Oh boy. Well. We did think 2016 was a rollercoaster but now that we’re here…I mean, personally, it was fine. Politically, I don’t have time to talk about all of that. So without much ado, let’s go over 2019 in review.
January: Quiet. Mostly spent recovering from IKKiCon in Austin for the early part of the month and spent recovering from a busy 2018 for the remainder of the month. I also moved into a new apartment. It has been a journey. I moved to another side of town, doubled the square footage and now I live in a community with a gate that works.
February: I visited the local Asian New Year Festival and wore way too much makeup and felt a great deal of ennui with Amber as we mused about the fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. We also discovered where the Flemish come from with a thanks to The Institute of Texan Cultures for that.
March: I took a day trip for work to the coast of Texas and was reminded that South Texas had a giant boat in the water for some reason because that’s an American tourist trap like no other. I spent March hoarding fabric and prepping for a one-day convention.
April: April actual featured a few cool things. Years of Marvel fandom paid off in Avengers: Endgame which you can read me complain ‒ I mean talk about here and I go on a girl’s trip to Dallas with my friend who is also named “Amanda” which is in no way confusing. Seeing my home from someone else’s eyes was amazing. We stayed in a terrifyingly nice hotel, with confusing hallways and numbers that did not make sense. We watched anime that made me sort of remember that I am very old. We ate, she met Carlos again, I showed her all the things I miss most when I’m in San Antonio: we’re going to do this again soon…hopefully this time, I won’t have to drive for 8 hours in two days.
May: May was a haze of prep for A-Kon and emotionally recovering from watching Tony Stark die.
June: A-Kon 29. I complained. A lot. You can read my whinging here. To be honest, it was fun. The small fight I had with my friend was less than ideal. I also got into a small car accident in June and managed to start an anime that I would have more opinions on later on.
July: My birth month! Also the birth of my son: Toi. I spent the month mostly celebrating my birthday.
I made my yearly trip to the ocean as I am to return to the sea once a year, at least.
I also spent a birthday weekend in Houston with Tori where we visited the National Museum of Funeral History where I taught a group of church ladies about anti-popes and visited The Wilde Collection where we saw several real human skeletons, some beautiful peacocks and met the owner who was a man in a beautiful mustache and wore a leather corset and a damask-patterned undershirt. The Wilde Collection is a glorious place that was recently destroyed by fire and my heart broke a little.
It was in July that I realized my mental health was not what it used to be. I found myself lashing out at my friends, obsessively complaining over imagined and true slights and mostly just tired and unhappy. I wasn’t ready to do anything about it then but I did notice a change in myself that I was not happy with.
August: I did something shocking. I did something unexpected. I went to a concert by myself. I saw Miyavi when he stopped in San Antonio. You can read about my experience here.
August was quiet, and really, the entire late summer was quiet.
September: I felt my mental health continue to deteriorate. I felt myself continue to be short with the people I cared about. I continued to feel like a less than kind version of myself. I didn’t do much in September but I persisted.
October: October was a huge month of personal change for me. I did something I have been too afraid to do for at least a year now: I changed jobs. I got tired of being a person who was unhappy and I felt like I was watching my mental health and personal relationships all fly away from me. And with October being such an emotional month with all the birthdays and death anniversaries, I mostly just did my best to keep my head above water.
November: My podcast hit its first year anniversary! To think that our show began as a bit of a joke between friends and turned into a project I love and look forward to. November was quiet and spent mostly trying to find my footing and remind myself of what it meant to be me again. I also picked up Pokemon: Sword and I have been having fun running around as a goth in Galar making curry and taking care of my giant raven and emo lizard.
December: Is still happening, technically. It’s been a quiet month so far but I look forward to celebrating the holidays with friends and family.
I want to take a moment to be personal and talk about just how far I’ve come since 2009.
In 2009, I was a college sophomore with no friends and a serious chip on my shoulder after years of dealing with the loss of my father. In 2009, I decided to go to an anime convention which reignited a part of me that had laid dormant in me. In 2009, I was a nearly unrecognizable version of myself.
In 2019, I am a seasoned cosplayer, panelist and convention veteran. In 2019, I am a digital marketing professional with a degree from a fantastic university. In 2019, I am working on finding all the parts of me that I thought I couldn’t ever reach. In those 10 years I buried a parent, finished collection, fell in love, had my heart broken, made friends, lost friends, left the damn country, saw new things around the country and made memories I’ll keep forever. I moved from my hometown to an apartment on my own and made a life in a city nearly 300 miles away from my family.
There are plenty of things that have remained the same. There are many things that have changed. But at the end of the day, I’m just looking forward to moving on and seeing what this new decade has to offer. Politically and socially, this has been an exhausting decade and particularly an exhausting year; but I am hopeful, I do think things will improve.
My tastes my changed, my interests have changed and even how I talk in public has changed but I think all of those changes have indeed been made for the better. What’s even more fascinating is seeing what has stayed the same after all of these years.
Thank you all for giving me a record breaking year. Thank you all for reading. Thank you all for being here with me on this journey.
I look forward to seeing you all in the next year.