2016: A Retrospective

This year was a pretty tumultuous one in my life. The first half of it for me was largely unmemorable and forgotten except for one major event: I left my wife.

Ending that relationship wasn’t easy, nor should it have been. We’d been together my entire adult life, she was my first and only real relationship. But in the latter half I’d become dissatisfied and unhappy. We’d drifted apart, some stuff had happened between us that had driven a wedge and we never seemed to have a lot of time or interest in each other anymore. We tried to fix things a few times, but any efforts were half-hearted. Ultimately it felt like we were together out of complacency and that wasn’t good enough any more.

Call it a midlife crisis or just a wake up call, but at some point around May I knew I couldn’t continue that way and that it was long past the point of repair, or of me caring anymore. I’d burned out and I needed to move on with my life.

My wife was my best friend and I destroyed her by doing that. We don’t even talk anymore, because she can’t deal with the pain it brings. If only I’d destroyed one relationship this year…

Soon after separating, I fell into another relationship with a close friend. I knew it was a mistake from the start, but I was still reeling from the separation and I needed something. My aching heart won out over my brain and I fell hard for her. Then it ended in the worst possible way. I was crushed, utterly, and in the wake of the separation too I was in a bad place. I tried desperately to hold on to the friendship we’d had before, but it was tainted now, a reminder of the feelings I was still struggling with and the pain I was feeling. Ultimately I wasn’t strong enough to ignore it and I lost another friend, choosing a try and find a happier future over trying to recover a something now past.

Throughout all of this, I’ve mostly dealt with it alone. I deliberately didn’t reach out to friends or family, not wanting to cause any fallout on the other people involved or to be a burden myself. It’s been the hardest part of these past 8 months or so, as it feels like I’ve thrown away not just my marriage but also all the friends and family we shared.

But it’s not been all bad.

I completed and published a roleplaying game product more or less single-handedly. Rusthaven came out in the middle of the year and while it’s not been an earth-shattering success, I’m immensely proud of the achievement.

My name is in the credits for Titanfall2, due to the work I’ve done with Multiplay. Knowing I helped make that game happen, and furthermore was recognised in the credits for it, has been incredibly satisfying.

I’ve built a nice new life for myself. Got a flat near work and kitted myself out with some nice tech to make myself more comfortable. I’m pleased with the new life I’m building and I feel like I have a future.

Speaking of which, I met someone who is making me happy. It’s early, but I’m in love, I’m happy and I can see a future.

This year has been one of hard, difficult choices. It’s been one of mistakes, but also one of learning. I feel I’ve grown a lot as a person and while some of that growth is scar tissue, I think the majority is positive.