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Another Year Wiser, and Happy Final Full Moon of 2021!

Hard to believe my birthday has come and gone again. Doesn't feel real. Hasn't truly felt like I've had a birthday since I've turned 18. Nothing's felt all that different. Time doesn't feel particularly real. The day started off with a driver almost hitting me by trying to merge into the lane I was driving in. A couple of the kids in before care were acting up, but overall it was a nice day. I had brunch with April and Corliss, which was awesome. They were threatening to kidnap me (apparently they want to take me to Dave & Busters). We went to Denny's, and Sam was an awesome server; he immediately fulfilled our needs before we would even ask--it was instantaneous. I got my food for free for my birthday, too! Corliss and I chilled on the porch with Tsuki before I had to pick up the boys from school; Tsuki was being a wild child and kept attacking us like the hyperactive nut she is. As I caught up with Corliss, she informed me that her niece loves to watch Tsuki's videos on YouTube and how her niece declared that Tsuki was famous. Babysitting went smoothly, and then I had my birthday dinner, which I happened to get free apple pie for. Nancy was a super sweet server and gave us lots of rolls (and thought that my sister and I were my mom's sisters). I got my pie to go so I could share with Tsuki, and she greatly appreciated it because she loves fruit. My sister got me a Tohru and Kyo acrylic piece, and my mom got me a new Sesshomaru backpack, so I had quite an enjoyable (and anime-filled) birthday!

Happy full moon in Gemini! The final full moon of 2021 occurred this weekend, as hard as it is to believe. It feels like we just started 2021, and yet here we are at the conclusion of 2021 with 2022 right around the corner. I included some videos with information/meditations if you're interested in delving deeper for the recent full moon:

I woke up on Monday morning a bit out of it with my dreams shrouded in a haze. My dream involved inventions of some kind. There was someone who had tweaked a baby's toy flip phone into an actual working cell phone. There was kind of travel at some point, but I didn't remember where. There was sort of like a cave at one point, and someone was discussing different kinds of lightbulbs and putting some in. My cousin Mandy was involved at one point. I think there was a cat. Specifics were fuzzy, and that's all I could remember upon waking.

I woke up more rested on Tuesday morning; my dream seemed to focus on babysitting and Pokémon. From what I remembered my dream started off with me babysitting the boys. The younger of the two had set up this comfy area with two mattresses lying on the floor and Pokémon cards spread out all over. He was having us create our own decks to battle each other. The dad entered the room and was displeased with the mess, but he decided to allow it if everything was cleaned up when he was finished. I didn't remember if we actually used the cards or not to play (although I might have been at a store before this point in the dream--the specifics are a bit fuzzy). I think the next part had me playing a new Pokémon video game. I was showing the boy all the different Pokémon I had caught so far (the game catalogued each Pokémon caught, not just each new species, and I know that I caught Magikarp and Gyrados for sure, possibly Growlithe, but also a bunch of others I didn't remember). .I ended up going to a casino type area in the game and decided to do the slots once. I ended up winning big, but it wasn't the jackpot--I managed to get two of the three 7's in a row and won over 73,000 dollars. It was pretty sweet. I wandered around the area a bit more and noticed some character lurking by a computer, which seemed pretty suspicious. I walked somewhat close to the computer and past it, and I heard weird noises coming from it. It sounded distorted and kind of like static. It was really strange. It gave me the impression that Team Rocket/the evil team was up to something, but before I could check it out I had to help the boy I was babysitting. He had been playing with his dog, Pearl, but she was sitting on his head, preventing him from getting up and potentially suffocating him. I got Pearl off of him, and he was quite cross with her. That's the last thing I recalled before waking.

My dream was all over the place Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. It started off with me hanging out with one of the boys I babysit regularly. I'm not sure where we were, but the only reason his parents allowed him to be there was because I was there. His friends were there, and they were trying to make a story or beat a game or something. Someone appeared suddenly, lurking in a doorway and seeming like a zombie or something. It seemed extra dangerous, so I was about ready to step up and protect the boy I babysit. I think I said something, like, "Do I really have to beat you up with this?" (it was like a large doll or something kind of bulky). Turns out the guy was faking it for a prank (looked a lot like Lockstin from YouTube), and he apologized, asking that I not beat him up. I told him while I didn't want to, I had been prepared to do so if necessary. More might have happened, but then there was another part of the dream. I think it was sort of like Weathering With You but some kind of alternate timeline/reality. There was time travel, galactic travel, special powers, etc. I think the main character of this part of the dream went back in time and met an ancestor without realizing it; people were commenting on how the main character's powers were really similar to the powers of this other person--like a dead ringer for them and how strange it was. The specifics of the dream were hazy, but there was this massive forest type city with huge trees (maybe even like a pirate ship?). There was going to be a marriage. People might have been getting cold feet/being on the fence about it. One of the parties disappeared off into space because they thought the other wasn't serious. The other party went to go track them down because they realized that they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them. More happened, I think involving a store, but that was pretty much everything I could remember upon waking up.

It was extra difficult to get up Thursday morning; I felt so extremely tired. My dream was surrounded in a haze, too, so I didn't particularly remember anything. My dream recollection was hazy on Friday morning, too. It felt like a lot happened in my dream, but it was difficult to remember what specifically happened. There was something about travel, adopting a baby, my dad getting 50 cent burgers while going to some kind of trivia night/event for his friend, etc. I got something from a checkpoint in like an airport or something, but the specifics are hazy. It made me curious as to what exactly happened in my dream, but it was murky every time I tried to remember upon waking up. Not sure if it was due to full moon energies, but my dream from Friday night/Saturday morning were veiled in a haze again. I did recall that I kept finding pennies in my dream. I found at least 20 of them, one after another. Some of them were rather old, dating back to the 1700s (not sure when the first penny was made, though). I think there was something about learning a new way to do things, but the specifics were hazy upon waking up. Fairly certain that there was this character in my dream that was a cross between Sesshomaru (from InuYasha) and Naoki (from Itazura na Kiss). More happened in the dream, but I couldn't remember anything else once awake.

There was some strangeness to my dream from what I could remember upon waking up this morning. There was a weird vibe to it, like people were trying to control/manipulate others. I was in some kind of room with other people. I didn't recognize them. There was some kind of odd, little box/contraption attached to my right shoe. I was perplexed as to why it was there. A lady walked in the room and seemed to be in charge/quite knowledgeable about what was going on. No one seemed to be questioning what was happening and blindly following along. The box thing fell off my shoe. I picked it up and tried to figure out what it was. The lady came over, and I asked what it was, commenting that it fell off. She told me not to worry about it, taking it from me and attaching it to my left shoe this time. It seemed suspicious, and I got the feeling that whatever it was wasn't for my best interest and that I didn't actually want it. It gave me the impression that inside the box was some kind of tracker/recording device that listened to conversations. No one else questioned anything or seemed to have any qualms with the situation. I decided to lie low for the moment and not express the thoughts aloud to avoid potential problems, realizing that if it was on my shoe, I could take it off when I was alone--no one would know, and I would be in the clear. That's all I could remember, but I'm pretty sure more happened.

It was the last week of before care before winter break this week, and all the kiddos were excited. The district decided to give everyone two extra days off as mental-selfcare days (the original last day before break was supposed to be the 21st). The pair of sisters brought in new toys this week: llamas. They said they were magical. One was named Sparkles, and there was a small, golden one named "Goldie." The kiddos discussed the recent tornado that had occurred the previous weekend. They all had a lot to say about it, although some said that there hadn't been a tornado, just strong winds. Technically, they were right, as our area only experienced strong winds, but other areas were devastated by a tornado. My art buddy was telling me all about her chaotic Friday evening, informing me that it started with her dad picking her up from school to find out that her brother was sick. Her brother had to have a special dinner, and then the rest of her family had dinner. Then their dog got sick. She went to bed, only to be woken up due to the tornado sirens. She went back to bed after they stopped, but the second time they went off, she ended up sleep walking after her parents woke her up. Another girl told me that she refused to leave without her pig, which was apparently a pillow that she received when she was a baby. Somehow the kids got to talking about how things used to be, and it came up that certain groups/schools used to be only for males; they were quite upset about this and told me that I had to stay because they didn't want me to leave--I'm too nice. My art buddy had me read some more this week; we started a Magic Tree House book and a Black Lagoon book about Halloween. The kids and I started discussing Chinese zodiac signs, and they wanted me to look up what their signs were; they were excited to learn about them. It led to us talking about zodiac/astrological signs; one boy had me guess his sign (which turned out to be Cancer) before guessing what my sign was (Sagittarius). He had a blast discussing various signs and traits associated with them.

I got enlisted to a space voyage. The older of the two sisters had me and another girl join her to visit Planet Cosmo with her three toys: Stella (the cosmic unicorn plush), Fluffball (a purple and pink fuzzy ball), and Weenie (the Beanie Baby Weiner dog that speaks French--or at least says "Oui oui" a lot). It was a perilous journey with asteroids almost crashing into the ship numerous times. One was larger than our ship. Thankfully, we managed to avoid disaster and all of the space rock. Once on Planet Cosmo there were various trials we had to complete. Stella had to complete a rolling race, rolling back and forth across all of the tables in the cafeteria as fast as she could; she had to complete several laps. Fluffball had to roll up a steep "hill" (the ramp that was next to the stairs). Before Weenie could complete any task, the older sister announced we had to travel to Planet Crazy because her sister had been kidnapped; she was being held hostage and needed to be rescued. On Planet Crazy her sister was being submerged in endless layers of blankets while being expected to climb a mountain with her bear. I'm not certain if her sister was ever officially saved because the kids then got distracted by making "mashed potatoes" with shaving cream.

The kids were all excited for winter break; Friday was their celebration day with a school-wide pajama day. Kids got to bring blankets, pillows, and stuffies and would be watching movies. One girl told me she would be watching Elf with her class. A boy brought his elf, Elfie, with him and kept trying to get me to touch the elf even though he told me if anyone else touched his elf, the elf would lose his magic. It didn't make sense to me, but I didn't want to be blamed for making his elf lose his magic. Our boss gave out mugs/cups with our names on it, which was nice. One of the boys brought in a holiday gift for me, and it was super sweet! He picked out a Santa Jack Skellington mug for me for "Creepmas" (that's what his family calls Christmas as they keep out the Halloween decorations through the winter holiday season). He even drew me a Pikachu in a sweater! It was super cute, and it warmed my heart! They're so thoughtful, and I'm glad my presence makes a difference! I surprised my coworker with a gift, too, and it made his day. The kids broke his tumbler/cup earlier this school year, and he's been without one ever since. He was so excited that I got him a Yeti tumbler/cup and was super surprised. I'm grateful to be able to brighten people's days. With all the chaos and darkness as of late it's great to shed a little light and send some kindness their way.

It was another fun week of babysitting. The boys wished me a happy birthday and enjoyed chatting about anime. We discussed upcoming new seasons of anime (such as how The Devil is a Part-Timer is coming back with a second season in 2022), the latest episode of YashaHime, InuYasha memes/theories, etc. We watched video clips from InuYasha, and they thought they were hilarious (i.e. when Kagome was in class and told InuYasha to sit so he wouldn't be seen, but then she got in trouble with the teacher; when InuYasha rescued a little girl in modern Tokyo, etc.). They really want to know when Kagome and InuYasha will finally be freed and make a comeback in YashaHime. Discussions with them are always interesting. They were showing me a bunch of the "So you've heard Elf on the Shelf, but have you heard of...". There were quite a few funny ones, like Vegeta on a cheetah, Goku on a Roku, Eevee on a TV, Mike on a bike, etc. We discussed various abridged series, and they would really like to see a YashaHime abridged and SK8 the Infinity abridged series. They're excited for winter break and excited that Monday and Tuesday next week are half days, so they'll get to see me longer. As I was driving them home, one of the boys asked, "So, you're getting Iris Christmas presents, right?" When I gave him the affirmative, he tried to be all slick, prompting, "So, does that mean you're getting me presents, too?" I replied, "Yes, I'm getting you presents. Unless I wasn't supposed to. I guess I could always take them back." He didn't care for that response, interjecting, "No! You don't have to take them back!" Kids keep things interesting.

I also did some last minute babysitting for another family as the mom forgot about a church function she was supposed to attend and the dad was out of town. The boys were excited to see me. The younger of the two wanted to show me all of his recent drawings and coloring. He had us draw and color various pictures and loved seeing the recent coloring sheets the kids in before care had me create. He thought they were stunning and wanted us to create similar ones together. He also showed me his new lobster toyed that he named River. The boys told me all about the antics of their elf and showed me how the elf picked a very obvious hiding spot that night. We ate some pizza and enjoyed watching movies until their mom got back. It was a fun, chill night, and it was great to see them again.

April stopped by Friday evening to hang out for a bit and play games. She brought over a new game for us to try: What the Heck? It was interesting. It took us a minute to figure out how it was played, but it was pretty fun. It'd be a lot more interesting with more players, though. There'd be a lot more strategy and trying to predict which cards other players would play with more players involved. The dynamics would completely change with 5 players compared to the 2 we had. We definitely want to get together with Corliss and have a game night soon.

Tsuki's been a nut, being wild and hyper yet adorable and cuddly. She enjoyed playing with all the tissue paper from my birthday gifts; she's going to have a field day on Christmas. Tsuki also snuck into the tree several time almost knocking it over. She thinks she's so sneaky. The nutty kitten also climbed into the laundry basket. There's never a dull moment with her around; that's for sure.

More goodies arrived this week! My recent order from Spiritual Supermall's Divine $9 arrived with many energetically chosen spheres, and I'm excited for this week's special--they have 69 different items for $9 instead of their normal 9 items. Super excited for when my new order to arrive! I also ordered some amethyst from their Etsy shop, Spiritual Palace. Spiritual Supermall always has awesome goodies!

Artwork for this week included more Perler projects as well as a sketch for my new story and a painting collage for my former coworker:

I did more writing, reading, and anime watching this week. I wrote a new story, Astro-newts Vs. the Aliens, this week inspired a bit by the old claymation group project I did in school years ago; it was a pretty short video and had me wondering more about backstories about the characters. This was the result of my pondering and imagination. Feel free to read it and share your thoughts! I'm also open to suggestions and recommendations for future stories! I have other pieces in the works, so stay tuned for more stories! Fanfic for this week included: The Fate of the Sun and Moon and Red Wine. I watched the anime Mr. Love: Queen's Choice this week. It was pretty cool; it was nice to see an animated version of the game. Granted, content was cut out because it only consisted of 12 episodes, but it was still pretty nice. I wonder if there will be a season 2 because there's a lot more story left from the games where the anime ended. They didn't delve into the whole Black Queen part of the story, just hinted at her. Regardless, I enjoyed seeing what they did with the anime. I watched the newest episode of YashaHime this week and enjoyed seeing more of young Towa's experiences in modern day Tokyo. My heart went out to her, though; despite the Higurashis' kindness, she was pretty lonely. Hanyo don't particularly fit in to modern day, and being separated from your twin sister--the only person you've ever known--is difficult. I hope they're able to save Rin; their family has been through so much--they deserve to be happy together. It also seems like Moroha might be able to go see her parents--the preview had Moroha holding what looked to be a black pearl, which would mean she'd have an entrance to her grandfather's gravesite where InuYasha and Kagome have been stuck. I can't wait until the next episode! Hopefully, we'll still get a new episode next weekend as it's the holiday weekend. The hype is real!

I also watched Itazura na Kiss this week. It was cute and reminded me a lot of Marmalade Boy, although they're definitely not the same. Perhaps it's due to the anime being older (but definitely not old). I feel like themes and messages in Itazura na Kiss are pretty relevant to the times. The whole marriage/career path incident resonated hard. Naoki tried to help his dad out, feeling guilty (he believed that he was the cause of his father's heart attack through stress by saying he wouldn't take over the family business and would be a doctor instead), so he went about trying to make amends through an arranged marriage to the daughter (Chris) of the boss of the bank his father's company is trying to get a loan from. He was willing to sacrifice his own happiness and dream of becoming a doctor for his father's sake and wellbeing despite everyone trying to persuade him otherwise once Naoki set course for this path. When Naoki heard that someone else proposed to the girl he loved (Kotoko), he panicked and realized what was truly important. He ends up breaking off the engagement, realizing that course had been a mistake. Naoki admits, "This may sound flawed, but there is a girl I love more than her. I recognize the consequences off a proposal. I've done wrong against my father, and yet, if I go against my instincts and marry Chris, I would be betraying both her and myself. And if that happens, it won't make anyone happy." He realizes his misguided attempt to make others happy was a disservice to everyone involved and can't go through with it. It would have been a lie. Sure, they could pretend for awhile, creating the illusion of happiness, but it'd be a sham that couldn't last forever. One day the illusion would shatter, and no good would come from it. Later Chris comes to the university to find Kotoko; at first Kotoko is anxious, thinking that Chris was upset with them. Kotoko is surprised at Chris's reason for tracking her down. Chris confesses, "I came to thank you. Until now, I thought that obeying my parents was the only way to live, but I noticed something by watching you and Naoki. Now I think I should be the one to make decisions about myself. Thank you, Kotoko!" It's important to be true to ourselves. No matter what "good" we can try to rationalize with our logical brains, that doesn't mean it's for the best. Listening to and following our hearts will prove a much greater benefit to everyone involved. Being authentic is vital; you never know how many people are simply following along with the status quo just because they're convinced that's the only way to live, the only option available to them. It's your life; don't choose a path that will make you miserable. Whatever "happiness" you believe it might grant others, it's not worth it. Your happiness shouldn't come at the cost of others' hypothetical happiness. Your choice that you rationalize will make others happy might not actually make them happy, and then what was the point of sacrificing your own happiness?

Life is a journey with us learning along the way. We're all growing and improving as we make our way. Be gentle with yourself; you're doing the best you can. You're doing just fine. There's no need to stress yourself and overthink things. Breathe. Relax. Follow your joy, and trust your heart. You've got this, and the universe has your back. Stay true to yourself, and everything will fall into place. You're here for a reason, but it's okay to take your time in finding it. You're worthy of happiness and love; don't fall under the illusion of otherwise. Take care, enjoy this holiday season, and stay blessed with love and light, everyone~

Some food for thought to consider from Ralph Smart:

Food for thought for the week:

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