Well who thought I would ever be writing a third one of these? Don’t be shy, raise your hands. No one huh? Yeah… Me neither. But here I am, and I couldn’t be happier!

I won’t lie, this year has been rough. Blog wise it’s probably been the most difficult year yet, by far. Not to mention a few personal events that really took it out of me. I dislike sharing pain, so I won’t. Our community has been struck with scandals and absolute tragedies all around, there’s not need to add to it. Otherwise work has been just unreasonably busy for most of the year and I haven’t been able to concentrate on much else. I’m trying hard to get back to a better balance and I will!!!

anime determined
you’ll see!

This said, it’s been a year of 10 to 14 hour workdays 6 or 7 days a week and getting home too exhausted to even watch anime, let alone write anything worth while. I had to scale back my blogging presence a few times. But you know what, it’s the thought times that teach you the most. I can sit here and honestly say I learned so much this year and I would never trade that for a few extra hours of sleep! And this part, I am happy to share with you!

Every year I write these posts as a general thank you to the anime blogging community. I have always meant them. This year, I saw a lot of my good friends from this community sort of move on and we haven’t talked much since. In fact, I myself haven’t really had the time for online chats and blogger discussions like I use to have over twitter group chat or discord. I don’t know what it says about me that I am surprised by how much I miss them.

Don’t get me wrong, I was always happy to have these social outlets for my geeky side but I also figured it wouldn’t be a big deal if they went way. I mean I never had them before and I was never that active in them when I did have them. I was wrong. I miss having even just a few folks to mindlessly chat about anime with once in a while. I will definitely make more time for it next year. It means more to me than I thought.

anime girl lonely rain
I van be a little slow…

We saw a few great bloggers leave the platform again this year. I counted a number as my friends, maybe you did as well. It’s been quieter since they left. Not only because we don’t speak as much anymore. I do still chat with some now and then, but a lot of them were our community organizers. They got projects going and brought bloggers together. They tried out a lot of things by themselves as well. They made some noise around here and for better or worse, they kept things lively. It’s nice when the commotion isn’t a rant once in a while.

I also made a lot more episode posts this year which are great for views but not so much for comments. It’s a tradeoff that I’m still trying to figure out. I’m going to keep them up  for another year at least because I enjoy the variety but that means getting interaction elsewhere.

what I’m saying is that I realized that the community I had always admired had seeped into me a little deeper than I thought and the changes were affecting me in unexpected ways. That’s incredible. And it’s up to me to give back. I can no longer sit back and admire, somewhere along the line I became part of it. If I think it’s quiet, I should make some noise, if I want a silly project I should start one. And I will… you know… soonish..

hyouka lazy
I’m just so busy….

The other thing I realized through sad times and stress and strain, is that I still love anime. I really do. It still lifts my spirits and stirs my mind. I still get excited at the mear thought of watching the next episode of a show I’m enjoying and it still fills my imagination with crazy ideas and interesting debates which I really think is helping my intellect stay more flexible and alert than it would be otherwise.

And that’s also because of you. You specifically that are reading this right now and you whoever you are that have ever taken the time to like or respond to anything I have ever written. Even if you didn’t like it at all. It’s through this blog and the interactions it has created that I have had my mind open to so many questions I would never have considered on my own. It’s thanks to you that what could have been a mindless distraction remains an engaging and stimulating passion. That’s something I will always be grateful for, even if work finally eats me and I no longer have the time for this blog.

In 2019 I went through things I did not want to experience. Things I had gone through in the past and I knew I would get through again. I knew I would be alright, I knew time would eventually heal all. But there was the hard times to get through first. I know you guys have all been through your own struggles so you know what I’m talking about. For those of you still struggling, hang in there.

There are brighter days just around the corner.

I’ll wait for you there

In 2019 I discovered that I am rich beyond expectations. I have boundless fictional worlds to explore, brimming with colours and dripping with dreams. Unthethered by reality or even logic at times and all patiently waiting for me to grace them with a bit of attention. For 20 or so minutes at a time, entire universes exist only for me!

In 2019 I found that that I am lucky to live in a time and place where an entire digital community who owes me nothing at all will gently remind me that I am not alone in days when I need it most. Will tirelessly teach me new things, encourage me and help me get better without asking for anything in return. And if I just try a little, I can do that for someone too. Both are precious gifts.

In 2019 I was reminded that I can bring my fortunes together and make them even greater. That I can share those imaginary realms with real people to make them shine a bit brighter. That I can scatter a bit of my experience over the electronic world so someone else can come along, maybe when they need a little break.

In 2019 I drank and watched anime and remembered that I needed to thank you all for making it so much fun! Thank you so much. You made the good times great and the worst times better. Here’s to 2020! May it be better than last year and a little worse than next.

this year, I learned what furin are!

22 thoughts

  1. Despite the troubles you came across this past year, I am amazed at how strongly you continue to interact within the community and share your anime thoughts with all of us. As always, you’re an inspiration to us all. Thank you for all your hard work in 2019!

  2. I am so honored that with work days like that you do find time to share your thoughts and drinks with us. I’m looking forward to another year with Irina 😀

  3. One of my goals this year is getting to immerse myself more with the online otaku community and to also focus on building up my anime magazine collection as well. And now that i have a ps2 i can be able to catch up on all of the 90s and 2000s anime styled games that i’ve missed out on.
    And i’m also going to be brushing up on my English to Japanese skills as well too since i want to be able to cover exclusive Japan only games.
    And i look forward to seeing how things go for my own blog and to see what good things comes to all of us in the anime community and i’m happy to be enjoying my blogging experience so far and here’s hoping that this year is going to be great for all of us in the otaku community and i’m enjoying the posts you are writing keep up the great work.

    1. Thank you so much. These sentiments from my senor bloggers are so encouraging. Your blog was one of the first I discovered after all.

  4. Always glad to have you around and be apart of the community this year. I’m hoping to be just inspired as you seem to be in this post. Here’s to 2020!

  5. This post is so positive, I love it!

    I think the struggles we encounter are less important than what we learn from them, and I hope that learning experience you’ve gained can only mean better things for the future.

    There’s an entire community here for support if you need it, and I think that’s one thing about the Aniblogging community that makes it stand out from a lot of other communities as a whole.

    Hope to see more of you and your posts in 2020! 🙂

    1. Well this comment certainly made my day! Thank you so much, I can’t wait to see what you post this year as well!

  6. I hope that 2020 is kinder to the both of us than was 2019. And take whatever comfort you need from your friends, here; after all, we’re here–specifically, HERE–to share a moment with you. You’re so quick to share your joy with us(!), so please don’t be hesitant or afraid to share some pain, too. We’ve got your back either way.

    1. I’m sure it will be and we can tell each other about it. Thank you David, it’s always great to hear from you

  7. I wrote a long comment about how much I appreciated u but decided it was too cringe. So thanks for everything you’ve done, for me and the community Irina! Here’s to hoping things get better for you, because that workload sounds nasty.

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