Happy 2020

So, a new decade has started1. Hopefully this next one will go a lot better than the last one.

How the 2010s went for me

2010 started out nice enough. I was in what seemed like a good relationship and in a stable, if unexciting, job in San Francisco. I had achieved a certain level of homeostasis that felt comfortable enough, even if I felt trapped by not being able to express myself the way I wanted to.

2011 was a start of something good, aborted by something terrible. I finally started HRT, but had a bad reaction to spironolactone which led to some health problems. In the middle of all that, my partner died under circumstances that made me second-guess everything about both him and myself, and everything spiraled out of control pretty quickly. This made my latent fibromyalgia and anxiety issues go full-blown, and everything else just sort of fell apart after that. I had to go cold turkey on caffeine, which turned out to be me self-medicating for ADHD; I lost my grounding, and found myself flailing about for a while.

I ended up adopting Werner, and for related-in-a-complicated-way reasons ended up moving back to Seattle, where I bought a nice home in a great part of town and also adopted Fiona. I went back to Amazon (“It’ll be different this time,” I was assured), mostly to get someone else to pay for my move, put in my requisite two years there before having enough (because no, it wasn’t), went to HBO, loved my job but was very unable to focus on things at all, left two years later to pursue… well, a whole bunch of things simultaneously, in what turns out to be an incredibly ADHD way, then opted to try working in the non-profit research sector, and found myself unable to focus and stay committed to that job too. Through all of those jobs my pain and anxiety and stuff just kept on intensifying.

There were some positives too, though. I finally had enough with hiding and delaying my gender stuff. In addition to the HRT, I got an orchiectomy in 2014, and later an atypical GRS almost exactly three years later. Writing about the latter experience has helped other people to find options that they wouldn’t have normally known about, and that’s made a big difference in other peoples' lives, which is immensely satisfying. I also finally got fed up with presenting male-as-default and have become far more comfortable in my own skin as a result.

I also published 13 albums, recorded a lot of other music, published two full volumes of Unity, one issue of Lewi, drew a lot of comics, produced/developed/scored several games, cofounded an augmented reality startup, and finally built some of the social web tools I’d been dreaming about since around 2002. And in 2019 I finally got diagnosed with both fibromyalgia and ADHD, both of which explain a lot about many of my lifelong struggles and also give me hope for being able to learn to exist in a way that suits me.

Outside of myself, I saw society continue to get incredibly divided, or at least the latent divisions bubbling to the surface, fueled particularly by the centralized social networks that I never found particularly, you know, Good, and which turned all of society against itself in the name of “maximizing engagement.” We as a society have greatly suffered for it.

What I’m hoping for from the 2020s

I hope to learn to handle my fibromyalgia and ADHD. I hope I can find the right balance of medication, habits, and life priorities to help me thrive.

I hope to work in spaces that benefit society. People over profits, and helping people to find their own voice. Fewer influencers, more influence.

I hope to find more happiness and improve my connections to community, especially locally.

I hope that we can all learn to put mutual benefit over short-term greed.

I hope for a decade of prosperity, love, empathy, and kindness.

  1. Some people are already saying the decade doesn’t start until 2021 because of the whole “1 BC → 1 AD” thing. 

    First of all, that would only make sense if we were calling this “the 203rd decade,” which isn’t something I’ve heard anyone do in normal conversation.2

    Secondly, the year “1 AD” is a retrofitted designation based on an arbitrary date that was established in what we now call the year 1582, and there’s nothing of particular interest that makes the starting point of the Gregorian calendar any reasonable absolute reference point.

    And most importantly, we refer to the decade as “the ‘20s,” which starts in 2020. So there.

  2. In response to “Happy new decade!” my dad wrote: 

    Actually, once again, just about everyone has jumped the gun–this is the last year of the second decade of the 21st century. 2021 starts the new decade. But Happy Whatever, anyway.

    Okay, dad… 🙄


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