It’s a new year and with it comes the promise of a new beginning for many looking to put the hardships of last year behind them. Like many, I see the new year as a chance to start fresh, both online and in my personal life. 2019 ended on a high note with me finally securing a full time job, giving me a much more positive outlook for the new year. There will of course be some ups and downs, but I’m definitely optimistic about what 2020 has in store for me moving forward.
So, when the lovely Lyn revealed that the theme for our first Blog Tour of 2020 would be visions, I was eager to put my own personal spin on the topic. Initially, I intended to write about the anime series revisions (which explains the feature image), and while I’ll probably plug the series at some point in this post, I felt that a more personal post was necessary this time around.
Happy New Year! Since it is a new year, it’s a new you! This month we will be talking about various pop culture mediums that focus on envisioning “the future.” What type of future do we want for ourselves, our communities, and the world? Also, we will be sharing our goals and plans for the new year. Once again, happy new year!
-OWLS January 2020 “Visions” Blog Tour Prompt
OWLS has grown and changed considerably since it’s inception back in 2017, I remember being approached by the President of OWLS Katrina Sade to join the group that at the time had a very simple goal, “to create a safe space for people to be free being who they are”. We didn’t have a huge platform back then, it was just a small group of bloggers from the aniblogging community who wanted to make a small difference in the world.
There were just 13 of us back then— Kausus, Kat, Arria Cross, Lyn, Crimson, Pink, Venus, Shay, Matt, Takuto, Lita, and myself. We may not have always seen eye to eye on certain things and we each came from all over the world, but there was a sense of camaraderie between us back then that served as the heart and soul of OWLS Bloggers. Over the years some of the original OWLS members have taken a step back from blogging to focus on other exploits, while some have changed their focus from aniblogging to other topics, and now, three years later, only a handful of us OG OWLS members are still active in the group. It’s always sad to see someone leave the group, because we had forged such a strong bond with each other, that went beyond just OWLS or even the online aniblogging community.
As with most things there is always a changing of the guard so to speak, and in the three years I have been apart of the OWLS family, I have seen some truly spectacular new talents join our ranks. Each new member brings their own unique perspective to the team and we welcome that opportunity to grow from within. We encourage discussion. We encourage community. We encourage vision. OWLS is run by people and while we’ve had our fair share of growing pains in the three years we’ve been up and running, it’s that shared goal of fellowship and acceptance that has truly made my OWLS experience worthwhile.
But, over the years I’ve begun to feel that there is a disconnect between myself and the aniblogging community. Part of that is my own doing, I am notoriously terrible at keeping up with social media and I tend to shy away from big groups, preferring to have a few close friends to large friend circles. I also have a hard time working up the courage to actually talk to people I don’t know, but once I get over my awkwardness I’m usually alright, but it can come off as a bit flighty to folks who don’t know me very well. It’s one of my 2020 goals to be more active online, and I have been making a small effort towards it since the new year began. And OWLS has always facilitated that social aspect of my online experience, but in recent years I haven’t been feeling that camaraderie I once felt within the group. This isn’t so much a criticism, since folks have always been on their own wavelengths and we’ve always had a bit of a relaxed vibe within OWLS. But, the community aspect of OWLS is what drew me to the group in the first place and it’s a little sad to feel it less and less of it over the years.
So, what does this have to do with our “Vision” theme? Everything. In 2020, my vision for the OWLS team isn’t so much growth, but community. I want us to have fun with OWLS again. I want to have that sense of community I felt back when the team was just a small group of bloggers with a dream. And yeah it sounds cheesy, and sure it’s a bit harder now that our ranks have grown to over 30 members, but I want to make this new year about rebuilding that bond we had in the very beginning. With life being as crazy as it is, I have always had my OWLS family to hold me down and I want the newer members to have that too.
Oh, remember when I said I’d find some way to shoehorn in revisions?
While we aren’t fighting futuristic mechanical monsters, we at OWLS are like Daisuke and his friends—just regular folks working together to create a safe place for those around us. We will stumble and sometimes we’ll lose our way, but, we have always been stronger together and when the OWLS crew gets together we can move mountains!
That’s my take on the Visions Blog Tour, it was definitely a much more personal post than I usually write, but the spirit moved me to share my feelings a bit. As always, I am just one in a long line of OWLS posts this month, so don’t forget to stop by The Anime Spellbook to read Aria’s phenomenal post about Dr. Stone and be sure to visit Fred’s blog, Au Natural on the 21st for what OWLS fun! Also if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Official OWLS Twitter account @OWLSbloggers and the Official OWLS Blog, to stay up to date on all OWLS news and announcements!
If you are interested in becoming a member of the OWLS team, please feel free to fill out the contact form, HERE! So don’t be afraid to reach out to any of us on our blogs, on twitter, or at the contact page to learn more about us!! You just need an open mind and a willingness to have fun! Catch you guys on the flipside!