2020: a year of change

The flight departures board at Hong Kong airport, March 2020

This has been a strange year. In January, my flatmates fled the country to return to their home, obviously sensing just how serious the new virus would become. In February, I went overseas to catch my first and last figure skating competition this year—watching Japanese Nationals last weekend drove home just how much I’d missed it. And at the end of that month, I wandered through an incredibly empty Hong Kong airport on transit during my last international trip, barely making it back into this country before the borders were closed. Normal mail has shut down—I have two overseas packages that I can’t send, and I had to vote for an Australian state election online becuase my postal ballot didn’t arrive in time. And I’ve finally graduated from my doctoral program, though no ceremony was held. So many things have been put on hold, including the ski trip I was meant to be taking with my brother’s family early next year. Even with the vaccines being licensed recently, given that we’re not expecting to get them until March at the earliest here in Japan, it feels like this is never going to end…

Still…there are many things I am grateful for this year. For one, I got to see Yuruzu Hanyu in person, skating Ballade No.1 and Seimei, no less. They may not have been perfect performances, but after Pyeongchang, I honestly hadn’t expected to see him compete with them again. I am also glad I made it home for my little brother’s wedding. There was no way I was missing that, and we are all incredibly grateful that the date they chose ended up being ‘just in time’. And I somehow managed to finish my PhD revisions, to finally be approved for graduation back in November. I know I caused my supervisor a lot of headache and worry on that one, so I’m just glad I managed to make it without yet another extension…

The one thing I am most thankful for, however, is the job I have. I’m not sure where I’d be now if I’d stayed in academia, given what’s happening in the sector. So I’m lucky to be able to put food on the table and even save quite a bit, though my salary is far lower than I would like it to be. Even more importantly, this last year has challenged me even more than the initial five months back in 2019. The stuff I take most pride in will never be seen by most people—let’s just say that my interest in screenwriting and anime pre-production has paid off in a way that I would not have anticipated twelve months ago. I’ve also started working on several relatively famous IPs, the products of which will hopefully reach fans within the next year or so. One of them, in particular, is seriously driving the evolution of my skills as a translator and editor. All of these developments have got me pretty excited over what might be in store next year.

I am sorry that I have not been able to return to blogging in full. It may never happen, as work—and mobile games (^^;) —increasingly eat up my time. But I do want to share some of the things I’ve learned, and get back into deep diving the stories and creators that still hold my heart even now. So please watch this space!

And in the meantime, I wish you all a Happy New Year!

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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