this is from last year i believe

c-jay321  asked:

Is it true that bnha will only have 400 chapters?

Heya!!

Short answer: 400 chapters is a rumor.

Long answer: The rumor started because of an interview with Horikoshi last year, when the manga had 80 chapters released:

I believe this is the interview from last year (but was only recently uploaded to Youtube). If anybody can translate it fully that would be great.

In the meantime, somebody had translated a few snippets from this interview. Only a few because they said it was actually very hard to understand Horikoshi with his mask. (Horikoshi-sensei please take your mask off gdi) You can read the translations in this reddit thread.

Some interesting bits for me:

  • He feels embarrassed when people looks at things from the past
  • He doesn’t have any good memories from Sensei no Bulge
  • After it was cancelled he thought he wasn’t fit to draw manga (awww)
  • When BnHa started to be popular and succesful he felt heartened, at that time his mind was weak
  • Hori has all the story already written, but he does some changes to make it better.

Here’s the relevant part: In this interview, Horikoshi estimates that he’s 20% done with the story. At 80 chapters in, this means he estimates he’d take 400 chapters to tell the entire story of BNHA. It’s still only an estimate, but it’s Hori’s estimate so it has credibility to the number, doesn’t it!

What I really like about this is that Horikoshi has already planned all of this from the very beginning. I hope he gets to tell and finish the story the way he wants it.

2

the trans with the plans🤘

Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection - Localization Blog #1

Excelsior, true believers! Nick here again, penning these gladsome tidings from my grand scriptorium full of musty scrolls and ancient cartridges. Alas, it’s been quite a while since I checked in with all of you – well over a year, in fact, with the release of the first Trails of Cold Steel. With that giant title now roaming free in the wild like the majestic brachiosaurs in Jurassic Park, you may have wondered what I’ve been working on over the course of the last year. It always seems to unintentionally happen that I get assigned to projects I can’t talk about for significant lengths of time, but this stretch has easily been the longest. So many times I’ve wanted to tell you some quirky story or fun little side-note about this game as I worked through its script, but alas, the official XSEED duct tape was covering my mouth – until very recently, that is.

In our yearly lead-up to the gaming extravaganza that is E3, we finally announced my long-in-coming project: the classic Falcom action RPG Zwei 2, making its debut outside of Japan as Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection!

Of course, I’ve also helped out with a variety of other, more time-sensitive projects, leading to Zwei taking a bit longer to bring to you than it would have otherwise, but I think we’ve got something you’ll really enjoy in the making here. And conveniently, the benefit of the slow going is that the release isn’t too far off now. As Zwei II enters its final stretch before release, I wanted to tell you more about the game – which is exactly what I’ll do, over the course of the next couple weeks.

Zwei II has an interesting history: released in 2008, it was the very last game Falcom developed exclusively for PC. Back then, the PC gaming market was far from being the robust, thriving scene we know it as today, especially the Japanese market. Thus, the title seemed almost fated to fly under the radar despite its quality craftsmanship and hours of fun. But now, with the worldwide PC game market booming and digital storefronts ensuring copies can get into the hands of anyone who wants to play, it felt like the right time to fill this conspicuous gap in Falcom’s lineage.

“But…what about the first Zwei?” you may be pondering aloud to your monitor. If you’re wondering whether you’ll be at a disadvantage playing the second game in the series before the first, worry not! I’ve played both (thanks to Tom’s Japanese boxed copies) and can confirm that Zwei II gives you all the info you need to understand the world, its plot, and its characters. There was a 7-year gap between the first and second Zwei games in Japan, and Falcom couldn’t assume players would’ve played the earlier entry, so the structure is something more akin to Trails in the Sky versus Trails of Cold Steel, where the games take place in the same world, but in different locations and with different casts. This makes it easy to jump right in.

To start things off, I wanted to sit down and flesh out the game a little for you, since compared to its siblings in the Ys series, and even Xanadu, it’s far less known by fans. What is the Zwei series? What makes it great? How does it play? Why is it cool?

Let’s start from the ground up: the name of the game. “Zwei” is simply the German word for “two” and, as you’ll soon discover, it’s a very fitting title – the game features not one, but two protagonists. Our leads in Zwei II are Ragna Valentine, a lively treasure hunter and pilot-for-hire, and Alwen du Moonbria, a confident vampire princess looking to avenge herself against an unknown enemy. How these two very different people meet and come to really understand (and maybe even appreciate) each other is the relationship that forms the heart of the game, and I’ve done my best to make that journey of growth and understanding a fun and memorable one. And, as with any good RPG, the journey is not without obstacles to overcome. Fortunately, our hero and heroine are up to the task, with Ragna skilled at mixing it up in melee, and Alwen versed in the ways of magic. You can swap between them at any time, and whoever you’re not controlling runs along behind you, ready to leap into the lead role at the press of a button.

Zwei II’s combat is action-based, not unlike the Ys games or Gurumin, but the two-character setup creates an interesting dynamic in combat. Over the course of the game, Ragna will be able to upgrade his weapon, the half chain-whip/half katar Anchor Gear, into several different forms, and Alwen (who begins the game bereft of most of her magic) will regain her powerful spells. You end up being able to do some interesting things, like using a claw-variant of Ragna’s Anchor Gear to grab an enemy, then throw it into another enemy, knocking both into a corner, then swapping to Alwen and unloading a fiery salvo on them. Or have Alwen cast her whirlwind magic to sweep up a couple enemies and keep them stun-locked, then swap to Ragna to leap into the air and string together a midair combo on them. In many dungeons, I often found myself favoring one or the other to take the lead because of the strategies I came up with to best deal with certain types of enemies, and you’ll likely fall into styles of play that fit the way you prefer to approach the game’s combat as well.

And speaking of approaches to combat, Zwei II has a rather unique leveling system, too. In the game, you don’t earn EXP from quests, or from beating up monsters. You actually earn it by eating food – the same food you use to heal yourself when you’re running low on HP. There’s even a “food exchange” service available at the restaurant in the main village of Artte that lets you trade 10 of any one type of food for one of another type that gives more EXP than the ten individual pieces of food would have if eaten on their own (example: trade 10 cheeses worth 10 EXP each for a single pizza worth 150 EXP). Will you chow down now, or hoard in the hopes of cashing in for savory plates of EXP-rich cuisine? You decide! It probably sounds weird (it certainly did to me when I first learned about it), but in practice, it actually works really well. It frees you up from having to grind in dungeons, or feel like you absolutely MUST kill every enemy on the way to your destination. It also gives you a lot of control over your own challenge level. When I was playing the Japanese version of the game, my loose rule was that I’d never eat food just to level – I’d just use it when I was hurt, to restore HP. I ended up going through most of the game under-leveled because of this, but never TOO under-leveled, because the more under-leveled I was, the more damage I’d take, thus getting infusions of EXP more frequently from using food to heal myself. There’s a strange sort of balance to it, and the game isn’t stingy about giving you food in chests, as drops from enemies, and even from giant slot machines you’ll find in each dungeon, so you can decide whether you want to blow through the game as a force of nature but with less on-demand healing available, or a bit underpowered but with a fully-stocked pantry.

If that talk of slot machines that dispense food or trading wedges of cheese for a pizza sounds a little…weird, that’s by design. More than any Falcom game I can think of, the Zwei series embraces its sense of humor, poking in good-spirited fun at its two main characters, the townspeople, and even many of the foes you face down along the way. It’s got a lively, colorful, and cartoonish art style that has helped the graphics hold up well, too. You probably know from personal experience that stories more focused on being comedic sometimes run the risk of not being able to successfully shift into a more serious mode when the story calls for it, but thankfully, Zwei II doesn’t suffer from this issue. It’s surprisingly adept at conveying a serious atmosphere when the story calls for it, making for some excellent dramatic moments, and even a dab of pathos here and there. But on the whole, Zwei II is a game that feels deeply informed by 90s anime and manga, with all the oddness and charm that comes with that. I can certainly say that being rooted in that style proved fertile ground for my work to help the game achieve its comedic potential (speaking as a weeb from ancient times), and I’m already planning my next blog post to focus on some of the details of the writing and the characters.

One thing I love about Zwei II is that it reaches out and really grabs you from the start. In just the first 20-30 minutes, you get the following ace setup (obviously, skip these next two paragraphs if you want to go in totally blind):

The game begins in the skies, as courier pilot Ragna Valentine is cruising in his cool red biplane, the Tristan, toward the island of Ilvard on a routine delivery mission. Suddenly, he’s ambushed by unknown assailants, and after a dogfight against a pair of dragon-riders in the skies over Ilvard, his plane takes a bad hit and plummets toward the land below. The next thing he knows, he wakes up in a bed in the nearby town of Artte as the town doctor marvels at how he came out of such a crushing impact with barely a scratch. After all, his plane didn’t fare nearly as well. Going out to investigate the crash site, Ragna finds his plane on a hill on the outskirts of town, busted up and snapped in half just as the doctor said. So how did he even survive such a nasty crash?

Well…he almost didn’t. After that crash, as he lay among the wreckage, broken of body and bleeding out, he was rescued from his mortal fate by none other than Princess Alwen du Moonbria. Alwen isn’t your ordinary RPG princess, though: she’s a sharp-tongued shut-in vampire princess. Not too long before the start of the story, Alwen’s castle was invaded by a mysterious foe who ultimately seized the stronghold and gave her the boot, after stripping her of her ancestral magic. Seeing the outsider Ragna as her best bet to help her search for her magic and retake her castle, she takes some of his blood and gives him some of hers, sealing a pact that turns him into her ‘Blood Knight’ – a warrior in thrall to a powerful Trueblood vampire whose physical abilities and regenerative capacity far exceed what humans are capable of. But Ragna, see, is all about freedom and doing things his way, and he hates the idea of working as anyone’s lackey. After realizing the situation he’s in, though, he strikes a deal with Alwen: he’ll help her get her castle back as thanks for saving his life…but instead of being master and servant, they’ll do it as equals.

And so, our story begins.

Cool, right? And that all happens in fairly short order – no longwinded tutorials, no hours of quests before the gears really start to spin. Zwei II has a lot of heart and a lot of dialogue, and to its credit, it seldom feels like it drags. The story starts with a bang and keeps things moving at a good clip.

That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to do, though. The island of Ilvard is dotted with thriving communities and, in the fashion of the Trails or Ys games, they’re populated with fleshed-out NPCs who have their own small story arcs and conflicts to overcome over the course of the game, with dialogue that changes frequently after progressing the main story. Some of the residents are funny, some are petulant, and some are just downright strange, so I hope you enjoy getting to know all of them over the many times you’ll visit the towns. You might even stumble upon unique scenes, a secret hint, or a good ol’ fashioned RPG quest (you know, the kind from back before there were convenient quest logs to keep track of things). And of course, what with Zwei II being focused on Ragna and Alwen as dual protagonists, they’ll often have unique things to say in response to other characters depending on whom you’ve got in the lead.

In the course of working on the game’s script, I observed with no small amount of fascination that in some ways, it almost seems like Zwei II was made more with Westerners in mind than the Japanese market. Ragna himself is an incredibly un-Japanese character, with his bravado, easygoing swagger, and sass, but he’s a character that I know will click instantly with the North American audience in particular. We see Ragnas in our books and films; we all probably know someone like him, or who has elements of his personality. Alwen, too, is a character I think will be well-liked by the West. Not content to lament the loss of her home or sit idly by, she picks herself up and decides to get even and take back everything that was taken from her even though it promises to be an uphill battle. The core of her personality is her self-assured nature – even when confronting a world she’s mainly just read about (in books that were, sadly, out of date on the latest trends and customs). Quick-witted and keen, she matches Ragna tit-for-tat, helping the two play well off each other. Beyond just them, there’s the wild west-flavored bounty hunter Odessa, chain-smoking nun Isabella, the worldly jazz pianist Shester, dependable engineer Miriam, and of course, the irrepressible luchador-masked man of mystery, Gallandeau, among many others. Having a zany cast of characters like this all together in one place feels like the kind of storytelling we enjoy so much in Japanese games. But at the same time, after seeing so many forgettably milquetoast light novel-style characters in the games and anime of recent years, it’s refreshing to come upon a game where the characters have an abundance of personality – where I know they’ll resonate with the audience I’m localizing the game for.

So…there you go. In a nutshell, this and more is what you have to look forward to when Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection finally makes its debut. Like a time capsule laden with the charms of a bygone era of RPGs, I think it’ll prove its worth to you as more than simply a pleasant surprise – I think it has the merit to stand proudly as one of Falcom’s finest.

Hey Foxes! We’ve had a busy month leading up to acceptances tomorrow—with the overhaul of the main, updates to our old biographies, and nine new biographies released—and it was all in service of one thing: celebrating the roleplay’s one year anniversary and setting the stage for an exciting new season!

So, with the brief lull before acceptances tomorrow, I wanted to take the opportunity to be a little sentimental. I made the first post on TFC on June 5 of last year—(and I remember waiting very impatiently for the main to show up in the tags)—and we opened for roleplaying on June 28. And I can’t believe that a year has gone by!

TFC is the first roleplay I’ve build from the ground up, and the first I’ve run by myself. When I made that very first post, I had my doubts that I would even be able to attract enough attention and enough applications to open—I never could have imagined that, a year later, we’d still be going strong, and that we would grow beyond even my wildest dreams for this roleplay, including so many more characters than my original nine canon biographies, and including Vixens and Staff in addition to Foxes. 

And, obviously, none of that would have happened without all of you! I’m so thankful to have all of you here, and so thankful to everyone who has ever been a member. You all bring such passion and dedication to your characters and are so kind and supportive out of character, and I’m so proud of the community we’ve managed to build over the past year. And that goes for all of you, whether you’ve been a member from the very beginning—(and I’m humbled that there are still some of you!)—or are very new. 

This has gotten very long and very sappy, but I just wanted to say, more than anything else, thank you. TFC, both the series and this roleplay, came into my life at a pretty important time, and I’m so proud to have reached this milestone, and so excited for what comes ahead—and figuring that out with all of you!

Admin X. 

magiciansrad  asked:

That last post gives me hope and makes me happy

dude honestly if i can bounce back from living with the physical manifestation of those posts that are like “UHHH I HAVE [insert mental illness] AND I [extremely toxic & abusive behavior] TO COPE, ASSHOLE” for a year, then u can do this. i love & believe in you.

Today is my nephew’s birthday! I can’t believe he’s already 2 years old ;0;
MY LIL JELLYBEAN IS GROWING UP.
He was born at 26 weeks and was in the nicu for a few months, so he’s a real miracle. Anyway! Please enjoy this picture of us from my visit with him last week!!

Also fun fact. His birthday 6/22 is my half birthday and my birthday 12/22 is his half birthday. Kinda dumb, but makes me happy!

Due to the movie-esque fashion in which Lara was dropped off at the Las Cruces Orphanage, she was never given a real last name. For the first twelve years of her life, everyone just referred to her as “Lara Doe” and she hated it; it took away her identity - made her nobody. She took the last name Mason when she was first adopted, and promptly abandoned it when they gave her up. 

Lara finally decided, when she was about to enter college, that she was going to take control of her own identity. She took “Kirk” from Star Trek’s James T. Kirk, seeing herself in his famous “I don’t believe in no win scenarios” attitude, as well as his romantic and adventurous outlook.

Imagine a group of humans and aliens talking about their home worlds while in the ship’s canteen. One world is covered entirely by water (the crew members from there have to wear special masks to help them absorb the oxygen they need from the air); one is full of rare minerals and littered with what, on any other planet, would be precious stones and one is carpeted with dense vegetation and has the more biodiversity than any other planet.


Once they’ve all finished talking about their own planets, everybody turns to the humans and asks them what Earth is like. They’re only doing it to be polite though. They haven’t heard much about humans (except the usual stories, and only fledglings believe in those) and they can’t really believe that these fleshy bald looking things come from anywhere even remotely as interesting as their own planets.


There’s a pause and then one of the humans speaks up, “well, I come from a part of Earth called ‘England’ and, to be honest, it’s nothing like as cool as your planets sound. It’s alright though. We got some snow last year, so I’m hoping that we’ll have some this year as well when I get back.”


“Snow?” one of the water breathers asks, hissing slightly through their mask, “what’s that?”


“Frozen water that falls from the sky.” The human explains, “it’s really fun to play with. It’s only called snow when it’s soft though— when it’s hard it’s called hail. Nobody likes hail, you can’t do anything with it and it hurts if it hits you. I looked up during a hail storm once,” she adds, “when I was a kid. Huge hailstones and one hit me right in the eye! Hurt like Hell.”


“Is your planet really cold then?” one of the aliens asks, sounding doubtful since nothing has looked less equipped to deal with cold weather than a human.


“No,” she says, “not everywhere. England’s pretty cold, but in the Summer sometimes we get heatwaves. Last year I went out in one and forgot to wear suncream and got sunburn all down my arms.”


“Your planet’s sun… burned you?” a horrified creature asks, “was it painful?”


“Not really, just stung a bit,” she shrugs, “it was fine once the skin started to peel.” (At the back of the crowd that has now amassed around their table a voice says “I didn’t know humans moulted.” and another, horrified sounding voice replies “that’s because they don’t!”) the human continues on regardless. “It was really annoying actually, because it meant I couldn’t go out for a bit without wearing a jacket. Then when my burns had finally healed, I wanted to go to the beach, but when I got there there was this huge thunderstorm and I had to go home again.”


“Thunderstorm?” the word is whispered, mainly because the person asking secretly hopes the human won’t hear them so they won’t have to know.


“It’s when the clouds get all dark and it starts raining,” the human explains and everybody sighs with relief. Most planets have rain. “The clouds make these really loud banging noises,” she continues, “that’s the thunder, and electricity shoots down from the clouds— that’s called lightning. Sometimes people get hit by it, a few people even survive. I once—”


But one of her human friends cuts her off. “God,” he says, “you Brits are so boring, always talking about the weather!”


While she argues with him, the creatures seated around the table stare at them in astonishment and start to give a little more credit to those old stories. Because, though they look pretty harmless, a species would have to be tough to be able to survive on a planet where a person could be pelted with ice, burned by the sun and nearly electrocuted by the sky and then have another person describe those experiences as boring!

(Dear mom and dad, please don’t kill me over this permanent choice. I want you to hear me out.)

Today, I am coming out with something that only few of you know. I am ready to have a conversation about my mental illness.

Last year, I was diagnosed with depression. And in all honesty, I believe it was a problem for quite a while before that, but I think it just got worse to the point of hardly functioning.

So today, I got this tattoo. I feel that my leg was the best place for the meaning behind it. When everyone else sees it, they see “I’m fine,” but from my viewpoint, it reads “save me.” To me, it means that others see this person that seems okay, but, in reality, is not okay at all. It reminds me that people who may appear happy, may be at battle with themselves.

To me, depression is the days that I feel sad for no reason.
Depression is the mornings that I don’t feel capable of getting out of bed.
Depression is the sleeping too much, or sleeping too little.
Depression is the homework that I never completed, simply because I didn’t feel like I was capable.
Depression is the break downs I have over absolutely nothing.
Depression is the eating too much, or eating too little.
Depression is the nights I begin to cry because I feel so overwhelmed, even though everything is going right.
Depression is the 50 pounds I carry in my chest at all times.
Depression is the need to constantly be distracted (being on social media, playing video games, watching movies or shows, or working all the time) because I can’t trust myself with my thoughts for longer than 3 minutes.
Depression is the friendships that have suffered because of my inability to function.
Depression is the hurtful thoughts and actions I have towards myself.
Depression is the tears I have because I don’t know why I feel so worthless, when I know I should feel happy.

This is one of the most difficult things to open up about because it’s extremely hard for me to feel vulnerable…but this needs to be talked about. Mental illness is serious, but so shamed in our society. We care so much for our physical health, but hardly a thing about our mental state. And that is seriously messed up. Mental illness is not a choice and will likely hit everyone at some point in their life. If it’s such a huge issue, why aren’t we having this conversation about it?

That’s why I got this tattoo; they are great conversation starters. This forces me to talk about my own struggle, and why the awareness of it is important. You’d be surprised by how many people YOU know that struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. I may only be one person, but one can save another…and that’s all I could really ask for.

Maybe this is part of why I am so interested in psychology. I want to help people who feel the way I have—and still do—because it’s hell. And I don’t wish that upon anyone.

“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
—Robin Williams

**Also, THANK YOU to the ones who have helped me in this battle. I would not be where I am without you.**

6

nina turner served as a democratic senator in ohio and is a vocal opponent of donald trump. just because she wants to draw attention to more things than just russia, doesn’t mean she’s a russian spy. i can’t believe that even has to be stated. the way the democratic establishment elite (and the centrists in the party) treat progressive leaders is completely counter-productive. it is the exact opposite lesson that should’ve been learned from the last election. although i guess it exposes that centrists would rather maintain their own power within the establishment than uplift progressive voices. the future of the democratic party should be towards progress. that is how we can win back the 1000 seats that have been lost in the last 8 years.

Harlots is wonderful and here’s why you should watch it:

  • it centres around the experiences of 18th century women in the sex industry without fetishising them or acting condescendingly towards them
  • it features gay women and they will almost definitely get together in the coming episodes (it’s not the kind of hinting that’s just queerbaiting, they’re legit setting up for these two women to fall in love and its going to be wonderful)
  • there are multiple black characters who are legitimately important to the plot as opposed to just background characters (also one of them is gay). It’s set in the 18th century so it’s great that it’s acknowledging that there were plenty of non-white people in London 200+ years ago.
  • the costumes (the whole aesthetic really) are absolutely beautiful
  • it’s based on real historical sources such as Harris’ List of Covent Garden Ladies and there’s loads of fun things to pick up on for people who know a bit about this time period
  • following on from the last point, it gives a largely accurate portrayal of what the sex industry was like in the 18th century
  • it features a lot of platonic and familial female relationships as well as romantic ones
  • there’s a dominatrix spy in it

1. I wasn’t in love with you anymore, but god, this knocked the wind out of me.

2. You were just here.

3. You were just here.

4. Do you remember? The frozen food pressed to your shoulder, the way you shook with the knowledge of a barely avoided death?

5. My mouth. Yours.

6. I had been struggling with my old poems about you. You know, you were the first one I ever wrote. I had some questions for you, Cleveland. I suppose I don’t have them anymore.

7. It isn’t even seeing you kiss her that’s the problem. It’s that you share a table.

8. Maybe “wife” bothers me, too. I know how that word sounds, coming from you. Remember? Those long drives? Perhaps I still exist as your heart when you hit the road.

9. You still exist as mine when I hit the words.

10. I couldn’t read them aloud anymore, the poems. That old pain. It didn’t exist. We had chased it away with chocolate and cherries. Still, you occupy a shelf in the bright. In the cold .

11. You always have been impossibly careless with my heart. With my new lives, all of them.

12. There’s a Smiths song – if you were reading my texts I would send you it – it goes: and I’m not happy / and I’m not sad. I’m not sad, seeing you happy. She looks as full of light as I used to when you kissed me. I am glad for her. I know what you have to give.

13. It’s the loss of our friendship. More a removal. A reopened scar, from the last time. Remember, how we were friends? We’ve been so good at it. I can’t believe you won’t hear from me now. I couldn’t believe you wouldn’t hear from me, then. You know the words. 

14. I just wanted to wish you well. I just. I just wanted to be what I always have been. Yours, in whatever form we decide.

15. Nearly two years since we met and you still find new ways to let me down. I think it impresses me more than it wounds.

16. You told me all about her, remember? We discovered we had both loved ghosts, since the last time you cried on my couch. Do you remember? The things that we allow to haunt us take root in the end. I need to change my sheets.

17. I wonder if I am the ghost now. The woman you never had the courage to keep. Do I haunt you, darling? I can hear your voice saying yes. Feel the reach of your arms as I spin out of them, laughing. Do I echo?

18. You kissed me like you used to, the last time. You will again, the next. You always do.

19. In a poem I never got the chance to read you, I said that you exist suspended in time. In flashes of white sheets. Bathed in orange light on the Golden Gate Bridge. Spinning me around on a cold February evening. One year ago today.

20. One year ago today, you laid next to me. We cried about something that doesn’t matter anymore. It didn’t matter then, either.

21. Do you remember the words? Of that last song at what we thought was the last breakfast. You sat me on your knee.

22. Your hands shook as you held me tight. I put my lips to your ear. Do you remember? The words. Say them with me.

23. In my own sick way / I’ll always stay true to you.

—  Upon Seeing Your New Girlfriend For The First Time. Charlotte Ford.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EYCTE!

the last shadow puppets - everything you’ve come to expect // 01 april 2016

SKAM S04E09 Clip 4 - Your Faith Is Strong

SANA: This is me and Noora at a café.

MOM: Red lipstick?

SANA: She’s always wearing red lipstick.

MOM: Yeah? It suits her.

SANA: Yes, it suits her very well. And there she’s also wearing red lipstick.. This is at school..

MOM: She’s a very pretty girl.

SANA: She’s very pretty.

MOM: Yes.

SANA: And this is Chris!

MOM: She looks like lots of fun.

SANA: Yes, she’s very cool.

MOM: Why don’t you invite them here? Wow!

SANA: That’s a picture of Vilde and Eva.

[YOUSEF: Of course I want to hang out with you! What about Friday? I’m leaving on Saturday.]

[Yousef Acar accepted your friend request]

SANA: Aaaand… This is a picture of Noora.

MOM: What are those sunglasses?

SANA: It’s just this halloween party. Because we were.. We had dressed up and stuff.

MOM: Nice pictures!

SANA: I like Yousef. And.. He’s not a Muslim.

MOM: And now you’re going to hang out?

SANA: I know.. I know that Islam says I can’t marry him, but I just.. I don’t understand that because Yousef is a very good person.

MOM: You’re just seventeen years old. You’re not getting married yet.

SANA: No, but what about three years from now? If I still like Yousef - why can’t I marry him?

MOM: When you’re that young, you think crushes and love are the same thing. Crushes pass, but love and a marriage last for your whole life. It’s almost like a cooperation, where you give all the love inside of you to that cooperation. It’s also about having someone by your side your whole life, no matter what happens. And I think you’ll get a bit lonely in that relationship if you’re the only one who believes, because your faith is so strong. Because there are always times in your life where you doubt everything, even Allah and then.. I think it’s important that you have someone by your side who reminds you why you’re a Muslim and who understand what you believe in. Do you understand? It’ll be fine.

MOM [ON THE PHONE]: Hello.

[YOUSEF: Of course I want to hang out with you! What about Friday? I’m leaving on Saturday.]

[SANA: Oh are you leaving this Saturday? I can’t this week.

SANA: I hope you have the world’s best summer]

[CHRIS: Yo girls. What about test driving the van this Friday? I know it’s not Russ Time 2018 yet, but a little trip has to be fine?

VILDE: YEEEES!!!]

It’s not your ulcer

“I am not a diabetic. Look, this morning my blood sugar was 193 and I hadn’t even eaten anything. That’s not diabetes.”

“Ma’am, that 100% is diabetes.” This conversation quickly became a stalemate between ignorance and my inability to explain her diagnosis in a way she would accept. In fact, every conversation I had with her went this way. She was perhaps the most obstinate and oblivious patient I had ever met. And she was my patient. 

She had come in with the worst foot ulcer I have ever seen. It tracked all the way down to the bone, meaning an amputation was likely in her future. According to her, the ulcer had started a couple days before and she had never had an ulcer before in her life. I used my years of medical training to quickly deduce that a) there was no way that ulcer happened in a few days and b) she most definitely had two very bad looking ulcers on the other foot. When I pointed that out she became upset, telling me they were just split calluses, not ulceration. Every attempt to diagnose and explain the diagnosis was refuted by her “intimate knowledge of her own body.” 

The next several days were some of my most frustrating. I was called to her room for numerous reasons, including refusing insulin (because she wasn’t diabetic), refusing dressing changes (because she was allergic to the dressing), complaining that the hospital food was inedible and rotted, and yelling at nurses about their inadequate care. Each time I walked to the room and took my verbal lashings. I listened. I empathized. I did everything I could to put myself in her place and see the fear she likely felt about losing her foot. 

None of that was enough.

I am not sure if I have ever truly hated a patient. But with her, I came close. Despite my ill-feelings I spent hours coordinating her care between multiple surgical specialties, all of which wanted to pass on taking a non-compliant diabetic, vasculopath to the OR. Podiatry, vascular, and orthopedics all subtly yelled, “not it.” 

Several days into her hospital stay I expressed my frustration to my attending. “They are not your ulcers,” he replied. I looked back, confused, as he continued. “They are not your ulcers. If you care for every patient’s problem as if it were your own, it will destroy you. She got herself into this and she has to bear some responsibility for getting herself out. If she refuses to take our recommendations as to her care, there is nothing we can do. There are times you have to step back and separate yourself from the patient.”  

I have thought about his words a lot since then. In some ways if feels antithetical to my nature to see medicine as a job. But I have also experienced the severe mental fatigue and frustration that comes with trying to help a patient unwilling to help themselves. At the end of the day, how far should we go? How much time should I spend on one uncooperative patient knowing it takes time away from other patients who also need my services? In the end I did step back from the case and allow myself to see my care for her as something closer to a job. I switched off service a few days later and the last I knew she was getting an amputation, though she spent time fighting with surgeons about where they could cut.     

At some point we have to protect ourselves as physicians, despite how mentally strong we believe ourselves to be. This year has taught me a lot of medicine, but it has also challenged me mentally. I am still searching for the coping skills necessary to survive life as a resident and eventually as an independent doctor. Despite the frustration this patient provided, she did allow me some excellent learning in this area. In the end, I have to appreciate her for that.  

it gets harder to talk about but it gets easier to hold it in. to sit up prettier, to shut up louder, to pretend i don’t want you when all i want is to give in, to hold back the tears at the bar and release them once i get into my own bed, to pretend i want to exist. i want to exist. i want to exist. if i say it enough times, even i believe it. but suddenly, i’m a couple drinks in and i remember how unhappy i really am and everybody’s having fun around me but i can’t breathe anymore and my friend tells me i’m a wimp for never expressing my anger when the second i express it, there is always someone there to invalidate it. it’s getting easier to call myself crazy as an excuse for feeling, as if i’m not allowed to feel, as if this pressure build-up in my head is nothing but unequal brain chemistry, and everybody is so easy to brush off my emotions as being a product of mental illness instead of re-evaluating their own actions and wondering how in the world they could have made me feel this way.

so yeah, to say i’m mad is an understatement. to say i’m mad would even be lying. because it goes deeper than this feeling i experience once in a while, the real truth is that i’m sad and that sadness runs deep. i’m hurt. i feel like nobody even cares if they hurt me and the second i even suspect i am offending a stranger, i say sorry. but people run from me instead of apologize because their pride is more important than my feelings and it’s always been that way. i fall in love with anyone who shows me affection and people think it’s weird but when you’ve been deprived for so long from people who will listen, i don’t know, it’s hard. it’s still hard to believe that the second i start spilling my emotions, people talk over me. nobody wants to be with the person who brings up serious conversations at parties. nobody wants to be there for the girl who is always sad. everyone wants to pretend it doesn’t exist. and the more they pretend, the more i realize i’m getting good at this.

so i try to shut up until i can’t. like this time last year, i was showing up to your house to scream at you because i spent so much time holding everything in. but last night, i sent you fifteen text messages and deleted every one before i pressed send and i know no one’s gonna be there to congratulate me but maybe i can start being proud of myself because i don’t know how else i’m going to make this inadequate feeling end. you know, maybe i just have to keep trying things until i find something that works, maybe i just have to fly through boys until i find someone who isn’t gonna leave, maybe i just have to realize that the only person i’m ever going to truly have is me and i should stop holding people to impossible standards because they’re never going to live up to them and i’m always going to end up disappointed. nobody’s ever gonna care the way i want them to. it’s like i’m impossible to please. but god, i don’t know - i just wish for one second, someone would be excited about something because i am. be sad about something because i am. make me feel like my feelings affect others in some way. like they mean something. i’m growing so tired of the blank stares they give me.

i don’t know. maybe i’ve always asked for too much but i can’t remember the last time someone told me they loved me and if we’re being honest here: it’s devastating. i’m sad. i feel like i have nobody left. everyone likes me at first because i am so outgoing - i say what i’m thinking - but they leave soon after they realize that i am too much to deal with and they don’t really want to hear what’s in my head. they turn away because my insecurities make them nervous and who wants to deal with the girl who asks you if you hate them every five seconds? you say you don’t hate me but your body language tells me everything. i know i’m getting annoying but i can’t stop so i keep repeating it: i want to exist. i want to exist. i want to exist.

they say you’ve gotta let people in but the more i let people in, the more i regret it. i’m tired of silencing myself but it’s like the moments i’m silent are the only moments i’m not ruining everything.

—  I WANT TO EXIST. I WANT TO EXIST. I WANT TO EXIST. I’M NOT REALLY SAD. REMEMBER THIS.
3
Cause you are my best friend 
And you are where my heart is 
And I know at the day’s end 
I get to come home to you

“Morning, Cas.” Dean stifled a yawn as he entered the kitchen, nodding at his friend who was enjoying his coffee while flipping through the pages of some book.

“Good morning, Dean,” Castiel replied pleasantly, blue eyes briefly blinking up to acknowledge Dean.

Dean affectionately ruffled the angel’s hair before making a beeline for the fridge, his growling stomach voting ’food’ rather than ’coffee’, at least for now. He scrunched his nose when all he found were some take out leftovers that were about as old and hairy as that witch that they hunted a couple of weeks ago. Coffee it was then. And a grocery run later today, Dean made a mental note.

Sitting down across from Cas at the kitchen table, Dean’s eyes fell on the book that Cas seemed to be engrossed in.

“What are you reading?” he asked as he took a sip of coffee, curious as to what could possibly be this interesting at eight in the morning.

Cas peeked up at him again through his lashes, and Dean could swear that he saw the hint of a blush spreading across his cheeks.

“Claire gave it to me, I have more of them,” he answered evasively.

Dean raised an eyebrow at him, gently reaching out to tilt the book so that he could see the cover, immediately groaning when he realized what it was.

“Seriously, Cas? Supernatural? You’re not honestly reading that bullshit, are you?”

The angel was looking a tad bashful, but that didn’t stop him from nonchalantly turning another page.

“It’s just… It’s nice to get a look inside your head, like this.” Cas explained quietly.

And okay, that made no sense to Dean.

“For real? Cas, we share a room, your tongue has been in my mouth! If there’s anything you want to know you can just ask me instead of turning to that garbage,” Dean scoffed, rolling his eyes, half amused, half annoyed. “Hell, you could literally read my mind if you chose to.”

“But I promised not to,” Castiel reminded him, at last putting down the book and giving Dean his full attention. “And most of these were from before we met… I was simply curious what you were up to, how you were feeling back then. For one thing, I found out that you easily believed in the existence of every supernatural creature possible, every single one except angels.”

Cas looked mildly affronted by that, but Dean snorted, shaking his head in disbelief. Silly angel, to be bothered by this after all these years. He reached over the table to lace his fingers through Cas’.

“For what it’s worth, I believe now,” Dean muttered, smiling at Cas.

Ever so slowly, Cas’ smile started mirroring Dean’s, and he eventually nodded in agreement.

“So… Will you stop reading those now?” Dean checked after a short silence, squeezing Cas’ hand.

Picking up the book again with his free hand, Cas grinned almost mischievously.

“Not a chance.”