A Post...

Oct. 25th, 2013 05:08 pm
fireflys_locket: (Fangirl Hachi - fireflys_locket)
In which I talk briefly about dealing with anxiety (and why it's never been a better time to be a nerd) and not so briefly about things that I love.

Hey, look: I'm posting again! And it hasn't been forever. I'm pretty proud of that. I really don't know why it's been so hard to come up with things to talk about this year. I mean, I have theories, but... well, that doesn't really matter. I'm here now. I was talking about social networks with Jill last night, and I was lamenting how LiveJournal really fell out of relevance for most people. But I love this place. Maybe all that's left now is nostalgia, but I don't care. This is where I post my thoughts, still. When I have something more than a tweet's worth of a thought.
I've reluctantly accepted Twitter as a worthwhile way to get small thoughts out. I didn't want to like it, but I do now.

So, this week hasn't been much to talk about. I went to the mall to get a book last Saturday, and there was some kind of mall event going on. I was only there about 15 minutes, but I've been exhausted since then. I seriously almost turned around and left right away when I saw all the people. I was emotionally exhausted all this week. I didn't get any writing done, save for just a paragraph or two last night. That how much that kind of thing affects me. But I know I'm not the only person who goes through that. People with high anxiety have good company, I think. That makes it suck just a teeny, tiny bit less. Occasionally.

I read a good post yesterday about what we think of as flaws not always being inherently bad. Everybody just works differently. If you embrace the things that are part of you and work with them, stuff usually turn out better than if you were fighting your own nature. I find that to be pretty true for me. Some weeks just don't work out writing-wise. Stressing about it just gets me in an even worse space for writing the next week. Knowing that helps, but it can still be hard accepting a "bad" week when everything was going so well. But I try. And when I"m dealing with anxiety or the exhaustion from it, I try my best to enjoy things I can do while recovering. (More on this later...)

There's a craft show this weekend I want to go to, which is always busy. So, I might be emotionally weary all next week, too. It happens. Things will come back together, though. Although I was not happy to see snow yesterday, I am kind of ready to not go out as much (which isn't a lot, as it is, but still). To snuggle up with my writing and reading and video games and Netflix all Winter. It's a really good time to be an introvert, guys. Or a nerd, or whatever you want to call it. There's just so much stuff you can enjoy at home by yourself. Or with people you're close with, if you're lucky enough to have some. Love stuff, by the way. It's fun to love stuff.

So, what kind of stuff am I loving right now? Well, the short answer is LOTS OF STUFF!!! I'm going to give you the long answer...

While I haven't been writing this week, I have been reading. After feeling so overwhelmed most of this year with "needing" to read writing from friends and acquaintances, I switched to reading some books I've been dying to read. I finished Mockingjay a couple of weeks ago. Wednesday, I finally started The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, the third John Green book I've bought, and I'm finally reading one! (I have sooo many books to read, gah.) Why did I wait so long to read this book? I'm already totally in love with it. And I pretty much knew I would be, from all the stuff I've heard about it on Tumblr or VlogBrothers. I even ordered a signed poster, because it was just so pretty. (The story behind the poster is cool, too.) Sometimes, you just know when you're really going enjoy something. And if you're like me... sometimes, you save that thing for when you really need it. Like I did on Wednesday. So, I'm glad I waited, in the end.

While I'm on the topic of VlogBrothers, I've been watching my way through HankGames videos (with and without Hank). I particularly enjoy watching Hank and Katherine play Super Mario Brothers Wii. They are my go-to videos right now. Along with - as always - catching up on Giant Bomb videos. These two sets of videos, more than anything, have been making my weeks more enjoyable lately.

I've been watching other stuff, too. I recently watched through Samurai Champloo on Netflix. I haven't started another show or season yet, but I've thinking either the second season of Dollhouse or the third season of Being Human will be next. Meanwhile, I've been rewatching The Vision of Escaflowne on DVD. (Did I ever tell you how much I love boys with wings? Like, seriously. Sparkly vampires are great and all, but give me ghosts or angels over them any day.) And I'm watching Degrassi and The Legend of Korra on TV. Neither is particularly thrilling me this season, but the way fans have abandoned both shows kind of scares me.

I've also been playing games. I got back into Skyrim this week. Finally started the Dawnguard stuff. And I've been playing lots of The Sims 2. Both games are go-tos for de-stressing. And they work just as well as ever, thank goodness. I've been all over the place with gaming for the last month. I can't even begin to list every game I've played a bit of. But yeah, gaming is fantastic, and I love it.

I don't necessarily love times when I'm not writing as much, but that's how I get to fit some of this other stuff in. I've gotten back to organizing and (with Joe's help) hung some posters. I even made an new icon post for the first time in about two years. So, yeah. I've been enjoying my time just fine by trying to focus on good things instead of the not-so-good. It can be hard, I know. Trust me, I know. But I'm mentioning these things, because I'm really grateful that they exist and I get to enjoy them.

And I want to thank Ben and his video for inspiring me to make this very long post, that no one will read. Hehe. I like looking back at my posts every once in a while, so this is for future me, mostly. This is what I've been up to and thinking. I love you, Gina (future me). I hope you're doing well, too. (And you have Morgan, if we're lucky!)
fireflys_locket: (Valerie's Happiness - fireflys_locket)
Finally, LiveJournal is working again. I've had things I wanted to say and no where to say them. Okay, I have plenty of places to say them, but none feel as right to me as this journal. I recently saw someone on Tumblr say, "Seriously, who uses LiveJournal?" Well, I do. And I know I'm not the only one. When I do visit my Friends List, I'm always surprised that it's not as quiet as I usually imagine it is. Some people move through sites chasing the passing fad. I've added a lot of sites into my life: Facebook, Tumblr, and (recently) Twitter. They all have their place, but I'll never move away from LiveJournal, unless by force. The recent down time has made me think about looking into backing up my journal, though. And that worries me.

But what's been going on with me? Oh, the usual... writing, fandoms, holiday depression. Actually, that last one wasn't too bad in comparison to other years, so I'm thankful. It's sad when you have to be grateful when things aren't as bad as they could be, but it's better than not being grateful for anything. I wish I hadn't been pressured into going out to dinner on New Year's Eve, but other than that - or even including that - I survived fine. And I was just really ready for a new year.

January, for me, is a thoughtful month. I usually don't get as much writing done in the winter, and particularly, January. I actually wrote more than I thought I would during the holidays, but now, I can feel myself wanting to slow down and rest. Under normal circumstances, I'd be really frustrated by not having written this far into the week (I usually count writing weeks from Friday to Thursday, because Thursdays are when Jill reads my weekly writing at therapy). But I've been getting a lot of signs that resting is a good thing for me right now; the greatest of which was this article, which I read a few days ago. Though it describes Expansion as a time of new ideas, I find that, during the winter, I actually get a lot of new ideas. The Contraction times for me are times of planning, where I'm not doing much work on actually writing, but a lot of new ideas surface, and little things click into place. Even more than usual, I'm focused on stories in the future. Sometimes, I'll even write out some scenes for those stories, but I'm just not as focused on writing my current stories.

This week has been a Contraction week, for sure. I've been relaxing... and without the guilt. As I mentioned in my comment, even when I let myself give into the need to rest, I often guilt myself about it, which almost completely taints what I gain from it. It's not really rest, if you're stressing about it. Interestingly, I recently heard a quote from a Neopets friend about rest, "No rest is worth anything but the rest that is earned." While I do agree that one needs to make sure they put in the effort during times of Expansion, I didn't want him putting rest down completely. If all you did in life was work, you'd end up drained. You might even be forced to rest... and for longer than you would have needed if you had taken regular breaks. Point is, rest is a natural part of life. We need times of Contraction, just like we need times of Expansion. But everyone's balance of those cycles is different, and we just need to listen to our intuition when it's telling us which it currently is.

So, right now, I'm resting. I probably will try to write tomorrow, but I'm not going to force it. Writers mostly have been agreeing with me that "forcing it" is not a good idea, whether that means to skipping to a part of the story, which suits your mood better, moving to a different story for a while, or in this case, just taking a short break. I believe there are few times when forcing something is the right thing to do. There are times, certainly, but few.

Last January (and some of the previous December), I was reading through Add More ~ing to Your Life, and - though, I struggled with the book at times - it was mostly a good way to get really thoughtful about some new ways of seeing things for a new year. The book certainly inspired a lot of journal posts. I remember doing a lot of crying and meditating, while listening to music, which was really touching my soul at the time. I must have been somewhat ready to do that again, because something about the new year approaching made me want to start a book from my Aunt, that I've had sitting around for years, What Would You Do If You had No Fear?. In all honestly, I just wanted to read the book, so I could release it from its place of taunting me. I've let it sit around for so long, because I just knew it was going to be difficult and make me think bad things about myself, because I'm not at all willing to release my fears of people.

I was kind of wrong. Wrong about the book, I mean. Okay, I really haven't gotten far along it at all, so I don't know for certain that I'm completely wrong about it. But from the Introduction and Chapter 1, I can see that this book isn't quite for me for a whole other reason: I'm already doing what I would do if I had no fear. Well, not entirely. Certainly, there are things I'd kind of like to do, which fear keeps me from. Going to Harry Potter and anime conventions, for one. But even those things just aren't very important to me, because if they were, I'd work on them. That's the thing with me; I don't put energy into most of the things that I fear, because it would drain me too much for the things that are really important to me. Like writing. Like, hopefully, doing small local events for writing. That's exactly what I want to do with my life, and I'm already doing it.

My Aunt Pat (the same one, who got me that book years ago) called recently. I don't hear from her often, so she was happy to hear me update her on how well writing has been going over the last couple of years and all my plans for the future. Then, she asked me what else have I been doing. She asked if I've been getting out, and when I told her that I haven't much, she suggested taking writing or knitting classes. I told her I would never be able to take classes, because I never go out on my own. She said she hoped I'd get over it. Those are trigger words for me, and though I was trying to be nice about it, I knew I had to shut this idea down. I told her that I had no desire to take classes, so I wasn't going to put effort into something that would never work, when I didn't want it anyhow.

The book talks about doing those things you've always wanted to do. But I don't want to travel and see the world. I don't want to take classes for things I don't care about (this includes writing classes, because I know what and how I like to write already). I don't want to go out all the time. I don't want to be normal. (Yes, it would be nice to not feel like I was in near-mortal danger every time I went out in public, but hey, I've been going out shopping with my Mom most Saturdays for years, and it has never gotten any better.) I have no desire for those things. What I want is to write. What I want is to self-publish. What I want is to enjoy inspiration from movies, games, books, and music from the comfort of my own home. And I don't want those things, because I'm afraid of "what I really want". I want those things, because I'm an Introvert... not because I have Social Anxiety. (Those are two different things, by the way.) I want these things, because I'm me. The only thing I really want, that fear might be keeping me, from is Morgan. But even that's not for certain, because Morgan's not likely to be someone who's out all the time. I want another Introvert, like me. And I am very open to online contact.

I always go into these sorts of Non-Fiction books with a bad mentality of knowing that a frustrating challenge waits for me, the easily triggered. But I will say that I do usually learn something about myself, even if it's not exactly the lesson the book intended. And it usually gets me to journal about it. So, watch out. *Looks at this long post* Maybe, it's too late for that warning. :/

January has been pretty kind to me, so far. I feel lighter, like the baggage of last year (or maybe the last few years) has mostly been left behind. This won't last. But I'm trying to be kinder to myself, to let the little mistakes and mishaps go more easily, and to allow myself to rest. Rest, because there's a lot I want to do this year, and I need the energy to do it.

I wish you all the start of great new year. If things aren't going well so far, remember to take a deep breath and know that you don't always have to wait for a new year to get things back on track. And I'm always here if you need to talk.
fireflys_locket: (Valerie - amillionicons)
So, since the post I made yesterday, I sort of went on an updating spree. I rewrote my profile. I updated my Find Me. I made a Tumblr, even though I don't really feel cool enough to have one. Made a bunch of posts there including one linked to "muse_murmers" with the button, which got all stretched out. Decided to make a banner that wouldn't get so stretched out. Realized I should probably just buy a rename token to fix my stupid spelling mistake from 2005. Did that. Made a new banner, button, and icon for [livejournal.com profile] muse_murmurs.

Yeah. Lots of stuff. Anyways, if you want to follow me on Tumblr, go ahead. My journal type stuff will always remain here, but I guess I'll try to post cool stuff there. I don't know. When I look at other people's Tumblrs, they look awesome. I doubt I'll ever get there.
fireflys_locket: (Eli/Clare Scribbled Heart - nekoshoujo22)

So, apparently, one can only have 150 interests on LiveJournal. I tried to add one just now (Eli/Clare, though it may be temporary), and it told me I had the limit. So, I did some interest pruning. It did actually need it. And I could probably do more if I wanted to be strict, but I don't like this limit. I'm paying for LiveJournal services, and I am interested in way more than 150 things. Sorry, for being an "interesting" person? Actually, I'm not... but it would be nice if LJ could add on loyalty interests or some such, like they do with icons. Just a thought.

By the way, I actually had an Eli/Clare dream. o.O; I guess that shows that my subconcious, at least, has jumped ships. :/ I'm starting to wonder if K.C./Clare = Shouji/Hachi and Eli/Clare = Nobu/Hachi, for me. I was totally in love with Shouji/Hachi when I first started the manga, but then, he breaks her heart, and I was traumatized for awhile. I'm not sure I loved Shouji/Hachi quite at a comparable level to K.C./Clare, or for as long, but still.

This is so strange for me.

I think I'd be better off thinking of Clare (and Hachi, for that matter) more as daughters rather than as me. That way, I can still feel a strong connection with them, wanting the very best for them, but not feel so personally betrayed by the inevitable drama. As long as they end up happy, it shouldn't matter who they end up with. ..right? (Vanessa: Just keep repeating that, Valerie.)

Actually, in the dream, Eli was more "flirting" with me. As in trying to win me over, so I'd let him date my daughter. :P He said he'd become a vegetarian. A great way to score points with me!

Yes, I'm weird. I know.

fireflys_locket: (Hachi Blue - fireflys_locket)
But I don't do anything about it. 

Truthfully, I don't really know how to change that. But as I'm reading the LJ Elections I'm realizing something strange... I almost never post on here. I adore LiveJournal. I'm reading these election posts just as I read for hours about Strikethrough and the like because it's very important to me. But I'm so quiet... even in my own little sanctuary. Isn't that silly?

Okay, so maybe it shouldn't be the amazing realization it is... but it is. If that makes sense. ~_~; But I'd like to fix that. So, first I'm going to tell the story of how I started journaling... 

Once upon a time, in January of 2002,  Miss Valerie was reading The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot and decided she wanted to keep a journal for herself. It started out on a little notepad inside a Harry Potter pencil case/organizer at first. The journal was actually passed around for others to read for a time, because there wasn't anything personal written. Little bits about school.

Eventually, the little notepad ran out of room. It wasn't really meant for journaling anyhow. The journal then made a shift onto what would be a long series of Neopets notepads. I used lots of codenames, for even though the passing around had stopped, I was still scared someone would catch a glimpse of something important. 

Then, in 2003, Miss Valerie discovered a love of Draco/Hermione. And her favorite writer of the time, [profile] lafeemechante, had a LiveJournal. Miss Valerie became even more obsessed with her journal, hoping to get a LiveJournal eventually. (It was invite-only at that time.)

Finally, when Miss Valerie was able to get a LiveJournal, she decided to go back and put in entries for everything she had written in her paper journals. Not an easy task. And no one seemed to be reading them. So she gave up.

Wow, what a sad story. Well, that's why that's not the end of the story. See, I figured I must take a more active approach to writing in my LiveJournal. Just as I have with writing in general the past few months. Because as said here, I live by a large set of random rules. I have... rules for everything, honestly. And they weren't supporting writing, creative or journal. So they must be changed!

I think a lot. And for the most part, I'm not even a private person. I'm perfectly fine with sharing myself with the world. I just don't think anyone cares what I think. ~_~;

Well, we'll see what happens, eh? 

Edit: Along the lines of getting this going... I updated all my entries with tags. And I should be updating my profile in the next week or so. ^_^ Silly, how excited I am about that.
fireflys_locket: (Heads down (D/Hr) - phrixus_)
Val's GreatestJournal.

Just in case. For now, I'm certainly staying. I love LiveJournal, despite not exactly loving the way they are handling things right now. I don't want fandom to move. But if you have an account there feel free to friend me. If you don't, I would advise quickly getting yourself a username there just in case, as well. After all, whatever happens, it's not going to hurt.

And if anyone has any suggestions of other "just in case" journal sites, please let me know.

Lots of Love, 
Valerie

PS: Hopefully more Deathly Hallows thoughts soon.

Edit: InsaneJournal.

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fireflys_locket

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