"Keep calm and refill your lantern."
As another year draws to an end I feel like sitting down to reflect on recent events and the year in general. I normally type things under the annual "summary of art" meme that I post every year, but I feel like it's best to make this into a journal to save the poor art post all the negativity that is about to follow. This is not a happy post, so don't read if you don't want to hear sad things.
2016 hasn't been a good year. Let's just start with that. Artistically speaking it has been productive for me and I've grown as an artist and as a writer, and I count that among the few good things this year had to offer. Overall, however, the situation of the world has sauntered from one catastrophe to another, and I'm terrified of the future, more than ever before. It may not be saying much, seeing as I suffer from anxiety so I'm always terrified of something no matter what, but I'm sincerely worried that we are going to be facing very dark times in the coming years (and I hope that I'm wrong, I hope that I can laugh at my pessimism next year).
My own life has offered nearly nothing but challenges this year - I've been unemployed for more than a year and will soon be without income entirely (there is a limit to how long you're 'allowed' to be unemployed and after that time is up you are punished by cutting off financial support, because that'll help you find something for sure, according to the system's logic). I'd love to be able to move back to my native country, but cannot afford it thanks to being unemployed and not having the savings for it. My mother abandoned me this year thanks to my relationship and we have not communicated since spring. My anxiety has spiked to the point of giving me heart symptoms and preventing me from doing normal life things like answering emails or picking up the phone (if it feels like I take forever to answer to messages these days, this would be why, I swear I'm not doing it on purpose). I'm sad to admit that I have fallen even more ill after all the stress I've endured in the past years, and my physique has suffered from it a lot. I've been running around seeing doctors and visiting the hospital since February - I have no idea how much blood they've taken from me during the year, but I've gotten over my fear of blood tests simply due to overexposure, so I'd say it's been a lot.
Then there are the constant bad news pouring in from all sides. I'm not going to say the death of Carrie Fisher didn't impact me greatly. I still can't quite process it - it's a horrible end to a horrible year.
But there were good things, too. I have had and still have the support of my wonderful, loving fiancée, and we are looking for our own apartment at the moment. It feels good to have her by my side in these trying times.
And I've been able to keep up with my gym training pretty well and it has shown progress, which helps me manage my moods a little bit. I reconnected with an old friend after many years of not talking to each other and I've been really happy about being able to speak to her again. I've attended many conventions this year and met a lot of wonderful people who have encouraged me with my craft, and it has lightened my heart a lot. Seriously, positive feedback and encouragement has helped enormously, and I'm really thankful for all of it.
2016 has been one of the worst years of my life, but I know I've also grown as a person because of it and learned to accept help from others, so there is a silver lining. Here's hoping that 2017 will be better - to me, to you, to the world in general - so have a happy New Year despite everything. Other updates:
I changed accounts on Tumblr recently and started a new under a new username: auraboo.tumblr.com
I updated my dA gallery and remade my folders, discarding old ones and creating new ones! All folders now have new covers, and I've tried to arrange my work in a way that makes it easier to browse for all visitors. I also edited all the works in my gallery to contain updated IG/Tumblr links in the description.
Working on getting the annual summary of art posted in a day or two!
Things to do
* Upload a new chapter on Count the Daylight Hours every week between Monday and Friday
* work on my new artbook