It’s been one year. One year to the day.

One year ago today I left my job at Bookmans, a used book and entertainment store. We did a little bit of everything: books, music, video games, movies, and more. I’d been there for 12 years, almost all of my 20s and I did everything from customer service to cleaning bathrooms, from buying video games, books, and music to managing a staff of 40. I grew up there. I was forced to break out of my shell,  having to interact with thousands of people a week.  My first month was harrowing and I didn’t know if I was going to make it. Before I worked there, I was cripplingly introverted and anti-social, but over the months and years I gained my confidence. I felt good, I was good at my job. After 12 years the time came for me to break out of my shell again. I quit my job to become a full-time cartoonist. I cashed in my comfort, complacency, and my newfound confidence to follow my dreams.

This has been the single most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. It is also the single most rewarding. Each month is like playing the lottery. Some months I get a good amount of work and that helps keep us going, and I feel like this is what I was always meant to do. Other months are dry and we wonder how we are going to pay our bills. There are times I wonder if I should go get another job, but then we try it for “just  one more month” and we scrape through.

The good times have far outweighed the bad. This year has been incredibly fulfilling, both personally and creatively. The support of our fans has been overwhelming. There have been months where our Patreon Patrons have been the difference between getting a bill paid or not. To that point, Megan, Jonas, Selby and I want our Patrons to know just how much the support has been appreciated. It’s a lot. More than I can articulate.

I’ve been working hard to create a comic that I can be proud of. I’ve had opportunities to do really fun projects, and make some really great new friends. I don’t take for granted a single moment of it. It’s been a gift, and I am making the most of it. Every day, every month, is a new challenge but they are challenges I gladly accept. I really do believe that you can do what you love as long as you are willing to bust your ass to achieve it.

Follow your dreams, whatever they are. Keep pushing, and clawing, and scratching to make it work.  Yes, it is hard. In the words of Thomas Paine “what we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

Thank you for being a part of this year dear reader. Thank you for everything you do.