2016? Let’s just say I’ve had better years. And I don’t only mean that for Trump is President/Prince is Dead reasons.
Maybe someday I’ll write about it in more detail, but as the year began I had a job for which I was spectacularly unsuited, wasn’t very good at, and was very unhappy in.
Then in February I lost that job. I’ve been unemployed a few times as an adult- when you choose journalism as a career, that kind of goes with the territory- but this time was a little different. I started out relieved, since no longer having to go to an office that felt like walking death had its advantages. But that wore off pretty quickly, and before long I was pretty miserable in a whole other way. Call it a combination of boredom, career frustration, and the feeling that I was letting my family down.
Oh, and then my car got crashed into, with me in it, right after I parked in my driveway. My neighbor had neglected to pull the parking brake, so his car rolled down the hill into mine. No injuries, thankfully, but the car was totaled, and it freaked me out more than a little, especially when Anton Yelchin was killed a few weeks later under similar circumstances.
Luckily, in the fall things got better- I finally got a new job, slightly outside the field of pure journalism, but one that’s hugely satisfying, creatively rewarding, and with a group of people that I genuinely enjoy working with every day. (You can see my FRG work at the Anderson Frank blog, and at its Twitter account.)
In recent weeks, I’ve also had time to do some new side writing. I’m happy to be writing two pieces a week for Family Focus Media, publisher of Main Line Parent and Philadelphia Family magazines, on such fun topics as a roundup of local Star Wars events and a preview of the Home Alone performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
And I’m also now doing some writing for Philly Voice. In my first piece I broke a pretty big local arts story, about talks to bring Hamilton to Philadelphia and in my second, I interviewed Wing Bowl champion-turned-convicted-drug-dealer-turned-author Bill “El Wingador” Simmons.
So at the end of the year, I can take stock, and be the happiest I’ve been, probably since the end of my eight-year run at Napco in the summer of 2015. My family is happy and healthy. My wife is honestly the greatest. My kids are thriving and do new things that wow me every single day. I am continuously blessed to have so many friends and family in my life, and I’m enjoying a wonderful vacation in California. I finally have a job I enjoy going to every day, I did a whole lot of writing in 2016 in which I can take pride.
For 2017? Onward and upward. I have but three new years’ resolutions: I’m going to get this physical fitness thing figured out, I’m going to spend a lot less time staring at my phone when my kids are around, and I’m going to stop writing for content farms.
Happy holidays, and happy new year, everyone!