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Once in a Blue Moon

Happy Halloween and Blue Moon! I hope everyone is doing well and can enjoy this special day! In spirit of the season, I've made some pumpkin-themed art lately.

My sister also decided to do a bit of pumpkin carving. She started off carving Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas and then decided to add a ghost cat friend.

This week I've focused on taking it a bit easy; I have been snuggling with a fluffy cat, creating art at my leisure, and reading interesting fan fics. There have been interesting concepts I hadn't considered before (like if Kagome happened to become a hanyou, the implications of immortality when facing a secret organization that wants to eliminate yokai of the face of the planet, Kagome going back in time a bit too far due to well complications and the potential collapse of time altogether, etc.), and I've found the stories to be rather intriguing. If you're interested in reading any of them, here's the ones I've read recently: The Nightingale, Ghosts, The Once and Future Taiyoukai, The Broken Miko, The Broken House of Taisho (a sequel to The Broken Miko), and Beside You in Time (I'll admit that this one is yet to be completed, but it's still pretty interesting. If it had stopped with a certain character still captured, I would have been pretty upset). If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know. I'm up for a great story (this goes for new anime, manga, and book recommendations, as well). To be honest, my former, younger self probably would have been appalled at how I spent my week (although, to be completely fair, I did spend my summers during school reading at least a book a day, so it's not that much different). So maybe it's not so much that my true younger self would have been upset, but rather the people around me would have been upset. My younger self enjoyed being snuggled up with a good book, creating art, watching fun anime, and the like, but others always seemed to feel that I could be doing something "better" with my time. Spending time on what you want to do has never seemed like it's held importance by those influencing my younger days. Teachers and schools may be well meaning (or maybe not--it's not like I know all of them), but they always seem to emphasize one "right" answer and spending your time wisely (which usually means doing all your homework, studying hard, doing something productive, etc.--nothing against being informed and having an education, but no one person has all the answers. Plus, life is more complicated with areas of gray--it doesn't like to be sorted out into just two piles). They always pushed for thinking ahead, planning, playing it smart, what classes you wanted to take for your electives (but you still have to take those "essential" classes), knowing where you wanted to go to college, knowing what you want to be when you grow up, etc. There was rarely time to ever breathe.

As such, too often in my life I've been stuck in a "go go go" mentality with others emphasizing the importance of staying busy and being productive. I don't deny that it is important to do something of importance with your life, but that will look different for each and every individual. Plus, just because it's important to contribute something of worthwhile, that doesn't mean that you can't take care of yourself. Like Uncle Iroh emphasizes to Zuko, "A man [or woman or child or anyone really] needs his rest." "Powering through it" is a mentality people around me impressed upon my young mind growing up, so there was a lot of that. All my school days, college days, beginning of my career days, it all kind of feels like a blur. I wouldn't say that I particularly regret my life, but I don't know if I could honestly say that I have savored experiences and enjoyed my life to the fullest as of yet. There's been a lot of reflection on my end. So many people just want to "make it until the weekend" or "make it until vacation." It's almost as if their life is on pause until they reach the society agreed upon "break." I have no problem with weekends or vacations, but why is it so rigid? Why is the work/school/societal structure so inflexible? It seems to me that it forces everyone to be in a rush, grinding away, until they burnout. After the burnout comes illness. It doesn't seem like a very enjoyable way to live, in my opinion. With schools slowly going back to physical-in-school scenarios, my tutoring opportunities are dwindling. My parents mean well, but they're finding all these jobs for me that just feel wrong. I don't fault them for wanting to help me, but one suggestion was to go earn a license for insurance so I can go work at an insurance company. Having financial income is great, but at what cost should it come at? I can't envision me in such a job. I can't foresee happiness there at all. I can't see myself going back to a "traditional" job at all... I still want to work with children, incorporating art and education, but the rigid and stagnant structure of a set schedule feels like shackles that would just dwindle my lifeforce away, eating me away from the inside. While this whole world panic over a potential "pandemic" has brought about a lot of chaos, it has illuminated that I seek more freedom than what former employers have offered. Frankly, they've always offered subpar conditions despite me going above and beyond what's necessary. It almost feels like they were feeding off me; once they were through with me, they cast me aside. It has happened way too often for my tastes, and I refuse to go through that again. I'm not sure entirely what my future employment will look like, but self-employment will likely reign supreme. Maybe it'll be freelance art creation. Maybe I'll make picture books. Maybe I'll work with cats. I'm not entirely sure, but I don't want to feel forced to go to work anymore. I don't want to be forced to wake up at the crack of dawn (if I want to wake up then, that's an entirely different matter). I don't want to be told I can't take a trip because it's inconvenient (I have never asked off from work for that precise matter; employers always make me feel guilty for even considering a life outside of work). If other people want to live in such a manner, that's their choice. I choose differently. I know the universe has my back; I'm not sure exactly what shape universal assistance will take the form of, but I know it's there. I'm choosing to trust. I'm choosing to breathe. I'm choosing to be authentically me.

Stay blessed, stay well, and find happiness, everyone! Love and light~

Here's some food for thought from Spirit Science:

Some information and tidbits to consider from Ralph Smart:

Some food for thought for the week:

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