plans to quit and go back to freelance copywriting. It was lucrative, and doing so meant that I could leave the confines of full-time employment quickly. After sitting with the idea and completing some small projects, the answer was no. I’d much rather be writing stories and building something for myself, than shilling other people’s products.
Can I do both?
Can I work a full-time job and freelance for clients on the side? Again, the answer was no. It didn’t matter if work got busy because deadlines are deadlines, and I had clients counting on me. Too much stress. In 2023, I’m focusing on writing this newsletter and biding my time for the right opportunity.
What am I neglecting?
I’ve realized that I went an entire year without writing fiction (or anything at all, for that matter). I wrote about this neglect here, and I’m committing to “writing most days,” as Paul Millerd eloquently put it.
North Star (The lighthouse)
Am I happy?
I’m genuinely happy. I have great relationships, a thriving social life, and excellent health. The only pebble in my shoe is finding the work I love and want to keep doing.
Who am I?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m still figuring out who exactly Alex is. All I know for sure is that when I’m writing stories, I feel alive.
Am I moving toward my mountain?
I wasn’t, but this newsletter is one small step in the right direction.
📸 Pics of the year
⚗️ Stuff to work on for next year
💰 Finances (🤏 muddling along)
Keep saving and paying down debt
Invest in assets (domains with potential, cash-flowing businesses)
Secure a higher paying job (or even better, start earning money online again and leave employment)
💪 Physical health (👍 rock solid)
Continue to reduce drinking (alcohol-free substitutes have come a long way; my favourite is the Nonny Pale Ale)
Commit to boxing (conditioning)
❤️ Relationships (👍 rock solid)
Schedule more date nights with Carla
Continue to plan trips and events with friends
Listen more, talk less
Spend time with my parents
Read a book on relationships and take notes
🔮 Mental/emotional/spiritual well-being (🤏 muddling along)
Make time to go outside in the sun
Learn to sketch (less screen time)
Connect and be of service to my internet homies
Don’t worry so much about the future
⛷ Fun + hobbies (👍 rock solid)
Plan and schedule a backcountry hike
Book tickets to the US Open
🧩 Work (👎 needs work)
Create, create, create
Write, write, write
When something feels interesting, take action
Repeat until the work reveals itself
🧺 Bucket List
Buy a house
Leave traditional employment for good
Start a community for fiction writers
Have a short story published in the Magazine of Fantasy & Sci-Fi
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