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Winter Is Approaching

As surreal as it seems, the winter solstice is almost upon us, as well as my birthday. It doesn't feel like my birthday is this upcoming Monday. Honestly, 2020 didn't feel like it was a full 12 months, so forget 2021 feeling like it's been almost a whole year. April and Iris stopped by over the weekend to hangout before my birthday, and we ended up chilling, talking, playing with Tsuki, and watching some stuff on Netflix. We ended up watching a Big Time Rush movie and some Shrek short stories. Iris thought Tsuki was hilarious--Tsuki was being her usual self, wanting to steal everyone's food, climbing on my shoulder in attempt to be a parrot, licking April's house, being a nut, etc. It was nice to get together and just hang out.

I woke up on Monday morning remembering two main parts to my dream. The first part involved wandering around downtown. Apparently, downtown was being remodeled with certain areas closed down to receive new tiling. My sister was with me. We stumbled upon a crystal stand (seems there was some kind of festival going on). We only stopped by the crystal stand, and the guy running it was super friendly. I was surprised more people weren't at the stand; the crystals were gorgeous. I found quite a few of them that I wanted to take home with me. The guy running the stand said that getting crystals with gold leaf in it would do me good right now (I've never heard of such a thing). He ended up pulling out this velvet bag that held some kind of game that used dice. I said I didn't know how to play it; he raised an eyebrow and asked, "You don't know how to play Pokémon?" Apparently, this game was very similar to Pokémon (although I guess it was sort of like the Dungeon Dice Monsters version of it). I'm not sure if I remembered visiting the stand before or we went back another time, but a different guy ran it that time (but it was still a cool stand with a friendly person running it). The dream transitioned, and I was at some place that was somewhat "civilized" (as in there were some buildings), but the area was surrounded by trees. There was this large, ritzy, fancy building (not sure what it was exactly--school, museum, store, etc.). I had apparently used it as a short cut, going in one side, descending some stairs, and exiting out another door, and I found myself at a wedding. One of my classmates from college was getting married apparently. No one seemed to really notice me, but she seemed happy. I was glad for her, but it was too much commotion for my tastes (it was rather crowded). I might have left, but that's all I remembered before waking.

I woke up Tuesday morning kind of out of it with my dream being a bit hazy. My dream involved a dragon/dragons I think. I couldn't remember too many specifics. At one point in the dream I was at home with Corliss. Not sure what we were doing. My sister was in the other room with our cousin, Mandy, but no idea what they were doing. It sounded like my cousin was using an inhaler or something. Corliss was asking if she could leave something in the freezer, and my mom started flipping out, going on a rant about how she needed the space and about how she needed to go grocery shopping. It got unnecessarily intense, going from zero to one hundred over a simple question. That's all I could remember upon waking.

I almost fell back asleep on Wednesday morning; I was feeling so cozy and snuggly warm and did not want to get out of bed. It'd been so cold and dark, which does not help with waking up in the morning. In my dream I was in some kind of store with several of my siblings (if not all of them). We were searching for gifts I think. I had found crystals, anime merchandise, as well as some Blues hockey items that I thought my parents would especially like. I remember finding a new tie-dye Fruits Basket sleep shirt for $10. The dream transitioned, but I didn't' remember exactly how--the last thing I recalled was writing some kind of paper, but one of the girls from before care was also there writing a how-to paper. There were a lot of required steps we had to include in the paper (but I have no idea what the paper was even for). That's all I could remember upon waking.

I did not want to get out of bed on Thursday morning; I was extra warm and snuggly. I was still a bit sleepy, too. What I could remember from my dream was a part that involved characters from Adventure Time. It seemed like some kind of parallel universe/reality, though, as they were not in the land of Ooo. They were going exploring I think. At one point they were exploring the ocean in these special suits, and I think there was an intense storm. At another point they were going into this vast cave system to rescue someone/find something I think, but it turned out to actually be alive. Someone messed up and woke up the living cave being, and once it realized it had people crawling around in them, it tried to swallow them whole. More might have happened, but the dream was kind of fuzzy. I think Corliss was in my dream at one point, too, but that's all I could remember.

I didn't particularly want to get out of bed Friday morning, either, but it wasn't as difficult to get out of bed since it wasn't as cold. My dream involved My Hero Academia characters. I didn't recall everyone that was in the dream/participating in the contest-type event, but Midoriya and All Might were there for sure. Not sure who exactly was holding the contest, but there were two teams: heroes vs. villains. The two teams would select competitors to face off against the other team each round. My dream followed the pair of Midoriya and All Might. Originally, Midoriya was supposed to go solo, but the villain team selected two members for the round and insisted that All Might participate. Midoriya was worried because All Might had lost his powers; he didn't believe that All Might was helpless by any means since he could rely on his intelligence and experience, but Midoriya recognized that All Might was at a disadvantage without the use of his quirk. All Might agreed to participate, reassuring Midoriya that it would be fine. As All Might was roped into the competition, he got to establish a lot of the rules. The objective of the round was to find all of the hidden buttons in the area and touch them. All Might established some rules like the teams couldn't kill/seriously injure each other, the buttons couldn't be placed literally anywhere but within the certain area (they seemed to be in a vast area of some sort), etc. The two teams went out in search of the buttons. Midoriya was using his quirk to speedily search for the buttons, pressing the ground, walls, etc. to see if he found them since they had no clues. The villain team tried to ambush them. I didn't recall which villains they were exactly (or if they were from My Hero Academia at all), but the one had interesting powers. His quirk interfered with other people's quirks and turned them into something completely different. Midoriya suddenly turned into a tree, and his quirk now allowed him to communicate with all plant life. At first Midoriya was freaked out because he didn't know what was happening, but then he realized he could use it to his advantage. The plants could have noticed/known where the buttons were located. He asked, and the plants told him exactly where each of the buttons were without fail. He reverted back to normal. Midoriya went inside the building to start pressing the buttons. One was underneath a cash register, another behind a painting, etc. One by one, he pressed the buttons with the villains on his tail. An announcement went off each time a button was pressed, and the villains could understand how he was finding them. Midoriya was able to find all 7 of the buttons and won the challenge with the villains finding none.

I woke up out of it on Saturday morning and really not wanting to get out of bed. My dream was kind of hazy, but there was several parts. One part involved various family members getting together; it could have been for a holiday, but I'm not certain if it was. I know my younger cousins that live in Ohio were there and have several Pokémon plushies. My dad picked up their Jigglypuff and wanted to make it sing. My cousins told him that that plush didn't sing, but my dad was pretty insistent about trying to get it to sing. There was some other part of my dream where one of the kids I worked with at a former job was coming over to hang out with my youngest brother for his birthday celebration. My dad was going to put two hockey nets out in the driveway for them to play. More happened, but I couldn't remember any more upon waking.

I woke up this morning remembering one main part of my dream. My sister was in the car with me and, apparently, we were going to college (in real life my sister is now attending the college I went to so she can major in psychology). It was apparently the first day of either the school year or semester. I was struggling finding the school; I went down the road but didn't see it anywhere. My sister pulled out her phone and searched up directions. Turned out we had gone down the right road, but the school was undergoing major construction. So many buildings were in the process of being built with a number of them just being wooden frames. There was apparently a massive gas station on campus now, too. It threw me for a loop. We ended up finding the class, but it was cutting it close to being late because the campus was in complete disarray with all the construction; it was difficult to know where anything was. Apparently, my sister and I were in the same architect class together. The teacher started going over everything we needed, and I hadn't completed some sample collection and sketch. I voiced my concern, pointing out that it was the first class and first time I had heard anything about it. The teacher seemed puzzled by this, asking, "Didn't they tell you when you registered for the class?" I told her that they hadn't, that they had just told me that I should join this class, that there were no prerequisites for the class, and that I was coming back to get a graduate degree after getting my bachelors and masters. The teacher was really surprised and had a classmate show me their samples they collected. Turned out it was one of my classmates from middle school/high school named Charlie; he had a bunch of rocks collected, with a number of them being pink kinds of crystals. I think he mentioned collecting them at some river. He ended up accidentally spilling them on the floor, and I helped pick them up. The teacher came back to explain the rest of the assignments to me I guess and looked over her class list. She wasn't sure what my name or my sister's name was; she had apparently forgotten. My sister had apparently taken a class with the teacher before and had gone by the nickname "Cheryl" for whatever reason (and I think another nickname, but I don't remember what it was). I told her my name, and then the class transitioned outside for some reason. The teacher asked if I would be able to set up the outdoor flooring in the afternoon; I said I'd have to double check my schedule because I thought I had another art class Monday afternoons. That's all I could recall from my dream.

Before care was interesting this week. The pair of sisters arrived in a huff on Monday morning; apparently, their elves, Peppermint and Jack, had lost their magic because someone had touched them. They were so ticked off about it. They informed me that they were trying to restore the magic through the power of cinnamon and Christmas carols. They had sung "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" so far. One of the sisters told me this week that her cousin dubbed her "Cinderella Ketchup" when she was little because she adored ketchup and since her favorite princess growing up was Cinderella. A story about a "Cinderella Ketchup" has an interesting premise. The kiddos also decided to pretend to be cats this week and make cat toys for them to play with using popsicle sticks, yarn, a toy spider, and pipe cleaners. They had a blast. They continued their cat toy/cat pretend game into Tuesday. One of the girls informed me that she was "Evil Kitten Cake," that she was a kitty that only ate doughnuts, and that she wore a dress made out of doughnuts. It was quite entertaining to watch as their game grew. My art buddy wanted me to read to her this week and had me start reading her The Magic Tree House book about Leonardo da Vinci. She did not want me to stop reading; we completed 3 chapters on Monday morning alone. She also had me read other books this week. On Friday she decided to color me a picture and insisted I didn't look so it could be a surprise (she decided to make me a picture since another kid wanted me to color a picture for them). While my art buddy was creating a picture for me, another kid was creating superhero potential girlfriends for my coworker (she wrote the ages above each hero); the kid was seriously trying to sell the potential girlfriends, insisting that they could fly him around and such. It was pretty hilarious. The kiddos also started playing card games; they had me playing Trash and War. One morning one of the boys arrived in a interesting "Christmas" shirt; it was a skull wearing a Santa hat. I got to talking to him and his mom about it, and they told me that they make Christmas "Creepmas" at their house since the boy's favorite holiday is Halloween, leaving up all the Halloween decorations through Christmas and adding Christmas decorations to the mix. It was an intriguing concept; I feel like a lot of people would enjoy the idea, especially with The Nightmare Before Christmas's rising popularity. Their P.E. teacher tapped into his imagination and created a gym "Christmas tree" using a green cone; it's pretty cool.

It was a fun week of babysitting. The boys were excited for the upcoming holiday season, especially Christmas; they excitedly told me all about how they baked Christmas cookies over the weekend. Monday afternoon when I first picked up the older of the two, we got to talking about The Nightmare Before Christmas and people's opinions on the holidays of Halloween and Christmas. It led to mentioning the perspective of Corliss's friend from New York on whether or not the movie was a Halloween movie, Christmas movie, or both as well as his immense dislike of Christmas.

Boy upon hearing that Corliss's friend doesn't like Christmas: "Santa and Jesus just got together. They said Corliss's friend is a disgrace and just put him on the naughty list."

Me: "Well, that escalated quickly."

Him: "Doesn't he believe in God and Jesus?"

Me: "I'm pretty sure he's Christian and believes, but I think his problem is the extreme commercialization of the holiday."

He was so mad about the friend hating on Christmas 🤣 I did my best to explain his reasoning (not that I particularly agreed with it, but I could see where both Corliss's friend and the boy I babysit were coming from). I mentioned how Corliss's friend argued that the title even confirmed the fact that Christmas was a nightmare, and the boy huffed, "That's not what it means at all!" He wanted to debate me on it, but I'm not the one that has a problem with the holiday--I tried suggesting that The Nightmare Before Christmas was the best of both worlds (i.e. people who love Halloween and Christmas) and that it was a great compromise between the two camps. Corliss's friend didn't agree with me, but the boy I babysit felt that it was both a Christmas and Halloween movie. We discussed holiday movies in general and wondered about crossovers. We pondered what a crossover between The Nightmare Before Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas would work out and if the Grinch would prefer Halloween Town's Christmas over traditional Christmas/Christmas in Whoville.

We got to talking about various anime and their parodies of restaurants. They loved how MgRonald's had a feud with SFC in The Devil is a Part-timer. They decided that, of course, Ronald would win because he could unite all clowns, creating the super team; apparently, Ronald McDonald has the power to summon any and all clowns in existence. The boys were excited to show me the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie poster that came out; it looks pretty neat. We discussed YashaHime and InuYasha, the storyline, character development, and the like. They got a kick out of the time InuYasha caught wild pigeons and koi fish from someone's koi pond to help with the Higurashi's celebration for Kagome completing her exams and then destroying their house by using the wind scar to slay a cockroach. It was overkill, but they loved it so. We also got to talking about InuYasha memes; they speculating that if Naraku were Oprah, he would hand out bees, which reminded me of the parody of "everyone gets a humpback whale" (it was from a comedian years ago--Dane Cook I think?). They burst out into laughter at the thought of everyone getting a humpback whale, picturing whales falling from the sky into the audience. The younger of the two also had a band concert this week, which he was excited about (although he was bummed that he had to miss his afterschool club because of it). They showed me their holiday inflatables, too. As I wished them a wonderful weekend, the younger of the two called back, "Bye. Have a good weekend! Have fun with..." He paused in thought before settling with, "something." This caused everyone to laugh, and I replied, "Have fun with something this weekend, too!" These kids crack me up.

While out and about this week running errands, I found another sticker car. Granted, it didn't have as many stickers as my car, but I appreciated the stickers it did have.

I got more goodies this week! The Goddess Provisions December box finally arrived! Plus, I got new goodies from Spiritual Supermall's Etsy shop: Spiritual Palace. I ordered an aventurine sphere, and they even gave me some freebies! Spiritual Supermall is the best! I also have some new supplements to try out from Ascent; it resonated, and the creators seem awesome. If you've tried anything from Ascent, feel free to share your thoughts!

Tsuki was a crazy nut, but, at this point, no one should be surprised by that. She kept trying to steal my goodies from my various packages, especially the ones from Goddess Provisions, the little nut. She enjoyed snuggling on the colder days and savored the sunshine on the warmer ones. After dinner she enjoyed sneaking under the blanket with me on the couch while I read. Little Tsuki is so sweet when she's sleeping but gets so sour when she's awake, attacking everyone one like the chompy, little shark she is. She launches herself at us and loves to perch up on our shoulders, hanging out there for long periods of time. Tsuki spent Friday evening in the basement with me since the tornado sirens kept going off.

Artwork for the week included:

I wrote, read, and watched anime like usual this week. It was a pretty chill week in all honesty. I wrote a new story this week, Scene of the Crime, inspired by some of the kids in before care; one morning they arrived in a huff about how someone touched their elves, making them lose their magic. They assured me that they would restore the magic, though. 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: Avoiding Demon Eradication, House of the Eternal Moon, and The Weaving of Fate and Breaking of Hearts.

I went to see Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night in theaters this week; I had considered going over the weekend/Monday for my birthday, but the last day available in the area was Wednesday. The showings were a lot more selective than the recent My Hero Academia movie (there were only a handful of theaters showing it with only one time slot each day vs the many theaters and many timeslots for the My Hero Academia movie), which was a bit of a bummer, but I was still happy to see it on the 8th (8 is my favorite number). I loved the new movie! I was completely absorbed into the story and was shocked when it was over. I knew they'd have to do more since they only cleared floor 1 at the end, and the continuation is coming out in 2022! I'm so excited! I'll definitely be seeing it.

I watched the new episodes of Eden's Zero this week; they were rather interesting. I loved learning about Xiaomei--I had wondered about her role when the first drop of episodes hit Netflix. Turns out she's some all-knowing fortune teller. Although, I could see why she wouldn't want to know absolutely everything (like the outcome of her stadium battles) since that would get rather dull. Xiaomei explains time with Shiki and the others, noting, "The future branches off in different ways, and I can see the timeline for both of the outcomes. There is nothing that is set in stone. There's a phrase I love; the future can be changed is how it goes! Be sure to keep it in mind!" I feel that's relevant for us to remember, too; nothing is set in stone, so we shouldn't become disheartened. We can change the future to a prosperous one we desire. Homura's mother is trash; I get that not everyone is meant to be a parent, but still, she irks me profusely. She ditched her own kid, got swept away in immense debt, and then after getting freed from her bondage, she became blinded by greed and power. I know that there are all sorts of people, but she exemplifies the shadow side of humanity, which is disheartening. She definitely got her karma dealt back to her, although it was still hard to watch and stomach. What goes around definitely comes around. Shiki tried to help the group through the mourning process, reflecting on what his grandfather once told him. Ziggy, the Demon King, remarked, "Believe it or not, Shiki, machines experience death just like humans do, but because we have death we can appreciate the importance of life. The value we put on life may differ, though, since we machines and humans don't have similar lifespans. Even so, if we both live our lives to the fullest, the our hearts will outlive us." If we follow our hearts and live our lives to the fullest, we have nothing to fear or regret; it'll be a life worthwhile.

I stumbled upon Heaven Official's Blessing this week. It was an unexpected gem. Xie Lian and San Lang interactions are too cute. I wondered if they were just friendly interactions or something more. The more that occurred and the more they interacted, the more it didn't seem like it was purely platonic. I did a little digging on the internet, and it turns out my suspicions were correct: there is BL. I'm not mad at it, though. They work as a pair and are absolutely adorable together!

This weekend I watched the newest episode of YashaHime. Takechiyo and Moroha didn't surprise me in the least; they're such wild spirits--their ultimate decision at the end of the episode makes sense for their personalities. It wasn't necessarily the most responsible decision, but they followed their hearts and stayed true to themselves, so all the more power to them. Setsuna is definitely Sesshomaru's daughter; she had everything planned and set up to the letter, and all the other demon slayers had to do was follow her instructions. She was out cold for the entire night of the new moon, but they didn't have any issues. I love Setsuna. I'm glad that we'll be getting to see more about what happened with Towa because we went from seeing her proclaim that she would never cry (which seemed very akin to Sesshomaru, although he wouldn't feel the need to verbalize it) to seeing Towa crying and screaming that she'd never forgive them. I wonder what Zero and Nanahoshi did to get her to go back on her declaration of refusing to cry. I also wonder what Sesshomaru's going to do; Rin was basically asking him to go help Towa, and while he acted in typical Sesshomaru fashion, I don't think he's as heartless as other people make him out to be (they claim he's a bad dad, but I don't believe it--he just does things his own way because he's very much his own individual). I eagerly look forward to next week's episode!

I also watched After School Dice Club this week; it's slice of life but so deep with its messages. It warmed my heart and pulled at my heartstrings, making me want to cry. I could see bits of myself in the characters. I wouldn't mind watching more seasons if they ever come out--there's only season 1 at this time.

Aya is the new girl, and she ends up almost running Miki over with her bike (although, she swerves out of the way to avoid crashing into Miki yet crashes into the river instead). Aya decides that the two of them are friends. When heading out, Aya plows forward boldly, and Miki starts getting anxious.

Miki: "Please listen! You've never been out here before, right? We don't know where we are right now, and we don't have any kind of map. If we keep wandering around like this, we... really will end up lost."

Aya: "Hey, it's okay. Please don't cry. I get the feeling that you're lacking the sense... [of] Adventure! Like, you remember our destination, don't you?"

Miki: "Uh, we, we never decided on one."

Aya: "Right! Miki, in order to get lost you have to have a destination. Since we don't have one of those, we're okay! Say it's your first time going to a shop you've been wanting to check out, but you take too many wrong turns and eventually end up on the opposite end of town! Now that would definitely classify as 'being lost.' So you see, without a goal we can't possibly get lost!"

Miki: "That is a very valid point."

Aya: "One of the many secrets of life! We're not lost--not even close. We're just adventuring... exploring the un-explored! Stressing over how we're going to get home is just going to take the fun out of everything for you. You should take it in. All of it. The sights, the sounds, the smells. There's beauty everywhere so try to enjoy it!"

Too often we do our best to stay safe, and while that's not an inherent bad thing, we end up letting our lives pass us by or stressing ourselves silly over hypothetical situations. Miki basically had a panic attack because the two of them could have been lost. They weren't lost at the time. Maybe they would get lost, maybe they wouldn't. The point is it hadn't happened yet. Moreover, even if it did, they could still find their way. They wouldn't remain lost; eventually they'd find their way (on their own or with the help of others). Sure, we shouldn't live recklessly endangering ourselves and/or others, but we could benefit from a sense of adventure. There's so much we don't explore as we remain cocooned in our comfort zones. Our lives lack adventure most often because we schedule so much of it, sometimes down to the second--there's never time to "go off course" or "make a wrong turn." We ought to take a deep breathe, relax, and add a sense of fun to our lives. We don't need to make things so complicated; we can make things simpler, leave our destination open-ended, and see where our adventure takes us. If it's open-ended, we can't possibly make a wrong choice, so there's no need to worry.

Often, we're convinced and conditioned to play it safe. Safety isn't inherently bad, but we can let incredible opportunities slip by due to hesitation or fear of risk. Midori pushes Miki to be bold while playing a game, to take a risk. She asserts, "This turn will make or break us. If we roll a 3 or 4, we can turn this bad situation into something good, though. Avoiding the problem isn't solving it. It'd be best to face him head-on. I mean, you never know unless you try. It all boils down to you and your luck, [Miki] Takekasa." The odds were a bit dicey, but if they pushed through they could win. They could try to avoid their opponents' territory or try to hop over the squares to their territory. Getting to their territory was a risk since they could have landed in enemy turf, but if they made it to theirs, it would cinch victory for them. Many would let the fear prevent them from even trying, wanting to go for the safe bet of avoiding potentially losing by landing on an enemy square. One never knows until they try, though, and Miki learned that taking risks can be tremendously rewarding--by taking that chance, she won the game despite it being her first time playing and despite playing against a pro. A lot of times it's our past experiences that stop us; things didn't pan out for ourselves previously, so we convince ourselves that it'll be the same story if we were to do so again. We need to recognize that each opportunity is new and doens't have a guaranteed outcome. Miki remarks, "Painful memories are a lot like caves. They're dark and scary, and I hate being trapped inside them. But if I muster the courage to push through, I just might come across something else, something as precious as jewels." Tap into your courage and find your treasure--if you never leave the cave trapping you, you won't find it.

The past is a tool to learn from, but the past is tricky. The past can haunt us, though, but not always in the ways we anticipate. Past versions of ourselves can conflict with current/future versions. You might be ready to change, but the people around you still hold a past version of you in their minds; they can unintentionally hold you back because they're used to the way things were. Connections from the past can try to keep you locked in to your past positions, and even end up belittling your goals, passions, and aspirations. This occurs in After School Dice Club. Midori dreams to create games, but Ren, the vice president of student council, still sees Midori as the Midori that ran the middle school student council with her. Ren can't see how Midori is trying to evolve, wanting her to remain the former version. Ren insists that board games are worthless when she hears Midori's dream--Ren is relentless in her pursuit of locking in Midori's help with the student council and insists that Midori do something of actual value. Such individuals may believe that they are "acting in your best interests," but they're being selfish by being unwilling to see the real you. People change, learn, grow, and evolve. Midori remains steadfast in her beliefs and refuses to let Ren steamroll right over her; she remains true to herself, confidently pointing out, "Value differs from person to person. It's very subjective. One might view something as trash while others might view that same something as a priceless treasure. Projecting your values on me won't be effective because what you trashed I treasure." Just because your interests, passions, and aspirations differ from others that doesn't mean that they don't matter and are worthless. Don't let the Ren's in your life dictate your path; be an individual like Midori and follow your heart. Be genuine. Midori proposes that they settle their disagreement with a game, the loser conceding to the other's wishes, and Ren accepts. Ren ends up losing the game.

Ren: "Whatever, we all know I lost. No big deal. I'm not ashamed to admit defeat or to admit that game was fun, but even so! I won't accept it! Why do you have to be the one who makes these trivial things?"

Midori: "Why not? In my mind games are the bridge that connect people. They span borders and generations. The maker of 6 Nimmt said something similar. Games have an extensive history that rivals that of books. They have connected, excited, and brought happiness to all kinds of people since ancient times. You don't feel they hold any value, and I strongly disagree with you on that front. I believe they are an essential part of the human experience. You said something earlier when you were trying to get your point across. I do feel the same [wanting to see everyone smile]. I want to create games that make people smile!"

Don't buy into the naysayers. Your interests are uniquely yours and are just as worthy as anybody else's. They might not agree with your choices and values, but that doesn't diminish their worth. Do what feels right for you; it's your life, so why make it miserable for the sake of others' wishes? They don't have to live your life; their happiness shouldn't come at the cost of your own. At the end of the day, do what make sense for you. There's no one-size-fits-all, "right" answer. Everyone's path will look different, so there's no need to get fixated on what others' journeys look like. Sure, you might slip up from time to time, but you're learning--it's part of the learning process. That doesn't make you a failure, though. As Yuto, the student council president, points out, "If you did something wrong, learn from it. Don't let it take away from all the things you do right. You made a lot of people smile today. Nothing wrong with that." Recognize areas for growth but don't forget to acknowledge your strengths, too. You have successes, not just mishaps. You're more incredible than you might realize; if you disappeared, people would miss you--you'd be surprised at the meaningful impact your presence has on others. Don't belittle and sell yourself short; you're incredible, and there's no one else quite like you--you're irreplaceable. Be gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself. Sending you lots of love and light~

Food for thought from Ralph Smart on Infinite Waters:

Some food for thought for this week:

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