GUYS. IT’S 2019.
THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING. I’M NOT PREPARED.
Seeing as this is the first post of 2019 (mmm, such prestige), I guess this is the moment where I scrape together something meaningful I learned in 2018, accented with pictures no one cares about and a teary-eyed epilogue of cliché sentimentalism about how difficult and challenging and awful the year was, and how God taught me [insert something God taught me] through it.
Ehehehe, yeah, I’m not doing that.
The bloggisphere has enough gag-worthy 2018 wrap-up posts without me adding to the muck. So folks, get ready for a year in reverse, Sarcastic Elf style.
*cracks knuckles* This should be fun.
I’ve been wracking my brain for all happenings of 2018, but the most important thing I can think of is that I got another sword. Daggers, too. And a cloak. And an Evenstar pendant. And let’s not forget the Gollum-ish insanity! (Which, granted, I had even before 2018, but I feel like this year only made it worse.)
So yeah. It’s been a good year for the geeky things.
Tolkien is dead, and therefore, will never write another book.
Not that this happened in 2018. I just think we all need to contemplate it at least once a year.
My family finally fulfilled a pipe-dream of seven years and bought a quaint little farmhouse in the Michigan countryside. Though it was sad to leave my extended family and the state I grew up in, there’s nothing like the thrill of uncharted territory and new adventures to give a little life to your bones.
Last year, I was rather embarrassed because I had nothing to put in this section.
HA! Not so for 2018.
Y’all remember that dorky little story I’ve wailed about several times over the course of my blogging life? The one named “The Silvershaw of Glenborn”? Yeah, well, that was a three year project finally put to rest. In July, I ditched the entire thing and started over again, this time with experience, a (dysfunctional) outline, and a spiffy new title:
(It’s Latin, in case you were wondering. I’m extremely proud of that fact.)
I also attempted NaNoWriMo for the first time, and despite all odds, won. The current wordcount is 117,919 words, and THERE IS NO STOPPING ME!!
*as her computer runs out of battery*
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my favorite art piece of 2018!
Yes, my family is weird. And surprisingly aesthetic.
Back in March, I got to spend a couple days with my best friend Emma and her family. It was enough to keep me in a permanent state of hyper-elation for the next three weeks. They live far away and I don’t see them often, so it was a beautiful time of blessings, bookishness, and Depressing Period DramaTM discussions as we went for a walk in the rain.
Along with the adventure of moving came the church-hunting phase — and thus began the arduous task of inserting ourselves in a foreign environment amongst equally foreign strangers. It’s been scary, nerve-wracking, and a little awkward at times, but also good. God knows my introverted soul needed something like this to push me out of my reclusi– I mean comfort zone.
It also taught me that despite popular belief, “people” isn’t synonymous with “vampirical creatures that will swallow your soul if eye-contact is initiated.”
So that was a long-lived misconception finally put to rest.
There’s so much I could say about how my blog improved and expanded over the course of 2018, but the biggest highlight for me will always be the time I convinced half my followers I was giving up blogging forever.
The panic was real.
I got a pretty good laugh out of that one, and promptly tried it again a month later.
AND THEY ALL FELL FOR IT.
Truly my finest moment.
But apart from that epic achievement, 2018 really has been a good year for blogging. I did a full graphics makeover with the help of my buddy, Kendra Lynne, and now this site looks stunning. I also started a newsletter. (Which you can subscribe to here. Not that I’m trying to be an annoying marketer and shove it down your throat, but yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Go subscribe. Now. I’ll wait for you.)
Oh, and this internet disaster finally reached 200 followers!
*motherly beaming* I’m so proud of my baby.
Around my house, weird sayings are inevitable — though generally, we’re not quoting books or movies, but our own family members. Barans can say some pretty ridiculous things sometimes. My personal favorite is this:
Anna: “I memorized a Bible verse, but I don’t know all the words.”
Honey. That’s not what the word “memorize” means.
Anna: “There’s such a thing as overthinking thoughtlessness, you know.”
*blinks* I didn’t know that, but now that you mention it, you might just be right.
Me, glancing out the window: “Hey look, there’s a beautiful deer in our yard!”
Anna, far too cheerfully: “I know! I wish I had a gun so I could shoot it!”
My sister is a monster.
Me: “Our generation has such a poor grasp of vocabulary.”
Mom, the picture of indignation: “I know, right? Daniel Webster would NOT be pleased!”
I don’t know about Daniel, but I’m pretty sure Noah Webster wouldn’t be…
Dad, trying to quote LotR: “And what’s this? MORE llamas’ bread!!”
*as Legolas rolls over in his grave*
Me: “This situation just went from worse to worser.”
I’m just gonna leave this one here…
I read The Silmarillion, Les Miserables, AND Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Three books I swore I’d never read, and now all three have been knocked off the shelf of impossibility in only one year.
Even more surprising is that I actually LIKED The Silmarillion and Macbeth.
Someone, please help. I’ve turned into the kind of scary Shakespearian literature nerd who terrified me as a thirteen-year-old.
Yeah yeah, ignore that wonderfully smooth change of gears from silliness to spiritual ponderings. This one is just too big to forget.
2017 was not a fun year for me. My family had been going through some heartache, and subsequently, my relationship with God wasn’t exactly what you’d call… trusting. (The words “cynical” and “confused” hit closer to the mark.) It was a hard and painful time, but the Lord used it to grow me in ways I’d never imagined I needed growing.
And then, with all those extra inches of faith added to my spiritual height, He shoved me into 2018 and let the blessings pour.
It hasn’t been a perfect year. No year ever will be. There have been sorrows and struggles and innumerable pains to mar the road. But at the same time, 2018 has been a year of new beginnings and new discoveries, of figuring myself out and hammering my vow to serve God into a sword of passion. I’ve made new friends. I’ve learned new things. I’ve grown, I’ve matured, I’ve stabilized.
Realizing who I am in comparison with God has been a humbling journey. But He’s also shown me what I can be through Him. And though I’m still scared, the magnitude of my potential as a young creative living for God’s glory is overwhelmingly inspiring.
Oh yes, Precious, I’m not leaving you hanging like I did last year. This time, the INTJ has a masterplan, and the world better watch out. My ambitions for 2019 are as follows:
- Read the entire Bible chronologically. Yes, it’s more of a personal goal, but cut me some slack here; who WOULDN’T want to know that I’m once again preparing for the dive into Leviticus?!
- Finish Aeterna. STUPID. BOOK. NEEDS. TO. END. Preferably sooner rather than later, considering it’s already consumed the last three years of my life.
- Read 60 books. Eheheheh, yeah, I’m not holding out much hope on this one. If I get even 40 done, I’ll be happy.
- Instagram. I have all these social media platforms for my blog that I never use. (Because I hate social media.) But Anna, my unofficial marketing director, has informed me that this needs to change.
Far be it from me to add yet ANOTHER boring bookstagram account to the world of boring bookstagram accounts, but I have a different idea cooked up that I think is pretty cool.
Behold: The Geekstagram.
Art, books, everything writerly – if you want to see more of this wonderful conglomeration, follow The Sarcastic Elf on instagram.
(As I throw yet another bad marketing pitch. I’m on a roll here.)
- Art business. Aaaaaand that’s as much as I’m willing to say about this one. Stay tuned. *mysterious snickering*
- Uhhh… Star Wars Episode IX? Does that count as a goal?
So there you go. My year in reverse. Hopefully it’s been… entertaining.
And regardless of my hesitancy to embrace 2019, I will admit that last year (holy smokes, it’s too soon to call it that) was jammed-packed to the brim with unexpected joys. It’s like God decided that my peanut-butter sandwich life needed a little jelly, and subsequently dumped a jar full of blessings on my head.
So who’s excited to see what the new year holds? What goals have you guys made? Am I the only one who’s already counting down the days until the next Star Wars movie?
Thanks for a wonderful year of blogging, my friends. Let’s do this 2019 thing.