Oh, crap, I'm 23. That means I must create a cheesy birthday message here that I can look back on 20 years from now and laugh at with my future family.
In all seriousness, 2016 was an entire 180 degree turnaround from 2015. I came into this year not knowing about how anything will play through. I didn't think much about anything. In the past years, I've always been so apprehensive. I calculated the risks, gave myself plenty of options in case something didn't work out. I often had a Plan D for every single thing. When 2016 came, I didn't. I was mentally tired from all the events that 2015 gave me - some good, mostly bad. So I figured I would just ~go with the flow~ this time around.
2014 was the time I thought about doing a project. These days, you all know it as Heroine Complex. In mid-2014, it was named ProCute. It was basically a play on words. When you buy something, you procure it. And because I was purchasing adorable nendoroids, I thought about using ProCute as the anime merchandise I bought was cute. Initially, I thought about just doing a figure blog about the new items I got. In the end, I never got around to it which was a crying shame. As time progressed, I began to take my trips to Tokyo seriously and figured, "why not do something productive while I spend my days there? I'm often bored anyway." But if you know me or have been following me for awhile, 2015 wasn't easy.
2015 was this year that I unknowingly walked into unfamiliar territory that was riddled with land mines. I was crying the entire time of 2015. I just... felt so bad, worthless and replaceable.
*steps on a land mine* Ah, fuuuuu- UP is my last choice. It's my only choice. Now I gotta just suck it up. *fails and feels inadequate 99% of the time*
*steps on a land mine* Ah, fuuuuu- Hans got really sick, and I can't believe I fought with him. (Okay, to clarify, I didn't know he was sick then.)
*steps on a land mine* Ah, fuuuuu- my Uncle died, the man who took care of me since I was into this world and would watch over me as I watched Disney films is now in Heaven watching over me 24/7. I wasn't even able to graduate in time even though it was all he asked of me. Fuck.
As shitty as those times were, if they weren't there, if these things didn't happen then where would I be now?
2016 was great. I set-off on my own two feet.
And, I've never felt more proud and happy for myself.
I exceeded my own expectations.
From 33,000 at my first con, well, we're in the 6 figures now! I get ace grades. I teach students in Baler about Science and English. I work on charity programs that are held by my parents. I feel myself again. I don't mean to brag or anything. But if you know me in real life, especially prior to the year of 2016, I always looked down on myself. Even if people praised me, I never felt good enough or even worthy. So whenever I exceed myself, I'm in shock. I never thought I'd achieve something of value especially as I just came out of a terrible period.
So here are some things I learned:
Nothing will matter if you're not connected to things and people that you don't love. Be with the people you love. It doesn't matter if others like them or not. There's a whole lot of misery coming to stay with you for a long time if you don't. It rots into every crevice of your soul, and if you allow it to, it stays and affects everything you do. You'll never be happy if you aren't yourself and surround yourself with things/people that genuinely mean something to you.
Apologize. Pride is the #1 sin for a good reason. It ruins everything. No matter how good you think you are, pride won't get you far. It distances people and burns bridges. Choose your battles and leave if you must but know that once you choose to burn bridges, it's hard to get the people you love back. And even if you do, most of the time, they're no longer willing to return. Reach out to the people you love. Tell them how much you care before it's too late. No one is replaceable. You will never meet another person like them.
Grow and allow people to grow. I came through a difficult period in my life which stunted my growth over-all as a person. The people I loved adjusted to me during this hard time, but when I got out of it, it was my turn to allow them to grow. People change. The worst people soften over time, some never do. The kindest become hard. Love them anyway because true love has no boundaries. Over-all, love wins in the end.
Be honest. There was a time in my life wherein I would hide and lie about things. I would even lie about having lied. It's never a good look when someone finds out especially if they matter. These days, I make sure I'm transparent about everything.
Family is a huge part of your life. Value and cherish them. You share the same blood. I always thought at the back of my head that my Uncle was going to get better. The last time I saw him was on a Monday. He just came from the province and bought me food. He asked about school, to which I evaded it entirely seeing as I couldn't really fast forward to the time I've graduated. The next Monday as I was watching some comedy skits, Paoie called to ask for Mom. He was gone.
If you've shown your most abhorrent side to someone, and they stay with you, don't be a dickhead and return the favour. These people are for you. Everyone else is fleeting.
Not everyone is going to like you. You could be the kindest person in the world and people would still find about that one thing you didn't do. But so long as you are yourself, the right people will come and stay. This is especially true in business. Most of the time, it's a competition. The people you are exhibiting with would want you to fail. This is true for any industry. So try and not take things too personally. It's life. And if you do good business and work hard? You'll be hard to ignore. Just stay steady.
Business is business. Even if you create genuine connections, remember to always be on your side.
So if you've read this far, thank you! I try to avoid overly personal posts. But I hope you were able to pick something up. And if anything else, that cute Clucky graphic by Kris should have at least made you smile!