Category Archives: 📓 Ramblings 📓

💭 On Loneliness, And Connecting With Others 💭

What do we really want?

When I was a child, I never had friends. I did have playmates in the neighborhood and in school, but you know, there’s always that kid: the one that doesn’t “get” social cues, and somehow just cannot speak the nuances of the play language that the others speak. The one that has a million things they can easily be teased about, and will react in the best possible way, that is, with dramatic, hyperbolic tears at best (which are of course hilarious to everyone) or with righteous tattling at worst, which always results in unifying the entire group against the teased party.

Though my social skills would improve in adulthood, as I grew up I coped by staying more and more in my own little world where I was alone but safe and relatively happy. I would eventually make my first truly close and beloved friend at age 15, but with the gift of retrospectiveness, I realize I had other chances to make friends before that. I had classmates treat me with real kindness and attempt to form a friendship with me, at the risk of their own social standing. Others were as ostracized as me, and sought kinship. Ultimately none of it would ever stick. But the one who sabotaged it by not responding was me.

I have had good friends in my life. Besides the friend I made when I was 15, the first friends I made were a group of kids between 17 and 20, all boys, when I was 18 and freshly arrived to the USA. That was the first time I really fit into a group and was completely embraced, and the first friends I made who liked anime, video games and Yu-Gi-Oh. In both cases, there were shared obsessions in place (cartoons, comics, anime, video games –specific ones to different situations). Getting together meant engaging in these obsessions. When the engaging on the topic was done, which would last a few furiously delightful hours full of banter and laughter, we would part ways for the day.

This also meant that when the interest petered out, the friendship would fizzle out as well.

When I think about friendships I’ve had without such strong shared interests, generally it’s been people who would engage with my husband while I could sit on a spot drawing and just enjoy their presence without having to interact. But one-on-one interaction about nothing in particular seems to have become much harder as the years go by. Even with people I feel like I really “vibe” with.

I like the idea of socializing and having friends. I suppose most of us do. I have a constant need, a craving, for companionship. I am lonely a lot of the time. And judging by this past week, so are a lot of others. I’ve counted 9 journals/posts accross different platforms regarding the deep desire to connect with others, and the lack of said connection. But many of those who post them seem to relate to my own feelings of wanting to be in their own bubble yet not alone at the same time.

For me, I’m lonely, but it seems the moment I am with others I desperately crave my little world again. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I don’t actually want company or new friends, yet my mind seems to be constantly tricking me into thinking that I do.

And it’s not like this is new. Even many of you who know me for years will remember what I’m like at conventions, most at home walking around by myself, or sitting in some corner drawing and people-watching. Perhaps I look a bit lonely or maybe even creepy. But at those moments, I am enjoying myself the most. Sometimes I’ll get up and go meet a few people, but I can always go back to my room or just sit quietly by myself. And looking around me at everyone, I’m enjoying everyone’s company so much. But I prefer to be left alone. That small ache is often still there: something inside me screams, connect! Make friends! It’s what you should be doing! But a part of me also feels a very real dread at the idea.

It’s not like I’m averse to having new people in my life. Not exactly. After all, I have made new acquaintances even during the past year. But I do believe the desire to be alone and the pain of isolation exist in almost equal parts within me. And sometimes I wonder if that’s the case for many of you, too.

Socializing with others seems to induce a lot of anxiety in many people. Forget IRL, even just chats. Yet we all seem to crave it at the same time.

I wonder what’s the solution for me. I ignore so many people on DMs. The amount of energy replying takes me is unbelievable. If you get DMs from me, even just ocasionally, you’re probably really damn special to me, so please know that, even if I stop replying for two months.

I’ve realized that my old friends of many years rarely ever see me anymore. Making plans can fill me with dread, so some have not seen me for literal years. They probably think I don’t like them anymore. But it’s not that. It’s just that more and more, one-on-one socializing takes way too much out of me. I think I am happy with this situation, but at the same time, a part of me keeps saying I shouldn’t be, because I am too lonely.

And you know what I’ve realized? I’ve always had this feeling, even at times in my life when I had friends I saw weekly and loved very much. There was always this little part of me that simultaneously felt like I was missing a certain “type” of connection, while also wanting to be alone.

Maybe things will feel less isolating when our house parties resume. And when I attend my next con, which I imagine will be FWA. And, most of all, when our local park (closed for vaccination) reopens and Starbucks opens for indoor seating again. People-watching is a balm to me. It feels so wonderful. Then, I am not lonely. But I am also not overwhelmed. I have missed that terribly.

See, I guess that’s it. And why I write these posts. It’s a form of self reflection, and it helps me sort my feelings out. It seems recently a lot of friends/artists I follow are struggling with this. I can’t really give a solution since I’m 37 and still figuring it out, but maybe we all will eventually.

At least, I hope so!

I Don’t Want To Live On This Planet Anymore: An Essay 💢

CW for a LOT of upsetting shit. If you’re easily offended or if you have triggers, I recommend not reading further. Also, after reading this, you may not like me anymore. But that’s okay.

I wonder if this is something normal, something that happens to all people as they get older –I wonder, a lot, if I’m just becoming Gen X’s version of a boomer. 🙃

I feel, a lot of the time, as though I have a millennial and a boomer living inside me, who cannot agree on anything except that they both hate Ayn Rand. Lately though, I’m not even sure of that –I’m not sure of anything anymore, other than the fact that somedays I hate everything and everyone in a way –though granted, I am using these words hyperbolically and liberally.

Basically, I can’t stand the way the world has become, though it’s… better, I guess? But also not. I’m sure Gen Z and most millennials see people like me as I once saw some “old” people: “They have some shitty views that can’t be changed, but that’s okay. They will die off, so let’s be kind and try to get along until then.”

Apologies, the paragraph above doesn’t make a lot of sense, so I will try to put into words the turmoil that has been growing inside of me for the past ten years. It’ll be a bit disjointed, so please stay with me, unless, you know, you have something better to do.

I’m going to pick a few random problematic topics to use as examples, but there are many of them.

I think trigger warnings are WAY overused, to an absurd degree, particularly in fiction. But I also kinda hate people who roll their eyes at trigger warnings. I’m not sure why both feelings happen inside me at the same time.

I don’t think cancel culture and “natural consequences” are the same thing at all in most cases. I think cancel culture is terrible, by and large. But when I see conservative celebrities rage about cancel culture because they get dragged for posting anti-vaxx memes, I also think it serves them right. I honestly hate both sides, the side that foams at the mouth to cancel the next politically incorrect target, and the side that acts like an asshole and gets that reaction as a result. 🙄

When I see blue lives matter flags flying, I cringe at best, while other times I get a similar, gross feeling as when I see the Confederate flag –perhaps because I so often see them together. It makes me angry.

But when I see people saying stuff like “ACAB” it makes me equally angry. I just feel like both sides are being assholes: cops are people, obviously not all of them are bad, because it doesn’t work that way, no matter how one wants to twist it that way for some political purpose. But again: if someone starts defending cops in my presence, I also get rankled. It’s like I hate both opinions, and I don’t know why. 🤷‍♀️

I’m pansexual, it makes me happy to see gay representation in my shows and movies. But I also get kinda annoyed when old characters that never showed gay inclinations are suddenly touted as gay icons. When someone complains about forced representation I get a bad feeling, though. Like why does this really bother you. But it also bothers me. I feel like my personality is being split in two. 😣

I used to hate cartoons like Porky Pig when I was little because of my own stuttering. I think in this day and age that wouldn’t be allowed if it was a brand new show, because it makes a joke of stuttering. Same when a joke is made of someone having an epileptic fit. I used to think that it was a good change. But today, my god, I’d so much rather feel deeply uncomfortable by a cartoon like that, than live in this current world, where jokes about tragedies or sad things are no longer acceptable. Everything is very serious, and as such, harder to cope with.

I remember when I first got interested in writing. I was often told of the amazing power you had when you wrote: you could write anything, whether magical, horrible, violent, scary, anything, and it was okay, because it wasn’t real. That fascinated me! It was obvious, if you were writing fiction, that it should not be taken as a guide to life.

A woman reading a steamy romance novel could enjoy a scene that was a little r*pey, and just have fun with that: it was fiction, it was racy and a little taboo, no one thought anything else of it. Obviously, no one wants to be sexually assaulted IRL. LOTS AND LOTS of women enjoy reading scenes like that from the comfort of their couches.

That used to be accepted as even empowering; well, it’s not okay anymore. As a woman, I feel it is too bad, but I’m old, and I know my opinion is outdated, out of touch, and irrelevant. I am not saying this to mock myself to make a point: this is the truth.

A lot of the media I enjoy is no longer acceptable, and more of it will become unacceptable as years go by. Hell, how is most anime even okay anymore? And otomes like the ones I am playing? There were scary, uncomfortable scenes in one of the games I am playing… had there been a trigger warning for them, the emotional impact would have been nil for me. I’m so glad there wasn’t one. I’m so glad the games made me uncomfortable.

Now, to not offend sensitivities, I have to put a CW on this post, and use a * in the descriptor I wrote a couple paragraphs above, AND I will will get shit anyway, for saying “a woman reading a romance novel” as opposed to, “a person”. Even though it should be obvious that anyone can enjoy romance novels, regardless of their gender, but their target is generally a female audience.

I guess what rankles me most is that there are people who, when consuming any form of media or interacting with anyone, are doing it primarily with the focus of finding something to attack or judge, or be offended by. Even I have fallen to this toxic way of thinking at times. This may come at the guise of attempting to have a civil discussion, but if they can’t sway you, civility rarely remains onstage for long.

And yet —

And yet… 😔 if I were reading this post written by someone else, I’d probably think “this person is probably a dickhead conservative”. But I’m not. I guess I’m a dickhead liberal? Although I’m not sure I’m liberal enough to still carry that banner anymore. And yet I’m WAY too liberal to carry a conservative banner. There is no flag for me to stand under. I feel like I hate all current viewpoints and, therefore, everyone would see me as an enemy for my opinions if I was too forward with them. I am not doing that here, despite what you might think. I’d never. That’s social suicide these days –whoops, maybe I should have used a * in that word too. That term isn’t okay anymore, unless you’re specifically referring to suicide. It’s okay though, my uncle killed himself. Does that mean I can use the term as I want? *laughs bitterly*

Forgive me, I’m being purposely crass, I suppose, because I’m just kind of angry, these days…

My god, I am such an asshole, really though, I’d definitely think this if someone else had written this, but it’s me writing it. A while ago, I hoped that, eventually, the part of me that can’t deal with the current woke culture would catch up to the part of me that hates itself –become fully woke and enlightened.

But that’s not happening. Instead, I just hate myself. And now, probably a few of you do, too. Lol. It’s okay. I still like you even if we disagree, and I do apologize for being a garbage person by today’s standards (not my own, though.)

Wait, that was a non-apology. Actually, it seems all apologies are non-apologies lately, at least according to Twitter. I’ve never seen an apology that was sincere enough to satiate everyone.

I just feel so out of place, you know? If I hang out with less PC people, I end up thinking they’re dicks. If I hang out with very progressive people, I hardly dare to breathe in front of them, let alone crack a joke. I do know a few people, close friends, who will read this post and nod: they get it. And that helps. But it just feels like there isn’t a place for “me” in this world anymore. I’m just like, an alien, trying to figure out how to interact with these “human beings” without offending them. Crazy, huh? Wait. Can’t say that either. Can I say that if I’ve been diagnosed with mental illness at some point? Oh well. Too late.

Before you jump down my throat for my opinions, please realize this: it’s okay. You’ve won. This is the world now. It will continue changing to your standards, and that’s a good thing, I suppose. I am now one of those people with, as I used to think of other older people “shitty views that can’t be changed” who “will die off eventually”. By then though, your grandkids will probably canceling you for stuff that you hold acceptable now. Just saying. You’ll almost certainly be in my shoes someday. *shakes cane*

At the end of the day, I’m just sorry I couldn’t keep up… I couldn’t keep up with being today’s equivalent of a Decent Human Being™. I’ve kept up enough to know to generally keep my mouth shout, so I don’t offend others (this post is a bit of a rarity, but please, let me have this vent.)

Sometimes I wish I’d been born a Zoomer: then, everything would make sense to me. The things that seem excessive to me, too easily offended, too PC, etc, would not seem so. Or maybe a little older… maybe I’d rather have been a Boomer. Then I’d be too much of a lost cause to care enough to write this post, and I would have enjoyed a less PC life.

Anyway. I always have trouble ending these things. I’m a dick I guess, I am sorry, except not really? Kind of. Conflicted feelings and all that. Sorry if you hate me now.

But not really.


As the title said, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore, but that’s ok: someday, I won’t! And that should satisfy both me, and today’s cultural standards.

Addendum: If you go on a whiny tirade against woke culture, my millennial side will hate you. Then again, if you go on a whiny tirade as to why my post shows why cancel culture needs to exist, my Gen X side will hate you. You probably can’t win. What a world! BUT, if you feel as I do, and you’ve found some way to make peace with it, I’d welcome the advice.

Addendum 2: Whenever I say “hate”, I am (usually) referring to profound irritation. I don’t hate most things. I do hate beef tripe, though. Disgusting.

Addendum 3: If you pick any specific issue I raised above (such as ACAB, trigger warnings, your choice of problematic topic –I’ll hide your comments. This post isn’t about ONE specific issue. It’s a vent. Don’t come start drama with me. The reason I feel so conflicted is that I see merit in almost all problematic issues. I also feel like most things are taken to extremes with no room for growth or dialogue. And I’m tired… I’m so tired, man.

Hopefully, My Last Post On This Terrible Topic (CW)

I wish I could say I’ve stopped torturing myself about this. Seeing people express doubt makes me sick with fear, to the point of literal IRL nausea, about… an unbelievable coincidence? So, in my desperation, and my heartbreak, I’ve been poring over three years of chats with Milo. This was especially painful because I’d forgotten how often we used to talk, sharing details about each other’s lives, happy times, sad times, hopes, aspirations. I cried multiple times going through these messages. I screencapped some of them for important details:

I messaged one of the French publications for perhaps more information on the case (since I have more private details about Milo that could help identify without any doubt, if there even is any.)

With that said, I want to give you the information I do have. I already did but here it is again, laid out very clearly:

• Milo’s name, like the accused pedophile, is Camille Orion (this is known by many.)
• Unfortunately I don’t know Milo’s exact age, but I do know that, like the accused Camille Orion, he is in his early 30s now.
• Milo disappeared on August 20, 2019. At least, this is the last day he faved something on FA. The little two year old boy accused Camille Orion of the terrible assault on August 22, 2019.
• Several articles describe Camille Orion as “a disturbing man, who fantasizes about the diapers he collects, admits to pedophile and zoophile inclinations.” I don’t actually think Milo is into zoo stuff, I think this is possibly how the article interpreted the furry fandom, so I’m not taking that as confirmation or lack thereof. But the first part, about diapers, is a HELL of a coincidence.
• Milo, like the convicted Camille Orion, had multiple degrees on child care.
• Milo, like the convicted Camille Orion, had worked in a nursery.
• Milo, like the convicted Camille Orion, had worked as an au pair/nanny in the past and was seeking more work of this sort.

For all of these things to happen as a coincidence, I do not see how it is possible. I can’t believe France doesn’t make this info public, it is terrible, but anyway, I wanted to put out everything I have, in full detail. There’s a part of me that feels like someone has actually died, and you know, seeing all the horrible comments on his profile is, in a way, painful to me as well. I’m sure it also is to Marisol, and anyone else who was duped by Milo. I understand the anger, I feel zero pity for this man, but for some reason the comments hurt. Even though I wrote one of them, there was a time I cared about this person.

I’m sorry I’ve written so many journals on FA, posts here, and just… been so emotional and angry these past 48 hours. I’m just not okay at all. I think I just need someone to tell me “this isn’t a coincidence, it can’t be, get real.” But when people express doubt, it makes me doubt my own eyes too, because I’m so heartbroken, and in this state, I’d cling onto anything. The very people coddling this pedophile are making me doubt my own eyes and my own evidence. I’d give anything to be able to access actual criminal records. But anyway, that is what I have. I think it’s all pretty obvious.

I really do hope this is the last journal. I’m so sorry. I don’t even know for sure what I’m apologizing for. I feel terrible because if I didn’t say anything I think no one would have known. I brought this pain to the surface. I had to. Right? It’s the right thing to do, isn’t it? I feel so lost and broken.

Well, Today Was A Day 🤡

I woke up to a puddle of $h!t in my bathroom because Kotoko had the runs. Then the news about Milo and intense work corroborating it took hours off of my day. My spirit was very low. Plus the semi-confirmation of a different suspicion that is giving me a lot of stress. I just have this weird, shaky and sad feeling. If I hadn’t made such a serious promise to myself, today would absolutely be a “buy a new bear” day.

 I won’t, of course. Every penny and every spare moment to work on art that brings those pennies, to cover my debt, are of the utmost importance right now. But oh, how good do new bears feel. I don’t feel any danger of wavering in my resolve, it’s being tested today but that’s alright.

Next week is that doctor’s appointment with the potentially painful test. I don’t want to say what it is because I don’t want to read comments about how awful it is. I’ll go into details when it has been done, but I am dreading it.

Anyway, another long bike ride and talking to my friend Nate this morning helped a lot. It’s really wonderful to have such a friend to lean on, and who understands my very specific troubles, even if he lives an ocean’s distance away.

The bike ride was really nice:

Also, my new espresso machine that Christopher bought me came today!

And the last Walmart package for the kitchen, with the utensil jar and paper towel holder:

I’ll have a photo of the pretty paper towel holder soon. Oh, and my two skirtalls are coming tomorrow. That’s so exciting, too!

For dinner, I made chicken drumsticks in the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is so pretty…

Dinner turned out alright:

Also, my baby pomatias are big enough to cling to the glass! They are still definitely developing though. The eggs were laid maybe three weeks ago, tops. The last clutch didn’t emerge until the shells were dark and twice this size.

CW: The rest of this post has to do with weight loss, body image, and feelings on the topic. PLEASE, if this upsets you, simply close the tab. Don’t read beyond the line below, don’t do that to yourself, please. Ok?

Continue reading Well, Today Was A Day 🤡

Spanking Art, And Why I Draw It 💭

IMPORTANT: This WILL be a VERY triggering blog post, discussing physical punishment of children, and my own childhood experiences. Please proceed very carefully. You continue reading at your own discretion. Please, if this would send you into some sort of spiral, do not read further. I think most people would find this post upsetting to read. Please be careful and aware of what you can and cannot handle.

If you’d like to continue, click here

Can You Tell The Difference? 💭

The topic of this post has been bouncing around my mind for a few years, but it seems so utterly stupid, I feared I’d just be writing a bunch of obvious sounding things. I suppose it may turn out that way after all, but given that it’s come up in the community today, I thought I might as well.

Regardless of the medium, art is powerful. It can transport us to a completely different place. The escapism it provides, or the ability to live vicariously through something that would otherwise be unfeasible or plain wrong in real life, is of tremendous, irreplaceable value. From my earliest childhood I knew this was precious, and for this reason, I defended the right to any and all media to exist, as long as no person or animal had been hurt to make it.

Even when I was little, there were many types of media I didn’t like –music with violent undertones, gory horror movies are just some examples– but I never would have thought that they shouldn’t exist simply because I didn’t like them. From the first time I covered my eyes at something I didn’t like on the screen and my mom said “it isn’t real” I was reassured of the difference between real and imaginary. If I didn’t enjoy the content, I merely looked away.

And I always knew what happened in a game, comic or tv show wasn’t to be taken as an example of behavior. Had I allowed that to happen, I would have had my privileges to enjoy said content removed until deemed mature enough to enjoy them. But I know my parents would have never had the gall to blame the media itself for my poor judgement. That would have been risible.

Sometimes, once in a very rare while, I’d hear something like, this person killed another in a Satanic ritual, and they listened to a lot of heavy metal music with Satanistic undertones before doing it, or this kid thought he could fly like Superman after watching the show and jumped off the roof of his house (I think this one actually happened a few times around the world, but still an unbelievably minuscule percentage when you consider the huge number of people exposed to the character/story.)

You know what my feeling was when such a thing happened –and the reaction of everyone around me as well? It was either “something was deeply wrong with that person” or “that child’s parents never spoke to them about the difference between reality and fantasy”. It was never to blame the media/artform itself. I’m not saying no one did, but by FAR the common sense reaction was “what was this person thinking?!” because MOST rational people, with their full faculties, even very young people, even young children, have some level of grasp of the difference between real and fictional.

Naturally, a child might be more easily confused by implied messages in fictional media, and is also more easily influenced, and this is why we have general guidelines for content, and it is for parents to determine if their child can handle a specific work of fiction. But adults, by and large, can tell the difference, and for those few who can’t, the solution should not be to sanitize and dumb down media for the rest of the world.

In a comic, we may get the chance to see an asshat character get a comeuppance that would not be ethical, moral or legal in the real world. We can enjoy that guilt-free, because it’s fiction. The moment upon which we look at a fictional work and say “hey, this is a guide on how to handle my real-life situations” there is a problem, and the problem is with us, not the fictional work. It means that at some point, we didn’t get the “real life is different from fictional stories” lesson.

A work of fiction is often trying to reflect the real world, its problems, and its multi-faceted inhabitants, which often make wrong decisions and choose improper courses of action, or take actions that are wrong but can be sympathized with. If we as writers are always constrained by the “I need to make sure things go completely wrong for this person for taking X course of action” the stories we create run a risk of becoming stiff, moralistic and one-dimensional, or a PSA.

Don’t get me wrong: media is powerful, and part of the power it has is that of influencing its audience under certain circumstances. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that we teach our young people what is a good and a bad influence; what is real and what is imaginary. They should not get that from a book, video game, or comic. Our failure to teach children to tell these two things apart should not come at the cost of restricting the freedom of stories to go wherever the writer will take them. Do not expect a creator of fiction to do your job for you, or society’s job, in that regard.

There is an exception, however. Sometimes a work, fictional or otherwise, is specifically created with the intention of teaching a moral or lesson. There are plenty of such works that are very much deserving of this sort of criticism and scrutiny. I know, in particular, how many there are in regards to children’s media, because I collect religious books for children. The more obscure the religion the more fascinating I find these books –and the more disgusting in the messages they implant, and the freedom they take away from children to make their own choices.

Media is indeed a tremendously powerful tool when it comes to the shaping of malleable young minds. If you combine it with telling a child “this fictional work is a guide on how to live your life” things can certainly get a little screwed up. And in that case, the fault is also with the writer who wrote the work/s specifically with this intention, even if those works are fiction. They are works written very specifically in a form that will influence someone to believe “this is how you base your morals.”

But even such works, if you read them as an adult, with a solid idea of reality and right versus wrong, will not touch your morality and ability to follow the law and be a good human being, UNLESS something else is wrong to cause you to be so easily influenced. Most people shouldn’t be.

The biggest proof I can give you in this regard is this:

I was raised to believe in the Bible as the unequivocal word of a just and loving God. Naturally, I was not given the parts to read as a child that would have thrown this completely out of the window. I don’t mean the wild inaccuracies and hypocrisies, I mean the utter, violent cruelty, repeated again and again.

As an adult, I no longer believe in the Christian God because my moral compass and sense of right and wrong is just not compatible with the things that book says. It took me a long time, because I refused to read a lot of it, afraid of what it would do to my beliefs (and rightly so!) But still, because of a book, as a child and young adult I grew up homophobic and even misogynistic (all internalized, being a woman and pansexual, the latter of which I wouldn’t realize until fairly recently.)

Even so, and in spite of almost twenty years of indoctrination, six of them at Catholic school, my basic sense of right and wrong managed to steer me away even from a book that was full of messages drilled into me as “no, THIS is actually right and wrong, no matter what your gut says.”

If we are taught properly as children, we can all make this distinction. I believe most adults are able to make this distinction. I realize I perhaps picked a poor example as I’m sure many of my followers are Christian, as I once was, and unless they are fundamentalists, surely they have their own hoops and such that their minds jump through to ignore the really terrible stuff in the Bible (I had lots myself, probably the same ones as many of you, until it just wasn’t good enough, I’m afraid.)

However, this can apply to any and all media. You know what is right and wrong already, and if you base your unethical, immoral life choices in a work of fiction, well then, you were probably just looking for an excuse to make those choices already.

We all should know what is and isn’t real, and what is right and wrong. It’s not a tv show’s job to teach us that (unless it’s Sesame Street or the like). It’s not a novel or comic book’s job to teach us that. Their job, unless they are purporting otherwise specifically, is to entertain us.

That, I think, has tremendous value. It should be treasured and protected.

On Letting Go Of Fixing People, By TheraminTrees

“Codependents learn to feel maladaptive false hope in the fleeting moments of their abusers’ magnanimity. A small act of apparent kindness gets interpreted as a shaft of sunlight, an expression of personal value from the abuser. They hope that behind the broody gray clouds, there really is a bright sun, and that one day the clouds will part permanently, but there is no sun. Codependents have just grown so accustomed to the dark, that any dim light can seem dazzling.”

Every once in a while I come across a bit of info that, helping me reflect on past experiences and relationships, brings things into very sharp focus. I thought this might help someone else too.

It’s nuts how obvious some of this stuff seems now, with the clarity of retrospective, and realizing I’ve always been a person with codependent tendencies is scary because I could have truly fallen into the hands of a lifelong abuser. It could have happened to me.

Instead, I ended up with a kind, loving man by my side, who not only would not take advantage of this side of me, but actively (and perhaps not even always consciously) helps to push back against my tendencies in a healthy manner.

At the end of the day, the more time goes by, the more I am grateful for the valuable lessons I’ve had from life, even if they were painful ones. I think that walking away from religion has been a part of this growing and healing process, because the emphasis on mending any broken bridges can be so toxic, especially if you’re a sunshine-and-rainbows, no-one-is-bad-deep-inside type person. ^_^;

I should add, this video also made me realize some of my own narcissistic behavior. We all have the potential to abuse and to be abusers as much as we have the potential to develop codependent habits. Ultimately, I think I am far more codependent. But I want to continue to be more aware of my more toxic tendencies as much as I can going forward.

Self-Righteousness Is The Modern Plague

This isn’t one of my own ramblings, but I wasn’t sure how else to categorize it, since that is basically what it is (or, a “waffle” as Dorian themself puts it.)

I wanted to share this video here, because I felt this YouTuber had a lot of common sense. I don’t agree 100% with every point they make, but I do agree with most of what they say. Whether you do or not seems by and large a generational thing, I’ve found.

In general their channel is AMAZING, very interesting, but bear in mind they talk at great length about their drug use (and abuse) and eating disorders, so you may find triggering content, though they make a point of warning people in the videos.

Everything In Life Is Only For Now

As they say, in the roller coaster of life it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride. Ironic considering I HATE ROLLER COASTERS but this caption is now too long so I digress. Also, don’t you usually do both at a roller coaster? This quote is f****d.

It’s a rather obvious truth, the title of this post (along with a reference you might get, but I’ll get to that in a bit). Maybe it hits you when you’re a teen, or maybe a young adult. I’m referring to the impermanence of happiness. And when it hits you, it can be a real punch in the gut.

Particularly if you had a rough start in life, watching your family desperately try to get ahead and find a bit of happiness only to have it somehow ruined every single time or simply not last, you may struggle with letting yourself be happy even when good things happen, because you’re already so familiar with that looming fear that happiness won’t last. Even when your happy periods may start to lengthen, even into years, and even when some of your biggest dreams come true, you may try to stay preventively sad to protect yourself, or just not let yourself fully give in to happiness. And it’s only natural.

When I met my husband and most of my dreams came true in such short order, I struggled with this for years. At first, I had somewhat rational fears… There were things looming over our heads that could happen that had the potential to ruin our lives. But even when those fears began to be resolved, it took me a LONG while to accept that this was in fact my reality, my real life, my family, my friends, and that I was safe and could be happy. You could say at one point I knew peak happiness, even.

Then, as most people who know me already know too well, a bunch of stuff came crashing down two years ago, and I pretty much had a mental breakdown. It was a reminder that true happiness just couldn’t last, right?

But that’s the very thing about life. Nothing in life lasts forever. No peace, no happiness, no horror and no pain can last forever. This is the terrible and truest thing about life, it’s also one of the kindest things about it at the same time, and the basis of every despair and hope we feel.

At some point in the last few years (after my breakdown) I took stock of my life, my relationships and my possessions, everything that makes me happy.

It’s very obvious that none of it will last: I’ll probably outlive my husband (or so he keeps saying, which I hate). I’ll (hopefully) outlive my mother and most of my relatives except my sis in law. Many of my friends are older than me and I will likely outlive them, also. The pandemic has made it clearer than ever that anyone could die at any moment, so those losses could come even sooner. The economy could collapse or a hurricane might come and we could lose our house. Eventually, all my snails and all our cats will die, just like the rats did.

Above all, I’ve learned that friendship is as fragile and impermanent as it is utterly precious. You never know when a deeply treasured friendship may be shattered, or when circumstances will cause another to drift apart. You never know when a hug is the last that you will get from someone for whatever reason.

My health won’t last forever either. My hair will turn gray, my body will begin to get aches, I’ll probably lose most of my teeth as I get very old. Or I may get ill and die young (ish). Nothing is guaranteed, ever, to anyone. I’ll probably have at least one serious illness as I get older.

But the one guarantee in life is that however you feel right now, be it sad, angry, or happy, is destined to be impermanent. That is a truth that need only be terrible if you let it.

The first time I realized this concept, I know I was very young; nonetheless I remember it was a terrible feeling, something I tried to quash down and not think about. It was unhelpful, negative thinking, or so I thought. Surely everything is going to be okay, and everything is going to work out, right? But of course, nothing can “work out” forever. Expecting it to stay that way means dealing with conflict and loss is far more difficult.

It took me until my early 30s to understand that this being the nature of life need not be an impediment to enjoy whatever blessings I have right now. Whenever bad things come, those won’t be forever either. But you must try to not let the fact that they will come stop you from being happy. That is the biggest waste in the world, it’s a waste of your life and any happiness that will come your way (and happiness will come your way, time and time again).

Bad times will undoubtedly come along, too. Sometimes it’ll be a short happy time and a long bad one, sometimes a long happy one and a long bad one… sometimes a loooong string of continually short and happy times intercalated (which can definitely be a little exhausting.)

I should probably mention that if someone had said these things to me when I was in my 20s, I probably would have responded with “that doesn’t help me endure the bad times at all”. So maybe making peace with this concept is just something that comes to one with time… and if there is any sort of preaching tone to this post, I deeply apologize. I am trying to write it to comfort, not admonish. Feelings aren’t something to feel guilty for having, and mostly we can’t help them, but sometimes we can guide them in a certain direction over time.

It was actually talking with my friend Nate that prompted most of this entire post (and I know by now he’s surely realized that) because when he describes his struggle to be happy knowing it won’t last (and he’s right, it won’t, it can’t) I see and hear myself. Nate is so much like me at that age, almost to an uncanny degree, that I feel an almost painful empathy remembering my pain at that time and I wish I could give the “me” I was then the peace I feel now.

To finally be with the one you love, having a good roof over your head, having some form of healthcare, only to know in the back of your head “most of this will NOT last forever” and still manage to be happy –getting to that point is just not easy. But, Nate, you can get there, and it’s because you and I are so much alike that I firmly believe you will.

As some of you may already know the title of this post is from the ending song of the musical Avenue Q. I heard this song for the first time at a point in my life when several of my dreams had come true but some not exactly the way I’d hoped, and my fear of the rug being swept from under my feet was intense. It brought me comfort then. Even if you don’t like musicals, if you are feeling discouraged by the ups and downs of life this song is a worthwhile listen.

I’m not sure if what I wrote here might help anyone… I hope it does. I know this year has been awful for everyone, filled with pain, disappointment and loss, in some cases tremendous loss.

But happiness will come again, mark my words. It won’t stay, because it never really does. But it’ll continue to visit you over and over. When it’s away, pay attention to the little bursts of joy in between bad days. Sometimes happiness won’t visit you, but it will send a letter to remind you that it can still be there, and that it’s coming back to see you. Make sure that you enjoy those times as much as possible, too.

Let yourself be sad when you need to. Sadness, fear, grief, all have a place in our lives, they are part of life and denying yourself the catharsis of exploring those feelings is not healthy. Just don’t let it prevent you from enjoying the good times when they’re there, if you can help it.

Do your best… and be kind to yourself until happy times are here again. After all…

Each time you smile, it’ll only last a while.

Life may be scary, but it’s only temporary.

A Slightly Intoxicated Ramble*

*(Which is not that different from my normal posts.)

Today was a nice and busy day. As I write this, I am relaxing with some wine and a Christmas tree cake, after working all day on a design for ODU. I wish I could share it, it’s a pretty original concept, if I do say so myself! 😌

That aside, I did lots of chores, took care of my snailios, and set aside some more of their eggs to hatch. Worked on a few draft posts for this blog, mostly related to Code: Realize. Ordered one more Christmas present (that may not arrive on time 😞 it’s for my mom in law’s roommate. I looked all day for something suitable… I really wanted to get her something because she is so nice to me, but it was hard finding something I felt she’d like.)

I wrapped more presents, and moved them all under the tree. Cleaned up the living room. Did grocery shopping. Texted with Grandma.

I’m a little worried about Grandma (she is Christopher’s grandma, but mine too, by now, of course.) After Grandpa Bob passed a few months ago, she had her sister visiting, but now she went back home and Grandma is all alone in the house she shared with Grandpa for years and years, and in which he passed. It has to be so hard to get used to that being your new normal.

I think more often than I care to admit of what my life without Christopher might be like someday, hopefully very far in the future, and I just cannot imagine that. Grandma has us, but with COVID, we can’t be there in the ways we would like. So I’ve been trying to communicate with her every day (she’s the only person who truly responds to my walls of text with walls of text. Lol.) But… I still feel helpless, and worry.

Anyway… I am extremely sleepy… but it’s the good kind of sleepy, out of exhaustion brought by hard work, and things done for others –the shopping for gifts, the wrapping of presents, buying groceries for us, looking after my little animal friends, finding the right greeting card for a special person, working on artwork that will make people happy, and preparing the house so my husband and our friend can enjoy a little visit tomorrow –how I am looking forward to that, even though I know I’ll be doing my own thing. It’s just nice to hear them having fun together.

It’s funny how very deeply I’ve come to love some of Christopher’s friends; fiercely, like family, in an almost painful way, even though we often have little in common. I feel this way about multiple people I met through him. I can almost guarantee that every person I met through him, that I love, doesn’t fully realize just how loved they are by me. My sister in law realizes it (as in, I think she understands how deep my affection for people, herself included, can run) but then again, she gets me in ways no one else really does. She’s irreplaceable, and she’s family. I mean apart from that.

No, I mean, people I don’t even get to see that often. There’s this one guy for example –he often makes very questionable “jokes”. They upset me, I ask him to stop, and he blames me for being offended. When I make it clear it is not okay in our home, he decides to forego visiting rather than not make these jokes. A shame. I miss him. This guy, I know, he thinks that I don’t like him. But it’s not true… I care about him so deeply. I really love Christopher’s friends, and even some of his acquaintances. I really care about them, and want them to be happy, and I want to see them. I think I just become attached to people too easily, and there is no way to explain that attachment without being freaking weird (as this post already is surely coming across.)

I just know friendship is precious and life is fragile. The pandemic makes all of this much more obvious. So just to see one of his friends tomorrow, who is a dear friend to me too, makes me so happy. There’s great value in the smile, the mannerisms of a friend, their laugh, their jokes, the troubles they share with you, as well as your shared history, good and bad. They are so precious, even if you don’t realize it. I think I always have realized this, perhaps due to a friendless childhood. I’ve never taken these small things for granted, and their impermanence might be why I love easily, and in a way that is always just a little painful to me (and, sometimes, very.)

Anyway what’s this?? Sigh, now I have to file it under Ramblings. Go me! That’s what I get from sitting down to blog with wine. Please, don’t mind me. This was supposed to be a post about what our elves did today and yesterday, but I went off the freaking RAILS. There’s always tomorrow.

Goodnight, friends, frenemies, and rivals…

To be honest, if I care about you enough to consider you any of these, I probably love you, too, regardless of how you feel about me.

Wow I just can’t shut the f*ck up tonight.

I’m gonna go to bed.