my life in twenty years

“One night I was talking with my wife about how perfect our life was. It was twenty-five years ago. We had four children. We’d just saved enough money to buy a new house. We felt so lucky. I remember she said: ‘What if God takes something from us?’ The next day I came home from work and found my wife screaming. She was holding our oldest son. He’d stuck his hand in the washing machine andelectrocuted himself. We couldn’t revive him. We rushed to the hospital but the doctors said there was nothing they could do. I begged them to try. My friends from the church came and we all started to pray. And the doctors were able to bring him back to life. He became a case study. Today he’s 29. He has learning problems. He can’t read or write. But he has a job as a security guard. He enjoys his life. And to this day, I believe in miracles.”

(Valparaíso, Chile)

do you know what i would do to have gay alex AND bisexual kara AND bisexual winn?

i would sell my soul. i would promise my first born to a witch. i would give up twenty years off my life. i would sacrifice my freedom. i would donate my tuition money. i’d give up my okay gpa. i would give away my roommate’s swaggy stuffed giraffe named jim for crying out loud (believe me this is saying something).

i would do anything for these three characters to be queer. ANYTHING.

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The joys of playing support

This was the most marvelous game I ever played. Dorado Defense, one kid on my team had been going on about his “Noob team” (which was great btw) for a while now, spewing insults, you know acting like he came right from a call of duty session.

I suggested he chill. He suggested I drink bleach.

I could have muted him. I could have blocked him. I could have sent a report. But as the lone Mercy, there was only one thing that I would do.

Take him off heals of course.

I healed everyone else. Sometimes I’d stand next to him when he was at critical health and healed the person at full health by his side.

Halfway through the game he started begging.

I’ve gained twenty years to my life from the frantic “MERRCY PLZZZ” that I got.

I had half a mind to make him beg for my forgiveness, but I was busy keeping the rest of the team alive.

He forgot the one lesson of any multiplayer game.

Do not annoy the healer.

Auston Matthews - Part 29

Really long… preparing for more angry messages and asks…

I stare at my phone screen a long time, my fingers hovering over my keyboard with Auston’s name at the stop of my screen. Stifling a groan I click my screen off and throw myself back onto my bed. Ever since Mitch texted me earlier today all I can think about is Auston and the fact that he hasn’t talked to me. I don’t think he would have let Mitch text me unless he was okay with it, but he hasn’t texted, called or snapped me in the last three days.

               Does he even care anymore? I think to myself and quickly shake the thought out of my head. Of course he cares. Auston may not have said it, but I know he cares about me just as much I care about him. I just need to be patient. I spent the last twenty-one years of my life without him, I can stand a few more days.

               My phone rings on the pillow next to my ear and I nearly roll off the bed. I fumble with the screen and finally accept the call.

               “Hello?” I say.

               “Hi, honey,” my dad’s rough voice comes through the other end and I can’t help but smile.

               “Hi, dad! What’s going on?”

               “Still plan on picking me up at the airport tomorrow morning?” He asks.

               “Yep, bright and early at 8:15,” I repeat what my mother told me on the phone yesterday morning.

               “Good girl, you’re going with me to the game on Tuesday with me, right?” My dad asks, a little bit of hesitation in his voice.

               “Yeah? Why wouldn’t I?” I ask him, frowning at the ceiling.

               “Hey I don’t know! You moved out, didn’t know if that meant you were too cool for me or something,” he says defensibly and I giggle.

               “You’re safe dad, we already know I’m cooler than you yet I still choose to spend time with you,” I say, rolling my eyes.

               We chat a bit more until three o’clock hits and the Leaf’s game comes on, being one who can’t talk to anymore while watching hockey, I hang up with my dad and snuggle down into my couch with Zalla and Andie. This is the Leaf’s last game on their short road trip and the first night of a back to back, coming home to play the Blues tomorrow. While my dad primarily works for the Red Wings, he travels around looking at other team’s prospects and possible trade bait, which is why he’s coming when St. Louis is in town.

               I had debated whether or not to watch the Leafs after Auston left, but it was the only way I didn’t feel quite so alone in this big house in a big city. Though I don’t cheer when they score, I just watch, much like my first game in Toronto with Auston’s family. My mind wanders to Mitch’s message about coming over when they get home, being a Sunday, their game is early and they will be home early tonight. I debate with myself if Auston will come with him or not. I highly doubt he would come, but I can’t help but get my hopes up.

               The game ends in overtime with the Hawks scoring just seconds in, a score of three to two. The urge to text or call Auston is almost overwhelming and let out a wail of despair when my phone goes off but it’s only a snapchat from my friend. I miss him. I miss him so much.

               Auston POV

               I stare at my lock screen as I board the bus to bring us to the airport. It’s the picture I took of Y/N when she was getting her dress fitted on her second day in Toronto. The background is a blur, only her smiling face and body in focus. I puff out a small laugh that despite everything, nothing has changed, this picture was accurate then and it still is now.

               When my screen lights up and starts ringing, I nearly jump. Looking around to see if anyone notices when I put the phone to my ear.

               “Hey,” I say after making sure everyone in a few seat radius is occupied with something else.

               “Hey, so I was able to track down Y/L/N before he went home. Looked like a fucking idiot walking around the Joe asking by the way,” Dylan’s voice says through the receiver.

               “Great, can you text it to me? I’ll call him right when we land in Toronto,” I mutter into the phone, sinking down a little in my seat.

               “Sure…” Dylan pauses on the other line like he wants to say something else.

               “What?” I ask him.

               “It’s just… does this have something to do about Y/N? We heard she moved to Toronto a few weeks ago, and I know you… ya know…” Dylan trails off.

               I don’t say anything and Dylan sighs.

               “I knew it. Look, I know you have a thing for her and she probably does you, but just… take care of her. I got to know her more last season before she got heavily involved in school stuff, she’s a great girl… very much like her dad just prettier,” Dylan laughs and I find I’m able to smile.

               “I know Larks, she told me about you actually. Something about falling down the stairs and blaming the black eye on a high sti-“ I snicker into the phone and he cuts me off.

               “Alright that’s enough story time. In my defense it was both the high stick and the combined falling that resulted in the black eye,” Dylan grumbles into the phone and I roll my eyes.

               “Whatever, bud. But really, thanks for hunting him down for me,” I say seriously.

               “No problem, bud. Good luck,” he responds and we hang up. Instantly I get the phone number in a text and quickly save it. As the bus pulls up to the airport I mumble what I have planned to say over and over again as we board the plane and set off towards home. Towards Y/N.

               Regular POV

               Mitch sends me a text as soon as they land and I send in a phone order for delivery from my new favorite Chinese buffet who, I recently discovered, deliver. He mentioned that it’s him and two others coming, who he doesn’t name.

               By the time they arrive it’s close to eight, coming directly from the airport. I don’t bother to get up from my place on the couch when they file in, too absorbed in my sweet and sour chicken. I scan the faces and turn my attention back to my plate when I don’t see the one I was looking for. Mitch, Morgan and Will shuffle to their respective spots they all claimed within the first few weeks of discovering my house. Mitch is in the chair beside me, Will is sprawled out on the sectional with the footrest and Morgan is sitting on the floor with his back against the couch by my knees.

               Almost instantly I relax for the first time in three days and realize how incredibly tired I am. These thoughts are validated by Morgan glancing up at me after thanking me for his meal.

               “Have you slept in twenty years?” He asks, a teasing tone in his voice and I scowl at him.

               “Count to twenty and I’ll answer,” I reply sweetly and he scoffs at me.

               “Good to be home, smartass.”

               I nudge him with my foot and he flicks it with his finger making me squeal with the sting. Quickly, we fall back into the usual banter, I make Mitch go wash his hands before he even thinks about touching the Xbox controller and he huffs at me muttering under his breath as he makes his way to the bathroom.

               No one mentions Auston and I don’t bring him up either. Soon enough, I doze off to sleep, my head on the armrest and my legs stretched out to almost where Will is sitting. I startle awake around three in the morning from an insignificant dream and blink in the darkness, disoriented. I move to sit up but realize there’s a blanket across me and my heart warms. Glancing around now that my eyes have adjusted, I can see Mitch reclined in the chair and Morgan on the other end of the couch where Will had been. I can hear Will’s soft snore coming from down the hall in the spare bedroom that I had thought I would be able to convert into an office but I had to put a bed in there instead thanks to a certain hockey player falling down my stairs one night after having a little too much to drink.  

               All of them seemed to have found blankets for themselves as well and their quiet breathing is reassuring. They stayed with me. My heart blooms and I snuggle back down onto my spot, sleep coming easy again.

               A few hours later I tip toe around them, heading upstairs to shower and get ready to head to the airport to pick up my dad. Zalla and Andie seem to have learned how to tip toe as well as they slink across the hardwood floors, being my shadows like usual. When I pull my shirt on my bracelet jingles on my wrist, I had thought about taking it off the last few days, but I found too much comfort in the strong band and beautiful charms. I finger the charms gently as I make my way downstairs and sneak through the foyer and out my front door without waking a single one of the boys.

               Zalla and Andie come with me, I know they miss dad as much as I do. They seem to sense my excitement as I drive closer and closer to the airport, their whines echoing in the backseat. Right as I pull into the pickup area my phone goes off.

               “I’m outside, honey,” my dad’s voice comes through the car speaker and I think my dogs are going to combust in the backseat.

               “I see you!” I squeal as I make the small loop and put my car into park before jumping out and into my father’s waiting arms.

               “Hi, baby girl,” my dad coos in my ear, I think he’s just as emotional as I am. Happy tears trail down my face as he lifts me off my feet, his arms right around me. I inhale deeply, taking in the husky and smoky smell of my dad and our wood stove from home.

               “I missed you,” I whisper and he laughs.

               “I gathered that,” he sets me down and puts his hands on my shoulder, examining me. “How you doing? Big girl in a big city,” he winks at me and I giggle.

               “I’m good, dad. It’s been a learning process. I now understand why mom never let me buy and eat an entire birthday cake myself.”

               “Ahh yes, that was the first lesson I learned too,” he wraps an arm round my shoulders and leads me back to my car where my dogs are quivering with excitement. “You brought the girls!” He exclaims and leaves me on the sidewalk like a piece of gum, diving into the backseat and being licked to death by Zalla and Andie. I don’t blame him though, I would have done the same thing.

               By the time we get back to the house, the boys are gone and for once the living room is spotless. I smile at the room and give my dad a tour of the now unpacked house, spending the rest of the day showing and telling him everything I’ve been working on at the university.

               Once we get to the arena there are hardly any people milling around yet. But that’s what happens when you get there two and a half hours before the puck drops. My father is familiar with the arena and leads the way through the bowels of the Air Canada Center, sticking close behind him and avoiding looking anywhere but at his back.

               Every time my father stops to talk to someone, I reach up to the ball cap I had thrown on before leaving the house and pull it a little farther down my head. No one my father stops says anything to me, which I’m used to from my years of following him around as a child. It isn’t until we turn down a hallway to head to the elevator that someone acknowledges me.

               “Mike, how are you?” My dad exclaims, clasping hands with the Leafs head coach. I can’t help but peek up at him, my dad and he had worked closely together over the years until Babs left Detroit to take on Toronto, growing up I had been close with one of his daughters when we were dragged by our dads to various games and practices.

               They make small talk a minute before Mike notices me standing behind my dad’s shoulder.

               “Y/N! I didn’t see you there. Heard you’re doing some big things in the Astrophysics department,” Mike winks at me and my cheeks warm with the smile forming across my face.

               “That she is,” my dad says, squeezing my shoulder, a proud look on his face that I beam under.

               “I heard you’ve been here over a month and haven’t come to visit me yet,” Mike quirks an eyebrow at me.

               ‘I’ve been here!” I gesture to where I know the family room is down the hall before I realize what I’m doing and I try to play if off as fixing my hat. My dad and Mike both raise their eyebrows at me. “Don’t give me that look,” I blush under their stares and look away.

               “She’s got a point Mike, she has been here,” my dad says, smirking at Mike and I scowl.

               “I’m surprised she admitted it,” Mike adds, both of them clearly enjoying themselves.

               “Shouldn’t you be yelling at your players or something,” I mutter and he laughs.

               “Only if they piss me off, Y/N,” he says, though he does glance at his watch. “Though I do have other things to get going besides yelling.” He shakes my dad’s hand and pats my shoulder. “I look forward to seeing you after the game, and you,” Mike then directs his attention to me. “I look forward to seeing you around here more often as well.” I make a noise in the back of my throat and nod at him with his knowing smile on his face.

               We head back down the hallway to elevator right when a group of boys rounds the corner in front of us. I immediately see Mitch and I know Auston will be right behind him. I duck into my father’s side and try to stay in his shadow praying that no one notices me.

               “Y/L/N!” Someone shouts behind me and both my father and I whip around on instinct. Babcock is standing down the hallway we just left, leaning against a door frame, a smirk on his face.

               “Ms. Y/L/N, to be exact. I forgot to comment on your hat, looks better than red and white in my opinion,” he says and I can feel the stares of nearly everyone in the hallway. Frowning, I reach up to the ball cap and pull it off my head. I turn it in my hands a Toronto Maple Leafs logo glares up at me, I hold it at arm’s length away much to amusement of the people watching me. What the…?

               “Now the real question is, are you going to put it back on?” Mike winks at me and then disappears into the door frame he had been standing in.

               I look from where he had been standing back to the hat and eye it warily. Turning on my heel I continue walking slowly with my dad, growing closer and closer to the group of guys still watching me. When I’m within fifteen of them I huff out a small laugh and plop the hat back on my head, adjusting my pony tail.

               “Where did I go wrong?” My dad muses beside me and I smile at him, continuing to ignore the gawking Leafs players to my right. They had been trying since I got to Toronto to get me to wear some sort of Leafs gear and apparently one of them had left a hat one night and I grabbed it by mistake.

               “Nineteen years ago when you showed me the sky,” I say back to him and he laughs softly, putting his arm around my shoulders and kissing the top of my head.

               “Then I wouldn’t change a thing,” he says and I squeeze his hand. Here is the only boy that would love me no matter what I did.

               My dad takes me up to the scouting booth where much of the Leafs front office people are. He talks with Brendan Shanahan for a few moments as I make my way to one of the free seats and try to ignore everyone around me. It used to amaze me that my dad worked and knew all these people, now I just want to watch hockey.

               We have to wait quite a while longer before the actual game starts and nearly the entire time my dad is either talking to someone in person or on the phone. I take the free time to people watch as fans file in, I start making a mental list of how many Matthews jerseys I see. I lose count very quickly.

               The game wears on, a nail bitter to the very end, even though the Leafs are up by two after an empty netter with two minutes left. With a final score of six to four in the Leafs favor, everyone leaves happy. My dad looks at his watch and mutters to himself, rubbing his face.

               “What are you thinking about?” I ask him, he only every does that when he’s stressed.

               “What? Nothing, just we have a little time before my flight leaves. Want to get some dinner?” He asks standing up and gathering his laptop and notes.

               “It’s almost ten…” I stare at him.

               “I didn’t say we have to go an eight course meal, Y/N,” my dad laughs. “I just need something to hold me over before my short flight home to your mother.”

               “Alright,” I sigh, standing next to him and stretching, my hand brushes against the hat and I smile.

               I drive my dad through Toronto as he looks for someplace we wants to eat and he finally decides on the restaurant that I went to with Auston’s family on my very first night here. As I sit down at a table just a short distance away from where I sat then, I almost feel the bracelet heat on my wrist. I touch the charms as my dad busies himself with the menu.

               “You seem awfully intrigued by that bracelet, Y/N,” my dad says, not even looking up from his menu. Okay, maybe he’s not as busy as I thought.

               I shrug my shoulders and put my hands on my lap.

               “Let me see,” my dad presses, putting his menu down and reaching towards me. I obey and place my wrist on the table in front of him, he gently lifts it and examines the little dangles.

               “This middle one is quite extravagant,” he muses, touching the blue and gold one. “Who gave you that one?”

               “Auston,” I mutter, my cheeks flaming and my dad chuckles.

               “Should have guessed,” he whispers more to himself than to me and I frown at him. I hadn’t mentioned anything about Auston to either of my parents, though my mom suspected it, I had never confirmed anything. Before I can ask, he puts my wrist back on the table and pats my hand before turning his attention back to the menu.

               “You’re being weird today,” I tell him, picking up my own menu.

               “What else is new?” He asks, not looking at me and I nod in agreement.

               Once I’m able to get him to leave and into the car towards the airport, I finally ask.

               “Is there a reason you didn’t want to go back to my house before your flight?”

               “What are you talking about? We were already out, no need to go all the way home and then back in just under two hours.” He’s talking fast and avoiding my eye contact. I pull up to a stop light and eye him.

               “Dad… I live less than fifteen minutes from the airport…” I quirk an eyebrow at him and he squirms in his seat, thankfully I got my poker face from my mama. “You just going to avoid my eye contact the rest of the way?”

               My dad turns his head slightly towards me and opens his mouth but seems to think better of it and looks forward again. “Yes.” He says and I sigh at him.

               We ride in silence the rest of the way until I pull to a stop outside the entrance, it’s a ghost town, not a person in sight. Sadness aches in my chest, it had been so nice having my dad with me all day, it kept my mind off of things. Now that he’s leaving and I have to go back to an empty house, a sadness comes over me.

               “Are you positive you and mom can’t just move here?” I ask him, tears in my eyes.

               “Oh, Y/N, as much as we miss you… I think you’re doing just fine on your own, baby,” he reaches across the console and wraps his arms around me. I lean into him and nuzzle my face into his neck.

               “But I miss you,” I whine and he laughs.

               “I think there are quite a few things you would miss in Toronto if you were to leave,” he whispers and I can hear more behind his words.

               “You’re going great kid, I’m proud of you,” he squeezes me once more before letting me go and reaching into the backseat for his briefcase.

               “Love you,” I say as he climbs out of the car.

               “Love you so much more,” he answers and winks at me, closing the door gently and tapping the roof.

               I blow him one more kiss and wait until he gets inside the airport to pull away. A few tears fall during my short ride home. I had thought having my dad here, even for a day, would make me feel so much better and now that he’s gone, I feel a hundred times worse and even more homesick. Even when I pull into my driveway, I can’t get myself to climb out and walk inside for another ten minutes.

               When I finally get myself composed, I step out of the car and trudge through the snow to my front door, not even noticing the other car sitting in my driveway. I fumble with my keys at the door, I realize my porch lights aren’t on. I tap the glass around the out light bulb and stop myself. That is exactly how horror movies start out, dumbass. Finally getting the door open I step in and close the door behind me before I even realize that the lamp that I always keep on in the foyer is also off.

               I hear a snap and suddenly there’s a light near my feet and I squeal, whipping around and pressing my back to the door looking around in a panic. Looking down at the floor I’m surprised not to see some half eaten zombie crawling towards me but a rope of what looks light white Christmas lights, which lead through the foyer and into the hallway behind it.

               I eye the lights for a minute and taking a deep breath, I step forward.

So, for the first time in my twenty years of life, I finally sat down and watched Beauty and the Beast, one, because the Reylo fandom loves making parallels between Rey and Belle and Kylo Ren and the Beast, and two, because I’ve heard that it’s just a really good movie (which it is). But the Reylo parallels, yeah, those were pretty interesting to see unfold. Although, I would like to offer a different way of looking at them. What if Rey is the Beast, and Kylo Ren is Belle?

The Flower and the Curse

As I was watching Beauty and the Beast, I was trying to figure out the significance of the flower in The Force Awakens. The significance of the flower in Beauty and the Beast is pretty simple, acting as an hourglass for the Beast’s curse, and when the flower would lose all its petals, the Beast would be stuck in that form forever, unless he could fall in love and have it reciprocated. Rather than Rey’s flower just being a nice little piece of Beauty and the Beast imagery, I believe the flower serves to represent the hourglass of Rey’s hope, where she would either give up on ever leaving or take off on her own, as well as connecting her to the Beast and his curse.

In a way, Rey has her own curse. She’s doomed to live on Jakku until she leaves of her own accord. One of her earliest scenes shows her staring at an elderly woman, another scavenger stuck on Jakku, who represents Rey’s fate if she stays. Similar to the Beast, Rey never even attempts to break her curse until she is introduced to her Belle, or rather, Ben. Rey’s opportunity to escape her fate presents itself in the hero’s journey, taking on the role of the hero our the story to defeat the evil enemy that’s plaguing the galaxy. Not quite the same as the Beast’s boon of finding mutual love, but still requiring a massive change in behavior and promising a better life. Before she meets Kylo Ren, she ran away from the hero’s journey, rejecting anything that would take her away from Jakku permanently. It is because of what she sees and endures after meeting Kylo Ren that she decides to accept the hero’s journey and escape her curse.

The Brute vs. The Beast - A Battle of Seduction

If we have Rey as our Beast, and Kylo Ren as Belle, then who is our brutish Gaston? 

A vital element in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Gaston served as the antagonist who coveted Belle, consistently tried to force her hand, and attempted to kill the Beast. Gaston was admittedly attractive, easily charming the young women of the village and trying to use this to his advantage to seduce Belle and sway her to marry him. This was the near opposite of the Beast, who began brutish but had to rely on charm, understanding, and tenderness to win over Belle. Two different men, two different modes of seduction.

In a sense, Snoke fits the bill perfectly. (Thank you @jigglypuffnipples for that brilliant insight.) He targeted Ben Solo before he was even born, wanting him for his balance of Light and Dark, and trying to sway him to the Dark. Leia even referred to Snoke’s manipulation as “seduction”. Han flat-out tells Kylo Ren that Snoke’s intentions for him are selfish. Snoke is nearly the opposite of Rey. While Rey isn’t a perfect ray of sunshine, she shows herself capable compassion, capable of tenderness, time and time again throughout The Force Awakens, while still retaining a tough exterior, much like the Beast. Rey does have a selfish streak, a trait acquired through her upbringing based on survival, but gradually opens up and breaks that habit. Through their interactions, Rey affects Kylo Ren, much like how Beast affects Belle. She presents this “call to the Light” to Kylo Ren. And how is this referred to? Seduction. Given the sexual connotations our society places on this word, it’s quite the interesting word choice to refer to Kylo Ren’s pull between two different sides.

Release from the Beast

There is a point in both stories in which one character lets the other go as an act of compassion. In Beauty and the Beast, Beast lets Belle return to her village to visit her ailing father, an act of selflessness that reveals the depths of Beast’s compassion for Belle, putting her first despite the ever-shrinking amount of time her has left to break the curse. And yet, when Belle begs the village not to harm the Beast, Gaston leads the attack, refusing to show compassion for Belle, imprisoning her and using her to get at the Beast. 

At the end of their battle on Starkiller Base, Rey is tempted to kill Kylo Ren, but she resists. While her action is more out of resistance to the Dark side than true compassion for Kylo Ren, her ability to reject the urge to kill, despite her anger, despite her justification, despite her instinct to survive, shows her underlying humanity, a trait absent from Snoke. Rey “releasing” Kylo Ren leaves him in the possession of Snoke, who, similar to Gaston, refuses to accept Kylo Ren being pulled to anyone else, tries to use Kylo Ren to get at whoever is attracting Kylo Ren’s attention, and considers compassion to be a weakness, doubtlessly depriving Kylo Ren of the compassion he needs.

And, interestingly, there is the possibility for yet another comparison on this front. When the Beast let Belle go, her gave her a mirror that allowed her to see the Beast whenever she wanted. If speculation about a possible Force Bond between Rey and Kylo Ren holds up, they are given a way to communicate with each other through that.

It is you.

This is what completely flipped the script for me when comparing Rey & Ren and Beast & Belle.

“It is you.”

This is what Belle says to Adam when he becomes human.

This is what Kylo Ren says to Rey when Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber flies into her hand. 

Both say it out of recognition, Belle recognizing the handsome man before her as the tender creature she fell in love with, and Kylo Ren recognizing Rey from…something. (That part is ambiguous, although there is reason to believe Kylo Ren has seen Rey somewhere before, despite J.J. confirming their meeting in the woods being their first, and this post offers a neat theory as to how.) However, they both also say it when the person they are saying it to become who they are meant to be. Belle says it when Beast becomes the handsome prince he was always supposed to be, and Kylo Ren says it to Rey when she accepts the hero’s journey and chooses to become the hero she’s meant to be. 




There’s a damn good argument for Rey being Belle and Kylo Ren being the Beast, hell, there’s quite a few good arguments for that. But, I feel like it’s also interesting to think of Rey as the Beast and Kylo Ren as Belle. Neither of them fulfill either role played straight, but possess a mixture of traits and elements from both characters. It’ll be interesting to see what the next installment has in store for these two. Will Rey be more like Belle, or more like the Beast? Will Kylo Ren be healed through Rey’s compassion, or will he heal her? Or, does The Force Awakens give us all the connections to Beauty and the Beast that we’re going to get from this trilogy? No matter what, Rey and Kylo Ren’s stories are irrevocably intertwined at this point, and will continue to affect each other. Let’s just hope that like Belle and Adam, Rey and Kylo Ren get their happily ever after.

so my tax refund came in and I am using a lot of it to catch up on Big-Ticket Items I Couldn’t Afford To Buy Or Replace For Years (on Monday I buy new glasses frames to replace the two-year-old ones now missing a stem and also a six month supply of contacts! gonna get a real haircut for the first time in two years! maybe a piercing!)

(last year I was supposed to replace my laptop and phone with my tax refund and have some left over for savings but then I got fired right before I filed my taxes and had to use all of my tax refund on rent and groceries while job hunting!!! so this year is extra giddy-making because I actually get to splurge on things

anyway what this also means is I’ve been planning for months to buy a new pair of Doc Martens when the government cash came in because I got mine secondhand three years ago and they no longer have tread and the sole is about half the height it once was and they are honestly a bit sad looking and have always had BRASS EYELETS which has BOTHERED ME FROM AN AESTHETIC PERSPECTIVE FOR THREE YEARS, but also, Docs are the shoes of my heart and I wear them with everything all the time

(I now have three pairs of Docs, the other two being a knee-high pair that was the best birthday gift from my parents ever and a black-damask-on-white pair my mother found for fourteen dollars at a thrift store in Kentucky; if I am not wearing Docs it is probably because it is a Formal Occasion and then I am wearing high-heeled granny boots or, even more vanishingly rare, Actual Adult Heels (my actual adult heels are almost-black beetle green platform designer shoes half a size too large I got for two dollars at my old workplace) and like maybe one day I will find the multi-strap pointed black witchy flats of my dreams)

ANYWAY ANYWAY I JUST ORDERED NEW DOCS AND I AM VERY EXCITED

I also ordered this because like, own your cliches, kid

Was a class guinea pig today for a demonstration by my tutor

She literally removed a massive negative automatic thought I’ve had for almost 10 years of my life in a twenty minute session in front of my trainee therapist peers 😶 I am absolutely gobsmacked and blown away! It’s made me realise how powerful CBT really is and how she’s such an amazing therapist to learn from! I can’t wait to be like her and do the same for my clients! 😊

Omg, I'm in my twenties.

This year, I turned 24 – and with it came a startling realization.

Oh my god. I’m 24. What the hell?!

Now I know that sounds stupid. “You’re only 24,” my colleagues tell me - in fact, somebody said this to me today. “You’ve got your whole life ahead of you!” my older friends preach (if you reckon you’re one of these older friends, I’m sorry for calling you old and appreciate your endless wisdom. You look extra dashing today).

And yeah, I suppose I still am quite young. I haven’t had to start using Just For Men quite yet. Sure, I’m just getting started with things like my career and other adulty stuff that I’m too scared to even write because they’re so daunting. Because if I write words like rent or mortgage or bills, then that makes them true. It makes them applicable to me.

But at the same time, a tiny (and by tiny I mean huuuuuuuge) part of me is screaming that everything just needs to slow down. Because how am I 24 already? How have I not achieved THIS LIFE GOAL yet, and not accomplished THIS DREAM by now? How am I not the person I wanted to be? How are so many of my Facebook friends doing better than me? Look, they’ve just bought their first house. And how nice, he’s moving to America. And her job probably pays her a shit-ton of money. When you’ve got people like Zara Larsson making millions at 18, and you’ve got young people making entrepreneurs out of themselves through social media, it can be crippling to realize that you’ve done none of these things. As though it’s expected of you. As though that’s the norm.

It all gets a bit much sometimes. You realize that the months are blurring into years and that today you’re 24, but one day you will be 30, then one day you’ll be 40, and then it might just be too late to do all the stuff you always wanted to do. We all give ourselves a sort of itinerary for life, don’t we? We’re in the age of the bucket list. When the future is one enormous, foggy tunnel that you’re racing towards and you can’t stop, it’s all you can do to stop yourself from diving into bed with a multipack of Reese’s peanut buttercups and hiding away from the world with your favourite memes. Because let’s face it, we’ve all got ‘em (quite fond of the latest Kermit craze, tbh).

Stop. Breathe. Just freakin’ calm down and stop overthinking for a second, alright? Have a cup of tea and pet something fluffy. Sometimes I literally just grab my half-pug and bury my face in his abundance of rolls and instantly feel better.

My problem is that I’m quite self-critical. And if there’s one thing that my boyfriends asks me all the time, it’s this: why do I keep comparing myself?

And he’s right. I do constantly measure my own life up against that of other people. Mostly in terms of career success. I sometimes look at other authors, others who have literary agents or who have even been published by my age, and I wonder – how come they’ve managed to do that, but I haven’t?

The thing is, we’re living in an age of instant gratification. Our internet is faster than ever. You can take a picture, upload it to Instagram, and rake in the likes in just a few seconds. Everything is happening now, and as a result our attention spans have taken a real hit. Hell, my attention has wandered several times just writing this blog post. Oh, let me just check Facebook real quick…

So it just makes sense that we’ve accidentally conditioned ourselves to expect the same from life. From our long-term goals and aspirations. They need to happen right now, and then we need to tell everyone about it.

No. No more. Social media can be great. I couldn’t live without it now. But it’s also toxic. We poison ourselves into thinking we need to be something, when all we really need to be is happy. Happy and in the moment. And what makes me happy? Well, Tom makes me happier than anything. So does our dog, Buzz. And travelling. And going out. And reading. And writing. And good food.

And I get to do those things a lot. On a weekly basis. Daily, for some of them. I get to go to work and come home to cwtches (Welsh word for cuddle, which I will use unsparingly… you would do well to integrate it into your own vocabulary) from my amazing boyfriend and our sausagey little pupper. We have travelled to, and will be travelling to, some amazing places and I don’t think we’ll ever tire of it. We’ll always be jetting off to somewhere in search of adventures. We have some amazing friends, and we go out pretty much every weekend. I get to read books I love and write books I love whenever I want.

And don’t get me started on the food. I will hoover up anything and everything you set before me (I have been known to eat dog biscuits, but that was completely an accident and I probably need a whole other blog post just to explain myself).

Those are the things that make me happy right now (okay, so maybe not dog biscuits). Within instant reach. My real life instant gratification. Not the faux kind that comes from a little red bubble on Instagram telling you how many likes you’ve had. Or the artificial validation you get when you boast about something on Facebook. Because that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m surrounded by people and things that I love.

As for the other things? The long-term stuff? They will come. Keep hacking away at things in your own time, and things will start to happen. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Life isn’t a race. JK Rowling was in her thirties before her first book was published – and look where she is now. Maybe instead of reading about people’s successes, read about their failures. Normalise it. Accept it. Know that failure isn’t actually real – it’s only an internal measure of yourself. It’s fictional.

So if you’re like me and you’re in your 20’s, feeling like you should have amounted to something by now, please stop. You’re doing just fine. Go at your own pace. Stop comparing yourself to others, because it’s dangerous. It rots your mind. It makes you lose sight of what’s important. Make a list of the things that give you that real life gratification and focus on them. Because they’re what matter the most.

And next time those slimy thoughts start creeping their way back in, come read this blog post. I’ll be here, probably experiencing exactly the same thing.

i can’t believe that i’ve reached adult status whereupon on my birthday, i’m thrilled to receive cool dolphin socks, a cloth headband thingy, some chocolate, and just be happy that there is sunshine and someone is making me cake and go, yep, awesome, all set.

seven year old me is probably appalled somewhere, but newly twenty-seven year old me is having a great relaxing day of movies and fanfic.