why are my work breaks more productive than my work time

hello and welcome to my first studyblr post!! i’ve seen a ton of these around, but not many have all the tips i’ve learned throughout high school. i go to a private preparatory school and i’m top 5 in my class and i lead many extracurriculars. last year was the CRAZIEST year of my life, but with a certain mindset & only a few all nighters, i managed all A’s in all advanced courses. So, here are the tips i’ve learned!!

  • write stuff down!!!! i know it is the most obvious thing, but writing down anything you need to remember, whether that be homework, tests, quizzes, events, due dates, reminders…anything! checking off these things at night is so satisfying and you won’t forget anything important. when i’m in the #zone, my mind often thinks of stupid questions/thoughts. I’ll jot these questions/misc. thoughts unrelated to what i’m focusing on to come back to later and explore!! (for example, i was doing an frq for econ and i thought of doing this post, so i wrote it down in my journal.)
  • organization. there are so many masterposts out there to help you with organization. my method included binders & comp. notebooks.. that’s about it! i’m not very organized
  • get to know teachers. this is probably what helped a lot my junior year. not only is maintaining good relationships with teachers good for you, it can be beneficial to your grade as well. when you make friends with teachers you always have someone to talk/rant to & they always give you the inside gossip about teachers/other students. have coffee/lunch w them, or talk about theories from the class they teach. they give you a lot of perspectives on the course and cool ideas!
  • manage your time. again, another broad statement. but what i did every night kept me sane. my schedule every day after classes (including saturday) was: 
    • practice until 5 
    • extracurriculars until dinner (6:30-7) 
    • minimal homework until done (usually 1-2 hours)
    • study for 1+ hours if needed (8-9 pm)
    • enjoyment time (at least 30 min)

while this may not be a lot for most people, it was a lot for me and i needed time to make myself happy. school and friends make me happy, but so does alone time. putting this minimum of 30 min a day (if i don’t fall asleep before that) really helped me get through demanding courses because i had an incentive. this schedule also helped me avoid procrastination!! ALSO, I prioritized like hell. Honestly, if homework was a completion grade, I wouldn’t try at all unless i needed the practice. Same goes with classes. the ones i had high A’s in, i would sometimes sacrifice a homework grade in order to get enough sleep or study for another test. while this is not the most ethical way of doing it, it helped.

  • Avoid procrastination. procrastination is your worst enemy. I used to be so bad, but now i’m getting better. this is key. in order to beat procrastination, you have to have self discipline. simple as that. get inspired. for many of you, it’s your studyblr community, for me it was for personal pride and competition. you must execute to get the job done. it will be worth it in the end.
  • do the little things. put away the phone. put music on if it helps. stretch a little. get some water. get as content and comfortable as you can when you study.
  • SLEEP!!!! that’s all i can say. sleep sleep sleep. it’s important. i know life is busy, but make time for sleep if you can. mental illness is a bitch, and sometimes it can make falling asleep hard. i know. just try your best & that’s enough. anytime i had free time during the day, i slept. nothing is more important than sleep, and if i didn’t get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before, i tried to catch up as best as i could. your brain needs a break to refuel and you will feel refreshed the next day. 
  • Eating healthy. i rarely see this tip around (maybe i’m not searching hard enough) but i think it’s important. eating healthy is excellent for your brain function & body function. it’s hard, especially in college, to have to motivation (or money) to make your own dinner, lunch & breakfast everyday. but. it’s. worth. it. i can’t stress this enough. i feel more awake and energized at school and workouts and your body has to have these nutrients to keep functioning well. 
  • Exercise. gross i know, please don’t hurt me, but exercise goes right with eating healthy. the better you feel about yourself, the better you will do in school. simple enough. you will have more motivation, energy, and happiness with a good diet and exercise. running daily and occasionally swimming gets me though the week, and while sometimes i don’t want to workout, i always feel good in the end. find something you like doing and stick to it. try to work out 3 times a week. after every workout, i am always motivated to study
  • UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL. it’s so obvious, but so many people just memorize. while you have to memorize any new thing you learn in the beginning, there is a time when you must apply what you memorized. you must actually think about why this term/concept is what it is based on memorized facts. you must see the whole picture and how little things relate and why they do. last year i realized this and it worked wonders. for me, if i understood the big picture, i knew the facts by heart. it dawned on me that you must train the mind to think. when going through notes, quizzes, tests, and studying i always asked myself why is this important and what it relates to. retention. is. key. understanding, and not memorizing facts will help so so much!!
  • STUDY BUDDIES. i can’t stress enough how much this helped me. coming from a boarding school, it’s easy to work on homework with friends all the time. to review for a test, my friends in the class would all meet and discuss the material. i’m an auditory learner, so this worked 10x better. what i’ve learned is that if you can teach it, you know it. when i could explain concepts to my friends, i knew i didn’t have to study that. if questions came up when i was trying to discuss my line of thinking, i revisited my notes and tried to understand why i didn’t get it. if we had study guides, we would all do the question and discuss why we got our answers after. for me, discussion is the best way to get new perspectives and ideas as well as understanding the topic better. (i also love talking so).
  • ask questions. even if its stupid. even if you’re just curious. always ask them. 
  • study environment. outside (if it wasn’t terrible weather) is where i love to study with friends. if it is snowing or raining, i go to the library or a local coffee shop. it really just depends on my mood. find an area where you feel the most productive!
EXCLUSIVE: BTS Celebrate Their Biggest Album Ever and Reveal What They Love About Themselves

Welcome to BTS’ next chapter.

The K-pop boyband shocked the biggest names in music when they beat out artists like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez for the Top Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards in May – but their success is no surprise.

With 8.4 million Twitter followers and a fan base so dedicated it’s referred to as ARMY, BTS is one of the hottest acts in Asia, and soon, the United States.

“There is much more recognition of BTS music than before the BBMAs,” V, one of the band’s seven members, told ET. “Which means fans have higher expectations than before. We’re trying to live up to it and I hope the new album can be the answer to that expectation.”

The new album, Love Yourself: Her, dropped on Monday and was even shattering records weeks before its release with over one million pre-orders, according to BTS’ label, BigHit Entertainment. By Tuesday, Love Yourself had already topped the iTunes Album charts at No. 1 in a record-breaking 73 countries, the largest debut release for any South Korean artists. And “DNA,” the album’s lead single, is also blowing up on YouTube with nearly 30 million views since its early Monday release.

ET caught up with V, Rap Monster, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, Suga and J-Hope on Tuesday, where they opened up about their incredible success, their fifth EP, and what’s next.

Q. Love Yourself: Her is already a huge hit around the world. Were you surprised?

Rap Monster: We’re surprised at the huge response when each album is released but it is beyond our expectation and overwhelming this time. Our new songs topped iTunes chart in 73 countries and made its debut at No. 4 on the US iTunes Song chart. “DNA” music video views surpassed 10 million in just 8 hours, which was the fastest for Korean artists ever. We are very grateful to our fans worldwide for appreciating our music and video.

Q. The music video for “DNA” is a little different from your past music videos, and includes some intense choreography – what does this mean for other music videos off this album? How long did it take to shoot the video?

J-Hope: BTS’ music videos always have intense choreography, but it was even more difficult to learn all the dance moves before the shoot. It may look different compared to previous videos due to complex use of computer graphics and edit styles for “DNA” video, but it took three full days to shoot. Everyone was great in learning the choreography, although there were many different moves we had to perform for the video. Personally, I think Jungkook and Jimin really pulled it off nicely.

Q. You collaborated with The Chainsmoker’s Andrew Taggart on the song “Best of Me” after meeting at the BBMAs. What was the collaboration process like? What did you learn from him?

Rap Monster: We first met at the BBMAs last May. [We] were invited to The Chainsmokers’ rehearsal backstage for the award show and we had fun talking about music and many things. The duo sent us several tracks after we returned home from BBMAs and we selected a couple of tracks to work together. “Best of Me” was the best for our new album in many ways so we decided to write lyrics and finish it together. The song came out great and we were all satisfied with the collaborative process. Andrew is awesome; he’s passionate about music and I think there should be more opportunities for us to work again in near future.

Q. Who’s your next big dream collaborator?

Jungkook: My biggest dream collaborator would be Justin Bieber because I just love his voice and the way he collaborates with other artists. However, I’d like to give it a try with whoever has the right chemistry with BTS musically.

Suga: I’m pretty much open to anyone who’s unique and has mutual appreciation in the music as BTS. I have some tracks and songs written for future collaboration and I’m happy to work with artists who have the right voice and taste.

Q. The song “Skit: Billboard Music Awards,” features Rap Monster’s speech from the awards show – what made you choose to incorporate that into your new album?

Rap Monster: It was one of many ideas we had for this album and we all thought that it would mean a lot to BTS and our fans if we have it permanently in the album and cherish that special moment for everyone. We’re facing the second chapter with Love Yourself: Her in terms of music and life and the BBMAs is like a new turning point for BTS in many ways.

Q. Rap Monster already revealed that Barack Obama was an inspiration for “MIC Drop” – Why? Who else were you inspired by on this album?

Suga: There are so many things that inspire us. For me, it’s people around me. And for RM, it can be books he reads. In general, what fans talk about and think about become a very important source of inspiration to us, because we want to write something that’s real to people, especially those who listen to BTS’ music.

Q. During your live stream on Monday, Rap Monster said that his favorite song is “Ocean,” but that song wasn’t released with the album. What can you tease about when the song will drop, and what it sounds like?

Rap Monster: It’s one of two hidden tracks you can listen to only on the physical album. “Ocean” has a lot of things I thought about since my debut in BTS four years ago. I have lived through many different dreams, worries and emotions in past years and I wanted to share those moments in the song. Sound-wise, there’s guitar and synth and the song is over five minutes, which is quite long. I hope people like it as one of the surprises I’ve prepared.

Q. You changed up your hair color since we last saw you – who decides when it’s time to change your look?

Jimin and J-Hope: The hair color decision is based on the concept of the new album and the timing is discussed with the whole production timeline. Each member’s opinion counts, so our stylists and creative team propose optional colors for us to choose from. But at the end of the day, they’re professionals and they know what they’re doing and in most cases, the proposed colors turn out to be the best for each member.

Q. This new album marks a new chapter in your careers after School, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life and Wings. What do you want fans to know about this new era of BTS?

Rap Monster: We tried many new things for this album and I’d like to label it as “innovative,” if I may. There will be new styled songs, new video, and many new things from now on. We want to evolve as artists and develop what we have within ourselves. If we ever slow down or even fail for our trials, it’s OK and we’ll be and stay as BTS. In addition, I’d like people to love themselves and think about what true love is while listening to the new album, because real love calls for courage to appreciate myself as is.  

Q. What do each of you love about yourselves?

Jin: I love my face and how it looks, which I appreciate very much.

Jimin: I love my attitude towards work and tendency for perfection.

V: My newly discovered talent to shoot great photos.  

Q. You’re wrapping up your tour this December. When will you be back performing in the U.S.?

Rap Monster: We do have plans for a world tour in 2018 so we will definitely go back to the U.S. soon and meet our fans as much as we can. If there’s any special opportunity for us any time soon, we’ll make sure to share it with you first.

Source.

Snap Decision

(A chance meeting with a stranger at a bar helps you recover from a bad breakup.)

Warnings: 11000+ words of mostly sex stuff.  Bad ex boyfriends. People doing inadvisable things.  Listen up kids: in real life you should be more cautious about who you let take naked pictures of you! Lots and lots of sex.  If you’ve read my stuff before, you know the drill.  


You thought it would be fun to work in sales after you graduated from university; you would travel around the country, meeting new people, holding meetings in fancy high rise office buildings in big cities, wining and dining clients at gourmet restaurants while you closed deals and made boatloads of money.  The reality was that you were selling industrial wastewater management systems, making a moderate income, while traveling four days a week to factories and chemical refineries in some of the least glamorous locations on earth.  You didn’t mind the work itself, but the evenings alone in small town hotel rooms were dull and disheartening, so you would frequently head out to a local movie theater or neighborhood bar to distract yourself from the loneliness on the road.   

 It was pouring down rain outside and you decide to run to the closest place you could find to grab a drink, rather than risk driving around and getting lost.  That’s how you found yourself sitting alone at the bar of the Applebee’s restaurant that was adjacent to your hotel, sipping on something called a Blue Hawaiian, in a town you couldn’t even remember the name of.   

Unruly children sat with their families having dinner in the nearby booths, while innocuously bland pop songs played overhead.  You took one sip of the cloyingly sweet blue cocktail in front of you and immediately regretted your decision to come here tonight. Given the lousy week you had experienced, you would have been better off drinking cheap whiskey at a dive bar filled with unapologetic alcoholics.  Here, the family friendly atmosphere mixed with the empty promises of a fruity cocktail that was designed to trick you into thinking you were on a tropical island vacation instead of in your real life.  Your real crappy life. 

You had totally blown the sale today.  The clients had a million questions about the technical specifications of the products you were trying to sell, but you kept tripping over your words and making yourself sound like an idiot.  You blamed your poor work performance on lack of sleep.  And you blamed the lack of sleep on your boyfriend, David.  Actually, he was your ex-boyfriend now.  After more than a year together, you dumped him for cheating on you.  

He claimed he was faithful, but you were certain he was lying.  He never picked up his phone when you called him from out on the road.  He would eventually call you back, but his stories about where he was and what he was doing always sounded a little off.  The final blow came when your friend Stephanie told you she saw him going into a movie theater with another girl.  David claimed Stephanie was mistaken and that you were just paranoid and jealous for no reason.  You wanted to believe him, but deep down you were sure that Stephanie was right.  All the unresolved questions you had about what David was doing while you were working could easily be answered if he had been cheating on you.  David cried when you told him it was over, he begged you to reconsider, but you were resolute and just walked away.

That had been a week ago, and every day since then, you questioned whether or not you made the right decision.  You had no hard proof that he had been unfaithful.  Sure, Stephanie said she saw him, but she only saw from a distance.  Maybe she was mistaken.  Maybe it was just someone who looked like David.

“Is this seat taken?”

Keep reading

How Sony deals with fandoms

I’ve been to an international in-house PR summit hosted by one of my clients this week and nearly fell off my chair when one of the guest speakers was a VERY important person from Sony Music Entertainment. Let’s call him John. I won’t disclose his function and real name because I don’t want to reveal where I was, but based on his title he definitely knows what he‘s saying and has a lot of industry experience.

His speech was mainly  about how to engage with a variety of different target audiences. Of bloody course one of the first slides he showed was a picture of 1D engaging with fans which was supposed to drive the point home that there are some audiences who are more passionate about a brand than others.He mentioned then that he’s worked with 1D on their albums which drove me into a bit of a freeze.

Because I’m embarrassing, I recorded parts of his speech on my phone and wrote the most important things down to share some interesting insights he gave about how Sony manages their artists’ target audiences, crafts their artists’ social media actions and deals with the fact that at the end of the day they always need to get people to buy music.

 

HOW DOES SONY UNDERSTAND AND MONITOR AUDIENCES (like fandoms for instance)?

According to John, they have their very own data-driven digital tool that helps them identify and manage different target groups for an artist (it’s not perfected yet but has been rolled out a lot of countries, I think he said 50?) and see where there might be connections to other artists, who the influencers are, what the specific target groups are or will be interested in and to identify collaboration opportunities.

Target groups are being split into four categories: Fanatics, enthusiasts, casuals, indifferents. These segments are being broken down into even smaller groups defined by age, genre preference, gender and country. They found that the older you get, the less likely you’ll be a fanatic or enthusiast.

How does Sony find this stuff out? Well, they survey polled music audiences of every age in a way that covers either nationally representatives or represent one of the major top tier cities. People shared their music preferences, consumption habits, lifestyle, media habits etc. Sony gathered all that information, analysed the insights and created their own audience understanding tool.

According to John, that way everyone at Sony has access to an interactive map of the world of Sony that looks into segmentations and audiences for every artist while being searchable in a number of different ways. The tool is pulling from real data, but they are also adding to that „with things like analytics of platforms like Spotify where we are able to gather lots of informations about user behaviours and reference that against things that we do“.

 

HOW SONY STRATEGICALLY SHAPES PR STORIES

John gave the example of Snoop Doggy Dog who had launched a new album (song? Idk) around that time: „There was a week-long debate in parliament around the legalization of Marihuana, so we just jumped on this conversation and did lots of social marketing around Snoop with his rolling papers and his spliffs… so maybe that’s bad taste, I’ll allow you to judge that for yourselves. The point is though that you are also marketing into a wider cultural context. [You need] an understanding how that works and where you can have a conversation that is seamless and not fake, genuineness is quite important.

“The way you can get people to connect is: You’ve got a lot of stuff that you want to say. Start under the assumption that people actually don’t give a shit about 95 percent of it. And then see which are the bits that might overlap. This is where the understanding of the audience really comes into its own. It forces us to think before we jump to execution. The quest for relevance is vitally important.”

Why are people to connect with a brand/band though? John thinks this is one of the most underused questions when planning an approach. Why is it that they do specific things? He gave an example: „We would normally take a record to radio because we always believe that radio is the thing that breaks the record. But if my core audience, my phase one audience – the people that are gonna give that band its first lift – are on Spotify, what am I doing on radio??“


ENGAGEMENT AROUND ARTIST IS KEY

„The thing is that you don’t start with a conversation around a product. The consumption of the product is the end point of a journey where you built an engagement and a fan. So again, for us that means that when we sit down and do our plan around our next Robbie Williams album, we start with „How are we gonna maximize the engagement around Robbie Williams“? because that will then sell us albums. Not „Okay, we’ll be releasing in a week in November, eight weeks out we need to be here, here and here“. So we’re not doing product launches anymore unless [it is suitable for the target demographic]. We have to built a tension and an engagement around an artist.“

 

ABOUT THEIR ARTISTS‘ SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

„We run most of our artists social media channels or at least their official  pages, so we are involved in all of those conversations.“


Shocking, I know.

Based on the situation we face in this fandom,with this band, feel free to draw your own conclusions about what this information means.

HERE ARE MY KEY TAKEAWAYS:

1.       It’s not news at all, but the existence of their own audience understandig tool confirms it: the 1D fandom is being monitored, segmented and analyzed. Sony’s strategies are tightly tied to that fact. Collaborations or artist interactions such as Louis/James Arthur or One Direction/ Little Mix are most likely the result of a data-driven analysis of whose fan groups are similar and whose are likely to be open towards that particular other artist too.

2.       Again no news, but the example of Snoop Doggy Dog shows that there are strategies behind even the most random photos. Often placements of specific pictures or stories serve a wider purpose. Hello pap walks, hello b**ygate, hello Louis Twitter, hello Liam visibly being linked to L.A.‘s cool singer/songwriter crowd before his first album drop.  

3.       The decision to not promote Louis‘ song could very well have been a logical outcome of the team asking themselves the question „Why?“: Why should we promote his song with huge effort when we KNOW his own fans are going to do it passionately, especially if they think  we don’t give a shit? Why not playing that game in order to make them promo it the hardest way they can?“ Why indeed??

4.       One Direction is a huge deal for Sony. John was talking about a lot of bands during his speech but whenever he was talking about major acts, he always listed One Direction amongst them (along with gems like Beyonce, David Bowie, Adele). He name-dropped them at least 5 -6 times in a 60 minute speech. He really didn’t have to because the audience was in no way whatsoever a target audience. So yes, they clearly have been and are a very huge deal for them.

5.       The part about social media? Well :))))))

6 Motivation Tips for College

As we all know (or have heard), college is a seriously hands-on-deck, time consuming experience, no matter what you study. That’s not to say that it’s all stress-inducing, all the time, but it requires a different kind of time management and focus than what you’re used to in high school. The difficulty of it all can sometimes be a little overwhelming/disheartening, which is why it is always important to find different ways to stay motivated and on-task. Here are some of the ways I keep myself going when I’m so close to quitting:

1. Picture the end-game: this is a classic. Whenever I’ve studied so much that I’m close to tears, I remember my goals. Short-term first, then long-term. I think, “Okay, no, you can’t give up because you told yourself at the beginning of this semester that you wanted all A’s. You have to keep going for those A’s.” and afterwards I follow it up with, “And why is it that you want those A’s? Because you want to get into a kickass med school!”

2. Think about others/build expectations: sometimes, just thinking about yourself isn’t enough. I have my slacker periods when I think “So what if I don’t do well in this test? I’ve done well enough in others”, or “I’ll do better in the next one”. I try to remember that I’m trying to build a relationship with the professor during this class; it gives me an extra ‘oomph’. I may exaggerate that relationship sometimes, but it helps to think that the professor is used to work of high caliber from you, and that he/she expects you to do well. This one works well for me because I don’t like disappointing people, and I take meeting expectations as a personal challenge.

3. Be competitivewith yourself: don’t, I repeat, don’t compare yourself to others. You get nothing out of it. If there’s something you learn from the studyblr community, it’s that everybody learns and executes in a different way. Personally I’ve found that competition in classrooms does not motivate me, because it’ll just end up making me feel bad whether I do better or worse than others. But competing against myself? Much better. I try to push myself to do a little better than I did last time, or start revising a little earlier for the next test. When I compare my new results with older ones, it’s a learning experience even if I don’t do better. It helps me understand myself and my needs a little more.

4. Take a break: when people tell you that you can’t stop or you won’t get everything done? THAT IS A LIE. A breather is necessary as heck!!! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, you won’t learn as well or be as productive than if you’re dedicated to your work. Sometimes I’m okay with just a few minutes of closing my eyes and listening to a favorite piece of music, other times I need something a little longer like a 20-minute episode of The Office. I try not to let it extend much more than that though, because from personal experience, the longer you put off starting up again, the harder it gets.

  • Pro tip: I’ve been talking to first year medical students recently to get advice for next August (for those of you who don’t know, I’ll be beginning my medical studies then), and one of them told me, “Listen. Everyone has their relaxation thing. I love hanging out and being with people, and sometimes I’m so fixated on the fact that I can’t go out and have fun with my friends because I’m stuck studying that I throw 3 hours away just staring at my book. I’ve learned that it’s better to just get that thing you want to do out of the way, and then go back and study. You’ll be happier and feel a lot better than you did before.” (WITH DISCRETION, OBVIOUSLY)

5. Stationery: ah, yes, like most of you, I am obsessed. Sometimes all it takes is just finding the perfect pen and paper for what I have in mind to keep myself going.

6. Get involved in the studyblr community: at first, just observing to get ideas about things you want to try is enough to give you an extra boost of motivation, but when you feel like you’re starting to slack off again, try getting involved. Try posting some of your own revision notes or stationery pics! Honestly this community is one of the most warm and welcoming ones out there, and it is super inspiring to get notes and messages from people all over the world who encourage you to run that extra mile, do that extra work to reach your goals.

I hope this serves as useful, and good luck studying to each and everyone of you. Aim high and keep going!

Constantly losing focus while you study be frustrating. We will go through some of the top study tips that can allow you to focus and study effectively.

Remind yourself why
One of the key things that help us maintain focus no matter what, is by getting really interested in whatever we are doing. So find a way to make your topic interesting, relatable and practical in your life.

Remind yourself that you want to study to expand your worldly knowledge, to graduate, get into a field that you can flourish in, and provide some value to the world with your awesomeness. Also try thinking in metaphors and whatifs. It’s your mind, no one else has access to it, so think of wondrous things to make yourself want to devote the next few hours of your life to the task at hand.

Before studying

  1. Plan out what you want to accomplish and give yourself a time limit. For example, I will read 10 pages from my psych textbook in 30 minutes, or I will spend 1 hour researching the key words for my report.
  2. Get enough sleep. Ideally around 7-9 hours. If you sleep earlier, you may need less sleep, but please never do less than 6. Constant sleep deprivation is deteriorating for the brain and body.
  3. Eat foods that help you focus. Which include blueberries, green tea, avocados, spinach, kale, salmon, nuts and seeds. I often have a spinach, banana & kale smoothie with matcha green tea powder, but you can combine some of the ingredients in a quick sandwich if you like.
  4. Your brain mainly works on sugar, but you need to temper it with a protein or something with low GI, to reduce any blood-sugar problems which can lead to sudden tiredness. A quick way to find a a balance is to opt for a fruit or healthy smoothie.
  5. Be aware that if you study right after having a heavy meal the blood circulating around your brain reduces and goes to help with digestion, so you may feel less alert. Smaller meals can help.
  6. Take supplements that help you focus: fish oil, omega 3, Ginko Biloba, vitamin B12, Co-Enzyme Q10, and iron.
  7. Identify whatever distracts you and find a way to minimise it. So perhaps you can go to a non-distracting environment, if that is an issue. I prefer libraries or coffeeshops.
  8. Surround yourself with motivated people. If you can befriend the top few students in your class, or at least be on nicer terms with them, hopefully their studiousness will rub off on you.
  9. Have all the stationary and materials you need at hand.
  10. Set up a reward system, but avoid food as a reward as it can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead try a relaxing activity, or hobby. Pretty much any incentive you can think of that will help you cross the finish line.

While studying

  1. Prime - Spend 2 minutes skimming or figuring out what you will be going through.
  2. Drinking game - Keep a bottle of water or two next to you. Drink a cup or a half cup worth every time you get distracted for more than 5 seconds.
  3. Put distractions in their place - Write down any distracting thoughts in a small notebook. But remember it’s not supposed to act as your pretty bullet journal, but you can make another spread for if it you like. I made a small notebook the other day to write down quick thoughts that I would otherwise dwell on. It helps me direct my thoughts appropriately to what I’m studying, and still have those important ideas to refer to later.
  4. Motivate yourself - Write out exactly why you want to be a [insert awesome career position] in detail with examples. Keep that page or post-it on hand and look at it when you feel yourself losing focus. It can give you a motivational boost and can inspire you to keep going. Sometimes I like to visualise specific scenarios of how I could help people once my finish my studies.
  5. Take strategic breaks - Remove yourself from your study space and think of something else for a few minutes. You can get a snack, walk around, do a quick workout, look outside, and notice nature. Practice being present in the moment. Listen to of the world around you and get out of your head.
  6. If you feel you can not sustain your concentration on a task for too long, you may switch between two different yet equally important tasks. But try to do a big task for at least 20 minutes, you never know, by then you might like it. Some studies show, it takes 20 minutes to really get into concentrating on something.
  7. Reduce as many distractions as you can, including turning off notifications and wifi, putting you phone on do not disturb or airplane mode, and try blocking apps.
  8. Track how you use your time. I like the apps ‘Now and Then’ and ‘Moment’ for iOS. So you can see how much you have accomplished or slacked off.
  9. Write draft first. Edit and prettify later.
  10. If you’re in the final stage, focus on the fact that you have made it this far and that you’re almost done.
  11. Try to make it fun somehow, perhaps with strategies you used when you were a kid.
  12. Use as many senses as you can.
  13. Record your voice and say whatever you are reading or writing in different accents.
  14. Draw quick doodles next to whoever you are doing to help you remember it better.
  15. As long it’s not your first draft, feel free to use colourful pens, highlights and tape to keep you engaged.

After studying

  1. Revise whatever you have accomplished just before your break, by quickly skimming through your most recent notes or readings.
  2. Consequent revision schedule. The best way to remember what you have worked on is to revise it in specific intervals, after you have studying it. So after five minutes, in that evening before bed, the next day, at the end of the week and then in three weeks.
  3. Reward yourself, as long as you feel like you ended up accomplishing something you couldn’t before.

You can try out each step for two days each to see which strategies work best for you.

I hope these tips can help you, and feel free message me if you would like more details for one of the points :)

How to Write When You Don't Have Time

I might be losing my mind a little bit, but I swear someone asked me how to write when they don’t have time, but now I can’t locate the question in my inboxes or messages, but I thought I’d address it just in case someone actually did ask me this question.

First off, let me start by saying, I may not be the best person to answer this. I’m not married, don’t have kids, and I work in the writing industry. So if anyone reading this has their own expertise to add to this post, please leave a comment for others.

Before getting too far into this topic, I want to acknowledge that some people may be dealing with a lot of life challenges at the moment, with serious health problems, being a caretaker for a loved one, serious financial problems, and unforeseen life crises, and may be legitimately unable to work on their writing because they ran out of today’s time yesterday and their physical and mental stamina ran out before they got out of bed this morning. If you find yourself in such a category, don’t fret. Life happens. It won’t be this crazy forever.

But for the average person who has at least half a grip on their crazy busy life but can’t quite squeeze writing into said life, here are some ideas that might help.

1. Get more out of your schedule by living with more intention.

Some of us human beings struggle to live intentionally. We pull out our phones to check on something, and before we know it, we’ve lost an hour to the social media black hole. Or we sat down to take a break and suddenly Netflix is asking us if we are still watching Stranger Things.

I know what some of you are thinking: Isn’t this post supposed to be about people who are too busy to write? Not about people who are just sitting around?

My point is, whether or not you actually spend hours unexpectedly watching Netflix, there are probably parts of your day you are living without intention, which usually means time is slipping through your fingers.

Not everyone wants to live every hour intentionally. Many cultures and lifestyles around the world don’t; they just go with the flow and do whatever, like the beach lifestyle.

What I am saying is that if you are a busy person who doesn’t have time to write, and you want to have time to write, this might be what you want to look at. Do you have behaviors and parts of the day where you are unintentionally losing time? Do you have the tendency to procrastinate things you don’t want to do, for example?

Intentional living doesn’t mean you never get breaks. It means that when you take a break, you take breaks you intended to take. It doesn’t mean that you never have free time. It means that when you have free time, it’s something you intended. Intentional living means making every hour count, and getting rid of moments where time doesn’t. It means when you are doing something, you are doing something, not kind of doing it. If I’m cleaning my room, but sort of just leisurely cleaning it, I’m probably losing time. But if I decide to draw upon more intention, and clean my room more intentionally, I’ll make an effort to do it in a more efficient manner and get done quicker.

So look at your lifestyle and see if you can free up more time by living more intentionally. And notice that I didn’t say you had to live at max capacity intention. I said more intention.

2. Don’t work harder. Work smarter.

There is a business show I love to watch called The Profit. In it, successful business man Marcus Lemonis goes into failing businesses and helps build them back up. One of the things Marcus says is that it’s better to work smarter than it is to work harder.

And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Here is a simple example. Let’s say I’m working really hard at doing the dishes. I’m working as hard as I can, but my methods are random. I hand-wash and put the dishes away one by one. I’m putting a lot of time and effort into getting this kitchen clean. But you know what’s better than working harder at that method? Working smarter.

Instead of hand-washing everything, I put them in the dishwasher. Instead of putting items away one by one as I wash them, I put them into piles and take the whole stack of plates to the cupboard at once.

Working smarter is about looking for ways to work more efficiently. It’s about finding ways to get more done in the time you have, and finding easier but still effective methods.

Pretty much everyone is doing something that could be done more efficiently. When you work smarter you can free up more time. Or, when you write smarter, you can get more done in the amount of time you have.

3. Stop using mental energy focusing on the fact you don’t have enough time.

My dad is a really busy person. One thing he said to me several months ago has stuck in my mind. He said, it’s amazing how much more you can get done when you stop thinking about how you can’t get it done.

This is probably going to sound weird, but the way we think is also a usage of time–our mental time. The mental time we spend thinking about how we feel sorry for ourselves is mental time we could be putting to use in a different way. You might could even say we can try to think with more intention or to think smarter. Instead of thinking about how I don’t have time to do something, I could be spending the “mental time” and “mental stamina,” thinking about how I can do that thing more efficiently.

Feeling sorry for ourselves about not having time often leads to sluggish demeanors and attitudes, and only makes it that much more difficult to be productive. It’s like we’ve dropped a boulder in our own path that we now have to push out of the way before we can continue.

The older I get, the more I realize, how we think about things is everything.

Unfortunately, though, when you make statements like that, you get a whole bunch of people going out and trying to micro-manage all their thoughts and feelings, and they actually end up just suppressing said thoughts and feelings.

It’s not about suppressing–it’s not about telling yourself you aren’t allowed to think or feel that way, that breeds resentment toward self and unrealistic expectations. Instead, if you have a problem with the way you think, you acknowledge it and move on. Or, depending on how serious it is, you acknowledge it, work through it, and then move on. It takes time–maybe months or years–but eventually it won’t be a tendency to think that way anymore. I am a strong believer that in most circumstances, we can eventually change how we think.

Anyway, my point is, stop using your “mental time” on thoughts that aren’t helpful to you. You don’t need them anymore. It’s not helpful to focus on how little time you have. What is helpful is focusing on how to best manage the time or task you have been given. What is helpful is spending your mental stamina on how you’ll build your better life, realistically.

4. Stop procrastinating and implement the 20-minute rule.

Learn to start doing something you don’t want to do, when you should do it. Don’t watch an episode first. Don’t play Candy Crush first. Sit down and start working. Remember, it’s okay if you really, really, really don’t want to do something. You are allowed to feel that way. But what matters is that you do it despite it.

My brother and I have a method for when we don’t feel like working on something. It’s what I think of as the 20-minute rule. Now, I don’t know psychologically why this works, but it works for both of us almost every single time. And I’ve seen it work for many others.

When you don’t want to work on something, you sit down and work on it anyway, telling yourself you only need to do it for 20 minutes. Now, you need to actually do the work intentionally–actually put in effort, not just sit there–and I don’t know why, but almost always, by 20 minutes in, you realize it’s not that bad. It’s like my dad always says, “Nothing is as bad as you think it’s going to be.” After 20 minutes, it’s easier to work longer, and I just keep working anyway.

You can try this with anything you don’t want to do, in order to get it done quicker so you can free up writing time. But you can also do this with writing, when you finally have freed up a few minutes to write and don’t feel like writing. Just give yourself 20 minutes. I bet 9/10 times you’ll want to keep writing after the 20 minutes.

5. Use the percolation approach to writing.

There are discovery writers, people who like to just sit down and start writing and “discover” the story as they go; and there are outliners, people who like to outline the story before they start writing. But there is also another writing approach that’s very common that we don’t talk about much, which is the percolation approach.

Percolation is when you get ideas for a story, and you let them sit in your mind for a while until you are ready to write them. If you don’t have a lot of time to write, or time to set aside to consistently write, the percolation method is a good one for you. You probably have ideas of what kind of stories you want to write. Let them sit in your mind. Let your subconscious take a stab at them. Think about them when falling asleep at night, or in the morning before you get out of bed.

When you feel ready to write the scene and have a few minutes, you’re all ready to go.

I think most writers use a little bit of all three methods. The tricky part about percolation is you might hit an area that doesn’t eventually come together on its own, so you do need to sit down and work it out. But, heck, you can even use the percolation method scene-by-scene. When one scene is ready to write, you write it. Then you let more ideas percolate, and then you write that scene. You don’t have to write chronologically either. Write the scenes you want, and before you know it, you might have half the book in your head done.

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anonymous asked:

hey um if it's not too much of a bother, can you tell what tropes/things do you dislike in fanfiction involving mlm pairings? I try to avoid stuff that contains harmful tropes (like seme-uke stuff) or understand that it's just fiction but works differently in real life and so on, but I'm still afraid that I'm so used to some stuff in fiction, I can't decide or know whether it's harmful in real life or not.

ohhh, buckle the fuck up, anon, because I’ve got a shitton to say on the subject

warning for frank discussion of homophobia, gay sex, transphobia, and me potentially shitting on your favourite fic genres/tropes/etc below the cut. this will be heavily NSFW in places.

i touch on a lot of stuff here but i also highly recommend that y'all do your own research; i’m sure i forgot to mention some things and you should double-check that i haven’t made any mistakes.

i’ve got to divvy this up into sections because it’s hella long. there’s a table of contents and everything. writing it took me several hours. it sort of became a guide for ‘what you should include in m/m fic’ in the process, haha. i hope it’s useful to someone. it’s okay to reblog.

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#SuccessfulSaturdays

5 Ways To Boost Your Productivity

 Here are 5 productivity-boosting behaviours I’ve picked up over the last 2 years from some of the most successful people in the world. Since implementing these behaviours into my life I’ve seen progress beyond belief and I wish the same for you too.

1. Wake up early. This used to be the hardest thing for me to do, but I’ve found one enormous hack - sleep with the curtains open. Waking up early gives you more hours in the day to spend working on your craft and get more done. When I wake up at 5am I feel like I’ve gained an extra day and this is why it’s first on the list.

2. One thing at a time. Don’t spread your focus across 6 things at the same time - do one thing well and then move onto the next. When you try to get multiple tasks done at the same time they are done with a fraction of your attention and this leads to mistakes. It’s better to do it right the first time around than to have to come back and start again later on.

3. Take breaks. Working yourself too hard for too long will result in you having to take a long break later down the road. It’s better for your productivity to take short, regular breaks throughout the day to remain energised mentally and physically. The best breaks are ones you take for exercise and relaxing in nature as they will rejuvenate your mind and body so you can come back fresh.

4. Don’t waste time on your “competition”. My role model in business is Gary Vee - he says he wants to build the biggest building (business) in town by actually building it rather than tearing down everyone else’s buildings. He knows that the time he spends trying to bad mouth others is time he could be investing into building his own business.

5. Be grateful. There are going to be challenges along the way, but staying grateful for what you have and for the problems you don’t have is a great way to push past the difficult times. When you value the health and wellbeing of yourself and those around you - every other problem becomes minor in comparison. Having perspective on challenges and problems is key to not getting overwhelmed in these situations.

Peace & positive vibes.

Need some help getting to the next level? Add me on Skype for a free consultation - spoonofconsciousness@gmail.com :)

The Scarf

For my 1000 followers prompt-a-thon, @stultiloquentia asked for some fiber witch Dex, due to my tags on this post. I’ve been fighting with this story for days, as a result, because it turns out I have so many thoughts about this, it was hard to wrestle them into a coherent story. Hopefully you’ll think it turned out okay!


College, Dex was finding, was both harder and easier to navigate than he’d anticipated. Classes and hockey practice he’d expected, and he mostly had a handle on those. But all the interpersonal stuff was… difficult.

Shitty thought it was because he was from a small town (and Dex and Bitty had shared some long-suffering looks about Shitty’s assumptions about people from small towns). Ransom thought it was because he was the first person in his family to go to college (which wasn’t true, but he was the first person in his immediate family to go to 1) a private college 2) outside of Maine, so whatever). Holster thought it was because Dex joined him in his hatred of 90% of the population (partially true; people were very annoying). Chowder thought it was because Dex was stressed out (and then offered to help him with his CS homework; a far more useful response, in Dex’s opinion). Nursey just thought it was because he was a conservative asshole.

Shockingly, none of them ever thought to guess it was because he was a witch living with people who didn’t know for the first time.

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Hi, I’m Tom


[Reader’s POV]


     Today was quiet in your small apartment, quieter than normal. It was nice for once because your mind had a break. Quiet time wasn’t your normal day to day routine. Work tended to be loud and have you taking a pain med after the first few hours. You were home doing paperwork in the kitchen. The light above you bright enough to see all the writing.


“How am I going to finish all these before he comes home?” you mutter to yourself looking at the pile of paperwork. The size of the stack making you doubt yourself. 


   The red pen glided against the paper quickly. Your eyes darting over towards the clock on the microwave. Sighing you set the pen aside realizing you have to get ready. Looking up due to your phone ringing. The sound of the chair scooting backward stings your ears. A shiver runs down your spine from the cold tile sending a sensation through your feet. Grabbing your phone you press the green button flashing on the screen.

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THAT THING WHEN KIDS POINT AT YOU YELLING QUESTIONS WHEN YOU ARE VISIBLY DISABLED

It kinda sucks. It really sucks. I like kids and I work with kids and I’m totally used to it and it still sucks. It hurts my feelings.

I didn’t become disabled and get an instant magical free training in how to teach kids about disability and diversity. I also didn’t sign up for a delicate unpaid education-and-outreach job every time I go to the frickin’ grocery store. (I actually don’t have time for that).

BUT. And this is a big butt.

I am actually learning to love it, this stupid important unpaid job that I didn’t even get to choose.

I know I know, I have an unfair advantage because I already thought kids were ridiculous and hilarious to begin with. And I worked with them before I started using a wheelchair. But working with kids and having to have the disability conversation in so many iterations so many times over is teaching me a whole lot about this whole situation! And it got much less stressful after I realized this helpful key secret:

kids don’t actually have a problem with disability.

Especially compared to the adults you encounter who will or won’t ask about it and will or won’t hire you or date you or what-have-you, so many kids have absolutely no problem with disability. Unless the media // the adults around them have gotten to their brains before you, this whole conversation might be alarmingly simple, quick, and painless:

SCENARIO 1:

“hey why are you on that?” [“on that” refers to my wheelchair]. 

(whenever possible I put down what I’m doing in order to smile and make eye contact for this. It will probably be less than 20 seconds).

“oh my wheelchair? Great question! I have a disability that makes my bones crack easily, so it’s safer and faster for me to use a wheelchair sometimes. It’s just how I help my body be at its best!”

“oh!”

“cool right?”

“yeah!”

“did you have any other questions?” [I only throw that in on good days]

“um. nope!”


[kid goes to play]

[exhale]


My advice is to expect Scenario One. All you gotta do to prepare is have a one-sentence explanation of your assistive device / disability that you feel comfortable with. Kids do not give a shit about your diagnosis, and you don’t need to prove anything to them. All they need from you is a simple, casual answer.

I * always * explicitly use the word disability for a few reasons. I used to just casually say “I fractured my leg” which was also true, but kids learn really early on to feel pity for someone who has an injury, so they would say things like “ohh I feel bad for you” or “oh when will you get better” which always made the conversation longer and more uncomfortable. Then I realized I had a lot of power in shaping their interaction with disability (and their response to it) in these brief encounters, and also I GET TO DECIDE HOW I ANSWER! So I revised my answer to frame my injuries (and my wheels), as a normal, casual part of my life. Feel free to use my exact wording if it helps you:

“oh my wheelchair? Great question! I have a disability that   (very basic explanation)     so it’s safer and faster for me to use a wheelchair sometimes. It’s just how I help my body be at its best!”

Okay I studied sociolinguistics in college so here’s my geeky little break-down:

  • oh my wheelchair?” ← gives a nice nonchalant “oh this old thing” vibe and sends the message that it’s okay and normal to talk about wheelchairs.
  • great question!” ← teaches the child that disability is not shameful
  • I have a disability that ___” ← addresses the taboo right away, deflating any tension, awkwardness, and curiosity in the rest of the conversation. Suddenly you have all the power here, since there’s no secret anymore.
  • so it’s safer and faster for me to use a wheelchair” ← emphasizes the positive attributes of assistive devices. You could also say “it helps me do everything I want to do” or “my wheels are faster than my feet” or whatever you want. Again, simplicity works for you in this.
  • It’s just how I help my body be at its best!” ← hopefully kids are already getting some messaging about taking care of their bodies: brushing their teeth, eating a snack, sleeping enough, etc. This line should be relatable to them and also caps the conversation in a helpful way: it’s almost like saying “this is just how it is” and creates a sense of gentle, positive closure.

My personal opinion on the matter of disclosure is that the vast majority of kids don’t care at all about the fancy name of your disability. I don’t emphasize simplicity because I think kids need to be talked down to, I emphasize simplicity because it keeps the conversation clear, casual, and quick. In the adult world, disclosure is practically demanded of disabled people: even if they don’t ask, everyone wants to know what, exactly, is “wrong” with you. So my choice in not naming my specific disability in these conversations with kids is conscious and political. Not disclosing my diagnosis keeps our conversation out of the medical sphere (disabled people are so over-medicalized anyway) and gives us a chance to connect human-to-human. Some people feel that sharing a diagnosis will raise “awareness” for their illness or disability but I’m not sure that awareness is what I need from kids. I don’t need them to be aware that my bod has wonky collagen production, I need them to know how to interact with me respectfully. I’m not adamantly against specific diagnosis disclosure, (again, YOU GET TO CHOOSE what you say in these situations!) but I also don’t think it’s necessary or important and I think more often than not, it derails the conversation. Especially if you already didn’t have time for this to begin with. Guaranteed, a diagnosis disclosure will add time to this convo.

Often kids will ask what happened to you, assuming that you’ve had some kind of accident. I have a congenital disability, so even when I * have * fractured and had an ‘accident’ and that is why I’m wheeling instead of walking, I usually just casually say: “oh, nothing happened! Same old me. I have a disability…” and continue my spiel from there. 

They will also ask what’s wrong with you (which is the hardest to stomach) and I do the same thing: “oh, nothing’s wrong! I just have a disability…” etc. If I’m just absolutely not in the mood or if a kid seems weirdly aggressive (which is almost never the case, but it does happen), I’ll cheerfully say “oh nothing’s wrong, but thank you so much for asking!” and that usually shuts down the conversation. 

Lovelies, I know how fucking painful this is. Ugh it sucks so much. But it does get easier and gentler and sometimes kids say really goofy things that you get to laugh about later. This conversation is yours. You get to do as you please with it. Have fun. If you want, for little ones throw in an afterthought: “plus it gives me magical powers. But don’t tell anyone.” Having someone look at you like you could be legitimately fucking magical might make your day. 

Hell, you ARE legitimately fucking magical. Go you for reading this and thinking about this and doing you. 

love,

haley

anonymous asked:

Hi Emma! What can I do to have a productive summer? I usually just melt away in the heat and become an unorganized mess (more so than usual) when school starts again.

Hey! I have a break coming up too so I’ll list some things that I’ll be doing during the holiday and then some other random ideas:

  • clear out my desk - I’ll usually do this properly every holiday. I’ll tidy up all my drawers, organise used/unused stationery, collect things that can be stored. I’ll go through my pens/highlighters/etc and throw out ones that don’t work. I’ll make a note of things I need to replace for the new semester too. I will recycle any bits of paper I don’t need any more as well.
  • organise my computer - I’ve become a bit of a clean freak with my laptop and like everything to be filed, in place, or deleted if unnecessary. I’ll clear my desktop. Refile or rename documents that are randomly placed. Things I definitely don’t need I’ll either trash or put onto an external hard drive. I also will go through my history, clear that and any additional caches/cookies/web data that doesn’t need to be there. Another one is going through all your emails, social media, etc and deleting or unsubscribing from things you are no longer interested.
  • back up my (old) computer - this is on my list because I recently got a new laptop. I’m planning to back up all my files from my other laptop and transfer anything I need to my new one. I’m going to make some note of all my login information, etc. I’ll make sure to back up my phone too.
  • sort out my bedroom - I’m in the process of designing how I want my bedroom to look so that something I’ll be sorting. Whilst this happens, I’ll be going through all my drawers, boxes, magazines, etc. I really need to just part with things I’m never going to use. I’m a bit of a sentimental hoarder with things so I need to be ruthless :’-)
  • clear my wardrobe - since I’m redoing my wardrobe too I’ll be going through that. Probably just donate some of the things I never wear or don’t want any more. I’m planning on doing an eBay sale of some unworn/unused things! Otherwise, I’ll donate them!
  • work on my hobbies - blogging is my hobby so I’m planning to do that. Hopefully getting my YouTube up and running (if I tell enough people, I’ll be forced to do it and get over my nervousness haha!). You could spend the holidays doing something you enjoy, or learning a skill.
  • prepare for the next school term/year - obviously holidays are the perfect time to organise the previous term and get organised to start again. Go through your files/stationery/etc, make a list of what you need! It’s best to make a list that you can add to and cross off once you’ve purchased it. It will also prompt you to get things before it’s too late. For each semester, I’d type out my timetable and place it in my notebook. I’d print binder covers for each of my subjects. Next term, I’m going to do a semester outline as @bookishandbright did, as seen here. It will show my weekly readings, when things are due, reminders, etc. I’m debating whether to print and bind all my readings at my local Officeworks so I don’t have to print them myself each week.
  • find out a planning method that works for you - this is probably a good time to switch between planning/organisation methods if you’re not happy with your current one. You can test out bullet journaling for a few weeks, using a time planner for a week or a digital calendar/bullet journal. You can see which one holds you most accountable and improves your efficiency.
  • boost your resume - see if you can volunteer somewhere, work with your parents for a little bit, get a part time job at the local store, or work experience/internship in a field you’d enjoy. This obviously isn’t necessary - especially if you’re very young - but if the opportunity arises, it’s a great place to start!
  • read something - this could be a book that you’ve had your eye on, the next one in a series you’ve read, or just something that might help in another way. I recently read ‘13 Reasons Why’ and enjoyed it! I’m thinking of reading either ‘It’ or ‘Before I Fall’ over the holiday. I was given the career code by Katherine Power/Hilary Kerr for Christmas since I was interning for their company but in Australia and thought it would be really interesting. My dad has recommended ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen for years so I’ll maybe read that too.
  • relax - the biggest thing to do in the summer!!! You’re allowed to have days where you sit around and do nothing. That is what holidays are for, right? Take time to do things you don’t always get round to when school is on. Catch up with some friends. Go to the movies. Spend the day exploring somewhere new. Start and binge a series (I can recommend loads if you want!). 

Hope you have a fun, but productive, summer!! x

Like an Arrow to the Chest

Summary: Rather than Chat Noir being struck by Dark Cupid’s arrow, what if it had been Ladybug?Or rather…Bridgette?

Note I: Obligated Valentine’s Day fic…but with the PV kids ;D Hope you enjoy!

Note II: I took a direct line from a post made by edorazzi, who I recommend you following for lots of nice art! 

ao3

.

It was Ladybug who paid attention to the akuma victims’ stories, not Felix. He usually liked focusing on winning the battle with minimum damage done, focusing on the victim’s general background.

For example, this victim had been heartbroken and now turned love to hate. Fairly easy to guess, and no need to elaborate.

It also should have been an easy battle; he was not afraid when the akuma appeared in front of him since there was hardly any love in him to turn to hate in the first place. He’d pretend to get struck, then run off, transform, and distract the akuma until Ladybug arrived so they could take down the villain together.

He did not count on Bridgette Cheng shoving him to the ground, the arrow lodging itself in her chest before dissolving in an array of red and black sparkles.

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Soulmate AU: You Share Thoughts with Your Soulmate

Breathe in. Breathe out. Focus on how it moves, where the flow of energy goes, where it exits. Then, allow every thought to blur – 

Shuffle, shuffle.

– until all outside noises begin to fade –

Deep sigh.

–and only then does your inward journey of meditation begi–

Oh, don’t you dare look back! Just keep your eyes on me, I said, ‘You’re holding back’, she said –

“Please don’t take any offense to this, (Y/N), but please shut up,” Stephen muttered, his growing exasperation quite evident. He kept his meditating position intact, including keeping his eyes shut. He had no reason to open them. Not when he knew that you were currently slouching in a poor attempt to mimic his figure.

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anonymous asked:

what are your sexuality headcanons for the paladins?

Ehhhhhh, hmmmm, let’s see… I mean, I support all kinds of ships in the fandom that probably break my headcanons, so this in no way implies that I disagree with other ships. These are just my, personal, headcanons for sexuality and… other things. Because I went overboard, as usual -  

Lance - Bisexual (obv). Biromantic. I think he probably has some issues expressing his attraction to men, however. Not because he’s unaware of it, but because he has a “Han Solo” type image he wants to portray to those he wants to impress and so it’s easier to stick to only flirting with ladies. That is, until he’s confident and comfortable enough to express how he really feels to his new “family.” Lance is, in my opinion, a very, very secretive person that uses his typical attitude as a sort of smoke and mirrors idea to convince those he meets otherwise. Because insecurity. Also, I think Lance kind of shifts between being quite masculine and quite feminine when he feels comfortable in doing so. I don’t think he suffers from gender dysphoria, but I don’t think he allows his gender to dictate how he presents himself (again, once he feels comfortable enough with the people around him. Dat insecurity and desire to impress be gettin’ in the way). For example, back home with his family and in his neighborhood and where he’s most at ease, he’s more than happy to wear makeup. Or, say, during Cuban festivals like the Havana Carnival, you know damn well he’s wearing one of those more revealing getups with the fancy headdresses and all the beaded decorations and flashy sleeves and feathers, etc, etc. YOU CANNOT TAKE THIS HEADCANON AWAY FROM ME! GIVE ME HAVANA CARNIVAL LANCE! NOW! 

Keith - Gay. Super gay. As gay as they come. SO gay. Homoromantic. I also headcanon Keith as being somewhat hyper-romantic, meaning that he really, really desires a romantic relationship (far more so than anything sexual). Like, he’s the type that forms feelings hard and fast and without mercy, and so he tries really, really hard not to give in, but it never works. He’s more apt to keep such things bottled up tight than ever express them, however–too afraid of rejection. 

Pidge - Asexual. Aromantic. Pidge is far more interested in platonic bonds and values her family/friends more than anything. Which is why it’s so important that she find her family. I’d imagine she has a hard time making friends as well, so what strong bonds she does have are very, very important to her support system. She has anti-social tendencies, but is very dependent on the people she does love to be there and love her in return. I also imagine she suffers from gender dysphoria, and that–though it’s something that doesn’t really affect her position as part of Voltron any–it wears on her a bit. It’s clear from the space mall episode, when she couldn’t decide which bathroom to go in, that how she’s presenting herself–at least in public–is stressing her a bit. I think she’s comfortable enough with Team Voltron not to worry about it, but something inside her is uncertain. Whether this leads to her making a transition or identifying as gender fluid isn’t something I’ve decided yet, however.   

Hunk - Panromantic and asexual. I dunno why I love the idea of asexual Hunk so much–maybe because it’s interesting to headcanon both him and Pidge that way due to how different they are. I like the idea of romantically distant Pidge, who still needs all her platonic relationships, while Hunk loves romance and wants it and all the frills that come along with it. But he’s also patient and doesn’t really go looking for it? Like, he knows it’ll come someday and he’s just waiting for that perfect person(s). Until then, he’s more than happy to give cuddles and love to his friends. I also think Hunk would do very well with polyamorous relationships and would be more than willing to be in one/want one. And though he has no active interest in sex himself, he’d be more than happy to participate if it made his partner happy. He’s not sex-repulsed (as Pidge probably is), he just doesn’t care one way or another.   

Shiro - Demisexual and demiromantic. Shiro partially takes a while to warm up to people because of the trauma he’s been through, but also because he’s always been very focused elsewhere and so he’s never thinking about romance or sex at the forefront. When it does hit him, though, it’s deep and burning and certain. He’s the kind of person that loves someone his whole life, even if they don’t love him in return, and so even though he may not end up with that person, a flame for them will always exist inside him, even if it is subdued. That’s just how deeply he feels things–it leaves that much of an impact on him. But, like I said, it does take a special kind of person and a lot of time to get him to that point. 

Allura - Gray-sexual and demiromantic. Allura has a lot more important things to worry about than sex and relationships. I also kind of headcanon that sex wasn’t a huge part of Altean culture anyway. Allura feels sexual attraction sometimes, but it’s not hard for her to control, nor is it distracting. That doesn’t mean she can’t be a sexual person, just that it’s not something that’s overpowering unless she lets it overpower her at her own volition. I would also imagine that she takes a while to romantically warm up to people, even if she’s platonically very friendly. If she’s going to enter into a romantic relationship, it needs to be with someone she’s partners with–both romantically and otherwise. Someone she can work with, but who can also manage themselves and offer things productive to the relationship. Allura would need–I think above anything–an efficient relationship. Which is why this determination would have to be solidified before romance was introduced or even considered. 

Coran - I… don’t know, lol. I usually headcanon Coran as being very dedicated to the royal family and so his personal life wasn’t something he considered important. Which I guess would make him a kind of asexual and aromantic. But I also imagine that Alteans are very good at compartmentalizing, so even if he was attracted to someone/in love, he wouldn’t allow it to get in the way of his duties. Therefore, I consider Coran’s personal life to, well, be none of my business, hahahaha!

“Isn’t in kind of unrealistic, statistically, that all the Voltron members be part of the LGBTQ+ community?”

No. If it weren’t for the gender and sexual stereotypes that permeate human society, I theorize that diversity among such things would be far more wide-spread. Not only that, but each lion represents a different type of person and I think it’s perfectly reasonable, therefore, that each paladin show variances all over the spectrum, not just in their personalities. They are five pieces that come together to make a whole, so like they represent different races and personality types, other things about them should show differences as well. Which means that, yes, I do get slightly annoyed at the lack of female representation on the team. What little representation women have isn’t enough, and Hunk or Shiro would have made really good female characters without it altering the story one bit. 

ANYWAY! Hope that sums it up :D

Originally posted by keith-the-galra

How to study while struggling with mental-health

Em Português

  So, I’m new to this studyblr thing, but I haven’t seen something like this before. Studying can be hard while you go on and off with with your illness, and I believe the most important is bending your way of thinking. It’s hard word. But recovery is such a gratifying hard work. 


   You just can’t study sometimes, and that doesn’t mean you’re not being productive. Treat yourself, your body needs rest, food, exercise, relaxing. Everytime you do one of this, you can congratulate yourself. Congratulate yourself, even if it seems so small. In my bad days, texting my best friend is hard. And I let myself feel good when I do it. When I think that only if I’m studying I’m being productive, I tend to loose motivation, and get into the vicious circle of feeling bad brcause I don’t study and not studying cause I feel bad. So I find other ways to feel productive, and increase them until I can put small studies - and them increase them! This might take a few days, or weeks. But remember that you’re trying and that already is remarkable, so do congratulate yourself and do be proud that you got out of bad to brush your teeth. 

 You can try: 

  • Taking care of yourself 
  • Watching a TV show. 
  • Baking something! I love this one 
  • Stretching and walking. It can be just around your room, but it will wake your body up. Cuddle and playing with a pet if you have one. 
  • Reading anything. It can be the dumbest fanfic ever, but it will help you concentrate, so nice one! 
  • Playing a game. 
  • Sketching drawings or random quotes. And this ain’t meant to look pretty, just to be fun. 
  • Coloring.
  • Making yourself some tea. 
  • Anything really!

  “But others are so productive”. You know what is AWSOME? Living when your mind is fighting against you. You’re already formidable for anything you can accomplish because of this. Remember that you’re not to blame on how your brain works, and allow yourself bad days. And every time you do study, don’t ever think “finally, I lost so many times already” but be SUPER proud of you. I am. You’re doing great if you’re searching so much to find helpful tips already.


   Planing is great, but breaking schedules is ok. This happens to everyone, I promise. You wouldn’t blame yourself if you got stuck in the rain, or had to help a friend, right? So why do if you can’t get out if bed? You can’t always control it. So what I do is planing, and instead of feeling bad about what I haven’t done, I feel good about what I have done. Sometimes, looking at lost dates is hard. So I close my agenda and just make a to-do list, crossing the items when I get to them, and never following orders. And remember to put small tasks in your list as well! 


  Have a routine before studying, and have a routine before studying when you’re not feeling good. This helps your brain associate that it needs to concentrate. 

 I have three routines, for example:
 In my normal days, I just stretch, drink cold water and put some music I like and get straight to studying hard.
 On my sad days, I take a cold shower, eat a snack and play some concentration games. Only then I get to studying, and I start with baby steps - I tend to watching videos or listening to poadcasts first. It takes a while, but anything you can do you need to feel proud about.
  On my hipomaniac days, I go for walks or even runs. I need to tire my body a bit or I can’t focus. Then I take two glasses of water and a shower. Only THEN I study, and usually start with reading, to remind myself that while I have a lot of energy and feel good, it won’t do anything without discipline. 

  Find out what works for you. On bad days it will take a while, but if it gets you going, it is more than worth it. 


  Exercise. And again, it is okay when you can’t - and not a privilege of us neuroatypicals. But exercises are good ways to control your body chemistry. I have three exercise routines - again, for normal days in which I have energy, for days when I have less energy and for days in which I have WAY too much energy. You also don’t need to do this everyday, this is me, but have a schedule. And never fear to break schedules. Also, eat healthy.

  Remember: mental illness is all about chemistry, which is frustrating, but also means you can hack it. And not just with medication. 


  Talk about your feelings, and not only when they’re bad. If you can afford a therapist, great. If you don’t, regularly talk to hotlines or trustworthy persons. Or just write about it. It really works to reduce your number of crises.


  Power posing. Talking about hacking brain chemistry! I learnt this from a lecture called Our Body Language Shapes Who We Are, from psychologist Amy Cuddy - you can find it at TED. And it changed my life. Posing like Wonder Woman or all star spread for two minutes gets your cortisol (stress hormone) levels down, and your testosterone levels up! Sounds silly, but it does work. Also, it does look kinda silly so you can laugh and have fun while at it.


  Have safety plans for every bad emotion you feel. I make lists I can look at when an emotion is overwhelming and pick something to do. Things like anxiety crises, sadness, anger, apathy and self destructive thoughts. This will help you reduce the times of this bad emotions and refrain it from growing into worse things, such as episodes. 


  Motivation. Motivation is important to anyone. I love lists - especially because I can hide them if they’re making me feel bad - so I have one for this as well. Things such as: 

  •  I love learning 
  •  Studying is a way of having control over my brain 
  • I want to be a teacher that makes a difference

  I also love listening to Sia’s The Greatest, it’s kinda of my fighting song. If you have one, blast it and perform it ridiculously around your room until your dog is staring at you like you bring dishonor to the family - or is it just my life. 

  Find your motivation and keep it to your chest. ]


  Try out different study methods in different states. Look at posts at studying tips - always remembering that some might not work for you, and that’s not (just) because of your illness, and that’s ok, that’s why they are so many - and use them to build your study routines. Routines are great because they bring safety and help you when you’re lost. 


 Sometimes you can’t control your sleep. It is important to try, however, don’t blame yourself if your brain just make it impossible some days. This is to the folks that are on the bipolar spectrum and like me can go 5 days straight with a maximum of 4 hours of daily sleep. If you know you can’t control it, don’t force it. It will make you feel anxious and you get MORE enrgy and impulsiveness. Tiring your body and brain helps. 

  There are days when it is three a.m. and I just can’t sleep but am not feeling bad. On those days, I work for a maximum of two hours. It is a nice moment for putting your reading in day. But never do this for many consecutive days, you’ll feel like a zombie later. However, it can help with getting something done. And it is especially calming for unrest. 


  Remember that bad days happen and you’re allowed to feel, to cry and rest. And that you’re never a burden when you need help or talk about your feelings. You are only human. Have routines, break routines. Do crazy wishes like decorating a Christmas tree in the middle of June. Pamper yourself. And just never give up. 

Hope some of this helped.

hey hello friends!! i’m excited to present a new original masterpost series, #studyingwithacdemic! my blog’s “tagline” has long been ‘study with me’, and now i’d like to make that a reality. in #studyingwithacdemic, i’ll be addressing many of the problems that students encounter in their studying journeys, and offering my personal tips on how to face them! 

some of these masterposts will be veeery specific while others will talk about a broader topic. however, all of them have one goal: to help you become the best student you can be! you can tag posts using these tips with either #heyacdemic or #studyingwithacdemic and i’ll be sure to reblog <3

with that aside, here’s the very first masterpost: studying a subject you hate. i know hate is a very strong word, but there are some subjects you really just can’t stand. however, there are a few different kinds of hatred:

  1. hatred because it bores you: if you don’t enjoy learning about a subject, that can certainly complicate things a little.
  2. hatred because it confuses you: sometimes you don’t like a subject because it’s not your strong suit and it frustrates you to try and understand it!
  3. hatred because of previous failures: there are some subjects i don’t like because i failed a test on it, or something of that sort, whereas i enjoy the subjects i’ve always done well on. past mistakes may influence your opinions on a subject!
  4. hatred for no reason: u serious mate?? pfft.

there’s really no set, foolproof method to tackle subjects you don’t enjoy, so in this masterpost i’ll be addressing how to study for subjects that you dislike based on why you dislike them. ok ok, without further ado:

HATRED BECAUSE IT BORES YOU

  • use a rewards system!! if you really cannot get yourself to enjoy a subject, forcing yourself to like the subject won’t get very far. however, forcing yourself to like studying it is slightly more doable.
    + set up a way to reward yourself for bravely facing that awful subject
    + after two hours of focused studying, give yourself a pack of gummy bears or something. give yourself an incentive to study!
    + bonus points if the reward is good for you. maybe reward yourself a 30 minute run if you finish studying, cause that’ll boost your energy, be healthier than gummy bears, and be a cool reward for studying :)

  • study in different ways! have some diversity in the ways that you study!
    + experiment with timelines, mindmaps, annotating, etc. to keep things interesting while you’re taking notes.
    + also don’t hesitate to stray from your textbook and into the world wide web of info: look up youtube videos, podcasts, websites, articles, etc. to study rather than just sticking with what your teacher gives you!  
    + when you’re reviewing something, don’t just stare at your notes, turn it into a game or something!! make it fun.
    + if you’re always trying new ways to study a subject, who knows, maybe one will click and you’ll start to enjoy it :)

  • associate with things you enjoy! hard to hate something that’s similar to so many things you like, right?
    + for example: you hate english? look, you’ve just shunned all of your favorite books and songs and writing in general. you hate science? sorry, my friend, it’s because of science that you’re breathing (biology) and cake exists (chemistry)
    + ps: sorry if i got those subjects wrong, i haven’t taken chem or bio yet!

  • study with the pomodoro method! here is a great masterpost by aza (@etudiance) about the pomodoro method, i really recommend taking a look!
    + this works great for subjects that bore you because you’d be studying for short blocks and have breaks in between, meaning you wouldn’t be stuck staring at a textbook for 3 hours *shudders*
    + just make sure that the time you’re spending studying is really focused studying, not just passively flipping through notes.

  • study with a friend! especially if they LOVE that subject. studying with a friend (productively) can make subjects so much more bearable!
    + as long as it’s actually studying, and not.. taking selfies or talking about unrelated subjects ////toootally haven’t done that before ahem ahem////
    + plus, if your friend adores the subject you abhor, maybe their enthusiasm will rub off on you!

HATRED BECAUSE IT CONFUSES YOU

  • ask your teacher for help! i swear by this one: teachers are (usually) great people who want you to succeed! no they are not evil creatures making you fail your classes for the heck of it!
    + arrange office hours or something with your teachers to go over content you’re struggling with. this is a great time to get to know your teacher as a friend and you’ll be approaching the material at a pace you’re comfortable with
    + if you’re scared of talking to your teacher (we all know the feeling!), you can always just correspond via email, and if they think you need a private meeting, they’ll most likely suggest it
    + if your teacher gives study guides or premade note thingies, always always always go through them thoroughly because that’s exactly what they think you need to study!!

  • don’t hesitate to raise your hand! everybody hates asking questions in class because they’re afraid they’ll sound dumb. don’t.
    + ask with pride because somebody out there needs you to ask that question for them! and even if you think you hear snickering (spoiler alert: that’s your imagination, silly), imagine it as a heroic deed for that-one-kid-who-needed-to-know-the-answer-to-that-particular-question-but-didn’t-bravely-raise-their-hand-like-you-did. congratulations, my friend.
    + teachers are totally fine with going through material again because if you are struggling to understand something, that’s their fault because they’re supposed to be teaching you. 
    + it’s better to ask during class than struggle on a test.

  • basically, reach out to other people. if you have trouble with a subject and are starting to resent it because of that, the answer is not to self-study and cry over things, the answer is to ask for help.
    + i know because i basically wing everything and there are times when i want to slap myself for not asking a teacher, friend, or my parents for help beforehand.
    + don’t be afraid to search online, but don’t rely on it either. if you’re scraping through your english class by living on sparknotes / cliffnotes, etc. that’s clearly not going to work. it’s okay to use resources like that sometimes to help you understand content you’re really struggling with, but using those ideas (aka not your own ideas) in your homework, etc. is plagiarism. nuh-uh, not ok, don’t do it! ask for help!!
    + also the studyblr community is great!! send in asks because we will all want to give you love and support: and even if we don’t know the answer, we can direct you to another person or masterpost that can help. some people to ask are emma (@elkstudies), grace (@gracelearns), sareena (@studyign), ann (@educaticn), seo (@tbhstudying) and kimberly (@kimberlystudies) – they are absolutely lovely and seem to always have an answer <3 or you can check out @studyblrindex to find someone who studies the subject!! or just ask any studyblr honestly! feel free to ask me as well, i’d love to help if i can ;o;

  • use methods that work for you! even though diversity in study methods is great for subjects that bore you, stick with the stuff that always works for you when you’re confused.
    + do you usually get good grades when you annotate while you read? great, keep doing that!
    + don’t make the mistake of sticking with methods that don’t work, though: if annotating while you read just confuses you even more, it’s time to stop and try something new.

  • just keep working on it! hatred due to lack of understanding of the subject is probably the easiest to fix because if you work hard enough, the subject gets easy and woah omg, more bearable <3 it may seem tough now but you can do it!!
    +
    check out my motivation tag for some stuff to keep you going!
    + i personally think @chibird’s super adorable drawings are great for boosting your morale if you’re feeling down / unmotivated :) give jackie a follow!!!

HATRED BECAUSE OF PREVIOUS FAILURES

  • don’t doubt yourself! you get one bad grade, then you think you’re just doomed to bad grades in the class for the rest of the semester. then you really do get bad grades because you’ve just given up. don’t let that happen!!
    + the worst thing you can do is constantly remind yourself about what you did wrong!
    + also, most of the time your “failure” wasn’t even as bad as you think!! even if it was something public and embarrassing, the only person who still remembers it is you.

  • spend less time thinking about your “mistake / failure / incident” and more time assessing what you can do better next time! this one’s a biggie. instead of resenting a subject because something bad happened that one time, it’s better to see how you can prevent it from happening again.
    + giving up isn’t an option here!!!
    + maybe for the test you got an F on, you tried a new study method that definitely didn’t work. all you have to do is stop using that method!
    + this will also take your mind off the fact that you “failed” (again, you probably didn’t), and lead you to think of it more positively (because now you know what to avoid doing in the future!)

  • don’t overdo it! one time in english class, i basically made this really dumb mistake and i cried and was miserable about it for a whole year. then, i made myself attempt to memorize the dictionary because i forgot the meaning of one word. 
    + that was a huge waste of time for me, constantly reminded me of the mistake i made, kept me miserable, made me feel guilty when i couldn’t memorize a word, didn’t actually help my vocabulary, and was basically a big, fat pfffft.
    + the lesson to learn from this is: assessing what you can do better next time DOES NOT MEAN to overdo things. it just means to learn from your mistakes and try to improve <3

  • re-inspire yourself! most of the time, this subject wasn’t one you always hated. it was just that one dumb thing that made you feel miserable and queasy to even think about the subject. don’t let something so small ruin a whole subject for you!
    + check out my failure tag for some posts about dealing with failure or disappointment in the academic world!!
    + search for posts in the studyblr community related to that subject to see how wonderful that subject is! :)

HATRED BECAUSE HATRED. 

  • there’s no way to make yourself not hate something if you don’t know why you hate it. ask yourself why you hate that subject so much! chances are, you don’t hate it at all!
    + try and talk / rant to someone about it (you can drop me an ask with a rant about a subject you hate – i’d be happy to try and help or just be a person you can rant to). maybe the reason will come out in the process of ranting.
    + or just journal / write for a little bit about the subject. sometimes letting your emotions loose can help!

alright, that is it for this first masterpost!! i really hope you found this helpful, since these are all my personal tips, no research or anything. if you have any questions, want to talk, want to yell at me for a bad masterpost, want to chat about your day, have any suggestions for future #studyingwithacdemic masterposts, want to request a future masterpost etc. etc. just drop me an ask and i’ll answer asap to the best of my abilities! <3 thanks for reading and have an absolutely magnificent day, xoxo hannah

“Cry Followup”, or “See A Doctor! The Musical”

I got sad. A doctor recommended that I go off my anxiety meds because they might be interfering with a bunch of other health issues. I did. It wasn’t good.

I tapered off for months and dealt with the withdrawal symptoms. When they were gone, I felt ok for a few weeks. Then I was easily irritated and sometimes angry. Then weird feelings started to creep in. I guess it was just dread. Maybe it was weird to just be feeling anything after being numbed on meds for so long. I started crying watching movies sometimes or thinking about whatever the fuck. I started getting really sad. Eventually I would cry everyday, sometimes for multiple sessions. It’s strange to think back on that now that I’m safely numbed to fuck again.

My grandfather had died about 8 months earlier and I thought I had emotionally exhausted that, but now it was back and I dwelt on it constantly. I thought of dying with an urgency that I couldn’t distract myself from. I thought of everyone I knew dying. It felt like time was an illusion and it wouldn’t be long until I’m standing beside their open coffins, reflecting on how quickly time had passed and now they’re gone and I’d wasted time not spending more time with them.

Most days I’d just wake up and lie there for hours. I’d try to look at things on my phone to try to distract myself. Snapchat was fun for that. Christ, so was Miitomo. I wouldn’t get any work done. It was difficult to focus and overcome the feeling in my gut of being pulled down and the constant present terror feelings of death and knowing this whole experience will be gone some day, but before that, I’ll watch everyone I know leave too. For a long time, I don’t think I really connected that it was my absence of meds that was doing this to me. I thought maybe it was just circumstances and some kind of Holmes-Rahe scale thing where a bunch of life events happening at once were stacking and compounding my depression feelings. There was no way to win against it and this kind of thing encourages you to not to the things that will typically pull you out of a depression. It makes you want to seclude yourself more and work on further diminishing your self-worth mentally. Instead of seeing friends or doing activities you enjoy, you convince yourself that you’re a burden to them, they don’t really want to see you anyway, and that something bad is going to happen if you go out and do anything. For so many fucking days I just laid there. That makes your depression even worse; your lack of productivity frustrates you and makes you hate yourself. All that wasted time boils your living asshole. It’s a paralysis and you don’t know why you can’t break out of it. You can’t just go into the other room and sit at your computer and do your work. Brains are incredible. Just a bit of absence from a certain chemical changes everything. Of course, you tell yourself things like this, that it’s not really you and that it’s just a biological ineptitude temporarily and that everything will be fine soon enough, but that doesn’t help at all.

That’s the other thing: you don’t feel like this will ever end. This is who you are now. A fucking shrivelled terrified cryhole. I did feel terror quite a few times during all this. It usually gets you when you wake up or try to go to sleep. Everything is still and You are going to fucking die someday, sooner than you think and You have wasted every moment of your life so far blast in your mind and your heart pounds, you can barely breathe, and you might even suddenly groan as panic waves hit your brain in an instant. There’s a terror in knowing there’s no relief from this; that all of these things are true and for some reason you believed the illusion your whole life and weren’t always in the perfect terror about it that you are now. Still, you beg for that trick to come back, to be able to put this mindset away and believe in the stupid shit we tell ourselves just to keep existing in some kind of calm. All these thoughts keep assaulting you with some kind of biological urgency, like you need to figure this problem out immediately or you die. This is what being on chemicals to help your brain for years and then suddenly going off them is like. Your body doesn’t know what the fuck. It’s weird to not give a shit about any of this and then suddenly imperatively have to give a shit about it and be unable to escape it. Even now when I’m in the clear, I still feel its background noise. Maybe I always will from now on. This whole thing has been a Paul on the road to Damascus type ordeal.

I fucking cried watching the new X-Files episodes, my dude. Probably during each one. That’s what it was fucking like. Imagine being in your late ass twenties and something in the X-Files makes you cry because you think of a squandered opportunity, or what you should or shouldn’t have done as a kid, or wishing you had put more effort into certain relationships with family or friends. It just finds anything to grab onto and get you with. You just have a dragging feeling constantly present and looking for things to attach to and convince you you’re sad about. Frankly, it’s fucking annoying. I cried one time because a nintendo phone app was enthusiastic about sharing my character’s picture with others. Just the fact that someone would have an interest in who I am and treat me like a normal person and want to share something about me with other terrible avatars made me cry as I was playing this thing and trying to take a shit. It made me think about my own self-worth and how long I thought there was no reason anyone should give a fuck. Cripe, one time I was almost screaming crying about my best friend who died when we were 11. It was like a fresh wound again and I was lying facedown on my bed wailing like an asshole. Depression can fuck with you.

So, this got pretty bad and I decided I had to see my GP about it. This can become a battle in itself, because past a certain point, you are convinced you aren’t worth the effort and that you’re a burden to have to deal with, and someone else could use that time to see the doctor instead. It gives you any reason to turn yourself down. I cried right away talking to my doctor. All this is really weird to reflect on; I was an entirely different person then. It was like a frantic sadness, an inability to just hold your shit together for even a few minutes. The impending terror was really pressing; a constant urgent anxiety that something bad is going to happen really soon, or that I’m about to get a call that someone I know just died. The doctor recommended seeing a therapist and going back on meds. Now I remember that the reason I finally did something was because my neighbour’s son killed himself. Fuck, that really bothered me. Hearing about any death at all was bad enough, but I think that week I was reading about Edgar Allan Poe’s death and then Vincent Van Gogh’s, and I just got really fixated on vividly imagining their final moments. I think there were others, too. See? Just a stupid thing to waste your time on but in the moment, you think this will help for some reason. Maybe the gravity of that kind of thing hooks you and you can’t help but look into it. So when my neighbour’s son also committed suicide, that was a pretty strong blow. I hadn’t even talked to the guy in over ten years, but I couldn’t help but fixate on having seen his father maybe 3 days prior as he joked in my mom’s backyard and borrowed a ladder. Now his life was ruined and the son he struggled to try to get mental help his whole life had killed himself. He was only 37 and he had a son. I think I spent a few days of weeping out my stupid ass over this, then made the decision to see my doctor.

I started seeing my therapist and cried within 6 minutes of entering his office. I wish I went to see a talk doctor when I was recommended it as a teenager. It’s good shit. Beyond that, I started seeing my friends again. Before this, I think 2 years had passed between us spending time together. I had talked myself into feeling like they were better off without me anyway and had their own real friends and lives that I didn’t have anything to do with. I started to exercise and even just take walks around the block. Sometimes, if I was just lying awake staring at the ceiling, I’d get up and go for a run. I started being able to work on videos again and looked forward to it. Thinking back on it now, I realize I kept streaming during the whole time. That would become the only thing I’d do or look forward to for most of this stretch. SO THANKS IF YOU LOOKED AT MY TERRIBLE STREAMS DURING THIS ERA I WAS QUITE WOUNDED AND I’M HOPEFUL THAT I WASN’T TREMENDOUSLY OBVIOUS ABOUT THIS, YOU HELPED KEEP ME STABLE WATCHING ME PLAY WITH CHILDREN’S TOYS. Beyond this, I’d just sleep until the afternoon and try to find a way to kill time until the streams started. This is why there were even less videos than usual. I was sad.

So, these things helped pull me out of the shit. A lot of it is self-examination and discovering why you feel this way in the first place. I’ve talked to my therapist about whether or not this whole thing was because of being on meds for so long and then going off them and feeling a withdrawal, or if that’s who I am underneath the medication.  He said that it is probably both, but more that that’s who I am. Fuck. He categorized this as a major depressive episode. It was weird to just hear the words. That is the kind of thing that happens to people in their mid-30s in office jobs who are getting shit on by everything in their lives. I guess it can also make you feel like a diva asshole; that you feel you’re so important that you had to have this major crisis about yourself. Writing this makes me realize how stupid it is to think like this, but that’s the kind of trap you get put into. Anyway, let me emphasize how important it is to see a therapist if you are depressed. Do it. It can change everything. Also talk to a doctor and see if meds are part of your solution. See a doctor. Do not just let it go. This is like if you had cancer and you just wanted to wait it out or hoped it would get better on its own. A lot of people let it go until it’s overwhelming and consumes them completely and just kill themselves to end the pain. Don’t!

I got better. I went on meds and in just a few weeks I made a drastic improvement. Plus the therapy, and plus feeling like I was doing anything with my life again. I hear a lot about hesitation to go on meds because you feel like they may change the foundation of who you ever are. This doesn’t happen. For me, it made me feel more free to be who I felt like I really was. That said, it may numb your emotions if you are a person who typically feels a lot of things. Just talk to a doctor about any concerns you have and don’t let these build up and become reasons you don’t get help for yourself. You are worth it. The doctor isn’t angry to have to deal with you. If it will cost what you can’t afford, don’t let that become an excuse not to do it. Save up or find a way to make it work. Again, it’s like if you couldn’t afford cancer treatments so you just let it kill you instead of finding out how you can make the situation work financially. What you’re dealing with is serious! Do something about it!

I almost forgot to mention that a lot of getting better was having something to look forward to. Knowing I’d see my friends and we’d have a good time was part of it. Another was spending all of my fucking money to go to as many conventions as I could. They were something I enjoyed in the past but didn’t bother with much anymore, so I decided to get back into them. It was the best choice. Thanks for coming to drink a lot of beers and talk shit if I saw you at a PAX or TwitchCon or Magfest! They were sincerely some of the best times of my life. Knowing that it wouldn’t be long until I’d be at another convention helped a lot with otherwise feeling complete dread. The power of giving yourself something great to look forward to is really strong! Do it! Find things you like and make time for them. Reward yourself! At one point, I got into a really unbalanced lifestyle and would spend maybe 60 or 70 hours a week editing videos and I burned myself out to shit. All I would think about was the job and let my health and relationships go to shit. You’re not supposed to do that. Give yourself good things and make it a habit. Anyway, PAX East soon, my man.

When I wrote my last crypost, a lot of people responded it it. I was in a daze for the rest of that day as I heard from a mountain of individuals. A lot of you deal with issues like this and a lot of you feel hopeless about it. It’s fucked up! This is your life! You’re entitled to a good one! Doing something about it will take a lot less than you may think, and will help you in a lot more ways and probably faster than you may think. A lot of you also said since that you’ve decided to finally get help. So yeah motherfucker I had a cool cry about your messages several times. What was also helpful was anonymous tumblr questions saying they got help so others could see your experiences and know I’m not just yelling out my dick about this. Thanks! You helped people!

Ok I think I have to cut this short now, it got late and I try not to stay awake until fucking 7 AM these days. I feel like I missed a few of the main points I wanted to make but by now I think you get the point that you can feel like you are going to face total annihilation within the next few moments and still get back to normal in very little time. I almost just wrote “Hopefully talking about my own cringe-ass experience helped you with…” and so forth to end this on a light-hearted self-shitting, but that again is part of the problem. Feeling as if your issues are embarrassing, not worthy, juvenile, or to be written off as not serious is no good. I know we joke about this kind of thing to help deal with it, but don’t feel that way for real. AGAIN, YOU’RE WORTH IT. YOU’RE GOOD! YOU’RE WORTH DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES TO FEEL NOT FUCKED UP! GO! 


Go!