I swear the energy since yesterday has been all over the place. It’s been chaotic like harsh winds changing direction every 30 seconds.
It started really when my husband accidentally spilled soda all over his laptop. It’s fine now for the most part…it’s just the webcam isn’t working and the keyboard is kind of sticky (at least, when I was typing on it).
I woke up pretty surprised I actually felt like doing work today.
I know that probably sounds a bit weird, but I spent much of April in depression. The depression did break around the 16th/17th, but I’ve still been feeling low. At the beginning of the week, the inside of my body was requesting me to rest and I complied.
I actually felt really good and have hit the point where I seem to have recovered enough energy to actually work.
Like, I woke up and I just had this clarity “oh, I feel like doing some work today”.
So, I put in my bullet journal the three things I was going to be doing: writing more of “Stolen Personality (temp. title)”, working on 24 pages of my Japanese word lists (I’m currently rewriting the definitions so they are more clear, concise, and flexible), and actually go to the grocery store because since yesterday, it has occurred to me just how much I want fresher food.
I kind of fell…no, I definitely fell into the junk food hole quite a bit these past few weeks, but I think I kind of needed it to “ground” my emotions. Most of the groceries I purchased were pretty processed and if they weren’t, they were calorie dense – from peanut butter to delicious vegan donuts from Whole Foods that remind me a lot of Entenmann’s.
Right now though, goodness, every part of me is like “I WANT FRESHER FOOD”.
It wants raw food and minimally processed food. It wants less cooked or at least cooled food.
I suspect it has to do with the fact I’m emerging from the more low emotions I’ve been experiencing. I know the less processed I eat, the more energetic and clear I feel…something that is pretty dang helpful for doing my work!
I was mainly craving raw fruit, but I also wanted more refreshing food too.
My mind went specifically to two specifically meals – the Mediterranean Pita Nachos from the Forks Over Knives meal planner and the Apple & Farro Bowl from Green Chef. They had the exact sort of flavors I was looking for. Well, those two plus the fruit.
I didn’t go to the grocery store immediately though – I first joined into a group EFT (emotional freedom technique a.k.a. tapping) session that I’ve been doing every Thursday. I know after the sessions, it’s always a good idea to go for a walk and I figured…well, yeah. Let me do that.
Before the EFT session started, I went ahead and started the first task of the day: writing “Stolen Personality (temp. title)” for the first of two 15 minute rounds for the day.
I still can’t believe I’m already more than halfway done with the story. I actually thought it was going to take a lot longer based on the outline, but it’s actually going super smoothly. I do feel like as I’m writing, I’m not writing as detailed as I could be…but that’s fine. The whole point of me writing the first drafts is to give me something to work off of when I go to edit them. When I go to do that, I can elaborate on the details and make it just sound…better. I feel like some parts are a bit too…uh…”robotic” or plain for my taste…but that’s fine. For now.
I’m looking forward to drawing Ciar (KEER) – he’s a shadow person like Lollie and clearly, Lollie thinks he’s a bother. 😂 But I haven’t yet…I’m not really in the mood to draw at the moment.
After I finished the 15 minute of writing…I don’t really remember what I did after that. It was almost time for the EFT session anyway, so I went to that.
Today’s session was on point. The first two sessions were a bit awkward because I felt like people who volunteered didn’t really say on the theme, but today’s topic – Empowerment – had people who were super on point with sharing their stories and what they wanted to tap on!
I can’t share what was going on in those sessions out of respect for peoples’ privacy.
During the first session, the volunteer ended up going deep and the person guiding the EFT session very gently, kindly, and lovingly suggested the person speak to someone who could assist them in unraveling the deeper issues after the tapping session.
I found myself getting tense. Although the person was not talking to me, it brought up something still stuck in my body – my trauma from therapy.
For those who aren’t aware, I used to go to therapy. It wasn’t super helpful for me – it mostly was a place where I could just spend time just yapping to someone about whatever I wanted. However, my therapist didn’t really understand my needs and I generally left sessions with additional baggage, not less.
I actually had clarity to leave therapy in general in…I think 2013? But because I was depressed and you’re “supposed to go” to therapy when you’re depressed, I still went when I could afford it. I finally stopped going around April 2015 when my therapist called me “whimsical” and it pushed my depression very close to the edge to the point I checked myself into a hospital, only to regret it afterward. I actually have a whole ramble about what happened in 2015 including that moment and what unfolded afterward, so I suggest you go read that if you want to know more about what happened.
I spent sometime…I think last year? I spent sometime forgiving my old therapist. And even now, I still feel forgiveness and any ill feelings I had towards her are no longer there. I just feel love and compassion instead.
However, the ill-feelings towards therapy in general are still there. They’re still trapped in my body.
I think therapy is worth people trying and doing for long enough to actually determine if it’s actually helpful or not. I think too that if the therapist and the individual do not jive, the conventional advice to just search for a different therapist is great advice – if the individual determines that’s actually correct for them!
In my case, I actually needed to leave therapy because I didn’t actually need it.
I needed to just…actually experience Life.
I do not think that applies to everyone (although I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other people who are like that too). Please do not use my experience to discourage others from therapy, especially if they determine it’s something they want to try!
I think too…it’s hard, at least at the moment, to express everything that was built up in the background that allowed me to leave therapy and be able to untangle my own issues far more effectively than people from outside of me ever could. The short version is I know how to observe myself as an outsider while leveraging my insider info, as well as ask questions that start to undo the knots within me and break-free.
For my very specific case, therapy is unnecessary (no matter how much people think everyone needs therapy, I actually disagree with this! I think it’s worth trying if it feels appropriate, but I really, really, really do not believe everyone needs it…me, case in point) and ended up doing more damage. I hid myself more and more. I’ve been re-emerging though because…f–k that sh-t!
Even though I’ve forgiven my therapist specifically, therapy itself still causes me to tense up. Therapy to me feels like a threat – and why shouldn’t it? I left sessions with more baggage and very rarely anything resolved! It lead to further hiding myself because I was told I couldn’t be me. To me, therapy is dangerous.
I need to clarify something too – knowing I do not need therapy is separate from this tense feeling. The tenseness more feels like people pressuring me to go because they think I need to go, not because I need to actually go. I have a history of people pleasing and the better part of the last decade was basically doing shiznit I knew I wasn’t meant to do simply to shut people up because I was tired of people nagging me. At least if I did what they said and nothing panned out, I could just be like “I told you”.
The knowing I do not need therapy is actually pretty…nonchalant. It’s super clear it’s not for me and the way I’ve risen is further evidence for me that it wasn’t needed. It served its purpose and I kept going because I was still depressed and I also didn’t know what else to do.
Oh, and I wanted to hand my problems off to someone else to solve them even though I know that’s actually my responsibility. Others can help, but ultimately…it’s something in my body, in my mind, and it’s something for me to work through.
About the feelings of tension hearing about therapy.
It definitely is something along the lines of…I’m afraid of people telling me I’m wrong and that I must go or something along that line. Others pressuring me to go, as well as not agreeing with me or not seeing things. I’m afraid of being severally hurt, including physically, simply because people think I should be going.
I also think there is an element of needing to forgive myself because I knew I was meant to stop around 2013, but I kept going anyway. If I had stopped in 2013, the chances I would have risen like I have now is pretty high. I wonder if it would have been a bit faster…or maybe not. Last year might have been a catch-up year for me 😂 I can’t tell you how many old beliefs/stories I told about myself I tore up last year and now I’m not even sure who I was then. Probably a false identity.
I do wonder if a lot of the tension is a combination of people pleasing and the need to forgive myself because I didn’t listen to my spiritual downloads regarding needing to stop.
Honestly, after the EFT session, even still tapping, I just felt like something was just…stuck in my body. I was going to continue tapping later on, but my hands are kind of achy right now, so I couldn’t really bring myself to continue doing more for today.
As I was slowly putting together my grocery list after the session – and wondering why my dad was home in the middle of the day (lol covid-19 rearing its head at his workplace 🙃) – my husband was starting to complain about the fact his webcam wasn’t working. I had to tell him I just don’t have it in me to help him today because I just…don’t.
I was still feeling weird from the EFT session earlier and what came up regarding therapy.
I eventually went to the grocery store and got all the ingredients I wanted. I did skip over like…two things and honestly, they didn’t affect what I made, so that’s cool.
I came home and cooked the Mediterranean Pita Nachos from Forks Over Knives pretty much immediately while listening to “MDMA” by Little Sis Nora on repeat (the song was kind of the vibe I was feeling…not the lyrics, but the feelings).
It’s a pretty simple dish – lettuce, pita triangles, a chickpea mixture, and a type of salsa. You’re technically supposed to rub garlic on the pita, but lol I was like “nah” and it really, to me at least, didn’t make much of a difference. I was going to throw some garlic in the salsa, but I forgot! Oops. I did throw a bit of balsamic vinegar in the salsa though, as well as made a dressing from balsamic vinegar, djion mustard, and an all-purpose seasoning. (For some reason, the original recipe doesn’t have a dressing or sauce of any kind. I remember last time I ate it, I thought it needed it…and I’m glad I made it! SO GOOD.) (Oh, I also skipped over the salt since I knew the djion and all-purpose seasoning would have plenty. I also forgot the black pepper. Oops.)
The dish was good! It wasn’t as refreshing as I wanted it to be, but that’s mainly because all the raw veggies were room temperature at the point I actually ate it. I suspect the leftovers tomorrow will actually be better and more refreshing.
I later ate some mango slices and strawberries. And after that…chocolate hummus.
Probably didn’t need to eat the chocolate hummus, but why not eat the chocolate hummus?
After I was done eating (and made a pizza for my husband), I returned to my room to continue working.
Not right away though.
I was on Twitter – which, to this day, is still my favorite social media platform, but I specifically have it curated to only stuff I actually want to see. Most of that right now is boys’ love manga artists and sites in Japan that specialize in selling it. 😂 (I know a lot of people experience a lot of hostility and shiznit over there, but I only catch glimpses of it from the very, very few friends and English accounts that aren’t just focused on businesses that I follow.)
Today someone who doesn’t normally post political stuff made a series of tweets regarding the regulations that are going on around the United States, such as in Texas and Florida, that are looking to erase us trans-people, starting with kids. It’s absolutely terrifying. I could feel myself freeze up, in a way completely different from the tension from thinking about therapy from earlier.
I’m genderfluid and non-cisgender – i.e. I do not identify as a woman. Usually I’m non-binary, although sometimes I also identify as a man. My own pronouns are they/them. It’s frightening to me that there are people trying to erase people like me from existence and deem people like me “inappropriate” for children…even though it’s simply giving the most basic of basic, simple information to help prevent discrimination and prejudice. (I also question why it’s okay that cisgender and heterosexuality is okay, other than the fact it’s considered “normal”…besides from the assumption it’s normal. Except that’s not normal to me.)
I am very much aware that I often hide myself. I don’t usually correct people on my gender or my pronouns, mostly because the times I’ve attempted to do that in the past, I’ve been met with “oH, yOu’Re a ToMbOy tO mE” (which is hilarious because when I was labeling myself as a tomboy back in elementary school, I was actually told I was a girly-girl…I should tell this story at some point lol it seems I have a history of being denied labels I give myself…huh…). I’m keenly aware that most people believe I’m a woman. I also have the privilege that, for the most part, I can get away with wearing men’s clothes regardless of my gender and sex because of society norms (i.e. it’s acceptable for “women” to wear “men’s” clothes, but not vice versa). My husband is a cisgendered, heterosexual man who further helps to shield and hide me. It’s particularly helpful in situations where I genuinely feel unsafe.
Not everyone has those privileges.
I also recognize that by hiding myself, I am doing a disservice to everyone.
And “myself” encompasses many, many parts of me, including the part of me that is genderfluid.
The point I am at right now is understanding that I do not require external validation – even if people try to deny my existence, I still exist. I do not need to be validated by an external source in order for me to exist. I still don’t fully feel or embody this, but I am looking to do so. For me, it’s something that will help me when it comes to situations when people deny parts of me – from my genderfluid, non-cisgender side to my sexual orientation (I use the label pandemisexual, but I’m more of like “wherever the Divine Will wants me” lol which was my husband) to the author and illustrator that I am and everything else all around and in-between.
I was sitting there feeling kind of in-between hopelessness and at a lost at what I could do to help, but I recognize that as someone who is part of that group that the best thing I can do is BE. ME. REGARDLESS. No need to hide – just simply be. Cisgender, heterosexual people get to simply be those things…and I can be genderfluid, non-cisgendered, and pandemisexual. And so can you, if you’re not cisgender and/or heterosexual.
I know too that I have (constructive) power in the fact I’m a storyteller and an artist. I am a creative. I can start to help envision a world where we simply exist and no one questions it. No one argues against it, no one makes stupid sh-tty laws regarding it. ’cause honestly, I’m pretty done with it. (I don’t think my stories quite reflect this reality yet. I am working through things that are from as early as elementary school – when I wasn’t really aware of it. I DO have some characters though who fall into LGBTQIA+ categories though, including Natalia from numerous stories like “The Princess and the Servant Boy”, Brent’s stories, and Bedelia’s stories…she’s a transwoman!)
I sat down and wished I could discuss how I was feeling with people who get it.
I wish I could talk to people who would understand the situation, while still understanding the nuances of my specific situation.
I’ve been surrounded by cisgender, heterosexuals for almost a decade. My actual exposure to non-cisgender, heterosexual content is actually a pretty small window in comparison that gives me some relief. These cisgender, heterosexuals misgender me and do not take the time to reflect on their discomfort – it is put on me to manage their thoughts and emotions and make them feel “more comfortable”.
Don’t get me wrong – the cisgender, heterosexuals in my life love me VERY much. My love for them also ranges from a love-for-humanity to deeply romantic. I also do NOT think there is anything wrong with the fact they are cisgender and heterosexual.
It’s more about the fact I can’t speak.
And if I speak, I get push back.
At this point, I do see the push back as a reflection of myself in the sense of I’m not comfortable with being honest with myself and who I am and am trying to simply protect me. I do find the framing of this context helpful because it leads to a further deep-dive and acceptance of myself and all that I am. I’m hitting the point I’m simply just going to be the walking embodiment of all of me, including the genderfluid leader that I am.
I know in these situations, with all the crap going on, people often say “donate! sign petitions!” and stuff like that. When I know it’s right for me to act on those options, I will. For me, I’m constantly open for Divine Inspiration to come through so I can take action that I know will create a far greater impact. It might take some time, but that impact will be felt and will arrive at the perfect time. It’s just this waiting that sometimes gets scary…like…how many more people have to be hurt or die before we have change that actually supports us?
But…like, I’m just going to show up as me. I might end up being the first person someone meets where they definitely know I’m on the transgender spectrum. Might as well make an impactful impression.
After this and my stream of thoughts, I was left with a mess of feelings within me. The feelings from my trauma with therapy was still stuck in me and now I had to deal with the chill of others denying my own existence.
I decided to try and switch my focus back to my stories.
I worked on the second 15 minute session of “Stolen Personality”.
Just as I started to work, my husband got onto a voice call with one of his friends. I kept focus on my story as much as I could, but my sensitivity was up thanks to the mess of emotions all tangled in me and it made me want to scream at him and tell him to shut up…but I wasn’t going to do that.
I found myself wanting to listen to Marina’s “Can’t Pin Me Down” over and over, which I tend to do when people attempt to deny me in anyway. I ended up listening to it over and over again after I was done writing for the day. As I was reflecting and feeling what I was feeling, I ended up tearing up.
My husband saw me tearing up. After he was done chatting with his friend, he tried to get me to talk to him. I didn’t want to say anything at first, especially since one of the subjects is a really, really sensitive subject for both of us (as far as I’m concerned, when I fully accept myself, he’ll wake up…he’s my gauge at just how true to Me I’m living – and yes, I wrote “Me” on purpose). He hugged me a bit and after a bit of back and forth, we ended up snuggling in bed and I talked a bit about what was upsetting me.
He ended up making me laugh at some point and I could feel the emotions shift in me. I encouraged him to keep making me laugh and so he did – I laughed enough to uplift my mood and could sit down to do one of the other tasks I was doing for the day: my Japanese Word List re-definitions.
I’ve been doing Japanese since about mid-January and it pretty much started with making word lists from numerous source (mostly manga and the help documentation for Clip Studio Paint). I’ve hit the point where many of the words were coming up over and over again, so I stopped adding words and printed out my word lists. I’m currently in the process of redefining all the words so they are more clear, concise, and flexible.
I’ve read quite a lot in Japanese (to the best of my ability) these past few months and I noticed that similar to the way one word in English has multiple usages/implications/meanings/nuances, so does Japanese. For me, I wanted the definitions to be short and sweet, but also very easy to adapt so if I come across a usage where the context breaks my expectations, I can still understand the meaning…if that makes sense.
Also, the app I used to make the original lists pulled definitions from multiple places, so some words have a single definition or two, while sometimes they have like…40 or 50. 😂 I definitely benefit from taking the time to shrink them down!
There’s approximately 3000 words on the list and I had to print out the list with 4 pages to a page, double-sided (so 8-pages total), which cut the total number of sheets from about 1,545 pages (yes, OVER A THOUSAND) to 350 pages.
I’ve gotten a good chunk done so far.
I’ve recently divided the sheets into sections of 24 sheets (except for the last one because there was only like…7 sheets or something) so I had a stopping point when I was doing the lists.
Why 24 sheets?
Well, I took the original 350 sheets and divided it by 15 (for 15 days) and got 23.some-repeating-number. I rounded it up to 24 sheets.
I think there’s more than 15 days left than the time I want to get it done by (May 17th – why? ’cause a ton of releases for manga and drama CDs happen around that day in Japan), but I would love to finish handwriting the redefinitions so I can do whatever the next step is (maybe putting them on the computer?? I already started that with the first few pages) and maybe the next step after that, if that’s appropriate.
I took a break when there was about 10 sheets left to start writing this ramble, as well as going ahead and publishing the announcement about the postponement of shiznit and other future stuffs.
I’ve decided to kind of stop making my social graphics for right now (minus the ones for the stuff that’s getting scheduled from the drafts that I have running until like…September. Plus a few odd posts in-between that). Oddly enough, I don’t really feel like sharing much of anything at the moment…like, not the graphic stuff or anything right now. I know I will be in the future, but for now, I just want to get used to creating content…like I am right now. Making the graphics kind of takes me out of the flow, but there’s no reason why I can’t post shiznit now and post graphics later.
When I finally caught up to where I actually was for the day, I went to the kitchen and began making my second meal of the day: the Apple & Farro Bowl. The recipe is from Green Chef (you can actually access the recipe card on their site – so if you want to make this yourself, you can!).
I distinctly remember this recipe for three things: 1.) the farro, 2.) the autumn flavors & colors, and 3.) the maple-djion-balsamic vinaigrette I made to compliment the dish. I thought this dish had sweet potatoes in it, but lol I think I was getting that confused for a similar dish that had butternut squash.
I made this recipe more to the standards Forks Over Knives shares – so a whole-food, plant-based standard – so besides from the oil on the sheet pan to prevent sticking, there was no oil. And honestly, with the maple-djion-balsamic vinaigrette I made, it really didn’t need it!
I bought two gala apples for this recipe since I wasn’t sure if the apples were going to be entirely good inside. The one I used though was PERFECT and I realized afterward…I’m so glad I bought two apples ’cause I used one whole one for today’s bowl and I get to use the other one with my leftovers!
I used a baby kale/baby spinach mix instead of the kale they talk about in the recipe. I may be willing to cook today, but I still wanted to make things fairly easy for me!
I think if I was to make this again from scratch, I want to double the brussel sprouts. The bitterness is very much appreciated in this dish with it’s sweet notes of apples, carrots, beets, and my vinaigrette.
The maple-dijon-balsamic is literally just those three ingredients: maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar. You could probably use my other dijon-balsamic vinaigrette (Dijon mustard, Balsamic Vinegar, and an all-purpose seasoning of your choice…I like Badía’s Complete Seasoning).
I haven’t had Green Chef in about…I think two years? But I definitely felt like I had it again after making this dish! I mostly stopped because I didn’t really want to cook and there was way too much oil in the dishes for my personal taste (like, no wonder stuff was like…800 calories)!
I also forgot the walnuts, which I realized while writing this. Oooooops.
I got back to writing this entry and wrote it as I ate (or I should say as I’m eating because I’m actually eating right now as I am typing this).
I ended up going over to YouTube and poked around, only to find that the singer MARINA was uploading songs from her ELECTRA HEART: Platinum Blonde Edition album. I was pleasantly surprised that her song “E.V.O.L.” actually had an official paid/streaming release! That song was originally offered as a free download in her newsletter – which is exactly where I got it back when it first came out. That particular song has been on my mind lately…
Actually, it’s kind of weird. So, I’ve been thinking a lot about my issues with lovability lately and have been working on them. As I’ve been doing that, some of the songs that kind of seem to vilify love in some sort of way, such as “E.V.O.L.” and “Big Bad Love” (by Spring Break – people think it’s Cascada, but no – the REMIX is “Cascada Remix”, but it is NOT sung by Cascada). It might just be because they are two songs that sing about the word “Love” directly, but it could also be deeper, such as reflecting what is coming up for me or allowing me to process the emotions that come up in a way that I wasn’t able to before. I don’t know.
(Speaking of which, I was listening to “Big Bad Love” by Spring Break while cooking the Apple & Farro Bowl, as well as “Ass Up” by Baracuda.)
She also uploaded “Electra Heart”. I actually bought that song separately because it seems like the person who made it had put it up on iTunes, at least back in the day. Probably will get it from Marina’s album though this time around when I’m buying shiznit from iTunes again.
One of the things that makes me excited about the ELECTRA HEART: Platinum Blonde Edition is that my favorite song from the album, “Lonely Hearts Club” is actually finally available on the American release! “How to Be a Heartbreaker” more or less replaced it on the American release when the original version came out. I bought the UK Deluxe edition of the album because I loved the album so much. It’s finally available in America, which is cool!!
Makes me wonder what she would/will do for FROOT if that gets a Platinum edition? Hmm…
After I was done eating and listening to some of the songs mentioned above, I got back to the last 10 pages or so of my Japanese word lists from the set I was working on today.
I forgot to mention this earlier, but I’ve been listening to drama CDs. If you don’t know what those are, the way I would describe them is anime without the visuals. I feel like if you read enough manga, you know about them (sometimes manga artists mention them in their notes), but I don’t know how often people actually listen to them.
I know that even though I’ve owned two different drama CD series prior to purchasing more, I didn’t really listen to them all that much. Now I’m listening to the drama CDs I have (well…minus the two different ones I had from almost a decade ago, oddly enough) most days.
I basically just listen to them while I’m doing the word lists and keep listening until I either finish the drama CD or I finish the set of words. Or both.
I’m looking forward to getting even more drama CDs (lol go tip me somewhere listed in Cool Shiznit no okay) so I can listen to even more!
Once I finished the last sheets, I suddenly realized just how sleepy I was…which makes sense, considering I’ve been going to sleep at around midnight and it’s now two hours past that!
I finished the main things I wanted to do today.
The only thing that was on my list that I didn’t do was play Atelier Firis, but I can always play that tomorrow.
More next time – see you later, trainees!