fireflys_locket: (Valerie's Happiness - fireflys_locket)
The last few years, I've written up long resolutions/intentions for the year. I don't think I'm going to do that this year. That doesn't mean there aren't things I want to accomplish this year. There are plenty of things I'd love to do. I've even done a pretty fair job at accomplishing last year's goals.

I finished my big cleaning project by the end of May. (Which was exhausting and made me reevaluate my goals for the rest of the year.) I might not have had as epic of a writing year as 2013, but I certainly put a lot of effort into it, getting Magic Inc. revisions 3/4 of the way through and finally pulling Dreaming in Shadow through some successful revisions as well. Another year passed without seeing the end of Miss Masquerade's first draft, but I really have only one chapter left. I read way more in one year than I ever had before. I even put some major effort into exercising, though that was completely derailed by my yearly breakdown and still hasn't gotten back on track.

The truth is... I want the same things every year. The specifics may shift; this story over that story and such. But the core of what I want is the same. Writing, friendship, health. And Morgan. Always Morgan. Finding my soulmate and getting to live a happy, passionate, and safe life with him is always what I want the most. And I've gotten signs from the Universe over the years that finding him is somehow tied with writing, possibly even completing a story. Sometimes that motivates me and other times it crushes me with pressure. Still, I figure if I keep following the guidance I get along with my own intuition I'll find my way to him. I have to. It's too important that it happens. It's everything to me.

But I have to stay away from pressure, because it breaks me. I have to be free to breathe and follow my truth and guidance. So, this year... I don't know if I'll complete the second drafts of Magic Inc. Book One and/or Dreaming in Shadow. I don't know if I'll have something ready to publish. I don't know if I'll be able to get a focus back on health. Or find the better balanced friendships I'm always craving. I don't even know if I'll meet Morgan (yet). But I'm going to focus on the core of those things. And try to believe everything, including me, is as it should be... and on the way to becoming even better.
fireflys_locket: (Valerie's Happiness - fireflys_locket)
It's a new year, and I'm actually pretty excited about that. It's freeing to put away the complications of a long year and start fresh again. I felt pretty good at the beginning of last year, too. But this year might feel even better. Maybe there was just more I wanted to let go of. Truthfully, you can start fresh at any time, but this is a really powerful time to try.

I wrote out a post about what I wanted for 2013, and I decided to look back at it now and think about how the year went.

I've said this before, but I think 2013 was by far my best year when it comes to writing. I finished two first drafts in the first three months of the year. It was an emotional, bittersweet experience. For a while it was mostly painful, but I can look back with pride. (I put everything I have into writing first drafts, so it's definitely worth something at the end.) I spent most of the rest of the year working on the second drafts, resulting in about 15 nearly ideal chapters of fiction. In October, I took a little break from revision to start a new story. I also finished the first draft of my half of Spun of Silver, and got started on its second draft. And got very, very close to finishing the first draft of Miss Masquerade.

And almost all of that work was done without putting pressure on myself to constantly be getting stuff done. I didn't make sure I had something to show Jill every week. I chose to follow what I felt most called to work on at that moment... whether that was writing, revising, outlining, building houses, making Sims, sorting music (which sometimes leads to amazing new ideas), or even just relaxing and taking in inspiration. And it led to my most productive year ever.

I also did a lot of organizing in 2013. I didn't completely finish clearing a space for a new bookshelf and DVD cabinet, but I put a slow, consistent effort into sorting through stuff. I get really anxious when it comes to empty spaces in my room and letting go of possessions, so there was really no way to get this done more quickly. And I'm proud of myself for just getting this far. It may not seem like a big deal from the outside, but inside, it's a huge deal, trust me.

There were some things I didn't do so well with, though...

Health-wise, 2013 was a total flop. Well, I didn't get super sick or anything like that, which I'm quite thankful for. But I probably put the least amount of effort into eating healthy and exercising since I first started thinking about that stuff. If I'm honest about it, it's been a continual downward slide since my Grandma died in 2011. I don't know exactly why, but it's something I've noticed. And I don't really feel comfortable talking about weight and exercising, which maybe isn't helping. I do know that - like it or not - I am a very low energy person, and I have to be careful with where I put that energy. Last year, I chose writing. A lot. And I'm not exactly sorry about that. But I would like to put a bit more energy into health matters this year. If I could even just shift out of this downward slide a tiny bit, that would be great.

Another thing that suffered was reading. I only read 11 books in 2013. That's not even one per month. I've always been a slow reader, but this is pretty bad. Still, I actually know exactly what went wrong here. I spent most of the year reading books I felt like I needed to read over what I really wanted to read at the moment. I had books to review, books from writer friends, and books from writer acquaintances. That's not to say I didn't enjoy those books. I definitely did! (Well, except that book I reviewed. That, I could have skipped.) But I constantly had another book next on the list, instead of just following the flow of what was really calling me. Having everything scheduled is very draining to me. I like to have important necessities planned out, but when it comes to the rest of my time, I like randomness paired with intuition. There was a point where I wasn't even enjoying reading anymore, because I had turned reading into work. That's when I finally followed my intuition and took a break from my list to read some books I was really excited to read. I think I would have enjoyed the other books I read last year more if I had spaced them out better from the beginning. Lesson learned, I hope.

So, what do I want to do this year?

Well, I'd love to have another great year with writing. I learned a lot about revising and editing last year. Writing second drafts has really built my confidence as a writer. I'm finally pretty consistently proud of the work I'm doing. A lot of the time, revising has flowed exceptionally well, probably because I spent so very much time building a good base. But certain parts also had their difficulties. More than I expected. In that way, it's been both easier and harder than I expected it would be. That's why I'm hesitant to set any large goals this year. I think there's a good chance I could finish Magic Inc.'s second draft this year. But I'd also like to spend more of my time on Dreaming in Shadow. Then, there's Miss Masquerade. I don't think there's any chance I won't finish the first draft. And I'm excited to get started on the second draft. As for Spun of Silver and The Town of Raindrops, they are more side projects right now. But who knows? I just want to follow the flow of my inspiration wherever it takes me.

I want to get myself on a pretty regular sleeping schedule that lets me have the optimum amount of rest and time to get things done. For me, that's getting up at 8:30AM, getting my early morning stuff done by 10:30AM, leaving the rest of the day open, until 9:00PM when I relax in the living room with my Mom, then get to bed by 11:30PM. Yeah, I like to sleep 9 hours. It's what I usually need.

And once I get myself comfortably back on that schedule, I'll start trying to fit in more exercise with that extra time.

I'm definitely planning to get another bookshelf and cabinet in my room this year. I'm going to get the rest of the stuff off of my floor and binned. Hopefully, soon. (But like I said, I can't push it.) And we'll see what happens after that.

I'll try to read at least 12 books this year. Haha.

I'm still looking for more balance when it comes to friendships. I met a few new people. I occasionally connected with old friends. I think there were some improvements over 2012. But there were also times, I felt like giving up on socializing altogether. Ultimately, I'm still looking for my tribe.

As a big part of that, I'll (of course) keep calling in my soulmate. Because finding him will always be my most important goal. Until I do. Then, it will be creating a beautiful life together where we can support each other's dreams.

I want to wish you many blessings in the year to come. I hope you meet your goals and thoroughly enjoy the journey there, too.
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: (Sparkling Lake (Valerie) - amillionicons)
I am a slow mover. Compared to a lot of people, I change very, very slowly. And actually, I like that about myself. I'm a constant. I'm reliable. Even when I do make a change, it's usually just growing to accept a part of me that was always meant to be that way. It makes sense.

Still, there are some changes I want to make this coming year. It's around the time to think about resolutions, and though you can make changes at any time, there is something, that feels sort of special about it. So, I thought I'd talk about my ideas for next year.

I'll barely make mention of finding my soulmate, because pretty much anyone, who knows me at all, will know that's the most important thing to me. But I also feel I need to make some more friends or at least rekindle some old friendships. I'm extremely lonely, and though I have friends I love, they are always so busy. Both of these hopes for the future really come down to finding relationships with a better balance. To be really important in someone's life. Important enough, that they will make our relationship a priority in their life. But there's only so much I can do about that right now. Basically, just be open to it and pray for it. I can't make people love me. So, let's move onto some things I have more direct influence on...

This year, I talked about ending the first draft of Dreaming in Shadow by the end of the year. That hasn't happened, though it's awfully close. I could still make it happen; I don't doubt that. But I'm not someone who needs to push themselves to prove a point. Times I've tried, I ended up with regrets. When it comes to writing, I usually hate whatever I write when I'm under pressure. I don't want to hate the end of Dreaming in Shadow! It's too important, and I'm nervous enough about other people hating it. So, I might not "succeed" in the traditional sense of meeting a goal, but I certainly put a lot of effort into it. That's good enough.

For next year, I want to actually finish the first drafts of Dreaming in Shadow and Magic Inc. Book One early on and get solidly into the second drafts of both stories by the end of the year. It also would be nice to finish up the first drafts of Miss Masquerade and Spun of Silver by the end of next year as well. That's a lot of work to be done! Again, I'm not going to give myself too much pressure. This is one of those goals I'm going to put effort into, but I'm not going to make any huge changes in how I'm going about it. The exact goals are not as important as the idea, that I just want continue to progress.

There is one goal, which requires an actual change. I'm probably not willing to make as much of a change concerning this issue as people would recommend, but I'm making a compromise I know I can actually live with. I talk a lot about my issues in this journal, but I don't think I've touched on this one very much. I'm basically a mini-hoarder. Well, not in the sense of like having old pizza boxes or 40 cats or anything that self-destructive. I have a lot of interests, and I like buying things. This results in a lot of stuff. I'm not going to stop buying things, because I never spend more money than I have, and I need to constantly be able to have just the right thing to inspire me at just the right time. I've already started to release some things that no longer serve me, like books I know I'll never read again. And it feels good to make donations, but I still have a lot of stuff.

I think it's not the amount of stuff so much as´╗┐ what I do with it. I've used my stuff kind of as a nest to keep me safe. It's something that I've done since I was little, and it does need to change. I like a little organized chaos, but I've been feeling things are getting out of hand, even for me. I have pile of stuff basically as wide, long, and high as my bed. Things have been bad like this for a long time, but I've come into a place in the last year of getting more money than I'm used to on a regular basis, and more than ever before, I am not able to sort through the incoming stuff even a quarter as fast as it is accumulating. I know, it's a curse of abundance. But I'm also running out of places to put the things I'm keeping. My bookcase is getting stuffed, and even after removing my CDs and putting them on their own shelf in the basement, my cabinet won't take long to fill again. I need more shelves and cabinets for storing things, but that pile needs to get out of there first, because there is literally no place to put any more furniture in here.

So, next year, I am going to get a bunch of huge plastic bins and finally sort through everything in that pile. I expect this to be a hard job, both physically and, even more so, emotionally. But this is something that needs to happen in my life, and it needs to happen soon. I've already spent a lot of time going through old toys and such in the basement, and I need to get that job done first, but I think it's been preparing me for this job. Maybe I'll document the process a little. And hey, I'll probably find some really cool stuff at the bottom of the pile. Or just really silly stuff like my long lost Aaron Carter CDs. Yeah...

And there's one other big thing I want to do next year. I want to work a little more exercise into my regular schedule. I really don't feel comfortable talking about dieting or exercise or anything that involves my body - it's a Social Anxiety thing - but I do want to make that change in my life.

Now, to distract you from that last paragraph, I want to share these videos with you about making changes from Gabby Bernstein. She was there to inspire me during the switch of 2011 to 2012, and now, she's doing the same thing this time around. The reason I'm making this post is that she says it's helpful to write out your goals and share them with others to get support. I hope she inspires you, too, if there are changes you want to make for the new year. Share those with me, if you feel like it!

Just in general, I really would love it for people to respond to my entries. (I know they've been sparse lately. Apologies.) Even if you're usually pretty quiet, always feel free to talk to me about anything. I am honestly one of the nicer people you'll ever meet. My therapist has been telling me I might need to actually invite people like me to come out of lurk mode, and it finally seems like the right time to start.

I love you all!
fireflys_locket: (Damaged Fiona - fireflys_locket)
I've been having a really bad few days here. Huge understatement, actually. I'm not going to get into why too much, but it's just the usual worries of never finding that one person I could realy connect with more than anyone, my soulmate. Worrying that such a person couldn't exist for me, because I'm so... different, and therefore, who I'm looking for is so unique. Except take months of little worries building up while I watch everyone around me getting engaged, starting families, and even getting their first kisses... and let it all explode.

I even cried at my last session with Jill, which like... almost never happens. I was just losing it. Sometimes, I just get so caught up in panic, that I can barely breathe. And this morning, that happened here while I was home alone. It hurt so much, I was literally screaming my tears out. I felt like I was going to die of pain. That's what panic attacks can be like at their highest intensity.

Reconnecting with one of my best friends is helping me to steady, but I can't honestly predict how things will go right now. How long this wave might last. I'm clinging to the edge of control, and I keep slipping. My mind keeps attacking, saying there's no such thing as soulmates. No one like me exists out there.That life is all about being miserable. That there's no hope for me to ever find happiness.

And anytime things get this bad, I worry that I'll never get back to normal (as pathetic as my normal is). That this will be the wave, which drowns me.


Oct. 21st, 2012 05:11 pm
fireflys_locket: (Pillow for Morgan - lovestruckicons)
I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes, I can honestly feel his spirit with me. It hurts so much, because I need him to be real and here with me right now. I need him as much as air, but no one can see that I'm barely breathing. I don't care that it's crazy to be in love with someone, who may not exist. He does exist. He has to: I need him too much.
fireflys_locket: (Broken Heart Glasses - fireflys_locket)
Every week, it seems there's new wedding or engagement pictures on Facebook. It's like everyone is getting engaged or married. I try to be happy for everyone, I do. But how can I really be happy when I know that I'm no closer to finding my soulmate than I ever was? A guy out there wants to marry each of these girls. No one has ever really wanted to be with me at all.

My Mom tried to make me feel better by saying that a lot of them will end up getting divorced, but I think that's just mean. I honestly don't want to wish bad things on anyone, even some of these people, who never cared about me in the slightest... if they weren't treating me badly, that is. But it does hit me hard that someone wants to spend their lives with those people, and no one wants me.

It's not like I just want someone to be in love with me, though. I don't want someone to love me, if they aren't the right person. But it is hard being the girl, who was never wanted. The girl, who matured so fast, yet never even got her first kiss or went on her first date. The girl no one would even consider asking out. And that still stands true after all these years.

Where's my engagement ring? Where's my prince charming? Could any prince actually love the unpretty girl? I try to believe in these things, but I've yet to see any proof.


Aug. 1st, 2012 09:44 pm
fireflys_locket: (Pillow for Morgan - lovestruckicons)
He said said to keep at it if I thought writing was "my savior". The look on my psychiatrist’s face when I told him that writing wouldn't make me happy: total shock. 

This might be a surprise to some, but writing is not my greatest dream. I love writing, and it is one of the cores of my life. It's hard to imagine I could be truly happy without it. But it, by itself, won't make me happy. I won't be truly happy until I find my soulmate And some people think that's ridiculous. I'll see comments of, "well, you should be complete by yourself". I don't agree with that. I just don't. I guess I don't understand why it seems like people put goals like a career in such a high place, and even a goal of having a family is okay, but a goal of finding your soulmate? That's not "healthy".

Being complete by yourself? If that's true, why would anyone be in a relationship? If you could be fine on your own... what kind of love is that? I have to pull up this Tumblr sign I found with this quote: "Unless it's mad, passionate, extraordinary love, It's a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn't be one of them." It's from a movie I haven't seen, and perhaps, therefore, I could be taking out of context or something, but by itself, I totally agree. And I just can't see mad, passionate lovers being complete without the other. It's certainly not the kind of love I want. I'd put "healthy" aside for that any day.

Of course, your life should be about more than just one person, and you should fill it with many lovely goals, some just for yourself! But why would it be so wrong to put love ahead of everything else in life? I believe love (romantic or otherwise) is the very point of life. And I'm not going to back down from that.

People are going to disagree with this, I know. And I'm sure some people really can be complete on their own. Just not me. So, I'll respect your life goals and dreams, if you respect mine. That's really all I ask for.

As an aside, I've been putting a lot of effort into writing! It started with this fervent idea for a Degrassi fanfic, which I wrote over two days, in between newly obsessing over Jake/Clare epsiodes of Degrassi. (How did that even happen? Oh, right... dreams, they control me.) And I continued to write about 16 pages of various novels so far this week. Speaking of that, Dreaming in Shadow has reached 250 pages! Handwritten pages... which probably means a lot less typed. Buy hey, progress! So, I'll keep at this dream, even while I wait for my other to come.
fireflys_locket: (Release Me - soporifical)
...for everyone.

But let's cut right to it. I totally disconnected from my creative energy this week. I could explain exactly why, but it's really kind of silly. I'll just jump to simply saying that I wrapped up the idea of finding Morgan with completing and self-publishing a book so tightly that I ended up being crushed under the pressure of it all. And it hurt. Ouch.

The truth of it is that I'm torn. There's a part of me that wants to know exactly how I'm going to find him, so I can make it happen more quickly... but if it was tied to something I had to accomplish - especially something as big as this - the pressure would just break me. Because I'm going to be frank with you: I do not work well with pressure. Some people flourish when they push themselves. I know this. But it isn't the way it works for me. In fact, I'm starting to understand that the exact opposite is true for me.

I'll give you an example. Let's say, I'm not feeling much like writing, but I hadn't gotten much done that week. If I pressured myself by saying I had to get a whole chapter done, then forced myself to do that, I'd end up hating what I'd written regardless of how good it actually was. Or maybe I'd just get frustrated part way through and quit. Or if it was a part I knew I was struggling with, I might just put it off without even trying for way too long.

But if I tell myself I only have to try to write for a short period of time with no pressure, I usually end up doing much more than what I tell myself I have to try. And even if I don't get a whole chapter done, I make some progress instead of procrastinating, and I feel better about what I've written, too. That's how it works for me.

That's kind of an important thing to learn. How you work. How you do your best. Not what someone else expects of you, or how it works for them. It's not a bad idea to try suggestions, if you haven't found your way yet - or even if you want to try something new. But don't feel like you have to do what everyone else says.

Anyways, back to my issue. Jill mostly talked me out of the conclusions I'd jumped to by the end of my session yesterday, but I'm still feeling a little wounded from the weight of the pressure I'd talked myself into. It might still take me a few days to get back to writing, but I know it will happen. And I'll be back on track to finishing and publishing books. Because that's how it's meant to be.

As for finding Morgan... well, that's harder. Supposedly, I'm heading down the right path already. That's what Jill thinks. And I really just need to keep watching this video on how to handle things that are out of your control. And usually, I'm pretty good at letting the little things come together on their own... but this is my most important goal in life: finding my soulmate. I know somewhere that the only important thing is that finding Morgan actually happens, not having to know exactly how or when. The problem for me is that I seem to not be able to let go of the details, because it makes me feel like it's never going to happen. And that is an outcome I honestly cannot live with. I can't help but obsess about the future, because I won't know that I'm really truly going to find him until I do. And until I know I'm going to find him, I can't really focus on the present, because nothing I do now matters to me unless he exists.
fireflys_locket: (Valerie - amillionicons)
One of my friends - who has written a great Sims story, by the way - [ profile] medleymisty, wrote out these questions. I haven't answered questions like this in some time. I love these things. But I won't promise my answers will be that interesting. I guess we'll see!

1. What's your favorite book, and why?

I'll admit that I'm not terribly well-read. Especially for a writer. I've read shamefully few classics in my couple of high school years. I always say that the only college class I would probably benefit from is one dedicated to studying classic literature, because I can't seem to make myself read them on my own.

I like Young Adult books. They may not be as technically well-written as Adult Fiction (though that's up for debate), but they often have, in my opinion, a lot more heart. When I read, I want to feel exactly what the character is feeling, more than I want to see what they are seeing. But if you're able to balance them both, that makes for a great book, indeed.

I change my very favorite book here and there, but my favorite book series is always Harry Potter. Jo Rowling is able to do just what I said: help us both feel and see. She has a vast world of characters and history. As someone creating a world just as big, I admire that. Plenty of Fantasy Fiction does great with world-building, but not all of them have as much heart as the Harry Potter books. That's what makes them special.

2. What's your favorite song, and why?

My favorite song changes even more than my favorite book. But there are a few songs I call on when I need to heal or cry. Might seem like a contradiction, but crying can be healing, sometimes. Anyhow, probably my favorite song would be Anna Nalick's In My Head, because she talks about pretending her soulmate is there with her, and that's what gets her through. And that's pretty much the core of my life. If I didn't let myself pretend to be with him, I wouldn't be able to make it through. Sounds kind of crazy, probably.

A close second would be Owl City's Vanilla Twilight. It's almost the male version of In My Head. Or at least, that's how I see it.

3. If you could eat anything ever, what would you eat?

Oreo cream pie. Honestly, anything with oreos is my weakness.

4. How did you come by your current beliefs?

I think I finally figured out most of what I truly believed in by writing it. Like when I made it that every character in my world had a soulmate, I realized that I believed that was true of our world, too. But I think I always knew what was true for me, even when I was little. Just years of growing up in Catholic School, trying to be the perfect Catholic, might have made me proclaim things I didn't really believe in. Just to note, I do believe in a God, but he isn't as unaccepting as the one I "grew up with".

5. If you had a spaceship, what would you name it?

Firefly! That both is and isn't a reference to the TV show. Basically, I would have named it that even if I hadn't seen the show, which I only watched for the first time a couple of years ago. But now, I do see it as a Firefly ship.

6. If you could turn into a small round thing and go up someone's nose and into their brain and see what it was like to be them, whose nose would you go up?

Oh, I would get way too queasy just thinking about seeing the inside of somebody's body. But if I had to choose someone, I guess I would go into Morgan. At least that would mean I knew where he was!

7. What is your personal definition of humility?

This is a really good question. As[ profile] medleymisty mentions in her post, it can be used to mean self-deprecating. And as someone, who struggles with self-esteem in a pretty extreme way, I can't say that sounds like a good thing. I think what it should mean is knowing your place in the world. Knowing that you're here for a reason, but also that you're connected to the whole world. Respecting that, in general, you're not more important than any other person. That everyone has a place in this world.

8. Pick up the book nearest you. Turn to page 87. What's the first full sentence?

Oh, how unfortunate...This page 87 just has a section title: Rogerson. It's from Sarah Dessen's Dreamland, which I haven't read yet, but I adore a couple of her other books, and this one came quite recommended. This will probably be what I start after I finish Mag Cabot's Insatiable, which is what I'm reading right now. But I have so many good sounding books here to read. <3

9. Do you have heroes? If so, who are they and why are they your hero(es)?

My personal hero is probably my Grandma. She had so much love in her. There were things we disagreed on, but mostly, I admired her strength of love and faith.

When it comes to writing and creating stories, Jo Rowling and Ai Yazawa are my heros. They've inspired me so much. I couldn't thank them enough.

10. Are you attached to your username as part of your identity, or do you have different usernames all over the internet?

Oh, this username means so much to me. If you don't know the history, I once typed it up here. I was getting a little irritated that people kept assuming I used the word firefly because of the Owl City song, when I actually came up with it a good 7-8 years beforehand. Not that I don't adore that song. I mean, if any celebrity were Morgan, it would be Adam Young. <3 And now, I should stop talking, because I'm embarrassing myself. :/

11. What do you think makes for a good healthy friendship?

Sometimes, I'm not sure if any of my friendships are that healthy. Usually, either my friends barely have any time for me, or I end up sucking the life out of them, because I'm so needy and depressing. On the other hand, I would do anything I could for my friends, but at times, I end up feeling like all I ever do is give. It doesn't make me want to give any less, but it does make me feel lonely.

I guess a healthy friendship would be where two people, with love and respect, supported each other, while not compromising their own well-being. But like I said, I'm not sure I know how to do that. I both give and need with such passion, that I think I would need someone, who could match that intensity. That's kind of where Morgan comes in. I need someone, who could be my best friend as well as my lover. Someone, who could handle all my passion. Haha.
fireflys_locket: (Sparkling Lake (Valerie) - amillionicons)
Recently I found this list on Tumblr:

Even more recently (AKA: Sunday), I ended up talking with my Aunt about how depressed I get around my birthday, which is on Memorial Day this year. I talked about getting depressed, mostly because another year passes, where I've yet to find my soulmate. Though I was thankul that for one year I could actually say one thing was going right in my life: writing, I would rather be happy with Morgan and struggling with writing, if given the choice. She said that it seemed things were moving along in the areas I was putting effort in. I told her there wasn't much I could do about what I really wanted, though. And then, I could see the conversation turning in a bad way. As with many people, talking about finding Morgan was not a safe subject. Jan started giving me the same things I've heard so often. I have to go out more and meet people.

World, listen... I have severe Social Anxiety. No, like... seriously. I don't handle social situations well. I can't go out much and never alone. But I'm okay with that. It's part of who I am. Why does nobody get it? Why does it seem that the most common reaction to an introverted person is to try to "fix" them? I realize I'm an extreme case - even my pesonality test has me at 100% introverted - but my point is still true. Why do all the movies try to makeover the quiet girl into a social butterfly? Isn't she beautiful the way she is?

I'm not saying it isn't good to try to gain more confidence. And occasionally, it might even be good to push yourself a little bit. If it's important. If you find you are keeping yourself from something you really want to do. But it is not okay the way everyone wants to make you change into a person that just not you anymore. That's never okay.

And going back to my conversation... when it comes to finding my soulmate, I want to find someone a lot like me (#10). A quiet person, who likes to stay home most of the time. Does it really make sense to push myself into social situations to find a person, who also avoids them? Isn't it way more likely to find that kind of person online? Maybe, he'll stumble onto my blog and fall completely in love. Or vice versa. To me, that seems way more likely.

Not that I'm totally against finding him in person. Not-so-secretly, I wonder if I'll meet him just about everytime I leave the house. And I have pushed myself to do the things that really call out to me. Hopefully, someday, I'll sit with LK Hunsaker in her book tent at craft shows or do some kind of book event at the mall bookstore, like the owner has offered to me... even though the idea of these things kind of terrifies me. But I'm not ever going to push myself to go out and be more social just for the sake of it. Hear that, world?! I like myself the way I am!

Side Notes: 1. I think I need to purchase Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, which LK told me about, since I'm getting so fired up about the subject. 2. Anna Nalick's Shine is a fantastically inspirational song. It's my theme for Spun of Silver, no question. 3. Please fix your spell check button, LiveJournal. I'm a terrible speller, and I'm nervous enough posting with spell check.
fireflys_locket: (Pillow for Morgan - lovestruckicons)
Wait, check the calender. It's May. May. Not March. Right, got it.

But to my point. I'm writing stories. Hopefully, you already know this. If not, I'll fill you in... I'm actively writing 4 stories: Dreaming in Shadow, Miss Masquerade, Magic Inc. (Book 1), and Spun of Silver. The first three of those stories aproximately follow a school year, at least for most of the story. And somehow, they are all stuck in March, waiting for the big things that start to happen in April or May.

The strange part is that, in my life, March has been a month of changes. Often, painful in one way or another. But it doesn't seem to be happening in the way I've lined up these stories. Or maybe, I should say that I'm now trying to make it happen, and I'm having issues. I do think that I'm on the path of figuring out how to make March a month of changes for Miss Masquerade and Dreaming in Shadow, but Magic Inc. is being resistant. If only I could remember 4th grade better. And I thought I had a great memory...

I have to say though, that writing is going extremely well lately. Last week, I wrote over 15 pages, which is insane for me. And this week, I've already written about 8. The reason seems to be pretty simple. Truthfully, my emotions have been all over the place. And I really started to wonder if my writing - Spun of Silver, in particular - was fueling my depression, or if my depression was fueling my writing. As in most cases, I think it was a little of both.

But why is it so much harder for me to write Spun of Silver, when Magic Inc. is also directly about me? The simple answer there is that SoS me is the real me, the right now me... as close as it can be. And even though, as the writer, I know that Morgan loves me endlessly, this me is full of doubts and scared. Just as the real me is terrified of never finding her soulmate. Every word I write is completely true and real for me. And this feeling I have now is wondering if Morgan can feel me where ever he is out there. I feel like I keep calling out with no response. How do you not start to fill with fear and doubts when that happens?

Instead, all I want to do lately is sleep. And dream. And write. I need to live in the places, where even the ignored, unpretty little girl, who nobody wanted, who nobody's ever even kissed, has a soulmate. And he loves her endlessly.
fireflys_locket: (Hachi Bliss - fireflys_locket)
After last entry, I spent a more than a week suffering mostly from a feeling of disconnection from Morgan. It was miserable. Everytime I thought of him, it brought pain. It was like walking past a sparking electrical cord. So, I tried to not think of him. It was like we were fighting, neither one of us wanting to give in. And that is something that directly damages my ability to write. Jill and I both worried that maybe some big breakdown was approaching.

A good thing that did happen was that I really threw myself into some shows, games, and a book. And I really was loving everything I was doing. Because I was so obsessed with hiding from thoughts of Morgan, I put 100% of my energy into whatever I was doing at the time, so that my mind wouldn't wander. That lead me to be even more invested in the stories I was seeing unfold. I felt very inspired... but I couldn't write, because Morgan is my muse, and we were fighting.

Eventually, though, I could feel a slow healing begin. And Morgan and I made up. We were completely in love again. And now, I find myself writing a lot. I've written two chapters this week and worked on lots of little ideas. I feel like I can't even hold all my bursting inspiration. Yesterday, I scanned through some of my first fanfiction. The writing quality was awful, but so many of my ideas for The Timeline started there. It was magical getting caught back in that time of creative energy.

So, things have been going well. For my life, anyhow. I've continued to be really excited about just about everything I'm doing. Living in the present is the way to go, they say. And I can almost feel Morgan's presence with me. All I can hope is that we really are close to finding each other in the physical world.
fireflys_locket: (Pillow for Morgan - lovestruckicons)
March is a complicated month for me. It's the month I fell in love. The month I left school. The month my Grandma went into the hospital. It's a month of changes and reflection. A month of breaking apart. And I have been.

I've always thought that the places I go on the internet - this journal in particular - would be like a beacon to my soulmate. Something calling him to me. But I've begun to wonder if everyone having their own blogs and Facebooks and everything has created too much noise for any one person to be heard. I feel like there are lots of people screaming out their pain, but no one is listening. Just because like-minded people aren't finding their way to each other so as to make a connection.

These thoughts were building and exploded when I finally finished reading the first Rehearsal book on Wednesday. I was crashing; that was what I used to call panic attacks before I knew what they were. And that's what it felt like, too... like I was being sucked back to March 2005, when I was breaking, crashing so absolutely.

When I went in to therapy on Thursday, I was feeling a tiny bit more stable - mostly just depressed and exhausted. But I just felt like it was going to be one of those more rare sessions, where I come out feeling worse instead of better. But what Jill thought of when I told her about worrying that Morgan won't find me in all the noise, I wasn't expecting. She thought I should join a vegetarian dating site. I was terrified.

My fears were acute. And conflicting. Of course, I worried that no one would talk to me. That it would just be another place I wasn't finding any sort of connection. But I also worried that my Hachi, my Lover archetype, was going to lose it. Any time that I've felt myself losing control of Hachi the last few years, I've reminded myself that the person wasn't a vegetarian. It was my safety net. Too important to me to compromise on. But on this site, everyone would be a vegetarian. Where was my escape, then?

Jill described it as the fear of failure and the fear of success. But it's not exactly success I fear. Not real success: finding my soulmate. It's the fear of finding someone close enough to my soulmate, that I get confused or tricked. And if I did fall in love, thinking I'd found my Morgan, and that person really let me down, I'd be totally devastated.

Going in, I only have two ways of thinking... I'll either be falling in love all over the place, or I'll be so careful that I won't talk to anyone. The second one being the more likely. Truly, I do fall in love easily, but I don't trust easily. At all. I worry that even if I did meet my soulmate, I'd never believe it was him. I'd never be able to trust him to be real. How can I ever trust that someone would love me, me with all their heart and soul? I can't. That's next to impossible, isn't it?

Well, I joined a site, worked hard on a profile, and looked around a bit. Mostly, everyone sounded so very different from me. The fear that I would be falling in love with anyone, who was a vegetarian, was totally off. Which is good, of course. But as I kept looking and looking, I just felt so weird and messed up. No one was talking about anything like what I go through. And they want emotionally-stable, independant, and decently figured women. Well, I'm none of those. And I never will be.

Times like this make me wonder if I'm just not meant to be happy.
fireflys_locket: (Valerie's Happiness - fireflys_locket)
In the end, I love who I am. You don't hear that from many depressed people. Sure, there are things that bother me about myself. Things I want to improve. And then, there's this body, which I totally hate, and the fact that I feel stuck in it. But sometimes, I close my eyes, and I can feel Morgan near me. I feel his love from where ever he is, who ever he is.

This week, I've really felt him near me. And though the week has been another "too busy for me" week, I haven't had as much anxiety and upset as last week. Why can't it always be like this? Why can't I always feel like this? I want to be this sure all the time.

Ah, anyhow, I did have a couple of days to rest this week. The same sort of days that, when they stretch on one after the other, can make me feel useless, actually were so refreshing. I did a little reading, gaming, and watching. Just dabbled in lots of things. I even got a bit of writing done.

I still feel like I want to be writing something different, though. It makes me wonder if I actually will work on Hate You, Hate Me tomorrow. Hmm. It has been a year since the last chapter, and I even have the next chapter started. But I haven't finished a completely new chapter in 7 long years. Still, 7 is a good number in Harry Potter-verse. Maybe... well, we'll see how tired I am tomorrow. Right now, I can't seem to get enough sleep.
fireflys_locket: (Default)
Part of the end of the ~ing journey (if there really was an end at all) is manifesting your desires by asking the universe for help and knowing your dreams are on their way. For the visioning, I made a virtual poster-board in Photoshop and covered it in images that made me think of my most precious dreams. When it came to finding Morgan, I used pictures from The Sims 3. I looked through most of the sims pictures I had, and though I'd normally prefer Sims 2 pictures, something about one of these pictures was special.

This picture - taken right after Morgan proposed - has me smiling at Morgan in a way that seems to me like I feel happy and secure in the fact that he loves me. That is what I want more than anything. I don't need a big house or a fancy wedding. This picture shows how I want to feel. Which is, apparently, the most important part of Visioning.

So, now, it's time for me to say "goodbye" to ~ing (and by that I mean the book). And actually, I'll probably look to it for help again. I'll certainly need it. For me to stay positive for any length of time would be a miracle. But that's what I've been taught to expect and ask for: miracles. I didn't think I could get anything from this journey, but thank you, Gabby. You proved Vanessa wrong.
fireflys_locket: (Valerie - amillionicons)
All I ever wished for was out of breath, running so slow."

My dreams for my future life: to be a well-known self-published novelist, who lives happily with her soulmate. But if I only get the second half of that, I'll still be satisfied. How I want to feel today and going forward is that every day I'm moving toward the moment, where I will find my Morgan. If only I could dream of him every night and feel like he was that close always. That's what I truly want to feel: that I'm deeply connected to him every moment, even while he's not here.

That was sort of two chapters as one. I'm getting close to the end of my ~ing journey - though I'm not really following it as it was meant to be: a year-long journey. I've definitely taken important things from all of this. Since the day before Christmas, I've been more focused on journaling than writing fiction. I was sort of feeling bad about that, until Jill told me she thought it counted as writing, too. I do think that by the time I'm done with this, I'll be excited to go back to my stories. Maybe I'll even have a bit of a new perspective?

Next chapter is "Knowing: The Universe Has Your Back". I'm actually really excited about that one. I want to have more than this clinging desperation to the idea that my dreams are on the way. I want to know. To not be scared. I don't know if that will actually happen, but I'll try to hope for it.
fireflys_locket: (Release Me - soporifical)
When I wrote my entry yesterday, I felt pretty positive and well-aligned. That didn't last long at all. Before I knew it, I was feeling all caught back up in negative thoughts. "You can't find your soulmate just by sending out positive vibrations," says Vanessa the ego. "Besides, we're talking about you. There's no way you can keep up this positive energy thing, so you might as well give up now." And by the end of the day, I felt just as awful as usual. Nighttime is usually the perfect time for dark things to come after me, and I'm left wondering "Why did I feel good at all today?".

Luckily, this chapter of Add More ~ing is talking about how you must keep working harder even when you get to good place, because the ego isn't just resting all this time: it's getting stronger, too. I think that's something that people fail to realize, and it has a lot to do with how I feel when people use the phase "get better". Emotional issues aren't a cold or the flu or even a form of treatable cancer. You don't really "get better" as in everything's better now. Maybe you find help through therapy, meditation, or the right medication, but that doesn't mean you're cured. Most emotional issues are a daily struggle, and the best you can do is use the tools that work for you to do your best each day.

The same goes with fighting your ego or negative thoughts. The ego isn't a demon you slay and then it's gone. (Forgive me, I've been watching too much Buffy and Angel lately.) The ego is something you're stuck with your whole life. Sounds disheartening, doesn't it? Well, that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do. For me, I've made a lot of progress over the years in "befriending" my dark side, but not really in asserting any control over that darkness. Instead of being a monster that controlled me completely, Vanessa is now like that bad friend, whose advice you listen to even when you know you shouldn't. It's an improvement, but it still means she has a strong influence over me.

After reading this chapter, I am feeling a bit better again, but I won't be surprised when Vanessa tries to pull me in again. Truth is, she's terrified, because the more light I bring into my life, the less room there is for her. No wonder she tries to sabotage my finding Morgan, my brightest light. It all makes so much sense, Gabby.
fireflys_locket: (Hachi Bliss - fireflys_locket)
Maybe it's that I dreamed of Morgan. Maybe it's some of the things Jill and I talked about last night. Maybe it's that I got to see Christen. More likely, it's a combination of all of these wonderful things. But truthfully, I'm feeling pretty good today. So, today is a good day to work on this next chapter of Add More ~ing, because it's about climbing out of negative thoughts into more positive ones.

It might sound a lot like the first chapter, where I was supposed to cross out negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. To me, it's somehow very different. I'm not having a bad reaction to it. Maybe it's that my mood is in such a different place than the day before Christmas. I don't know. I just feel like lifting myself out of a bad place makes so much more sense.

I want to write. I know I can finish Dreaming in Shadow. I'm ready to move onto the next step. And I'm ready to find Morgan, too. It might not be easy for me at first, but I think I've gotten to the point, where I can only move forward with him here. I can't imagine there being a step beyond yesterday, which I've avoided since the beginning. But still, I'm going to keep writing and trying to send out positive thoughts to him. Maybe this year, maybe...
fireflys_locket: (Soul is Burning - _lisichka_)
I was thinking it wouldn't get worse than that first chapter, but I was wrong. I should have known that. I already knew how Gabrielle Bernstein felt about this. I'm sorry, but I don't believe in being whole on my own. I don't want to be whole on my own. I want to find my other half. A balance in my life. And this feeling isn't going to change. That doesn't mean I expect some "perfect" guy to save me. And what I expect out of this person isn't for him to be gorgeous or rich. I expect him to be able to match the overflowing love I have for him. For him to be true to me completely. And for him to believe in the things I hold most important. But I've gone over all of this recently.

What I did get from this chapter - well, it didn't just start in this chapter; it's something I've had to think about for a long time. And maybe it's the last thing that's holding me back from finding this wonderful love I've always dreamed of. But it's not going to be an easy thing to get over.

I've never even been kissed. Not once. Not even a peck. Nothing. That's not really hard to admit, honestly. And I'm not really ashamed of it. I've poured my soul out so many times on the subject of how I've been treated by my peers. Should it really be a surprise that this lonely, tormented girl was never wanted romantically?

But what this has done to me is make me terrified that Morgan has been with someone before. In fact, the only thing in the world that scares me more than this is the thought of never finding Morgan at all. As time goes on, it seems less and less likely that Morgan will be as inexperienced as I am. And it really tears me apart, because when I think of Morgan having been intimate with anyone else, it makes me sick. Kind of in that "I want to die." way.

The problem with all of this is that it isn't really fair to him. I can't expect out of Morgan what I couldn't offer him myself, and the only reason I can offer him my virginity is because no one I loved ever wanted me. I would have happily slept with the guys I truly loved. So, how can I expect him to be "pure" when - in intention - I'm not really pure either. Shouldn't it be enough that he loves me truly and completely from the day we meet on? It should be, but I'm scared that it isn't. I'm scared that the ghosts of his past will haunt me even worse than my own. And God knows, that's saying something.

I tried to cry it out of me. I've tried to imagine myself dealing with the situation and accepting it - which is honestly a step further than I've been able to take in so many years. I've tried to forgive him and release him to have lived before me, because obviously, he won't come out of thin air. He'll have lived. But it still hurts. I'm so insecure about myself as it is.

So, yes... this is all about me. I don't believe wanting someone to give as much love to you as you give to them is asking too much. I don't think wanting the person you love to believe in a God, soulmates, and being a vegetarian is too much. I don't think wanting the person you love to never cheat or even imagine cheating is too much. But expecting the person you love to have never loved before you is too much. If I want Morgan to be real - as in a real person - I have to let some of his past go. I need to be able to love him for the person he is when I find him, and let that be enough.

Maybe Gabby didn't get through to me what she wanted in this chapter - though I do honestly believe in finding the "romance" in other places of your life, like friendship and creativity, and letting go of worldly desires regarding your partner. But either way, I've written about something very painful to think about. That doesn't mean I'm going to be okay with it now, but it does mean that I've decided to force myself to get through this. It will be hard and heart-breakingly painful, but it's almost certainly necessary.

That's how much I love you, Morgan... wherever you are. I'm going to set you free to have made mistakes and choices that have lead you to where you are. I ask in return for you to grant me the same kindness and to be patient with me and my insecurities.


fireflys_locket: (Default)

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