Throwback Thursday: My Big Sister

Hey there guys! It’s already Thursday. Time certainly flies! In fact, I already have plans for Saturday. I’m going to see some musical theater with my big sister. “Wait, Jaluna, you have a big sister?” I hear some of you questioning. No, she’s not literally my big sister. We share no blood- she’s older than my father, so that’d be kind of hard to explain, wouldn’t it? No, my big sister is a very important friend of mine. Today’s post is dedicated to her, how we met, and how much I appreciate her despite never showing it.

When I was eight, my mother left us. It was then just my father and I, whom had a bit of an awkward relationship at first because I grew up uneasy around him (funny enough, now we’re like best friends sometimes!). There’s a program, at least in New Jersey, that helps kids who lack a role model of their own gender. This program, called the Big Brother/Big Sister program, led me to the person I call my big sister. It’s a friendship that’s lasted more than half my life!

She wasn’t my first big sister, mind you. My first big sister, Gabi, was someone I treasured for a fair amount of time. But when Gabi had to return to her homeland of Germany, I felt defeated, depressed, and abandoned. Then, a new big sister was assigned to me. She had a very different air from Gabi, but somehow it helped me relax over time. We bonded well, I visited and stayed at her home many times- we once got snowed in when I was sleeping over, so I ended up having to stay another day! I was perfectly fine with it though, especially back then. Time with her was precious. It still is, but I never show it well.

Although I was kicked out of the big sister program when I became a young adult, my big sister and I had a bond that had us spending time together without it. I still call her my big sister, because that’s kind of what she is to me in a way. Sure, she’s old enough to be my mother, but she’s not. She’s my big sister. Unfortunately, my trust in her is a bit of a double edged sword. I trust her, but the more I trust her the more I fear her leaving me, so I push her away. I’m really bad at inviting her to do things, and I don’t do well keeping in contact with her (or people in general, if I’m being honest). So, when I get a random text from her inviting me to hang out, I’m fairly quick to agree.

We’ve gone to see musical theater together before, as well as just general theater. When we hang out, we usually go out for a meal as well. I have to think hard on Saturday about what I want to eat- I’m always bad at figuring that out. Another place we go together is her- or more our- hairdresser. My big sister knows a lot of really nice people! I’ve met a few of them, and I was extremely glad!

My big sister is always doing things for me. It makes me a little guilty. In fact, I owe her a couple hundred dollars, as she helped me last year with a bank issue, and I still haven’t been able to pay her back a year later. She always pays when we go out- so naturally, like the cheap girl I am, I try to look at inexpensive stuff, which she always reminds me not to worry so much about. She’s a bit of an introvert like I am at times, and I think that’s part of how we mesh well.

She’s logical and calm, and I feel emotionally safe with her in the moment. It’s just outside those moments that my innate fear of losing people kicks in and says ‘let’s avoid them so they can’t leave us!’. I intend to apologize for the millionth time for not texting or calling more often when I see her. I also look forward to telling her about Comicon, because last time we had plans to go to the city, I was too scared to go. I think she’ll be proud I managed to do it this time- and I hope someday, I can go with her to the city, as long as she doesn’t mind holding my hand so I don’t get lost.

I think I’ve rambled enough for today, but tell me, do you have any siblings? Whether they’re by blood, adoption, or the friendships you have, I want to hear all about them. It’s amazing how different experiences we can have with a single person added to our life!

Soulful Saturday: Friendship, Online and Off

Hey there everyone! Today, I want to talk about a very important topic to me: Friendship. Friendship isn’t something that occurs in a day to me- it takes time, it takes conversing, and- okay actually, cut that. That’s how it should be, not how it is. For those of you that don’t know already, I have borderline personality disorder. My views of people can change at the drop of a hat. So that makes me wonder… Why do I feel loyal to my friends, and not feel that light switch go on and off?

I think to start this conversation with you, it’s best if I make something clear: I’m not talking about online or offline separately. I’m talking about friends of all forms. For me, a friend is a person I feel safe with. I feel they’re honest people, and not people I have to fear losing as easily. This feeling is strongest when I first meet people, online or offline. However, the closer I get to people, the more I usually pull away…

So why is it I have certain friends that I’ve had for years now? I certainly feel unusually close with them as time’s passed. Have I improved my ability to trust people?

The answer to that is probably a yes. Or rather, I hope it is. See, just last week I met up with an online friend for the first time (as in first time meeting this particular friend, mind you! I’ve met others before this.) I was offered a free ticket to join her at Comicon, which was my first time going to a convention by the way. Trusting someone so much that I’d want to meet up with them and even go to a big event that’s sure to bring me anxiety and such isn’t exactly my norm.

Another thing outside my norm that I did recently: I texted my offline friends just to check on them. I’m not a big phone person, but texting is something I feel comfortable with. However, I don’t normally text friends that much. The last time I’d texted these friends was in April! I had nothing really to talk about with them, but I wanted to see their names, and to see how they were doing. I’m never good about keeping in touch. It’s just part of my internal algorithm, if you will.

This just brings me more questions and, surprisingly, more anxiety than I can shake a stick at. What led to these changes? Is it actually a good thing I’m doing these things? Sure, I’d talked to my friend from the Comicon adventure plenty of times- we’ve been friends for years through a common interest, and we’ve even video chatted many times, alongside our mutual friend circle.

And that’s another thing I’d like to mention- I never even wanted to video or voice chat with people only a year ago. When did I start wanting to hear the voices and put faces to the names I’d used for them so long? It feels as if I’ve changed drastically in just a couple years. I just don’t know what lead to it!

I think it’s a good change- I hope it is, at the very least. Still, I can’t quite put my finger on the trigger for these changes… and that bothers me a lot. I’m thankful to have the friends I have, whether it’s my friends from middle school I texted just the other day or online friends like the one I went to the city to meet.

I just feel a little rattled by the fact that, for the longest time I’d been the type to pull away the closer I felt to people. To suddenly realize I’m not doing that… It makes me feel vulnerable and scared, even if it also makes me feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. I must be lucky I’ve met so many kind, honest and patient people!

What do you consider the most important thing in a friendship? How often do you communicate with friends, and how do you personally prefer these communications work? As someone new to keeping in touch with friends and trying to keep them, I could really use the feedback from your own experiences. Let me learn from you- and maybe, if I’m lucky, you’ve in some way learned from me what not to do based on my past.

As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings about the deeper parts of my life. I hope you’ll share your own experiences with me someday- and I hope mine can do something for you, too!

Topical Tuesday: Characters I Want As Friends

Howdy gang! Everyone doing well? Today, I really want to do a bookish meme… but it’s not a recent one! I missed out on a particular Top Ten Tuesday the past two weeks that I really wanted to take part in. And so, today’s topic is that meme two weeks late: Characters I Wanna Be Friends With. This list is in no particular order, mind you- it’s just in the order I thought of them.

Ana Gram – Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle

I absolutely adore Ana. He’s a great example of ‘looks can be deceiving’. While he often acts as a lackadaisical artist, he’s actually quite bright and is extremely observant and understanding of the human mind. Honestly, though, I just like how innocently he portrays himself- and how dark he can get if things go a bad direction. His punny name also helps.

Nyanko-sensei – Natsume Yuujinchou

Who wouldn’t want to be friends with a greatly powerful yokai stuck in the body of a weird sort of cat? Especially a totally tsundere one? Probably a lot of people, actually… But I think Nyanko-sensei is a great ally, and I’d probably love to pieces having him as a friend. He holds nothing back- but he can be really sweet sometimes too!

Takashi – Natsume Yuujinchou

Natsume Takashi, the titular character, is another guy I’d like to be friends with. He’s a gentle spirit who likes to help others, and he somehow manages to keep up with both the human and spirit worlds. Though he starts out virtually hating yokai, his ability to bring the two worlds together is fascinating as a skill. Again, though, I also just like how he’s a gentle person.

Mayuko – High Rise Invasion

Mayuko Nise is one tough cookie, and one I’d love to have on my side in a fight. She’s a bit too like me in that she has trouble trusting people- but, to be fair, she’s currently stuck in a world where you either die by jumping off a roof or die by being killed by the means of a mysterious race known as angels. Despite the highly volatile situation, she was able to change and trust someone, and that’s just so strong…
It makes me want to learn from her, all in all.

Hades-sensei – Hokenshitsu no Shinigami

Whenever I hear the word ‘Hades’, I never really think of someone I’d like to be friends with. However, Hades-sensei isn’t nearly as scary as his looks may make him seem. Sure, he’s not exactly a normal person- but it’d take a person who’s not so normal to cure people infected by disease demons! I really like how, despite the way he’s seen or treated, Hades-sensei always does his best to help others, even if it often has an awkward and unusual result.

Karuta Roromiya – Inu x Boku SS

Though her yokai form scares me senseless, Karuta in her human form and in her heart is a person I’d love to be friends with. She’s all for sharing food with people she cares for. She’s soft-spoken, but not afraid to speak bluntly when she deems it necessary. I feel like we’d get along in our similarities, and especially our love of snacks.

Hotate – Yamamoto Zenjirou to Moushimasu

Hotate may be a young girl (okay, a lot of the characters are well younger than me, but Hotate’s in grade school for crying out loud!), but she’s a hard worker always trying to help people with her special ability. While she’s dealt with quite a bit of adversity in her life due to it, Hotate doesn’t often blame this power of hers. Instead, she grows to use it to aid others, and even to make a few friends! I’d love to be one of them!

Mayoi – Acchi Kocchi

Mayoi is a very, uh… Unique type of person. She’s a genius in her own right, but she’s also a prankster. You’d think I wouldn’t want to be friendly with someone who can do such things with a straight face, but she’s just trying to get everyone to enjoy themselves in some ways. I like how she always helps start the fun that leads to chaos. I feel like if we were friends, I’d get out more often. xD

Uru – Shiawase Kissa Sanchome

I loved a lot of the characters in Shiawase Kissa Sanchome, but no one beats the heroine, at least to me. Uru is a strong-willed girl with brute strength of unbelievable ability. She likes to meddle into other people’s affairs, but she usually only does it because she means well and wants to help. I feel like we’d get along, because while she can be a bit rowdy, she knows how to slow down for people that can’t keep up. She’s a sweet girl, and she deserves all the happiness in the world- and all the friends, too!

Nozaki – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Nozaki, like me, is a writer. He can be pretty oblivious at times, like I can, but he tries his hardest to learn from his mistakes. To Nozaki, everything is inspiration. As fellow writers, I think we’d get along really easily, especially through talking shop and bouncing ideas back and forth!

I know this post has gotten pretty long, and I apologize, guys. I just couldn’t help myself- this topic was really fun for me, after all! Still, I’m also just so glad to be back- I’ve been so excited for this, it’s a shame it had to wait until now.

Before you go… Have you read any of the series I noted in this post? What did you like/dislike about the characters I chose? I’d love to hear some characters you want as your besties too! So stick around and at least leave me a note about it. I love your comments! You help me grow, too!

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: 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.