I joined a theater group that was run by a bully and then realized that I was not merely hungry for theater but starving for it, and yet unwilling to deal with bullies, so my friends and I started our own group and put on a play and that was great.
Someone I loved died and someone I did not love died and the ending of both of those chapters echoed in strange and sad ways throughout the year.
On a dare I did and then kept doing stand-up comedy and figuring out what I want to do with that and why. I started hosting an open mic night for other people with the same desire to perform in an fairly stress-free and friendly environment. I performed (briefly!) in Bratislava, Berlin, and Brno, and in Vienna, which does not start with a B.
I re-evaluated my need for love and approval and while I don't have it sorted I'm closer than I've been before to learning how to give as much of my own love and approval as I can without giving beyond my means and without expectations. I said "learning".
I turned 50.
I threw out/gave away several boxes of things and felt increasingly lighter, though still more burdened than I would like to be by things I can't let go of.
I am slowly coming to accept that I am an obsessive thinker, a picker of scabs and a terrier of thoughts, and that rather than trying to stop that what I can do is try to be more deliberate in what I obsess over.
I found several old friends and lost one.
We had the parquet floors sanded and refinished, during which time I got extremely squirrelly and realized how thin the line to being insane, and other than a joke that only works in Czech there is not much to say about the whole thing; the floors look almost exactly the same as they did and I look almost as sane as a regular person.
I ran for public office. I didn't think I had any chance of winning, but I tried and that felt good. I have felt so hopeless politically that doing anything, no matter how unlikely to succeed, feels like a step. I met some good people. I talk to my neighbors more than I used to.
I got a new tattoo and I love catching sight of it. I think I cried more this year for no especially compelling reason than I have in many years -- today, for example, I cried over a commercial, a pop song (99 Red Balloons), a Kate Bush interview I read, three news articles. Sometimes it feels like everything is unbearably painful. On the other hand, I pushed myself a lot harder to be brave and open, so I may just be crying from exhaustion. I fell asleep while getting the tattoo.
I saw more concerts than usual (Tiger Lillies, Half Waif, Fink, Iron and Wine, Peter Hook, Rufus Wainwright, David Byrne, Raduza, Dessa, Abby Wolf, Vojtech Dyk, plus Ant Attack and the Ukulele Orchestra and another band I forgot about), and mostly enjoyed them, partly because they were mostly excellent and partly because even if I needed earplugs and even if I didn't have a good time I got to think about performance and purpose in ways that made me reflective and better as a performer and as an audience member, I think. I read less than I wanted to but I generally enjoyed what I read, which was pleasant. Similarly with movies. Maybe with most things: I did less than I wanted to, but I mostly enjoyed what I did.
I remained stunned and delighted by the people I love, by their kindness and brilliance and honesty and braveness.
I'm extremely curious about 2019.