Highlights from My 2016


I did a lot of growing up this year. I experienced different reality checks, forced to grow, to change habits. However, I accomplished a lot in 2016 personally, when I look back because of them. I’ve been in a stand still for a long time (when trauma happens, “fight or flight” is not the only survival instinct. There is also “freeze”. That’s where I’ve been after the last few emotionally traumatic years.) But I’m unfreezing, and I can see that with each passing year; especially in 2016.

I moved forward. These are some of those highlights. ❤

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Self Public Transportation For A Semester.

I wasn’t driving when I took a math course at my community college; so I used the bus and my bike for transportation. It was a first big step I took to leave the house alone and get myself somewhere like that! It wasn’t a huge commute (would generally take a good half hour if the bus wasn’t late and I pedaled steadily) but it still meant a lot to me. I was not used to biking or the bus, so in that first week, it felt like the most difficult trip in the world. But each week it got easier. I got physically stronger from biking and mentally empowered. My MP3 player was a life saver. I even lost some weight riding that bike. The worst thing that happened? I almost got flipping RUN OVER at a big intersection (legit; in the cross walk, I got knocked to my knees in the street and the car was bearing down on top of me) and that was slightly traumatic. I won’t forget some of the most peculiar people I met waiting for my bus after class (a talkative ex-con, a friendly teenager with a Batman shirt, a drunk woman who was so proud of her daughter, a bus driver who told me I had beautiful eyes.) People told me their life stories in moments at that bus stop. It was a crazy experience for me but I’m happy I persevered through it. And with an A in math too.

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Flew the Country Twice Alone

At the end of that semester, I flew to Georgia to meet James for the first time! And just wow, flying is just an incredible experience! It was empowering to get myself through those airports on my own some, especially after all my biking practice. I flew the first time in May, the second time in December, and both were overall very smooth! I remember everyone I sat next to on each plane well, at least for both flights to GA, as they were so sweet and kind. I’ll never forget the butterflies in the pit of my stomach when I first saw all the green trees around the landing strip from the plane window and realized “I’m here. He’s here.” But now the sight of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport runway is one of my favorite sights! Outside of a few common silly fears, I actually really enjoy flying and I look forward to all the future flights ahead of me.

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I Got Myself a Job

I began paying rent this year to stay home, but my savings were very limited at the start, so a job I needed. A job I got, one that worked best for me due to location. Boy, it has been a mad adventure since getting that job: racing in when others didn’t show, learning curves one after the other, adjusting to a boss’s needs, staying out of coworker drama while still being the ear everyone wants to talk to about it, haha. But now I have my very own source of income and I’m saving up for my car. I have grown a lot as a person by learning to persevere throughout the unforeseen trials of that job. I have learned so much about life in general there. I have also built some incredible friendships with several coworkers there, and I go on late night adventures with a couple of them even! I also enjoy my repeat costumers who get so excited when they see me. I’m thankful for the consistent pay and am happy to work with so many nice people.

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I Learned to Drive

I’ve been very scared of driving for a long time. Partly because I didn’t have a longing for it like many kids. But I was also seriously terrified of the being in control of such a powerful vehicle while being among thousands of other drivers more stupid and incompetent than myself. I live in Phoenix, it’s a big city with lots of crappy drivers ok? But I studied the rules hard and took a lot of time to really practice throughout late summer and fall. Now I can say I’m fairly comfortable with driving! I’ve driven to a lot of different places in my state for practice and all of those trips were great fun! I’m a more cautious driver, but I do enjoy flying at high speeds on the freeway. The only thing I still struggle with is parking, but I’m getting better. 😄 It was a big deal for me to learn how to drive, but I’m glad that I’ve learned!

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I Successfully Began Long-Distance Dating My Best Friend

This took the most time, the most energy, most of the year to do, but it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done! I couldn’t be more grateful for where we are now compared to a year ago. I remember seeing him for the first time, running to hug him and not wanting to let go the entire trip. I’m glad I choose to take my time before committing to “boyfriend/girlfriend” titles until later in the year; we were just “us” and we are still “us” even now because of it! I’m happy that I decided to be honest about myself with him, about what I felt and needed. It was amazing that at the end of the year, we could announce we were happily dating long distance, fully secure in each other and our feelings. He is my first real love, my first date, my first kiss, and I hope my first for many, many, many more things! He enriches and blesses my life so abundantly; I’m so happy that God has brought us into the security we have now, in His plan, our friendship and love for each other. ❤

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2016:

was the year I painted big parts of the house and reorganized the attic by myself. The year I really dug temporary tattoos. The year I started a music blog. The year I started Breaking Bad but didn’t get around to finishing it. The year I flew 2000 miles for my first date. The year I learned new crochet patterns (and crocheted my biggest blanket ever.) The year I got to eat Captain D’s again. The year I biked through the park at night to breathe music better. The year my kitty disappeared and never came home. 😦 The year I stopped walking the dogs. The year I choose to have my first kiss. ❤ The year I worked double-shifts. The year I bought 5 anime posters at comic-con. The year I found Home far away, then had to leave him behind twice drenched in my tears. The year Chris Pratt tweeted emojis at me for loving “Passengers”. The year I finally found Father Goose at the thrift store. The year I lost 25 pounds. The year I watched 73 anime shows beginning to end. The year I started buying dream catchers.  The year I said, “I love you”.

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2016 was a good year for me, despite all the election drama and the different trials I did experience. I learned I could overcome obstacles if I tried, that I was loved for exactly who I was, and that God was bigger than my fears. It was a good year. ❤

~Jamie

2016 Bucket List Check-In


On January 1st I don’t make resolutions; resolving to change a behavior is fine but usually, that’s ineffective to me personally. However: I do make a bucket list: I figure that listing actions for myself might give me better luck in improving throughout the new year. But I don’t follow it strictly, as life tends to change and I want my goals to be able to adapt or change with it. “They’re more guidelines than rules” sorta thing here. 😄

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It’s nearly my 22nd birthday, and half the year is over. As I become contemplative over another kind of year gone, this would be a great time to revisit the  year’s list and see how I’ve done so far!

Investigate more video game and anime soundtracks for writing. Have done this, want to keep doing this! Favorite anime track (below) and favorite game track discovered so far.

Officially meet my best friend in person. Did it. Best ten days of the year (maybe my whole life) as of yet. Just ugh, the feels and fun we had. I miss you so much, James! (Am writing another post on this BECAUSE SO MUCH HAPPINESS!)

Learn the rules of the road. DID IT. I didn’t want to write “get drivers permit” for fear of jinxing myself (send me help) but it worked. I’ve also gotten about 25 minutes of practice in already. Please pray I learn smoothly and easily and that the right vehicle is provided just when I need it.

Take better care of myself emotionally and physically. Am learning to do this and will continue to learn and practice. Surrounding myself with supportive people has helped; there’s nothing quite like seeing yourself from someone else’s perspective and realizing you’re worth so much. ❤

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Finish reading and underlining my Creative Writing books. Haven’t attempted this yet. I have set books out in the open where I can see them, though. Just need to actually pick them up and read them. 😄

Spend money consciously. Doing better at this, need to get even better quickly, especially as I begin job hunting.

Find unique ways to express my personal creative spirit and needs. I’m going to leave this open, as I want to do this much more. So far, I’ve invested into some excellent temporary tattoo sets; I absolutely love artistic temporary body art, especially on my feet. And I’m getting back into crocheting by learning new stitches. But I want to express myself even more!!! I’m hoping to Booktrack more this year, and would love to just find brand new ways to be me.

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Continue enjoying anime and anime blogging. I’m only just returning to aniblogging lately after a two-month break, so I’m leaving this open too. I’m hoping the new Summer Season will be more memorable than the last two seasons; so far its a promising one!

Make a YouTube playlist of empowering/humanizing songs to memorize. This is half done. I’ve made one, I just need to listen to it more often.

Play the piano more consistently again. Need to do this more too. I’ve recently found more music that I want to learn, however, so I’m hoping that will help. Specifically Summer (below) and Fire by Brian Crain (so I can expand my memorized collection of his songs: I can play Rain, Wind, and Song of Sienna by heart with my eyes closed.)

Continue maintaining online relationships and build new ones at college. This one I’m managing (I made one nice friend last semester!) but it is changing slightly since I’m taking a year off from college to start job hunting. But hopefully, I will be able to build some nice relationships where ever I work!

Write only for me. I actually feel like I’m doing pretty good on this one! This has interpreted as also being “write only when I wish” as well, and I’ve done that as well; I only blog when I feel like saying something and I’m continuing to work at saying what I truly think and feel.

Re-blog my updated 100 Favorite Movies series. Haven’t done this yet, mainly because I’M STILL TRYING TO RANK THEM ALL. So hard! But I’ll do it eventually!

And I'm passing it down to the next generation!:

Clean out my room of useless junk during my next furniture arrangement ritual. Haven’t rearranged my room this year yet, but I’ll remember to do this the next time I do.

Decide on a college major. This I’ve done, kinda. I know I’ll probably be getting an Associates of Arts Degree in Communication, whenever that happens. But that’s about all right now. 😄 I’ll work on that.

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Listen more when others speak, but speak up more for the authentic me.

This one I’m going to leave open too because it’s something one should never stop doing. I do believe I’ve gotten better at this the past year and that makes me happy. ❤

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How’s your year fairing? Accomplishing anything you thought you would? Any goals change when you thought they wouldn’t? Did you do something that turned out to be easier/or harder than you anticipated?

~Jamie

3 Ways to Make Facebook Enjoyable


So, I’ve been more active on my personal Facebook lately. In fact, this past year, I put a little time into making my Facebook dashboard a place I want to see, instead of the place I want to avoid. Because, you know, it’s my generation’s joke that Facebook is the last place you want to be. Noisy relatives, politics everywhere, just ugh…Facebook. It’s the social media site for “older people” now. 😄

I still feel that way about Facebook on occasion, but during the last few months, I took some time getting used to how the site worked and allowing myself FREEDOM to make it mine. Want to know my tricks? Well here’s how I did it.

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1. I did NOT accept all the friend requests I had.

And I still don’t. This is hard to do; depending on the person, you might feel strong obligations to press accept even though you grimace at the sight of their Facebook wall. (I wish Facebook was like Twitter in that you don’t have to MUTUALLY SEE EACH OTHER’S CRAP IF YOU DON’T WANT TOO.) However, I made the choice that, even if it felt kinda awkward to delete that lady who I knew from church’s request, it ultimately was completely my decision to not have her guilt-tripping political reposts spamming my feed.

I have given myself the freedom to set boundaries or say that quiet “no thank you” in regards to the friend requests and it was very empowering! In this way, I have managed to keep that horrid spam of, “JESUS WILL BE SAD IF YOU DON’T SHARE THIS POST, HIT THUMBS UP NOW,” crap to a minimum on my dash. Now I see less negativity and garbage, and I love it.

I know not everyone might feel like they can just turn down friend requests, but I do strongly recommend always thinking about what you want to allow into your space. Surround yourself with healthy people and remove unhealthy people, just like you would offline too. ❤

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2. I followed pages that post engaging and unique content that interested me.

One of the things that makes me excited to visit Facebook is that I now follow pages of COOL STUFF. Stuff that’s creative or inspiring, quotes and art and funnies, stuff I WANT TO ACTUALLY LIKE AND SHARE ON MY OWN PAGE. I took two different afternoons, and spent lots of time investigating and following page suggestions till I’d found and followed all the ones I liked. It took time, but it was worth it.

To list just a couple of my very favorites, I follow The Best of Tumblr, Word PornPersonality Growth, Quotes n’ Nd NotesLike a Boss Girls, Brain Pickings, and Laughing Squid. I get a constant new cycle of relatable and shareable quotes, unique and creative creations, and the best funnies ever from these places everyday. I share things from them often.

These and many others, like Food Network, Ellen DeGeneres, The Tonight Show, and Stan Lee’s page, fill my dash with new fun stuff, spreading out the political/religious barrage of junk that always seeps through no matter what. It makes me want to keep scrolling!

This ultimately was a huge game changer to making Facebook more enjoyable and I’m so glad I took the time to find fresh new content to enjoy.

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3. I’m not afraid to share what I enjoyed seeing.

I know it’s annoying, that you see everything everybody likes and shares, but guess what. Two can play that game. I got tired of being sensitive of how I interacted on Facebook, afraid so-and-so wouldn’t like that I “liked” that post.

One day I stopped giving a crap. Other people, other Christians, other ADULTS, aren’t afraid to share the stupidest, lowest quality, guilt-tripping crap day in and day out… so why I should be scared to share a quote that I related too? So, I adopted a new motto for just Facebook: INTERACT WITH WHAT YOU ENJOY. DO IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO. AND HELP CIRCULATE SOME BRAIN CELLS.

LOL ok, is that going to far? Nah, I didn’t think so. 😄

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These are just three things I’ve done the last few months that have helped make my Facebook page a place that I want to interact on. I surprise myself by how often I check it now, and I enjoy sharing things and interacting with different friends on different posts about things I actually like. It’s become another place of self-expression, by being unafraid to share things I enjoy, which is empowering and encouraging to my growing identity as a young adult.

I like Facebook now. And that’s something I never thought would happen. 😉

How about you? Do you still loathe Facebook? Have you every tried one of these tricks to make it a cheerier place? 

~Jamie

Jamie’s 2016 Bucket List


So I’ve had a fairly interesting beginning to my new and shiny year, 2016, and for such reasons, I decided at the beginning of the month not to immediately throw together a bucket list for the year. Instead I’ve been riding January out as it’s progressed and compiled this as the ideas have come to me. I figured they’d be more genuine to what I actually want to do, and I believe they are!

While I came up with some unique things to do, my last item is something that just hit me today. So I’m really glad I waited to share this with you, because now you can read it too!
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Investigate more video game and anime soundtracks for writing.

Officially meet my best friend in person.

Learn the rules of the road.

Take better care of myself emotionally and physically.

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Finish reading and underlining my Creative Writing books.

Spend money consciously.

Find unique ways to express my personal creative spirit and needs.

Continue enjoying anime and anime blogging.

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Make a YouTube playlist of empowering/humanizing songs to memorize.

Play the piano more consistently again.

Continue maintaining online relationships and build new ones at college.

Write only for me.

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Re-blog my updated 100 Favorite Movies series.

Clean out my room of useless junk during my next furniture arrangement ritual.

Decide on a college major.

and

Listen more when others speak, but speak up more for the authentic me.

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How has your 2016 been treating you? Did you make resolutions or a bucket list for the year? What are some movies you want to see this year, or books or music? Making grand plans, or seemingly insignificant ones, or medium-fries-with-extra-ketchup-sized one?…does that even make sense. Ah, who cares. 😄

I hope you’re having a good year already! ❤

~Jamie

5 Years Today


5 years today, I was 15 and I wanted my own blog. 5 years today I started one–this one–and in many ways, my life today is drastically different because of it. That first year of blogging was mostly me feverishly posting about Star Wars, sharing family photos, doing tags, and exploring other blogs run by kids my age with similar interests. That year grew into two, then three, as I loved it so much that I just kept writing.

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It’s year 5 tonight! I’m 21 now. Today, I’m still blogging because I still love it and I still have things I want to say and people I talk to. I actually have two blogs now because I love it so much.

I’m thankful that I’ve had a place to process my thoughts, review entertainment, be my odd self, and share my passions for self-discovery these past 5 years. Being a writer, blogging has given me a relaxed place to grow and practice. I’ve found my inner voice by blogging, along with my natural voice.

Best of all, this blog has been a platform to meet many wonderful people who’ve helped me grow in many ways. Though people have come and gone, I’m still in contact with many wonderful people, and have developed amazing relationships from a select few that I met when I was 15! If it wasn’t for this blog, I would not know my very best friend and would have missed five years of enthusiastic comment conversations, blog/podcast collaborating, and a million happy Skype conversations about anime and life and everything in-between.

All because 5 years ago today, I created a WordPress blog, called it “Through Two Blue Eyes”, and fell in love with writing to all of you.

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Truly, meeting so many of you wonderful people have made this blogging experience entirely worth it, even though I love talking to you all anyway. 😄 It blows my mind, guys, how much starting this blog has changed me! I’m incredibly grateful for the last five years of writing and all the bridges it created to bring blessings into my life. I hope to be here for many more years to come! ❤

So, happy anniversary to me! *climbs out of “super-reflective mode” to release 500 rainbow balloons and then chokes on a cloud of glitter. 😄 *

~Jamie