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Happy Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Gemini!

I hope everyone is doing well! Did anyone happen to see the solar eclipse on Thursday? I unfortunately don't live in an area that could view it in person. I did watch it online, though, and it was pretty neat. For anyone that's interested in more information on the recent solar eclipse and new moon in Gemini, feel free to check out the videos below:

Upon waking up on Monday morning, the details of my dream were a bit hazy, but I remembered a few things from it. From what I recalled my dream started off sort of with a sleepover type thing (but I don’t think it was actually a sleepover). I’m not sure who was exactly there, but I think there was around 5 other people (but I’m pretty sure they were all asleep). There was a TV playing Oliver and Company (which I find interesting since I haven’t seen that movie since I was a kid). I think it was playing something to do with Tito and Georgette. I don’t think I payed that close attention to it. There was a giant bed people were sleeping on, but people kept kicking me off of it, so I decided to leave (although I’m not sure exactly where I went). I think when I left I was watching a video from Amanda Ellis.

More might have happened with that part, but I don’t remember anything else. I think the next part involved the younger of the two boys I'm babysitting this summer. I think someone else was with us, but he wanted to make like some sort of ice cream dish (sort of like a sundae). We might have been at a school (but I don’t recognize the setting as anywhere I’ve been before). He put various toppings on his vanilla ice cream (but I think most of it was fudge and whipped cream). He started eating his and instructed me to make mine. I made mine, but something happened to where I had to take care of something first. A bunch of kids started coming into where we were. I’m not sure if there were as many lunch tables before the kids started coming in, but apparently they were in trouble. According to the kids there was a cafeteria on the other side where the teachers were enforcing a quiet game (and all the kids who went into the room with us and had lost apparently). They were a noisy bunch. I put my ice cream down on an empty table to take care of something. When I was going back to get it a moment later, I noticed that a couple of kids and one of my former coworkers from before/after care were now at the table. I had nearly reached the ice cream (like my hand was mere inches away from picking it up) when my coworker, not looking, picked it up and chucked it over his shoulder. It mostly wound up on the floor, but it had ended up on me, as well. Needless to say, I was frustrated. I stopped him and asked why he couldn’t have waited just a second more because I was going to take it, but now there’s a mess everywhere. He shrugged it off and insisted that it had to get out of there. He didn’t seem sorry at all. I was really frustrated, and I think I decided not to clean it up since he was the one that threw it. I think their lunch was close to over. Some teacher came in looking for a one of the kids. I asked them which one they were looking for (because I suspected she was looking for the boy I babysit). It turned out it was him, and I called him to let him know that his dad was here to pick him up for his appointment.

I think the dream transitioned again (more might have happened), but the next thing I remember happening is that I had to search for my locker (why I’m not quite sure). The hallways seemed a bit cluttered. I don’t know if I ever actually found my locker. I found several lockers that I thought might have been mine, but it turned out they weren’t. The last set of lockers I remember stopping at were apparently over water. There was a great white shark that kept bumping the glass/ice floor. No one else seemed to notice it. It looked like the floor was starting to crack, so I started to ease backwards and climb onto something sturdy. The shark ended up breaking through part of the floor, and I think I ended up throwing random, small, school supplies at it to distract it. I might have woken up then because I don’t remember anything else.

I woke up Tuesday morning and attempted to recall my dream; the details of my dream were hazy, but I was with the older of the two boys I'm babysitting this summer at one point. I don’t remember the particulars of what we were doing, though. There was another part of my dream, and I didn’t recognize anyone (but I’m guessing they were characters from a book/show/movie). Two kids(?) met up in like a mountain. There was some sort of lake, and there was some kind of civilization/buildings at the bottom of it. They become friends. For some reason one of them decided to leave (I think it was a girl). I don’t think the other realized they were leaving (I think the other was a boy). The one that left (the girl) was traveling all over a mountain, and it was snowing. I think someone met up with her because he wanted to go wherever she was going. They ended up stumbling upon a giant owl-like creature (I think it was acting as like a guardian). It apparently was at least partially made out of like crystals because the guy she met on her journey took a crystal from it’s foot (it sort of seemed like he took an entire toe) because the guardian fled. I’m not sure if it’s because it got chased off or it just decided to leave. Apparently, it was going to guide them to the afterlife. The guy she met wasn’t going to let anything stop him from reaching the underworld and knew he needed the guardian/something of the guardian to make the trip. The girl had the choice to go with him, but she hesitated, remembering her friend. She decided to go back and see her friend, but then a bunch of snow came down (and it seemed like it was intentional, like someone was trying to bury her). She kept climbing over the snow as it came down. Eventually she made it to the top—the snow had completely covered the entire cliffside that housed the cave entrance to the underworld. She started her journey back towards her friend. When she returned, she found her friend traveling with someone else. There was a new girl, who was surprised to see the girl had returned—she had been certain the girl was never coming back (like she had made arrangements for her to stay gone—it seemed like she wanted to replace the girl). I think the new girl ended up leaving because she was upset the girl returned. I think the two friends had a touching reunion. The rest of the details are hazy.

The dream transitioned, and I was in some kind of gym. It might have been in a school/with before/after care since a coworker from before/after care was there (but a different one from the ice cream incident in the other dream). There were a lot of kids, and they seemed to be playing dodgeball. I think my former coworker was trying to convince me to join in because I had gone off to the side because it was too chaotic for my tastes. I don't remember what name he called me, but it started with an 'E' (like Ellen or Elise, but it wasn't either of those). He seemed so certain that was my name, but it felt so off/wrong. I think more happened in my dream, but I can't remember anything else from it at this time.

I woke up early Wednesday morning due to a fluffy cat gagging in my room. My recollection of my dream is pretty vague/fuzzy, but I remember being at like a water park. There was a giant structure that had a bunch of water slides (like maybe around 20?). I think it was also sort of like the climbing play structures that can be found in restaurants (but it was massive in size). I don’t remember why I was there, but others were there with me. I had been traveling throughout the structure. There seemed to be someone after us. I didn’t seem particularly worried because I felt that even if whoever/whatever it was found me, I’d be fine. I think whoever/whatever the entity was (I don’t remember what it looked like) found me, they tried to drag me off somewhere. I think they didn’t like how I was inspiring others/kind of leading them. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but the being seemed to view me as a threat. They weren’t really able to drag me away, though. I think they were able to grab me, but they weren’t able to move me. I think I knew I’d be fine in part because I knew a friend/helper could come and help me if need be. I ended up in a room. I think the being wanted to trap me in the room, but it didn't work. I think I was there by choice (I was pretty calm/chill about it). The being entered the room to be like a jerk or something, but the friendly helper being materialized suddenly. I remember feeling the deepest, pure joy when I saw them, and I launched myself at them to give a huge hug. The hug lasted for quite some time and the being was fine with it. I think it resembled Jack Skellington kind of (upon waking I found that kind of strange). They were kind, and I could tell they had my best interests in mind. The being that didn't have pure intent was absolutely terrified by the friendly one, so petrified that they ended up fleeing in terror. It was interesting (I think the being was scared not based on the appearance but the soul essence). I hung out with the friendly being, just feeling really happy and at peace.

I know more happened after that and that there was some other part (like the dream transitioned to something new), but I couldn't remember what it was upon waking. When I told Corliss about my dream, she asked why it was strange. I explained that a tall skeleton being is not what my waking brain typically associates with friendly beings--in my dream I adored the being. While I enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas, my waking brain wouldn't generally associate the beings of Halloween Town as my best friends (not that they're mean or anything, but I prefer cute and cuddly things like my kitty). Although, upon reflecting upon the dream it made me wonder if that was a sign of my growing acceptance of death/endings and overcoming resistance to them. When I'd come upon concluding chapters in my life earlier on my journey, it would hit really hard. While it's not like I have perfected the skill of accepting everything that comes my way, like endings, I've grown considerably in this area over the last few years. I've learned that just because something ends doesn't mean it's the end of the world--it might not even be a bad thing as it could work out for your best interest (especially in the long run). If things aren't meant, they aren't meant. It only leads to suffering on your end if you fight it and resist the chapters ending. The new can't begin or enter your life if you cling onto the old.

I woke up on Thursday morning a bit out of it, and the specifics of my dream were a bit hazy. I remember I had been hanging out with one of the boys in his basement. I think he went to go to the bathroom, but while he was gone some teachers (I'm guessing his ABA teachers that come to help him with strategies for helping him thrive with Autism) arrived for him. I started gathering my things because I was supposed to leave when they got there, but the teachers insisted that I stay. I was a bit confused; they tried to convince me to teach part of it to him and handed me a sheet of paper with a long list of everything they were going to go over for the day, telling me to pick one for me to be in charge of. I was a bit unsure and considered the list in front of me. While I was considering my options and deliberating if I would actually do as they requested, my parents arrived. They saw me with the teachers, and my mom became livid. Apparently they were there to pick me up. Realizing that the teachers were trying to get me to stay later, my mom exclaimed angrily, "Oh, great! Who knows how long you'll be. That's great--just great!!" I really didn't want to deal with my mom and the energy she was bringing, so I handed the paper back to them, said that I would have to try again another time, and left by myself. I think when I got out of the house we were at my grandpa's backyard. Various family members were there, like my aunts and younger cousins. It was beginning to get dark, and I think people were gathering to see a fireworks display like it was the 4th of July. I think more happened at this part, but I don't remember anything else.

Other things happened, but the next thing I remember there was like a museum or something. There were like 4 displays of like mythological creatures (they might have been similar to fossils). They were I guess pretending to only be displays because they were alive. They would talk and interact with one individual in particular. They went on adventures or something because at one point they were at the sea. I think someone else was trying to prove that the creatures were real. There was like a game competition or something like Pictionary maybe? One of them was drawing with a dry erase marker (they drew Laffy taffy for some reason). I think the creatures ended up dying for some reason (I don't remember why). The person who was trying to prove that the creatures were real didn't believe the friend of the creatures. The friend insisted that they had been there and that they could prove it. They whispered in the other's ear about the Laffy taffy, and the person got so mad (I guess because the friend wasn't supposed to be there at whatever that competition was and that the other person hadn't realized that another human had been there--the friend had dressed up like the creatures I think). I know more happened in my dream, but the details are so fuzzy.

A lot happened in my dream from Thursday night/Friday morning, and it was kind of all over the place. The first thing I remember was being on a porch (similar to the one at my place, but I’m not certain if it was the exact same/was my porch). Chad from Bleach was there, and for whatever reason he was hiding beneath a huge pile of pillows (I don’t know if it was in a sense of humor/playful way, spying way, or what). I decided to go outside (it was night time) despite the snow and my lack of “proper” attire (I was barefoot and in my Fruits Basket sleep shirt), and I didn’t care. I ended up prancing around in the snow. I think more stuff happened, but the next thing I remember is you came over for a sleepover I think, and the snow was gone. We met in the backyard by the porch. I looked up at the sky and remarked how beautiful the two moons were. They started off as normal moons, but then eclipses happened with the moons. The eclipses started off normal, but when they reached the total eclipse, both moons were covered by a yin-yang symbol rather than the normal black disk/covering. That’s all I remember from this part of the dream.

I think the next part of the dream took place at the high school. I think a lot happened there, but what I remember is following Pearl (the boys' dog) around as she ran throughout the school. I don’t think the teachers/students minded Pearl being there (and I don’t particularly remember actually seeing anyone else). At one point I noticed that Pearl had disappeared and reappeared with something in her mouth. She started running again, and I felt that it was important to get whatever it was she took. When I got her to stop, she had ran into a bathroom. Turns out she had taken some keys. The keys were apparently to room G116 (I’m not sure the significance of that room because I don’t remember anything else from this part of the dream).

I think what happened next was being at some movie theater. My mom was there with me. You were there with someone else and sitting with us. I don’t know what was showing, but you all noticed that some people had left and wanted to move to the closer seats. You all left, but I felt comfortable where I was. I ended up sitting in the row all alone (but I didn’t see why you all wanted to move—we were towards the middle of the theater already and the seats were pretty ideal). The seats you all moved to seemed farther away actually. The screen was off to the left side, but you all ended up taking new seats in the bottom right corner.

The next thing I remember is driving the boys in my car. We approached some railroad tracks and the railroad bars started descending. I paused, considering if I should wait or not. As I looked and weighed my options, I noticed a train very, very ever-so-slowly approaching. I remembered another way to get to the park, so we took a detour and avoided the train. More might have happened, but anything else with this part is hazy.

Next thing I can recall you and I were in some sort of cave. I think it was to mine some crystals. When we got there, you knew we had to check in and knew the person in charge of the cave. You called out to see if they were there. They called back out in response from a tunnel a little bit ahead of us to the right. You went to go check in. I think more happened, but that’s all I remember at this point about this part.

That last thing I remember is I was with my family and a little girl in some room. I guess it was kind of like a living room/sitting room. I’m not sure where it was or why we were there. The little girl was sitting in a chair with some wicker cabinets behind her. The cabinet doors started to slowly open. I noticed and thought it was strange. The little girl closed them, but then cabinet doors by my mom started opening. She closed them. Each time a set of doors was closed, a new set would open. We weren’t particularly freaked out about it, but it was strange. Eventually, all of the doors started opening and closing by themselves all at once. We were stunned. I think the owner of the room appeared and explained that it was paranormal activity and the ghost of the room doing all of it (either that or it was like a narrator explaining things—I’m a bit fuzzy on the specifics). More might have happened with that room and the dream as a whole, but it’s all I remember.

Corliss requested to analyze my dream on Friday, especially after finding out that my cat likely has cancer (at the bare minimum she has a bunch of fluid build up in her lungs--to the point where you couldn't even see her heart on the x-ray). First it was sent a 6:44. This is beginning if a relationship and both of our life path numbers. You were carefree and the representation of spring/youth. Chad, one of the most masculine people in the show about transmuting spirits hid as the 2 feminine moons shined brightly, in a realm where there was death (the representation of death). I came and death bowed while wisdom (I don't want to say old but it is complimentary to your youth. But yeah old) appeared with youth. As the feminine reunited there was change and then balance restored and two worlds (that of spirit {Chad} and life {your sleepshirt} young and old. Pearl seems to be a gatekeeper. G =7 and 2 and 6 reduced to 8. Can be looked at as ascending 7,8 or the age of your cat 15 (I corrected her that fluffy cat is actually 13; if I had to guess, she was remembering when the cat I grew up with, Rascal, was put to sleep at age 16 back when I was 15). The school = life lessons. As you absorb your world as a conscious observer (like one in a theater) know that there are people that care about you in your corner, though you may seem alone. 7+ 6 with 11 to balance? There's that 13 again.... In the next part you decided you don't just have to do the obvious choices given but to "detour" make your own decision/choice and be resourceful. Beginning and ending. Next part looks like our oversoul wants me to assist you in getting into your own subconscious. An invitation if you will. Some mine for gold or coal but crystals represent spirit. I know we are connected (my meditation from nearly 2 years ago) and it's a way of letting you know that you know the material but this is how you get in (this is the most theological). Do you recognize the little girl? Or was she wearing anything memorable? (I informed her that I didn't remember any specific details about her appearance upon waking, so I couldn't say if I recognized her.) She noted that I was pretty thorough, but she hoped. Could be my inner child. There are windows/opportunities opening and we close them ourselves. Especially when we get too comfortable (family room, family members, mirrored actions). The universe or "spirit" will sometimes butt in to reset the path for us, sometimes it could be alarming or frightening.

I didn't remember too much from my dream when I woke up on Saturday morning (and fluffy cat slept with me, which left me super excited), but I do remember there were foxes. I think I had been driving (not sure exactly why) and I noticed a fox. I think it had slightly longer legs than normal. Later I was by the foresty field area sort of by the elementary school on the way to the highway. There was probably a group of about 20 foxes there. The adult foxes were a bit peculiar as most (but not all) were standing and walking around on their hand legs instead of on all four. The baby foxes seemed normal from what I recall. The group kind of reminds me on the early Pokémon episode of the group of forest Pikachu that Ash almost left his with.

The next thing I remember is being with two of the kids I babysit (a brother and sister). The sister was eating a burger for dinner I guess (kind of odd since she usually shies away from eating a lot of meat) and was telling me about her new favorite shows, which happened to be Miraculous (Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir) and Kim Possible. She had 3 new wall posters about them and had new shirts. She was so excited. Her brother was supposed to join us to eat, but he was in the other room playing video games. I grabbed a few curly fries and went over near him, pretending to eat his dinner and going on about how it was so good (I'm guessing the fries were mine as they weren't either of the kids'). He came out with a big bowl of macaroni, announcing that he chose Panera mac 'n' cheese for dinner. He had a huge grin on his face and was so excited. More might have happened in the dream, but that's all I remember. The two shows had me thinking mainly about the phrase from Kim Possible: "Anything's possible for a Possible" and how miraculous (i.e. the word but also the fact that the kwami grant special powers) relates to miracles (Ladybug and Cat Noir's miraculous also relate to creation/life and destruction/death).

I shared this dream with Corliss and her response was: "Full disclaimer: I called Panera right before I opened your message, and I'm just like ok. Ok. Also, the aspect of 2 as well as divine feminine. Feminine is death and creation. You even messaged me at 11:20 this morning... The universe is throwing 2's at you. You need balance. You're good at following your intuition and I believe in you. The universe is trying to draw more out of you for you and your family. Even the laffy taffy is a number code: The beginning of balance in relationships and initiative. Even if it's calling out your family in their b.s.... in a respectful way of course. The adult foxes represent the parents/people in charge of your family... They're doing things upside-down. In the past few days the universe, spirit itself is telling you that the lack of balance in your family is.... Well is, I'll let you fill that in." Even though she said that, I'm not all that certain of how to go about it. Things feel muddled right now. I don't know how to go about righting the imbalance. It's kind of frustrating. I'd appreciate greater clarity on it. It's all well and go to receive these messages from the universe, but if I don't particularly understand it/what to do, it feels kind of like a moot point. All we can ever do is our best, but it feels as if the universe is wanting me to do more.... I know life is a journey and learning process. I know the answers are much more meaningful when you discover them for yourself. Some additional insight and clarity would be quite helpful and appreciated right now, though.

Friday hit hard, though. It started off fine enough. I was a bit confused by my dream, but I knew it was significant since I remembered so many different parts. I spent the day with the boys, but while I was watching them I got a message from my mom asking if I would be by that night. I thought it was strange, but I informed her that I would. She wanted to talk to me about fluffy cat. That didn't bode well. When I got back from babysitting, I found fluffy cat waiting for me like usual at the window. I thought it was strange that the pet carrier was sitting on the floor but decided to focus on letting fluffy cat go for an outdoor adventure since she always waits for me to come back. When we went to the porch, I noticed that a part of her was missing fur and matted. It made me wonder if she had been biting her fur away or something. It didn't bode well. I started to grow concerned, especially when she didn't want to do much outside (it was hot but she usually wanders around for a little bit). My mom informed me when she got off work that she had taken fluffy cat to the vet because when she came home for lunch she noticed that fluffy cat couldn't get comfortable, sleep, eat much, or breathe easily. The vet took an x-ray and found so much fluid in her lungs. They couldn't see her heart. They admitted that it was most likely that she had cancer. They drained the fluids from her lungs (hence why she had patches of fur missing), but they cautioned that eventually the fluid build up would return--whether it be in a matter of weeks or days. We have limited options for treatment--anything that is done will most likely only be able to ease her suffering and make her more comfortable. There likely isn't a cure. It's been rough for us... because at the end of the day, we don't want her to suffer. We prefer her to stay with us but not in suffering. The vet had mentioned something about moving her to the ICU, and what kind of life is that? She hates strangers and unfamiliar places... She wouldn't be able to thrive. With this in mind we realized that letting her go to sleep and rest in peace would be the only way she wouldn't suffer. She doesn't enjoy taking medicine, and who knows how many she'd end up taking. There's only a matter of days left with her without prolonging her suffering. It's hard... I know that I've been growing and improving with acceptance towards endings, but it's still so difficult.

I did get my family some cookies to try and lift our spirits a bit. The irony of the name of the cookies and feeling chipper is not lost on me.

Corliss tried to cheer me up by telling me about a gift she just got for me. It's the Moonology deck, and she told me not to worry because she got one for herself. I found this quite ironic--we are on the exact same wavelength because this is a repeat of what happened previously. She was correct in believing I would enjoy this deck as I do since I got it at least last summer (if not before that). Back in late winter/spring I had gotten this spirit animal tarot deck for both myself and Corliss because I was certain that she would love it. She did love it because she had already bought it for herself. We had a good laugh about it both times, especially after it played out again with the Moonology deck. We can't with ourselves sometimes, but at least we can find the humor in it all.

It was another fun week of babysitting this week. One of the boys wanted to participate in a morning camp with his friends, and on the way there on Tuesday I saw a fox wandering around their neighborhood near the school. It was pretty exciting (at least for me); when I saw it cross the road off in the distance, I thought it might have been a cat, but it had seemed too large to be a cat (it didn't seem like a dog either, though). It was an adorable fox!

One morning I noticed that the house that's been fenced off had a bunch of graffiti all over it. By the time I was driving by to drop one of the boys off at swim practice about 15 minutes later, they had started to tear it down. When I picked him up from swim practice about an hour later, it was a pile of wood splinters. He was impressed with how fast it was demolished.

One of the boys wanted to go to media camp with his friends this week, and he had a blast. He loved working in the media room; one day he arrived to pick up like 10 minutes late--he apologized for the delay, admitting he had been in the zone in the media room and hadn't realized what time it was. I wasn't bothered by it; his brother and I had just been chatting while we waited. I was glad he had been enjoying the camp and had the chance to tap into his creativity. He's quite the creative individual, but he doesn't always pursue creative outlets. He was incredibly proud of his "Dorito Rain" piece he made--it was even feature on the camp's webpage, and his friends all wanted a copy of it. I love how elated he was with his work (April, Corliss, and I all love it, too). While at camp he started adding drawings to his nametag--it was inspired by Friday Night Funkin', the game he is currently captivated by. It looks pretty interesting from the videos he's shown me.

He's enjoyed showing off his new gaming laptop, too. Usually he plays the Roblox version of Friday Night Funkin'.

He also became rather fixated on a particular video series/dance, showing me and his brother often throughout the week. "It's a spooky month!" (lol)

We ended up going to the pool this week. One of the boys met up with his friends. The other generally likes to keep to himself (as crowds and lots of commotion can overwhelm him, which I understand completely because I experience them similarly but probably not as extreme). His mom had been going on about how much he respects and adores me earlier this week (she had hoped he would talk to me about what electives he wants to take next school year because he doesn't really want to talk to his parents about it). One of his classmates from school saw him at the pool, but he didn't really feel like talking to them. He wanted me to go in the lazy river with him so we could talk about anime (specifically SK8 the Infinity and Miya), games, and theories. I felt very honored because he had been keeping to himself, doing his own thing. For someone that prefers his own company, it says a lot if they ask for you to come with them and hold discussions. Sometimes I wonder if I make a difference, but when events like these transpire, it seems blatantly obvious that I matter quite a lot to these kiddos, and I'm grateful for it. (I also ended up rescuing a cricket from their basement later—I was instructed to kill it, but that didn’t feel right because the poor thing was likely confused and terrified because it was trapped inside. No idea how it even got it. It was quite the feat to actually get it outside, too, as it was jumping around like crazy and getting itself stuck behind their bookshelf. I’d rather not kill things if I don’t have to—the cricket wasn’t harming anything/anyone, so why not save it?)

We also did more karaoke, trivia, and discussing anime. This week we discussed InuYasha, Dragon Ball Z, SK8 the Infinity, and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. These kids crack me up. The younger of the two boys had taken a deep sniff, trying to smell the fruit by the foot while it was still sealed. I pointed out it would probably work better if he opened it. His response: "Maybe." He opened it and tried again, remarking "Yeah, it worked better." The older of the two was slaying me with his comedy routine. He was doing like this improv valley girl act (inspired by the two girls at the beach that had been talking to Joe in SK8 the Infinity--they had remarked, "Dude's a dad."). He enjoyed the beach scene and has been copying the girls' remark lately--he decided to take it to a whole other level this week, though. He just kept going with it. He's got some mad improv skills. One day when it was time to pick up his brother from swim practice, I asked if he was ready to go get his brother..

Him: "Do I have to?"

Me: "I doubt he'd appreciate being left at swim practice."

Him: "I want to go home."

Me: "You are home."

*moments later in the car as we're driving to pick up his brother*

Him: "I can't wait to see my brother and his happy smile."

They literally have me laughing out loud with their spontaneity (and authenticity lol). When I shared what the boys had been up to this week with Corliss, she remarked, "Kids are too much for me. The kids have been cracking me up lately. Malik has made it his life's work to prove me wrong. 'Well, your always right and I have to see if you'll ever be wrong.' I CAN NOT." Kids are incredible and truly say the darndest things. They are hilarious, and I'm so grateful I have so many wonderful kids in my life. I had been talking with the boys how I can't with Iris sometimes (like how she decided we would both have matching rainbow light shoes when we were both 5). These kids, oh man.

I hung out with April and Iris this week, and Iris was being her typical comical self. She always loves talking with me, finding no shortage of things to tell me about. This week she enthusiastically explained that she loves to dance and roll like a rollie pollie as we drove to a store. When we got to the store, she entered the store repeating, "Beep beep I'm a sheep. Beep beep I'm a sheep." When I was getting ready to leave, she told me not to go, that I had to stay. When I explained that I had babysitting the next day, she considered this, thinking hard, before pushing me towards the door. I was surprised as she had never done this before, but she then changed her actions, hugging my leg and giving it a kiss. She then walked me out to my car, excitedly discussing the stickers on my car. She always informs me how much she loves my car.

New Divine $9 goodies from Spiritual Supermall arrived this week, which was super exciting. I love all the neat crystal items they release every week. It's always full of fun surprises. I eagerly anticipate for my Divine $9 goodies that I ordered this week to arrive as well as for the new upcoming releases tomorrow. I also found an adorable seal Squishmallow; I was drawn to buy it, and then I saw that it's name was Isis--it felt like I had to buy it at that point. The goddess Isis is awesome.

It's hard to believe that I started my sticker journey six years ago. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago (I knew that I started with my old car, but I keep thinking I've only had my new car for a couple of years lol). I've come so far. When I shared the memory with Corliss, she exclaimed that the nakedness of my car in that photo was indecent (LOL). It was quite bare at that point. A bunch of people (mostly the kids I babysit, though) want me to cover my car entirely with stickers. I wonder how long that would take. It took six years to cover the entire back and start working my way around the sides (lol).

Here's the paintings for this week (we'll see how many I create this upcoming week since fluffy cat's health isn't 100% and I may be emotional):

I'll be honest, the latter part of this blog post got deleted sporadically (I don't know how it happened). I'm going to re-create it to the best of my abilities, but some of it will likely be lost. It's frustrating, but I don't know what else I can do except re-write it. This week's episode of Fruits Basket hit home hard, especially in light of fluffy cat's health (I've been crying a lot this weekend due to her deteriorating health). Here goes nothing, though--time for take two.

This week I read more fanfic, caught up on the most recent Fruits Basket episode, and watched Raya and The Last Dragon. Fanfic for this past week includes: Sesshomaru's Off Day Dinners, Pillow Talk, When Opinionated Meets Conceited, Skinny Dipping, Communication, The Omiai, Come to Shore, Café Hypnotique, and Waiting for Your Heart to Find Me. Fruits Basket is hitting really hard lately, in regards to the show's story but also what's been happening with fluffy cat. In last week's episode Tohru's consolation feels like it came from fluffy cat. Fluffy cat's health has deteriorated; while it got better after the vet drained all the fluids in her lungs on Friday, it seems to be going downhill as the weekend progresses. Tohru reassures, "It will be okay, so please, don't cry any more. Everything ends eventually. Happy times. Fun times. But scary and sad times, too. They will pass. Always. Even if you can't believe it right now, please, keep living. Don't give up. I want you to live. It's alright if you make mistakes or take the long way around, but please, please, live. Whatever happens don't stop moving forward. Keep walking, one foot in front of the other. Even if I'm not by your side, keep walking. It's okay. It's okay. I promise. Kyo, it's all going to be okay now. Can you hear me? Am I reaching you? Please... Let me reach you." It feels like fluffy cat wants us to know that the pain, heartbreak, and loneliness will pass, as much as it hurts right now.

The rest of the episode deals with similar themes. Yuki remarks, "If only it could have been possible to go through life without any miss-steps. If only this world could have been a kinder one, without anxiety or fear. Or it didn't hurt anyone, and no one hurt me. If only things had been different. If I had taken a better path, a shorter path, to the kinder world I've been wishing for. Without any wrong turns or regrets." If only you hadn't gotten ill, fluffy cat. If only we could have caught things sooner and helped you get better. Draining your lungs of the fluids helped, but it didn't fix things. We can tell they're filling up again. It's becoming a greater and greater struggle for you to even breathe, let alone get comfortable enough to sleep. You, poor thing. If only the world was a kinder place where you don't have to suffer. You joined our family as a kitten with a respiratory infection, and you're leaving with breathing complications, too. It's a very sad irony that you've come full circle. I just hope that you get to leave feeling loved rather than feeling scared and anxious like you probably felt as a baby on the streets with your brother. Life can be extremely difficult sometimes. It's not always fair. I know there's meaning in everything, but this experience hurts--we wish we could make you all better.

Kyo shares the sentiment. Kyo feels rather helpless and wishes he could do more for Tohru. Kyo blurts, "Yeah, sure, I bet somebody like you could pull that off [swoop in and save her from falling of a cliff or from getting hit by a car], but if I could be like you, I already would be! Don't you understand?! I wanted that! To be you!" It was pretty monumental for the story, as Yuki and Kyo finally admit that they admire each other. Yuki retorts, "... So did I! That's what I wanted--to be like you! I admired you--so much.... But you're you. I'm me, and we can never be anything more. We can only be ourselves. We have to accept ourselves and face who we are... Open your eyes and realize there are things only you can do!" It's important for us to realize we are who we are, and we are who we are for a reason. As much as we can admire others and notice their redeeming qualities, we shouldn't make comparisons and put them on a pedestal. There are things only they can do, but there are things only you can do. Each person has their own unique set of skills, knowledge, experiences, talents, and gifts. Some people may be better at certain things than you, but there are things that you are better at. It does no good to compare ourselves to others. We should be concerned with ourselves and make comparisons with our own growth and personal bests. Our journey, our story, our path is unlike any other. It's through Yuki's "pep talk" that Kyo finally realizes the truth, as he thinks to himself, "Things only I can do... That's right." It's something we all need to recognize. It's this realization that prompts Kyo to make a decision and set boundaries. He's finally able to stand up to his father, backing his boundaries with conviction. Kyo announces to his father, "I refuse. I won't go in there [the cat's cottage/prison]. Not ever. I'll live my life on the outside. I'll choose. That's why I came--to make that clear to you." We need to learn to stick up for ourselves and not let others deter us from our truths. Kyo didn't come to his father out of malice or to taunt/terrorize him. He merely wanted to make his intentions and decision clear; he's going to choose from now on rather than others dictating his path. Kyo asserts, "I won't throw myself away. No, I'll try. While I'm still alive, I'll try to really live." He's not content existing any longer, no longer accepting the meager crumbs tossed his way that he "should be grateful for" as his reality. So many people settle for less than they want, less than they need even, because they buy into the beliefs and thoughts of others. They fail to listen to and follow their hearts. They die with their song left unsung, locked away in their soul, waiting to break free. It only takes a moment, though. One instant can change everything. All we need to do is choose.

Many people seem to believe that changing is impossible. Maybe this belief is due to fear. Maybe it stems from comfort of the known. Regardless of the why, people get caught up on the belief that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." Even if they believe that change is possible for others, they seem to think it can't apply to them. The Soma attendant embodies this in the episode. She is convinced she's unchangeable, becoming ensnared in comparisons to others. She admits, "I envy you young people. You can change your whole way of life so easily, but I can't. Too many years have passed. I was born and raised here. I don't know any life outside of this estate. It's too late. Maybe you can change in the blink of an eye, but I can't. I spent forty, fifty, sixty years building the life that I have now. I simply can't walk away from it. It's too hard. Too frightening. I'm too old to change. I can't do it." It can be terrifying taking that first step into the unknown, leaving behind everything you've ever known. Change can happen to anyone at any time, though. Age has nothing to do with it (although the older you are, the greater the chance that you've undergone conditioning by others). It all boils down to choice. You choose it. You choose to remain as you are or you choose change. It's a s simple as that. It's just like Akito asserts; she replies, "Then don't. Stay exactly where you are. Do what you want, but I'm going. It's past time." Do whatever you want. At the end of the day, it's your choice. No one can force you to do anything. You don't have to act the same as others, share their thoughts and beliefs, or make the same choices. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. It's your call. You get to decide. Sometimes it feels rather difficult making decisions, but they're still ours to make. Kyo reflects, "What to do and how to do it; the answers are simple. So simple but difficult as hell. It was hard for me to get them, and that's what makes them so valuable." Life is a journey; we're not born with all the answers. It's a lot more meaningful when we learn and grow to discover the answers we seek. It's through the process that the experiences, information, and solutions become personally meaningful--we're able to fully understand them and appreciate them rather than receiving free handouts. Through the process we can genuinely integrate them. Life's a journey and the solutions for one person might not work for you. We learn as we make our way along. It's okay to get confused or lost; it's okay to stumble or make mistakes. They're opportunities to learn and grown. Yuki emphasizes, "If only it could have been possible to go through life without any missteps, but it's not. We fail. We stumble. We get lost. We make mistakes. The path is there. We just have to keep walking it, one step at a time on our own two feet, however much we get hurt. We have to move toward that something or that someone at our destination." Such a world would be kinder and simpler, but as much as we may want it, we probably wouldn't learn and grow as much in such a world. It's okay to take your time. There's no need to rush. It's your path. You call the shots. Chapters will end, but new ones will begin. Don't be afraid to continue forward; imagine if you remained in your chapter one for eternity--you'd never get to experience all the joy, love, laughter, and blessings in the following chapters. Keep moving forward. See where your story takes you--I'm sure it will be somewhere wonderful, even if the skies seem stormy right now. The storm will pass. The sun will return. You may even find a rainbow. Don't give up. Keep putting one foot in front of another, even if at times you have to almost crawl along. Each inch forward you take is one inch closer to all the beauty life has in store for you. You'll never find it if you stay put. Please, take care of yourselves, and please, be gentle with yourselves. Remember that you're doing better than you think. I'll do my best to do the same. Stay blessed with love and light, everyone~

Food for thought from Ralph Smart:

Some food for thought for this week:

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