The year 2017 is officially behind us. It was not a particularly great year but it’s always an achievement to survive the year. After all, it was certainly an eventful year. The Trump Presidency became a reality and began to unfurl as expected but also in surprising ways. My oldest daughter turned 15 while my youngest had only her first birthday celebration. Finally, after many years of self-doubt, Los Angeles Noise became a reality.

Financially, the year was a struggle. Much like the years before, I went in with blind faith that I would set money aside to pay down debt. As weeks passed, I realized not only would saving be impossible but that we were bringing in less money than we were putting out—a frightful realization.

I made it through but this year will require additional revenue. If I can’t find it through writing, I will set writing aside in favor of Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and any other opportunities I find for extra cash in my spare time—not that there’s much.

On a more positive note, my teenage daughter turned 15 in 2017. To celebrate, we took a long weekend escape to The Happiest Place on Earth. Even as a teenager, Disneyland remains one of her favorite places and she had never had a multi-day experience at the park. She enjoyed every minute of the event as we made her the center of attention. Her smile flashed throughout the weekend as the magic of the place unfolded before her. She screamed for her life on the Guardians of the Galaxy elevator ride in California Adventure, burst with laughter on the Tow Mater ride, and bonded with her baby sister while traversing the Haunted Mansion carriage ride.

Her baby sister had a milestone of a different kind: Her first birthday. It’s a young life only beginning while her sister is gearing up for college and her parents are still trying to figure out life. It’s playtime at all times and in any place. During the darker personal periods of the year, it was her smile that brightened up my world. Much like her older sister did 15 years ago, her life has brought new perspective to life.

2017 was a year of focus. The best example of this is this very website. Its concept was conceived in 2008, my final year of college. Since then, the purpose of the site morphed but never disappeared. Over the years I constantly reviewed the necessary steps to start the site but always stopped short. There was perhaps a fear of rejection or worse, being invisible in a virtual world where everyone with a computer is a critic, a producer, a musician, or a writer.

The website was a result of a dramatic increase in writing that began in 2016 and continued to manifest in 2017. I’m writing now more than ever before. Even if writing never becomes my main profession, it will always be a love and a passion.

Along with the increase in writing, my love for manipulating sound has been revitalized. Through a few projects at work, I immersed myself in the modular synthesizer world. The NAMM Show is quickly approaching and we decided to put together a Eurorack modular synth demo this year. With the help of our social marketing specialist, we connected with many synth manufacturers and acquired modules for the demo.

I was tasked with putting the rig together, learning how to use it, and preparing the demo at the show. Since putting it together shortly after Thanksgiving, I’ve been able to take the rig home with me each weekend. Even with my limited time, it was a reminder of why I pursued a career in audio when I went back to college after leaving it behind to start a family.

Now that the year is over, my hope for 2018 is simple: write, create, earn, and still find time for family. I think I reached the 100,000-word milestone in 2017. I aim to surpass this mark in 2018. In true creative form, I will continue my exploration of modular synthesizers and create for eyes and ears. I plan on continuing internal growth at my current job while simultaneously finding additional revenue, preferably through words. What time remains will be spent hiking, reading, or just hanging out with family. This will serve as needed recharges for the mind, body, and soul.

And with those thoughts, it’s time to let 2017 slide into the past and begin 2018 with a positive outlook. If you’re reading this, I hope you do the same.

Posted by JG Rochac

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