Where Have I Been?

Hello. I am still alive.

I will split this blog post into 2 parts: a blog update and a Japanese update.

So it’s been over 2 years since I’ve posted an update on this blog. There’s a reason for that.

Sometimes I write something, and it feels like it could be better conveyed as audio or video. And by sometimes, I mean a lot of times. So I made a YouTube channel. But after I created the channel, what ended up happening was that something that was written that could be either a blog post or a video ends up being a video.

Now, you might think that I could just post the video, and then upload the script as a blog post. But that’s where my own personal issues arise.

You see, there is a reason why I have my own blog website instead of making an account on some blogging platform. And that is analytics. Specifically, the lack of analytics. I would say I have an—in my opinion—pretty valid fear of people on the internet.

I do not want to know how many people ‘like’ something I do. I do not want to know how many people viewed something I made. I dread reading comments addressed to me. This anxiety has been created over the years by being quite a veteran on the YouTube platform (my first video was posted in 2009).

Of course, at that point any hurtful comments were probably warranted since I was just a little shit on the internet (all those videos are long privated/deleted), but I probably became a bit too self-conscious of what I do. Being a kid and watching the videos you make gets tens of thousands of views (and the hate that comes with popularity) really does a number on your mental health.

This is all to say, even though I made a YouTube channel, I will not advertise it here. I actually have quite a few rules that I placed on myself that is really counterproductive to anyone who wants to ‘make it big’ on YouTube. I don’t care about ‘making it big’. I just have a desire to create, and need some outlet for it. Since I personally find it intersting all the different ways I’m shooting myself in the foot, I’ll list them here:

  • No looking at analytics. Subscribers, likes, views, etc.
  • No reading comments.
  • No advertising the channel. The channel does not exist in my public online presence.
  • No other social media presence.
  • No info about me except I’m learning Japanese and I’m really bad (this was slightly broken when I finally revealed my first name on the 1 year anniversary of the channel).
  • No clickbait. Titles should just say what the video is about.
  • Making thumbnails are optional.
  • No background music unless I made it.
  • Talking-to-the-camera-style videos should ideally be under 4 minutes.

It really just boils down to making videos for fun like I used to before YouTube became a valid career path and people started paying attention to the algorithm. This secrecy is to the point where I have friends who have helped me record videos for the channel who do not know what the channel is called.

However, to not make this website a content desert, I will start to post some overlapping content on here. If somehow you are a viewer of my YouTube channel and also found this website and think ‘this dude must be plagarizing this channel’ it’s just me plagarizing myself :)

Now for the important part: The Japanese Update.

I have now gone to Japan. Not only that, but I have 2 upcoming trips scheduled to go to Japan again.

Do I know enough Japanese to get around? Yeah, mostly. Even without English, I was able to stumble my way through most normal situations. Although I definitely did not expect my first time speaking Japanese to be at immigration because they weren’t able to scan my passport since it has been through the wash a few times (got a new one after that incident). There are quite a few other interesting anecdotes in the time I was in Japan. I might leave that for another post (or perhaps another video).

Would I say that going to Japan improved my Japanese though? Probably not. The opportunities I had to actually speak Japanese were pretty minimal. Especially in Tokyo, it’s very accommodating to foreigners. I would however say that it directed me on what I need to know if I wanted to achieve conversational fluency. Maybe on one of my future trips I just go to the middle of nowhere and really try to figure things out on my own.

I actually don’t think I’ve improved a lot since my last update. In terms of grammar I’m probably between N3 and N2. Speaking-wise I’m worse than a toddler. Listening is second-worse, especially when they’re speaking fast or slurring a lot. Reading is mostly ok for day-to-day situations but anything slightly domain-specific and I’m back to being a toddler. I’m definitely in the intermediate plateau, and I don’t see myself breaking out of it for quite a while (for reference, I considering ‘advance’ as being beyond N1). My personal obligations have increased since I’ve started learning the language, and I can’t dedicate a lot of time to it anymore.

Anyways, hopefully my next post isn’t in a few years. I’ll catch you guys then.