like they have special things that you can get online only

Common experiences of lesbians who don’t know they’re lesbians yet

 Out of curiosity, I recently googled “Am I lesbian quiz”. Half the “Are You a Lesbian” quizzes just asked outright, “Are you attracted to women?” as though that isn’t the very answer a questioning lesbian is trying to figure out. The other half marked me as heterosexual for things like owning more nail varnish than dogs. I hope this list will give you more nuanced ideas to think about as you explore your identity.

These experiences are all really common among - but not universal or exclusive to - people who later realize they’re lesbians and find a comfortable home in the lesbian label and community.

It’s mostly stuff that I and other lesbians I know have wished we knew when we were first coming to grips with our lesbian identities, because the fact is it takes a long time to discover how common a lot of these experiences are among lesbians, and not knowing what to look for when trying to figure out if you’re a lesbian can be hard.

‘Attraction’ to men

  • Deciding which guys to be attracted to – not to date, but to be attracted to – based on how well they match a mental list of attractive qualities
  • Only developing attraction to a guy after a female friend expresses attraction to him
  • Getting jealous of a specific female friend’s relationships with guys and assuming you must be attracted to the guys she’s with (even if you never really noticed them before she was interested in them)
  • Picking a guy at random to be attracted to
  • Choosing to be attracted to a guy at all, not just choosing to act on it but flipping your attraction on like a switch – that’s a common lesbian thing
  • Having such high standards that literally no guy meets them – and feeling no spark of attraction to any guy who doesn’t meet them
  • Only/mostly being into guys who are gnc in some way
  • Only/mostly being attracted to unattainable, disinterested, or fictional guys or guys you never or rarely interact with
  • Being deeply uncomfortable and losing all interest in these unattainable guys if they ever indicate they might reciprocate
  • Reading your anxiety/discomfort/nervousness/combativeness around men as attraction to them
  • Reading a desire to be attractive to men as attraction to them
  • Having a lot of your ‘guy’ crushes later turn out to be trans women

Relationships with men

  • Dreading what feels like an inevitable domestic future with a man
  • Or looking forward to an idealized version of it that resembles literally no m/f relationship you’ve ever seen in your life, never being able to picture any man you’ve actually met in that image

  • Being repulsed by the dynamics of most/all real life m/f relationships you’ve seen and/or regularly feeling like “maybe it works for them but I never want my relationship to be like that”

  • Thinking you’re commitmentphobic because no relationship, no matter how great the guy, feels quite right and you drag your feet when it comes time to escalate it

  • Going along with escalation because it seems like the 'appropriate time’ or bc the guy wants it so bad, even if you personally aren’t quite ready to say I love you or have labels or move in together etc.

  • Or jumping ahead and trying to rush to the ‘comfortably settled’ part of relationships with guys, trying to make a relationship a done deal without investing time into emotional closeness
  • Feeling like you have to have relationships with guys and/or let them get serious in order to prove something, maybe something nebulous you can’t identify

  • Only having online relationships with guys; preferring not to look at the guys you’re interacting with online; choosing not to meet up with a guy even if you seem very into him and he reciprocates and meeting up is totally realistic
  • Getting a boyfriend mostly so other people know you have a boyfriend and not really being interested in him romantically/sexually
  • Wishing your boyfriend was more like your female friends
  • Wishing your boyfriend was less interested in romance and/or sex with you and that you could just hang out as pals
  • Thinking you’re really in love with a guy but being able to get over him in such record time that you pretend to be more affected than you are so your friends don’t think you’re heartless
  • After a breakup, missing having a boyfriend more than you miss the specific guy you were with
  • Worrying that you’re broken inside and unable to really love anyone

Sex with men

  • Having sex not out of desire for the physical pleasure or emotional closeness but because you like feeling wanted
  • OR: preferring to 'be a tease’ to feel wanted but feeling like following through is a chore
  • Only being comfortable with sex with men if there’s an extreme power imbalance and your desires aren’t centred
  • Using sex with men as a form of self-harm
  • Feeling numb or dissociating or crying during/after sex with men (even if you don’t understand that reaction and think you’re fine and crying etc for no reason)
  • Being bored with sex with men/not understanding what the big deal is that makes other women want it
  • Doing it anyway out of obligation or a desire to be a good sport/do something nice for him
  • Never/rarely having sexual fantasies about specific men, preferring to leave them as undetailed as possible or not thinking about men at all while fantasizing
  • Having to make a concerted effort to fantasize about the guy you’re “attracted” to

Early interest in women

  • Not recognizing past/current crushes on women until you’ve come to grips with your attraction to women
  • Being unusually competitive, shy, or eager to impress specific women when you’re not that way with anyone else
  • Wanting to kiss your female best friend on the mouth for literally any reason (”to practice for boys” included)
  • Getting butterflies or feeling like you can’t get close enough when cuddling with a close female friend
  • Looking at a close female friend and feeling something in your chest clench up and being overwhelmed with love for her - love you may read as platonic
  • Having had strong and abiding feelings of admiration for a specific female teacher, actor, etc., growing up that were deep and reverent
  • Having had an unusually close relationship with a female friend growing up that was different and special in a way you couldn’t articulate
  • Thinking relationships would be simpler “if only I were attracted to women/my best friend who would be perfect for me if she/I weren’t a girl”
  • When a female friend is treated badly by a man, having your protective thoughts turn in the direction of “if I was him/a man I’d never do that to her/my girlfriend”
  • Being utterly fascinated by any lesbians you know/see in media and thinking they’re all ultra cool people
  • Having your favourite character in every show be that one gay-coded or butch-looking woman (like Shego from Kim Possible or Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica)
  • Feeling weirdly guilty and uncomfortable in locker rooms etc., when your female friends are less clothed than they normally would be around men and being more careful not to look than they are

The 'straight’ version of you

  • Thinking that all straight girls feel at least some attraction to women
  • Thinking that your interest in seeing attractive women/scantily clad women/boobs is an artificial reaction caused by the objectification of women in media
  • Being really into how women look “aesthetically”/“just as artistic interest”
  • Thinking it’s objective and uncontested that almost all women are way more attractive than most men
  • Being a really intense LGBT+ “ally” and getting weirdly emotional about homophobia but assuming you’re just a Really Good Ally and v empathetic
  • Having like half your friend group from school turn out to be LGBT+
  • Getting emotional or having a strong reaction you don’t understand to f/f love stories etc.
  • Having had people think you were gay when you had no suspicion you were gay

Exploring attraction to women

  • Feeling like you could live with a woman in a romantic way, even if you can’t imagine doing anything sexual with a woman
  • Feeling like you could enjoy sexual interaction with a woman, even if you can’t imagine having romantic feelings for a woman
  • Thinking you couldn’t be a lesbian because you’re not attractive enough, cool enough, or otherwise in the same league as most of the women you know
  • Interacting with het sex/romance in media by imagining yourself in the man’s position or just never/rarely imagining yourself in the woman’s position
  • Really focusing on the women in het porn
  • Being really into the idea of kissing/being sexual with a woman 'to turn guys on’
  • Being really annoyed when guys actually do express interest in watching or joining in when you do that
  • Only feeling/expressing attraction to or sexual interest in women when you’re inebriated or otherwise impaired

Gender Feelings

  • Having a lot of conflicting gender feelings that are only possible to resolve once you understand you are/can be a lesbian
  • Thinking that being gnc and feeling a disconnect from traditional womanhood mean that you can’t be a woman even if that’s what feels closest to right - many lesbians are gnc and many lesbians feel disconnected from traditional womanhood since it’s so bound up in heteropatriarchy
  • Knowing you’re attracted to women and not being able to parse that (esp + any gender nonconformance) as gay, taking a long time to figure out if you’re a straight man or a lesbian
  • Being dysphoric about the parts of you that make straight men think your body is owed to them, having to figure out what that dysphoria means for/to you
  • Knowing you’re attracted to women, but feeling weirdly guilty and uncomfortable trying to interact with them as a straight man, and only later realizing you’re actually a trans lesbian
  • Knowing you’re gay, but experiencing a lot of the symptoms of comp het when you try to interact with men romantically/sexually, and only later realizing you’re a trans lesbian and not a gay man
  • Being nonbinary and taking a long time to sort through being able to respect/understand your nonbinary identity and your lesbianness at the same time

Considering lesbianism

  • Wanting to be a lesbian but feeling like if you don’t already know you are one you can’t be
  • Feeling guilty about wanting to be a lesbian, feeling like you’re just attention-seeking or trying to be trendy
  • Suppressing your lesbian dreams because you think exploring that desire would mean you’re a bad/homophobic person using lesbianness selfishly
  • Wishing you were a lesbian to escape the discomfort of dating men
  • Fantasizing about how much fun it would be to be a lesbian and just be with women/a specific woman, but thinking that can’t be for you
  • Worrying that some of your past attraction to men was actually real so you can’t be a lesbian
  • Worrying that bc you can’t be 100% sure you’re not attracted to men and can’t be 100% sure you won’t change your mind, you can’t be a lesbian
  • Worrying that you only want to be a lesbian because of trauma and that means your lesbianness would be Fake
  • Worrying that trauma-induced complications in how you experience sex (e.g., a habit of self-harming via sex w men or a fear of any sex at all) mean you’re not a Real Lesbian

Every item on this list is common among Real Lesbians. It’s all Normal Lesbian Stuff. If you’re worried that you can’t be a lesbian even though it’s the life you really want for yourself, I hope this gives you permission to explore that. You are allowed to be a lesbian. 

And if you’re not sure yet – if you took the time to read this entire thing because you’re curious about your identity, if you identified with a bunch of items on this list – you may or may not be a lesbian, but friend, you almost certainly aren’t cishet. Welcome.

(I’d love to hear other things lesbians wish you’d known were A Thing when you were first exploring your identity!)

85 tips for language learners
  1. You like a language, learn it. Don’t give up on learning it only because it’s not popular, “useful” or your friends don’t like it.
  2. Sticky notes, sticky notes everywhere. If you can’t remember a grammar rule or a word/structure, use sticky notes.
  3. Study daily, even if it’s for 5 min or less.
  4. Learn the first 100-300 most common words, they are like everywhere.
  5. Duolingo, Memrise and Forvo are the holy trinity for every language learner; everyone uses them at some point.
  6. HiNative will save your ass when you have questions.
  7. “Hakuna matata mais quelle phrase magnifique” Disney is your friend, sing disney songs to improve your pronuniation.
  8. Also, watch disney movies. You know the story already so you can focus on the language.
  9. Watch movies with subs in your target language.
  10. Write daily a short text about whatever you want, even about your socks. In 1 month you’d have learned a lot of new vocab.
  11. Talk, talk, talk. If you aren’t a soial person, talk to yourself, to your pet, to a wall; it doesn’t matter. Just force yourself to think in your target language.
  12. If you are busy, Semper is a good app for learning vocab while doing your daily activities.
  13. Use your target language for basic stuff like counting, groceries, complaining etc.
  14. Change your settings on social media. Many people learned English through twitter, facebook, tumblr etc. This can work for other languages too.
  15. Change the settings of your phone too. You use it 24/24, you know what every thing does there so you could learn the name of those setting in your target language.
  16. If you lost motivation, take a break and remember why you started.
  17. If you hit a plateau, that’s most probably because you don’t know enough vocab.
  18. Understand that your progress will be slow after a while. Accept it and keep going.
  19. Lang-8 is a great place if you want natives to correct your texts.
  20. Langblr community is amazing, if you need any advice/explanation, ask a langblr.
  21. Try out many resources but choose a handful that you’ll use daily.
  22. If you don’t know a word in your native language, you don’t need it in your target language.
  23. Accept the fact that you can’t translate every word one by one. There are special structures, word order, particles etc. your target language might not be as your native one.
  24. If you’re bored, look around and name in your target language what you see.
  25. Try to find a language/motivation partner. You will support and help eah other.
  26. You’ll make mistakes, love that! That means you’re learning and you’ll have funny stories to tell in a couple of years.
  27. If you don’t remember a word, make a mnemonic or write it with your other hand; you’ll focus more then.
  28. Learn words in context; you’ll remember them easily after. Clozemaster and WordBrewery are 2 great sites for this.
  29. When you want to read if you are a beginner, choose a book you know. If you are an advanced learner, choose a new book.
  30. Find online a native to talk to. Tumblr is full of natives and langblrs will love to help. Another choice is to find a chat group.
  31. For slang words check out the youtube comment section. Twitter is a good alternative though.
  32. Don’t waste money on fancy programs. Some can be found for free and some aren’t so good as they claim they are.
  33. When you learn a new word, try to make a couple of examples in your head.
  34. Read articles. They use simple structures and actual expressions; also, they aren’t boring.
  35. Youtube is your friend, don’t be afraid to use it. Watch movies in your target language so you can get used to how real people talk; most programs/apps speak slowly and they try to make themselves clear but that’s not real life.
  36. You’ll have an accent; don’t worry, it will go away after a while.
  37. Age doesn’t matter, everyone can learn a language; you can be 5 or 50, the only difference is how you learn.
  38. Don’t just learn, revise as well.
  39. As a beginner you will translate everything from your native language and that’s okay. People will correct you and you will learn.
  40. If you like to read fanfiction, read it in your target language and use the ReadLang extension when you don’t know a word; it’s faster than google translate.
  41. Beware of those vocab lists you see on tumblr. Not everything might be right.
  42. Flewent is an extension that translates a certain % of what you read in your target language. It’s a fast way to learn new words while doing your homework or whatever.
  43. Prepositions are a nightmare to everyone. To have a more pleasant life, try to find a list with verbs and what prepositions they require.
  44. Children songs are catchy, use them to learn vocab faster.
  45. Pay attention to false friends. They might look the same with a familiar word but they have another meaning.
  46. Try not to learn 2 languages at the same time, especially if they are from the same family. (e.g. French and Spanish)
  47. If you decide to study 2 languages at the same time, try to study in different places and use different colors for your notes.
  48. You learn faster if you use your target language than if you learn Nth vocab lists.
  49. Try to avoid making the same mistake until it becomes a habit.
  50. Idioms can impress anyone but don’t start learning them too early or too late.
  51. If you have to learn irregular verbs, try to find patterns and part them in groups.
  52. Hard work beats talent but when it comes to learning a language, there’s no one who has talent. There are people who have a good memory or can figure out patterns but that can be improved so no need to worry if you progress slowly.
  53. Don’t compare yourself to someone who studied a language for years. Everyone progresses in their own way.
  54. Everyone has another method, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s not the end of the world. Just experiment and figure out what works for you. 
  55. Classes are a waste of time, don’t think to pay for one.
  56. Try to learn vocab that interests you. You’re a Harry Potter fan? Learn magic terms. You like cooking? Learn cooking terms. etc.
  57. Flashcards are a nice way to learn vocab. Make some and study them before going to bed.
  58. Learn chunks of vocab, not single words. (e.g. Buy a bottle of milk; Brush your teeth; Wash the red car.)
  59. Learn cognates.
  60. Use the diglot weave technique. Basically you  insert foreign words into a sentence of a language you already know
  61. Taking breaks is fine but try not to take a break of Nth months.
  62. Decide what skill you want to improve first. You can never improve everything equally so try to focus on what you need/want the most.
  63. Set a big goal (e.g be advanced in French) but remember to have small goals too. (e.g. read Harry Potter by the end of this season)
  64. Watch people talking. Join a chat and “spy” others if you don’t feel like talking yet.
  65. Associate word - image - sound. Don’t just learn plain words, if you learn the word for tree, think of a tree or search an image with one.
  66. Learning a language takes time, don’t expect to know it perfectly after only 1 week.
  67. Immersion is hella frustrating but it pays off in the end.
  68. Don’t study when you are too tired. You have many chances to learn nothing then.
  69. Find someone you admire so they can motivate you.
  70. Use a bilingual dictionary not only for finding specific words but just for the sake of reading.
  71. After you’ve read 1 page/chapter from a book, try to make a summary in your target language.
  72. When you read books, try to see if you can find the audiobook as well. (Youtube might have it) In this way you know the correct way of saying certain words.
  73. Try to make it fun. If it’s fun to have a schedule do that, if you enjoy more watching movies, do that. Don’t make your learning journey a burden.
  74. Break study time into smaller chunks
  75. Know your learning style.
  76. Try to have a notebook/diary/agenda where you write down what you did daily to improve.
  77. When you feel like giving up, think how many new stuff you have learned.
  78. Your attitude plays an import role. Try to avoid thinking how “difficult” a language is, instead think how good you will feel after you learn it.
  79. ReadLang and Linguarana have videos with subs in many languages, if you like learning with videos, give them a try.
  80. Anki is an amazing app with flashcards for several languages so you don’t waste time making them and they have a daily limit of cards so you don’t burnout.
  81. Physically writing down a word can help seal it in your memory. 
  82. Say new words out loud and pay attention to your pronunciation.
  83.  If your target language has another alphabet or a writing system, don’t be afraid to learn it. Take a couple of days and master it.
  84. Always have an app or a dictionary/notebook with you. While you wait for a taxi you can study a bit.
  85. If you don’t understand a grammar rule, search some articles about it, take 2-3 days to understand that concept.
I'm so much happier ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š now that I'm dead๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ’€. Technically ๐Ÿค”missing๐Ÿ•ต. Soon to be presumed dead๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ’€. Gone๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป. And my lazy ๐Ÿ’ค lying ๐Ÿ˜ˆ shitting ๐Ÿ’ฉ oblivious ๐Ÿ™„husband ๐Ÿ’‘ will go to prison ๐Ÿš“ for my murder ๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช. Nick Dunne took my pride and my dignity and my hope and my money๐Ÿ’ฐ. He took and took from me until I no longer existed. That's murder๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช. Let the punishment fit the crime. To fake a convincing murder ๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช you have to have discipline๐Ÿ’ช. You befriend a local idiot๐Ÿ’. Harvest the details ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ“ of her hundrum life and cram her with stories ๐Ÿ“š about your husband's ๐Ÿ’‘ violent temper ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก. Secretly create some money ๐Ÿ’ฐ troubles: credit cards ๐Ÿ’ณ, perhaps online gambling๐Ÿ’ป♠๏ธ♣๏ธ♥๏ธ♦๏ธ. With the help of the unwitting๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป, bump upโฌ†๏ธโฌ†๏ธ your life insurance๐Ÿ’ต. Purchase getaway car๐Ÿš˜. Craigslist. Generic. Cheap. Pay cash๐Ÿ’ต. You need to package ๐ŸŽ yourself so that people will truly mourn ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ your loss. And America ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ loves ♥๏ธ pregnant ๐Ÿ‘ถwomen ๐Ÿšบ. As if it's so hard to spread your legs. You know what's hard? Faking a pregnancy ๐Ÿ‘ถ. First, drain your toilet๐Ÿšฝ. Invite pregnant ๐Ÿ‘ถ idiot ๐Ÿ’ into your home ๐Ÿ  and ply her with lemonade ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹. Steal ๐Ÿค— pregnant ๐Ÿ‘ถ idiot's ๐Ÿ’ urine ๐Ÿšฝ. Voilà! ๐ŸŽ‰ A pregnany is now part of your legal medical record ๐Ÿ—ƒ. Happy Aniversary๐Ÿ’‘๐ŸŽ‰. Wait for your clueless โ” husband ๐Ÿ’‘ to start his day ๐Ÿ“†. Off he goes... ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป and the clock is ticking โฑ. Meticulously stage ๐ŸŽญ your crime scene ๐Ÿ•ต with just enough mistakes to raise the specter of doubt ๐Ÿค”. You need to bleed ๐Ÿ’‰. A lot๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰. A lot, a lot๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰. The head wound ๐Ÿค• kind of bleed ๐Ÿ’‰. A crime scene ๐Ÿ•ต kind of bleed ๐Ÿ’‰. You need to clean; poorly๐Ÿ‘Ž, like he ๐Ÿ’‘ would. Clean and bleed ๐Ÿ’‰, bleed ๐Ÿ’‰ and clean. And leave a Little something behind: a fire ๐Ÿ”ฅin July๐Ÿ“†? And because you're you๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿผ, you don't ๐Ÿšซ stop there. You need a diary ๐Ÿ“’. Minimum three hundred 3๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ entries ๐Ÿ“ on the Nick and Amy ๐Ÿ’‘ story ๐Ÿ’ญ. Start with the fairy-tale early days: those are true, and they're crucial. You want Nick and Amy to be likable๐Ÿ’–. After that, you invent. The spending๐Ÿ’ธ, the abuse๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ฅ, the fear๐Ÿ˜ฑ, the threat of violence๐Ÿ”ช. And Nick thought he was the writer๐Ÿ“... burn it๐Ÿ”ฅ, just the right amount. Make sure the cops ๐Ÿ‘ฎ will find it ๐Ÿ•ต. Finally, honor tradition with a very special treasure ๐Ÿ’Ž hunt. And if I get everything right โžก๏ธ, the world ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒ will hate ๐Ÿ˜ก Nick for killing ๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿ”ช his beautiful ๐Ÿ˜‡, pregnant ๐Ÿ‘ถ wife ๐Ÿ’‘. And after all the outrage ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก, when I'm ready, I'll go out on the water ๐ŸŒŠ with a handful โœ‹๐Ÿป of pills ๐Ÿ’Š๐Ÿ’Š๐Ÿ’Š and a pocket full of stones. And when they find my body ๐Ÿ’†๐Ÿผ, they'll know: Nick Dunne ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป dumped his beloved ๐Ÿ’‘ like garbage ๐Ÿšฎ, and she floated past all the other abused, unwanted, inconvenient women ๐Ÿšบ๐Ÿšบ๐Ÿšบ. Then Nick ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป will die ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿ’€ too. Nick ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป and Amy ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿผ will be gone ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป, but then we never really existed. Nick ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป loved a girl ๐Ÿšบ I was pretending to be. "Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ". Men ๐Ÿšน always use that, don't they? As their defining compliment: "She's a cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ". Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ is hot ๐Ÿ”ฅ. Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ is game ๐ŸŽฒ๐ŸŽฎ. Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ is fun ๐ŸŽ‰. Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ never ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ gets angry ๐Ÿ˜ก at her man ๐Ÿšน. She only smiles โ˜บ๏ธ in a chagrined, loving ๐Ÿ’• manner. And then presents her mouth ๐Ÿ‘„ for fucking ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ‘Œ. She likes ๐Ÿ‘ what he likes ๐Ÿ‘, so evidently he's a vinyl hipster ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘“ who loves โค๏ธ fetish Manga ๐Ÿ“š. If he likes girls gone wild ๐Ÿ‘™, she's a mall ๐Ÿ› babe who talks football ๐Ÿˆ and endures buffalo wings ๐Ÿ— at Hooters ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿˆ. When I met Nick Dunne ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป I knew he wanted "Cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ". And for him, I'll admit: I was willing to try. I wax๐Ÿ•ฏ-stripped my pussy ๐Ÿ˜ฝ raw. I drank canned beer ๐Ÿบ watching Adam Sandler ๐Ÿ’ฉ movies ๐Ÿ“ผ. I ate cold โ„๏ธ pizza ๐Ÿ• and remained a size ๐Ÿ‘— two 2๏ธโƒฃ. I blew him ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ‘„, semi-regularly. I lived in the moment. I was fucking game ๐ŸŽฒ๐ŸŽฎ. I can't say I didn't enjoy some of it. Nick ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป teased out in me things I didn't know existed. A lightness โ˜€๏ธ, a humor๐Ÿ˜‚, an ease. But I made him smarter ๐Ÿค“. Sharper. I inspired him to rise โฌ†๏ธ to my level. I forged the man ๐Ÿšน of my dreams ๐Ÿ’ญ. We were happy ๐Ÿ˜Š pretending to be other people. We were the happiest ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š couple ๐Ÿ‘ซ we knew. And what's the point of being together if you're not ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ the happiest ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š? But Nick ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿป got lazy ๐Ÿ’ค. He became someone I did not ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ agree to marry ๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿผ. He actually expected me to love โค๏ธ him unconditionally. Then he dragged me, penniless ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿšซ, to the navel of this great country ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ and found himself a newer, younger ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿผ, bouncier cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž girl ๐Ÿšบ. You think I'd let him destroy ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ‘Ž me and end up happier ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š than ever? No ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿšซfucking way. He doesn't โŒ get to win ๐Ÿ†. My cute โ˜บ๏ธ, charming ๐Ÿ˜‰, salt-of-the-earth Missouri guy. He needed to learn ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ“š. Grown-ups ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿ‘ด work ๐Ÿ’ช for things. Grown-ups ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿ‘ด pay ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ต. Grown-ups ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿ‘ด suffer consequences ๐Ÿ˜–.

The ultimate packing list if you are going to study abroad this year

For many of us, the new school year/semester is coming very fast and very soon. For some of us, a new education year is nothing special - you just have to set the alarm clock back into ‘I have got to get up early’ mode and go to school, college, university or however you want to call it.

However, for some of us starting a new year means more. It is related to moving out of home sometimes into a new city or even into a new country. This is related to getting familiar in a new surrounding and starting a new life where you don’t know where to find the best coffee in town, how to ride the bus or how to speak the language (cheers to all langblrs out there ;) ).

For all of you who belong to the second type of people, I dedicate today’s post. Organizing all the things that are related to such a move and saying goodbye to all your loved ones needs enough energy. You should not spend your time thinking about all the items that you need to pack for the big journey. And for this reason, I provide you with the ultimate packing list if you are going to study abroad this year. If you’re missing something that you would never leave at home reblog this post and add your most important travel gadget/item!

With that being said, travel safely and pack wisely ;)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bathroom

  • Bath towels
  • Brush
  • Face wash
  • First-aid kit
  • Flip-flops (in case you have to share your bathroom)
  • Floss
  • Hair straightener (no hairdryer, buy it at your destination)
  • Hand towels
  • Makeup (eyeliner, mascara, foundation, blush etc.)
  • Makeup remover
  • Nail products (nail polish, clippers, file)
  • Patches
  • Pain medication
  • Razor
  • Thermometer
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Travel-sized shampoo, lotion, deodorant)

Bedroom

  • Alarm clock
  • Blanket
  • Decoration (e.g. pictures of your friends and family)
  • Earplugs
  • Favorite pillow
  • Mattress pad
  • Pillowcases
  • Sleeping mask

Electronics

  • All of your chargers
  • Batteries
  • Calculator
  • Extension leads
  • Headphones
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • USB stick

Kitchen (buy this stuff at your destination)

  • Favorite candy from home
  • Kitchen scale

Misc

  • Bujo or a traveller’s journal
  • Driver’s licence
  • Extra bags
  • Financial aid information
  • Important addresses
  • Luggage tags with your contact details
  • Medical insurance card
  • Passport
  • Passport photos
  • Travel details & confirmation
  • Travel tickets
  • Visa
  • Water bottle
  • Wallet (Cash, coins and credit card)

Outdoor

  • Coat
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Jacket
  • Scarf
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection
  • Umbrella
  • Water-resistant boots
  • Water-resistant jacket

Wardrobe

  • Accessories (few, please!)
  • Bottoms
  • Blazer
  • Dress
  • Hoodie
  • Jeans
  • Pajamas
  • Shoes
  • Skirt
  • Socks
  • Sportswear and athletic shoes
  • Sweaters
  • Sweat pants
  • Tops
  • Undergarments

Extra tips

  • Before you overload all of your bags contact your university and try to find out which of the items they will provide. Perhaps there is something like a starter kit they offer so you do not have to carry bulky bed or kitchen items with you.
  • Take only your favorite clothes with you. But there is this fancy dress that you own that one day could look so cool? Leave it at home. You won’t wear it. Period.
  • Don’t take things with you that can be easily bought after your arrival. This includes hair dryers, kettles, flat irons, big bags, stationery, kitchen items etc.
  • In case you want to travel with additional luggage ask your airline before your departure date regarding their conditions. There are airlines that offer an online check-in for your additional luggage or a pre registration. If you take advantage of such offers you can save a few coins.
  • Don’t forget to make a (digital) copy of your most important documents and cards!

Some of these will not apply to many people so pls take them with a grain of salt. Also Iโ€™ve been collecting these pretty much for the two years Iโ€™ve been in college so itโ€™s not a guide, theyโ€™re justโ€ฆ random I guess.

Making friendsย 

Warning - specially tailored for super shy people aka me

  • Thereโ€™s a thing called the โ€˜first week window of endless oportunitiesโ€™. Itโ€™s when groups are still forming and everyoneโ€™s desperate to make friends. This is the time to put your best self forward (Iโ€™m not saying be fake, just a little extra friendly).
  • Leave. Your. Door. Open. Do it. Even if you have a roommate. Best way to make friends the first week.
  • Actually get out of your room. Youโ€™re not going to meet many people if you hole up in your room. If you have a tv room or people are watching a movie, I donโ€™t care if youโ€™re not interested in what theyโ€™re watching, go.
  • If you have the balls to go to the room nextdoor and introduce yourself then you probably can skip this section by all means do it!
  • But if you donโ€™t, going from door to door asking for help with your laundry takes a lot less courage + you will learn how to do laundry. Asking to borrow something (pencil, hair tie, hair dryer) also works.
  • If youโ€™re staying at a residence hall, ask to sit with people at lunch! Nobody is going to say no, i promise.
  • Similarly if you see someone alone, ask them to have lunch with you!ย 
  • Also if you meet someone you get along with, as soon as you can, ask for their number โ€˜so you can go to the dinning hall togetherโ€™.ย 
  • Remember peopleโ€™s names - it makes people feel like you actually care about them. I know itโ€™s hard but make an effort. Also it just gets annoying when someone asks about your name for the fourth time. Use mnemonics if you have to.
  • Asking what someoneโ€™s major is and where theyโ€™re from is standard procedure when you meet them but it doesnโ€™t make for an interesting conversation. Think of other questions!
  • Make sure to arrive about 10 min early to your classes. Thereโ€™ll be very few people and so itโ€™ll be easier to strike up a conversation (actually people will probably talk to you without you having to say anything which is g r e a t)
  • Say yes - as a rule of thumb, your social life should prevail over your academic life the first two weeks. This is the time where youโ€™re not really pressed for time. Say yes to watching movies, say yes to going to lunch, say yes to going to campus events (and even to parties). Obviously donโ€™t do anything that makes you really unconfortable but do try to step out of your comfort zone
  • Make friends with an upper-classman from your same major. Or at least be on speaking terms. Talk to them on Facebook, ask them about your major, just use any random idc excuse to introduce yourself, it doesnโ€™t really matter how you do it.
  • Donโ€™t go home every weekend, even if you live close by. Youโ€™ll miss out on the best of campus life and some of the most fun memories with your new friends.

Keeping your old friends

  • If you know youโ€™re going home for the weekend, try to finish most of your assignments/studying and make time to hang out with your friends. Spending time with them is the best way to keep those friendships alive.ย 
  • But! Donโ€™t worry too much if you canโ€™t come home or make time for your friends too often, you just have to make an effort to text them regularly. It will come naturally if itโ€™s your best friend, but donโ€™t forget to set a reminder to text other close friends at least once every two weeks.
  • You may think you donโ€™t care now but you will once you come home for the summer.
  • If any of your friends are staying in your hometown for college, be ready for them to get another friend group. That doesnโ€™t mean theyโ€™ve forgotten about you, but donโ€™t be mad if they seem to have a lot more plans that donโ€™t involve you. You can always ask to tag along some time and maybe even become friends with these people!
  • Some people youโ€™ll just lose contact with. Donโ€™t fret it.

Organization

  • Please print out or buy a calendar that has a whole page for each month. With boxes preferably *shameless plug*. You may think you have it all under control but thereโ€™s nothing like being able to see all your due dates, hang out plans and laundry days at a glance. (Also js but the pilot frixion are perfect to use on calendars because theyโ€™re erasable).
  • Thereโ€™s so much space under your bed. UTILIZE IT.

Keep reading

The Honest Guide on Preparing for College

I thought it’d be cool and useful to give you guys an “Honest Guide on Preparing for College.” It has all the things you may already know, and then also some things you perhaps don’t. And a bunch of tips that are helpful for preparing for college, but also during college. I’ve been working on this post for months, adding few new tips every now and then so hopefully you guys like it and find it useful! :) I may add more tips from time to time, I’m not sure.

  1. Suffer from acne? Visit a dermatologist to get it under control ASAP. The earlier you start, the earlier you’ll see results! And trust me, you’ll be going bare-faced a lot in college. At least twice a day- morning & night. And you’ll always want to look and feel your best! It sucks to be self-conscious.
  2. Figure out a rough guideline of your morning/ night routine. Your college routine is usually not going to be the exact same as your home routine. Ie: Make up will probably be done in your room, not in the bathroom. If you use makeup often, consider buying a vanity mirror! Very useful. 
  3. You won’t need binders. I brought 3 (1-inch) in case and I hardly use one. It’s more useful to have individual folders for each class. Or even those notebook with tabs inside to hold papers. The point being, the way you organize your work is different in high school. You’re not going to the same 5 periods everyday in college. You have classes that meet MWF, and TTh, etc.
  4. Don’t forget to bring college essentials! Refer to my two posts here (”College Essential Hacks”) and here (”Things I Forgot/ Nearly Forgot to Bring to College”. 
  5. Invest in make-up. In high school, I never wore make-up but now I often wear mascara and light lipstick! I spent countless trips figuring out what shade was best for me and trying out different products. Would’ve been easier to just do this in the comfort of my own home than in college! I’m still a make-up noob though, haha. I can’t even figure out how to apply eyeliner confidently!
  6. Bring clothes you’ll actually wear. 1/3 of the clothes I’ve brought to college were never worn… They just took up closet space!
  7. Bring formal clothes too. You never know what events you’ll go to (including sorority rush, galas, etc). Don’t forget a good pair (or two) of shoes for the outfit!
  8. Realize that the first month-ish of school is the prime time to make new friends. People are more open to making new friends and are more friendly and receptive. Make the most of this!!! I can not stress this enough! Remember that first impressions can stick, so be especially graceful during this period. I would even go so far as to say that you should try to go out to a party in the first few weeks of school for two reasons…. 1) You can see if you fit with the party scene and if you enjoy it. 2) When you attend events early on, people will assume you’re down to go for the rest of the semester and you’ll get invites. (Which you can turn down, of course.)
  9. Keep in touch with old friends! Seriously. Don’t just make new college friends and forget about your old high school friends. Keep in touch! Message them regularly and keep them in the loop! It might seem like a lot of work to message them all the details about something, especially when they are unfamiliar with the people so you have to describe it a lot (Wait, who’s Jim again? What’s your roommate’s name again? etc), but it’s so rewarding to have an old, familiar friend with you as you both experience college together, but separately.
  10. Know your schedule and be on top of this. Be organized. I recommend a planner and also having a print out of your weekly schedule that has your classes and other time commitments. I actually drew my weekly schedule and hung it by my desk. It not only helps me visualize my week, but also lets my roommates know when to expect me. I also use a calendar app very diligently. Whenever I commit to an event, I immediately put it into my calendars (the app, and also my physical calendar in my room). I also inputted the dates and times of my exams/ important assignments from the get-go so I wouldn’t be surprised about when they were. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND INPUTTING THE DATES OF YOUR EXAMS AND DUE DATES OF PAPERS, ETC INTO YOUR CALENDAR ASAP!!!!!!!!
  11. Keep in touch with family. Similar reasoning with #9. But basically, your parents and siblings have lived with you all of your life. They’ll miss you. Text them, call them, facetime them once in a while. Send them a postcard. Buy them college gear. Do little things like this; they’ll really appreciate it!
  12. Don’t be so uptight and remember to be grateful. I feel like I’ve matured greatly in college. I used to have these crazy-high expectations about friendships and stuff, and now, it’s not that I have absurdly low expectations, but I just don’t take everything for granted. I am grateful for anything and everything my friends do for me. They bought me Chipotle? Aww. They reminded me about the review session? So sweet. Basically, don’t take things for granted.
  13. Don’t be that one annoying friend. You know who you are. College is a time where you can really ‘reinvent’ yourself and you should really try to be a ‘better you’ during college. Here are some traits I find annoying, personally… An annoying friend is one who does any or all of these things:
    1. “Forget” to pay a friend back for spotting you. Seriously, we all hate that person who does this and we all really respect that person who is really diligent about paying back someone. So take note. Everyone is on a tight budget in college.
    2. Rants all the time. If you’re ranting all the time and your friend is just listening, you have yourself a freaking awesome friend. Just remember that friendship means you can rant, and your friend can rant back. It’s a two-way street.
    3. Tries to peer pressure others into doing something they like. Okay, I get that you drink and smoke a lot. But you don’t need to feel the urge to ‘convert’ me to doing the same. No means no.
    4. Always bails or is flaky. Freaking annoying.
    5. Takes things too far. We all have that one friend who takes things too far and doesn’t know when to stop….
    6. Too sensitive… But we also may have an uber-sensitive friend who always holds grudges and is a grumpy cat. 
  14. Don’t skip class. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if the lecture is posted online, or if you’ll just get notes from a friend. Or if you already ‘know’ what’s being taught. Just go. Skipping class = lower grades = lower GPA = unhappy you.
  15. Be willing to try new things. This can vary to an extent from person to person. It can be as crazy as asking someone out or trying new food. College is a time of growth, new experiences, and fun times. HOWEVER, don’t do anything that will harm yourself. None of this “yolo” mantra please.
  16. Bring a lot of undies. Shirts and pants can be reworn more than once (within reason), but undies can’t. So save yourself from doing laundry all the time and bring a lot of undies.
  17. Learn to let things go. I used to be that person who held onto grudges. But since starting college, I’ve really begun to realize that life is so much more fun and enjoyable if you don’t let the little things faze you. Learn to let it go. Don’t let what that rude guy said to you this morning stick with you for the whole day. Who cares if you asked someone out and it failed? You don’t need them anyway! You’re too fabulous for them to handle! 
  18. Learn to be confident in yourself. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You “- Dr Seuss. Over the years, I’ve found that I’ve grown much more confident and independent. I love it.
  19. Learn how to socialize and be a great conversationalist. Smile and actually pay attention to what they’re saying. Remember what they said and bring it up the next time you see them. Hey, how was your lunch at Gypsy’s with John? It makes people feel special and nice. Use their names in the conversation as often as you can (without it sounding totally awkward and weird). People like hearing their names in conversation. [Btw, I read these facts on a Time article somewhere so its legit.]. People don’t remember what you say, but they remember how you made them feel. So make them feel loved and appreciated. Laugh.
  20. Live and learn through your mistakes. No one’s perfect. So what if you bombed your first midterm? It’s the first of many. Pick yourself up and study harder for the next one. Don’t get all beaten up.
  21. Consider bringing your AP study guide books to college. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened my AP Calculus review book from Princeton Review to review and look up things.
  22. Keep track of your meal points. I frequently hear people saying they always have leftover meal points at the end of the year, but maybe it’s because I like to buy a lot of snacks, but I was actually behind on points for half the semester. It’s no big deal–I can easily add more points–, but just don’t be under the illusion that you have unlimited amount of points and can buy whatever you want. Be smart about rationing off your points.
  23. Don’t let one midterm grade affect you. Yeah, you failed that midterm. So what? Just do well on the next ones. There’s nothing you can do about your midterm grade–you can only improve yourself for the future. Have a good cry, rant to friends, watch some Netflix–and then realize the changes you have to make and enforce the changes. 
  24. Pick classes that you’ll enjoy. Don’t pick morning classes (if you can help it) if you’re not a morning person. Don’t take a Drawing/ Painting class if you’re not an artsy person for your Visual Arts requirement–there’s classes like Art History or stuff like that. Be reasonable about the classes you take and how much workload you know you can handle. Not everyone is the same.
  25. Go see your adviser from time to time. Just to make sure you’re on track! Work out a 4-year plan. You don’t want to have any surprises later down the road!
  26. Be careful with labels. Like “best friend” or “favorite person”. Sometimes, these can lead people on unintentionally and you’ll get yourself in awkward and uncomfortable situations where they like you but you don’t like them or something. I learned that it’s just best to call people your “friends” and unless you are really bonded with a person, then call them your best friend. But honestly, if you two are best friends, you kinda just know you are each other’s best friend–it’s a mutual feeling and it doesn’t really need to be said or labeled. I think it’s just best to rid yourself of using labels, honestly. Terms that imply exclusivity can sometimes lead people on. I think you should have a self-check with yourself every month or two and go like, “Okay, where am I at? I really like where I am right now. I could improve on this… etc etc. Let’s see the friends I’m close to… Do I think any of them likes me? I don’t want to unintentionally lead them on.” Just stuff like that.
  27. Understand your finances for college. Including scholarships, how much you’re paying, how much you’re working (if applicable), etc. Just be on top of all your money stuff! 
  28. Don’t go out and eat out a lot. I ate out a lot during freshman year. Too much. I had no regrets during the moment but now looking back, I just imagine all of the money I could’ve saved if I didn’t eat out…. :( You can save so much money by reducing how much you eat out.
  29. Be financially conscious and be mindful of how much you spend. There are plenty of hangouts you and your friends can do that don’t require money or that much money. Examples: movie nights, picnics, checking out the campus botanical garden, going sightseeing in the city, cooking dinner together, etc. Just because it costs money doesn’t mean it will always be fun, memorable or worth it–something to remind yourself of! In addition, shoot for quality over quantity. Buy a $50 pair of Rainbows sandals that will last for years, instead of flimsy, cheaply made sandals that will break after a couple of uses. Splurge on that North Face jacket–you’ll be wearing it a lot and it’s versatile and will last you years. Now that I buy groceries and cook for myself, I’ve definitely come to appreciate the value of the dollar.
  30. Realize how small the world is and how connected everything is. Don’t talk shit about people. Seriously. The person you’re complaining about may have a friend who is taking a class with the person you’re telling to. Or the person you’re telling it to may have a friend who has a friend who knows the person. If it’s one thing that keeps coming up in my time here, it’s that everyone seems to know everybody (or is a friend of a friend). So limit your shit-talking, secret-sharing, gossip talk to only your trusted confidants. Seriously, though. As you go through college, you’ll come to notice that many people will reappear in your classes because of being in the same major, and more. The world is small, y’all. Don’t be reckless.

Lana Del Rey says Donald Trump helped shape her album โ€˜Lust For Lifeโ€™ โ€” and the world needs feminism more than ever.
The singer has returned to the world of music with her fourth studio album in five years.

By Jacqui Swift for The Sun (UK).

LANA DEL REYโ€™s latest album glitters with an all-star cast.
On โ€˜Lust For Life,โ€™ her most impressive album yet, Lana teams up with heavyweights such as The Weeknd, Stevie Nicks, Sean Ono Lennon and A$AP Rocky.

They are the first collaborations in her career so far, which spans five studio albums, including four in the past five years โ€” an impressive work rate for the Los Angeles-based star.

Keep reading

TREAT YO SELF

Moon, Venus or Ceres in Aries:

Go on a hike to a place with a marvelous view. The sense of accomplishment will feed your self worth, inspire your ambition, & satisfy your drive.

Teach yourself an unfamiliar sport or other active hobby. Honing a new, exciting skill by yourself will make you feel more independent than ever.

Congratulate yourself. Being proud of your achievements can open healthy channels of emotion. Appreciate the finish lines you cross.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Taurus:

Pamper yourself. Get a massage, go out to eat, go shopping, or binge-watch Netflix. Reward your steady, dependable strength with some relaxation.

Work with your hands, such as with pottery or baking. Activities of the like will freshen your creative spirit and provide immediate, tangible results for effort.

Repair or replenish one of life’s necessities. Maintaining your household and keeping things in working order will make you feel grounded and productive.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Gemini:

Journal. Expressing your thoughts & feelings openly and completely will make you feel refreshed, validated, and a bit less stifled or exhausted.

Go to a party or other lively event. Surrounding yourself with dynamic & cheerful activity will energize you. If you engage, you’ll feel integrated.

Join online forum discussions. Engaging with other people over subjects you’re knowledgeable about will fire up & satisfy your complex intellect.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Cancer:

Take a lot of photos. Being able to re-immerse yourself in old memories will satisfy your sentimentality. Sometimes a little nostalgia is good for you.

Hug someone. Random expressions of affection are important. Savor the emotional fulfillment & sense of safety created by this sweet, simple gesture.

Create a sanctuary for yourself, a safe place you can retreat to. Peace & quiet are special resources. Learn to appreciate and enjoy your own company.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Leo:

Post selfies or create self-portraits. Show off a little. Draw some positive attention to yourself to replenish your confidence and self-assurance.

Arrange / administer to a group activity. This will spark pride in the accomplishments you orchestrate / in the respect leading something garners.

Attend some kind of extravagant event. Belonging in a luxurious atmosphere will make you feel like royalty – valuable and significant.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Virgo:

Take care of your body. Exercise, eat healthy, try a new skincare routine. Improving your health & appearance will boost your self-worth & confidence.

Edit, refine, or critique something. Assisting others in their pursuit of improvement & doing work that needs to be done will make you feel useful.

Watch over a pet or plant(s). Animals & nature are pure things, and to be part of their well-being could be an immensely rewarding experience.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Libra:

Go to an art gallery or something similar. A beautiful, sophisticated atmosphere will make you feel comfortable & fulfilled. Your refined taste will be satisfied.

Grow a garden or decorate a room. Creating a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing place will remind you of your own splendor, and you can share it with others.

Reinvent your style. Finding a new way to express yourself can make you feel refreshed. It will be a major step toward cultivating self-approval.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Scorpio:

Take down another one of your walls with someone you trust. Cultivating intimacy will satiate many of your needs, insecurities, and discomforts.

Go to a place where you are completely anonymous. Be someone new for a day. Become one of the mysteries you love so much. It will be inspiring.

Meditate. When you’re alone, you probably analyze things intensely; take a break from this. Clear your mind. The relaxation will be very rewarding.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Sagittarius:

Look into a religion or ideology you know little about. Gathering unfamiliar knowledge will expand not only your mind, but your self-satisfaction as well.

Go to a “boring” town and discover something interesting about it. Finding intrigue where there is only monotony is the greatest kind of exploration.

Start a deep discussion with someone who is very different from you. If no one turns unnecessarily hostile, you can probably teach each other something.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Capricorn:

Write a detailed to-do list for a weekend and complete the entire thing. This will open up free time for relaxation afterwards & make you feel very productive.

If you have an important goal, devise a plan for it. Giving yourself a secure path to follow will promote steady workflow and a comfortable sense of safety.

Lighten up. Find a safe space to be yourself in, and relax. This will refresh & energize you, and release a lot of your built-up tension. Let a few things go.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Aquarius:

Contribute to a good cause – donate to a charity or someone in need, or volunteer somewhere. This will boost your self-worth and may enlighten you.

Take a day to spend time with friends, or go out of your way to make new ones. Trust, expression, and connection open healthy channels of emotion.

Appreciate your own uniqueness. There’s no better way to feel like you matter than to find yourself worthy of your own attention and approval.


Moon, Venus or Ceres in Pisces:

Do one unsolicited favor a day. Expressing & manifesting your own kind nature in a way you will notice will increase your self-approval and self-worth.

Create something. Set your imagination free & let your inspiration run wild. This will be refreshing & you’ll have a lasting extension of who you are.

Go to an immersive art event, like an interactive play. Losing yourself in a tangible fantasy will release a lot of your negative feelings & may inspire you.

19 Jul 2017 || 

This is not going to be a list of brands or recommendations, but a guide on how to decide what to buy, and things to keep in mind when shopping for stationery. I’m a huge stationery enthusiast and also quite good at organisation, so I hope this will be useful for some of you! 

1. Planning

While it’s nice to just browse the stores from time to time, I recommend to think about what you want to buy before you go shopping to prepare for a new semester or school year. You’ll be less likely to waste money on things you don’t need, and you’ll also be less likely to forget important equipment. Keep the following things in mind: 

  • How do you want to organise your notes etc? Do you need folders, notebooks, loose paper? Do you prefer lines, grid, dotted, or blank paper? Which size do you prefer for notebooks?
  • Do you need special supplies, like a set square, specific pens or pencils for art class, a calculator? 
  • Don’t forget the small stuff - paperclips, eraser, sharpener, pen refills, glue, scissors, compasses… 
  • Do you need a new calendar or filofax inserts? Do you want to start a new method of organisation, like a bullet journal? 
  • Do you need flashcards, post-it notes, page flags? 
  • Do you have to replace something that is broken or can’t be used anymore after your last semester/year? 

If necessary, write a list! (You’ll find an example below.)

2. Brands & Aesthetic 

I can’t write a post about stationery and not address this. You shouldn’t spend loads of money on brands or supplies you don’t actually want or need just to fulfil an aesthetic! But we need to distinguish between the “studyblr aesthetic” and people’s personal aesthetic, which is a different thing. Some like their supplies to be very minimalistic, some like it colourful or flowery, some like it if all their supplies come from the same company and who couldn’t imagine switching their fineliner brand ever in their life. In my opinion that’s a good thing - if you like working with and around your supplies, it can make studying more enjoyable! My supplies are all quite plain, but practical - I’ve learnt how thick my paper needs to be and which pens have the best flow for my handwriting. With time, you’ll get there too! I’d recommend to look at the different options in some stores and decide on what you like best. Find a balance between practicability, quality, and aesthetic - that’s easier said than done, but you know best what works for you! 

3. Money

  • Good stationery doesn’t have to be expensive, and high-end pens or whatever don’t help you get better grades!
  • Get refills for your pens instead of whole new pens. 
  • Don’t buy a notebook if you can’t name exactly what you’re going to use it for! Notebook hoarding is a real problem (trust me), and much more expensive than pencil hoarding (if that’s a thing). 
  • Only invest bigger amounts of money in things that will last you a long time and that you will be using almost every day, for example a filofax agenda, a scientific calculator, or a slightly more expensive fountain pen. 
  • Bullet journal does not equal Leuchtturm1917 or Moleskine, even if it seems that way. You can make a bullet journal out of any journal you have!
  • While I think it’s important to support small businesses (if you have any independent stationery stores in your neighbourhood and you can afford it, buy stuff from them!) - if you can’t afford to spend more than absolutely necessary on stationery, then that’s the way it is. Compare prices online and in different stores, and make use of special deals (stores often have those when school starts!). 

4. Essentials & Additions

To conclude this masterpost, here’s a list of things that I’d consider essentials for a semester. Of course this may differ from person to person, and you might not need some of these things (or maybe you need additional things that are not listed here)! 

  • Writing: two pencils (mechanical or classic ones?), medium strength, + refills if you have mechanical ones/sharpener if you have normal ones; eraser, ballpoint pen and/or fountain pen (depending on what you prefer, plus ink refills for fountain pens), fineliners/gel pens and/or crayons in 3 to 5 colours, highlighters in three colours, two permanent markers (black is the safest option)
  • Paper: Notebooks (size? spiral or not? number of pages? colours for each class or one big notebook for all classes), flashcards, post-it notes in two colours, page flags
  • Equipment: calculator (how many functions?), set square, scissors, maybe glue if you’re bullet journalling, paper clips, stapler, puncher, correction fluid, sellotape, pins 
  • Organisation: folders and/or binders (colours?), dividers, labels for the folders if not provided, journal or calendar (inserts for filofax or a whole new calendar?), plastic sleeves (I’d say 10 to 20)

Possible additions that might not be necessary for you: 

  • Printer paper, printer ink, laminating sheets
  • Washi Tape, stickers, other inserts for your bullet journal/calendar
  • Laptop sleeve, additional charger, USB stick, HDMI adapter
  • Textbook sleeves, bookmarks
  • compasses, rubber bands
  • pencils in various strengths, highlighters/crayons/gel pens in various colours
  • additional inserts for your filofax (addresses, year overview, coloured paper)
  • magnets, posters, whiteboard markers
  • coloured paper/flashcards
  • non-permanent markers (e.g. for overhead projections)
  • … (can be added to!)

I hope this was helpful! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. 

anonymous asked:

Just how fit are cheerleaders? What fighting styles might suit them best, given the muscles they use the most? Any weapon suggestions? I'm doing some research, but i'm not understanding it. I always understand your blog, though! My character will be fighting monsters larger than her, if that helps any. Thank you in advance! You're the best!

Cheerleading:

Cheerleading is a sport, especially in the nationally competitive range. It’s like combining dancing with gymnastics except as a choreographed team event. It’s a grueling sport with athletes who are in pretty incredible condition, and like similar sports runs the risk of serious blowouts in the joints which will result in semi-permanent to permanent injury.

When you’re setting up a cheerleading character, the most important thing to remember is that cheerleading is a team sport. This is a character who is better at working with and relying on others than going it alone. The other thing to remember is that they’re athletes. These are driven, competitive, hardworking, and intense personality types when it comes to their sport. These are the girls who ditch their boyfriends for practice (if they have them), and sacrifice their off hours to being the best they can be. Like any athlete training for the pinnacle of they’re sacrificing a lot of personal/life time to be the best they can be. Netflix has the reality show: Cheer Squad, which may help you some. Bring It On is, of course, a classic.

Remember, this is a character who is used to working in a team when under pressure and has a social outlet. They won’t transfer well to working alone, and you’re going to need to either address this or remember to create their cheer buddies. If you want a similar kind of athlete whose sports background primary gears them for working solo when out on in competition then you want a gymnast.

This is part of the real life dynamic where Buffy the Vampire Slayer really lies to you, because if you went with the cheerleader background you’d end up with twenty girls fighting monsters rather than just one. Only one might have superpowers, but you can bet your bottom dollar the others would be ride or die. For the Sisterhood!

So, what does this net you for starting them as a martial artist/monster hunter? It cuts out a lot of the ancillary issues.

We’ve got someone who is: courageous, fearless, a high achiever, nicely conditioned, flexible, with an athletic history which means she’ll breeze through endurance training and the vast majority of basic physical conditioning has been taken care of. She’s got a running start.

You can push her a lot harder in basic training than you can your average recruit who starts with zip. She’s got more control over her body, so she’ll adapt faster. Cheer is just far enough off the basic combat move set that the two shouldn’t conflict too badly when it comes to her currently conditioned reflexes. Coming out of a background in choreography, she’s going to need some retraining for her timing and gets more comfortable with free flowing chaos.

If you wanted a character with parkour for a background, then this is one which can be adapted fairly quickly.

Monster Hunting:

So, you’ve got a big decision to make on the Urban Fantasy front for how this character is going to go about fighting monsters and solving crime. So, I’ll break it down by some of the big supernatural shows.

The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” - The Buffy modus is essentially fisticuffs. You get a superpowered heroine whose essential means of fighting monsters is punching them out. There are a few other weapons here and there like crossbows, axes, and swords, but guns are persona non grata. You get magic from the support characters and someone else does the research.

In the end, Buffy’s approach to the supernatural is fairly limited on the combat front with the interesting bits happening in other parts of the narrative like the character’s personal relationships. If you want a pure human approaching the supernatural from a combat perspective then Buffy is not right for you.

The “Supernatural” - The Winchester brothers… aren’t quite human, but close enough. This model is The X-Files and Urban Fantasy Private Investigator. Your character is more of a Jack of All Trades. They need to be able to do it all: research, fighting with a primary focus on guns, and investigation (especially in the early seasons). This is “determine what the monster is and figure out how to kill it” mode with the occasional problem that can’t be solved. 

The “Charmed” - Magic is the solution. This is where the primary solution to defeating the monsters is through magic. Magic is the weapon, and the focus, and normal weapons are mostly useless.

Unless they’ve got some sort of special, mystical weapon or a setting clear on its rules, a character who hunts monsters needs a fairly wide array of skills because the ancient monsters of myth, folklore, and fairy tales often require diverse solutions that are all fairly specific.

The decisions between guns or not, the level of technology your character will be using/relying on, their skill at researching and hunting down hidden truths in forgotten folklore, and their flexibility with alternative solutions are all on the table. Whether your setting has a “barrier” between the mundane and supernatural world is also a big decision as that will affect what level of strangeness your character can get away with.

When looking at a “standard” weapon for the character to carry, you want one that will fit a wide variety of situations or the ones the character is most likely to encounter.

-Michi

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12th House
  • The 12th house is very personal, and secluded. This is the house of secrets and hidden personalities. The signs, planets and asteroids residing here are internalised, and reside deep inside who they are. It takes people we trust the most to unlock them, and if someone does they explode like fireworks with profound energy and warmth. Unleashing the 12th house is like a private festival of emotions.
  • Sun in 12th: Someone with this placement hides their ego and self from almost everyone. They may come across as very shy and timid, as well as introverted. If this person opens up to you, you learn that there's confidence underneath the layers of quiet retreat.
  • Moon in 12th: Their emotions are hidden from view. They may be likely to take on everyone else's burdens because they never show they have any of their own. They feel so intensely when alone in their thoughts, and it can be scary for them sometimes. If they open up to you, it's a truly special thing. Their emotions and feelings are like the start of a new ink cartridge: powerful in colour, abundant when written out.
  • Mercury in 12th: They find it very hard to communicate, and probably only feel properly able to to very close friends or online where they can think about their responses. They'll pick texting over verbal confrontation any day. Speeches and arguments are exceptionally hard for them. Midnight conversations with them are beautiful, deep, and unique.
  • Venus in 12th: Love is a hidden gem. They don't often just give their heart to someone. Sometimes they may feel like they should, so can seemingly force themselves into crushes or flirting, but soon withdraw as they realise it doesn't make them happy. Love for them happens in the quiet of their mind, and the arms of their lover, rather than in the public eye. They are also lovers of poetry, reading, and artistic forms which make them think of how they feel themselves.
  • Mars in 12th: They hate to argue a lot. They'd rather work things out without stress or heated emotion. They're also very reserved in sexual affairs, preferring usually to keep the bedroom to serious relationships. If you ever get that far, you'll learn they're deep and intense. This placement may lash out when alone, and will pent up how they feel a lot like Moon in 12th, except it'll usually come out aggressively when alone.
  • Saturn in 12th: They feel so restricted inside. They make their own walls and barriers with their feelings and deeper selves that can stress them out and give them intense worries and stresses. They always feel the need to regulate their dreams and fears, often calling their deeper emotions irrational. Positively, they may tend to hide less of themselves from people.
  • Jupiter in 12th: These individuals no know boundaries deep within them. What they keep inside out of public view is a deep pool of emotion and dreams. They may be extensive dreamers, whether when asleep or awake. Sometimes their fears and anxieties are so strong, they aren't sure how to regulate and manage them.
  • Neptune in 12th: Extreme dreamers. They can often suffer from delusional thoughts of their fears, or being over anxious of parts of life. Neptune is at home here, and is free to gloss over and shroud whatever it wants in mystery and illusion. Someone with this placement may worry and overthink intensely, but never let this out into the open.
  • Uranus in 12th: These people want to revolutionise and change things, but feel unable to do so. They aren't sure how to project their want your change into the world. They can also want to change themselves a lot, and may manifest through several inner mentalities quite quickly to try and align themselves more with their life situations.
  • Pluto in the 12th: Destructive of their inner selves. They constantly change up who they are inside, sometimes without even wanting to. What is hidden inside them is a ball in a china shop. You may find they hide away their emotions on secret blogs or journals. The things they hard away from friends are often intense, which makes it even harder for them to open up.

@kinfirms​ tagged me in a post talking about how internet “mom” culture is toxic, (I saw your tags, dont worry <3) and wanted to talk about it a little, but without the queer phobic language it was giving off.

For the most part, I fully and readily agreed with parts of the post detailing how adults can and do behave inappropriately in online spaces towards minors, and how the parental name thing can be a power move. 

I grew up with a lot of fandom “mom” types, who with hindsight, turned out to be rather toxic and predatory. One of them actually took great joy in being a “corrupting” force, and would make lewd jokes and inappropriate comments towards us. And us being vulnerable kids who wanted to fit in and belong went along with it, because it made us feel special to be talked to like we were fellow adults. 

Except we weren’t fellow adults and nor were we being treated as such. We were impressionable youths being treated like toys to stroke an older person’s ego, and that was 110% not okay, and those adults should have known better not to engage with us on those topics.  

I’m hyper aware of being an older person in certain groups now, and try to act accordingly. I try to distance myself while managing to remain encouraging and supportive and hopefully, a positive signifier that people like me can and do grow up into happy (semi-)functional adults. I know there were times growing up when I feared I would not.

I will also never insist that anyone call me “mom”. It’s not a name I picked for myself. It’s an honorific deserving of great respect and mindfulness towards those who gave it to me, not the other way around. People can use it if they want to, and I will respond to it if people use it, but it’s not a role or title or sign of authority, and it’s 100% up to others if they want to use it or not, I don’t mind either way. And just for the record, I also respond to Aunt, Sister, Cousin, Bib, or even my rarely used actual name, Joy :)

I work very hard to respect the boundaries of others, and adhere to my own rules of interaction. I don’t follow back anyone under the age of 18 (with very few exceptions), and I always try to ensure the age of someone when they start talking to me about certain things. 

Most of the people calling me “mom”? Seem to be in their early 20s, chronically ill or queer like me, and or at college age and going through that weird panicked stage of “help, I need an adultier adult how the heck do you make a food budget” so it’s not too much of a problem, but I still take those extra steps anyway. 

I tag my work, I put it under cuts and generally make it known that I don’t want anyone under the age of 18 to read my 18+ work, because it’s the responsible adult thing to do—and it’s my responsibility to lay down those terms. Not the minor. 

If a minor ignores my requests, my tags and the numerous other steps I put in the way to keep my NSFW work hidden? That’s on them, and I can only hope they find it positive and maybe possibly affirming as well—just don’t tell me about it. (I speak from experience, as a minor who went onto 18+ forums looking for something that would show I wasn’t alone with my thoughts and feelings. I found acceptance in queer fanfic that society and family otherwise denied. I wasn’t awful for liking both Superman and Louise Lane, I wasn’t awful and wrong or alone for not being sure if I wanted to be Princess Leia or be with her. And that was very important for 15 year old me, even if it would take another 15 years for me to feel safe enough to tell others.)

When people started calling me “mom” of their own volition, I had a real internal debate over how I felt over using that same moniker others had used before me, and done so in a harmful manner. I wasn’t too keen on it at first, it felt weird, but when people kept on using it without me prompting them to, I came to the decision that hey, it’s just a fun nickname poking fun at my personality, so I just kinda rolled with it. But I also made the conscious decision that if I was going to allow for that nickname, I would strive very hard to be worthy of it and be the adult I needed as a young person, and not like the people I had known.

But that all said? Not all adults take this mindset, and do not behave appropriately towards teenagers and young adults, and you should absolutely be wary of anyone who puts themselves in that position of authority.* It makes me extremely uncomfortable when I see other adults talk about younger people as their “minions” or pets. 

They are not. 

They are people who are deserving of your fundamental respect and often looking for some sort of help or guidance from a role model they lack in real life, or even just want friendly people to talk to about the things they love. They are not there to prop up your ego. Don’t do that shit. Reflect on your own behavior and say “if this was my child, would I be happy about the way I am interacting with them?” 

If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure”, that’s also a no, and you need to back the fuck off and reevaluate how you interact with others as a whole.

If you are in a fandom or online forum space where the adults are not behaving mindfully of your age, undermine you, or insist on inserting themselves in your life as an authoritarian parental figure? Go with your gut instinct and get the fuck out of dodge. 

You are no one’s minion. You are you, with your own boundaries and levels of comfort. Don’t let anyone try to take them from you or make you feel bad for being uncomfortable with their behavior. That’s a common tactic used by abusers, and if you say to someone “what you are doing makes me uncomfortable” and their response isn’t “I’m sorry, how can I change that?”, but defensive anger or guilt tripping you? Fuck ‘em. There are other groups, other people to talk to. Make your own if you have to. Block anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable. You don’t have to put up with that bullshit to prove your own maturity or worth.


*And just because I feel this is important to say: please question me. Challenge me, point out when I say or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. I won’t be mad or offended. I welcome corrective feedback. Tell me if I use an out dated term or if I word something poorly so I can apologize, reevaluate my behavior and try to change for the better. I’m human and therefore always learning and making mistakes, but they come from a place of ignorance, never malice. Take care of yourselves out there <333

Working with Earth

Originally posted by pizsimokus

Our Earth is beautiful and majestic. There are many ways that you can connect to our beloved world because it is one of the two elements that you can actually touch. I love our Earth, feeling the vibrations going through my body is one hell of an experience. 

Here is a list of different ways to connect to our Earth. 

  • Go outside. Whether you have a special place in your neighborhood, your backyard, or a park; go to that place and sit there. Place your hands on the Earth and feel the heartbeat vibrate through you. 
  • Do yoga outside, with a mat or not (your choice). Let the Earth steady and form you. 
  • Plant a garden. Fill your space and let it flourish. NOTE: Be mindful, plant things that won’t harm your health or others or pets. Do your research. Gardening takes time, patience, and all of your love. You must dedicate yourself. 
  • Take a walk and collect what comes to you. NOTE: Be mindful. Do not collect anything harmful to your health, do your research and keep a notebook or a book on you that can help you identify plants. Only collect items that happen to fall upon your path. Do not pluck, pull, rip, cut. Not only is it disrespecting, it will hurt the plants and not let them grow properly afterwards.
  • Make a special Earth altar, preferably facing North. Fill it with colors of greens and browns, special items you have collected, crystals, rocks, coins, Mother Earth symbols, statues of trees, etc. Anything that is related to Earth. 
  • Make a sigil that means “I connect to my bountiful Earth and protected by her arms.” or something along the lines. (Again, I am not a sigil maker but something I would like to include for others who are) Wear the sigil on you as you go on walk or take hikes.
  • Be respectful to animals. (I feel) they are messengers of the Earth, (I feel) they watch us for a reason. 
  • Talk to the trees. Learn from the wisdom they have to offer. 
  • Research Gnomes, they are protectors of our Earth. NOTE: Like working with any spirit, do your research and be respectful. I don’t have any resources to give with working with Gnomes but here are a couple ways I have personally used. 
    • Leave offerings (like flowers or rocks you have collected in the past or food like bread) inside a tree or under a rock. NOTE: Be careful, make sure you are not disturbing an animals home.  
    • Leave currency (coins) to offer respect for all they have done to keep our Earth stable. NOTE: Make sure you do this somewhere that others won’t steal your offering. Make sure it is hidden where only Gnomes can get to it. EX. under a rock or if you have a backyard have a special place in the corner of your yard for this kind of offering.
    • Be kind to the Earth. Don’t liter, recycle, and show them you are one with the Earth. They care and respect seeing how we can be caring to our Earth.
    • Join a volunteer group that helps to clean up our Earth or make your own group. Check local listing online for your town.

Elements: 

Air
Water 
Fire

how to get into skincare

I’ve already done a post about how to get into makeup, and one about how to get into SFX, so I figured I might as well make one for skincare. I have extremely sensitive, extremely acne-prone skin, so when it comes to skincare products, I’ve literally tried everything. It’s gotten to the point where I’m the “resident expert” that all of my family and friends come to when they need help figuring out which products to use.

I think a lot of people don’t take proper care of their skin because they have the misconception that it’s time-consuming and/or expensive. Honestly, I spend less than two minutes on skincare on most days, and I only use affordable products that are available at drug stores. No matter who you are, you can afford to take good care of your skin.


product names you’re likely to see, and what they mean:

  • cleanser is just soap that’s gentle enough for the delicate skin on your face. It comes in liquid, cream, and even powder formulas, but all you need to know is that if the label says “cleanser,” then it’s just face wash. If you’re only going to use one skincare product, this is the one you should invest in.
  • Note: You should NEVER use bar soap on your face! The skin on your face is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body, and most bar soaps will damage it. There are some cleansers that come in bar form, but as a general rule you should never use a product on your face that wasn’t made specifically to be used on faces. 
  • moisturizer is probably the second most commonly-used product, after cleanser. This is exactly what it sounds like – it’s basically lotion that is specially made to be used on your face. No matter what your skin type is, you should be moisturizing daily. (Proper moisturization actually helps cut down on oily skin in most cases.) 
  • toner (sometimes also called astringent) is a product that is usually applied after cleanser, but before moisturizer. It’s called “toner” because it tones your skin, as well as cleansing any dirt or grime that your cleanser missed. Not everyone needs to use toner, but if you have oily or acne-prone skin, I’d recommend it.
  • a face mask is any product that is made to be used occasionally to give your skin a little extra love. A lot of them are made to address certain issues, like acne, dryness, or dullness. Usually, you apply it and let it sit on your face for a few minutes before you wash it off. I personally try to use a mask on my face once or twice a week whenever I have the time, but they’re more of a treat than a necessity. (And you probably shouldn’t use them every day.) 
  • exfoliators or exfoliating scrubs are products designed to buff away dead skin cells. Usually, they have some kind of gritty texture to them (like sugar grains) that scrubs off the dead skin. Like face masks, they’re more of a treat than a necessity, but unlike with face masks, too much exfoliating can actually hurt your skin. You should never exfoliate more than 2-3 times a week, and never, ever exfoliate two days in a row.
  • pore strips are kind of like waxing strips for your face, but instead of removing hair, they remove blackheads and other junk clogging your pores. I would not recommend pore strips to someone who is new to skincare, and like with exfoliators, using them too often can really damage your skin. If you’re going to use them, you should never use them more than once every three days. 

There are other product names that you might see floating around online (like “essence” or “facial oil”), but these are the basic products that you need to know about. Honestly, if you have a good cleanser, toner, and moisturizer (plus maybe a face mask or two for occasional pampering), then you don’t really need any other products, because those three will get the job done. 


how to build your own skincare routine:

  1. The first step is to understand your skin type. The three most common types are: dry, oily, and combination (in between dry and oily). Shop for products that are designed and labelled for your skin type. (If you have a lot of acne, look for products labelled “acne care” or something along those lines. If you have a lot of skin allergies, or if your skin doesn’t react well to harsh chemicals, look for products made for sensitive skin.)
  2. Go to the nearest Walmart, CVS, Walgreen’s, ect. with $20, and find the skincare aisle. Keeping your skin type in mind, look for a good cleanser and a good moisturizer. (If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you might want to pick up a toner as well.) If you can, look for generic brands (I know Walmart carries one called Equate) that make products with the same ingredients as name-brand products, but significantly cheaper. (If you’re looking for cruelty-free products, check out the brands Burt’s Bees and Yes To.)
  3. If you want to make things easier, you can buy all of the products you need in a pack. (Like this, or this.) These usually contain a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer. 
  4. Every morning when you first wake up, wash your face with the cleanser and pat it dry with a clean towel. Then apply the toner, if you bought one – you do not wash this off. Then (after waiting a few seconds for the toner to take effect), apply your moisturizer. That’s literally all there is to it. If you’re a morning shower person, you can save time by washing your face in the shower, then applying toner and moisturizer after you get out.
  5. Every night before you go to bed, do the same thing. (Of course, if you wear makeup, you’ll have to remove it, either with makeup remover or with warm water, before you wash your face.) 
  6. Right before bed is a good time to use face masks/exfoliators/pore strips, if you want. I always wash my face first, then skip over my toner and go straight into applying the mask/exfoliator/strip, and let it sit for as long as the directions on the packaging indicate. After I wash it off, I use my moisturizer like always.
  7. Congratulations! You now have a skincare routine!


This post goes into detail of all the products and tricks I use in my own personal routine, if you’re curious. 

I hope this post was helpful! If you have any questions about specific products, or about treating specific skin conditions, feel free to message me and I’ll try to help in any way I can. 

masterlist (there’s more beauty/skincare tips on there, if you’re interested)

I’ve gotten quite a few asks recently wanting to know what my issue with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is. You’ve probably seen my grumbling about edition-warring a time or three, so I want to clarify that that isn’t where this post is going. I think 5E has a lot of fantastic ideas, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to new players. The problem I have with it isn’t that I don’t like what it’s doing; it’s that I see a lot of great game design ideas lumbered by a conscious refusal to take them to their logical conclusion - or, in other words, it’s not that I think 5E goes too far, it’s that I think it doesn’t go far enough.

(Fair warning: a lot of this is going to be really jargon-heavy game design stuff that normal people probably don’t care about. That’s your cue to check out if tabletop RPG meta isn’t your cup of tea!)

To start off, there’s a concept in game design - applicable to both video games and tabletop games - called “mechanical engagement”. Basically, it’s what it sounds like: how and when the player is called upon to make rules-based decisions. Some games have high mechanical engagement, in the sense that players are given lots of rules-based “toys” to play with and expected to interact with them frequently; other games have low mechanical engagement, meaning that there are fewer rules-based “toys”, and fewer player-facing decisions about how to deploy them.

Moreover, in games that have roles or classes, different roles within the same game can offer different levels of mechanical engagement. It’s tempting to think of this in terms of low mechanical engagement = basic and low-powered, high mechanical engagement = advanced and high-powered, but this ain’t necessarily the case; you can see this phenomenon in action in the sphere of video games in, say, 2D fighters, or multiplayer online shooters. You have characters/roles with complicated and demanding execution, and characters/roles with simple and straightforward execution, and the former aren’t necessarily more powerful in practice, in spite of being more demanding to play.

The reason this happens is because a player’s preferred level of mechanical engagement is totally independent of any other axis of play (e.g., preferred role, preferred aesthetics, etc.) Some players like having lots of rules-based knobs and levers to play with, and they’ll gravitate to roles that will give them that even if there’s no actual benefit - i.e., even if it obliges them to work harder just to get to the same level as players in roles with lower mechanical engagement. Similarly, some players just want to press buttons and watch stuff explode - they prefer low mechanical engagement.

There’s nothing wrong with either preference, and one of the major perks of playing a tabletop RPG with class/role-based character creation is that it allows you to accommodate different preferences in terms of mechanical engagement within the same party. You can have players who want to juggle lists of special abilities as long as their arm, and players who just want to hit things with swords, and they can play at the same table - everybody wins. Again, remember that this is totally separate from wanting to play a “low powered” or “high powered” character; the level of mechanical engagement that a role demands is a different axis from how big its numbers are.

Now, one of the perennial issues of fantasy tabletop RPGs in general and D&D in particular is tying particular levels of mechanical engagement to particular role aesthetics. In many iterations of the game, if you want to play a role with high mechanical engagement, you have to chuck fireballs, and if you want to play a role with low mechanical engagement, you have to be a sword-slinging meat shield. A player who wants high mechanical engagement but also likes swords is liable to be told, both by the game’s text and by other players, that she’s Doing It Wrong - and so, for that matter, is a player who wants low mechanical engagement, but also wants to set stuff on fire with her brain.

(Incidentally, this is one of several areas where core-book 4E solves a real and recognised problem in the most hilariously unsubtle manner imaginable, by bashing every role into exactly the same level of mechanical engagement. Which is fantastic if that just happens to be your preferred keel, because now you can play and enjoy every role - and terrible if your ideal toybox is too much larger or smaller, because now every role is an equally bad fit for you.)

5E brings a couple of great ideas for solving this problem to the table:

1. It introduces a series of “tutorial levels”, where each class‘s abilities are introduced gradually over the levels 1-3, reducing entry barriers, leveling out the learning curve, and allowing folks to “try on” different levels of mechanical engagement more easily; and

2. It introduces system of templated archetypes whereby particular classes/roles can be “tuned” to different levels of mechanical engagement, making the same basic set of roles accessible to players with a broader range of preferences in terms of mechanical engagement - and, critically, the choice of template doesn’t have to be made until after the previously mentioned “tutorial levels” are complete.

Sounds great, right?

The problem is, it only applies to fighters and rogues and related classes. Clerics and wizards - i.e., the full-featured spellcasters - don’t get any “tutorial levels”, are obliged to choose their archetypes at first level, and all of their archetypes are about equally complicated - to the point that, for example, the lowest mechanical engagement cleric you can build has more rules-based toys you’re obliged to wrangle at any given level than the highest mechanical engagement fighter.

In other words, the game turns around and goes some distance out of its way to reinforce the very problem that this design pattern is meant to solve!

This pattern is repeated in several other places. For example, one of the long-standing disagreements among the fandom is whether D&D should primarily support epic, globe-trotting “high fantasy” or gritty, street-level “low fantasy” as its default tone. It’s as much a question of rules as it is of flavour text, so it’s hard to do both - but 5E gives it the old college try, which is a frankly fascinating decision. How does that play out?

Unconventionally, 5E does it based on character classes: you literally have some classes that are built out of high fantasy tropes, and some classes that are built out of low fantasy tropes, with the result that you can have characters who basically hail from totally different genres of fantasy fiction running around in the same party. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea; there are lots of inspirational sources that setup could describe - I mean, just look at The Lord of the Rings. If that’s not a prototypical case of high fantasy characters and low fantasy characters partying up, I’ll eat my hat.

This’d be another great opportunity for the archetype system to shine - but again, we see this obnoxious wall slamming down between “martial” and “magic” classes. This time it goes the other way: fighters and rogues default to low fantasy genre assumptions, and have access to archetype templates that can dial them up to high fantasy - but clerics and wizards default to high fantasy and don’t get anything to adjust that.

Tellingly, the high fantasy archetypes for fighters and rogues basically operate by bolting half a wizard to the side of their respective classes. You end up with a strange dynamic where some characters from a given piece of genre source material are valid inspirations, but not others - e.g., you can be Merlin, but not Lancelot; Gandalf, but not Legolas; Medea, but not Achilles. Again, we see this reactionary notion that only spellcasters are allowed to play in the big-kid sandbox; the game’s text openly acknowledges as much by flat-out stating that only full-progression spellcasters are relevant when determining which tiers of play a party can engage with. And again, the tools to fix that are right there; the game just doesn’t deign to pick them up and use them.

I could keep going, but I suspect I’ve harped on long enough that y’all get exactly where I’m coming from here. It’s like… these are not new problems. Maybe not all players care about them, but it’s nearly universally acknowledged that they exist, and it would have taken so little effort to address them - the game literally developed the perfect tools to do so, then didn’t use them. It drives me crazy to see a game come so close to what could have been a legitimately revolutionary take on the genre, then deliberately stop juuuuust short of the goal line.

How to become a good student (again) 4: Layer Yourself to Merge Yourself

Hello, fellow ex-good student!

Hide yo kids, hide yo wife and hide yo husband, cause I’m about to drop the p-bomb:

That’s right… p…p…pro…

PROCRASTINATION!

I know. I know. The moment has come, man. Procrastination has cost me so many hours of my life that I will never get back and I guess it’s the same for you.
Here’s a bit of a secret - the first three posts so far? They were actually also about procrastination. Specifically, they were about WHY you or I might procrastinate.
1. Because you’re overwhelmed by choices
2. Because, goddamnit, it’s HARD to to start
3. Because you have a screwed up relationship with studying

Now, in this post, we will be tying these threads together by looking at the WHAT and the HOW. You’ve examined the roots, you’ve gotten rid of the pesky little bugs living down there, so… WHAT is procrastination really and HOW do you defeat it and actually start studying?

Procrastinaton, for me, is a state of mind, a surround sound and most of all: a place - it’s LIMBO. It’s physically being unable to do something. Being caught in a web (very often the world wide one). Drowning in water. Being pulled apart, gaining momentum, losing control, cotton in my ears, the heat of shame in my chest, a thousand voices in my mind that I try to silence.

“You should be -”
“You have to -”
“You must -”

“Do something, do something, do something, anything, anything, anything, anything”
“You loser, you can’t even -”
“YOU USED TO BE GREAT and now you’re just-”

I hate myself while doing it. I feel horrible. I feel useless.
But at the same time, at the very bottom of my mind, there is something that I’ve refused to acknowledge for the longest time: a sense of pleasure.
Why
do I feel this weird sense of pleasure when I procrastinate? Why do I feel pleasure when I know I’m sabotaging my future through inaction? When I’m digging myself into a deeper and deeper grave? When I hate myself at the same time? Why do I procrastinate at all? Is it because of that underlying ironic pleasure?

Well, to find the answer to those questions, we first need to ask ourselves a bigger one: what is the OPPOSITE of limbo? If limbo is being caught in the middle of nowhere, floating, glitching, slowly imploding, then what is the opposite?
I’d say it’s movement, direction and action - you being in charge and moving things along, having agency, being alive and powerful and energetic and hot. I’d say it’s FLOW.

When I was a child, I had little to no problem syncing in and out of flow. It just came to me like second nature and I LOVED it. I loved the way my brain buzzed and I completely forgot about my surroundings. I loved disappearing into ideas, books, stories, video games, homework, a teacher’s lesson, a friend’s story, my own projects. I went in and out as I pleased and could turn it on and off like a light switch. It was so. much. fun. and I was so, so lucky to have had the privilege of such a talent.

Back then, I used to ache and hunger for a challenge. Things were smooth and easy and fun, but I wanted MORE - harder exercises, deeper questions, more challenging teachers. When I told my father about that, he smiled and said

“Be happy. You have put so much work into this. This is the moment it’s all paying off - you’ve turned and turned and turned your wheel and now it’s running smoothly along the street without even noticing how uneven the ground is.”

He was right, of course, but as time went on, I became more and dissatisfied with my smooth little wheel and started to procrastinate more and more. Why? And, again: where does the pleasure at procrastinating come from?

I’d argue that there are two main factors and one huge reason:

FACTOR 1: The wheel didn’t deliver on its promises

I already mentioned this in the very first post, but basically: disillusionment. I loved working hard, but I also expected it to pay off at some point. However, apart from the occasional pat on the head from a teacher or my parents’ smiles, there wasn’t all that much to be gained. There were no harder exercises, no special treatments, no big revelations - even university, my very last bastion of hope turned out to be a glorified bouncy castle.
I was just bored and the work I put into it wasn’t worth the outcome anymore. The system had failed me.

FACTOR 2: Suddenly, there were a lot of wheels

It is easy to glorify my younger self, but, really, child-me had it a lot easier.
Child-me only had one wheel to spin (school) and as I grew older, I realized that there were, well, many other wheels I had neglected.
I had a lot of catching up to do in areas like empathy, charisma, self-confidence and self-worth outside of academia, humour and fashion. And when I left school, there were even MORE wheels: suddenly, I also had to keep my job, my apartment, my much more complicated social life, my manifold hobbies and a somewhat healthy sleep schedule going.
I wasn’t prepared for this abundance of wheels. I’d grown up thinking that as long as I could keep the one wheel I was good at spinning (academia), I’d be juuuuust dandy. Well, I was wrong and I realized that, once again the system had failed me.

If only I’d had better teachers. If only I’d listened to the good ones. If only I’d worked the problem earlier. If only I was part of a better system that would recognize and foster my talents. Who knows how much I could achieve? Who knows how much I could have ALREADY achieved?

And that’s where the pleasure of procrastination comes from.
It is defiance. It is rebellion. It is a big “FUCK YOU” to the system that failed me. It is a “Look at me! I’m operating outside the system and I’m STILL getting semi-good grades. I don’t need any of you. I don’t need any of this. I’m playing by MY rules. I’m getting shit done MY way. Because YOUR way disappointed me. Because I am FREE.”

If, at this point, you’re starting to feel sorry for me (or yourself for being in a similar situation) …that’s exactly the problem. There’s really no way to say this nicely, so here we go:

PROCRASTINATION IS NO MORE AND NO LESS THAN A GLORIFIED VICTIM COMPLEX.

Let me explain.
When you procrastinate, doesn’t it feel like you HAVE TO do things? Like you’re being FORCED to do something? Like you’re POWERLESS? Like you’re STUCK? Like you’re SUFFERING? Like you’re AT THE MERCY of your negative thoughts, the system or you’re conscience? Like you’re being WHIPPED AROUND? Like you crave recognition of your SUFFERING? Like you don’t have a choice except RUNNING AWAY and not facing what you’re FORCED to face?

All of these thoughts and emotions put you in the position of a sufferer - a victim.

You see yourself as a victim of the system, the school, the state, the assignment you should be working on. You deliver yourself unto their power. You submit to a simple dichotomy: I HAVE to do this or I SHOULD FEEL like shit.
I HAVE to do this, so I MUST suffer and accept the infringement of my freedom.

Well, let me tell you something that just about changed my life when I fully, deeply and profoundly realized the truth behind these words:

YOU 
DON’T 
HAVE
TO 
DO 
SHIT. 


…or a bit more eloquently put:

You’re the one in control.

No, honestly. You are. 

If you wanted to, you could throw it all into the wind, take the next train to nowhere and see where life takes you. But do you want to do that? 
And, the even bigger question: why do you feel SO powerless that this small, stupid act of rebellion against The System is enough to intoxicate you SO much that you keep coming back to suckle on its sweet, sweet bitter nectar?

It’s because you feel trapped. It’s because you feel lost. 
It’s because you feel like you have so much potential and it’s all going to FUCKING waste and if somebody were to just give you a FUCKING hand you could really show everybody just how much you can FUCKING do and-

-let me stop you right there and let me ask you 4 questions:

QUESTION 1)
You keep going on and on about how intelligent you are …but what’s the use of your intelligence if you can’t use it to improve your own life?

If you’re anything like me, you find it very easy and rewarding to help other people with their problems. You easily see the roots of problems and the ways that conflicts could be resolved. You’re an excellent trouble-shooter and a strategist in video games and for your friends… but what about your own life? Why do you ACCEPT playing the role of the victim in your own life?

Why do you accept this suffering?

Long story short: because you’ve grown used to it.

You’ve forgotten what it feels like to make active choices, to exert your full agency and to take full responsibility for whatever mess might come of it. Leading me to…

Question 2)
You keep going on and on about how intelligent you are… but what’s the use of your intelligence if you don’t take anything seriously?

Be honest: when was the last time you took anything seriously and gave it your all? …no? Nothing?


Well, if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you know the neat excuse of “eh, I was just winging it, but if I REALLY tried-” and do you know what that is? It’s cowardice and it’s self-victimization.

I know I’m coming on very strong.
But the truth is this: I know this. I know this because I’ve been living this. I’ve been living a second-hand life that I allowed to be ruled by “the system” and guilt and made-up obligations …and I almost lost myself in the process.

Maybe you can realize it with me: It’s some time ago, I wake up in the middle of the night and randomly feel like taking an IQ test online. I’m still half-asleep, I roll onto my stomach, I don’t even sit up, I meander my way through the questions. Shit. I realize that time is running out and I haven’t even finished ¾ of the questions! I panick. I feel guilty. I finally sit up. I start trying harder. I’m getting faster and faster - faster than I ever thought possible. And despite 5 minutes of good effort - 
I fail. Hard.
And as I sit there in my dark room, my unbelievably sucky result glowing on the screen of my mobile phone and I look out of the window, I realize: this has been my life for the past 5 years. Winging stuff at not even 50% of my capacity and being hurt by the results. Honestly, when WAS the last time I took anything really seriously? 

The next day, I get 8 hours of sleep, sit down in front of my laptop with a bottle of water, search for the most professional IQ test I can find and concentrate from the very beginning. I score 30 points higher. 

Let me repeat that: I scored 30 points higher on an IQ test because I actually tried. Magical things can happen if you take stuff seriously.

Leading us to

Question 3)
You keep going on and on about how intelligent you are… but when was the last time your intelligence has brought you joy?

Maybe you’re familiar with the phrase “The burnt child dreads the fire”? When I thought back on my academic progress in the last years, I realized that there really hadn’t been much joy anywhere. Pretty much everything had sucked. 

Big time.

Of course I wouldn’t want to invest my energy into something that didn’t yield any good results … right?

Wrong. My lack of good results was only an indicator for the real problem: my lack of effort.
The simple truth is this: 
We are smart. We enjoy doing what we are good at. We enjoy hard mental work, REGARDLESS of the results.
But once I started to focus too much on the results and thought it was all about having a great CV and min-maxing my grades… I just didn’t have fun anymore. I didn’t allow myself to have fun anymore. To disappear into a world of thoughts like I used to as a child. To invest way too much time into a project, to have an absolute BLAST creating something complex and outstanding and super cool. 

Bringing us to…

Question 4) 
You keep going on and on about how intelligent you are… but can you really create something extraordinary?

See that’s the thing: when I was a child, I didn’t just take school seriously.
I wanted to go the extra mile. 
And honestly? That was the whole secret. I wanted to create something that wasn’t just special but mind-blowingly special. It’s not like I knew I had it in me, but rather that I wanted grow to have more and more in me and I knew that the only way to do that was to challenge myself again and again.
That’s the difference between viewing your intelligence and your capabilities as stagnant or growing. There is no joy and no truth in regarding yourself as stagnant - the best of violin players started out sounding like a dying cat and the best athletes kept stumbling. If you want to create and become something extraordinary, you need to know that it will not happen overnight. You need to know that it will be a slow, hard and challenging hike up a hill and the only thing that keeps you climbing is your willingness to go the extra mile so you can see the view become more and more beautiful.

The real pleasure of studying is not getting good results and bragging rights - that’s just a cool side-effect. The real pleasure of studying is studying and that means working and knowing that working gets you one step ahead one step at a time.

So HOW can you change? HOW can you regain control? How can you consciously go from limbo to flow?
First of all:

1) RECLAIM YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND YOUR PASSION

The first thing I tell myself in the morning is “My life is in my hands.”
That’s not always an easy sentence to start with, especially if I haven’t slept well or if I’m sick or in the middle of a fight or an existential crisis or just crabby.
But it’s always true. It’s MY life and it’s my responsibility to make the best of it. 

One poem in particular has really helped me, so who knows, maybe it’ll help some of you guys as well:

The Vow

No matter how deep the sadness or wide the pain,
I vow to live for a brighter day will come again.

No matter how many mistakes I’ve made in the past,
I vow to live and in the future avoid them, surefooted and fast.

No matter how many tragedies beyond my control take place,
I vow to live and stay my course within this race.

No matter how poor or rich I may ever be,
I vow to live and aspire to search for the dignity in simplicity.

No matter how much a lover may pierce the inner core of my heart,
I vow to live for like spring I’ll get a new start.

No matter how isolated and alone I may feel,
I vow to live and do something for someone else to heal.

No matter how hopeless my situation my appear,
I vow to live and reflect until my viewpoint is clear.

No matter what happens in this life – good or bad
I vow to live, do my best, and just for living – be glad.

– Malcolm O. Varner

If you want to find pleasure in studying again, you need to embrace your own passion.
I know it’s a lot “cooler” to be indifferent towards studying, to procrastinate, to do it almost out of spite and at the last minute. But is it really?
No one wins. It’s not rewarding. It’s not fulfilling. You’ll have forgotten it in a week. It just sucks for everyone involved. Love what you do. Love it like you would a lover. Be considerate, be tender and be patient.
It must not feel like an obligation. It must feel like a passion - a fiery want for new horizons, mentals fireworks and lightbulb moments. It must come from yourself, from your bowels, your fibres, your blood - not from some ominous outside force. 

“I have to do this.” -> “I want to do this!”
“I’m losing time. There is so much I have to do, I want to be done with this already.” -> “I want to give this my time. This is absolutely worth it. I really want to be doing this right now.”
“Be fast. Be faster.” -> “Slow down. Be patient. Cherish this moment.”
“This is hard. I hate it. I hate it so much.” -> “This is challenging. I love it. I love it so much.”
“I can make this perfect, it has to be perfect! I could give this my all, I can give this my all. If I’m not giving this my all, I’m a complete and utter failure. Better not try at all rather than screwing it up. Again.”   -> “This is a work-in-progress, just like anything else. I am sure I can improve it bit by bit, by devoting some of my time to it. Even if I don’t get very far today, I’m sure the experience will pay off in the long run and I might find some unrelated ideas for other projects!”

You must go from this:

To that:

2) MAKE ACTIVE CHOICES.

(Like, maybe make the choice NOT to wear that speedo)

Because that’s really what it comes down to in the end: CHOICE. Nobody actively chooses to procrastinate. Procrastination is the absence of choice. 

Years of little to no success make you feel like your choices don’t matter -> you feel like you cannot influence anything -> you might as well not try -> you procrastinate.
But here’s the thing: your choices DO matter (DITCH that speedo!) and you must regain that trust in yourself.

We NEED to be able to make choices about their own lives. It makes us feel powerful and like we are truly alive.
It makes us feel like we are, you guessed it, in the flow.

Now, of course it’d be nice if I told you “Make conscious choices sweaty <3 ;*” and you’d go out and do it and that was it. But, truth be told, it’s hella hard to get there and it will take you at least a year of constant effort.
For me, this year meant constantly asking myself “Wait, do I REALLY want to do this right now?” and establishing a neat rule for all media consumption that goes “Always enrichment, never escape”. But, as I said, that’s a work-in-progress and something that you will have to work on in your own time and at your own pace.
Luckily, I found a shortcut :D

Now, the shortcut does not replace the year of constant effort, mind you, but it can help to make it a lot easier:

THE STUDY ROOM

What’s the “Study Room”? Well…
You might have been wondering what the title “Layer Yourself to Merge Yourself” is all about. This was my thought process:

  • 1) I want to get from limbo to flow
  • 2) And I want studying to feel like a reward in and of itself
  • 3) And it’d be nice if I could concentrate on just spinning one wheel at a time, so I can really lose myself in it
  • 4) I also want it to be a conscious choice, so I can train my decision-making process
  • ….
  • ….but how?
  • …”fake it till you make it” or what, haha?
  • ….I guess what that really means is that you have to act like you’re already there until you’re there?
  • …so, like, you have to artifically induce naturalness?
  • …haha, wouldn’t it be neat if I could do that and “transform” into my “study-form” like the Avatar or a magical girl or a superhero or something?
  • …..
  • …wait. Wait. WAIT. What if I COULD?
  • What if there was a “me” that was specifically always in the flow and already loves and is good at studying and which I only access whenever I want to study?
  • So I create a new “me”, so that, over time, we can become one again and I can change into that “me” whenever I want?
  • …cool.
  • …but how?
  • I could always go to a special place, but that would limit me whenever that place wasn’t availabe.
  • …buuuuuut…..
  • …..what if it was a place I could ALWAYS access?
  • what if it was a place in my MIND?
  • ….
  • …..holy SHIT.

And that’s how the “Study Room” was born. Below, I will detail the journey to my personal “study room”, but I wager that everybody’s study room will look a little different depending on what makes you feel most comfortable, rational and “in the flow”.

STEP 1 - DETACH FROM LIMBO

Close your eyes. Lean back.
Do it with me now. Consider this your tutorial. Bring yourself to a screeching halt, throw an anchor into the the ground of the stormy sea, pull the brakes, just - stop. Stop. Slow down.
Close your eyes, lean back, keep your eyes closed for a good minute - god, how long a minute can be, right?- and feel your breathing consciously, slowly, feel how you are alive and full of hunger, feel how your heart beats, feel how much tension has built up inside of you, how much energy has been stored and how much you actually ache to do something meaningful. Feel it. Keep your eyes closed until you feel it. Then, come back to me.

STEP 2 - BECOME AWARE OF REALITY

I don’t know if you’ll need this step, but I live very much inside my head and limbo just makes that effect even stronger. So, I like to remind myself of my physicality, of my spatial realness, of my ability to perceive and interact with the world in this step. I re-connect with the world and it slows me down even more - it’s a bit like hooking myself into this world, so limbo can’t claim me so easily.
I drink a glass of water, I eat a carrot, I touch a cold tile, I feel the texture of a pillow, I play with my own hair - if I’m in public, like in a library, I usually just brush over my lips or grip the table unobtrusively. It’s a small step, one that usually doesn’t take longer than 10 seconds, but it’s one that has helped me a lot.

(When I’m really caught up in limbo, I usually lie down on the floor in my room. That works wonders)

STEP 3 - ENTER YOUR STUDY PLACE

At this point, I close my eyes again and visualize. I enter another world, the world of studying in my mind.

STEP 3A - THE DOOR

My eyes are still closed and imagine a dark, circular room: this is the entrance to my Study Room ™. I stand in the middle of the room - there is one door right in front of me, two to my left and two to my right. I have no idea what’s behind those other doors or why my imagination has conjured up a room like that, but hey, it works and here we are.
I gather all my concentration and repeat “My life is in my hands. I take on the responsibility for my own life. I WANT to learn. I CHOOSE this.” to myself. Then, I consciously choose to walk in only one direction, channeling all my thoughts into a straight line: towards the door right in front of me. I enter through it - somehow, I never have to actually open it, so it might be more like an open doorway?

STEP 3B - THE WATER

I step through the door and find myself in a space filled with water. I have absolutely no trouble breathing and I can easily swim, turn, glide and spiral like a dolphin. The water washes the last remnants of limbo off me, I feel my tensions washing away, my mind waking up, the wheel starting to move, my chest feeling lighter, my heart feeling hotter, my breathing going slow and steady. I swim in this liminal space for as long as I need to, I revel, I breathe, I wallow, I luxuriate until I feel ready to emerge from the water.
(wonder what psychologists would say about this little ritual - is it a literal re-birth? is this the womb? who knows? it works and that’s good enough for me right now …now that I think about it, that beach scene from Gravity might have been an inspiration. Man, I loved that movie already, but that ending?? Aaaaanyway, moving on…)

STEP 3C - THE WORLD

Then, I swim upwards and emerge from the water, head-first. The sun is warm and shines on my head and I step out of the water with bare feet, toes curling around grass and my lungs breathing in fresh forest air. Somewhere, a bird is singing, white clouds are languidly drifting by, all is warm, comfortable and good. I sit down on a giant mushroom by a tree (hey, don’t ask me, I don’t know), take a last deep breath and put pen to paper.
At this point, I open my eyes in the real world. I am completely relaxed, a thousand miles away from limbo, in another dimension even, calm and happy to engage with questions and wonders.

I’m in the flow.

In this world, I am a different me. A “study-me”.
In time, this me and I will merge again and we have already merged quite a bit. My walk through the Study Room process has become faster and faster and I am quite certain that, in time, it won’t take longer than a fraction of a second and it will seem like I can switch my flow on and off again like I used to. My study wheel is rolling again.

But if yours isn’t just yet, then …this is it. This is how, this is why and this is the very moment I re-connect with my “study values”, my passion and my agency, again and again and I choose to do it. Again. And again.


It is, really, all about choice.

And that’s the advantage I have over the old me. The old me studied because I didn’t know anything else and because I thought that I had to. 
The me right now chooses to study because I want to. And that makes it ten times more effective, more freeing and more fun.

So run wild, enjoy, actively enter that world of studying in your head, no matter what yours might look like (rain? palm trees? other planet? go bonkers!), it’s about choosing this and wanting this. It is about YOU saying “Yes, there are other interesting things and wheels out there, but right here, right now, I want this, nothing else and I will give it all of myself for as long as I want to.”

As you might have guessed by the gifs, I really recommend watching Free! Iwatobi Swim Club if you’re interested in overcoming procrastination.
(I swear I’m not sponsored by KyoAni, but for all their other shortcomings, their characters always have amazing character arcs when it comes to professionalism and passions) Both Rin and Haru are caught in their own versions of limbo and following Rin’s journey in Season 1 and Haru’s journey in Season 2 really helped me realize a lot of things about my own life and about how I dealt with passion, talent and my career.

The last part of this series will include a Q&A, so if there is something you didn’t quite understand or are unsure about, something you’d like to add or recommend to others, something you’d like me to explain in more detail or demonstrate through other examples, please, just write me a message (my inbox is absolutely open!) and I will answer it in Part 5 :)

Thank you for coming along on this ride! I hope some of my thoughts could help you and please, do let me know if my methods work for you - I’d love to know! :D 

Your life is in your hands,

-studyinstyle

Translation: ONE-Sensei Young Sunday Interview :D

I did my best to summarize this hour-long interview with ONE-sensei, uploaded to YouTube by Young Sunday in March and uploaded to Tumblr by the lovely and talented @one-blog last week. Please note, while my Japanese is decently high-level, I typically translate written Japanese rather than spoken Japanese (which, by its very nature, is harder to translate), so there might be mistakes here or there. That said, I believe I captured the general gist of things. If youโ€™re fluent in Japanese and want to do a more comprehensive translation in the future, please feel free!

EDIT: Here are some more detailed translations of selected parts of the interview, based on Japanese transcripts that @isasm found. :)

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anonymous asked:

Why the fuck would you diagnose yourself,,,, like,,, as someone w autism maybe you should,,,,, think before you pettily """self diagnose """ its offensive ok thanks love u

Maybe I should think before I self-diagnose, huh? Well, gee, you sure will be relieved to hear that I have, in fact, thought! I have been thinking! For five whole years! I first started looking into autism when I was 16, and I didn’t understand a whole lot about it at first, but guess what! I learned! With my very own brain! And now I know a hell of a lot about it!

Things that DID NOT HAPPEN when I went about self-diagnosing autism:

  • I just skimmed through the wikipedia entry for autism and 7 minutes later said, “Yup! I definitely have autism and from this point on I will fully claim to be autistic without ever learning another thing about it ever again! My work here is done!”
  • I didn’t even consider seeing a mental health professional for possible confirmation.

Things that ACTUALLY DID HAPPEN when I went about self-diagnosing autism:

  • I did some googling and learned from several different websites a variety of different autistic traits that I profoundly related to, then branched out my research and learned as much as I could about all these various traits and how they link back to autism.
  • Mostly, I went to forums and tumblr blogs and read / asked questions about the autistic experience straight from actual (professionally diagnosed) autistic people.
  • I learned about dozens of autistic traits that I have experienced my entire life. I was absolutely astonished to learn that autism could explain some of my experiences that I had NEVER had an explanation for. It was massively exciting and relieving to know that there’s an actual reason for a lot of the things I experience.
  • I did all of this for MONTHS. I researched and researched and researched for MONTHS and it wasn’t even until I was almost 18-years-old (over a year after first looking into autism) that I just STARTED to become comfortable saying I was autistic.
  • When I was 17, I went to the psychiatrist I had at the time and confided in him that I had been looking into autism and I wanted to know how I might go about getting professionally evaluated. He looked at me and he said, “It says in your file that you have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Why isn’t that enough for you?” Then he continued to treat me like an attention-seeking idiot and refused to help me work towards a diagnosis.
  • I saw a neuropsychologist a few months after talking to that psychiatrist. This neuropsychologist was supposed to be assessing me for autism – at least that’s what my parents said. However, I’m not sure that’s exactly what she did. She seemed to only give me a general neuropsychological assessment. Not a SINGLE test she gave me had anything to do with traits obviously associated with autism (i.e. sensory issues, social issues, special interests, etc.). Instead she gave me… well, like I said, general neuropsychological tests. Stuff like memory tests, math tests, language tests. Then at the end of everything, at the point that I was legitimately thinking maybe there was a misunderstanding and she doesn’t even know that I wanted to be tested for autism, she told me this: “You can’t be autistic, because you’re interested in psychology, and autistic people don’t care enough about others to have such an interest.” The very first time I spoke to her, she asked me a little about myself, and I happened to mention that I am indeed interested in psychology. Based on the reason she gave for me not being autistic (and yes, that was the ONLY reason she gave), it appears she had already decided that I wasn’t autistic BEFORE she even gave me any tests (which, again, didn’t even have much to do with autism!).
  • So, a couple more months after seeing that neuropsychologist, I thought hard about everything that had happened and everything that I’ve learned. And I said to myself, “Y’know what? That doctor seemed to have an extremely incorrect and ableist view of what it means to be autistic, so I’m not going to agree with her opinion. I’m going to identify as autistic because that’s what makes the most sense to me. Maybe I’ll try to get diagnosed again further down the road, but for the time being, I’m comfortable with and confident in my self-diagnosis.”
  • Even after the point at which I officially decided to identify as autistic, I still continued to do research! Even to this day, 5 years after first looking into autism, I’ll still occasionally read about it and learn more about my own experiences as an autistic person. 

In conclusion:

  • It can be very difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to get an autism diagnosis as an adult.
  • I don’t need an autism diagnosis! I don’t need therapy specifically for autism, I don’t need medication specifically for autism, and I already have supplemental security income for my bipolar disorder! At this point in my life, there’s literally no reason for me to get a professional diagnosis for autism except for validation.
  • I have learned so much about myself over the last five years, it’s amazing. It’s all been incredibly helpful. I love having other autistic people in an online community to talk and relate to. I am much better off knowing I’m autistic and knowing why I process the world differently than most other people, than I would have been if I had never looked into autism and remained confused and frustrated and thinking there’s something wrong with me for the rest of my life.

Anyway, maybe you should think before you come act like an asshole in my ask box.

Apologies

Description: ย After a fight, Taehyung canโ€™t bring himself to apologize to his girlfriend until he realizes that she might have moved on. ย If he wants her he needs to go get her.

Pairing: Taehyung x Reader

Genre: Smut and Angst

Word Count: 11620

Warning: Rough sex, possessive dirty talk, spanking

A/N: These just keep getting longer, sorry about that. ย A special thanks goes to @avveh for being my soundboard and helping out. ย Hope jealous Tae is everything you (and I) want!

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