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What Did January Teach Me? // An Update

So I am shamelessly stealing this idea from Amanda Tero. But since she encouraged us to do it… xD there you are. Read her instagram post here!

So yes, this is a ~ v e r y ~ l a t e ~ update. But oh well. I wasn’t in the mood to do an update earlier, and I didn’t have the time, either. So here goes.

{ What Happened }

Not gonna lie. January was a tough month. A real tough month. I started it out in fear, actually. On New Year’s Day I nearly had a panic attack as I wondered what 2021 would bring in.

My second semester of college began on the 11th. It was tough, but overall it was enjoyable—even if all the papers I had to copyedit were very boring! XD (I know quite a lot about Hawaiian birds now, btw. And about Hawaii itself.) I really liked my instructor, but since I’d dropped out of my class last year, I was the new face in a group that had known each other for a long time, so group stuff isn’t as fun—I’m pretty much on the fringe of things. That was an adjustment in itself—I’d gone in expecting everything to be the same.

My 20th birthday was looming up on the 26th and I was very upset about that. All my life I’d been seeing 20 as the “magic” age, where everything would work out and I’d be perfect. Welp…. I’m not, and nowhere being perfect. That was also a big stress to me.

And finally, I had stressful doctor appointment and money-involved things looming up too.

The first week of January was rough. In my journal, I see that I was dealing with frustration over not hitting all my goals, the curfew, an appointment that I had forgotten was coming up and hadn’t gotten mentally prepared for, the departure of one of my close friends for a job where she couldn’t communicate with me, inability to fulfill something I really wanted to do for someone, worry over friends dumping me, anxiety because people “wasted” themselves on me (aka gifted me things), churches closing + restrictions, and the storming of D.C. Yeah. XD

However, the second week went well. I found my footing back in Joy and Peace and really clung to that even when friends starting having bad problems and I was assailed by guilt for a bad experience in 2020. I was delighted that I was doing well again.

aNd ThEn WeEk ThReE hApPeNeD.

I don’t recall what sparked it, but I went into severe depression, anxiety, frustration, and anger. The next two weeks were a constant see-saw between “I’m okay” and “I’m so upset I don’t even want to talk to my friends” (which is a huge deal for me). I also learned that (possibly all) may wisdom teeth need to come out. Always a huge fear of mine. And that also leads to doctor appointments. So more anxiety.

I had tons of support from friends, and I also had constant encouragement from the Bible. (Isaiah, Psalms, and Job are the bomb. Just saying.) But all the same, it was very painful. My birthday was okay—had some good moments, though I had a lot of anxiety and unhappiness too. However, we did some really fun stuff. You can see pictures here, but I’ll post the text below…

“‘Ah,’ said Napoleon, ‘at last I shall measure swords with this Vilainton.’ For although the French and British troops had often met, Napoleon had always been fighting elsewhere, and had never met Wellington in battle.”
🇫🇷 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🇬🇧 🇩🇪
The Battle of Waterloo has always been one of my favourite battles. Wellington is a pet history figure of mine, & so is Napoleon—he fascinates me. The battle itself is full of power & interest. I first read of it in “Our Island Story,” my first history book & the first thing to make me fall in love with history & Britain 💙—and also one of my top favourite books for most of my life. 
So when @efbuckleswriter talked of beef Wellington at Christmas, I was intrigued. I looked it up & thought it sounded awesome. And when my father said I needed to pick a meal we’ve never had that we could make together for my birthday, I picked beef Wellington.
Now, I heard of napoleons a long time ago & always wanted some. So when it turned out that we had leftover puff pastry, I suggested, off-hand, apple napoleons. And then I clicked. Napoleon & Wellington!
So in the end we made apple napoleons for dessert & I went ahead to have a Waterloo-themed party! According to tradition, beef Wellington was invented to celebrate Waterloo. There’s a story floating that Napoleon ate too much puff-pastry on the eve of Waterloo & had indigestion in the battlefield, leading to puff-pastry desserts being called napoleons! Story is discredited, but I’d love to believe it. 
Blütcher/ the Germans was represented by pickles, sauerkraut, & applesauce. (My sister reminded me roast beef & applesauce was Noah Webster’s favourite & I was thrilled because Webster is one of my heroes too, & his biography was another of my top favourites as a kid.)
The French were represented by salad & the apple napoleons. And I was wearing my Canada shirt—Canada, where we have English + French + German. 😉
Some girls want a tea party for their birthday. I crafted a meal representing a battle. 😆

So yes, that was very fun. 😀

The week after my birthday I slowly began to get out of my depression. And that falls into February, so that’s all I will say for now.

{ Joys of the Month }

After all that negativity, here’s some positive stuff that happened!

videochat talks with friends (one for over 4 hours) // lots of sweet messages & shoutouts to be grateful for // friends who let me cry, listen to me, & offer sympathy, advice, + help // sending random messages that you’re praying for someone is amazing // writing a novella (26,000+ words) & having friends read along + fangirl // discussing my characters & brainstorming with friends // deepening friendships // being helpful to people // keeping a streak on Duolingo for the first time in forever // picked fun nicknames for a group of friends + me // the 4yo snuggling with me when I went to the dentist & had a super sore mouth // picking out new glasses // the KDWC mini camp // got signed copies of Kassie Angle’s books // asked for messages to read over when my depression tells me I am a terrible friend & got such an outpouring of love I cried // lots of fun typos // good music <33 (btw this is my new music obsession) // got a new nickname: Katsina // my family got two rabbits // solid 100% grades // did a reel with a bookstagram friend // got some good ARCs // really enjoyed Pinterest 🙂 // read 50 books & short stories // celebrated the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century by listening to Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 & writing a 21-word story // steps taken against abortion // splurged & got some books I’ve wanted for a long time with birthday money // listened to this song on repeat //

~ What I Learned ~

~ Change can start now. Every moment is a chance to try again. (Full post here.)

~ When my eyes are off me I can be joyful & be a blessing. (Read more here.)

~ Take heed & be quiet. (

~ Look to the Light. (

~ Not I, but Christ. (Full post:

~ The Bible really has all we need. (

~ Blessings can come through raindrops. ❤ (

~ Pray about it.

~ Be willing to give up your hopes. (Go read Fanny’s Hope Chest.)

~ Gifts are free. (

~ Stand faithful & forsake not. (

~ Live Ecclesiastes. Live Isaiah 12. (More thoughts on that later.)

{ Reading Update }

Read: 50 books & short stories.

DNFed: 1 book (Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare).
1 star: 1 book (Red Room by L.M. Montgomery).
3 stars: 5 books.
3.5 stars: 3 books.
4 stars: 7 books.
5 stars: 8 books.
5+ stars & 7/10 hearts: 4 books.

Favourite Book of the Month: The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge.


Tell me what your January was like. And what do you think of my new update format, btw?


Published by Katja L.

Hello! :) I'm Katja. I'm a Canadian bibliophile, book reviewer, writer, and child of God. I love too many things to name, but among them are chocolate, heirlooms, history, fancy handwriting, grammar & punctuation, laughter, tearjerking books, lists, organized bookshelves, pink roses, flowing skirts, hymns, and pretty much anything old-fashioned, beautiful, & classy.

18 thoughts on “What Did January Teach Me? // An Update

  1. Very nice, Katja!
    I can see your month was like a rollercoaster ride with plenty ups and downs. But once again, God was there through it all and His Holy Spirit was there to be your Comforter. Praying for you and hoping these next few months are easier! Here for you all the way! 💕😊🤟🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah fun post! I love these! My January was good… it was my birthday but i also had finals 😦 They went ok…. considering me and tests xD I made several news friends and started semester two!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Victoria! I’m so glad you had a good January but SORRY I FORGOT TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🤦🏻‍♀️ Finals are no fun but glad they’re over and went well!! And yay for new friends and new semesters, hehe!


  3. I’ve never seen your updates before, but I think you’re doing a fantastic job with your format! I had no idea you were so young! 🤯I mean, I’m only 16 (so I’m one to talk) but you write so well! 🤗 Its so funny you mentioned that song “Blessings” (come thru raindrops), because I literally just finished playing (aka, trying to play!) that song on piano! My mom loves it too.
    Man, anxiety is not fun. 😥 I hope you’re feeling a LOT better! (And I love your meal idea – warrior princesses all the way, right? 🤣)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Makayla! Hahah, thank you! You write well too though 😉 Eeee you can play that?! How awesome!! And thank you, yes, I’m doing way better. Haha, yes indeedy 😁😁😁

      Liked by 1 person

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