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Welcome to my blog!

If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
For sponsorship, collaborations and engagements: arisa1443@gmail.com

Dear 2020 self

Can't believe i'm actually writing this down early for once because as far as my memory serves me i tend to do all my posts pretty last minute, in particular yearly reflection ones lol.  Anyway, was in the mood so might as well make full use of it before i hit another writer's block and this will just end up on my never ending list of drafts a.k.a the limbo of articles. And you know what they say, once you are in limbo, there's no getting out of it anytime soon or maybe ever 😂

Edit: I procrastinated in the end HAHA. Classic Me.

I'm writing this down today because it's something i want to look back to a couple years down the line, to see how far i've come and maybe get a good laugh out of it lol, who knows?

Whoever you are reading this, before you roll your eyes and say "ugh another 2020 you suck post & self pity essay" *close tab*, screw you for judging my post prematurely 😂 kidding!

2020 was the year the world sorta "slowed down", in a way i found it beneficial on my end because
i remember how i used to be constantly out of breath, always chasing after God knows what and trying to be a kiasu overachiever just so i can boast that i had a productive year, etc. 
I know what it's like to be constantly burnt out and i always saw it as a sign of weakness. But in reality, it's my mind's way of signaling that i need to take things slow before i damage myself further. Obviously i never listened because i was too busy trying to catch up with the fast paced world and earlier this year we were forced to stop, take a step back and reflect on our priorities (alot of us lost our jobs so definitely have alot of free time to think lah). 

I found out alot of things that was wrong in my life which i've totally ignored all the trigger warning signs the entire time (sometimes being oblivious isn't bliss in certain situations). It was a real slap in the face which took me awhile to recover from but i'm grateful for the lessons learnt nonetheless. For that i would like to give myself a pat on the back, instead of letting these trifle matters affect me, i chose to walk away. My 20 year old self would say everything is worth fighting for but my current self knows when to pick our battles. Trust me, there are other things in life worth focusing your energy on, for example your personal growth. 

Another thing i realised, that i was half assing my self care all this while, that's why things never got better. I'm not going to lie and say that i got it sorted out, it's still a work in progess and with every step forward there's bound to be two steps backwards somewhere. We'll slowly get there someday. 

When you lay all these things out on a paper, it gives you a better view and understanding about your situation. Often we get people saying they don't know where to start because everything seems to jumbled up, my advise would be- start by writing a list. 

So here is my listof things i did to "improve" myself for 2020.  

1. Cutting Ties

2020 has literally shown me how ugly and childish some humans can be on the inside, they wear this facade called "friends" for years, only to turn their backs on you. They hang around only when they need favours and when you have nothing more to give, that's when you'll see their true nature revealed. 
I've cut ties with not only 1 but 3 in total and all of them are in their late 30s lol, the baffling similarities here got me wondering if people these age group going through some life crisis issues that they need to take it out on someone younger like me wtf. Get yourself together man, don't go lashing it out on others if you are unsatisfied with your life. It's pretty pathethic honestly. 

And yes, you'll feel hurt at first wondering what you did wrong for them to suddenly turn into a bunch of assholes, but then you realised the problem isn't you; It's them. Like i always say, once an asshole ALWAYS an asshole lol. You can hide as much as you want and build whatever fake image/ persona to get people to like you but how long can a person keep that up before it slips? 

So dry those tears, move on with life and the best way to do it to literally imagine them dead in your life. CLT, ALT, Delete. Free up that storage space :)
Don't waste your tears, time and effort on fake people, focus on other things that matters. 

My 2 decades ago self would be so proud of me right now lol. 

2. Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

For as long as i can remember, i'm a creature of habit because having created my "safe zone", it allows me to get through the day without getting an anxiety attack. Like how i can eat the same kind of food everything for years without changing (i'm kinda on an extreme level lol) but it's not always done intentionally, more like subconcious actions? 

And having to leave that safe zone of mine in Malaysia, i did struggle a fair amount trying to adapt to my new life in Japan and after almost 3 years, and average person would already got things figured out; Established a daily routine, make friends, etc. Me? Not going to lie, still struggling.

The day i left home, whatever i knew my entire life and purpose somehow got left behind as well. You could say what i felt was a sense of helplessness (?), and i somehow kinda get that poor headless chicken's situation- Long story short, i saw my late grandfather slaughtering a chicken one morning when i was young and after chopping its neck, the chicken ran lose with its head hanging halfway before it hit the well and dropped dead. And that scene has stuck on to me ever since.

Ironically, my life feels exactly like that poor chicken lol. 

But this year, i did pushed myself abit more because it's about time i stop making excuses for my lack of effort and i'm glad to annouce that i did make some progress.
Though i understand Japanese, i often rely on the danna to get things done for/with me (when he is free) because i'm scared that i might make mistakes when i speak/ write. I know it's okay to ask for help, but there are times we get too comfortable relying on others that we forget how to stand on our own two feet. Not only me, alot of us other there needs this reminder. 

I've upgraded to being able to handle most stuff on my own in Japan *pops confetti*
Alot of memorable "firsts" too, like being able to go to the hospital on my own without needing the danna to help out (seriously i find medical terms hard to remember), bringing lil penguin to the paeds alone, making my own reservations, doing part-time jobs outside, and best of all traveling without the danna. Just me and lil penguin on the road and it was actually easier than i expected because i realised it wasn't the language barrier issue that held me back all this while. It was my mind trapping me in, preventing me from stepping out of my comfort zone.
Now that "fear" out of the way, i do hope to progress more for 2021. 

3. Acknowledging Failure/ Mistakes

Gotta admit this is the hardest to swallow, maybe it's because the way i was raised? Lol #AsianParenting101
All my life i've always felt like a complete failure anyway so doesn't really change anything right? Wrong! The reason why this vicious cycle exists within us is because we don't acknoweldge the problem, instead we sweep it under the rug and forget that it ever existed; only for it to come back an haunt us every waking moment. So once you have made peace with whatever failures you have in life, then only you'll feel liberated from it and you'll find the courage to start something new. 

This was one of the problems that held me back for years, the fear of "failing" hence whenever it's something that requires "commitment", my first instict is to withdraw back into my shell.  
I have literal zero confidence in my existence that whatever i do, will only get backlashed with self-doubt. It might not seem like I'm struggling because everyone somehow gets the notion that i'm a super confident person but in reality i'm not lol. 

I've slowly stopped trying to beat myself up every time i've made a mistake, whether it's in my relationship or work. Instead, i'll tell myself to get up and try again as long i'm still breathing.
We learn from our mistakes and without them, we'll never grow forward. So failure isn't an enemy, It's  how society has conditioned us to perceive it as such when in fact, it can be used as a motivation tool instead. The biggest enemy you should look out for is "doubt" *cues in lady Gaga's 911* lol

4. Explore Opportunities

This one is closely related to. No.2 and No.3 on this list, lol. After being able to slowly come out from my safe space, i finally had the courage to try out new things.
Alot of us lost jobs and whatnot when the outbreak started, forcing us to be confined to our homes and for me who was mostly working in tourism field (contract based job has no stability, we are usually the first to go when sh*t hits the ceiling); i had nothing but project cancellations, one after the other. And if they weren't cancelled, they were stolen from me right under my nose. It's a shitty way to lose a job and i'm not going to lie that i spent the first 6 months pissed and anxious about my financials, but i always believed when one door shuts, another will open sometime later. We just have to persevere and continue to work harder, sooner or later our work will get the recognition it deserves. 

After i had enough of being bitter (remember, you are allowed to feel and go through whatever emotions but the most important step is what are you going to do right after) i started roughly planning things, sold off my stuff to keep myself afloat for abit and from having almost no source of income for more than half a year, things started to look up because i pushed myself to find such opportunities.
From hustling my personal shopper business on the side, to sewing day and night with tons of other random odd jobs along the way. I pushed myself to try things that i was so scared to try in the first place and now i asked myself, why didn't i do it sooner? 

I've also just recently invested into another small venture, so we'll see what 2021 has in store for us. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one as it has been on my "to try" list for more than a decade now, so i think it's about time i took action and see where this goes. How terrifyingly exciting (it's intended lol). 

5. Being Consistent 

Not sure if it's the ADHD problem that's preventing me from focusing but whatever it is, i know myself and how short my attention span can be when it comes to doing things of interest. Therefore before i jump and do anything impulsive, I try very hard to hold myself back with logic or plainly just talk myself out of it. Over the years i've done many things i've regretted because in less than a week or month i'll just lose interest of whatever i'm doing and it's back to square zero. Being a overly compulsive is never a good thing, like ever. 

Like how earlier this year i NEARLY bought myself a nintendo switch for Animal Crossing before it got sold out, i tried out the phone game for like a month or so and basically lost interest in it lol, so thank god i didn't spend 1k to buy that game console haha, can imagine it collecting dust liao at this rate.  

Instead i shifted my focused to things around me that i already have, i've been consistently concious about my purchases (whether it's a need or want- from there i map out & decide), about my plastic usage, about the food choices i make, household duties and so forth. Being consistent is actually harder than it looks, there are countless of times i found myself forgetting why am i doing this in the first place. 


To prevent potential triggers and breakdowns.

Like take household responsibilities for example, when there is too much mess and clutter a home, you get so overwelmed that you don't know where to start. It only frustrates you more instead of boosting your productivity; but if you were consistent with the organization from the start, you'll wouldn't be in this situation. 

It's honestly easier said than done because i've been there, done that. 

I've told myself to be consistent with my blogging so i won't have so many backlog drafts sitting in my folder rotting away, a years after years passed by not much has been done lol. And then i realised how much mess my entire life is without a schedule, then i realised the key component that I'm missing is "consistency". 

2020 has not taught me to be "positive" be happy 24/7 on the surface while the world is falling and burning to the ground (literally), it has taught me a greater lesson that that. It truly starts from within, you can 't fix the surface if the foundation itself is broken. 
I learned to live with my flaws, accepted that depression is always going to be apart of my life but most importantly, i still have the power to decide and choose what path i want to walk on from here. No one can take that right from me. Dear 2020 self, you have really fought hard for the past one year and i'm truly proud of you. 

There will be people who'll want to see you fail miserably and that's okay because they are nobody to begin with and not worth wasting our energy and effort to prove them anything. They don't deserve it.
Cuss the sh*t out of them, feel better and focus that energy on something more productive. 

Example: For every comment someone makes about your body size, save a dollar and by the end of the year you'll probably have enough to treat yourself to your favourite branded bag or a decent holiday to your dream country. 

That's one way to turn things around ;)
You do you and let those nutjobs dwell in their own delusional cesspit world lol. 

Hope this sharing of mine may motivate some of you reading this out there, even if it's just 1 person. 
Thank you guys for sticking around for 2020, i'm really grateful to every one of my readers for keeping this blog alive though there are hardly any updates these days. Hope to see you around in 2021, stay safe and Have a blessed Happy New Year!

Yours Truly,

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