Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's in a Year - Some Reflection

It's March 2012. I find myself in a reflective mood. So many things were going on last March and spring. And I'm not just talking about the earthquake in Japan - personal things weighed on my mind at the time. In some ways, it doesn't feel like it's been that long. In others, it's been forever.

A year ago, I'd been aniblogging for only a few months.

A year ago, I participated in SOTW (signature of the week contest) on Anime-Planet forums.

A year ago, I joined Twitter.

A year ago, another bout of Naruto Shippuden fillers came to an end.

A year ago, Tsunade lay unconscious and I wanted Danzo to go die in a hole.

A year ago, I used anime as an escape, an escape that I poured very unhealthy hours into.

A year ago, I was still trying to find and write another story that could be novel or novella length.

A year ago, I was finishing my second trimester of senior year of high school.

A year ago, college and scholarship applications overwhelmed me.

A year ago, I was depressed and anxious.

A year ago, I was too stressed to go to Lil Sis's volleyball tournaments.

A year ago, I spent most of my free time in my room, avoiding human contact.

A year ago, I just wanted time to stop.

This year, I'm trying to blog semi-consistently again.

This year, I haven't been on Anime-Planet forums once, though I still love the site.

This year, I'm on Twitter almost constantly.

This year, I'm still enjoying Naruto Shippuden. 

This year, Tsunade is awake again.

This year, I still escape on occasion, and there are times when I watch too much anime, but it's not as bad.

This year, I'm finally working on another long story, my first since over three years ago, though progress has slowed.

This year, I'm taking a break from school.

This year, college and scholarship applications feel more doable. I'm taking more initiative.

This year, I'm not depressed. I am alert for the signs of anxiety as I get busier again, but I won't let it rule me.

This year, I went to one of Lil Sis's three day tournaments - and loved it!

This year, I spend a lot of time downstairs, talking with family. I don't need to hide in my room as much.

This year, time is moving forward, and I'm moving with it. There are still days when I feel like time is moving faster than I can keep up, but I don't live in dread of deadlines. I don't live in dread of the next stage of my life.

I feel the warning in my chest, the warning that anxiety is always present, waiting to pounce. But I have tools available to me. I can make lists and plans. I can spend time journalling. I know that when I pray and read my Bible, imposing things become doable. Still imposing, perhaps, but doable. I know that if my tools aren't enough, I can go to my doctor for medicine.

I don't always use my tools. The warning signs go off, and I'm faced with a choice: use my tools, or escape. If I try to escape, consciously or unconsciously, it gets worse. But I'm learning to step back from the anxiety, take a deep breath, and do what I need to. It's work. Even as I write this, a pressure in my chest tells me that I need to take some time to pray and organize myself.  I don't want a repeat of last year. I don't want to drown in my anxiety. I swim ahead of it, confident even when the current gets choppy.

It had over half a year of smooth sailing. No school, few commitments, and few social events. That's changing. I'm living with my aunt and cousins for at least the rest of the school year. I tutor two of my cousins everyday. I meet with and email their teachers. And I'm working toward going to college next fall. My several months of rest did wonders for me. Now, I can practice outsmarting my anxiety before going off to college.

I'm the reflective sort, so I often think about how I'm changing and growing. It's very gradual. But I'm becoming more responsible, more mature, and more confident all the time (of course, "more confident" is very relative). I even feel like an adult most of the time, albeit a very young, inexperienced one.

I'm in a better place than I was last year. I thank the Lord for that. Anxiety will always be on the sidelines, ready to jump in when I give it an opening. But I know how to help myself a little better than I did. And maybe next year, I'll be doing even better.


  1. An awesome and hope-filled post! It's great to see how God has been working in your life.


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