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Hooray for Spring Break~

I've definitely enjoyed this week. Tsuki and I chilled and played a lot during spring break. I definitely enjoyed sleeping in; not exactly looking forward to getting up at 5 am again starting tomorrow, but it won't be a forever thing. I plan to finish out the school year with before care, but after that I don't plan on getting a job that requires me to be up so early. The job itself isn't terrible, but the timing of it isn't my preference.

When I woke up on Monday morning, it felt like I slept in super late until like 10 o'clock, but it was actually only until like 7:45. My dream had two parts that I could remember. The first part had me at the preschool I used to work at. I was helping out with after school care. Some of the staff were pulling kiddos out to call their parents because they apparently had an overdue balance; they were going through a list, crossing people off as they got squared away. The next thing I remembered was being in some kind of hotel lobby or lounge. This guy that seemed to be an otaku was excitedly telling me about some kind of special black and white TV. Some people he knew (that he seemed to be traveling with) walked by to go to the elevator, but he was completely oblivious, all in his own little world of excitement. At some point he left, and Corliss and I went to get a room. It gave me the impression that we were in Chicago, but it was never specified exactly where we were. As we were getting our card keys, the staff explained to check out the pockets because they included a bonus. It was some sort of money on top of each of us receiving a free $40 gift card/pre-paid debit card. We were told to check the pocket of the room card keys for the bonus; I had received two, and Corliss had received two. As we were heading to the elevator, we passed some kind of slot machine. A bit past it I noticed a considerable stack/pile of coins that happened to be rather fancy and for the slot machine. We decided to play after we put our stuff in our room. Not sure what happened next because I woke up.

My dream felt rather full when I woke up Tuesday morning. From what I could remember there were three parts to the dream. The first thing I could recall was being in a field helping this group combat deforestation by planting more trees. At another point I was babysitting for one of my regular families, and the kids were ecstatic to see me. The brother was searching through all my new content and merch, impressed with what he saw. The daughter wanted to know about Tsuki, played with Tsuki (apparently the nutty kitty came with me), and discussed art with me. Their mom came to see us; apparently, she forgot that she asked me to come babysit. She decided to pay me extra since she forgot and was sending me home after about an hour (like she felt bad for cutting my income since it was spring break and since I wasn't working). As she was sending me payment through Venmo, she was asking about Tsuki, so I explained about all her antics and how Tsuki is an escape artist. Their mom ended up paying me $1010, which was a pleasant surprise. The next thing I knew I was on a trip with April and Corliss. We were at what seemed to be a souvenir shop. I found this fluffy, tie dye hat for like $2 and this cool crystal. It appeared to be clear quarts full of rainbows as well as having little clusters of pyrite on it. It looked super cool. I showed it to Corliss, and she accidentally broke it. At the checkout I got a discount since it was broken. That's all I could remember, but I knew more happened in the dream.

I was a bit sleepy when I woke up Wednesday morning (probably because I woke up early before my alarm and couldn't fall back asleep). From what I could remember my dream started off with babysitting for a family I hadn't met before. There was a brother and sister that were elementary school aged and a younger brother that was toddler aged (probably like 3 years old). We were playing outside, and I kept noticing all these people that were driving while on their phones; they would weave all over the road, and a couple even abruptly stopped on the opposite side of the road where oncoming traffic would be. One of them got fairly close to hitting me, but if I said anything to alert them to their reckless and dangerous behavior, they would get extremely triggered and flip me off. I remembered hanging out in the kids' pool with them (I got the impression it was summer), and, apparently, their neighbor across the street had this massive water slide basically as big as their 2 story house. I think my brother and his wife might have been there for some reason. There was also something involving SpongeBob characters. Mr. Krabs seemed to be gorging himself on Krabby Patties while setting up this buffet of cheap junk food for his customers. There was also something about Plankton becoming the father of these half robot twins with Karen. I think the twins could fuse together, and there was something about them journeying into space and becoming part sheep. It was strange. That's all I remembered upon waking up.

A lot happened in my dream from Wednesday night/Thursday morning, but my dream recall was spotty since I kept waking up for whatever reason. I knew that at one point I was babysitting one of the boys I watch regularly. He wanted to invite me to his birthday was awesome (which is months away). He told me it was Lego themed and to bring my own character (whether actual Lego figure or some other figurine) to use in the games. Apparently, he was learning how to drive and was driving me to my place. He was doing pretty well and was cautious. He almost hit this truck because there was this sudden backup of cars on the road, but he stopped in time. He grumbled about others not knowing how to drive. When we arrived,we played with Tsuki, and there was something about him cooking some unique flavor of macaroni and cheese. The next thing I knew, I was at the beach. I think I was there with my family, and I collected some neat seashells. The tide receded suddenly, and people started shouting to get off the beach and away from the water. As I traveled away from the water with others, a huge wave returned with a vengeance. It brought with it several great white sharks. Everyone made it away safely and witnessed the sharks being in some kind of frenzy. A lot more happened in my dream, but that's all I could remember.

For whatever reason I struggled staying asleep Thursday night/Friday morning, despite being tired. Maybe it had something to do with energies. My dream recall was spotty, too. There was something about getting Long John Silvers for lunch with a new location opening up. There was another part where April and her mom showed up out of the blue to my house while I was out on a walk; April's mom demanded to know where I had been and why I hadn't been home. April happened to be pregnant again. I ended up leaving to go to school. I was supposed to be going to this class, but the path to get there was really complicated. I ended up getting lost because the teacher changed the location without telling anyone. There were kids being rowdy in the hallway and in the library with one boy jumping off a higher level. A librarian gave me some paperwork to fill out for the boy even though I didn't know him. There was something about needing to meet the teacher in the school's theater. More happened, but that's all I could remember.

A lot happened in my dream from Friday night/Saturday morning. There was something about being at a pool (not sure why). There was another part where I collaborated with a group of artists/YouTubers. They were hosting some kind of live video where they started a drawing/picked out elements that had to be in a drawing. I got selected to do a few. There was something about this snake creature (kind of looked like Arbok) that shout out this tri attack of fire, water, and light (like a hyperbeam). A genie was also involved. There was another piece involving a rainbow butterfly. The next thing I knew, I was meeting up with Corliss to travel or work on business, and she was talking about waking up at the same time everyday even though she first thought it was impossible. I was outdoors with a small group of people. There were these 2 or 3 tiger's on the loose, running around. People started panicking, racing around basically like chickens with their heads cut off. I tried to calm everyone down, emphasizing the importance of keeping our cool and not showing our backs to the tigers as that would trigger an attack. I hadn't even moved from my spot, remaining calm even when one of the tigers came right up to me. The other tiger(s) had been chasing people since the people had chosen to run, but this tiger came up to me slowly and peacefully. I was a little nervous as it got right up in my space, unsure of what it would choose to do, but I took a deep breathe, relaxed, and refused to run. It was quite gentle as it sniffed my belly, nuzzling against it, before insisting that I touch its belly. Turns out this tiger was a girl and an expectant mother, wanting to share her joy with me. I was awestruck, excited by the prospect of adorable tiger cubs and how she wanted to share the tender moment with me. The next thing I knew, May from Pokémon was supposed to have this Pokémon battle, but it was supposed to be this singing competition. She didn't have a Pokémon to use, and Ash's mom was insistent that Mr. Mime go help her. After a lot of reluctance Mr. Mime somehow turned into Flabebe. "Flabebe" was insistent that they sing something different, and it seemed sort of to the tune of Encanto's Pressure. The audience wasn't really into it at first, and the opponent was convinced they had won. Flabebe began throwing a ball/beachball around to splash the audience (apparently, there were inflatable pools around). The kids started eagerly playing with the water, and the group of exhausted moms were lulled into a much needed rest. May ended up winning because her song performance, while unusual, was interactive and gave the audience what it needed most. Mr. Mime disappeared, and May went to find him, discovering him trapped by this giant, berserk Parasect in the forest. May rescued Mr. Mime, and he was touched by the action. Then there was something about a party where they gave out Pokémon plushies. There was a giant Bellossom and Ampharos for sure. Someone seemed determined that I wouldn't get any, wanting to take them away from me even though everyone was receiving plushies. More definitely happened in the dream, but that's all I remembered upon waking up.

I didn't remember much from my dream when I woke up this morning. There was something about helping out with childcare (seemed to be before care but not exactly). I ended up going to a dentist with my mom and sister, and, apparently, there was a childcare program at the dentist. I remembered seeing several kids from before care there, and someone gave me a bag full of stuff to give to one of the kids. My sister and mom were called before me, so I hung out in the waiting area. A staff member came to get me but had us go some secret, long way because there was a long line. We ended up going through a bunch of offices, and I saw a lot of staff from the children's museum. The staff were making comments that it was weird that the lady was kind of shoving me; instead of leading me, she was behind me with her hands on my back, gently pushing me to direct me where she wanted me to go. She led me to a desk and wanted me to use the computer to send an email to Delta Dental for some reason. I tried typing a message, but the computer/email kept deleting things randomly. That's all I could remember upon waking up this morning.

I had fun babysitting the boys this week, albeit a short one since their parents were off most of the week. They were excited to discuss Pokémon, Disney, Pixar, and anime with me; they wanted an update on YashaHime's story, we got to theorizing about the upcoming Pokémon games, and we tried out Disney/Pixar trivia. We got to discussing Turning Red, too. They enjoyed quizzing everyone on which game songs came from. One of the brother's showed me the game they were currently playing, Hollow Knight. He was working on completing the White Palace but kept getting stuck and dying. He also showed me the trailer for the new sequel game involving the character Hornet and had draw a picture of her. He showed me some other game that had some kind of flying bat character and this boy that cried a lot. I'm not sure what the point of the game was, but it seemed pretty dark. The boys loved their time off, and it was a nice, chill week.

Tsuki's been her typical, nutty self. She was super excited that I was off most of the week and could spend lots of time with her. She also played with the shower curtain. Tsuki loved getting cozy and snuggling because there was a sudden cold front. After finding a bug once, she kept going on hunts to find more bugs, constantly scouring ceilings in walls while meowing, demanding to know where all the bugs were--she's such a nut. She kept trying to get into things and steal beads while I worked on art projects.

I got a new book and some new, tie dye, anime shirts. Hooray for new goodies!

Artwork for the week included:

I decided to try something new and started a new data channel, Cosmic Creativity: The Universe Is Numbers. I've created some racing data charts about recycling and endangered species so far. I'm working on some anime character popularity racing data charts now. If there's any topic you'd like for me to check into, feel free to let me know!

I'm excited because I made my first stock photo sale and first sale from my Redbubble shop this week! It proves that I will be getting some sort of passive income from setting these revenue sources up! I woke up on Saturday morning with a message confirming my first sale on Redbubble, from the Netherlands of all places; it proves my thought that I should just upload any/all of my work because you never know what people will want--the piece they chose has not been one of the things that people have been liking/giving hearts for ever since I set up the shop. I'm invigorated by the future--it's so bright!

I did more writing and reading this week. I wrote a new poem out about releasing the old that no longer serves rather than clinging onto old deadweight. It feels quite relevant to the times and how things are changing. Additionally, I wrote a longer piece about the poem's themes, Clinging to Old Leaves. My mom felt it was really relevant to the times and how she has to come to all these big life decisions right now. Feel free to read these pieces and share your thoughts! I'm also open to suggestions and recommendations for future writing pieces! I have other works in progress, so stay tuned for more stories! Fanfic for the week included: A Most Loyal Servant, Practiced Holiday, The Nightmare, Bad Dog, Innocent Child, Violence is Happiness, Fallen Petals, Ten Fold, Popalolly, Fix'erupper, Dress Up, Sesshomaru A Father?, You're My Pup, Rin, My Mortal, and Heir of the Western Lands.

I watched the newest episode of YashaHime this week, and it seemed like it was the final episode, which is rather disappointing. This week's episode had so many adorable moments that had me squealing in utter joy like a complete fan girl. It was so cute seeing Moroha fight alongside InuYasha (I was sort of hoping that we'd see Towa and Setsuna fighting alongside Sesshomaru and/or seeing the brothers' families fight a big battle all together). I loved seeing Rin with her girls, and I would have loved seeing the girls grow up with Rin; it would have been adorable beyond words. Shippo impressing the Tanuki clans with his teaching was hilarious. Moroha and Rin confirmed what I knew all along, that Sesshomaru cared for his daughters despite what outward appearances may seem. My suspicions about Hisui's feelings for Setsuna were confirmed; he was way too preoccupied with only Setsuna when all three of the girls were in the Grim Butterfly, not even making any comment about Towa and Moroha. Setsuna is definitely like her father, though, so Hisui has his work cut out for him, and it'd be pretty adorable watching his efforts in gaining Setsuna's favor. The ending seemed open-ended, like they could choose to continue the story, which I definitely wouldn't be opposed to. Makes me wonder if younger siblings might be in the future; I wonder how Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha would react to the news of getting younger siblings. With the girls' adventure towards the west, there's definitely plenty opportunity for it to happen.

I decided to see if there was a new season of Miraculous since I heard that multiple new seasons were confirmed; turns out I didn't watch all of season 4 yet. I had watched all the way to episode 20, which I guess was all that was released at the time, but I had 6 new episodes to watch--boy, did the story get intense. The themes were getting pretty deep, too, like justice. Sabine, Marinette's mother, is super sweet and responsible, always doing what's right and helping out others. Despite her innocence, she gets in a bind because of appearances and the rules. Marinette had taken her mother's wallet, which held both of their bus tickets, off the bus to stop by a shop real quick, promising to be back on the bus before it departs the stop. Needless to say, Marinette doesn't make it back onboard, so after a quick phone call, her mother agrees to meet her at the next bus stop. Before her mother can get off the bus and wait for Marinette at the stop, a staff member comes to check tickets. Sabine promises that if he would let her meet with her daughter at the next stop, she'd produce the ticket from her wallet that Marinette currently has; the man demands to see her identification, which she can't produce either since Marinette has her wallet. The man doesn't take Sabine seriously, accusing her of lying before fining her for breaking the law and taking her to the police station. Sabine tries to reason with the man, but he refuses to listen, convinced he is in the right. Sabine becomes relieved once she sees the police chief, Roger, since his daughter is classmates with Marinette, convinced he can resolve the problem and convince the man she isn't lying. While Roger can clear up the matter of Sabine having a daughter and basically admits it, he apologizes and insists he has to follow the law protocol, ultimately arresting Sabine. Feeling the vast sense of injustice, Sabine becomes akumatized into "Qilin." The only reason there is any destruction at all is because they refuse to release her from the handcuffs and insist she's a criminal. Qilin exclaims, "You're mistaking Law for Justice! Integrity without intelligence is nothing but blind ignorance!" She has a fair point. Often, people just go along with things because they're "the rules," but you need to use your judgment when implementing them; there are times when it doesn't make sense to enforce them and/or when enforcing the rules just makes things worse instead of better or safer. Ultimately, Ladybug and Cat Noir save the day, and Ladybug emphasizes to the police, "The law is a good thing, but you need humanity to apply it well." Following rules isn't inherently "bad," but you need to listen to your heart. Blindly following orders is what allows travesties like the Holocaust to happen; when you merely do as your told without questioning or deciding if you agree with it, those in power remain unchecked and can run amuck. The season finale was incredibly intense, and the story is only going to get better from here--it's come a long way from it's first episodes.

I decided to watch The Faraway Paladin this week, and it was a pleasant surprise. I stumbled across it, so I went in with no expectations. I didn't anticipate the main character to be raised by three members of the undead, but it worked pretty well for this story. I enjoyed how the Goddess of Light, Gracefeel, is making her comeback. Will and Meneldor's friendship is adorable. Will definitely needed some sense knocked into him since he let his reason give way to fear, and Meneldor was the perfect candidate to do so. I got so miffed when Will broke Meneldor's arm in attempt of getting Meneldor to give up on him and let him go off on his own to battle the demons; his fear convinced him that it was "best" to go off on his own because he was "too strong." Meneldor got Will to see reason through some tough (and a bit violent) love; as he points out, friends don't let friends go it alone. Meneldor is definitely my favorite character (I wouldn't be opposed to having a spinoff all about him). No matter how strong, smart, talented, skilled, etc. we are, there's only so much we can accomplish on our own; it's by working together that we can truly shine our brightest and accomplish the greatest feats.

I also watched Turning Red, and it had me crying. Its story is definitely relevant to the times. Now, more than ever, we're conditioned to hide away how we really feel and play a part perfectly. Society expects us to lock away the messy parts of ourselves and hide how we really feel. Turning Red is a coming-of-age story about healing and shadow work so that the characters can be whole. Meilin's family (her mother's side) makes it out that having the red panda as a bad thing, that the red panda is a monster that needs to be sealed away. There's major lack of trust in her family. Meilin had been doing fine and having fun with her friends as the red panda, but the expectations of her family lead her to doubt. She ends up going along with their wishes, not wanting to upset anyone and feeling like she wasn't good enough. The night of her ceremony, she laments to her father, "But I'm a monster." Her father consoles her, "People have all kinds of sides to them, Mei, and some sides are messy. The point isn't to push the bad stuff away; it's to make room for it, live with it. Mei, erase it if you want, but this side of you made me laugh." No matter what society or others think or desire, human beings don't fit into neat, little boxes; there's no way to make everyone happy. More often than not, when we make others happy it comes at the cost of her own happiness.

This conditioning often occurs in cycles, leading to generation after generation experiencing the same traumas; case and point: Meilin's mother, Ming, expects Meilin to be perfect after the impossibly high expectations of perfection from her own mother. Meilin witnesses the trauma first hand in the astral realm as she searches for her mother, stumbling upon a much younger version of her mother (most likely her inner child) sobbing in the bamboo forest. The young Ming cries, "I got so angry, and I lost control [hurting my mother]. I'm just so sick of being perfect! I'm never gonna be good enough for her... or anyone." These pressures become too much to deal with, and we reach our breaking points. It never ends well, unless we have someone to sincerely listen and support us, like Meilin does. Encouraging her mother and offering her a helping hand, Meilin soothes, "I know it feels that way, like all the time, but it isn't true. Come on." With Meilin's help, Ming is able to begin the healing process, and Meilin guides her to the rest of the family, who have been worried over their sister/daughter/cousin (Ming). Ming is finally able to get some closure, crying in her mother's embrace and apologizing. Wu (Ming's mother and Meilin's grandmother) pacifies, "Sssshhhh. You don't have to apologize. I'm your mother." When we bury things down deep and keep silent, we're unable to rectify and heal the situation because it's never addressed. Nothing will improve when we persist like this, playing a disingenuous charade.

The rest of Meilin's relatives travel through the astral door, separating from their inner red pandas, and all that's left is Meilin and her mother. Ming travels through the door and urges, "Mei-Mei, please. Just come with me." Meilin chooses not to, though, wanting to make decisions for herself instead of following her mother's desires like she used to always do. She emphasizes, "I'm changing, Mom. I'm finally figuring out who I am. But... I'm scared it'll take me away from you." For the first time in the movie Ming doesn't belittle Meilin or try to control her. Ming admits, "Me, too. I see you, Mei-Mei. You try to make everyone happy, but you're so hard on yourself. And if I taught you that... I'm sorry. So, don't hold back. For anyone. The farther you go, the prouder I'll be." Authenticity is key. It's crucial to living a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. We shouldn't hold back for anyone; granted, we shouldn't purposefully harm others, but we shouldn't diminish ourselves and change how we act in fear of unsettling others. There will always be others that don't quite agree with what you enjoy or how you feel, but there will always be others that share them, too. You'd be surprised at how many people are merely putting on an act and going through the motions. Like how Meilin concludes the movie, "Sometimes I miss how things were, but nothing stays the same forever. We've all got an inner beast. We've all got a messy, loud, weird part of ourselves hidden away. And a lot of us never let it out. But I did. How about you?" Will you strive to be authentic? Will you commit to staying genuine? Nobody's perfect, but that isn't a bad thing. It should actually take some of the pressure we've unnecessarily put on our shoulders. There's no point in trying the senseless attempt of perfection; we'll never ever reach it, not perfection in everyone's eyes, so why bother? Why waste your energy? Live a life you find fulfilling; it's your life, so make it one worthwhile.

It's great to see the powerful messages stories are conveying nowadays and the importance of authenticity. We shouldn't feel the need to pretend to be someone we're not. It's unhealthy and, ultimately, a disservice. We're so much happier when we're genuine, and it serves everyone to be true to ourselves; when we're pretending and faking it, we're basically lying to the world. At the end of the day, lies never last, and the truth always comes out. Plus, when you're true to yourself, the people who get you and love you for who you are can find you much more easily. You can find your soul tribe and vibe with your people. Be authentic, and let your true colors shine. Be gentle with yourself as you progress through your journey, and stay blessed with love and light, everyone!

Food for thought from Ralph Smart:

Food for thought for the week:

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