i am enough the way i am

necromancer  asked:

I'm so envious of those amazing places you've explored!! I adore derelict buildings like that but in the UK they're almost always guarded or completely sealed off. Your photos are the stuff of dreams!

thank you. I am lucky to live in a country where some of the nice things are not well guarded or sealed off..

anonymous asked:

It feels like running has become a one-sided relationship. the more I love it and the more I start putting into it, the more I get injured and it sucks. I stretch, I do bodyweight exercises, but every season I have ran (I'm in my second xc season, 10th grade) I get hurt and it really is frustrating because I hate letting my coach and team down. I really don't want to ruin my love for running but I hate this.

oh my goodness do i identify with this. i understand. i have felt the exact same way for the past two years. consistent injuries, despite stretching and PT and strength training. i am just now getting back on my feet completely and seeing more pain-free progress. 

two things have helped me the most in overcoming this cycle: fueling more (you won’t see any results from strength training if you’re not eating enough) and changing my form. i read A LOT about proper running form. i am a late blooming runner and didn’t know anything when i started, i was coming from a soccer background and ran like a soccer player (not good). i had my form analyzed by a running-specialist physical therapist(measuring angles, videotaping, etc.)and it changed everything. i used to be a heel striker, now i’m a midfoot striker. i started picking up my knees more and made sure my knees go directly over my ankles and not buckling in. i focused on increasing my cadence and landing softly, and changed the terrain i was running on every week. i’m not sure what your injuries have been, but also leaning forward!!! so important and i had no idea!! you can look up “forward lean” on youtube, it has helped me a lot. 

the truth is that running makes my heart whole and breaks it at the same time. this sport will make you stronger in ways you never imagine. resilience, persistence, PATIENCE. wishing you many pain free miles, love 

anonymous asked:

I am a very sapphic gay bean and a sweet lady I am flirting(??) with has Mandarin for her first language and struggles a lot with English, so I picked up a Mandarin learning program tonight because I rly like her and I find that even learning a little of a language helps me understand what English "looks like" to them, so I can speak in a way that makes a little more sense across translation. I'm feeling v gay and felt like sharing. (And maybe any tips? 👀 )

I can’t say I’m good enough at Mandarin to give tips, I’m sorry! 😅
(especially if you’re writing to her, I can’t read at all)

All I know about language is that exposure is the best way to learn! If you wanna try to use “learning Mandarin” as a pretext to try to talk/chat to her in Chinese, you’d probably get more chances to talk to her as well as being able to learn a bit more too? Of course, don’t only talk to her about language, that’d probably get tiring, but you can add it to one of your conversation topics maybe!

Guys I can’t say it often enough: @a-broke-in-heart is one of the nicest people on here! Not only is Rachel an extremely talented writer, one of the most loved kids of the officials and runs a hate-free, awesome blog, she is also an extremely nice and kind person. You can fangirl with her, and just be yourself. I am completely honest when I say that she was the first person on tumblr I could fangirl with, without feeling awkward.

Rachel is amazing, respecting and completely crazy but in a friggin awesome way. And I am extremely glad that I can call that wonderful gal my friend!

Keep it up, Rach, you deserved your followers!

AU where instead of going to Samwell, Jack starts a widely successful Publicly Broadcast show for children.

Jack learns that he is great with kids after coaching them for a little over two years. Moreover, kids are good with Jack. There is no pressure to be anything other than who he is.


It all starts with a local news program doing a fluff piece on Jack Zimmermann’s coaching ability. But then it turned into something completely different when Jack skated onto camera and started to introduce every single one of his kids and what was special about them. He was…really enchanting actually. He didn’t ever really talk down to them. Jack just treated them as a tiny friend. 

They ARE his tiny friends, but that’s not the point. 

The footage they got of “snack time” was really the best. Imagine a good 16 kids piled around this massive man teaching them the best way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

 It should have been obvious that a local channel would contact him. It still surprises Jack. They want him to host a show? Why? Everyone always teased him about how impersonable he was during interviews. Is it because he’s Jack Zimmermann’s son? Or Alicia’s? 

Jack asks all of these questions to his mother and she just laughs. “You made a PB&J interesting to 16 kids just by being you”

Jack figures it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. 

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I’m not the person that I used to be. None of my exes would be able to identify me. I’ve grown flowers in a garden once filled with tainted soil. I think differently, I love differently, I fuck differently, I express myself differently. And I drink a hell of a lot more. I am more courageous about taking risks with my time and my future. I am softer to strangers and those I hold dearest. I am more optimistic even though I know I will always be a realist at heart.

Despite all of the growth, I am not yet the person I want to be. I will plant many more seeds in my garden of growth. I will embrace compassion. I will strive for empathy. I will take more time to be understanding. I will allow myself moments of reflection on the ways I have grown, but only long enough to grant myself the inspiration to become who I want to be.

—  the garden of my being
You say I am the best you’ve ever had, but neither of us care to admit I am also the best you’ll never be able to keep. I am a furious, windstruck storm of a human being, with passion bordering on madness and romanticism bordering on obsession. My kisses are the only part of myself your lips can fathom, and your hands cannot even touch my body without your fingers staining from all the storms that rage within me.
You seem to love the type of women whose eyes are serene and bright as the summer days they spend with you, who are beautiful and competent in the ways the world is only to happy to accept. They love with lukewarm tenderness and just a hint of arrogance only a life of privilege can bring- they hurt you, perhaps, but never amaze you, and the height of their unpredictability will end in a drunk car ride home that tastes almost as common as the whiskey you drink to forget them. But forgotten they will soon become, and there are many, many, women who will share the shade of their eyes and the nature of their well contained laughs. They will take months from you, tears from you, and sobriety from you temporarily, but never anything deeper. You do not understand the ways, then, in which women like me love. I will take the speck of honey brown from your eyes, the warmth of your skin, and the movement of your hips and hold them closer than you pull me, for I do not know what it means to feel without completion. To love, to feel, to touch without giving all of myself is a foreign concept I have no desire to become acquainted with, and I am sorry, but the only compensation I accept is everything you cannot give in fear it will destroy you. I will love you with all I have to offer, all of my madness and wild hair and sweet laughter and crooked teeth, and while there could be paradise between us, I offer no promises about what we will take from each other. Does that frighten you? It should. The truth is I am as full of destruction as I am affection.
You crave the sensation of me on top of you, but you do not understand me. Do not be fooled by the kindness in my eyes or the softness of my skin- I am a multitude of miraculous tragedies dressed in art. And as much as I want to love you and spread the deepest parts of myself over you like the tides on a coastal shore, I know you cannot love me in the way I demand to be loved. You are too accustomed to the idea of affection with no lasting consequence, and so you cannot possibly have enough to give without leaving me at least partly empty. I am someone full of presence, and any absence you leave will leave me bare.
—  ap (7.17) I do not know what it means to love with mercy

How is it possible
That a single human being
Could fuck you up so much
And make you feel as if your self worth has diminished
up to the point where you don’t even have confidence
Or believe you can find someone to make you happy

I wonder if you know,
how exactly you have broken me
How I look in the mirror and think,
I am not good enough.
I stare at myself and truly believe
no one will ever love me
at least not as much as I love them,
because I give too much and that is just exhausting.

I get anxiety all the time,
at the thought of you
At the thought of ever loving someone
The way I loved you.
Of getting attached
because I fear they will all become you,
constantly disappointing me.

I don’t have confidence anymore,
I can’t even talk to someone else
because I don’t think anything I say will be good enough
But I am fucking good enough
You just made me feel that I could never be.

I’m afraid of the world because of you,
Of people like you
That act so selfishly and call it,
“Making myself better”
When in reality
You’re a shitty indecisive person
That cannot let go of the one person
Who gave you everything
And you realize a little too late,
they are all you’ve ever wanted.

But guess what,
I’ve know that for a long time.
I’ve known you were all I ever wanted,
the sad part is
You changed.

You are not the person I fell in love with.
And I’m not the person you feel in love with

I am the person you destroyed
but I will also be the person
that will find happiness,
without you.

—  basically word vomit

What… am… I?

The beast towered over me, perched on its clawed toes, its twisted and ugly flesh covered in layers of sharp, smooth black carapace. It looked oily. Monstrous. It had horns on its head and beady, glowing eyes that bore into mine and seemed so familiar. As familiar as a mirror.

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I have a confession... I don’t belong here.

I’m not usually one to to say how she feels, let alone write down how she feels, but recent events have made it hard to hide where I’m at, so I thought I’d take a page from my good friend’s book and lay it all out here. To see if it helps.

Over the last few months really exciting things have been happening. Some things you know about, some you don’t. Suffice it to say life is good. And I’m terrified. I am utterly a fish out of water. I am lost and confused. And no one knows it. My life used to be small. I was a sun flower in a small garden. I thrived on what water I had and was fine. Fine. ish. I wanted more. I pretended that I knew more than I did so that I wouldn’t seem like such and outsider to my peers. Fake it till you make it, right? I knocked down doors that were locked and found opportunities that were hidden away form me. I was succeeding at the unimaginable. And then I pushed. And I pushed. And I pushed. Until I found myself weeping from a broken back because I had been pushing at brick walls that wouldn’t budge. I’d pushed too hard. And I became so terrified that I would be discovered as a fraud that I became selfish and insensitive. All to conceal a devastating fact. I don’t belong here.

I grew up on a small farm. We as kids worked the farm to help out. My mother moved us around where she could find work when my father lost his eyesight. we struggled always but we survived. This isn’t meant to be a pity party. My folks are strong as fuck. My point is, none of this is supposed to happen to girls like me. I was just a girl who loved to make people laugh, who loved the theatre and was terrified of being invisible. But recent events have put me in a position where lack of anonymity is making my screw ups more prevalent to some. And its an awful feeling. I try really hard to appear to be a person that is supposed to live in this kind of situation I’m in, because I love it here. But the secret is, I have no idea what I’m doing. So I fuck up. And I perhaps come across as self-absorbed and opportunistic as a sad attempt to look mightier than the small town girl that I really am. This is my way of keeping people far enough away that they wont see the cracks in my armour.

Here’s my other big secret. I love a lot. Like A LOT. I cant help it. My attraction to good humans can not be harboured and I am not ashamed. You look at my phone and I generally have 7 text threads going on any given day. I want to know everything about you at all times. I want you to share your deepest passions and griefs with me. I wanna know you inside and out! Here’s the thing, I don’t like to let people love me. Fucked up right? I want to love you but I don’t want you to need me. Cause I’ll disappoint you and you’ll go away and then it’ll all be for nothing. If I’m really scared of your love i’ll be unemotional, or distant, or if you’re really lucky- I might even be mean. 

Anyway this is my point: This exact life I’m living right now is a combination of my greatest dream and my most terrifying nightmare. I am not invisible and I can’t escape the love and the loving needs of others. I’m living a life that many including myself have only dreamed of. And I’m terrified that I’m just going to screw it all up.

So I’m writing this to let you know I’m going to work really really hard and do my absolute best to not fuck this up. Any of it. This is the steepest learning curve I’ve ever had in my life and I can no longer hide the fact that I feel in over my head. But stick with me, K? I’ll figure it all out really soon. 

Thank you for everything that you’ve given me and the patience you continue to give me. I’m sorry if it seems like I’ve taken your love for granted. It’s actually just the opposite. I just didn’t want you to know ;)


anonymous asked:

If there is a will there IS a way. U may not be able to do it the same way that non disabled people can, but you still can do it

I used to think that way too, before I got sick. I used to think that if I was just stubborn enough - and I’m really stubborn - then “where there’s a will there’s a way” and somehow I could do whatever I set my mind to.

But it’s simply a fact of reality that this isn’t true. It’s not being “negative” to acknowledge reality, to acknowledge that having a disability limits my abilities. That’s literally what it means. A Deaf person can’t hear, a blind person can’t see, a paralyzed person can’t walk, an autistic person can’t be allistic, and I can’t live the life of a healthy person. That’s not me giving up, that’s me acknowledging reality.

My illness prevents me from doing many of the things I want to do. I don’t “let” it stop me, it just stops me. If I tried to “find a way” to live like a healthy person, I would get so sick that I would collapse. Positive thoughts don’t make my pain and fatigue go away, it doesn’t allow me to think clearly or have the strength to leave the house more often. 

I know this is hard to accept, but there is nothing I can do to change this.

I do what I can to improve my health, I test my boundaries to see if I can do more than I think I can do, and I keep trying every single day. But a strong will can’t change a weak body. Wishing and wanting and trying can’t stop the bacteria that are ravaging and polluting my body, it can’t stop my immune system from attacking my organs, it can’t solve the mystery illnesses of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. If the disease kills me, it won’t be because I didn’t try hard enough.

Believe me, if wanting to be healthy made you healthy, I’d be the healthiest fucking person alive. If wanting to be abled made you abled, we would be abled. 

But a good attitude simply can’t fix a broken meat suit, and you healthy and abled people need to accept that too. 

You think you’re helping by telling me I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to, but you need to stop mindlessly pushing that ableist concept and realize that I don’t HAVE to be able to do whatever I set my mind to in order to be a worthwhile person. I don’t HAVE to “find a way” to be good enough. I AM good enough even though I can’t do the same things as healthy, abled people. 

I am disabled, and I am good enough.

A Softer Love
  • “There are two types of love. True love, and the love we actually get.”
  • “I would love you more if you were someone who could love me.”
  • “Our love was doomed, a burning building, a broken neck. But nothing since you and me even feels like love.”
  • “I want everyone to love me and I’m pretty sure the trick is to just be myself, but with money.”
  • “I can only infer that love exists from its effects on others.”
  • “I will always love you, or anyway I will always have loved you now.”
  • “You are the love of my life so far.”
  • “Will you still love me when I am a spooky ghost?”
  • “I’m in love with the you I wish you were. I only stay with you because you look like him.”
  • “Sometimes even love isn’t enough. So what chance do WE have?”
  • “I wish being in love was enough. I wish it counted for anything at all.”
  • “I hate it when you leave but I love to look at your butt while you walk away.”
  • “Yeah, maybe we all die alone. I masturbate alone, too. Sometimes.”
  • “Sometimes when two people love each other it’s really unfortunate.”
  • “I don’t believe each person has just one true love, but sometimes we don’t have enough time to find another.”
  • “If love lasted forever, we’d only ever get one.”
  • “Just once I’d like to fall in love with someone? who will ruin things before I do.”
  • “Ah, unrequited love. When your best isn’t enough.”
  • “I am terrified I will never find another love like ours.”
  • “I want to carve our initials in the bark of everyone who ever hurt you.”
  • “I love the way your face lights up when someone says, "It might be dangerous.”“
  • "All I ever wanted was love, until you loved me.”
  • “Our love is like an animatronic pigeon. No! It’s like a sex party on the moon! Also I am a bit drunk.”
  • “I want people to tell their children terrifying stories about the things we did for love.”
  • “When you get that look, nobody is safe. It’s why I first fell in love with you.”
  • “You are a good person and I love you. This just isn’t the life I hoped I’d have.”
  • “Marriage isn’t just between a man and a woman, it’s between any two people who love each other and want to ruin their lives.”
  • “Our love is a forest fire and we are the little things that live in the trees.”
  • “Sometimes I think you might fall in love with someone else and all my problems will be solved.”
  • “I keep all my old love letters, but to be honest I just skim them for the dirty bits.”
  • “It would be easier to deal with falling out of love if it hadn’t somehow made the sex exciting again.”
  • “Unrequited love is a waste of time. Just walk it off. There. I said it.”
  • “If our love lasts forever it’s gonna get real awkward when one of us dies.”
  • “There are just two things that make life worth living. The people you love, and sweet pranks.”
  • “I love those quiet moments in the dark where you can stop pretending.”
  • “I don’t know what the fuck true love even is but I do want to hang out with you for basically the rest of my life.”
  • “I said I’d love you forever, and really meant it at the time. I guess that’s my problem. A failure of imagination.”
  • “I know I can’t make you love me. But I wish I could make you shut up about not loving me.”
  • “Our love is a meteor impact, a super volcano erupting. We won’t survive but we won’t die bored.”
  • “At first I was angry you had fallen in love with someone else, but you seem so happy now I didn’t even know you were sad.”
  • “You don’t love me, but you used to. I wanted to say thank you for that.”
  • “You and I will never be a great love story. That’s ok! Let’s see what kind of story we’ll be.”
  • “When I picture you with your new lover I get angry, and then sad, then kind of horny.”
  • “I lost the woman I loved and now all I have are my father’s well-meaning words, "Maybe now you can meet a nice man.”“
  • "I have loved since you. But when the new paint gets scratched, there you are underneath.”
  • “She’s like an angel. My family loves her but I just don’t believe anymore." 
6

westallen + tv tropes 

always save the girl

sweet shop ➹ peter parker

summary : to put it simply, peter parker doesn’t like candy that much, but somehow he keeps finding himself at the same candy shop in manhattan, and it’s definitely not because of the cute worker always standing behind the counter at precisely four in the afternoon. definitely not.

wc : 1.6k

author’s note : if there’s typos my bad i don’t proofread i’m lazy

  “The freckly dork with the sweet eyes is back.” It’s the first thing you hear when you walk into work that afternoon, four o’clock sharp as usual, fiddling with the strap of your apron with the shop name scrawled across the front in lovely cursive letters. You lift your gaze from the cash register toward the aisle you’ve noticed he wanders in most frequently- not that you’ve really been noticing the cute boy of course- and find him through the throng of people, though he’s quite easy to spot considering he’s shuffling awkwardly through stacks of chocolate whilst blatantly staring at you. You’re not sure he even realizes what he’s doing until you lift your hand in a tentative wave and his entire  face pretty much glows pink as he smiles back nervously and he knocks into a display shelf. 

  “Poor kid is smitten,” your coworker sighs with a smirk plastered on her face as she unties her own apron and slips into the backroom to hang it up. “Does he even know your name? Do you know his?” 

    You wave her off dismissively. “My name is on my name tag, I’m sure he knows it. He never buys anything, anyway. He just… like, lingers here.” You shrug. “He’s cute so I let him stay.” 

   She throws her head back and lets out a laugh, returning her scrutinizing gaze back toward the boy with the precariously gelled hair who is hastily trying to restock the shelf he knocked over while simultaneously stumbling into another one. You wince at him, trying not to stare because god, he’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen but he reminds you of a baby deer learning to walk for the first time in the clumsiest, messiest way imaginable. “He comes here to gawk at you, dumbass. His eyes never stray,” she places a hand mockingly on her heart as you roll your eyes toward her. You flash a jovial smile to a customer when they approach you to ring up their order before turning back to your friend. 

   “Should I talk to him?” You inquire, placing the money in the correct slots of the register. You glance back up at him as he holds his hands out in front of a chocolate, silently pleading with it to stay put so he stopped looking like an absolute moron in front of you. He looks back at you and this time waves back a little, running a hand through his hair in an attempt to appear cooler than he actually was. “I’m gonna talk to him.” You say, not waiting for your friend to divulge her own opinion on the matter. 

   She shrugs, slipping on her jean jacket and grabbing her purse. “You’ve always been a sucker for the dorky, in need of help, doe eyed type of guys.” You swat at her shoulder playfully but she dodges it, winking at you before walking around the counter and lightly patting the boy on the shoulder as she makes her grand departure. He looks around in confusion until he sees your friend gesturing toward you. 

   “Scotty, can you cover for me for just a sec?” You call, your face turning to the backroom of the store while Scott, your other coworker, emerges from it. He gives you a scowl, brown eyes narrowed, though you know its playful. To avoid song quite conceited, you don’t admit it often, but you’re pretty much everyone’s favorite employee. “Thanks babes.” He takes your place at the register, and despite the tattoos and nose ring he sports, his smile is practically contagious. He’s another favorite among the customers just because of how pleasant and charming he is. 

    Peter, though you don’t known his name just yet, watches as you exit your position at the register and hastily tries to make himself look busy standing in front of the same selection of candy that’s he been for fifteen minutes now. He picks up a chocolate bar, pretending to examine it as thoroughly as possible when you lean against the stand next to him. His palms feel sweaty. “I- I was gonna buy something eventually, you know, one of these days. I swear.” He practically shoves the Hershey’s bar in your face, but you lightly push his hand back. “I’m just- I’m, um, very, very indecisive.” 

   You laugh a little. “Um, it’s fine. That’s not even what I came over here for.” You scratch the back of your neck for a second, an anxious habit because suddenly, you’re pretty nervous standing in front of a sweetly awkward boy with possibly the nicest eyes you’ve ever seen and the cutest shy smile that he seems to be trying to maintain desperately. 

   “Oh.” He nods, heat crawling up his cheeks as he sidesteps out of your view. “I- I- I- um, sorry for blocking something, I probably am-” 

   “You’re not,” you assure him. Peter can feel his heart squeeze tightly when you take a step closer toward him, but your smile is the least intimidating thing he’s ever come across. It’s gentle. He appreciates the gentleness of it. “So, um, what’s your name?” It doesn’t come out as smooth as you would have liked it to, but Peter grins back at you like you’ve just asked him the greatest question in the universe. 

   “I’m Peter,” he replies, running a hand through his hair again in a way similar to your own nervous tick of rubbing the back of your neck. “Uh, Peter Parker, he repeats, not knowing if you wanted his last name or not. 

   Scott, across the room, cups his hands around his mouth and calls toward you, “Y/N, if you’re gonna flirt with that kid, at least reorganize the shelves, too!” You turn around to give Scott the finger. To be honest though, you’re also turning around to mask the embarrassment on your face. 

    Peter steps out of the way again so you can stand in front of the mess he had already created just a few minutes before. “I’m Y/N, in case you didn’t catch that.” Peter likes the little disconcerted expression you’re donning now. He’s glad that he’s not the only one flustered here, and in an odd way, it makes him feel a little more confident when talking to you, the same person he’s been trying to gather the courage to hold a conversation with for the two weeks. 

   “I knew that already,” he says. Then, realizing the odd way you’re looking at him suddenly, he continues, “because of, you know, the uh, name tag. Your name tag. It has your name on it. So, that’s how I know.” Another nervous smile flashed toward you. 

   “Oh, yeah,” you look down at it. You continue stacking the shelves in the proper manner. “You really did a number on these,” you wave your hand toward the shelves. “Tell me, how’d you manage to knock down two different shelves in under five minutes and put everything back in a way not even remotely close to the way they were before?” 

   He knows you mean it lightheartedly, but he still blushes even deeper than before. “Hey, at least I tried,” he answers defensively. “But, um, I don’t even really know. I think you made me nervous. You- you waved at me.” He glances down at his shoes, shuffling his feet again. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, he thinks to himself. He misses the beam you give him, secretly pleased with yourself for having that effect on him. It was flattering. 

    “I made you nervous?” You raise an eyebrow at him, and he nods. “That’s cute, Peter. I’m not much to get nervous over, though. Trust me.” You turn your back on the display shelf just in time for Peter to shake his head at you. 

    “I’ve been coming in here for two weeks now, and I haven’t bought anything because I’m too nervous to go up to the register and talk to you. So yeah, you are. Something to get nervous over, I mean.” You knew what he meant, but he had a habit of over-explaining every little detail that you found endearing, so you let him talk. “Is that weird? Am I weird?” 

    “Nah.” You reach out to squeeze his hand for literally a millisecond, which irritates him to no end because he kind of wants you to hold on for longer. “Like I said before, it’s kind of cute. You’re a cute kid.” 

   Puffing out his chest a little, he says, “Well, I wouldn’t really call myself a kid, I am fifteen so…” Oddly enough, it’s that comment alone that makes you sort of fall in love with him in that moment, and the way he so terribly wants to impress you. There’s no way to describe him other than ridiculously sweet, which is ironic considering you’re standing in a candy shop when he admits that you’re the prettiest person he’s ever laid his eyes on and when he asks for your number, you don’t hesitate to give it to him. 

   It’s the first time he buys something from the store, and he walks out with a stupidly happy grin on his face and approaches Ned with a new bounce in his step. He’s been standing out there for a half hour and patience that was diminishing faster and faster. As they’re walking back to the train so they can go home, Ned eyes Peter as he bites into a chocolate bar. “Peter, you literally hate chocolate, what are you doing?” 

    Peter shrugs, taking another piece off. “This chocolate bar scored me a date and the number of the cutest worker in that store. I’m gonna learn to love it.” 

    “The worker you’ve been stalking for the past two weeks?” 

    “It wasn’t stalking, Ned!” 

    Ned gives Peter an unconvincing nod, but truthfully, he’s glad to see his best friend so excited over someone. It’s been awhile since Liz, and Ned knows Peter deserves to be happy. And boy, is Peter ever so happy, even while he’s eating chocolate that he hasn’t liked since he was seven.

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Day One Hundred and Thirty-Four

-While clocking in, I heard my coworker mention “busting a move in the bathroom.” My legal team has advised me to disclose that this is an entirely unrelated fact, but I have finally found the title for my upcoming debut ska EP.

-A child was rolled away after his mother’s purchase, and not a moment too soon. The forty-something woman behind them had some constructive-adjacent criticism for him and began to aggressively mock his inability to tell apart characters from Thomas the Tank Engine. I aspire to be like this woman, such a strong authority on a subject as to shamelessly school a toddler for such an elementary mistake.

-Today, I am confronting an entity I despise nearly as fervently as the Minions. At the start of my shift, I found myself stationed next to a Boss Baby display of unsettling proportions. I came to terms with this at 11:33, a fact I took note of, as I began a timer to see how long I could go before punting the arrogant entrepreneur all the way to electronics.

-A full roll of stickers was delivered to my lane. I am glad my brand is known enough that my coworkers know what to do when faced with fresh stickers. However, not to look a gift-manager in the mouth, I do wish I had options other than Christmas designs in July.

-A sweet grandmother was very excited about her purchase: a cozy onesie of a bear for her grandson. She raved about how cute it was, and how it even had a small top hat. I am very pleased for her, but I am unsure whether or not it is my place to break the news that she is dressing the boy up as a grizzly demonic animatronic from a franchise decidedly not meant to be marketed this heavily to grade-schoolers.

-It is no secret that I take great joy in riding our motorized shopping carts. Today I have been blessed with enough opportunity to hone my craft into a true art. I organized the cart return area without once dismounting my trusty steed and even took to the untamed wilderness of the parking lot to retrieve an abandoned one. All of the smooth maneuvers I have nailed today are proof that I would make a perfect getaway driver, and I am just one killer track away from being the Baby of shopping center heists.

they call her maid maleen

for the first few trembling years of her life, she is a princess. she is the daughter to the king, born of his beloved wife and of her visage. her dark eyes have the appearance of a smoky quarts and her mother carefully twists her mass of black hair into a hundred small braids down her back. she is a beautiful, quiet child, and for a while all is well. they call her princess maleen.

then her mother dies. it seems as if the king is determined to bury his love for his daughter along with his queen. he moves her to a different wing of the castle, and refuses to see her. her tutors are let go, and the nobles’ children are no longer allowed to play with her. only the maids look after her now.

the king remarries. the new queen gives birth to a son, and maleen is forgotten completely, banished from a home she still resides in and a life she can now only watch unfold.

the maids take care of her, braid her hair and kiss the blisters on her fingers, teach her to scrub at porcelain and polish silver, to clean a fireplace and mop polished marble floors.

they call her maid maleen.

~

the king has a son by his new wife, and then a daughter. they are pale and fair-haired like their mother, with only their dark eyes to show they are the king’s children. but they inherit none of their parents’ beauty, have faces that don’t look quite right and bodies that get stuck between gangly and chubby and never settle into one or the other. princess gisella and prince jan are privately regarded as unfortunate products of a lovely union.

maid maleen spends long hours working, and has neither the time nor funds for creams to soften her skin or oils to care for her hair, has never used face powder or lip color.

maid maleen is twenty three years old, and the most beautiful woman in the kingdom.

her braids are wrapped carefully atop her head, but when she lets them loose they hang past her hips. her dark skin is made even darker thanks to long hours working in the palace garden, and her eyes have never lost that same curious light. she walks straight and strong, years of hard labor giving her muscles and definition to her body that she never would have had as a princess. boys and girls give her long, considering looks and flirtatious smiles, and nobles have to double-take when she passes them by.

no one speaks of it anymore. but maid maleen looks ever more like her beautiful late mother, has the same eyes as her father, and dressing in ill-fitting cast offs and running her ragged can’t hide the truth.

maid maleen is the king’s daughter.

she has accepted her life as a maid in the palace she was one day set to inherit, and tries to see it as a gift. she sleeps with who she likes, may marry whichever of the charming boys from the city who’s smile she likes best. in the maids who raised her she has more mothers than she has fingers, and perhaps she longs for the days when she was a small princess, when she was the apple of her parents’ eye, when the whole of their nation was to be hers to inherit.

but then the blacksmith’s daughter lets her hands linger a little too long on her wrists, and maleen knows that she won’t be sleeping alone tonight. there are some things that worth more to her than a throne she was born to. she doesn’t miss the little girl she used to be.

until.

tensions have always run high between their kingdom and the neighboring one – too many squabbles over borders, over trade agreements, over patrols, over anything and everything the kings can find a reason to be upset about, it seems like. so when prince wolfgang is sent over, the whole palace is abuzz. the prince seems determined to inherit a peaceful land, and is coming over to talk with the king to do it.

maleen does not care for princes. nor for nobles of any rank, in fact. she remembers how they turned on her, she sees the small acts of pettiness and cruelty they thoughtlessly inflict on their servants, and she wants nothing to do with it. commoners may not be as educated as nobles, may not have as many objects to call their own, but maleen finds she prefers their company to that of lords. she’s uninterested in this prince, which is perhaps why she’s the one that gets sent to his rooms. her moms can trust that she at least won’t fawn over him.

“sir wolfgang,” she murmurs, pushing open his door and giving a low curtsy, keeping her eyes trained on his mud covered boots. “is there anything you require?”

silence. she can only stay bent in a curtsey so long before she loses patience. she’s almost given up on him, is about to cut her losses and call it a night when he says, hesitant, “queen sabine?”

her mother’s name is punch to her gut, and her head snaps up at the sound of it, the rolling fire of her temper bubbling just below her skin. “i am maid maleen,” she snaps, then tacks on “your highness,” after a moment’s consideration.

his cloak is half unbuttoned as he stares at her with a slack mouth. she supposes he would not look unhandsome if he were not currently doing his best to imitate a frog. he appears to be only a handful of years older than she is, and if she were not furious she would be impressed that he remembers her mother well enough to see sabine in her.

“maleen,” he repeats, and for a moment she wonders if he will recognize her as well, but he only says, “my apologies. if you would help me with my cloak, i would be much obliged.”

she’s instantly suspicious. she’s met nice nobles before, ones that were considerate and remembered her name and thanked her when she brought them wine. but she’s never met a nice prince before – they’re always of the worst sort. “yes, your highness,” she says, and the cloak is soaked through and clinging, it’s no wonder he’s struggling with it. once she’s gotten it off she hangs it to dry, then goes back to him. she slaps away his numb, struggling fingers and undoes the rest of the buckles and loops of his overly complicated clothing. she’s gotten down him down to an undershirt and pants when his hands grab hers. she blinks and looks up. he has freckles dusting across his nose.

“this is inappropriate,” he says, but honestly she’s stripped a lot of nobles, it wasn’t weird until he took her hands and looked at her like no one’s ever looked at her before.

“yes, your highness,” she agrees, and takes a step back. she places his clothes in front of a fire, curtsies, and leaves. she can feel the weight of his gaze on her all the way back to her room.

wolfgang continues his diplomatic agenda, having long meetings with the royal family. after, maleen goes and tends to him, setting out his food and taking care of his clothes, straightening up any mess that he’s made. at first he’s quiet, and he just watches her, but he quickly discovers that maleen has opinions and thoughts and isn’t afraid to share them. soon they’re debating the finer points of trade routes and arguing the effectiveness of a sliding tax scale, and maleen comes to cherish the evenings she spends with the prince, likes the way he speaks to her and looks at her, likes the shape of his smile.

weeks in she enters his room, dinner steaming in her hands and eager to continue their conversation about state funded orphanages versus a state funded foster system. he’s pacing and tense, shoulder stiff. “wolfgang,” she sets down the food and wipes her hands on her apron, “is something wrong?”

“is it true?” he asks, and he’s not looking at her. he’s always looked at her before.

“is what true?” she flinches away from his coldness, is already preparing to retreat and hide and beg someone else to watch over him.

he turns to her, and she’s baffled by the mixture of hope and anger on his face. “are you the king’s daughter? are you princess maleen?”

she takes a step back, “i am maid maleen.”

“please,” he follows her as she steps away from him, and her back hits the wall. he stops when he’s almost close enough to touch. “my father sent me here with the goal to seal our new treaty with a marriage. he expects me to marry princess gisella. but if you are the daughter of the king – then he will allow me to marry you instead!”

“who says i want to marry you?” she retorts, but he gets on bended knee and she freezes.

he holds a hand for her own, and against every bit of logic, she gives it to him. “maleen, i’ve never felt this way about anyone. i was willing enough to enter a loveless marriage before i knew what true love is, but now i do, and i can’t go back. marry me.”

she wants to. she thinks she loves him. she hadn’t been planning to fall in love with anyone. “i am the king’s daughter,” she tells him, “but i am no princess. i haven’t been a princess in a long time.”

he brings her hand to his mouth so he can kiss each one of her knuckles, “then we’ll have to change that.”

~

wolfgang goes to the king to make his case, to return maleen to her birthright and allow her to marry him.

it goes even worse than maleen had feared.

her father is furious. he’s so angry at the audacity of this request that prince wolfgang is thrown from the kingdom. so incensed is he, that guards drag maleen from her bed in the middle of the night and throw her into a tower. the door closes shut behind them, and she bangs on it and screams but no one comes for her.

there are no windows, and only one door with a sliding metal grate in the bottom. she’s high in the tower, she thinks, from the number of steps she’d been forced to climb, but she stands on a dirt floor. the room contains only the bare minimum needed for survival, and nothing more.

once a week food is slid through the slot in the door. she has to be careful, because if she eats it too fast they will not provide more, she will just starve. days turn to weeks turn to months, and she despairs of ever being let out of this tower. months turn to years, and she gives up hope entirely of leaving this tower. she considers refusing to eat, killing herself slowly through starvation, because death is preferable to life locked in this tower.

one night there’s a scuffle, and shouting, and for the first time since she was shoved inside the door opens. there’s a guard standing there, and princess gisella tentatively steps inside. “maid ma – i mean, maleen?”

maleen stares. this is the first time she’s seen another person in years, and suddenly for all the screaming she’d done she can’t find her voice. gisella takes another cautious step forward, “maleen, please – we don’t have much time.” she holds out her hand, “come with me.”

gisella is sixteen now. although she’ll never be a great beauty, she’s grown into many of the features that she was once mocked for. “where?” she asks, but takes gisella’s hand and lets her lead them down the twisting staircase. anyplace is better than the tower.

“i’m to be married in a week’s time to prince wolfgang.” maleen feels a sharp pain go through her chest. had wolfgang forgotten her? their farce of a romance was such a quick, shallow thing. she was a fool to fall for it in the first place. “i’m not going to show up. you are.”

she stares, “what?”

“wolfgang started a war over father locking you in the tower,” she explains, “but eventually it got to a point where neither could justify it, so our father and wolfgang’s decided our union would mean peace between our countries, as intended. but i don’t want to marry prince wolfgang, and he does not want to marry me.”

“i don’t understand,” she hadn’t paid much attention to the girl when they were in the palace together, and she’s regretting that now.

they finally reach the end of the tower. it’s the first time she’s breathed fresh air in years. she tries not to get distracted by it, and instead focuses on the carriage to her left, and the pure black mare laden like a pack mule on her right. “i’m leaving,” gisella says, “i don’t want to be wolfgang’s bride because i want to be klaus’s,” the guard smiles, and he must be klaus, the princess is rejecting a prince to run away with a commoner. “there’s a map and everything you need in the saddlebags. the wedding dress is waiting for you at the castle. no one will know you’re not me until wolfgang unveils you, and by then it will be too late. he will marry you, and i will be gone.”

“why are you doing this?” she asks.

gisella shrugs, “you’re my sister, and father is an idiot. i want you to be happy, and i want wolfgang to be happy, and i want to be happy too. this way we all get what we want. our brother will be waiting for you in wolfgang’s castle. he’ll help you.”

maleen is speechless. gisella grabs her in a quick hug – the only one they’ve ever shared – and then goes to the carriage with klaus trailing behind her. “i’ll see you again, princess maleen!”

she doesn’t have time for tears. she gets on the mare, and rides for the palace of the neighboring land.

~

she makes it just in time. she sneaks into the castle the night before the wedding, ducking around servants until she find her way to jan’s door. she knocks, tentative, wondering if this was a mistake and all one elaborate trap. but the door opens and his face slackens in relief, “finally!” he pulls her inside, and sits her down. there’s lukewarm water waiting for her so she can clean herself, and jan stands with his back to her the whole time, outlining the wedding and how it will go so she knows what to expect the next day. “father isn’t here,” he assures her, “he didn’t want to leave the kingdom, so i’m here in his stead.”

“won’t you miss your sister?” maleen finishes washing and wraps herself in a soft blanket.

“when i am king, gisella will return,” he says confidently, “she will come home and bring klaus, and you will rule here with wolfgang, and all will be well. our countries shall be great allies when it is me and wolfgang on the throne.”

he’s only a year older than gisella, just seventeen, and maleen feels oddly old next to them, feels old next to these children who know what they want and take it and don’t let anything stand in their way.

“we need to get your hair rebraided,” he says, “you should look perfect tomorrow. it’s your wedding day.”

she stares, aghast. “that will take all night!”

“i’ve brought help,” he says, and sends a servant down the hall. the servant returns with a half dozen of the maids who raised her, and who crowd forward and hug her and kiss her cheeks and say how much they’ve missed her. princess or not, bride or not, to them she will always be their little maid maleen.

~

it’s clear gisella picked her wedding dress with maleen in mind. it fits her for one thing, and is clinging and heavy, and it must have looked awful on gisella, but on her it’s perfect. her dress is accompanied by white silk gloves and a thick veil so that no one can see her, so that no one will know she’s not the daughter of the king they’re expecting to be there.

wolfgang is at the end of the aisle, looking like he’s going to an execution, and it takes more self control than maleen was anticipating not to go running to him. she turns to him, and he lifts her veil. he sees her and freezes, mouth sliding open. she winks at him, because they just need to keep it together until they’re married, he just has to keep his cool for a few minutes and they’ll have won it all. wolfgang closes his mouth and says nothing about how this is clearly not the bride he was supposed to marry. they turn so none of the guests can see them, and the priest gives maleen a confused look, but with a glare from wolfgang he continues on with the ceremony as if nothing is out of place.

“you may now kiss the bride,” the priest says, after what seems like an eternity.

wolfgang grabs her about the waist, dips her, and kisses her soundly on the mouth. her veil falls off and she can hear the horrified and shocked gasps of the guests, and under that jan’s laughter. when they break apart, foreheads still pressed together, she whispers, “hello, prince wolfgang.”

he kisses her again, quick and sweet, and does nothing at all to disguise the joy in his face. “hello, princess maleen.”

and they all lived happily ever after.


read more retold fairytales here

anonymous asked:

ok this is going to sound rude but i totally don't mean it to be, but as an asian i always get super exited when i see asian authors, so i was wondering why you chose to write a european story rather than something korean? loved it tho

Hi nonny:

I get this question a lot, so I’m going to come across as a bit short or annoyed, but it’s not about you, I promise (I don’t know you after all). 

It’s about your question.

It is a rude question, and I don’t appreciate it. Frankly, what I am and how that affects what I write is none of anyone’s business. If you want to know why I wrote Wintersong and not something Asian, I write a little about it here. And it isn’t that I don’t intend to write something Asian-inspired; I do. Why did I choose to write something European? Many things. I like Mozart. I like the German language. I like European folklore. I am pretty goth. I grew up with these things, so I know them pretty intimately. 

But I want to unpack this question a little. Why is it that women of color are expected to write or perform their own marginalizations? Do we go around asking out queer people to only write queer stories? Do we ask disabled people to only write their disability? Incidentally, I wrote my disability into Wintersong. I gave Liesl my bipolar disorder. But the praise and censure I get always stems from the most obvious marginalization I have: my face, and by extension, my ethnic background.

If you want to get into the weeds of why I didn’t write something Korean first, it’s because I’m not Korean. I am of Korean descent, yes. I am a member of the diaspora. But neither am I truly a part of the Korean-American immigrant experience. I grew up pretty privileged: my dad is white, I went to an all-girl’s private school, was part of swim and tennis clubs, etc. I had a lot of the markers of cultural whiteness, which is tied with class. My Koreanness is whitewashed, not just by my cultural privilege, but because I didn’t have access to a Korean extended family. My aunties, uncles, and cousins all live in Seoul, or some didn’t make it out of Pyongyang before the establishment of the 38th Parallel. I’ve been to Korea twice. The only Korean members of my family are my mother and my grandmother. Everyone else is white.

That cultural whiteness? It comes across to a lot of people, and it especially came across to other Koreans. There are reasons I don’t speak the language as well as I should, considering it was my milk tongue. I went to Korean school and attended Korean church for a while, but I was bullied and ostracized so badly I stopped going back when I was 9. I wasn’t bullied because my dad was white; I was bullied because I wasn’t Korean enough. I didn’t share their cultural language. I didn’t even share the same parental pressures. My mother is the one who had been pressuring me to quit my day job and become a full-time writer, not my dad. As a result, I was the outcast in every Asian group I ever tried to be a part of as a kid. Some were open about it to my face. You’re not Korean enough. Some were more insidious about it. They would deliberately choose subjects and topics about which I had no handhold, freezing me out of conversation. My friends? The theatre kids, the artist freaks, the writers. The vast majority of them? White. 

This obviously left pretty deep psychic scars. I can’t eat doughnuts, for one. They smell of Korean school and shame. But it also left me with a deep insecurity about even approaching a Korean subject in writing. Am I enough? Am I enough, am I enough, am I enough? It’s only as an adult that I’ve made Asian friends, that I’ve slowly started to find my way back to the heritage I’ve kept at arm’s length. 

I’m telling you my history, nonny, to better answer your question. But to also maybe shed a light on the effect of asking a marginalized person to perform their marginalization for you. For me, that question is fraught, and I imagine it is for a lot of other Asian writers as well. When I hear that question, all I hear is You are not enough. You are not Asian enough. You didn’t even write something Asian. You are not enough, you are not enough, you are not enough.