One Eyed Life

During many previous posts, I’ve made a small note of being visually impaired. Though I’ve often wanted to post this, I have never actually gotten around to it. I finally got to it now, because I have had a few posts in mind but they wouldn’t make a lot of sense until I made my audience aware of this little situation. So here is the story of my disability.

When I was born, the doctors discovered that my eyes were underdeveloped. The left eye was beyond saving. It has never had any ability at all. It’s just aesthetic, I suppose. The other wasn’t much better but there was still hope for it. As a baby, I received multiple operations. The doctors removed the lens from my eyes. They also transplanted a cornea twice. Since I was so young however, my body rejected the donor organ. The doctors decided not to try again since it didn’t seem to work. During my youth, I’ve had a few other operations concerning my eyes. One was to fix a condition in my eyes that had kept deteriorating my eyesight. The other is a small tube above my eye that drains a certain harmful liquid from it and thus keeps the pressure down.

I have an enormous medical history in this regard. Most of it would mean nothing to you all. Admittedly, some of it is a mystery to me too. I don’t understand all the terms.

What I do know, however, is what this means for me. Unlike what people tend to think, I can’t tell you what I see. I don’t have a reference for what ‘normal’ people see so I can’t compare my own eyesight to it either. But I have had wonderful doctors who have explained the situation to me.

Because I only have one eye to perceive with, I can not see depth in any way. I can observe that it exists in the world. I can understand that one tree is closer than the other because it is bigger and that its roots are lower in my field of vision. But the actual depth that there is, I can not see. I live in a 2D panorama.

Additionally, my one-eyed life has made my field of vision smaller. When people walk to my left, I can not see them. When they walk to my right, I can often see them vaguely from the corner of my eye. This is why I like it when people walk at that side of me so they aren’t simply a voice to my left. I like to know where they are. That makes sense, right?

Finally, a noteworthy consequence of the removal of my lens and the damaged cornea. The lack of a lens means that I can not make things in my field of vision look sharp. It also means I can not filter light as well as other people can. My cornea, after its second transplant, was also rejected by my body. This means it is damaged and vague. This further increases the vagueness of my environment and the light sensitivity.

Of course, this explanation too, is more just a vague view (pun intended) of my daily life. So I will try to explain it. First, I’d like to elaborate on how light works for me. When I see light, it becomes distributed across my whole field of vision. It is the same with fogged up windows or shower doors. Light becomes a cloud of light, rather than just one point. This means that it makes it harder to see anything else besides the bright scattered light. In the dark, this means that there is only darkness and pools of light around me. Naturally, I rely on my other senses during the dark since my eyesight is practically useless.

The vagueness means that I see more unclearly than the first smartphone’s cameras. I have less pixels, I suppose. Things in my life are blurry. Yes, my glasses help to compensate it a bit, but I can still not see fine detail. Sharp contrast and large details make it possible for me to function in life (reading the computer with inverted colors and big letters, for example). But the majority of my life is simply shapes. A slim blot of color on the street can be a person walking or a person on a bike. A big dark block in front of me on the street might be a car or truck. I can’t recognize the faces of friends or family. I recognize them by their voices. I can’t read ‘normal’ text. I can’t define things in the store unless I know exactly what to look for. For example, when I need shampoo, I will look for an abundance in purple somewhere, since Andre Lon’s packages are nearly always a pleasant violet hue. So I know that if I find those, I find other shampoos too. This is how I often find my way through stores. I go by large details since I lack the small ones. My mind is always working overtime to try to identify what I’m seeing through the clouds of vagueness.

The fact that my brain works hard is one worth nothing too. Even I find it easy to ignore this part of my disability. It means that everything I do, from walking to the train station down the street to buying a sandwich will always take more energy than it will take other people. I do my best to lessen the work my eyes have to do. Sometimes I close them while I do chores at home but the effect of closing them does not make up for the energy spent. I often find myself needing insane amounts of sleep over the weekends to compensate for how much of myself I have been giving away in order to keep up with other people.

I must admit, this is something that I really still struggle with. Even if I admit to myself that I have been doing too much and that I need some time to regenerate, I do not always take the time to rest up. I will feel that since other people can do this, I can too; even though I know I can’t. I’ll continue to do my homework and attending classes; pushing myself onwards.

At the end of my past schoolyear, I felt that I was really on the edge of a burnout. I had exams and a project due. The project was to be done in only one week and it took up all my time and energy. I enjoyed it, for sure. It gave me a chance to show off all my talents. Yet even things I like can really take up my energy because it just means that I spend countless hours on them, like I did with this project. Honestly, school should not have lasted even half a week longer. I could not have done it.

I know that I probably make my situation sound bad with that last paragraph, but it really isn’t as pitiful as people might think. I am also an individual. I’m not just a blind girl who needs to be admired for trying to make something of life. I also cook and clean and do chores. I navigate the streets on my own using my cane and all my sense. I travel with buses and trains and everything. I visit friends who live hours away that way. Life isn’t so bad but it is just a work in progress that I can cope better with every day.

As it has been to me, may destiny be kind to you.

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7 Lights I Don’t Want To Be Seen In

‘Street light’ and ‘lava lamp’ will not be featured on this list, although I really love lava lamps. I used to have one when I was younger. It had green light in it. Perhaps I’ll buy another some day, though I am not sure where I should put it…

Anyways, the lights I am talking about here are metaphorical. These lights represent perspectives people have had of me or those that I would rather continue to avoid.

Photo 04-10-2017, 20 24 45

  1. Trophy wife

Never will I complete someone else’s life. I’m not something to be shown off to friends. I am not a status symbol for anyone to have. I’m not someone who will bring another person into certain circles. Let us not even indulge upon the ‘wife’ portion here. Being a trophy girlfriend is bad enough.

  1. Other half of a heart

Why do people see their partners this way? It does not make sense to me. If someone else is the other half of you, then you are only half a person by yourself. So if that person is not there, you are incomplete. It makes your accomplishments slim because other people can do the same thing but it will be their own thing. You will only do it as half a person. Besides, I don’t want to be bound to someone like this. Being ‘the girlfriend’ is not something I ever aspire to be.

  1. Blind person

Yes, I do not see well. Technically it comes down to being visually impaired, but that’s not where the problem lies here. Saying this uses the word ‘blind’ as an adjective for the word ‘person’. This means that ‘blind’ describes ‘person’. I feel that saying this puts too much emphasis on something that is only a small part of me. I’d rather say ‘person who happens to be blind’. This way, the words behind ‘person’ simply give additional information. Besides, the word ‘blind’ could be anything here since I just ‘happen’ to be that.

  1. There when convenient

I initially called this ‘there when needed’ but that didn’t complete describe where I want to go with this. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the people who only come to you when it suits them; when they need something. There are also those who come to you only when it fits in their schedule. Rather than fitting you into their life, they will wait for life to give them a gap where you can fit. I’ll say no thank you to that.

  1. Entertainment

Obviously, I don’t want to be a person who exists simply to amuse other people. There is more to me. Of course, I can also comfort people and advise them about life, but the pendulum swings both ways. If I am going to give my time to people to help them out, I hope they will be there for me too when I need someone.

  1. Easy

OK, before you all call this one an obvious one, I must tell a short story. Recently, I had a crush on someone in my life. A close friend of mine and I were discussing relationships around that time. He explained that he was picky about people. I answered that I was too but then someone just came along. His reply was that he was not that easy. Ouch…

  1. Typical

You will rarely hear me say this, but I do not consider myself to be a typical person. Granted, everyone is unique. The media has a certain view of people of my age, however. Movies, books and social media depict them in a certain way. I am not that.

Things

Photo 03-10-2017, 22 01 17Minimalism is such a thing lately. I find it interesting, not that I would pursue it. I have too many books, pillows and plushies for that. I even have a small fluffy pink thing that looks like a cute dragon head to put my phone on. I tell myself it is so I don’t hear my phone vibrate when I’m trying to sleep. It’s either that or the thing is too fluffy and cute to lose.

I must say though, having less ‘things’ is nice. I have done a challenge of which I do not remember the name, that my mother recommended to me. This was a while back but I remember it. On the first day of the month, I had to get rid of one thing. On the second day of the month, I had to be rid of two things and so on. The challenge is to keep this up for the entire month. In that mind, I emptied my home of 496 different things. Granted, sometimes two of the objects were a pair of earrings, but it was still something I threw away. I feel like my home got very much de-cluttered.

Lately I’ve also been more cautious about what things I want to have. I bought a new tv stand where I can keep everything. I moved my radio into the closet too along with my two game consoles, all the games, controllers, CDs, DVDs and a box full of incense. It now feels much more logical to have all the things in one place. For my bedroom, I purchased new nightstands. They are still in the process of being filled but the drawer on my side of the bed has a handful of things. They are kept out of sight in that drawer so it looks very neat in my home.

In this fashion, the big closet I have in my living room is getting empty ever so steadily. It still contains my books and a hundred picture frames as well as my fish tank. But some day, I hope to empty it out a bit more too. Quite recently I tossed out the diaries that were sitting on the shelf. Why would I have to keep them? They are put to better use as recycled paper or cardboard rather than on a shelf in my house.

Some day maybe, when I move to a house that will be my own, I will not have a need for such a large closet. I can already assure you though, that there will be a book closet that might be just as big.

What I Learned At Abunai!

Abunai
Myself as princess Zelda and my friend as Link (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

Isn’t this a cute picture of the legendary hero called Link and his counterpart Zelda; princess of Hyrule? Well, dear reader, the royal one is myself in a glorious costume that indeed makes me feel like a queen of a kingdom. I will resume with some context to help you understand the situation.

My friend (in the green suit) finally managed to convince me to attend a Japanese convention with him. The convention called Abunai spans two and a half days. The event starts on Friday afternoon and continues until early evening on Sunday. In full costume and with appropriate props, my friend and I dove headfirst into the experience of Japanese culture. I had not a clue what awaited me within the halls of the hotel building aside from other cosplayers and merchandise.

There was more than that, I soon discovered. Among workshops, music, games (both in video style and board versions), acts and the previously mentioned, there were countless other things to lay one’s eyes on. Yet for me, the most glorious treasure that I discovered at Abunai is the lessons I have learned.

I have limitations and it is okay to admit to them. On Saturday evening, I was completely exhausted to the point where I just wanted to cry and go to bed. However, there were some complications with getting home as well as with my friend noticing how exhausted I truly was. Honestly; this was a new level of tired for me as well. Once in bed, my muscles kept tensing so I still could not fall asleep. Lovely…

I don’t like to depend on others and would rather be able to keep control of situations myself. An example is again what is mentioned above. I wanted to make the choice to retreat to sleep yet was unable to since I could not drive to the location where we slept by myself. Being dependent on other people can be very tedious. Another situation is that I often did not know my way in the building or the halls or rooms where too dark for me to navigate in. I had to ask my friend for his arm or hand so I could safely move on through.

I prefer my long, white cane over my short, indicative one. Before this becomes confusing, I will explain the difference. Since Abunai is a busy place, I decided to take my short white cane with me. This one tells people that I do not see well and that might give them a hint about perhaps stepping aside. I also have a longer cane with a ball at the end. This one I roll on the ground in front of me to detect obstacles or differences in ground level. Since Abunai is so busy, this one would be inconvenient to use. However, I have noticed that I felt a little insecure when I had to use my small cane. I enjoy the safety and assurance of the longer cane.

Junk food really doesn’t suit me for a multitude of days. At the event there was a food court where you could buy all sorts of foods. The most healthy option were sandwiches. On the first day there I consumed a pizza. On the second day I had a cup of instant noodles. These foods got very tiring after a while. They do not grant a lot of energy so on the final day I insisted I wanted something better. Thus, we discovered the sandwiches. Happy days! This point also concerns sodas. I wanted to drink water for days yet the opportunity did not arise to really come by said water.

I do not associate as much with Japanese culture as my friend had hoped. I was often confused at who certain characters were. I recognized a few of them (though often after my friend pointed them out and led me to them so I could see them more closely). The anime that was mentioned rarely rang a bell. The music at the karaoke bar was no too common to me aside from the Disney songs and the song I sang with my friend. We have a song, even though we are not a couple. Still, we claim it is our song and we would not dare sing it with anyone else. A girl asked my friend to sing it with her but he said he wouldn’t song-cheat. I ‘awww’-ed for a while.

My energy levels can’t cope and it becomes too overwhelming. Though my friend thinks this might be due to the fact that it is my first time going, I am still fairly certain that the whole thing is just a little too much in total. There are so many sounds and sights to take in. It also takes a considerable amount of energy for me to navigate with my bad eyesight. Keeping up with my friends can be tiring. Plus, we often spent our time there until well into the night. That is not something I can truly keep up with.

I have not yet made up my mind about going again next year. I assure you that it was a fun and interesting experience that I am grateful for having. I got to sing karaoke, play a childhood game, make a bento box that looked like a dog and play a board game called orthelo (and win 49-17, ha!) but it was a little much. Should I go again, then I would do so for only one day.

May destiny be kind to you.

PS: For those readers on the coast of the United States, I hope you will be safe and sound when Harvey hits. My wishes go out to all of you.

 

The Circle of Life

Before I get into anything, I would like to mention something to my latest readers; a simple thank you, that is. Those likes and follows make my day, truly! Receiving a notice on my phone that someone liked what I wrote and/or chose to follow me is an occasion that makes me smile quite sincerely. Little moments of sunshine, those are.

Now then, let us move along!

After having spent a partial week and partial weekend with a good friend, I am back to the ‘uni life’. The previous weekend was fun but hectic. My friend and I visited a spa for an entire day. We enjoyed saunas, steam baths, the pool, the hot tub and delightful food. However, upon returning home, we found the kitchen floor covered in water… After spamming my landlord’s phone and mopping to try to keep the water from increasing, the landlord appeared and shut off the water. Great, right? He promised to call someone on Monday morning after which he delivered buckets full of water and bottles and other containers to my home so we had at least some water to live on.

I did not mean to ramble about the subject so much but it was definitely an interesting thing. I kept laughing at the pure absurdity because that was the only way to feel all right.

At the moment, I am feeling even more wonderful. I have enjoyed my evening with games and music. I have been playing the Lion King musical CD. When I first started the music, I had a few chills of nostalgia. I became acquainted with the music from the movie when I was but a miniature version of myself. I have loved it ever since then. Later, when I was seven, my mother, aunt and niece attended the musical. To my dismay, I was not allowed to join them. However, my mother brought something back to the home after the musical; the CD of the music.

There were only a few things I did often at that age. Listening to the Lion King CD was one of them. I am quite sure I drove my whole family crazy since I played it in my radio without end. I would dance to the music, sing along and often times play it while doing something crafty (like making paper slippers). I made them look like animals as well; small dots on yellow shoes for a cheetah, or round ears and a tail for a mouse. When my older brother found out about them, he asked me to make slippers for him too. I had about twenty pairs by that time and I made him several as well.

Before every trip we were going to embark on as a family, I grabbed the CD and ensured it came with us on the trip so I could listen to it in the car as well. My brothers and I would draw or play while the music played on endless repeat.

Now, sixteen years later, I am still listening to the same music, though not the same CD. That CD was so worn that it kept skipping. We had played it till its very demise. Distraught, I inspected the wonderful world of the internet and found another CD. My ability to click the order button had never been so instinctive and rapid. The next day the disk arrived on my doormat. What a treat!

Whenever I listen to it, I envision the musical but I also feel all the beautiful memories flooding into my mind and the sensations associated with them into my heart. I am not prone to reminiscing, but this is definitely a version of that which gives me extensive joy. To know that something so simple as a set of tracks on a CD can revive so many thoughts. These thoughts are of the happiness I felt as a child and the kindness of my family towards one another. These are things I am grateful for and that nothing can replace. They are the greatest gift anyone can ask for.

I can only envision what attending the actual musical will do. In the month of June, my parents, younger brother and I are going to visit it. We have second row seats to boot! I’m sure my dear readers can now guess which CD I am going to bring along on the drive to the musical.

May destiny be kind to you.

Personalities

A few days ago, a friend of mine introduced a link to me that pertained to the ’16 personalities’ by Myers and Briggs. This model is often abbreviated to MBTI. The website I visited offered a free test to see which personality I am.

You can find the test here.

You can also read about all the personalities there.

The test is fun and easy to do. I enjoyed doing it. Finding out my result was even more intriguing. It turns out that I am a Mediator personality. This personality is seen as quiet and reserved but will speak when they feel compelled. They are people who want to led a hand to other persons. They are eager to find harmony. Their career will not feel meaningful unless they are helping a cause of some sort. They value their principles and are usually very poetic and dreamy people.

Read more about Mediators here.

One thing I noticed is that the corresponding website gives a lot of insight into personalities and offers advice on careers, romance and friendships. It also shows a few famous people who have the particular personality type. Mine is shared with Shakespeare and Tolkien. Wow! Yes, I feel honored by that.

I’m not saying that every single part mentioned in the Mediator description is me to a T, but it is very close. A few things I feel a bit different about or adapt in a way that matches me more accurately but if I must establish a general opinion about the validity then I would say it is very accurate.

I had a long conversation with the friend who showed the link to me about our personalities. His is different from my own. I read his description as well and we talked about it. We matched up things we read with actions the other person had taken that we recognized. He mentioned my ability to learn new languages. I mentioned he’d always look for plot holes in movies we’d watch (he is a logician; very analytical and precise people).

One thing that interested me is that the Mediator personality emphasizes sensitivity strongly. At first I felt a tad confused. I am not an emotional person at all and do not generally look towards emotions to guide me. Yet as I continued reading, it identified that Mediators use emotions in a way other than to just monitor their own state. They use it to reflect what other people might be thinking and feeling. They pick up on subtle cues and use those hints to identify feelings. Empathy, I’d call this. It also mentioned that Mediators (and other personalities in the Diplomat group) are also subtle about their own feelings. They do not explicitly express them. People need to read into it more. I find that to be a beautiful though. I rarely let emotions overwhelm me; as people who know me would be able to tell you. I have emotions, yes, but I keep them in check and only show what I feel is appropriate.

The text also reminded me of a conversation I’ve had with another friend about a year ago. I told him, “I just want to see people happy.” He noticed that through the gestures I make, the principles I have and the things I say that such a phrase comes from the depths of my happy. It’s true. I just want people to feel happy and understood in their own respects. Of course I hope they too will be kind and good people but that is not the first and foremost thing I want for others. My friend noticed during our conversation that I do not want to please people to receive something in return. I just take pleasure in seeing them happy. That is the reward that I receive and that is more valuable to me than anything else.

I am not a goddess who wants to be acknowledged for the good I do. I am not a ruler who needs taxes or other payments. I am not a manager who pleases people so they will work hard and help the business. I am none of those things and I don’t (completely) aspire to be. I just want to do things that make the world a better place; step by tiny step.

May destiny be kind to you.

Starting Again

fireworksTo all those who happened upon this blogpost; I wish you a happy new year filled with happiness, health, fortune, love and wisdom. Make this a year worth remember. I’m going to be doing the same. Each weekend I’m going to write down something good that happened the week before. I will collect them all in my everything-journal so I have something fun to look at when the next new year is nearing.

Do I have resolutions? No, not for the new year. I make them throughout the year when I feel pleased to. I’ve been wanting to write more but sacrificing my studies for it wasn’t an option. Which brings me to what I do have this year; goals.

One of them is that I want to earn what we call a ‘propedeuse’. The propedeuse is the first 60 credits that you can earn in the first year. My goal, of course, is to get all of them the first year. So far I gathered all the credits I could. My propedeuse, or as Google translates it, foundation classes, will give me qualifications for various other studies.

One of these is European Language and Culture, taught at the university of research sciences in the next big city. It’s a small trip away from me. I’d like to continue my studies by applying for that. It is a course consisting of three years where you pick two main branches (culture, language and literature or politics and society) and also a main language and region. My goal is to learn about Sweden.

Of course another goal is to travel; possible to Stockholm as well. In May I have an excursion planned as well. My school offered a select amount of places to visit Madrid for an intensive Spanish course to expand on what we are learning this first year. I completed my payment for the trip this very morning.

Besides these, I still have a pile of stories I want to write. I have my big project that is still underway. I decided to write the entire story first, as long as that will be. Then I can continue editing and decide if I will cut it into smaller pieces. I’m maybe about a third done with the whole plot and knowing me, the remaining plot will still expand as I go along. There are tons of backstories to look at and characters who want their voices to be heard. So besides the scenes I have been envisioning, there will surely be plenty more to come.

I don’t have many other goals. I don’t plan on buying another fish although I only have one left (the other passed away). I am still not allowed to adopt a cat. I’m not interested in love at the moment. This is mainly because my studies swallow up plenty of time. I don’t want to have to diminish my time for studying just to spend it with someone. I’d rather give all my attention to my studies and tread through those before anything on that front happens.

I still plan to do creative things now and then. This helps me get my mind off of studying for a bit. It pulls me out of stressful thoughts. Recharging is important!

As always, I hope to learn new things and grow as a human being. I hope I can remain close friends with the people that are already in my life and that I might meet new ones. I hope to grow as a person and develop myself. I hope to gather more wisdom so that in about 365 days I can look back and nod to myself and know that I am a better person than I was before.

I also wish for the same that I wished every reader at the top of this blog; happiness, health, fortune and love for the entire year to come.

Who Am I?

It’s a complex question. It has many answers; many of which will contradict one another. I’ve been asked a variation of this question a lot lately, “Who are you? What is unique about you?” Well, I can’t say what one thing will make me unique, but I can come up with a few. My teachers have all been asking for something like that so they can remember you and such. So I thought, might as well make a little list here, right? And yes, that silhouette is one of me.

  1. I am a vegetarian.
  2. My sign is Aquarius.
  3. I play the acoustic guitar.
  4. I was born in Texas while my parents are Dutch.
  5. I am the middle child in between two brothers.
  6. My favorite animal is the cat.
  7. I enjoy swimming.
  8. My favorite color is violet.
  9. I prefer the countryside over the city.
  10. Hibiscus flowers are my favorite.
  11. I have a tattoo on my right upper arm that represents my direct family.
  12. I was raised with three languages.
  13. I enjoy classical music.
  14. I do not follow any religion but I do have a strong belief system.
  15. According to the law, I am legally blind.
  16. My greatest hobby is writing.
  17. I am very good at letting go.
  18. My favorite season is summer.
  19. I generally remember what I dream of at night.
  20. I am terrified of horror movies.
  21. One of my favorite scents is lavender.
  22. I like grapes and apples.
  23. I am a bookworm.
  24. I am terrified of the dentist.
  25. I’ve never had a paid job.
  26. I love dragons and phoenixes alike.
  27. I am interested in the cosmos.
  28. Learning is one of my hobbies.
  29. I like candles.
  30. I enjoy playing Legend of Zelda games.
  31. I have one prosthetic eye.
  32. I like to paint.
  33. I prefer silver over gold.
  34. The amethyst is my favorite gemstone.
  35. If I’m right, I’ve been on a plane 14 times in my life so far.
  36. If I could be anything, I’d want to be a writer.
  37. I’m not afraid of blood.
  38. I’m an avid shoe lover.
  39. I used to own a pony and later a horse.
  40. I believe there is extraterrestrial life.

Cherished Memories

When I was a child, I enjoyed stories. My mother would read books to me. She did this well up until I was 12 years old. We would read the Narnia books before bedtime. But my dad did something even more unique. He would make up stories on the spot and tell them to me. He has done this for as long as I can remember.

It started out with a collection of small animals that lived in fruit houses in the backyard. The first story was about a mouse that lived in an apple. I don’t remember all the other animals that assembled, but the collection of fruit friends increased greatly.

At a later time, which is also why I typed this post, my dad told me stories about Toby. Toby was a tiger friend who slept in a drawer. He had on sneakers, blue pants and a red cap. I recall many details about Toby. One of his pals was a donkey called Tabias. He also had a brother who wore red pants and a blue cap; so they could be kept apart.

One of the first stories about Toby that my dad told me was one my dad told me and my older brother. It was about meeting him. He took us to a magical realm where all our dreams seemed to come true and we partook in amazing activities together. There was also sand of very intriguing colors; purple and pink for instance. The story ended with us going to bed and waking up, wondering if it had been a dream or reality. We found out the answer when we left the home and found remains of colored sand.

I enjoyed all those stories. I used to have a notebook that I drew in about them. I would remember the stories and draw about the ones I had been told on the pages in the notebook. I remember I’ve drawn Toby in it too. Along with him, there was a bus full of other characters that came along on our adventures. There were various horses, the fruit animals and even a dolphin.

Sadly however, I no longer have this notebook nor most of the memories of the stories. I think it’s such a loss that I forgot them all. I would’ve loved to have written down all the stories for safe-keeping. Then I could’ve passed them on to my own children and the potential children of my brothers. In that way, the wonderful characters from the stories could have lived forever.

Instead, I am thinking of approaching my dad with a different proposal. Perhaps he’d like to come up with new stories about the old characters with me. I could help write them and we could draw pictures for it. We could create a book out of it. After all, I still have ‘writing a children’s book’ on my bucket list. What better way to cross off a bucket list goal through the help and support from a loved family member? So here’s to hoping some other child will some day be able to appreciate the wonderful adventures of Toby and all the other companions.

Early Zensations & Other Habits

Once upon a time, I was that young person that would sleep in till noon and who would then drag herself out of bed to hang out at her computer or with video games all day; with the occasional exception upon which I’d do something social, perhaps. Early mornings were a rarity as well as my worst enemy

However, I’m on my way to change. The key to changing a routine is discipline. They say that if you can do something for thirty days straight that you will set it up as a part of your routine. I find that believable as well as helpful knowledge and frightening knowledge at the same time.

I know that I’m prone to steering away from a routine if something pushes me to not stick to it. For example, if I’m trying to keep up with early mornings and a friend comes over who likes to stay up and go out, I will decide to not care anymore and fall back into old, unhealthy habits. So that might be a dangerous influence; especially since it’s summer break currently which gives me both the perfect opportunity to work in change before the new year but also gives me time and a chance to meet up with friends that I don’t see often due to our schedules and physical distance.

Gerechtshof

A part of my desired routine is rising early. The latest I’ve done so far is 7 AM. But to put that in perspective, today I set my alarms for 5:45. I jumped out of bed at 5:50 AM to get dressed and to eat. Next I take a walk. I find it unbelievably pleasant to be out at such an early hour during the warm months. Everyone is still sleeping except myself and the birds. The chance that I encounter another person at those hours is very slim. The city doesn’t start coming to life until after 7 AM. On Sundays the vitality of my surroundings is even more nonexistent. I enjoy it. I’m not a city girl, you see.

I’ve written before that I enjoy being alone with my thoughts during the early morning. It stimulates my brain. I’ve been recognizing that knowledge every day so far. My creativity soars and my motivation to do something, be it chores or creative tasks, is immense. Furthermore, I feel happy. A sense of zen and calm overtake me and that feeling remains all day. It’s as if I’m feeling the stillness of nature during the mornings and syncing with it.

Though an early morning stroll (or walks in general) have never been my only version of calm-instilling activities. I know of other activities that cause a likewise sensation. However the difference is in the ability for the feelings to last. I’ve rarely had them cling to me so firmly as I have now. I can think of the corruption in the world and the rotting planet and yet I can remain calm and happy. I can think of things that have hurt me personally and abide by the knowledge that it occurred and have peace with it. This is rare for me.

I’ve always been someone who seeks happiness and a state of zen. It was either elusive or temporary. I would either find it and it would be fleeting or I would find it difficult to find it at all. I would tell myself to obtain it and use the methods I had taught myself to attempt to come by it but there would always remain concerns and thoughts. Yet now I’m more able to have a steady and stable mindset. I’m okay and I will be okay; regardless of what occurs.

My advice to you, reader, is to give it a try as well. Take a walk. Find your own zen. Acknowledge that bad things happen but that it’s okay. It might hurt and that is also okay. Everything happens for a reason and have peace with that every moment of every day. I assure you, you can encounter countless endeavors and still feel blissful throughout them.

Another one of the habits I want to break are caffeine and alcohol. I rarely drink any alcohol anymore. It doesn’t pull my attention like it did when I was a ‘rebel teen’. When I drink nowadays, it’s with a lot more moderation. The consumption of caffeine is more of a concern however. It’s often been something I used as a treat for myself; to reward myself. Yet I’m noticing the consequences on my body when it comes to an intense awake state that I don’t desire. It takes a while for my body to break down the cafeine and return to ‘normal’. So it can really keep me up. There is also of course the matter of all the sugar in it. I’ve been drinking a lot of water instead nowadays. I’m still looking for something else that is pleasant in taste to use as a treat for myself. Any advice is welcome.

Besides this, there is still the ever-lasting contemplation; should I become a vegan? I promise to present a post on that matter in the near future.