Topical Tuesday: Bullet Journal

Hi everyone! Welcome to a new week here on my blog! Today’s Topical Tuesday, I’m going to return to a recent topic I covered. I’m returning to the concept of journaling, because I ended up caving in to the pressure I gave myself watching all those videos about bullet journals.

That’s right, everyone. I now have a bullet journal. I walked to the dollar store on Friday of last week and ended up buying a tiny, cute journal to work with. “Why did you write about this now and not on Saturday?” I hear you asking. Well, to be honest… I did start on Friday, but I like to write my blog posts a day early, and I wrote Saturday’s post before my walk that afternoon. Thus, I hadn’t started it until I already had a post written- one that’s very important to me, no less.

I’ve noticed that my blog has been less and less related to my writing, and that made Saturday’s post extra important to me to write about: because my life is writing, yet all I’ve been writing is my life. And I write way more than that! That’s why, that day, I wanted a change of pace. A return to my roots, so to speak.

And that may also explain why I decided to try bullet journaling. It works as a reminder that I’m a creative spirit, one that needs a lot of help keeping track of things. I’m very unorganized as a person- the fact that someone showed admiration for the fact I can keep a general schedule on two blogs made me remember why I decided to take on the challenge: because I was amazed at how organized those people were.

So far, I’m still learning the ropes. I haven’t done a ‘daily’ page as of writing this post- but I found a lot of interesting pages to work on, and it’s also been a great help in trying to make my handwriting better (though it’s still pretty bad, if I’m being honest!). I even found inspiration to make pages listing my coping skills for my mental health, a page with ideas for future topics with you guys in mind, and plenty more. I don’t have much artistic flair in it yet- my gel pens refuse to work efficiently, so I could only draw on one or two pages with color… But I did doodle on a spread that’s meant to remind you who you are and what makes you you!

Here, have a couple pictures of my journal so far:

Do any of you guys journal in any sense of the word? Are there any bullet journalers in the house? I’d love to hear all of your experiences and advice on the matter- because while it’s meant to be personal, isn’t it good to share personal things sometimes?

Soulful Saturday: Obsession

Hello everyone! It’s time for another post of me gushing about things that aren’t just topical, easy to discuss things. For a change though, my topic is actually writing related! (Shocking, I know!) Today, I’d like to tell you about a little problem I’ve had most of my life since I learned to read and spell. A little thing called…. Obsession.

I don’t know why or how it started. One day, I just noticed an error in the work I was reading. And, when I found the error, I stared at it. I stared hard, thinking, praying it would fix itself. I was certain it would, because I was a child at the start of this. But no, it didn’t change. I couldn’t will it. And, thus, I never got through it. I just kept staring, and staring, and staring some more.

When I hit middle school age, it became a bigger problem. Whether it was English class where we were learning grammar, or another class unrelated to language, I would stare at any issue I saw, even if it was done on purpose. Eventually, I started asking to answer each question regarding proper use of commas and the like, when three were on the board for three of us. I wanted all of them- because I couldn’t trust my classmates to get it right, and that’d just lead me down a spiral of despair. And this wasn’t even the worst of it.

In high school, I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation. No, this wasn’t because of errors on the chalk board, but it leads to my favorite story of just how badly my need to fix errors was perceived. You see, once you’re out of the psych ward for- for children, anyway- you get sent to what’s called ‘partial hospitalization’. Basically, it’s the gate between the hospital and normal life. The people that work there are mostly therapists and doctors, and they know all your problems, whether because you warned them or because they had your records from your stint in the hospital.

You’d think a therapist can keep their cool when they know a patient means no harm and has an issue where they can’t focus when they see an error. But this one time, I got lucky and found the one that didn’t fit that stereotype. She was telling us about mantras- you know, the things you say to yourself to calm down, or to meditate? But what she wrote on the board was manta. Like a manta ray fish. Naturally, this became my new focus- and, knowing myself, I automatically raised my hand and, when called on, corrected her mistake.

She exploded. “Oh, so now you’re a genius with foreign words too!?” I don’t remember if I pointed out to her mantra was considered a word in the English language too. Or, y’know, the fact it’s got the ‘r’ sound right in it. She was beyond pissed with me, and we never seemed to calm that storm she felt toward me since then. I wasn’t sure how to feel myself, however. To this day, I don’t know what I think of her.

Not everyone saw my obsession as a bad thing though. When I was a teenager, I dealt with the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). My DYFS worker couldn’t spell for her life, and she knew it well. She warned me before we were going to do an exercise of some sort that involved writing things down on her side, and told me to correct her anytime I saw a misspelling. Which was a lot. But the fact was, this woman accepted she was far from perfect, and gave my imperfection of obsessing over these things a new meaning.

I’ve made peace with myself over this obsession. I know it’s not healthy, so I try to tame it a bit, but I also know denying it is denying myself. Half the reason I do things like NaNoWriMo are because they promote accepting the imperfections in our writing as part of the process. And I need that, even if I fail to complete my story. I’ve been doing it almost every year for twelve years- that’s since I was fifteen! I’ve still got a long way to go, but knowing you have a problem is the first step to solving it, right?

That’s enough rambling for today. Why don’t you tell me some of the things that you’re obsessed with? Or just little pet peeves that drive you wild! I know I can’t be the only person around that can’t focus when certain things aren’t exactly as it feels they should be… Or can I?

Throwback Thursday: Irritating Planes

Hello everyone and welcome back to another Throwback Thursday! Wait, Thursday? The week moved so fast- kind of like a plane zipping through the sky. Okay, you caught me, I just wanted to make the theme of this post a little less obvious. Today, I’m going to share a couple of plane-related stories.

You see, I’ve flown in planes a lot in my life. My family ended up sleeping in an airport because of blizzards keeping planes grounded. I don’t remember that one, but I was an infant or toddler, so no one should be surprised. It happened when we were going to visit my grandparents for the holidays.

But I haven’t just flown in a plane. I also flew a plane. Well, sort of. When I was turning…thirteen or fourteen, I can’t fully recall… Anyway, on that birthday, my aunt got me a flying lesson. Yes, my aunt thought giving a teenager a flight lesson was smart- and I so thank her for it!

I may be spoiling things for those of you who have flying lessons come up, but there were a few major… ‘mishaps’ during the flight itself. For starters, my best friend at the time came on the plane with me as a passenger, not telling me about her fear of heights. There’s nothing like trying to focus on my teacher’s instructions while there’s a girl screaming in the back while we’re already in the air!

She wasn’t the only scared one though. Apparently, a part of a flight lesson in a small plane includes the teacher turning off the engine to show how the plane glides. It glides, but you could have just told me instead of giving me a panic attack!

That’s not my most irritating story about planes though. My next one is as a passenger, by myself as a teacher. It actually happened before the flying lesson, as this was the flight to stay with my aunt in the first place!

It wasn’t my first time flying as a minor, but naturally, it was my first time sitting next to the person in the aisle seat, a person you don’t even know. As he noticed me, and we greeted properly, his first question was… quite miffed. His question? “You must be Jewish, am I right? You have a big nose, and you’re dressed quite conservatively.”

You heard it, didn’t you? He was automatically stereotyping me. For starters, I didn’t choose this bloody nose that can’t even smell. That said, it’s not even that big to me- you should’ve seen my great grandpa’s! But what really pissed me off was his point as if only Jewish people wear conservative clothing ever. I was wearing conservative clothes because it was chilly and planes get really cold for me. I was trying to stay warm, bastard. Don’t use that to tie up your already damaged recognition.

To be honest, I don’t remember anything else from that flight. I just remember seething all the rest of the way, and trying to pretend he never existed. The worst part, though, was that he was right thanks to stupid stereotypes. Yes, I am technically Jewish. My mother was Jewish, so I’m Jewish. It’s in my blood. But at the time, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know Judaism was half race and half religion. I just knew I didn’t have any interest in the religion part, and didn’t consider myself to be it. So, in a way, he was also wrong. But that he was remotely correct is what bothers me to this day.

So, those are my two stories for you today. You never know what to expect on a plane, do you? That’s why you should always be prepared to deal with rude people, remember the plane will glide so don’t panic if things are shut off, etc.

Do you have any plane related memories that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments- I’d love to see what to be ready for even further! Let’s all help each other see what can happen, guys!

Topical Tuesday: Friendship

Good morning, guys! It’s hard to believe Tuesday came so quickly. I’m still not adjusted to days of the week yet, or so it seems by my extreme fatigue. Fatigue aside, I have a great topic to talk about today, and it just so happens to start with an F: Friendship.

Friendship is a very special thing- but it’s even more special if you’re like me and struggle to trust people even 10%. My fear of being abandoned has made it common for me to try pushing people away the more they become close to me. That’s right folks, if I was pushing you away, either I really didn’t like you or I just liked you too much. And yes, I know that’s confusing.

I’d like to put an emphasis on one word there, though: was. I’ve come to a point where I don’t always assume someone is going to leave me because of how close we are. I still occasionally react as if I do think that, but I’m learning a way to separate my real friends, such as you guys, from my friends that I can’t seem to see staying by my side. That difference? Family.

To me, my true friends, my good friends- they’re family to me. It doesn’t mean I’m guaranteed not to push them away at a certain point, but I’m far less likely to than if I don’t see them that way. I hate my extended family much of the time, but my friend family is very dear to me. I try hard to fight the urge to avoid them far more than I’d avoided keeping away from friends before. I do have friends that may feel I’ve pushed away from them still. Friends that are extremely dear to me, the closest to family I have offline. But that’s not intended, and I hope someday they see this: I love you all, I just kind of lose track of time.

Time isn’t something I’m good at keeping an eye on. As my schedule is barely existent, days blend together and so I can’t keep track of when I last spoke to someone. Was it just a day, a week, a month? I also still have one worry that comes up often: I don’t want to be too clingy like I tend to be. What if they’re busy or something? It’d make me feel bad if I interrupt them while they’re working hard on things in their own lives.

That said, I want you all to know- if you’re my friend, you’re my family. And to me, all of you reading this are somewhere in that family tree- and I can’t be more thankful to have you, despite my insecurities.

Soulful Saturday: Journals

Good day to you, my lovely readers. I hope your Saturday isn’t as blistering hot as mine is! Summer has indeed arrived in my mind now, and I have many ventures afoot. However, that’s not what we’re here to talk about today- today is a day to dig deep in my soul. To that end, I came up with a likely cliche but notable topic: journaling.

I’m not an organized person. Bullet journals amaze me, and I love learning about them, but… I’m just so bad at keeping up with things as it is. For me, it’s just not yet something I can commit to. It’s something that I can only wish I could do, for the time that is.

No, I’m talking about the kind of journal you might have kept as a kid. Or a blog, just like this one right now. I’m talking about journals that you spilled your heart into, that you treated like a close friend that knew all your secrets but would never fail to keep them that way.

I’ve been keeping journals since I was young. I’ve always done it on and off, and sometimes they were more logs of things in my life, such as dreams and nightmares. But, for most times, I was writing journals because I needed an escape outside the internet. And, once on the internet, I found a way to share my experiences with others that I felt safe around: strangers on the net. All that through the art of blogging, which is very much akin to journaling, if you look at it the right way.

It’s important to choose your audience though. Showing your therapist a rather morbid entry will make them worry you’re going to do harm to someone else or you yourself. That happened to me, when I was sent to the hospital for ten days for suicidal ideation- I think I’ve mentioned that before, actually! But still, that was all started by something so very simple: a copied page of my private journal on the computer.

The thing with journals is there’s so many ways to use them. You can write paragraph after paragraph about your day or a topic, you can use it to remember your dreams, or even to organize your life. I got a new journal as part of a care package, and it’s stunning- so stunning, I feel my current method of journaling doesn’t do it justice. I’ve merely been writing bullet note lists of things I found remarkable in some way that day. I fit three days on a single page! I look at it and I lack that joy that comes from writing my thoughts… So now, I must learn a better way to journal.

What kinds of journaling do you do, my friends? I bet hearing your methods will help me greatly in finding the right one for me and my new ally. That’s my last request for today. That, and that you have a good weekend! Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Okay? 🙂

Throwback Thursday: A Sensory Struggle

Hey guys! Hope your day is going well! Today, I want to talk about something in my life that has bothered me since the time I was really small. I also want to talk about how I’ve learned to love it, to some degree, and just ways to work around it.

If I haven’t told you this already, I have congenital anosmia. It’s a very rare sensory condition that leaves me unable to smell anything. And I mean ANYTHING. I’ve been around skunks shooting their musk not far from my group and everyone else just started gagging.

I haven’t always been so open about my anosmia, mind you. When I was little, I thought it was normal and I’d learn to smell like I learned to talk. As I got older though, I started to realize everyone else knew the smells around them, but when they’d ask me if something smelled nice, I couldn’t answer. And that’s happened a lot.

There are plenty of awkward things that congenital anosmia causes in my day to day life. I can’t tell when food is cooking, so I salivate less than normal. I can’t wear perfume because I can’t tell if it goes well with my body chemistry or not (yet people kept buying it for me in middle school!). When I was young, I thought I was being harassed by another girl who kept telling me I needed to shower- which, as it turned out, was because of how much I was sweating without realizing it throughout the day. She was still a bully, but my family finally gave me the truth about the issue: I often smell, because I can’t tell when I’m sweating if it evaporates quickly enough. I also just didn’t know sweat smelled at the time, shockingly. The final embarrassing issue? I can’t tell the smell of my discharge when I have a yeast infection… So I have to bring my underwear to my dad to have HIM smell it. Luckily I found other ways…

For me, my lack of sense of smell used to torture me to no end. I hated myself for being different like this. I wanted to have it fixed, but it’s not something you can just cure. They don’t even know what lead to me being born like this.

Still, there are upsides I’ve learned. I’ll never have to be uncomfortable if my partner is sweaty and smelly from hard work. I’ll never have to hate the smell of diesel, or the scent of a gas leak (okay, that part’s pretty bad actually). I’ll never mind someone whose been musked by a skunk or even just musk flowing through our window. I’ve basically learned that while there are great scents I’ll never understand… There are also bad scents no one wants to express, that won’t bother me in the least.

Actually, I have a couple things on my bucket list related to my anosmia:

  1. See that corpse flower in New York bloom
  2. Eat a durian
  3. Try out real French ‘stinky’ cheeses

We all have a different perception of the world, but some things are still the same. While I can’t see without glasses and can’t smell for my life, I can touch, I can feel, and I can enjoy things just like you!

Today, I have a request for you to post in the comments: Tell me your favorite scent, and try to describe it for me who has never experienced smell. You’ll find it’s quite difficult- but I’m sure we’ll see some interesting things from your attempts! 🙂

Topical Tuesday: Words to Live By

Good morning, lovely readers! It’s been a rough week recently, with issues regarding a new laptop getting to my house. However, the one I’ve been using still works somehow, so let’s use this computer’s old age to talk about today’s topic: wisdom.

More specifically, words of wisdom. You know what they are- those tiny parts of a grandparent’s rambling that seem to describe the meaning of life. That one really good fortune in a fortune cookie that inspired you. It may come from anywhere, but these words are words to live by… And I have some to share as well today.

When I was thirteen, I lived with my aunt for a year. Over that year, she said some remarkable things- and now, having been well over a decade, she doesn’t realize she taught me them when I mention them to her! It’s rather funny, but also helps the words remain deep within my mind. I’m going to share some and why they affected me. Perhaps they’ll affect you too!

  1. “Goals high, expectations low.” – These words SCREAM NaNoWriMo to me. Her point at the time was to cheer me up over something I tried hard at, or at least I think that’s what it was. I don’t remember when I was told exactly, I just know she told me it, and it’s been in my methods as a writer or even as a person ever since.
  2. “Life is a team sport.” – This nugget of wisdom has to do with mental health, which run rampant in our family. For me, what this says is a reminder about how important a good safety net is. Have lots of people to love and who love you back, and you’ll surely find someone that’ll help you in moments of difficulty.

Another line I really like is something that was shared to me in high school by a student teacher. I went to special ed schooling for mentally ill children- but even if we were special needs, our teachers treated us fairly the same, if not better I think. My math teacher was teasing me at the time for turning 18, after we’d just had a financial planning class regarding age of majority. And that’s when my student teacher had this to say:

  1. “The best part about being an adult, is you get really good at being a kid.” – To me, this was more or less a reminder not to lose childish curiosity and to keep being creative. It was something that told me it was okay to not know my path the entire way. It meant so much, I love to share it with youths now that are nervous about becoming adults.

There are plenty of other quotes in my family, but they’re more personal words to live by. Things like “things come in threes” are common in my house and extended family. But one thing my dad always has to remind me is something I think everyone should remember when they’re in a rough spot- and that’s what I want to end on today. So please remember it in times you can’t seem to thrive…

“This too shall pass.”

Soulful Saturday: Socializing

Good morning, my friends! Welcome to another Soulful Saturday, where I tell you more deep, personal things about myself. That said, I’m not always the best at thinking up topics… So, I often turn to other bloggers, challenges and friends. Today’s post was inspired by a few things: a listing to discuss social media, my friends who blog always helping me when I’m stuck… Honestly I could ramble about how I get my ideas plenty more, but I wanna step right into this post now.

I’ve always considered myself an introvert. It’s easy to do that when, at age six, you went to a small party and had to go home because the crowd before you made you vomit. Yep, that’s right- I was six when I had my first anxiety attack. Actually, I think that coincides more with panic- but that doesn’t really matter right now.

I’m always getting people telling me I need to get out in the world more and make ‘real friends’. The thing is, they usually imply ‘friends you can physically hang out with’ more than ‘friends that are truly good for you’. I tend to be a hermit crab, leaving myself sheltered in my home and only going out for doctors and stuff.

And that’s actually where the confusion arises offline: I’m so nervous around large groups, I sit to the back and occasionally talk to people I don’t know. When I talk to these people, I’m always told by them that I’m quite friendly and good with people, which leads to me laughing. To be honest, I talk because I’m nervous. I can’t handle loud noises, but silence in the air doesn’t help me either.

That said, I’m not actually fond of most people offline enough to spend time with them. I have some close friends I’d love to see more often, but I’m just as happy to just text back and forth. It’s this sense of invisibility that makes me love to talk to people on the internet. I’m on five or six forums, I have many friends on discord… And to me, they’re all precious friends, even some that I’d trust with my life, somehow or another.

It’s as if offline I’m introverted by far, but online I’m a clear extrovert. That, or maybe I’m just lonely. All I know is the internet is the only way I managed to find romance most of my life. Even my boyfriend, who I’ve since met offline, was originally just a friend on a forum I roleplayed on. I fell for him steadily in time, and the depth of that love is a whole other topic. But this is just what I mean by my being truly happy with my online friends- they’re as dear as offline, and I couldn’t be more thankful to all of them.

Before I finish up, since I think I wrote enough about the quandary I have of whether I’m an introvert or extrovert. Really quick, I’d like to ask you to really look at the Sites to See page. You’ll notice many things, such as friends’ forums and blogs, as well as my own. Yep, I have a forum! I try to give each link on the page a little blurb based on how I know them- so you shouldn’t find it hard to decide if they might interest you to look at.

Also, I know some people aren’t always comfortable talking to me in comments. (I at least know I can feel awkward commenting on things, for some reason). If you’d like to chat, I’m always open either by email (juneberrychan@gmail.com) or Twitter (JuneberryChan). So don’t be afraid to contact me, okay? I love all of you! Take care, my precious, precious friends.

Throwback Thursday: Sleep

Hihi everyone! It’s already Thursday, can you believe it? I can’t- but then again, the days tend to meld together for me… And that’s partially related to what I want to talk about with you today!

I have always had weird sleep habits. I can sound totally coherent when still mostly asleep and forget the conversation after I go back to being fully in dreamland. I also have Non-24, a circadian rhythm. My body doesn’t agree with the standardized 24-hour day. I don’t know quite how, but it seems to vary a lot. This effects my sleeping times pretty heavily… Though it can sometimes take a while for it to change.

When I was in middle school, I had what I think was probably my first official manic mood. I slept 3 hours a night, stayed up watching anime and using the computer. And somehow, by six AM, I was out of bed on my own, rushing to do my karate training in the living room of the house I lived in. All this while my family was knocked out for a normal amount of time!

I know some kids don’t need as much sleep as others, but my friends heard about it and weren’t as able to agree as others claimed possible. Six to eight hours was the norm, and I was far from that.

The tables turned when I turned fourteen or so. I forget the year, honestly, but it was an interesting reason: it was discovered that this new me, who slept ten hours and often more, had developed fibromyalgia. With fibromyalgia, my doctor told me, it’s hard for the body go get into REM sleep or some such, and you’re just generally more likely to be an active sleeper, tossing and turning throughout the night to get comfortable. And I can see that being true: I often wake up with my socks thrown off, my blanket occasionally across the room…

Nowadays, I’m a bit better than my younger years. I’ve lately had a sleep schedule of needing to sleep between nine and eleven, and waking up around five to six AM, or something close to that. I’ve written some of these posts at five in the morning like it was no big deal- because honestly, it wasn’t.

I may not get the best quality sleep still- I know I toss and turn, and I often wake up in even worse pains because of the weird positions my body decided to try overnight. I sleep a lot, more often than not… But at least I mostly wake up feeling awake. I take medicine to help me with that, mind you, but I at least remember to take them- and my other meds- on time.

As always, I have questions for you to answer if you so choose: Firstly, how do you sleep? Do you have any sleep habits similar to mine? Also, what do you do to prepare for bed? I’d love to know! And with that, I leave you to what I hope is a very good day for you! Be well, and sleep well tonight! 🙂

Topical Tuesday: Characters I Can Relate To

Hihi, everyone! Today, I decided to do another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Now, I don’t do a lot of book blogging- or any, really- but I really like some of the topics covered in Top Ten Tuesday, and today’s topic was a freebie as long as it focuses on book characters. I struggled a lot to think of a theme, so a good friend helped me out. So… Today’s theme:

Top Ten Characters (meaning off the top of my head) That I Relate to the Most.

Note that none of this is ‘in order’. It’s just the order I thought of them, mostly based on my manga history on Anime-Planet. Which I haven’t used for ages and really should. That’s not here or there. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

Reason from Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

Unlike the other nine books, the first character that came to mind when I think of the ones I relate to is from a novel I read in high school or so and never stopped loving: Magic or Madness. I love the book because it gives a modern spin to what magic is, which is something we all have inside ourselves. I mostly feel Reason and I connect because she uses numbers to help her relax. When she’s feeling anxiety driven for any reason, she recites Fibonacci’s sequence. I used to always just count from one to however high I had to in Japanese to relax or deal with time I couldn’t handle. As such, Reason and I related in how we dealt with stress- and I even gained a new way to mix things up a little!

Sasame from Nukoduke by Yugi Iro

Sasame comes from one of my top ten manga that I’ve read. I don’t relate to her in many ways- well, besides the fact we’re both girls- but there’s one thing we do have in common that’s a serious issue… We’re both natural flirts, and are generally to dense to notice it. Sasame has a habit of being assumed a boy because she equally ‘flirts’ with the girls as she does the men. But really, she doesn’t intend to flirt at all. First off, she’s a kitten. A humanoid kitten, but a kitten. Second, she’s just trying to be friendly. It’s just hard to know where that line is!

Hijiri from Yandere Kanojo by Shinobi

In Yandere Kanojo, every character is taken to the extreme in personality. For Hijiri, the thing that’s treated as a joke is that she’s ‘plain’ and ‘normal’. Now, I know for a fact I’m not ‘normal’, but I do often get told I can be plain and boring sometimes. She’s a fairly relaxed sort of character who worries and tries her best to give advice to her friends even if she lacks any background in the topic whatsoever. And that is something I totally get behind myself. It usually backfires though in my case.

Satou from Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora

Okay, comparing myself to Satou is really freaking scary. If you don’t know why… Go look it up. You’ll understand after a chapter or two why this is not something I want to do normally. That said, Satou’s drive that leads her is partially possessiveness- and I know I have that trait. I get jealous and clingy, and I’m just generally on the obsessed side when it comes to people I care for and the one I love. So, as much as Satou scares the crap out of me, I also kinda get her. Kinda.

Shio from Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora

Shio isn’t as scary as Satou, aside from her being a little kid that’s totally fine being in love with her kidnapper and whatnot. I mostly relate to Shio in her simplistic happiness. Shio’s always working hard to welcome Satou home after a day of school and work. Shio doesn’t get a choice not to go out unlike me, but that small matter… When I see her waiting for Satou to open the door, I see myself in it. And when she tries so hard she falls asleep waiting? I’ve done that too. It’s just so sweet and relatable!

Hana from Hana to Akuma by Hisamu Oto

Another little girl falling in love with… Well, he’s not really her kidnapper since she was left at his doorstep. What I see myself in with Hana is a love of flowers (and sometimes flower language), but most of all, the fact that she loves Vivi as he is- demon and all. See, my boyfriend likes to say he’s a demon. So, by default, I totally see myself in Hana as she gets older. She’s also a hard worker when it comes to keeping Vivi happy, and I do try my best to cheer people up- though I’m not nearly as good at it as her! She’s sweet and simple, and I like to think I can encompass that too.

Kinjirou from Mayo Chiki by Hajime Asano

Yep, I even relate to guys sometimes everyone! In Kinjirou’s case, it’s mostly because of the fact that he has severe gynophobia, and I grew up with sometimes extremely challenging androphobia. Our phobias are opposites, but we both have/had a severe case. Also he’s the type who’s bad with pressure, which I admittedly am myself.

Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

Haruhi is a really well known manga and anime, but no one is more well known than the heroine. Haruhi is from a poor family, a single parent one at that- specifically, it’s just her and her dad in a fairly small apartment. Kinda like me! Also, she likes learning a lot. But the main thing that she and I relate on? Well, due to personal needs, we’re both fairly frugal. We’re both even frugal when it comes to others treating us- she tries so hard to not let all her rich club members do things for her let alone buy expensive things for her, but it still happens. And I tend to do the same.

Gingko from Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara

If you haven’t seen or read Mushishi, I highly recommend you go do that now. To truly understand Gingko is highly implausible, but there’s a simple thing about him that I feel I relate to well: We’re both the types to push people away. He does it regularly, consciously. And while I’m trying to learn not to do that… Well, it’s hard. Also, he can see things most people can’t, which correlates well with my final young lady.

Hotate from Yamamoto Zenjirou to Moushimasu by Youko Maki

While Hotate is a young child, she’s also got a unique ability that I once felt I had: the ability to see ghosts. In my case it turned out to be psychosis, but there’s something similar either way. Not only are we both people who see things others cannot, we’re both in single parent households with our fathers that promote our need to help them. Yes, you read that right: I thought the psychosis was spirits, and I always tried hard to help them. Hotate is always trying to help people, ghost or not, so that everyone can live happier lives. I wish I could help as many people as she can!

As you can see, there’s a fairly wide variety of characters that one can relate to. You can tell gender, species and age aren’t the only things that make characters- or other people for that matter- relatable! It’s the way they treat their relationships, their quirks, their strengths and flaws. I for one see myself in a tiny piece of each and every one of them.

What characters do you feel you connect highly with in books you like? I’d love to hear your view! If you haven’t read some of these before, I highly recommend giving them a shot. Most of them are sweet overall- and a new book is always nice, right? ^^