For many people, this has been one of the worst years in recent history. There have been celebrity deaths, terrible tragedies, and plenty of political upsets that I won't get into here. And even though I will admit that this hasn't been the best year I've ever had, I want to stick to the positives. 2016 has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but I'm going to focus on the highs.
This year I became fully invested in Dungeons and Dragons. I started playing the year before, but this is where the love grew. I watched friends get hooked, get interested, and get pulled in to their own fantasy worlds. D&D had a massive surge in popularity this past year, as evident by the multiple web shows now running, the dozens of streamers who have a designated D&D night, and the multitude of people I know that have gone from never having played to having weekly sessions. Personally, I started making my own maps, collecting older D&D books, reading the lore of the ever growing realms, and most importantly, having some of the most friends with my friends that I've ever had. Dungeons and Dragons has become my single favorite game to play, hands down. I think about it more than I think about how often I should call my parents. It has taken hold of me and I couldn't be happier. It is fantastic in every regard and I wish I was playing right now.
This year I got back into reading. I had stagnated ever since leaving high school, only reading a very small number of books throughout college and the couple of years after I graduated. I changed that. I read somewhere close to 20 books in the last year, almost averaging two books a month. It's been so rewarding. It's helped rekindle my love of sci-fi and gotten the gears turning for my own writing endevours.
I wrote a ton this year. I kept at it, and while I can't say I've seen myself improve a lot, I've at least stayed consistent. And I've tried new things! I made it a point to start trying out different styles of writing, writing in different genres, and writing things I've never done before like scripts and such. I started the Archive and I've kept myself creating something every week for the last six months, and I'm extremely proud of that. It's kept alive my drive and love of writing, and helped fuel me to keep going forward with one of my passions.
I made so many friends this year. I've always tried to surround myself with like minded individuals, and the friends I've made are some of the best. Everyone I've met and talked to this year have been kind, creative, and most of the time, utterly inspiring. So many talented artist, musicians, editors... Far too many to list. I had some of the most fun this year that I've had my entire life, and I wouldn't trade any of those memories, nor give up any of the friendships I've forged and rekindled this year.
I made an effort to try and be funnier than I've ever been this year. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't, but I tried. Vine was one outlet that I'll miss deeply, but it helped me so much. It kept me trying new jokes, keeping people laughing and kept me thinking of new ways to film myself doing silly things. I tried to become more active on twitter in a comedic way, posting more jokes and less, "I ate a sandwich, it was good," tweets. And I'm happy with all that. I feel like I've grown comedically this year, and that's something I've never thought about. Being funnier. But this year I tried, and I feel like I succeeded.
2016 for me was definitely not the best year of my life, but I'll be damned if I didn't have some fun in it. And while it is hard to look past a lot of the bad that's happened and to try and look forward to brighter futures, I still want to look back on this year with a smile for the things I've done. This was an important year for me in a lot of ways, and I want to be able to look back and remember the things I did, all the positives, and use that to make 2017 even better.
I hope your 2016 had some highs in it as well. Thank you for coming to the Archive. Thank you for reading, whether this is your first post, or your 3