Looking back and looking forward

For various reasons—some common and some more personal—2020 has felt both swift and slow in passing. It was definitely a different year, with new experiences and new challenges. But everywhere I turn, I see a hatred for this past year that shocks me. “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over.” “This has been the worst year of my life!” “2021 is going to feel like a breath of fresh air after this nightmare of a year.”

We humans sure love to put temporal restraints on everything, don’t we? As if, come January 1, 2021, everything we’ve had to go through and are still going through will just fade away into the history books. If only it were actually like that. Maybe if you really did spend 2020 hating it all, then I can imagine dreaming about 2021 being a welcome pastime.

But I did not spend 2020 hating it all. And that’s not to say it wasn’t a challenging and stressful year for me—it certainly was. Frustrating, too, in many ways. But I just can’t let a year slip by me unappreciated. My life—my youth—is too precious for that. I tried to focus on the silver lining, the blessings that rose from this strange year. And—surprisingly, maybe—they are plentiful. And I am grateful.

Don’t wish 2020 away. Instead, thank God for another year of life.

All right! I just kinda wanted to say that, I guess. Now let’s move on to the fun stuff!

2020 favorites

Books

  • A Tale of Two Cities | Charles Dickens ♥
  • Marvelous to Behold | Jennifer Courtney & Courtney Sanford
  • The Ickabog | J. K. Rowling ♥
  • Ember’s End | S. D. Smith ♥
  • Little Women | Louisa May Alcott ♥
  • Winnie-the-Pooh (re-read) | A. A. Milne
  • The Archer’s Cup | S. D. Smith ♥
  • Macbeth | William Shakespeare
  • Mere Christianity | C. S. Lewis ♥
  • A Christmas Carol | Charles Dickens ♥

Movies + TV shows

  • Avengers: Endgame | PG-13 ♥
  • Alias | PG-13
  • Onward | PG
  • Little Women (2019) | PG ♥
  • Ultimate Tag | G
  • Mulan (2020) | PG
  • Little Women (1994) | PG ♥

Music

  • “Finder” | Cyrus Reynolds feat. Folial ♥
  • “Times Like These” | Foo Fighters
  • “Brave” | Zayde Wølf
  • “You Can’t Stop the Girl” | Bebe Rexha
  • “Fire on Fire” | Sam Smith ♥
  • “Searching for Us” | Skye Peterson (credit: Maya Joelle)
  • “Brand New Thing” | Zayde Wølf ♥
  • “Hard Love” | NEEDTOBREATHE
  • “Mercies New” | Nichole Nordeman ♥
  • “Superheroes” | The Script ♥

Characters

(This is an annual event where I add new characters to my list of Muffins. My Children. Precious Bois I’ve Adopted. If you know, you know, okay?!)

  • Sydney Carton | A Tale of Two Cities
  • Mr. Sark | Alias
  • Will Tippin | Alias
  • Wyatt | Zombies 2
  • “Laurie” | Little Women
  • Quicksilver | Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Commodus | Gladiator
  • Lokson | The Archer’s Cup

(FYI, I have favorite female characters too. But the bois are more interesting. :P)

Ships

  • Lucie Manette + Sydney Carton | A Tale of Two Cities
  • Sydney Bristow + Will Tippin | Alias
  • Addison + Wyatt | Zombies 2
  • Jo March + Laurie | Little Women
  • Amber Hewson + Lokson | The Archer’s Cup

Personal achievements

Some stuff I did this year that I’m proud of. 🙂

  • Finished a second draft of a WIP for the first time
  • Started this website (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time)
  • Applied and was accepted to my college of choice (*goat screaming*)
  • Beta read The Archer’s Cup for S. D. Smith
  • Voted in an election for the first time
  • Received my driver’s permit (I know, I know, I’m terribly behind. It’s just that I wasn’t at all interested in driving until recently.)
  • Hit a new word count high on any WIP to date (48k+)

Fun experiences

We got annual passes at Disney World for the first time ever and were able to go three times—twice before the pandemic and once in the midst of it (after which we cancelled our passes, because wearing a mask for basically twelve hours straight in Orlando in the middle of August absolutely sucked). While it lasted, it was awesome. ♥

We flew up to Illinois to visit our grandparents in their new house. We hadn’t been to Illinois in a decade, so it was really fun to see it again. (My writer’s/artist’s eye was taking in the terrain like heck! xD) We swam and canoed, chased fireflies, and enjoyed being with family.

2021 hopes + plans

Reading

  • Adorning the Dark | Andrew Peterson
  • Defending Constantine | Peter. J. Leithart ★
  • Jo & Laurie (started it but never finished) | Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz
  • Little Women sequels | Louisa May Alcott ★
  • The Lord of the Rings | J. R. R. Tolkien ★
  • Martin Chuzzlewit | Charles Dickens
  • The Mistmantle Chronicles (re-read) | M. I. McAllister
  • Till We Have Faces | C. S. Lewis
  • Tree and Leaf | J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Wingfeather Saga | Andrew Peterson ★

Watching

  • The Chosen
  • Enola Holmes
  • Little Women (2018) ★
  • WandaVision
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  • Black Widow
  • Raya and the Last Dragon
  • Minions: The Rise of Gru
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • The Mandalorian: Season 3
  • The Book of Boba Fett

Writing, school + life

  • continue to worldbuild Celta & WtCFS
  • continue with philosophy and theology
  • read more Shakespeare
  • finish the first draft of Foxhunt + start the second draft
  • graduate!
  • get an article published somewhere
  • get my driver’s license
  • start college
  • possibly go to Hawaii in December

I hope you’ve all had a great year despite its challenges and inconveniences, and I wish you all the best for 2021! What are some things you’re looking forward to next year?

2 thoughts on “Looking back and looking forward

  1. Ooh yesss! All of this! And I got mentioned!

    YOU GOT ACCEPTED? *screams in goat back at you* Hoooorrayyyy!! *more screaming* I am so happy for you!

    We both hit new highs in our WIP lengths, we both read good books, we both got accepted to colleges… looks like 2020 wasn’t such a bad year 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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