SilentMode’s 2017 and His Thoughts.

So we’re finally out of what’s been an interesting year, and have landed head first in 2018. I thought I’d hop on to give a few thoughts about all the goings on in 2017, to air everything out for a fresh start.

Semi-retirement.

For those who didn’t know (and those special people who pretended not to know): I was essentially on strike from AFOL events and activities in general. I’d made an exception for Farnham Assist’s charity event near the start of the year, as well as the Paredes de Coura Fan Weekend.

The “semi-retirement” gave me time to focus on the day job, running Swapfig and sorting through my enormous collection of parts. A couple of months ago I started writing ideas down and playing with Lego Digital Designer, to get back into designing and building MOCs.

My next scheduled event is going to be the Brickish Weekend at the National Space Centre, which takes place in March. After that, decisions will have to be made as to which events I participate in.

True colours.

Both inside and out of Lego, 2017 could be described as the year where true colours were revealed. In the case of Lego, I saw certain people – who shall remain nameless – for whom they are, both good and bad. (By the way, I’m including myself.)

I won’t go into exactly what’s gone on, or what I’ve seen certain people doing or saying. Long story short: certain people are being kept at arm’s length, and some are being kept away entirely. While I’m still cool with most people, my overall level of trust has plummeted.

Lego is meant to be a child’s toy first and foremost. Because “adults” are involved, not everything is going to be rosy. I think the focus should be on creating great things with Lego, and less about interpersonal drama.

No audience.

Speaking of creation: one thing that gets me annoyed is how readily people “get” outlandish ideas expressed in places such as The LEGO Batman Movie, LEGO Dimensions and BrickHeadz – but refuse to “get it” when I’ve attempted the same or a similar thing. (I eventually gathered it’s because they simply didn’t want to, whether out of ignorance or a lack of respect.)

Things came to a head during my Store Crawl back in September, where – despite having around 650 followers on Twitter, and somewhat aggressively advertising it – virtually nobody took notice.

When soliciting any kind of feedback has been like pulling teeth, it can only mean that I don’t have an audience. On top of that, I don’t even know if it’s possible to build one. No amount of promotion is going to help if people decide they’re just going to ignore it.

In this situation, there’s two choices: either give up entirely (because it’s all about having an audience), or keep going (because it’s about Lego).

Good things.

Not everything about 2017 has been bad. As well as the Store Crawl – which was an amazing experience in and of itself – I was able to make three separate trips to Billund for the newly opened Lego House. On one of those occasions, I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Legoland for the first time (even though Legoland Billund was closed).

For as much as I have a lack of trust, there were people who helped me out in various places. I appreciate all those acts of kindness, even something as little as acknowledging my presence. It;s so easy to overlook them.

One of the best things to happen this year was taking part in the Toys R Us #LEGOBuildOff, promoting The LEGO Ninjago Movie. Regardless of who won, it was my first time building a set in a long time. It was great to feel at least some passion for building, and an appreciation of new parts and building techniques.

The highlight of the year was receiving one of these in a Secret Santa: specifically Swapfig’s Secret Santa Swap.

I’d completely missed these when they were being given away (with a purchase through shop.lego.com via a mobile device). It was on my wanted list for quite some time, and a very generous person must have noticed it and came through. I received quite a lot of Lego at Christmas, and this was one of the best gifts.

In conclusion…

If there is anyone who wants to pretend I don’t exist (unless I do something bad!), or doesn’t want to “get” anything I create, it’s their prerogative and I won’t try to stop them.
Out of integrity, those same people should also pretend my giveaways and items for trading and selling don’t exist, either. I should be very much invisible if they want something I have.

2017 was a year of many personal ups and downs, and not one of my best. I’m going into 2018 with something to prove: that I can still build, still create, and that my time as an AFOL is warranted.

Here’s hoping you have a Happy New Year.