everything i ever learned

“I’ve been on my own since the age of twelve. My mom decided that her drug-dealing boyfriend was more important than me. One night I came home from playing and the key wouldn’t turn. I started banging on the door but nobody answered. I lived with friends for the next few years. I went from house to house, couch to couch. My friend’s mom was a bartender so she got me a job washing dishes. I saved enough money to get a car when I turned sixteen, and I drove out to Arizona. I was pregnant by the time I was twenty-one. My son changed my life. I didn’t turn into Mother Theresa overnight. I had to unlearn everything I’d ever known. I had to learn how to do things the right way, not sell drugs, not cut corners. Right now I’m trying to finish college while being a single mother. I’m taking care of my eighty-three year old grandmother. I just beat cancer for the second time in four years. But things seem to be quiet now. I’m always holding my breath, though. The story of my life has been the calm before the storm.”

Learning to read was hard for Cass.  Interpreting the written word is far different from interpreting body language, and Cass’s brain is wired differently as a result of her abusive childhood.  But after Cass had to ask Steph to read a ransom note aloud in order to continue chasing down criminals (Batgirl vol. 2), she realized that knowing how to read would be useful.

[Batgirl #67]

Because of Cass’s learning disability, it takes her a long time to make significant progress.  Babs coaches her and explores different methods of learning, and eventually Cass is able to read full length novels (albeit slowly).  When Cass did learn how to read, she fell in love with books.  A well-written book is far less predictable than a person, and Cass loved how words seemed to make places and characters come alive in her head.  She would read anything from historical fiction to high fantasy, but quickly became able to tell when a story was poorly written.  The characters would seem less real, and the words wouldn’t flow as easily.  Cass began to spend a lot of free time in the library, and Babs would point out good books that she remembered from her time as a librarian.  Tim also had quite a repertoire of books from his childhood, since he needed something to entertain himself with when his parents were away.  He let Cass have free reign of his collection and gave her recommendations.  The rest of the batfamily also began to gift her books that they enjoyed when they learned about her new passion.

Cass never grew tired of how written words could somehow transform into people as though personalities were interwoven into pages.  She marveled at how she could spend hours completely immersed in a story, oblivious to the world around her (or as oblivious as she can get with her skills).  Books had opened up entire worlds for her.  She secretly hoped that someday she would be able to create worlds of her own.    

I write this after a lot of thought and messages from many people over the course of the last 24 hours.  Other producers have made similar mention of this.  Earlier today I basically said the same thing during a livestream.  But I write it here for quicker access.

I woke up to a world that has attempted to choose hate and fear as its leader.  We live in an uncertain time.  This affects everyone.  There are many people who believe that this does not affect them.  If I were ten or twelve years younger, I might also be in the same position.  I grew up in a rural white community with few financial problems.  When I complained about things, I had no earthly idea what I was complaining about.  I was white.  And my problems seemed so big, but after so much time away from that community and having lost almost everything I ever knew, I learned that things could and do get so much worse.  Not just for me, someone who worries about keeping the roof over my head or the lights on, someone who can’t afford health insurance, but also someone who, after sexual assault, learned very quickly that I’m not quite as equally human as someone else.  But others have it worse than me.  I empathize, though cannot possibly fully understand, the fear and hate that people of other ethnicities see every single day.  How members of the LGBTQ+ community fear even their own family members and the way the rest of the world with treat them.  How immigrants will be tolerated by hateful people who now feel like, because we selected someone who preyed on people’s fears, it’s open season on anyone who doesn’t look like them or believe like them.  

The world is watching us.  This is bigger than just America.  It’ll start with the underprivileged communities.  Then the angry white aging blue collar folks will come to realize that the things they were promised were lies, and their livelihoods will also be affected in ways they didn’t expect.  And furthermore, the rest of the world will react.  They will judge us based on our behavior and the behavior of our leaders.  How will that affect trade?  Travel?  Immigration?  Emigration?  It’s too early to tell, but the world is already in fear of us.  And a large fear I’ve always had is the knowledge that all empires eventually fall.  America rose so fast, and I wondered if I’d see the fall of the American empire in my lifetime.  Granted, again, I don’t know that this will happen.  But there sure is a violent and scary divide happening within our world right at this very moment, and I wish we weren’t in it right now.

I stayed up late into the night on election night, into the next day, to hear the President Elect give his speech.  I cried as I listened to the propaganda, spoken in calm words but with an element of urgency, as if America wasn’t already great.  And using words that were completely backward from everything he’d ever said over the last year.  Using tactics of abusive relationship, tactics psychological manipulators use to gain control over their victims (and, believe me, I’ve all too sadly seen that sort of abuse first hand, and it haunts me every day, and to see those tactics being used by someone whom I will have to call President astonishes me).

I slept much of the day, since I’d stayed up so late.  But I was also emotionally drained.  I had considered so many things.  I thought about how much pure evil there is in this world.  In one day, it seemed so completely insurmountable.  I had spent so much time trying to abolish little pieces of evil within my personal life.  And then the seedy underbelly of the country decided it didn’t need to hide in the shadows anymore, and it showed the world its face.  And I just thought, “Why bother?  Why fight?  What’s even the point anymore?”

But I received messages from people.  One in particular said to me, “Well tomorrow we continue as normal, entertaining people and making sure we can make the next two to four years work in the right favor.  People like you and me are needed even more now.”  

Every so often, someone sends me a message like this, even before these elections happened.  I have had a history with self esteem issues.  My community is very small, especially in comparison to many of my other content producers.  And I have some extremely dark days, battling guilt.  More often than not, I’m pretty okay, and I manage to get through my days without thinking about it.  But then I’ll wake up one morning, and the first thing on my mind will be, “Hey, remember that time you deeply wounded that person you claimed you cared about?  Yeah, you don’t deserve to be happy, and nobody would be by your side if they all knew the details.”  It’s mostly lies that my head tells me, but the best lies have a grain of truth in them.  I’ve hurt people I loved, and if I had the option to go back and do it again, I would have done things completely differently.  But I can’t.  And so I have to move forward and just solemnly swear to never be the person I was seven to ten years ago.  But the truth is, there are people who listened to me, listened to my story, listened to me pour out my guilt.  And the truth is, for the most part, nobody abandoned me.  They stood by me.  They saw in me someone who is horribly flawed and was capable of unexpected things, but saw deep regret in my heart and a desire to change.  And against all odds, they stuck with me and helped me become a better person today.

Because of all that, and because of those wonderful, beautiful, loving people who stood by me in my life and helped me grow and morph into a different person, that’s exactly how I know that my head is doing nothing but lying to me.  And that giving up on trying to be better, on trying to influence good in this world, would be the most painfully selfish thing I could do.  It would be me taking years of backwards steps away from positive change, just the same way it feels like this country has attempted to regress in its forward, positive movements.

And so I thought more deeply about this idea that the world needs entertainers, even such small fries as myself.  And I was reminded of all of the other times that someone has left me a message or a comment.  Even as recently as this past week before the election, during a livestream, one particular viewer told me that they’ve been suffering from depression and haven’t always known how to get through it.  But to be able to come to one of my gaming livestreams to be able to talk to me, to fellow viewers in my chatroom, and to be entertained by what I’m sharing with them has given them a way to relax and escape from the pain that would sometimes try to take hold of them.  

That idea is so humbling, and I feel so unworthy of being that beacon of happiness in someone’s life.  How can something like a livestream of a silly stupid video game like World of Final Fantasy even remotely be enough to help someone?  Aren’t there much bigger problems in this world that we need to look at?

But that’s the thing, isn’t it?  Heroes take a whole lot of different forms.  There are the obvious ones.  The soldiers that have fought for centuries to make sure this country and the rest of the world can live with some kind of hope for the future.  The police officers who truly believe in keeping real peace and aren’t in it for the egotistical power trip.  Firefighters, social workers, doctors, and yes even the politicians who are doing their job because they believe they’re trying to help their community and not because it’s a cushy job with a decent paycheck.  Those people perhaps are the most obvious heroes.

But going to work and performing an everyday service for someone, that’s another form of heroism.  You feed people, you clothe people, you do paperwork that affects the lives of people you’ve never met.  You do the tech support that runs businesses and homes, that if these people didn’t have then their livelihoods might just collapse.  

And then there are the entertainers.

There are those who entertain not because it has any meaning in anyone else’s life, but only because it fulfills their own selfish needs.  That’s probably true of anyone in any position anywhere, though, really.  You’ll find the sociopaths and psychopaths that are more than happy to milk opportunity in any aspect of life, even if they aren’t rich and famous.  Chances are you’ve met someone like that at least once.  But to be an entertainer also carries with it a lot of weight, power, and influence.  For a famous Hollywood actor or musician, your platform is enormous.  Whether you like the idea of it or not, people hold a lot of fascination for the rich and famous.  And so when a celebrity openly speaks up and takes a stance on a given topic, one that they truly believe in, their words carry more power than maybe even they know.  The words of celebrities will influence elections, charities, and more.  Unfortunately, not every celebrity is truly qualified to talk about the things they’re promoting.  There are those who try to publicly speak on topics such as a link between vaccines and autism (when the reality is that there is no such link).  In these sort of cases, the immense power of celebrity also has the potential to do a lot more harm than good, even in a situation where the person spreading the information thought they were truly doing the right thing because they believed in it and were so personally convicted with it.  But ultimately, there are those celebrities that know that, with their platform, they carry a voice that can be used to do such monumental good.  Those are the ones that are worth looking up to.  There’s a certain amount of heroism in that.

But on the other side of that same coin, more than simply having a platform and using it to speak on important topics, an entertainer is a hero simply by doing their job - entertaining.

If you’re an actor, this means that you create worlds and breathe life into characters that otherwise don’t exist.  New universes are born when you take on new roles.  And it’s not just the actors.  The directors, producers, stage hands, grips, concept artists, foley artists, continuity directors, animators, and so many other uncountable positions.  You create work that brings joy to countless people.  And for these people, suffering with demons in their own lives, escapism is the one thing that lets them keep going.  I’ve seen so many folks frown on escapism, telling you to snap back into the real world.  I think we all deal with the real world, but still struggle with how to purge the toxicity from our daily lives.  If that means that someone wants to watch a movie, play a game, read a book, etc. in order to make life worth living again in the next 24 hours, then let them have it.

And in this time where I wonder if we chose hate over love, in a world where I look around and I see fear and confusion on the faces of such a large population of the country, that’s when I realize, I can’t just sleep all day.  I’m an entertainer.

There have always been those who mock YouTube content creators and tell us to get real jobs.  It’s true, we’re doing our passions with uncertain pay, on an unstable platform, and with no benefits.  But if I was told to give only one argument in favor of the idea that what I do is a real job, I would simply say that, it has taken me many years to realize, but I finally found just enough self esteem to realize that the work that I do actually matters and legitimately touches people’s lives.  I will confess that there were times when people told me this over the course of the last 8 to 10 years and I was grateful for the things these people told me, but I never internalized it for myself or took it as seriously as perhaps I should have.  For that, I have so many people I don’t actually know that I need to apologize to.  I was always grateful for your love and your passion, but never fully accepted what a great gift you gave to me, in knowing that my life carries weight and meaning.

So tomorrow, and every day forward, even when things are looking bad, I will continue to do my job.  I will share the things that I find entertaining, and I will talk to you about them, and ask you for your input on the things I share and talk about.  I will ask you to join in my community and share your thoughts and feelings in a safe and loving place with others who are like you, looking for a happy place to escape to just for a little while so that life can continue to be worth living.  That is how I will keep doing my job, and I will do it with more passion and purpose than I’d ever had for it before now.

And if you are any other kind of creator, even in smaller circles and smaller fandoms, don’t stop creating.  If you’re a fan artist or fanfic author or a cosplayer, I can almost guarantee you that you have positively influenced someone somewhere.  Just like the rest of us entertainers, you have given someone a piece of escapism that, even if only for a moment, gives meaning and purpose to someone’s life.  Even adding the tiniest amount of joy to a person’s life makes the work absolutely worth it.

By not giving up, and by continuing to do work that influences the lives around you, or even if you’re depressed and wonder if life is worth living and all you can do is stay afloat and stay alive right now, YOU ARE A HERO.  Your existence has purpose and meaning.  If you were missing, if you weren’t doing your job, if you weren’t providing a service or a smile, or if you simply could not suffer the pains of this world anymore, I can guarantee you that the world would feel the loss.  You not being there to perform your daily heroism would leave a hole that perhaps you can’t comprehend the size of right now, but it would be there.

I am swearing to you, my personal online community, my local community, my country, and the rest of this world, I will not give up.  I have been shown that, even for this small task I perform every day, the world needs me.  And I am up to continuing to perform that task.  I pray that you’re also up to performing your own acts of personal heroism, too.

Thank you, my friends.  Peace and love be with you in this time of fear and uncertainty.

“Thus, trans and queer youth rarely get proper and adequate sex ed.”

But without ever practicing it, I had to learn everything about hetero and cis sex though.

one of my only real issues with studyblr is that it just ?? makes me want to study everything ?? like i’ll see a law student and be like,, damn I wanna learn law now !! or i’ll see a medicine student and decide I want to learn medicine or see a physics student and decide I want to be a physicist and I just ??? want to learn everything ever ??

Apparently, I have to throw out everything I’ve ever learned about life sciences, and the definition of life as per what a millennia of science has taken to define, I need to throw out all the knowledge I’ve learned on embryology and human development and twin studies and just scream “pro-choice” and declare that not all beings with human DNA are human and figure out what arbitrary argument that defines human life is true based on some tumblrinas opinion and pseudoscience pro-abortion biased studies by PP, open every door I can on how many other human beings can fall into the category of “not viable” and celebrate dead babies

Originally posted by geekylaugifs

anonymous asked:

I was debating this with someone and I thought you guys would be best people to settle it. So this person said that if you have ADHD(or any learning disability this was just the example) you can't be in Ravenclaw because you most likely are at the top of your class or get all As. They wouldn't believe me when I said that's not just what Ravenclaw is about. I was hoping you could help settle this.

That person is an idiot.

I know people with ADHD who are the most creative and just into everything kind of people I’ve ever met. Same with other learning disabilities. That’s what it means to be a Ravenclaw. If it was just good grades, Hermione would have been sorted into it from the get go. 

-Amy (Hufflepuff)

When You Work Up the Courage to Apologize, Read This Instead

i. Everyone told me you would come back,
and here you are, months later. Here you are,
mangled and bruised and expecting a truce
with little effort on either end of the fire.
Keep waiting.

ii. I swallowed rose pedals and spit out bullets.
You collected them, locked, and loaded.
I know I did not say all of the right things,
but at least I said something. I trusted you
to use your teeth, but you used your legs instead.
You spread them so wide, you didn’t even exist.
I didn’t know that even bats have soft jaws
and run from what they scar.

iii. Every day for months,
I wrote down something I loved about you
on a napkin and saved them like silver dollars.
I burned them with everything you ever bought me
when I learned that life is not about love or money.
You will never find someone who loves you
more than I do, but if I could burn
every memory of you, I would.

iv. Last time, I said I was sorry to a dial tone.
This time, I deleted your number
and two years worth of text messages.
Every day I wake up, I say goodbye to a ghost.
I don’t need the texts as proof that you
loved and you lied. You demonstrated
where the fault lies through your actions.

v. I don’t care if anyone is on my side.
I am not here to make judgements for others.
I am not afraid anymore. Three years ago,
your presence made me shake and it took weeks
to scrub his blood out of my skin.
I am not afraid to stand up to the pain.

vi. You are not worthless, but you are not worth it.
I wrote 15 poems for you in your absence.
That is over 15 hours I will never get back,
and notebooks full of words wasted on someone
who will never understand what they mean,
someone who wouldn’t even listen.

vii. This is not for you. I don’t do things
for you anymore. This is for me.

viii. If this poem was a letter, it would be
addressed to Mr. with no return address.
If this poem was an earthquake,
you would come out with no limbs.
This poem is a tsunami, I am the broken houses,
and you are the flooded streets.

ix. The last thing you will remember me as
is the elephant tattooed on my thigh:
I am stronger than I was, and much more wise.

x. Your new girlfriend will come back. So will the others.
I won’t. So when you
work up the courage to apologize,
please don’t.

My Family Hates Me and I Want To Die: a novel by me

You wanna know why? Why does the one who has nothing to wait for, wait? Because that’s what you do when you truly love someone. You wait. You expect. And that, either ruins everything, or is the best choice you could ever make.
—  moonstone-girl
Which of the Seven Deadly Sins describes you best?

Put your answer in the tags

98 more days
until i walk down the center
of the gymnasium
in a maroon cap and gown
and say goodbye
to the teachers who have taught me
everything i’ve ever learned in a classroom
and to the friends
who have taught me everything else.
98 more days.
14 more weeks.
3 and a half more months. 
a little more than a quarter of a year
until one part of my life ends
and another part truly begins.
—  i can’t wait for college // 2.24.17
masterlist of the best advice i have ever heard, read, or learned.
  • everything eventually does get better
  • do not expect to go to bed with a flat stomach
  • if you can’t do it today, try something different tomorrow
  • dreams are rarely dumb
  • being different is a great strength if you are not scared to hide it
  • home is not always where you live
  • life will never go as you planned, but keep rehearsing arguments in the shower anyway
  • you are not someone else’s opinion of you
  • breathe. in, out. very helpful.
  • don’t date someone you wouldn’t be friends with
  • be nice to people. you never know someone else’s battles
  • you are not damaged goods just because you’ve made a few mistakes in your life
  • love people, especially when it seems like they don’t deserve it (that’s when they need it most)
  • if you’re unhappy, change your circumstances; if you can’t do that, then change the way you think about it
  • just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go doesn’t mean you’re not going anywhere
  • you are a person who is worthy of love, respect, and happiness