Well. It's been quite the while, hasn't it?
I thought for a long while about whether I was going to do my usual yearly journal update, considering how many many months had passed since I'd last been any kind of active on here.
But, in so many ways, the idea of not posting a journal on here seemed... Wrong. And so here I am, back again.
Did you miss me?
It's been an interesting kind of year, has 2018. One that, I can truly say has many happy memories and plenty of exciting, new things and yet. I can't help but think that the one thing I really needed to do was be a little... Kinder to myself.
In a year that I can only look back on as one primarily of progress I feel like I maybe could have, should have, let myself relax a little more. Given myself a little more time just to. Be.
Funny, one thing I wanted to improve on from last year was not procrastinating so much. Now I feel like I've procrastinated too little. I think 2019 will be about finding the happy medium, yes?
2018 has been, without doubt, a year filled with the beautiful boy who decorates my journal. Asuma Kousuke. It started that way and it only picked up as it went along. I spent the last few hours of 2017 watching videos of him modelling and since... He's pretty much dominated my life.
From replying to his tweets and making sure to know his schedule of stage plays, I was already busy with that. And then Kousuke started doing live streams (just a little after that last journal I made on here) and suddenly there was very little time to consider anything else.
At least once a week Kousuke will bless us with at least a couple of hours of live streaming. And I am always, always there. I am blessed that at this point he knows me (albeit by screen name and the affectionate nickname of 'AkaAka').
Despite my still budding Japanese skills, Kousuke is immensely patient with me, and many times has had to reassure me that my Japanese is not so bad after all, that he can understand me.
I could go into so much just about Kousuke. This year as been incredible thanks to him, and getting to see HIS incredible year has made mine all the better.
But to continue on from Kousuke, I can happily say that my one New Years 'plan' for 2017 has firmly been recognised. My Japanese has improved immensely. One thing I mentioned I wanted to be able to do was to be able to reply to Kousuke in Japanese more on twitter, and I'm happy to say, I've definitely achieved that! Even today, I was able to thank him for this year, wish him a happy new year and to wish him good luck.
None of these things were things I could say last year. And every day I see myself able to say more. I like to think it makes Kousuke smile, even a little when he sees me stumbling around in the Japanese language trying to respond to him. That maybe he even gets a little proud when he sees me improving. (He should be proud, these victories of mine are, at least in part thanks to him as my inspiration)
And more than that! The amount I'm starting to be able to understand when I hear it is improving too!
I just need to get more confident in my quick responses (such as to the new friends I've made on twitter, yes, thanks to Kousuke) and, most importantly, I need to become more confident in SPEAKING in Japanese.
So there's our goals for 2019.
Keep improving! Always!
Creatively, I've found myself writing less. Which is strange for me, but I find that when I do sit down to write, I'm happier with the results. So for now I'm not questioning it, and just allowing the muses to move me when they wish.
However, sewing and with regards to my etsy store well... Things have been moving a little faster there.
A particular bad review in regards to time (that I won't go into because it makes me mad....) made me decide to reconsider how I go about my business side of etsy.
Thankfully, I have a lot of new ideas and am looking to reopen a fully revamped version of Good Vibe Dolls (yes, still called the same, and still a nod to Gerard, always) will be opening in 2019. I'm hoping it will be the start of a new, very exciting chapter. I've got a good feeling about this.
Travelling... There was less this year, but what did happen was... Incredible.
October saw a family holiday that has been literally years in the making when me and ten (yes, 10) other members of my family all headed to Florida to visit Disney and Universal Studios.
It was a first for many of those.
And for myself, I'd last been there when I was 12.
To call it... Magical, emotional, neither of these things really do it.
Certainly helped being there for Halloween too!
Music hasn't played as much of a role as usual. But as always certain favourite dominate. Fall Out Boy, The Killers, Green Day. These sounds will never leave me.
And maybe. Just maybe I've let some a little too dear to my heart in again. Even if just a little (you guys know who I mean)
OH! But a special mention for a beautiful and talented Japanese boy I happened across on the streaming app I joined for Kousuke.
Look up Shoichiro Nomura.
He is a darling, a cheeky brat and, most of all, a talented, beautiful singer. I adore him.
Actual, here, this is his YouTube page. Give him a chance, you won't regret it. His song 'Ganbatte' (which means, roughly 'good luck, do your best!' in Japanese) has been my anthem for most of the latter half of 2018www.youtube.com/channel/UClXON…
Books. Have mainly been of the Japanese variety. My mother laughs whenever she sees me with a new book as she knows, without asking that it's translated from Japanese.
However a special shout out to Letters of the Sun King for being the BEST kids book released this year. As a children's bookseller I must commend a title that stands out so much. (As someone still very much an Ancient Egypt nerd I adored this and raved about how it was 'exactly the book I had wanted to read as a kid)
Friends... I've actually made some more! (.... yes... thanks to Kousuke..... *mumble mumble*) Which is... Rare for me.
And yet, I never ever forget that my best friends are always there for me. I've been glad to make even more memories with them this year too.
So... I think now...
I look forward to more stories, more creations, more learning, more discoveries, more adventures and more moments just to simply enjoy.
To Kousuke: Thank you. You've done more for me than you know. I can't wait for all the adventures yet to come. I may be many, many miles away from you, but I hope you get a little sense of me right by your side. You make me so proud every day. Let's have even more fun in 2019, shall we?
And to my friends: I adore you. Thank you. Thank you.
And finally to Ikiyou
There are never enough words.
Thank you for everything so far, and everything yet to come.
Well... You know... It IS 2019 now.
The future is bulletproof
LONG LIVE 2019!