10 Things I Learned in The Last 10 Years

After seeing Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Photo by Jordan Craig. August 15, 2010.

2010: A big year for me. Interned at Marvel Comics where I learned that trying so hard to get somewhere means not getting anywhere. Also, having my first Aspergers moment in memory where I criticize a Marvel writer’s grammar issues in an interview with group editors.

My dad had a heart attack and I moved home for the summer. Triggering my first major break-up and losing my Upper East Side apartment I lived in for five years. But the major lesson learned is that family comes first.

2011: I start working at the Wolfe Institute, and I struggle to complete my graduate degree in English. Bob Viscusi becomes a close friend, mentor, as well as my graduate thesis advisor. To this day, I want to grow up to be like him.

2012: I bust through with a great thesis on Grant Morrison. I consider going for my Ph.D, but talked out of it because I’m not ready for it. I decide to move home to Lake Placid after graduation and decide that all I want to do is write, teach, and work my production company. I start teaching one section of English 101 at Paul Smith’s College. I meet Meggan during my time at Paul Smith’s College

2013: I start dating Meggan during Winter Carnival. She’s among the group of friends from PSC that we hang with. She buys a beautiful country house on two plots of land and we start working together to renovate it. It’s a great experience. My production company produces a short film and a trailer for the Go Digital or Go Dark campaign.

2014: We move in together in the country house on Main Street. I read Getting Things Done and discovered the Bullet Journal method and that drastically changes my journaling habit and both help me manage teaching six classes between North Country Community College, Paul Smith’s College, and SUNY Plattsburgh. I start writing the Emerson novel that will become The Human Library series.

2015: I asked Meggan to marry me on New Year’s Day and six months later we were in Michigan on a rainy day ceremony. That fall, I become a full time professor at Paul Smith’s College. I finished the first draft of The Human Library series.

2016: Teaching a full load and finally hitting my stride as a professor. Loving my job, my life, everything about it. Curt Stager and I start working with Emilyann Cummings on Walden. My son is born in August. And we adjust to the new normal being working parents with a newborn and his struggles to gain weight.

2017: Meggan interviews at IU and gets the job. Walden: The Graphic Novel comes out that spring. I leave Paul Smith’s College, and bring the first college film team to the Sleepless in Lake Placid Film Forum. We move to Indiana in July 2017.

2018: Unemployment ends and I end up at a job at a not-for-profit with folks who have developmental disabilities. I read So Good They Can’t Ignore You and Deep Work by Cal Newport and begin therapy. The two books and the therapy cause me to level up in my day job and produce a lot of written words. I cut down on social media and how I use the internet because I realize that none of it has anything to do with the work I ultimately need to produce. This leads to exponential growth—also quite a lot of behavior change in the coming two years.

2019: I start getting evaluated for Attention Deficit Disorder and I’m diagnosed with Aspergers, ADD, Generalized Depression and Anxiety. By the end of the year I can trace back specific actions and moments in my life where I exhibited symptoms of this. I realize that the victim/creator pattern alternates years and goes on streaks. For two years at this point I’ve been in a victim pattern. It’s time to come out of it. My daughter is born. I feel reborn as I begin to study Stoic philosophy and write like I could die tomorrow.

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