Walhallavagen

Just an ordinary girl's life

Tag: life in general

January indulging habits

A lot of people complain about the month of January: they associate it with post-festivities blue moods, extremely cold and cloudy weather (if you live in the upper hemisphere – otherwise, probably super hot?), back to work, new year’s resolutions fading in the blink of eye – you get the idea.

For me, January is one of the best months of the year – I love winter [I wouldn’t have moved from Italy to Scotland otherwise] and I love the cold and cloudy weather as it feels like the perfect time to stay inside warm and cozy [soup, tea, books, language learning sessions: total bliss].

I also like the idea of going back to work and a normal schedule/routine after the frenzy of Christmas and New Year. Of course I do enjoy some festive and family time, but since I’m mostly a creature of habits I’m always happy to go back to my regular activities – which invariably get disrupted during the festive season.

Plus, January is a new start. I talked about my approach to goals and resolution briefly here, but in short, even if I don’t pan to change my life at 360 degrees on January 1st, I still like the idea of a fresh start – starting one new habit, finally completing a task I’ve been putting off for too long, simple things like this.

I also like to combine the idea of winter with that of self care and self pampering, so every January I come up with a few new activities/habits to make me feel like I’m taking care of myself:

  • watching Chinese dramas on Netflix (this one in particular) – a great way of exercising my listening skills as well as satisfy my cravings for Asian dramas: the perfect way of getting the best of two worlds!
  • big science fiction books – because daylight is still quite short and there are a lot of dark afternoons to fill with great nerdy readings
  • soup in a mug – I mean, winter! Soup! What else?
  • listening to lo-fi compilations on YouTube – I always have a soundtrack while either studying or reading, and chill out and lo fi music creates the best atmosphere for me right now
  • planning sessions in bed – while I’m very good at looking at and updating my planner during the day, after I take my shower and get into my pijamas I often forget to check once again if I’ve done everything for the day. Bringing my planner with me in bed is a great way to get comfy while keeping on top of things
  • candle lighting – I’ve discovered that summer nights are so bright in Scotland that I don’t get to light candles for months during the warmer season, so I like to make the most of it while I still have enough darkness during the day!

 

Hoping you’re having a super cozy January as well!

 

 

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恭喜发财!

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Happy New Year my dear friends! 🍾

I sincerely hope you’re having a wonderful festive season with time for relax, good food and, of course, language learning 🙂

Last year I shared my not-too-serious goals for 2018 and I’m going to do the same this time!

2019 goals:

  1. decide whether or not I want to take JLPT this year and, in that case, go for it!
  2. start saving for Japan travel
  3. read a 漫画 in Chinese
  4. get that second piercing (I didn’t in 2018!)
  5. go to a festival! (same)
  6. watch 8 Asian dramas
  7. Ireland trip with the plus one
  8. get myself a luxurious skincare product
  9. read 45 books

I feel positive for this 2019, the last couple of years have brought a lot of (good) changes in my life and I’m ready for more 🙂

Plans for the rest of the day: read my current sci-fi novel, treat my hair to a glorious hair mask and order Japanese on Deliveroo!

新年进步!

Year in Review ~ 2018

What did I do this year?

2018 has been another important year in my personal life. I’ve actively started working towards some specific goals of mine and I also brought myself to finally face some anxiety-inducing issues, which has improved greatly the quality of my life. There is still a lot of work to do and one thing to absolutely do this year is decide once and for all which career direction I intend to take and do my best to follow along until the end. But I’m very happy to say that by December 31st 2018 I’ve accomplished all the main goals I had set for myself this year, and I feel a lot more content and at ease.

I’ve been fairly good at crossing off some day-to-day goals that I set for myself last year (the lipstick and nail polish challenge having been particularly successful), which may seem silly but that, at the end of the day, makes the difference between feeling like you’re taking care of yourself or not. I also feel like I’ve been giving a sort of second chance at life, and I’m definitely going to work even harder on my health and wellbeing in 2019.

Technology

A new entry this year has been my long-longed-for iMac, which I’ve been using constantly since I got it for my birthday in May. I still have my iPhone SE and have no intention of replacing it any time soon since it still works perfectly. In 2019 I plan to replace my iPad (after many years of very good service) and to make a decision about my very old but very beloved MacBook pro. I’m debating whether or not to buy a new one, since I don’t need it for work and I definitely don’t bring my laptop with me when I’m on vacation.

In terms of apps, if in 2017 I started downsizing, in 2018 I’ve downsized even more. I’ve talked briefly here about the apps that have survived my minimalistic fervour and I will surely talk about it more in the future. Less is more is increasingly becoming my daily mantra as I’ve witnessed a tremendous improvement in my overall life quality by having less stuff (both physically and digitally) around me.

Planning

I reviewed my 2018 planning system here so I don’t think it’s appropriate to repeat myself. I’m happy to report that I managed to really use just one planner for the entire year as I vowed to do last December, and that I’ve used to experience to learn a lot about bad planning habits and vices. I’m sure 2019 is going to be even more successful in this regard.

Study (Chinese, Japanese, etc.)

I’ve learnt a lot also about learning this year. I had a rollercoaster of very high and very low moments in my language learning journey (especially for Chinese), until I finally managed to settle into a regular routine around the end of September. Focusing my study on preparing for HSK 3 has finally helped me finding a framework within which I could track my actual progresses and achieve a sense of accomplishment.

I think I’m going to start from here in 2019 and expand my self discipline in both language learning and other forms of self education that’s I have been putting off for too long. I will have to decide whether to go for the JLPT or not, since I’m giving myself a 2 year deadline for HSK4 (December 2020).

Wellness

As I was mentioning before, I had a good wake up call back at the beginning of February, and this has been the right chance to step up my game even more in terms of taking care of my health and wellbeing. Being healthy with a busy life is no piece of cake, but the more I grow up (I should probably say grow old) the more I realise this is just something that can’t be put in the back burner.

My goal for 2019 in this regard is to be absolutely strict about the 5-a-day rule and to set into place a solid routine around yoga and the 10.000 daily steps.

Books, TV Series, Dramas and Music

TV

I’m happy to report that I’ve watched much less tv this year, something that is clearly reflected in the increased amount of books I finished instead. I also watched a lot more Asian dramas compared to last year (since Netflix has finally started acknowledging their existence). Sadly, I don’t think I watched any anime in 2018 – and I haven’t read any manga either, which means this is clearly something I need to put more effort in.

For 2019 I want to go along the same lines – less and less American tv series, more Asian dramas and ideally also a lot more anime.

Books

As of today, I’ve read 64 books in 2018 (but I may be able to finish one more between tonight and tomorrow). Needless to say, reading has been my greatest accomplishment for this year, as I’ve finally brought myself to reduce a lot of other insignificant activities while favouring the things I really enjoy doing. In 2018 I’ve read a lot of novels that I’ve been meaning to read for the longest time and never gotten to, and I’ve also stepped out of my comfort zone much more often (I even tried audio books, imagine!).

As for my best books of 2018, I have to say it’s really hard to pick just one or two. The one that left a major impression on me has been Educated by Tara Westover, and Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin has been another significant highlight. Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey is a book that I’m finding difficult to forget, as well as the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Milkman by Anna Burn, and I’ve loved the graphic novel Sabrina by Nick Drnaso.

I’ve also read a lot of interesting novels that were selected for both the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize, and I’ve particularly enjoyed the children series Nevermoor (much more than I had anticipated actually). I also started and completed two YA series, The mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare and the Miss Peregrine’s series by Ransom Riggs.

In 2019? I want to keep going! Oh and more non fiction (especially Asia-related) this year!

Music

2018 is still a synthwave / vaporwave / futurewave year, no doubt about that. I’ve taken the chance to listen to the entire discography of some of all-time my favourite artists as well as discover new, less famous bands.

I also really enjoyed watching Eurovision (for the third year in a row), and I’m slowing starting to open my mind more to Asian idols – especially EXO – for cultural and language learning purposes.

Closing

2018 has been a good year. A lot has happened in my life, but most of all, I feel like I’ve change my mindset like never before. I love my habits and routines but I can’t stand the idea of being stagnant so, even if it’s tiresome and stressful, I always welcome change. In 2019 I don’t plan on changing anything major – I just aim at keep doing the things I love, slightly better than the year before.

圣诞快乐朋友们!

 

Wish a holly jolly Christmas to you all dear friends!

Despite some Grinch-like thoughts, I’m actually enjoy this festive season 🙂 and tbh I’m also happy not to think about language learning for a few days! This will definitely help me having a fresh start when January hits 🙂

Eat tons of good food and be merry!

 

Life Lately (July/August 2018)

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With the house move frenzy finally over, I’m now free to come back to a resemblance of normal life. Still a lot of boxes floating around the house of course – but ALL LANGUAGE LEARNING BOOKS ARRIVED SAFE AND SOUND and that’s what truly matters. 🙃

So before jumping back to a regular blog schedule (hopefully), I would like to make a brief update on what has been going on in my life lately so that I can pick up from there.

Language Learning

Needless to say, during the house move LL has not been my primary focus (especially since all my study resources where packed away). I managed to keep my streak on Duolingo though [I’m now on my 147th consecutive day of practice], which is fine. I’m growing increasingly dissatisfied with D tbh, especially with its Chinese version (the Japanese one has fewer skills but works much better), but I still keep going. Right now a not-so-great study practice is still better than no practice at all, so in a way it has been serving its purpose.
I’m now ready to get back to some more serious study engagement, and as of yesterday I’ve already retrieved my listening practice [though for the moment is a kind of passive activity with Chinese dialogues playing in the background while I’m doing other things – mainly, unboxing]. I was also thinking about doing a proper two-day Chinese full immersion experience with a lot of concentrated reading and listening activities. I’ve been reading a lot about the Listening-Reading method lately and I’m kind of intrigued – so much that I’m eager to give it a try. Maybe over the weekend if things slow down a bit, it’s more a feeling than a plan for now tbh.

Tv Shows

Before moving to Edinburgh I managed to finish watching Reply 1997 and I really, really enjoyed it 😀 it was exactly the kind of drama I was in the mood for. Since then I’ve been watching a few episodes of Midnight Diner with the plus one [though I would like to rewatch them by myself with Japanese subtitles as I feel like it could be an excellent listening practice], and kind of binge watching Orange is the New Black (for some reason I keep watching it every year when a new season comes out even though I don’t particularly like it).
Now that things have somewhat settled down I’m motivated to pick up a new Asian drama for my entertainment. I surely want to watch Reply 1994 before the end of the year, but I would like to mix up genres a bit since I know I tend to get bored easily. I was thinking about Black since it has been on my TBW list for a while now, but there’s also a new Taiwanese drama (On Children) on Netflix which has a super intriguing / disturbing plot AND is also in Chinese, so it gets double points for language practice. Hard to choose! #firstworldproblems

Books

If you are invested in culture and general intellectual / artistic activities, Edinburgh is your city. One of the first things I did once I grabbed my proof of address here has been subscribing to the Edinburgh Libraries System and OH BOY THERE’S SO MUCH CHOICE HERE (of both digital and physical resources). I think I already reserved something like 7 items between ebooks and paper versions, and dowloaded a couple.

In these last months of quite intense reading activity, I’ve unconsciously established a sort of pattern for my reading choices. What I usually do is reading 3 books at the same time (I swore for years that I couldn’t bare the idea of reading multiple books simultaneously, which goes to show how we really shouldn’t use words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ and ‘everything’):
1. one ‘serious’ novel, either a classic or a contemporary author
2. one non fiction
3. one ‘entertaining’ novel (crime, science fiction, fantasy, YA etc)
I discovered that more than 3 books make things unmanageable as I end up focusing on just a couple – meaning, I’m not actually reading 5 books at the same time. Three seems like the perfect number to keep me entertained enough and supplied with the necessary amount of variety, but without overdoing it.

Music

I’ve been branching out a little lately, especially with all those hours of unpacking and re-shelving (I needed to be entertained, and I needed it badly). Synthwave and Retrowave are still my absolute favourite, but this month I’ve also been listening quite a lot to シティーポップ, or Japanese City Pop, which yes, it kinda make sense from a consistency point of view. Many tracks also have lyrics (in Japanese), which again is super good for listening practice. I’ve been also delving more into K Indie music (I did the same last year, it must be a summer thing) and I’ve found some very nice playlists on Youtube [there are tons of good mixes out there, but this one has been my absolute favourite since the beginning of summer].

Beverages

Chai tea & chai latte all the way!

Planners

It’s been a while since my last post on the topic of planners. What I can say is that 2018 has been one of my best planner years so far, even more so since 2017 was probably the worst -.- I have a planner-related post that I’ve been willing to write for a while now, so I’ll save all the juicy details for that one; for now I can say that my planning system is becoming increasingly simple and goal-oriented, with less and less apps and notebooks used and a much more functional approach to the whole idea of planning.

Routines

There’s nothing as disruptive as a prolonged period of scattered schedules for the good functioning of regular routines, but I’m getting back to them one by one and I’m also working on implementing some ameliorations. The significant other will be working in another town for a few days per week during these first 6 months, which gives me room to be a bit more experimental with the way I want to structure my days. I’ve managed to keep my early-bed=early-rise schedule, which is good good, so now the main focus will be on Chinese study and yoga practice.

 

How is everyone’s summer going? I hope you’re having a fulfilling and relaxing time with your family and friends, and also some good moments of language learning of course 😉

 

Mid year review {June 2018}

[Slightly late in posting this]

With half a year already behind us it’s nice to take the time for sitting down and dedicating a few minutes to think about how things have gone so far – and even more importantly, how we want them to go in the following 6 months. Because honestly, planning for an entire year in advance is kind of optimistic. Many of the things we thought were important in January are no longer on the horizon by March, so readjusting and reevaluating is always a good practice.

I shared at the beginning of the year some of the ‘silly’ things I wanted to do in 2018, but I actually have four main areas of self growth in which I put my focus every year: language learning, health & wellness, books, and screen time (movies as well as tv shows).

I’m going to review each of them in order of increasing difficulty, meaning, from the activity that requires the least will power to the one that I almost have to force myself to do.

1. Movies, Asian Dramas, TV series

Paradoxically, this year my main goal in this sector was to watch less stuff. Last year I spent a lot of my free time with my nose glued on the iPad screen, only to feel disappointed in the end for not accomplish much in terms of Chinese and everything else (surprise surprise). Another goal of mine this year was to decrease the amount of American tv series I watch and start focusing more on Asian dramas.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been quite successful with both these goals. I now watch American tv series almost exclusively when I’m cooking / washing the dishes / ironing (I also watch them with my significant other, but not every night). I wanted to watch a minimum of 6 Asian dramas in 2018, and at the time I’m writing this I’m close to finish my 5th. I’ve also been watching more movies, something I used to do a lot in my teen years but for which I’ve kinda been lazy lately.

All in all, it’s a much welcomed change that has improved my life quality a lot, and has allowed me to find room for other more important and satisfying activities.

2. Books (novels and non fiction)

Reading is definitely the sector that has been more successful this year. In 2017 I barely managed to reach my goal of 25 books, and not because I didn’t have the time to; I was devoting my free time to the wrong activities (see above) and I wasn’t even making all that conscious choices in terms of what I wanted to read.

So I went for 25 books again in 2018, just to play it safe, and I actually reached my goal by June, 15th. Not only I have achieved it in less than half the expected time – I’m also much more satisfied by the reading choices I’m making. This year I finally read a lot of books that had been on my wish list for the longest time, I’m switching between genres and reading different things a lot more, and I’ve been keeping myself up to date with the latest trends and bookshop releases. Now every time that I go Waterstones or Blackwell’s I know the majority of titles that are on display, and I’ve often read a few of them already.

I don’t want 2018 to be a rare bird but rather to become the standard way I approach my reading time. It’s not so much about the numbers, but mostly about making intentional choices and be aware of how I spend my own free time.

3. Language learning

Here comes the sore point of this list. Despite my best efforts, I cannot honestly say that my language study routine has improved much since the lows of last year. I’m starting now to be a little more consistent with my study and to see the first serious progresses, but these first 6 months have been mostly trials and errors.

Honestly, I would have never though that self-learning would have been this hard. I was so motivated and positive when I fist decided not to go back to Chinese classes and to start the solo-journey – where has all that good energy gone? I’m still passionate about language learning but I’m struggling a lot in finding my own way. Which means that the road towards fluency is still very long.

On a more positive note, I can say that at least this year I’ve spend a lot much time studying that in 2017. It may not be extremely successful, but at least I’ve brought myself more times than not to do the work. Another good thing of 2018 is the fact that, after much toying with the idea, I finally started studying Japanese again. It’s only a 10 min daily practice on Duolingo, so definitely nothing mind-blowing, but for now it’s enough to bring me in touch with the language again.

4. Health and wellness

I like being healthy and I like the idea of being healthy, but sometimes I find it hard to keep it up to my expectations (especially when living with someone who craves junk food all the time). I’m fairly good at eating healthy [water intake, 5 a day, no refined sugars etc.] but when it comes to do physical exercise, except for walking, I have to really push myself to do it.

In January I had to investigate a potentially bad health condition which thankfully didn’t happen in the end – this was the much-needed wakeup call to finally face the physical activity issue and change my mind frame once and for all.

I can’t say that now I’m the queen of workouts and, yes, I could always do more, but since then I’ve been making a conscious effort in trying and being more active. A very important thing for me in this process has been finding the sort of activity that I actually like doing; so no gym, no I-want-to-be-slimmer workouts, not hiit – yes yoga, yes pilates, yes qi gong. I want to be able to enjoy what I’m doing, not just appreciate the results.

So how am I assessing the achievements in this sector for the first half of the year? I’d say that I can and I want to do more, but I’ve also made important progresses and I now feel a lot more engaged in my overall health and wellbeing. In the end it’s a kind of holistic practice – I can’t really be healthy if I don’t take care of my nutrition as well as physical exercise as well as self love and self care. You know the I treat my body like a temple meme? Exactly, just, for real.

Others

Blog. I’ve been more relaxed about blogging this year, which sometimes has turned out as ‘I would like to write this on my blog but naaaah‘, but in general it’s worked better for me. I often think about giving up since I’d rather spend time actually studying than writing about studying, but for now I can’t really bring myself to do it.

Instagram. I’ve been a lot better this year. I’ve had my good share of non-active periods, but I’ve kept it up fairly well and I’ve shared a lot more compared to 2017. I love the language learning community there and it’s definitely one of my main source of inspiration for when I’m feeling down (LL-wise).

Things that I would like to implement in my routine

Photography: it’s always been a great passion of mine and I also have a super classy sassy DSLR camera waiting for me to release my inner artist (much inner), but I just seem to never find the time for it. It’s actually a bit of a controversial point, because I know that, when it come to focus and attention, less is more – but it’s also something I really really want to do, so I’ll definitely take it into consideration.

I’ve been also quite good at my simple life project this year (there will be a dedicated post on this topic), so for the rest of 2018 I hope to be able to declutter even more and to be able to streamline my routines by cutting down all the different time-wasting activities I still carry out.

 

2018 has been a surprisingly satisfactory year so far, and honestly I think this is the first time I feel like I’m really getting closer to where I want to be in life. I think that reflecting on how things have gone so far is extremely useful, and it’ll help a lot in making the right choices in the upcoming months.

June plans

After 10 days spent visiting family and friends, I’m now back to Scotland and kind of ready to face the most stressful time of the year for us – house hunting, job hunting, house move, travel across Europe and everything else.

I’m trying not to get completely swallowed up by all these technicalities and to still find time for my language studies, yoga and reading/drama watching time.

With only 178 days to go before HSK3, I know that this is the time to get seriously serious about my preparation. Either I do it now, or I don’t.

But I still have to attend to all these other grown-up matters so planning, timing and prioritising are essential skills right now. Things to focus on during this month will be:

  1. find a house in Edinburgh, something that should be exciting but is actually boring and stress-inducing. I hope to be done with it asap
  2. complete decluttering process, as I don’t want to waste time packing crap I don’t even use anymore
  3. go on a trip to Edinburgh with L. (house hunting, again) and try to enjoy it rather than stressing out
  4. keep up with Duolingo for both J and C (I’m currently on a 84 day streak)
  5. empty the freezer
  6. manage to complete my Goodreads challenge of 25 books by June 30th
  7. go on a cinema & Burger King date with L. (though our schedule is so packed it honestly won’t be that easy)
  8. finish listening course on Hello HSK

I’ll try to come back to this page every couple of days to keep myself as accountable as possible. Plans don’t really work if you don’t constantly reference back to them.

On a completely different note, we’re having the best weather possible here in Scotland and I’m feeling so blessed 🤩 I have a huge window in my living room with a seatable (? it’s probably not a word) windowsill on which I spend most of my afternoons looking at ducks and herons. Summer was already setting off while I was in Italy, but here it’s like the perfect endless spring at the moment and I’m so loving it ❤️

Listening to: FM Attack – Astrowave [full album]
Weather: sunny and windy
Drinking: champagne and apricot loose leaf black tea

Spring Cleaning

A few days ago I went back to Leo Babauta‘s blog and read a few posts on simple living and goal settings. It had been a while since I read something from Zen Habits and honestly I felt super rejuvenated and motivated afterwards. I immediately started craving for a simpler, less cluttered life (again).

A couple of days after that, I read this post from Inhae which hugely resonated with me and it felt a lot like the kick in the ass I just needed. I want to stop the junk from coming into my life and fogging my thoughts with its looming presence.

And I can’t deny that one of the reasons I’ve often procrastinated with my language studies in the last couple of weeks was the fact that I didn’t feel like I had a clear enough space around me to do so. Go figure.

So, it’s time for spring cleaning.

  1. Anki. I haven’t used it in a while since I started studying both C and J on Duolingo (which is a sort of SRS in its own way), but I really feel I need to go back to it. I have way too many decks and a lot of cards that I don’t use/review anymore. Time to clean things up drastically, and also to read the complete manual once and for all as by talking with Inhae I discovered I’m missing out on a lot of cool features.
  2. My stationery/Language Learning basket. I bought a rectangular white-with-black-stars stationery basket on Amazon back in February to keep my notebooks, planners, pens etc organised. It has worked fine for a while, but as it often happens it has recently evolved into a messy den in which i just dump everything I might need to use soon. Time to clean it up but also to re-evaluate what I need to use and what not, which brings me to the next point.
  3. Studying and planning workflow. I’m always on the lookput for better, quicker and simpler ways to do things, so I want to review both resources and processes and have a better system in place.
  4. Stationery boxes. I have a lot of stuff, too much really, and I definitely don’t need everything right now. I keep switching between some notepads and pens, but a lot of other stuff can honestly be just stored away.
  5. Bathroom hanging organiser. I take my skincare and shower routine very seriously, not just as a conscious effort to keep my skin clean and clear, but also as an act of kindness towards myself (it’s one of my favourite self-pampering moments). I want to re-organise the content of my pouches and declutter them from everything I see I don’t really use for a better and more satisfactory skincare experience.
  6. Closet. I’m leaving a huge clothes review and declutter session for when I’ll be in Edinburgh, since I still have to figure out how the weather is going to be there (though I doubt things will be much different from here). Still, there are a few worn-out clothes and shoes which I know I can’t keep anymore and that I definitely don’t want to pack and bring with me in my new house. So, yes. Another thing to do.

I also want to seriously start selling some of my stuff online. I have quite a few things that don’t really fit my lifestyle or that I simply don’t use anymore – but as I’m also worried and concerned about waste production and environmental issue (some of them are also pretty new), I’d rather not throw them away. Any suggestions on which platforms are best to sell stuff in the Uk would be highly appreciated 😁

I still have a huge decluttering project that I need to tackle: the review of my digital space. Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, Mega, external hard disks – they’re just a huge huge huge mess and I don’t even recall what I’ve stored where exactly. This is definitely not something that I can manage in one sitting so I’ll probably leave it to a less hectic moment in the future. In the meantime, I’ve completed a big cleaning of my macbook and I’m also progressively clearing my iPhone of all photos (I prefer online storage and backup for those).

Short trip down memory lane

In late March 2009 I made two discoveries destined to change my life forever: I started following a personal blog written by a woman who was passionate about Japan and Japanese, and I entered a manga shop for the very first time.

I wasn’t new to 漫画 as a thing (I’d been actively following the MTV Anime Night for a few years already, and back in high school I had a classmate who would lend me many of the manga she bought), but it was the first time I was solemnly committing to it.

This was pre- language learning, pre- scholarship for studying in Japan, pre- Chinese, pre- social media and, well, pretty much pre- anything else.

But it was spring, and it was warm and sunny, and I’ll never forget the feelings of those days.

That’s why for me spring is an always will be my golden season of language learning. It all started then, and has remained ever since.

In these 9 years, superfluous to say, I’ve become a very different person from what I was back then. I don’t read manga or watch anime that often anymore (I don’t even remember when was the last time I did either of those things tbh), and my overall approach to Japan and East Asia in general has changed deeply.

Still, I’m happy to say that with everything that has happened and changed in my life in all these years, somehow I’ve managed to remain true to myself by not letting go of what was truly important to me: Japanese, language learning, Asian cultures and languages in general.

So when I feel disappointed at myself for not having chased some of my dreams until the end, I can actually re-read this post and remind myself that I didn’t betray the real dream, and that I’m still fighting for it. Every single day.

 

Hello again

It’s been a while – more than I wanted, as usual – but I’m back more or less. I’m dealing with some life stuff at the moment, nothing life-threatening of course but stress-inducing and annoying nonetheless. Let’s say that I have a few months of hustle and bustle ahead, and this will inevitably impact my study commitment as well as my presence on the blog (and my mental health… that’s for sure -.-).

I have a couple of longer posts that I’ve been willing to write for a while now, but I guess they’ll have to keep waiting. I don’t have the mental energy to engage in bigger undertakings right now, and I’d rather spend my spare time studying Chinese (or Japanese!), if I have to be honest.

Plus we just had the best springy (and probably warmest) week of the entire year and now we’re back to kind of winter so I definitely need some time to cope with that.

I think I’ll focus on shorter and more regular study updates for a while. Oh, and I’ve also been pretty active on Instagram lately, in case anyone is interested.

My approach towards pretty much everything right now is less talk, more action (though in my case ‘less plan more action’ would probably be more appropriate). Like, how long I have been thinking about starting studying Japanese again? If I’d used the time I talked or even thought about that for actually studying I’d be fluent by now. So I stopped talking about that, and started studying Japanese again for real.

On Duolingo, which kind of sucks, ok, but we all know that getting started is always the hardest part. Chi ben comincia è a metà dell’opera.

 

On totally random news – I finished two fruit infusions last week (thanks goodness, one was Whittard’s Toffee Apple and I truly hated that) and started three new teas in the last two days. I also finished reading two books last week and I’m about to finish another one, I decluttered part of my wardrobe and defrosted the fridge, started watching Twin Peaks season 3 with the plus one and finished up a couple of skincare products.

Keeping active and getting things done prevents me from freaking out too much.

Speaking on tv series, I’m on episode 11 of Strong Girl Do Bong-soon (and, honestly, I’m getting bored), while today I watched the first episode of a new Korean drama produced by Netflix (this) and I loved it! Would this be The One Drama for 2018? It’s definitely too early to say, but I got a really good feeling from it 🙂

 

Listening to: Amarante – Don’t Look Back
Drinking: Peach Dream Tea