The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.

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2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Renee Alexis has read 0 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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A Year in Review | 2020 Wrap Up Part 3

2020 A Year in Review | Renee Alexis

Here we are, at last, on the last day of the year, have you made peace with 2020 yet? I think everyone will agree with me when I say that 2020 has been one of the heaviest and most difficult years yet. A lot has happened this year, January alone was very eventful. A World War III threat, Iran shot down a Ukrainian plane, the devastating eruption of Taal Volcano, strong earthquake in Turkey killed at least 36 people, there was heavy fire in Australia that killed a lot of flora and fauna, a flood in Indonesia killing 66 people, Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash along with other people in it. And all of these happened in January 2020 alone. Saying that it was a bad start to a year is an understatement. The start of 2020 felt like the beginning of the end.

Come March and the COVID-19 virus spread like wildfire causing a global pandemic and changed the world as we know it. Thousands were getting infected every day. Countries started closing their borders, flights were getting canceled, businesses were forced to close, and we were brought into an indefinite quarantine. It was like watching a zombie apocalypse movie but this time, the things we only saw on-screen became our reality. 

I did a lot of things during the quarantine because I suddenly found myself having a lot of free time. I journaled, learned French, took up online courses, got a writing job, read books, watched movies and tv series, and got sucked into TikTok. Doing these things took my mind off the stress and negativity on the things that I had no way of controlling. I was in a foreign country, thousands of miles apart from my family, and I was jobless. I was in Dubai when the virus outbreak came about. I had no plans at all to go home, but when we were furloughed and June came and things weren't getting better, I decided to pack my bags and go home.

Despite all the bad things that the coronavirus has caused in our lives, I still have things to be grateful for. I guess what I want to say here is that despite how this year turned out - bad things and all - I still can look at the bright side and say that a lot of good things happened for me.

Let's turn this post around, shall we? As an effort to review the year that was, I think it's time to stop talking about the negative things and start talking about the positive ones. Here are the things that shaped my 2020 into a better year - as better as it can ever be that is.

Going Home After Almost Two Years

I listed this down because I think this is the best thing that happened this year. Because of the pandemic, I got to go home. I didn't expect to miss home this much but it turned out that being at home is a hundred times better than being in a different country. I didn't realize that I missed my family this much.

Going Back to Being a Freelance Writer

When I realized that the pandemic wasn't going away soon, I started looking for a job online. I missed freelancing a lot and I am so thankful I found my current employer. Up to date, he is hands down the best boss to work for. I like my job, I like the tasks he gives me, and I like the flexibility. I didn't expect I'd get a part-time job so easily but I think this copywriting position was made for me. This job is definitely for keeps, I hope I can work with this company for a long time.

Taylor Swift Releasing Not One but Two Albums

Of course, this is going to be mentioned in this wrap-up. Taylor has been with me since high school and getting through the pandemic with her new music just made this year so much better. Nobody expected folklore to come out, and everybody definitely did not expect evermore to follow after just roughly five months. These sister albums are truly a gift. Thank you, Taylor!

Taylor Swift folklore and evermore

The Year of Fangirling

Being cooped up at home leaves you to consume a lot of entertainment - may that be movies, music, games, or tv shows. Having a lot of free time at hand, I got to discover a lot of artists this year. And a few of them, I've become a huge fan of in just a short span of time. This year is my peak-fangirling year yet. Here are some of the things I fangirled over:
  1. BrightWin - I never expected I'd go down the BL rabbit hole. But when I discovered 2gether The Series, I just instantly fell in love with Bright and Win. I think I fangirled about them the most. And "the most" meant I spent so much purchasing stuff to support them (oh my god that's so embarrassing to say LOL). To date, I've bought the Idolo and Olay products they've endorsed, I bought a ticket to attend their virtual fan meet event, and I ordered their plush dolls. I have NEVER in my life bought merch from any of the artists I've fangirled over - not even Taylor Swift! (albums don't count here)
    After watching the series, I listened to the soundtracks by Scrubb nonstop. And because of this, Scrubb was my top 2 artist for this year in my Spotify Wrap Up. (you can guess who my top 1 was) I watched BrightWin youtube videos, followed their social media accounts, and stayed up to date with their lives as much as I can. I celebrated Bright's birthday last 27th and even watched his IG live. Yes, I am THAT obsessed.

    BrightWin Altar | Renee Alexis

    Once I was down the BL rabbit hole, I wasn't able to come back up. I kept consuming BL dramas - both Thai and Filipino. I was also obsessed with TharnType and TayNew after watching their series, but not as much as I have fangirled over BrightWin. I think these two will be my topmost loved BL love team because I don't think anyone can top them. 💙
  2. Taylor Swift - This is not even something new now and I don't think I will ever stop talking about my love for her. That's that.
  3. KPop - It may not look like it but I also have my fair share of being into KPop. I love BtoB, Taeyang, CNBlue, and BlackPink. Recently, I got into BTS, and oh my gosh, I really didn't want to fall down another rabbit hole but these boys were irresistible. For so long, I have been hearing about BTS and Army, and through all those years, I never really delved into getting to know them because I know myself. I know that when I get into something, I obsess so much. I was obsessed with BlackPink since 2018, BtoB in 2017, CNBlue in 2018, Taeyang in 2019, and now BTS. Being a fangirl is sooooooooo exhausting sometimes, hahaha!
    When I heard Dynamite a few months ago, I instantly dug the music. But I never really looked more into the group. I just played that song on repeat for days. When their new album was released and Twitter was abuzz about their new song, Life Goes On, I still didn't budge. Until one day last week when I heard IU (oh yeah, I'm a fan of IU, too!) sang her rendition of Life Goes On, and I wasn't able to hold myself any longer. I started listening to other BTS songs, watched their music videos and live performances, and the rest, as they say, was history.
    I am in love with these boys. OH MY GOSH, THE TALENT. I can't stop smiling whenever Jimin comes into view. Jimin has just this light in him that makes my heart happy. He's a ball of energy and he makes me laugh! I guess it's safe to say that my bias is Jimin (sorry RM! I still love you though LOL).  

Joining in the BookTube Community

I thought my blog and bookstagram was enough for me to share my love for books. I don't know where I got the courage but last month, I created my first BookTube video solidifying my joining in the BookTube community. I'm not really great in front of the camera. I'm awkward, I stutter, get lost for words, and I just couldn't act like myself. Creating bookish videos is definitely challenging but I enjoy the process. I enjoy making scripts, and then filming myself, and then editing the video. It takes a lot of effort though, so I really admire these people in BookTube. Guys, how do you have so much time in your hands to film videos? Because I really have a hard time, especially now when my work is very demanding. 😅 I haven't been very active here this month because work just ate so much of my time. I have so many ideas I want to do but I just don't have the time. 😭 I hope next year, I can find the time to film videos again. I will definitely be back, I just don't know when yet.

Still, this is a milestone worth mentioning that has made my 2020. Getting to know more bookworms and to have like-minded people I can talk to about the books I've read - ah, it's super refreshing!


Celebrating the Holidays with My Family

The past two Christmas, I was far away from my family. I celebrated Christmas and New Year and my birthday away from home. This year, I am just so happy to be at home and celebrate the holidays with them. Speaking of, I'll be turning 27 tomorrow. Oh gosh, I'm older. Is it just me, or when you pass the age of 25, you start to forget what your age is already? Because I almost forgot I'm turning 27, I thought I was still going to be 26. I had to get a calculator to calculate my age. 😂 Anyway, I'm just really glad to end this year with my loved ones. Tomorrow marks a new beginning. 

We faced a lot of tragedies this year and each one was just as heartbreaking. Aside from the COVID Pandemic still being a threat here in the Philippines, a series of typhoons also hit some parts of the country in the past two months and it devastated a lot of my fellow countrymen. COVID, natural disasters, and add up to that the incompetent government we have, 2020 has really been just a shitty year. Yet despite everything, life goes on.

I won't make this post any longer now...long story short, I survived. Happy New Year, Everyone! xx

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