As time goes by, I’ve become really passionate both about the Jurassic franchise and about paleontology. These are completely different things, obviously. I have to say though, JP/JW absolutely had a major impact in my interest in actual, fact-based natural history.
Of course, Jurassic Park / Jurassic World, the franchise, is almost entirely pure fantasy —even more than I realized as a kid. But finding that out didn’t bother me? 🤷♀️ I love both things (fictional and factual dinosaurs) equally for different reasons. As I participate more in these Twitter communities though, I’m honestly saddened by the vitriol and the hate towards Jurassic Park / Jurassic World.
I see it mostly come from people seriously into paleontology and natural history, and to me it seems misplaced. I’m not the only person I know who became interested in the scientific aspect because of “cool monster dinos” as a kid. I dunno.
Expecting the movies to be realistic documentaries seems odd to me. Seeing the infighting / hate makes me sad. It’s easier to enjoy things for what they are and find common ground as we celebrate what makes us happy and passionate without always taking dunks at what others love.
How did your love for dinosaurs “evolve”? Mine began, obviously (if you know me at all) with the original Land Before Time film, one of the earliest films I have memory of watching. With Jurassic Park, my fascination would increase tenfold, and I wonder if paleontology as a topic is something that would have interested me further as a child, had I not attended a Catholic school in the 90s, with a library and curriculum completely devoid of books on the topic.
The potential reason for the absence would not hit home until, when I was eleven years old, one of my schoolmates (a little girl who, while not especially smart, was widely known as being the hardest worker in the class) decided to do her homework assignment on evolution, and was roundly yelled at by the teacher in front of all of us.
In four years, I had not seen her be scolded once, and the teacher’s reaction seemed incomprehensible to all of us. The absolute consternation in her tear-stained little face stayed with me all of these years. Back then, evolution was a concept I knew of, which went in the same “field” in my head as dinosaurs. Neither was a topic that had been covered in school, and while I hadn’t understood why, it wasn’t until then that I realized it went against doctrine to even discuss it.
In Argentina, where I lived at the time, it felt like everyone around me was Catholic, or just about. Whether in or outside of school, I never had the opportunity to learn more about dinosaurs. My love for them would lie dormant until I arrived to the US, and had more resources. My knowledge expanded, but far too slowly. I was still heavily religious and struggled with many topics that the study of natural history exposed me to –topics which made me contemplate possibilities that I was not ready to accept.
So my fascination would not REALLY come into its own until rather recently, starting about three years ago, when I began to open up to my potential agnosticism/atheism, something that had been in my mind in some shape or form since I was twelve, and which I finally fully and joyfully accepted a bit over a year ago. Then, with no more scales in my eyes, I jumped into all sorts of science topics like a ravenous animal, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube channels and documentaries, expanding my library and my knowledge and learning about our world, how it may have come to be, and above all, about dinosaurs.
Yes, we come back to dinosaurs, finally.
I finally began to learn stuff beyond the one form of content I’d been exposed to (movies). Every single day, I either read or watch or listen to something new. My studio now has dinosaurs anywhere you look, as does my wardrobe, and other parts of the house, such as our game shelf, my library, the porch, and even the master bedroom. Were you to ask any friend or family member what is something they think of when they think of me, dinosaurs are probably high on the list, because I never shut up about the things, and there is SO much for me to learn. I have so much lost time to make up for. There are so many books to read, podcasts to listen to, movies to watch (fantastical and science based) and more, so much more.
I am, at my core, an animal lover. Dinosaurs are simply more animals to love –but especially fascinating ones, tinged with a bit of bittersweetness, because most are no longer here. But they were: this same Earth they walked on, I walk on. And that connection fascinates me.
And have I mentioned that I love ALL dinosaurs? “Movie monster” ones. Closer to scientifically accurate ones that keep evolving as our knowledge improves. Good documentaries, mediocre documentaries. New, old. Great Jurassic Park/World movies, “bad” Jurassic Park/World movies. CGI, cartoon, anime. Give it to me. Give it all to me.
Feathery, scaly, big, small, colorful or not, realistic, fantastical. New books full of new knowledge on dinosaurs, old books filled with outdated but fascinating takes on them. I love it all. I love paleontology. I love natural history. And I. LOVE. DINOSAURS.
This was quite the ramble, but something I wanted to share today. If you love dinosaurs too, then you are already partly my friend, and I wish you a very Happy Dinosaur Day!
I wanted to make a note regarding “DNI” (AKA “Do Not Interact”) disclaimers, commonly seen in Tumblr footers, Twitter/Instagram bios, and these days, increasingly, on FurAffinity profiles:
While this is not primarily a kink or NSFW blog, I’m 100% part of the kink community. Sometimes, art with mild kink content is posted here, and I post at length about kink-related topics (though quite rarely). I’m very kink-positive (legal, safe, consensual kink).
If your “DNI if kink” means content of accounts rather than people, cool! I get your boundary. ✌ You won’t see that on most of my Twitter accounts, or on my Instagram. On FA, like Twitter, I keep one separate account for it. On this blog, I do not post that often, and if I do, it will generally be under content warnings and cuts.
If, however, by “DNI if kink” you mean a person as an individual, regardless of their posted content, then that feels dehumanizing to me, and it would mean you’re breaching your own DNI to follow me, something people do ALL the time, especially recently as a lot of age regressors seem to be hopping onto FA. I do, as an artist, produce very mild kink content (only with adult characters). I don’t think that makes me a bad person.
In addition to being kinky, I am also pan/polyam. All things I am open, happy and proud about. For me, my sexuality/kinks, my loving alternate lifestyle, and my role in the art community, are all heavily linked in the way they constitute my identity. When someone demonizes kink, I feel like they are demonizing me.
When I see “DNI if kink” I am never sure quite what it means: me? Or my content? And a lot of my new recent followers have this in their profiles (100% every time this happens ONLY with people in the AgeRe community, not all of them but every time someone is breaching their own DNI, it is from that comm or adjacent comms. I have nothing against these comms and in fact I have friends and commissioners in them, but I do want to point out the issue does happen only with these accounts and it is a multiple times a week, for months, thing. It is not one or two people. It is dozens. It is over, and over.) Hence all my recent pinned tweets on the topic on my accounts.
I’m not saying it’s bad to have this on your profile, far from it! I get it, just like I understand “DNI if NSFW”. I curate my spaces, too. But sometimes I’ll see “DNI if [expletive]/[expletive]/kink” and it feels like kink is just one more thing that person finds revolting.
I will say, I don’t block or softblock people who follow me just for having “DNI if kink” on their profile. UNLESS they do so when following my kink account (which ??? but also gives you an idea of how mild my kink content is. Sometimes people can and do miss that aspect.)
With Pride month starting today, I wanted to make clear who I am and how this makes me feel. I always want to be as open to new friends as possible. I just don’t want anyone to feel deceived since my content is always so colorful/fluffy. But this IS part of who I am. 😢
Scary title is scary! Well, not really. It’s nowhere as bad as it sounds, so please read on before commenting. 😅
Recently I’ve made kind of a big change across all of my online presences. You probably didn’t notice, and that is why I am making a post about it.
I want to precede this by clarifying that nothing has changed about me as a person, or the activities I enjoy, how I like to dress, or the people I consider my friends, the sort of events I may choose to attend at cons, the art I like to draw (on both of my accounts), my fursona or her age, the dynamic in my relationships, none of that has changed. Nothing has changed in practical terms. I want to make this super clear, this is a personal change in how I describe myself and not one that will affect any of my commissioners or the joy I get from drawing the usual topics, or my comfort with said topics. Everything is okay.
What has changed is that I no longer will be using any community labels other than “furry”. And I do mean none: I no longer call myself a “Little”, the last label I felt comfortable using after hopping between labels over the years.
There’s a lot of reasons, but one of which is that I am seeing so much label-infighting across all of these subcommunities, that I feel like I’m just getting a bit too old for the label thing. I also feel that not having this label will allow me to expand a bit as an artist and have more wide appeal.
Consistently checking if the word I’m currently using to describe my headspace is in someone’s DNI is stressful. Changing labels because the latest label has become toxic, or its meaning twisted into something bad or co-opted by people who added a meaning to it that doesn’t resonate with me, is stressful. Having wild assumptions made about me based on a single word descriptor is tiring, it is reductive, sometimes violating depending on the assumption, and I cannot change what tons of outsiders think or do. I can either choose to not let it bother me, or make a change so it is a non-issue. The former doesn’t work for me, so I am doing the latter.
I suppose another reason is that the amount of drawn borderline CP I am exposed to daily on Twitter has grown, I feel it is becoming more prevalent in the community, and it makes me want to distance myself from any community terms.
Going forward, I’m just a colorful furry and fantasy artist whose inner child is pretty close to the surface all the time. To that end, I’ve reworded a ton of posts on my blog, and now I’m using mainstream words to describe my childlike headspaces and activities. If I find any I missed I will continue to adjust accordingly.
I hesitated as to whether make this journal at all, but I felt I should because I do not want to be described as a Little anymore. This is very literal, meaning, you do not have to change how you treat me otherwise or any playful teasing you may have felt comfortable doing if we are friends. I am still 100% me. I still love my friends. I still engage in the same kiddy activities. I am just putting the label aside. It no longer makes my life happier or easier to describe myself this way online.
I really enjoyed sharing my scrapbooking tips in the last post, and that, as well as my post from last night, made me realize another bad thing I’ve been doing for AGES that is just… BAD. You know how I always say that it bothers me when people ask me where I bought something because [INSERT BS EXCUSE]? Well…
…I have always been reluctant to share such things because I want to be unique, because I want to be special. 😓 Because I’m a selfish little twerp. Showing off things without having a willingness to even share where I got them is SO MEAN. What the heck.
To go so far as to put disclaimers about that on my Carrd/blog is so freaking petty, it’s literally like me grabbing a toy and hiding it behind me and going “mine!!!” And —I’m sorry for that, too, all this time. 😞💧
What can I say. I knew why I was doing it, but only now I’m disgusted enough with myself to change. So please, ask away. If I can, I’ll tell you where I got stuff. I’m sorry I’ve been so mean about that. There was no good reason.
I’ve removed some of those disclaimers from my spaces (working on the rest) and I’m going to answer now, if I’m asked such things. Since I’m in a contemplative mood, I continue to realize crappy things that I’ve been doing and I want to change them as I notice them.
I’m going to be going through my content in general to examine my own tone, so I may edit/private some old blog stuff. I’ve also deleted a whole bunch of Twitter replies and tweets I made that were mean busybody stuff or just nonsense. Apologies if that is a bit annoying. I’m trying my best to improve as a person. 🌈✨
Hey everyone. Over the past little while, I’ve been doing some serious self-reflection, and I wanted to share that on this journal.
(If you are missing context/don’t understand some reference to specific events or people, please know that I won’t go into detail, I simply post it here so I can get as many eyes on this as possible. I am not closing comments to avoid conversation, I posted all of this on Twitter too, and you’re welcome to engage me there if you have something specific to tell me.) 💕
I don’t want people trying to make me feel better for having been a jerk, because I think that invalidates the feelings of people whom I have hurt. It’s ok, let me own up to my failings. I’m a big girl (sometimes). Please, let me recognize my own poor behavior.
I started off fairly well on my Twitter return, staying away from arguments from the sake of arguments and keeping my nose out of things that were none of my business. This didn’t last too long –even though it harms me emotionally, I fell back into it anyway.
Now it’s one thing when it harms only me, but no one else deserves to be even the mistaken brunt of my ocassional keyboard rage, so easily blasted out into the world, without care for the repercussions.
I didn’t think I had to be reminded of this, but there ARE people on the other side, and these people have feelings and experiences that do not mirror my own.
There are plenty of opinions on the internet, and mine are not special, or witty, or unique, they are just mine. My own noise is not needed. Especially when I cancel out a dialogue before it can even begin.
Going forward, I’m going to try not to post about things that are controversial; if at all possible, I won’t post unhappy things on Twitter or here (maybe on my blog, and then I won’t crosspost them.)
I’ll concentrate on posting art and happy kidcore things on Twitter, and my pets, and above all, I’ll concentrate on being kind, and being quiet if I cannot be kind. This used to be a priority for me, but at some point, I lost track of it.
I’ve told myself a lot “Man, the fandom has become mean/crappy/cliquey/insert word”. Suddenly, I began to feel like I am part of the problem. I am not helping. Perhaps sanitizing my content will make me a little blander, but you guys don’t deserve my negativity or judgmental opinions.
I am going to work towards being a happy and positive energy and if I cannot do that, then I will simply take a break.
Even though Jaq forgave my shitty thread, I could have lost a VERY dear friend. I wanted to make my apology more public after having had a chance to reflect. I realized there probably have been multiple instances of me being a jerk to some degree or other over the past few years, that friends decided to look past because we are friends, even if they were hurt or upset by my words.
Actually there were definitely instances of this. I just fool myself with my own “UwU I like rainbows and teddy bears” front that I put up with, as if that meant that I can’t actually be horrible to people sometimes. I definitely can.
I also wish I could still apologize to Lucca for not bringing my advice and thoughts to him kindly and in private (or, you know, minding my own damn business) rather than making a journal earlier this year that (while it was well intended) hurt him –but that bridge is burnt.
I’ve prioritized feeling like I’m right, over the feelings of people I care about. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if I’m right or not, what matters is that someone was hurt. I wish I had not forgotten this. I hope I won’t forget it again.
I also wish that, for all my talk about hating gossip, I had not sometimes gossiped about others using whatever excuse justified it in my head at the time. Just because someone hurt me, no matter how badly, doesn’t mean anyone else wants or needs to hear about it.
If you had to listen to me vent about such –and many of my close friends have– I am, so, so sorry. No matter my grief or trauma, it was a lot to put on you. I’m truly sorry. I wish I had not done it, and I’m grateful that you are still here for me.
I don’t know why it took me so long to take a hard look at my own behavior. I think my opinion of myself has always been a little too high, even in childhood –a paradox when compared to my awful lack of self-esteem (somehow I had both happen simultaneously.) 🙃
Hopefully it’s never too late to try to be better. I don’t think it’ll happen overnight, but I am going to try my best. I’m actually gonna try to do better in regards to my potty mouth as well, I didn’t use to swear all over the place, I’m not sure why I began, but I know it makes me appear much harsher than I used to present myself many years ago.
I just want to be softer, kinder, less of a busybody, less of… whatever I’ve become. Not because I dislike myself (I really don’t) but because I want to be a good energy in the lives of those who choose to include me in it, be it IRL or on FA or Twitter.
Please have patience with me if I fail at times –but it is okay to remind me privately so I can get back on track. Thank you for being there for me.
Over the last week away from home, I’ve had Twitter on my phone, and because I was so bored, I added everyone to a list that I’d peruse every once in a while, about 100 people.
I saw a lot of BS that it’s not worth my going on a pissy tirade about, but there is one 🔥 hot take 🔥 of my own that I want to share.
Last 48 hours I’ve seen several tweets about how awful a commissioner is if they dare contact you within a week to a month (!!) from the date of commission purchase. You know what the thing is though? I almost never, EVER see artists say something like “this is your delivery date/deadline and past that date you will get a refund”. The fact that most artists refuse to do this (something that never would fly in a professional, commercial setting) is part of the reason I rarely commission anyone.
Clients are seemingly expected to fork over money and wait for weeks/months without having any idea of what the artists’ queue is like, and if they do, what is the max deadline for their art. God forbid that, after a week or two or a month of radio silence, they ask for progress! 🙄 A simple question, that probably they are already anxious about asking, and shouldn’t have to be.
You know what? I almost never get asked. You know why? Because I provide deadlines. You HAVE to be able to provide a deadline. There seriously isn’t an excuse. Give an unreasonable deadline, if you have to. Five months. A year. Two years. Whatever. Say a date by which you will provide a refund no matter what. In a community where years-long waits are not at all unheard of, if you gave a commissioner zero inkling of what sort of wait might be in store, there is NOT a wrong time for them to reach out to you, because they just don’t know. That’s 100% on you.
Of course, context and tone matter. An “Is my art done yet??” message 48 hours after payment is obviously uncool. An “I was just wondering if you had an update on my commission” two weeks after payment if you provided absolutely no rough estimate of delivery, is polite and more than reasonable, and it is shitty of you not to have provided an estimated deadline in the first place.
A client deserves an estimated deadline from the get-go. No excuses. If you give one, you won’t have the stress of these messages because your client knows what to expect. Don’t leave them in the dark. They don’t deserve that. You’re doing what you love because of them.
I’m not saying it’s bad to give a long deadline if you must… I certainly do, and most of you know three months is my average. If your client is patient and considerate, they will understand that unexpected health issues might cause you to take up to, say, a year, if that is the deadline you must give (and I’m saying that as a kind of ridiculous deadline. If you can’t promise the art within a year, you shouldn’t be taking commissions, because at that point, that’s more like a donation, or an interest-free loan.)
Maybe it’s because I come from a primarily commercial art background, where a missed deadline is a big BIG deal. It’s also stressful –I do furry art because if I go a little bit past my deadlines my commissioners (often friends) are very understanding. To me, bristling at reasonable requests for updates is unbelievable.
You owe communication. You don’t owe speed beyond what you transparently promised on the onset –if you promised nothing, that’s a problem. Art is a business. Is money or goods changing hands in exchange for your art? It’s a business. Someone worked really hard for the money they gave you to receive a product in a realistic timeframe. It pisses me off to see tweets take traction that will make commissioners feel the process is even more unfriendly to them, when sometimes I don’t know how they keep throwing money at artists after getting continually burned by non-delivery or incredibly late deliveries.
Anyway, shitty takes aside, Twitter sucks ass as always, I don’t know how people manage to use it posting so many unhappy and hateful things every single hour lol, I already deleted the app and the follow list I made.
(Still doing my crossposting thing, nothing is changing from how it was before I left for the trip… I’m just stunned at how toxic it became again, once I made a list to follow people. Just. Holy shit. It’s seeping into FA, too. There is no escape, lol.)
Hey everyone. I know that lately I’ve been pretty quiet here other than art posts. I’ve really been suffering of a lack of motivation and inability to concentrate on basically anything.
I don’t often mention my ADHD, because it seems everyone and their mother has either self-diagnosed with it or been diagnosed with it. Even though I was diagnosed many years ago, before it was so seemingly commonplace, I tend to hide this fact as much as possible. I’m not personally into shouting my disorders or disabilities from the rooftops, or listing them on my profiles, I get no comfort or feeling of solidarity with other people from doing so (if you do, though, more power to you, I’m not judging that.) I personally consider it a condition that makes my life a lot harder, only unlike, say, my epilepsy, I’m unable to take medication for it (meds that help with ADHD/ADD are known to cause seizures.)
To get to the point: sometimes, like now, it seems to get even harder to manage. Like my (mild) manic episodes, this comes in waves, every few months or couple of years. It seemed that in childhood I used to at least be able to hyper focus on what interested me, but lately, I cannot even do that, and my life feels often empty as a result. It’s always been obvious to me that it really got a lot worse after the internet came into my life, even though I block so much of it out, and keep tweaking those blocks.
I think I’ve spent a good amount of this year deeply sunk into one of those periods where concentrating is almost painfully exhausting, as well as switching gears. Showering, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, all of these things become especially difficult for me to do during these periods (though of course I still do them every single day.)
Lately it’s been especially bad. Hence why no blog/journal posts. Writing this is taking me a lot of mental effort. Maybe I’m just under too much stress. Drawing and writing isn’t bringing me anywhere near as much enjoyment either, which undoubtedly is behind my delays —and to those of you who are waiting so patiently, I appreciate it more than you could ever know. I don’t stop, I do still work daily, but it is more difficult, and slower as a result.
Truly, I think there’s also a relation with the fact that all of my art is done digitally now. I used to be able to turn my brain off to other things more easily when I worked traditionally.
To unwind, I’ve been playing a little WoW here and there, after being away for a couple of years, though I can’t seem to concentrate even on that for longer than an hour. However, it’s a respite of sorts. I’ve race-changed back to a dwarf. I really missed playing Sidra.
Anyway. A lot has been going on so let’s move on with the news.
The Current State Of Things, Health-Wise
The most important thing right now: Christopher is sick, and it may be COVID. He has a fever, cough, headache, body aches. He is getting tested as we speak.
Of course for a couple of weeks this changes everything at home. He is spending all the time in the guest room, away from me and the cats. So I’m all alone. We don’t get to cuddle or watch TV or eat, or game together. Silly things to be bummed out about, but you have to realize, this is all we have. And now we don’t.
Still, as long as he recovers easily, we can handle it. I’m taking all the precautions I can and looking after him as best as I can. Making sure to take his temperature, cook him nutritious foods, keep him hydrated. Disinfecting everything, wearing masks. And waiting.
Another thing is that I saw the neurologist again. The current state of things is:
🌈 I don’t have anything seriously wrong with my brain (MRI, with and without contrast, came out okay. You may remember the cyst, but the cyst is not a problem.)
🌈 Per the latest MRI, I don’t have anything wrong with my spine that can be causing my headaches (a couple of bulging vertebrae that isn’t pressing on anything.)
🌈 Most of my blood tests came out okay, but my vitamin D is like, really low, seriously low, like “I need prescription strength supplements” low. I don’t know why. But I’ve been given vitamins to take. I didn’t know vitamins were sold by prescription but it seems that is the case when you need a very strong dose.
🌈 I am also taking magnesium oxide for the headaches and the doctor may put me on propranolol.
Pet Health News
Our oldest cat, Kotoko, has been limping considerably as of late, so she had to get an x-ray. Between the appointment, medicines and the x-rays we were put nearly $500 in the hole.
It’s been determined that she has bad bones and lots of arthritis, including in her legs and spine. Kotoko is a very unique cat, and there is going to be a marked difference in life with and without her. So seeing the evidence of her years, and with that any reminder that she will one day be gone, is difficult for us. She is now taking a joint supplement and Gabapentin for the pain, and we hope she can have a few more years of comfort.
Also, Tomoyo’s cough came back after months, so she, too, is on medication. Steroids.
In better pet-related news, I AM FINALLY FREE OF RICCARDOELLA! These are the mites that were killing my snails. So that’s been good news. Also, of my first roman snail clutch, exactly ONE baby snail hatched. Out of maybe 40 eggs. I am so baffled, and wondering if they will hatch any day or if all the others are non-viable.
Here he is, with finger for scale:
Other than that, the baby milk snails are growing well. I’m relieved to not be stressed out about the snails because so many other things are stressing me out right now.
Over the next two weeks I will be finishing overdue commissions for Crazy_Nero (two) Wishskunk and Sonar. Maybe more, but this is what I know for sure I can finish over the next two weeks. I really appreciate your patience with me so, so much.
CW: Talk Of Politics & Mention of Upsetting Topics
If you cannot handle it, if it will stress you out, if you don’t want to know my opinions, if you cannot follow my request not to engage me in discussion of the topic if you support the current administration, STOP HERE. ✋
I count down the days to the election, full of trepidation. There isn’t a result that doesn’t fill me with dread:
💩 Option 1: Trump wins decisively, and I have to face the fact that the country of my dreams, in which I just filed for citizenship, is okay being represented to the world by this man and all he stands for. It’s so hard for me to type that without my eyes filling with tears.
(I will add that if you are a Trump supporter please don’t comment, don’t tell me… please respect this wish. I don’t hate you, I just don’t want to know which of my friends or watchers support him. I could never look at you the same way if I know. So please, I beg you to respect this request, and just don’t tell me.)
🔥 Option 2: Biden wins, but not decisively, and chaos breaks out, Trump stages a coup/refuses to give up the White House, violence happens, etc. Won’t be pretty.
🤷♀️ Option 3: Biden wins decisively, takes office more or less peacefully, and we all try to just… move forward… but I can never forget things I’ve seen or heard. I can never forget the Trump supporters who, with a straight face, say stuff like Hillary drank the blood of babies (literally.) Or the ones that said slavery should return, gay people should be executed, reporters should be silenced/executed. I’ve seen a lot… a LOT of Trump supporters be okay saying or cheering at these statements. And you know what? This isn’t a small or insignificant segment of the country. I really think it’s almost half. That breaks my heart. In reality, this country has always been this way, I suppose… But now I see it more clearly.
But I love this country. I love it so much, you have no idea. This is my home. It is a part of my soul. I still think it’s the best country in the world but right now, it is so hurt, and divided, and its values have been spat on, and crapped on, all while what seems like half of its inhabitants cheer on, waving little American flags and wearing red hats, all as the rest of the world looks at us in complete BAFFLEMENT and I just have so much anger.
This is my country you are defiling. How is it that I, not having been born here, feel more anguish over this defilement, than some of you who are citizens yet would contribute to this horror? This is a political party that not many years ago, would have decried this behavior. Would have called it immoral, un-Christian, un-American. IT STILL IS!
So basically if Biden wins I’ll breathe a little easier because we have a chance to begin healing, and of not being embarrassed daily on a public world stage. But it doesn’t change what happened these last four years, and Trump didn’t do that to us, he just gave an opening, we did the rest by ourselves. And we have to go forward knowing that. We can never undo those years, or having seen each other for what we really are.
The rest of the year is so full of uncertainty, too. I am not looking forward to the holidays, because I anticipate a back and forth about the family getting together, which I think shouldn’t happen. I’m going to have to choose to make a difficult decision… Possibly it will mean I spend Christmas Day with just my mom. I don’t know. Thanksgiving I think will be even harder to get out of. But I feel it’s my responsibility. I just don’t know.
So anyway that’s the gist of things right now. I’ll keep everyone posted regarding Christopher’s results and convalescence, and I thank you for your good wishes in advance.
I will leave you with one request:
Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, or Libertarian, liberal or conservative, or whatever you are, because I don’t think this election is about any of those things. I’m not against any political party. I’m not against your religion. I’m not dismissing your fears of your world changing, of being jobless, of feeling no one listens to you. But please don’t choose hate this time. Please don’t be fooled. He doesn’t care about you. Please go out and vote for someone who can get us out of this dangerous place, even if he isn’t great or that charismatic. This is no longer about party lines, it’s about decency, responsibility, loving your neighbor, it’s about being a basic good human being.
Yesterday I did a lot of changes to my FA. While they took hours, most are more evident primarily to me, and are for my own benefit.
I changed to the light interface, for starters: returning to FA after several years of merely bulk uploading every few weeks, I wanted the site to feel fresh for me. I was playing around with the different settings and to my surprise I found the light interface extremely pleasant to the eye even though I’m someone who will often go for dark modes when possible. It closely matches the mode I have Discord (which is nice since I’m on there all day now) and better yet, it reminds me of Nabyn.
You may or may not remember Nabyn, which was a site made to resemble the old DeviantART. It was wonderful. But eventually it fizzled out. The similarity made me nostalgic for both sites, especially since I just nuked my DeviantArt last week after, I think, perhaps 15 years of activity.
It’s funny… I used to be the sort of person who wanted any and all history, posts, blogs, art I ever created, to remain online forever. This is what made my first-ever nuking of information a few years ago (deleting my Facebook account) so difficult. At the time, I had been on Facebook for about ten years, it had chronicled relationships, breakups, trips, and deaths. I’d been the sort of person to write very long status updates daily. Deleting that was a big deal —and changed everything.
I can’t explain why, but once I clicked that delete button, it was unbelievably freeing. I had long hated Facebook and with my profile truly gone and not simply deactivated, I never went back. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and ever since I’ve felt far less attached to my online content.
Sometime before then, I’d also wiped my FA journals, of which there had been one almost daily for several years. Of course I should clarify I do save all of this for my offline records. I just remove it from the internet. Honestly, I don’t feel right leaving my ramblings forever online anymore: today, everything you write must not only be acceptable for today’s social standards but must also preventively abide by all standards of the future, lest sooner or later your words are used against you. I’ve seen this happen far too often. I would once have said that, surely, there is a time for such action, times where it is necessary, but I am so weary of cancel culture, that these days I feel jaded towards it all. I understand some might think that by using a term such as “cancel culture” I am being dismissive of well-warranted call outs. I understand why you would feel this way, and I suppose in practical terms, I am perhaps being dismissive. But I’ve seen so many petty or baseless ones, many causing massive undeserved emotional and professional damage, that I tend to roll my eyes at it all, unfortunately (it didn’t have to be this way, though.)
Anyway, I digress. These previous wipes of content, never yet regretted, bring me to last night. After updating my profile for the first time in years, as well as updating my journal footer and header, and adding a footer to all of my submissions (FA might be hilariously delayed with adding new features but I do give them massive props for this one) I started going through my gallery.
I’d had attempts at wiping old art before —art from before I was a furry that I promise no one is too attached too— but I just couldn’t do it. For some reason last night it was very easy to do, without second-guessing or regrets. I deleted well over 200 submissions, and I’m still going. Again, please don’t worry, the sort of things I deleted are very unlikely to be missed by anyone. But even if that were the case, it felt so good to delete them, it gave me such a wonderful feeling that I hope you’ll forgive me for doing so. It’s mostly ancient art related to my books.
I also went through my entire gallery as part of the process. I’ve uploaded a lot to FA, and it was an emotional process, to say the least. Not hard, just emotional.
I remembered people who died. I remembered when I first met new friends and gave them that first piece of gift art. I remembered when I first met others for whom life was so, so different at the time from what it is now. Some are a lot happier. Some have disappeared and I barely know through the grapevine that they are still alive. Some had children. Some married. Some I’ve become so close with, that I consider them family. Some had absolute meltdowns on Twitter or FA and then disappeared forever from the fandom. Others left less dramatically.
Some I remember meeting in person at that first Megaplex —leaving my bags in the lobby to run into their arms.
Some I met for the first time during our little GemmaCon Atlanta meet, and I remember running down the street at night to a bar where everyone was waiting, and how I was breathless, crying from happiness and excitement, one of the happiest nights of my life still all these years later.
Some I met as recently as last year after years of online friendship. Some I used to not get along with so well, and now I would take a bullet for. Some I’ve fell out with. There isn’t a person I’ve fallen out with that I still do not care for on some level.
There are a few things in my life that dramatically altered its course. Of course, everything you do in life will have this effect, in big and little ways. Some of the biggest for me were coming to the United States, meeting my husband, and, as life changing as these two, joining the furry fandom.
Over the past few years I felt I was becoming very disillusioned with it. I stopped calling myself a furry for certain periods. I felt I had all of these wonderful memories and that was great but those days were over.
But after the last few days on Discord, after deleting Twitter and Instagram (with Twitter being the most significant) I realized I was wrong. The fandom didn’t change that much. My friends didn’t change that much. Not in the ways that matter. Social media, and Twitter in particular (even Livejournal and Tumblr, honestly any place that has a repository for harassing/calling out people, really) will absolutely warp your perception. They sure did warp mine.
I know not everyone can just up and leave social media. A lot of you will tell me “it’s how I make a living” which I can completely understand. I’m (currently) in a more comfortable position: I have a couple of commercial clients and my husband takes care of all my needs. That said, I do still count on my commission income for any business related bills, and any frivolous spending. So I do very much care about being able to continue to sell commissions, and in that regard I have no idea how it’s going to pan out when I reopen later this year.
However, if you want to risk it, what I can tell you is that it took less than a week for my life to completely change. I’ve felt so light and happy. My brain seems to be adjusting itself, I can concentrate more easily, my thoughts are more positive, my stress has melted away. I’ve been talking to my friends a lot more, the opposite of what I expected! I knew that social media was ruining my life. But I don’t think I realized to what degree. Even as much as I despised it, still, I underestimated its effect on me.
I guess I have to bring this entry to a close, since I don’t have much else to add. I’m feeling happy and nostalgic and looking forward to the future.
I’ve been plugging this relentlessly but please: if you’re a watcher, you’re over 18 years old, and you can follow some basic rules, please join my discord server. It’s a lot of fun! https://discord.gg/2EZVR7Q (Obviously if you’ve been blocked by me somewhere, then please do not join my server.)
Especially if we are friends, I beg you to join. I don’t want to lose touch with people I mostly spoke to on Twitter. I didn’t “get” Discord for several years and now that I do, I’m seriously stunned by how utterly amazing it is.
I’m off to start my day properly now, and I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful one!
Marina's furry art, fantasy writing and daily life!