The Shell Grotto at Margate.In 1835 Mr James Newlove lowered his son Joshua into a hole in the ground that had appeared during the digging of a duck pond. Joshua emerged describing tunnels covered with shells. 70ft of winding underground passages leading to an oblong chamber, its walls decorated with strange symbols mosaiced in millions of shells. Nobody can explain who built this amazing place, or why.
There are 365 days in a year
And you and I both know from many unfortunate personal experiences,
That not all of those days will be good.
For some, the majority of those days will be a breeze
For others, each day will be a trial.
The world is a difficult place.
The world is an interesting place.
I am here to give you a few reminders
To keep up with this trying world we live in.
1. Follow your own heart and dreams. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you what you can or can’t do.
2. If you want something enough, you will find a way to make it happen.
3. You will meet people who hate you, and you will meet people who love you, and you will meet people who you think love you. Don’t be fooled. Some people are just passing by in your story called life. They’re there to teach you something, so always be aware.
4. Always remember that bad things and situations you don’t like will end. It may take minutes, hours, days, or years, but never forget that they will end eventually. You can get through anything.
5. You are your own person, not anyone else’s. Don’t let people take control of you and change your beautiful self.
6. The people in your life who make you giggle and smile in the darkest of times are ones you need to keep with you forever. There is always the potential for hard times, and you’ll need someone to cheer you on.
7. You do not have to live up to any standards or expectations. Family and peers and society are constantly telling us that we have to be a certain way, or else we aren’t good enough. Tune out of that thinking and just be yourself. That’s the best thing you can be.
8. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Being out of the box can bring on so many amazing new opportunities you never even thought existed.
9. A lot is going to happen to you during your lifetime, so let yourself feel anything and everything. Always feel as much as you can. It makes you experience things at a higher level and you can say, “Yes I know this feeling. I’ve been here before.”
10. A good cry cleanses the heart and mind and soul.
11. Appreciate the small things. They can teach you to love and be at peace with everything around you.
12. It’s okay to take a break from everyday duties once in a while.
13. Travel whenever possible, it opens the mind. Go on adventures in new places and learn about the world. You will come back a new person.
14. Get up the courage to talk to strangers. That’s how you meet people. Who knows, the next person you meet could end up being your new best friend.
15. Stand in the rain and breathe in the wide open air and absorb everything you can about the earth.
16. Long walks are something that can clear the mind and resolve many issues.
17. It’s okay to lay in bed with a book all day.
18. Look out the window and watch the snow silently fall. It’s one of the most peaceful and relaxing things you can do.
19. Remember that everyone is living their very own life with their own problems, so always be kind and respect others.
20. Keep and open mind and listen to people’s thoughts. You might discover more than you think.
21. You are not defined by your weight or skin color or career or the number of friends you have or your grades in school or your decisions. You are so much more than that.
22. Everyone makes mistakes in life, so don’t judge a person based on their decisions.
23. Keep your own limits and morals. Don’t give them up for anyone.
24. Live a little. Be spontaneous and experience all that you possibly can.
25. Aim to live a life that you will be proud of and content with when you’re 90 years old.
26. Things in life will tear you down, but time heals everything.
27. Rumors don’t help anyone. Don’t start or spread them.
28. Your soulmate is out there in the world searching for you too. Don’t lose hope. You’ll find each other one day.
29. Treat yourself once in a while.
30. Random acts of kindness can make someone’s day and it can make you feel good too.
31. You’re going to have to work if you want to live a truly happy life. Don’t cheat or make someone else do the work for you. That will only make an unfulfilled and empty life for you in the end.
32. Be proud of everything you do.
33. Self love never hurt anyone.
34. Find things to look forward to. It will keep you excited and more hopeful for the bright future.
35. Leave a piece of you in every place you go and with every person you meet.
36. Always listen to people. Everyone just wants to be heard and understood and feel like they matter to someone.
37. Do what is best for you in the long run, even if it hurts at first.
38. Love with all your heart and soul at every opportunity.
39. Never settle for less. You deserve the best and whatever makes you truly happy.
40. Don’t feel bad if someone doesn’t like you. It’s their loss because they won’t get to experience your magnificent presence.
41. Never fear love. Love can make you grow and blossom and teach you so much. Don’t fear it, but proceed with caution. Broken hearts will heal with time, but they are never fun.
42. Dancing silly to your favorite songs will guarantee some giggles and smiles.
43. Always sing in the shower, and when you’re home alone, sing as loud as you can.
44. Put effort into everything you do. It makes it all worthwhile and you feel better about it in the end. You can reflect and say “Look at this. I’m proud.”
45. Exercise makes you feel good and you’ll feel accomplished too. Try it sometime.
46. You are beautiful exactly how you are. Don’t deny yourself of your own loveliness.
47. You may not be perfect, because no one is, but you’re hella radiant, which is near perfection.
48. To grow as a person and expand your mind and soul, learn at least one new thing everyday.
49. Don’t beat yourself up about things you have no control over.
50. Happiness is not a goal or a point on a map. It is a state of being that everyone deserves.
Now my friend, I hope you can carry these things with you in your heart
Because every time you are down
You can always get back up.
Every time you are afraid
The fear won’t last forever.
This world and the people in it may knock you down
But you need to keep getting back up.
You have to.
Live, live, live.
Live your dream life. Make things happen.
It will be hard and it may seem hopeless and pointless sometimes,
But just remember that things really do get better.
The world is a difficult place.
The world is a beautiful place.
But only if you believe it to be.
“You had sex in the Museum of Modern Art ? Oh my gawd..” Penelope’s hands were clasped over her mouth and she was almost shaking with laughter.
You all were. What had started off as a nice meal cooked by JJ, had quickly escalated into a full on girls night in. You were all strewn about her living room, wine bottles in various places. You were lying on her couch, your feet placed in Emily’s lap and you were all discussing the various strange places you’d had sex.
You were tipsy, pleasantly on your way to being hammered and you were having a brilliant night in with your female colleagues. Garcia was sat in the arm chair with her legs slung up over the side and JJ was sprawled out on her floor, her head propped up on her arms and a half empty bottle of wine next to her. She’d taken to swigging directly from the bottle as she’d smashed her second wine glass an hour ago and you’d all berated her for wasting alcohol. You knew where your priorities were.
“Yep! I used to date one of the security guards when I was eighteen. He snuck us in after hours,” Emily told you, her face pink with laughter.
“God…” JJ said. “The most adventurous place me and Will do it is in the shower, he loves it in there.”
You giggled, “Spence loves it when we fuck in the shower too, although I’m always scared we’ll slip over.”
The three girls stopped laughing and all turned to look at you incredulously.
“Spence?” Emily asked.
Your eyes widened as you realised what you’d said.
“OUR Spencer?!?” JJ rearranged herself into an upright position, crossing her legs and leaning forward.
“Y/N? Really? You and Reid?”
JJ crawled across the floor and pulled out her handbag which was stashed at the side of her couch. Taking out her purse, she handed fifty dollars to Emily.
“Penelope, I believe you owe me fifty too?” Prentiss told Garcia.
“In a minute. I still…. Really?” She was leaning forward in her seat.
“You can’t say anything to the guys. Please. We’re not ready for people to know yet.”
“OH MY GOSH, IT’S TRUE!!” Garcia squealed and you caught JJ rolling her eyes and making the motion of covering her ears.
You took a big gulp of wine and nodded, readying yourself for the questions.
“When?” Penny demanded to know. “No no no wait.. I bet it was at Morgan’s party? Am I right, am I right?”
You shook your head. “We were together by then.”
“THAT WAS THREE MONTHS AGO, Y/N.”
Emily and JJ just looked amused, watching the exchange between you two. You gave them all a sheepish look.
“The time we went on that outward bounds team building thing? I remember you two lagging behind on the trails. Did something happen then. Wait… You two got back to camp a good thirty minutes after the rest of us. It was then wasn’t it… Oh I can see it now; you trip and Spencer reaches for you to stop your fall. You end up in a pile on the floor and stare into each others…. ”
“Pen, no. We were already together then too. Although something definitely happened in those woods.”
JJ interrupted her just before she was about to launch into another convoluted guess. “When exactly did it happen?”
“Erm…. You remember that case where I was really ill and Spencer ended up escorting me home and spent the weekend looking after me.”
“Hahahaha,” Emily laughed. “So you played a little bit of Doctor Reid and patient then.”
“Weeell not exactly. I was too ill. But that’s when we discovered that we both liked each other.”
“Girl, we could have told you that.” JJ sipped from her wine bottle, grinning at you.
“So wow… That was… ” Garcia thought back in her head, “Seven months ago.”
“What’s he like, you know, as a boyfriend?” JJ asked.
All three awwwwed in unison. You weren’t lying either, Spencer really was the best partner you’d had.
“Does anyone at work know?” Garcia wanted to know.
“Only Hotch. And that was because we felt he ought to. He’s fine with it as long as it doesn’t effect our work. Which so far, it hasn’t.”
There was a moments pause before Emily cleared her throat.
“I’m just gonna ask what those two are thinking. What’s he like in the sack?”
“I can’t tell you that!!”
“Yes you can.” They urged, almost as if they were a practiced chorus.
“No, I can’t!”
“You’ve gotta give us something here.” Garcia begged.
“Look, all I’ll say is that he’s definitely picked up a thing or two from all the things he’s read, and that he makes me extremely happy.”
Another trio of awwws.
“I never really imagined Spencer to be a shower sex kinda guy though,” Emily piped up.
“Oh he definitely is. I swear, the amount of times one of us has nearly slipped over.”
The girls had promised not to say anything and you were trying to find the right time to tell Reid that you’d let it slip. You’d decided that when you were ready, you’d tell everyone together.
You were sitting across from each other around the circular table in the meeting room with Hotch, Derek and Rossi, waiting for the other three.
Strolling in with smirks on their faces, they handed Reid a wrapped package.
You looked at them curiously.
“A present? What did I do to deserve this?” He asked them excitedly, ripping it open at their urging.
“An anti slip shower mat? I don’t get it?” He looked at them confused.
You were going to kill them. All three of them, together.
“Y/N was telling us the other night how you sometimes have problems staying upright in the shower,” Emily told him as the other two tried to keep a straight face.
“I’m sorry…… I’m so sorry!!”
He started to chuckle as did the other men. Standing up, he quickly walked around the table and pulled you out of your chair, wrapping his arms around you.
“I kinda let it slip too, last weekend when we were at Rossi’s.”
“Thank God!” Derek exclaimed loudly. “I thought we were gonna have to pretend we didn’t know forever. You have no idea how hard this last week has been for me, wanting to make jokes at your twos expense. Although… The shower mat. I don’t get it?”
Penelope whispered something into his ear and he grinned, nodding approvingly.
Words from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows for the signs
n. the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat, whose tenuous muscular throbbing feels less like a metronome than a nervous ditty your heart is tapping to itself, the kind that people compulsively hum or sing while walking in complete darkness, as if to casually remind the outside world, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here .
n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—briefly soaking in the experience of being alive, an act that is done purely for its own sake.
n. the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die—and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here .
n. the desire to be struck by disaster—to survive a plane crash, to lose everything in a fire, to plunge over a waterfall—which would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life, and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other.
n. the frustration of knowing how easily you fit into a stereotype, even if you never intended to, even if it’s unfair, even if everyone else feels the same way—each of us trick-or-treating for money and respect and attention, wearing a safe and predictable costume because we’re tired of answering the question, “What are you supposed to be?”
n. the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.
Libra: Contact High-five
n. an innocuous touch by someone just doing their job—a barber, yoga instructor or friendly waitress—that you enjoy more than you’d like to admit, a feeling of connection so stupefyingly simple that it cheapens the power of the written word, so that by the year 2025, aspiring novelists would be better off just giving people a hug.
n. the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable—their pupils glittering, bottomless and opaque—as if you were peering through a hole in the door of a house, able to tell that there’s someone standing there, but unable to tell if you’re looking in or looking out.
n. the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness—to the extent you have to keep reminding yourself that it happened at all, even though it felt so vivid just days ago—which makes you wish you could smoothly cross-dissolve back into everyday life, or just hold the shutter open indefinitely and let one scene become superimposed on the next, so all your days would run together and you’d never have to call cut.
Capricorn: The Bends
n. frustration that you’re not enjoying an experience as much as you should, even something you’ve worked for years to attain, which prompts you to plug in various thought combinations to try for anything more than static emotional blankness, as if your heart had been accidentally demagnetized by a surge of expectations.
n. the inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like—as if all your social tastebuds suddenly went numb, leaving you unable to distinguish cheap politeness from the taste of genuine affection, unable to recognize its rich and ambiguous flavors, its long and delicate maturation, or the simple fact that each tasting is double-blind.
n. an imaginary interview with an old photo of yourself, an enigmatic figure who still lives in the grainy and color-warped house you grew up in, who may well spend a lot of their day wondering where you are and what you’re doing now, like an old grandma whose kids live far away and don’t call much anymore.
Dead animal warning - the vet at work took over the wash room today to defrost some bodies for a training exercise. I forget the animals we have in the freezer here, I need to get them out at some point for some comparison pictures.