[x]Year In Review 2013.

Nine Inch Nails - "Find My Way" (Album - Hesitation Marks)

Ghosts of who we used to be, I can feel them come for me...

I have been in Florida for 6 years now.  This was another upswing year, with huge improvements on my home and professional life.  For the first time in my adult life I now look forward instead of looking back.  My life isn't about would could have been anymore, it's about would could be.  That is a welcome change.

A few years ago (2009-2010) to be exact, I was pretty broken.  Several bad relationships in a row had derailed me.  I was simply existing, going through the motions, or drifting.  Whatever you want to call it.  Right around fall 2010, I simply said "No more".  I grabbed life by the throat and squeezed as hard as I could.  I manifested my own destiny.  

There will never be another Allison, and there will never be another Alyssa.  I will never let anyone hurt me like that again.  I will never hurt myself like that again.  I am better and stronger than who I used to be, and above all - I have ridiculous standards now as a fail-safe.  Unlike a lot of people around my age, I'm not going to settle for the mundane.  I would rather be 40 and alone than in some half-ass relationship.  

Leading up to my birthday this year (Turning 35) a huge wave of depression hit me square in the heart.  Everything felt really bleak all of a sudden.  It didn't help that HHN had just ended, either.  I was tip-toeing the abyss of bitterness that most my age fall into, when their lives do not turn out exactly as they had hoped.  I almost fell in.  This was something I have feared my entire life.  I expressed this in a phone call to my buddy Joe, who wouldn't hear any of it.  "Man, your stock is rising" to paraphrase - and he was right.  Not many (single) people get to my age without bitterness, crushed dreams, STD's, shitty credit, huge debt, no money, no career, errant children, etc.  I have none of that.  I somehow have most of my life together.  

Though I am nowhere near perfect.

What I realize as this year ends is that my stranglehold on my life may be so tight that small aspects are starting to slip through my fingers.  As my focus has shifted solely to my job, I have let my health slip a bit.  I have put on some weight.  That needs to be fixed.  I also let too many things simply "Ride" - like Cody for example.  Scared me to death when I was 1200 miles away in Michigan and he had to be taken to the pet hospital with stomach problems.  It was probably something that could have been avoided with regular checkups.  If I want to keep the things that I love, I need to better maintain them.  It won't happen again.

Categorically - here are the major talking points of my life in the last 12 months:

THE JOB - I feel like a rock star at MFRMLS.  After interviewing for the position (and crushing it) - I was promoted to Trainer in early 2013.  

February 22nd was my first official day, and I was out training by myself within a month.  I adore my company, my team, and my job.  I love teaching, and I bring a different approach than the other trainers.  I get to bring my own style to what I do.  Watching people learn is addicting.  I have done extremely well for myself, and I am now in a position (with many others) to shape the future of my company.

I also fear for my job.  Not really in a negative way, I just have a healthy fear that keeps me from being lazy, and pushes me daily (sometimes too hard).  I stress about my job because I simply don't want to lose it, and more so because I don't want to let anyone down.  There are many perks that I get, Company Car, Credit Card, etc.  I love it.  It has created a huge change in me.

HOME - I lived in the North Orlando area near the MFRMLS office for most of the year, and decided to get an apartment with Mike in the early fall.  We moved in on September 13th.  With my work consisting of driving all over central Florida, it became really hard to have to deal with downtown Orlando traffic almost every day during rush hour.  I am a bit more centrally located now, on I-drive between Downtown Disney and Sea World.  We live at Cumberland Park.  There are a lot of amenities here, such a gym and movie theater, which I haven't had the chance to utilize yet.  The gym has been being remodeled for the last few months, and the theater just opened.  I am going to have an organized movie night soon.  I love it here.  Cody really seems to be happier here.  Did I mention the hot tub and pool right outside my door?

THE WOMEN - I have become steadily more and more ruthless dating these days.  I'm not exactly young anymore.  If I meet someone (I do meet the occasional girl online) and they don't bring something special to the table immediately - what's the point?  It's not that every single person I meet has to be some long term solution (Marriage) but I'm done with the games.  You don't know what you want?  Cya.  Lurking Ex?  Bye.  No real prospects?  Peace.  There were several dates that I straight up walked out on this year.  Once the little voice in my head asks me why am I wasting my time - it's over.

My mantra is - "If someone isn't adding something to your life, then they are just subtracting."  

This is the life that I have built for myself.  If someone wants to jump on the Johnny Bronto bandwagon and be a team player, so be it.  I'm not carrying anyone anymore.  Several of my more recent relationships have been about being the sum of the parts, not more mind you - just trying to even each other out.  I want more than that.  

There is only one girl in my life right now that I can picture myself with.  She is absolutely amazing, beautiful, smart, inspiring, optimistic, and probably has no idea how I feel about her.  She's one of my favorite people, ever.  She makes me feel dumb when I talk to her.  She has a measure of grace that I have never seen in anyone before.

I know if I don't say something in the near future she will be gone.  The thing is, I don't like who I see in the mirror these days, and she deserves better than who I am currently.  Right now I am some dark thing...  and I want to be amazing and love myself again.  Once that happens - I might be able to find happiness.  I think I would be good for her, and she would be even better for me.  She brings out the only romantic in me that I have left.  

Though, maybe she will only ever see me as a friend.  Maybe we are horribly incompatible.  Who knows.  For now it's just a nice thought.  Realistically I may just be in the friend zone forever (AKA the lowest level of hell) because I refuse to risk it.  This may very well just be denial.  I'm not retreating, just advancing in another direction.

Maybe you are reading this right now and can put two and two together...

It's funny the way life works.  Michelle came back into my life for a few months last summer, and the same exact thing happened the last time she came back.  Deja-vu, all over again.  I care about her as more than a friend, yet I realize that it would never work.  That is a weird place to be with someone.  I want her to be happy, but I don't want to be that lurking ex.  We both deserve better.

I ran into Alyssa a few weeks back at complete random (She works at a Best Buy that I used to work at) who big surprise is working on her second divorce.  Go figure - Womp womp.  After a short exchange, I realized that she is either the exact same person or has regressed, where I have evolved.  Her simple skill set doesn't really do much for me where I am.  I suppose some things come standard.

There have been a few blips on the radar this year.  The stowaway will probably get me into trouble, but she's fun for now.  Hopefully if I continue to date I will get a little more patient.  I'm in a really lonely place in my life right now, yet some people are going to find themselves phased out this year.  I have been keeping too many plot threads open, spreading myself too thin.

Loving a little bit of a lot of women doesn't really add up to much, so it's going to stop.  Too much of me is too tied up in things that are never going to happen. 

Some people are going to be phased out of my life in 2014.

I'm extremely guarded these days.  It would take someone extremely special to get through all of this armor, but it's something I need right now.  I sincerely hope that some soon reaches into this shadow and finds my heart, because I know it's in there - it's just atrophied from lack of use.  I've gotten too good at hiding.  

THE SHOW - If you haven't heard (You should have) - we started a weekly webcast called the Hump and Bronto show.  www.thehumpandbrontoshow.com - We discuss movies/shows/geek life in general.  The website is a few months behind, but our old shows can be found 24/7 on youtube.  We had been talking about it for years, and finally got around to starting about 6 months ago.  Looking forward to getting the show going again, hopefully with some better organization/formatting/technology in 2014.  We have a LOT of fun with the show, and our guest stars Tara, Tarl, and sometimes Johanna.  Please tune in.

Thank you's 2013.

My mom and family - Thank you for allowing me to find myself.
Mike - Thanks for all of the help and backing me up.
Noel - Thank you for suggesting Dragon-Con I had a good time.
My Friends - Thank you for being there when I need you, and putting up with me.
MFRMLS/My Team - Without the company my life wouldn't be possible.  Someone could offer me twice as much money and I wouldn't leave.
HHN - Even though you sometimes feel like a part time job, you give me about a month and a half of distraction every single year.  

So how did I do on my last year's resolutions?  Pretty good.

1.  Kick even more ass at my job. I was promoted to a Trainer in February and have been kicking ass ever since.  I even framed the email that went out:

2.  Try get a little more discipline and get myself healthier.  Cut down on soda, etc.  Well I did cut soda out of my life in early 2013, will be trying to switch to 99% water in 2014.
3.  Try to write more - if it's movie reviews or poems, get some more words out there.  I did write some in this last year, not as much as I would like.  We did finally start the show, so I have had a good amount of creative outlet over the last 6 months.
4.  Find someone so I don't have to spend the next New Year's Eve alone.  Well, not JUST for that reason.  I wasn't very successful at dating in 2013.  I guess this remains to be seen about NYE.
5.  Get some breathing room financially.  My job has helped me get ahead of the financial curve, and I have been able to save for the first time in years.
6.  Do HHN right this year, maybe even HOS.  I went to Halloween Horror Nights 22 times this year (You read that right) with express.  I ended up the #1 person in my faction (I was the Strengoit King) for the Legendary Truth game.  Met Mike Aeillo, the creative director for Halloween Horror Nights.

I was also able to go out alone to Tampa and enjoy Howl-O-Scream for the first time ever.  Great year for haunts all around, and I had a lot of fun and met a bunch of new people.


1.  Be even more of a Rock Star at my job.
2.  Lose some weight and start taking better care of myself.
3.  Get my book out.
4.  Try to get a bit more organized with the show, movie nights, etc.
5.  I would like to meet someone, but I am resigned to focus on myself this year.  Would be nice to finally spend a New Year's Eve with someone.
6.  Have another great year at Halloween Horror Nights 24.  9 and a half months away!  :)

2014 - Finding my grace and gravity.