April 30, 2024

Just realized today that it was 10 years ago last month that I went into ballroom dancing professionally. I was only there for a little over two years, but honestly it was so impactful to my life that it molded me into who I am today.

Bit of background: I grew up dancing - started in ballet when I was 4 and pretty much did it on and off for the rest of my life. I was on dance team in high school, and I danced in my local ballet school shows. Nothing super major, but it took up a substantial part of my life. When I got older and moved out, I dropped the idea of ever being able to pursue dance as a career, since I didn't have the education and skill to do so. I took on other ventures, and then when I moved to a larger city, I discovered that I could still, in fact, puruse dance - not in ballet or on a team, but in ballroom.

Prior to that, I had never done ballroom or proper couple dancing (pas de deux was the closest), but I was able to pick it up quickly with my foundational knowledge. I found a partner shortly after I started, and then we began to compete. It was honestly quite a whirlwind. We were practicing late hours and early mornings almost every day, traveling the country, and slowly getting recongition in our region, as well as minor recognition in that scene as a whole. It was amazing - I honestly felt like a movie star every time I'd go out on the floor.

So, what happened?

Well, when you are a professional ballroom dancer, 9 out of 10 times - you're also a teacher. And, as a woman, being a teacher is hard. I was given couples or single males as students. The main demographic of students for ballroom were women. So, I'd see my fellow male teachers raking in lessons and dough like crazy - meanwhile, I would be worrying about whether or not I'd make next month's rent.

Not only that, but I was also using every cent I made on competing - lessons, coachings, traveling, dresses, entries, makeup and hair. Very regularly I had a negative balance in my checking account. It took a toll on my dance partnership. It also destroyed my romantic relationship because I devoted all my time to this (he ended up cheating on me, which was what truly destroyed it, but I'm sure part of that was due to my constant absence). My cat was alone for most of the day and night, every day and night (I'm so sorry, Lali). My friends never saw me. What was I striving for? All this so a person who was propped up in the industry could give me a number above 8 in a competition?

I was poor. I was losing weight. I was antisocial. I was honestly going to die if I kept going. I know it sounds dramatic, and honestly it feels dramatic saying this, especially since I've seen before and since so many people make it in this industry. But, it wasn't for me. So, I made one of the toughest decisions of my life and walked away.

That was in 2016. And now, almost ten years later (and ten years from when I first started ballroom), I'm in a much better place. I have a great job, a stable relationship, a roof over my head, a pet I can see every day - and I made up for lost time with Lali as well (well, as much as I could anyway).

As hard as it was physically, mentally, and emotionally on me, though, I still miss it. I'll never get a feeling like that again, and while I'm mostly okay with it, I wonder what would have happened if I kept going.

Anyway, that's it. Just musing about that.

April 3, 2024

Happy April! It's been way more snowy and rainy here the last couple weeks than all of February was. A bit annoying but that's spring for you!

My Mimitchi has come and gone :( But! I was happy that I was able to get them. I've also decided I'll add my other Tamagotchis into the tracking rotation. I'm thinking something like:

Gen 2 > Uni > Gen 1 > Nano > Repeat

Gonna take a break from tracking for now, but once I start up again, the Uni will be next! I'm super excited because I got it a week ago but I haven't really fiddled with it yet.

In other news, I'm attempting a dopamine detox! I do way too much scrolling on social media, and I've been feeling super bored and numb for a while. I hope that by doing this, it will inspire me to be a bit more creative with my free time. I think it'll be temporary because I do enjoy going on social media, but I don't want it to consume my entire free time.

That's all! Just wanted to give you all a quick update <3

Recent pins:

March 15, 2024

Hello hello! I've been back for a few days now, but from the 4th - 12th (originally 11th lol, I'll get there), I was in Italy! My boyfriend had a work conference where he actually made a presentation, and it went super well! His job requires him to travel quite a bit, which is a nice perk for me because then I get to go to cool places heueueueue (^_−)☆

We left on the 4th and arrived on the 5th, which gave Joel a full day to explore before he had to do work stuff. We sort of took it easy on the first day, just to get our bearings and look around Florence. The second day we went to the Galileo museum! It was super cool to see the history of all the famous astronomers, along with the telescopes they used. There were also *huge* globes everywhere, and they also had Galileo's right middle finger just chilling there? Not sure why, but it was interesting to say the least!

Later that day we found a cat cafe that only had a specific breed of cat, and they were so pretty! I went to the cafe twice during my trip, and the last time I went, one of the cats sat on my lap! Then Joel had to attend his conference's opening ceremony, so I went to the Gucci Garden, which is a museum where the original House of Gucci is. It was small, but it was full of interactive sets and videos, and it had a great collection of shoes, purses, and outfits worn by celebrities throughout the decades.

The next couple days were just a lot of walking and exploring. I walked up to Piazza Michelangelo and got an awesome view of the city. It was raining for a lot of our trip, but I got lucky that morning. We did end up going back to this spot at night on our last day because...our flight home got canceled on the 11th! So we had an impromptu extra day. For some reason our luck with flying is so terrible - cancelations, delays, tight or missed connections, etc. - so at this point I honestly just expect something to go wrong every time I travel (even though our flights there were perfect).

And here are some miscellaneous images of the city, including our day trip to Lucca, which was a walled city about two hours west of Florence. Florence is such a cool city, and I'd highly recommend visiting, especially if you're an art afficianado or a foodie!

In other news:

I think that's it, haha. bye for now! ฅ(•ㅅ•❀)ฅ

February 20, 2024

In case you missed it: the tamagotchi section is live! You can find the regular link in the toybox section. I'm really happy with the way the page turned out, and I'd love if you took a look and gave it some love! I will get back to tracking my next tama once I come back from Italy in March - I don't want to worry about obtaining a specific tama during vacation ^^;

I've been having a lot of thoughts about my career within the last week or so, mainly fueled by a second round of layoffs that happened at my work. Luckily no one on my team was affected, but it came out of nowhere and quite a few colleagues I've worked with before were affected. Of course, this made me start vigorously thinking about how I can improve my portfolio and overall presence in web design. I'm also in the middle of attending a conference about digital accessibility and it's fueling and inspiring me to figure out how to get more good notoriety within the industry.

Despite being a web designer professionally for a little under three years now, my online portfolio is dismal. I don't know if this is just because I have such terrible impostor syndrome, or if I can't satisfy myself with the design of my website (not this one), or if it's because I can't pick a single case study or project I've done in my work that I want to put into my portfolio. It's incredibly frustrating and I'm unsure of what to do, and I don't want to be caught off guard in case the layoffs that have loomed over my company come after me eventually. I don't think they will because I got the highest rating in my annual review, but...you never know.

I'm not entirely sure how to make myself stand out either as a desirable candidate. Perpetual identity crisis.

Anyway, I don't know if this is the right place to be ranting about this, but...I'm hoping to get some advice I guess? Or maybe just a sympathetic ear. I don't know lol.

February 15, 2024

Some future ideas for the website:

I added the layout archive to the about section, but I would like it to be a little more organized and easy to find. I also realized that I kind of put myself into a box with this layout in terms of navigation. I could just keep adding them to the top bar, but then I would have more than one row and I don't think I would like the way that looks ლ(¯ロ¯”ლ)

recent pins:

February 14, 2024

Hello! Welcome to a new layout which, like its predecessors, is pink! I don't know why I keep going for a pink theme for my layouts...it just kind of happens ^^; I swear I don't intend for that to happen.

Anyway, for this layout I tried to emulate fan-made anime layouts with a scrolling div and a splash page! I think I did a good job while still keeping it accessible for people on mobile - BUT! if you're viewing this on mobile, you're really missing out. This site (and many other neocities sites) are a much better experience on desktop. As I've said before on my twitter *coughXcough*, sometimes I feel like responsive design has taken away the creative part of making layouts - like using fun images or design concepts for the sake of making the website accessible on all devices. I think that's why minimalist design is really hanging on in the web design world. Basic backgrounds, mostly text, clean images - these are the things that work best everywhere. It's fine for its intended purpose I suppose, but it's so boring. I'll complain about it forever.

You'll also notice that I got rid of the previous entries. I was fighting way too hard with dreamwidth in order to keep it looking nice on the actual website. I think from now on I'll just stick to making my blog posts manually. Hope that's all right! If you want to see previous entries for whatever reason, you can click here.

In other news, Joel and I celebrated our 6-year anniversary in January. We went out of town for a night, just the two of us, which was super needed and relaxing. I also saw Paprika in theatres this past weekend with some friends, and it was super good! I'm really surprised that it took me this long to see it, considering I really like Satoshi Kon's work. May he rest in peace.