I’ve slowly picked these different books up over the past year and I’ve had so much fun with them that I wanted to write about them! Have you tried any of these out? What are some of your favorite interactive books?
Music Listography. This is easily the one I’ve written in most, and my favorite of the Listography books (I’ll be featuring three in this post.) I found it barely used at a thrift shop and it tickled my music-addicted soul pink. There are so many lists to fill out; I’ve loved documenting my favorite songs by decade (90s list is the longest!) I’m taking my time with it, enjoying the questions and pondering which 20 albums WOULD I take to space with me? 😛
Me, You, Us. This was designed to do with either a significant other OR with different friends and pals, with a place at the top for the names and date of who you’re talking about. I bought this as something fun to do with my boyfriend as a silly conversation starter and something to bond over or make us think about “us” and it’s terribly fun! I need to have a pack of crayons with me for the next round, because one could easily add on pictures and drawings on each page. I love it!
Spirit Listography. I bought this with an amazon gift card; I haven’t looked at it closely, but it’s a mix of intrapersonal reflecting and proactive “make the world a better place” type mix of prompts to list.I’d much prefer more intrapersonal questions to reflect on, but it seems a decent mix. Plus the cover is gorgeously beautiful. I’m happy with it! And in usual Listography fashion, it has the most quaint little illustrations with each list that I enjoy rediscovering as I flip the page.
Wreck This Journal. My sister in another state Rebecca bought me this during my first visit to Georgia when we went bookstore prowling together. It was the first time I’d seen it in person and I couldn’t leave it behind. This is as interactive as you can get with a book. It wants you to throw it, tear it, do everything it says on each page and its stupid therapeutic amazing fun! This would be the best thing to take with you on a camping trip even where you can throw it as hard as you like without it sailing into the neighbor’s yard. 😄
My Future Listography. I’m pretty sure I found this with the music book. Basically, you fill in the different lists about what you hope to do, visit, see, or read, ect. I filled in bits and pieces of it, and have already looked back through and been to checkmark some as done! I like seeing how my wishes or wants change as time goes by too; a perfect little time capsule to remind you what the past you wanted to do, or to see how far you’ve come!
The Amazing Story Generator. I love this book; it creates some of the most creative and silly and challenging story prompts ever! I bought it off Amazon with birthday money it’s really fun to keep around for a laugh or challenge! If you’re a by-the-seat-of-your-pants fiction writer, I’d highly recommend for kicking writer’s block in the butt or for a fun random challenge! See picture below for an example of how this book works!
I did this last year and I really wanna do it for last year too, even though it’s already mid-Feb. 😄 What were your favorites this year? These are mine!
My favorite movie from the whole year was Captain America: Civil War. It’s probably been the biggest payoff movie to a film franchise that I’ve followed or watched in my life. All those superheroes all coming together like that, for one of biggest most enjoyable fight scenes ever…plus all the emotional punches and clashes…it was perfect. As a Marvel fan who’s invested money and time to follow this series, I felt very much rewarded!
Runners Up: Deadpool, Passengers, Finding Dory, Arrival, Doctor Strange, Zootopia.
Susumu Hirasawa, Sia, Lindsey Stirling, Odesza just scratch the surface of all the music that became my new favorite this year; I introduced myself to Madonna too, and select pop songs throughout the year.
In the playlist below, I compiled 30 songs that I keenly remember listening to this past year,or that remind me of something that was going on when I discovered it. There’s a strong memory imprinted on each of them. You can read about them on the playlist on YouTube if you’d like. Feel free to scroll through it and help yourself to maybe some new music (there’s soundtracks and all sorts of songs sprinkled in there!)
I began watching JoJo way back at the beginning of the year. I watched three full seasons by April to watch the new season weekly with James (it was one of his favorite stories and I said as a Christmas present I would catch up and watch with him.) Wow, was it worth it. I watched this show weekly from April alllllll the way to December and it was flipping awesome. Brilliant genre twists, creativity out of this world, with truly lovable, quirky characters who sneaked into my heart: it was anime of the year for me and James for sure!
Runners Up: Mob Psycho 100, KonoSuba, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, The Diasterous Life of Saiki K., Flip Flappers, Sweetness and Lightning, Orange, ReLife.
FAVORITES FROM MY SOCIAL MEDIA:
wait Sherlock is on tonight. wat. when. how. omg. my life. my hero. tonight. omg. wat. wat. air. gonna die.
These are some of my favorite Instagram posts; they capture some big moments, as well as some small ones that I’d nearly forgotten!
I love my “Me” Pinterest board; I’ve been art, quotes, and images that I feel truly capture an esences of who I am. It’s been wonderful for self-exploration and identifying with my core personality and how I process or think of things! ❤
I made this to collect all the reasons why distance doesn’t matter when it comes to love. ❤
This is of a story I want to write one day; scraps of the plot are scrapping together, and I have magazine clippings from ages ago that have the same vibe for the same story. I decided to make a board for it. ❤
This year I did so much! I’ll be recapping some of the things I accomplished in an upcoming post soon in that regard. But looking back over this post, I already really appreciate all the little memories social media saved for me. Plus, I discovered some of the best music ever this past year, and CIVIL WAR WAS JUST AMAZING. xD So, what were your favorite things this year?
So I completely forgot that on New Year’s Eve it was my blog’s sixth anniversary!
I have been purposefully absent from blogging this past year; and it was kind of weird. I’ve grown used to blogging about my personal life, about the things I learn as I struggle and grow. However, outside of some purposefully vague blog posts, I’ve been quiet about my life most of this year. I was concentrating on something very important to me and waiting for when I was secure enough to share it.
Well, tonight’s the night and I’m so happy that I waited! Some of you who keep up with me on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook already know what I’m talking about. 😉 But I’m ready to talk about it here. I haven’t planned or outlined any of this post, so hopefully me just explaining what I want to explain all makes sense. 😄
I’ve been building my first romantic relationship, with my best friend James, who lives in Georgia, for the past year.
Yeah; probably not shocking many of you who can read between the lines. 😄 But hey, this feels very official. 😄 Some of you who’ve been here awhile know James from his blog; several of you readers kinda grew up with us all together, watching Marvel movies, discussing Star Wars and growing up into college kids–you know who you are. 😉 ❤
Well, James and I met through our blogs back in 2011 and have been friends ever since. About a year ago, after several years of consistently skyping and being the best of friends, our true feelings between us surfaced. I’d had feelings for about six months or so, dropping hints which I thought he was not reading at all. Meanwhile, he’d been holding a crush for about three years (which he hid so well, because I had no idea!) and was absolutely terrified of somehow losing our friendship. So it was quite a big deal when “us” happened; when we began to talk it all out, along with how we could meet.
Our top priority in all of it was protecting our friendship: neither of us wanted to lose what we already had in our friendship. I mean, we loved talking every week about anime, about life, about anything really. Our friendship was too valuable to risk, so we entered the romantic waters very thoughtfully. It was not a walk in the park, people. We both experienced a lot of anxiety and fear during those early months. I was unsure how we could make us work at first, being so far apart and having not met in person, but I knew I wanted to try. I wanted to go slowly and make time for us figure it out, to adapt, to fully comprehend we really did “like like” each other, and spend enough time talking about everything we needed to. And we helped each other through the anxiety, the fear, the trust building!
We talked so much before we first met in May; with all the talking was the trust-building, honesty-building; being respectful, trying to be ourselves, learning more about ourselves as we learned more about what “we” were and could be. We messaged and skyped so much before we met, constantly talking out those fears. It was terrifying and absolutely amazing at the same time. We loved it. It was exciting, it was completely brand new! The butterflies were insane!
We had a lot of fears before we met, resolving some while I was there, and dealing with others after I went back home. (You can read about our first visit here, if you missed it;it’s tastefully written to exclude we were romantically involved at the time.)
I asked him not to ask me to be his girlfriend during that first visit because I wanted to return home without any ties to see how I felt. I wanted to make sure I loved him, not the idea of him. I wanted to be “just us” for awhile, if that makes sense: just James and Jamie, without any labels like boyfriend and girlfriend.
He very patiently let me take my time. I knew a couple months after coming home that I wanted to officially be together, to try to see if we could make it in the long run. I knew the distance didn’t matter, the distance didn’t effect how I felt. So we privately called each other boyfriend and girlfriend from then on and continued being just us, talking about us, before I returned to him just a few weeks ago.
He officially asked me to be his girlfriend when I returned, and we made it public on social media to enjoy being a couple without feeling like we had to hide it. (I wanted to take as many cute couple selfies while we were together, afterall LOL.) We were both happy and felt safe in own feelings and in each other. We had worked so hard for a year to build us, so it was exciting and still is exciting, to share the fruit of all that work.
We will tell you we’ve already been together more than a year, though: 365 days of very, very hard and dedicated communication being “us”, discussing boundaries, discussing fears, building trust, sharing secrets, discussing fun things like anime as we always had, and figuring out what love was. We’re still doing all that now, really. We’re still learning what love is and becoming closer, stronger.
That’s why for a year I chose to keep us private, so we could grow and become stable without anyone’s input but our immediate circles. I’m so so happy that I chose to be slow and private, even though it meant neglecting my blog for a year. 😄
I feel secure and free to talk about it now! Now that such a huge part of my life has received a solid foundation that I’m confident in, I feel like I can come back here (and my other blogs) and talk openly again about life: what I’m learning, what I’m feeling, what I’m doing again. I can refer to James as “boyfriend” on here now; I can be happy knowing that I truly love him very much, without any doubts. That I’m proud to have him as my special someone (and wow, he wins best boyfriend award in the world. How did crazy ol’ me get someone so patient, so empowering, so kind, so affectionate, so gentle, and so supportive? I’m incredibly blessed, you guys!)
So, I’m very excited to come back here, back home to this blog. Back to the place that made us possible.
Because without starting this blog six years ago, I wouldn’t have met James.
Without this place for us to have gotten to know each other, none of what I just documented would have happened! Like woah…mind blown.
Without writing here, without sharing my fandom joys, my little silly thoughts, my painful life experiences, my personality expressing itself in its whacky funny way, James wouldn’t have wanted to get to know me better! 😄 We wouldn’t have shared watching the new Marvel movies together; we wouldn’t have commented on each other’s blogs as teenagers for years; he wouldn’t have started his old podcast in 2013 as a way to start skyping with me; we wouldn’t have become the unlikely opposites who get so much out our differences, yet discover so much common ground; we wouldn’t have had each other’s backs during some of the darkest most painful times in both our lives.
Without this blog, I would not have discovered anime, flown across the country twice in a year, discovered myself as I have, experienced the most romantic first kiss one spring morning deep in the south with my hero, best friend, and first love, in the most affectionate, steady, funny, thoughtful, Godly young man ever who shed blood, sweat, utter loyalty and devotion, and a crap ton of being the funniest thing ever, to win my heart. ❤
I’ve always loved words, telling stories, sharing my struggles and journies in writing. I’ve always believed that words are more powerful than the sword. I’ve believed words were one of the most powerful things in the world. And I’ll always believe that. Because the words in this stupid little blog did so much; it made so much possible. FOR GOODNESS SAKE, someone FELL IN LOVE with my personality, my words, my heart, because of this blog! And right now, despite all the crap that can still hit the fan in my life, I consider myself the most blessed woman in the world.
Your words matter. So when you write, be open, be kind, be true to yourself every single time you share them. You never know what might happen because of it. ❤
The day after my 22nd birthday, I climbed on my bike with my purse full of resumes and biked down the closest biggest main street in search of a job. My plan was just to pedal up, walk in and ask. It was ridiculously hot even at 10 in the morning. And I was terrified. But I badly needed a job; I had rent to begin paying to my mother and money for a future car insurance too; my savings would drain away fast with these charges. But with the helping push of my best friend, I picked a day: the day after my birthday, to be the day I’d bike to the nearest places and see if they were hiring. Just as a start.
My first few choices, which included Dairy Queen, were still closed, so I kept pedaling. Taco Bell handed me something to fill out; then I hit the next door Dennys. The Denny’s manager interviewed me on the spot and he, who expected me to be able to work all hours of the night, told me to come back the next day to interview with the second manager and begin immediately as a waitress. I felt good about that; at least it was something, and I was exhausted. So I started back home.
And I nearly pedaled past the Dairy Queen again. I’d left my information there on a previous day, and had inquired a second time to no avail. But there it was: it really was my first choice of a place to work. It was the closest, I felt most comfortable with the idea of working there, and I just had a gut feeling about it. Just a huge gut feeling. I really wanted to work there. And you know what guys; I nearly pedaled past it because, eh, I basically had the job at Dennys. That’s what I first thought.
But then I circled back. I walked in; the owner told me to come back at noon for an interview. So at noon I came back and a girl my age went over some things with me and then asked: “Could begin tonight around 6?” I grinned, “Yes I can.” I walked out, called my mom and said, “I got the job! I start tonight!” It was one of the best feelings.
So at 6 that very same night, I filled in paperwork, was given a uniform, and started my first night in Dairy Queen.
That was nearly two weeks ago. It feels even longer to be honest. So much of my life has changed just by having a job I have to go in for like that, with a uniform to keep clean and coworkers I’m not related to to get along with. But it’s been good! And wow, 22 year old me kicked butt fast–got a job in less than 24 hours. 😄 That’s the story.
Nah, to be honest, I was terrified as heck riding my biking down that street. But my self confidence rose tenfold by the end of the night by getting a job and working that same day. Just wow.
I love this job.
I’m very happy and I feel very blessed to have gotten the starter job of my choice. I’m not sure how that happened, just like that. I don’t know if I badgered myself into it or if they were just desperate for more help and hired me. But either way, I’m incredibly thankful. I get to work with ice cream, people!
That first night I started to learn where everything was, and what my job was between cleaning the dining room and memorizing recipes for blizzards. I watched Matthew make several banana splits and learned how to work the blizzard machines. They were a bit scary at first, so loud and fast, but I can handle them now. I’m still learning new stuff everyday. I like it though. I like watching the ice cream churn into the cup, and spooning oreos and sauce, and holding the cup upside down by the window for costumers.
Drive thru is the best part though, to be honest. I don’t know why I love doing the drive through so much. Somehow talking to people, writing down orders, and punching it into the register is hardly stressful. I like handing bags out to people too and using my happy genuine voice to say “you have a great night!” or whatever I feel needs to be said to different people. I like people, so it’s fun being happy for them that they’re here for ice cream, you know what I mean? But the other day Ed and I shook our heads over someone who just couldn’t be happy. I said, “How can you be upset, you’re getting ice cream for crying out loud.” and he said, “I know right?! If you’re bringing drama to Dairy Queen, you either need vodka or a long sleep.” We almost died laughing. 😄
However, the seemingly unmentioned, biggest part about the job, besides actually creating food, stocking things, working under intense pressure (which I actually can handle really well, I’ve not been badly stressed out yet) and wiping down tables and windows—is the teamwork.
Wow, it is incredibly interesting and intriguing slowly meeting and working with so many different kinds of people. A lesebian couple, a mother and daughter, a sixteen year old, ect ect ect: I’m working with so many different kind of people at the same time. In many ways, my job feels more like being able to work and get along with and listen to my fellow workers then creating blizzards and Orange Julius’s. And wow, what a difference a different pairing of workers can make in the level of stress and smoothness during a rush hour. Just good golly Miss Molly. 😄
I’ve tried incredibly hard to be open to correction without talking back, to arrive to work ON TIME, to be quick to jump to do anything the boss or my coworkers ask of me, and to ask questions when I don’t understand something. Thankfully, I can already tell my strategy is working to my favor, as I’ve yet to piss off anyone. 😄 LOL I have two older coworkers acknowledge my hard work and dependability after working only a couple shifts with me, and that made me really happy. The younger kids seem to not mind teaching me and helping me remember what goes into which blizzards.
It’s truly been an incredible learning curve and experience but I think I’m already a better person after working there just under two weeks. Outside of maybe one person, I enjoy working with everyone. I’ve found my strength in adaptability helps make moving with the flow really give me an advantage not to cave under the pressure of so much newness. There have been some really high levels of stress during rush hours too, but somehow I’ve yet to snap back at anyone, or feel overwhelmed. Stressed, oh sure. But not to the point of “I hate this, I can’t do this.”
Tonight, I got my first paycheck! My boss hollered at me from her office while I was leaving the walk in fridge with the oreo container; she handed me a piece of paper and I got so excited when I saw my check. Later as I was leaving I thanked her for hiring me and wondered if I was doing a good job. All she said was, “Yep, you are.” But coming from her, that made me happy.
So, if you’ve wondered where I’ve been since my birthday, there’s your answer. At Dairy Queen. Learning a crap ton of stuff and enjoying it! I’m tired a lot now; I work mostly night shifts (though thankfully I’m almost always home before midnight) and between standing up for hours on end and then all the clean up, it leaves me tired. My adrenaline doesn’t go down, so I end up staying up till one in the morning before I get sleepy, like I am right now. 😄 I’m covering another girl’s shift tomorrow from late afternoon to early evening, and then will have to work again on Sunday. If you’re in the neighborhood, drive by and see me. I might be sticking my head out the window. 😉
I’m looking forward to the challenge of working hard and learning hard, not stepping on my boss’s toes, and learning more and more. All in all, I’m so thankful I got this job. And I really do love it. I’m working with ice cream after all. What’s so bad about that? 😉 ❤
If you’ve already read my post about how I met my best friend online and have been waiting to read more about my visit, well here it is! ❤ I wrote out some different memories today. Literally just being together in person, eating meals and looking at the stars and riding in the car–just normal things–felt so special because we were finally off each other’s computer screens. ❤
There were so many trees; no, you don’t understand, it’s a big deal to me. I’ve lived in Phoenix my entire life; I’m used to being surrounded by buildings, buildings, buildings. Most of the trees I see are palm trees and mesquite trees, which are blah…the rest is dirt and dust and crumbly hills. Yet the edge of Atlanta, that I saw, was filled with TREES. It blew my mind and I wasn’t even in the country yet. They almost made me feel claustrophobic. So much of the sky was blocked by them. It was crazy and beautiful and SO GREEN.
I had a wonderful room to myself at James’ grandparents home next door. In the mornings James and I would eat cereal or yogurt or fruit, often outside on a swing beneath a big tree. I love that swing a lot. The cat would play with the flowers and chase things and we’d glide back and forth for hours talking. Sometimes a wasp flew too close and I’d fuss. One time we played anime opening songs off my iPod and made the other try to guess which show it was from. We stared at people driving by wondering if they were staring back. I loved those mornings on the swing. ❤
It was fun just being outside together. I felt ridiculously spontaneous one evening and ran in the huge sprinklers in the front yard. James laughed at me when I forgot the water was rotating and caught me off guard. He showed me their gardens and I got to pick a few strawberries even. Near the end of my visit, we went swimming in the backyard. We swam in circles to make a whirlpool, played Marco Polo, and attempted to sing the different Star Wars melodies together. We ate peach ice cream in cups and floated round and round.
Then, I had the grandest time when Rebecca picked me up in her bug and drove me all over the place; bookstores, Starbucks, O’Charlies. She told me the funniest stories of her and James growing up together; we sat on the floor in the humor section and combed through books giggling till we were sore; we talked about anime and college and hopes for the future. Later that night James and I met her at the movies together and goofed around in our seats till the film started. I was so happy; I got to sit between two of my greatest friends for the first time and it felt so good.
James and I wandered the town square and I took pictures of war monuments. We misread a crossing sign and laughed when we realized we were utter idiots. 😄 I pulled him by the hand through an antique furniture store and called literally everything “so cute”; every guy should be tortured like that at least once. 😉 😄 After I aggressively sniffed soap samples he bought me the yummiest smelling of them all. We ate scrambled hamburgers in a little diner and I was happily stunned to find scripture on the napkin holders and Christian music playing over the radio. He had to remind me I was now in the Bible Belt. That was nice.
His mom, Miss Rita, was a wonderful host, between spoiling me with amazing food and making me the cutest scrapbook to bring home. I got to see her own scrapbooks that she’d made, full of the cutest pictures. She was the best tour guide through her town and I saw all the sights. She showed me how she made yogurt, biscuits, french fries, and the yummiest homemade ice cream, too! Her Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken was to die for. She made me feel at home, right from the moment I met her at the airport. I miss her and the rest of James’ family as much as I miss James himself. ❤
He and I watched a lot of movies together during my visit; I never knew movie watching could be that fun. We watched a lot of anime too. We blogged together, chugged down water from the forest of water bottles that collected on the table, and I tried beating him at left-arm wrestling and lost. I played movie and tv themes on his grandparents piano while he guessed them. We talked and laughed and teased and talked some more. Before bed, we prayed together too. It was nice being together like that. For the record, his shoulder is a very nice place to cuddle your head on when you’re watching anime on the couch. 😀 ❤
It was a full moon that week, but I insisted we still try to see the stars because I knew I’d see more out there than in the city. I was right, too. We found the big dipper and Orion and what I thought was Mars. We’d have some of the best conversations in the evenings, so it was hard to stop for him to go home each time.
And the night before I left I let myself cry. I didn’t want to lose it later at the airport, so I let myself cry into his shirt instead before our final goodnight. He hugged me so tight and sweetly, and reassured me we’d visit each other again soon. He gives the best hugs, you guys! And I only teared up a little bit the next day when I said “I’ll see you later.”
I really can’t wait to go back to make more wonderful memories! ❤