driven growth

“We Make Our Own Fate” - A Swendgame Meta

Ok y’all, I’m really excited about this revelation because I think it could be the key to understanding and predicting the plot for what could potentially be the final season of OUAT. I was thinking about the episode title “I’ll Be Your Mirror” and it sort of punched me in the face:

Emma’s story is mirroring Regina’s, and vice versa.

And it’s occurring in three very obvious ways this season: their identities, their search for true loves, and their pursuit of happy endings.


1. Their identities

Though it may not seem like it at times, OUAT is a character-driven show. Character growth is really what the story revolves around. We have watched these 2 women fight loneliness, fear, self-deprivation, and their own evil impulses. We watched them grow into strong and loving heroes. But we have yet to witness the true culmination of each character’s story: self-actualization. For Emma and Regina, this means their quest of “beating fate”–conquering the identities that fate has thrust upon them. For Regina, it’s the Evil Queen. For Emma, it’s the Savior. So let’s talk a bit about season 6 and compare them.

Regina is currently learning about who she is without her Evil Queen identity. 

When those mysterious “shears of destiny” or whatever come back into play (forget about those? yeah, me too), Emma may very well be forced to come to terms with who she is without her Savior identity. This is what the whole season has been setting up–her suppressing the temptation to use the shears, and now the threat that they’re going to be used on her anyway. 

I see only two ways that this can play out in the finale (and it really depends on what kind of story the writers are planning. Try as I may, I can’t pin it down since this show is so allegorical).

Either 1) both Regina and Emma will finally be able to accept and mentally conquer these parts of themselves, or 2) having experienced life apart from these identities, both women will choose to move on in life without them. 

The former would be a beautiful display of how they represent yin and yang. Regina finally accepting and forgiving herself for her past. Emma realizing that it’s not magic that makes her a savior–it’s her own will power and her love for her family. In this way, both women would be “beating fate” by accepting it… the fate of being the Evil Queen, and the fate of being the Savior. 

The latter would still be a representation of them beating fate, just in a more concrete way. It goes along with the theme of this Dark Swan quote: “There are no good or bad versions of ourselves. It is just me.”

Essentially, Emma was saying that they are not and never have been “the Evil Queen and the Savior”… they’re just Regina and Emma. Two people trying to navigate a morally-gray world, who had these unwelcome fates and identities thrust upon them. This is a theme that has really been pushed on this show, and perhaps beating fate simply means reclaiming their true identities. Interestingly, I feel that this idea aligns with Swen’s theories about separating the “real” from the “fairytale.” Additionally, it would leave enough drama for a reset of the show, whereas the first idea is more of a full-circle ending.

Whatever happens, I’m excited to see how these arcs are wrapped up :)


2. Their True Loves

Emma loved a man that fate kept telling her to let go of (re: the Dark H00k and Underworld arcs). Emma’s love died, and then he was resurrected.

Regina loved a man that fate kept telling her to let go of (re: the whole Marian thing, and the Zelena thing). Regina’s love also died, and (a version of him) was resurrected.

It is clear that not only do Emma and Regina mirror each other, but so do their respective romantic relationships. And if we assume this trend will continue (which it already appears to be doing), we can begin to draw some conclusions….

Regina thought she could see a future with her resurrected love. In the last episode, however, we saw that R0bin manipulated her, and she realized the hard way that he was not the man she wishes he was. By now it’s obvious that the whole purpose of this Wish!Robin arc is to allow Regina to heal and move on from that relationship. 

Like Regina, Emma thinks she also sees a future with her resurrected love. This season, we’ve been shown how H00k manipulates her… first by lying about the shears, now by proposing to her before being honest about his past. Will she come to the realization that he is not the man she wishes he was? Was the whole purpose of H00k’s resurrection to help Emma truly and honestly move on from their relationship? 

This is the only way H00k’s resurrection makes sense to me: that both men were simply catalysts for the character growth of our heroines. R0bin helped Regina “open her heart to love” (S5 Only You), and H00k helped Emma “take off her armor” (S5 Firebird). It’s no coincidence that, once again, these developments mirror each other. The main purpose for both of these relationships were fulfilled last season.


3. Their Happy Endings

We’ve been told this season that the fate of all saviors is that they never live to see their happy endings.

GET THIS: how many times has it been brought up that villains also don’t get happy endings?

Twice now, Emma and Regina have had a conversation about “beating fate” together. When I think about it like this, it’s so obvious! “The Final Battle” is really just about them fighting for a chance at their happy endings… and the truth is, it’s always been with each other. 

———————–

Conclusion

 The biggest overarching theme of this show is about Emma and Regina becoming part of a family; a second theme is about both of them finding true love; and now another theme appears to be about them conquering their identities…. 

And the concept of beating fate, which is specifically associated with Emma and Regina’s relationship, is tied into all of these themes!

…………I never completely believed this before, but I do now: this show is really fucking gay lol

Originally posted by goodwindsalwaysarrive

theguardian.com
Far from ‘strong and stable’, May’s economic plan is weak and unstable
Labour has won the battle of the manifestos with policies that can deliver better growth whereas the PM’s offering more of the same: cuts
By Larry Elliott

Confronted with the strong evidence that economic policy since 2010 has been a failure, May’s response has been to offer more of the same. Deep welfare spending cuts are designed to balance the books, and would help do so if the Bank of England was in a position to respond with cheaper borrowing.

But that can’t happen because interest rates are at 0.25% and can’t go lower. As a result, welfare cuts suck spending power out of the economy. That leads to slower growth, which explains why it will now take until the middle of the next decade under Conservative plans to run a budget surplus.

Presumably, sticking to a deficit-reduction plan that isn’t working fits with May’s “strong and stable” mantra. But, in truth, the wrong mix of monetary and fiscal policy has left the economy weak and unstable. Weak because investment and productivity have been so poor. Unstable because growth has been so heavily reliant on debt-driven consumer spending.

Higher growth under Labour would be the result of abolishing the 1% cap on public sector pay, an increase in public sector employment and plans to boost spending on public infrastructure by 50%. The claim by the Conservatives that higher borrowing would lead to much higher deficits and an explosion in the national debt is dismissed by Oxford Economics as the pre-Keynesian nonsense it is.

To sum up, May called an election when there was no need for one, when the public didn’t want one, when living standards were falling, when the economy is dysfunctional, when the strategy of the past seven years has demonstrably failed, and when there is a viable alternative.

Challenge:  The Fic You’d Never Write

It’s spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, fellow Philes!  To honor that, we’re offering you the Take A Spring Break From Your Normal challenge and asking you to write the fic you wouldn’t normally write.  If you’re a hardcore MSR shipper, write a different ship, or a completely gen fic!  If you only ever write G-rated, try slipping a little smut in, or vice versa!  Write a character you’ve never written, or a format you haven’t tried.  Try a new genre: comedy for the super-serious, drama for the light of heart, a casefile for the writer whose works are all driven by internal/emotional growth, etc.  

Restrictions: none
Word limit:  at least drabble-length (that’s 100 words precisely, because @leiascully is Old on the Internet), 800-1500 recommended (feel free to use a read-more to spare people’s thumbs if they’re scrolling on mobile)
Rating:  the sky’s the limit
Schedule:  write and submit any time between the 15th and the 30th
How To Post:  @xfficchallenges and we’ll find it and reblog it!  You can also use the tag #xfficchallenges in the first five tags

Ten things I would not be sad to see die in HEMA forums

1. “What sword/kit should I buy?”

Unless you are training on your own, this is not a question you should ever bother a HEMA forum with.

ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR

The internet doesn’t know where or what you train, your instructor does. They are up to speed on what is available and what is suitable for your training.

A particular chestnut in forums is questions about gloves - there is no easy answer to this and when you have found the perfect glove come back to us, but don’t ask the entire HEMA community what to buy. The quest goes on.

2. “Are there any clubs near me?”

Use the HEMA Alliance Club finder. If you are in the U.K. You also have the option of looking in the UK HEMA group where they list clubs in the pinned post. You are often at the mercy of geography and have to go with whatever is available.

If you are fortunate to live in the south east of England you can train a different system or weapon every single night of the week if you wish.

Be prepared to travel. If you can’t or won’t travel get to events instead and use YouTube and the Wiktenauer. Find a training partner asap.

3. “Thanks for adding me! 😊❤️❤️”

Unless the forum is quite small and cosy and introducing yourself is encouraged, save it. Yes you are a wonderful human being and we are glad to have you but if you want to make friends the best way is to join a conversation on a thread, or look up Find The Bind HEMA Romance and Social. Chat to your clubmates even.

4. FAILING TO USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION

Before you ask a question in a forum do your homework first: do a google search, and search in the forum you’re about to interrogate - you will more than likely find several threads on the topic which will answer your need. If you really can’t get what you’re looking for then plug into the HEMA hive mind.

5. “Feders or blunts?”

See 1 and 4.

6. “Parries with the flat or edge?”

This was disputed by only one person and soundly debunked by solid evidence many years ago. Edge.

7. “What should I wear?”/“Why don’t HEMA people wear historical garb?”

Marcos has done several excellent posts on this topic. The short answers are:

see number 1

and

because we have different goals to communities that put an emphasis on garb. We are interested in how people fight, less what they look like. That said - a HEMA uniformity is evolving as the pastime grows and manufactured goods improve.

8. “Which weapon would win?” This one really needs to die in a fire, this and the “knight versus samurai” scenarios. Please. Stop.

Okay, if it’s really that important to you there are some good discussions on YouTube where you can thrash it out in the comments section. Just don’t discuss this in HEMA forums because after all it’s about applying the theory in a practical situation, not discussing it endlessly. Pick up a weapon and try it out.

9. “Wow look at this cool UWM/lightsabre battle/botn thing I found.”

As per above, check 15 other people haven’t already posted this thing before you this month. Also - none of that stuff is HEMA, ours is a very small niche pastime and it’s better to see our own community being promoted instead of signal-boosting someone bigger.

10. “Tournaments are killing the aaaaaart!”

Okay up until here most of these are typical Newbie questions and reactions. This last one, and personally the most infuriating, is touted by those who really ought to know better: custodians of HEMA from days gone by, when slowly miming plays with shinai was de rigeur and nobody had ever heard of a feder.

What these ancient warriors fail to take into account is that competition and testing skills under pressure was integral to sword culture, and that in modern times it has driven the growth of HEMA - from products, to better fencing, to research to greater visibility. We don’t get to choose the direction the majority takes us, but bitching about things you don’t like (and yes I see the irony here) is the least productive path - The best revenge is to be awesome.

had my aura photographed by mood x moss today, this is my trying very hard not to blink or giggle face 🙈according to the photographer: open, intuitive, spiritual, prioritizes community and and close relationships, gentle strength and growth driven by positivity, a creative and empathetic indigo child connected to cosmic energy 🌌

How Daryl Changed Carol!

This one is for vicki (froggirl68)

A lot has been written and discussed about the positive influence Carol has had on Daryl Dixon’s character and her own personal role in his transformation from the surly outsider to the “hero-like” figure we saw at the prison in Season 4.

The unique bond between them is described as “damaged people gravitating towards damaged people” and it’s primary basis is indeed based on the unspoken familiarity of their shared wounds. The introduction of both Carol and Daryl into each other’s lives served as one of the major catalysts for change and growth in both of them because for possibly the first time in their lifetime they were given the freedom to explore the possibilities of unconditional acceptance without any expectation.

The key aspect of their connection is not that either was “fixed” or “changed” by the other one but the dynamic of their relationship was such that they were able to see the potential and worth that before their meeting might have gone unrecognized and was most likely discouraged in their past. 
The irony of both Carol and Daryl’s lives is that it took an apocalypse and the end of their world for them to truly be free and become their own “person” - the fact that the essential character changes took place once they were “together” is by no means a coincidence!

In my opinion Carol is the most “transformed” character in the TWD world and I would even go as far as to say that most people considered her to be an “underdog” at first whose survival was not just unexpected but also dubious at best. After all “look how far she’s come”!

The show “paired” up Carol and Daryl very early on in series and almost from the very beginning of their introduction their arcs flowed parallel to each other and major “events” associated with their characters seemed to be key in the others as well. 

Carol played a “minor” role in Season 1 but her story was solidified and made clear from the get go as we learned that she was married to an abusive man and was somewhat of a overprotective, dotting mother to her only child, Sophia. Her paths crossed with Daryl after Ed died in a walker attack and it was HIM that handed her a pick axe when she made the decision to take back control of her life and to prevent his re-animation herself. That pivotal, raw-emotional scene albeit brief and insignificant to some was to become a defining moment in Carol’s journey of transformation from a woman beaten down to a woman finally willing to fight back. Daryl was there to see her do just that and the implications of that scene are closely connected to Daryl’s own abusive past and the foundation of the CARYL bond.

In Season 2 Daryl played an important role in Carols story because of his part in the search for Sophia and his initiation of an emotional connection between the two of them.

During the time while Sophia was still just “missing” the surly-angry Daryl Dixon revealed his own abusive past involving his father and brother, his own experience of being lost alone in the woods, his struggles with group integration and his limited experience with “healthy” social relationships. Essentially everything Daryl put on the table pointed to the fact that this is not somebody who would initiate “feeling-type” interactions very easily or at all. 

However with Carol he did exactly that! 

As he saw her grieve the loss of her daughter, deal with the uncertainty of her fate and subsequently start to lose hope that she would be found alive, Daryl took matters into his own hands and with a little help from a Cherokee Rose and it’s legend HE unprompted or guided by anyone else but his own heart went out of his way to try and make Carol feel better.

Daryl’s attempts were of course anything but smooth, he struggled through the execution of his “hope delivery” and suffered physical injuries during his own “independent” search efforts BUT through it all he went out of his way to reassure, comfort and boost Carols morale as she waited. 

For the first time Carol had someone else who was actively trying to be in tune with her “feelings”, who was putting themselves in both emotional and physical jeopardy for her (through Sophia) and was showing more devotion to her and her daughter than Ed ever did.

When she says to Daryl that he is “every bit as good as them” she is thanking him and acknowledging his actions, she is trying to boost his own “sense of worth” but she is also seeing what Daryl did for Sophia as “proof” that there are still good people in the world - men that would risk their lives for the good of others and men that would something for her without any expectations in return. That realization alone had to have had a deep empowering and hopeful awakening in her seeing how up to then the only man around her she had to compare to was a low-life like Ed. 

The support and Daryl’s own proactive approach to the search for Sophia becomes even more significant when we consider that the rest of the group seemed to give Carol a wide berth during this time period. Whether they didnt know what to say or were preoccupied with their own personal dramas the fact of the matter remains that most of the interaction Carol experienced while Sophia was “gone” featured Daryl Dixon himself and therefore the majority of her grief and turmoil was spent right in front of him. When she faltered he showed up with a flower and when he got angry with her over her dwindling faith in a happy outcome and him he took her to see an entire Rose bush.

The period after the discovery of Sophia in the barn at first thought seems to represent a division between Carol and Daryl because the scenes they shared afterwards were fraught with tension, anger, confrontation and emotionally laden scenes.

The way I interpret it however can be summed up with a single expression “True Friends Stab You in the Front, Not the Back” because the dynamic between Carol and Daryl while volotile at times was actually necessary for both of their development.

Carol brought Daryl back to the group when he considered leaving because of his perceived failure over Sophia’s fate AND Daryl was the only one that dared to tell Carol the truth and voiced the very accusations she herself was tortured by. The line “I lost my daughter I didn’t lose my mind” directed at Rick and Lori illustrated the approach the rest of the group was taking with her. Call it what you will avoidance, pacification, walking on egg-shells or denial BUT ultimately Daryl was the only one that sat with her in that RV not saying any “empty words” to soothe her and he was also the only one to say “If you kept an eye on her, she’d still be alive” which was an accusation Carol had been haunted by since the very beginning.

The words and the delivery were harsh but Carol had needed to confront what happened, gain closure and focus on the living - ironically the most emotionally “constipated” person in the camp was the one to help her do just that. 


Following the infamous “Sophia wasn’t mine” conflict the dynamic between Carol and Daryl shifts and they are able to both move on forward, closer than ever, connected and bonded even more than before.It is after this that we see other group members associating them with each other - Dale himself insinuated that Carol looks to Daryl within the group and he didn’t deny it either.

Sophia’s death and the events that transpired on the Greene farm between these two ultimately created a mutual deep connection that made both of them stronger, more integrated within the group and expecting more from themselves - all changes derived directly from the interactions they had with one another.

Daryl wanted to be more than Merle’s “little brother”, a man worthy of Carols trust, while Carol wanted to be more than “just a burden” to the group, a survivor that contributes more than just domestic duties.

Season 3 premiere started out with a dramatic change in all group members but the one transformation that was more startling than the rest was certainly the one the audience saw in Carol. 

The woman who didn’t know how to handle a weapon was now getting “Nice Shooting” from Daryl Dixon himself.
The woman who was terrified from walkers was now quite comfortable baiting and killing them by the fences and lest we forget the “zombie hysterectomy” in the yard. 
The woman who was quiet and hesitant to speak was now discussing group decisions, performing medical procedures and making “oral sex” jokes with the likes of Daryl Dixon.
The woman who could barely look a man in the eye before was now threatening to slice Merle Dixon’s throat in the middle of the night and concocting “vagina warfare” with Andrea against the Governor. 


The Carol from the quarry and the Carol from the Greene farm was almost completely gone. 
The very fact that multiple group members alluded to Carol and Daryl as a separate unit and the story line more than confirms the significance of their “undefined” relationship, all indicate that Daryl is the one closest to Carol so we can safely assume that the transformation we see within her character was more than likely heavily influenced by him.

The importance of each other is solidified by highlighting the impact when they are indeed separated - when Carol is presumed “dead” the writers go out of their way to remind us of Daryl’s grief and when Daryl leaves with Merle the emotional impact of his loss is more than evident in her reaction.

The thing that is very important to mention is that even though Carol is indeed very close to Daryl the changes she herself undergoes are not ones driven by him - her growth doesn’t depend on him in a way where she “needs him” but the influence is more felt in a form of understanding and acceptance.

Daryl holds no judgment over her and in turn she doesn’t either - the freedom to be unconditionally loved and recognized is something beautiful in any relationship.

Season 4 once again gives us both Carol and Daryl significantly different than their Season 3 counterparts and just as before Carols transformation is the one noticed the most.

The premiere gives us Carol as an obvious leader and the change in her demeanor, body language and confidence is more than a little striking. Daryl and Carol seem to be on a more even playing field in terms of emotional exchange and their interactions only further indicate their teamwork. We see Daryl more engaged with her in a social aspect and definitively in tune with her emotions, prepared to reach out if he’s needed. 
Everything Carol did in Season 4 was almost designed to show us just how changed this woman had become.

Carol went from a woman who couldn’t make a decision about anything to a woman who didn’t trust the decisions she was making and finally to a woman who was not just able to make good decisions but was also prepared to take on their responsibility and suffer the consequences that came from her own choices.

She didn’t make a decision and backtrack from it after or try to cover it up and hide from the reprecutions of a choice - Carol learned that in a world they live in second-guessing, doubting and dwelling on the past is not just pointless but also dangerous for survival. 

Guess who she learned that lesson from? 

Daryl Dixon himself is a guy who doesn’t talk about the “would haves - could haves”, he doesn’t rehash the past and it’s mistakes, he looks ahead and keeps-on going further because opting-out and looking back is pointless regardless what kind of world you live in. 

Daryl’s “person” Carol Peletier is now operating full on in Dixon survival mode.

6

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 Crossover Arrives this April

The first-ever Cadillac XT5 will arrive in U.S. dealerships in early-April, continuing the brand’s product-driven growth. XT5 enters the strongest category in the luxury automotive space, the midsize luxury crossover segment, where Cadillac set sales records in 2015.

Pricing begins at $38,995; the highest level XT5 Platinum starts at $62,500. All-wheel drive is optional on Luxury models, and is standard on Platinum models.

anonymous asked:

what does Maya think about Lucas?? because some people think she just sees him as a cowboy, but she said she didn't in the campfire

She straight up said at the campfire that the stereotype stuff isn’t actually how she sees him, although I think she saw him that way early on. (And ironically a lot of it turned out to be true even though there’s more to him than that). The way Maya saw Lucas changed because she grew: “we grow before we even know what growth means. We just know, ‘I see things differently now.’”

Prior to her growth, Maya totally saw Lucas as a Ranger Rick doof who she couldn’t possibly have feelings for, a nice guy who couldn’t possibly be in the cards for a girl like her—he was “for Riley.” But once she grew, she realized that the feelings that made her go “oooooo” whenever he got to her were something important.

I’m betting Riley will have a similar awakening regarding Farkle once she gets the reality-driven version of Maya’s hope-driven growth and HER perspective changes as much as Maya’s did.

Feelings can tear apart friendship and growth. The girls refuse to let their friendship be torn apart. So what’s left? Growth. And what does growth do? Change your perspective on yourself and the world. The girls’ growth is smashed by this arc. They climb back into their boxes. Maya is “the Shawn” all dark and nearly hopeless. Riley is “baby Cory” and she’s full of hope and light. They’ve stopped seeing the world differently and now they’re seeing it just as they did before the season of growth (which changed things).

This is what’s comfortable for them, and regressing to what’s comfortable saves their friendship in the face of a very real threat. But clinging to what’s comfortable doesn’t allow you room to grow. Both girls are going to have to grow again, though. It’s inevitable. And the only way for them to do so is to let go of what’s comfortable…aka the status quo they’ve regressed to. Maya got WAY ahead of Riley in terms of growth last season, and that threw their balance out of whack.

When Riley grows as much as Maya did, her perspective will change just as Maya’s did. And when that happens, Maya can embrace hope again instead of burying it (because they’ll be balanced) and HER perspective will change again. The balancing act of the girls’ friendship in terms of their identities is the driving force of everything else on the show—including the way these kids understand their feelings.

INDIA, NEW DELHI : This photo taken on March 18, 2015 shows a migrant labourer carrying a bottle of water he filled from a water tanker at the camp where he and others like him live in the Dwarka sector of New Delhi on March 18, 2015.  A new UN report launched in New Delhi on March 20 ahead of World Water Day on March 22 warned of an urgent need to manage the world’s water more sustainably and highlight the problem of groundwater over-extraction, particularly in India and China. The report says global demand for water is increasing exponentially, driven largely by population growth.   AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT