I’ve considered writing a piece about 2012 for some time now. I’ve been waiting for adequate head room over the year itself, unlike most of these posts that are written five seconds after the year ends …
I link the 21 Convention cinematic trailer above for one reason above all else : that was my dream for this past year, perfectly visualized, and I achieved it. In fact, I fucking nailed it.
Of course, this type of achievement is usually mentioned via third party — it’s “bad manners” to talk about it yourself. But I don’t care. I’ll commit the ultimate “sin”.
I’ll state that what I set out to achieve, and then proceeded to achieve in 2012, was a clear expression of the closest thing to a “miracle” possible by man [miracle used in the spirit of the word miraculous here, nothing more or less].
Productive, creative, owner-operated, nose to the grind stone, high-risk, (and in my case) entirely uncharted entrepreneurship. The only kind of stuff that keeps the world spinning.
Was it flawless? No, nor did I expect it to be, nor do I care for it to be. Orchestrating consecutive live events thousands of miles a part is tough, complicated business. Overcoming challenges is part of the game, not a flaw or something to get upset about.
Truth be told, these were the smoothest running events yet, and I know I can run them even better in the future, in tandem with making them larger, even more powerful, and rewarding for everyone involved — myself included above all.
That’s why I keep my head in the banner for The 21 Convention, for those wondering. I want to make it remain clear over time that my own self is of the highest importance to me, and that I absolutely stand behind my work — that I walk my talk, and am not timid to incorporate that very philosophy into the platform it is being preached from.
As Greg Swann or Ayn Rand might say, there is a self in every action I take and decision I make. The 21 Convention is not faceless, or selfless.
My Favorite Event
I think most people would be hesitant to pick a favorite entity (event in this case) from the above three, because all three were so spectacular. But I won’t hesitate. My personal favorite from this past year was the Melbourne Australia convention.
I’ve been trying to figure out why this is, and I think it has a lot to do with difficulty. The Melbourne conference was the most challenging of the three by a long shot. It brought back many memories from the first convention in Europe. The one that nearly brought me down.
I couldn’t say the Australia convention was as physically demanding or anxiety ridden, but that was because I was stronger going in. By the time I landed in Australia I had nine 21 Conventions under my belt, and equally as important, my girlfriend, who had grown more encouraging by the minute attending the 2012 events, was with me step for step.
It’s been a while since I’ve trekked across the world to start a new series of events, but never before with someone to encourage and support me. That was neat, to say the least of her and of the experience.
In summary, The 21 Convention consistently challenges the best within me, and the Australia convention challenged the best within me, in that moment. And surprisingly, I wasn’t just able to meet that challenge, I was able to rise above it.
I think it’s also important to note here that my best presentation, by my own standards, was given at the Australia conference. I think this was because I felt most free to be and to express myself there — even more than usual.
This likely stems from the overall experience of the challenge, and the accumulation of convention experiences, distant and recent at the time.
For those of you that paid close attention, you may even notice I dressed a particular way each day for my own, deeply satisfying amusement.
What attendees may not have noticed is that during the event breaks, I played almost nothing but Fade to Black over the conference room speakers. That, truly brought a grin to my face, as it would any Bleach geek ;).
In the end, I’m really happy with how 2012 went. I was determined to achieve more than I ever had before, and I did, with less (acute) stress and anxiety than ever before. Paradoxically this marked “6 years on” for me running events, and zero years off, leading me to take a solid year off from doing any events.
In fact long term, I’m leaning towards one/two years on, one year off. This way the organization remains emotionally sustainable while at the same time being directly, owner-operated.
This intermittent-unpredictability also keeps long-term fans on their toes and motivated to attend, cutting the “I’ll attend next year” thought process in the bud.
On a more external note, there were some negatives right at the end of the year. My last grandparent (paternal grandmother) suddenly died, someone I had been trying to get to know better as an adult, with some limited success. This was important to me because I did not have particularly close relationships with any of my grandparents growing up. My maternal grandfather died before I was born, and my maternal grandmother never spoke English very well, nice and loving as she was.
And my paternal grandfather died my senior year of high school before I invested the time to get to know him as a young adult. (He also suffered a variety of health problems as I was growing up, so he was never exactly “out fishing” with my dad and I).
Days after my remaining grandmother died, the father of a 20 year close friend suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack, alone at 7 in the morning. I was probably closer with him than any other (elderly) adult male, my father included, having known him since the age of about 4.
My best friend died in 2008. This was tragic to the 10th degree, and yet, the experience of my friend’s father dying has been completely different. Unlike my best friend who I knew for ~7 years, I’ve known my friend’s father for right at 20. This is the entirety of my living memory, so him no longer being a part of life is difficult to even comprehend.
I have no reference for the loss of something so life-long, even if I do have the reference of something every bit as tragic.
For such an incredible year on a personal level, this was a sad ending, one that persists even months later.
Declarationism is still coming. The philosophy has been on my mind for a long, long time, and the structures are finally in place to begin the deep work. In spite of the delay, or perhaps because of it, I have never been more resolved to develop it.
And what is Declarationism? It’s as the title states, a politico-legal philosophy for life on earth. And I’m building it because I need it. Because nothing else like it exists. Just like The 21 Convention.
I built T21C and continue to refine it because nothing else like it exists, and it is utterly life-sustaining and promoting. As many of you can relate, life would not be the same without it, and the same will be true for Declarationism. Political philosophy everywhere is usually, fundamentally flawed, and at best, incomplete.
If a government can do anything, what good is what it ought to do? It’s no good at all. It’s like having 50% of the pieces to a puzzle.
I will end this section, and the post, with the added commentary that delivering a verbal introduction to Declarationism was brutally hard (Austin Texas conference). While I’m happy with how the presentation went for a first attempt, it was definitely an intellectual self-ass-kicking for how explicit every word needs to be when discussing legal philosophy (which is why writing is most appropriate for developing the philosophy, although I will be podcasting about it as well from time to time via Youtube).