さようなら (sayōnara) is farewell or goodbye in Japanese. I’m going to start saying goodbye to the corresponding years when I write these posts. The idea of saying goodbye to them, rather than titling my yearly recap posts like they’re pantry seasoning or with whatever alternative to “goodbye” I can think of, brings on an idea of closure—another chapter of my life, finished. Or maybe it’s a book. I feel like calling it a chapter patronizes the fact that it was 365 days of my life, the number of pages that could very well make up one book, so I personally like the idea of calling it a book.
Either way, it doesn’t matter. I titled this one “goodbye” in Japanese, because—as I’ve gathered—there is a finality to the word さようなら; it’s what you say when you don’t expect to see someone for a long while. Maybe I’m wrong. I am still learning, currently emphasizing on how to say and read and comprehend what various nuts are in Japanese, because I figure that’s a good place to start—especially given the fact that I’m fond of Japanese candy.
In 2018, I made the decision to own all of myself. For me, this means I’ve merged with several alters. Thus, the idea of saying farewell to 2018 makes me feel at peace. There is always going to be room for improvement in the self-development department, and I’ll probably always experience an inner struggle, but I am genuinely at peace with myself. I always liked these types of characters, anyway. I know what I want now, and I’m on a path to get it—to living the life I want.
Brief quarterly recaps
- Blogging-wise, I was off to a #slacker start.
- The dishwasher flooded the living room, and everything was generally a mess to deal with, then the floor started molding.
- Failed @ new column and apparently redid my FAQ page, which has since been deleted (September)
- I read a book last year, then one this year, that affected my opinion of the another book
- got sick
- found a lotion I’m not allergic to!!
- discovered I can read NetGalley books on desktop
- helped Charlise with towels for the last time (she ended up leaving the service she worked for because crappy business ethics)
- helped Charlise do a photoshoot for Solara’s first birthday!
- got my Twitter account suspended like twice because their algorithm thought I was spamming when I was just live-tweeting to Freeform’s Siren (ugh)
- carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) started flaring up; finally started taking it seriously
- introduced another new column and then got stage fright
- shared my reusable menstrual products stash which is TOTALLY A BIG DEAL
- had house to myself for like 3 weeks and used time to try Enjoy Life Trial Pack and freak out over dying from wine drunkenness
- got a peppermint plant, which is thriving when it doesn’t look like it’s dead AF
- cousbro Shane got MARRIED, and I tried on dresses and took selfies in the dressing room mirror like I was 17 again
- phone died on July 4th, and it felt like some fucked up karmic justice was in play
- figured my CTS would be fine and got a related injury from fucking overuse
- started learning Japanese because it didn’t require much hand usage
- choreography to one of my favorite songs changed my life
- had idea for new project
- decided I want to actually overcome my eating disorder of self-starvation & quit exercising and started eating
- opened a Capital One 360 account & closed my previous bank account because $13 maintenance fees on my checking account was killing me
- got a comment from family about fucking water weight making me look “fluffy in the middle” and lapsed, but tried to keep going regardless after a cry-rant session with some friends
- it wasn’t going super well, and I reached out to my aunt for help
- someone took a photo of mine from Google and used it for their blog, and that was a major nightmare because it was super #personal and awkward because of SIGH BLOGGING THINGS AND EVENTS
- started working on a new project
- The day I was supposed to meet up with aforesaid aunt, I went to the emergency room for intense chest and abdominal pain, dehydration and malnutrition, and basically this was my rock bottom because I had to come clean to people and be like, “Look, I have a serious problem,” and they HAD to believe me, and now my life is weird because my eating disorder’s no longer secret.
- struggled to get some help as an uninsured Millennial aged out of the parent insurance bracket; got help through NTBHA
- started antidepressants
- kept working on project
- switched to eco-friendly toothbrush & said goodbye to plastic toothbrushes
- got a phone from Charlise to use & am on her plan + Kindle app means I can send NetGalley books to Kindle now, which is sooo nice (even though reading on a small screen is a pain)
- wow, antidepressants/anti-anxiety meds are actually working
- GFAF Expo, hollaaaaaaa; found out it’s renamed the Nourished Festival
- still working on new project (so tedious), but not as much as I did the previous months
- binged like six seasons of The Vampire Diaries because adjusting to ED recovery is questionable
- bought a phone case (finally) in case of dropping @ expo (yikes!), plus more Earthpowder and The Maze Runner (review soon)
- started receiving Ipsy
- visited mom’s side of fam for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and decided to start making a bigger effort towards visiting with them; bought a backpack for traveling to hold me accountable
- tried and started using this baking soda-based face wash that’s clearing up my skin; after I use it longer, I’ll consider reviewing it on my blog
I bit off more than I could chew this year by signing on to so many reading challenges. You know how I am about goals. I read 41 books, a lot of comics. My initial goal was 52 books, but I changed it to 18. For 2019, my total book count is 19. Reading is great and all, but I need to adult and live my life, too (and watch TV and movies and cartoons; this girl has needs. yo).
Top 10 books read in 2018
Linked up with Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday
- Coldwater by Samuel Parker changed me and made me answer questions similar to those asked in The Originals and the seventh season of The Vampire Diaries.
- Many Sparrows by Lori Benton – I did feel eh re: “Christian names” and white-washing Native Americans, but I still enjoyed reading it.
- Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray – I’m not typically into nonfiction, but I enjoyed how Lincee didn’t paint herself as a primped princess in distress.
- Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita – I loved this so much! The anime is also adorable.
- The Host by Stephenie Meyer (review soon)
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner (review soon)
- Sheets by Brenna Thummler
- Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill
- Undercover Man by Hibiki Sakuraya
- If You Say So, Professor by Paris Rivera – but classified as a horror (see my highlights & notes)
- Lost track of 365 Commenting Challenge at 100 comments. Classic Jane move right there.
- Book Blog Discussion Challenge challenged me to a) be more social (ugh) and b) partake in discussions around the [book] blogosphere. I’d love to do this in other parts of the blogosphere, for sure. I partook in Top Ten Tuesday (once, LOL), which helped and also made me think more about the books I’ve read in different ways.
- These I failed/dropped: Dread & Read, Historical Fiction Challenge, New Release Challenge, Reading Challenge Addicts, Strictly Print Challenge, What’s in a Name 2018
- Too many challenges makes reading feel like a chore/it’s required.
- Same with author/book requests
- I need to prioritize an e-reader if I want to keep reading; my carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) got so bad this year that it resulted in an injury.
- I have a better idea of the types of books I like and want to read now.
Twelve books is the challenge I’ve set for myself. The bar’s low, but I find myself feeling more accomplished when I hit the number before the year is up and am “x books ahead of schedule” or something. It’s nice. It feels like I completed a task and need not do anything more, but I can if I want to.
I also discovered Habitica from a Discord group for book bloggers all over the world and found it to be a fun motivator to help me “adult”; I set it up so I’m rewarded even for basic adulting things, which helps my disabled self quite a lot because I am forgetful, but there are also book- and blogging-related rewards in there. Then I stopped using it. I don’t think it’s a good resource for me at this time, for health purposes.
Reading is fun and relaxing and good for our overall well-being, but the more I read, the more I want to be living my life to its fullest potential like the characters in these books I’m reading. It’s the biggest motivator, aside from CTS, leading me to only challenge myself to read 19 books. I think living life is important, also. I can’t just read all the time.
Classics and books that are not new have been in my to-be-read list for awhile now, and I want to read more of those. Perhaps the point I’m trying to make is that I want not to suffocate myself into a box by joining all these challenges. They’d be nothing if there were softer options, i.e. the rules not requiring people to announce them. Announcing your goals decreases the chances of meeting them. The hype is all fun and great until it wears off and you’re left with completing that ish on your own.
I’ve closed author requests indefinitely and will just be taking book requests via NetGalley because it’s more convenient for me (and the other programs closed over the summer).
I’m joining The Classics Club to help motivate me to read classic literature and give me a community to connect with.