2020 in Review

well... it could have been worse! my first thought was "it sucked," but doesn't every year? it's an unfair assessment! when so many things can happen in 365 days— so many bad things ranging from mildly annoying to downright catastrophic— it's a given that the final assessment is "sucky" in big red letters!! so let's look on the bright side for a little bit.

What was I doing before?

the kindest answer is "heh, not much." 2019 was listless, uninteresting, and largely unproductive. two good things happened for me in 2019, the the best of which being my discovery of "Wozwald" by Niru Kajitsu. even these days, i can listen to it on repeat for hours. the other good thing: untethering myself from an aimless social life to reacquaint myself with solitude and new avenues of information.

thanks to that, by December 2019, even though i was 20 pounds too heavy and severely underinvolved in the real world, i had this weird zest for life, like i was going to be somebody. it was horribly naiive. i knew the cards were stacked against me, but after so much time spent feeling sorry for myself, i figured that i ought to try. and try i did! i even watched self-help YouTube channels... *shudders*

i don't envy that starry-eyed self, the one who crumpled up and folded in on herself like old scrap paper, just as experience dictated she would. one can only trick oneself for so long before old patterns resurface. in the end, we can't be anyone but ourselves... i've always suspected as much, but 2020 really made that clear.

2020... happened, huh

it was a bad one for many people, probably the worst. if the 2010's were a torrent of shit blasting into the drain without reprieve, then i'm sure many would describe 2020 as a realisation that the toilet is clogged, the water is rising, oh no— you're ankle deep in shit, now!— but someone bought all the plungers to resell them for a higher price on Amazon.

but a pandemic means nothing to an experienced hikikomori. in a weird way, i'm grateful that just as i was preparing to rejoin society, the powers that be sanctioned my life as a shut-in and forced everyone inside. it saved me the soul-crushing disappointment that comes with socialising. people haven't changed. culture hasn't changed. i certainly haven't changed. all the same things that annoyed me before would only annoy me again.

that said, i forged my most important relationship this year. i could not be any more grateful to have found her when i did. if you're reading this: Twelve! you are the greatest part of 2020. the greatest part of my entirely life, to be truthful. i love you. let's have some more fun together.

Then what was the point?

as previously stated, i'm not sure i can describe the year as "good" or "bad." i will always be the same person, but it should be fun to celebrate the minute differences and take a trip down memory lane. let's look on the bright side for a bit!

So! I Grew up a Little!

New experiences

i have a bank account and a housekey and a wallet with money in it. i had my first drink, and then several more, and i discovered i like alcohol so much that the vomiting doesn't trouble me. i was vegan for a considerable stretch of time. i sang a lot. i drew a little bit. i wrote more than i did in 2019, even though it wasn't much. and i spent a lot of time on neocities! i know lots about CSS now. comparing 5amgf to my first forays onto the web, it's obvious that i've come a long way.

i have a new obsession with Bungo Stray Dogs and i've collected lots of pretty art for my favourite pairing. i even tried my hand at some amateur translation of short fan-comics! i can't say that my (infantile) Japanese has improved, nor my kanji recognition, but i've gotten pretty good at identifying radicals. i did learn these though: 何 and 今 !

i met lots of different people with ideas i was unused to. i found new hobbies and new perspectives. i tried out new hairstyles. i'm in university. i'm in a stable household. i'm in love. though i'm troubled by much of the same things as before, maybe i've matured, at least a bit. a lot of things that confused me before, niggling feelings that didn't sit right with me, these now have explanations.

Seeing things clearly

2020 was a year of disillusionment. i'm sure i could spin a colourful metaphor about having my foolish hopes dashed against the rocks again and again until they disintegrated into the fine dust of reality, but there are definitely enough un-funny Reddit memes saying the same thing. i bet some of them date all the way back to March. that said, i don't resent it at all. life is better lived objectively, even when the truth hurts. even when nobody will believe me.

i know myself and this world better than ever before. things aren't quite as frightening when i can take a step back and realise i already know exactly what's going on.

more literally, i can see my bones. hello, clavicles! ms. pelvic bone has also come out to play! my favourite is the tiny round bone on the outside of each wrist, though in general i enjoy watching the innerworkings of my hand flex through the skin. maybe in 2021, i'll get to count my ribs? one can hope!

Hopes for the Future

i don't make New Year's Resolutions anymore. in all my years, only one has ever come to pass. when i was in middle school, i vowed to become a nicer person. and over time my personality has become more agreeable, despite the mean-spirited little girl who still shouts obscenities in the back of my mind. in the past, i'd be disheartened to think she'll never go away, to realise that even if i hide my flaws, they'll always be with me. it's tiring to pretend to be someone you're not. but you know what? 2020 taught me the greatest lesson of all.

Surrender is a good thing

i will always be myself. there's nothing i can do to change that; no amount of wishing or even concentrated effort will transform me into a normal human being. the best i can hope for is functional and distracted.

anything i do can be done 1,000 times better by someone else, but i'm going to be miserable whether i do it or not, so i might as well go for it, right? as long as it's fun. let it be known i am fully drained of ambition and that no longer troubles me! three cheers for, mediocrity! yay, yay, yay! complacency!

skimming this entry now, i actually have no idea what i wanted to say when i began writing or where the hell i'm going with it now. i had the urge to scrap it and try again but— what did i just say?! it doesn't have to be good. nothing in the world has to be good. i'll continue to be complete crap, happily, gleefully, and just enjoy the cute colours and pretty pictures on this page. here, have some more line stickers! i really love this set!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! now get outta here!!!