2015 – a lookback…on AWESOMENESS!

So, I’ve noticed that the past few years I’ve done a “This is what I’d like to accomplish/do in the following year” type post…but I haven’t actually looked back or reflected on the year that’s been.

I thought I might change it around this year and just do a look back on some of the big things that have happened for me this year – which will hopefully be able to put me in a better mindset for where I want to go next year!

Many gigs!

This year was truly the year for attending music gigs and festivals. This year alone I’ve seen (in no particular order): Soundwave 2015 (easier to link the lineup!), Soilwork, Ne Obliviscaris, Rise Against, Unwritten Law, Black Dahlia Murder, Orpheus Omega, A Breach of Silence, Vessel Born, Halestorm, Plini, In Death, Symbolic Weapon, Chronolyth, Tria Mera…

Soundwave 2015 was an amazing festival and it’s a shame that it will officially be the last one, with Soundwave 2016 now cancelled. They definitely went out on a high though, with Faith No More and Soundgarden. Got an amazing pic of the crowd on the final night!

It’s really has been a fantastic year for music, and I’ve really enjoyed getting out more and seeing more bands live – and seeing more local acts. Huge fan of some of the local Brisbane/Queensland metal scene and we’ve got some amazing artists – if you’ve never been to a local gig, should come on out and support your local acts!

Rediscovered colouring in…and it’s the best meditation EVER

I’m going to be a bit hipster and say, I was into this shit *before* it became popular. I had kids colouring books stashed in my drawers that I’d pull out and colour in when I felt stressed or anxious.

It’s amazing to now finally have adult colouring books with lots of detail and pages that can take you hours of not days to complete. It is one of the most relaxing and calming things I’ve ever found to do and I need to remember to do it more. I started up an Imgur album with my completed pages from “Enchanted Forest” and I’m hoping to add more to it soon. I spent a bucket load of cash on some decent Prismacolors, and I plan to devote more time to this hobby in the new year!

More Lego!

I got more Lego. This should come as no surprise to anyone, but some of the pieces I got this year were beautiful – Parisian Restaurant, Detective’s Office, Slave I, & Ecto-1. My collection is growing steadily, though there are now fewer and fewer pieces I actually want…and of course the ones I do want are stupidly expensive (Orin, I’m going to raid your house and steal your Millenium Falcon :P)

2016 will see me get the Ghostbusters Firehouse (despite its disgusting price tag O.o) and hopefully the Creator Bank (to go with the rest of my Creator collection). I’d also like to collect a few more pieces from the Star Wars range, including some of the pieces from the Episode 7 – Rey’s Speeder would be a great set, if only I could get my hands on it!

New “holy bejebus this thing is grunty!” PC

Getting new PC’s (as other half got one too) this year was a big deal. Our PC’s were old…very old (about 7 years old, actually), and were struggling to keep up. My hard drive was dying, my video card was having difficulties keeping up with the games we wanted to play, so we bit the bullet and bought new ones.

They’re AMAZING! How I lived without SSD’s before, I’ll never know. Evatech is who we bought them through and they were brilliant. Literally arrived, plugged in and away we went. Can’t speak highly enough of them.

For those interested in the geek porn: the stats of the new PC and the photos of the setup (and my disgustingly filthy desk!).

Got my first tattoo

This was pretty exciting…and as others have said to me, it is somewhat addictive. I’m already thinking of a few new designs I want to get done (Lego R2-D2, baby!) and where to put them.

Didn’t hurt anywhere near as much as I expected. More an annoying irritant than anything, like getting bitten by a mozzie or ant over and over again.

Was a great thing to finally get done and I *love* my finished piece. Shout out to Liam, my boss, for suggesting the tattoo shop and to the tattooist herself, Brooklyn Seawright!

Did some semi-major renovations to the house

Originally we wanted to put a whole new story in under the house – but when the quote came back ($200K?! Fuck that!) we decided against that and started looking at other things we could do.

So instead of getting some new rooms, we got a new driveway and garage. Has made the house look *way* bigger…and better! Took quite a few months (started the process back in June/July and it was only finish a week before Christmas!) but it was well worth it.

Turned 30

I’m not sure if anything has actually changed, but turning 30…it is kind of a corner. You’re not “young” any more. You’re definitely an adult. You have adult responsibilities and adult cares and all that jazz. Might take a bit longer for my parents to wake up to the fact that I’m not a “kid” anymore…though I’m not sure parents ever really make that switch! (EDIT – this is not a slight on my parents. I’ve noticed this is the same with EVERY parent and their kids…even when their “kid” is in their 50’s or 60’s. It’s a parent thing, and it’s not intended as an insult!)

I didn’t think it’d make that much of a difference, and I certainly don’t feel any different, but I have noticed that it’s had a slight difference professionally. You’re more likely to be taken seriously once you hit a certain age, more doors are open to you, opportunities are available that weren’t before because you’re considered too young.

Plus side to turning 30, you get amazingly awesome presents…like this geeky charm bracelet my parents bought for me! There have been a few additions since, including a TIE Fighter and a D20 die ^_^

Diagnosed with anxiety/panic/OCD

This was a big one…and probably not the most “awesome” part of the year. A lot of it I already kind of knew, but had never been formally diagnosed. This year was the year it all came to a head and I discovered what’s actually going on in my head.

Won’t go into too much detail here because I did an insanely massive post on it a few months back.

It’s now something I understand a lot better – and something I’ve stopped apologising for. My brain works differently to others and, due to my anxiety, I see threats where most people see none. There’s nothing I can do about it, it’s just the way I’m wired. Due to my OCD, things will stress me out if they’re not done a certain way – again, not something I apologise for any more because *it’s just the way I’m wired* (hilariously, I actually typed that as “just the way I’m weird” originally…either would fit!)

I’m seeing a psychologist, who is amazing. If you or someone you know suffers from any mental health condition, I highly recommend speaking. It really does make a huge difference.

Worked on two HUGE projects – 2003 & 2012 R2 AD

So…those who know me *may* know that I have a hatred for Server 2003 servers and would like to see them die in a fire. Just a little.

This year was the year the biggest project I’ve ever worked on came to a head and was completed…well, almost, I’ve got 2 left, but that’s still pretty damn impressive! The project itself was a massive piece of work that I coordinated and worked on solidly for 7 months of 2015. It was a hard slog, it was a lot of work but it was totally worth it. I got some awesome praise for my work for this, even nominated for an award at work because of it!

The next project came about purely by accident (with my putting my hand in the air going ‘Sure, we can do that!”) and it was a fairly quick rollercoaster. From a mish-mash of different OS’s to having all our domains now hosted on 2012 R2, and be 2012 R2 functional level in just over 3 months (September to November 2015). It was a lot of fun, I learnt a lot in the process and I’m currently writing up another massive technical blog posts on the stuff I did in commissioning new domain controllers and removing old domain controllers – all the tips, tricks and gotchas. Hopefully be useful (and hopefully up sometime in early January 2016!)

In general, work was pretty good – it’s always nice to have a good meaty project to sink your teeth into. Not sure what 2016 holds in store for me, hoping to find something equally big to keep me focused!

Guest on “The Current Status” podcast

Due to my work on the 2003 project, I was invited to speak on a technical podcast, called “The Current Status“…which was amazing!

To be recognised professionally, externally from your work place, is a really cool thing, and I was very honoured to be asked to speak. Had a great time on the podcast with Phoummala & Theresa and it is definitely something I’d be interested in doing again – just need to find more things to talk about!

Spoke at Microsoft Ignite Australia 2015!

Talk about a massive professional achievement. This was *the* professional achievement for me for the year – even bigger than my 2003 decommissioning project – and that’s saying something!

Earlier in the year, I was speaking with a friend (Hi Macca!) who suggested I put forward an abstract to speak at the Microsoft Ignite Australia. I laughed, said “Sure” and then thought “Oh holy hell, what have I just agreed to?!”

The rest is well…already written down in a few posts I did. My talk is also online for those who want to watch it!

I had an absolute blast – it was stressful, nerve-wracking, terrifying beyond all belief but absolutely amazing. And I would totally do it again. Hoping that I’ll get invited back again this year – and maybe even get a chance to go over and do something similar for Microsoft Ignite New Zealand!

Continued down the path of “Be myself”

This was probably the biggest one for me. I became more comfortable in my own skin. Few admissions here that are going to be scary for me to do publicly but screw it.

I’m the heaviest I’ve been ever. That’s pretty scary. But at the same time, right now, I love myself. I love the way I look – you only need to look through my Twitter/Instagram this year to see my selfies this year (like this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or even this one! Gods, I was a bit of a photo tart this year, wasn’t I?!)

I’d never been a big one for selfies, but this year I seemed to have become far more comfortable with who I am and have been far happier to show it – including with the ubiquitous selfie! There was also a shift towards being the person I am when I’m not at work. I love gothing it up for a night out, as much as I love glamming it up! Nothing wrong with enjoying both!

This is me, take it or leave it – words I said, but didn’t really live by. Now I do! ^_^

So, my year in review. Been a topsy turvy one. Lots of good, few rough patches but generally a fairly good year. Hoping to continue with an awesome follow up year in 2016!

1 thought on “2015 – a lookback…on AWESOMENESS!

  1. Andrew Tobin (@tobin)

    “including a TIE Fighter and a D20 die ^_^” – yeah I can’t imagine why it’s hard for your parents not to see you as a kid anymore 😉

    I have Depression and Anxiety and yeah, it’s great to finally start working on that – and I started a lot later than you… the trap that I try not to fall into (but do, constantly because selfish) is using it as an excuse for things – not to others, but just to myself.

    My personal mediation is 4-7-8 breathing – a coworker sent it to me and I think he was joking because he saw someone tweet it or something, but it calms me right down, and at night I used to lay awake, count down from 200, different things… this puts me right out within minutes.


    Anyway, you’ve done a heckuva lot – taken good chances, achieved, and had a pretty good year I’d say. Kinda jelly 😉


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