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? ^^

Soulful Saturday – My Dark Inspiration

Hihi! Welcome back everyone. Has anyone noticed a lot of my posts aren’t really related to writing? I certainly have over the weeks. I know this is a personal blog, but I originally intended to use it as a writing blog. That said, today’s going to change things up a bit by combining writing and me myself. This Soulful Saturday, I’m going to talk about the projects I’m working on for CampNaNo, and more importantly, the things in my life that led to their creation and the things that shaped them as they are so far.

Before I get into things, I should probably share the basics of each one. Treasure of Eternity is my magical girl tragedy, following a group of four girls brought into a deadly treasure hunt along with other teams of magic users. Ur URL is a horroresque fantasy about a man cursed to be able to see curses, and works with the police to solve curse related crimes.

Both stories were actually inspired by nightmares I had within a few weeks of each other. As both were black and white, I used a lot of other things to inspire the full appearances of the characters. I couldn’t really hear much in them, either. They were like a pair of silent movies.

Now, I know I’m not the first to be inspired by their nightmares. My father always tells me to write about my nightmares because he knows greats such as Stephen King often did/do that. What he didn’t tell me was how to make a story out of those that have no real understandable timeline. That was something I had to work on myself.

So, how did I go about making the characters when I had no way of knowing their ways of speaking, their names, or anything else?

In Treasure of Eternity, I made two sets of the same characters. I mostly did this because of the main heroine, a young girl named Elsie. Elsie was the primary girl in that nightmare, and I didn’t feel like she was inherently bad, even though she showed many evil moments in my nightmares. I decided to make each character have a secondary personality when in their magical girl form because of that.

Elsie’s personality when a magical girl reminds me a lot of the character Satou from the manga Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora. Satou looks cute and fluffy much of the time, but she has a dark side that just somehow screams “Elsie” now to me. So, I opted to give her the same hair color as Satou. However, why is Elsie so crazy in the first place?

Matsuzaka Satou, Happy Sugar Life.
She looks so sane in this image…

I think Elsie represents my dark side. You see, I’m often told I’m too nice. The fact is, that’s not true at all. I’m often plagued by dangerous and unkind thoughts. I just know better than to voice them, because I honestly fear them more than anything when it comes to me myself. Like Satou, I have a very broken concept of trust, and also can be extremely possessive. I relate to her, so I am inspired by her… I just hope Elsie doesn’t mimic her completely. I don’t feel like kidnapping and murder are quite her thing… torture though, she’d be all in.

Now, although this is getting long, let’s look a bit at Ur URL. This one had a bit more context to it in the dream. I could tell in the dream, somehow, that it was focused on the curse. The curse I saw in the dream was actually what created the title. But that’s the only spoiler you get with that. Now… Let’s continue to the more deep side of it.

I’ve since named the man in the mask ‘Nuru’. Nuru never shows his face to anyone, even his sister. He wears it to bed, he wears it to eat (though I have no idea how he manages that)… That mask is everything to him, and I think I know why.

This is the closest I could find to Nuru’s mask. It’s a blank drama mask.

You see, I think Nuru represents a few of my fears. My fear of change, the fact I can’t trust if people are wearing a mask and lying to me… I think he encompasses that greatly. And, in the story, he also has my agoraphobia, and for a similar reason.

Nuru sees curses without trying. He gets no choice in the matter. For me, it’s like my hearing or my hallucinations. I didn’t choose to hear louder than normal people, making noises frighten me. And, I didn’t ask for psychosis either: I can never trust a person I’m talking to is really there without asking my father, and I can’t tell what noises are just loud in the distance or in my head. Nuru, to me, encompasses those fears completely. But it doesn’t end there.

By wearing a mask, Nuru hides from the world. I think I often do that too. I hide physically when there’s people around sometimes, but more than that, I work hard to hide my fear of people and not knowing if they’re real. Sometimes I use sarcasm, sometimes I just sit shuddering in my shoes hoping no one will see. I may thrive on blunt honesty, but even I want to be accepted and not judged. I don’t want to be seen as ‘some crazy girl who can’t tell fact from fiction’. It may be true sometimes, but I don’t want people to focus on that aspect of me, you know?

And so, that’s that. That’s how the main characters of my two stories were inspired and brought to life for the stories that lie ahead of my fingertips. If you’re also a writer reading this, I highly recommend thinking hard about how deep below the surface the characters relay from. I’d also love to hear what you think inspired you the most to make your characters as they are.

If you’re not a writer, still don’t forget to look into the depths of your heart. You never know what will be lurking there, and it can be scary, but it’s better to know than to hide from yourself.

Throwback Thursday: Fear and Fireworks

Good morning and happy 4th of July to all my brothers and sisters trapped in the United States. Yes, I could have said that better, but… 4th of July has never been easy for me. It’s always made me feel trapped and afraid. And today, I decided to discuss this a bit- because I’ve been struggling with this holiday for most of my life. So, let’s get to it.

To start off, I want you to understand, what I hate about the holiday isn’t the meaning itself: I actually just can’t stand fireworks. I’m pyrophobic, so anything with the word ‘fire’ in it generally disturbs me- but also, these aren’t just fire. They’re often extremely LOUD. If I need to wear ear defenders when my dad’s on the phone, there’s no way I’m surviving the sound of fireworks easily.

When I was young, my family didn’t fully understand my aversion to fireworks and would have me go with them regularly. I tried different things the times I joined in, from ear plugs that weren’t strong enough to keep the sound out to ear defenders that weren’t quite as strong as I need them either. My dad has told me to try both at once, but it’s hard for me to fit ear plugs in comfortably as it is, and I’d rather just stay home where my anxiety is lessened. So nowadays, we watch them (when we can) on the television muted.

That said, it’s not just the fear of fire and the fear of loud noise that make me struggle with fireworks. I also have the most ridiculous phobia from youth: that one of the embers from the sky will fall and land on me or start a fire elsewhere. Do I think that’ll really happen? No, not anymore. But sometimes, my dad feels like he has to remind me that won’t happen when I’m crying from hearing fireworks from another town. It’s oddly helpful, so maybe I’m not as accepting of the facts as I think.

If you’re thinking, “Wait she can hear the fireworks from other towns and it scares her? Are they really that loud?”, then you’re a very good guesser. To me, they’re beyond loud- and nowadays, certain fireworks are legal for residents of New Jersey, so they’re not always in the next town- sometimes they’re the neighbors.

I’ve mentioned before I’m sure, but to be safe, I remind you I have a hearing disability not like your norm: I hear everything too loudly. It’s called hyperacusia, or as I was taught as a kid, “Hyper Acuity Syndrome”. At the time I was diagnosed, I was told I heard ten times better than the average person. The best part is I live in a family that either has purposely ruined their eardrums due to having a similar issue as children, to people that are half deaf because of other issues. It’s hard for people to hear me because I speak so softly to not hurt my own head.

So, with all those fears, how could I really ‘enjoy’ the 4th of July? In fact, I hate the week before and after it as well, because people do them for most of the two weeks surrounding it. I’m never fully safe without my ear defenders- but that’s why I always keep them handy. That said, I’ll probably be in fetal position most of the evening- so wish me luck getting through today, and enjoy it extra for me, okay?

Topical Tuesday: Me in a Nutshell

Hihi! How are you? I’m going to be spending most of my day at doctors, both for myself and my dad, so I won’t be getting much writing done for my Camp NaNoWriMo project. Still, I wanted to give you something for Topical Tuesday, and thus began searching for a good prompt- and that’s when I found the perfect challenge instead: Telling you my life story in a mere paragraph.

Before I delve into my history some more, I’d like to note this is a great writing practice. A paragraph about each character’s life story would be both daunting and yet incredibly helpful. I tend to write very long biographies for them… Shortening them might be nice.

Okay, without further ado… My life in a nutshell:

I was born, raised, and remain in a little state known as New Jersey. I grew up in a dysfunctional family that was almost always fighting, at least on one side. My mother was an addict and finally left the family, leaving me shattered. After more people came and left, my heart became twisted- I can no longer see the shades of gray in the world, only black and white. To trust is to bring harm to me. That’s a lesson that I’ve learned over and over again.

As you can see, my paragraph isn’t very compelling or giving in detail. I don’t think I’d normally do this kind of thing for myself. Still, I gave you a glimpse into my life- one you probably already had, but still!

What do you guys think of this challenge? If you’re up for it, I challenge you to write a paragraph biography as well! Share it with me in the comments, so I can get to know you better. I’ll say it can be as long or short a paragraph as you’d like… Just please, humor me and give it a try.

Until next time… Bye bye~!

Soulful Saturday: Happiness

Happy Saturday, everyone! Can you believe June is almost over? That means this will be my last Soulful Saturday of the month! Amazing!

Today, my topic is going to be all about happiness. What makes me happy, what I’m grateful for, and, most importantly, what happiness as a word means to me. And yes, I got the idea of PopSugar. I just needed something deep, and happiness is pretty deep a topic to me!

So first of all, what IS happiness? Well, to me anyway, it means even my heart is surely smiling. It means I feel filled with energy from the feelings in my chest, like things are just going better than expected by far. I know not everyone thinks it this way, but to me, true happiness is as simple as that.

To be fair, I’m the type that’s pretty easy to please. I’m a bit childish still, in that even the sensation of walking a straight line makes me feel pretty happy. Then again, walking in a straight line is hard for me in general. I get happy when I finish a puzzle, when I’m enjoying a game, or even just writing for you like this.

So many places, people and projects make me happy. I’m grateful for more than you can probably imagine. I’m grateful to my dad, who still takes care of me each day, reminding me about my meds, making food… I admit, I’m a bit spoiled. I’m also thankful to have my boyfriend in my life. He may be far away, but I always feel warm when I think of him. I’m thankful he cares so much about me and understands well that I have a very simple sort of mind. He may not always show it, but he cares for me dearly. And for that, I’m thankful. I’m also thankful to his mom, who’s very accepting and treats me as part of the family.

I’m grateful for a lot of things. So many things, three per day wasn’t always enough for me to write in my gratitude journal. I need to start that over, but it’s hard some days to feel grateful. And you know what I do those days? I write something I’ll always be grateful for: the fact that I’m alive, and survived another day on this sometimes cruel, many times beautiful world.

What are you guys thankful for? What does happiness mean to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!