2018 in retrospective

January 2, 2019 (1437 words) :: A highly curated summary of things that happened to me in 2018.

This blog post is part of a personal challenge to write something every day in 2019. See the other fragments.


2018 has been quite an eventful year for me.

Some things were good: I had my first articles in print publications (New Internationalist, Logic Magazine, and Tribune); completed my masters degree with a distinction (! still don’t know how I managed that); signed a book deal with Repeater. I also did a lot of public speaking, for podcasts as well as in-person events. Plus, I started a Jacobin reading group (technically a leftist speaker series) that began with just a few masters students at LSE but has since expanded to 100+ people in total over 30+ sessions (with usually 15-20 per session). So in some ways, this year was amazing.

Some things were a little more complicated. Halfway through the year, I split up with my partner of 4+ years. It was about as amicable as one could hope for given the circumstances, but it was logistically ungainly, not least because we had been living together for the past 4 years and had, in that time, accumulated many joint possessions (mostly books, which you may have seen me tweeting about). Not to mention joint bills, a shared bank account, combined subscriptions to left publications, etc.

Even worse: I had initially moved to the UK purely so that we could stay together. I had always wanted to live in the US, but we couldn’t really make that work for immigration reasons, and neither of us wanted to stay in Canada, so moving to the UK together seemed like the best option. He was a UK citizen, and I could easily get a non-renewable 2-year work/study visa, as a Canadian citizen; our plan was to get married sometime in year 2 so I could get apply for permanent residency that way.

That plan got derailed, for obvious reasons. I still wanted to stay in the UK, but I could no longer find an immigration pathway that would work for my personal situation (i.e., being self-employed and also not being a millionaire). So I spent some time this summer wallowing in self-indulgent misery as I tried to figure out what hell I was going to do (which you may also have seen me tweeting about).

I still haven’t entirely solved that problem, but I did hear about a Tier 1 visa that has some potential. I’m not positive that I’d qualify, but at least it’s another option. I’ll probably revisit that in a month or two, if nothing better comes up. In the meantime, I’ll be spending some time outside the UK to get some sun while I reflect on my life choices. I kindly request that no one gives me advice about immigration unless they have personally had to deal with the Home Office in a similar capacity in the last 5 years (I’m just a little sick of people saying things like “just get a job!” or “just get married!” as if it were that easy).

The rest of this blog post is just lists of things I’ve consumed or produced this year.

Things I consumed

Publications

Books

According to Goodreads, I read 50 books! Way fewer than last year, but not that bad, in hindsight. My faves:

Podcasts

I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts this year, but if I had to pick my top three, it would be:

Things I produced

Bonus: Plans for 2019

My main goal this year is to finish my book, hopefully by this summer. I have no clue how to actually go about writing a book of this nature so I’m really hoping that this blog post exercise will help.

I’m also working on starting a new publication dedicated solely to tech worker organising, because this feels like a hugely important frontier that would be perfectly suited to my interests. I’ve been spending more time in the Bay Area this year, and have been talking to lefties who work at tech companies and are trying to organise, which is really inspiring and making me want to go all in on this. Progress has been slow, but I want to at least have a website up before the end of this quarter. If this is something you’re interested in knowing more about, or you want to collaborate in some way, get in touch!


« See the full list of fragments