How to become a good student (again) 3: Yearn for friendship - not worship; not debasement
Hello, fellow ex-good student!
‘tis done! This beast just got longer and longer, so I decided to cut it down a bit for the sake of readability. But let me know if there’s something that was too vague - the nuance might have got lost in the editing process.
Alright, let’s get down to business (to defeat! The Huns!)! So, if you’re an ex-good student, I’m pretty sure that you know this static in your head, right?Whenever you really need to do something but you just can’t get up and do it, so you keep procrastinating even though you hate it and keep scrolling and scrolling or gaming and gaming and feel more and more guilty?
Well, it might not be the most immediate analogy, but for this post I want you to consider that what connects you and your subject of study is essentially a relationship and that this static is (among other things) an indicator of how screwed up your relationship is. Just like with real people, your relationships with subjects can either
prosper and bear fruit (me & Creative Writing)
become cold and distant (me & French)
or, worst of all, turn sour and actively harmful. (me & PE, back in school)
Now, nobody likes to hear that they’re relationship-ing wrong. And it is true that different approaches work for different people. But here are the counter-productive relationships that I’ve personally ended up in and I’m gonna show you how I got into and out of them, so you can try to do the same. Maybe it’ll help you lift that static from your head.
Side-Note: Always remember that, since your subjects are just that (subjects), and not real people, you are the only one who can actually mend these relationships and, conversely, you are the one who screwed them up in the first place (probably with good intentions, though).
The desire to do everything, perfectly, at the same time, right now. Not to limit yourself to just one field of study, but to master them all, to reign supreme above knowledge, to keep your mind wide open to new possibilities, similarities and contradictions. You overvalue your own capacities and undervalue the needs and difficulties of your subject. (also refer to the first post for this)
How did you get here?
(read picture from right to left)
So. Many. Possible. Reasons.
it’s a cage. The idea of doing just one thing for the rest of your life scares you and you feel imprisoned at the thought of it
you know that you could be outstanding if you applied yourself
you know that you could be even more outstanding if you became accomplished in multiple fields
you want to find connections between fields nobody’s ever considered before
you feel like you’ve wasted your last few years and need to catch up to others
you’re afraid that you’re not good enough
you’re afraid of being ignorant
No matter the reason (I’ve gone through them all), people caught in this state of mind shovel more and more onto their plate. And then wonder why they can’t swallow it all.
What do you think you’re doing?
A labour of love, most likely. You think you love languages and sciences and athletics and programming and cooking and hanging out with friends and being alone and so you just want to do it all! You don’t want to limit yourself! You don’t want to lose any time! But there’s just so much and you have so little energy and ugh, if only I wasn’t destined for greatness, then I could relax like other little people, but no, I need to keep pushing! In every! Direction! At the same! Time!
I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend who gets up at 6am, watches the sun rise, does yoga, eats a healthy breakfast, goes for a quick run, comes back home, answers all correspondence, is artistic for a few hours, then scientific for a few hours, then social for a few hours and ends the day with tiny masterpieces in each area, goes out with friends or family to grab a healthy dinner and goes to sleep, happy and balanced :)
Well, you know what, my starry-eyed friend?
What are you actually doing?
You’re the mental equivalent of a social butterfly. You’re being fucking disrespectful.
You’re always on the run and never able to really commit to anything, because you’ve already scheduled something else afterwards. You’re shallow, deluded, that one friend that always comes in running, screaming “Besties ~ ♥” and everyone shifts uncomfortably in their seats and smiles a painful smile and humours you, because they know you mean well, but they also know that you know nothing about them. You’ve never been there for them ever, but always expect them to be there for you. Whenever they want to talk about themselves, you nod and then proceed to about yourself and your plans and “ohmygosh, this is so nice, we need to meet more often ~ ♥ “. But at least you mean well, so they’ve agreed to keep it simple and on the “The weather is nice today”-level with you.
But here you are, wondering why you’re not making any progress. Mysterious.
So what do I do?
Well, you need to go from this:
How? More on that below.
2) Undereager Debasement
What is it?
This stage is what happens when you notice that your lofty ideals from Overeager Debasement cannot be fulfilled. You turn bitter, hateful, cold. You think you’re a failure, you think you were too soft. Instead of wanting to be friends with everyone, you now want to rule over everyone, fuck what they want.
You’re burnt out. You’re done. You just want to get through these stupid classes and catch a goddamn break, goddamnit.
And you WILL get through. You’re too proud to do anything else. But you don’t really care about any of it. You just want to make it.
How did you get here?
If you were a good student, you probably heard at some point or another that you were “different” and that your complex and mysterious ways were not understandable and definitely not achievable for your average classmate.
Most people who tell you this mean well. A few want to make fun of you, but most actually do mean it as a compliment. But they don’t know how dangerous it is to hear it again and again, because regardless of whether it’s true or not, you start to believe it. You start to believe that somehow, you have a higher calling, a higher standard. And you start to long for that day when your high standards will be met - when you will go to that one mysterious class where everyone is just as eager as you are, where the “Oh, captain, my captain!”-teacher will spark a fire in your brain that will never go out and when your ominous “gifts” can finally be put to good use for the prosperous future of mankind.
And you work.
And the class never comes.
You feel the weight on your shoulders when teachers talk of “high expectations”, you feel it crush you a little bit every time your friends tease you about your genuine fear that you might not get an A, that you might lose it all, that your “gifts” could disappear and you’ll be stranded and useless and you put in the hours, you work your ass off to keep that high standard, all in the hope of having that one miraculous class that never comes.
I realized that that class would never come when I entered university.
University, I’d told myself, would be my Arcadia, my Eden, my academic paradise where all my hard work would be rewarded! Instead, I only found more drudgery, more incompetent professors, more disinterested students and even more bureacracy. To say that I was “disappointed” would be putting it very lightly.
I became disoriented and disenchanted. I realized that I could get through most classes with half-assed effort, I was hardly ever challenged, I floated along and hated every second of it. I blamed my boring teachers, the imperfect system, the teachers who had given me hope only for me to watch it crash and go up in flames.
What do you think you’re doing?
Being badass, cool and detached, most likely.
You dream of yourself as a master and your subjects as slaves. They bow to your will, they dance to your tune, you command them with the snap of a finger.
“Look, you slave of the system”, you say, lying on a velvet sofa, “Look, at how it hardly takes any effort for me to pass these classes! Look at how I spend my time doing things I actually like and that are actually worth it, unlike these stupidly easy classes taught by stupidly incompetent professors in a stupidly screwed-up system! Look at me, being edgy and drowning in self-hatred because I can physically feel myself gliding off the rails that made me so “special” and becoming one of the average people in the masses, haha. Ha. Ha. Screw academia, but still give me good grades, amirite?”
I know your delusion. I’ve been there. You imagine yourself to be that one perfect friend that never studies for classes, comes for three lectures per semester and still manages to get perfect grades because everything you do in school is, like, so five years ago. That one friend who has read all the classics in their spare time, has conquered and enslaved all the knowledge actually worth knowing, will quote obscure Polish philosophers you’ve never heard of and plays the piano with a perfect pitch. They’re the wisest, most culture-non-conforming people you know - they’ve been up until 5am, wandering the streets and drinking vodka from a bottle while forcefully pentrating the mysteries of the universe all by themselves until they finally fall asleep on a park bench and awake with an epiphany about Klein bottles. They’re “special”.
What are you actually doing?
Caring more about appearing “special” than actually trying to be “special”, that’s what you’re doing.
But, look, what made you so “special” and “different” in the first place was not a “calling” or “gifts” or the fact that you wrote good grades and were destined for greatness.
Here’s a handy chart I’ll use later - you were lucky enough to fall into the green zone, lucky enough to be born with an innate respect and a love for learning. That’s what made you “special”. That’s what made you succeed. Not pressure, not warped ideals and certainly not the fear of failure.
But somewhere along the way you forgot that and only focussed on the results. You started to believe yourself to be so special that everybody else should cater to you. The fancy titles, the awe-struck looks, the “You’re so amazing”s and the “The genius of a decade”, the planned Nobel prize speech and the prestige, the dream others had lovingly created for you and you had slowly absorbed and warped as your own? It got to you. Hell, it got to me. And it became more important than learning itself. Somewhere along the way, you and I, we became an arrogant and lazy assholes.
You looked down on your easy courses and homework and instead of recognising how lucky you are, doing it in a minute and a half and then putting in the extra work on top to dig deeper and to maybe contribute something of value and fun, you threw it aside with a snide remark as beneath you. Of course it wasn’t fun. Of course it wasn’t challenging. You never even tried to make it either.
(And don’t get me wrong: I honestly do think that the education system as it is right now needs MAJOR reforms. But right now? It is what it is. And instead of making the best of it and doing what you once loved so much, you succumbed to societal pressures you found yourself unable to fulfill and said “meh”. You cared so much about the fame and the title that the relationship itself didn’t matter.)
But this isn’t the master-slave relationship you imagine it to be. It’s a trophy-friendship. Once upon a time, you got on really well with this person and other people loved your friendship. You fell in love with the ideal, with their connections, their money, their prestige, their name on a CV, and you stuck around just for that. You valiantly ignore the reality of the state of things between you two and take them out only when absolutely needed, only when things are this close to falling apart and so you keep walking a fine, fine line. Whenever a deadline approaches, you shower them with attention and love and, gingerly, they open up to you and you see a depth and complexity to them that astounds you and makes you think “Imagine! Imagine how much more I could have seen if only I’d started earlier?” But the moment the crisis has passed, you toss them aside once again.
Because this is enough to make your name. You may not remember much about these nights or about the person at all, but the only thing that counts is that it will fulfill your “special” prophecy and make you a legend, right?
Well, always remember this: (read picture from right to left)
You’re not “special” if you made it to university. You’re not “special” if you’ve made your name. It comes down to a simple choice: do you value appearances over integrity or the other way round? Do you dare to look like a fumbling idiot again when you start something new? Is the “appearing like an idiot”-part more important to you than the “learning/creating something new”-part? Have a think about it.
“Alright”, you’ll say, “Alright. I get it. So I’ll treat my “friends”/subjects with respect and integrity and I’ll take all the time and concentration I can bestow upon them, just as I would upon real friends. But do you want me to be like, uh - like…
What is it?
“…like one of those anime characters that lives only for their dream and gets up at like 6am, does the thing, talks about the thing, breathes the thing, goes to bed, dreams of the thing and then wakes up at 6am to do the thing?”
(Google: Did you mean Hinata Shouyou?
Yes, yes, I did, google.)
Well, no, I don’t want you to do that. See, that’s the other extreme and unless you’re an anime character, chances are that it won’t work out for you.
How did you get here?
Personally, I was caught in this trap for a loooooong time. Anime offered me a new way of relating to my passions that neither my family nor my school had ever shown me: unabashed obsession. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to be obsessed. I wanted to give myself up to a higher ideal, something above human consciousness, something that would endure. I wanted to, well, get up at 6am, do the thing, talk about the thing, breathe the thing and so on - “the thing” in question being, of course, studying. I made elaborate plans, complicated lists, study-plans that shift on a daily basis and cover all grounds, I wanted to study for two hours before school, wanted to repeat lessons, wanted to give myself up to knowledge, made cool covers for my notebooks, made mock exams for my friends to use, planned to focus on each continent for a month and study it, planned to listen to one new composer each day, planned to go to the museum every week, planned to analyze Sherlock Holmes and think just like him, planned to - you get the idea.
I wanted to be like this:
What do you think you’re doing?
Being but a humble servant to the eternal workings of truth. Knowing thou art unworthy, yet suffering the perfection of study.
I wanted to go from 0 to 100, I wanted knowledge and wisdom to transform and deliver me, I wanted to feel enlightened, I wanted to feel my brain burning, pushing frontiers and breaking through to new horizons, I wanted to elevate myself to touch even the lowest levels of truth. I wanted to do something noble, something worthwhile, something that could never be critisized and would always be valued, something with eternal meaning that would echo through the ages and I wanted to be even the tiniest cog in the machinery of mind.
What are you actually doing?
Being, quite simply, an idiot.
This is one of my favourite quotes (David Wong):
“There are two ways to dehumanize someone: by dismissing them, and by idolizing them.”
The same goes for studying. As shown above, studying won’t work out if you do not treat your subjects with respect. Conversely, studying also won’t work if you continue to idolize it as work beyond all work and reproach, as the only true calling, as the realm of the genii and by self-flagellating yourself and repeating “I’m but a humble servant in your kingdom of reason and will never reach where you are, but will spend all my time trying to reach you.”
Why? Because by saying “I’ll never reach you or be worthy of you”, you’ve already sealed your fate. Some students (no matter how well they actually perform) are stuck thinking that they are stupid and incapable of doing well. Others think that the trick is in the preparation and they undergo complicated rituals of finding exactly the right study spot, exactly the right study drink, exactly the right study time, etc. in the hope of channeling the connection between their godly subject and themselves, but it never turns out quite as glamorous as they’d hoped (once again, speaking from experience).
This is because you cannot force a true friendship if you think yourself unworthy of it. It will always be worship.
And why are you worshipping? Because it takes the pressure right off of you. This always annoyed me about some of my fellow students. They treated becoming a good student as this miraculous and unlikely event that only happens to the #blessed. I insisted that “no”, it could be done. “Yes”, it was hard work, but ultimately absolutely doable. But now that I’ve been in their shoes? I understand. Admitting that you could have done it anytime implies failure on your part for not having done it. By saying “Oh no, it is so very complex and divine and a lowly worm like me could never hope to crawl in its shadows”, you shift the focus away from yourself and onto the thing itself.
But this is a synthetic, manufactured relationship with a partner that does not even exist. It is, at its heart, a kyaa ~ I hope senpai notices me! (๑♡⌓♡๑) - kind of relationship. It’s idolizing not a person’s true character, but their appearance, their aesthetic and the values that they represent for you. It’s not really listening to what they’re saying, but warping their words so they fit into your perfect idea of them. Just, unlike with undereage debasement, you do not play pretend that everything’s fine and secretly hate the other person deep down - you honestly idolize them to heaven and back, so you could never possible reach them. You’re using them to fill in the holes in your own personality.
And that … just isn’t fun? I dunno about you, but treating studying as something that must be done perfectly with exactly the right pen and the perfect face-mask after the right smoothie and in the right lighting by a window overgrown with ivy and with perfect concentration from the first moment and unwavering, knightly passion and exact planning from 6am to bedtime all because I know deep down that I will not be able to fulfill these ideals and thus don’t have to feel bad about not reaching them just … isn’t for me. I don’t like my relationships to be all overstructured and “perfect” and high maintenance like that.
I want my friendships and my studying to be authentic. And that means that sometimes it’s messy and sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s quoting Keats while lying on the floor at 2am in the morning and chugging milk out of a carton, but it’s real. I truly do understand this longing to make studying look pretty and like a magical realm, because when you’re in the flow that’s really what it feels like. But the beauty comes along with the practice, not the other way round.
No, but honestly - what do I DO then?
Y’remember Hippogriffs from Harry Potter? That’s how I imagine my subjects. Approach them carefully, honestly, maintaining eye contact and as equals and they will respect you. This scene:
This scene is what I’m talking about. If you were in a worship-state, you would only admire them from afar, gushing over how beautiful they are, but sad that they would never deign to even look in your general direction. (think of all the subjects you thought would be way too difficult for you) If you were in a debasement-state, you’d either try to make friends with all the hippogriffs, hopping from one to the other and forming no bond with either or you’d “tsk” disdainfully and try to force them to obey you against their will. (*cough* Malfoy *cough*)
If, however, you’re in the green, there will be mutual respect between you and you will be able to fly.
So what does it mean to be in the green? It means not to do any of the above, obviously, so
take your time for and invest brainpower into each and every one of your subjects - be a good friend. Be there. Listen. Even if they have crazy ideas at 4am in the morning.
appreciate your subjects and know that they are more than the teacher who tries to get you to know them. Sometimes, some people just have a really shitty PR department (especially maths)
don’t think too much or too little of yourself. You can do amazing things, but that does not give you the license not to do amazing things anymore, rest on your laurels and expect others to applaud you for it.
some relationships take longer than others to build, but getting to understand someone who puzzled you from the first moment and challenged your beliefs will improve your own personality as well (side-eye at PE. Yes, I love you now, you crazy athletic bastard)
do it for the sake of the relationship itself, because you enjoy their company. Results are presents which, although very much appreciated, should not be the main motivator to keep you going. This essentially means that you should think of studying as hanging out with a friend - already makes it seem so much more inviting and way less daunting, does it not?
(Logic and I, being saltmates. Real friends judge other people together)
be aware that all friendships go through rocky patches and some subjects might take a while to warm up to you or you to them. But if you think that it’s worth it, then you gotta power through that. If you don’t think it’s worth it, you gotta be brave enough to say good-bye.
Look, what I’m actually saying is … be Souma Yukihira from Food Wars.
Food Wars is a crazy and at times pretty pervy manga/anime, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t also one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever consumed and if Souma isn’t one of the most admirable main characters I’ve ever encountered.
The relationship between him and cooking is filled with trust, love and equality. He trusts his cooking skills, because he knows that they have spent a long time together - cooking won’t let him down and he won’t ever let cooking down by stopping to look for ways to improve.
That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s always deadly serious - he loves to play around with cooking and to try ridiculous new things. He never forgets the joy that even the simplest form of cooking brings him.
There’s one great episode where he puts his life as a chef on the line and someone fearfully asks him what he’d do if he lost. He shrugs and says he could become a lawyer or a teacher or something. So while he loves cooking profoundly, he does not worship it and he knows that there are other relationships he could build up if he had to. He just …doesn’t want to, because cooking is his bff.
He loves to take on challenges to see how far he and cooking have come -
- and he takes challenges very seriously -
- but takes it even more seriously if he loses -
- and nonetheless knows that they are stronger for the challenges they have faced together.
So, yes, this is what it means to be in the green. Cherish your friendships, hang out together, be honest, funny, clever, curious and you.
You’ll be surprised at how much fun the two of you will have, now that all the pretensions and pressures are gone.
Just …hang out and have fun.
(and maybe watch Food Wars!, because damn, Souma is the MVP of my inspirational heroes)
Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next (and hopefully shorter) part 4 :)
I’ve always been the type of person to hide my pain away… I swallow it down where no one can see it until it begins to corrode me from the inside out. I’ve never known any other place to put it… I was never taught any other way to deal with it. My pain has never mattered much to anyone else, so I’ve learned to contain it until I reach a point where I end up hurting myself just as much as whatever it was that caused the pain to begin with.
But that’s what emotionally sensitive people do; we hurt ourselves by hiding just how much things hurt us because we believe it is our weakness. Whenever we are hurt by life we do not tend to our wounds but simply pretend they are not there until we do ourselves more damage… And then we wonder why we’re such slow healers.
Is it alright if I ask about your sketching process for your portraits? Like guidlines and how to use them and such? I'm trying to learn realism, and I was wondering about it! If not, thats alright!
Hey Anon! Of course! :D Happy to talk about it. I just say all this with a grain of salt- Everyone has different ways for constructing faces and starting a piece, and I don’t think there’s any one “right” way better than another. Just how I do it? I even have gotten frustrated with my construction methods in the past, and purposely ground-up re-taught myself a new technique. So it’s always fun to add more things to your repertoire!
I basically start with like a circle + middle vertical line, and then make the overall shape of the skull. Past that I add lines for where the eyes & nose will fall (middle, then middle of the bottom half respectively), and I often use vertical lines for “boundaries” on the sides of the face that double as cheekbones, because I have a tendency to Anime-out and make the face fill up too much of the skull for that realistic look. :B;;;
Here’s a breakdown of a Seb portrait I did where I used those guides to help build in the face, lightened my sketch and bumped up the important parts, then added shading and such.
Here’s the same kinda guidelines broken down really quickly in a profile sketch.
That’s basically what I do! I love starting with shapes: circle and especially boxes- because when it comes to complex angles, simple shapes with these guidelines can really help get all those bits in the right places where your eye can be tricked.
Thanks for the ask! I’m also tickled you find my art style to be realistic, gack, it’s all eye of the beholder! I’m always trying to improve my realism too. Best way to do that: reference! All the reference!! :D hahaha! But just keep drawing, you’ll get there! (and me too)
I want to talk a bit about worshipping gods, more precisely, worshipping the ‘wrong’ gods for you and how it affected me and my craft.
When I first actively started my craft I saw witches of different faiths worshipping a god or following a pantheon and I felt that that was what I had to do to become a powerful witch myself.
I started to look into the faith systems and gods I knew most about, those being the norse, Roman, Greek and Egyptian gods and decided to follow Freya because she symbolised what I wanted to become - a strong, beautiful woman who loves who she wants to love and has cats. She is also great with divination as she taught Odin how to read runes.
So I started following her, making a shrine and trying to do devotional acts but it felt like a commitment I needed to do and wasn’t something I really wanted or loved to do. So I did less and less things for her.
So I stopped. I still ask her favours in return for offerings but I don’t worship her and she understood. I wasn’t ready for her and I felt weak for not being able to worship her like I saw others doing it.
Then Inari-sama called me. I saw foxes everywhere. She sent me a two tailed kitsune to ‘hint’ at me that she wanted to work with me. And she did help me for a bit but I also didn’t worship her. It was like a work relationship. She wanted a favour from me and granted me a favour in return. After that the work relationship stopped. We still talk from time to time and she still shows me a lot of foxes if she thinks I could need a reminder to the lesson she taught me. I still get favours in return for offerings. But other than that I don’t worship.
After I learned that I don’t need to worship gods to work with them it was like a switch flicked in my head and my soul. My craft started to feel like *my own* again. I still ask Freya to help me be as beautiful and strong as she is and that she may help me with my runes and it’s perfectly fine. I still ask Inari-sama to help me be smart and cunning, to help me with keeping and finding secrets. I still ask Bastet and Sekhmet to protect my cats from all harm and to bring them home safely if they should stray, to grant them strength and health. And they don’t get worship in return to the things they grant me. They get offerings. Just like anyone else. Maybe bigger offerings but offerings nonetheless.
So, what I am trying to say, you don’t need to worship gods if you don’t want to or if you don’t click with them. You don’t need to ask them for favours. You don’t need to work with them at all if you don’t want to. On the other hand, if that’s what you want to do, feel free to and I am not stopping you. Basically do what feels right. Experiment if you want to, if you don’t, then don’t. It’s all up to you, and you only. You are not a bad witch nor a weaker witch if you decide to not worship. It doesn’t makes you stronger either. You’re simply your own witch and that’s perfectly fine.
Tltr; if you want to worship gods, worship them but it doesn’t makes you a bad or weak witch if you decide not to worship any gods.
Edit: Just to make it clear, there are no wrong gods, just gods you don’t click with. No god is more right or more wrong than another.
• it hasn’t even been a whole 48 hours yet since we’ve been married. and I’m still in disbelief that the man I said I was going to spend the rest of my life with….is the man I’m really going to spend the rest of my life with.
there’s no such thing as a fairytale, but I do believe true love still exist. oh we had our ups and downs, fights, no but really. 6,000 miles away from each other for the past couple of years due to our jobs and school, and there wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t tell me he appreciated and loved me.
this man has taught me so much; how to overcome almost anything. I knew he was the man for me, when he taught me how to love myself. no one has ever loved me the way he does.
I am truly blessed. and I pray each and every one of you find someone that makes you happy (even more) than my husband makes me
Designer and founder of Vichcraft Design Studio, Jenna Blazevich took the road less travelled–by ditching an offer to work her dream job–to pursue her own passion and creative freedom. Jenna’s designs are bold, clean and smart as well as technically and aesthetically masterful. Vichcraft Design Studio has allowed her to bring feminist works to the forefront, creating a platform for important issues and topics. We’re so excited to have her on board for another year of Babes Ride Out, where she has designed a custom skate deck to be raffled off at the Babes East Coast event. In our latest Q&A, Jenna talks about how Vichcraft came about, gives us insights into running a business, and shares with us what she’s most excited about for this year’s 2017 Babes Ride Out!
So, I’ve managed to do yoga every day for the last 9 days! As someone who gets bit by the lazy bug pretty often, I’m pretty damn proud of myself. I don’t always get around to posting my sessions but this year I aim to focus less on “doing it for the vine” (or IG in this case lol) & more on the practice & how it affects me mentally, physically & spiritually.
One effect is the acceptance & collaboration of the facets of my personality. I used to have two personal IG profiles, one for my yoga/fitness journey & another for everything else. However, after a revelation - thanks to my yoga journey - I’ve decided to choose this page as my main one. I guess it’s sort of a metaphor for the merging of all my selves into one focus.
Yoga has taught me a lot about myself over the last year regarding my strengths, weaknesses & inconsistencies. This year, it’s already putting some more very important things in perspective. 2017 is looking up. I hope it is for you all, too! Namaste 🙏
This is what you do for a living; if you could stop I’m sure you
would. You know how to turn your emotions on and off and keep your
“it’s something I relate to
Your gift of nonchalance
Nobody’s ever made me fall in love
With this amount of touch”
I can understand how you can be so dismissive and have little to
no affection for anyone. I’m exactly the same way. But even still, I find
myself becoming addicted to you, and all you had to do was touch me
“I’m not a fool
I just love that you’re dead inside
I’m not a fool, I’m just lifeless too
But you to taught me how to feel
When nobody ever would
And you taught me how to love
What nobody ever could”
I’m not foolish, i know better to believe your lies. You and I
are more alike than you may think. I don’t have feelings for anyone else, nor
could they ever develop. But being with you has changed my perspective on how
I feel about love, relationships, being with someone. I’ve never had that
“Ooh girl, I know I should leave you
And learn to mistreat you
'Cause you belong to the world
And ooh girl, I want to embrace you
But you belong to the world, you belong to the world”
I should leave you alone. I should treat you the way you treat
others, the way others treat you, you could never be mine. But I want to be
yours. I want you to love me the way you did tonight. I want to belong only to
you. I want you to only belong to me, but you belong to everyone
I know that I’m saying too much
Even though I’d rather hold my tongue, yeah”
expressing my feelings too verbally; usually I’m timid and quiet but I feel
like I just need to let you know where I’m coming from.
“And I’ll pull you closer holding on to
Every moment till my time is done, yeah”
as long as I can, I’ll never let you go. This feeling is so unfamiliar and yet
I’m addicted to it, I don’t want it to stop, it can’t even though I know it’ll
only last for a moment.
“And this ain’t right, you’ve been the only one to make me smile
In such long, I’ve succumbed to what I’ve become, baby”
shouldn’t be, but it is. I’ve never had someone I barely know personally have such
a powerful influence on me. You’ve managed to change my mood from terrible to
fantastic in an instant. How? What are you? Have you been brought to me for a
specific purpose, or are you just here to help me escape for a small while?
“I’m not a fool
I just love that you’re dead inside
I’m not a fool, I’m just lifeless too
But you to taught me how to feel
When nobody ever would
And you taught me how to love
What nobody ever could”
“Ooh girl, I know I should leave you
And learn to mistreat you
'Cause you belong to the world
And ooh girl, I want to embrace you
But you belong to the world, you belong to the world”
belong to the world
belong to the loneliness of filling every need”
don’t belong to me, but rather the empliness I fell when I’m alone; you fill my
void and give me reason to breathe.
“You belong to the world, you belong to the world
You belong to the temporary moments of a dream”
don’t belong to me, you belong to my fantasy, my REM sleep, my nightmares, my
split second of happiness…
will never be mine…
I will always be yours…
“Ooh girl, I know I should leave you
And learn to mistreat you
'Cause you belong to the world
And ooh girl, I want to embrace you
But you belong to the world, you belong to the world”
it’s hard to prove abuse when there are no scars to show.
“when she guilts me into fulfilling her wishes. he won’t let me move too far from him because he might, just might, need me for something, sometime, someday. that time she was quick, almost too eager, to berate me in a simple argument. when he dominates every conversation we have, forcing his beliefs onto me and invalidating every opinion or personal experience of mine. when i wanted to express & resolve the pain she caused me and she fell silent, dismissing the conversation, sweeping it all under the rug. i hate asking them for favors as they do it out of future leverage and not love; they use money & my financial straits in an attempt to control me.“they know what’s best” and refuse to allow me to mature & create the life i desire. the times she made me her emotional dump, or when he made me ‘the reason’ why he had to hurt me with his words. they never accept responsibility for their decisions, disrespecting my boundaries in any, and every way, because they’re the parents and i belong to them. they meet any discussion with with manipulation tactics: rage, guilt tripping or denial when confronted. it’s never any accountability, just micro-aggressions and gas-lighting, “i don’t know what you mean”, “that’s not what i meant”, “you’re just sensitive”. taking full advantage of every opportunity to take a dig at me, blasting every failure and shortcoming to anyone that has an ear to hear, being my constant reminder that i will never be better than them. i feel like i’m competing with her, with him. the not so innocent “jokes” they tell about me, and then blame my anger on my “poor” sense of humor. it can’ never be them, it’s always me. instead of telling me how he feels, he creates an uneasy atmosphere being passive aggressive. i live life afraid of upsetting them, the threat of disowning me is always on the table to teach me to cave & discourage free thinking. them being in my life means more than me being happy. and as much as it drains me, i still make that weekly phone call out of child guilt & obligation, and not a show of love & affection. i just don’t want to be the bad, ungrateful child they seem to see me as. i honestly feel depleted in every way after every interaction involving them. i feel i have to protect myself from them, mentally, emotionally, physically, and i shouldn’t have to…”
life has taught me a few things… our parents are humans. they, too, have had ruinous experiences in their early years which has influenced who they are today. they are not after you. it isn’t even about you. they are caught up in reenacting their childhood through you. how they treat you has nothing to do with you.
none of this means you have to participate. you do not have to stick around. it is okay to walk away. it is okay to let go. you don’t have to be their punching bag while they face their demons.
if you choose to keep them in your life, don’t be hard on yourself. do not regret the love, empathy and compassion you have towards your parents. rejoice in remaining light in heavy situations. no one wants to give up on their parents. and if you happen to get hurt again, forgive yourself. make sure you forgive yourself. you did the best you could. you cannot make people feel what they do not want to feel. their feelings are not your responsibility. if you can make them feel an emotion, it is because they already resonated with that frequency. if anyone argues that you are responsible for their feelings, or they are responsible for yours, they are crossing an emotional boundary. do not accept that. respectfully, assert yourself as an individual to place that boundary between you and them. you are your own being, and so are they.
for those who still live at home, recognize the cycle and its triggers. you can only stop what you understand. the goal is to mitigate the risk of negative interactions and protecting yourself, not to prove that you are right and they are wrong. this will only exhaust you, and feed them. more importantly, when i understood their triggers, it created that more much room for peace for myself, even if temporal.
before you invite them back into your story line, ask yourself questions like: “am i willing to sacrifice my own health and happiness for them?” “am i willing to sacrifice my relationship with my partner for them?” “am i willing to sacrifice my job, income or my finances for them?” “am i okay knowing that for the rest of my life they’ll call my job multiple times a day, or show up to my house at any time unannounced, refusing to acknowledge the boundaries i set in place?” “can i have a relationship with them for the rest of my life if i knew they would never change?” these questions are not meant to force you into making a decision, but to help you gain a full perspective before you do make a decision.
minimize all arguing, as this is a direct result of reacting. if you can, walk away. this isn’t for them, but for you. the moment you react this way you are now officially sucked back in the cycle, which was what they wanted. as a result, you will end up with your energy depleted, while they feed on your frustration. they may never change how they feel, and you might not ever change how you feel; accept that for the time being and disengage. you’ll need all the energy you have. this is about conserving until it’s time to fight the right battle. if you do decide to respond, remember to usher in love with it. you’re the alchemist. you can change the tone. respond. don’t react.
talk to someone. create a safe space. journal your encounters with your parents: how did you feel? could you have handled your interaction with them any better? talk to someone, whether it be friends, family or a counselor. you might not be able to change your environment but changing your perspective works just as well. conversations invite change, but if you spend the rest of your life with bottled-up unresolved issues, you will end up replaying your childhood through everyone, including yours kids. most importantly, create a safe space for yourself. whether physical or in your mind, know that you have a space you can run to that no one can penetrate without your permission. your parent(s) may not cooperate and that’s completely fine. do not force them. it will be hard for them to accept that you are refusing be their target after so many years of blind appeasement. with time they might adjust, or they might not. once again, and i cannot stress this enough, you are not responsible for them. you can only do what is best for you. this is about you, your growth, and your boundaries. it is not about getting them to see their destructive ways. you are all you need. i hope this helps. i love you.
Someone asked where the college au for this post was and then, naturally, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and now here we are. (Except instead of a Rolling Stones shirt, it’s the ever famous Eagles shirt.)
“What the hell are you wearing?”
Harry whirls around to face his roommate
with a frown. He’s a bit taken aback by how shocked Louis sounds. “What?”
“Does that say Eagles?” Louis asks, although they both know that he already knows
the answer. “And why the hell would you
wear that to the party of the year?
I mean- I’m all for wearing comfortable clothing, and tees like that are pretty
much a staple for me, but it’s not exactly your style, mate.”
Harry rolls his eyes as his friend plops
himself down on the end of his bed.
“Where are your floral blouses? Your sheer
tops that show off your nips? Your ruffles?”
“Remind me again why I’m friends with you?”
Louis smirks. “Because we’re roommates. You
don’t really have a choice, mate.”
Harry adds this moment to a long list of
moments in which he’s regretted agreeing to move in with Louis two years ago.
“Also, since when are you into the Eagles?”
The long-haired boy shrugs. “Since last
“And you immediately went out to buy a
shirt because you loved them that much?”
“I mean- It’s just a shirt,” Harry says as
casually as he can. He turns around, then, mostly to avoid Louis’ suspicious
gaze – and he takes the opportunity to grab his wallet off of his desk. “You
“Oi, hang on,” Louis murmurs thoughtfully.
“This is about that bloke from the other day, isn’t it? What was his name-
“Ha! It is
about Blondie,” Louis cheers, looking smug.
Harry almost regrets finding out Niall’s
“I had a feeling you had a thing for him.
Never took you for the type to go out and buy a shirt just because he said
they’re his favourite band though.”
“Shut up,” Harry scoffs as he leaves the
bedroom. (Leaving the room accomplishes very little, though, given the fact
that Louis follows him.)
going to the party? Is that why you’re wearing this, and not some sort of garden on your chest?”
“I’m ditching you the second we get there.”
Louis snickers. “Who knew that Harry Styles would become completely
predictable when he actually fancies
“Scratch that, I’m disowning you instead.”
He’s just about to open the front door when Louis claps a hand on his shoulder,
which stops him in his tracks.
“In all seriousness, Harold, I think the
plan is brilliant. There’s no way he won’t notice that shirt.”
I am currently watching this documentary on Netflix called,
“The Mask You Live In”. Triggered like a
motherfucker. This documentary shows how
boys grow into men who have difficulty emoting throughout their lives because
of social stigmas. These stigmas suggest
that intimacy and emotion are feminine traits not to be held by men.
As a female, I grew up being taught how to suppress my
emotions. I wasn’t allowed to cry. I always thought it was fucked up to suck my
lip in or straighten my face, but 3 decades later, I truly understand why suppressing
my emotions has altered my personality as well as my ability to relate and
communicate well with others.
Suppressing my emotions has left me isolated in every way. And everyday I am always looking for a way
out without having to do the real work in order to get there. I brace myself as I type up this next
Note: This little bit here has been my headcanon for a good few months and a part of me wishes that I had posted it during Pride Month, but I didn’t because I’m an idiot. I don’t have a lot of experience with “coming out” as I don’t fall under the LGBTQA umbrella, but I do think that Emma and Killian would most certainly not care if their kid was. I was supposed to be working on a Wes request and a Harrison request, but my Beth muse was going so I decided to follow through with it. I will work on Wes tomorrow and hopefully post it by tomorrow night. Anyway, thank you @welllpthisishappening for listening to me babble on and on about these children. I would be lost without you. Available in AO3 flavor here: [LINK] Summary: Beth Jones has been going on a lot of dates, butEmma and Killian aren’t entirely prepared for the bit of news that their fifteen year old daughter drops on them over breakfast. Rating: T Word Count: 2,900+
Killian Jones loves his daughter with everything in his heart, but these days he misses when she was a little minnow in his arms who wanted nothing more than to splash around in the waves, fiddle around with his hook and giggle against his chest as they watched whales break the ocean’s surface while taking the Jolly on a joy ride.
Now, she’s a full-fledged teenage girl, no longer sweet and adorable, but clever, gorgeous and maddeningly charming with a penchant for tight fitted clothing and low neck lines that blatantly show off more cleavage than Killian is comfortable with. At fifteen years old, Beth Jones is both Killian’s pride and joy and his worst nightmare. There are days where Killian is pretty sure he’s going to suffer from aneurysm due to half of the outfits she puts on. Even worse is that he now catches men of all ages blatantly staring at his little girl. He nearly killed one of the dwarves who had been checking out at his daughter’s ass in the grocery store before his wife stopped him. It doesn’t help that she’s also aware of the staring and sometimes even encourages it with a flirty wink and an all-knowing smirk that gives him a sense of deja vu.
Now boys hound her at all hours of the day. Text messages, phone calls and little notes start cropping up all over the place. One boy who had been working as a bus boy at Granny’s even had the nerve to ask her out while they were eating together as a family. He could barely contain his look of disdain while Beth calmly told him she was unavailable and to ask her some other time. Harrison looks as horrified as Killian while Wes and Neddy tease their sister on how popular she is.
“Jeez, you cannot even eat without getting someone’s number,” Wes snickers. “And I thought I was the gorgeous one in the family.”
“Shut up!” Beth hisses under her breath. “It doesn’t mean anything.”
She says it doesn’t mean anything, but half the time she humors these idiots and lets them take her out for dinner, to the movies and even to the park. Killian doesn’t understand it and doesn’t want to. He just wants it all to stop.
“She’s fifteen, Killian, she’s allowed to date. I don’t remember you giving Henry, Harrison or Wes this much grief when they started dating,” Emma comments after listening to him rant about Beth’s latest date at the movie theater with Dean Kelleher. Dean is two years older than Beth and his parents were some sort of minor nobles back in the Enchanted Forrest. Killian doesn’t care if the boy’s parents were Olympian gods, no one is worthy of his daughter.
“That’s different!” Killian exclaims. “She’s”- “Your little girl,” Emma interrupts him with a teasing smile.
“Your little pirate princess. Your little buttercup. Your minnow. Shall I go on?” she asks him, looking every bit amused.
“Swan…” Killian gives her an irritated look.
“Killian, like I said, she’s fifteen, not three. She’s going to grow up someday. Pirate princess is possibly gonna find a pirate king in the future and you can’t handle it.”
Hah, so I missed the 17th, but hey, kids, it’s now been ten years since I created the eponymous_rose livejournal account that was the real start of this particular online identity, in that I can trace a direct line between that account and the migration over here. I’ve known some of you just about from the start. A few of you I knew pretty well, lost touch with, and rediscovered years later. It’s a small world.
Here’s the thing about an online persona: 19-year-old me figured out early on that I could be whatever I wanted to be. I was honest about what I do offline and the events going on in my life and such, but I figured, hey, what if I just put this weirdly, absurdly positive spin on everything? Focus on that for a bit? See how it goes?
Somehow, over ten years, eponymous_rose has blended in with my own personality. I got to test-run things (most notably that excessive positivity) in a moderately low-risk place before working up the nerve to do it offline, and it kinda came at the best possible time. Funny thing is, more and more things started to bleed through.
I started writing again because I pulled up some little fic somebody had written and burst into tears because I knew how far I was from being that good; now I’m comfortable with my writing and enjoy the challenge of improving it with each new story I write. I started streaming myself playing Mass Effect because I would frequently stutter and freeze up and get in my own head during public speaking; after a few hiccups early on, I worked out how to get past that block and now adore public speaking (and, along the way, met some of the most wonderful people I know). I started organizing my online presence and sharing to-do lists; that taught me how badly I sometimes needed detailed lists of easy-to-follow commands just to get myself through the day. I started helping out with online fandom newsletters and communities as somebody who had never in her life done much in the way of volunteering; 100% because of the confidence I gained doing that, I got involved in student government and became the president of the department’s student association at all three universities I attended. Even recently, I started helping out with an online transcription project; as a completely unexpected side-effect, some of my auditory processing ability in noisy situations has improved dramatically over the past few months.
I’m not saying I didn’t get sucked down into some bad pits—social media has all kinds of unique pitfalls, especially when you’re young and figuring stuff out and you can find yourself directly underneath funnels of concentrated justification and validation for literally any behavior from the delightful to the abhorrent. Thank you for being patient with me when I swung more towards the latter.
Ten years is a long, long time, and I feel very fortunate to have this weird logbook of my thoughts throughout what will soon be the entirety of my 20s, and more fortunate still to have made this whole journey alongside such an amazing assortment of friends and passersby.
Thanks for being pals in this, no matter when we ran into each other along the way. This continues to be a wild ride.
Okay I have never in recent years felt as comfortable in my own skin as I did today. I have a garden plot provided by the developmental disability agency. I’m growing food plants there, to make soups out of for my J-tube, everything goes well. Today I went there with a staff person – the only one not allowed to do medical stuff, with the express purpose of getting me involved in activities that aren’t medical in nature, since so much of my life is taken up by medical issues. So we can do anything from organizing the apartment to gardening. I don’t get a lot of time with this guy but the time I do get is amazing. So anyway…
We weeded about a quarter of the plot (which is one of the smallest plots in the whole garden yet is actually quite huge, and was covered in weeds the whole way over). Then we planted hot peppers (jalapeño and hot portugal), squash (zucchini and yellow), and eggplant, and left some seed potatoes out to sit for awhile before they get planted. We also discovered, and weeded around, what we think is delicata squash left there by a staff person who had too many of them.
All of the vegetables were looking kind of sad and droopy, so we watered them and we’re hoping the water and sun will both perk them up again. At least some of them. We’re not expecting everything to survive or turn out great, but you can’t grow any food without risking that.
What does survive, will be far less expensive than the grocery store, that’s for sure. Even the farmer’s markets around here don’t have good prices. In fact they’re more expensive than usual.
(Are farmer’s markets a thing that can gentrify? Because in California, I went to farmer’s markets that were basically roadside stands filled with great vegetables and fruits, and sometimes a few other foods, at an extremely low cost. Many people who worked on the farms – meaning poor and working-class people – shopped there. Not a lot of middle-class or rich people did, even though I think the food was great by anyone’s taste. I swear the local farmer’s market around here is basically an upscale food fair. And the food selection and quantity isn’t even all that wonderful.)
Anyway, this seriously felt amazing to do this. Understand that I’m very prone, from a combination of physiology, circumstance, and medication side-effects, to heat exhaustion, sunburn, dehydration, and other problems related to being out there in that place. There was also grass everywhere – we weren’t on it, but that didn’t matter to my allergies, where grass and cats are the most severe airborne allergies I have – so my nose was constantly running despite loading up on Benadryl. And I had to crawl around on the ground because I’m too weak to get up off the ground on my own.(1) I also had balance problems so had to sit in some weird positions. So none of this was physically easy, and I basically worked to the limits of what is safe for me, and possibly a little beyond those limits.
But the main point is that despite all of those things put together, I felt amazing. I felt at home. I felt like I was connecting to something I hadn’t even realized I’d lost connection with. I felt like I was interacting on a very deep way with the dirt and the plants and all the things living in the dirt. I ended up, of course, covered in dirt. That’s what happens when you have to crawl around on your hands and knees or scoot around on your butt to weed a large area as efficiently as possible. But that really didn’t matte to me. This was like when I used to sit around in the redwoods outside my apartment stacking rocks on myself and feeling like the rocks told me I had a place in the world. Everything around me as we did this, told me I had a very precise place in the world and right now that place was right here doing exactly what I was doing – weeding and digging holes for new plants, and watering the plants.
I also got watered myself. Something not always understood by people who get their water by drinking it by mouth: It doesn’t matter how water gets into your body, as long as your body absorbs the water properly. I hydrate by putting water straight into my intestines through a J-tube with a big syringe. I have in the past hydrated by having water (or rather, a rehydrating mixture of things designed for use in veins) put into an IV line or a chest port, straight into my bloodstream. Regardless of how you put it in, the sensation of getting a nice large drink of cool water feels exactly the same kind of satisfying. Just like putting blenderized vegetables into my J-tube and digesting them feels pleasant and satisfying even without tasting them. Anyway, right then, water completely hit the spot.
Someone who saw the pictures was amazed – he said I looked completely natural in this setting, in a way I don’t in most. I probably looked very similar to I look in the redwoods. And I don’t know how that is, but it’s a very similar feeling of being exactly where I’m supposed to be, and exactly where home is. And being comfortable in my own skin in a way that isn’t usually achievable. I felt like I could have grown straight out of the ground like the plants, and sat there and photosynthesized my food or something. Except I have skin, not leave, so 70 SPF sunblock was a necessity. I hope maybe these very brief exposures to the sun will result in my skin going back to a normal level of tan – not tanned, just not “I’ve been indoors for over 10 years to the point I can’t handle sunlight even though I used to have practically burn-proof skin” pasty.
But he said one thing that bothered me on a certain level. He said “Wow, you look totally natural,” and then, after pausing to think, he said, “Well except for that feeding tube hanging off you all the time.”
Feeding tubes are natural in the exact same way that agriculture is natural. Both are examples of things that don’t just happen on their own, but humans have created them in order to improve our ability to interact with our environments and survive despite the limitations of a human body. Tube feeding has been around in one form or another since at least Ancient Egypt (that’s what’s documented, anyway), but the kind of tube feeding I do only has existed since the twentieth century with surgery becoming safer through anesthesia and antibiotics. But all of these things are humans adapting to our environment using the skills nature has given us. Tube feeding is as natural as beaver dams.
All of which gets me into a problem I encounter a lot: I really like to talk to and read things by people who greatly value a lot of things I value. Including growing your own food, and stuff that’s traditionally considered “nature” and “outdoorsy” stuff. But such people are more likely than average to have extreme biases against feeding tubes, to the point of describing people like me (who depend on medical implants of many kinds in order to survive) as unnatural and creepy, the product of medical science gone too far, in a world that doesn’t want to deal with or acknowledge the natural world, where people like me would die and that would be okay. There’s little more natural about humans than our instinct to survive, and to use our best skills as a species to do just that. Our best skills include communication, collaboration, technology, inventing and designing and making new things, passing on our knowledge and skills to future generations, and a strong desire to survive even in extreme circumstances. These skills are not unique to humans, but the precise way they play out in humans is. And they are very, very natural. And they result in things like feeding tubes.
Because it is our nature as humans to help each other survive, to want to survive, and we have been helping severely disabled people(2) survive since prehistoric times, the times when many modern-day “nature people” assume we’d all have just died. But it has always been in our nature to help each other, and if that meant carrying people around and pre-chewing their food all the way into what at that time would have been not only adulthood but old age, that’s what it meant. It’s some of our current societies’ trends towards total selfishness that has caused some of us to assume that every prehistoric society would always leave such people to fend for themselves and die.
I wouldn’t be alive in such prehistoric societies. I would have died a long time ago. They simply did not have the technology to keep someone with my medical issues alive. But – depending upon the society of course, they weren’t all the same – it wouldn’t necessarily be through lack of trying. There’s quite a chance that I would have been valued in life and mourned in death in a way that I might not be in modern-day America (or not likely for the same reasons, even if I am).
I’m also reminded that the only job I ever had in my life was on a ranch, doing work of a different sort but similarly physical and outdoors and dealing with the raw materials of life. I got paid minimum wage to do things ranging from animal care to shoveling manure and moving it in wheelbarrows to painting fences and barns to cleaning up the property. This was in a residential facility and the job was a work training program that taught us how to fill out time cards and the like. I was very proud of my work. I wish that I was able to do this kind of work now. It’s one thing to spend a short amount of time doing something like this, but my body would crap out in five different ways long before I spent enough time doing something like this to get paid anything for it.(3)
But even though today I pushed myself to my limits and slightly beyond them, what I’m trying to get at is, this type of thing is what has always come the most easily to me, severe physical limitations(4) notwithstanding. And although I had a huge amount of help with every part of the process, including just standing up again off the ground, it was still an amazing experience and brought back a lot of very primal, early memories of things I used to do all the time and felt actually competent at.
So overall this is a wonderful experience. Pardon the fact that I had to stop and talk about ableism, but that’s part of my life’s reality as well.
(1) Yes, too weak, not too fat. I could get off the ground while fatter than this, before congenital myasthenia and complications thereof got worse and made it impossible for me to stand up from the ground without bracing on something, and sometimes even then.
(2) By any time’s measure of such things – theirs or ours.
(3) Please don’t respond by telling me ways I could work. I have so many disabilities piled on top of each other, that options that were just barely open to me as a teen became firmly closed by adulthood and have only gotten worse since there. I don’t think less of myself because I can’t work, so please don’t assume that I’m just putting myself down or selling myself short. I just know better than to put myself in a situation where I would end up in the emergency room long before I worked long or hard enough to get a paycheck that wouldn’t even support me.
(4) Congenital myasthenic syndrome, hypermobility syndrome, gastroparesis, osteoporosis, and secondary (pituitary) adrenal insufficiency make quite a potent cocktail of “I can’t handle hard physical labor for more than a ridiculously short period of time without turning into a quivering puddle”, without even getting into the specifics of autonomic problems and heat regulation and all kinds of other things. Today I cam very close to turning into a puddle, I stopped myself just in time to barely get back to the car – with help – and get water into my tube andrlst for awhile. I’m still feeling the effects hours later. I got lucky.
I told my mom about my plans for the future…my plans are wild and require a lot of ambition and I’m thrilled about the opportunities that lie ahead.
But after I told her, she sighed really heavily and said, “I just wish you would settle down…”
I wanted to share this because it serves as a reminder that the world around you will never believe in or support you the way you will be able to believe in and support yourself.
In an episode of Grey’s Anatomy there was a quote that really stood out to me that I tell myself every single day when I get discouraged:
“You’re on your own, so be on your own.”
I understand that any mom just wants their daughter to be safe, and live a comfortable stress free life–but sorry mom, I can’t stop and I won’t stop.
It makes me sad that my family will never understand the level of ambition I carry, so I have to keep my distance or they’ll bring me down from the clouds I happily live in.
I honestly have no real support system/no one that knows how to push me harder, other than myself and maybe a few close friends around me…but it has taught me to stand on my own two feet, proudly and with great will.
Maybe one day I’ll settle down, but I have the opportunity to use brain and do really great things so that’s what I’m going to do andI don’t give a shit about what anyone else thinks.
I loved the gold stars we would get for excellent performance on our weekly spelling and math quizzes so much I would remove them from the quiz and arrange them on my fourth-grade homework folder, perfectly spaced, so that I could see them every day. I had calculated how many stars I should get by the end of the year if I did well enough on every quiz, and had sized my rows and columns accordingly. My goal was clear: by the last quiz of the year I wanted to have a perfect and complete rectangle. I wasn’t good at sports, didn’t play and instrument, wasn’t the class clown. But I had all the stars.
A few weeks before summer break a girl in my class, not really a friend but someone would I smile at and who would occasionally smile back, which was important to me because I didn’t have many friends to speak of at the time, came in behaving in a way that even my young brain could tell meant something was very wrong. She did not match my smile when she walked in the classroom, like she normally did. She had something on her I couldn’t describe as a kid that now, as an adult, I would call a heaviness.
Our spelling quiz was right before recess. Normally I took my time, took care with my writing, double checked all the words. Sometimes I would miss half of recess to be sure I hadn’t made any mistakes. The girl quickly finished her quiz and went outside. I finished the quiz and started to check it over, but I couldn’t stop thinking that I wanted to ask her if she was okay. I wasn’t sure I had had an actual conversation with her before, but I felt I had to ask. I turned in my quiz and went outside to find her.
Turns out she wasn’t into sharing. She yelled something at me about minding my own business and how we weren’t really friends and I shouldn’t be nosy. I felt really dumb. I felt dumber when I went back in after recess and I had missed three words out of ten. No gold star.
After the last quiz of the year, I was one star short of my perfect rectangle.
I had planned to keep the folder and have my classmates sign it, kind of like a yearbook. I threw it out with our end-of-the-year desk clean out.
Now, I wish I had kept it. Now, I know now the value of the impulse I had to seek out the personI had seen suffering and try to extend empathy. Later that summer I learned the girl’s family life was very difficult. Her parents were getting divorced. I knew what family strife was like and could have empathized with her, but sometimes no matter how much you care you can’t help. The person has to be ready.
Life has taught me the value of not hardening myself to extending concern, empathy, care, love–just because in many instances you will face rejection.
To the new class of nurses, just graduated and eagerly anticipating starting work in their new profession….can I give you a word of advice?
Don’t let the tasks distract you from the care, from connecting, or at least trying to connect. It’s an easy thing to do in our busy environment and has happened to me many times. Don’t let the perfect dressing change, the perfect charting, the perfect performance of tangible things replace taking a moment with a patient when they need it. Not to say that academic pursuits, competent dressing changes, and complete charting aren’t important. But you can’t put everything first…you have to err on the side of something. Err on the side of compassion, care, mercy.
Do the work and collect your gold stars, and be proud of them. But always be at least one star short.
Girlfriend? I don’t have a...- wait... I do have a girlfriend... oh my... teaser!
So yeah, a certain someone, I shall not call any names, right @lennat2? Who gave me the idea of Korra being blasted into a parralel universe. This is written mostly from Korra’s POV instead of Asami’s like in Boyfriend? I don’t have a boyfriend! story.
So I wonder what you peeps think! Personally, I love it :3 but thats just me, haha!
Everything was black and all she felt was pain. When she tried to move, every muscle in her body started to protest. So she laid still again. Giving in to the darkness.
How did I get here again…? She tried to remember. It was vague but some parts came back to her. An explosion… Asami… Asami! I remember…-
“I think she’s waking up. Korra…? Can you hear me…? Korra, squeeze my fingers again!”
The voice sounded desperate and she recognized it. Was it Mako? No… his voice would be deeper. Bolin? No… same thing.
“I know what I felt Tonraq! She squeezed my fingers.”
Asami… Asami was here with her. Wherever here was, was still a mystery. Korra was glad it was Asami. Although surprised it wasn’t Mako. He’s my boyfriend after all right? So… why isn’t he here. Holding my hand. She didn’t mind it was Asami though. The two had gotten close over the past years. Ever since Asami had joined team Avatar. Perhaps not from the very beginning… but Asami had taken care of her after Zaheer attacked her. Before that, she managed to get them out of several sticky situations. During her recovery, she only replied to the letters she received from the engineer. She felt like she could just tell her anything. After everything that happened to her she was still so kind, generous, sweet, beautiful…
Beautiful? Why am I thinking that…? Because she is? There’s no denying it. Her soft pale skin. Those ruby lips. Her raven black hair that always smells so nice.
I need to stop… whatever happened to me, I think I hit my head a bit too hard… heh…
The more she thought about it, the more her brains came to the conclusion that Asami was more than just a friend. Could I be attracted to her? But, I’m with Mako. And Asami is a girl. Mako’s my boyfriend. We’ve been together for a few months… we do stuff together like… and… well we… well we do fight a lot… She took a deep breath. The pain she felt before not so bad now. The more she thought about it, the more she came to the same conclusion.
I like Asami. I mean… I like -like- Asami. Is that… weird…? I dunno… They taught me how to fight in the years I was locked away from the world. They never taught me about love. About sex. She groaned. Ugh… sex… ha! I never even had sex. Well, no one except myself that is… Another sigh followed. What would it be like… to do that with someone you care about. She started to think about it. A naked body laying next her own. She had seen Asami in her bathing suit and sleeping dress. She remembered pale skin that looked extremely soft. Delicate. Even in this state, she felt a shiver go down her spine that settled in the pit of her stomach.
“I know you can hear me, Korra… please… wake up…”
There it was again. Asami’s voice. Pleading for her to wake up. Slowly but surely, Korra start to rise up from the darkness that surrounded her. A faint light now lured her forward. With the promise of seeing Asami again she forced herself.
“Look! Look! She’s squeezing my hand! I told you!”
Asami… Asami! She tried to call out the name while getting closer to the light. It chased the darkness away and swallowed her whole. Her vision blurry while she blinked several times to regain focus. She was warm and comfortable. Laying in a bed in a white room.
“As… ami…?” Her voice cracked while she spoke. Slowly, her vision sharpened and her eyes locked with green ones. They looked red from crying. Tears still stained her cheeks. She cried… because of me…? Korra took a shuddering breath. Feeling more and more stable by the minute. “Asami… I’m…-” The rest of the sentence was lost when Ruby lips now locked with her own. She’s kissing me… she’s kissing me!? What!? Eyes open wide in shock and utter confusion. After a few seconds, the engineer pulled back. Her hands now cupped Korra’s cheeks. Asami kissed her several times more. Tenderly on the lips and just around them as well. All Korra could do was just stare at her friend in shock.
Finally, Asami pulled back enough for Korra to see who else was in the room. Her father sat on the other side. Oh Raava… did he see all this!? And… Mako…? Why didn’t he interfer! And… what the heck is going on! A deep blush decorated her cheeks.
“I’m sorry, Korra… I know you’re not keen on… public display of affection…” It was Asami, holding onto one of her tan hands. “But, I just… I’m just, so happy you’re awake again…”
Lately I’ve come to the realization that I shouldn’t allow vanilla men to walk all over me like I did before. I know, I should’ve known this ages ago. I’m not trying to make any excuses, but finding that inner confidence and allowing myself to demand what is rightfully mine took a long time.
I didn’t see my value, I couldn’t see what made me unique and beautiful. But as I focus more on improving myself, FOR myself, I’ve slowly started to love and appreciate myself more.
Before I used to let guys mess with my head, use me as their little toy. But enough is enough. I’m growing as a person, and I’m learning to love myself more and more. I see the value and worth within me, and I now know that I am precious, worthwhile, and fucking fantastic.
Whenever any guy from an old vanilla hook up tries to hit me up again for a second round, I make them work for it. I refuse to let these guys treat me like their pleasure hole anymore. Because I am more than that. If they want to treat me that way, then they’ll have to pay up. Treat me like a sex object and I’ll treat you like an ATM. I do not care anymore, I will not respect men that don’t respect me. Simple as that. I am worth every single Benjamin in the world, and it’ll cost you to play with me.
People think sex work will make a person lose confidence and lose their value. But it’s the complete opposite. Being a sugar baby has taught me to unconditionally love myself. To see the value within me, to notice how remarkably perfect and unique my flaws are. Sugaring has taught me to be demanding and to not be afraid of losing a man. Being a sugar baby has taught me to be independent and strong willed.
Seeing other babies’ hustles has empowered me to persevere and move forward. Seeing another woman succeed has taught me to put my jealousy in the garbage where it belongs, and to cheer and support my fellow sister. I am so happy I allowed what was originally a joke, turn into a reality. I hope all of you wonderful babies feel the way I feel, if not today, someday. I want all of you to be successful in anything you do, whether it may be your academics, your professional life, your sugar life, or personal life. Seeing other women remove the blinds from their eyes and embrace their priceless worth, makes me overjoyed.
Treat those horny vanilla men the same way you treat POTs. Demand their respect, and if they refuse to give you that, then demand their money. If they think they can treat you like a sex object, you have every single damn right to treat them like an ATM. Do not be afraid of losing them. Because you are perfect just the way you are, and if that weren’t true, then why would these men be running after you? Love yourself, cherish yourself, appreciate yourself because once you do, then nothing can stand in your way.