we need to discuss your life choices

Chronic trauma and a clarification about my Israel/Palestine post

“Israel is about as well-governed as you’d expect from a country run by people with PTSD in one of the most volatile regions in the world.” This sentence in your recent post feels uncomfortably close to perpetuating a poor stereotype of both abuse survivors and people with PTSD, or like a joke in poor taste at their expense. I think I get what you meant it’s just, in my opinion, very poorly phrased.

realsocialskills replied:

Agreed. I should have phrased that differently. I haven’t really tried to discuss anything related to Israel on this blog before. I was assuming certain context that I didn’t actually explain. I don’t talk about Israel very much, and when I do, it’s usually in a context in which people know that I’m a rabbi and a disabled disability advocate. (People often also know that I have significantly disabling trauma.) That context matters more than I realized. I’m sorry I wrote it that way, I see what it looked like I meant now that people have pointed it out to me.

One thing that I want to be clear about now: I did not mean that as an insult. Part of what I meant is that trauma makes everything harder, and that it’s a factor in why the situation is so intractable. I absolutely was *not* saying that people with PTSD shouldn’t be in leadership roles. And in any case, in Israel/Palestine, there is no alternative. If you couldn’t have traumatized people in leadership roles, it would be difficult to find anyone to govern. That doesn’t mean that the situation can’t get better — it means that it’s *hard*. 

(This is one of the many reasons why I believe that people who want to help should support efforts that are led by Israelis and/or Palestinians and located primarily in Israel/Palestine.)

Some of the things I’ve most appreciated about spending time in Israel are directly related to how normal trauma is there. PTSD is really a misnomer — the situation in Israel/Palestine is chronically traumatic. In Israel, there’s much more serious conversation about resilience in the face of chronic trauma than I’ve ever found in the US. (I’m saying Israel specifically because I’m directly familiar with Israeli culture and I am not directly familiar with Palestinian culture.)

In the US, the conversation about trauma tends to be “You need to get past what happened and let go of it so you can get on with your life.” In Israel, it’s more like “Whether or not things ever get better, we have to live our lives.” (Pronoun choice deliberate; Israel is much more collectivized than the US, which is a cultural can of worms I’m not going to get into in more detail in this post.)

A lot of populations in the US face chronic traumatization, and there’s very little discussion here about how to deal with that. There’s a tendency to inappropriately apply a *post*-traumatic recovery model along the lines of “You went through something terrible, but you’re safe now. Let’s help you to feel safe.” That model is really inappropriate for people who aren’t safe and aren’t likely to be safe any time soon. We need more things that help people in unsafe situations cope psychologically and build as many good things in their life as they can. 

For example, group homes are not safe places. More generally, disability service provision systems are not safe. They’re safer than they used to be, but the rate of abuse is still very high. It is irresponsible to say “you’re safe now” to someone who is statistically likely to be harmed again in the future. It’s irresponsible to say “People can’t heal until they are safe”, and leave it at that. There are a lot of people who aren’t likely to be safe any time soon, and their lives matter *now*.

Safety is not a prerequisite for growth, and it’s not a prerequisite for having good things in your life. We need to do better for people in unsafe situations. We need more space to say “Being hurt matters, and it’s not the only thing that matters,” and more competence to say “Here are some things that often help.” Safety is important, and we should work for it — and we can’t let that be the only thing we do. (Related: “It gets better” is often worth saying, but it can’t be the end all and be all of how we express “Your life is worth living”.)

This matters in service provision and it also matters in activist community. I think that we need a much broader conversation about resilience. We’re fighting for survival and for critically important rights. We can’t abandon these fights and we also can’t afford to treat victory as a prerequisite for valuing our lives. We have to live. I think a significant part of that is finding ways to strengthen each other, and seeking out every form of growth and resilience available to us. 

I have more to say on all of this, but I haven’t found the words to say it yet. 

Some good things about Dragon Ball Super

So, yeah. After the recent bit of controversy over the stupid manga and Toyotaro’s weird hatred for Goku, I decided I needed a break from tumblr and the Dragon Ball fandom on the internet in general for a few days. I checked in a few times to see if I got any asks or such, but otherwise I’m not going to be back here like normal until Friday. Maybe Thursday, but I have other priorities at the moment.

Honestly, sometimes the negativity of this fandom really gets to me. Whether it’s the Goku hate, the shipping wars, the angry anon’s, the unfriendly and outright hateful people who can’t let fans enjoy elements of the franchise that they personally don’t without insulting and belittling them, or the general negativity towards the franchise, by the same people who claim to love it usually. It can just get a bit over whelming for me personally since I haven’t been doing so great lately. I’m not a person that handles a ton of negativity well.

But, I thought I might pop in to encourage a little positivity for a change. Specifically, since we’re all really ticked off at the manga right now, I just thought now might be a good time to celebrate all the good stuff about the Dragon Ball Super anime. Everyone feel free to reblog with whatever else you think is really good about the show, whether it’s a fun moment, your favourite episode, a new character or concept you like, anything you think is good about the show. Feel free to go off on a tangent gushing about it, or discussing what you think makes those things work. You can do the same for anything I list here, I might go back and add some description for my choices later but I have work to do soon.

The general point here is: Life’s too short to wallow in negativity all the time. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and appreciate the good things in life, and that includes in the media we consume and enjoy. So, without further ado, let’s get started below the cut.


Farmer Goku. A great source of funny moments, and even some genuine character development for Goku here and there.

Krillin’s character development

Android 17 is perfect

Baby Pan and Bulla are the most adorable babies ever!

Also, Marron is precious too.

Uncle Pikkoyo

The interesting world building that opens up boundless story potential. Including ELEVEN new universes and a huge pantheon of Gods.

Mr Satan

Gohan and Mr Satan playing with baby Pan

Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-Ken

A lot of good humour

Jaco is a recurring character now

Frieza is at his absolute best in the current saga.

Hit is the best new DB character in years

Vegeta the family man

Beerus

Whis

Vados and Champa

Zen-oh the Omni-King

Goku being a loving and supportive father whenever he’s in a scene with Gohan and Goten

That epic fight in episode 57

Magetta

Cabba and Vegeta’s interaction

New Saiyans

Caulifla, the first official female super saiyan!

Kale, the first offical female LEGENDARY super saiyan!

Toppo and the Pride Troopers

Ribrianne

Kakunsa and Vikal, the first canon lesbian couple in Dragon Ball and the best LGBT rep the franchise currently has (Not that hard, considering the only other notable example is general Blue, who’s a villainous pedophile…)

The Trio De Danger

Plenty of adorable shipping moments for all the couples

Tien has his own Dojo now

Goku Black is awesome

Goku Backhanding Zamasu

Future Mai

Majin Buu vs Basil

Gohan vs Lavender

Goku vs Basil

The God energy dragons. No i don’t care if there wasn’t an explanation, they looked awesome!

Goku vs Android 17

Goku and Android 17’s great interactions in general

Krillin and Android 18 finally being a proper battle couple in the tournament of power. Also, that awesome energy volley ball attack is one of my new favourite moves in dragon ball.

Krillin vs Goku

The Great Saiyaman two-parter

The Hit two parter

The baby pan episode

the second opening is one of the best openings of any dragon ball series.

The first one is pretty nice too.

Ending 1, 2, 3 and the latest one are all pretty good

Future Trunks and Gohan episode

I don’t care if it didn’t make much sense, Spirit Bomb Trunks looked awesome and that episode looked gorgeous

Great Dr Slump crossover

That amazing Goku vs Gohan fight in episode 90

Gohan is currently awesome again.

Videl being the best wife ever in episode 74

Two new namekians

The Tournament of Power features over twice as many female fighters as Dragon Ball and DBZ combined.

Great slice of life moments.

Fit Buu

Yamcha got his own breather episode

Bulma is fun and proactive

Goten is adorable

Vegeta trying to cook.

Briefs family vacation episode

Gowasu

Dyspo

Obuni

Piccolo vs Frost

Goku vs Hit

Tagoma

Piccolo got to beat someone in the Tournament of Power

That scene where Krillin and family meet up with Android 17 on his island

King Kai being King Kai

Zamasu’s “I’m just being self absorbed” line. Funniest villain line ever.

The Super Dragon Balls and super shenron

Future Trunks and Kid Trunks interaction

The English dub is fantastic and a joy to listen to.

@angelrin89 @bulma-laboratory @no-discourse-onlywrites @breezytealy @dragon-ball-meta anyone else want to give this a try?

readings // closed

I decided to be a lot more direct with the interpretations I sell, because general readings don’t really work for me. With these new methods, you’ll be getting much more valuable information, and since it’s easier for me to do it this way, the prices are relatively more affordable as well.



— DISCUSSION SESSIONS —

Currently unavailable as of 4/22/17

  Scheduled: $5.00 per ~30 minutes
  Unscheduled/extended: $1.50 per ~10 topics/questions

[ This is an alternative to a full chart reading; instead of paying me to spout general information, you’re paying me for a more engaging & interactive reading which will provide you with the information you truly want or need to know. We can talk about literally any astrological thing you want. ]


— SINGLE AREA OF LIFE —

  $4.00

[ I’ll look at the chart(s) of your choice to interpret a certain area of your life (friendships, love life, career, etc) as a whole, taking every relevant astrological factor into consideration to provide you with a detailed profile of how you operate in that context and your experiences concerning it. If it’s an interpretation of the past, you must specify a span of time. ]

[ Choose between the following:
  - natal chart
  - Solar Return
  - progressions (+ 2.00 if it’s for more than 2 years)
  - transits (+ $3.00 if it’s for more than 6 months, + $5.00 for over a year)

If you order an interpretation based on the natal chart, it’ll be a reading of the area of life for you as a person or for your whole life, but for the other charts, it’ll be a reading of the current, temporary (or past) state of that area of life. ]


— SINGLE PLACEMENT —

  Price depends on complexity; generally $5.00 to $10.00

[ Any placement in almost any chart counts. The only things I won’t interpret are harmonic charts. Everything else is fine, including synastry. ]

[ A “placement” can be multiple different signs/planets/etc. as long as they make some sort of contact and/or have something in common. ]

[ This must be thoroughly discussed before purchase. ]


— SYNTHESIZATION —

  $1.50 per planetary placement
  $1.25 per house placement
  $1.00 per aspect

  *You must order at least two and no more than six placements at a time.

[ I will interpret a specific group of placements cohesively & primarily focus on how they interact with each other & manifest in unison. ]

[ This is a natal chart interpretation by default. ]


— NODAL AXIS READING —

  $5.00 for a summary
  $10.00 for a comprehensive reading

[ The first option is a summary of the signs/houses of the nodal axis, and the second option is a more detailed reading which includes signs, houses, and the most important aspects (which you or I can choose, whatever you prefer.) ]

[ I’ll interpret your North & South Nodes in detail and in context to the rest of your chart. This will describe your “destiny,” your highest potential in (this) life, and what’s holding you back from achieving it. My practice concerning the nodal axis may differ from other astrologers’, so we can discuss this further. ]


— CAREER COMPATIBILITY —

  $4.50 for interpretation
  $7.00 for suggestions

[ Option 1: You tell me your dream career and I’ll tell you whether you’ll be good at it and what obstacles you may face. You could also tell me your current career path & I’ll interpret what may cause issues with it for +$2.00. ]

[ Option 2: I’ll list 5-10 various career paths I believe you may excel at based on the natural talents, skills, and potential indicated in your natal chart. ]


— RELATIONSHIP READING —

  $6.00

[ You tell me an issue you face in a relationship of any type, and I’ll interpret the source & potential remedies for that problem using whichever relationship chart (Davison, composite, synastry) holds the richest insight. You can specify which one you want me to read if you have a preference. ]


— A PARTICULAR PROBLEM —

  Usually $5.00 (unless it’s extraordinarily simple or complex)
  $1.50 for each additional chart

[ You tell me a specific problem you face, and I will interpret up to three different charts to find the source & possible solutions (choose between your natal chart, progressions, transits, or Solar Return). If you want me to interpret something in your past, you must specify a span of time. ]


— TRANSIT GUIDES —

Currently unavailable as of 4/22/17

  $7.00 for the sun, moon, Mercury
  $6.00 for Venus, Mars, Jupiter
  $5.00 for Saturn
  $4.00 for Uranus, Neptune, Pluto
  Aspect interpretations & dates can be included for an extra $6.00

  *No more than 3 planets at a time (each purchased separately)
   If you order more than one, the price is reduced by 25%

[ I will provide a detailed delineation of the cycles of the planet, and how they typically affect you in the appropriate, relevant context. The slower the planet, the lower the price, because there’s less relevant information to interpret – it’s rare to live long enough to experience Pluto trine natal Pluto or anything like that. If you ask, I can explain the themes of each planet before you choose. ]

[ Asteroid transit guides can be discussed. ]

[ These do not come with transit calendars, but if you’d like one, it can be discussed. Comprehensive forecasts would probably be $1.00 per month. ]


— SATURN RETURN SURVIVAL GUIDE —

Currently unavailable as of 4/22/17

   $20.00

[ I’ll walk you through all the themes of your nearest/next Saturn Return.
  This includes a breakdown of the lessons you’re likely to learn, the challenges it will present & advice on how to face them, affects it will have on you and your life, its potential if handled well or badly, and the dates of its exact beginning, climax, and end (based on the degrees of Saturn’s transit). The rest of your natal chart and other transits will also be taken into consideration.
   Please specify the year of the Return you want me to read, as well as the primary general location (nearest big city) in which you lived during it.]


— RUSH ORDERS —

   $6.00 per prior client

[ For example, if you are number 3 on my wait list, you’ll pay $12 ($6 for each client before you, in addition to the order’s regular cost) to have your order completed and delivered significantly quicker than normal. Say the wait time was 4 weeks, it can be reduced to 2 weeks with the rush fee. ]

[ This does not mean that your order will be moved to first in line. All orders will be completed in sequence of payment transaction & wait list placement, but I will work through them much faster and therefore your order will be delivered sooner. Essentially, you’re paying me to hustle. ]

[ This may only be discussed after the deadline is set and before the payment is transferred. Mention it in your initial email. ]


Disclaimer: anyone who purchases astrological interpretations will probably already know this, but I must make it clear. Astrologers cannot predict or interpret anything that is exclusive to you, your life, and your chart(s) unless you divulge each and every detail. We are only able to read concepts, themes, and potential; we’re simply trying to help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your chart(s), because we can’t tell you everything with 100% certainty, that’s just not how it works. Astrology is a symbolic language that cannot be translated into your own personal dialect by someone who is a stranger to you. Each reading is unique, but since astrologers are (usually) outsiders to their clients’ lives, it’s up to you to take the insight and information we give you and use it in a practical way.


All payments must be transferred through PayPal.

5% FLAT FEE APPLIES TO ALL PURCHASES because of PayPal’s ridiculous transfer fees. There’s also a $5.00 purchase minimum (plus 5% fee / $5.25). Prices are flexible for the people who need it! ♥

Please read my process and terms & conditions.
Email me if you’re interested: annacoletteastrology@gmail.com

anonymous asked:

19 - Winteriron

I’m not their hero/But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave

This is honestly a little bit away from the prompt.

Song is:

I’m Not Your Hero

“Take a trip with me,” Tony says, collapsing on top of him, grabbing the remote out of his hand before Bucky can stop him and turning off the TV, cutting Megyn Kelly off mid-sentence on another one of the seemingly endless roundtable discussion on the Winter Soldier’s place on the Avengers roster.

At this point Bucky is pretty sure he can do an accurate impression of both sides of the debate. Bucky the Victim vs Bucky the Assassin. Rarely, they get creative and add in the ever popular (and Bucky’s personal favorite) Bucky the poor unstable woobie, those brave Avengers for taking him in, I hear Tony Stark’s dating him, how precious, now lets keep him away from the weapons but no need to lock him up, of course!

(It’s rarely used because its hard to sum the position up in a snazzy caption, you see. Tony calls it the ‘Bucky the Dog’ argument. ‘You’re like a rescue,’ he’d explained. ‘Apparently we need to feed you, house you, but not let you out because you’ve been raised badly and don’t know any better, and might go gnawing off some poor kid’s arm for looking at you the wrong way.’

Tony hated Bucky the Dog.)

“Ignore the crazies,” Tony wheedles. “Pay attention to me.” He makes grabby hands that Bucky grabs up and uses to drag his boyfriend closer. “So take a trip with me?”

“Why?”

“Because I want to take a trip?” Tony says, affecting an innocent expression. “Because the Tower has access to too many 24 hour news channels? For the opportunity of new and exciting places to have sex? Bucky! Stop with the patient eyebrows.” Bucky mouths ‘patient eyebrows’ to himself, shaking with laughter. “It’s a surprise.”

“Oh, God,” Bucky groans. The last ‘surprise’ of Tony’s was a cake filled with strippers. For Natasha.

Tony seems to read his mind and points an accusing finger at him. “You cannot deny that was amazing and she loved it.”

Natasha had loved the strippers. She knew at least eight new ways to bend now.

“Alright,” Bucky agrees, and accepts his boyfriend’s gleeful, slightly sloppy kisses with a smile.

Keep reading

EW: Elementary star Lucy Liu on Watson’s new mission

Does Watson still want to be an investigator?

Where are we picking up with Joan this season?
Lucy Liu:
This season they are stressing that she is not so much ambivalent, but that Sherlock is convinced that she might take off, because she’s never really stayed in a job for a certain amount of time. She was a sober companion for a certain amount of time, and now that she’s been a detective, it’s almost about that time that she can’t really stay. She’s got wanderlust in terms of a career. She was a surgeon, then she was a sober companion, then she left to be a detective, and he’s a little concerned about that. She’s saying no, but he sees that she may decide to leave. The question is: Will she leave him? He’s noticed that she’s been depressed, and he wants to know why.

Keep reading

sogoatiest  asked:

I am a woman and a bisexual. This election has left me stunned, devastated, and more than a little terrified. I am trying to make sense of it and trying to be what I call "optimistically pissed off" which means to do more than I have to help LGBT/women's rights and be loud af… but I still am carrying a lot of anger and immense sadness in my heart. I know family/coworkers that voted for Trump. How do I reconcile that in my head/heart and not let it become bitterness or even hate for them?

I don’t know.

I’m angry right now. I’m going through all the stages of grief, and today I am mostly in anger. 

But I’ll try: Like, go ahead and be angry and hurt. Let it out and rage a little bit and don’t hold it inside where it eats away at you. But then we have to find a way to let it go, to focus on other things in our lives that are good, so find the people close to you who you love and care about, and bring them a little closer. 

When you’re ready, have an honest, compassionate discussion with the people who voted for him, and just let them know how their vote and their choice is going to affect your life. Just let them know, just ask them to listen, and don’t expect anything back. You need to tell them how you feel, just for your own peace of mind. It’s very likely that they weren’t thinking about how this will affect you, and that they love you and care for you. It’s going to be hard not to make it personal, but that’s what we have to do.

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that you’re hurting and you’re sad. I’m a straight white guy who is financially stable with good healthcare, and if I’m feeling the way I do, I can’t imagine how bad it is for someone who is not as privileged as I am.

Please know that, for what it’s worth, you matter to me. I will fight for you and your rights with every breath I have left for as long as it takes.

anonymous asked:

Hi, my sister has been suffering from depression since she was in her 20s. She's now in her late 30s and she still hasn't faced the real world. She stays at home, she's obese, unemployed and she always promises to us that she'll turn her life around but it never comes true. What can we do as a family to support her? Thanks!

1. First, check yourself. Do they really need help, or are you pushing some agenda subconsciously or otherwise? Second, let them know you’re there. Third, give them an example to follow. ~Carl B Salazar

2. People have to come to where they need to be to get their lessons. You can’t help someone who is not willing. But you can love them through it. Send light and love and hold them in your heart space. I had to hit my own bottom and dead end to turn around and climb back up…when I was ready and willing. ~Karen Blake

3. We can stop judging people, assuming that they are not helping themselves. Perhaps the helplessness is the sign of their being out of their comfort zone. If we want to help, we can do some positive things like: Give some encouragement or discuss the situation with them and let their own intuition discover the best way to help themselves. ~ Santosh Nag

4. Examine your attachment to their choices. Their challenges and choices are their life lessons, not yours. Is your wanting to help them saying something about you that you need to learn? ~Susan McCourt

5. You can help them by just being there and being supportive. You can still plant seeds. Most minds are so conditioned it is almost impossible to shed any light on their world. So just smile, nod, suggest, and if it does not help then move on with no regret because you tried. ~Skip Blankley

6. Don’t enable them. Put the tools in their hands to help themselves, show them how to use them, step back, and be there when they trip. Love them when they fall. Repeat repeatedly. ~Crystal Boudreau

7. You can’t make people be what you want them to be and you can’t decide what is best for them. You can only choose for yourself. There is a huge difference between can’t and won’t. Can’tmight be open to help. Won’t can’t be your problem. The best thing is won’t might not always be won’t.Hope for that. ~ Melodee Luka Kardash

8. Love them until they learn to love themselves. ~ Amber Weinacht

9. Stop trying to make them live as you think they should…How others live is not for us to control, but to learn from. ~ Crystal Sverdsten

10. Let go. They have to help themselves and accept responsibility. ~Viengxay Jimenez


Namaste,

Forrest Curran

"How do you reconcile disliking someone as a person and admiring their work?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says: 

On a personal note, I am incapable of this… OOPS. 

I remember being in college and LOVING this actor who was SO TALENTED and then turns out he was the biggest jerk*** on the face of the planet. He was unkind, narcissistic, disrespectful, and a bit of a womanizer (you guys, what is this Sex in the City? did I really just say womanizer?!) BUT ANYWAY. 

After I saw his actions as a human, I saw another show he was in and I was like “wow.. he sort of sucks.” I thought his acting was forced and he sort of OVERACTED a bit … y’all I don’t think that was true at all, but I just couldn’t separate how awful he was as a human from his ART. You know? It could just be me and my inability to see them as two different things. But a person’s work is so much of who they are, it just seeps into my brain and I can’t shake it. 

But also one time someone told me Cheri Oteri was mean and I refuse to believe it because I think she is so funny… So like, I DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER. 

***INSERT WORD WORSE THAN JERK

Kristin Says:

Ooph. This is a doozy.

Personally, I sometimes feel the way Dannielle does… where even if I know someone is incredibly talented, I have trouble seeing past my disagreements with them as a human being and it affects the way I intake their art/creation/whatehaveyou.

However, this isn’t always the case, and I think that there is a very, very interesting (and important) divide between the alignment personal values and the appreciation of talent. I am not telling any of you that you are obligated to like a person’s work if you don’t want to, and if you choose to align your personal disagreements with your feelings on that work, that is understandable. But you, Anonymous, are asking for a way to separate those two things, and this requires a larger discussion.

I think it boils down to a person’s work being something that, once in this world, exists separate from them as a person. This might sound a bit dramatic, but think try to think about their work metaphorically as their child. If you despised a person and they brought a child into this world, you wouldn’t despise that child just because of their origins… right? There are people who do all sorts of things that you may disagree with on a personal level, but they may have the ability to bring things into the world – whether it be writing, artwork, performance, or anything else – that has the power to genuinely move you.

There is a whole other giant discussion lurking underneath this one that has to do with supporting the work of someone who may be doing things that you disagree with… but for now I am going to leave this discussion with only the personal appreciation of that work, and stay out of the even trickier support-territory.

This life is a pretty short one, and there are so very many ways in which we interact with it, and learn about ourselves and our surroundings. If someone’s work is moving to you, or helps you to better understand something, their personal choices may not need to be a factor in your intake of that creation.

Seacrest, out.

A blessing in disguise ~ chapter 69

A blessing in disguise ~ chapter 69

I wake up suddenly to thunder cracking and Hayley jerking awake. She pulls at the covers of the bed before she inhales deeply. She wiggles away from me in the bed but I pull her closer, not wanting her to be away from me. “No.” I mumble, feeling her continuing to move away. She sighs before settling back down as I fall asleep.
I slowly wake up and feel my arms are empty as is the bed. I roll onto my back and open my eyes. The first thing I see is Hayley pacing up and down the hotel room with a cup of tea in her hand. “What’s wrong?” I instantly ask, knowing her well enough to know something is definitely wrong. She looks at me before shaking her head, continuing to pace up and down. “Hayley?” I question, stretching my legs and arms out, cracking my back. Hayley stops pacing and sits on the edge of the bed, making me worry. “Hayley, are you having second thoughts?”
“No.” She shakes her head,
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing.”
“Hayley don’t f*cking lie to me.” I mutter, pushing the covers off myself and crawling to the edge of the bed where she sits. “Hayley, I’m not going to ask again.” I state firmly, but it does nothing. “I’m going back to sleep.” She mumbles before crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over herself.

*** ***

My p.o.v

I sit on the hotel bed with my legs crossed listening to my Mums’ pointless and rather boring story about something. I pick at the things on my pizza, trying to pretend to care about the story. “Oh which reminds me the Hunder’s son is at the top of his class and is doing extremely well at school.”
“The kid that’s annoying, a jerk, and up himself?” I question as I push my plate of pizza to the side.
“Hayley, he is a nice boy.”
“He’s a pain, he thinks he’s better than everyone, he’s the perfect definition of snobby.” I state and my Dad chuckles softly, he agrees with me, he never liked the Hunder family. “Hayley that’s not very nice of you to say, I say you’re jealous.”
“Jealous of what mum? He’s at the top of his class and very intelligent, but lacks politeness and integrity.” I defend.
I’m far from jealous of him, he has nothing that I want. All he has is his intelligence and snobby attitude, along with twenty different degrees he managed from fifth grade. Maybe that’s an over exaggeration.
“His mother told me he is thinking of going to Law School.”
“That’s great.” I shrug, not caring one bit. “You really don’t like this boy do you?” My Mum asks as she eyes the slice of pizza on my plate.
“No, I don’t.”
“Why?”
“He’s snobby and thinks he is better than everyone. Wow, big deal he has had offers to attend one hundred different universities and can major in anything he wants because he has the intelligence of a genius. Nobody really cares for those who show off and can’t be modest when it comes to their intelligence.” I comment, moving my plate closer to my mother so she can eat the slice she has been eyeing. “You can major in whatever you like too.”
“Well it has been said numerous amount of times, unless I am majoring in something to get me into medical school or law school, you won’t approve.” I mumble,
“That’s not true, you can do other things. It isn’t too late for you to decide on a different career choice. You can be a teacher, a physiotherapist, a scientist, a vet..” My mum starts to name off a list of different career choices.
“They’re career choices that are high profile. I much prefer dancing, being a dance teacher.”
“That’s not a career choice. Once you get back into studying you will decide what it is you want to strive for. Just because your father and I are lawyers it doesn’t mean you have to be. You could be an investigator. I mean, sure, we would love to see you become a lawyer or a doctor, but we aren’t going to force you.” My mum explains and I sigh,
“I’m not becoming a doctor, a lawyer or an investigator, nor am I becoming a veterinarian, physiotherapist or any other high profile career you want me to strive towards. I am not continuing to study and waste my time in career choices you want me to be in. I’m not going to continue going to university, I’m graduating with the classes I have finished with and not furthering myself.” I firmly state, sick and tired of hearing the same speech about university and careers. “Hayley, you’re not doing that.” My dad shakes his head and my Mum agrees with him.
“Yes I am.”
“You don’t have a choice, you’re going to continue studying and make something of yourself.” My Mum shakes her head, disapproving my decision.
“I do get a choice because it is my life and my career we are discussing.”
“We are paying for it. We haven’t wasted our money for you to decide you want go off and do nothing with your life.”
“I am doing something, you just don’t like that I am not becoming a lawyer or a doctor.” I cross my arms as my parents look at each other.
“No, this is not what you’re doing. No.” My Mum shakes her head, making me groan. “This is why I don’t tell you guys anything, you don’t need to approve all of my decisions, you never let me be myself and be an adult.” I complain, trying to keep my voice low considering Harry is asleep. “You make stupid decisions Hayley, throwing away your education to do nothing, that’s a very stupid decision. Dancing is not a career choice, and there is no way my child will be throwing away her education to become a dancer.” My Mum fires at me,
“You’re so unreasonable and you’re being rude.” I point her out,
“You’re being stupid.” My Mum states and my Dad agrees with her.
“You can’t just control me forever.”
“We aren’t controlling you, we are leading you down the right pathway so you can have a successful life and career. Dancing is no career Hayley. You’re not going to be like your boyfriend and manage to make something out of something you enjoy.”
“And why not?”
“Because it doesn’t happen for everyone, if everyone could make something of what they love than the world would be a happier place, but the truth is, life doesn’t work that way.” My Mum explains which only makes me upset,
“I’m done having this conversation.”
“We aren’t done Hayley.”
“Yes, we are done.” I shake my head, not wanting to listen to any more of what they have to say.
“What’s with the yelling?” I hear Harry croak as he sits up and rubs his eyes.
“Nothing, they were just leaving.” I eye my parents, hinting for them to leave.
“No we weren’t, we were actually discussing her career choices.” My Mum comments and Harry sighs knowing exactly where everything is leading.
“I think I should go back to sleep then.” Harry croaks,
“No, I think you should tell Hayley how stupid she is for throwing away her education.” My Mum shakes her head, wanting to continue this pointless conversation that will get her nowhere. “Oh boy.” Harry mutters as he gets off the bed and walks to the small fridge. “I don’t want to listen to any of this.” I sigh, wishing I had never mentioned anything. “You need to listen to us because we are the ones trying to help you.”
“Help me? You’re making me do things I don’t want to do. I don’t care for the career choices you two have picked out for me.” I complain, watching as Harry grabs one of the small bottles of alcohol in the fridge and pours it into a glass, adding ice. “Harry, tell her, tell her how stupid she is.” My Mum exclaims, getting frustrated with me. I look at Harry and he looks at me before he takes a drink from his glass. “I don’t want to be involved.” He shakes his head, coming over and getting on the bed. “You’re already involved, you’re part of her life as boyfriend which means you influence her decisions.” My Mum pressures him and he takes another drink. “Look, you can’t force her to choose a career choice she doesn’t want. It’s like forcing a monkey to eat a strawberry when it wants nothing but a banana.” Harry explains and my Mum sighs. “You’re taking her side aren’t you?” She questions,
“I don’t want to be involved in this dispute” Harry states, and my Mum huffs, “I’m done, we will talk tomorrow… Deal with your daughter.” My Mum unhappily states as she gets off the bed and storms out of the room, leaving my Dad. “Hayley-”
“I don’t want to hear it Dad, you’re both being pushy.” I shake my head,
“Hayley, just give the career choices a try.”
“No.”
“It isn’t as bad as it seems, I promise.”
“I don’t want those career choices, I don’t want to continue studying my life away.”
“You’re much smarter than a dancer, you’re too smart to be a dancer, you can do so much more.”
“I don’t want to do more Dad. I want to be me and do what I want.” I softly sigh, looking down at my hands in my lap. “Alright, I think it’s enough for a night, we will talk tomorrow. Goodnight.”
“Night Dad.” I mumble, watching as he walks out of the room.
“Are you okay?” Harry questions,
“I’m fine.” I mutter unhappily as I get off the bed.
“You’re not fine.”
“Just leave me alone.” I shake my head, walking towards the balcony. I step outside into the cold air and pull at the sleeves of my top. I lean against the railing and look out into the city lights. I feel arms wrap around me and I instantly try to move away, but Harry’s arms don’t let me. “Hey, don’t try to fight me, I’m trying to be comforting.” Harry whispers, not allowing me to move. I take in a deep breath and rest back on him. “It’ll be okay, they’ll come around.”
“No they won’t. They don’t understand and they won’t understand.” I mumble sadly, not sure on what to do now. There’s no way I am going to be able to choose a career choice they want, and I doubt I can keep up with being able to dance. “Why don’t you want to be a lawyer? Hearing interesting stories about crimes and what not is fun.”
“It just isn’t something I want to do for the rest of my life.”
“Hayley, sometimes we have to do what we don’t want.” Harry sighs,
“I know, but I have done what they have wanted from me, now it is my turn to do what I want. It’s my life.” I say, moving away from him and making him let go of me. I step back inside the hotel room. “What’s wrong with being a physiotherapist or something?” Harry asks and I roll my eyes. “What part of, I don’t want their career choice, do you not understand?”
“I know you don’t want it, but sometimes what you don’t want is what you have to do.”
“So you’re taking their side?” I turn around as he steps into the room and closes the balcony doors. “I never said that.”
“You don’t have to directly say it.”
“Hayley, I just want you to be happy and it is quite obvious you’re not happy with your parents down your throat, and it’s clear they aren’t going to give up.” Harry comments, making me sigh even more.
“Whose life is this? Mine or everyone else’s? It sure feels like everyone is in control of things, but me.”
“Hayley- okay, I’m not going to continue this. How about we watch a movie?”
“What movie?”
“Whatever one you desire.” Harry says, handing me the remote to the television.
“I don’t really feel like watching a television.” I state, making Harry sigh.
“What’s wrong Hayley?”
“Nothing.”
“Hayley, don’t lie.” Harry comments, turning the television off and getting on the bed. “I just- I just want to have control of my life for once. I want to be me, not what everyone wants me to be.”
“Hayley you can be whoever you want to be.” Harry whispers, and I shrug.
“I’m not allowed.” I mumble as Harry moves closer and pulls me closer. “I’m sorry.” Is all he says before kissing me sweetly. He deepens the kiss and I rest my hands on his chest as we continue.

***

“Hayley, why are you awake?” Harry tiredly asks with a croak to his voice, something tells me he is losing it.
“I just can’t sleep.” I reply for what feels like the hundredth time. He groans before he leans up and turns the side lamp on. “Why aren’t you able to sleep?”
“I just can’t.”
“Have you had a tea?”
“Yes.” I sigh, pulling at the covers and Harry allows me to basically pull all the covers from him. “Is something worrying you?” Harry yawns, and I shake my head. “Go to sleep.” I instruct, not wanting him to stay awake while I over think everything and let everything worry me. He leans back up and turns the lamp off before pulling me close to him. “Go to sleep, it’s our anniversary so you need to be happy and not sleepy.” Harry mumbles, making me chuckle. “You remembered?”
“Yes I remembered, I’m not that much of a complete arse.” Harry comments before falling asleep. I lie awake thinking about things and focusing on my breathing while I feel my chest starting to get tight. Changes need to be made and I’m not sure how everyone around me will cope. My parents dislike my decision about dancing, I hate to think how they would feel about me making other decisions. I can’t have them make devious for me for my whole life, there will come a time where they won’t be able to make decisions for me. “Hayley, go to sleep.” Harry mumbles deeply,
“I’m trying.” I huff unhappily. He moves around a little before pulling me closer. “Stop worrying about whatever it is you’re worrying about. Just go to sleep.” He croaks, placing a kiss to my cheek, before falling asleep, making me slowly fall asleep.


I wake up, suddenly feeling cold within the bed. I let out a small groan, tugging at the covers and pulling them tighter around me. “Morning.” Harry manages to croak out as he moves closer to me. “Morning, you have quite the bit of a croak.” I chuckle,
“I know.” He sighs sadly as I cuddle into him. “Happy anniversary.”
“Happy anniversary to you too.” I reply sweetly, drawing out my words for an unknown reason. He leans over and gives me a kiss, making me smile widely. “So, we made it a whole year.” Harry exclaims with an out-breath. “We sure did.” I smile, happy we have made this milestone. In the past year we have nearly broken up a few times, but it’s made us stronger as individuals and as partners, and I’m happy I’ve grown with him. Harry gets up and makes a tea as I hear rain falling heavily against the windows. I stretch my body out before finding a comfortable spot in the bed and cuddling up to the covers. “Do you want to get up and do something love?”
“Love?” I question, ‘love’ being a term he doesn’t really use. “We’ve been together a year and I don’t really have a nice name for you aside from Hayley. Figured I’d give it a try. Kinda weird huh?”
“It isn’t weird it’s just- well, kinda.”
“Well it is better than babe, don’t you think?”
“Yes, I agree with you on that.” I nod, completely agreeing with him.
“Okay, love.” He smirks, making me laugh. “You know, cuddling isn’t such a bad way to spend an occasion such as this.” I comment, hinting my desire.
“Well that does seem good, but so does getting out of bed.” Harry draws out his sentence, trying to persuade me.

“I just want to stay in bed.” I mumble, finding a warm and comfortable spot in the bed. “You don’t want breakfast?” Harry offers and I shake my head, “not right now.” I yawn, feeling an unpleasantness in my chest,
“You don’t want pancakes or bacon or anything?” Harry tries to persuade me but I don’t give in.
“I just want to stay in bed a little longer.”
“Why?” He asks and I sigh.
“I just do.” I reply as I close my eyes and attempt to go to sleep without having to be interrogated. “Okay, want to cuddle?”
“That’d be nice.” I nod, feeling the bed dip and arms wrap around me.

***
I lie in bed, hearing Harry walking around the hotel room. “Are you ever going to get out of bed?” He questions with a slight smirk, holding a coffee cup in his hand. “I don’t really want too.” I reply, quite enjoying the peacefulness of the soft bed, relaxing my body. “Are you okay Hayley?”
“Yeah, why?”
“I don’t know- I uh, I kind of feel like you’re not really over what happened, that you’re still upset over it all. I know it isn’t easy to forgive me for my stupidity and I don’t want you to feel like you have too.” Harry out breaths as he looks down at the coffee cup in his hand. “No, I forgive you, it’s just that I don’t really feel like getting out of bed. It’s raining and gloomy outside.” I explain, watching as he continues to stare down at his coffee cup. “Are you sure that’s it? There’s something else.” Harry presses, for once he’s noticing things and caring.
“I don’t know, my chest just hurts.” I shrug as I wiggle around in bed, struggling to find a comfortable spot. “Well that sucks. I was hoping to do something with you.” Harry replies, placing the cup down and getting in the bed.
“Yeah, it will go away soon, so we can celebrate still.” I give him a small smile and he nods as he reaches for his phone. “Seems good.” Harry yawns, unlocking his phone as he pushes the covers off his body. I nestle into him, feeling his warmth and protectiveness. A knock on the joining room sounds and I groan, knowing it’s my parents. I love them and everything but at the moment I don’t want to have to listen to them. There’s a ninety percent chance they will bring up last nights conversation, and I don’t want to listen to it. Harry gets up and opens the door, allowing them in before getting back on the bed. “Do you two not have plans?” My Mum asks, “we do.” I reply softly,
“What are you two doing?” She questions, seeming calm.
“Don’t know yet.” I yawn tiredly, trying to work out if last nights conversation will be brought back up.
“Why are you still in bed, it’s eleven?”
“What’s with all the questions? Is it a crime to stay in bed?” I raise a brow, pulling at the covers for the hundredth time this morning. “It’s a nice day to go do something productive.” My mum chuckles and I sigh,
“Actually it’s quite a terrible day, it’s rainy and cold.” Harry comments and I agree with him, only just now noticing the sound of the rain. “That’s true.” My Dad agrees with us, looking around the rather messy hotel room. “So I guess we will leave you two alone then.” My mum trails off, awkwardly looking around the room as well. “Okay, have fun with whatever you’re doing.” I give them a half smile.
My parents leave our room and I look at Harry, “what are you thinking?” He questions softly, gleaming at me with tired yet glistening eyes. “Nothing, just relaxing. What about you?”
“I’m thinking that you deserve a nice dinner.”
“I thought we agreed no gifts and stuff.”
“Yes we agreed no gifts, but we didn’t say we couldn’t celebrate. Do you not want to go out for a nice dinner?” Harry asks as he draws small circles on my arm. “It seems too stereotypical, it’s too perfect. Everyone for anniversaries goes out for romantic and nice dinners, where they share their food,
and exclaim their love for each-other, while handing each other gifts, as if to buy each-others love.” I explain, not too fond of the idea.
“The one time I try to be romantic. What is it you’d like to do?”
“I don’t know, being with you and not arguing is enough.” I softly mumble.
“That doesn’t really answer my question. Do you not want to do anything?”
“No I do, I just don’t want to label ourselves as everyone else and do what everyone else does.” I clarify,
“Okay well let me know when you work out what you want to do.” Harry comments, “I’m happy with whatever you want to do.” I yawn sleepily,
“I’ll figure something out I guess.” Harry sighs while I fall back to sleep.

***
Harry p.o.v

I knock on Hayley’s parents’ door, deciding that it is time to just talk to her Dad and have a conversation with him while Hayley is sleeping. Hayley’s Mum opens the door and gives me a half smile, I look at her for a moment, trying to study her expression, I’m not sure if she’s happy or not to see me. “Hi Harry.” Hayley’s Mum greets me,
“Hi.” I awkwardly greet, looking towards Hayley’s Dad as he puts on a pair of shoes. “Where’s Hayley?” Her Mum asks me, “she’s sleeping.”
“It’s 5 O'clock, what is she doing sleeping?” Her Mum raises her brow, I give her a shrug, “she’s tired I guess.”
“Tired of making stupid decisions?” Her Mum questions and I sigh, “I am not involved in you twos dispute.” I mumble, not in the mood to have to deal with drama. “Uh come on, give him a break, he doesn’t have to be involved.” Hayley’s Dad interrupts, thankfully. “What are you after Harry?” He adds,
“Well I have some spare time, so I was thinking we could go grab a drink before Hayley wakes up?” I offer with a little awkwardness in my voice.
“Well I was just about to meet someone, but I can push it back half an hour.” Hayley’s Dad nods, just as he puts his keys in his pocket. “Are you sure?”
“Yes I am sure, come on.” He gestures as he grabs his phone and gives his wife a quick kiss goodbye. We walk down the hotel halls’ inaudibly, making our way down to the bar by the pool. “When are you flying back home?” Hayley’s Dad questions me,
“After the football game.”
“Do you have any big plans once you get home?”
“No, I haven’t planned anything.” I shake my head, rattling my brain to figure out how to talk to Hayley’s Dad about what I need to talk to him about. We reach the bar and I take a seat, instantly ordering a drink; feeling as though a drink will help me. “Do you have any plans?” I ask her Dad, avoiding eye contact with him.
“Getting things ready for the baby and everything, continuing to work and whatnot.” Her Dad replies and I nod, eyeing the bartender as he slides me my drink. I take a gulp before sighing. “What’s up with you?”
“Nothing, why?” I ask instantly and her Dad laughs,
“Kid, you’re like my son. I know you very well, now tell me what it is that’s up with you.” Her Dad pets my back and I sigh. “Well, there’s something.”
“What is it?”
“I uh-” I clear my throat, struggling to work out how I want to ask her Dad.
“Alright, what’s happened?” Her Dad sighs,
“Nothing is wrong.”
“Are you guys arguing? You know I’m not meant to get involved with your arguments, you might be like my son, but she’s my daughter.” Her Dad begins to explain but I shake my head and cut her off. “No, No, we aren’t arguing. I have a question.” I mumble,
“Oh, okay, what is it?”
“Uh would you- I mean… You are okay with me being with Hayley, aren’t you?” I mutter nervously,
“If I wasn’t, you wouldn’t be with her, I trust her with you, more than any other man.” Her Dad comments as he takes a drink from his beverage.
“Would you give me permission to be with her for the rest of our lives?” I ask quietly,
“Harry, is this your way of attempting to ask me to marry her?”
“Well, uh, yes. I would like your blessing to spend the rest of my life with Hayley.” I nod and her Dad looks at his beverage.
“No Harry, you’re both not ready for the commitment of marriage. You guys are still young and have a lot of learning to do about a relationship.” Her Dad shoots me down and I sigh.
“So you don’t want me with her?”
“No, that’s not what I said, I just don’t think you’re ready to marry each other.” He explains as I drink the rest of my drink.
“Can I ask something else?”
“Of course.”
“Do you see me and Hayley together in the future?”
“You should be able to answer that.” Her Dad replies and I look at him.
“I can’t tell.” I mumble,
“And I can?”
“You’re her father.”
“It doesn’t mean I can tell her future. It’s up to the two of you if you both stay together. Do you love her?”
“Yes.” I nod,
“How much?”
“I can’t say.”
“Why not?” Her Dad asks me,
“Love isn’t counted by numbers, there’s no amount of numbers that can describe how much I love her.” I answer him and he looks at me strangely before nodding.