2019 is Dead, Long Live 2020, or, I Didn’t do 12 Days and Therefore Had to Write This as its Own Thing

Another year has come to an end, and with it, I feel the need to recap what I achieved and didn’t, accompanied by a set of my resolutions for the coming year. Ordinarily, this would be appended to the final of my 12 Days posts, but time for that was lacking this year, and as a result, it’s here instead.

2019 was a… complicated year for me. Overall, it’s certainly a net positive. Aside from those fulfilled resolutions, I’ll get to in a moment, it was a year of personal growth. Throughout it, I’ve worked to improve my personality, treatment of others, and outlook, and while I’m far from perfect on those fronts, I’m impressed with the amount I have accomplished. It’s a year where I improved by leaps and bounds in cooking, and where I began to learn how to grow my own food. My relationship with Lachlan, though certainly not free from strife, has only been strengthened, and we go into the next year in a better place, at least romantically, than we’ve ever been. On a more practical note, my grades were by-and-large quite impressive in 2019.

Yet, there’s certainly been hardship as well. I’ve grown more cynical, my relative loneliness outside of my partner has caught up with me, and confusion about where to go with my life has only mounted. Youtube has increasingly proven itself an unviable avenue for me to pursue as anything resembling a career path, and Lachlan’s decreased ability to work this year has not made things any easier. As soon as the new year dawns, we’ll certainly be having some difficult conversations, and while I won’t graduate until 2021, 2020 may well be the year where my future begins to solidify. At the very least, I hope that’ll be the case.

Regardless, it’s time now to tackle the resolutions from last year and assess how well I achieved them. First up, I wanted to hit 50k subs and pull in more than $1000 a month from Youtube. While various freelance jobs have put me closer to that than I may have expected, Youtube itself got me nowhere near that, and that sub goal is fairly unlikely to ever be reached given my increasing disinterest in the platform.

Second, I wanted to write a novel. This is, of course, a success, with a now-complete second draft that I’m sending to beta readers in just a few days. It’s still far from a publishable state, if it’ll ever get there, but my writing of On Such a Volcano is perhaps the accomplishment this year I’m most proud of.

Third, I wanted my Japanese to reach a point where I could read Yoshiya Nobuko’s work. This didn’t quite bear fruit, but I cam closer than may have been expected. I did read half of her Wasurenagusa before deciding it was still a bit above my level and am now rereading Seabed. In reading prose fiction, I constantly confront both words and grammar that I don’t know, but it’s been thoroughly rewarding, and for the first year in a while, I felt like I made serious progress in my study of the language.

Fourth, I wanted to watch at least one non-anime film every week. This was accomplished with flying colors and moreover was done while watching one anime film a week as well. My greater appreciation of cinema is certainly a positive note from this year.

Fifth, I wanted to get through 25 anime from my backlog. That wasn’t quite accomplished, but we did hold steady in watching anime, even though film and reading took up quite a bit more of my time. Anime is far from the only medium I care for anymore, so it’s only reasonable that I’ve been watching less of it. While there are still hundreds I’d like to get to someday, I can’t say that I’m so upset about this.

Sixth, I wanted to read more theory. As with film, this was absolutely delivered on. It’s honestly somewhat absurd when I think back to one year ago when I’d read functionally zero theory in four years, in comparison to now, where my work is sometimes criticized for being too theory-laden. I’ve got plenty more to read, and my thoughts are always evolving, but I ended up soaring past this resolution.

Seventh, I wanted to write about games. Unfortunately, school got in the way of most games, and I haven’t found time to do so.

Lastly, I wanted to save enough money to visit Japan. I did accomplish this, in a sense. While we didn’t travel to the country this year, we should have enough to do so in 2020. As a result, I’ll count it, even if I shouldn’t.

And so it comes time to set my goals for 2020, establishing a general plan for the year that I’m sure to break from.

First is the classic, never-fulfilled resolution: I want to work out. Perhaps to make things easier for myself, I don’t have super lofty goals: I just want to be able to do push-ups without feeling like I’m about to die.

Second, I’d like to sell my novel. Now, this is a lofty goal. To make myself really work for it though, I’m setting a regulation: if I haven’t sold my novel by the end of this year, it’s going away until I’ve written one or two more. I don’t want to waste my life on one story, so I see this is as necessary to not stagnate.

Third, I’d like to further improve my Japanese. Going to Japan may help, but really, I know that I just need to read more to get there. It can be tough to fit into my schedule at times, but I’ll be doing my best.

Fourth, I want to watch 100 films, and read 50 books. A spreadsheet already exists to ensure we hit the first one, but the second is all on me. It might be hard, seeing as I want to cut back a bit from how much reading I did this year-I love it, but reading three books at once isn’t an efficient use of my time-but I still want to hit it.

Lastly, I want to write about games. This might be my eternal resolution, but it’s for good reason. If I continue writing in the way I do, this is the most important route I can take. Now all I need to do is actually find time to play them.



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