2016 – In Review+

Okay so naturally, like anyone else, the year he some good and bad points. I’ve shared some of mine, some of which I still am having trouble getting over or past. Still. It wasn’t all bad. 

Friends days out from January to December; going back to old fandoms and old (and new) movies (Veggietales!!!); Friends doing better in work after having a hard time of it; the plants maintained and thriving; friends married; jobs obtained and managing with healthy work relationships. 

New fandoms, old fandoms, Animarket convention (brother’s first con!) lots of D&D, comics, and of course Harry Potter. Lots of creating and crafting. Some new recipes. Less crochet but I made a couple bags with zips! So progress, even if I’m stalling. 

Sign language! 🤓🤓 TTSL level 1 course attended, but not graded 😐😐 I still practice tho. 

Now we get into it. 

Of course, after all of that, remember the one challenge I set out to complete this year? The reading challenge. It’s been my tablet background all year. Sad to say, I’ve only completed 10 out of a very doable 12. Less sad to say, it’s because other books distracted me 😋

So reading challenge above, what I completed below

 
Naturally, with Cursed Child coming out it  had to be on my list. And comics. Of course. And manga. And lit text books because they’re interesting damn it! I think the only one I really regret is Star  Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers because I think I sort of expected a Proto-GotG and got…. Misogynists in Space. Or a parody of it like, ???? 

Anyways 

So why didn’t I finish the challenge? Spoiler: it’s all books 

1) Harry Potter, because I have to reread it at some point, and I can’t just leave it alone after one. *3

2) Eragon. I’m finally  getting into the series after so very very long. But it’s taking me a while. It’s not a bad series, just, it takes me a while sometimes. *3(+1)

3)  The Name of the Wind. I  immediately had to read Wise man’s fear. It was necessary. *2

 4) comics. I’ve lost track of how many comics I’ve actually read since Hawkeye vs Deadpool , but it’s been quite a lot.  Halfway of Deadpool’s collection up to I don’t know when, Hawkeye 2012, Hawkeye 2015,2016, Dark Hawkeye, where it was really Bullseye spoiler  ,  Young Avengers, while reading Eragon’s last book, I’m also reading Grayson, I read Nightwing, reread Hawkeye vs Deadpool and Hawkeye 2012…

Umm so that’s *?? For comics read

5) yes it’s mostly the comics’ fault. 

6) and Harry’s. 

7) And maybe Albus Severus’. Because wtf would you try to make out with your Aunt, and break up Romione- TWICE!!!!

8) He broke Romione 

On the upside, I really am looking forward to sourcing more of Patrick Rothfuss’ works, and Kate Bishop is a fairly easy Hawkeye cosplay. And Scorpius is a soft little Marshmallow that deserves happiness

____

+ A lot actually happened this year. I loved every bit of it. But Books, tho. These always take precedence. Except 50 Shades. Why did I waste another day on this, I don’t know. I’ll blame my friend. Yes. Perfect scapegoat. It’s your fault, dude. 

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Kids’ say

My friend has a kid who’s adorable as he is an old man at four. You could see the influence his mother’s family has had on him so far and dammit, they grew him up nice. You could see he’ll be a little heartbreaker when he’s ready. 

He also has hair that’s the perfect texture and length for a tasteful, cute little rat-tail of a braid. If it was any of his other aunties – my friends, who all know his family – yeah I’d attack their hair. We’ve all known each other for a decade-plus. We’re all pretty comfortable with each other

But this kid, it’s literally the second time in life he’s ever seeing me because location and schedules, so I’m like, “I wanna do this thing, but I’ll wait for his mother and ask her before I ask him if I could”. That confused my friends, which baffled me.  Dude I’m not gonna just start randomly playing with his hair. He doesn’t know me. I’m a stranger to him. And even then. What if that makes him uncomfortable? What if he doesn’t like it? What if his mother -sensibly- raised him not to let random people play with her child’s hair for their own amusement?

I mean, I guess I get it? One of my friends was raised to be respectful and affectionate toward adults and just-people in general. The other one basically sees children as the equivalent of adults, but tiny.

Still, I know that would freak me out at 26 if one of my parents friends, especially if this is the first time in years that’s I’m meeting you, and I barely knew you the last time, played with my hair.

(That actually happened at a conference that I  went to a couple years ago. Other attendees touched and petted my hair. Freaked me out. I played with my hair trying to make it more comfortable, like a cat licking its fur after being petted. They meant nothing by it, but still)

But that’s just it. Kids have a right to consent, just as much their parents have a right to say yes, you can play. 

I didn’t ask, and I forgot about it, until we left. Didn’t matter anyway. Everybody was so busy anyway. 

The parents do have a say in who interacts with their kids and how. It shows a level of trust between them and the ones that allow to act a certain way toward their children. But I think children have the final say. They know what they like, they know who they trust. 

And you have to know your boundaries. 

Before I chicken out

This is a topic that I’ve had in mind ever since I started this blog  years ago. But this is something that I really do need to address. This will affect the way I’m viewed, by myself, by my family and friends, by my followers and readers.

I’m afraid that this may cause me to lose some, but I honestly hope that isn’t the case, mainly because I could really use you all for support and accounting.

Bad habits are fun to create, hell to break. And I feel like that is meant literally.

Sex.

Basically.

That’s my habit. A major one.

Lemme explain.

I haven’t actually had sex yet. But sex and sexual actions are a vice for me. I keep saying that I need to break out of it. For reasons personal, spiritual, and emotional.

 

It started years ago, maybe more than 10 years ago, and it’s built up steadily over the years. It was a way to explore and get to know myself. Then a way to gain control over myself. A way to calm me down, to get sleep after studying, to give a sense of stability that I felt I needed.

Then pornography, getting more and more wild, getting deeper and deeper into learning and understanding  different fetishes and the like.

One good thing, I know what I would consider allowing to happen to me, and where I would draw the line. Almost a bittersweet consolation.

Still, as a Christian woman, this isn’t something I want hanging over me. I want a husband, I want a family, and I don’t want them to be subjected to the things I was, growing up – pornography and adultery being prominent regarding this particular subject. I really don’t want to perpetuate the cycle, and suggest that it’s okay for my sons and daughters to do.

In my head, I know that this is wrong. In my spirit, I’m constantly aware of the sinfulness behind it. Sex isn’t bad, but sexual immorality is. And these things fall under that. Emotionally, I don’t want to bear any more guilt about it. And it will get worse once I’m in a relationship if it continues. Given that last point, I’m glad I’m not in a relationship now.

Yet in my body, maybe in my heart, I really don’t want to stop it. It gave me  a sense of control over myself. It’s helped me sleep when I couldn’t. It pandered to the idea of being sexually wanted by men, even if it was a general audio, with descriptions of women vastly different to me.

It’s terrifying writing this, given that while a fair share of the female population do watch porn,  it’s not something many admit. Or even admit that it’s a problem. We’re aware of men’s sexual habits and vices that break up marriages and relationships, but we don’t talk about women’s.

And I think that’s how I want to start this spoke in the wheel. Admit that as a woman, I do this, admit that it’s a problem, admit that as a Christian that I’m seriously messed up and have seriously messed up. And start breaking it.

 

 

Pinterest worthy Prayer life

pinterest

I love my prayer journal. I love my bible study journals. Multiple, because, why not? Plus, I mean, multiple days for multiple topics, and there was so much pretty things and stationary and sense of purpose….

You see what I’m getting at?

I dunno when it happened, but it just dawned on me that so much of my journaling was – probably is to be honest – just about the action. having journals, making use of all those notebooks and  pretty journals I collected over the years, then having an excuse to buy more. It’s bible study after all. Improving prayer life. Learning  how to be a better Christian.

And yes, all those things are necessary. All those things are important in and of themselves. And having specific themes and topics studied and put down for later reference does come in handy. You are studying after all. Just like school, it’s good to have notes at your fingertips when it comes to learning, and being ready, and preparing to apply it.

Still, I have to admit Pinterest is a good source to start, but I think I’m getting a little too tied up in the presentation and potential of it all. I have my own method, and it’s working great for me. Still I’m looking for more, and how to be more creative, how to make my stuff more Pinterest worthy.

It cheapens the whole process. Almost falsifies it, I think. I dunno.

Presentation is important, true.

But life isn’t always perfect or presentable. There are ups and downs. Messes, perfect triumphs however big or small.

When I started my prayer journal, I knew it  wouldn’t be perfect. I knew there would be scratches and messy colouring, perfect handwriting, messy handwriting, lots of rewording because I never properly think through what i want to say and how I should say it. And in the beginning, remembering this, I was happy with it. I felt more…. purposeful. Now, looking at the posts and submissions on Pinterest, I’m getting a little less happy. Feeling like I could do better. Do more, make it prettier. Same with my bible study journals.

That’s a mistake on my part.

It’s a new day and a new chance to get back on track. First step is to admit my problems and mistakes. Next step is to do.

Maybe it’s time to close the tab.

 

We are all Edmund

Yes, I’m referencing a tumblr post, found on Facebook, on a WordPress blog, that links back to tumblr. Ain’t dissemination wonderful?

Everyone on tumblr who comes across any post have at least once used an Edmund gif as #relatable, #me, #tbhMe, etc. Also, he’s indeed sassmaster supreme. 

But he’s more relatable than we think. Sure he’d rather not spend his time outside. Yes, we all think his siblings insufferable sometimes. And yeah, we like to come off better than we feel to others. 

But I really think the description in the text post actually sums up my point. All of this is true. And a little on the nose for C.S. Lewis. Aslan as the model for the Christ figure. Yeah, it’s not a boop to the nose. It’s the full palm. 

His other siblings clearly show admirable characteristics- bravery, honour, wisdom and caution, truthfulness, kindness, responsibility. Edmund doesn’t. Not immediately. He’s childish, immature, a liar, even if for fear of being babyish as Lucy was perceived despite both of them experiencing Narnia. He sold out his family for sweets. 

One of the easiest things to do would be to sort them by the Hogwarts house systems. Sweet, innocent Lucy, who believes in the good of the beings around her, but who would fiercely oppose Evil – Hufflepuff. Susan, who looked at things with logic, caution,  and common sense could easily be Ravenclaw. Honour-bound Peter looked after his siblings, saw to it that he fulfilled his responsibilities, and rallied them no matter  what they did is clearly Gryffindor. Edmund knew the reality they faced. They were displaced because of war. His family is separated. He’s upset and makes it known, even if he can’t express what the problem is. He knows what he wants to be perceived as, and aims to portray it. He sold his siblings for sweets. Yeah he’s Slytherin. 

But it’s more than that. 

He was all those things. He did all those things. Those characteristics and his past experiences only helped make him “the Just”. He learned where he went wrong in Narnia. He wanted out. 

He wasn’t perfect. Far from it. I’m sure he had his faults even after the battle. ( Honestly, I’ve only ever read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

He faltered. He had his moments of doubt. But he looked to Aslan, and saw what Aslan did for him. He forgave Edmund. He allowed him Grace. He died for Edmund. Edmund found out, constantly, that he was worth it. And those are things you can’t come back from after the implications of that hit you. And you can’t help but love the person who would give his life for you without an second thought. 

As I said, Aslan as the Christ figure is well on the nose. 

You know when you’ve been just out all day, and you can’t really function, and you know you need to just wash everything off and change, but you’re so exhausted that you’re just tempted to drop on the floor and stay there forever? I’ve been there spiritually for a while. It had to take this exact text post for me to try harder at getting clean and refreshed.

I’ve tried to be Lucy. I’m too much like Edmund. But like Edmund I have that second chance. Way too much, but I’ll take it. 

Les Miserables -Javert

I haven’t posted anything in a while. At least not like this. I’m not entirely sure where or how this will be going, but I do know, I want it to be substantial.

Okay, yeah, Les Mis: The Movie came out like….. was it 2012? I didn’t get to see in on the bigscreen like I wanted, and I def wasn’t gonna stream it because tv shows to catch up on. Actually, no that’s a lie because I’ve streamed enough movies during that 4? year period. Haven’t I?

Beside the point.

What is my point?

Javert. My favourite character among a cast of endearing characters. As much as I’ve youtube’d enough Les mis performances and anniversary specials and movie clips, none has really stood out to me like Javert.

This is a man who knows right from wrong and is willing to uphold the pillars of the law to make sure the right thing is always done.

And yet, he’s faced with Jean Valjean, a man who committed a crime of necessity,  and is also a good man, a man who’s done right by a woman he fired, by ensuring her child’s provision and safety.  A man who saved another from under a cart. A man who’s done right by his adopted daughter by saving the boy she loved. A man who’s done right, by promising to give himself up to the law, to ensure that the boy he saved is given the proper medical care, after removing him from the barricades. A man who – here’s the kicker – released from custody, the very man who was after him for years. 

It’s not like Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean  who knew his duty, but who adapted his strategy when facing Captain Jack Sparrow, because this man was branded and punished for being a pirate, despite saving the lives of 100 people from slavers – thus making said pirate the worst pirate. Jack did wrong, but he was still a good person at heart. So,Chaotic Good.

Where am I going with this? Well, Norrington seemed to understand the multifaceted character of people, and adjusted to suit. Javert on the other hand, had little understanding. It’s his fatal flaw. As God-fearing and law abiding as he is, his two dimensional view of good and evil tore at him, and tortured him when faced with Valjean. His love of God and his love of law and order in society – that’s not wrong. It was why I like him. And it broke my heart to see him throw himself to his death. 

But here’s the thing

Javert has been described as a legalist, in that his “moral foundation … is built strictly on legalism”

It’s true enough that Javert did pray, and swear to God (by the stars), and have enough biblical knowledge to have a pretty emotional song (I quite like it). But I wonder. Javert is legalist. And the musical turned movie summarized his character but the basic structure is the same as in the novel. So, across the board, this is him. He’s legalist –

So devoted is he to this choice that, Hugo writes, “[h]e would have arrested his own father if he escaped from prison and turned in his own mother for breaking parole. And he would have done it with that sort of interior satisfaction that springs from virtue.”

So,  I have to wonder, or conclude, or assume, that the God of the church in ~1877 may not be said to be Javert’s god. It was the law. It was his two dimensional view of right and wrong. His devotion to it dragged him around France persistently after a man who dodged him for ~10 years. It seemed right to do so. Prisoner 24601 Jean Valjean refused to go for Parole . This man who escaped the law and the punishment that Justice claimed he deserved, needed to be apprehended. At any cost.

When faced with the idea that everything he knew and had accepted before was wrong, Javert couldn’t handle it. How could God allow this? How could Javert, who  was righteous, and good, and dutiful, and law abiding, not be able to bring this chaotic, turbulent man to justice? And why is God showing Valjean as a good man, he did wrong, stealing from honest, hardworking people who put in the effort to earn a livelihood? Was it God? Or was it the devil in disguise sent to torture him?

AND one heartwrenching, stressful song later, He’s there, floating in the Seine.

I’m talking about Javert, and what I think about him. I like his tunnel-visioned need to see that justice was served to the people who needed it, however they deserved it. I like that he was dutiful to his people and his country. I like his intentions.

I like his name.

But I like him too, mainly because he’s very relatable to people like me, who try to do good. Who try to live the way God commanded. Who live closely to a set of morals, not only because it’s right, but also, because, it just helps society. It provides a sense of order, preventing chaos and trouble. It’s not perfect, but it helps.

But his flaws make him my favourite. This is a man, who unknowingly created a god out of his sense of duty to the laws of France. What the law said was right. Whatever the law deemed necessary for punishment for whatever crime needed to be exacted. It caused him to act the way he did, because the people deserved more than being taken advantage of by people who he saw as unwilling to make the effort to provide for themselves.

(I’m aware that these statements can be said by people about Christianity)

Aren’t we guilty of that though? We try to do the best we can, to be the Christians we’re supposed to be (ugh, Thenardiers echoed here), but we may unknowingly create gods from something else, even as we claim to want to serve God. I’m not innocent here, surely.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. We can’t hate on Javert, it’s really pointless. He was a broken man, left with nothing but despair. It broke my heart to see him jump though. I mean I know it was coming, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat for months and months. It was only so because, God.

I am not strong. I am weak. I actually am, it’s a running joke with my brother. But spiritually, I just  can’t some days. I won’t. Despair is a running theme, and self-hatred, among other self-harming things.

But I can’t bring myself to physically harm myself. Not- no. Never. I feel that despair, but I feel peace riding underneath, reminding me of something in a situation to overcome. I’m reminded of something, anything, that one thing that I need to be thankful for. And, God, I’m so grateful in those times.

And Javert didn’t have that.

 

 

 

 

 

On this day in history

I hate letting people know when my birthday is generally. There are a lot of reasons why I don’t, and it all stems from how awkward I feel about it.

Still, for the sake of this Post, that’s the context. Tonight’s my last night as a 25 year old.

So what have I learned?

Well, from tonight’s drinking game with my siblings ( at home, where I could easily wimp out and leave, as I did) I learned several things. One, that this would make an excellent blogpost.  Two, that as a Christian, these things have lessons, despite the obvious “drunkenness?!?!?”aspect. Three, that there are some things that I’m too old for, and I was right years ago when I decided that my one drink limit was enough.

And these are the three that I could think of at this point in the post.

Let’s start with the easiest to address – age and alcohol tolerance. I don’t like drinking tequila. I don’t like drinking generally because I hate the buzzed, then uncomfortable feeling afterwards. I prefer to take one alcoholic drink, if any at all, then compensate with bottles/glasses of water to clear my head.  It’s safer, and I don’t feel to throw up immediately after. Unlike tonight. Luckily, it was at home, with siblings and in a space where I could wimp out and get comfy before I sleep. At 25, hours away from being 26, I’m too old for drinking games. Also, I think I inherited my father’s tolerance for alcohol. (It’s hella low)

I’m an old lady, I shouldn’t be playing with these young’uns. Not with these fancy social activities of theirs. I’m lucky tho. I knew when my limit was coming up. I even told my siblings when that limit was coming, then breached. But because I’m either too scared or to vague to say anything outright, I still had to vomit, then walk around a few times before I officially admitted defeat.

So, age, preference, and tolerance level equal not qualified for being an alcoholic. So yay. Factor in the fact that I remember all my drunken adventures(“adventures”) yea, I’m not gonna become an alcoholic anytime soon.

Christianity. It’s not a black and white issue. Alcohol as an issue is extremely vague. Paul talks against it for people serving in the church(1 Tim 3:8), and those who are drunkards are described as people to not associate with(1 Cor 5:11). But alcohol can be useful in medicine (1 Tim 5:23).

Moderate use of anything is good. It’s excessive use that gets us in trouble. And, as low as my tolerance for alcohol is, I believe that I probably crossed my limit long ago. The nausea and throwing up proved it.

I’m just glad that I was in control of my senses to stop before it got worse than it did. Luckily it was comically bad instead of, “holy shit, I think she’s dead” bad.

Most people, being human, can’t control their urges, and they end up giving in to these urges, which quickly become addictions. Alcohol is addicting. It can be destructive when it gets to this point. Which is why I could understand why many Christian leaders tend to abhor it, and strongly advise against, and openly condemn it. The youth in me is saying, but, just know yourself and know your limit. Moderation is key. The old lady who strongly just wants to not regret her decisions say just ignore it altogether. You act as if you’re drunk anyway, just be aware of the crap you’d say and have more control over yourself. Because you could be aware, but still be reckless with your words under the influence of alcohol.

Which segues nicely into my next point. (Ad-libbing) A drunken mouth speaks a sober mind. Which happened tonight. Making everyone, including myself, aware of issues that I still need to sort of probably. Or address. To myself and with others. I’m not complaining. I’m not regretting saying it or revealing it. But don’t think me callous or cruel.  Regret for me tends to be forgetting it out ignoring it, pretending it didn’t happen. Since I’ve revealed it, I could now address it and try to fix things.

This goes back to Christianity. One, excess is bad, leading to sin. And for lack of a better word, self sabotage and disrepair.  But, I’m admitting where I went wrong. I went well past my personal limit, leading to excess and discomfort. Two I said things I would have been better off addressing or staying quiet about. That could have led to a fight, but luckily it didn’t. Thank God. Because two alcohol fueled parties fighting never leads to anything good. Three, well, since I’ve put it out there, bringing this up does make the problem real, more….. corporeal? More…. yes, real. It can be addressed. Which is good. If issues are made clear among people, things can be made new and whole. It puts it out there, ready for a solution to be made.

I’m sobering up pretty quickly given the time since I decided to write this post, coupled with the almost immediate throwing up I did. Which I don’t mind. Tequila is horrible.

So, in this moment of decided (spiritual) weakness, there can be strength. Remember, all have fallen short.

Sigh

I’m just happy that my method of drinking then sobering up means that I don’t get hangovers.

I’ll remember it though. I remember each and every one of these times….. 😳