I've noticed that there are a few things I've not done in 2013.
I haven't worn a suit all year.
I haven't left the country (which means in under four hours, I will have spent an entire calendar year in one country for the first time since 1997.)
I haven't been on a plane.
I've been adjusting to live outside of politics, and life out of having a "real" job. There was no public service work, no steady paychecks that come in regardless of what I've done in terms of actual work. Now I wake up early in the morning and do personal training or bootcamp at 6am, then I train myself, then the midday period is nap time or time to prepare for upcoming work, and then evenings mean trivia.
With trivia, I'm doing three and soon to be four shows a week. The emerging trend is for me to write and deliver the quizzes myself, which means everything on every quiz is dynamite and there is no filler and no feelings of pandering. In short, I am better at hosting trivia than I have ever been at any job I've ever done anywhere in the world, and I'm going to keep doing it. It is becoming a small business, to the point that I may soon have more demand for my trivia than I can personally handle, so I may have to employ someone for the first time ever. This business may expand slowly, and it may never make me wealthy, but it stands to grow and to make me a living, and it feel more legitimate than anything I've done in as long as I can remember.
So I get paid a lot less, I do more actual work, and I'm a lot happier.
Recently I've taken on a personal slogan. I keep telling myself to "Own it." Whatever I do, I have to own it. I used to plan on getting back into a real job after I dealt with my depression (still dealing with it by the way, and getting better at it or at least getting used to it.) Part of me used to feel self conscious when I had to admit that I haven't worn a suit in ages or haven't had any of the trappings of having a proper career. Friends and colleagues of mine are now working for cabinet ministers and making several times what I currently make, which means they are off living the high life and filling my Facebook feed with pics of holiday splendour. I don't begrudge them that. Not at all. But I'm getting much better at saying I don't want that, certainly not if it means taking a job at which I would be competent and adequate, but not in any sense fulfilled or even "good."
I'm not likely to be a captain of industry or a master of the universe. That's ok. I own that.
I don't have a job that explicitly requires a University degree. That's ok. I own that.
I don't get any benefits with my current job. I am entirely responsible for my trivia and training businesses. If I want a holiday, I don't get paid. If I get sick, I don't get paid. (Luckily I haven't been sick all year. It's amazing what slowing down and cutting the rubbish out of your life will accomplish.) That's all ok. I own that.
I'm 36, unmarried, no kids, no mortgage, no trappings of adulthood. That's ok. I own that. (I can, however, deadlift twice my bodyweight, and clean & jerk 100kg, which is new, and which stands to see further improvement. I also won the award for Outstanding Forward, Best and Fairest, and Player's Player in addition to playing my 100th game with the Sydney Convicts after several matches of captaining a side for the first time ever.)
My current life is less impressive, (at least to the ten years ago version of myself who left Canada with plans to conquer the world.) But I keep finding myself more satisfied with the life I do have compared to what I had planned. I have more control over my life than I did. I own it.
So it's been a good year.
P.S. Anyone who is interested in trivia can follow along with IQ Trivia on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IQTrivia or on Twitter @IQTriviaNight