i have this conversation with myself everyday

Signs of falling into a fandom

So being that I am a fangirl of many different things, from books to manga to anime and series, I have come to recognize the crazy decline normal signs or stages that I follow when I fall head first into another fandom.

So, guys, here are my eight stages of being a fangirl.

Or more commonly known as the eight stages of going fandom crazy.

Stage 1

Ok so first there is the discovery – this is where you “accidentally” stumble upon another series or anime to get absorbed into watching or book or manga to spend hours reading. It usually starts with something like artwork you come across or a clip or gif of the obsession. This is usually where you get sucked into the new fandom, by the time it happens there is no chance for escape (not that we want to).

Originally posted by bobbyeighty8

Stage 2

Now comes the beginning of addiction – now you start with your obsession. I find mine usually begin with me falling in love with one of the characters, for example with Voltron I fell in love with Keith. You start to see things and traits that you love about them and that makes them so darn cute. This is also where you start collecting random pieces of fanart to use as wallpapers on your devices and post to your blogs. Soon half your phone’s memory is filled.

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Stage 3

The anime, series, or book ends and you go into denial before begging for more – Most of the time when this happens I go into a slump where I cannot function without this series or anime, I legit just rewatch the anime repeatedly till I know the lines without needing the subs. If it’s a book I go through this phase of knowing the quotes and trying to use them in everyday conversations (I also have internal debates on if I should get pieces tattooed onto myself). Also, it’s never below me to go and possible beg the author, artist or production company to bring out more.

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Stage 4

Tumblr and the internet become my best friend – often the people I surround myself with don’t understand my obsessions with certain things. But people online understand. I go and stalk blogs and sites to find out every little detail about my favorite show or anime. Often just reblogging images of the anime and series or book till my whole dashboard looks like some sort of shrine (Not that I am complaining).

Originally posted by thepsychoticfangirl

Stage 5

Official fandom member – well this step is pretty self-explanatory, right?

Originally posted by danielprace

Stage 6

Fangirling at maximum output – this is where your obsession reaches full-frontal momentum. From fanfiction writing to imagining scenarios for characters. Photoshopping images of you and the characters from the anime, series or book is also not exactly out of the ordinary, is it? This is also where I start using my fangirl cries and mating sounds, you know the ones right? Those shrieks and grounds and sighs whenever you see any mention of that obsession or fandom.

Originally posted by artlstheweapon

Stage 7

(This step is optional) The unconscious ending to your obsession – sometimes you don’t even realize it, but you slowly become less obsessed with the fandom, it no longer brings those fangirling moments and you no longer reblog every single article related to the fandom. The one thing about this step though is that it never fully disappears. The love you had for the fandom. There is still a part of you that loves the fandom. You will still feel that joy whenever new exciting news about it is shared, you just no longer stalk and investigate every little detail about it. It becomes an old friend that you can return to every now and again, a place that will always be home.

Originally posted by meonlyingifs

Stage 8

And finally, the cycle begins with someone new

Originally posted by blisteredblue

Good Girl Ch 20: Claim

Thank you everyone for all the love! You have no idea how much I love to hear your thoughts on everything! Keep them coming!

“I wanted her to sit next to her,” Jiyong pouts from the other side of the large desk. Kris had pulled me on to his lap right when he sat down, denying me any chance of sitting with my new friend on the other side, not that I minded; I kind of enjoy his jealousy.

“Mr. Kwon,” Kris snaps taking the older man’s eyes away from me, “Please tell me what you needed to tell me.  I would like to have time to focus all of my attention on my baby before my next phone call.” His arms around my waist tighten, his thumbs lazily draw circles on my stomach.

“I was giving her plenty of attention out there,” My new friend smirks devilishly.

“Ya!” I glare at him, “None of that remember?”

He sighs and holds up his hands in surrender, “I’m sorry Beautiful, I saw the opportunity and had to take it.”

“No more Oppa or we can’t be friends.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please don’t be mad.”

“What the hell happened out there? Why are you being so friendly with each other?” Kris grabs me by the chin to get me to focus on him.

I shrug, “We talked.”

“You talked?”

I nod.

“Kris, I really don’t appreciate the constant interruptions,” Jiyong glares.

“I’m just worried about my baby.”

“I see that,” He glares at Kris’s hands on my body. “You must be too busy with that to discuss the future of your group.” He moves to stand but Kris stops him.

“Hyung, I’ll stop, please tell me what you came to say.”

Jiyong smirks, “First, I want Joo-ya over here,” He pats the seat next to him.

“Oppa, stop being mean.”

“But Joo-ya, I want to help you out of your cage.”

I shake my head, “I like my cage.”

“Joo-ya.”

“Oppa, if you are going to be like this I will leave.”

He sighs, “Fine, I’ll talk about this boring stuff. Just don’t leave.” Looking back to Kris his playfulness disappears, “I learned from an unnamed source that some information was being leaked from someone who was play gangster with our groups. When my source revealed the name of our little bug I quickly found him and captured him. After looking threw his computers I found out nothing about what he knows or where the information he got is being held.”

“What do you need from us?” Kris says back, giving off the same cold professional vibe as Jiyong.

“My brothers and I tried to get the information from him but since that is not something we are very good at, my hyung has a bad habit of going too far and loosing everything all together. So, since getting information is your families specialty, especially that chubby faced hyung of yours, we were thinking of just giving this snitch over to you.”

“This isn’t a conversation I want to have in front of Jooyoung,” Kris states.

“She is already here. She knows. Might as well continue.”

I add in, “I already know most of this from the first night I stayed with you guys.”

“See,” He beams at me, “She’s a brave little girl.”

“Why are you helping them?” I ask him, something that surprised all of us.

“What do you mean?” Jiyong looks a little proud that I’m daring to question him, Kris just looks horrified that I may have offended my new friend.

“You said earlier that you two are the biggest groups in Asia, that means you’re competition. Why would you help them? I mean, even if you weren’t able to get the information out of this man yourself, there must be people you can hire for that, right?” I look to Kris for an answer.

“Baby,” Kris warns, “You shouldn’t think about this stuff.”

The other just continues to beam at me, “She’s so smart.”

“Stop looking at her like that.”

“She’s just so amazing.”

“Why would befriend someone like this?” Kris asks me gesturing to the suddenly glaring man.

I smile at my new friend, “He reminds me of Jihyo.”

Kris grimaces as Jiyong stares at me confused, asking, “Is that a compliment?”

“A very nice one,” Kris answers honestly, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration, “You should feel very honored.”

“Where is my baby?” Tao yells as he busts threw the doors. I automatically jump out of Kris’s grip to run into the tan man’s arms.

“Taotao!” I yell back gleefully jumping into the tall man’s arms.

“I’m so sorry I was so mean to you this morning,” He kisses the top of my head.

“It’s okay, did you guys get everything figured out?” I question, giving him a once over before going to check the others who are coming in behind him.

“We’re okay baby, thank you for checking,” Kai says giving me a peck on the lips when he sees the man approaching our group. “Mr. Kwon, what are you doing here?” I’m quickly passed around to greet everyone, getting more personal greetings than normal with lots of kisses.

“I came to have a talk with your brother, now I’ll be on my way out,” Jiyong gives them a polite smile.

“That was all you had to say? You came all the way here to say that?” I pause for a second in Chanyeol’s hug to look back at him.

Jiyong nods, “Well that and to see you again.”

“I thought we were going to talk more?”

He smiles, “You seem to be busy now, we will talk again soon. I’ll be coming by a lot more to talk with your oppas about that snitch.”

“I’ll be going back to school next we so I won’t be around.”

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head, I’ll make sure our friendship doesn’t end here,” He comes over to us, Chanyeol’s grip tightens around me when Jiyong pats my head. “I’ll be taking my leave, so all of you can relax. But one last request, I’d like Joo-ya to walk me out.”

All ten men glare at him but Kris answers, “Over our dead bodies.”

I can see the temptation in his eyes to give back some gangster like threat in return but when our eyes lock his mouth closes as he reconsiders his words, not wanting to get on my bad side. How ironic.

“Fine, how about to the elevator?” This time he doesn’t wait for a response, instead he just grabs my hand and pulls me toward the elevator. When my oppas do nothing to stop him I just follow along, letting my mind wander about what all of these things could mean. We stop at the elevator doors, he presses the button before turning back to look at my oppas who had began taking a few steps forward, “You stay.” The boys freeze in the doorway, “Good guard dogs.”

I bow slightly to him, “Sorry about them being so over protective.”

He chuckles ruffling my hair affectionately, “It’s cute.”

“They usually aren’t that physically affectionate in front of others.”

“No worries, they are just marking their territory. Speaking of which you haven’t been claimed, have you?” He scans me.

“Claimed?” I cock my head at him.

“Those dumb boys,” He sighs before pulling off one of his rings and grabbing my hand. “This ring will keep you safe from anyone who would dare try to mess with you.” I let him slide the ring on to my ring finger, I stare at the beautiful dragon ring. It is a golden dragon wrapped around my finger with a small black gem in it’s mouth; I can’t help but find it strangely adorable.

“Does this mean you’re claiming me?”

He hesitates answering for a minute, “Yes and no. You can take it off whenever you want but when you do wear it, people will think you belong to me. I like it on you though,” there’s that smirk again.

“It will make my oppas mad.”

“Tell them, I give them permission to claim you as well. But keep the fact that I’m allowing you to take the ring off, it’ll make things more fun.”

“Allowing me?” I raise a brow at him as I play with the ring.

“It’s something I’m used to saying, sorry.”

“You seem as strict as them.”

He chuckles, “I’m probably worse, I wouldn’t let any man touch you.” He grabs my hand again; staring at the ring he smiles softly.

“Why do they let you touch me?”

Just than, the elevator dings, “I’ll explain it to you next time.”

“When will next time be?” My curiosity gets the better of me.

He steps into the elevator still holding my hand so it won’t close, “Dinner next week? Tuesday?”

“My oppas won’t like that.”

“I’ll deal with that,” He smirks before kissing the ring on my hand and stepping back into the elevator, letting it close. “I’ll see you soon Beautiful.”

“Goodbye Oppa.” Turning around I see my daddies all there staring at me like I had an arm growing out of my forehead. “Is this how my oppas felt the first time they saw us interacting?”

“I’m guessing so,” Suho comes to me, giving me a complete once over. “He didn’t hurt you right?”

“Oh goodness, daddy,” I smile at the worried man, “You are so cute when you are worried.”

“Baby, we are being serious,” Kris says.

Lay nods in agreement, “He is a very dangerous man.”

I scoff, “You’re kidding right? Don’t you guys dare start giving me a speech about how he is so dangerous, that I should be worried about the situation I’m getting myself into. You guys need to realize that I’m already drowning in a situation I don’t fully understand with you guys. I have nothing to gain or loose from talking to Jiyong oppa. I’m living with twelve men who I call daddy. I risk the chance of pissing one of you off and getting myself raped or murdered everyday.” They all share a similar look of guilt and anger, glancing from one another, another silent conversation.

“He claimed you,” Chanyeol deadpans, glaring down at the ring on my finger.

I sigh staring down at it, “He said it’s okay for you guys to claim me too, whatever that means.”

“What if he likes her too much and takes her away?” Sehun worries, coming over and hugging me tightly.

Kris shakes his head, “From what I saw of them interacting, he cares about how she feels about him. So unless our baby wants to leave he won’t take her.” They all look to me.

“Baby,” Chen calls, “Are you happy with us?”

I sigh but nod without hesitation. Whether or not I’d care to admit it I love their craziness and possessiveness, though sometimes it can be too much.

“What about what Mr. Kwon said earlier, about you being in a cage?” Kris wonders.

“I’m a pretty bird in a cage, at least that what he said. I told him I’m happy to have such an amazing view from my cage,” I look at each of them, earning me a hug from an excited Baekhyun.

“What did you talk about before he got in?” Tao wonders.

“He wants to have dinner on Tuesday.”

“Hell no!” The room rallies.

“That’s what I said, but he seems to think he can change your mind.”

Suho groans, “This just got a lot more difficult. We should get her back to the house before something else happens.”

“Did someone tell the hyungs about this?” Sehun asks nervously.

Everyone in the room shakes their head, “I’m not going to tell Xiumin that our baby was claimed by the black dragon.” Kris shudders.

“Black dragon? Is that his street name or something?’ I ask. Sehun nods making me wonder, “What’s your guys’?”

“Suddenly with all the questions. What do we tell you?” Baekhyun taps on my nose.

“Only big kids need to know.” I pout, “Jiyong oppa would tell me.”

Chen sighs, “Baby, if we answered every question you asked, you would be running away faster than you would have ever thought possible.”

“Is it really that bad?”

“We have done some bad things baby, we will do more, some worse. We want to keep you from such a dark world alright?”

“I’m braver than you think.”

“You are a little girl,” Suho snaps, “you say you are brave, you say you are strong, you say you are a big girl, until all the bad things you said you could handle become too real for you. And suddenly you are curled up in a ball crying when we come towards you, calling us monsters. We don’t want to tell you because we don’t want you to be afraid of us. So please baby, stop with the questions, we want one innocent little thing to not run screaming when we come near. Can you give us that?”

I nod, suddenly feeling guilty for letting for letting my curious show too much when I know better.

“Now lets go home, we have a new problem to deal with.”

“What about Xiumin hyung?” Kris glances at the closed door.

Chen gives him a smug smirk, “You can explain that.”

“Hell no.”

“We just couldn’t tell him for a while,” Chanyeol suggests earning a smack on the back of the head from Baekhyun.

“Don’t you think he will notice the massive ring on her finger?” Baekhyun glares at the younger’s stupidity.

“I can’t believe he gave her his favorite one,” Kyungsoo takes my hand and stares at the ring.

“He kissed it too,” Suho adds. Open my mouth to ask something but snap it close when I remember my scolding a moment ago. But Suho noticed, “What is it baby?”

“I don’t know what questions are okay.”

“Go ahead.”

“Why does it matter that he kissed it?”

Kyungsoo answers, “It’s a show of interest and a promise of loyalty.”

………………………

“Take it off right now!” Xiumin oppa demands the moment he see the ring on my finger at dinner. The boys have somehow managed to keep their hyung distracted enough for him not to notice it, but after forcing his way into the spot next to me he sees in on my left hand as I eat.

“Daddy, it’s fine,” I continue to eat as the older man glares at everyone else at the table.

“It’s fine? Did anyone tell her who that bastard is?”

I sigh slamming my metal chopsticks on the table, I stand up, my chair sliding out, earning me every eye in the room. “Daddy Xiumin, I said it’s fine, I had to deal with them the whole way home telling me about how dangerous he is and how worried they are for my safety. None of them told me who he was, he told me himself. I know that he is the leader of a mafia, but so are you. If you want me to question why my alarms didn’t go off with him when I know just from looking at him that they should have, I will have to do the same to all of you. If you all would like the think back to two weeks ago when we met; I was curled up in a ball drunk off my ass in the back alleyway of your club after you guys started a shoot out. Let’s not forget that you killed an innocent man in front of me, after that I got in a car with you. Talking to Jiyong oppa in your lobby is definitely not one the most questionable things I’ve done this month. So please can we leave that alone?” I plop back down in my seat and begin stuffing my face.

“That ring is going in the trash,” Xiumin doesn’t take his eyes off me.

Without looking up I say, “Then you are going to explain to him where it went.” I’m genially surprised when they don’t scold me or get mad they just continue to stare.

“Where is our little girl?” Luhan pouts from my other side.

“She is taking a break, but I wish she would come back,” I groan rubbing my temples, for one wishing that side of me would come out. It’s hard to deal with this shit when I’m big, I don’t have the patience for it.

“Is there anything we can do to help?” He wonders.

“Just let me go take a bath,” I stand up but Suho gives me a questioning look and before he can get the words out I groan, “Daddy Chen, lets go please.” He seems to be the only one not pouting about my small side being gone for the moment. The man nods before taking my hand and leading me out of the room where the other men start talking in hushed voices. He takes me to his room, right into the bathroom that had showered in days before hand in. I sit waiting on the edge of the tub while he fills it up, he grabs me a bath bomb that entertains me when he leaves to grab me some new clothes and towels.

He’s back just in time to turn the water off, the water is swirls of blues, black, and purples, creating my own little galaxy. I let him undress me and climb into the water, enjoying the sweet smell and how smooth it makes my skin feel. Chen sits on the edge of the large tub just watching me with a small smile.

“What?” I ask when he just continues to stare.

He chuckles, “I’m just thinking about how the others talk about how you are so different from when you are your little self. I think you are the same just with a little more kick.”

“You guys don’t like me when I’m big do you?” I stare down at the water.

“Speaking for myself, I love you both ways.” I peek up to find him leaning a little closer with a small smile, “You are my baby, no matter how big you are. As for everyone else, they are just worried that if are big you won’t think you need us and you’ll leave. Not to mention how hot it is when you are so cute and needy for our attention.”

“So you guys don’t hate me when I’m like this?”

“If I’m being completely honest, it’s really hot when you are your badass self. But it makes it hard for us to control ourselves when you are being so tough,” His eyes scan my naked body, that is hidden under the dark water, coming back up to find my lips. I smirk, leaning forward and catching his lips in a kiss. Mindlessly he leans forward, I grab his tie and pull him closer into the water, causing a some of it to splash out.

“Oops,” I squeak when he lands in between my legs.

“Oops won’t cover it baby. You got daddy’s nice suit all wet,” He teases.

“I can’t do much more than help you take it off,” I flirt, catching both of us off guard.

“This is what I mean, this big side to you has such a mouth.” I grin when he leans back in for a kiss, sheading his jacket and vest quickly. Next to go is his tie, followed by his button up leaving him in only his dress pants. We break the kiss, our chests heaving; I bite my lip as I take in his perfect chest and abs. “My eyes are up here baby.”

I make what my vanilla BF makes a day (9-6PM - Consulting) in an hour. He works his ass off, and has a commerce/finance degree from a reputable school. This is why I can’t see myself leaving the sugar bowl. Once the $$ starts rolling in, it’s an addiction. The only thing I pay for is gas, and I have no bills. My parents help me out, but it’s SO rewarding to sugar. My favourite aspect is the men who charge their clients hundreds an hour, PAY us because we’re simply pretty and a good conversation. The plethora of things we can do with our sexuality is amazing, don’t forget to use it to your advantage, everyday!

anonymous asked:

I would like to know how would you best describe yourself?

I’ve grown to the fact that I’m different from everyone else. I have multiple worlds in my head. I live in and outside my mind spontaneously. I make up scenarios and these separate lives for myself. They over lap the real world and play out according to my everyday life. Most of the time they’re simple like “what if” other times they’re more complex. Even though I’m always day dreaming, my situational awareness is very high. Nothing goes unnoticed. I live a paranoid lifestyle. Regards from my traumatic childhood experience. I can and will listen to multiple conversations at once from bystanders. I feel like people are talking about me behind my back. Walking through the city is the worst when I’m with jinna I can hear and see guys checking her out. Making remarks about my daughter. Private conversation. I always feel like I’m overstaying my welcome. So conscience of my body movements. When I’m in a social event I feels like I’m taking too much space. I tend to bend my knees so I can match up everyone’s height. I don’t belong in this world. I personally feel like I’m traveling in and out the multiverse. Sometimes little déjà vu happens and I feel like I’m going the right direction in life.
Like I’m taking the right path. I had a cab driver with a nice coat he told me it was camel hair. Later that night someone told me a story how he went to Egypt and he rode on a back of a camel, showed us pictures. I felt like I was destined to talk to him. I was going in the right direction and life was throwing me breadcrumbs. But life seems to test me. It’s testing my strength. I don’t know how to explain it.
When ever I walk into a store, restaurant or even movie theater I feel like the world has to load, and reboot. Because it can be empty but as soon as I walk in people start flowing through the doors like someone left the faucet dripping. Tap tap tap… I’m almost positive this universe is fake. People aren’t all real. Nothing around us is “real” whenever I met someone new they tend to remind me of someone already like their recycled. Personality, appearance and behavior.
And then there’s dumb down versions of those. Where you see the stereotypes. As if the universe didn’t want to waste too much data on them because they’re back ground characters.
Soon I’m gonna learn how to use this simulation to my favor. I’m living in a fucking matrix.
“Alien” that’s the world I’ll use to describe myself.

Pucca and Garu headcanon

Even though Garu took the vow of silence, he still occasionally laments how he can’t thoroughly express his thoughts. Akin to his distress, Pucca comes up with a solution. She checks out a stash of language books and goes to his house unannounced as always. When he finally calms down, she shows him the books. “Learn Sign Language” and similar titles read across the covers. She points to the books and to herself. At first Garu cringes at the idea of learning sign language with Pucca. He figured it must be a plot to get him to spend time with her, but she silently expresses she wants to help him. He agrees only if she promises not to bug him while they study and to keep the cuddles and kisses to an absolute zero. She sighs in sadness but agrees to his strict demands. So every day in between Garu’s training and Pucca’s deliveries, they would pour over the books and learn phrase after phrase, word after word. For weeks they could only have small conversations, but as time goes by, they learn more and more ways to talk. In this time, they learn new things about each other, and on rare occasions share secrets. When they finally both master the language, Pucca suggests they tell their friends so they can learn too. Garu falters and signs to her that he would prefer they don’t know. She asks him why and he tells her that he had come to appreciate their private conversations and would like to keep them their little secret. She blushes at the thought of them being able to talk amongst only themselves and share this amazing language skill together. She promises to keep this secret only if Garu promises to talk to her everyday. He blushes and agrees. And so they continue having their secret conversations and inside jokes together and grow more and more close.
And eventually, as time does show, one of them gathers the courage to sign back, “I love you, too”……

Exes AUs

•I know we haven’t talked since we broke up (of course) but all of our mutual friends want us to be friends again so… Hi?

•While we were together we signed up for a trip and we’re gonna share a hotel room, but it’s too late to cancel and THERES A BATHROOM TO GET DRESSED IN FOR A REASON

•I haven’t dated anyone since we broke up but you have, that definitely means you’ve moved on, but I heard you haven’t? And I don’t think I have either?

•Yeah, of course I’m over you, you broke my heart and I never want to see you again, at least until I do see you again and remember how hot you are and FOR FUCKS SAKE WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME

•We’ve remained really close friends, but neither of us have dated anyone since we broke up and we’re alone and horny and maybe friends with benefits isn’t such a bad idea?

•How dare you come crawling back to me after you broke my heart, of course I won’t take you back… You’re still hot as hell though, one kiss couldn’t hurt…

•We only just started to repair our friendship and one day when we were parting ways after a brief conversation I started to say “I love-” but caught myself and now I’m going to throw myself off a cliff because of how awkward I am

•We’re not talking but we still see each other everyday and I still stare at you when you’re not looking, oh shit did you just catch me? Or did I just catch you?

•We broke up forever ago, we no longer have feelings for each other, so why are you on my doorstep in the middle of the night confessing your love?

•If I still have feelings for you, then explain to me why I still fantasize about getting back together and kissing your perfect lips and falling asleep with you in my arms and going on dates and holding your hand and staring at your beautiful face for hours… Shit

•I’m checking your social media every hour of the day and my heart is breaking all over again when I see you and your new s/o doing what we used to do

I Miss You(ngi)

Anonymous said: I miss yoongi 😣💙💜 can u write a quick fluff senario [sic] for yoongi?? 

A/N: So this is neither quick nor a scenario bc i got carried away oops. Also the title….. I couldn’t help myself I’m sorry. Also it was originally 2299 words but i couldnt have that so i added one

Pairing: Yoongi x Reader

Summary: Yoongi is away on tour and you miss him terribly. However, he checks up on you whenever he can and makes sure to call everyday. 

Genre: Fluff

Word count: 2300

Content: Cute phone conversations, really fluffy stuff, numerous uses of the word “asshole”

Sneak Peak:

“Hey, babe. I just got off stage. Have you eaten yet? Did you watch the broadca—”

“Your dog hates me,” you interrupt. Holly still refuses to come out from under the couch.

“He’s just shy. Give him a some time to adjust,” he laughs.

“It’s been two weeks! He still avoids me and rips up my stuff. Yoongi, I miss you. Are you sure you can’t come home for just a little bit? I don’t want to be spending the holiday alone.” You pout even though you know he can’t see it.

Originally posted by theseoks

Keep reading

Loners

When you realize you´re so down, it´s not even possible…

INFP: I brought my teddy bear with me to dormitory. I´m falling asleep hugging him everyday, cause there is no one to be with me… You know… I´m grown up, but I have a plushy toy in my bed.
INFJ: That´s ok. I´m sometimes falling asleep with my arms wrapped around myself pretending someone is hugging me. It could be really comfortable…
INFP: Yeah, that seems really nice…
INFJ: *about to cry*

Things I learned my first year of grad school

1. Trust yourself. Let’s face it: anyone in grad school is all too familiar with impostor syndrome (and anyone who says they aren’t might be lying haha). This year has been an exercise is trusting myself with knowing that I worked my ass off to be where I am and I’m just as smart as the people sitting next to me. My awesome cohort has become a bunch of people who have motivated me to push myself this year, harder than I have before, to step out of my comfort zone/personal boundaries. 

2. Find (a) community. Grad school will be one of the most isolating undertakings (especially if you’re moving alone). It’s important to find people outside of your department that you can hang out with. Everyday will be a mental exercise so it’s important to have normal conversations with people outside of your own field. 

3. “You should never not be reading.” Yup. Just keep reading. This is one of the easiest years you’ll have (and believe it or not– the most free time you’ll have).

4. “Work is never done. It’s just turned in.” The papers you write right now are essentially building the foundation for your thesis or dissertation. Take advantage of every course and use them to build a framework for the larger undertakings looming just ahead. 

5. Keep a space that is a work-free zone. Have a place that is dedicated to just lounging or relaxing. For me this was my apartment. I made sure that my apartment was, for the most part, a place where I could go to escape the craziness of everyday work and grading. 

6. It’s okay to say no. You’re probably going to have ten events happening on the same day/in the same week. It’s perfectly fine to say you can’t make it to some of them. You really can’t be in six places at once and mentally even more so! 

7. Remember to have fun. Whether it be nights in binge watching a tv show (big ups to Bobs Burgers) or a night out on the town. Remember to do something, anything fun for yourself. 

Tonight I have been

• forced to engage in meaningless and invasive conversations with men in order to avoid appearing rude and triggering an aggressive response
• kissed forcefully on the cheek
• called “sexy” across the street and then told to “fuck myself” because I’m a “stuck-up bitch” who didn’t respond

I hope that one day women aren’t made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace. I hope that one day women can walk home safely at night - rather than having to clutch their deodorant and keys in case they have to fend off an attacker.

  • Kevin: I'll never finish this application in time. The personal essay is way harder than I thought, 'cause it's just not in my nature to brag on myself.
  • Veronica: Not even a backdoor brag?
  • Kevin: What's a backdoor brag?
  • Veronica: Sneaking something wonderful about yourself into everyday conversation. Like when I tell people, 'It's hard for me to watch American Idol because I have perfect pitch'.
  • Kevin: Oh...ew.
2017's Progress - May

Korean: I’ve made huge progress so far. I’ve learnt 5 tenses in total. Everyday I’ve been practicing vocabulary and conjugating. Especially irregulars. My pronunciation is perfect but my listening isn’t the best. Although I have learnt how Koreans pronounce certain things. That’s something I plan to improve before this year ends. Not only have I been doing grammar everyday but also phrases.

Italian: I haven’t worked much on Italian this year because I was focusing on Korean but I found an awesome memrise course for tenses, grammar and vocabulary. It has audio with native female and male speakers which is amazing. I’ll do one week of memrise to ease myself back into Italian. I found 2 really great Italian textbooks that teach the language on a conversational, cultural and grammatical level that I plan to use later.

In general: I found what works for me in language learning unlike before where I was completely lost.

Distance Part 4

Here it is! Much earlier then I was expecting but I forgot about a dinner party I have to attend tonight. So, I got busy on finishing this up. 

I hope you love it! 

~S 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 

Master List


LA

After NYC, I started getting consistent job offers in LA, so I decided to rent a studio space near the beach. It was actually one of those industrial buildings turned apartments, but it was big, open and I could live and work in the same space, so it was perfect for me. The bedroom was separated from the rest of the space by walls that stopped 4 feet from the exposed beam ceiling. I set up a studio instead of a living room and had a few days of fun shopping to fill the kitchen and bedroom with necessities. It was the first time in over two years that I actually had a place of my own. I have been using my sister’s home as my permanent address while living out of a suitcase.

I was enjoying living in LA. Having the beach just a few minutes away was never something I thought I would enjoy, but I found myself getting up early to take morning jogs on the beach nearly everyday. It helped clear my mind and prepared me for my day ahead.

I spent many of my jogs on the beach thinking about the number that has been living in my phone since NYC. I have had Harry’s number for nearly 2 months but I just couldn’t even think about calling him. I had no idea what I would say. What would I even expect to come out of a conversation with him? I didn’t want to open old wounds. I was happy with my life, I didn’t want to mess that up by contacting the one person who broke that happiness.

I know I’m not the same girl I was 2 years ago. I learned a lot about myself. When you spend 2 years with only yourself as consistent company, you get to know yourself really well. I have so much more confidence and I had found joy in my life on my own. I know if I was in the same position now, I would not break the same way I did then. I was stronger, better, like I set out to become.

I had been in LA for nearly a month when I got an offer for another magazine cover. This time it was GQ. I had worked with them a few times in the past, but never for a cover shoot. I had a meeting with the editor about the look they were looking for an followed it with a meeting with their stylist who would be joining me for the shoot. I was excited to hear I would be working with Sam Smith. I loved his music and he was one of the few artists that could still make me a bit starstruck.

The day of the shoot, I took a little extra time on my appearance. Rather than my normal leggings and baggy shirt that I prefered to work in, I pick a pair of dress slacks that still have some movement and a stylish dress shirt. I felt like I should be a bit more professional. The shoot was at a studio that GQ rents out. It was chaos when I stepped inside the building. People were running to and from the studio, getting props set up and wardrobe in place. It seems that I wasn’t the only one excited about working with Sam Smith.

Sam arrived and after a short introductions, he was swept off too the wardrobe room. I took a few minutes to introduce myself to some of the crew, some of whom I’ve worked with in the past. Once Sam reentered the studio, I noticed right away that he was tense.

“This is a lot of people, don’t you think?” I winked as Sam and he shot me a relieved smile. I quickly shooed everyone but one lighting assistant and one stylist off to a lunch break. I found Sam personable and very friendly. We laughed and got along right off the bat. I didn’t have many friends in this city, and no one was from back home. It was nice to hear a familiar accent.

“I think we are done, Sam. You can go ahead and change out of that suit.” I powered down my camera and leaned over the computer, reviewing the last batch of shots. Everything looked really good. I would only have to do minimal amount of editing to get the lighting right.

“You are quite the specimen, Sam.” I laughed to him as he walked back into the room. “If you swung for the same team, I would be begging you to take me on a date.” He laughed.

“Hell, let’s go on a date anyway. Lunch? My treat?” He shot me an exaggerated wink.

“Oh, Mr. Smith, you do know how to woo a girl.” I laughed. “Sounds really nice, actually. Hearing your accent makes me a little less homesick.” I packed up my equipment and left the rest for the GQ crew to clean up.

Sam suggested a local place that he said was all the rave. We had only been sitting for a few minutes when someone called out Sam’s name. Expecting a fan, we both turned. My jaw almost dropped to see one of my other favorite artists walking towards our table. Ed Sheeran. I very rarely get starstruck, but Ed was sure to have me a stuttering mess. I knew he was friends with Harry, but I was always too nervous to accept Harry’s offer to introduce us.

Sam made quick introductions and before I knew it, Ed was shaking my hand and smiling into my eyes.

“You should join us?” Sam offered. Ed said he was meeting a friend but they would love to join us.

“Ah, speak of the devil.” Ed said, looking behind me. Sam and I followed his gaze and when my eyes met the green one looking back, my heart dropped.

Harry’s step faltered but he recovered and moved his gaze to Ed in greeting. They did the man hug and then turned as Ed introduced him to Sam. Then their eyes were all on me.

“Y/N.” He said, just above a whisper. I nodded my head in his direction and offered a soft smile, not trusting my voice. I saw Ed’s eyebrows go up in question over our greeting.  He looked to Harry for explanation. Harry simply shook his head. It seemed an unspoken message was received because Ed dropped it as we all sat down.

Ed and Sam carried most of the conversation with Harry only interjecting every once in awhile. I only spoke when directly asked something. Our food arrived and I was glad for the distraction.

I was picking at my salad, finding my appetite was lost.  I chanced a stolen look at Harry and felt a jolt go through me when my eyes were met with his. He was watching me from across the table. I felt my face flush and I looked back down at my food.

My phone started vibrating in my bag. I jumped to answer it.

“This is my next client, I need to take this. Excuse me.” I said quickly as I jumped up to take my call outside. My next client had her schedule clear up earlier than expected and they wanted to meet in an hour. I quickly agreed, glad for an excuse to leave lunch early. I turned to walk back into the restaurant and jumped when I found Harry standing a few feet behind me.

“Hey.” He said softly, taking another step closer to me.

“Harry.” I said warily. I wasn’t prepared for any sort of conversation with him.

“You’re leaving?” He indicated at my phone. I nodded. “Can we… I wanted to…” He stumbled over his words. Running his hand through his hair, he took a deep breath. “Can we please talk. I need to talk to ya. Please?” He sounded desperate.

"I don’t know, Harry.” I blew out a frustrated puff of air. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“Please, Y/N. I know I don’t deserve a second of your time, but I’m begging you. Please.” He looked like he was about to cry. His eyes were trained on the ground.

“OK.” I whispered. His eyes snapped up in surprise. I was surprised with my answer too.

“When? Tonight?” He was eager. He probably wanted to meet before I chickened out and changed my mind.

“I have this client for the rest of the day, it might run late. But I can do tomorrow evening.” His eyes lit up.

“OK, dinner, yeah?” I nodded. “Here, let me give you my address. Does 5 work?” I nodded again before opening the contacts on my phone and handing it to him.

“You’re already in there.” I mumbled. His eyebrows rose and he lifted his eyes to meet mine.

“Gemma?” I nodded. He offered me a half smile before opening his contact and adding his address.

“Thanks, I really need to go.” I indicated back towards our table after he returned my phone. I went in to say goodbye to the others. I couldn’t help but notice their curious stares at me and then back at Harry who was still waiting by the front doors.

“You good?” Sam asked quietly in my ear as we hugged goodbye.

“Yeah.” I nodded. “Just a blast from the past, you could say.” He pulled back and looked into my eyes.

“I take it you two have history? You could practically cut the tension in here, it was so thick.” I chuckled.

“Yeah. We have history.” I said softly and pulled away to give Ed a polite nice to meet you and goodbye.

I walked back to front and stopped in front of Harry. He didn’t say anything but he stepped forward and pulled me in for a hug. He took a deep breath.

“Thank you agreeing to meet me. I’ve spent that last two years wondering if I would ever see you again and suddenly you are here, standing in front of me and I can’t let you walk away without at least talking.” He pulled back from the hug and looked into my eyes.

Gemma had said he was torn up about everything but I never fully believe her until I saw the hurt in his eyes looking back at me.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.” I said softly before stepping back. “Bye Harry.” I stepped forward again and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before turning to walk away. I took a few deep breaths to try to hold my emotions as bay.\

What did I just agree to?


Part 5

6

窪田 啓子 (Kubota Keiko) 1985/12/05

Happy Birthday my beloved Cakey!!! \(^▽^)/
お誕生日おめでとうけいちゃん!!

Your smile is the most precious thing ever and it is really contagious! It lights up the whole world and it makes everything seem so alive. Your dorkiness is unbearably cute, I just want to squeeze you tightly! Please never change!

Keiko is very serious and earnest, no matter in what regard, she is the type to work extremely hard. I am quite irresponsible and unserious at times so she always provides great support. Looking at Keiko’s efforts and her endurance, I can’t help becoming motivated myself, “Right! Yes! I have to do this!” If I didn’t have her in my life I’d be utterly useless *laughs*.
In everyday conversations she will often say things that I would never have expected. In fact, I have a notebook called “Kei-quotes” where I will often write down all her little quirks and what not, it’s quite fascinating *laughs*! For example, these days when there’s something exciting happening and the tension is high, she won’t simply say “This is fun, right!” She will go ahead and say something like “OMG, I am feeling completely SAVAGE right now!” *laughs* This sort of expression, it’s not something you’d normally use, right?! I am unable to take my eyes off of her whenever she is like that, I just can’t help it. Sometimes I’ll be completely baffled and I’ll have a hard composing myself but she is just so funny and cute.
- “Wakana’s Eye” from their Kadokawa issue


No matter in what regard, Keiko-san is very stoic and strict with herself. Just being together with her will give you the feeling of wanting to stand up straighter and raise your head higher.
Supporting and balancing Kalafina as the middle part, she is a person of firm character and yet, she’s also very charming as a human being. There are many occasions where she will unexpectedly initiate a moment of skinship, for example, she will suddenly grab my hand. In these moments she is so sweet and loving that my chest will momentarily tighten up a little.
- “Hikaru’s Eye” from their Kadokawa issue


“Keiko holds together Kalafina’s chorus work with her deep tone. Her singing voice is bold, impressionable and rich, which can echo as grand as a vast field, or with a soft and warm connotation.”
- Spring pamphlet

anonymous asked:

Medieval au

Okay, I must admit I don’t know that much about the middleages so here goes nothing (I have an idea for a GoT au, a Resurrection au, a winter sports au a reporter au,, I honestly didn’t think anybody would ask):

  • Okay so imagine that Hamilton is one of the knights of Washington.That even though he is a son of a peasant and a whore. The great noble lord Washington saw something in him that no one else did
  • So the winter ball goes nearly exactly as in canon. The Schuylers are a powerful house with three lovely daughters. Alexander tries his luck on Angelica, Angelica can’t marry him, Eliza gets all heart eyes, Eliza and Alexander fall in love
  • (The only difference i can think of is that if Alexander had married Angelica he would have been a lord, I think? So maybe marring Eliza is a little more bitter sweet in this au??)
  • Anyway back to the AU, so Eliza and Alexander get´s married move far away to the Washington´s castle and everything seems alright, right?
  • Then George Washington dies and not having any children (this is real historical info) his lordship goes to his closest relative Thomas Jefferson.
  • So, Alexander hates this for two reasons:
  1. He is closer to Washington then anyone of his relatives and it is idiotic that a man who barley knew Washington should inherited his lordship
  2. Washington had a very open approach to peasants and lordship in general, while Jefferson is more elitist (meaning if Jefferson had been lord when Hamilton wanted to become a knight he would have been rejected)
  • So Hamilton basically hates Jefferson from the moment he comes through the gates.
  • (It doesn’t help that Jefferson is really taken by Eliza)
  • Okay, so since Jefferson is a widower he has no lady to do all the lady-work (That is probably not right terminology)
  • So in step Lady Eliza Schuyler, second daughter of Phillip Schuyler and totally schooled in all matters about being the lady of a great house.
  • She puts her education to great use and becomes the unofficial “lady of the house”
  • Alexander hates it he truly do. He hates how Jefferson is stealing his wife away to deal with important matters of House Jefferson (sometimes these important matters are drinking tea with Thomas because he is lonely and misses his wife)
  • (deep down Hamilton knows the part he hates the most is how Jefferson is showing his wife all the things she could have done if she had married a lord of a big house and not a knight who´s knighthood hangs in a thin thread)
  • Jefferson hates Hamilton. Escpecially he hates how he thinks he has some sort of authority over everyone in the house just because he knew his uncle. If Thomas hears Hamilton say “That is not how Lord George governed” Thomas will snap his neck
  • But if he takes away Hamilton´s knighthood he will never see his sweet Lady Eliza again and he can’t let that happened 
  • One night when Thomas is especially lonely he tells his guards to get Lady Eliza so he could talk to her.
  • What they find when they try to get Lady Eliza is her very angry (and sleepy) husband that refuses to waker her up. Therefor the knights deciders to bring Hamilton with them instead.

“This is the wrong Hamilton” Jefferson looks at his guards. Hamilton deciders to answer him first.

“If you are going to speak with any Hamilton tonight it is going to be me and not my wife” 

  • Hamilton ends up staying out of sheer stubbornness and Thomas let´s him stay out of sheer loneliness.

“How did your wife end up marrying someone like you” Hamilton turns his head to look at Jefferson.

“I beg you pardon?” Hamilton is honestly way to excited to argue with him, he just needs a proper argument.

“It is just, Eliza is so sweet and ladylike. It is hard to imagine that she married a orphan knight” Jefferson turns his head away from Hamilton almost as he excepts to be beaten.

Hamilton sits himself next to his Lord.

“I ask myself that everyday” He says with a faint smile

  • These nighttime conversations becomes sort of a ritual for them. In the day they fight over every decision possibly (and over Eliza) in the evenings they have pleasant conversation (and passionate debates) in Jefferson´s chamber
  • After a while Eliza joins them. Participating in the conservation, jumping in to tear them apart if the debating gets to rapid.
  • After a while Eliza starts referring to them as her boys, Hamilton stops minding how Thomas touches Eliza´s knee a tad to inappropriately and Thomas´s stomach is no longer filled with jealousy when he sees Alexander and Eliza Hamilton but with longing for their evenings
  • Soon the evenings are no longer filled with only conversations and debating but sounds of pleasure and words of love
  • The history books will know about Lord Jefferson´s love for Sir Alexander Hamilton´s wife with a fiery passion, but they will never know that Lord Jefferson also loved Lady Eliza Schuyler Hamilton´s husband with an equal passion

Send me an AU and I´ll tell you my Jamiliza headcanon!

Camping Trip (Derek Luh) Part IV

   (A/N: Hey guys! Y’all must really like this series, or I’m just leaving too many cliffhangers haha. Anyway, here is part four of the camping trip series, I hope you enjoy it!)

   Here are the links to the other parts:

Part I     Part II     Part III

   As soon as i opened my eyes, my stomach growled obnoxiously causing me to groan and roll out of bed. I looked at Derek briefly, giggling at the sight of him laying there with his most wide open and his face completely relaxed. A big wave of warmth ran through my body at the thought of him being completely at peace, considering his past has been pretty rough. He deserves peace.

     I shivered at the cold feeling of the wooden floor embracing my sensitive feet. I look around the room in search of a pair of slippers and coming up short just to settle for a pair of warm socks, and swinging the door open to be met with an amazing sent. I take in a deep breath, trying to identify the smell as I prance downstairs.

   “What’s cooking in here?” I ask, taking a seat on the bar stool at the island in the middle of the kitchen.

  “Pancakes and bacon. Why did you want some?” she replied, turning to me laughing. 

   “What? Duh! It’s only polite to cook for everyone else in the house, fatty” I gasp, looking offended at her ignorance.

  She laughs. “If anyone is fat here it’s you, considering you’re the one who woke up as soon as you smelled food and came down here begging” She laughed, throwing a raspberry at me and I caught it in my mouth, surprising us both, causing us to burst into a fit of laughter.

  “See? You’re fat as hell!” She laughs and this time, I agree with her at the irony of my actions following her comment.

   While we were in the middle of dying of laughter, I inhale deeply through my nose and cringe at the stench.

  “What the fuck is that?” I ask, covering my nose with my shirt. I look around for the source of the smell.

  “Oh shit! My pancakes!” Christina screams as she turns around to see her black pancakes. I burst into laughter as she scrambles to dump it into the garbage to avoid it catching fire.

  “Goddammit Chris, now what are we gonna eat? I’m hungry as fuck.” I whine as my stomach rumbles. I turn as I hear feet stomping down the stairs and see a groggy looking Derek.

  “What did you burn?” He asks, face turning to make a disgusted face.

  “Chris tried to make pancakes, now all she’s got is a caked pan.” I laugh and turn to look at Chris.

  “Oh you’re so funny! Shut the hell up!” she rolls her eyes jokingly. I shake my head and turn to look at Derek. He pops a raspberry into his mouth and looks at me.

   “I could call the boys and ask if they’re down to have breakfast at iHop or something.” He suggest, shrugging his shoulder. 

   Christina and I nod in agreement and go upstairs to change while he calls the boys.

  “Are you gonna tell everyone about your relationship with Derek?” She asks as she shoves her shirt over her head. I shimmy my jeans up my thighs and over my hips with a little difficulty.

  “Yep, that’s my plan.” I say, straining my voice as I stretch my abdomen to button up my jeans. “Although, I highly doubt they’ll really give a shit seeing as it’s not affecting them in anyway.” 

  “No, they’ll definitely be surprised by it. They thought that you and Nate were a secret thing.” She states calmly.

  “They What?!” I whip around to face her.

  “Yeah, they thought that you guys were secretly fucking or something, I don’t know. I guess it was the way he looked at you or something.” she turns around to apply her nude lipstick as I comprehend what she just told me. How does he look at me? That’s so weird. Oh well. I shake off the thought of the boys sitting around, teasing Nate for their suspicions of him being with me.

  We head downstairs and Derek stands up from his position on the couch. 

  “Ready? They’re on their way now.” He slides on his dark sunglasses and grabs his keys. We follow close behind to the car and he pulls out of the driveway and we head straight to the iHop down the road.

  We pull up in front and see Nate’s car parked right in front of the door. We walk in and see Sammy’s platinum blonde head. We walk over and I took a seat right across from Nate. Christina sat on my right and Derek on my left.

  “You stay burning food huh Chris?” Gilinsky asks, laughing. She rolls her eyes.

“Ha ha ha, very funny. It was a damn accident.” She spits angrily.

  “Chill Chris, it was just a joke.” He laughs. She rolls her eyes again. The waiter comes and gives us our drinks and I think to myself about how to tell the boys. I mean, I can’t just jump in the conversation like ‘Hahaha you guys are so funny, by the way, me and Derek have been together for seven months.’ It’s not that important for them to know, so it’s kind of weird to tell them about it.

  As I’m thinking, my phone buzzes in my pocket. I pull it out to see a text from Chris:

 “When are you gonna tell them???” it reads. I roll my eyes and reply:

  “How tf am I supposed to tell them? My relationship isn’t really a normal everyday conversational discussion”. I see her roll her eyes and open her mouth to talk. I mentally flinch at the thought of what she has to say.

  “So guys, anything interesting going on in your love lives lately?” She asks out of the blue, making me throw my head back in aggravation.

  All of the guys shake their heads, but Derek. I feel my cheeks heat up as Johnson looks at Derek in suspicion.

  “What about you Luh? You didn’t say anything.” He smiles a bit. Derek clears his throat and looks down at me.

   “Well, Y/N and I have actually been together for a while now” The guys’ eyes widen and jaws drop. That’s the exact opposite of my expectations.

    “How long is a while?” Sammy intervenes.

  “Seven months.” Christina jumps in. I put my head down in nervousness.

   “Seven months?!” They yell in unison. I nod and they all smile and say nice things, except Nate, who stays quiet and sips his drink. I notice his sudden standoffish behavior, but decide to ignore it and continue with our conversation.

  After breakfast, the guys all of their separate ways and Christina and I go back home.

  “Did you fucking see the look on Nate’s face? It was like he had just found out that his dog had just been hit by a car or something.” She asks as we enter the house.

  “I know, what the hell was that all about?” I try to laugh it off, but I can’t help but overthink the situation.

  “I don’t know, maybe he really does have a crush on you” she teases, poking my side.

  I stand there in awe. There is no way Nate could like me. Right? 

tomatograffiti  asked:

Hi :) I was wondering if you had any tips for keeping motivated for self-study every day? I always seem to go on 'binges' and study a lot, then burn out and go months without doing anything with Japanese. Even when I try and make the effort to slow down I eventually do less and less. After years, I'm probably only around N4 level. I sincerely love the language and want to be able to understand/use it but this 'all or nothing' problem is getting ridiculous. Thanks for your time :)

Hi! Sorry for the delay in my response to this, I’ve been mulling it over for a few days now.

The answer is in the question for me ‘every day’. I do some Japanese study every single day no matter what, even if it’s 10m fighting with myself every second of the way. This means that studying is built into my routine now and I have an unbroken study streak of studying every single day since 3rd January now, which alone is enough to make me do at least something on the worst days.

Studying no matter what and being motivated to do so are two different things though. Here has what’s helped me this year:

-Use SMART targets,

SMART targets should be:
Specific- exactly what will you be able to do, in detail. Hold a 3m conversation using everyday Japanese? Read Harry Potter and understand >80% of it? Be able to order in a restaurant? Understand typical kanji on menus? Goals like ‘read and understand 80% of a book’ are not specific enough, you need to say which book, or reading level.

Measurable- The outcome needs to be one you can test and check to see if you’ve achieved it or not. Think about how you’ll know you’ve reached your desired level.

Attainable- You need to be able to reach your goal within your current means, so having a goal of getting an MA in Japanese when you have absolutely no means of going to university is unfortunately not a SMART target, getting your Japanese to a standard where you can consistently pass the entry test to a Japanese MA within the next 6 months, however, might be a SMART target for some people.

Realistic- I tend to have all or nothing thinking, and think along these lines ‘From this day forward, I will study a minimum of 6 hours a day, every day, forever!’. I am the queen of unrealistic learning goals…

Timely- Within what time frame do you plan to reach your goal? Many of my past goals have fallen to the wayside purely because I have decided ‘This time I’m gonna be tough!’ and then struggle with the brutal regime I’ve set for myself, quickly failing and quitting entirely. This is no good in the long term. Be kind to yourself, you’ll keep going longer and clock up more study time overall that way.

-Log everything, every last minute, keep a running total and set weekly goals. I went into a lot of detail about this in the 7 posts that you can find here.

-I like totalisers, probably because they were all over TV in the 80s, so I make little grids that I colour in as I get closer to any goal.

-I switch book/topic whenever I’m bored, typically I’ll finish the page or section before moving on, but if I’m really sick of something I’ll just put it down and try to keep studying but with a different book or technique. This isn’t the most efficient way to learn, but it does mean that I keep going when I would otherwise just stop entirely for that day. This has done much to remove the sense of dread I have about certain tasks. I still hate SRS and kanji drilling, but I’m more inclined to make an effort if I know that I can do what I can stand and stop, without any guilt or berating myself, then go on to a different topic. No, I don’t study kanji enough, but I have studied them a lot more than I would’ve done if I’d continued trying to just force myself to learn x number of characters a day, no matter how long it took.

-Don’t be soft on yourself, but don’t brutalise yourself either. Balance is key! For me logging helps me to get honest with how much I’m doing, when I’m tired or bored I ask myself ‘Can you do 5m more?’ and more often than not I can, I squeeze in extra study which all adds up to hours overall. On a good day I try to ‘build up’ extra hours off that week’s total, which then allow me to have an easy day should I need to later in the week. When I am dead tired I stop and rest, but I make sure I go back the next day and keep going. On a week that’s good, I’ll do more than double my minimum target study time. I have no perspective and totally black and white thinking, so only by seeing objective evidence written down can I gain some perspective on what my progress really looks like.

-My goals are x number of HOURS of active Japanese learning a week, this means I can meet the goal by just trying, even if my best is really not up to scratch that week, even if I just don’t want to drill flashcards any more or write another kanji. I can rack up hours doing something rather than nothing.

-
For me what I am documenting is how hard I am trying to learn. I need recognition for my efforts, I love getting this from other people and am a total praise whore, but I also need it from myself. So anime counts, learning songs counts, going to karaoke and practising all Japanese songs for an hour counts. I don’t count conversations or messaging in Japanese on social media, or Tumblr, because then I’d slip into counting all my time with my BF as study time, when it really isn’t active learning.  I definitely don’t count having crunchyroll on in the background and not paying attention, I need to be actively listening to log it as study time. This article on Tofugu talks about quantity over quality and I’m trying to take that to heart.

- When possible study with others if this helps you, find a community online and take an active part, this helps me to know I’m not alone in hating transitive and intransitive verbs. It helps me see others who are role models and who I aspire to be like too.

- Make learning fun. I respond well to fixed short term goals (like Tadoku). Case in point- 3 weeks ago I had 100 kanji flashcards to study, my BF said he’d buy me a bottle of iced tea if I could read all the kanji on the flashcards in 10m. This made me stupid motivated, I failed the first time by about 5 cards, he wanted to buy me the tea anyway but I said no. I tried again that evening and did the lot in 6m. If you too are insanely competitive then this kind of challenge might help you. That tea tasted like victory.

-Find things you are excited by or curious about. This has been hard for me as I’m not massively into J-pop, anime or manga. I really enjoyed doing the Tadoku contest in March and found reading to be relaxing and enjoyable as well as very beneficial. I’ve found some songs I love and try to translate and learn them. The reason I want to learn Japanese is to be more involved in daily life here, I still feel very much on the periphery, this can mean studying at home is difficult, as study materials don’t necessarily directly relate to my goal, or at least not in an exciting way.

-Celebrate and embrace milestones. It’s hard to see any improvement in my Japanese when conversing with Japanese native speakers, maybe I’ve gone up about 2-5% in proficiency this year, that is hard for anyone to notice, but I know that that the only way to get better is in increments. It’s one reason why I’m using the JLPT as an arbitrary milestone, because I know I was failing mock tests at the start of the year and I’m not now, that is measurable improvement and I find that really helps motivate me.

The intermediate plateau is well-documented and sucks, but you can definitely get through it and gain the rewards of being able to really read and understand with much more ease the Japanese which is evading you at the moment.

TL:DR Of all this advice I think doing what you can and keeping going, but switching task when bored has been the most beneficial. A kinder, effort based, approach has helped me become a much more motivated student in the last 6 months.