2014: a year in review

Man what a year. WHAT. A. YEAR. Nothing happened and I was tired.

Alright, let me rephrase that into different sections, because actually? A lot happened in 2014.

Are you ready? Then let`s go.

My life
In 2014, I realised how many toxic people I had around me – and cut them out of my life. I found out people had been manipulating me and the people around me, I realised they`d made me dependent on them, that I had very little of my own identity left and was just constantly trying to please these others. I was becoming an empty copy of them, in a way.

I started realising this when I moved back to my parents because I ran out of money after my part-time job didn`t have anything left for me to do and couldn`t schedule any hours for me for the next 1,5 month at least. I couldn`t pay my rent anymore, and moved back. I have been completely unemployed ever since. And as soon as I came back, I had regular meltdowns, I just crashed. It scared my parents – and myself – quite a bit.

Lately, I am starting to notice some progress though. I have a slightly better sense of who I am and what I do or don`t want/like. I still have that problem of trying to please people and having difficulty actually talking to people about my problems, but I am working on it. I`ve had less panic attacks and less suicidal thoughts, too, though they haven`t gone completely.

My blog/YouTube
I`m so proud of this little blog. It`s grown quite a bit! I don`t know the exact numbers I started with in January, but I do know I hit 100 followers earlier this year and am currently at 165. My average views per day has doubled compared to last year, and I can usually count on 2 or 3 likes for every post within the first couple of hours. I know all of this doesn`t sound like much to most people, but for me? Seeing the actual, steady growth, no matter how small, is something I`m tremendously proud of.

As for YouTube, well. I quit for a while. It wasn`t going anywhere, I wasn`t happy with what I was making, so I quit. And then I came back after a couple of months because I still like this silly little world.

I`ve also realised I really like editing – I love seeing how all these loose bits and pieces, all those separate clips and audio and music can get combined and cut into a coherent whole.

I`m hoping to focus a bit more on books and positive things next year on YouTube, though a large part of my channel has always been to be frank and honest about mental illness and my own depression, and that will continue into the next year. But also books, a bookshelf tour, diversity tag, you name it. (Please do, I could use ideas.)

Life-things in general
This has been such a messy year. Bear with me.

Feminism has definitely gone mainstream now, which is something I`m very happy about. Whether or not you think Emma Watson`s speech for the UN was actually feminist doesn`t matter: it made people talk about the subject, it got people interested, it`s a good stepping stone to learning more about it.

There is more attention for trans people and gender identity. This movement has miles to go still, but look at this amazing feat:

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Congratulations to the amazing Laverne Cox for being the first trans woman on TIME magazine`s cover!

It`s been a good year in general for standing up for your rights, mostly your right to stay alive and not get killed for, you know, existing. You`d think that`s an obvious thing, but apparently we live in an actual dystopia. I`ve watched the protests in the US spread out from Ferguson, I watched the protests in Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand. There have been some protests in the Netherlands too, especially after someone got hit by a car and died, and the driver got off with a task-based punishment instead of years of imprisonment. Plus of course the protests against the inherent racism of Black Pete during our Sinterklaas festivities.

Let`s not forget one of my favourite things of the year though, one big classy `fuck you` to oppression, bullying, the gender binary and gender norms:

And let`s especially not forget the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize:
££-Malala-Yousafzai

It`s been the year of hashtags. #blacklivesmatter. #translivesmatter. #yesallwomen. #heforshe.  It`s been the year of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and general awareness for more different causes.

The world has also lost a lot: 3 planes filled with passengers, two of them from Malaysia Airlines who have had a really rotten year, and the most recent one having seemingly crashed near Indonesia. We lost Robin Williams, one of my childhood examples, and Maya Angelou, an example to everyone in the world. We lost a lot of people to Ebola, and a whole lot more to tons of other diseases.

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I`m not even going to talk about the absolute horror that was the Sochi winter Olympics. Or Russia`s other atrocities. Just. I`m not even going to go there. Other things I`m going to ignore because they make me seethe with rage are: the Sony Hack (and especially The Interview), North Korea, the US gun policy. In fact, you know what? Wired has already made a nice summary of all the dystopian horrors that went on this year.

Media (of the good kind)
Media-wise, there have been a couple of things that really stood out for me this year that I think deserve a special mention. These aren`t necessarily things that have been released in 2014, but just things I read/watched in 2014 that I feel a need to spread the love for:

First up is Captain America: Winter Soldier, which is hands down the best superhero movie I have seen this year, if not ever. I still can`t think about Bucky and what has happened to him without getting a pang of sorrow in my stomach. But combined with the social commentary? So, so good.

Second is Snowpiercer, another Chris Evans movie, yes. But also one of the most original and creative movies I have seen this year. It was riveting, unexpected, diverse, dark and gruelling, and I loved it.

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One more movie that I adore, is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring and directed by Ben Stiller who did a marvellous job. As someone who spends a lot of time daydreaming, this movie hit home. Sure, it`s completely out-there and somewhat ridiculous and unrealistic, but it`s also gorgeous both in storyline and cinematography. I have rewatched it before and I will undoubtedly rewatch it again.

As for books, well, you can read my post from yesterday, but to make it way shorter: I loved every single Patrick Ness book I`ve read. All of them. And I recommend them all to everyone. I also really loved The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which definitely ranks with my favourite ever books from now on.

And finally, the little show that could: In The Flesh.

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I have talked about this show before and I will talk about it again. This show is depressing, yes, but it is such an original and interesting take on the zombie genre while tackling so many important societal issues at the same time. And if anyone wants to know what life can be like for me, just watch this show. I identify with Kieren ridiculously much. This is also the show that has given me new groups of people to hang out with online, this is the little show that has such a dedicated fanbase we made it the winner of the Radio Times TV Awards, winning over shows the likes of Sherlock, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and Orphan Black.

Better resolutions
2014 has been a wild ride, both personally and world-wide. I, for one, am glad it`s over.

“So what are you doing in 2015? Any resolutions?”

I`ve been thinking about resolutions. I`ve tried doing them before, and failed. I`ve tried NOT doing them, and somehow still failed. So I made a list of things I`d like to work on in 2015 but won`t force myself through. Just more of a guideline, really. Some of these I`ve started early, some of these I might still not start this year. I`ll have to wait and see what`s realistically possible for me.

  • get better posture
  • get money (preferably through a job, though I`m open to winning the lottery)
  • put more effort in my writing (which I`m already working on)
  • put more effort in video making
  • move more: get up every hear for 5 to 10 minutes and just, move
  • read more diversely: read at least one book from every continent

So, what does everyone else here think of 2014? Did you even make it to the end of this blogpost? (If you did, leave “lemon sorbet” in the comments) Do you have resolutions for 2015? Let me know.

I`ll see you guys in 2015, stay safe, and take care ❤

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