Milestones, Turning Points, and Activity Updates – December 2018 + 2018 in Review

I’ll be honest: 2018 felt like a long year for me, and I realized that as I looked back at all the MTPAU posts I made for the past months of that year. Updates have been less frequent, and I hadn’t posted anything else during February. Still, it’s not like nothing good came out of all of that, so yeah, praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much because of that, then.

And speaking of good stuff, I should continue counting my blessings, and perhaps this sort of post can be quite a good way to do better~

But first, I’d like to get December 2018’s list of posts out of the way:

Now, back to what I was going to talk more about: blessings. I think I’ve said something like this before in my Christmas reflection this year, but anyway, blessings are stuff to count more than lack, and of course, it’s more difficult to do than counting zero and repeating zero over and over and over. I mean, really, think about the difficulty of going “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten” and so on compared to just saying “Zero” over and over and over again. Zero counting’s too easy for me, and I’ve been getting bored of it, though at the same time, it becomes tempting when the difficulty in counting gets higher and higher.

Zero counting becomes particularly tempting, though, when I try to count how many blessings I alone have brought upon myself:

Zero
Get it?

Now, as much as it can be real nice to feel like I can sing Drake’s “All Me” with confidence, that is something I can only achieve by lying to myself. Okay, so what does that leave me with? Self-deprecation like we usually do these days, especially online? What does that make all my growth, then? And what does that make all your growth? Social constructs created by the lying minds and hearts of humanity? If so, then why the freaking nuts are we still here, then?

Thus, I find myself seeing more and more sense in giving praise and thanks to God Almighty very much every single day. Oh, and I’m now an officially committed member of my university’s Christ’s Youth in Action. I’m quite surprised by how fast it took for me to get there, really…and I thought I was being lazy the whole time, going to all those gatherings because I felt the pressures of free time and parental guidance! God Almighty has been blessing a fool, indeed! Then again, Saint Paul already had a written note about that before in 1 Corinthians 4:10, so yeah, way ahead of me in the discovery there, yo…and that’s not even the first time it’s been proven that God’s been blessing fools.

And I could just refuse all those blessings and say “God, please let me prove myself by myself alone,” but as I have learned so many times before, that is simply an exercise in futility, for I’d be like the dumb preachers in Flannery O’Connor’s fiction pieces if I insist on doing that. Well, that, and God Almighty loves us as much as we ask Him to, and we can only prove ourselves when God lets us. Really, where does all the goodness in the universe come from, anyway? The void? Huh, no wonder I still find myself dumb and self-hating whenever I try to believe in me, myself, and I alone in living, then. Better not go tell others “Believe in yourself” without enough grounding, too. Does that make all the grinding we do pointless and unnecessary, though? Well, of course not, because we still have to teach each other about how to better count our blessings…and a bunch of us still don’t even know how to count blessings! I mean, really, just look at Our Lord Jesus Christ:

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He is carrying a blessing, and He’s gonna be nailed to that blessing. Sound like nonsense? Well, think of the Cross like it’s work, dear. It’s real difficult to carry, and we get better benefits by being nailed to it.

Seriously, with how we complain about work every single day, we might as well call it the most humiliating thing in life, all because of how tedious it can be and how empty it can make us feel with all the painful routine for shining rewards that easily slip away from us. Nailing ourselves to it would also make us more of a laughingstock to our fellow fools, then. I certainly felt something like that (mostly from myself, considering how things usually go for me) as I thought about how I was cutting down on my Tobbywork time and changing up the activities there for the sake of more important stuff. But remember: Crucifixion was the most humiliating way to go in Jesus’ time and society on earth, yet God Almighty the Son accepted such a fate for our sake. He let us treat Him like a slave so that He could get closer to us and show that He understands how much we feel like slaves too. Hard to imagine slave owners doing that, no? That, and it would make the prideful catch feelings, even if said prideful were also a slave trying to break free. I should know, ’cause I’ve had times when I considered any good non-existent as long as it were surrounded by evil…and thinking about it some more now, that’s quite a dangerous and cynical way to think about things, no?

And hey, the fact that we can do good is proof that we can relate to God Almighty! He’s Perfection, after all, and if He looks shady, then that’s just us foolish humans making Him look so. That, and if we’re nothing without God, then the fact that we can do good has to come from somewhere, nah?

Now, what the freaking nuts is all that religious rambling I’ve been doing? Well, it’s something I’ve been doing more and more of with the help of my lovely girlfriend (We’re now one year into our relationship, OH YEAH!) as well during the past year, helping me practice and express my faith better and better, especially as she stays with me despite how hurtful, stupid, and saddening I can be a bunch of times. I’ve been doing that rambling more through voice chats than through writing before, though, and now, thanks to all that help, I have gained more confidence in being more religious in public. Huh, and I guess CYA (and a lot more instruments of God Almighty) has been helping me more than I thought. Praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much yet again, then!

Okay, now I should really go down to more ordinary levels and come out of the UFO I have been booming all my talk in. Like, I have been getting a lot of feedback, especially from school, about how my writing lately has been very…alienating.

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See what I mean?

And speaking of school, I’ve been doing okay…well, unless you count how I’m trying to catch up for my thesis, which caught me not taking it seriously enough, no matter how much I believed I was. Like, I’m still stuck in whipping up a decent proposal portfolio for the prerequisite Poetics class, and that state was also caused by how ignorant and ungrateful I was towards my education, particularly my university (Seriously, I have this strong feeling that I pissed off my Poetics Professor real hard). Bad news is that I may need to extend for another semester past the upcoming one and pay for that extension (and the boarding house unit rent and more), good news is that I only have one other lecture class to accomplish in my curriculum. In other words, I have to take this more seriously and make something freaking awesome with all this time I’m taking, and freaking nuts, I know I can, especially with God Almighty around! I gotta count my blessings and teach others how to count theirs as well! And really, thinking about it some more, isn’t that how research is supposed to go? Like, we have to look back at all the good things humanity has done before, and then we go build something better out of all that! It’s not an exercise in envy, but an exercise in growth. If we’re gonna note mistakes, failures, weaknesses, and voids and all that, then they’re for us to fill, fix, and improve…but that’s easier said than done. Again, zero counting can be quite tempting with its crazy easy, especially while going through struggle. Still, at the very least, we can do better, and God Almighty certainly understands how we need to struggle to do so! I mean, really, take another look at Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Praise and thanks be to Him very much again, yo!

Now, although I found a potentially better idea for my thesis recently, I’d like to take it easy right now and set it aside for after vacation. Again, I struggle with rushing stuff, and all that rushing makes me wanna be more complacent. That, and with how older I’m growing now, I gotta remember to learn and do chores and relaxation better. And thankfully, my family isn’t overdemanding, and if they are, then at the very least, they really strive well towards understanding us better. Otherwise, they’d probably be doing things like going all stingy on me about paying for the boarding house unit I have right now. And man, I think I’m realizing how more about how stupid I’ve been to them because of how I ask them not to bug me during my free time for my enjoyment, all while asking them at times to bug me hard during my free time to prevent excess, as if I don’t have any bit of ability to do so. I guess I really shouldn’t complain so much when they go hard on me, then. I mean, sure, they’re not perfect, but still, they know better than me, and I gotta know what I gotta work with and how to work it well before I go learn about how to work it better.

And as for my siblings, I really should give them more credit. One brother has more street smarts than me, my sister has better fashion, makeup, and sports sense, and the youngest brother is learning how to socialize and live better than we all thought! And I really should cut my remaining living grandparents some slack, since they’re peeps who taught my mother a lot about how to give it all for loved ones, and along with that, my parents will be as old as them one day, and I’ll be as old as my parents as well. If I don’t have faith in them, I might as well have no faith in myself and the rest of humanity. Good thing God’s here to help us out in our strive and struggle, then!

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And now, it’s time to remember what I have to deal with in my chores…and even relaxation as well.

So yeah, now I have to remember how much I good have with me as I work up stuff. I mean, why pretend to be from somewhere lower? Yes, even in rapping, which I’ve been doing more of during 2018. And yes, I now feel like I don’t need to pretend to be from some neighborhood that seems more impoverished than it actually is, especially after all the schooling I had to go through in many ways…Besides, if being rich and popular means being a clown, then hey, at least I got a decent job. Really, the world needs some better clowns too, yo!

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Just look at one of my inspirations right here. I really wanna outdo him, y’know? And I know I can. I look up to Saint John Bosco as well, yo!

Besides, there’s no need to be scared of going religious while being a clown too, especially since being real means being weirder than fiction! Them big rappers out there are complaining about getting their styles bitten, too, so yeah, I really should help them out with that! And hey, I guess God’s telling me something, considering how I have a leader bro in CYA who has some nice appreciation for rap as well! Praise and thanks be to Him very much again, then!

Oh, and speaking of music, I’ve been making and posting song covers and other music stuff with a pace closer to that of the pace my faves usually take with their work. So far, my girlfriend’s getting more and more impressed, so I guess I’m going somewhere better! Praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much again, then! Also, I’d like some more and continued help with slowing down and being more careful with my work pace in general…Maybe I can even make and strengthen more friends through my work that way, too!

And speaking of friends, well, I’ve been feeling like I have really weird friends, maybe even alienating just like me, especially considering how I see cynicism and craziness prominent in a lot of them…or maybe they’re just doing a good job at exposing how cynical and crazy I myself have been. Or both…though the latter’s more likely. I got friends like Medieval Otaku, friends I consider wiser than me when it comes to the ways of God and the world. I got friends like silverbug28, friends I feel like debating with as well. And I got friends like PastorThomasNelson, friends I wanna go crazy with. Oh, and there’s also friends like Biwa/Kisaragi and YUuuu/Roa., who feel like really nice people to talk with, so nice that I feel shy and find myself struggling with self-loathing again, though at the same time, I wanna talk and work with them more.

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You know what, I really shouldn’t be scared if I have friends who really are like this guy here…because I’m the same, yo!

Alright, I should just love myself, and at the same time (not one before the other, yo), love others and God Almighty. With that, it’s time to understand, acknowledge, and improve! Praise and thanks be to God Almighty very much yet again!

Now, is there anything else I consider worth talking about for this announcement/reflection/update post…? Writing? Like, fiction and poetry I made and posted as Tobby? Well, I consider “The Most Beautiful Challenge” my favorite original fiction piece I posted during 2018 (though I made it during the year before it), while “The Empress and Her Guard” is my favorite poem I posted during 2018 (and I also made it during 2017, I think). I also find my 2018 progress for my Fate Series fanfic Crawling to the Dawn impressive. And I also made one comic during 2018, and along with that are a new bunch of practice drawings, which also got me learning from a CYA bro that I need to work on my foundations (e.g. circles and lines and all that for figures and stuff), thus getting me motivated to some practice drawings for that:

You know what, I’ll throw in one more drawing I haven’t posted yet:

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Note: This was made before the foundation practice drawings.

And with that…well, I’m back to zero again. Guess it’s time to end this post, then.

So yeah, that’s pretty much what 2018 got me, I think. I feel like I missed something, but I guess I’ll leave that to y’all readers of mine. I can’t just sit here thinking and typing about this forever, y’know! That, and I can and should make blog post writing less on-the-spot (e.g. setting an upload date and writing the post for a set number of days before that date). Besides, considering what I’ve learned, the best works of art are well-planned surprises, so yeah…and man, doesn’t that sound like something God Almighty’s real good at?

Praise and thanks be to God very much yet again, then. And hey, Happy New Year to all of you, too! God keep on blessing you all!

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