Year in Review // The Year I Changed My Name – 2019

I am so glad 2019 is over

Which is a mood I end every year on…which is probably a bad sign. 

But I’m just counting the fact that I survived a win.

So what did I read? What did I watch? What goals did I accomplish? Let’s find out together because I’ve already forgotten like the first half of the year. 

If you would like to buy any of the following books please consider using my Book Depository Affiliate link!

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2018 Stats

🍃 Read 104 books

🍃 Read 23,900 pages

🍃 DNF’d 5 books

🍃 The shortest book I read was 32 pages long

🍃 The longest was 563 pages long

🍃 Averaged about 215 pages

🍃 Average rating was 4 stars

2018 Diversity

🍃 96/104 of the books I read were diverse

🍃 63 had LGBT+ rep of some form

🍃 29 had f/f rep

🍃 63 had POC rep

🍃 29 had Neurodiverse characters

🍃 5 had a disability of some kind

🍃 19 portrayed a character who had been abused in some way

🍃 Only 2 books read represented religion

🍃 11 books had fat rep

🍃 19 were books I considered feminist

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2019 Stats

🍃Read 100 books

🍃 Read 23695 pages

🍃 DNF’d 1 book

🍃 Shortest read was 16 pages long 

I read a lot of graphic novels and children’s history books while I was trying to do a pretty intense course.

🍃 Longest book was 482 pages long. 

🍃 Averaged to about 237 pages per book

🍃 My average rating was 4.1 stars

2019 Diversity

🍃 90/100 of the books I read were diverse

🍃 51 books had LGBT rep

🍃 31 of those were sapphic

🍃 63 books had POC rep

🍃 16 had disability rep

🍃 30 had neurodiverse rep

🍃 34 books had characters who experienced some kind of abuse

🍃 19 books had religion representation which is a huge leap from last year

🍃 7 books had fat characters

🍃 19 were working-class/experienced poverty

🍃 25 were books I considered feminist

🍃 4 had sex worker representation

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So I upped my game in some areas and fell a little short in others but I’m pretty happy with how diversely I’ve read this year and am hoping to do even better next year. 

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2019 TBR

Read

city of ghostsCity of Ghosts│Cassidy Blake #1│Victoria Schwab│

Rejected Princesses│Jason Porath│

Bygone Badass Broads│Mackenzi Lee│

Sharp Objects│Gillian Flynn│

Sadie│Courtney Summers│

Sawkill Girls│Claire Legrand│

Currently Reading

Percy Jackson and the Olympians│Rick Riordan│

The Raven Cycle│Maggie Stiefvater│

Did Not Read

percy jackson the lightning thief percy jackson and the olympians PJATOShadow and Bone Series│Leigh Bardugo│

The Conqueror’s Saga│Kiersten White│

Montague Siblings│Mackenzi Lee│

Villains│VE Schwab│

The Dark Artifices│Cassandra Clare│

Harry Potter Series│JK Rowling│

The Hate U Give│Angie Thomas│

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda│Creekwood Series│Becky Albertelli│

Children of Blood & Bone│Legacy of Orïsha #1│Tomi Adeyemi│

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Out of 17 books/series I read 6, am currently reading 2 series on this list and didn’t touch 9. Which honestly??? Is better than I thought I did. I made this list knowing I’d probably ignore it entirely so I had low expectations.

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My Top Ten

These are all books I rated 5 stars!

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anger is a giftAnger is a Gift│Mark Oshiro│📥💚│🌈☀️💐🌹🌑✨🌱✅ 15/11

This book was so bloody brilliant and heartbreaking.

│The Raven Cycle│The Raven Boys 15/2│The Dream Thieves 25/3│Blue Lily, Lily Blue 31/5│Maggie Stiefvater│📖🏳️‍🌈🔆🌹✨▶️🔄

I am not ready for this series to end which is why I haven’t picked up the final book. 

If We Were Villains│M.L. Rio│📚│🌈🌹✅ 19/10

I was confused basically the entire time but boy did I enjoy the ride.

Book of Pride│Mason Funk│📖🎧│🌈☀️🌹✨✅ 21/8

Cried in my car on the way to work every morning I listened to this. Did that make me rethink my choices??? Absolutely not. 

Born a Crime│Trevor Noah│📖🎧│☀️🌹✅ 11/9

So many sucker punches to the gut.

laura dean keeps breaking up with meLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me│Mariko Tamaki│📚│🌈☀️🌹✅ 8/8

This was super cathartic as someone who has experienced abuse. 

Heartstopper Vol 1│Heartstopper│Alice Oseman│📚│🌈☀️🌹✅ 14/8

This was so stinking cute. My heart was so warm the entire time I read it.

The Wicked + The Divine Vol 1-7│Kieron Gillen│📚│🌈☀️🌹✨✅ 2/8 – 8/10

Last year I picked up Saga and was not prepared for what I was signing up for. The Wicked + The Divine has been 2019’s version of that. 

Books of the Year

This was a tough choice, which is why I have two top books, instead of just one. These were the books that changed me the most as a person. The ones with characters and stories that buried themselves into my heart, mind and soul.

sadie book sawkill girls

Sadie│Courtney Summers│📚│🌈💐🌹🔥🌱✅ 14/2

I support one murderous stuttering sapphic child.

Sawkill Girls│Claire Legrand│📚│🌈☀️🌹🌑🔥✅ 14/4

I would die for the Sawkill Girls.

In fact, I think a part of me did while reading this. But in a good way. 


Grey Reads

🍃 Grey Reads For Mental Health Awareness // Love Doesn’t Cure All (Thank Fuck For That) – Made You Up

🍃 Grey Reads // It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas – My True Love Gave To Me

🍃 Grey Reads // I Paid $12 for Disappointment – Let It Snow


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2019 TBW

Watched

captain marvel movie poster.jpgCaptain Marvel

Avengers: Endgame

Rocketman

Men in Black: International

One Day At A Time│Season 3│

Game of Thrones│Season 8│

Stranger Things│Season 3│

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK│Season 1│

Did Not Watch

Rocketman movie poster.jpgThe Hate U Give

On The Basis of Sex

Detective Pikachu

Aladdin

Spider-Man: Far From Home

It: Chapter 2

Star Wars: Episode IX

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 2

This isn’t my fault because it got pushed back until 2020.

Big Little Lies│Season 2│

Currently Watching

Brooklyn Nine-Nine│Season 6│

Mindhunter│Season 2│

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My Top Ten Films

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the favourite movie poster.jpgThe Favourite│🎥│2018│🎬 Yorgos Lanthimos│🌟 Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz│

I watched this for the second time recently and it’s still a masterpiece. 

A Simple Favor│🎥│2018│🎬 Paul Feig│🌟 Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding │

This movie is batshit and I love it. 

Mary Queen of Scots│🎥│2018│🎬 Josie Rourke│🌟 Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden│

Not at all historically accurate but still powerful. 

Rocketman│🎥│2019│🎬 Dexter Fletcher│🌟 Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden│

A gay acid trip.

Charlie’s Angels│🎥│2019│🎬 Elizabeth Banks│🌟 Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska│

Brothers Girlfriend: So why did you pick this movie? 
Me: Because I’m gay for Kristen Stewart 

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Unicorn Store│🎥│2017│🎬 Brie Larson│🌟 Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack│

A rainbow acid trip.

How this didn’t end up being gay is beyond me. 

Captain Marvel│🎥│2019│🎬 Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck│🌟 Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn│

I am so gay for Brie Larson. 

Venom│🎥│2018│🎬 Ruben Fleischer│🌟 Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed│

The gay subtext. 

Men In Black: International│🎥│2019│🎬 F. Gary Gray│🌟 Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani│

This movie is for the bisexuals and I won’t be told any different.

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I’ve not actually watched that many movies this year so this was a harder list to do.

Avengers: End Game did not make this list. You know what you did. 

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My Top Ten T.V. Series

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good omens poster.jpgGood Omens│Season 1│📺│2019│💭 Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett│🌟 David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Frances McDormand│

Mum: You like the idea that there is some truth to the things you were brought up on but slightly different.
Me: I think I just like the idea of dickhead angels and soft demons
Mum: Where did that interest come from, do you think?
Me: I don’t know, probably Supernatural. 

Unbelievable│Season 1│📺│2019│💭 Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman│🌟 Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever │

Powerful and so deeply upsetting in its realism.

The Haunting of Hill House│Season 1│📺│2018│💭 Mike Flanagan│🌟 Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel│

I have still not recovered. 

Russian Doll│Season 1│📺│2019│💭 Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler│🌟 Natasha Lyonne, Charlie Barnett, Greta Lee│

I honestly can’t remember how this ended because my memory is a treasonous bastard but that just means I have an excuse to rewatch the entire first season before I watch the second one this year. 

Dead to Me│Season 1│📺│2018│💭 Liz Feldman│🌟 Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden│

This was everything I wanted it to be. 

killing eve poster.jpgKilling Eve│Season 1-2│📺│2018│💭 Phoebe Waller-Bridge│🌟 Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw│

Local woman still shocked every time the murderous psychopath kills another person.

Fleabag│Season 1-2│📺│2016│💭 Phoebe Waller-Bridge│🌟 Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford, Olivia Colman│

Honestly just give Phoebe Waller-Bridge all of the trophies. She deserves them. 

The Good Place│Season 3-4│📺│2016│💭 Michael Schur│🌟 Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil│

I am dying waiting for the final episodes but also I’m not ready. 

Sex Education│Season 1│📺│2019│💭 Laurie Nunn│🌟 Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa│

Emma Mackey looks so much like Margot Robbie it freaks me out. 

Derry Girls│Season 1-2│📺│2018│💭 Lisa McGee│🌟 Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan│

Must protect the Derry Girls. Yes, that includes James. 

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Honestly, there’s so much good television at the moment that I can not keep up with it. I’m drowning in good content. 

Game of Thrones did not make this list. You know what you did.


Grey Watches

🍃 Grey Watches // A Lesson in Bad Parenting – Home Alone

🍃 Grey Watches // Join the Kevin Protection Squad Today! – Home Alone 2

🍃 Grey Watches // Petition to Make all the Christmas Movies Gay – Let it Snow 


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Highlights

There’s not a whole lot of highlights this year because the year really took it out of me. 

I wasn’t feeling creative at all. I couldn’t come up with any original content. I posted hardly any reviews. I only posted one Grey Learns. I was just in a really bad slump and I had no idea how to get out. 

slump couch hitting head

But I believe taking a six-month-long semi-hiatus was something I needed to do for myself and I’m so thankful to the people who stayed with me during that time. 

🍃 Grey Reads // Everything’s On Fire and I Couldn’t Be Happier – Girls of Paper and Fire

🍃 Grey Reads For Mental Health Awareness // Love Doesn’t Cure All (Thank Fuck For That) – Made You Up

🍃 Grey Learns // A Groundbreaking Journalist, Strong Abolitionist and Feminist – Ida B. Wells


Month In Review

🍃 Month in Review // The Month From Hell – March

🍃 Month in Review // So Many Readathons! – April | Part 1

🍃 Month in Review // I Think I Need To Delete Facebook Again – May


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2019 Goals

🍃 Get to a point where I walk 10000 steps a day. ✅

There was a point where I walked 10000 steps a day regularly but then my feet started to play up real bad and I stopped. 

🍃 Find a way to be more financially stable somehow. ❌

AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA.

Upside I’m finished paying back my nana for my previous car that I crashed in March so that frees up a little extra money each month. 

🍃 Finish a draft for my WIP. ❌

AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA.

No. 

🍃 Read 50 books. ✅

Definitely did this one. 

🍃 Legally change my name FINALLY! ✅

YES!!!!!

This is the shining light of 2019 for me! 

🍃 Continue going to therapy. ✅

Definitely did this one and cried less than last year and didn’t need any emergent appointments either so I guess that’s progress. 

🍃 Take regular mental health days ✅

Yes! Definitely took mental health days this year which was good. 

🍃 Play more video games. ✅

I played so much Sims. 

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Wow! I did better than I thought! Go 2019 Me. 

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I Did Stuff

🍃 Legally changed my name

The highlight of my entire year. 

🍃 Got to see Daniel Sloss live!

So, so, so good!

🍃 Went on hikes

Peak pushing myself!

🍃 Finally got an official diagnosis for Fibromyalgia

🍃 Also got diagnosed with IIH

These sound bad but are actually good. I’ve known I have fibro for years but wasn’t in a good head-space to go through the lengthy diagnosis process until this year and the rheumatologist has been so good and I just feel very comfortable with him. And I’m pretty good at managing it on my own at this point so mostly I just wanted a diagnosis so that GP’s would take me seriously when I do say I need help. 

The IIH was a total surprise after getting my eyes tested and being sent for further testing. An MRI and lumbar puncture later and I officially have IIH and am on tablets to help reduce the fluid in my brain. Also experienced my first migraines ever and they were not fun at all. But I’m glad someone picked up on my IIH early because apparently, that shit is serious. 

I think when you have lived with chronic pain for your whole life and you’ve known that’s what it is for years your reaction to a diagnosis can go one of two ways. You either freak the fuck out or you’re just like ah, affirmation that I am not crazy and my past doctors were just dicks. 

🍃 I came off my medication!

I consulted my doctor. This isn’t something I did on a whim but is something I thought about and knew was right for me and my rheumatologist agreed. 

I support people using medications that work for them but I don’t like being on them unless I have to. That’s just a personal preference for me.

I am doing better off them than I was on them. If that hadn’t been the case I would be going back on them or finding better alternatives. 

I came off these medications before I was diagnosed with IIH. I’m now on medication for that because I genuinely need to be and it’s not giving me any negative side effects so it’s a no-brainer. 

🍃 Attended Writers Week

Was so interesting and fun until the car accident but I still really enjoyed the experience!  

🍃 Updated my entire wardrobe

It’s amazing what some clothes can do for your self-esteem. I feel a lot more confident going out now and I’m not so self-conscious and worried about what people think about me as often. 

🍃 Worked full-time hours for 3 weeks

This helped me see that I totally can work full time and I do deserve a chance to prove I’m a good worker. Like I know I am but whenever I start applying for jobs and go to interviews it’s like all my confidence goes out the fucking window even though I know I’m good at what I do and can be good in the jobs I’m applying for. 

🍃 Cat sat 12 cats, twice!

This was so much fun. I really enjoyed myself and I loved getting to know so many different cats and seeing what it’s like to live on my own while I was cat sitting was a great experience. 

🍃 Started catching public transport without anxiety attacks!

Thanks to the car accident I had in March, I started to catch public transport until I got a new car and then when I did get one I kept catching public transport because it saved me so much money in petrol and parking and wear and tear on my car.

Now I catch a bus to and from work most days and usually only drive when it’s really hot or I have a lot of things to do around my shift or I’m having an especially bad pain day. This is such a huge improvement from how much anxiety I used to get from catching the train a few years ago and I’m super proud of myself!

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A lot of bad came out of 2019 but I didn’t want to focus on that. I wanted to focus on the good and things I was proud of myself for doing. 


Month Ahead

🍃 Month Ahead // Writers Week, Comedy & Too Much To Do – March

🍃 Month Ahead // Going Off Grid – April

🍃 Month Ahead // Mental Health Awareness – May


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What a year!

What did you do this year?
What did you read?
What posts did you write that you’re super proud of?

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