how do i learn to love myself

anonymous asked:

hey anna, i hope you don't mind me asking this question, but have you ever dealt with the fear of the end? the end of a friendship, a relationship or even just life in itself? how do you deal with such moments? sending you loads of love, Anna!

All the time. It’s scary to feel like you’re nearing the end of anything, but for me personally it also is a blessing. Because it makes me put everything into perspective and is a positive lesson for me. Like, if my relationship was ending, why and how did it get to that point? What can i do to better myself and what have I learned? As for life, I’ve realized that it’s the best thing anyone could ever ask for, and I know whenever it’s over, I’ve lived a pretty damn good one ha!

5 Things Tag

tagged by @pureren, thank u bro💖!

5 Things You’ll Find In My Bag:

  1. phone
  2. chapstick
  3. earphones
  4. wallet ofc
  5. tissues

5 Things In My Bedroom:

  1. my beloved himalayan salt lamp
  2. a Levi doll
  3. my cat
  4. too many childhood pics
  5. the poo emoji plush

5 Things On My To-Do List:

  1. worrying less
  2. starting to appreciate my art and myself
  3. a trip to Asia
  4. learning how to cook bc……yes
  5. be more social and outgoing like pls u need friends,,

Five Things People May Not Know About Me:

  1. im lazy af 
  2. i love ppl playing with my hair. it calms me a lot
  3. i can’t sleep in a bed that it isn’t my own
  4. im weak to compliments and pet names *sobs*
  5. English is not my first language, i’m from Italy yo

im tagging: @telltaleheartwrites, @koganess, @shulkie, @justapansexualfanficwriter, @raven-sound, @liberalanimetrash, @miss-ellanius

“I’m turning thirty in July.  And I’m still working out a lot of childish things in my dating life.  I’m learning how to communicate.  I’m learning to ask myself: ‘What do I want?’ instead of ‘What can I take?’  I’m learning that another person can never ‘complete me.’  And I’m learning that in certain moments it’s OK to not like somebody—even if you love them.  It’s taken me longer to figure this stuff out because I had to hide my identity for so long.  I know that nobody ever fully arrives, but heterosexuals definitely have a head start.”

I was never good at dealing with the part where people left my life. Sometimes it felt as if my heart and dreams were shattered to pieces. But then I came to realize that them leaving had little to do with me.
The people who come into our lives are there for a reason. We’re often not aware of it, but I believe their purpose is to bring what we need in that time and place of our life. They leave for that reason too.
We let people touch our lives and when they do, they leave a mark. Whether it’s heartbreaking or heartwarming, we are never the same. At least I never was. At some point, I started to feel like I evolved into a slightly different and a more understanding version of myself. I came to know that dreams might die and eventually other dreams will awaken. And maybe, without realizing it I touch lives and dreams too. And if so, may it always be with love, wisdom and compassion. Because in the end what matters the most is what we learn and how well we pass it on.
Even when dreams come to die.
—  aashiquidreams  // Journal of Dying Dreams

catfruits  asked:

Okay, so, I'd love to read a little something by you set in a world where Lavender made it out of the Battle of Hogwarts. Maybe not okay, but alive?

Once upon a time, Lavender had wanted everyone to look at her. She had been the kind of kid who put on dramatic plays for her stuffed animals, for any visitors to the house, and for any neighbor or passersby she could snag from the front yard.

Dating Ron in sixth year had been fun, most of all because everyone had kept sneaking glances at her. She had heard her name in curious whispers and she had grinned and giggled into Parvati’s shoulder.

Everyone was looking now, or pretending not to. She heard the whispers– oh it’s that poor Brown girl. Can you imagine, if it was your daughter, if it was you? Oh and she was so pretty before, too–what a pity–almost makes it worse, doesn’t it?

“You know Professor Lupin was a werewolf?” Hermione said, ten minutes into a very awkward lunch she had asked for in an equally awkward letter.

Lavender pushed a sauteed carrot through a little puddle of pasta sauce. “I think everyone heard about that one. Someone told the papers, or something, right?”

“Er, yes,” said Hermione. “Snape did. Which is what I– I mean, it’s related. Oh, I wish you’d gotten to talk to Remus about this. He was a lovely man.”

“Not as lovely as Lockhart,” Lavender said and she and Hermione spent a moment in wistful remembrance. “God, I feel old,” Lavender said.

“Anyway, Snape,” said Hermione. “Snape and Lupin. When Lupin was at school, Snape would make him a potion that would… tame him, on full moons. He could just curl up in his office and sleep by the fire. If you’re interested, I’m trying to learn how to brew it myself.”

Lavender shook her head. “We’re not friends,” she said. “Never have been. So why are you doing all this?”

Hermione looked like she was trying to say “we’re friends,” but she couldn’t get it out. “I was there, once, when Lupin turned without the potion. I was so scared. I thought we were going to die.”

“Afraid I’ll sniff you out on a dark night?” Lavender said, face twisting as she sank back into her wicker chair.

“No, I–” Hermione squeezed her eyes shut, and all the hesitation was making Lavender more and more uncomfortable. Even at eleven, Hermione had bulldozed through things. She didn’t waver. “I was so scared, but I think it was even worse for him. It hurt, but he looked so scared, too, I–”

“I know how it feels,” said Lavender, very quietly, and Hermione snapped her mouth shut. Lavender took a big sip from her tea. It was still steaming– it had not taken long to exhaust small talk, between the two of them.

Hermione cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m trying to make amends. I’m trying to– make things better. Do you want this?”

Lavender put her mug back down, shaking out scalded fingers, and said, “Yes.” Then, because her mother had raised her right, she said, “Thank you.”

“That sounds like a weird conversation,” said Parvati, whose door Lavender went and knocked on after she and Hermione had split the bill with the precise-to-the-Knut math of the vaguely acquainted and recently employed.

Lavender kicked through the fall of autumn leaves that had collected in front of the porch swing. “She was trying to be nice, I think.”

“She’s not very good at it,” said Parvati.

-

Her father wept. He tried not to but he was a crier, always had been.

“You were so brave,” said Lavender’s mother, cupping her cheeks in her warm hands and not even flinching at the scar tissue under her palms. “We are so proud.”

Lavender’s mother was a Muggleborn, daughter of a math teacher and a door-to-door salesman (“now there is a profession that requires some magic,” her grandfather used to tell her).

Her father was a wizard and he was trying hard not to cry, bending down to pet the dogs weaving between all their ankles. Lavender bent down, too, scratching behind Fiddlestick’s floppy ears while Mopsy cleaned her cheek forcefully. “Hey,” she said, and her father looked up, trying to firm his wobbly chin.

“You know I’m proud of you, too,” he said, trying not to tremble on it. “I just…” He reached out to squeeze her knee gently. “You did everything right. You did everything good. I’m so proud of you, chickadee.”

“I know,” she said, and she did. He was a Gryffindor, too.

-

It took Hermione more than a month to figure out the potion sufficiently well enough that she’d let Lavender try it. She was founding a non-profit for nonhuman rights, too, after all, as well as doing a fair few local speaking gigs, petitioning the Wizenagamot on a half dozen issues, getting an advanced degree, and supposedly, at some point, sleeping.

It took more than a month, so Lavender spent another night locked in her parents’ newly fortified cellar. She didn’t remember much, but she woke up with her throat sore and her nails ragged. The door was gouged from the inside. She wondered if she had been screaming. She wondered if that’s what the howls were. She felt like screaming, maybe, a little.

The door cracked open the moment the moon had dropped down below the horizon, outside. Her mother came in with a tray of her favorite breakfast foods– danishes and boiled eggs, steaming hot cocoa with the barest splash of bitter coffee in it.

Parvati came stomping down the stairs after her. “Graceful,” said Lavender. She winced at the roughness of her voice.

“Look who’s talking,” said Parvati. “Up, c'mon, eat your breakfast. We’re doing midnight manicures. Your dad says he’ll let us doll up his nails, too.”

The next full moon night, Lavender locked herself in the cellar again. “It should be safe,” Hermione had said. “It should. I mean, I’ve done all the tests. I followed all the instructions. It should work.”

Lavender didn’t remember, because she never remembered– she didn’t recall the cellar door unlocking and opening after ten minutes of post-moonrise silence. She didn’t recall Parvati Wingardium Leviosa-ing a comfy chair down the stairs, or her sitting down and pulling out a stack of Witch Weeklys, nor did she remember curling up on Parvati’s fuzzy button slippers and going to sleep.

But she did remember waking up in the morning, her cheek pressed into a soft pillow. She was tattered under a thick blanket, but she was human and looking upward at Parvati’s slack, sleeping face. Her dark plaits tumbled, curling, over the soft pink polka dots of her pajamas.

Lavender pulled herself up to sitting, stole the open Witch Weekly, and waited for Parvati to wake up.

-

“You’re going to be alright,” Professor Trelawney said and she wasn’t even looking at Lavender’s palm, just holding her hand tight in her cold fingers. “You’re going to be happy. You’re going to be fine. People are going to love you and stand by you and we will be there.”

The tower room was just the same as Lavender remembered it, down to the spicy-sweet tea and Trelawney’s big blinking eyes. Lavender squeezed her hands back. “I love you, too, professor.”

“You know, I think you can call me Sybil. It seems the time for it.”

Dean and Seamas’s housewarming for their ugly little first flat was a crowded mess, but the afterparty wasn’t. Lavender and Parvati came by with paint swatches, opinions, and hangover remedies. They ate greasy Chinese food on the floor, because it was about as comfortable as the couch.

They came back the next week, and the next. Parvati conjured a crackling fire in a big fruit bowl Dean’s mother had given him and they all sat around it like they were back at Gryffindor Tower’s hearths, procrastinating on homework.

On nights like that they sometimes talked about Hogwarts, but most of the time they didn’t. Dean had started drawing again and he walked them through his notebooks– his sisters, caricatures of the customers he dealt with in Ollivander’s wand shop, the snarky little comics he’d always scrawled in the edges of his notes. Parvati told them about the Auror trainees’ antics, going ut on their first field missions with their mentors. “All bravado and caffeine,” she said. “Bunch of show-offs.”

“So you fit in well, then?” Dean said.

“Nah, that’s Lav,” Parvati said. Dean and Seamas glanced warily at Lavender, but she just giggled and reached for another potsticker.

Seamas was considering going back to school. “Hermione’s been badgering me about it,” he said. “Says I have a talent for pyrotechnics, and there’s a whole major for fire magics at Brinxley.”

“What about you, Lav?” said Dean. “You still thinking about vet school?”

“What?”

“Oh, uh, that’s the Muggle word. Veterinarian– a medimagizoologist?”

“The schools aren’t too interested in a werewolf as a student,” Lavender said, shrugging.

“Not that that stops Hermione from showing up on the doorstep with half-penned anti-discrimination lawsuits she wants Lav to star in,” Parvati said.

“When does she sleep?” said Dean.

Little children asked about it in the street sometimes. “Mum, why’s her face like that?” “How come she’s walking all funny?”

Sometimes their parents turned to Lavender with eager bright eyes in the grocery store line, expecting her to answer. (“I got hurt, but I’m okay now.”) Sometimes they shushed their kids and gave her little apologetic half-smiles, glancing away from the raised lines of scar tissue. Sometimes they pulled their children closer to them and crossed to the other side of the street.

Harry Potter had a godson. Teddy Lupin was four the first time Lavender met him, just outside Gringotts. Teddy clung to Harry’s pants leg, peeking past his godfather’s hanging robe. “Why’d her face do that?” he said and Harry dropped a hand down into Teddy’s hair, which was bright green.

“She’s just like your dad,” said Harry.

“Puppy,” Teddy whispered, eyes wide with joy, and his skin shifted until scars stood out stark on his smiling chubby cheeks.

Lavender bit her lip and sank down to her knees in the street, holding out a hand. “Why aren’t you handsome, chickadee. What’s your name?”

Once, Lavender had wanted everyone to look at her.

She hated stories that told you to be careful what you wished for. Were you not supposed to want things? Was that the answer? She was nearly twenty two and she could make things fly with a few whispered words. She had lived through her seventh year at Hogwarts, had stepped out into that battle with her wand out and her eyes open. She had woken up–hurting, wounds tended, poison in her veins–to Parvati sleeping on Sybil’s shoulder at her bedside.

She had cried when they told her about the lycanthropy. She had cried over her bunny because a fox had gotten to it. Both times it had been with her face buried in Parvati’s shoulder and Parvati’s hands stroking her hair. She wished and she wanted– animals that never left you, bodies that never betrayed you.

Once, Lavender had wished that everyone would look at her, and now they were. Everyone was looking– so Lavender held Parvati’s hand in the grocery store at midnight, because they had both been craving green apples. Everyone was looking– so Lavender curled her hair and pinned it up, wore tank tops and little skirts on any day hot enough that she could get away with it, laughed aloud in public spaces. Everyone was looking– so Lavender knocked on Hermione Granger’s door one evening and asked, “What would it take to get me into magical vet school?”

Hermione had her bushy hair all tied back and a quill behind each ear. “A lot. There’s some statutes we’ve got to fight, and even if we can handle that you’ll still be under intense scrutiny for years.”

“I can work with that,” said Lavender, and Hermione grinned.

When Teddy marched down the aisle with the rings, his hair was a shimmering swirl of pink and purple to match the flowers woven into Parvati’s braids and Lavender’s curls.

The honeymoon would be short–a week in magical Paris in the townhouse of a Beauxbaton girl they’d befriended fourth year. Lavender had more medical textbooks packed into her luggage than anything else. Parvati’s bags were lined with half-finished reports that she’d owl to Auror headquarters from a rumpled Parisian morning, getting croissant crumbs in the bedsheets.

But for now the hall was filled with pink and purple blooms, white candles, familiar faces. Hermione stood in a violet bridesmaid’s dress, and Dean and Seamus in matching ties at Parvati and Lavender’s respective backs. Padma was luminescent with joy over Parvati’s shoulder. She had taken Lavender aside that morning for a short quiet walk in the mist and told her, “I know tonight’s what makes it official, but I’ve thought of you as my sister for years.”

When Lavender leaned forward and kissed her wife, her father burst into proud tears in the front row. He was a crier, always had been. Lavender buried her face in Parvati’s shoulder, smiling so hard she thought she might come apart. Her scars creased and puckered in her dimples, and she was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

This is a small post to say, I appreciate all your positive words & criticisms too.
Feedback is an opportunity to learn.
In particular, I believe being open to criticism can make our journey through life a lot smoother. Whether it’s constructively intended or not, you have the option to use it, or ignore it. I want to let you all know, I am open to any concerns you have, with how I stream or jokes I make. The streamers & I all use this tag to interact with the community and to share positivity. We all try our best at being easily approachable, reading our emails & answering our asks as promptly as possible. Communication is important  to all of us & it’s something I value highly.

This year I have set my values around sharing as much positivity as possible. To say the least, it’s what we all need right now. Even as a Video Game Streamer, this is something we can all get behind- that sharing happiness is one of the only things that lasts in the world and in the end connects us all.

My stream is not a place for vitriol or spreading hatred. I don’t want you to think about negativity in my stream, well all have enough of it in our own lives- whoever you are. I owe this to you & anyone that looks toward my content for a laugh.

I try to grow each year as a person, as do we all, however I still make mistakes. I’m constantly learning about people and how to better myself. If there’s anything I can improve upon in my streams send me a mail or an ask.

John Lennon said “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

I count my life by smiles- you have all brought me thousands. This year, I’m going to try my best to give it back and spread as much positivity and love as possible.

things and states i aspire to achieve one day:
  • dedicating a little time to stretch my body!!
  • learning how to forgive my past mistakes
  • knowing when to keep off toxic people
  • not keeping all the burden to myself
  • never letting people walk over me
  • finally taking actions that im anxious of
  • not moving too much when im talking in class
  • have a concrete sleeping schedule
  • enjoying every chew of my every meal
  • learning how to move on and get over a heartbreak
  • loving my lil tummy
  • accepting that i am a human being that makes mistakes too
  • being a little less anxious when i talk to strangers
  • embracing my flaws
  • adapting to changes
  • getting a little less anxious when ordering my food
  • ovethinking way too much
  • constantly comparing myself to my friends or other people
  • staying hydrated
  • transforming and changing to become a better, happier person
  • taking my feelings into consideration before doing something
  • being true to myself and to the ppl around me at all times
  • becoming an inspiration to the ppl around me
  • being more considerate, appreciative, and patient
  • accepting that i am still growing up and i still have a lot of things to learn
5

I’d like to think that Otabek was there to comfort Yuri after his breakdown. I also like to remind myself that Yuri is 15 years old and is still very much a child and people give him way too much credit for his strong and tough self, he’s so vulnerable and tries his hardest and wants to be loved the way he’s learned to love throughout the season ok plskthxbai.

I was supposed to finish this earlier but Carrie Fisher passing away really shook me and I cried and I was just lost for a good long while.

Never do I post pics on here and especially like these because of all the creeps on here but this year I’ve learned to love myself. For the longest time I would be ashamed of my thighs, butts, boobs, cellulite and stretch marks but not anymore I’m glad to be who I am and how I am. I understand that not everyone will think I’m beautiful or none at all but I love me and that’s all that matters 💜

(If you take this caption off too sexualize me I’ll hunt you down)

cactusjesus-iwajesus  asked:

So I just wanted to ask some art tips. I'm an amateur artist and I'm still trying to get my anatomy right. I'd like to ask how did you learn how to draw hands and feet (and also shoes). While I do draw in a front facing view I love drawing depth and dynamic poses so I hope it's not too much trouble to ask about that too. Also your art is inspiring to me. It's breathtaking and I love it. I'm sure you've heard this from everyone but your Mafia AU is incredible and so is your comic. (=゚ω゚)ノ♡

Ooooh, no prob at all!!! O3O
Honestly tho, I still consider myself an amateur, so, I’ll do what I can to help! XD

ah, anatomy is super tough, like, THERE’S A REASON YOU REALLY DON’T SEE FEET IN MY ART
LIKE
ahahahaha
BUT!
As I am sure most ppl will say, the only way to get better is to practice :3
Look at your own hands and feet, sketch them out, try and understand how they move the the forms they make :D
I know there’s like a weird feeling that using references is somehow “cheating” BUT THAT IS BULLSHIT, GOOGLE IMAGE THINGS AND USE REFERENCES ALL THE WAY!!!
When you’re just practicing, like, just straight up trace things at times :D
Carve the feeling into your hands, muscle memory is definitely a thing!
The best thing to do when you’re learning is to chunk things, draw the basic shapes that make up feet and hands and then add in details :3
Here are some feet and hands practice I’ve done, notice the basic shapes are drawn and then the details done on top of it :D

All these were done with references, btw o3o

Hope that was helpful ^w^

Sudden– like stale cigarettes and pale girls that didn’t know how to love so they pick guys that’ll help the days go by. Cold– airy like your breath, but we never got to kiss, I can still feel my fingers trace your spine, another letter about not being able to call you mine, baby, I love you just isn’t enough and it’s no longer true, but the truth is some dead part of me is still fucking in love with you and we’ve changed. Stitches– words still tremble through my voice, I can’t look at myself and I hate myself, secrets etched into my skull. I think about every night, but you’ll never know. Fuck the metaphors, I’ll just live a little. Fuck the time, when you’re living in your prime– life is such a strange event. How many days will fly by as I’m missing you tonight? Stretch– like the way you held my gaze for longer than a second, I love this month, I hate this month, I love you much, I hate you much, I hate myself, still learning how to love myself. Trust– you tore through my heart first, it’s only right that I do the fucking same. An eye for an eye and love is truly blinding. I hate you to the point of exhaustion, I just want it to go away. I love you to the point of nonexistence, no wonder I miss you when I’m sinking into my depression. Oceans– you used to hold my thoughts into a bag, asthma attacks will decaying lungs, it’s the only way that I know how to love. Kiss me until it hurts or don’t kiss me at all. Sex– summer dresses and moonlight sonatas, fucking until the sun finishes its love letters to the moon. The myth is a lie. The moon doesn’t only show up during the night. You’re just not paying attention to the little details that is us. And we’ve changed. Flimsy– paper heart of mine, like you ran into my hands and didn’t want to let go, origami soul with a hint of watercolor tears– shit, I can still hear your voice when the rain whispers lightning and thunder into the middle of December and I’ll die a lonely death some day, we came into this world naked and alone, crying those sad little tears won’t get us anywhere. Reprieve– like the love that we had wasn’t enough, so we had to look for it somewhere else. Love– like it was supposed to end, like you knew it was going to end, and like how it ended– I wanted a happy ending, but I’ll take a sad tale that doesn’t have a princess. I’ll take the champion with his steel sword and fire proof shield melted into his flesh. At least he died for something. At least he didn’t hold his breath when he said that he loved you. Not like how I could. No, never that. Poetry– I don’t need this, I just want the depth. Prose– keep it into my palms, one love letter at a time, one broken heart lost in the sands of time. Fuck– my favorite word.
—  shit.

my insides are a cranberry bog. it’s snowing and i’m trying to teach you how to thread a needle. i want to tell you that dad left because he is who he is, but i also just want this moment to be between the two of us. once you asked me if i still believed in love after all of this. but i think mom’s been better ever since. do you remember how we all crowded together in one bed for days after. we were so worried about her we walked like tightrope performers, juggling breakfasts we burnt and dinners we made from soup cans. it’s been hard. we avoid the space he left. 

but i do believe in love, i want to tell you. your tongue sticks out while you stick the string through the loop. i believe in you. i believe we can fold ourselves right. he taught me the same skill, but i taught myself the whipstitch. i taught myself the tie off. i taught myself how to teach you. your hands shake sometimes. i try not to notice when mine do. i’m saying sometimes love looks like a bonfire and sometimes it looks like a dark house - but one we’re relearning how to light candles in. 

i show you how to sow. and one day we’ll all learn how to trust again.

“I deleted your number from my phone month and months ago so that I wouldn’t text you in the late night. I know you sleep well, and fully throughout the night, and you grew sad and distanced yourself each morning you woke to find my frustration, years too late. I unfriended you on Facebook because you liked all the posts I put up, the happy ones, the good ones, the fun ones. I trained my brain to forget your last name. I taught myself not to think of your eyes. Or the shape of your collar bones. I now can proudly say I don’t think of you late at night when I stare at the light coming in my bedroom windows.”

I’m trying to slow time, and stay still enough so that I don’t wreck anything. That I don’t turn any of the good let in my life into something negative. 

I’m writing everything down lately. Because I don’t trust my memory to catch all the good and bad. It’s like a recently mended net, about to test it’s new strength. 

I hate writing K’s and G’s in my handwriting. I like writing L’s and S’s. I bought a spray bottle at the dollar store and filled it up with water and eucalyptus essential oil. I’ve been burning lavender incense and spraying my pillows with the eucalyptus water. I’ve rearranged my bookcase, and listened to an old FM radio. I searched for a station that didn’t have commercials for about 20 mins. My internet had been down some 24 hours at that point and I just needed a little something in my ears.

I’ve been gone 11 days, and now my cats don’t leave me alone. They come, twirling and dancing between my feet as I walk around surveying this apartment I missed. Each tiny and large thing put in a place that feels right, at least for now.  

In college I would repaint my studio apartment’s walls in the middle of the night because I needed a bit of a change. I would rearrange pillows, shelves and furniture because it felt better thinking about how I’d never been kissed. How I’d never known the touch of a trusted lover. Now I do it because it feels good to seek and find solace and comfort here, away from the world outside. 

I’m not sorry that I’ve allowed certain men take root in my memories. Idaho with his grumbling, growling, and breathtaking smile, his declarations. Brown eyes with the way his mouth moved when he talked and his tattoos, and his love of achingly soft music. The midwest gent for his attentive nature, patience, and his stoicism. My southern best friend who made me laugh like no other, with goofy memorable moments of pride and care, his strength. My contractor ex, nationally ranked rugby boyfriend who lived in the Poconos and who made me feel delicate, womanly, but who trusted me with a hammer and power tools. The tall gangly boy who grew into a handsome man, one night to take my hand late at night in his sports car only to whispered beautiful words of praise besides a lake under the moonlight some miles later. 

But that’s because I sometimes forget the bad associated with each. Or the bad I brought to them. 

I’m sitting on the floor, my legs have fallen asleep and I know I should shed my clothes and crawl into my bed. I should make a list of all I want to accomplish tomorrow, and I should, I should, I should, I should. 

I think I’ll soak in the tub, or change my sheets and get into bed and play a song that starts slow and sad, but builds in my chest like road trip views where you get surprised by a great landscape after the same sad thing miles and miles. Just one more hill. Just one more hike, one more mile, until you’re closer. I’m closer.

Everyday, I am thankful for those who have loved me, and who have allowed me to love them, even if it wasn’t enough for either of us in the long run. Because I’m learning to love myself more, and more. Learning to call myself out on my bullshit. Learning that exciting things happen every day, that I can make exciting things happen, worthwhile things.  

That one day, doesn’t matter how soon, all these memories, all this growth will mean a more successful relationship with another extraordinary person. With my extraordinary person. Who will grow with me. That will take me as I am, a person capable of greatness, even if that greatness is just great according to each of us, and the small things I do to affect others positively. 

I just have to breathe in, make several small movements that turn into larger ones, exhale, then do it all over again. 

Twenty things I’ve learned in Twenty Years

1. Life will break you down until you’re crawling on your hands and knees, until you feel like you are Atlas holding the world upon your shoulders, until you feel like the raging inferno inside of your chest is going to combust. These are the moments that will forge you in a fire and make you more unbreakable than diamonds.

2. We are made of stardust, at least that’s what they say. I remember someone told me that every atom in my body once belonged to a star that exploded. At night I stare at my hands and wonder when I will erupt. I know now that I cannot trust anyone else to keep me whole in the darkest hours of the night but my own two star infused arms.

3. You will fall in love, and that is okay. Sometimes we need to fall in love to remember that there is good out there. Fall in love with the boy who opens the door for you, fall in love with your boss who works too hard, fall in love with the woman who hands out roses on that one street corner, fall in love with yourself.

4. They weren’t lying when they said we accept the love we think we deserve. I grew up being told I was a mistake and so I adopted the idea that no one could ever love a mistake. I was wrong (they were wrong) and now it’s up to me to prove them wrong. Don’t believe the things they said, you are so much more than the toxins they tried to poison you with.

5. Close your eyes, count to ten, and open them again. You are not alone. I know it may feel like you are the only one, but believe me when I say that you aren’t. I was where you are, and now I have talked to more people that have been through much worse than I than I would like to admit to. You are never alone, not really.

6. Music can save. Play it as loud as you can with the windows down as you drive (probably a little too fast). Play it while you are at work and while you are in the shower and play it when you want to give up in the middle of the day and when you want to give up in the middle of the night. Just play the music that tugs at your heartstrings, it may save you.

7. Nothing in life is easy, not really. You will catch a few breaks here and there, but the rest of the time you will find yourself fighting tooth and nail to make it back to the top. Don’t give up, I almost did this year and if I had I wouldn’t be able to witness what the sun looks like shining in her eyes.

8. You will have scars, and that’s fine. We all have them but it’s up to you if you want to hide them or show your battle wounds to the world so they know how strong of a warrior you are, so they know not to fuck with you.

9. Watch the sunrise, and watch the sunset. There is something about the sun that screams life; let the light bleed into you and consume you until you shine with it. Sometimes it’s the simple things we are missing in life that we need the most.

10. They will say they love you and then they will turn around and break your heart. You cannot compare your life’s worth to the empty spaces that were once filled around you. People will leave (willing or not) and life will go on. Let life go on.

11. If you are under the impression you are broken, then it is up to you to decide if you are or not. It took me years to admit that I was never quite whole, but when I did it was the most freeing feeling ever. Brokenness does not take away from perfection, and you are the very definition of perfect.

12. It’s okay to let people in, you don’t need to cage yourself away from the rest of the world, don’t forget to live your life while you pursue safeness.

13. Hobbies will save you when all else fails you, find a hobby and stick to it. When the world feels all too loud, a hobby can make you go deaf.

14. The moment you realize Wonder Woman or any other superhero you idolized as a child is not going to swoop down and save you is when your life changes. You have to be your own hero in this world. Stop waiting for someone to save you and go save yourself.

15. They are gone, she took her own life and he died in a car crash and she died from cancer and he left. You cannot live your life counting how many people that held a piece of your heart vanished, I’m not saying to forget about them I’m just saying that it’s okay to say goodbye.  

16. It’s okay to cry; cry in the shower and in bed and in your car, being sad is okay as long as you don’t let it consume you.

17. Smile as much as you can even on the bad days.

18. For God’s sake, don’t let them ruin you. You are so strong, you’ve made it this far and that means you can make it another day. If you can get through today you can get through tomorrow and every day that follows. If you feel like you can’t get through the day then sit down and don’t move until the light is peaking in through your window.

19. Never say never. If you think you can’t do something try anyway, this is your life, you are the main character of your own story, but you are also the author of your story. Write it however you want, but don’t give up halfway through.

20. Just don’t take your life. While this is something I learned this year I’m also writing this as a reminder to myself and to you. Don’t do it, please. There can be more to life then what you are feeling right now, don’t rob yourself of the beauty of this world. Don’t give up, no matter how much it hurts.
—  An open letter to myself, and to you. (Sometimes I write until I run out of words) ALightLitInTheDark

this is it… langst is all i will be remembered for 

-lance is a HUGE. fan of Marina and the Diamonds. All of her songs just hit him in the heart just right, but whenever he listens to them he starts crying. Someone started humming or singing it and instantly became alarmed/panicked when he started bawling.

-allura and coran can’t possibly be the only alteans left. there would have been some alteans that lived on other planets, right? lance’s great great grandparents were completely altean, but they stayed shapeshifted as humans for so long their children looked like humans too. Lance is 100% percent altean, but his familes forgot their history.

-lance self harms. not cutting, he does it in more… subtle ways. like making himself sleep with no blankets, or biting his hands, or scratching at his skin. shiro did all of these things, so when he realizes what lance is doing he immediately tells everyone else in an attempt to help (he really did try to help. he really did.), but that’s not a good idea. Lance lashes out and panics.

-alteans don’t lie about important things. they’re truthful and honest (until it comes to ‘who stole my cookies??’. then they lie.), and they don’t know how tricky and deceitful humans can be. Lance, coran and allura soon learn, is an expert liar.

-lance always carries a compact mirror around with him, and a lot of times people call him out for ‘being obsessed with his appearance’. somehow, it saves the entire team at some point, whether from blinding an enemy, or making a stuck-up king thankful, but pidge mutters ‘wow, lance’s vanity finally does something useful for once.’ lance hears her.

Not to get emotional about any of this, but hearing Sweet Creature reminded me that I love music. I haven’t been this excited about the release of an album in God knows how long, and it feels so wonderful to analyze lyrics, to create meaning within a song for myself, to learn all the words, to sit back and listen to an entire album and just be. It’s incredibly powerful to come across artists who do that for you - to take you back to how many worlds music can take you to - and I hope Harry knows how special he is.

2

So this might just happen…

i’ve been feeling pretty down on my art lately, so i drew this to hopefully make myself– and anyone who’s also feeling talent-less– better.

don’t give up on what you love doing folks. just because we can’t see our talent at the moment doesn’t mean it’s not there. there’s a world of wonder and beauty in you, even if you’re still learning how to express it. i know i am. it’s a long and slow process, but it’s totally worth it. don’t forget to have fun along the way.

pidge believes in you, and so do i

thewrap.com
'When We Rise' Is 'Appallingly Timely,' Activist Cleve Jones Says
Cleve Jones, whose memoir provides much of the basis for ABC's gay-rights miniseries "When We Rise," says the miniseries is "appallingly timely"

TheWrap spoke with Jones and Austin P. McKenzie, who plays him in part of “When We Rise.” McKenzie, best know for the Deaf West Theatre’s 2015 Broadway revival of “Spring Awakening,” plays the young Jones, while Guy Pearce plays him later in life.

TheWrap: Fifty years ago, CBS aired a special called “The Homosexuals,” in which Mike Wallace warned viewers the subject might be “disturbing.” What is it like to see this project air on a broadcast network?

Cleve Jones: It’s certainly a milestone and it’s very exciting, and I think for all of us real characters who were a part of this, we see this as an opportunity to move things forward. There are parts of it that are not exactly accurate, but it remains truthful to the movement and that’s what counts.

Why did you decide to take this on?

McKenzie: I remember reading the script for the first time in my apartment in New York City, and there are just some scripts you get, and the second you read it you just know you have to play the role. I didn’t really know why. I think maybe there was something about the way Cleve’s vulnerability was written. I was really connected to it.

Cleve, what is it like to have these actors portray you and figure out your mannerisms?

Jones: It’s an odd experience… I’ve been very fortunate to have three extremely talented actors portray me and could not be happier.

The Trump administration just rolled back protections for transgender students. The timing seems almost impeccable…

Jones: When we started working on the screenplay we certainly had no clue that any of this could have happened… If this series helps people figure out how to fight back, that’s good. But I’m not a single-issue person, and every issue I care about is at stake right now. So, it’s turning out to be appallingly timely.

Austin, do you consider yourself part of the LGBTQ community?

McKenzie: I consider myself a part of any movement that ‘s moving towards love and freedom and equality.

What did you learn from working on the series?

McKenzie: You don’t have to know the history of the movement or see the television show to want to fight for justice. I didn’t know any of this specific history. I didn’t know who Cleve Jones was or Roma Guy or Ken Jones, and I felt so privileged to have learned the history and to feel embraced by a community that is really rooting for this television show… Cleve was a big part of that learning process. When I first met him, he took me around the Castro. I call him the Jesus of the Castro Street… Cleve is so intimidating and then I met him, and he was like — I’m not sure I’m allowed to say it…

Jones: Watch it Austin!

McKenzie: He was rambunctious. I’ll say that much. I’m a big believer that you are as old as you act, and when when I met Cleve I felt like he was the youngest person I’d ever met. When I met him in San Francisco we walked around the Castro and he would point to the windows of an apartment he used to live in… He told me so many of  the windows of the Castro were splattered with blood from the riots, and he showed me the camera shop that Harvey [Milk] used to own… I think from then on, I really thought, I have to do this role the best that I can for Cleve. That was the end goal for me. I wanted to do justice by Cleve and that’s sort of what I woke up to on set every day.

Cleve, what was it like for you, knowing there’s a whole generation of gay people who have no real connection to this struggle, whether because they weren’t born yet or because there are so few people alive from that time?

Jones: I don’t blame younger generations for their lack of awareness. Americans in general are not interested in history. As I’m approaching 60, I was given so many death sentences over the years, that I realize I owe that to the movement and that’s not hyperbole, that’s not rhetoric. I would be dead if it weren’t for the movement.

Why a mini-series?

Jones: It’s all about the reach, of course. Even best-selling novels don’t have the reach of ABC. That’s just amazing. I think that it was smart for ABC to do this. They’re competing against very edgy boundary-pushing products out of Amazon and Netflix and Showtime and HBO and the rest. There’s an audience for it and I think the audience is huge.

Are you ready for what’s about to happen once this airs?

McKenzie: Am I ready for it? I’m too young to know anything about life. I’m trying to take it day by day.

Jones: I don’t anticipate that my life is going to change much as a result of this. I’m not a celebrity. I work for a a labor union. I’m an organizer. I live in a rent-controlled apartment in the Castro, trying to hang on here.

What do you think of the explosion in social engagement we’re seeing across the country these days?

Jones: I think it’s unlike anything this country has ever experienced, at least since the Great Depression or World War II. I think that’s how deep the crisis is. I believe we are entering into a period of political chaos. Out of that chaos is the potential for great evil, but there is also the possibility of great good.

Do you feel like Trump’s win has forced you out of retirement? 

Jones: Oh, who wants to to retire? What will I do? I don’t golf. I imagine I will drop dead on some picket line.

Austin, how has this changed you?

McKenzie: It’s going to sound strange, but I’m not really someone who likes to be in the spotlight. I’m not looking for fame. There’s a comfort in playing a real person because in a way, it takes the attention off me and puts it on this real person’s life.

Jones: I think I have to add something here. I don’t know Austin well, but I’ve paid attention to him for a while and this was an extremely difficult thing for him… He was subjected to a lot of pressure and real intense challenges and he had to struggle and he’s grown a lot as a man and is a stronger person because of this experience. I think he was profoundly changed by this experience in a very positive way and I’m proud of him.

Austin, that’s a nice compliment. How does that make you feel?

McKenzie: Wow. I feel known. I feel more respect for him. I’m just happy to hear that.

Cleve, what was it about Austin that made you and Lance think he was the right guy for the role?

Jones: We viewed videos of people reading the script. It was a bit different than my experience with “Milk” where I actually was aware of Emile [Hirsch] before. With Austin, his reading was good but then also there was this YouTube video of him performing. What’s the name of the song, Austin?

McKenzie: “Brother” by Matt Corby.

Jones: The quality of the video wasn’t great, but the performance gave me goosebumps.

Austin: I felt very happy that I could write that song for episode 3. I pitched a song called, “Thinking of You,” to Lance for the show and they took it. And when we first showed it to Cleve, that was a really good moment. I had written with the thought of some of the things Cleve went through, one of his lovers in particular, and they ended up using it and that was really satisfying for me.

You didn’t know each other before this project. How would you describe your relationship today?

McKenzie: The first day I met Cleve, and he’d spoken about “Milk” and Emile Hirsch, I remember him saying, “From this day forward we’re going to have a connection forever because you’re playing me and we’re going to have this connection regardless if we talk again or not.” I think that’s definitely true. I feel like I know him intimately now.

Jones: We’ve gotten to know each other and there will be a connection forever. It’s just how it is. The people that I met during “Milk,” those relationships are still evolving.

“When We Rise” premiers at 9/8c on ABC.