First post of the New Year!
お久しぶり as always.
I never know if anyone reads this.
As always, I have a severe lack of self-motivation. Why do today what you could put off indefinitely to play videogames? =P
It's a pretty bad habit, especially for a Christian. It wears you out really, social media and technology. I should unplug to a degree for a while probably.
I've been seeing a few one-developer games out there in the last couple years. Really good ones. That kind of motivates me to learn to sprite and I've also been trying to think of game story lines some. I could be one half of a team maybe.
I've always been pretty flaky though.
I'm just hoping God will give us direction this year. Direction and the motivation to go that direction.
(...It's always a while, every time.)
I haven't had the time/motivation in a while to update anything; a lot has happened. The last time I wrote something I was living in a house. I had 3 other family members--my mom, my brother, and our dog--living with me. Now, I'm down to one--my brother's living elsewhere, and we had to put our dog down the same day we moved. We had no choice--she was old and sick, and we couldn't take her with us. Now it's just me and my mom in a condo in a part of the city far from what we know because of legalities.
It's not all bad, though. Work has been going really well--I got promoted to Team Lead. I'm still part-time, but I get more hours and better pay.
I tend to change my hobbies a lot and don't stick with anything very long, I'll admit it. But there's one thing that's always been true, even when I left my job in an attempt to find something better: I always loved it. I loved what I was doing, and I loved the people I was working with. I never should have left it, and that's when I finally realized it. My enthusiasm has only become stronger over time, instead of diminished like in the cases of every other thing I've tried to do. Maybe I could be getting more money (God knows I tried to get full-time for the longest time, anywhere really), but even if I have to get an extra job, I don't want to leave again.
In any case, I've been trying to work on pixel art lately, it's kind of therapeutic until the brightness of the screen kills your eyes =P Bf and I are trying to build a game, so I'll probably be posting what's rejected (not for technical reasons, but just not what we need.)
I haven't been posting much lately. At first it was mostly because the law of inertia is often most efficient in my life particularly.
Lately though, my arm has been sore because of repetitive tasks at work and too much gaming. I'm trying to be nicer to my arm and not overdo it, so I've been playing less games. I've been doing a little bit of pixel art practice the last few days. My bf has always wanted to make games, and until now I haven't really felt I could be of much help. But I guess I was kind of inspired by Undertale a bit recently. I thought, why not try making a game? What else do I even have to do? I waste all this time playing videogames, but what if I could contribute to them and actually improve my artistic skills? What if we could make something great too?
I also remembered this pixel art I saw that was really, really good.
I was so inspired by this, that pixel art could be used in a way that's not just for videogames. That it's a style, not really just a function. I'd never really thought of it before.
I'm also thinking I'd like to get better at drawing, and especially digital drawing. As I look through others' digital drawings, I think, if I learned good technique, if I practiced, could I really do things like this too? There are so many cool things that can only be done with digital tools. Plus, you don't have to buy supplies =P
I was busy for a while early this year, but most of the time I don't have a good excuse not to be doing artwork--I just don't feel like it. Maybe I have less-than-average motivation. I do need to practice more.
Although, Undertale may be a good reason not to be drawing as of late, right? Now that's a good game. Speculating about it is almost as interesting as playing it, lol.
Waiting on more cool merch so they can take my money. =P
Hey, if anyone is in the Tempe, AZ area, sometime the week after next I will be putting some of my artwork up from the last few months at the Christian Community Center (C3) at 1034 S. Mill Avenue, west of the Arizona State University campus. It's not a very official thing so I don't know exactly when I'll be putting them up or exactly when I'll be taking them down yet either, but if anyone wanted to know I thought I would give you guys a heads up. I'll give more details once I know more.
EDIT: I should be putting up my artwork on October 30th, and I should be taking them down around the same time in November.
Forest of Life
Aokigahara is a forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, also called Jukai (Sea of Trees) and unfortunately, Suicide Forest. Basically a lot of people commit suicide there.
The reason why this has particularly caught my attention is a personal one. God just fairly recently released me from depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming actions, which is something I have been struggling with for a long, long time. Imagine how many souls must be in Japan with no hope and no chance for change. They don't know the freedom of Jesus and have little if any access to it. They don't know there's one God that created everything and controls all nature, and yet His only concern is with each and every person.
So in my prayers for this forest I felt as though God wanted to reach out His hand to these people and pick them back up. So that's what I drew. I'm not very good at drawing people, but I hope it serves its purpose nonetheless.
The text on the bottom that's scribbled out reads: "遺書
which means "Suicide Note: Nothing good has happened in my life up to now. Please no one look for me..."
This was an actual sign on a board nailed to a tree that I saw in a short video where a geologist in his free time goes into the forest to try to talk people out of suicide. I re-appropriated it not only for grammatical correctness, but because there was a person out there somewhere that thought and wrote these words, and I wanted to counteract that spirit and thinking for all the people who go there to take their own lives.
"キリスト様が僕のために死んでくださりましたので、罪に対して死に、今、キリスト様のために生きています。" means "Since Jesus died for my sake, so I will die to sin, and now I will live for His sake." I borrowed the concept from 1 Peter 2:24 and a couple other places, but the Japanese Bible didn't word it the way I wanted to express it. I asked for corrections of my own sentence on lang-8.
I guess I'm just hoping that this will somehow shift something spiritually, bring attention to this problem, and will make my own prayers stronger.
I've got a bit of extra time on my hands this week, so I thought I'd take the time to change it up on here a bit. I get bored staring at the same thing all the time.
I'll probably want to get around to studying my Japanese more, but I'm kind of at that high-beginner/low-intermediate plateau and I'm struggling a bit to be motivated. I also have pretty limited space to work with in my room, so there's not much room to have my study materials out either. It's the same problem with my art supplies, which is partly why I don't end up doing a lot of traditional art. Luckily my pastor's wife, Barb Ngai, sets up a spot for me every week when she and the other girls from church meet to paint. It's an enjoyable time for me.
I have a digital drawing I've been working on for a while, but it's an important one to me so I want to make sure I do my best on it. I'll be making a post here as well about it when it's done because the subject matter is near and dear to my heart.
As for going to Japan, I haven't forgotten about it. I have however come to a point in my life where I have to get things together relationally as well as financially, so while I'd like to go at the very least as a missionary or something maybe, I feel like I'm to wait for now and get the parts of my life in order that are still in a bit of chaos.
Things were not going well for me for a long time. Earlier this year I went through the Steps of Freedom, and it was really helpful for me. I finally let go of everything I was thinking that was causing me harm.
I went back to my old job, as I had missed it (it's fun and a nice environment, and I always felt like I belonged and that it was something I was good at). I felt like God wanted me to be content with what I'd had, and actually make a difference there this time. Since it's the bookstore at ASU, I have a lot of opportunities to help with ministry there as well.
God has been blessing me with opportunities to be helpful to others, and I feel like He's teaching me not only to be obedient and to do things I'm not entirely comfortable with because I'm shy, but also to be less selfish, and to think of and listen to others more.
It's been busy, but I'm happy. Next week, I should be less stressed, and maybe then I will share more here.
My boyfriend and I both both done with our Oxford Seminars Online Components, so now I'm just trying to figure out what we need to do to go about using the placement service and by when we need to do it.
As you can see, I haven't been drawing anything lately. Maybe I will soon. I've been busy with the course, as well as preparing for classes I have yet to do. I can't be sure I'll be a good teacher, despite running the gauntlet of sometimes-arbitrarily confusing English grammar, so I feel the need to do some level of planning.
It doesn't feel like it's the same type of unassailable difficulty that making artwork is for the stubbornly under-motivated,-sedentary-and-chronically-prideful.
While making artwork can show a clear representation of your limits that can become a source of insecurity, this ought to be something that is less about yourself. If you need to improve as a teacher, I'm thinking it's more about experience and effort; not for the sake of yourself, but for the sake of guiding your students. Basically, if you have a careful mind, and you care about trying to do what's best for your students, that should knock the biggest problems out the window. Given enough time, a careless mind can make a careful plan.
With some closer study I have become more fond of the language I took for granted. After all, so many people everywhere are trying to learn a language I take no effort (usually, lol) to use.
Since I have been using lang-8, it's been really interesting to talk to others there. Sometimes it's difficult to communicate with the Japanese users, but I think it's really cool when we can bridge the gap one way or another, or both. We think a little differently because of our languages, but then we realize we're not all that different after all.
If nothing else, I want to do something useful with my life. That brings me to another reason I'd like to go to Japan. I have this very strong feeling that they need help in a spiritual sense. Not that I'm a good example at all, but I can't help but think if there was anything I needed to do, it would be this.
We did do the in-person section of the TESOL course. It was a bit tough, but not unmanageable for a less-than-disciplined person with a part-time job. I was worried that I would feel awkward, since I have no experience in teaching and I've also never been in a class with my boyfriend before. It wasn't too bad though. I especially enjoyed the lecture the teacher did on the history of English, and I wish I had written more of it down. That helped me to have more respect for English, knowing where everything comes from, despite it still being kind of nonsensical--not just from taking grammatical constructs from different languages, but the story of our spelling.
We had 2 projects where we had to make lesson plans. The first one was a 1-day grammar lesson, and the second was a reading/writing/vocabulary lesson that could take several days. The class time was psychology, theory, planning, and practice.
Now we're working on the online component, which is re-familiarizing us with grammar mostly and how to teach it. It's been pretty easy so far, although I'm currently only a bit over halfway done.