2019 was quite a ride. In some ways it was similar to 2018, in other ways- completely different. I can’t believe I’m writing this post already- it truly seems like I was writing last year’s post just a month ago, yet here we are. This year was full of important moments, joyful times, development and also very difficult periods. However, it all came together and I can now look it all from a different perspective. I will first cover each month in detail, then I’ll see how well I kept the resolutions I made a year ago before setting new ones for the coming year. This New Year will be special, because we are entering a new decade- when I think of all that happened in those 10 years that passed so quickly, a wave of nostalgia hits me hard. Despite my uncertainty and certain fears, I still look forward to seeing what the next decade has in store.
I spent the New Year at home, so I decided to try some Japanese traditions for this day. I wanted to catch the first sunrise, but I might’ve set my alarm wrong or been looking in the wrong place- I was so sleepy that I took a quick photo of the disappointing, but still symbolic view (bottom left picture) and went to sleep straight away. Maybe this year will be better. I made very basic zōni (just miso soup with pieces of the rather poor kagamimochi I made earlier), made a daruma and dressed in kimono. I welcomed the New Year with two dances- Kotobuki and Akebono. The year started with me relaxing and doing what I love, but life is brutal and school resumes right after a festive, relaxed and joyful period in December. Everything seems colder, darker and more depressing no matter what. However January is the month when winter is at its finest- snow finally appears, covering the world in a soft and pure blanket, and suddenly everything is no longer grey and empty, but beautiful and surreal. This year I was quite lucky when it comes to snow. I fondly remember muffled footsteps, rushing snowflakes and admiring the landscape in disbelief. It’s one of the moments that I’d love to capture in its entirety and store somewhere, but I can only use pictures and words.
In January I also performed a tea ceremony, with matching snowflake shaped sweets. As always, it was very relaxing, though of course it also takes a lot of effort to prepare. I also started winter break in January, which began with generous snowfall. I went to my beloved cat cafe with a friend and visited a park to admire the white landscape. It’s probably my best memory of this month.
I also remember that my interest in the history of art was growing, so I visited the city centre to take a closer look at the architecture, including the main cathedral. Since it was getting dark so early, those visits had a remarkable atmosphere.
January is the peak of winter- I love leaving the house when it’s still dark and witnessing the sunrise. I love bundling up in warm scarves, coats and gloves. I love entering warm buildings. I love drinking sweet hot chocolate and eating homemade ginger cookies. I love walking through thick snow, with thoughts suspended between the earth and clouds.
February was quite eventful, as I was still on winter break. I went ice-skating, visited the cat cafe again, visited the National Museum in my city for the first time. Of course I fell in love, being able to directly see the art that I’m so interested in. The museum of architecture was another place that I went to and could admire beautiful creations up close. I also decided to do a panel on Japanese dance at a con in my city, it was quite a nice experience. There I picked up a pair of kokeshi doll earrings. I went with a friend to have fancy luxurious sweets just for the sake of it, visited a park on the other end of the city- it’s surprising how something as simple as a park bench and a biscuit can bring so much happiness. February is also when I had my second liver biopsy done, so a bit less pleasant, but the hospital stay was unproblematic and the results better than expected. I particularly liked drinking chai tea lattes that month, and made them often. Particularly memorable is a lovely coffee and chocolate cake I made- with the previously mentioned drink it was truly blissful. Happiness really isn’t so far off. Towards the end of the month I performed a tea ceremony themed around plum blossoms and therefore anticipation of the coming spring. The sweet I made is very simple, but symbolic- the white is the snow and bleak landscape, whereas the pink is the plum blossom that stands out against it. Finally, the last day of the month was “fat Thursday”- in Poland, on the last Thursday before lent begins we indulge in a creation called pączki- deep-fried sweet buns with various fillings. This year I was lucky enough to have homemade ones with delicious classic rose-flavoured filling- my favourite.
March is an exciting month, because flowers finally appear and the weather slowly gets pleasantly warm- look how I’m dressed in the second picture from early in the month and the bottom-left one, from the last day. The first day of March was a Friday. I remember being very optimistic- because spring. Even an unexpected essay in Polish, my first lesson that day, didn’t lower my spirits. Before that, my friend and I both decided to wear florals on the first of March to celebrate the coming of spring. Early in the month it was still cold, bland and grey, but colourful crocus buds were signs of hope. In the middle of the month I visited a beautiful park with a friend to witness the first signs of spring- and I found many, including snowdrops that I’ve been meaning to find for a while, and a tree with beautifully scented flowers. I also really enjoyed just watching ducks. For the first day of spring, my school had a talent show that I participated in, I performed a Classical Japanese dance called Harusame (spring rain). I’ve never performed in front of such a large audience, so it was quite an experience. I also used the occasion to wear a floral dress. In March, I collected enough stamps on my cat cafe loyalty card to get a free coffee, so I went alone and enjoyed a peaceful cup. Towards the end of the month I visited the same park that I went to in February, to discover daisies, daffodils, bright yellow forsythia and violets. Fruit trees also started to bloom, creating pink and white clouds. At the very end of the month I visited a forest park with my friend- more flowers were in bloom, like pansies and anemone. There was a gorgeous palace, it was pleasantly warm and we took lots of photos and sat on a bench eating biscuits. Peaceful bliss. I felt so free. The next day we visited a new park, where once again I could admire the blooming fruit trees.
I also sold something and had a bit of money- so I bought a new, autumn kimono and the Diamond Honey Palace Cats JSK that I have been wanting for a while, and some small things.
April- the height of spring and my favourite month. Fruit trees in full bloom, being a lovely sight that I can’t get enough of, the delicate flower petals softly floating in the air and creating exquisite carpets. My favourite April activity is a picnic under the Japanese cherry blossoms with a friend. I could admire the gorgeous flowers and take in their subtle scent while eating homemade biscuits decorated with real flowers. Of course I also made dango. This year I wore a dreamy blouse and themed cherry blossom skirt, of course I took many photos. It was a lovely day. April is the month when every day, new colourful flowers burst into bloom, and taking a walk to search for them is pure pleasure. Their sweet scents fill the air, creating an ethereal atmosphere. April is when teachers in Poland went on strike, so I had to rely on myself to do some schoolwork, but I also got lots of sleep and a nice break. My autumn kimono arrived, I tried to go to my school locker but got kicked out, went on walks in my area to search for flowers. Those walks I remember very well- they were very simple, but the myriad of flowers brought me much joy. The smell and beauty of hyacinths, violets, magnolia…
April is when I visited my city’s Japanese garden for the first time, and it was a lovely experience. Beautifully composed, with familiar and unusual plants. Many trees were covered in vivid, fresh leaves, and azaleas began to bloom. The koi pond was particularly interesting.
I took a day to dress in my maiko outfit, as it’s meant for April, with the primary motif being cherry blossoms. As tiring as it was, it was certainly very rewarding, and I could perform a few spring dances.
I took advantage of the warm weather, visited interesting places, admired swans, visited a museum of my city’s history, which is a royal palace complete with a beautiful garden.
Then came Easter, a very important holiday for me as a Christian, but also with its unique atmosphere. And chocolate.
Then the first lilacs bloomed, creating an otherworldly scent. There were some days hot enough for ice-cream- there is a gorgeous ice-cream place near my home where there is a lovely garden and even a cat. Very peaceful.
Evenings were now pleasantly warm, so I started going on walks with my sister, something that became a tradition. I do it even now, when it can get mercilessly cold.
At the very end of the month my school had an open day, so I took on the role of a tour guide. Constant walking and talking with barely any time to eat or drink was very rewarding regardless. And the teacher strike was suspended. It’s supposedly ongoing now, but can barely be felt.
May is a vibrant month when it becomes very warm and more flowers burst into bloom- delicate lily of the valley was the first flower I wanted to see this month, so I visited the lovely forest park where I wasn’t disappointed. The leaves were fresh and vivid, making it difficult to feel pessimistic. Sweet-smelling abundant wisteria is another plant that I was looking forward to, and the lilac cascades warmed my heart whenever I saw them. I remember buying a sweater from someone, for which I had to go to a faraway part of the city. Since I was there I visited the park that was there- I remember how serene and pleasant it was. It also started to get very warm, and I started looking forward to the coming summer. When the elegant white cascades of honey-scented acacia started to bloom, I knew that summer was close. May is also when roses start to bloom- dog-roses with their heavenly scent and a myriad of colourful “regular roses”- vibrant red, soft pink, delicate cream… the gorgeous flowers adoring many gardens and outdoor areas are a heartwarming sight.
This month my kimono collection also grew by a lovely plum blossom piece.
I paid the National Museum another visit.
One of my favourite ways to spend a day out without spending much became taking a bus to never before or rarely visited areas of the city and walking around. I did this with my sister and it really was a lot of fun, despite how simple it was.
Evening walks were even warmer. One clear memory I have is of a walk after a rainy day. The sweet scent of the wet blossoms on a dark, quiet evening was for some reason very memorable.
The end of May also brings my favourite fruit- the strawberry, which means many delicious foods- of which my favourite is strawberry daifuku.
June is the start of summer and the end of the school year, so a relaxed atmosphere can be felt. I decided to celebrate the summer International Lolita Day by dressing in a strawberry-themed country coord. Many different flowers were in bloom, and I kept visiting new places in my city. Although many days were unbearably hot, it was the peak of strawberry season- eating them after getting home was truly a relief. I also made the decision to move school for the next year, so it was a bit of a stressful month also. I remember visiting a place at the very edge of the city, where there was a field. I really felt free walking down the path… and so did my dog, maybe a little bit too much June is when my favourite summer flower begins to bloom- the hydrangea! Seeing the first pastel bouquets really brought me plenty of joy. This month I also wore lolita fashion in public, which is something I do… well, never because a) it’s uncomfortable and impractical, especially in the summer and b) I have a short temper and really don’t feel like dealing with reactions and comments. Although I don’t think I’d repeat this anytime soon, it was still a lot of fun. I met with a fellow lolita and we went to the cat cafe. I wore a themed dress- my beloved Diamond Honey Palace Cats JSK.
Then came the long-awaited end of the school year. I made it through the first year of high school, and could now rest for two months. It was very hot so due to my health I couldn’t stand outside for so long, even in the shade, so during the assembly I was sitting in a classroom with my friend.
In late June, bright yellow linden starts to bloom, filling the air with its sweet scent. It’s also the month of lilies, hollyhock and cherries.
I still went on walks in my area, and made friends with some cats and dogs. Some of them don’t appear now because of the cold, but I still see others sometimes and make sure to say hello.
In search of fireflies, I went to a riverside park when it was dark. Although I didn’t find what I was looking for, it was still a pleasant experience, and quite unusual since I don’t usually go out in the evenings (except for walks in my area, on which during the summer I went almost daily).
I picked roses and lavender to use for food- I made them into syrups that I used in lemonade and crushed ice. Crushed ice in syrup was amazing for dealing with the heat and surprisingly tasty.
I went on a small shopping trip, where I bought a face mask, spray bottle, nail polish, earrings, a necklace and scented candle. Although simple, it still made me happy.
July- the height of summer. I visited a beautiful new park with a friend, from where we also went to admire some churches. Everything is so vibrant and lively in the summer. For a reason I can’t really disclose I had a sleepless night, but since I was early on in studying the history of art, I spent most of the time doing iconography, so it wasn’t wasted. What more, I even went out during the day, running on no sleep- despite feeling a bit weird, I was functioning surprisingly well. And I visited some picturesque places. Even better, when I got home my mum made waffles. I think I collapsed quite soon after consuming them. Nighttime walks continued, as you can see by the picture- I never saw that gorgeous white cat again, unfortunately. Maybe one day. I also went to another park in a part of the city I’ve never been to before, sitting on a bench with a peaceful view and reading Classical Japanese poetry was truly blissful. I also went with a friend to a viewpoint- although it was extremely tiring to climb up all those stairs, the view was very rewarding- for the first time I could see my city from such a height. I went to a fairly nearby resort town in the mountains with my family. I’ve been there so many times, but it’s always pleasant to go, even if just for the sake of memories. I had nice pancakes, saw gorgeous hydrangeas, bought two charms for necklaces- rose quartz and amethyst. I went to another new park with another friend- the area was very interesting and I will visit again. Besides, the park was lovely.
The end of the month was when the first morning glories bloomed, another flower that I love but also a symbol of late summer.
If I were to say which month of the summer I remember best, I’d say August. The month started with a visit from a family member I haven’t seen for a while. I also made some new jewellery for the first time in a while. I visited another park with a friend. And I returned to my hometown. How I love going there! I love visiting my grandma, who is such a good and modest person. Just thinking about that place makes my heart warm. Delicious homemade food, sweet tea that somehow tastes different, the unforgettable smell of the countryside that I’ve known since I was born. Socialising with family members I rarely had the opportunity to see and friends of my grandma- such lovely people. The summer sunset observed from the stone steps leading to my grandma’s house. Picking mirabelle plums and raspberries. Picking flowers for my great grandma. Visiting the city that I was born in and have many good memories from. Even when I lived there, it just felt different. Although it’s not too big, I just felt good there. Now I live in a big city 500km away, and it feels somewhat different. It’s been two years, and I still don’t exactly feel at-home. I met a gorgeous fluffy white dog, made friends with a pig, admired sunflowers. I could relax and be close to nature. I just felt happy and peaceful. Of course I also managed to do some shopping. When I got home, my mum also surprised me with some presents- a purse, sparkling bracelet, white chocolate, socks and perfume. I also went on a small shopping trip in my city, because I suppose sometimes I can.
August was quite stressful because the moving school procedure was more complicated than expected- I had no information if there were free places anywhere, despite previous information that there were. So I decided to return to my old school, but I was technically left without a school until the last day of the month. That’s why I tried to do as much as possible- to take my mind off it, because there was nothing I could do.
I visited the main market square with a friend- we had shakes at McDonald’s and I had a surprising amount of fun making large bubbles. Can’t always be so serious.
I also visited my city’s ethnographic museum, and it was really interesting. I have to visit again soon. One of those things that make me nostalgic for times I never knew…
Since it was so hot, I visited one of my favourite parks for a bit of natural air con, and in search of water lilies. Late summer has a unique atmosphere.
My sister and I also had a lovely outing- we went to the outskirts of the city and had a very small amount of money, but we bought quite a nice of amount of food. We spread out a blanket and relaxed by the lake, just eating unhealthy food and talking. Since it was so hot, I couldn’t resist taking a walk on the soft sand and in the water itself. Almost like a Spanish beach.
This month I also bought a gorgeous raspberry-coloured Nagoya obi that I’ve been eyeing for a while. I was surprised that it was still there when I had the money to spend.
Since school was coming closer, I also had to buy supplies. This has its own post. Over the summer I was also buying textbooks from people which forced me to discover some new places.
The last day of August was also special, because there was a Japanese culture festival in my city! I wrote a separate post about it here.
September means the start of another battle- I started my second year of high school. Of course well-prepared and optimistic.
Over the course of this month it became cooler, so it was pleasantly warm rather than unbearably hot- very welcome, since the first very hot days appeared at the end of April. I made one of my favourite types of cookies- I need to bake more often. Because of an education reform there were twice as many first years, so the timetables had to be altered so that lessons started at 7.30am instead of 8. Only 30 minutes, but in the early morning even 5 minutes of sleep are precious. Needless to say, adjusting was hard. It was still warm enough for my favourite running in the adjacent park for PE, but since my health is what it is, I had it a bit easier and I could pet some dogs. Best PE lesson in my life. I went with my mum and sister for pizza and ice-cream, quite a rare event, but very pleasant. I also did a small tea ceremony because of the autumn moon- I could wear my autumn kimono at last. I visited parks in search of the first signs of autumn- rose-hips, cosmos, asters, bellflowers, Chinese lantern flowers, yellowing leaves.
I also started a project of making miniature kanzashi ornaments for every month of the year. It didn’t turn out amazingly well because I don’t have that much kanzashi experience, but I’m quite pleased regardless. I finished it in early October.
October was an important month for two reasons.
1- I turned 18. 2- I started my first romantic relationship.
But let’s start with my 18th birthday. Well, technically- I’m an adult. But in practice- nothing will change overnight. It’s a gradual process that partly took place when I was still 17, and is still ongoing. On the actual day my mum made me a cake from pancakes, when I jokingly suggested it earlier. The weekend after I had a small gathering with friends at the cat cafe, where we had cake and then went to the Japanese garden once again to admire the red Japanese maple and autumn flowers. It was very warm that day and I remember it fondly.
The other important event- I started a relationship with a person I met halfway through the third year of middle school. I had feelings for him for a very long time, and I really didn’t expect him to feel the same towards me. I’m truly glad that we are together- I can feel loved and give love to someone, I really hope this lasts.
It was getting cooler, the days shorter, and autumn’s show of vivid hues was starting. Leaving the house became much more pleasant, even on a miserable morning.
A lovely surprise that coincided with my birthday- I entered a giveaway for a lovely obi, not really expecting to win- but I did! I will write a post about this exceptional piece one day. It’s the first time I won anything. I tried it out when I performed another tea ceremony.
The 1st of November is All Saints’ Day, so I visited a military cemetery and lit some candles on the graves that didn’t have any. This day is when I can reflect on the fleeting nature of life and pay my respects to those who have left us- people who had values they stayed true to and sacrificed their lives for. People who dreamt of a free Poland. A free Poland that now exists and I can peacefully live in. Although I shed some tears, all the flickering flames on a dark cemetery have a unique atmosphere. Very peaceful.
I saw my boyfriend a lot this month. Most of our meetings are rather modest, but I remember them very fondly regardless. We went to the museum once, too.
This is the month I took advantage of the lovely colours of autumn before they disappeared, taking many photos.
The 11th is Poland’s Independence Day, a very important holiday for me. I love the patriotic atmosphere, public manifestations of national pride and remembrance of the heroes who helped build Poland as we know it today.
Although in the previous months I mostly omitted the bad things that happened for personal reasons, here I won’t. I stopped taking antidepressants in early October, and the depression returned very quickly, most notably this month, although I only realised that I need to get back on antidepressants at the start of December.
I’ll start by continuing the depression story. It got bad, I had many breakdowns that my boyfriend supported me in, he helped me realise that the situation was bad. I made an appointment with a new psychiatrist, who I visited on the 23rd, my boyfriend accompanied me and I’m very grateful to him, because I needed the strength. I got a new antidepressant, I know it’ll be a while before I get better, but I have support.
December has a particular atmosphere that I usually love, but depression made it hard for me this year. Nonetheless, I still tried. There’s something I love about leaving the house when it’s still dark, witnessing the sunrise. Lessons feel different when the sky is still dark. After a year and a half at this school, I finally decided to part with a tiny sum to buy a hot chocolate. Gave me a bit of energy, which is especially useful on Tuesdays.
December- pretty lights, cute Christmas motifs, the smell of cinnamon. I wish I could feel it more this year, I usually love this month.
The last day of school was very pleasant, I overslept so I arrived in time for the third lesson anyway, but we mostly sang Christmas songs, then after the 6th lesson a small class Christmas party. I won’t lie, I came mainly for the food, but I was pleasantly surprised because I also had some nice conversations.
I visited my city’s Christmas market with my mum, it was very nice but crowded. I bought a pretty rose quartz bracelet and chose a Christmas ornament- a tradition in my family that only I participate in.
Then Christmas- well. It passed very quickly. I was (and still am) early on in antidepressant treatment, so I wasn’t feeling too well. I didn’t have much of an appetite and my mood wasn’t amazing, either. But it wasn’t bad. Generally I took the Christmas break to relax and get a break from most things, as well as catch up on sleep. I did some shopping with the money I got for Christmas, because retail therapy is particularly useful at a time like this.
Well, that will be all for the 2019 review in terms of the most notable events. Now I just have to see how well I did in terms of resolutions, set new ones for 2020 and I can welcome the new year in peace.
How did I keep my resolutions?
- Learn another 10 dances. This year I kept practising twice weekly, though often it took quite a lot of my energy due to the nature of my illness, especially when depression was hitting harder. But I was still very diligent and rarely missed practise time, so endurance and perseverance are my strong points. I managed to learn 9 dances, so not quite there, but very close. So I’m proud nonetheless. And I got the chance to review some dances that I already know.
- Keep learning Japanese and take the JLPT N3. This one I did quite well in. Although I didn’t actually take the N3 because it costs money, I did manage to finish all the N3 material that I have started to review and consolidate and will keep doing so in early 2020.
- Keep drawing. I’m quite proud of my progress in this field also. I did many exercises to work on anatomy. Although there were pieces that I’m definitely not pleased with, I created many works that I can confidently say I’m proud of. I created a range of drawings, from people to flowers, fruit, other objects and some animals.
- Read at least one book per month. I checked on my library account, and excluding textbooks, I read 25 books this year. Included here is classic literature that I finally started to read, and I truly love it. Technically they’re set books for school, but we’re like a year behind on material so I decided to read them in advance and I don’t regret it, because 1- I don’t have to worry as much about the fact we’re so behind and 2- motivation is coming mostly from me and there isn’t any outside pressure, so my love for classic literature could emerge on its own. Apart from that there are also books on cultural topics, mostly Japanese, but there is also one about historical fashion, and one about the Warsaw Uprising I got from my boyfriend, who knows me too well.
- Work on my character. Nope. This one I failed, although my awareness of those flaws has increased, I still don’t feel a real need to change, I don’t see it as something that is possible because the thought makes me feel uncomfortable and unnatural. I’m still hot-tempered, easily irritated, frustrated, impatient, narcissistic, hostile, negative, unenthusiastic, hateful (not something you’d expect from someone who loves wearing pink dresses adorned with lace and ribbons). I lost the respect of quite a few people. On top of that I had more, stronger mental breakdowns, and I still let go of negative emotions by taking it out on myself. Though I think there were still moments when I showed some kindness and empathy. And I can finally give love to someone and experience it myself.
- Keep posting here, with the blog concept in mind. Well, I made many nice posts this year. But I still think that sometimes I forced myself to. Mostly when depression returned. Regardless, many posts this year came from the heart and real passion. But it could be better. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Take care of your health. This one is a fail also. Many times I just didn’t care about my meds, didn’t feel much motivation to take them, let go of negative emotions by taking small overdoses of painkillers (I have autoimmune hepatitis, for those who don’t know or remember, so probably everyone). As soon as I turned 18 I also drank beer a few times, although- well, I have a liver illness, even if it’s just beer- I shouldn’t really. Again- a way of letting go of certain emotions. Well, at least I waited until I turned 18.
- Keep developing my passions. Well, I did quite well here, despite the obstacles of fatigue and depression. I did a few tea ceremonies, dressed in kimono and expanded my collection, expanded my knowledge of topics that interest me quite significantly, generally kept developing all that’s important to me- art, culture, history, Japanese culture and so forth. There were certain periods when I realised that I’ve been pushing too hard and started to lose passion and purpose, I was burnt out. I will write more on this in my 2020 resolutions.
- Do your best in schoolwork- well, kept working as usual. Of course my note-taking techniques improved, I focus only on the important subjects, my interest in higher-level subjects grew. My main goal isn’t good grades but knowledge that I personally feel is important and am motivated to gain from the inside. But I did have several breakdowns, because there’s a lot of knowledge. No matter how interested I am, there really is a lot, and especially with my health- it’s difficult. Sometimes it was too much for me. In October I started getting rather mediocre history grades, although personally I felt that I understood the topics well and their knowledge was important to me. But depression affected this area of life too and although I still was working hard, I lost motivation and a feeling of purpose. Although I told myself I don’t care about grades as long as I’m passing, it still was a bit painful when I started getting such grades from an important subject that I put a lot of effort and interest in.
- Try new DIY projects, maybe develop sewing. Well, I did make kanzashi for each month. In August I also created a small jewellery set. But apart from tiny mending projects, I didn’t do much in this area.
Before I make 2020 resolutions, I’d also like to quickly cover some notable changes and achievements that I haven’t spoken about yet, or only briefly.
First- I decided that the best way to develop my passion for the history art would be to independently study it as an extra subject and take the exam after high school. I started this in the summer and I’m doing quite well. Yes, it’s some hard work. But it’s interesting, and I’m trying not to pressure myself too much. I’m too far in to turn back anyway, and I haven’t got anything to lose.
Second- my political views changed quite a bit. Economically, I moved from quite far right to around the centre, still leaning right a bit. Socially, from the left (but not far-left) I slowly moved to the right, which mostly developed in the summer. Basically, I became a conservative. It’s what I feel comfortable in, it matches my values, but of course I also think on my own. I’m open to rational and peaceful discussion and I plan to explain my views in some posts this coming year, because it’s a complex and interesting topic that a paragraph can’t cover.
Now, after covering this eventful year and still feeling like I missed a few things, I can look towards the future and set some goals for the coming year.
- Dance- I’ll put a little less pressure on myself and set a goal of 5 dances. If I can learn more than that, which I likely will, that’s good- but I can also focus on consolidating dances I already know. Of course I’ll keep up with practising twice weekly.
- Japanese. For the first three months or so of 2020 I’ll be properly reviewing all N3 material and quickly reminding myself of some N5 and N4 things I might have forgotten, and doing various exercises to use the language and further consolidate what I’ve learnt. After that I’ll begin studying N2 material, and I hope to be at least halfway through by the end of the year.
- Keep drawing frequently, of course never force yourself, and keep making progress.
- Keep studying history of art. By the end of this year I should finish all the material, so I can start reviewing and consolidating in January in preparation for the exam.
- Read. I won’t set a quota, but on top of the literature that I have to read for school I’d also like to read a few other books. Not too many, so I don’t feel rushed and pressured, but if I find something interesting, whether it’s fiction or relating to my interests, then I’ll read it.
- Get out of depression. Become a better person. Of course there are some things about me that I can’t change, but I’d still like to feel less guilt about myself. I hope that this year I can become happier and enjoy life more. Bring some good into the lives of others.
- Blog. Of course I want to keep posting here, without forcing myself. I want my posts to come from the heart, be interesting, I want to stay true to the concept of this blog- my corner of the internet where I put things that make me happy. Maybe I should post a bit more of my personal life.
- Health. I drink so much tea that I often forget about water, so this year I’d like to drink as much water as I’m supposed to. Apart from that limit things that are hard on my liver, and of course take my medicine every day. Although I will never feel perfect because of my chronic illness, I can still do something to feel a bit better.
- School. As for grades- well, I don’t really care as long as I pass. What matters is the knowledge and understanding, a personal motivation to study. I want to keep doing my best, since depression took its toll a little bit I hope I’ll be able to feel love towards my higher level subjects properly again. And my note-taking technique still has a bit of room for improvement.
- Passions. Of course I want to keep developing my interests by expanding my knowledge and practising them. It’s important that I do this out of pure passion and not because I force myself to, because when I plan too rigidly it loses authenticity and I forget the purpose. Depression definitely played a part here too, because apathy made me unable to get much pleasure from things I should enjoy. My passions must be something that I want to do and enjoy. This year I hope I can get more joy from them. I started two small projects that I will be continuing this year- one notebook for notes on the history and culture of Japan, that will likely take more than one notebook, and another for other things that are important to me, like small yet beautiful everyday moments. On top of that this blog is a great way to develop all my interests and things that give me joy. Maybe I could learn a new craft.
I think that everything has been said in this lengthy post. In those last few hours of 2019, I will mentally return to some moments not only from this year, but also from the entire decade, in which so much has changed. I will also think about my hopes for the coming year as I watch the fireworks at midnight. I know this year will come with some suffering. But I’ll focus on the joys and surprises it has in store.
I will spend this evening comfortably, relaxing in my room with some nice food. I also have to fold an origami crane for the next year, symbolically disposing of the one I made for 2019. I’ll put on a face mask, then make myself look nice so I don’t welcome the decade looking too bad. Nothing too special, but I don’t mind. I like a peaceful start of the year. Hopefully I catch the sunrise tomorrow morning…