Permanence

When I was a kid I was forced to move around a lot. I was born in Columbus, Ohio but when I finished the 2nd grade my family and I moved to Illinois. It’s been so long that I barely remember the name of the place I lived in. I was only there until I finished the 3rd grade. I think the name of the town was Coal Valley. It was close to Moline. That much I can remember.

Then we moved down to the Carolinas where I’ve been living since. First it was Georgetown, South Carolina. Easily the smallest, most rinky dink town I’ve lived in. More so than Boone believe it or not. When I was getting ready to start the 6th grade we moved to a North Carolina town. The only thing I remember about this particular period of my life was this tiny crap shack apartment I had to live in and that I was enrolled in school for only a month. I can’t remember the town’s name, just that it had “Green” in it.

Once that month passed my parents secured their old jobs back in Georgetown where we returned. Mercifully our house hadn’t been sold. When 1999 hit and I was finishing up 6th grade we moved again to North Carolina. This time, it was Charlotte.

I haven’t thought about this in forever. I buried these memories a long time ago just like everything else. The times between each move were always filled with unrest. When it had been confirmed that my Dad had gotten the job in Illinois I remember seeing my Mom cry in the home office that used to be my bedroom. She didn’t want the move to happen. And she hated the house we lived in during Illinois.

I hated leaving every home. I hated having to separate from the few friends I had made. I hated having to start over from scratch all over again. I hated every big change that kept happening in between moves.

There are a few things that stayed consistent in my life during all this. The memories are slowly coming back to me.

I remember I had this pillow that I loved. There was nothing special about it. I just really liked it. I loved snuggling with it, clutching it tight like it was a teddy bear. I had that pillow with me through all my moves. I had it from the time I was in 2nd grade and I didn’t let it go until I was almost 16 years old. I didn’t care how torn up or gross looking it was. It didn’t just provide comfort but it was one of the few things that stayed with me through all 4 states. Recently I’ve noticed that I’ve been seeking comfort with the pillows I have now. Almost like I’ve regressed.

Then there were my childhood heroes; the Ghostbusters and the Power Rangers. I liked Batman and the X-Men too, but I didn’t obsess over them. I collected all sorts of toys, I recorded episodes and watched them obsessively. I even had my own story ideas based on Ghostbusters and Power Rangers that my Georgetown friends and I used to act out. We role-played as our own characters and added in all kinds of stuff. We probably crossed over our Power Rangers with Dragon Ball Z and Batman at some point. Even after moving to Charlotte I kept acting things out in a one-man show type of style. Whenever my parents or brother overheard me or walked in on me you can imagine it was quite awkward. But I didn’t let that stop me. At some point I stopped with the role-plays and I put away my toys, yet I never got around to completely growing out of things.

The move to Charlotte was the worst for me. I had just turned 14, started 7th grade, and was immediately labeled a “fucking faggot” by everyone before I even had a chance to wrap my mind around it. I knew I was different from others before then, but I didn’t place a word on it until I entered Sun Valley Middle. Those kids weren’t just monsters, but they were like prototypes to the jaded, cynical adults that I would grow to hate and never wanted to become.

At that point I kept seeking refuge in the things that gave me the most comfort and I found other interests that did the same thing. That’s when I seriously got into anime and video games. While everyone was busy reading Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings I was saving the worlds of Final Fantasy 8, The Legend of Dragoon, and Brave Fencer Musashi. The only pro-LGBT things I was watching on television back then was Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sailor Moon. If I were a lesbian I’d probably would’ve been more empowered, but I still enjoyed watching them. By this point I had pretty much cemented my status as a complete nerd.

I had a lot of story ideas in my head. I would imagine characters as if they were my real friends because they weren’t as vile and toxic as the people I knew in my real life. I did the best I could to keep it all contained within myself. I didn’t wanted to share with anyone. Whenever I did share with someone I’d soon come to regret it. So by not sharing anything I thought I was keeping those characters safe from outside interference and the toxicity that came with it.

The only friend I still have from this distant past is Ellison. We met when I was in 4th grade. Our personalities are like night and day. I know I drove him and his brothers crazy. But he still stayed my friend, we still had great sleepovers, and we had a lot of good laughs. A lot of them at my own expense. I lost contact with him for years, but got back in touch with him through the magic of social media. Ellison must’ve been a saint or a monk in a past life because how else would anyone put up with me? He’s more of a brother than my own blood.

Then I grew up. Something I’m beginning to think was a terrible life decision. Seriously…worst advice I ever followed….

I think a huge reason why I am the way I am is because of all the moving. Whenever someone asks me what my big plans are my usual response is, “Nothing really. Just gonna chill at home.”

Or someone, family or friend, suggested going out I’d shut them down, “No! I don’t feel like it!”

When it was time to move away I didn’t have a say in any of it. When Ellison and his family moved away to Maryland I was left behind. Whenever my Dad would always yell at me I always felt powerless in the same way I did when I roamed the hallways of Sun Valley and people would give me those disdainful looks. When my parents fought there was nothing I could do except escape into my own world where everything made more sense.

That’s why I decided for myself…

“I never want to go anywhere or do anything unless it’s under my own terms. No one will decide anything for me anymore.”

“If being an adult means giving up all these things or always being sad and angry about something then I don’t want grow up!”

It might be immature to think that things should stay the same, to deny changes that were inevitable to happen, but I need consistency in my life. I crave for it. What I speak of isn’t a pillow, a superhero, or any of my interests, but something else.

-I need a place of my own to call home.
-I want friends in my real life that aren’t going to disappear on me.
-I want a fairy tale romance. Even if it’s vanilla in other people’s eyes.
-I want to live life under my own terms. Where I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

Now I’m feeling like I’m off the tangent. Cue exit.

See ya.

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My Creative Spark.

Random Pensword Fact #1: Yes I am gay. No, I do not worship Meryl Streep as some primordial Hollywood Goddess. No, I do not own a single Madonna CD or know any of the lyrics to any of her songs. No, I do not have every line of Mean Girls memorized by heart. I might be gay, but there are only so many cliches that I’m willing to embrace.

I’m gonna be starting things off with a Random Fact about myself from now on. Best get used to it.

I had a peaceful Labor Day weekend. I didn’t do anything special. I just had the house to myself most of the time while the roommates were out doing their own thing. That’s if you don’t count having a sickly cat as company. I didn’t do a whole lot. I binged Crunchyroll to get back to my anime-loving roots. I started up my fifth walkthrough with Persona 5, a game that’s basically my heroin. I tried cooking up something nice for myself. Note that I said, “I tried”. That part didn’t go as planned. My sushi rolls turned into a sushi burrito when I ended up overstuffing the rice. But hey, I made sure my ingredients didn’t go to waste. That same day I wanted to make croquettes. Again that didn’t go as planned. I froze them overnight and fried some of them this afternoon. It was horrible. The bread coating was crumbling and the meat was still partially frozen. I was pissed! That’s never happened to me before. I never froze them overnight but I didn’t think it would up in disaster like that. It took me a while to calm down after that.

I had an idea to make a bento lunch. I could’ve gone out and enjoyed myself on campus or on the porch bench while relaxing to one of my new books. I’m juggling Roxane Gay and Haruki Murakami, in case anyone was wondering. But with no sushi rolls or decent croquettes to show for it that didn’t happen. In the end I just stayed planted on the couch and found myself hopelessly addicted to playing more Persona 5 and sitting through the WWE Mae Young Classic, a women’s wrestling tournament. Loved all the female talent that was on display. But I swear to God if Shayna Baszler ends up winning just so WWE can pull some shitty angle with Ronda Rousey’s Horsewomen crew I’m really gonna lose my shit!! Plus I don’t like Shayna Bazsler! I saw her in The Ultimate Fighter season 18. She rubbed me the wrong way back then. She still does. She’s basically Baron Corbin with boobs. And slightly more hair on top. Which begs a question? Why doesn’t that douche heel just shave his head and get it over with? His current hairdo really doesn’t do him much good.

Whoops! That was a rant!

I also tried to write something. Actually I managed to type up 1,146 words earlier tonight. I’m pretty proud of that. I don’t know what I’m writing at the moment. I’m trying to get out of the habit of overthinking things and just fly by the seat of my pants as I write and not worry about anybody else reading it. That’s the best mindset I can go with at this point. As much as I would love to write the next best selling novel or screenplay I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Not as long as I keep getting ideas for my own Persona, Ghost Busters, Power Rangers, my own wrestling promotion, and my own original EVERYTHING. Seeing as though I find the world to be a toxic place to live, many things are not to my liking, and I have one too many voices living in my head (126,000,000 and still climbing…not that I’m keeping count cause that’d be silly.), and there’s always something that’s fueling my neurosis.

But I have to start somewhere. I’ve had a million ideas for a million different projects that date all the way back to 9th grade and I’ve never truly acted upon them. It doesn’t help that I kept dealing with crushing self-doubt,kept comparing myself to others, and had my “Nightmare Syndrome” to contend with. I never truly acted on my creative side except in small doses. Like tiny blood spurts spitting out of a carotid artery. And even when I do manage to write a piece of fiction for myself (albeit a small piece and by small I’m talking embryo sized) I’ve never found my real voice.

I’ve only tried to mirror what I thought was the proper way. I’ve only managed to write something and project a pseudo voice for writing college papers and nothing else.

I want to do something about all of that before I go and try to score a Pulitzer or an Oscar for Best Screenplay. I got to wrestle with the reality of my situation and current skill level. And I have to do all that while dealing while indulging in my fantasy world.

I’m psyching myself up in the same way I did when I was trying to score the new house, getting better with my depression, and making my comeback with school. I’ll work my way up to the top, write for myself, improve my skills, and see if it will be the cure-all for my problems. I will not stay at some mediocre level forever. By this time next year I will improve so much that I will be ready to take on the world with my imagination. I’m taking my creative spark and letting it shine.

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Signing off with intents set! Also get used to these fancy words being presented at the end of each post. That’s also going to be a new thing from now on. Peace!

Nostalgic Boners and Toxic Fandoms

Warning: The following is an uber nerd rant that might go on for a long time. You’ve been warned. Now it’s time to get my geek on.

I joined up with some fan forums last night. Quite unlike me because I’ve done my best to avoid mingling with fandoms. I used to kick it with the nerd clique which I liked to call “Nerdcore” or “The Nerd Herd” because I figured it’s only natural to want to be around people with similar interests. Did we end up getting along? Yes for the most part. Were there conflicts based on individual tastes, thoughts, and opinions? Yuuuuuuup…..

There are some cancerous people in the nerd community. Straight up. I always end up running into them. It’s an inevitability. It’s a problem when they come in swarms like insects. It becomes an even bigger problem when it seems like you’re under constant attack for the things that you like.

I’m guilty of liking a lot of stuff that’s not popular with other people. Where do I begin?

The anime series, Blood-C. Not for everyone, especially if you’re the squeamish type. It had so much gore that it made Elfen Lied look like a Disney film by comparison. But it actually had a plot that played a good psychological example of Nature vs Nurture and combining it with the whole “Truman Show” scenario. Could it have been executed in a different way? Yes, absolutely. But I think people were so turned off because viewers just had zero patience and didn’t pay attention to what was happening in the episodes that built up toward the end. There were hints everywhere, clear as day. Plus during the last episode there’s a lot more information that’s dropped on everyone’s laps but people don’t get the whole picture. They don’t get the whole picture because they didn’t take the time to put all the puzzle pieces together.

I liked the Ghostbusters and Power Ranger movies that recently came out. Were they perfect? No, of course they’re not perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection. That’s an illusion that people use to set themselves up for disappointment. Are they gonna win any Oscars? I fucking doubt it. But they don’t deserve all the hate that they get from movie viewers and Rotten Tomatoes. The Ghostbusters backlash is purely sexist, nothing more than that. Was it better than the original films back in the 80’s? No, but it wasn’t a complete shit show. It wasn’t a total flop. It could’ve been so much worse than people make it out to be. The same thing with the Power Rangers movie. Rotten Tomatoes labeled it a “box office failure”. Who did the reviewing? Toxic fans who grew up into jaded cynical adults or jaded cynical adults that never watched the original show at all? I loved both those films. I walked out of the movie theater with no regrets and I didn’t feel like my childhood was shat on.

I like some of the more unpopular Final Fantasy titles. My first FF game was Final Fantasy 8 and I fucking loved playing it. It was the second RPG I ever played. That first walkthrough was memorable to me because there was so much trial and error from how I played it and it made the battles especially difficult. Both factors made it all the more gratifying when I finally did beat the game. Is FF8 the best title in the franchise? Does it have the most compelling characters? The biggest replay value? The most amazing plot? No to all of that. But I love FF8 for sentimental reasons. Plus at the time I was playing it I wasn’t looking for any of that in the first place and I didn’t know any of the stuff back then that I know now. So I didn’t label Squall as an emo. Or the romance with Rinoa as uninspired? And I’m not so nerdy that I try to dissect the plot and complain at everything like….”How do you compress time? That doesn’t seem so terrifying…”

Oh yeah and when I was reading the manga, “Claymore”, it pissed someone off so bad that they yelled at me, “That’s just a rip off of Berserk! No, it’s just Berserk with boobs!”

Do you see the pattern here? This is what I call “Pulling a Jon Joel”. Because there was this one asshole in the Nerd Herd circle named Jon Joel who would walk up to you, start up a conversation like so, “What anime/video games are you into?” You proceed to give him an answer and then he responds with, “That’s fucking bullshit! I can’t stand that stuff! I can’t stand those characters! The protagonist is a complete faggot and you’re a faggot for even liking that show!”

Because the whole point of Jon Joel conversing with you is to tear apart everything you love and talk about what he loves because no way he would ever pick a bad anything. He was the sort of extreme weeb who loved to hear the sound of his own voice, bask in the smell of his own shit, and had a butter face that even his own mother would love to throw a brick at. He’s just one of many people who I feel epitomizes that toxic fandom behavior.

Whatever happened with “To each his/her own”? Or common human decency for that matter. I joined up with these forums on some dumb whim and I see so much of that toxic fandom going on just skimming through the site. I almost want to rant in a forum about how the Ghostbusters or Power Rangers movie didn’t suck but I know it’s gonna attract people who will disagree. And the last thing that I want is to have to breathe in more poison than I’ve already have for most of my life.

See? Told ya I was gonna rant. Lately I’ve been indulging myself in a lot of things from my childhood. Nerdy things like Sailor Moon, reading fan fiction, playing retro playstation games, etc. It’s partly depression treatment, going back to my roots and reviving interests that were dying out. The other reason is that naturally they’re all creative fuel for me.

I’m trying to get more serious about my fiction writing. I don’t want to invite anyone else into this fold because past experience tells me that’s not a good idea. People won’t operate on the same wavelength as me and I need to be able to trust myself when I’m writing, especially if I have any chance of making a career out of it. Some of my creative projects are gonna be based off those nerdy nostalgic things that I love so much.

I find myself constantly making a lot of announcements for intentions, but here I go. It won’t be the last time I’ll be doing this. One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with while trying to write is constantly fearing that my ideas aren’t good enough or I’m always giving up on things before I ever truly give them a chance. This is a bad habit that I’m trying to get out of. There’s also the many other facets that come from wanting to write, but that’s the stuff for a whole other blog entry (although I’m fairly certain one of my older posts already covered that). I want to lead a depression free life which I believe can be achieved through writing. I want to write my stories without anymore fear, shame, or self-hate aimed at myself and I need to be comfortable in my own skin to do that. I need to be comfortable with myself by being real with my shit. (Being Real…oh look there’s another throwback to a previous post.)

My New Intentions
1. I want to enjoy the things that make me feel alive.
2. I want to better love myself without reservation.
3. I want to be able to voice my thoughts and opinions without fear.
4. I want to write for me and worry about all the other stuff later.
5. I want to complete at least one creative project before I end up finishing things at App State.
6. I want to break out of self-harming thoughts that have been tying me down.
7. I want to engage with people who aren’t so toxic and leave me to do my own thing without judgement.
8. I want to be comfortable with myself.
9. I want to go after everything that I want without fear in my heart.
10. I want to take better care of myself.
11. I want to live intentionally.
12. I want to forgive myself for never being good enough in the eyes of others or even to myself. Forgive myself for every little thing that I’ve perceived as a failure or defeat. Forgive myself for being different from others. Forgive myself from making progress at my own pace. Finally forgive myself for ever getting lost in life.

I’m done. Later days.

No More “Matt Damon”ing through Life

As of now I am free from this summer semester. I finished my final exam for photojournalism which was only 12 questions of matching terms, short answers, and fill in the blanks whereas the review sheet made it look like it was going to be 12 pages worth of shit. I was like, “Ok that was easy….”

Then I pay my tuition for the fall. Holy hell! I hope to God my refund kicks in faster than this private loan did. Speaking of, the loan check finally made it to my Mom. But she can’t do shit about it until I get back home because apparently I have to sign it first. Meanwhile I have -$149.50 in my account. Motherfucker what?!!

I can’t even buy pizza or a cup of coffee with that. Oh and I have little to no food at right now. Once again I’m in that Matt Damon situation, “I got to science the hell out of this shit!”

So I call my Mom and tell her whats up. Mostly to tell her that I need cash now! But also to let her know that I’m done with classes and I’m happy with my new home. I have farm animals that live next door to me. Cows, goats, donkeys!! The goats even stumbled into our front yard and starting eating up the grass. I’m like, “Welp….there’s our lawn maintenance right there!”

I dropped a class that was in my schedule in favor of something better. I got a full schedule that’s worth 12 credit hours, but I put myself on the waiting list for this one class that’s required for my degree. I hope to get into it so I can drop one class that I added as just a filler. Other than that, it’s a nice looking schedule. Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be my light days and I’ll only have to go to one class on Fridays so that’s almost a free day!

My financial aid is finally back to normal! No obstructions whatsoever! Those guys at the main office had me doing all sorts of circus acts just to get back on their good side! I feel like I did everything except take part of an Pagan orgy just to get that cash to payback my Mom.

Finally I feel like I’m crashing down completely. I’m finally feeling full blown exhaustion from these last three months. I had to power through this shit and act like it wasn’t phasing me one bit. Now is the part where I fall to my bed and feel like dying. Metaphorically, not suicidal.

I miraculously managed to scrounge up what food I did have left over and make some udon noodle soup. Which ended up tasting kinda bland. Not my best work. My defense I had no soy sauce and no money to get some. Oh and I managed to burn my hands with the soup being scalding hot. I was so hungry, I rushed to get the bowl to the table to eat, and the next thing I know I feel the soup splash into my hands. I rushed over to the sink and washed them under cold water. I filled up this large bowl with ice water and kept my left hand plunged in it while eating my bland noodle soup.

The money my Mom deposited doesn’t kick in until tomorrow morning. Who the fuck makes up these stupid processes? Money should be made available ASAP. I’m ranting. Clearly I’m ranting.

Anyone whose read one of my previous posts, “Being Real” will get this reference. The last few days I felt familiar knots being tied up in my stomach and sense of dread hanging over me. I felt like I was getting ready to deal with my personal Babadook again. Remember that? I panicked because I was afraid to open up some emails, go online to pay my tuition, or do anything else that any normal person is able to do without any kind of problems? That’s what was going on in my mind. It didn’t help that I was dealing with one big assignment after another until recently. I had it in my mind that I missed the tuition deadline like I did before even though I have been keeping up with my student email this entire summer. Universities have to deliver a warning that says “Your classes are gonna get dropped if you don’t pay up now.” I didn’t see anything like that in my inbox, but I still felt the dread.

The Babadook is speaking to me, feeding me more distorted lies…

“It’s over…”
“You’ve lost…”
“It was all for nothing…”

In my mind I balled up both my fists and punched the shit out of that son of a bitch and watched him fall down hard like a tower of bricks. Then I went on and did my thing, knocked down every thing that blows my anxieties out of control.

Final exam. Done.
Call up Mommy for money. Done
Return my one textbook. Done
Tuition payment. Done.
Schedule change. Done
Add/wait list another class. Done.
Contact a soul sucking professor that I’m not crazy about so I can make up for bombing her class. Done.

If I could, I’d be eating the biggest slices of pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, and banana peppers right now. Then chase them down with beer. I still think beer tastes like bottled up piss but it still gets the job done. Makes me chill the fuck out. Until I’m at a point where I can stop pinching pennies I have to hope that my noodle soup keeps me full for the night. Otherwise….I got a box of Cheeze-Its that are somewhat stale that I can down.

I feel like this was the summer that I rocked the cliche of a starving artist and college student. It’s not like I embraced it by choice though.

I go back to my hometown on Thursday. Tomorrow I want to have one day of peace to myself before going back, dealing with parents and cousins that ask one too many questions, a father who sucks the life out of the room and gets pissed off drinking water, and being surrounded by a bunch of kids who are obsessed with bunnies, Skylanders, and fidget spinners. By the way I fucking hate those things. That shit doesn’t kill anxiety. That’s what nutella is for!!

Oooo Nutella…..*finds a jar and digs in*

While I’m at home though I’m gonna chill and finally take the time to enjoy the things that make me fucking happy.

1. Spending time with my cousins and their kids.
2. Playful bickering with my Mom
3. Watching WWE events. I waited a VERY long time for NXT Takeover Brooklyn and that Mae Young Classic goddamnit!!
4. Binge watching Once Upon a Time. I’m working on a story that involves fairy tales for inspiration. So I’m marathoning the show and calling it research. When in reality I’m oogling Captain Hook. Colin O’Donoghue….*fans himself*
5. Going to G Mart. I’ve been craving the Korean food there for weeks. I want bibimbap, gimbap, bulgogi, japchae, all of it!!
6. I want to sit down and keep writing the things I love writing about nonstop without having anything hang over my head for the next two weeks.
7. Get back into gaming. Preferably get into a title that’s not Persona 5.
8. Eat food that I didn’t buy with my own money because parents can’t do shit to stop me so I’m gonna take advantage of it because I’m sick of ‘Matt Damon”ing my way through life!! No!! I want to Homer Simpson through the buffet lines! Shamelessly stuff my face like Pam Poovey! And make food that’s so good that it drives a person into a fevered pitch of uncontrollable ecstasy that’s so intense that their clothes will explode like in Shokugeki no Soma!!! And that’s what will get me a spot on Chef’s Table….

Good times are about to be had. Now is a good time to sign off. I just finished the last of that nutella. Now after all that food talk I’m probably gonna go ahead and finish off those Cheese Its.

Later days

Summer Semester/Sandpaper Dildo

So I was on edge because of this big ass photo story assignment that we were supposed to do. I had ideas on what to do, but things didn’t go as planned. I had a Plan B in case my original idea didn’t work out. And when that didn’t happen I had to resort to a Plan C. Rare situation I find myself into, believe it or not.

So I did the assignment in the best way I knew how. The instructions weren’t so clear and it didn’t help that I had a lot going on in my mind because a day without anxiety and depressing thoughts is asking for too much it seems.

Taking the photos wasn’t the hard part. Once I had something to capture in photos I figured the worse was finally over. But no….we had to take those images and put them in a multimedia slideshow, whatever the fuck. Which was supposed to include a video, music in the background, and images that tell a story.

What was my story? My roommate cutting hair. That’s it. Oh and the music had to be royalty free. So no popular music. I hated all that generic shit that was offered so I opted for a track from one of my many video game OSTs that I have in my collection. The professor said no popular music. Not everyone is into video games the way I am.I know what the track is, they weren’t going to know shit (seeing as though they’re a bunch of mindless zombies anyway). So technically I didn’t break any rules. Besides it’s not as though as I though I’m gonna claim ownership of the music anyway and get anything out of it.

Finally presentation day…

I uploaded my completed assignment. It’s shit, but I uploaded it anyway. I’m trying to keep myself in check. Then everyone else shows their presentations and of course they do a much better job then I did. And that’s when my insecurities are stirring up inside of me like this monstrous whirlpool. Now I’m dreading having my stuff shown to the entire class. But as it turns out I didn’t have to. Because I didn’t upload it properly. Yeah…there’s a proper way to upload it….MOTHERFUCKER WHAT?!

My presentation didn’t include a video of anything. All it was a boring, tacky photo slideshow with music from Shoji Meguro (composer for the Persona game series, for you non-gaming nerds reading this) playing in the background to give it some beat.

So after returning the camera gear the professor opted to let us leave early because what else is there left to do? I was able to upload my assignment in the “proper way” and not have to worry about it being shown to the class. So I dodged a bullet there. I can put it in the back of my mind while I focus on my final exams and finally kiss this summer semester goodbye.

It’s been one thing after another. I’ve been challenged mentally and emotionally. To quote Deadpool, “It’s been as much fun as a sandpaper dildo.”

So I didn’t get to do the good work that I would’ve like to have done on my photo assignment. But at least I tried. At least I turned in something. A half ass, crappy looking something is better than having nothing at all. And during those presentations in class I gave myself a pep-talk inside my mind.

“Yeah yeah, shit happened. So what?”
“This bitch isn’t gonna flay you alive for doing something.”
“You did the best you could have done.”
“Her instructions were complete bullshit anyway.”
“You can beat yourself up and feel like crap about everything or you can just say ‘Fuck it’ and move on.”

So I said “fuck it” and I choose to move on. Plus despite how tough this summer semester has been there’s been a lot of good that’s come out of it. That’s what I choose to focus on.

Let’s list out the highlights of summer 2017.
1. I got the help I needed in counseling.
2. I dealt with the financial crisis and got the money needed to pay back my mom.
3. I came back from my previous failures and I still have a shot at graduating in spring 2018.
4. I made the choice to live even though there were moments where I wanted to curl up into a ball and just die.
5. I’m done with my math. That’s a huge victory for me.
6. I moved out of the Cottages of Boone.
7. I got the house that I wanted and was able to move into it.
8. I have come out of my shell a little bit. I can’t deny this.
9. I didn’t quit or run away from anything despite whatever fears almost crippled me.
10. My academic standing is improving. The probation isn’t gonna stop me now.
11. I did enjoy taking photos. So I brought an old hobby back to life.
12. I’m writing again.
13. I’m still alive.
14. I’m going home to see my family again.
15. I’m getting a clean slate for the fall semester.
16. Fall is coming….pumpkin spice everything, cooler weather, better clothes to wear, new releases of games, new premieres of everything, more WWE events.
17. My new manager whose renting the house is cute….
18. My so called “Demons” have grown weaker. They are losing their power over me.
19. I powered through a lot of things that kept challenging me.
20. I played the shit out of Persona 5. I got the Compendium completed, mastered the social links, beat the shit out of those twins, wasted the reaper, and I’m two trophies away from my first platinum ever.

This second session is about to end. I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked to in photojournalism, but I stuck it out to the bitter end. I still have the other class that I know I passed. We’re writing op-eds and being given extra credit for submitting it for publication. The professor in that class really likes mine and is encouraging me to submit it. I think I just might because that would be cool for me.

I didn’t get everything I wanted from this summer but I’m going to press on and work even harder than ever.

Here are my intentions that I share with the Universe.

1. I will continue to live.
2. I will graduate in spring 2018.
3. I will keep getting better.
4. I will continue writing.
5. I will keep cooking.
6. I will keep taking photos.
7. I will go back to loving films and anime.
8. I will keep gaming.
9. I will break out of my shell and smash it completely.
10. I will become more beautiful than I already am.
11. I will find that special someone to love and share my life with.
12. I will make my life better than it is now.
13. I will have a life where I don’t have to struggle and fight against myself or anything else.

It won’t be easy. But I know that I have the ability to make it all happen. I refuse to back to the way things were before all this.

My Happy List

I’ve been “that guy” who talks nonstop about depression and anxiety and the things that trigger it to put me on edge. I need to take the time to get out of the darkness. I’m playing out some music that I haven’t listened to in a long time. It’s gotten me feeling all nostalgic and shit. Then I re-watched this video on HartBeat’s YouTube channel (I highly suggest subscribing) where she lists all things that make her happy. So I thought it a good idea to do the same thing. This really needs no further explanation so here I go!

There will be a crap ton of photos. Not sorry for that.

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This is Jewels. She was my best friend and hands down the coolest dog in the world ever. She wasn’t my dog. I took care of her when her owners were traveling. My Mom got me the gig. I was like “What are you, nuts?! I don’t know anything about dogs! Let alone taking care of them!” My Mom said she’d help out and that the dog sitting money would go straight to me. Then I met her and it was love at first sight. She was the sweetest thing ever. And she was so well behaved too. She didn’t bark or jump up on any furniture and she listened to me as if I were her owner. I took care of her for a huge part of the summer in 2012. It was one of the best times I ever had. Taking care of her was always a joy. Especially during Christmas time. She wasn’t mine, but I loved her like she were my own and she loved me back in return. She was a better friend than anyone I had ever known. Jewels died from cancer back in February. But I have nothing but the most beautiful memories of her. Sometimes I can still smell her on me. I look back on all the times she followed me around, kept me company in the kitchen, and always rolling over the floor and asking for belly rubs. I miss her dearly. But it’s thanks to her that I realize that I am capable of loving someone other than myself and can be loved in return unconditionally.

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Coffee! Because without it I’d have no reason to get up in the morning. Wired is better than tired, twitching is better than bitching, death before decaf!

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This fucking beautiful frozen delight!! It’s like an organism that goes off in your mouth in every spoonful. Not lying!

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I love anime! Especially Miyazaki films. They’re some of the best things I’ve ever seen. Other anime titles that I love include, but are not limited to; Sailor Moon, Akame Ga Kill, Inuyasha, and The Slayers. There’s a lot more, but I want to keep this part short and sweet.

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My video game collection! I’m an avid gamer and I’m proud of it! Most people I knew from childhood were always into Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Nothing wrong with those titles, I like them but I didn’t get into them until later. While everyone was into Tolkienn or Rawling’s works I lost myself in games like Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Dragoon, Chrono Cross, Valkyrie Profile. These titles, for me, weren’t just fun games to play at the time, but I fell in love with the presentation of everything they had. Interesting characters, compelling plots (I was 14 when I played these games, shut up), beautiful music, and a worlds that I loved escaping into when reality sucked. I collect titles like they’re Pokemon and I collect game consoles like they’re the Dragon Balls! Except for Xbox One. I’m not into the Microsoft franchise and plus they don’t offer up a lot of titles that I’m interested in. And even when there is a good game coming out on XboxOne that I’d like to play it’s also available for PS4. I am a Sony boy!

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Pokemon and pocky! Because reasons….

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The WWE! I love pro-wrestling! I watched it every week as another way of escaping reality and getting out of my head. My top favorite superstars are Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Sami Zayn, Tyler Bate, TMDK, The Revival, and Finn Balor (who by the way is my future husband. He just doesn’t know it yet). I especially love the WWE games because there is an entire community dedicated to creating their own wrestling promotions, superstars, championship belts, etc. This is a photo of one of my own creations that I’m particularly proud of. I want to make my own promotion and put it on YouTube, but time management is an issue. One of these days it’s going to happen. Probably with the release of WWE 2k18.

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Anything that came out of Dorothy Zbornak’s mouth on Golden Girls. Golden Girls in general. Shameless binging of Golden Girls via HULU….need I go on?

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Seeing random shit like this that always has my sides hurting from laughing so hard.

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Everyone has childhood superheroes. Almost everyone will say Batman, Green Lantern, or the X-Men. Yeah they’re great heroes, but for me it’s always been the Power Rangers. I’ve been with them from the very beginning (which should be a huge hint as to how old I really am). I’ve kept it a secret from a lot of people to avoid ridicule while growing up. My closest friends know about this because we’d always play as Power Rangers ourselves. We’d create our own villains, monsters, zords, and act out our own Ranger characters. This played a huge impact on my creativity when I was younger. The Power Rangers were always one of the few constant things I’ve had that brought me much needed comfort whenever I had to move away and transfer to a new school and just couldn’t connect with people. Plus getting up on Saturday mornings to catch a new episode was always something to look forward to. And yes, I’ve seen the new Power Rangers movie and I FUCKING LOVED IT!! Rotten Tomatoes and all the haters can just SUCK IT!! I walked out of that theater as a very happy vintage nerd! While I’m at it I also watched and enjoyed the OTHER Power Rangers movies from the 1990’s. YES, even Turbo! I also enjoyed the rebooted Ghostbusters movie and enjoyed it for what it was! Gonna stop here before this rant eats up the rest of the post!!

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Hand written drafts! It feels so good to work that pen across the paper and fill up the page space! I’m actually preferring that than staring at a blank Word document for hours and wanting to beat the shit out of that blinking cursor which I always feels is mocking me!!

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My cooking apron! Anytime I put it on I’m like, “Yeah baby!! Let’s chef things up tonight!”

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Good pizza! Because reasons…

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Snow. I know I like to piss and moan about all the things that are wrong with Boone and Appalachian State. But they do get beautiful snow. It reminds me of life in Ohio where I was born. I love playing in the snow. I love wearing my winter’s best clothing. All the best looking clothes are meant for cold weather, let’s be real. I love being snowed in and drinking good coffee and being with people I care about. I love watching the snow fall. I especially love all the summer people suffer because they can’t show off their muscle guns or bikini bods. I’m like, “Uh oh!! Time to get a personality, STAT!”

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These little guys! These are my cousin’s kids. The one on the far left is Sammy, Charlie in the center, and the girl is Katarina. I never thought I’d be good with kids. I have a hard enough time dealing with people closer to my own age. But these kids like Jewels have helped me learn and grow so much. They love me and I love them to death. One day when I was having a really bad day and the suicidal thoughts kept creeping in I got a surprise FaceTime call from my cousin and it was Katarina who wanted to call. Not to say “Hi”, but to say “Please come back! Please come over!” It made me come back to my senses. She’s a little saint for making that call. I’ll never forget the timing. It makes me want to work harder to make myself better and be there for those kids.

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Last but certainly not least is my Mom. Here she is with Jewels, spoiling her. My Mom is the sweetest person alive, but she’s also one of the strongest people that I know. If she says that I’m the strong one it’s only because I got my strength from her. She’s my biggest reason for wanting to work harder and get better. I’ve disappointed her in the past and always had a hard time forgiving myself for it. I want to stop being such a huge screw up. I want to be successful in life. I want a family of my own that she’d love to welcome into her life. I know I always have her support, no matter what. Which is why I want to keep going forward and keep fighting. I came clean to my Mom about my depression and told her that I wanted to hurt myself and die. It made her cry hearing that. It was another huge wake up call. Even if I went ahead and ended things so I wouldn’t have to feel pain my Mom, my cousins, and those kids would be destroyed. I don’t want to be the reason that they cry or hurt. I’m going to turn things around for me and them. I’m gonna fight my nightmares like a real warrior and I’m going to come out on top.

That’s all I got for now. I’m probably going to do a continuation of this list at some point because when it comes down to it there is a lot of things that make me happy. I’ve kept myself closed off from it all because I became so addicted to my own misery. I want to be happy, I deserve to be happy, there are reasons to be happy all around me just like there is for everyone else. Only major difference is that those things don’t come from the end of a beer bottle, a bong, or anyone that’s lives by “hooking up” with the first person that they see.

Until then, later days!

Moving Out and Moving On

So I’ve been in the process of searching for a new place to move into. I’m currently living in the Cottage of Boone. My current lease runs out in July. I’ve been living here for almost three years now. I’ve tried before to get out of here sooner. I came really close last year, but got blindsided by some contractual “read the fine print” type of bullshit. I did everything I was supposed to do. I went apartment hunting, I scanned through the classifieds every stupid day, I put up an ad to sublease my current apartment, but no one wanted it. Well some girls wanted it but I couldn’t sign the place over to them knowing full well that they’d be stuck in a house full of guys who don’t know how to clean. Plus last semester I was really unlucky when some thugs moved in. They were arrested and evicted at the beginning of this semester.

But I finally found a place that I think is the one for me.

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It’s a house that was recently renovated, so no sublease. It’s ready to move into. It’s less than a mile away from campus and it’s also within walking distance to 3 different bus stops. It’s a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. It’s also pet friendly, has a fenced in backyard, a nice porch, and a tire swing. It’s got character and history. It’s the perfect place for a writer.

I’ve already said yes to the place. I’ve turned in my application. Now it’s just a matter of finding some new roommates and I really hope I can land some real good ones. I’ve already placed an ad online. Now it’s a matter of time of waiting for a response.

The perks of having me as a roommate: I cook and I clean. I like anime, binging movies, and playing video games. I tend to keep to myself a lot, but if you’re nice than I’m nice. I really hope this works out because there is no way in hell am I giving the Cottages another year of my life. Forget that!!

The roommate situation will sort itself out. The hard part is over. I found a place that I like and it meets all my needs. I can at least be happy about that.