2018: Year in Review

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Image description: The text ‘2018 year in review’ over a firework.

We’ve almost made it through 2018! Hurrah! Let’s DO THIS THING. This year feels like it’s been one of the longest years of my life. The other day I genuinely thought that something I did over summer happened in February, so I guess it’s like 2 years have passed instead of 1? Like, what even. Anyway, I’m here with a good old yearly recap post, because I do like to be able to have this as a point of reference and it’s fun to see everything I’ve done over this year. (If I can even remember them.)

Looking back at 2018

  • Firstly, let’s recap my 2018 goals. Doing things with love? I mean, KIND OF. I do think that I’ve spent more time on friendships and on making new friends which is great! And I’ve also met some wonderful internet friends in real life! (This ties in with my other goal about meeting friends.) I’m getting better at looking critically at the things I love but I definitely have a long way to go with that process.
  • Caring for myself… Well, GCSEs sucked a LOT, I have to say. That whole experience and the culture of public examinations is still negatively affecting my mental health now. The first half of the year was really difficult for that reason and I haven’t always been amazing at taking care of myself, but part of that includes letting myself off for that, too? I’ve literally tried to block out all of that because it was just grim, tbh.
  • However, I can say with certainty that have enjoyed so much amazing art this year! From excellent books to theatre to new TV shows I’ve started… it’s been a great one. A big part of this has been helping out with the sixth form musical at my school, where I worked as the sound operator. I was so proud of that production, and although it was stressful, I had an amazing time and I know that it’ll stay with me forever.
  • I have also for sure experienced new things: I got my first job! I travelled to South America with Guides! I went to prom! I did make it through my first public exams! I started sixth form! I got my nose pierced! I DMed for the first time!
  • I want to expand on starting sixth form because Year 12 has been FULL. ON. I’m studying Maths, Spanish, History & Latin and I’m really glad that I picked those subjects. (Especially Latin because I’m maybe enjoying it the most and it was a last minute switch from Chemistry.)
  • I blogged much less in the second half of this year. My stats are NOT thanking me, lol, but sometimes that’s the way life goes. I do have a whole bunch of post ideas so I REALLY hope I can get some more posts up.
  • One thing that I actually was good at keeping up was my bullet journal. I’m so glad I put in pictures of what I was up to from throughout the year because it was really nice to remind me when I looked through.
  • Also, I took my last ever clarinet exam which was kind of trash but THANK GOD IT’S OVER. Now I just have to spend another 6 months re-learning to love the clarinet after that deeply stressful experience, I guess.

Looking ahead to 2019

  • I’m going to turn 18!! WHAT! I’m just going to make that its own bullet point in itself because I don’t feel like I’m ready to be a legal adult at all.
  • I want to do some preparation for my future: learning to drive, improving at cooking, maybe applying for uni/deciding what I’m going to do keeping on with my job.
  • More blogging! I miss it a lot! I’d like to blog at least once a month.
  • In addition to blogging, I want to continue with theatre tech, because that was really fun and fulfilling this year. In summer I’m going to be helping on a production at the Edinburgh Fringe which I’m super excited about! I hope to make the most of that experience!
  • Again, I want to better take care of myself. Some concrete ways I’m going to do this are making sure I exercise, getting back into meditation, keeping a regular sleeping schedule and allowing myself to sometimes just hand in work that’s good enough, if not perfect.
  • I want to use my time on the internet and my phone in better ways. Spending a lot of time mindlessly scrolling social media has been REALLY bad for my brain. Instead, I want to spend more time interacting with people and building relationships.
  • I would like to come out as non-binary to more people? Maybe? And also to just tell people when they misgender me because people still do that a lot but I feel awkward correcting them (even though it’s not my mistake). Also, to just not read the transphobic articles that cross my path because they do not exactly help.
  • I’d like to listen to more new music, since I love finding new bops and I didn’t get that much opportunity to do so in 2018.

I’ll probably think of something really good after I’ve posted this but, ah well. That’s how it goes. I hope you enjoyed this focus on my personal goals.

how was your 2018? do you have any goals or resolutions for 2019?

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2017: Year in Review

Photo of a hand holding a lit sparkler, with the words '2017 year in review'

It’s that time again when everyone posts their yearly round-ups… That’s right folks, I am here with yet ANOTHER new year themed post! And slightly late! Oh well. 2017 has been a weird one for me. Even Photoshop was being weird whilst I was trying to make this picture, so clearly it agrees.

Looking back at 2017

  • To  begin with, I want to recap my goals from 2016… Firstly, I think I’ve definitely succeeded at doing more LGBTQ+ related things! I can see this concretely in that: I attended my first ever Pride parade, starting going to school LGBTQ+ society, and generally just felt a lot more positive in my queer identity. 2016 was a year of discovering myself, and I feel that 2017 has been me actually kind of living that. I mean, I still have a LOT of stuff going on (especially re: my gender which is CONFUSING) but, yeah. I’m so happy about this.
  • Secondly, I feel that have made some strides forward in making positive changes in the world. This year the podcasts Witch Please and Secret Feminist Agenda were SUPER important to me; I really do feel that they have given me hope and inspired me to strive to be a better person and ally. I also continued with my Action for Change project on LGBTQ+ history which I enjoyed a lot. 🙂 I still have a long way to go (I mean it’s kind of an eternal process) in being a good ally but I hope that I’ve educated myself more this year.
  • In terms of self-care and mental health, this year has been pretty rocky. To be frank, I’ve experienced some of my biggest lows ever in 2017. I’ve had several breakdowns and even this holiday I’ve been feeling very sad. I’ve tried to take care of myself, but I want to do this even more going forward in 2017.
  • Blogging has also been patchy. Year 11 has been hitting me harder than I’d thought, leading to me taking a hiatus, and I also haven’t been great at commenting. But you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes we don’t achieve our goals, because things change, and it doesn’t make us terrible people.
  • My most popular posts this year were LGBTQ+ History in Schools, Yes, I Love YA, and The Spring Has Sprung book tag. My collab post Les Mis v Hamilton (with Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages) from last year was also pretty popular, which is cool to see. Bonus posts: queer girl media recs and 7 #relatable clarinet things.
  • However! I have consumed some WONDERFUL art this year: I’ve continued to read many great books, got way more into podcasts, also got into comics, and of course kept listening to rad music. I am so grateful for all this art because, honestly…it keeps me going. I need art so much.

Looking forward to 2018

  • I want to do things with love. I don’t want to do some crappy ‘love saves everything’ thing because that’s just wrong, but personally I want to bring more love and care into my life. By this I mean: bringing a sense of love to caring for myself, putting in time and effort in my relationships, criticising things I love because I love them and not in spite of it.
  • Further elaborating on the theme of self care, I want to look after myself better. The next year is going to be hard and I need to practise self care ESPECIALLY when I feel bad to stop me spiralling into terribleness. I’ve designated specific phone-free times because constantly scrolling through social media does not really help me. But at the same time I don’t want self care to be a chore, so. UGH it’s hard!
  • I want to keep enjoying art! I’m super excited to be able to experience new things in 2018 — I’m seeing both Hamilton and the Cursed Child which I am EXTREMELY excited and grateful for. I hope to read some wonderful books — I am currently very excited for Alice Oseman’s book 3, hopefully out in spring — as well as comics, movies, podcasts, music, TV and so on. This also includes making my own art, which has rather been put to the back burner due to school & mental health, but nevertheless I hope to continue with it.
  • I want to make new friends & meet old ones. I hope to be attending YA Shot and YALC in 2018 and I want to meet up with bookish friends! I’d also love to make some new friends, and if possible meet some internet friends in real life because I think that’d be super cool. 🙂
  • This one is rather vague, but I want to experience new things. I have a lot of ~new and exciting~ things coming up in the future, like going to sixth form, big exams, prom, a bunch of people leaving school, my trip to Ecuador with Guides (!!), turning 17… It’s gonna be a WILD TIME, y’all.

wow that was a deep dive into my brain! how was your 2017? do you have any goals for 2018?

2016 in Blogging // that yearly round up post

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Phew, 2016 has been a capital-Y Year. Last year I said that I was so young and innocent the year before… 2015 ME DID NOT KNOW WHAT I HAD COMING. I said in that post that I’d look back and laugh at myself, and I don’t really feel like laughing. I almost feel a little sad. UGH, WHY WORLD.

I mean, whilst I know we all joke about how much we want this year to be over, some good things actually have happened. The annoying thing is that this year has basically been really crap in terms of politics and wider-scale events, but it’s been pretty good for me as a person? Or as good as it could be, considering the whole situation. Let’s go through it all.

Looking back at 2016

  • Some pretty crap things happened in the world. The refugee crisis continues, acts of terror continue, dying continues. A bunch of famous people liek David Bowie and Alan Rickman also passed away. Trump was elected President and here in the UK we voted for Brexit. I guess right-wing nationalism including a loot of hatred is on the rise.
  • Yeah so…not wonderful overall. But I think I have learnt to be happier with myself this year. I feel a lot more able to do what I want, and to care less what people think of me. (I still care a little.) I know it’s a small thing, but I stopped shaving my legs since I was only doing it because people were always like ‘ew, hair’. I ACTUALLY DON’T CARE. I feel good about saying that. Now sometimes I can talk about queer things to my friends, and that feels nice.
  • My most popular posts from this year were Les Mis v Hamilton, an awesome fandom battle which I wrote with Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages, my original Les Mis Book Tag, and that one where I talked about webcomics. (I’m liking the Les Mis theme year. You guys obviously have good taste.) I think I’m supposed to get a round-up from WordPress, but I’m scheduling this post so hopefully I’ll add it in. THANK YOU TO EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO HAS READ AND/OR COMMENTED ON MY POSTS. I love you all. ❤
  • I did some Guides stuff! I went on a county trip to Slovenia & Croatia which was just AMAZING and I absolutely adore my team. *feels mushy and huggy* It felt pretty cool to have fundraised for my whole trip… We did a lot of cool stuff and the bants were real. (Ha.) Now I’m doing a campaign-y thing which is really cool!
  • I read some good books! Most notably Radio Silence, I think, which I still ADORE, but also: A Gathering of Shadows, Crooked Kingdom, Salt to the Sea, A Tale for the Time Being, This Savage Song, Wild Swans, The Handmaid’s Tale… A LOT OF GREAT BOOKS. I was using my Goodreads Year in Books for this so if you feel like checking it out then please do.
  • Just in general, I flailed about things a lot. See: the wonderful musical Fun Home, the Doctor Who spin off Class which I have talked about AT LENGTH, webcomics. (I know I linked that earlier, but.) OH AND HOLY MOLY I JUST REMEMBERED: Lauren Aquilina released her LP! (It was called Isn’t It Strange? and because I seem to be doing a fun linking thing there, here’s a co-review I did.) I’m still flailing about that, to be honest.
  • I went to more bookish events. This included the wonderful YA Shot literary festival, as well as some author panels and a VE Schwab signing. 😀 This was actually one of my goals from last year, so yay!
  • Once again, I didn’t finish a writing project, but I did take part in NaNoWriMo and get to work on my WIP. I still have a long way to go, but hopefully next year. (Probably not. But I’d like to try.)
  • I started a new year at school, and I’m actually…really enjoying it so far? Although the work is a step up, I’ve got some good teachers and I’m interesting in what we’re doing.
  • I did keep learning Japanese, although it’s been difficult to continue with school and I definitely need to work more at that.
  • Despite the Brexit result, the EU referendum got me a lot more interested in politics. I felt really passionately about that, and obviously the result was pretty crushing, especially considering it was the first political thing that I cared about a lot? But yeah, it has motivated me to learn more about politics and our world and to keep fighting against the bad stuff.

Looking forward to 2017

  • I want to care for myself more. Sometimes I feel liek I get swamped in all my commitments, so I really want to try and set more time aside for myself when I don’t have to do stuff. We did some meditation as an RS homework and I found it really nice, so…maybe that?
  • I want to keep writing. Maybe I won’t finish a project, but that’s okay! Just writing a little bit adds to my improvement, which is what really matter.
  • I just…really want to do something for Pride month next year? Like go to the London Pride parade, if I actually can. And in general I want to do more LGBTQ+ related things; the LGBTQ+ society at school just opened up to some younger years so if I can work up the courage I’ll hopefully go?
  • Earlier on in this post I talked a lot about bad stuff happening in the world, so I want to do something that will actually make a change. I don’t know what that is yet, but. Hopefully.
  • I want to get better at reading and commenting on other blogs. I feel like I did let this slip, especially over the last 6 months or so, and I miss knowing what’s happening in the blogging community and making new friends.
  • I also want to be more organised on my own blog, I guess — I was starting to get a bit stressed by needing to post and that wasn’t really fun. So that’s starting this holiday with me just writing some posts that I can schedule whenever I get swamped with schoolwork and can’t write something for the blog. 🙂

Phew, this post ended up being a lot longer than I was expecting it to be! But I do think I have grown a lot more as a person this year, and I did a lot of cool stuff, so I suppose it’s not that crazy. Once again, thanks to all of you who support me and my blog/ Hopefully 2017 will be a little brighter for all of us.

how was your year? do you write yearly goals? and do you have anything you want to do in 2017?

My Year in Blogging // time passes too quickly

2016 recap

My favourite  of recap-y posts is getting to look at your old goals. OH GOSH. I was so young and innocent then. *shakes head* (I wanted to figure out the school system in the US. And Carry On was still a distant dot on the horizon.) I do feel like I’ve grown a lot this year — and I’ll probably look back at this post and laugh at my clichés, but it’s true. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED IN JUST A YEAR.

Looking back at 2015

  • (Damn. I still think it’s basically 2012. I have no idea how I’ll get used to writing the new date.)
  • Both of my top posts were somehow Rainbow Rowell posts? (The one where I talked about the Eleanor & Park movie, and the one where I talked about Carry On). Obviously the people searching Rainbow Rowell books have come to the right place: WELCOME, FRIENDS. I am here to flail with you.
  • Some other posts I’m proud of are my 7 British words that aren’t ‘bloody’ — which ironically I now say a lot! — and my discussion of parallels between Harry Potter and real world issues. You can see the WordPress report of my year in blogging here!
  • I changed my blog theme. I mean, I do need a new photo after my haircut. 😉 But I’m really happy with the design itself, and I hope you guys are liking it!
  • Well. The UK General Election happened. I don’t talk about current affairs very much on here, but…eh. I wasn’t that impressed with a lot of the new actions. So that was all a bit of a downer.
  • Last year I said I wanted to complete a writing project, which I didn’t, despite doing NaNoWriMo twice. (Don’t worry, you didn’t miss a second November. I speak of Camp NaNo!) Completing that would have been nice, but…hopefully in 2016? I also do feel like I spent time growing my poetry, so. My excuse. 😉
  • I joined SO many fandoms. I fell in love with Les Mis in April and…yeah. Now I talk a lot about dead French revolutionaries. And through that I discovered other great musicals like Hamilton and Rent! Plus, I got super into Alice Oseman’s Solitaire, and I’m really excited for the release of Radio Silence early next year.
  • THE SIMON SNOW FANDOM HAS EXPLODED. I think the release of Carry On totally deserves its own bullet point, right? The fandom has basically gone from a few familiar faces where everyone reblogged everything in the tag to a lovely community of people excited by Simon and Baz and Agatha and Penny and Ebb.
  • I did complete my Goodreads challenge, but I feel like I’ve read a lot less this year. You can see my year in books here. 🙂 I’ve been reading so slowly since the start of school in September… I’m kind of considering the possibility that I read the same amount of fanfiction as books? I have read a lot of fanfic. *coughs*
  • I went to my first ever convention, as well as two more! I’M SO HAPPY I DID. I’ve enjoyed all my cons massively, and I’m hoping to go to as many in the future as possible! Although sadly I’m missing YALC — I chose to go on my Girlguiding trip instead, which should still be fabulous. 🙂

Looking forward to 2016

  • I want to improve my cosplays! And generally do all the fandom things. But I’d really like to learn more about the sewing aspect of cosplay, and maybe cosplay a character with a more complicated costume. (In May I’m hoping to cosplay Jehan from Les Mis! Right now I’m attempting to make a pattern for the waistcoat oh gosh. XD)
  • MOOOORE WRITING. Always. I have so many ideas that I’d like to write. And I really haven’t been doing much poetry recently so…I want to get back into that.
  • I want to continue learning Japanese — so far I’ve basically just learnt a few basic phrases and the hiragana characters. Um. Yeah. I’d love to get a little more decent at that.
  • I want to watch all the things I’ve been itching to watch. Old Doctor Who episodes. Once Upon a Time. Star Wars. Mr Robot. SO MANY MUSICALS.
  • I’d love to attend more bookish events, hehe. Seeing authors speak is amazing.

Thank you to all the lovely people who’ve read my posts, commented, talked to me —  Evi, Michelle, Alyssa, Nirvana, Elly, An Overthinking TeenagerBridget, Elm, and so many more — I APPRECIATE YOU SO MUCH. Thank you for all the fabulous blogs I’ve been reading over the past year. (I might have to do a whole list. There’s a lot.) ❤ I hope that 2016 will be a good year for all of us.

The Start of a New Year

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I can’t believe we’re almost coming to the end of this year! I know it sounds clichéd, but it really does seem like only yesterday that I was writing the same kind of post last year. I don’t want you to bombard you guys with stats, since you’ve probably been getting a ton of these posts coming into your inbox, but ‘ve noted down a few achievments for the past year and stuff I’m excited about for the future.

Looking Back at 2014

Click here for a wonderful infographic of my stats produced by WordPress!

    • This year, I rekindled my love of words.. The library came into excellent stock, and I came across excellent books. This was the year I discovered Rainbow Rowell, The Mortal Instruments, The Grisha…the list goes on.
    • Not only did I fall back in love with reading – I also fell back in love with writing. I wrote and read stories far more frequently, and I even started a project during NaNoWriMo. My love of poetry was rekindled by the wonderful Topaz Winters (no, I’m not going to stop mentioning this!) and from there I’ve been bewitched by other beautiful poems. I’ve written a few of my own, too!
    • I read my first comic…ever? After much bugging. I was finally convinced by my friend to read the webcomic Nimona, and I am SO GLAD I DID. I binge-read all the available pages on a Wednesday afternoon and then had to suffer the next few months on just two pages a week. TORTURE. Anyway, I’m feeling a bit bereft now that it has ended, so if you guys have any recommendations then those would be great to hear.
    • I’m the same height as my mum. FINALLY. I don’t think I’m going to be a tall person exactly, but my one goal is to be taller than my mum. And we’re the same height!
    • I discovered the fandom. It’s a really fun community, but sometimes it bugs me that people tend to forget the flaws in books/movies.

Looking Ahead to 2015

    • I want to learn how the American school system works. It is just SO DARN CONFUSING. Even after reading all these books about kids in high school (?) I still do not understand which age corresponds with which year. (And honors classes?? What are they?)
    • I want to do a Goodreads reading challenge. I only just got my GR account, but I’m going to start at 60 books for 2015 and see how I go.
    • I want to finish a writing project. Preferably the one I started during NaNo, but you never know! I don’t want to block myself in 😛 To be honest, I just want to keep writing – as long as I keep practicing and improving and enjoying, I don’t want to stop
    • I want to watch some of the older episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix. I came onto the bandwagon way too late, and now I’m suffering.

And of course, there’s a whole load of books and movies like:

    • Nimona! In paperback!
    • Frozen Hearts, by the aforementioned blogger and teen writer Topaz Winters
    • ACOTAR and Throne of Glass #4
    • Fairest and Winter
    • CARRY ON SIMON GUYS IT’S HAPPENING OH MY GOSH
    • Insurgent, Mockingjay Part II, Big Hero Six, The Scorch Trials
    • News of Paper Towns and Eleanor & Park movies?

And, finally, I want to keep blogging and I want to keep happy. 🙂

Happy New Year! How was 2014 for you? Do you have any goals for the coming year?