Looking Back on 2013

If in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead.
Gelett Burgess

So, during the final days of this artificial division of time into years, it’s a good opportunity to look back at 2013 and reflect a little. Normally, I would do another life-newspaper (e.g., Another Year, another Life-Newspaper, or Year’s End: Time for a Life Newspaper), but I don’t know whether I can find the motivation and time.

So, when I look at my calendar, my DEVONthink databases, my notes — what has changed, what have I learned?

  • I think I did write a nice manual (in German) about academic writing. Much of it is already included in the 2012 book (in English), but some material is new.
  • I also participated in two guided photo-shootings with nice results (I think).
  • I also did develop (and program!) a nice critical thinking iOS app. It is stable and — hopefully — also useful to think more critically about an highly emotionally charged topic (obesity).
  • I realized that the disconnect — between how science is done (in Germany) and how I think science should be — will probably mean a career change for me. Giving the situation I am in, it’s only a matter of time.
  • I noticed that while I do not want to live without an intensely stimulating relationship, I do not want to feel/be manipulated. And if stimulation and manipulation comes in the same package, then I’m not interested, no matter how intense the stimulation.
  • I did end a friendship that ceased to be a friendship a while ago. It was the last close friendship I had and it existed (with an interruption) for over a decade. She was a nice “reason” to be creative and design nice things for (and keep a copy), but still, if a relationship is not reciprocal anymore, I think it’s time to end it before you bleed out. And I did end it and it was one of the best decisions of 2013.
  • In the same vein, I am still my worst enemy when it comes to social relationships. I am unforgiving when it comes to (perceived) breaches of trust — and I’m not even sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. At least I can live with avoiding some people much better than I can live with putting on a good face to the matter. Still, as usual, it’s the wasted opportunity that sucks — for myself, and for others.
  • I began to become interested in equality — mostly because as a scientist (psychologist) I am appalled by the bad argumentation and research done in this area, especially when done by so-called feminists. I can now totally understand that people who are really interested in equality look at what feminism actually does and turn away from feminism in disgust.
    I am still unsure whether I should invest some energy in this topic however. On the one hand, it affects me directly as I totally resent the men-are-potentially-evil-and-dangerous-worldview and I think that these feminists are damaging the social interaction between the sexes to gain personal influence and power. On the other hand, it’s a bit like dealing with shit (yup, my opinion of these kinds of feminists is pretty low): If you touch it, something will probably stick to your hand. Still, it would be an interesting area for some creative projects.
  • I became interested in opera and ballet. Seeing these performances in person is just … something. 🙂

So, in total, the year was not the best I ever had, but certainly also not the worst. I think I learned a lot — and I grew. I have some baggage I need to get rid of in 2014 and some major changes lying ahead of me, but all in all, it continues to be an interesting life.