Whoa, whoa, whoa… did Neko actually post something? Holy shit, yes they did… Mind-blown.
I hope you’re all doing positively swell! I know that this month my posting has been rather non-existent. I sort of fell off the face of the blogsphere to tackle some severe mental health concerns that came up. The only indicator was a brief announcement over on Twitter. I didn’t have the energy or emotional capacity to make a formal announcement when it all happened. I apologise for that and ask for your understanding and compassion regarding it. BUT!! I am happy to announce that my exhausting efforts towards recovering and conquering that shit have been paying off tremendously and I shall be returning to my normal blogging shenanigans at the start of November.
Nevertheless, that is not what this random post is about. No… today is about celebrating the fact that I am one year older and greyer and wiser (hopefully). I turn 31 today! Honestly, it kind of blows my mind that my 31st birthday is here. Just last year I donned a giant cake hat and some bleeding red glasses to make a silly BookTube video to celebrate my milestone day of begetting. Time really does fucking fly, doesn’t it?
Sticking with the theme of focusing on the positive parts of life, Sir Betrothed came up with the idea for me to share with y’all moments of joy from 2018 thus far that has kept me going, especially through all of the shite that has happened. It can be so easy to get swept away by everything that is going wrong that it becomes ridiculously easy to get blinded to the good things, even if those things are tiny, itty-bitty things… like me (I’m short as fuck).
So… on this lovely (stupidly sunny) Autumn day of cake and cat-cuddles, I bring you my moments of joy from 2018. Please join in on the festivities and drop me a comment down below with a couple of things that have brought you joy or comfort this year! I’d love to hear about what’s made you smile and kept you kicking. If you decide to toss me a birthday Kofi as well, I won’t complain (yay, shameless birthday self-promotion 😎).
At the beginning of the year, Sir Betrothed and I celebrated two years together! We had a delicious meal at our favourite pub and basked in one another’s company… and some beers. This moment made me realise that moving forward can be scary and filled with uncertainty, but there will always be something there to make it worth it.
In February, I went to my first WWE show ever (it was a house show) and I got to see my favourite wrestler—Shinsuke Nakamura—up-close! It was super fucking exciting! I remember when his intro music started playing and I felt legit chills because I was so happy!
We bought a new car! It was everything I wanted except for the colour. But you know, the colour eventually grew on me. It started to remind me of the blue hues of Lake Hylia. As such we named her Zora.
I won my first giveaway! Thanks to Michel for sending out such a lovely edition of this book, which has his favourite character in it.
Some of my best dishes were concocted this year! The left shows my very first attempt at making a shrimp stir fry with Japanese ramen noodles. It was so yummy and the veggies were crispy and flavourful. The right consists of Indian food: spicy coconut shrimp curry with a side of seasoned veggie fried rice.
This year Rani and Raja celebrated 22 and 21 years with me respectively. I remember adopting Rani in 1996, shortly after my grandmother passed away. Then we adopted Raja exactly one year later so she’d have someone to keep her company while I was at school.
An author I admire, read my review for her debut book and reached out to me on Twitter to let me know how much she appreciated it. As a book reviewer and blogger, there honestly is no greater joy than knowing that you can make an author feel validated in the work that they do. There’s also no feeling like the one that comes with being represented in literature, and knowing that your voice isn’t alone in the dark, which is what Ms Chao’s book did for me. Mad respect for this woman right here.
Some of my bookish moments of joy consisted of discovering my favourite book of all-time, The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, and a brand-new author—Hiromi Kawakami—to add to my top ten favourites list.
Sir Betrothed surprised me with a trip to Muir Beach one day when I was in a bad place emotionally. I was suicidal and quite on the verge of giving up on everything I loved and held dear. They took me here, made me stand in the freezing as fuck ocean water as it swooshed around my ankles, and told me to let all of my stress wash away with the tide. It’s a moment that I turn to when I need strength and to be reminded that misery and depression are impermanent.
Discovered my new favourite Japanese dish ever! This is ebi katsu curry (fried shrimp with a vegetable curry) and it is the most divine fucking thing… ever!! Ain’t no joy like the joy that comes from damn fine food.
I acquired all of the currently released novels for The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski! These are the books that inspired the video game franchise and I’ve been trying to collect these for years. But they keep changing the fucking editions on me. Now, it’s all mine… MWAHAHAHAHA!
In August of this year, my son Azizi underwent emergency surgery for a serious condition. The surgery was a major abdominal surgery. It was the most terrifying fucking thing I had ever experienced. I was so stressed out and so afraid I was going to lose him. But I didn’t and I cannot express how thankful I feel for that. There is no better joy than my butt-head old man surviving, and being healthier than ever.
My final moment of joy from 2018 that I wanted to share with you was the day that I created the Self-Care Sunday posts. I remember feeling so bleeding scared about the whole gig. Yet, I sat down, typed up one of the methods I have for dealing with anxiety at home, and haven’t turned back since. Since I began, I have had many people tell me how helpful and inspiring these posts are to them. That is the most wonderful feeling, that warmth and feeling of happiness that stems from knowing you were able to help another person with their suffering. I know way too well what it’s like to feel hopeless, more so when coping methods stop working. These posts will not stop and I will keep wishing for everything to live their best life, no matter what the means to you or however long it takes for you to get there. You WILL get there, you WILL know joy. I believe it with every ounce of my soul. ♥
Thanks for being a mate this past year, y’all! I have no way to show my gratitude to you, but know that I cherish and appreciate every word of kindness and support ever mustered to me. I’m going to stay optimistic that there will be many more moments of joy to come!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat some cake and watch some anime, like a proper birthday otaku nerd.