life-in-transition

It Takes A Long Time To Get Over Yourself


Oh, man. This letter has taken me an embarrassingly long time to write. Probably because I haven’t written anything but e-mails and Tweets for 12 years.

If the last year has taught me anything, it’s this: it takes a long time to get over yourself.

Last March, after 7 years on the road, I decided to take a break. I was excited about this. I’d imagined myself watching tv all day, being a “chill person”, eating doughnuts because I didn’t have to wear latex catsuits anymore. The reality was not quite the joy ride I’d been expecting.

I’ve been an artist for over a decade but up until this year, I hadn’t realised how much my sense of self had been defined by my role as an artist. I’d never thought of “Marina and the Diamonds” as a persona or a construct, and I didn’t think the stage-me was very different to the sofa-me. MATD was an exciting vehicle that helped me express ideas and thoughts to people. But just as people construct online personas, artist construct visual ones, and over time, the lines between art and reality can drift apart. 

I can’t remember when I first became conscious of it but I started to feel like there were two parts of me, artist self and private self, and there was nothing in between to link the two anymore. I was one or the other, and neither part of my personality could be present in the same environment. Perhaps because I’d spent most of the past 8 years devoted to being an artist and this hadn’t presented many opportunities for other parts of my personality to grow. When one part of a personality dominates, other parts shrink and life can take on an unreal, two-dimensional quality. I felt confused as to why I no longer felt like I fit into the world I’d built. I don’t think my feelings are exceptional (particularly in entertainment) but I wonder if you are someone who has experienced this in a different context.

I’ve always been interested in identity. In my twenties, I felt frustrated by how regularly my identity seemed to shift and change until I began to consider the idea that a fixed self may not exist. I explored this in “Electra Heart” by deconstructing aspects of female identity in a portrayal of female archetypes. However, the past year has made me re-examine this idea. Not being able to equate my identity to a job, project or visible entity has created a lot of discomfort and uncertainty in me. Which has been a surprise, as I thought I felt secure in myself. How can I be so sure of who I am if I am so susceptible to change? A lot of what contributes to our idea of identity is down to pure chance - ethnicity, social class, upbringing, religion, job, relationships - who are we without those influences?

Everything in western culture feels so geared towards self-definition, but I wonder if having a looser idea of yourself could make life richer. The past year hasn’t been full of rainbows - I feel like my brain has been brutally rewired - but letting go of a perceived idea of myself has resulted in a new kind of personal freedom. My image is no longer a main source of identity, nor are previous signifiers like clothing (more on this in a future post), designer brands + other things I subconsciously used to define myself.

Lasting change rarely happens over night. This past year has been painful and slow. But I’m in a more genuine space than I was a year ago and I would never want to go back to that stunted way of being again. In fact, the only solace I had in this period was being able to read the books and blogs of other people experiencing significant life transitions, so I hope this might be of help to anyone who is going through a similar stage.

Truth is, I’m not planning ahead much right now. I am indeed going through my “what should I do with the rest of my life” phase that most people go through at 21. Which is… cool. But I’m grateful to have the opportunity to explore different interests, and starting marinabook is a part of that. I’m starting a Psychology course soon, which I am SO excited about, and I’m ready for a brand new chapter. I hope you’ll be a part of it.

Some people have been asking about new music and I’m always flattered to be asked. I know one year is like an aeon in digital time! The honest answer is I don’t know when that will be, but the connection I have with music has always flowered from an honest connection with myself, and I trust my instincts. Whenever I get back on stage again, I would love to feel like I am the sum of my parts, not the sum of a persona or an image. That’s the goal. A lot of reality with a little bit of fantasy. So, marinabook is a way for us to stay connected while I work that out.

I miss you all!

Ask a question or share thoughts here.

Love from,
Marina

Further Reading

Brilliant explanation of personas here. 5 minute read.

Podcast on how our views about the Self affect our views on death.  By “Philosophy Bites”.  15 minutes.

Illustration by Lan Truong

Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.
—  Alice Walker, Living by the Word
Sometimes we need to go through turmoil first in order to allow for ourselves to develop. Like night to day or winter to summer, we go through cycles all through out our life. If you are going through a battle right now; remember that it is only a transition of this cycle.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin

LIVING SPACE KICKSTARTER IS NOW LIVE!

Hey everyone! Living Space is now up on Kickstarter! Go here to go fund it! Please support and please spread the word about it!

Living Space follows the journey of a social recluse named Norma Abernathy. Her whole life is turned upside down when she finds out her mother has passed away. To find closure and attend the funeral, Norma goes on a road trip with two strangers, Shaula Wasem and Phoebe Gita.

This 130-page comic deals with themes of LGBT romance, mental illness, diversity, life transitions, and trying to live outside of one’s comfort zone.

You’ve probably seen Living Space around in comics like this:

If you like this and want to see more, please consider supporting my kickstarter and reblogging this around! Please help me put more inclusive art into the world! Thank you!

Life is a series of transitions and transformations. One day you realize that you want to marry this man who last year was just a friend; then you turn around and you find you are having a fight on your 7th wedding anniversary. One day you run home with the news that you are pregnant; then suddenly your baby is an adolescent, and the next day he gets married. One day you and your husband walk into a new retirement condo, just the two of you. The next day you watch him as his picks up his tiny granddaughter. One day perhaps you sit and remember all the fights you had when you were newly married and feel amazement that you are still with, and still love, this person who always drops his socks on the floor and gets stupid in arguments.
If we are honest, what we hope for is that, in all these transformations, we find a way to hold and be held by our loved ones. Each shift at each new stage tests old ways of connecting and requires that we renew our bonds. This is what makes life worthwhile and what keeps up healthy and happy as we move inexorable from milestone to milestone.

Sue Johnson, Love Sense

TRANSITS!

They are so cool. And they can really give some unparalleled insights about your current experience and what is to follow. You can look back over significant periods of your life and see where your energy was focused and the circumstances of this. It’s interesting because it can help ease the distress at some life events, for example I was in a life threatening accident in 2011. When I did my transit chart set backward to that date in 2011 I saw four planets including Mars (accidents, trauma, injury) and Pluto (fear, death, rebirth) in the 8th house of dying conjunct my natal planets. It eases the anger or confusion that can arise as a response to life changing events, it relieves you and releases you in some way. 

The transits of the outer planets can be especially insightful. The inner planets move quickly like popping popcorn over the horoscope because of their quick orbits. We only get a little time to soak in the energy. Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto move much slower and we are forced to become very intimate in the way these planets want about this area of life. A Saturn transit through the houses signifies where we can feel intense demands. Uranus in transit is where we could be acting erratic and innovative. Neptune in transit is where we could be acting idealistic or inspired. Pluto in transit indicates the life and death battle we are facing. We can experience Saturn transiting through the 12th houses multiple times in life to evaluate the success of last time. These planets move slow enough to generate human and spiritual expertise and powerful transformation in that department of life. 

If something in the birth chart is important, it will also be important by transit. Like Mercury in Gemini in the birth chart. And suppose it’s also in the sixth house and receives a lot of aspects. In that situation, Mercury is very prominent. Wherever it transits it will be humming.  

-C.

Rape Trauma Syndrome (or RTS) is related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder but is more specific to sexual assault.  RTS describes symptoms of trauma including disruptions to normal physical, emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal behavior. Major symptoms of RTS are:

  • Re-Experiencing the Trauma: Rape victims may experience recurrent nightmares about the rape, flashbacks or may have an inability to stop remembering the rape.
  • Social Withdrawal: This symptom has been called ‘psychic numbing’ and involves not experiencing feelings of any kind.
  • Avoidance Behaviors and Actions: Victims may desire to avoid any feelings or thoughts that might recall to mind events about the rape.
  • Increased Physiological Arousal Characteristics: This symptom can be marked by an exaggerated startle response, hyper-vigilance, sleep disorders or difficulty concentrating.

​Although each individual’s experience is unique, people experiencing Rape Trauma Syndrome​ often process their trauma in a series of stages

The major stages of RTS are:

Acute Stage

The acute stage can begin days or weeks after a sexual assault and generally lasts for between a few days and a few weeks.  Often, victims begin experiencing symptoms of the acute stage after the initial shock of an assault has worn off.  Symptoms at this stage may include:

  • Diminished alertness or hyper-alertness
  • Numbness
  • Dulled sensory, affective and memory functions
  • Disorganized thought content
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Paralyzing anxiety
  • Obsession with washing or cleaning themselves
  • Confusion about everyday life
  • Acute sensitivity to the reaction of other people
  • Outward Adjustment Stage

​Outward adjustment often begins when the Acute stage ends, and can last for between a few months and several years if it is not interrupted.  

Keep reading

when Mars transits the 1st house: Energy, passion, and vigour for life becomes activated, the individual is more reactive and forceful than ever 
when Mars transits the 2nd house: It’s like there is literally energy for doing nothing. The person can be more motivated to work because they are energised by the thought of earning more 
when Mars transits in the 3rd house: Mental activity becomes throttling and chaotic, the individual undertakes mental challenges, becomes more argumentative 
when Mars transits the 4th house: Saves arguments and disagreements for family members, housemates can be stepping on eggshells 
when Mars transits the 5th house: The person cannot get enough of the good things in life, amuses in consumption, spends too much cash, hypersexual, chasing romance
when Mars transits the 6th house: Tremendous energy for detoxing, health kicks, refining and redesigning home and personal space, burn out at work
when Mars transits the 7th house: There is exciting energy for gaining the attention of partners or prospective lovers, attempts to avoid conflict 
when Mars transits the 8th house: The drive and energy is relentless, obsessions intensify, sex is sultry and raw, the person may be more reckless with life 
when Mars transits the 9th house: Good energy for physical movement and exploration, inspired to learn and study, relentlessly curious 
when Mars transits the 10th house: The focus is on achievement and success, setting goals, the will power is activated and inspiration flows freely 
when Mars transits the 11th house: Excitable and active social energy, energy for getting involved with friends and social causes 
when Mars transits the 12th house: Can seem like all defences are weak, there is little energy for extroversion, there is only peace alone

-C

Muchy’s Top Best Overwatch fics

I said I’d do it, so I’m doing it: Recs for the best Overwatch fics I’ve ever read, in no particular order of importance. 

[[In the Bones of Our Beast]]

Salazar101

Summary:

Junkrat slips into the Omnium and finds treasure, he doesn’t know what it is but other people seem to know, and they want it. Bad. Bad enough to hire famed enforcer Roadhog to drag him in, kicking and screaming.

Relationship/s: Junkrat/Roadhog

What I enjoyed about the fic: 

Amazingly written outback adventures with good relationship development with trash mouse and street pig, with an actual treasure that makes sense, as opposed to the mysterious but undefined treasure in canon and other fics. 

-

[[Koraha]]

debascas

Summary:

The feeling started when they reached the edge of civilization.

Junkrat wasn’t familiar with the twisting sensation in his stomach, the constriction of his chest, and the tingling of his fingers when he held onto the belt of the man driving the motor bike. He knew it wasn’t fear, or anxiety, as he often did experience. It wasn’t the thrill and delight he feels when he blows something or someone up.

This kind of feeling was… Nice. Warm. Nauseating. All at the same time. It grew more sure as the bike accelerated and he held on tighter, the barren landscape blurring passed them, the dust and wind blowing through his singed hair, the roar of the engine ringing in his ears. He tried to brush it off. He tried to forget about it.

Business, it’s only business, he reminded himself. Nothing more. Never will be.

Oh, how he tried.

Relationship/s: Junkrat/Roadhog

What I enjoyed about the fic:

Another well-written Outback adventure story, just fantastically written, engaging, with good character development between our favorite trash folk. 

[STILL INCOMPLETE]

-

[[Bad Sun]]

albion

Summary:

When Blackwatch agent Jesse McCree is sent to kill a mysterious assassin known only as DRAGONSTRIKE, there are a few things he expects to occur.

Falling in love isn’t one of them.

Relationships: Mccree and Reyes, Jesse Mccree/Hanzo Shimada

What I enjoyed about the fic: 

The comparison of Reyes to the chessboard black Queen, as opposed to King, with Jack as King and Mccree as Knight. The exciting encounters between Hanzo and Mccree are also appealing, but the chess scene stands out, as well as the relationship between Reyes and Mccree in Blackwatch days. 

[STILL INCOMPLETE]

[[Watching You Run Into the High Noon Sun]]

AsheRhyder

Summary:

Gabriel Reyes taught McCree everything he knows - not to shoot and kill, but how to survive by more than luck and aim.

McCree learns something else as Overwatch falls, fades, and then rises again: in this life, everyone leaves him behind.

He won’t watch it happen again.

Relationships: Mccree and Reyes, Jesse Mccree/Hanzo Shimada

What I enjoyed about the fic:

You will see a ton of AsheRhyder fic in here, just a heads up. They’re my favorite Overwatch fic writer of all time, and I will trust literally anything they come out with. And it began with this fic.

What I loved most about it was ridiculously, canonically competent Mccree. So many fics fail to think past the Cowboy and fail to maximize the potential of what it meant to be a Blackwatch, former gang member prime Black Ops agent, but this fic hit the mark with a Mccree that isn’t defined by his cowboy hat and boots, but not removed from the persona either. 

Also the relationship between Hanzo and Jesse here is very subdued compared to other fics, but beautifully done. For Mccree lovers who enjoy character studies, and anybody who loves good fic, this is the fic for you. Definitely in my top 5 best. 

-

[[Blue Roses and Salted Caramel]]

AsheRhyder

Summary:

Hanzo hated Valentine’s Day and everything that went with it. This got exceptionally awkward for a man whose courier service saw business triple in the lead up to February 14th.

A series of ‘special deliveries’ between Mr. Jack Morrison and Mr. Gabriel Reyes drew his attention. Initially, it was because he wasn’t sure if it was the world’s most polite form of hate mail or the world’s most awkward flirting…

But then there was something about Mr. Reyes’ son, Jesse, that kept him coming back…

Relationship/s: Jack Morrison/Gabriel Reyes, Jesse Mccree/Hanzo Shimada

What I enjoyed about the fic:

Look, it’s Asherhyder again, haha. Though I should note that while I’d decided Asherhyder was my favorite writer in OW, I had no idea this was written by them until after I finished it (because I do not pay attention and didn’t notice the author name lmao)

I just could NOT STOP SMILING AND GIGGLING throughout this entire fic. It’s so fluff it’ll rot your teeth off, it made my pores clear, my crops flourish, I cried tears of healing as I read this fic. 

-

[[Cast a Long, Dark Shadow]]

AsheRhyder

Summary:

Jack will never forgive himself for not noticing it the first time a prisoner dies while in the new Overwatch’s custody. He knows the signs better than anyone alive: Gabriel taught him how to see the invisible fingerprints Blackwatch left behind.

But someone is cutting off his access to the old Blackwatch records, and to manage that, there needs to be an active commander in the field…

Relationship/s: Jack Morrison/Gabriel Reyes

What I enjoyed about the fic:

Asherhyder again? Listen… you gotta read everything this person has written. Do it. Right now. 

This one may actually be my favorite of the lot, at least firmly in the Top 3. Short, but fantastic and poignant in less than 3000 words. Another amazing character study. Read it right now immediately, it won’t take you long. 

-

[[His Master]]

Balenae

Summary:

Master Genji teaches his student Zenyatta at Shambali Temple in Nepal.

And yet…

And yet.

Relationship/s: Genji Shimada/Tekhartha Zenyatta

What I enjoyed about the fic:

Just LOOK AT THAT SUMMARY AND TELL ME YOU’RE NOT INTRIGUED. A role reversal fic–or is it? One of the more heartrending fics on this list, and absolutely beautiful. In that space between sad and happy-poignant. You won’t regret reading it.

-

Update: additional fic as of 5/1/2017

[[The Desert Glacier]]

Seedcity

Summary:

Hanzo Shimada is a one-year veteran of Overwatch. Having been assigned to lead and defend the reinstitution of an abandoned Watchpoint: Grand Mesa, he leads his team against Talon, deals with the pressure of leadership, and longs for the company of his precious cowboy.
Also: ghosts.

Relationship/s: Hanzo Shimada/Jesse Mccree

What I enjoyed about the fic: 

Don’t be fooled by the “Also: ghosts” like it’s a side note, this is one of the best supernatural mystery works I’ve read, and it’s a fanfiction. The supernatural element may not be front and center, but it’s one of the most engaging parts of an engaging and well-written storyline, and the fic reads just like those published mystery novels you love with a twist uniquely Overwatch.

[Still incomplete, but near completion]

-

Update: additional fic as of 5/18/2017

long is the road that leads me home

gnarled

Summary:

You can meet the strangest people on the road. Sometimes, the best.

Relationship/s: Hanzo Shimada/Jesse Mccree

What I enjoyed about the fic:

I can’t believe I forgot about his one when it was one of the ones I promised myself would be on a best fic list before I ever even made one. So here it is!

I love fics that are written with the descriptiveness of published novels, and this one does imagery right. It’s not too long – 17,000+ words, it’s all around fantastically and professionally written, with the fun and intrigue and delicious romance you’d expect from a fanfiction. 

It gives you the juicy bits slowly but in a way that keeps you satisfied. You get a taste of Mccree and Reyes’ backstory (with our favorite Papa Reyes back at it again), of Hanzo’s as well. 

It’s just fantastically well-written. I can’t describe it more than that, you have to read it to get the full experience. 

-

Update: additional fics as of 6/17/2017

[[Temper]]

Bullfinch

Summary:

Jack joins the SEP and finds trouble almost immediately. At least his commanding officer is on his side—supposedly.

Relationship/s: Jack Morrison/Gabriel Reyes

What I enjoyed about the fic:

The fic is about transman Jack Morrison, and what I loved about it is how it tackled the aspects of the Soldier Enhancement program that a lot of writers gloss over, like how it would physically and chemically affect various soldiers, etc. It also posed and answered the question of how fictional supersoldier modification could affect real life (or at least futuristic real life) FTM transition. everything’s well thought out, the characters are interesting and fun, especially Jack’s friends and roommates, and the tension–sexual or otherwise–between Jack and Gabe is intense, gets you more excited to see the conclusion overall. 

-

[[When We Were Young]]

JudgeCoffee

Summary:

When Jack Morrison was 18, he joined the military. Fifteen weeks later, he joined the Soldier Enhancement Program, and that was when he met Gabriel Reyes. That was when everything changed.

Relationship/s: Jack Morrison/Gabriel Reyes

What I enjoyed about the fic:

So it’s rare for a fic’s OCs to really set it apart, but that’s what happened here. The story was well done, with some amazing side characters and “co-stars” in the program with Jack and Gabe that really gave this fic heart. It also shows Gabe to be a cold, terrifying black-ops style killer, which I love for the sake of canon–a guy who’s a hero, but also the kind of man who you wouldn’t be surprised headed Blackwatch. 

Also it opens on a BDSM scene. So that’s fun. 

-

Update: additional fic as of 8/12/2017

[[Life is Strange]]

firesonic152

Summary:

Time travel. It was the most harebrained idea Winston had ever come up with, but even he had to admit it was probably their only option.
This is a terrible plan, he mused.

An ill-fated trip to the past leaves Gabriel pining for a man that no longer exists.

Relationship/s: Jack Morrison/Gabriel Reyes

What I enjoyed about the fic:

The feels, man. The feels. This one kind of plowed me with the deep emotion and desperation on top of time travel shenanigans between Soldier and Reaper. It gets sad but hopeful at the same time, it casts Soldier’s regret so heartrendingly. It’s not one of the most well-written fics on the list, but it’s certainly one of the most moving. I love the whole aspect of love reaching through time and space without it getting too cheesy. Definitely worth the read and subsequent feels bomb. 



Side note: in case y’all think their name sounds familiar, yes, that is the same Asherhyder who created the Roommates webcomic on deviantart. A quality writer/artist who does quality work all around. Blessed is the Overwatch fandom for having them. 

Side note 2: there’s a fic series I forgot the name of, but I’m gonna add it to the list later. I’ll also be adding fics that I find striking as I go along. I tend to favor McHanzo, Reaper76, Genyatta and Roadrat, so if you think there’s a fic that should be on this list that isn’t, this is basically just a reflection of my fic reading preferences. 

31 Days of Trans Visibility

Each day of March, post a blog, podcast, or vlog in response to each day’s prompt. Tag your posts #31DaysOfTransVisibility and post publicly. Together, we can make the world see us! If you cannot safely take part, do what you can and explain why it is not safe for you to participate fully and openly. Make your struggle visible, if you can’t be visible yourself.

Day 1: Make yourself known. Tell the world your name, age, and how you identify. Post a picture of yourself.

Day 2: Talk about your process of discovery and realization. How did you come to understand yourself to be trans?

Day 3: Talk about coming out. Are you out? Who did you come out to first? How did people in your life react?

Day 4: Talk about transition. Do you want to? What kind of progress have you made? How has the process affected your day to day life? Do you feel your transition is complete?

Day 5: Talk about dysphoria. Do you experience dysphoria? How does it affect you? What things do you do to cope with it?

Day 6: Talk about relationships. Do you have anyone special in your life? Have your relationships been affected by your being trans?

Day 7: Talk about children. Do you have any? Do you want to be a parent? Do you face any challenges to your desire or lack of desire for children? How have you worked against those challenges?

Day 8: Talk about support. Who in your life has helped you? Have medical and mental health providers served your needs? Have lawmakers in your jurisdiction worked to protect you?

Day 9: Talk about community. How are you treated by your local community? Do you participate in any online communities? How have they reacted to you being trans?

Day 10: Talk about employment and your career. What do you do to support yourself? Are you in a traditionally gendered field or occupation? How have your co-workers reacted to your being trans?

Day 11: Talk about expression and presentation. Do you present as your identified gender? Do you use cosmetics? Do you use scented products? Do you wear jewelry or other accessories? Which rack do most of your clothes come off of? Do you take any special measures with regard to body, facial, or head hair? Have you faced any particular challenges related to your gender expression or presentation?

Day 12: Talk about other trans people in your life. Have you met any other trans people? Do you have any trans friends? How have you helped each other?

Day 13: Talk about music, art, writing, and other forms of creativity. What do you create? Do you include trans themes in your creations? Does your creativity help you with any trans issues?

Day 14: Talk about traditional media. Have you been influenced by trans themes in the media? Have you had to correct misinformation about trans people that others got from the media?

Day 15: Talk about social media and online gaming. How have people reacted to your being trans online?

Day 16: Be a voice of encouragement. Let’s take a moment to encourage people who are suffering in the closet to take steps to improve their life. Fight fear with love!

Day 17: Talk with pride. Why are you proud to be trans? How do you show the world your pride?

Day 18: Talk about privilege. What privileges do you benefit from? What special challenges do you struggle against? Has your experience of privilege changed as a result of your being trans or transitioning?

Day 19: Talk about the future. How are you planning to spend TDOV? How about the rest of the year? Do you have long term plans?

Day 20: Talk about deadnaming and misgendering. Has this ever happened to you? How did you deal with it? How did it affect you?

Day 21: Talk about transphobia. Have you experienced discrimination? Have you been the target of hate speech or slurs? Have you been a victim of abuse or violence?

Day 22: Talk about something funny. Has anything humorous or ironic ever happened to you because you were trans? Have you used humor to help make people more comfortable with your being trans?

Day 23: Talk about gender roles. Do you feel that you conform to a gender role? Do you feel that your conformity or lack of conformity to gender roles helps you or hurts you?

Day 24: Talk about misogyny and toxic masculinity. Do these affect you in your daily life? Are the social pressures you experience typical for your identified gender?

Day 25: Talk about symbols. Do you ever fly the colors of any LGBT+ or gender identity flag in a symbolic way? Do you wear jewelry, buttons, patches, or other accessories that telegraph your being trans? Do you have any LGBT or gender identity related tattoos? Are they usually visible or hidden under clothing?

Day 26: Talk about role models. Who are your role models? How have they influenced you?

Day 27: Talk about politics and activism. Has being trans influenced your stance on any political issues or candidates? Are you active in your local trans and/or LGBT+ community?

Day 28: Talk about religion and spirituality. Has being trans influenced your spirituality? Have you joined or left a church because of their stance on trans related issues? Have you found acceptance in your religious community?

Day 29: Let’s be positive. Post a message of loving kindness. If you can’t honestly open your heart to the whole world, narrow it down to one special person if you have to. But try to put some positivity out there in a public way.

Day 30: Quiet before the storm. Let’s just take a minute to calmly and privately reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go, individually and together. Don’t post.

Day 31: It’s TDOV! Let’s be visible! Post selfies of you being your wonderful self as far and wide as you can, proudly tagging your pics as #TransDayOfVisibility and #TDOV.

A Messed Up Place | Six

Pairings: Bucky x Reader || Steve x Reader

Summary: Bucky realises that he has well and truly lost his chance

Warnings: Mentions of drugs and human trafficking.

Notes (there’re quite a few): Written for @hellomissmabel. Saying this ahead of time: I AM SO SORRY.

Slight time-jump between this and the last chapter. Part of this chapter was inspired by this song, which I highly recommend you listen to, as it’s quite an accurate representation of Bucky’s feelings (but listen to it after you’ve read the chapter, otherwise, it gives the whole chapter away, lol)

Also, I have no clue what I’m talking about with the drugs bullshit. Also, also: I have a rough timeline for this series, but it’s not completely solidified. So, if you spot a continuity error, do let me know.

AMUP Masterlist

He supposes that he should have expected this. He’s been lucky to get this far without having to do this, really.

Nearly a whole three months have passed without Bucky needing to go on a mission with you. The last one had been about two weeks before you and Bucky ended your arrangement, and even then, Sam and Wanda had tagged along. Bucky can’t remember the last time he was on a mission with you and you alone.

Keep reading

Owl Symbolism

Symbolic meanings for the owl are:

  • Intuition, ability to see what others do not see
  • The presence of the owl announces change
  • Capacity to see beyond deceit and masks
  • Wisdom
  • The traditional meaning of the owl spirit animal is the announcer of death, most likely symbolic like a life transition, change

anonymous asked:

is it true that changkyuns father had friends in starship and to i.m to join mx?

Hello! While we don’t have absolute proof on the behind-the-scenes dealings with Starship, you might have a better idea of whether Changkyun’s success was bought through “connections” once you have the complete story behind his origins. 

First off, Changkyun’s father is a scientist and researcher, and such a position rarely holds enough power to sway a large entertainment company’s financial decisions. This sort of power is usually in the hands of businessmen, politicians, or other bigwigs associated with the entertainment and media industries that Starship has business ties with. Secondly, if Changkyun’s father (or any other close connection) had enough power or money to swing success towards Changkyun’s way, Changkyun’s life before joining Starship should have been much smoother-sailing than it was in reality. 

As a child, Changkyun constantly dropped out and transferred from schools because of his “unconventional” looks, by Korea’s standards. If he had a financially powerful father, he would not have had to be ping-ponged from school to school, as connections would have buffered the school-mandated rules. Changkyun later joined a music academy on his mother’s wishes to appease his heightened stress level from previous schools. 

After completing academy, he joined a little-known company called Special-K Entertainment through an audition, where he was a trainee for about a year and set to debut in a group called Nu'Bility. This group’s debut was continuously pushed off until they had to be dissolved completely due to the company’s budget constraints. Again, if Changkyun had connections, it’s very unlikely that he would have gone through this particular crisis. Once he left Special-K, he joined Starship- not via scouting, but again through auditioning where he performed “ZOO” by Primary to secure his trainee spot. 

His entrance into No.Mercy was as shocking for him as it was for the rest of the trainees- Changkyun was invited to “dinner” by K.Will, without having any knowledge that the dinner was really his entrance into a competition he didn’t even sign up for. After Changkyun joined the survivial show, Jooheon asked him if anyone had promised him that he will debut and Changkyun firmly said no. Jooheon’s suspicion at this point makes complete sense. With two rapper trainees eliminated, having another rapper trainee join- and that, too, in episode 8- does make the move highly suspicious. While we may never have concrete proof of what exactly went down in Starship’s headquarters, most fans presume that Changkyun’s belated entrance was a gimmick to increase viewership and maintain suspense for the final few episodes. This gimmick did not do Changkyun any favors, with the rest of the trainees (and a good portion of the watching audience) immediately pushing him aside. Again, back to the connections- it’s doubtful that whatever supposed connection Changkyun had would have been pleased with Starship’s treatment since his popularity started from rock-bottom due to Starship’s own decisions.

So, we have a couple of things to go off here- 

1) Changkyun’s father was not in a position to sway any entertainment company, much less one as reputed as Starship; 

2) Time and time again, from school to the entertainment world, Changkyun’s life could have transitioned much more smoothly if this “connection” had really existed;

3) Changkyun himself has talked about auditioning for Starship, i.e. getting into the company via merit rather than via connections, and also gave his word that he was not promised by anyone to debut, and 

4) Changkyun’s late entrance into No.Mercy was a result of Starship using the trainees’ conflicting emotions as bait for a few media points. 

Ultimately, we as fans don’t have the cold, hard facts to prove or disprove everything that goes on the entertainment industry. But the admins of FYEAH! I.M hope that our observations above are enough to convince you that there is incredibly little possibility for Changkyun- a very talented and bright person- to owe his success to anything other than his own hard work and many years of dedication.

Goodbye Old Girl

I sold my first car today. The car I got when I graduated from high school. The car I named Skipperdee from my favorite children’s books. The car that took me across the country to college. The car that took me to San Diego for grad school. The car I put my cat in the night I found her in Balboa park. The car I have driven from San Francisco to New York round trip twice, and more times than I could ever count up and down I-5. The car of countless road trips, that has been to California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The car that carried me as I drove away from being a child and into being an adult. Away from what was familiar and toward something better. The car that has heard me belt hundreds of musical theatre songs and given me a place to hide me while I cry or awkwardly change my clothes. The car that has been with me through every major life transition of my adult life thus far. 

My car.

I cleaned her out, removing years of evidence that she’d been mine, and gave the keys away. I couldn’t watch someone else drive off in her. I walked away and I didn’t look back.

To my car: Thank you. You have been my second home for longer than any home I’ve ever had, and I will always be grateful for your service.

To the new owner: May she be as good to you as she was to me. May she take you away from what you need to leave and carry you to where you want to be.

Astrological Factors relating to Karma

Saturn Placements/Aspects: Saturn gives us motive in life, we have a task to complete and often this is of a Karmic nature when you look at the bigger picture. Where Saturn is placed in your chart and the aspects that it makes can give you hints as to what karma you have to settle in this lifetime. 

Water Houses: Water Houses all have very deep and mystical roots, they can show where we came from (4th House), the major changes we will encounter (8th House) and what we must achieve to move on to the next phase of existence (12th House).

South Node: While both Nodes show us our journey, the South Node is more explicit about our Karma coming into this life, it shows us what gifts we bring to the table but it also shows us what we need to change. 

The Ascendant: Never underestimate the importance of the ascendant - it is the lens of the soul and ultimtately shows us what we are to achieve.

Asteroid Karma (3811): This asteroid is very straightforward and shows us what we need to pay extra attention to in terms of settling our karma - pay extra attention if it’s conjuncting an angle.

Asteroid Destinn (6583): Same idea as asteroid Karma but more so relating to the desired destination in life, rather than lessons you have to learn.

Angles in the Natal Chart: The 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th House all represent critical points in the native’s life and the signs/planets/transits that contact them all play an important part in realising one’s karma.

Want to find out more about your karma using astrology but not sure how to? No problem, I offer karmic astrology readings!