max out credit card

I just got out of an abusive relationship & I’m in need of help. I left an abusive boyfriend I was living with, with noting except my ID, government documents, debit card, phone, laptop, car, a pillow, and a bag of my clothes. I have nothing else.

After being in my car for a few nights while waiting to hear back from a few studio apartments, I moved into a new place by myself and away from my abuser and I ended up putting my entire paycheck into a deposit, first month’s rent, gas for my car so I can get to work, cancelling the cable contract that was in my name at my ex’s place (which was a $350 cancellation fee, jfc.), my phone bill, buying out of my old lease, credit card bill.

My credit card is maxed out and I’m steadily paying it off, so I can’t use it. I’m a very independent person but I need help in getting myself on my feet until I get payed again. I have a very stable and decent paying job, but right now I’m going through a hard time. 

My google wallet is deysialexis31@gmail.com. I need essentials like soap, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, a few groceries, an air mattress or bed of some kind, blankets, toilet paper, dishes, to hold me over until I get paid again. Any amount helps me so much. Again, I never make posts like this and I pride myself a lot in being an independent and self sustained person. Asking for help like this is a big blow to my pride but I’m trying to get back on my feet after leaving an abuse ridden relationship.

“Baby Stark”

Pairing: Tony Stark x Reader

Summary: After returning to New York, Tony is greeted with surprising news that has potential to change his life.

A/N: another one from draft-purgatory. lol i’ve never written for tony stark, and i i struggle to capture his swaggering tone. however, but i thought it would be fun to write for a slightly softer tony stark.

His elbows resting on the metal railing surrounding the large helicopter landing pad, Tony Stark skims his eyes over the beautiful aerial view of Manhattan. A relaxed smile perks onto his lips as the familiar clamor of the concrete jungle sinks in. “It’s good to be back,” he hums to himself, taking in the majestic view carved around the Avengers Tower.

After rapping his knuckles against the metal railing, Tony saunters down the glass walkway leading into the tower, the eery silence reminding him that everyone is on a mission. He’s about to greet F.R.I.D.A.Y. when a smile enters his view, one that he isn’t expecting.

She sits on the counter of the bar, her legs elegantly crossed despite the restrictive nature of her pencil skirt. The sunlight streams into the room through the glass windows, creating a natural glow about her. A coy smile perks onto her lips as Tony’s drinks her in, his lower lip getting caught between his teeth as his eyes dance up her legs and body. She’s the most alluring girl he’d ever seen -he’d thought so two years ago when they first met, and he still thinks so now- and it’s one of the many reasons why he’s infatuated with her.

“I thought I told you not to wait for me,” He grins, glad that she ignored his request.

“I couldn’t wait until dinner, and I wanted to be here when you arrived. Is that such a crime?” (Y/N) hops off the counter and saunters towards him. She cups his cheek in a way that makes Tony feel like he’s the only person in the world.

“Well, counselor, I recommend -” His words are cut off as (Y/N) yanks the lapels of his jacket to bring his face towards her for a kiss. Tony laughs against her lips, but the laugh quickly gets drowned out by a rough growl as she lightly bites his lower lip. A smile creeps in around the edges of her kiss as she slides her hands down his muscular back. A nip of teeth, a glide of tongue, and she easily has him under her spell.

It’s only a matter of time when the need for oxygen brings the kiss to an end. Tony gently knocks his forehead against (Y/N)’s. “Remind me to always bring up a counterargument, because baby, I could get used to that,” he drawls.

(Y/N) laughs, a devilish glint lighting up her eyes. “Welcome back to New York, Mr. Stark. It’s been a while.” Her hand dangerously inch south as she brings his ear to her lips. “That was a little preview of what’s going to happen tonight.”

He feigns exasperation as (Y/N) playfully smacks his ass but twirls out of his arms before he can do anything. A low noise escapes his throat as she shoots him a sexy smile over her shoulder while kicking off her “ball-busting stilettos”, as she calls them.

Tony leans against the wall and watches (Y/N)’s shadow dance in the glow of the sun. Two years into the relationship, and he still gets butterflies. His fun, beautiful girlfriend, the skyline of the most magical city in America, wonderful weather - his life is perfect and Tony wishes it would stay this way for a long time.

“As much as I love pencil skirts, I need to change,” (Y/N) announces. “I have workout pants in my bag, but could I borrow a shirt or sweater?”

“Baby, at this point, you’ve stolen over half of my comfortable clothes. Why do you even bother asking?”

(Y/N) smirks and plants a kiss on his cheek before sashaying towards the door of Tony’s private apartment. Before she opens the door, she turns to him. “T, I have something to tell you.“

"Mmhmm,” Tony hums, pulling out his phone from his pocket.

“I probably should have told you, but I was kind of scared of how you would react. I thought it would be wise to tell you when you were back in New York.” She hesitates for a bit, her fingertips drumming against the doorframe. “Promise not to freak?” she asks, a slightly icy look glazing her eyes.

A small alarm rings in his head, but Tony maintains a calm expression. “I promise. Did you max out my credit card?” he jokes.

(Y/N) rolls her eyes but relaxes a bit, which pleases Tony. “No, and I never will.”

“My wallet thanks you, baby. But what’s up?”

“Tony.” She swallows. “How do you feel about becoming a dad?”

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In An Instant: Part Ten (END)

Summary: A romantic comedy about what happens when love literally falls through your window.

Characters: Bucky Barnes x Reader, Ash (aka me), Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Tony Stark

Warnings: Language, general gross cuteness, some angst, bad writing, bad storylines, possible cheating, but mostly major fluff and feels

Word Count: 1.6K

A/N: I’m finally wrapping up this series. It didn’t quite go the way I had anticipated but I enjoyed it. Thank you to all of you extremely patient people who followed along with me. I’d love to hear what you thought of the series as a whole and what I should/shouldn’t do in future series. I love you all. Special thanks to my babe, @sebbytrash, for reading through this for me. I love you.

Catch up here!  **My Masterlist  ** Inspiration Fund

When you awoke that Saturday afternoon, a mere three weeks since you met the life ruiner, Bucky Barnes, your heart literally hurt. Who were you to stop a wedding? You barely knew this guy. There was nothing you could do.

Keep reading

5

BEAST is a little gothic fairytale – the story of three generations of women dealing with the aftermath of divorce. When Alice’s mother, Grace, tells her that her father’s a “beast,” she begins to question who or what she really is. 

We’re going for something along the lines of Pan’s Labyrinth meets Terms of Endearment – a sprinkling of magical realism mixed with a family drama.

We shot the bulk of the short film last year and headed back for one day in January. We were lucky enough to be supported by Creative England’s Emerging Talent scheme, which got us through the bulk of the shoot but now find ourselves in post production with our credit cards maxed out, desperate to finish our little movie.

Support women filmmakers and donate to this film’s kickstarter before April 28th so we can all see it.

On plot holes in general

To clear the air: I’m not just talking about Moftiss. But I’m also talking about Moftiss. 

The thing about plot holes is that there are two types: ones which are unresolved plot threads, and things wherein the writers failed to show us something and assumed we would fill it in ourselves. An example of the first type would be John’s letter to Sherlock at the end of TST. Why introduce the letter if it was never going to be shown, read, or referred to again? An example of the second type is how John got out of the well and still had feet in later scenes. There, the writers could have showed us John realising that only his shoes were chained and showed him removing them and climbing up the rope, or they could have showed someone climbing down to cut through the chains. But it feels like a hole because they didn’t. 

Eurus *could* have used all of her brainwashed fellow inmates/patients to make all of those arrangements, but without seeing any of it, it feels difficult to swallow. If they’d shown even one scene of her doing some of this, we might have been more willing to extend some benefit of the doubt, some extrapolation of “oh, I guess there was more of that, then, ok”, but we didn’t see any of it. There was nothing there to explain how supposedly-dead Mary kept sending posthumous home videos. 

Then again, most Bond/spy movies do the same thing, honestly. If Bond’s credit cards were cut off, how did he rent that Aston Martin? Where did he get that new suit? Last time we saw him, he was wearing jeans and a ripped t-shirt and had no luggage with him. Has he been wearing the same underwear for the entire movie? Does he ever brush his teeth? Personally, I’m one of those irritating watchers who always wants to be shown the parts that make it feel real. I suspect that screen writers leave this stuff out deliberately for three reasons: 

1) They think it will be dull. They figure audiences don’t want to see Bond trying on shirts or going to the bank to take out cash or maxing out on a credit card. Better put in some more car chases! 

2) They’re already trying to edit things down to fit into a prescribed run time. Therefore Bond doing cardio to keep fit for all those foot chases gets cut. 

3) They actually don’t want the protagonist (or villain, as the case may be) to seem human; they want us to see them as almost super-human, so Bond clipping his toenails never gets written. 

The thing is, the day and age of willing suspension of disbelief is over. Audiences are more analytical than they used to be. We’re used to getting explanations when we want them, because information is so widely available now. When things don’t add up or make sense, we find it irritating, not artistic. I honestly think that Moffat and Gatiss think they’re being artistic by not explaining things fully (though that doesn’t excuse them by a mile for constantly underplaying the realistic emotional fall-out of the things their characters suffer), but the fact is that their audience simply finds it underwhelming and sloppy. I think it may be partly a question of generations, too, but I also know fans of Sherlock who are their age and older, who find their plot holes as irritating as fans in their teens do. Personally, the more realistic something is, the more it will draw me in. I want to know where Bond got those dry socks from to replace the ones that got wet in the rain. I want to see him jet-lagged after flying halfway around the world. I want to know how he paid to get to that island or that city without any working credit cards or debit cards. You can’t book a flight with cash, not a commercial one, at least. “He took a charter,” the screen writer says, shrugging it off in an interview. Sure, fine: then show it. 

Moffat mentioned somewhere that Sherlock delivered Rosie, which is a frankly appalling thought, especially given that there was an actual doctor in the car, and given Sherlock’s horrified face at the thought of an event involving female genitalia unfolding in his very presence, I somehow can’t picture this in the slightest. 

Part of the problem is also that their episodes span too much time too rapidly to address the questions of how their day-to-day relationships function, what those dynamics really are, etc. Too much is skipped over for the sake of advancing the plot. I would personally rather see more attention given to detail and less to unbelievable plot arcs. I expect Doctor Who to be wholly unbelievable (and even there I used to snark about dropped plot threads and unsatisfactory resolutions as well as under-handled emotional fall-out, when I still watched it). I expect Sherlock to be believable, though, and there was just so many holes. 

All I’m saying is that Sherlock is not the only show that does this. There are a LOT of holes in series 3 and 4, but my larger issue is the emotional fall-out thing and the dropped threads. (Why make such a big deal with the memory altering drug? Why was there a dog bowl that Sherlock recognised? What did that damned letter say??? What did Ella tell Sherlock to do for John? Because I bet it wasn’t “go to hell, Sherlock”, yet that’s the advice he chose to take. Why???) Yeah: we like to be shown these things. It’s not enough to explain it later in an interview or a panel at a conference. Put it right there in the canon as though you meant to all along. That’s what ticks my boxes, at least. 

Rambling aside. Back to the current fic. As you were! 

They want an undifferentiated global population, raceless, genderless, identityless, meaningless population, consuming sugar, consuming drugs, while watching porn on VR goggles while they max out their credit cards. Don’t deny that that is the kind of passive nihilism that so many in the elite class actually want. They want a world without roots, they want a world without meaning, they want a flat grey-on-grey world, one economic market for them to manipulate. That’s what’s happening in the world.
—  Richard B. Spencer 
4

ALL RIGHT FOLKS! IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN!

I’m about to graduate San Jose State University in May and I’m opening up commissions for two reasons:

1) To have some steady cash to keep me afloat and pay my rent

2) Unfortunately, my Financial Aid went kaput in the last semester and I had to max out a credit card in order to pay for it! 

So my goal is $1000 USD to pay a portion of my card and my rent! 

Ideally, if everyone wanted painted backgrounds, I’d say I wanna do 10 Slots, but the reality of it, I may do 15-20 or more depending on what everyone asks!

So here’s a break down of the pricing:

For Mugshots (Shoulders Up): 

$15 USD for flats

$40 USD for cel-shading 

$75 for painted. 

Extra characters $5 for flats and cel-shade, $15 for painted!

For Half to Full Body: 

$30 USD Flats

 $80 Cel-Shaded

 $100 for Cel-Shaded or fully painted with a background! 

Extra Characters will be $15!

I’m willing to do just line work or black and white too for a cheaper rate!

WHAT I WON’T DO

Gore

Loli/Shota

Hate Speech

For questions and inquiries, submit to my ask HERE

Or send me an email to NetoAlonso510@gmail.com

i’m asking you (what you know about these things)

[jonxsansa, modern au, ~5k+]

said there’s no mistakin’
what i feel is really love

—sam smith (whitney houston cover)  

When Sansa had received the gold-leaf invitation to celebrate Loras Tyrell and Renly Baratheon’s spring wedding, her expectations were high. She had known Loras since high school—indeed, she was best friends with his sister Margaery to this day, five years after their graduation—and as such she had come to know the Tyrells to be the most extravagant of families. As a young woman with equally lavish tastes, Sansa had gotten on with them famously.

While never quite so bold or, at times, rather outlandish as Margaery and Loras, because of their influence Sansa had gained a sense of poise and sophistication well beyond that of her own family. That’s not to say that the Starks were not held in high esteem. But Catelyn Stark had always said that while all of her children had been born with silver spoons in their mouths, her eldest daughter had grown up to fashion hers into a crown. Sansa had once taken offense to that, thinking her mother meant to make a materialistic fool of her, but as she grew older she gained a better perspective.

Not one among their elite set did not have a taste for the finer things—not even her younger sister, Arya, much as she would like to pretend otherwise—and Sansa simply accepted her good fortune and used it to do good by herself and others. Margaery felt the need to point this out at every availability, usually when Sansa showed up to a social event with a less-than reputable beau on her arm. Which, even Sansa can admit in retrospect, is often. Loras’ wedding is no exception, although Sansa has yet to look at it in hindsight.  

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US vs UK healthcare

I am not the smartest person in the world, nor even close to the smartest person I know. Nor have I visited the vast majority of countries on this magnificent planet. But I did happen to move from the US to the U.K. two and a half years ago at the age of 37, i.e. after almost four decades of inhabiting an incredibly hairy human body. Thus I’ve had a good deal of experience as a patient, or as they call you in the US, a consumer of American healthcare before moving to the UK to experience the NHS for two-plus years as a father of three, a husband of a woman whose reproductive system is more glorious and has more complex needs than my own, and as a person whose own body is subject to the ravages of gravity, time, and secret Oreo milkshakes from Five Guys.
What I’m getting at is that I’m in a pretty good position to speak with some degree of clarity on the NHS as it compares to the American healthcare system. And here’s the verdict: the NHS is superior. That isn’t to say it’s perfect; no healthcare system is or can be. People (myself included) have and will continue to complain about their healthcare, wherever they receive it, because medicine is treating your body, or your loved one’s body. It is not performing the far less important and less fraught tasks of selling you a car or fixing your mobile’s broken screen or painting your house or making you a sandwich (though to be fair both the NHS or UCLA Santa Monica Hospital in Los Angeles will make you a reasonably good sandwich if you have to stay in hospital.) Medicine is treating your body! Your hearing, your intestines, your tits! Sometimes even your… nodes! The delicacy of this, and the emotions involved are going to leave you with a mixed bag of feelings, even if you achieve the optimal results of whatever it is you went in for.
​I should also make clear that I’m comparing the US healthcare system with the NHS of today. The NHS constantly in the headlines for being cash-strapped and worse than it was in the past. Is it? It sounds to me like it is, but I don’t personally know, and that’s not the purpose of this piece. The purpose of this piece is to tell you that the NHS of this exact moment in 2017 is better that the private healthcare systems in the US. (I have to pluralize “systems” because there is, sadly, no one unified “system” in the US, much to the detriment of so many millions of Americans. I must also make clear that most Americans receive their healthcare privately, unlike the U.K.)
​How is it better? I will say right away that just like in the U.K., my loved ones and I have received generally very good medical care in the US. The American doctors and nurses are mostly kind people, working hard, sincerely interested in helping others. Unfortunately these doctors and nurses are paid with money the hospital receives from health insurance companies. And health insurance companies are motivated by profit, not by successfully setting your broken shoulder or curing your daughter’s leukemia. Those results aren’t discussed in their shareholders’ calls. And insurance companies don’t pay for all your care either. My wife and I, who had what’s considered excellent insurance in the US, received bills for about $1,300 after each of our first two kids were born. When we were in the US on holiday recently, our youngest required an emergency ultrasound on his kidneys. As we’ve been in the UK for years now, we don’t have American health insurance anymore and I had to pay a $500 deposit before they would do the test. On my baby’s kidneys. In the richest country in the world, in which I still pay plenty of taxes as a citizen. Also it was my baby’s kidneys if I haven’t already said that.
​As an aside, that same baby was our first to be born in the UK, with the help of a young Scottish midwife in a hijab. A midwife who, I’ll add, did a better job than both the doctors who delivered our first two kids at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. If there are better people than British midwives on this planet, I have yet to meet them.
​I’ve digressed a bit, or perhaps not, but I suppose these anecdotes only bolster my case. The main point is this: if our bodies and minds are connected as modern medicine insists, the stress one feels as an American worrying about how you’ll pay for your healthcare – or whether you can even get it – shortens your life and reduces its quality much more than the wait for knee replacement surgery on the NHS does. I used knee replacement surgery as an example because if you need emergency surgery on your brain or your heart, you won’t wait on the NHS; you’ll have world-class doctors doing their best to fix you right away.
​Fifteen years ago, I had to max out two credit cards and borrow a third from mom to pay for surgery to put a pin in a broken wrist after a car accident. (My insurance company had dropped my coverage after the accident because I was generating too many bills for them. That was 100% legal before the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare” came into effect. The Obamacare which President-Elect Trump and the Republican Congress have pledged to repeal, mind you.

​Now before you send me flowers because you agree so vehemently with what I’ve written, or alternately, to tell me via Twitter to make love to myself because an NHS doctor once sewed your arm back on upside down, nobody asked me to write this and I have nothing to gain from it. I’m just a (nearly) forty-year-old comedian who does a graceful, elaborate jig every time my wife or kids or I visit a GP, an A and E, a birth centre, or an operating theatre and don’t have to worry if we’ll A) receive the care we need or B) be able to afford it, even if we have insurance.
​Americans forego care and medicine that their physicians prescribe, because of cost. They also commit suicide because of medical debt. It’s hard to hold in one’s mind the idea that those things can and do happen in a country as wealthy as the United States.

​I hesitate to end this piece with a call to action, though I know what I’d do if I were a U.K. citizen and something as remarkable as the NHS were under threat. I pay taxes here too, but I’m not British, so it’s up to you, if you care. I wouldn’t wish sickness on anyone, but you might consider imagining yourself or your child moving or traveling to the US and getting sick or being in an accident. Then imagine that already miserable experience magnified because you’re marinating in the fear that you won’t be able to pay for your care. Or maybe you can with a credit card, but then you can’t keep up with the payments so you begin to receive aggressive phone calls from the company the hospital sold your debt to. Maybe you get taken to court.
​If that’s not something you’d like to experience, and you think the NHS of today is closer to that scenario than the NHS of ten years ago, or if you think that there are those in government or on the boards of private healthcare corporations who might be okay with that sort of future unfolding, what might you do about it?

24 HOURS OF PRIDESHIPPING

End-of-Manga spoilers ahead so read at your own risk, I’ve avoided DSoD spoilers tho so don’t worry about that




(Atem gets his own body back AU)


1 AM- Atem is staying the night at Kaiba’s. They are playing card games in bed. This can only end well.

2 AM- Kaiba’s third Blue Eyes is GONE. EVERYBODY PANIC

3 AM- Blue Eyes is not gone, just under a pillow. Kaiba has kicked over both decks.

4 AM- Sorting cards. Neither of them remember who had the foiley Polymerization.

5 AM- Putting cards in card sleeves. Kaiba is putting his deck in Obelisk the Tormentor sleeves. Atem is putting his in Toon Dark Magician Girl sleeves. Kaiba is silently judging him.

6 AM- Sun is up, time to sleep.

7 AM- Kaiba’s alarm goes off. They sleep through it.

8 AM- Time for Kaiba’s first meeting of the day. He sleeps through it.

9 AM- Time for Kaiba’s second meeting of the day. They are still sleeping. Mokuba says a prayer to Ra that they are both wearing pants and goes to wake his brother up. His prayers are answered.

10 AM- Kaiba is out the door in less than three minutes. Atem rolls over and goes back to sleep.

11 AM- Atem is awake. Everybody he knows is at school or at work. Atem is bored.

12 PM- Atem discovers that Kaiba’s laptop lets him buy things. He buys Blue Eyes Toon Dragon card sleeves as a prank.

1 PM- Atem buys Blue Eyes Toon Dragon bedsheets. Atem discovers one day shipping.

2 PM- Atem buys Blue Eyes White Dragon card sleeves and bedsheets as a preemptive apology.

3 PM- Kaiba gets an alert during a meeting that one of his credit cards has been maxed out. He asks his secretary to freeze it. Atem discovers the laptop is no longer letting him buy things. Atem is bored again.

4 PM- By going through Mokuba’s bookmarks, Atem discovers that there are four animal shelters within ten kilometers that kill cats if they are not adopted within three days. Atem is no longer bored. Atem has a Mission. Kaiba is stuck in a meeting and wishing for death.

5 PM- Yugi is out of class but refusing to help Atem. Atem goes to Jounouchi instead. Jounouchi agrees to help.

6 PM- Kaiba finally takes his lunch break and calls Atem. Atem does not answer. Kaiba considers calling Yugi but decides against it. He will come to regret this decision.

7 PM- Somewhere along the line, Honda joined the mission. Anzu is not answering her cell. Atem is sure this is Yugi’s fault.

8 PM- Kaiba is in his last meeting of the day. This meeting is very important. He tells himself this will be over soon.

9 PM- The meeting is not over. It is still very important. Kaiba is playing Pokemon under the table to avoid relapsing into Season 0 insanity. Nobody notices.

10 PM- Kaiba finally comes home. There is Blue Eyes merchandise everywhere. There are cats everywhere. There are probably cards everywhere, knowing Atem. There is also probably cat pee everywhere. Kaiba is hoping the two don’t overlap. Atem is not everywhere. Atem is nowhere. Kaiba screams his name anyway.

11 PM- Atem was not gone, just laying under a pile of cats. Kaiba politely informs him the cats have to go. Atem politely informs Kaiba that cats are sacred beasts and are going nowhere. Kaiba can’t win. Kaiba never wins.

12 AM- Kaiba wants to sleep. Atem wants to play Duel Monsters. They play Duel Monsters.

1 AM- Kaiba’s third Blue Eyes is GONE

4

Jarrod: We’re men of action, Nico. It’s why you and I are so wealthy and successful. Some men aren’t able to grab power and use it. They’re too afraid, too weak. We stand apart from those men.

Nico: I suppose so. But a great philosopher once said, The measure of a man is what he does with power.  Anyway, I know you’re not here to talk in the abstract about power and action. What’s up.

Jarrod: I’ll get right to it then. I want to pay back the credit cards that were maxed out by your wife. I know you don’t need me too, but I want to do it.

Nico confused: Excuse me? How the hell do you know about that?

Jarrod: My woman maxed out those cards. She stole them from your wife and used them. I want to pay back every cent, so long as you never tell your wife the truth.

Nico shocked: Your woman? Who is your woman? How does my wife know her? Who the f*ck would dare steal from my wife?!

Jarrod: My woman…she was desperate. She lived with a man who could never afford her…never valued her. She was pushed to this extreme. He had her living foolish. I’m turning it all around for her and I’m going to start by paying off the credit card debt. 

Nico: Ok, hold on. It’s not debt, Jarrod. It’s theft. Whoever your woman is, she stole from my wife. Got it? And no one hurts my wife. Who is she?

Zeke knew he should walk out of the office. Jarrod was deliberately trying to provoke him, and neither he nor Niara were worth it. 

Jarrod: Niara is my woman, Nico. Allison’s best friend. I would do anything for her. Anything at all. Unlike her lame junkie ass husband.

Ok frens lemme relate to you a little story from today. I was at the mall because I decided I was finally going to buy a PS Vita. I went to EB Games and the girl at the counter said hi and I said hi and then she said “can I help you find something?” And like the cool customer I am, I said “I think I found it” as I reached for one of the Vita boxes on the shelf. She immediately says “we’re actually sold out of those right now” and I think to myself “then why the hell are there 3 empty boxes on display” but I’m not gonna say it. She phones the other store and they’re sold out too. All is not lost, however; she is ordering more and they will arrive later this week. I tell her I’ll be back in a few days.

As I walk dejectedly through the mall, I see a store I’ve never been in before: a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Co. store. I decide to drown my sorrows in some dark chocolate almond bark (they said it was vegan so yay!). I get it home and I have some and something tastes… OFF about it. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but then a single word floats across my consciousness: LUSH.

This mall also has a Lush store, which is located around a corner and across an open plaza from the chocolate store, a distance of probably a couple hundred feet. And yet, somehow, that sickening, choking cloud of Fragrance managed to make its way across the mall and muscle into a chocolate store, a place where it has NO BUSINESS being. My chocolate tastes vaguely of bath bombs and soap.

I can’t believe I got chocblocked by Lush.

Signposts

I asked a wise woman I know to gift me with some life advice as a graduation present. These are her words:

You are no new traveler. You have not asked for, nor do you need, the basics for whatever journeys are painted on the map ahead. Your rucksack is worn, your shoes wise with the miles behind, and your compass, though still newer, is steady. What follows are not directions that you need. These are more like signposts that have served me well, places where I have found water to refill my heart and canteen, knowledge of which plants have made me sick, and which berries will sustain. As endless as the mysteries of the wild are, so too we are never done exploring life’s trails. Here’s to the next leg. You are never ready. Yet, you already are.

• My partner always says: “What’s the intention? And what’s the expectation?” When faced with whether to have a difficult conversation with someone or make some choice, ask yourself those two questions. If you answer honestly, the truth that you already know usually guides the way. We cannot lie about our intentions to ourselves; even if we do, we have nothing to gain by doing so. And typically the expectation is not hiding, it is merely an unasked question begging to be answered.

• You attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Always. Without exception. No one has ever changed their mind by reading an angry social media post or text, or being yelled at. I forget this every time I let my fury and passion get the best of me. Then I must remember it in the ensuing silence when I have to confront why no one wanted to engage in the conversation. Crowds don’t follow individuals because they are right, they follow because they are captivated. Being “right” does not inherently earn you anything. People don’t want to be told what to do. They want to find their way, and they always remember who helped them do that and who made them feel guilty for trying.

• Silence is sometimes a wise choice and not necessarily a weakness. I consider myself a very principled person in that when a rule is “technically” broken it is broken; and it infuriates me. I guess this is a “pick your battles” sort of cliché. But it’s true. Having principles does not mean always beating other people over the head with them. Trust earned now means a platform later. I am confident that you, like me, will not rarely struggle to speak up (maybe sometimes, but not often). Our more frequent battle is the challenge to listen and hear beyond our gut reaction. It’s endlessly difficult, but fantastically rewarding. People do surprise me, when I let them. And they teach me many unexpected lessons, if only I am ready to learn.

• I recently carried numerous suitcases of heavy bitterness up to my mountain and left them all there. People always say holding onto bitterness is like eating the poison waiting for it to kill the rat. I’ve heard isms like that my whole life and obstinately—I couched it as, successfully—held onto all my grudges. Don’t do that any longer than you have to. It has made me faster to anger, and slower to listen and learn. So take your suitcases of anger, bitterness, and hurt, and leave them somewhere. You can go back there to feel them, but only there. When I am on the mountain I can reflect on those past wounds, but when I leave, they stay. They don’t live on my shoulders anymore.

• Nest, make spaces what they need to be to feel like yourself and at home—but don’t accumulate stuff. As a practical matter (for moving—which, for nearly 26 years, I’ve done an average of once every 1-2 years), but also as a spiritual matter. Select the objects and energy you keep in your space wisely. I am constantly learning, forgetting, and then re-learning that new clothes, new belonging, or food and TV binges are like drinking sand. But hiking, plants, gathered rocks and totems, dried flowers, sage, art, reading, and images that reflect my journey and the life I’m building with my partner help ground me in the anxious moments.

• Rescue a fur-child, and fall in love with it and let it teach you all the beautiful things you have to learn from it. Walk it, daily if you can. Take good care of it. It will cost you money and time and heartbreak and it will keep you from being social and it will make you worry and it will be one of the best things you have ever done.

• Save. And never underestimate how fast that money can be spent. I once had about $10,000 saved during college and it was gone within a year. Before law school, I was once stranded in a parking lot, no gas, credit cards maxed out, in the red on my debit card, aaaandddd on my period without any tampons. Money is not everything. And in abundance it will spend you dry and dissatisfied. But being a she-hustler and having a responsible-ass savings account will never feel like a bad choice either.

• Get smart credit cards deals, use credit cards, and pay them off each month. There can be a lot of anti-credit sentiment among younger generations, but I have better credit than people twice my age. It costs you nothing, and it will give you the option of great deals on your terms with cars and homes in the future. If you spend more than you can pay, learn that lesson fast and never need to learn it again.

• Make real art. Know you will spend your whole life re-defining all three of those words. Challenge yourself to search and create even when it is not easy. But do not guilt yourself when the muse is hibernating. Striving to grow and learn, even in seasons of drought, is not fake if you are doing it for you. But never feel guilt or shame about taking refuge in a hiatus and waiting for the next season to come. I know that I will write stories and poems and novels one day to feed myself. It may be many years from now. I rest in nurturing this particular part of my intellectual curiosity without fearing a loss of identity and self by not currently exploring my artistic curiosities. You will change and shape-shift throughout this next summer and the rest of your life, it does not mean you are losing anything. Release expectations of yourself that do not make you better. Reject the same when imposed by anyone else.

• Forgive the friends who leave, viciously love the ones who stay, and part with the ones who do not uplift you or make you better. There are people who are in our lives, as we know deep in our hearts, only for us to love them and learn from that experience. In my opinion, that should be the minority of individuals. The vast majority should share in the belief that relationships are two-way streets. Friends are seasons, too. I have spent a lot of wasted grief and bitterness figuring out how to accept that. But acceptance of that truth makes you a better friend for that given period of time.

• Listen to the voice in your gut, your chest, or the back of your mind—wherever you’ve placed it and made it cozy. Even when what it is saying is contrary to the advice of others. Hear their wisdom, consider it, let it inform the conversation you are having with your own Voice. And then listen to your own. You may be wrong, but I’m willing to bet you usually will not be. Hone the voice and take care of it so you can hear it better. Spend time in quietness with yourself. Practice mindfulness. Meditate. Pray. The minute I started listening to that Voice within I finally started living fully and honestly, and it hasn’t led me (too far) astray.

• Fight ego. We will spend our lives discovering and confronting the insecurities and ego that lurk in the shadows of our hearts and rob us of joy and valuable lessons. It’s a tiring battle sometimes. But keep at it. Humility is plant that needs constant sunlight and watering. Ego is an often-forgotten weed in the backyard that needs constant hacking.
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I’ll end with this. You may be facing this summer and the nebulous “future” of post-college graduation and thinking, “what the fuck now?” If someone asked you what you wanted to do, you would (maybe) respond with an “I don’t know” only because it is not clean-cut or “acceptable” to list out thirty different things as an answer. I doubt that you really do not know—you likely know dozens of things you want to do but don’t know what the “right” next step is.

I once had a conversation with someone in response to this question, and it has stuck with me ever since. He asked me the question, I actually responded with a list of ten things I wanted to do and said I didn’t know where to begin. And he said, “just pick one, and do it until it’s not right anymore.”

We long for a sense of identity—the ability to say “I AM doing this,” and “I AM this person,” or “THIS career.” The idea of test-driving a pursuit and it not being final is paralyzing to most of the population. That fear—the fear of not making the “right” next step—keeps people from taking out loans to go to school, quitting jobs they hate, moving out of cities they are stagnant in, and challenging themselves at something they dream of doing. Just pick one. And do it until it’s not right anymore.

I changed my major in undergrad seven times. Literally seven different times I was convinced I knew my future. I nearly dropped out of college to devote all of my time to the restaurant company I was working for, convinced, again, that I would manage restaurants and then open my own someday. I graduated with an essentially worthless degree, and would weave in and out of a handful of jobs again for the next two years before I ended up on the path to law school. And you know how it happened? One day, my dear boss looked at me and said, “You’d be a great lawyer.” One sentence fell into my chest like a seed. We can’t anticipate those moments. We can only work hard to be listening and brave for when they come knocking. Just pick one, and do it until it doesn’t feel right anymore.

You are a remarkable human. I am endlessly amazed at, inspired by, and proud of you. Take care of yourself however you need to in the months ahead. Go on a trip, write a lot, paint a lot, be quiet. Rest. But don’t get stuck. The world is waiting for you, and she’s excited about whatever you’re wearing when you show up. Leave not a minute too soon, but don’t keep her waiting too long.

Hello everyone,

I don’t normally get personal, but things have been pretty tough for the last few months. Since a period of unemployment drained my savings I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, but a family emergency in another state has left me completely broke and about a week away from maxing out my credit card.

If you can send any money my way, I would really appreciate it. My PayPal is Izzie.jellyfish@gmail.com

I’ve calculated that about $700 (AUD) will get me to a more stable place financially, and if I receive any more than that I’ll pay it forward to the next post I see in need of money.

I totally understand if you can’t afford to send me any money, and if that’s the case, could you please send me an ask suggesting a cool animal to Google image search because I’ll appreciate that just as much.

Thank you everyone.