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.
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.
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.
- 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 💖
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! ❤