|If this adorable perv couldn't get me out of a pot-graduation blogging funk, I don't know what could.|
...Okay Aika could :)
I lied this morning on Facebook when I saw the announcement. I said that I couldn't believe Riho was graduating.
And that's...not even remotely true. Although her announcement was sudden and certainly unexpected, I absolutely do believe it. I won't, however, say that "she looked like she was losing her fire for all these months before all y'all knew nyeh nyeh." Nah. She wasn't. She absolutely wasn't. She may have had a bit more fuel for her lonely character lately what with suddenly being not only the ace, but one of the most senpai of senpais. That seemed to stress her out a bit, but she wasn't out for the count yet.
Until this summer.
When she took time off for mental health around the time Oh My Wish!/Imasugu/Sukatto came out, right after it was obvious that she'd gained a bit of weight (no judgment, girly: it happens to all of us and it's completely okay!), I think that's when I started counting. Having dealt with a lot of my own mental and emotional health issues in the past two years, I can now recognize burnout from a mile away. Something (or some series of things) finally told her she had to be done for a while.
I'm really broken up about this. Over the past two, nearly two and a half years (about the time when I was last regularly blogging), H!P has helped keep me going through a separation from my former partner, my master's degree, and the biggest move of my entire life. And for some reason, although Iikubo Haruna has yet to be dethroned as my #1 Morning Musume girl, it wasn't her I'd been watching most of that time.
The girls I've watched most the past couple years are Masaki and Riho.
During the past two years, my life has been completely turned upside down.When the PV for Wagamama Jokuuuuuuu/Ai no Gundan was released back in 2013, I was one week (out of what would end up being five) into being homeless and jobless, before my former partner and I found an apartment in South Seattle and I started work on my master's. That was, by far, the hardest month of my short 28 years on this planet. To keep my mind off the stress, one thing I did was watch H!P PVs and DVD mags and everything else over and over again. And something about Riho's lonely, yet random, wabi-sabi character caught my eye because I related to it on a kinda weird cosmic level.
And it made me happy.
I could go on and on and write another blog memoir but screw that. Long story short, I'm going to miss the crap out of her, but I'm glad she knows when to call it. I'd rather see her happy and doing what she wants than not taking care of herself. I wish she'd get a better graduation shindig, but honestly, that doesn't seem to be what she needs right now.