Reading, Blogging, & Life // How did they go in 2019?

Happy new year and new decade, everyone!!

As always, I’m behind on everything. I’m behind on blog hopping, replying to comments, writing my end-of-the-year blog posts…. Speaking of which, here is the first one! Today, I’ll be doing a general reflection on how 2019 went for me life, blogging, and reading-wise.

Off the top of my head, here are the most memorable life moments of 2019!

  • Got into the school newspaper. As a writer/reader, this is huge to me! It’s especially huge to younger Caitlin, who wrote WAY more than present Caitlin does. I totally did not expect to get in, but so far, my time in the newspaper has been fun though a little underwhelming! They also haven’t given me my ID yet, even though everyone else has theirs already, and I’m salty.
  • Went on a two-month study tour to China. Back in March, I left the Philippines with a group of friends in order to spend two months improving our Mandarin. I regret so many things that I did on that trip, and I discovered some ugly parts of my personality while I was there. But, I’m thankful that that trip taught me a lot of things the hard way—I now know which mistakes I don’t want to repeat.
    • I also graduated second in my class.. which isn’t saying much because I was put in a beginner level. But I barely achieved anything in 2019, so just let me have this 😔
  • Lost friendships. I lost a lot of friendships and acquaintances in 2019, and there were times wherein I felt unbelievably lonely. I reclaimed some of those relationships and strengthened new ones though.
  • Took up ping pong again. This year, I joined my school’s ping pong club again, and I’m enjoying the sport a little more. Though because I skipped a year, my skill level is now inferior to most of my teammates. I lost a few big games this year, and I’m actually still sulking about one as I write this post. Ha. Ha. Ha.
  • Kinda made progress on my study routine?? In 2019, I tried implementing the study methods that worked for me in 2018, but they weren’t working anymore, and it drove me NUTS. Toward the end of the year, I think I did figure out what I was doing wrong, and I’m hoping that I can improve my grades from here on out. *desperately crosses fingers*

As you can probably tell if you read the mess above, I hit quite a few low points in 2019, and it definitely wasn’t my year. But I’m hoping that my frustration with my failures from last year will turn into the motivation I need to kick butt in 2020!!

Please do not trust any of my ratings from like, the first eight months of 2019. I like to say that I had the Great Rating Crisis of 2019, because for a while, I genuinely had no clue how to rate books. My rating system back then was a MESS.

But in the last few months of 2019, I was able to figure out my rating system (I’m actually thinking of doing a discussion on it, hehe), and I couldn’t be happier with the way I rate books now!

However, my 5 star reads are endangered species, and I’m disappointed that I barely had any last year.

See my full 2019 Year in Books here!

I competed my reading challenge in December, which was a bit of a bummer because I expected to do so sooner, but I did surpass it by three books—yay! Plus, my reading pace in the first half of the year was way slower compared to my reading pace in the second half of the year.

badge_tapir

I also signed up for the Year of the Asian reading challenge hosted by the lovely CW, Vicky, Lily and Shealea. The badge I was aiming for was originally the Malayan tapir (21-30 books), and I had already hit that, but my clown self decided to up my goal to the giant panda (31-40 books). I unfortunately only read 30 books my Asian authors, falling short of my goal by one book. That may seem close, but I counted three mangas toward my goal, even though I don’t think they qualify, hahaha.

I’m excited for this section because it is undoubtedly the most positive of them all!

  • Started this blog! Technically, I’m still a newbie blogger, because I only began blogging in late February of 2019. I’m not exaggerating when I say that starting a book blog changed my life. It made me infinitely more busy, but it’s also changed the way I read for the better and brought me so much joy.
all my thanks to May for this *beautiful* badge!!
  • Won Best New Book Blogger! Winning an award in the 2019 Book Blogger Awards hosted by May @ Forever and Everly was definitely my crowning achievement of 2019, and I will never stop being thankful to everyone who voted for me and thought that I deserved to be named Best New Book Blogger along with Xandra @ Starry Sky Books. Honestly, blogging has been one big self-esteem boost (I did not expect so many people to say good things about my content??), and I’m so grateful for that! *cries forever*
  • Found an amazing, uplifting, and all-around wonderful community. I want to name all the blogging/Twitter friends that made my 2019, but the list would be too long! It doesn’t matter if all you did was view one of my posts or like one of my tweets—you made my 2019 a little better. And I’m not saying that just to be sappy—it’s true! I might not be able to interact as much as I want to, but please know that I’m not ignoring you on purpose! I’m just a mess. I also know that I’m not perfect, so if I ever did something to annoy you, I… probably deserve it haha, but I didn’t intend any harm.
  • I reached 500 followers!! I hit the milestone exactly on December 31st, and I’m still crying about it 😭 It’s so meaningful to me that I hit 500 before the end of the year/the new decade. I incessantly tweeted about my blog in order to reach this milestone (I have no shame), so thank you to everyone who boosted my blog on Twitter. It means so much 💖
Image result for feels gif"
this whole section in one gif, honestly

Top 5 blog posts of 2019:

Let’s just ignore the fact that I went through so many blog redesigns, and that my writing and design skills were nonexistent back then.


I hope you enjoyed this long ramble that probably still left out a lot of things I wanted to say! And I hope you’re excited for me to cram my end-of-the-year posts all throughout January. Very fun. Most of all, I hope 2020 and this new decade is filled with happiness, success, and satisfaction for the both of us! ❤

How was the year of 2019 for you? Any highlights? What were your proudest achievements? You can even cry/rant about 2019 with me in the comments!

74 thoughts on “Reading, Blogging, & Life // How did they go in 2019?

  1. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Congrats for getting in – I’m glad you’re enjoying it!! I’ll have to check out the posts you linked -I know I read some of them but sometimes I went MIA hahaha so I might have missed something good!! And well done for the Best New Blogger Award!! you totally deserve it!! ❤

    Last year I went and took a daring leap by enrolling in college classes. There was a lot of hassle and stress in actually sticking my foot in the class but once inside it was really fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year, Miri! 💖 Ah, no worries at all! I don’t think you missed much 😂 ahh, thank you so much!!

      Omg that’s AMAZING. I’m super super proud of you, & I hope that college classes are going well! I’m wishing you an amazing 2020 because you deserve it ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Caitlin I’m so freaking proud of you for all of your accomplishments! I was super happy to read about you making it into your school newspaper as well 🙂 I know it’s pretty underwhelming right now, but that may work out in your favor to get the hang of the workload and all that. I know that it’s only going to get better from here and I can’t wait to hear more about your progress on that.

    Also, omg you’re almost at your one year blogiversary! Can you believe it? I’m so glad you also won best new blogger award because you totally deserve it. I’m absolutely in love with your blog, your posts, and you as a person. I’m glad to know you through this community and I am continuing to root for you and all of your progress. You are doing amazing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thank you so much, Leelynn!! 💕 that’s such a great way of putting it, & I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

      I really can’t 😭 the year has gone by so fast! Ah, thank you so much 💖💖 same to you (ahh, I’m sorry I haven’t commented on one of your posts in so long!) That’s so sweet, & I truly wish you an amazing 2020 & new decade! You do all people deserve it ❤️

      Like

  3. I’m sorry to hear that 2019 had quite a few low points for you, but I hope that 2020 is kinder to you! 💗 But congrats on winning the best new blogger, that’s amazing!! I’m honestly very happy to have discovered your blog in 2019 as I love reading your posts 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like 2019 was a learning experience – we can only hope to improve! And it’s so cool that you got to be immersed in a foreign country; I imagine your Mandarin skills increased quite a bit. Also, study habits?? Please make a post or share your secrets 😂 I’m in desperate need. Here’s to the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was! They did a little! I’m definitely not fluent, but there was a good bit of improvement :))

      Nooo, I’m not the person to ask. I still have zero work ethic! I’m in desperate need for that study tips post as well 😩😩 I hope you have an amazing 2020, Amy!! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, that’s the spirit 🙂 2019 may not have been the best year for you, but hopefully 2020 will be awesome, and some amazing great things will happen ❤ You also seriously deserve the award, and I’m so glad you reached your goal of 500 followers!! That’s amazing 💖 Good luck with 2020, and I hope it is much much kinder to you than 2019 was!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a lovely post Caitlin, hilarious too 😁
    It’s a shame 2019 wasn’t the best of years but look at it this way: at least it made the good parts seem that much better ☺️
    Let’s hope you have a more uplifting 2020

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure if you were going for humour but I saw some subtle bits in there and loved it 😅
        And thank you so much, that means a lot 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I stumbled across it, but whilst I was using my laptop not my phone (under the ‘Comments’ section on your dash board)…I think 😅

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think that one just allows you to delete and unapprove? I’m not sure though it’s been a while since I used it. Weirdly, I can edit the content of YOUR comment on my phone though and idk why 😅 I can’t edit the contents of mine tho because I never got a notification for it?? WP is weird

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yep, I realised after I sent that message to you 😅I think it depends on whether the blog owner enables it because I’m sure I’ve edited a comment I’ve made. It’s a head scratcher

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I know, makes you question everything you read…imagine ‘tweaking’ people’s comments to your liking and if they complain, ‘tweak’ their complaint too 🤣 (I’d never do this btw)

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry you had a few rough months this year, Caitlin!! I’m really hoping 2020 treats you better, because you deserve it ❤ congrats to hitting 500 followers — that's an amazing achievement and I hope you're so proud of everything you've been able to do on your blog this year!!

    I relate a lot to my 5 star ratings being an "endangered species". I only rated 2 books 5 stars this year (not counting rereads, because I reread a LOT and rated many of them 5 stars), and it makes me really sad!! I don't know if I'm being more critical, since I did have a lot of 4.5 star books, or if I just felt very "meh" about books this year 😭

    I hope you have an amazing 2020!! very excited to see the rest of your end-of-year posts (don't worry about cramming them into January, I'm doing the same thing also… 😎)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahh, thank you! same to you ❤ ❤ (and thank you again! you honestly helped with those because you're one of my blogging inspirations <3)

      im glad that someone can relate! honestly, i'm super jealous of the people who had a hard time narrowing down their 2019 favorites list because that couldn't be me. and i say that i had three 5-star reads, but in reality, two are like, more of a 4.5—i just rounded up because i needed more 5 stars 😂 i think those two books deserved it though!
      i think that becoming a reviewer in 2019 was a huge factor! now, i can't resist writing a review of a book in my head even if i'm just a few percent into it, haha! i hope we both find more 5 star reads in 2020!

      i hope you have an amazing 2020 as well! (ohh yes, i'm very excited to read them 😎)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy happy new year, Caitlin! I hope that 2020 will be incredible to you. I’m so sorry there have been some rough months lately and I hope that this year will be kind and wonderful. I’m so happy and proud to see everything you’ve accomplished in the past year, readin a whole damn lot and incredible blogging achievements and some of my favorite blog posts ever just as well. you’re doing amazing. I’m sending you lots of love and wishing you all the best! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy new year, Marie!! i hope 2020 is the best year for you yet because you a hundred percent deserve it ❤
      thank you!! That's so sweet i'm gonna cry 😭😭❤ you're also doing so amazing, ahh. thank you for continuing to be a blogging inspiration to us all! I hope you achieve all your 2020 reading, blogging, writing, and personal goals ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats on everything you’ve achieved in 2019! Even though most of it seemed like a mess, you said you could still learn from your mistakes and bad moments, so that’s something useful! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you this year, it’ll be better ^^ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy new year! I hope 2020 is a better year for you personal wise. Blogging wise I hope you keep doing what you do, because your blog is amazing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I absolutely loved reading this post!! (I can 100% relate to being behind on everything– it has been taking me a while to catch up on blogging in the New Year, I thought I would be caught up by the 2nd but here we are 😂)
    Anyway Happy New Year Caitlin, I wish you the best 2020!! ❤
    I'm sorry that 2019 was a hard year for you as I know how horrible that can feel but I really hope 2020 is a better year and sending you best wishes. Also congratulations on getting into the school newspaper, that's amazing!!
    Yes finding out how to rate books is so hard and then I overthink it and it can be so hard 😂 My mum is really weird about star ratings because she is not generous at all. She will say she loves this book and I'll ask her what she would rate it (because book blogging has infiltrated my life) and she will rate it 3.5 stars. She has some chaotic energy!! 😂
    Well done on hitting your reading goals!!
    Yay it made me so happy to hear about all your blogging progress and I'm SO happy you started a blog!! You've grown so much and honestly your blog is so wonderful. I can't wait to see where it will go in the future because I know it is going to be amazing!! Congratulations on your blogging award and hitting 500 followers, you SO deserve it and more !! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you!!!
      omg, yes! until now, i have a super huge comment backlog, and i feel so guilty that i haven’t replied to them yet :(( best of luck with catching up though, but don’t push yourself too hard ❤
      happy new year to you as well! i hope you meet all your 2020 goals ❤
      thank you, ahhhh. to put it simply, 2019 was a sh*t year, but i'm really hoping that it can be a learning experience for 2020.
      omg, sophie, my rating system was such a MESS back then. i would literally finish a book and then change my rating from 3 stars, to 3.5 stars, to 4.5 stars, and then 4 stars…. i just didn't know how to rate anything, and i shudder to think of all the books i rated wrongly in the majority of 2019.
      honestly, i relate to your mom, haha! we both have chaotic energy, i guess 😂 i could see myself loving a book i rated 3.5 stars (actually, i kind of have), because for me 3 stars is for sure a good rating. it means that i enjoyed the book, but it just didn't have that "wow" factor for me.
      also, my mom is kinda similar to my mom! my mom reads the books i read sometimes, and she tells me if she enjoys a particular one. i also always asks her what rating she gave it, and she always answers 4 stars, never 5 stars, even if she kept on telling me that the book was nice!
      as for me, i just… cannot rate anything 5 stars? it's like i can always notice the flaws in a book, because now i look at everything from a reviewer's standpoint. it's a little hard not to come up with criticism for a book all the time.
      thanks so much!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ you're gonna make me cry, ahhh :((( i'm so thankful that we became friends in 2019, and i also can't wait to follow your blog in 2020! you have such an amazing blog aesthetic, blogging voice, personality–basically you have everything ahhh ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw.. please don’t feel guilty. Life can get busy or sometimes you just want to rest and I think everyone understands so please don’t push yourself too!! ❤
        Thank you so much Caitlin!!
        Haha rating books is hard, I can see why people don't do it tbh!!
        Yes chaotic energy is great!! I do think 3 stars is a good rating too tbf !!
        Yeah my mum says they can't be a 5 star book because that means it has to be perfect and no book can be as there are so many different factors. I definitely agree that since becoming a reviewer I do look at books more critically so it can be hard!!
        You're so welcome, I really meant it!! Aw.. thank you so, SO much Caitlin. I honestly can't tell you how much that means to me. Thank you, thank you, you've made me cry now!! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m sorry to hear that your personal life took a hot last year but wow, it looks like your blog is booming! Congratulations on the award and 500 followers ❤️
    Love seeing your wonderful content 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah, i’m glad that my sucky personal life was made up for by an amazing blogging year! (but ahhh no, my blog definitely isn’t booming! i’m so flattered that you think so though ❤ <3)
      thank you so much ❤ same to you! you have such an amazing blog!

      Like

  13. Congratulations on getting onto the school newspaper and I really hope that they get your ID for it sorted out soon. Also congratulations on 500 followers, that’s amazing!! Your blog is incredible though and you definitely deserve every single one of them. I hope that you have a fantastic year in 2020 and a wonderful decade too (:

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, that’s exactly why 😂😭 i don’t know why everyone else has theirs already, but i don’t???? like why? like are they planning to kick me out next year? ugh, it really is bothering me. my editor told me that she already has it actually, but until now she hasn’t given it to me

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  14. Yay congrats about the school newspaper! Funny because I actually just submitted an application for the local student newspaper (for University) but I’m just terrified they’ll reject me because I’m doing dual high school and university next year… And congrats for everything else as well; 500 followers, 2nd in your class… Kinda sucks about the rest of your 2019 but at least you learnt a lot and I hope you have an amazing 2020 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you!! and ahhh, good luck! i really, really hope you get in ❤ also, it's amazing that you're doing dual high school and university—i don't think there's any such thing in the philippines, but it sounds like such an interesting experience!
      thank you!!! 😭💛 yes, i think that's the really the important thing! i hope you have an amazing 2020 as well, because you definitely deserve it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. i’m glad to hear i’m not the only one behind on everything at the beginning of this new year.
    i think it’s pretty awesome you still saw your study tour to china as a highlight as a time of growth despise the hardships. this is something i want to improve for the new year: i tend to see any hard moments as failures and times i don’t like to look back on. but i think those are the moments in which you grow the most and learn more about yourself, so i should be thankful for those too. it’s something hard to do, though!
    i really, really am wishing you have the best 2020 possible, caitlin!
    despise when you completed your reading challenge, it’s still pretty awesome you did that, despise how busy your year was!
    it’s awesome that you achieved so much with your blog in such a short spam of time. i said this before, but i think it truly is just an example of what an amazing and unique voice you have and how much effort you put in your blog! 500 followers is such a milestone!!!! i am so happy for you, you deserve it so much! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I’m still behind right now, but at least it’s getting better.
      I’m honestly so confused that I saw my failures this year as an opportunity to grow. I’m usually so hard on myself whenever I fail, and I’m that one person who stops functioning when something doesn’t go their way. I don’t know why I somehow found my failures in 2019 as a learning experience, honestly.
      Thank you!! 😭💕 (it was honestly all thanks to school breaks. I would not read as much as I do without them.)
      Ahhhh, thank you again!! 💗💗 honestly, I think I put /too/ much effort on my blog and sometimes I just need to chill, but you’re the only one who’s ever said that to me, & that means so much, truly 😭😭
      Wishing you an amazing 2020 because you so deserve it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Congratulations on making your school newspaper, that is such an accomplishment!!! And yay for exceeding your reading challenge, that’s amazing too. AND BEST NEW BLOGGER was so well deserved! Be damn proud of all the blogging accomplishments from last year!

    I am sorry that 2019 wasn’t your year, and sincerely hope 2020 will be AMAZING!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, Kal, thank you so much 😭😭💖 I hope you’re proud of everything you did last year too!! I’m shocked at how many books you were able to read even though you were fighting off a slump! Plus, transferring to a new self-hosted platform and redesigning your blog (which, by the way, looks amazing) are just some of the things I admire you for doing in 2019!!

      Ahh, it’s fine. i feel like I learned a lot from my mistakes, and I think that’s what matters! Hope your 2020 is amazing as well! ❤

      Like

  17. congrats on joining the school newspaper!! I wrote for my high school paper for a year, and while it wasn’t quite everything I dreamed, it was still a lot of fun.

    and yay for surpassing your reading challenge, especially with everything you had going on! you’ve definitely earned that gorgeous Best New Blogger badge/award and 500+ followers!

    I can relate to having rough times in 2019, including falling out of touch with some people and doing/saying some things I’m not proud of; and it’s definitely super frustrating when your study strategies stop working, like school wasn’t already hard enough??? but it sounds like you’re determined to meet the new year stronger for everything you survived, and that’s awesome! I hope 2020 is kinder to you 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much, Isabelle! yeah, being in the newspaper so far isn’t everything I dreamed, but it’s fun and at least the workload is pretty bearable. though I simply got into proofreading and didn’t get a writing job—I’m considering auditioning for a writing position this year!

      AHHH THAT’S SO SWEET 😭💖💖 thank you!! you’ve earned all of the milestones you hit last year too!!

      I can’t tell you how happy I am that someone else can relate to the things I struggled with in 2019! It still hurts me that I don’t have as much friends as I did in 2018 thanks to some stupid things that I said and did. I guess my study strategies not working is a blessing in disguise? Because they comprised of me sleeping in the early hours of the morning most days (and I wake up at 6 a.m. for school). Now I’m giving myself way more leeway. Like, I tell myself that even if I don’t spend hours studying this one lesson, as long as I understand the gist of it, I’ll do okay, and that’s working somehow?? Which is shocking to me. I really am determined! 2019 was a year full of failures, but I feel like I learned from all of them, and since it’s a new decade, I want to make 2020 my year! (I hope it’s yours too ❤)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I love this post so much *insert all the heart eyes*

    Okay, first up 500 followers IS SO AMAZING AND DESERVED! And that award ALSO SO DESERVED! So happy I discovered your blog and I feel like we’re best friends ha is that weird?? It’s weird.

    And haha ping-pong is so fun so I hope you play your heart out.

    I really loved coming back to blogging at the end of the year and claiming it. Like the redesign and I guess finding a voice? So that was a highlight. And all the other things I got to do and the events I got to attend.

    Also hard same I have the end of the year posts that shall only be posted in January. Possibly. We’ll see how it goes. A failure? yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank youuuuu *insert crying emojis and heart emojis*

      AHHH WHAT THE HECK YOU’RE SO SWEET 😭😭💗 I’m bLUSHING. and ofc we are best friends, you leave the best comments!!

      Lol it is fun, and I have so many regrets that have to do with the sport, but I guess what matters is that I find it fun 🙃

      Ahh, you should be so proud of yourself for doing those things! Running a book blog is no joke, and it’s clear that you put so much time into it! And congrats on everything else you did last year! You should be proud of yourself for everything you were able to accomplish (and getting all those books fro publishers because hOW) 💗💗

      No, it’s no a failure—I swear nobody will care!! I’d 100% read them 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Ahhh Caitlin I am so happy and proud of you for accomplishing so much!! You are amazing and I’m so glad that achieved all that you did this past blogging year! 500 followers and the best new blogger award?! REMEMBER ME WHEN YOU’RE FAMOUS! Hahaha! ❤ I honestly love you and your blog so much. You're so genuine and real, and I love how much of yourself you pour into your content! And a huge congrats on getting into the school newspaper too! That is so exciting! I am arguably one of the worst ping pong players ever to grace the earth, so a huge kudos to you for choosing to rejoin the club! I'm sure you'll be one of the best players on your team once you've warmed up again! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kelly!!! This comment just made my entire week, thank you so much 😭😭😭💖 and what do you mean, “remember me when you’re famous”?? You’re the famous one that I can’t believe I can call a friend!! 💖 Thank you so, so much for the kind words! And honestly, if my blog is good now, a huge reason is because your amazing blog has inspired me.
      Ahh, that mean so much, Kelly, you don’t even know 😭💜 I feel like I’ve been whining about ping pong since forever. I don’t regret not joining for a year, but I don’t like how it affected my “career.” So it’s super comforting that you think I can do it!!! And you can do it too! I think everyone thinks that they’re the worst table tennis player in existence (everyone I’ve talked to who’s not part of the club says so), but like with every sport, it really just takes practice 🙂 I’m sure you’re a decent player yourself ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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