the girl behind the screen
Ho' boy, do we even still make these pages? I was honestly never all that good at explaining who I am and the like. I'm not sure what standard about pages look like anymore, but I'll give it a whirl. Actually, why don't we just go all-out and make this personal? I mean, if you're here, then that's an obvious sign that you want to know more about me.
The name I go by online is Aria - it's not my actual name, but it is a shortened version of it. I'm an interesting young woman who, if I'm being totally honest, cannot be described with just a few words. I'm complicated and complex, a walking talking assortment of mixed ideas and emotions, a truly flawed yet beautiful human being. I walk the middle ground with most things, such as being an extrovert with plenty of introvert tendencies. My predominant qualities were hard-earned through experiences, and as such are pieces of me I'm quite proud of. Among the most notable would be my resilience, straight-forward nature, passion, and empathy. I've seen a lot of shit, experienced more than my share, and somehow made it out tougher and more knowledgeable because of it. Despite the fact that I might come off more serious than intended, I honestly am a nice girl. I mean at the end of the day, I like to think that I am a decent person.
I'm currently residing in the ever-sunny land of California, a far cry from the southern US which I called home for most of my life. I'm enjoying employment in the gaming industry as a community & social media manager, which has provided me with some amazing opportunities. Since it's easier to get my hands on merchandise that appeals to me out here, I've started collecting various figures and memorabilia from series that I love. I spend most of my time at work, but during my free-time I can usually be found snuggled up with my two kittens Locke and Nall (whose names came from Final Fantasy VI and Lunar: Silver Star Story) or otherwise engaged in some type of activity centered around my hobbies.
As far as interests go, you can go ahead and put me in the nerdy category. For the most part, my interests have generally stayed the same over the years, with some lessening or increasing here and there. Anime and video games are at the top of the list, followed by comics, cosplay, fantasy novels and of course, web and graphic design. More recently, I've fallen back in love with music - specifically Korean Pop and 90's R&B - and I started taking hip hop dance classes this past fall. Most of my passions are centered around art of some medium, which might have a lot to do with how I was raised and my culture. I'm not going to make a comprehensive list of all the things I like, but I can break it down a bit for anyone who is interested.
- Favorite Anime/Manga: Tenkuu no Escaflowne, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, Kodomo no Omocha, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Pretear, MARS, Itazura na Kiss, Martian Successor Nadesico, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, Ayashi no Ceres, Digimon, Macross Frontier, Wolf's Rain, Itazura na Kiss, Samurai Champloo, Magic Knight Rayearth, Studio Ghibli movies (most notably Nausciaa & Princess Mononoke), Hotarubi no Mori e, Fruits Basket, Excel Saga and Cowboy Bebop.
- Favorite Animation: Disney movies, Don Bluth movies, Family Guy, American Dad, Bob's Burgers, Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Hey Arnold!, Gargoyles, Avatar the Last Airbender, Legend of Korra, Teen Titans, X-Men the Animated Series, Batman the Animated Series, Recess, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
- Favorite Video Games: Stardew Valley, Rune Factory 4, Dragon Age series, The Sims series, Fire Emblem Awakening, Fire Emblem Fates, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Kingdom Hearts series, Star Ocean series, Dragon Quest VIII, Tales of Zestiria, Animal Crossing series, Legend of Dragoon, Dynasty Warriors series, .Hack series and Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete and Rune Factory series.
- Favorite Movies: The Princess Bride, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Never Been Kissed, Ever After, My PS Lover, Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Dark Knight, My Sassy Girl, 200 Pounds Beauty, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, Sound of Music, Cinderella (1997), Major League, Coming to America, Star Wars series.
- Favorite TV Shows: 1 Litre of Tears, It Started with a Kiss, Koizora, Heartstrings, The Walking Dead, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Married with Children, In Livin' Color, Prince of Lan Ling, MARS
- Hobbies: Singing, dancing, collecting anime figures, reading manga, reading fantasy novels, roleplaying, playing video games (JRPG preference), listening to JPop & KPop, going to live concerts, cosplaying, fashion, hanging out with friends, learning about different cultures, cooking, cuddling with my kittens
in the past + reflection
As I mentioned on the domain page, this is not my first time making websites. I started around 2003 with a Geocities page full of my random weeaboo ramblings (that I'm sad to say still exists in some form). I branched out into fanlistings around 2005 when I adopted the Neji Hyuuga physical fanlisting, and then later expanded into the genre of shrines/fansites. Back then I lacked confidence in myself and my skills. Bluntly, you could say I disliked myself. Because of that, I was desperate to be liked by anyone, and that desperation led to me creating a persona - an avatar of the person I wanted to be. I embellished stories about myself, I told outright lies and painted a picture of someone that I felt could be likable, all in hope of receiving positive attention. I craved it, I needed someone - anyone - to want me around, to like me enough to be my friend and stick in there with me. And I did finally meet these people, nice folks who didn't mind talking to me or including me in their online experience. And for awhile, it was nice. But the thing about lies is that they eventually catch up to you, and that time did come for me. Unfortunately it came at the worst possible moment, when I was have a real-life meltdown and everything was going horribly wrong for me. When I actually needed help, when death and misfortune came knocking, I didn't have anyone beside me anymore and I sunk into a depression that I honestly had a hard time getting myself out of. The worst part though, what that during the course of this all, I ended up hurting people who truly did want to be my friend. People who wanted to know the real me, who just might have accepted me - faults and all - if I had given them the chance.
At the end, after this event and another that rocked my reality, I realized I needed to take a step back from the internet. It had become a toxic environment for me, both from the hell I'd created by lying and also due to the tragedies that were occurring in my offline life too. What I originally intended to be a small break turned into a full-on five year hiatus from making websites. In that time, I went through a lot of experiences that essentially forced me to sit down and reevaluate my life. I came to terms with my mistakes - both offline and online - and acknowledged that at the core, I needed to love myself more. I needed to encourage myself, to improve and become someone I could be proud of, so that I wouldn't need to hide behind a false identity. And now, I feel I've come to a point where I feel that I've reached that level of self-accomplishment. This domain marks the first time I'm presenting my true self to the internet - negatives, positives, flaws and strengths. I want to display my passions, frustrations, interests and more in each of my sites, and I hope that this time my true feelings are received kindly.