the way life works

Life works.

Hear me out. 

Sometimes you will think life is “broken” for you. Or “stuck”. Nothing ever goes the way you want it to go, nothing ever goes your way. It never works out. But it does. And life goes where it’s supposed to go. 

Life works. 

Sometimes it works in ways you don’t fucking and never will understand, sometimes you don’t agree with or like the way in which things happen, but life works. 

Everything happens for a reason, and life will put you where you need to be, it will send you where you need to go, and if you look a little deeper, and let the current take you, you will start noticing how brilliant it all is.

If you’ve given your all and done your best, and still feel like something isn’t right, or an opportunity just slipped through your fingers; it didn’t. Opportunities meant for you, things meant to be, do not slip through your fingers. They happen. You’ll get there, where you need to be. 

You will make the right decisions, sometimes, that will take you places. “Nothing ever changes until a pattern is broken.” And other times you will choose not to do anything at all about a certain thing, and that will still set the right events in motion. “Action is not inherently superior to inaction.”

If you work hard, if you follow your heart, if you let life carry you, eventually you will find yourself in the right place at the right time. And you will then notice that’s where you are. And you will wonder if it is really possible for everything to fall into place so perfectly. And it is. It is meant to be.

Life works. I give you my word. 

-Red

Psa: I suck

So a LOT of you have been waiting for me to make a short Halloween spoopy comic (may still come much later in November) but unfortunately I won’t be able to work on it all that much. With job applications, college classes, and general just life problems; I’ve been way too busy to work on it and I don’t want to stress myself out and rush it because that’s not fun for either of us if I’m half-dead and you guys get a half-assed comic.

It MIGHT come late November or December (I’ll try) but for right now don’t expect it to be coming for Halloween.

Since I’m not focusing all of my energy on a giant project though, my random doodles and drawings shall resume (yay!) because a 3 hour drawing is nothing compared to the time I was spending on the comic.

Anyways, I’m really sorry that I couldn’t do it, I knew that even if I spent all my freetime working on it that it would be cutting it close but now I’m realizing that I probably should’ve started it like,,, 3 months ago to give myself time.

Pleasedonthurtme?

youtube

oh don’t mind me i’m just over here WEEPING TEARS OF JOY

My favorite otayuri headcanon is Yuri “Has Zero Chill and Also Doesn’t Know How Friendship Works” Plisetsky believing every coupley thing he and Otabek do is “ because they’re friends.”

Like, Otabek’s like, why are you putting another straw in my smoothie and Yuri’s like YOU WON’T DRINK OUT OF THE SAME CUP AS ME AT THE SAME TIME? AND YOU CALL YOURSELF MY FRIEND??

Otayuri are holding hands. “Why wouldn’t I hold his hand when he’s my friend??”

Yuri sitting on Otabek’s lap in first class. Flight attendant is like um, we’re in turbulence, you need to return to your seat. “WE HAVE TO WATCH THE MOVIE TOGETHER BECAUSE WE’RE FRIENDS.”

I’m talking like, the two of them could be sharing a one-bedroom apartment, sleeping in the same bed every night, and Yuri would still think it’s “because he has a friend.”

And Otabek thinks it’s so cute that he doesn’t even point it out until they’re like, engaged or something

“Have you moved on?” He whispered, almost as if he didnt want to hear the answer.

She paused, but only for a short moment.

“I….I’m not sure. Its changed, everything’s changed. Its been 9 months now. I dont think of you every time I see the ocean, or think about how freaking cold you must be all the time.” She laughed. “But… it’s when I’m lonely, or need something to think about. I automatically go to you. Over that past year, I think I trained myself to do this. But I cant, not anymore. Its not fair.”

“What’s not fair?”

“Everything. Us. The fact that whenever I think of someone to fall back on, it’s you.“

—  It’s always been you | a.m
Jewish Holidays Don’t Work Like Yours

I’ve seen a lot of posts that seem to fundamentally misunderstand the mechanics of more important Jewish holidays, so allow me to clarify a few things: If you’re approaching Jewish holidays the same way you would approach Christian, or even Muslim, holidays, then your framework for understanding our observance is entirely wrong.

We have different levels of holidays. Some of them, like Chanukah, are more minor and don’t really require much of us other than the brief practice of some symbolic rituals, which we can do in addition to whatever else occurs in our normal everyday lives. Go to work, light a menorah, eat a latke, spin a dreidel, attend a protest, whatever. We can do that on minor holidays. 

But our major holidays—which for more traditionally observant Jews, includes Shabbat, our Sabbath—don’t work like that. On Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot (first two days), Shmini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, Passover (first two days), and Shavuot, we are technically not permitted to work or participate in public life in any way. Now, sure—a lot of us who live in Western countries and aren’t strictly Orthodox have resorted to workarounds for a lot of these. For me, I’ll work during the day on Passover, and have Seder at night, or I’ll go to Shabbat services on Friday, and then go to a portest on Saturday, I won’t really observe Shavuot at all, etc. It’s not ideal, but it’s the price I pay for living in a society that demands my assimilation. But 1) There are a lot of Jews for whom that compromise is morally not an option and 2) For the majority of Jews around the world, even if we’re very assimilated the rest of the time, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur tend to be deal breakers—especially Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. On Yom Kippur, we do not eat or drink for 25 hours. We do not bathe, we do not wear leather. We do not use lotions or perfumes. We do not have intercourse. We do not work. We do not participate in public life. We go to synagogue and we fast and atone. 

It’s not like Christmas where you are encouraged to spend the day feasting amongst family but can still go out if you so choose (provided anything is open), or like Ramadan, where you can work or go to school during the day and then have Ifthar at night. We’re literally prohibited from going anywhere but synagogue or another person’s house for observance, and asking us to change the way we observe even more than we already do just to get by in Western society really smacks of assimilationist hubris. It’s not like we don’t already face repercussions for this (I straight up got fired from a temp job once for saying I would not be able to work on Rosh Hashanah), but it would be nice not to face them from people who supposedly understand the dangers of white Christian hegemony.

So when major protests are scheduled time and time and time again for Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, etc. there are only two ways we can take it: Either the rest of you are totally approaching our holidays from a place of ill-informed cultural normativity lacking in any intention to correct that failure of understanding despite our repeated pleas to be included, or worse, it’s being done on purpose because people actively don’t want us there. I don’t believe there was anything malicious in this most recent instance because it seems like the organisers are genuinely trying to find a solution, but it is a recurring problem that needs to be addressed, and understanding how we observe is an important component of that. We want to march. We don’t want to assimilate. There should be room for that here. 

reasons you think people hate j*nerys: the incest, the “predictability”, because i prefer jonsa, daen*rys being infertile, etc.

reasons i hate j*nerys: jon and daen*rys are two fundamentally different people both politically and philosophically and would therefore never work as a couple, especially considering that daen*rys stands in the way of the northern independence jon (and robb, tbh) has built his life on fighting for for the past six seasons :)

What is a story you have been dying to tell?

When I was 15 years old, I ran away from home because I was pissed off at my parents for a reason I cant remember. I didnt have much money, so I decided to hop onto the skytrain(public transport train in British Columbia) and ride it as far as it would go. I reached the end of the line in less then an hour, and decided I wanted to ride it all the way back again, while trying to formulate some kind of plan of how I wanted to live the rest of my life without my parents or anyone. At the last stop, or the first stop depending on your perspective of it, a girl came on and sat in the row right behind me. I didnt pay much attention to her at first, as I was busy writing my life plan on a napkin. It was a few minutes later that she got up and came sat next to me, curious as to what I was writing. I told her the story, and after a few laughs, we began talking about everything and anything. Her name was Amanda, 17 years old, and absolutely wonderful. She told me she was getting off at the last stop, which was also the first stop, depending on how you look at it. It was also the stop I had gotten on originally, and I told her we would ride to it together. The train ride took less then an hour, and what a wonderful hour indeed.

When the last stop did come, we both knew we probably wouldnt see each other ever again(this was before the days of cellphones, and I was a shy little kid afraid to make moves). As we got to the end of the sidewalk which split in two different directions, she went right and I went left. Before saying goodbye she turned to me and asked me a question that has become a wonderful part of my life; she asked me, “Tell me something you have done, or want to do, that you think I should do? It can be anything, as challenging as you want it to be, or as easy. As long as you give me the rest of my life to complete it, I promise I will do it..” I was confused as to why, but I thought about it, and told her, “Sing a song acapella in a room full of strangers.” She said perfect and asked me if I would like a challenge as well. I told her I did, and she told me, “read, from start to finish, “Ulysses” by James Joyce.” I had never heard of it at the time, but I agreed, and we said our goodbyes.

I have a awful memory, and cant remember most conversations I have with most people. But I remember all of that clearly. You know why? Because of the challenge she gave me. In the 12 years that have past since, I have tried to read that book in over 150 different sittings. Everytime I open my copy of the 780 page monster of a book, I always think of her, and I always think of that day. Ive never been sure if it was her intent or not, but she left her lasting memory on me with that challenge. I soon after learned what she did, was a completey wonderful and amazing thing for me. So I decided to keep it going. Ive met a lot of strangers in my life; some that have become friends, and some, due to living in different time zones and whatnot, didnt. I dont want to just have experiences and then let them go. I want to remember these meetings, and embrace the fact that they happened. So whenever I leave someone who has left an amazing impact of my life, I always make sure to add them to my Ulysses Bucket List. I ask them to give me a challenge, as difficult or as easy as they want it to be, and regardless of the fact that they have done it or not; simply something their heart has had wanted to do.

Some have been easy and fun; I met a man in India 9 years ago who told me to, for a week or a month, cook/buy twice as much food as I intend on eating, and give the other half to a stranger in need. I completed that mission 8 years ago, and thought about that man and the time we had all the way through. I met a girl on a cruise 6 years ago, who told me to jump into a body of water on a slightly cold day, without touching or feeling the temperature of the water first. I did that the very same year. I met a couple at an outdoor music festival a few years ago that told me to wear the most bizarre outfit imaginable and walk through a public place, completely oblivious to the fact that you arent looking normal. I did that task the very next day, at the same festival. Some have been difficult, to say the least: three guys I met in Amsterdam and smoked all night with, told me to go to a mall and give 10 strangers 10 presents. That one took a lot of courage, but I did it a year or so after I met them. It was nerve racking, but at the same time exhilerating leaving my comfort zone. A girl I met on a plane told me to sky dive; Im still in the process of getting that done. A couple I met in Cali on the beach told me to tell the 5 people I hated the most, that I love them and respect them. That one was very difficult because of my stubborness, but ive come close to completing that list many a times(still in the process, 2 more people to go).

And some things, have had an everlasting impact on my daily life. I met a girl at a music festival, who told me that whenever I get mad at someone, walk away, sing my happy song in my head for 5 minutes, go back to the person im mad at with a clam heart and mind, and work things out. Ive made this my way of life. I once met a man at a gym in a hotel I was staying at, that told me “whenever your body and brain tells your that you are exhausted and done…use your heart instead and push out 2 more reps.” Ive made this my motto when working out or working on any kind of extrenuating exercise in which my body demands me to quit. I also use it while working on anything, and while studying. One of the best pieces of advice ive ever received.

There are many others that each brought joy to my life. There are still many tasks I have yet to accomplish, and everytime I think of these tasks, I think of the people that gave them to me. It amazes me how well I remember all these people, while I cant remember so many aspects of even yesterday. These experiences, not only do I take from them a “mission” or a “challenge”, I also take from them a memory of them that never fails to appear inside of my mind. I opened my Ulysses book for probably the 300th time yesterday, and read a few pages, which prompted me to share this story with you today. Im in the final 30 pages of the book, also known as the most dreaded of the read(in the last 40 pages or so, James Joyce doesnt use a single punctuation mark; no periods, no commas, no nothing; a straight 50 page run-on sentence).

I never saw Amanda after that day, nor do I know if she ever did get a chance to sing a song to a room full of strangers. But what I do know, is that she gave me a gift that has never once stopped giving. So wherever you may be, thank you for giving me the Ulysses Bucket List. And I swear i’ll finish it one day. My life advice? Simple: Create your own Ulysses bucket list.

Two of Swords

My first tarot-card-style illustration, made for my Patrons last month! If you’re interested in supporting my art in return for some neat rewards, check out my profile for a link to my Patreon. :)

listen, the studyblr community can be a wonderful place - but there’s this emphasis on absolute perfection that really doesn’t help a lot of students dealing with other issues on top of their studies. here are five unconventional study tips that might not fit the studyblr aesthetic but have helped me get straight as whilst learning to live with mental health and family problems too!


1. don’t study whilst commuting

i walk to school, so posts about studying on the bus just aren’t helpful - i don’t have the option to do that! even if i’m taking the train somewhere, the last thing on my mind is studying. i’m thinking about my bed and how early it is and whether or not my coffee is cool enough to drink without burning myself yet. not all of us can start working the second we’re awake, and that’s okay!

instead: record your lessons and listen to them as you travel!

even if you’re not paying attention, you’ll remember more than you think! this is especially useful for languages - i recorded myself reading a few essays and listened to them as i walked, which made noticing grammatical errors so much easier!

2. don’t rewrite all your notes

i love the studyblr aesthetic as much as anyone, but i honestly don’t have the time to write out pages and pages of notes in the hope of gaining a few followers. of course it’s nice to have pretty-looking notes, but when you have a huge list of tasks to do, it can become a way of procrastinating work that’s actually needed for a grade.

instead: organise your class notes!

check the material you’ll study before the lesson! if you’re into the brush lettering aesthetic, write out or print titles off ahead of class so you can stick them on your page without having to waste valuable lesson time drawing them. plus, knowing what you’re going to study before you actually come to it means you can prepare a list of questions to ask the teacher and improve your understanding of the subject! this way, you’ll have organised, clear notes from the beginning, so you won’t have to copy anything out at home.

3. don’t buy expensive stationery

i know everyone seems to have those tombow brush pens and leuchtturm journals. as someone who can’t afford them, trust me when i say i get how it feels. but spending money on expensive products (especially ones you don’t know how to use) is just counterproductive - your grades won’t magically go up if you start shopping at muji.

instead: try budget alternatives!

would you buy a £90 contour kit if you’d never used foundation before? the same goes for stationery! substitute for cheaper products from your local stationery stores whilst you get a feel for what’s helpful for you, not what anyone else has. for example, i tried so many types of pens before realising that my writing’s nicest with gel pens, so now i let myself get more expensive ones - but i didn’t waste more than £5 figuring this out because i’m #cheap. this list of popular studyblr dupes is constantly being added to if you really need to try something, but stressing about your stationery is not going to help you in the slightest.

4. don’t worry too much about being organised

look, we’d all like to be organised, but i’m an adult who’s lived with depression since i was thirteen, and i know it’s not always possible to have that pinterest-ready study den. sometimes your homework will be done on a bed that’s not been made in weeks of it’s going to be done at all, and that’s okay.

instead: do what you can.

had a bad day? stick on some guns n roses and do the work later. too exhausted to function? just finish that last maths problem and go to bed. it’s okay to not have a picture perfect lifestyle - most of the people who post those photos don’t have it either. just do what you have to do to get through the week.

5. don’t ignore your mental health

there’s such a weird culture of perfectionism here and it’s so damaging! of course no one has to post about their personal lives on their studyblrs - but please don’t let that lead you to believe it’s not important. this mentality of “everything is fine and i must be perfect” isn’t healthy.

instead: talk about how you feel!

it doesn’t have to be on your studyblr, but if you’re feeling suffocated by pressure to achieve, or you think you’re depressed, or you’re just going through a tough time and need to vent, talk to someone! bottling things up is not a healthy way to live life - believe me, i’ve tried it. it doesn’t work. there are so many impressionable young people here and we need to stop acting like our studies are all we can ever be.


i’m not trying to “call out” anyone who finds the minimalist note taking and study devotion helpful - everyone here is different, and i’m glad it works for you! but not all of us can do that, so this is for the people who can’t.

So, serious talk.

How is anyone supposed to both have a full time job and be a solo 1d fan?

Like… how?

How?

Holy shit, nothing is as perfectly, iconically Vox Machina as, seconds before Matt is about to launch into the epilogues, Grog accidentally sealing his soul on the Plane of Pandemonium, necessitating an impromptu two-week rescue mission. 

What a perfect reminder of how there’s always a new adventure lurking just around the corner… whether you intend there to be or not. You’re never gonna get a clear-cut ending because there are so many weird and sprawling beginnings clamoring for your attention. That’s the way life works, and that’s kind of amazing.

“What a nice story.”

“…let’s do it again.”