Hello, all! I’m here with my report from under the kotatsu. It’s chilly outside, I’ve got hot tea and mikan in arms’ reach, and in less than 24 hours we will be in the new year. Can you believe it? I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited about that!
2019 will be the Year of the Pig. According to a friend of a friend, this is a great time to take the plunge on something Big you’ve been planning on for a while, be it a relationship, moving, changing jobs, or whatever else might be going on with you.
So for today, I will reflect on what made 2018 great, and what I hope to achieve in 2019.
Won’t you join me?
Let’s start with some things I’m really proud of, in no particular order.
- I paid off my student loans. This is a huge accomplishment that I still can’t believe I did in under ten years! Many people resign themselves to never escaping from this sort of debt. From here on out, my goal is to stay as far away from student debt as possible… even as I look up options for furthering my education.
- I got second place in a writing contest. My piece, “How Many Chances?” won 2nd place in the Writers in Kyoto annual competition for 2018. I’m still floored by this. I hope to participate in future competitions of theirs.
- I attended a weeklong intensive taiko workshop! This was such a wonderful experience that, if I were to get into it here, would take all day to talk about. Yes, I still need to finish writing a proper blog post about it. It’s floating around somewhere, I promise!
- I learned how to hang-glide! This wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. (Helps that we never went more than 15 feet above ground.) Would I do it again? Probably not. But I’m glad I tried it at least once in my life.
- I performed at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto! One of the most powerful, moving, and unforgettable experiences I’ve had playing wadaiko to date.
Here are some things I wish I could have stepped it up on:
- Studying Japanese. And, for that matter…
- Studying German.
- Reading novels in Japanese. I only got about three or so done this year.
- Reading over 50 novels in English in a year. (I only made it to about 30. Sigh.)
- Posting regularly on this blog. I deeeefinitely dropped the ball on that. Sorry, guys!
And finally, here are some things I’m hoping to accomplish in the coming year:
-Get paper-published. I’ll aim for a magazine or anthology publication, but I’d also love to get a novel out there.
-Develop my taiko skills. While I don’t think I’ll be able to attend any workshops in 2019, I want to keep improving. (Right now, my goal is to master twirling the drumsticks without hitting anyone, including myself!)
-Go somewhere I haven’t been before. I’m making plans for a summer adventure abroad with family at the moment–more to come on that at a later date!
-Post more regularly on this blog, as well as my other social media.
As we go into the New Year, I’d like to hear from you guys. What are your goals? Any comments or reflections on your year? Are you happy 2018 is ending?
Have a safe and happy New Years’ celebration, everyone! よいお年を！