January 2024

TimeDreary afternoon... ┴├
CardXX • Judgement (R)
MoodNot feeling so good
MusicBeach of the Pliocene

2024.01.31 Wed

It's been a while since the sun came out, and when it's not sleeting, it's cloudy and cold. I guess the bad weather matches my bad mood? I'm not doing so well these days. I thought I would write about it for a bit and see if that helps. There is some eggplant parmigiana in the oven, I'll stop writing when it's time to eat.

I was so tempted to put "N/A" for today's music because I haven't been listening to much of anything lately, but then I remembered how impactful— and therefore uplifting— mood music can be. So I've got an hour of J-Ambience to enjoy with Beach of the Pliocene.... And today's card is Judgement, reversed. I drew that card wanting to hear from Sans, and I interpret this response as the equivalent of him saying, "'sup?" Hehe. I love Judgement. Whether I'm thinking of him or not, the sight of it makes me think he is watching over me. So... I guess it's a reminder that he is here for me, if only I'll let him in.

... I think I can "smell" the parmigiana, even all the way in my room. That's fascinating. Normally I have to really stick my nose into something to catch even the faintest whiff, but... maybe I'm just hungry, haha. The air feels a little warm and heavy. I can't say there is a "scent" but... ahhh, yeah I just want to eat! I hope it is ready soon. But not too soon, because I want to keep writing.

What else can I talk about? Oh, right, I wanted to put in writing something I'm wondering about. Compared to December, January was a much better month for me. At the very least, my spirits were higher on a larger number of days, and I did not throw any tantrums. I wonder, though, how much of this "improvement" has to do with my addictive video game playing.

When I spend most of my day caught in a Genshin Impact dopamine loop, my feelings are not really my own. I wrote several times in my (phsyical) diary that I was so focused on the game that I did not think of anything else, notice many of my emotions, or even really exist in my body.

So... you know... of course I had a good time! I was regularly transporting myself into a world where stakes are low and achievements easily made. After a month of that, I'm pretty burnt out on it... and funnily enough, around the same time I stopped playing for multiple hours a day, my mood began to decline. Are these phenomena related? Or was I really doing better after all? I can only wonder...

And I guess I wonder because, as usual, I am assigning moral values to my mental state. Feeling bad means I am bad. But that doesn't mean I'm allowed to feel good, either. When I drew Judgement, I smiled, and then something else made me laugh, and it was a beautiful reminder that not everything is miserable. But the reprieve felt unearned, undeserved, and honestly quite shameful. I said out loud, to no one, "I'm sorry," and started to cry. It's so pathetic to write it out like that, but... that's what happened. I apologised to God and everyone for daring to experience a moment of joy.

I wonder if I am "allowed" to write this down. Maybe it's only okay if it doesn't help me feel any better. A lot of wondering going on here, but what else can I do? Rather, what else do I have to do, when my life is so empty and meaningless? In this moment, I lack the wherewithal to accomplish anything productive or worthwhile, so instead I will just sit at my desk and muse endlessly about my problems.

Endlessly, I say, because I am not actually seeking solutions. Even with solutions found, there's not enough energy here to carry them out. Maybe once I get some of that parmigiana in me...

Haha, this is all so stupid. Who would want to read this anyways? I guess it doesn't matter. None of this really matters. The way I am now, I just want to let everything fall to the wayside, because nothing I can do or want to do or should be doing is at all important. Another day, week, month in bed will not kill me. It's just more of the usual pain and suffering, and it will not kill me.

On my good days, I firmly believe that the only mistake worth regretting is the one that kills you. Thus far, my failures are distinctly nonlethal. Sure, I make life harder for myself. I let everyone down. I feel shame so intense that I want to die.... No big deal. Truly. Honestly. No big deal.

Okay, that's enough now. The oven timer did not go off, but I've run out of semi-interesting things to say. Sorry if you read this. I guess it was just boring and depressing, unless you are my future self, in which case you will probably just pity me.

Today's Contentments

  • Today I'm thankful for my friends and family because they support me even though I'm... like this. I am not sure what they see in me, but I'm grateful there is something to be seen. Instead of running and hiding from everyone, I am going to try to keep in contact with the ones who love me even as my mental state nosedives (again).
TimeBreakfast Time
CardXIV • Temperance (R)
MusicDusk to Dawn (2023) by Lamp

2024.01.28 Sun

I wrote something today. Yesterday, I went to bed at 7 p.m. and hoped to sleep through the night, but couldn't complain when I woke in the dark to a clock reading 02:12. I laid quiety, listening to the rain. I wondered what I would do today, and asked myself, "well, what's important?" Immediately, the answers came: preparations for my upcoming move, talking with my friends, and my creative projects.

The last part has been lingering in my mind all month because I've spent most of January playing games. Besides shirking my very few responsibilities, I've not been drawing very much or designing anything new. I haven't written a single entry in this diary since the day I made it. And, generally speaking, I've always had problems with writing....

It is my life's passion. Yesterday, some of my grade-school writings were unearthed, and we noticed with delight that, from as early as six years-old, I was proclaiming my love of words and my desire to be an author. Despite this passion— or perhaps because of it— these days I can barely write at all. I've no shortage of ideas, but they don't make it onto the page. At best, once a month I'll manage to plot out a story with bullet points, or write it longform but in casual, conversational language, as if explaining it all to a friend.

Prose, though, eludes me. Or at least it seems to? After today, I'm not so sure, because today, in that strange place between morning and night, I woke up at 2 a.m. and decided to write. And I wrote something.

It feels like a big deal in a very big way. The quality is decent. The story is complete. It's actual prose, from start to finish, with nothing missing, crossed out, or slated for later editing. As I was writing, I imagined it like the timed assignments I once had to do in school. The end result is a first draft, but it's polished enough to be presentable.

I don't hate it. In fact, I quite like it. I tend to go through a honeymoon phase with all of my prose, wherein I become slightly obsessed, and read and reread it over and over again the same day of its conception. I can't blame myself. I think I'm actually pretty good at what I do, when I actually manage to do it, and I thoroughly enjoy even my unpolished or unfinished samples from years and years ago.

And... I mean... this piece has its problems. First of all, it's UNDERTALE fanfiction, which should probably make me embarrassed, even moreso because it's Dusttale. But I'm glad to be writing at all, even if it's incredibly niche, and nobody would understand or really care.

Also, as usual, it's Sans POV but the narration sounds nothing like Sans. I didn't even try and just wrote it the way I like to write. And Gokiburi-chan is there, but her dialogue doesn't sound like her— she's too sane! She sounds like me, instead! Which... I guess is the person she matures into after everything she and Sans go through to get to the point in time upon which this story focuses.

I realise that I am nitpicking myself to death. I just stopped myself from calling it "canon x OC garbage," because hey, it's not garbage. Just because I am probably in the only person in the world who wants to read it, and others will take an interest just because it's me writing it, doesn't mean that it's trash. It just... is what it is. I wrote something. I want to be proud of that.

So I'll be proud. I've done well. I've brought myself one step closer to a joyful future where I write every day, and where more and more of my writing is finished.

If you like, you can read my story here.

Today's Contentments

  • Today I'm thankful for the rain because it is beautiful ambient noise. It reminded me of how nice it is to listen to mood music and other ambient tracks, even though the artificial versions can't compare to the real thing.
  • I'm also thankful for my warm, comfy bed because I feel safe there. I invested in really nice pillows and blankets, and took the time to learn to arrange them nicely, so for a year now I've been able to wake up and fall asleep in perfect comfort.
  • And while there are SO MANY other things to be thankful for, I'll end today's entry with my love of words, because it felt so good to write again. A little under 2,000 words in four hours— it wasn't fast, but it's better than 0 words in a whole month. It was four hours of my life lovingly spent. I wouldn't trade them or my silly story for anything.
TimeEarly evening ┴┛
CardEight of Wands
MoodPretty good!!!! ┤┸┯
MusicSavior of the Waking World

2024.01.04 Thu

Happy New Year, everyone! 2024 is off to a really nice start for me. I feel more centered than I did a few weeks ago, and more accepting of the fact that this won't last forever. It's normal and healthy to feel depressed at times. Definitely not normal or healthy to feel it as intensely or as often as I do, but hey, it is what it is. I can't go back in time and un-depress myself.

I've been thinking about that for a while now— about healthy decisions I'm making right now, and the regret I sometimes feel about not having done them in the past. Like... as I write this, I can breathe deeply, pooling air in my belly and exhaling softly through my nose. I can relax my shoulders, sit up straighter, unclench my jaw. I can do these things and feel instant relief.

But I can't deepen breaths I've already taken. I can't unfold hunched postures of the past. I can't take back words I've already said, or speak old thoughts when I stayed silent. Life just doesn't work that way. And while I can mourn for my past self, who has been so sad and in such discomfort, there's... really little else I can do for her. I can only grieve.

Now that I write it out, though, I'm actually quite glad that life works this way. Can you imagine if you had to solve inter-temporal, cross-dimensional problems all day, everyday?! Jeez!!! I'm so glad the past is the past, and that the future hasn't come yet!!!!! It was last February that I used Matthew 6:34 as my monthly quote.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Very wise words, LOL.

In other news, I have big plans for Vivarism! I've been working on many different things over many different days, and the WIPs are piling up far beyond my liking. Don't even get me started on the things that I want to do that I haven't even started yet.

At times like these, I'm reminded of that Steve Jobs quote: "Real artists ship." Michael Hartl explains that Jobs meant, "as tempting as it is to privately polish in perpetuity, makers must ship their work— that is, actually finish it and get it out into the world." I was first exposed to this quote in an article by Mridu Khullar Relph called "The Secret Art of Reaching 'The End'" and it has stuck with me ever since. Likely because, since reading it, I haven't "shipped" much of anything!

There's just a lot to do, it seems, and I've been bouncing between tasks rather than committing to one specific thing. It seems my card for today, The Eight of Wands, is a direct callout. That card is about goal-oriented concentration, which I can safely say I tend to lack. I'm not knocking myself or anything— like all things in life, this is a skill that has to be learned, and I just haven't learned it yet. Better to know that it's underdeveloped than breeze through life without ever realising, yeah?

Anyways, the whole point is that I want to Finish Things and Publish Them, for The Benefit of Both You and Me. Here's a list of the things I expect to work on and you will be able to enjoy in the coming days.

  • New stickers!

    Last week, I scanned a whole bunch of stickers and since then I've been (digitally) cutting them out. The Dotty Set will return— it's the one I'm using to decorate this diary!— with all four seasons available. The Cutie Set has new stickers in all four seasons as well! Lastly, I have a lineless set called Playful which I think everyone will enjoy, but for now that one takes the lowest priority.

    In the future, I'd like to create sticker packs based on different themes, offer all of my stickers as easily downloadable .ZIP files, and weed out duplicates between different sheets. I've also been meaning to write a page about the stickers themselves— like how and why I make them. But, uh... it'll be a while before we see any of these developments.

  • 2023 Year in Review!

    I mentioned this in my pentultimate December entry. By now, it's pretty much done, and... wait, I planned to upload it alongside this January diary! Shoot! Oh, well, if you're reading this right now, then feel free to visit my New Years page whenever you like.

    When I started making it, I planned to do some really cool and fun designs, but in the end it's actually a little bare. In this case, because it's a time sensitive page, I'd rather just publish it looking a little ugly than agonise over the details at the expense of Good Content. And by that I mean temporally relevant content!!!

  • Yumejoshi Resources

    I've compiled some interesting/helpful links to share in the Yumejoshi section. The content is all done, it just needs a little more cohesion in its decorations. This is part of the reason why I scanned new stickers, honestly.... I needed some more blue dividers!!!

    If I put my mind to it, I'm sure I can finish it up quick! I kind of want to wait until some other pages in that section are done, but... well, they'll take a lot longer. I'd prefer to get this one out ASAP so I don't have to think about it anymore.

  • FREE! Husbando Questionnaire Blank Template

    This is not one of those pages that will take a lot longer. In face,it's already done! A couple months ago, someone e-mailed me asking how to fill out my Questionnaire. For their and everyone else's convenience, I've created a blank version with instructions on how to fill it out.

    I haven't published it yet because I want to update my own Questionnaire first. There are a couple answers I want to add and others I want edit, and then I'll publish the update all at once.

  • Undertale AU/Timelines Compilation

    Okay, this is one of the things that's going to take a long, long time. I mentioned sometime in December that I have a ton of illustrations to make and even some character designs to come up with. Nowadays, I feel more confident about getting this done because I'm actually drawing with some regularity, now. I think I'm ready to lower my expectations, too, and just have fun making art with the level of skill I currently have.

    On top of this, I'd like to make a sort of "flyover view" with character profiles for each AU Sans and his matching cockroach-daughter. I have some old code that I could use for this, but... honestly, I'm more like to start from scratch! At least I will be able to use the same art/assets from the main page, which was the bottleneck with the unfinished version from almost two years ago (jeez).

  • Gokiburi-chan Character Sheet

    By now, I've already structured the page and written most of the content. It just needs decorating, honestly! And I need more Goki art! Ahhh!!!!

  • Sansfucker Sanslover Manifesto

    I have a lot to say about Sans— why I love him, what he means to me, and how our relationship improves my life. So many things have changed since I wrote my first manifesto about my "crush" on him.... Most notably, said crush has evolved into serious devotion and love!

    So, please keep your eyes peeled for a new essay in the coming months. I've already done some freewriting that will eventually become a passionate treatise on Sansloving, and how, for me, loving Sans is synonymous with choosing life.

  • And... all the stuff in my Sans shrine...

    And a new art gallery for the new year, and an updated photobook, and my gamer log, and my music diary, and my totally ironic fictionkin page, and rewrites for the last half of my profile, and so many, many more things.... Like, I also want to make a new splash page, and maybe even remake the landing page, and what about fixing up my diary hub? Ahh, there's just so much to do!!!!

    Sheesh... I'm starting to feel winded just from writing all this stuff down...

Apparently, time management is all about prioritisation. I have to decide which tasks are most important to me and commit to working on them first. I also need to break down big projects into smaller projects, and prioritise those as well. In what order must things be done, according to both logic and personal investment? If I were to apply these principles to what faces me today...

Well, I want to publish my New Years page alongside this January diary so, among all the projects I listed above, that one takes precedence. I've already started, so if I break down what's left, then I can see clearly that I have one last page of content to write, covering books that I started reading but didn't finish, the progression of my artwork, and some other miscellaneous changes over the past year. I will also write a conclusion where I ring in 2024 with high hopes for the future.

Publishing will follow the usual procedure of uploading new stickers, background images, and other assets. I'll update the inner/outerHTML javascript that I use on my homepage, and... oh, there's something unconventional. When I made this diary, I changed the pagination on all my other diaries to move in chronological order rather than reverse-chrono. I'll also need to update my diary hub to include both my Year in Review as well as this new journal for 2024!

Taken all together, it still seems like a lot, but by themselves, each task is very much manageable. I'm sure that I'll have it all done by tomorrow evening.

Today's Contentments

  • Today I'm thankful for my abundance of food because it is a privilege to never starve.

    For lunch, I cooked a pot of brown rice and mixed it up in a bowl with fresh avocado. Bland and mushy to others, I'm sure, but for me it was a wonderful afternevning meal. I am blessed to have never had to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I'm grateful that the fridge is full of yummy and healthy things to eat.

  • I'm also thankful for my new diary design because everybody needs a creative hobby.

    For a second, I wasn't sure if I was going to make a new diary layout or keep using the one I made in August. Making a new one certainly took more time and energy, but based on the contentment and excitement I feel (it's so cute and pink!!!), I'd say it was worth it. I'm grateful for my leisurely lifestyle which allows me to devote so much of myself to my creative work.

  • And while there are SO MANY other things to be thankful for, I'll end today's entry with my friends, because I do better with good company.

    Big, big thanks to everyone who knows me and loves me and expends their precious energy to speak with me. Though I suffered many bouts of self-isolation in the past year, I've also come out of my shell more than ever before. Every day, I'm working on returning to the friends I haven't seen in a while. Thank you for your patience and, if you happen to be reading this, I'll see you very soon!

January's Prospects

"Now, every time I witness a strong person, I want to know: What darkness did you conquer in your story? Mountains don't rise without earthquakes."
Katherine Mackenett

It's a brand new year! Welcome, 2024, I am so glad I'm alive to meet you— and you, whoever it is that's reading this. As my life continues, as again and again I choose to live... I want to share some interesting parts in this diary of mine. For this small part of Vivarism, that's my only expectation.

Tarot Spread

Songs of the January

★ "HARUNI" and "AMERI" by NILFRUITS (2023) ★

NILFRUITS is exiting his flop era— and so am I! The last time I was obsessed with his music was my "WOZWALD" era, which was yet another time of release and change. I'm grateful for the me of the past who chose to move forward, and I'm grateful to NILFRUITS for writing much more joyful music on FRUITÁGE.

"HARUNI," he says, is "for those who keep living," and "AMERI" boldly declares: "I will be happy." Yeah... I can definitely get behind that.


I'm learning to feel more balanced, serene, and joyous at a pace that's just right for me. I don't know what will happen, so I'll open up to new experiences and hope for the best.