Today I turned 31.
I am humbled and deeply grateful for all of the messages and well wishes I have received to mark this occasion. One of the most incredible realizations as I've watched the notifications tick in throughout the day is that there is an incredible number of "Happy birthday!" messages from people I've either never actually met and/or didn't know a year ago.
For me, 30 was a hell of a year. It kicked off with a bang when I was able to purchase my tickets for the inaugural Kinda Funny Live event. And at that point I already knew I would eventually be appearing on the Kinda Funny Gamescast as the first Patreon guest, so I went ahead and planned my trip to San Francisco around both of those events.
One month later, I chose to go to the opening night performance of a play a couple of my friends had worked on and wound up spending hours visiting with Catherine, who I asked out the next day and would spend a whirlwind 8 1/2 months with, playing games traveling, and all-around making life wonderful. While the relationship came to a close, we're still on good terms and even talked this morning about setting up a time to sit back down with LEGO Dimensions and maybe enjoy some more Co-op with Catherine time.
In May, I traveled to San Francisco for the first of three trips "to meet my Best Friends" at Kinda Funny Live. The week kicked off with a spur of the moment meeting with Sean Pitts of Knerds of the Round Table as he invited me to tag along on a tour of IGN with Jared Petty and we were largely inseparable the remainder of the weekend. I also completely broke out of my introverted shell for the weekend and make a ton of other friends like Alex O'Neill of Irrational Passions, Barrett Courtney of BaiaZonaGamers, my roommate Cameron Abbott of Knotty Gamers, Nikki Powell of Lipstick Nerds, and countless others.
I spent an evening recording the first ever Kinda Funny Gamescast Episode 21 with Tim Gettys, Greg Miller, and Colin Moriarty and managed to hold my own. On the way to dinner, Greg said it was the best episode they'd recorded (to that point) and as I watched the YouTube comments over the following week, was humbled by the number of people who didn't realize I was a Patreon fan and thought I fit in so naturally because I was a friend of theirs or someone in games media.
In June, I returned to San Francisco for the first IGN House Party event featuring Podcast Beyond 400 and Podcast Unlocked 200. Catherine joined me on this trip and indulged me my nerdiness as I got to visit with more IGN role models as well as reunite with a ton of my new friends whom I had only met a month earlier.
In July, Catherine and I moved in together as I moved out of the studio apartment I had been living in for over 11 years. Neither of us quite knew what the future held and whether or not we would be interested in staying in Arizona. So rather than sign her on for another year's lease, we opted to rent one of my parents' properties until we could save up to get a place of our own. Obviously, plans changed but it was certainly an exciting transition in my life.
In August, I was honored to officiate my sister's wedding to her longtime partner, Joel. I presided over a short, beautiful ceremony on their 9th Anniversary as a couple.
August was also the official launch of this site. Spurred on by the kind response and invigoration I got writing about Rocket League for Irrational Passions, I took advantage of the Kinda Funny Squarespace offer while waiting at the car dealership for routine maintenance, bit the bullet, and designed the basics of the site.
In September, Catherine and I got our beautiful poodle Elphaba. And not two hours after we picked her up, she jumped in my parents pool and I dove after her to save her little crazy life, nearly sacrificing my phone in the process (it felt out of my pocket into the water and then taunted me by remaining lit up as we tried to fish the phone out of the pool. But it still works to this day).
October was probably the quietest month of the year. I finally got to see the musical The Book of Mormon and it was every bit and wonderful as I expected it would be. This was also around the time I started planning my December trips to San Francisco for the second PlayStation Experience and Seattle to spend the Christmas holiday with her family. Though I did throw together my first attempt at cosplay as the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who for a Halloween party.
In November, I began my chain of producing daily content for this site and labeled it TrevorTrovember. Inspired by Alex O'Neill's commitment to writing every day, November 1st marked my entry into generating daily content for the site. At first, I thought I might make it strictly a November thing but I've kept it going every day since. Thanks to the odd internet or computer hiccup I haven't always been able to publish every day, but I have written every day and the days I didn't publish were followed up by two-post days. I also produced my 24-Hour stream for Extra Life, which wound up raising $300 for Phoenix Children's Hospital.
November also saw the relaunch of Knerds of the Round Table as KnerdsOnline. Tom Hawkins (who I had not yet met) reached out prior to launch and inviting me to submit some writing for the "Community" section of their site. Beginning as a place to republish some of my work here for a potentially new audience, I eventually began producing the occasional exclusive content for them as well, on top of my daily work here.
December kicked off with the PlayStation Experience and my third and final trip to San Francisco for the year. As I wrote about in my very first post on this site, the PlayStation Experience event will always hold a special place for me as the first one in 2014 was the first convention I ever went to and where I discovered my passion to be a part of games media. Whereas, my first PSX was a very solitary experience, my second was filled with friendly faces from my year in the Kinda Funny Community. And in one of the most personally-fulfilling moments of the year, people who I had met earlier in the year at IGN remembered me on this third trip. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning each night providing recaps of the days' events, barely slept, and loved every minute of it. Plus, I got to unveil my Trevor Trove persona/outfit of dress pants, nerdy T-shirt, sportcoat, and 8-bit sunglasses-as-hairband.
Catherine and I spent our first (and only, I guess) Christmas together with her family in Seattle. Her family was incredibly welcoming but the personal highlights for me were meeting her brother, a Vice President of Public Relations for Xbox and just discussing the industry with him. he focuses on the Platform PR so between Backwards Compatibility and the new Xbox One Experience, it had been a pretty big year for him and his team. We talked about opportunities for me in the industry and he offered to serve as a reference if he can be of any help in breaking me in; an offer he stands by even though I'm not dating his sister any longer.
Early in January, I stumbled into one of Sean's Twitch streams and offhandedly asked if he was planning to go to PAX South at the end of the month. Within an hour, I had inadvertantly convinced a group of five or six of us to attend.
Then, Catherine blindsided me with the breakup. There were definitely things we needed to address in our relationship but I was hopeful we could work through them, while Cat saw us as too different and being at too different stages of our life to go the distance. When the dust finally settled, I can recognize that it was far better to end it now instead of months or years down the road but it definitely threw a lot of other areas of my life for a loop.
Fortunately, I now had PAX South at the end of the month to take my mind off it for a moment. While the event itself may have left me a little underwhelmed, the time spent with Frank, Sean, Xyger, Luis, Joe, Andy from Rooster Teeth, Alex, Christian, and Evan was incredible and just the pick-me-up I needed.
February was filled with equal parts sorrow (as Cat moved out) and support (from family and friends - in person and online). Included in this sorrow, I also found myself struggling for the first time to come up with worthwhile daily content for the site. As a result of fighting to produce my own content, my offerings to KnerdsOnline fell off a bit. I did, however, get my first pre-release code for a game with Knerds and wrote up a review of Hitman GO: Definitive Edition.
On March 1st, 8 months to the day after moving out, I returned to my old studio apartment. Doing so saves me about $1,000 a month in living expenses that I will be saving up and/or reinvesting in myself and this site. For example, with that savings, I was able to afford and plan my trip to Boston for PAX East next month and will also be planning a week-long trip back to San Francisco in May for Kinda Funny Live 2.
I've spent the past few days working through and archiving everything I've written for this site so far. Working backwards, I'm only back around Christmas-time but already I've compiled a Word Document nearly 200 pages long composed of nearly 66,000 words. Of the roughly 90 articles backed up so far, I've averaged 700+ words a day. I hope to expand my content in the coming months beyond the written word. Once I get settled back in to the apartment, I'm hoping I can maybe branch out into video and audio content as well.
30 was an incredible year for me. Probably the best year of my life, even with the few low points factored in. I can't wait to make 31 bigger and better!