I haven’t posted in a while! I never got around to posting my end of the year wrap-up in December or even my favorites post for Autumn (I’m just going to sneak them into this post.) I’ve been busy with a few changes happening in my life! It’s all good things, but definitely time consuming.
Let’s give a quick rundown of 2019. This past year has been what I like to call a transition year. At the end of 2018, the small family business I had started with my mother was tabled for the foreseeable future, as she wanted to get into real estate (which she has done now and is doing great!) but that left me with only doing freelance graphic design and little else. I had bills to pay and since I hadn’t been freelancing full time, I needed to take a job this past summer at my grandmother’s restaurant. One that I hadn’t worked at in years. It felt like a huge step backward in my life. I’ve had three major bouts of depression in my life and the months of February-April 2019 were one of them — though not nearly as severe as the other two. But there all the same.
But that spring, I’d started to realize that design was, though I do like it and I’m relatively good at it, it wasn’t my passion. Actually, this isn’t news. I’ve always wanted to be a novelist (among other things) but always, always a writer since I was twelve. That’s always come first. Design is more of a job I have for now. It’s always been my plan to go to school for design and then work on my novels and eventually transition once my books were published (if that were to ever happen.) And because I’d been learning about linguistics, it quickly became apparent that literature and language is what I’m passionate about. It always has been. Even when I didn’t know it.
So, as I said in a previous post, my plan is to go back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in literature and linguistics. I’m very specifically interested in translation and philology. (I’d always thought that someday I would go back to get a BA, in design or something else, I just didn’t know when and I had no real plans.) So after all of what had happened, I’ve set my sights on actually doing it. I’m applying as a transfer in the next few weeks to several schools that I’ve been looking at. I’m going to have to move fairly far (none of the colleges near me has linguistics programs) and find a remote job (in design, lol) that will be flexible enough for my schedule. It’s all very exciting and very nerve-wracking. But mostly exciting.
And because of all this, my goals that I’d decided earlier on no longer felt right. I still accomplished some! But for the most part, I was just going through the motions for most of this year.
Anyway, here’s how I did on my goals for the year of 2019:
I’ve been doing some freelance work (though very little, and almost none in the last 6 months of 2019) but because my focus for the year shifted and I had to get a job in the summer, I really sort of just let that slide right by. I mean, I’m still available to do freelance work, I just haven’t been trying to get any new clients. My plan to open an online shop for stuff that I design, specifically stationery, has once again come and gone. I set this goal nearly every year, and though this part of design still appeals to me, I’m not sure how much time I’ll be able to invest in it. It’s actually still something I’d like to do, just not now. Maybe in the future once things have settled down a bit (ha ha.) Doing a personal design project every week went really well for the first few months until I completely stopped. It was nice to add some things to my portfolio, but after a while, I was bored with it. And again, my mind-set shifted for the whole year after we shut down the business.
- freelance work ✓
plan to open online shop 1 personal design project a week (52)– 20/52 completed. yikes lol
LOL this one is truly hilarious because I haven’t read this little since 2013! I only read 18 books. And a good portion of them were short and/or graphic novels. I just wasn’t in it this year. I didn’t even complete the Reading Rush and I only set out to read 5 instead of the usual 7. So I definitely didn’t read more often and I DEFINITELY didn’t complete any series/trilogies. Even MORE hilarious, is that I didn’t even finish ONE series or trilogy. I started a NEW trilogy and then DIDN’T start the last book and now it’s just floating out there, waiting for me to finish yet another series. That’s the OPPOSITE of why I’d set that goal!!!
read 52 books complete trilogies/series read more often
- Reading Rush (formerly BookTube-A-Thon) ✓ (I mean, I participated, so I’m giving myself this one. LOL)
Books Read in 2019:
- Vengeful by VE Schwab – ★★★★☆
- The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket – ★★★★☆
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson – ★★★★★
- The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – ★★★★★
- The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket – ★★★★☆
- White Cat by Holly Black – ★★★☆☆
- The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket – ★★★★☆
- Red Glove by Holly Black – ★★★☆☆
- Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K Vaughan – ★★★★☆
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – ★★★★★
- The Circle by Dave Eggers – ★★★★☆
- Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince by VE Schwab – ★★★★☆
- The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab – ★★★★☆
- East of West, Vol. 4 by Jonathan Hickman – ★★★★☆
- The Walking Dead, Vol. 10 by Robert Kirkman – ★★★★☆
- The Magician King by Lev Grossman – ★★★★☆
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – ★★★★★
I didn’t finish the draft from NaNoWriMo 2018 and I FAILED MISERABLY at NaNoWriMo 2019. I did outline the new fantasy series, for the most part. That’s it. Never even worked on any of the other projects either. I just….it was a ROUGH YEAR okay? hahahaha
finish NaNoWriMo ’18 draft
- NaNoWriMo ’19 ✓ (giving myself this one, too, because I FAILED but I PARTICIPATED so I DID IT.)
- outline fantasy series ✓
Thoughtless draft 2
I didn’t watch 30 films. BUT, I went to see FOUR new films in the theater!! (Booksmart, Midsommar, Frozen II, and Little Women). That’s HUGE for me. I’ve posted before that I hardly ever see any at the theater. One year, I didn’t even see a single one. But I did it four times! I love going to the movies! I need to do it more! I did NOT, however, write and shoot a short film. I sort of wrote some pages. I sort of shot some footage. But then it just never came together. And I didn’t even write anything else. Not even a PAGE of the screenplay I wanted to write. I planned it! Just never happened. My whole mind just shifted this year.
watch 30 films write/shoot short film write feature-length film
I’m actually fairly proud of this one. I completed Inktober! I did 31 days of illustrations and I love how most of them came out. I didn’t do 2 days a month, though, but toward the end of this year I was asked to illustrate a local drug prevention book for 1st and 2nd graders, so that’s fun! I’ve been working on that, so by the end of the year I had been doing quite a lot of it so it probably equaled about as much as I would have done if I had done it a few times a month. So I’m giving it to myself. lol
- sketching and illustrating 2 days a month ✓
- Inktober ✓
Health & Fitness
I honestly think that I accomplished walking everyday. I mean, sometimes I couldn’t — raining, traveling, etc. — but for the most part, I walked every day. And I hit 10,000 steps for probably 75% of the days of 2019. That’s so good!!! I didn’t expect to do that well. I did NOT, however, workout three times a week. That died early on and I only got back to it in the later months of the year. I also still have not mastered the art of waking up early. I’m trying, though. Probably a struggle I’ll have forever. I’m just a night owl. It’s in my DNA. 23andMe told me so. I also didn’t drink only 2 sodas a week. I definitely drank more than that, but I didn’t drink any soda in April and I almost completely switched to Diet Coke for the rest of the year (and having only a few a week) and now I’ve completely switched to drinking either sparkling water or Zevia, which is delicious (well, the Ginger Root Beer, Ginger Ale, and Lemon Lime) and only drinking (diet) soda when I eat out (which is rare).
- walk everyday ✓
workout 3x a week go to bed/wake up earlier 2 sodas a week
I didn’t technically accomplish any of these, but I tried. I was enjoying my “intake day” of art a week, but I soon fell into a spiral of depression that left me basically doing that EVERY day and then, again, my life kind of changed a bit so I stopped doing that. But it was helpful at the beginning of the year to go into consumption mode and fill up the creative well. It’s an important part of being a creative person and I still think it’s something I need to remember to do. I didn’t grow my social media following in any way which is completely fine with me. It was a goal in order to achieve other goals and, guess what, my life goals have kind of shifted to something that suits me better and something I want more. So that kind of didn’t work out how I wanted it anyway. All is good there. I was meant to post more regularly here on my blog but I just, quite simply, stopped having the time. It became an after thought. My “Further Learning” series took a backseat as well as I was figuring out what I wanted for my life. But it was a necessary time to figure out, so it was worth it.
1 intake day a week grow social media post regularly on blog further learning – 12 posts
All in all, I think I did all right considering the incredibly difficult life things that occurred!!!
Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo’s first adult novel is so good and so perfectly tailored just for me. A dark, academic, magic-filled, murder mystery set at Yale? Is Leigh Bardugo inside my brain? How does she know that this is specifically a perfect novel for me? She’s magic. Ninth House is too.
The Magician King – I read the second book in the Magician’s trilogy this fall and loved it just as much — okay, not quite as much — as the first. I don’t think any book will top ever top the first for me. And not because it’s particularly good — I mean, it is but. The first just resonated with me at a certain time of my life and I specifically relate very closely to Quentin Coldwater. So. I just really loved the first book a lot. But The Magician King is just as an incredible journey as the first, although I didn’t like the finale quite as much in this one. The way in which they just…find everything so easily and it just stumbles together didn’t quite work for me. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone if you haven’t read it. Anyway, I’m still in love with this trilogy and can’t wait to read the last book. There are few books or series that I am compelled to reread (in fact, I’ve never reread anything other than the first half of Eragon by Christopher Paolini when I was in the the eighth grade) but I definitely plan on rereading this trilogy by Lev Grossman. Again, just as it is with Ninth House, these books seem very specifically for me, and I love that.
Frozen II – I have very few things to say about Frozen II except for the fact that it’s incredible and far better than the first one and “Into the Unknown” is a million times better than “Let it Go” and I stand by that with my entire heart and soul. I’m an Elsa stan for life, okay?
Little Women – Hi! I’ve been excited for Little Women since I heard about Greta Gerwig (my favorite writer/director/actress of all time) making it. And the cast? Only Meryl Streep (the greatest actress of all time IN MY OPINION), Emma Watson (one of my favorites), Florence Pugh (literally the greatest actress of this new generation she’s so incredible I can’t breathe, her performances in Lady Macbeth and in Midsommar and in this were unfathomably good, I’ve literally been waiting for her to blow up since 2016), Saoirse Ronan (my favorite young actress since I saw her in one of my favorite films, Atonement), Timothee Chalamet (my current favorite actor), and Louis Garrel (my favorite French actor since I was thirteen). THAT’S ALL. I WASN’T EXCITED AT ALL. And to top it all off, this film was perfect. It was so beautiful and I cried so much and laughed and felt warm the entire time watching it. Greta killed it. She MURDERED IT. Saoirse is always so good but the real bright spot was Florence Pugh’s performance as Amy. Her range of playing both a 12 year old girl and a 20 year old woman is astounding, and she plays her with such humor that even when you hate Amy, you love her. This film was the perfect cherry on top of 2019.
“Northern Lights” by Death Cab for Cutie – Once in a while, I’ll hear a new(ish) song from a band that I previously listened to quite heavily but fell out of sync with — I don’t dislike their music now or anything, they just aren’t on my radar. But I heard Northern Lights and fell back in love with them.
dodie – Both her recent singles “Boys Like You” and “Guiltless” are such good songs. Her voice is so light and beautiful and every song I’ve listened to of hers, I’m just like, “Yes. Good. Another.” Love it.
“Freaking Out the Neighborhood” by Mac DeMarco – Thanks to Nicole Rafiee on YouTube, I’ve been listening to some Mac DeMarco and his song “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” became my favorite song of 2019. I couldn’t stop listening to it for the last five months of the year. I just couldn’t stop. It made it on to every weekly/monthly playlist. It’s so good.
Phoebe Bridgers – Phoebe’s album Stranger in the Alps is just one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever heard. Favorites tracks on it are: “Funeral,” “Motion Sickness,” and “Smoke Signals.” Also am I the only one who mentally mixes up the names Phoebe Bridgers and Phoebe Waller Bridge? lol
Moonshine by Caravan Palace – This song is so fun and upbeat and I really like the sound of it. It’s one of my new favorite songs of all time. I typically listen to darker, depressing music but occasionally a bop will sneak its way into my favorites and this one did.
Stumptown – Full disclosure, I haven’t watched more than the first two episodes of this show. I’ve been recording the rest on my DVR because I just had Too! Many! Shows! last fall to keep track of. But of what I saw was really great! Cobie Smulders is great in it and I’m excited to continue to watch her carry such a fun, but dark drama like Stumptown.
And here, a general review of the year 2019/the past decade that I posted on Instagram stories:
All right! That’s it! A complete recap of my 2019 and the last post about my favorites of the year.