2016 Life Lessons

I was inspired to write this thanks to a fellow blogger, and I thought now was a good time to let this one out.

We all admit that 2016 has been a rough year for all of us, and it was a rough year for me personally as well.

We lost a lot of good people, the US elected a monster for their new president, and well yeah you get it.

I feel like 2016 has taught me a lot of important things that I will carry on for the rest of my life. We never stop learning as we move forward. It doesn’t just happen in the classroom or the workplace. Some of these things I have learned from my parents, or I learned them myself through trial and error.

Do I regret some of the choices I’ve made this year? Sure, there are plenty but lessons can only be learned through mistakes right?

Preach it Frollo 💗

Alright, so what have I learned this year? Let’s get to it!

1. Failure is part of success

As much as I hate it that things can go wrong, I have to remember that failure happens to all of us; it’s part of life and it’s part of the road to success. It can bring us down for a bit, it can make us feel miserable and worthless, but in the end the outcome is what motivates us to try harder. I’m the type of person who doesn’t give up as easily as anyone might think. I’m not willing to let a disadvantage I may have stop me from reaching something.

Sometimes people might fail to see the potential in me and put up this barrier that is difficult to break down. But no matter how hard you try, you keep going until you bypass it.

I may not be super famous for this blog, but that doesn’t stop me from writing. I’ve published articles and have had hopes that they would explode, but in some cases they never did. Sometimes something I write goes well, and sometimes not so much but I never give up regardless.
Same thing applies to my schooling, I’ve faced a lot of obstacles in my current program but I’ve been able to overcome them and I want to get past all of them to finally get my diploma. I’ve had the unfortunate encounter with a few failures in school this year. Did I cry over them? Yes. Did I talk to someone? Yes. Did I eventually buck up, accept it and try harder to overcome it? Yes. Sometimes you will fail a few times before you finally get something right, and if there’s one thing 2016 has taught me when it comes to my life goals; it’s that failure happens to all of us, but motivates us to work harder and persevere.

2. Don’t stir the pot or stir it back when someone starts to stir it with you

I have got into arguments before, whether I initiated them myself, or the other way around. But in the end, I have to ask myself: is it really worth the time doing this?

While some people might say it’s entertaining or they have to get their voice out there, for me personally, I don’t handle this stuff the right way. So, the result is I zip it.

I used to always question people like, why are you trying to pick a fight with me? Whenever my Internet addiction was high at the time, like I’d leave a comment on a video I like and someone leaves a really dumb reply I just look like this:

But other than that, I find myself in a situation of conflict when someone tries to mess with me. I feel like the immediate response is to attack them back, but that’s what they WANT me to do! The solution? Read it over a few times, and ask yourself “is it really worth answering this person no matter how mighty or dumb they may appear?”, then act the different way: block, mute, delete your comment or just ignore them and move on.
The other issue is I may see something I don’t like and be tempted to start something with them. For example, Kat Von D posted this picture of some guy with X’s tattooed all over his body to indicate how many animals are slaughtered per second for meat. Typical vegan posts *sigh*, I was extremely tempted to lash out as an omnivore that it was fucking ridiculous. I wanted to not only say that that would NEVER dissuade me from eating beef, but also state that ecosystems, microorganisms and little animals are killed to harvest wheat and veggies. I also wanted to say I was sick and tired of her shoving her veganism down our throats. It’s really hard for me to like her style and makeup line when she keeps this up. 
Because of that, I don’t think I’ll ever buy from her cosmetic line; I know I’ve said I shouldn’t let opposing views prevent me from enjoying something, but this isn’t the case, she’s not just preaching it, she’s practically shoving it down our throats dropping hints that we should go vegan or consider it. If someone is doing that, that’s not okay. No vegans tried to pick a fight with me when I said that that picture would not dissuade me from enjoying a good hunk of meat or eggs, or when I said I felt like she didn’t respect people who choose not to go vegan, but still, if that happened you know what starts from that. There are lots of vegan brands, but at least their founders don’t constantly rub it in.
Another time I got mad at someone just for saying they were tired of all the Star Wars hype when The Force Awakens came out. Boy did I get a truckload of irritable people coming my way for that! Well, that’s another lesson learned, I have to ignore these things because all it does is upset people more. Everyone gets upset, they cut ties, they start a flame war. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and what I have to learn is that there’s absolutely no need to stir the pot if someone disagrees; no matter how extremely they express it.
Finally there was a time I openly expressed my hatred for the Fifty Shades trilogy because of its misrepresentation of BDSM and glamorization of abuse. I was attacked by a couple of fans and one idiot who had Donald Trump in his profile picture decided to make his insults personal. I blocked him so fast he never had the time to brag.
But the lesson here is also: When you put your opinion out there, be prepared for what is coming for you if it stands out.
I still believe in freedom of speech, but since I sometimes am prone to make a rash decision in dealing with those responses, that is why I prefer to express it here where I moderate all the comments and delete/block anyone who decides to insult me if they disagree. I also like to talk to someone about it in person since you’re more likely to be honest and if people think they are so high and mighty on their strong beliefs, they should say it to my face. If all else may not work out, I keep it to myself. The Internet has no rules on what you can say, so if you’re the type of person who’s sensitive to what others might say in response to your views, or your response to someone else’s, it’s best to keep it to a minimum on sites that are not your own.
Frankly, arguing online is something I’d rather not do again. So, if I see something I strongly disagree with, best thing to do is either keep my mouth shut, or say respectfully what my view is. If someone tries to stir the pot with me no matter the situation, best thing to do is not respond or cut them off.

3. Classic stories are the best and deserve to be passed on to the next generation

There are so many stories being told through books, movies, video games, you name it. However, there are ones that will stay with us forever and those will always be the classics.

This year I was broadening my horizons in the Disney universe and also feeding my nostalgia. I have found that these are stories that will stay with me for a lifetime, no matter when I was exposed to them.

I haven’t forgotten about the dream I had earlier this year that brought me back to how much I loved Mulan as a child. Then I watched the movie, and eventually with a little help (and torture) from my good friend +Ben Van Riper I began writing The Warlord’s Prize which starred Shan Yu, my favourite villain from the movie who played a role in my childhood that was bigger than I anticipated.

While I fed my nostalgia, I was also discovering other classic stories through Disney and books. At the beginning of summer I finally pushed myself to check out The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and fell in love with the characters and the moral behind the story. I’ll admit the classic stories I love the most (whether Disney makes their own versions or not); have always been ones where individuals who are different than others end up proving themselves, like Quasimodo and Dumbo, and those who defy gender roles like Mulan. (remind me to write about that in the future) When I came to love The Hunchback of Notre Dame, I eventually started reading the original novel and something tells me that this book will be one of those I’ll read multiple times, just like I have with Charlotte’s Web. 

Funny is that Charlotte’s Web I have read it multiple times growing up and have seen both film adaptations. I haven’t read the book in years, but there’s no way I could give that book away.
There are also a few other notable classic stories I have been exposed to in recent years such as Gone with the Wind. My mom and I watched the movie one night, and now I feel like it’s become the most watched classic historical movie I’ve watched. Not long after, she got me the book and I binge read it while in Cuba.
By the time I finished the book, I came to the conclusion that Scarlett was a total bitch, even worse than she was in the movie!
Nevertheless, I should hold on to these memories of these stories whether they are new to me, or part of my childhood, because frankly, I don’t think there’s anything recent that could replace them. Not even if Hollywood tried to remake them. Cherish these memories and don’t forget to relive them from time to time. In fact, there’s a couple of Disney movies I should watch again sometime, Dumbo being one of them as I mentioned earlier.

4. It’s never too late to discover your feminine side

2016 was the year for me to branch out and discover new areas of being a woman. When I was a little girl, I loved to play with dolls and often kept my “unusual” interests a secret. The ones included that would be considered “boyish” by society back in the day. Once I got to high school, I start to express my hidden nerdy side and turned to heavy metal. But, as I got older, I found that I don’t need to always look a certain way to express my love for things such as the music I listen to, or the fantasy and sci-fi characters that make me swoon.

I can have multiple interests and show them in any way. As of this year, I don’t know but somehow in the fall I wanted to explore my girlie side a little. Perhaps it was time to let that part of me branch out a little more. I tagged along with my mom to makeup stores, began learning new things, got beauty tips, and have gradually got better at doing my makeup.

well, I don’t do it like that!

I have a whole shelf of makeup on my vanity dresser, and thanks to that cupboard I got to store my jewelry, I was able to clear some space to sit at that dresser with my new makeup mirror to do my beauty routine. I try not to spend too much money on makeup, especially at Sephora, but it’s very easy to cave in to the products, deals, limited edition sets, etc.

For a long time I felt like my girlie side went into hiding by the time I was a teenager and didn’t return to me and expand by the time I was old enough to realize that I don’t need to label myself as something based on what I enjoy. You could say I’ve broadened my horizons a little.

5. Try before you buy!

I’m an avid shopper, but I feel like I’ve made this mistake so many times this year. Depending on what you spend your money on, it’s always good to see if there’s a way to try it before you pull out your wallet. Of course, this isn’t possible when you shop online, but still. In September I was guilty of buying a bunch of lipsticks online from Sephora, probably because I didn’t know what I wanted, and I was too busy and lazy to take the bus up to where the store was. The result, most of those products didn’t work out for me. Now that’s why I always buy stuff there at the store so I can swatch first. The last thing you want, is to buy a bunch of things online, realize it wasn’t what you thought it was, and have to return it right.

I have had this happen before, and it’s most likely it will happen again; however, at least I know now to be more careful.

6. Never rush with leisure projects

2016 was also a time where I decided to try making something new, and that was when I made some 3D printed jewelry for myself out of the inspiration from others and characters that I loved.

You can put in a lot of time and effort to create these things, but the most important thing with making something is: don’t rush.

I know it’s seems tempting to finish quickly so you can have the creation in your hands and share it with the world, but if you rush, you’ve going to end up making a mistake and have to start over again. When I designed Frollo’s rings on Wizegem, I was so desperate that I didn’t do two of them in the correct sizes for my index fingers. So, when I finally had them, they didn’t fit resulting in me having to measure my size again, adjust the rings on the software and print them again. 
Same thing happened when I was working on multiple projects at once on Wattpad. One time I would feel like updating one, another time I’d feel like updating another. I found myself with so many demands to update each of them, that I felt like I was rushing to finish one chapter so I could write another for another story. The results were that I ended up making more errors, repeating words, and over all, losing motivation. That is why I decided to delete my stories that I was multitasking on, and start from scratch, working on one story at a time at my own pace to ensure I was happy with what I wrote before publishing. It turns out I was happy with what I wrote by the time I hit the publish button, even if I read it over and had to go back and correct a few errors AFTER publishing.
Whatever it is you’re making, whether it’s a cosplay, drawing, or something you’re writing, take your time with it for the best results. During the summer, I was publishing chapters of The Warlord’s Prize almost weekly, but I would send it to Ben for editing and not put it up until finalized. The results are that that story has been getting a lot of attention than I’m used to. Perhaps it’s due to the development I’ve given it. I plan to at least finish another chapter before I go back to school. I have been taking my time with it, but the only time I take very extensive breaks is when I have other commitments. Whenever I sit down to work on it, I want to feel ready to give it everything I’ve got.
7. Don’t worry about what other people do with their lives

The truth is I’m still in progress of learning how to do this. But I can’t help but worry for some of my friends on where their lives are going. I am in college taking a diploma program preparing to go into a high-demanding career, whereas some of my friends are working minimum wage, and some of them are not working at all. I feel like there should be something that I could do. But I’m not everyone’s mother.
But when I see my friends doing what they’re doing, sometimes I can’t help but wonder that they deserve more. Imagine this scenario: 5 years later let’s just say I’m a registered pharmacy technician working full-time at whatever place, I make a good income, I have my own apartment, I pay my bills on time and I blog, write and do my usual nerdy/music stuff on my spare time. But, some of my friends are still working minimum wage or aren’t working and still living with their parents. 
If it got to a point like that, I’d want to help them in a way, ask them what I can do for them without them relying on me completely. I know it’s important to be generous to others, but at the same time you can’t forget to take care of yourself. If my friends tell me that they’re happy with the way their lives are, no matter how worried I get: That’s when I should step away and stop worrying about what they do with their lives, and I hope that come 2017, I can do that with ease.
8. I have weird tastes, but I’m not afraid to share them

Why else did I start this blog in the first place? It wasn’t just for finding what I was meant to do on the Internet, but I wanted to have a place on there where everything was my own content; no restrictions, my own choices, and best of all; I control what I can see. I started social networking to connect with friends and meet more people. Ever since then I wanted to have my own place on the Internet and this is where it is.
I’m not afraid to share the things I love, no matter how unusual they are. There are many different things out there that appeal to a certain group of people like certain bands, movies, etc. But, if we were to be even more specific about what my different tastes are ……that’s when things may be seen as unusual.
How many people do you know who are smitten over fictional characters who have been locked in Cryptums for centuries or are religious zealots? How many people do you know who love little parts of one big thing and know a lot about it? How many people do you know who have strange dreams and use their vivid imagination to rewrite them on a place like this?
I’m not afraid to share parts of me that are even more uncommon than the others, if people think that’s interesting, then it’s a bonus. I don’t care what other people think, I’m proud to be weird and let me tell you something: I may have said this before but I think we’re all weird, there’s bound to be something(s) that make us be seen as weird by others. Instead of trying to stop it, we should accept it, it’s a part of who we are. I’ve accepted my vivid imagination and my uncommon taste in fictional characters. These are part of me that make me unique and I’m proud to admit it.
Some bands I love have written songs that have hidden messages about celebrating people who are different like Freak by KISS is about how you don’t care about what other people think about you in what you do, how you dress, etc. Sometimes I even think I Luv Ugly by Lordi has a hidden message on being different; especially when it comes to my fictional crushes regarding the most unusual ones like their appearances: the Didact, Chaor, Shan Yu and Frollo most notably. But nonetheless, I’m not afraid to be myself here, even if it involves sharing the most outcast things about myself. I’ve always been reluctant in the past to share them because I’m afraid of what others will think, well not anymore, I don’t care. No matter how different it is, I’m not going to hide it because what’s the most important thing is that I enjoy it.

And those are the things I’ve learned this year and to here’s hoping that when 2017 comes, it will be a better year for everyone and perhaps there will be more things for me to learn and discover.


2 thoughts on “2016 Life Lessons”

  1. Aw, I'm so glad you wrote this! I especially love the whole embracing of your own weirdness, because I genuinely think everyone is weird in their own way and we should all just accept ourselves for it, rather than ever trying to hide parts of our persona that we think might not be as socially acceptable as others.Plus, oh my goodness, as much as I love Dumbo, I can't watch it. The scene where his mum hugs him through the bars of her cage? BREAKS ME.


  2. Thanks! 🙂 yeah I pretty much gave up trying to cover everything up about me that was unusual by the time I got in high school. Unfortunately that resulted in being bullied but I thrived nonetheless. Society would be so much better if everyone just accepted what they have in life that makes them weird.I feel you, as cute of a movie that Dumbo is…it's a very sad movie too. I haven't watched it in years, but if I watched right now, I'd probably get very emotional over that scene too.


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