Yet here you are, broken again; in another way, by another person, a fraction of the light within your soul now fractured, shattered, gone.
What did you do to receive this?
You thought you were doing good. You thought you were doing well.
But you messed with the beast.
And the beast bit back.
And now you’re lying on the floor of a dark cell, emotions scattered around you like shredded pieces of paper, and what do you have left?
Truly, what do you have left?
You’re no better than them, my mind said. You’re no better.
You thought so highly of yourself and your story and your situation. But maybe things got all twisted long ago. Maybe things weren’t what they seemed. Because now you’re in the cell, and the darkness beckons, and the words don’t form, the tears don’t spill, the hardness of the surface beneath your bones doesn’t pull away, the hardness just jabs into you and your body and that’s all that you are anymore: a body.
Pulled apart by the stakes. Pulled apart like your limbs would dislocate soon enough. But maybe not enough. Maybe it’s too much for the world to know your secrets. Maybe it’s too much or not your place to lecture.
Even if you think you’re saying something worthwhile–maybe not everyone is ready or willing or wanting to see it, hear it, grapple with it.
So, here you sit. Lost in the abyss; a taste of something more than The Void and you don’t like what you found. You don’t like what you found at all.
So go back to your words, lick your lips and wipe away those tears.
You’re not wanted here. Not fully, not wholly. Only certain parts, only certain parts and no truths, no perspectives, no stories different than their own.
You did something you shouldn’t have. You did something you shouldn’t have.
Like having opinions, having perspectives, having a voice, having a story. Just not in the way they liked, not in the way they are comfortable with expressing. And now it’s time to just walk away.
Even when it kills you.
…Especially when it kills you inside.
Some people aren’t ready for that. Some people aren’t equipped to handle it. You’ve said your piece. So peace out.
You’ll go back to grieve in whichever way that is. You’ll accept the process for what it is. Maybe not right now, maybe not today, but tomorrow, a soon coming tomorrow and you’ll find yourself okay again. Because it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to feel your feelings.
Even when you’re fractured. Even when a fraction of you has been depleted.
It’s still okay to feel that. Even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts.
Because at least if you’re hurting, you know it’s because it mattered to you. You loved and you lost, and now you’re in pain, but it’s because you loved so much that it was worth it. You loved, you lost, you grieved, you overcame. Over and over. You overcame. So just see this as another thing to overcome. You’ve got this.
My mind had said its piece, and I had formed my own. So I folded up the letter again, letting the ink smudge into one another so that the words became mere blocks of black like long school buses. Unhinged. Unknown. A fraction of its own fracture. And I thought to myself, as I stared out the window with the tears running down its lips, and the mixture of my own tasted salty like the sea, I thought,
Thanks, Rebecca. Thanks.
About the piece:
Written 10/5/2022; Inspired by true events; music listened to: “Narcissist” by Lauren Spencer Smith
From free, to held tight. Closed off. Separate. In search of perfection. (Perfection doesn’t exist.) Perfection, the chase of it–the fall, the hurdle, the jump, it all leads back to that: a world growing smaller. And smaller. And smaller. Until you snap or there’s nothing left. And still, still it’ll take. Take. Take. No matter how much you give it back. It just takes.
From present, to absent.
From well, to unwell, to well again.
The world rightens itself. The job takes time. But it does straighten. It does fix itself. There’s work that goes into it, of course, yes, and still, this life, these circumstances, they are imperfect. They are temporary. They do not last forever.
Mortality. An uncomfortable subject among most. Feared of, given power to. Comes with an expiration date. Life is terminal. Got that from a quote I saw the other day. Mortality… this existential awareness, that life will be and life will cease. We just don’t know when or why or how. It’s scary. Justifiably so. And yet, it shall come. One way or another. It shall come. So maybe being aware of our fear, of being aware of our circumstances and for taking this day, this moment, in the sea of trillions of moments we will experience, maybe that is all that matters. Maybe that is all that cares at the end of the day. At the start of the day. Maybe it’s that. Always, always that.
From unintentional, to intentional.
From loss, to growth.
From wondering, to wandering.
From writing less, to writing.
There exist gaps here. Gaps in life, gaps in wonder, gaps in the street, in the pitfalls from one foot to the next. In the way the breeze carries through the air. In the way that a seed forms a true plant. In the way a dog barks, half a bark, before fully committing to another breath of air. Hackles raised, shackles upon their wrists. In the way the train tracks are uneasy. The way thunder claps following lightning. The way the rain patters upon spiderwebs, just trying to make it, trying to exist, trying to live.
Aren’t we all just trying to live?
There are gaps here. From writing much and writing long and writing enough, to silence.
Quiet, quiet silence.
…The Void, if you will.
But maybe where there was once space, then emptiness, maybe there can be space again.
It begins with this moment. One moment. One choice. One change. To pick up the pen, to scatter words onto a keyboard, fingers steady, music blaring, the mood set in, fitting even.
To update. To share. To encourage. To love. To bring hope. To provide light. To explore. To connect. To be not alone. To be whole.
Maybe… maybe not always in all the right places.
But I think I’m finding it… This gap. This bridge.
How do I get from here to there? I’ve often wondered. How do I change the story that I’m writing? Because I enjoyed it once. I loved it once. I was it once. And now… over the years, when I got stable, it vanished.
And I’d like it back. I want it back. I want that for myself, and I want that for my Readers. My friends. My chosen ones.
So I write. I plug in the headphones, I play the song, I count the words as they scrawl past. And I begin.
I choose to begin.
Because only with experience, with action, with consideration, with doing does the gap grow smaller. Or, if not fully smaller, than the perception of it grows smaller. And that, that I can tolerate.
That I can live with.
So I begin.
I move forwards.
From ex, to being enough just for me. For growing into who I can become. For planting my seeds and nurturing my own recovery.
From enemy, to just not in contact with right now. Yet hopeful that in the future, this, too, can change. If I want it, if they want it, it can change.
From loving my job, to excelling at my job. Growing, putting in time and dedication and making a steady and uplifting paycheck.
From inactive, to I’m here again. I’m back. It’s me. Welcome aboard.
From tightly held, to loosening the grip. Because maybe not everything has to be held onto so tightly. Maybe freedom is also in the letting go.
From absent, to welcome back. To showing up. To rebuilding. To regrowth. To reshaping the path ahead.
From well, to well, to well. And some sprinkles of unwell here and there. Because only with the darkest of nights can be truly appreciate and be grateful for the brightest of days.
So I write.
And I write.
And I commit to writing. Because I commit to life and the dreams I have yet to make happen and the accomplishments I have yet (and presently can celebrate) to swim in. I commit. Because it’s my life. And I have that choice. I have that responsibility for what I do with it.
And I want to make something big.
I hope, I do, that maybe one day you can too.
Until then, my Readers.
Welcome back to RecoverytoWellness.
And truly: Where survivors radiate badassery.
— 💚💚💚 Raquel
Music: “Dynasty” by MIIA
Estimated time length to write, edit and publish: <45 mins.
Information regarding my socials:
I’m most active now on Instagram (recoverytowellness), Youtube (I go live on there 2-3 times a month now; RecoverytoWellness), Discord (still super new to this but email me or comment if you’d like to join me there or eventually hop on the RecoverytoWellness server I’ll make there!! A hub for in between Youtube videos, lives, fun stuff and books related things (like book clubs and book content on my socials)), WordPress here of course, if you’d like to see some of my designs on Canva annnnnd I think that’s it. OH! My fan fiction stories can be found on FFN (Unmasked Potential) and AO3 (UnmaskedPotential) in case you’re looking for some creative writing Loki centered Avengers fanfic stories!!!
I’m getting closer and closer to deciding to just delete my Twitter account. More on that in the future and the reasoning and settling upon that, I think.
But yes, check me out wherever you feel the most comfortable!! Much more to come on here soon. Wishing you all a blessed week and good rest of your day. Sending light and love. xxx Thank youuuu
I’m feeling pretty agitated. Focused. Annoyed. Distraught. Forgiveless. Oh, I mean, of course: unforgiving. I just single-handedly obliterated my own therapy session from some BS online and so I’m just feeling at a loss. But I have a platform, like Agatha does as well, and I’m going to use that platform now because this comment has been bothering me for months (and it’s SUCH a good comeback, I think) that I’ll never get to properly utilize and all that jazz. So, I’m angry and I want to talk about this key point:
“If you haven’t lived through X, you cannot write creatively about it.”
So, Agatha isn’t their real name of course. And who they are will remain anonymous because it’s not even about them necessarily. I can have my own thoughts and some things don’t need to populate as they already do on the Internet.
Here’s what’s relevant:
Empathy exists but at the same time does not. At all.
And this notion that unless you’ve BEEN THROUGH something (let’s say, mental health struggles (as broad of a term as that is): substance use disorders, personality disorders, psychosis, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidality, homicidality, on and on–) you CANNOT or worse, SHOULD NOT (NEVER EVER) write about it because… well, I don’t know why you can’t.
But this really has been bothering me. Essentially we’re saying:
“You can’t write fictitiously about a serial killer unless you’ve BEEN a serial killer.”
“You can’t write about time travelers because TRUE time travelers would be offended and irked that you wrote about them so incorrectly.”
“You can’t write about completed suicides because you’ve NEVER BEEN a completed suicider (because how could you if you’re writing about it?)”
“You don’t KNOW because you haven’t LIVED through it!”
Do we see–can we ALL agree–that this notion, this concept, makes very, very little sense?
Can I not write about vampires and unicorns (hopefully separately, nudge nudge) because genuine vampires and unicorns may not agree with the way I convey them? Is this so inherently wrong–that writing about something you have not lived through, you don’t have actual experience in, things you could never (mermaids, fantasy, dragons, queens, kings, war, magic, creatures) and things you just haven’t (sickness, cancer, suicide, homicide, being an actual detective, being a medical doctor, historical fiction, being a prisoner of war, being a veteran, living through depression, and on and on) that that somehow means you could NEVER, SHOULD NEVER write about it?
That not educating yourself on the topic, to researching it, to finding that you could convey something so HUMAN, so natural, so beautiful and meaningful and hell, maybe even some form of relatable, is something you should not do, never do, because… because… because some people, and there will clearly be people, who can’t relate or don’t feel reflected in the categorization of your characters and your plot and your ideas?
That because one person, or five hundred, can’t relate and don’t feel adequately seen or heard, you should, as the writer, just never try to write about things that you may have never or just have not experienced firsthand?
What happened to empathy? What HAS happened to empathy? And why is that not enough?
I just don’t understand. I mean, yes, I understand that not everyone will feel represented so fully and wholly and completely based on just one person’s experiences. That’s true. That’s valid. I just… I can’t believe that because my experiences are my own (and not of those I write about) and no one will ever fully know what my experiences are (they are mine for a reason), that that is somehow an indication or warning sign that everyone else out in the world with imagination, empathy, understanding, willingness to be educated and bring forth more creativity and knowledge than I could even see in my situation because it is mine and I’m blinded to it–to even think of proposing to them “No, you can’t write about THIS because you have no experience with it.” Or, “because you haven’t experienced like THIS you can’t write about it. Because you’re THAT not THIS.” As if it were ever truly your choice.
No one on this earth will exactly experience the same event in the same exact way. That’s what makes us human. Our perception is everything but not everything. It shapes us and how we see things–and how WE CHOOSE to react back to it, that’s up to us. And some people are more aware of this than others. And some people will never get it. It’s true. But for those who are curious, who are willing, who are feeling–maybe we should do less judging of them and how they go about their research and their feelings to not cut them out from a full experience of life and the lives they can write about so flawlessly, so believably that we don’t have to question it, whether it’s true or not, whether it’s been lived through or not, maybe we can let those writers feel and experience and engage with the world in a form of art that other people, that maybe some people may not feel heard or seen, but others, maybe they will.
I think it’s naive and silly (and silly doesn’t have to be bad, inherently) to police what people can and cannot create and for not having lived it to be a huge indication of what can or cannot be written about. Will it reflect everyone’s experiences? No. There will be differences. Maybe accepting those flaws, those inherent cracks, those demented dimensions, maybe the fact that some people, maybe even a lot of people if you’re lucky, will understand, and will feel seen and heard and uplifted, maybe it’s for those and mainly only those that we write for. Because we have stories to tell. And stories to heal. And stories to begin.
Maybe that’s what it’s all for.
What are your thoughts? Where do you fall on this line? What determines something to have art and value and purpose? Or is it all just a waste of time to twiddle our thumbs and feel absurd connections to others that exist until we all become dust again and the world is obliterated into oblivion? Or is there something here? Something worth exploring? No matter how much time we have left?
As for Agatha: Please don’t make puppet accounts to come after me. Your identity is safe with me. And if we can agree to go our separate ways and do our separate things, that will be all I ask for. I hope you feel better one day. I hope that Life gives you more than it has.
As always, be safe, my friends. And be kind. And wonder and ponder and question. Question it all. Because maybe we’re bound to find some very interesting answers….
Until next time. xxx
PS Do you like that I made this thumb on Canva JUST for this post? Ahaha. First time I have in months. Next posts will be book reviews, once I can finally get them done!! XX
I don’t even know how I want this blog post to go.
I just know that I want to capture what I’m feeling and thinking for a frozen moment. Frozen in time, suspended, distilled, captured. In the hopes that I can move on from it. Be unleashed. Free. Liberated. Safe.
The words don’t come easily. I feel the twirling fan’s breath on my exposed arms, a hooded, soft gray blanket dispersed over my head making me look like a nun. Or… Yoda. I want to turn it off, but I don’t because it’s grounding. My iPod is nearby, shouting out music, but it’s never quite high enough, no matter how much I turn it up. It’s never quite enough. And the mind, the mind I have, with the fumbling fingers on the keys, constantly making mistakes, constantly having to go back a space to fix them, still, that mind is swirling. Thoughts are coming half-formed and fully formed. Emotions the height of a tsunami, threatening to overtake me, wash me with its ruin. I’m caught in it, for a moment, I’m caught in it.
Maybe, no, maybe that last song was good. Hmm, maybe I’ll play it back once more:
MIIA – Dynasty
The tabs are open. The links don’t do what I want. The annoyance is there, bubbling to the surface, then, just really formed into disappointment. I remind myself to turn on the repeat function on my iPod along the same time I can smell the sweat from my feet, hunched over, legs on top of one another, crouching before the laptop, from a day’s activities, a day’s work, I think to myself to take them off, maybe even take off all the layers, so I can be comfortable in my pajamas. But I don’t really move. I don’t really move to do any of that.
Too caught up in the words. Caught up in the stories.
No, I change my mind. Place the song on repeat. Crack my neck. Unleash one sock… Then two. The smell still remains.
I notice it more now, in the crux between the music keys and the way I sludge forwards, onwards, into the mix.
What was I talking about before?
…… Where do I begin?
There’s so many avenues to start the story, and each would play across the right one.
I guess, I’m unhappy with my job. I’m unhappy with my place in the world. I want more, and…less. My avoidance is chipping away my soul, slowly at a time, so that I don’t notice it until I realize “No, I can’t do that.” Because my world is spinning and crumbling, ever so slowly, ever so smaller.
My job isn’t where I thought I’d be by now. It’s not the job I thought I’d get after graduating university. It’s, in some parts, not even the job I wanted. But it’s the job I got, and it’s the job I’ve been at and been trying to learn and grow and succeed and go forward.
But I find myself… craving, wanting more. Wanting something different.
But I’m terrified on how or if I’ll ever get there.
I’ve been talking about my dreams with new friends online lately. And it’s reminded me a lot of my dreams. And how what I’m doing now, doesn’t really feel like it’s cutting it anymore. Or, at least, it’s just starting to dawn on me that this may be the case.
But how do I go from here to there? To the land of my dreams?
I want, or I think I want, to go into Certified Peer Specialist.
It’s just…. complicated. I have to factor in the fact that I’d probably work for an agency, that I have to get trained and pass a test, that I have to carve out more hours of my time for actual work, that I’ll be expected in Clinicals and DRIVING peers around, the fears of that, the responsibilities and the strangeness of it all. I’d have to get certified. I’d have to get gas coverage (in the sense that maybe there’d be mileage reimbursement but also I’d be hefting over part of my salary, likely, to the never-ending need for more fuel). I’d maybe still only be earning what I do now.
But, would it be more fulfilling?
Would all of it, everything considered, be worth it? And when would it happen? Soon? A year from now? How do I get from here to there?
I know I have to start small. I know I have the tools ready for me. I’m just… scared. Overwhelmed. Unhappy.
I’m craving more advocacy work. I think that’s what I’m missing now. Summers are always slow for presentations at NAMI and I haven’t had one all month so maybe that’s a factor. Maybe the other factor is that I’ve been talking of my dreams this week. Reminding myself of my potential and how much I don’t want THIS job to be my end goal. It was always just supposed to be a stepping stone. And maybe, maybe I’m finding that I’m finally ready to move onto the next one. I want to go into advocacy work of public speaking, give a TEDtalk one day, build up my 4 main recovery art projects, share my story, write and publish books, etc. So, so, so much more than this.
And it’s taken me a while to get here. I… maybe because of the BPD have … intense attachments. Hell, whenever I take out a book from the library I get too attached–even when the book is past due and I’m accruing fines, I can’t let it go, not when I haven’t completed my end of the deal with it. I most often override this but it’s still a functionality of my personality. At Passages I was the same way, thinking me and my DBT-Intensive crew were a team and flabbergasted when finding out that they were going to go on their own way before the ‘true’ end date. I have problems with attachment. Even if I’m mulling over an item in the store to buy, I get attached, I start to ‘see’ it in use in my life, and once that’s there, I don’t want to leave it behind without buying it. Again, attachments.
So for me, what I’m trying to say is, for me to get to the point where I’m starting to think: Maybe it’s time now, is pretty big. And yeah, I’m afraid in some parts because a few of my co-workers in the last month tried to leave for another job and now they’re back again. So, maybe I’d be the same?
But this was never my end goal. And maybe CPS will be it, for a while. Maybe just blooming into more of that advocacy work, the work I really want to do, maybe that’ll be everything.
I’ve been thinking lately, I don’t have all my advocacy work like from when I was at university. I think I miss that, am missing that. Maybe even finding odd jobs for paid writing work would help, too. I’m just kinda tired. I want more and I’m realizing I have to be the one out there to get it.
So, alas, I find myself wondering:
How do I get from here to there?
And, I’m not sure, not entirely.
Obviously I’d overlap the two careers before I moved on officially, just to see if I’d even like it to begin with. And then, I mean, I guess I just start making little goals? Maybe like a road map or a vision board of my dreams and start plugging away at it a little at a time. I also want to start by asking some of my NAMI co-presenters how they’ve gotten into the field (at least two are in CPS work) and then start that way, too.
Mmm, I’m feeling a bit more hopeful now with that idea.
With my calves hurting (curse those hills at work!), with a newfound determination, I’m going to work on what I can for the rest of tonight: mainly, mayb– oh!
Twitter & MCU: I’m still a lengthy amount of movies and time away from properly watching and being in the loop about everything happening with the “Loki” Disney+ series. So, with less than 10 mins on my Twitter timeline today, I’ve officially decided that I have to now avoid it for the rest of time (at least until I’m more in the loop and caught up, which will probs be July ahaha, did I say that? I meant AUG! Let’s be honest). Soooo that sucks. Also, I just haven’t been as active on Twitter this week. I’ve been discreetly uploading these avenues of content WITHOUT placing it on there: fanfic, videos, blog posts. So maybe one day but not any time that near.
And as for life, I’ve covered the fact that my avoidance bullshit is getting in the way a lot. And I won’t be leaving my job any time soon either, but I’m gonna start chipping away at it. Find trainings I can attend to, roles within the peer support arena, continuing to craft my online presence, teach some classes, do (when the time is right) presentations. Work on my public speaking skills (really rusty on that). Drive around more. List out the pros and cons of my potential decisions. And just grim face and bear the rest as much as I can. It’s not something I’ll have solved tomorrow. But we all start somewhere.
So for now, I’m going to answer a few online messages/emails and texts, read a book, go to bed early tonight, take my meds, eat dinner, network, listen to music and just get ready for the hellhole that tomorrow will bring.
Anyways, that’s it for me. I’ll either shower tonight or tomorrow, just want to make sure I do before Mon when I go to visit my partner! And maybe tomorrow I’ll watch the rest of Thor!!
All right, guys, thanks so much for reading. Do you have any tips or advice for how you made different career plans in your own life? Jumping from one job to a whole new one?
I’ll see you guys next week.
PS There is ONE last thing I didn’t quite cover here but that I had thought of for the ‘Life’ category: the slow burn acceptance that my previous mental health problems and complications (i.e chronic suicidality) will probably be something I always have to deal with. More so in the sense that my automatic go to within my mind and body is to end everything, though I am now EONS away from ever, ever acting on those thoughts now. Regardless, I’m thinking like with most recoveries, the thoughts and emotions will always be there, just the behaviors are up to me. Which, is … nice, in some ways, and empowering and also frustratingly disappointing. But, alas, such is life. I can realize it, recognize it and do the opposite of it. Which is what I will do. Don’t worry, I’m safe!! Just something that popped into my head while at home, after work, before I started writing this post.
“It’s Your Funeral” (2020) by Emily Riesbeck, Ellen Kramer and Matt Krotzer
Purpose, death, afterlife, bureaucracy, case workers, art, body language, emotional expression, mysteries, unanswered questions, meaning, life, bitterness, emotions, scathing retorts to interpersonal relationships, letting go vs acceptance vs holding on, getting better, living again or for the first time, ghosts, multiverse, inter-dimensions, imagination, hard to pronounce names, pronouns, teenagers, the “voice” of the characters, fear of abandonment, miserable outlooks, not giving up on someone, aliens.
Marnie Winters is dead after her chair blew up and killed her and now she has to deal with an internship in a case worker’s alien bureaucracy to help other ghosts like herself cross over and have their files closed. She goes through the process of trying to identify why she is still there, and not in her own dimensional destination within the multiverse of universes, as she grapples with the new alien co-workers she’s met and has to live alongside in her afterlife, while also questioning if they’ll really be there for her because she’s far more used to people abandoning her and forgetting about her. Marnie struggles with her emotions and how she handles interpersonal relationships as evident throughout the graphic novel. She comes to learn about her main case worker X’lakthul (Xel) and her related co-workers and learns how to approach other ghosts and the circumstances around her afterlife position through the internship in training and then actual field work.
Marnie learns, most importantly, at her experiences within the Department of Spectral Affairs that life and the end of life takes time, healing requires time and effort and not giving up on someone and that acceptance is a powerful force and we have to meet people where they are at in their journey, not where we think or want them to be at based on our own experiences.
This graphic novel is an emotional read with funny light-hearted moments and endless depths of meaning, existential awareness and the legacy we are choosing to leave behind as we follow our lives from this existence into the next one. It is a timeless read that can help improve the lives of anyone it comes across. I hope that you will enjoy this review just barely scratching the surface and peeking into what it has in store. Many thanks, xxx
MY RECOMMENDATION SCORE:
OUTSTANDING QUOTES, IDEAS OR IMAGES:
As stated here on my green page flag, I’ve written: The emotion/power conveying through these images is so amazing and, this is C’tharla and I already loved her early on ahaha. 💚💚💚
Of the above image, I really, really just loved the perspective captured here between Marnie and the educational video for her new internship position (lead by Xel) 😀😅
For the above image here, I absolutely ADORED the way the light play was done. Just the attention to detail that the video recording would project onto the screen was so wonderful and refreshing, I found. Especially for me because I never include light and shadow in my work ahaha. It was marvelous to see it done SO right. This is Xel, or X’lakthul our main case worker working with Marnie and helping her through her ghostly life. 😊❤❤
Luckily, for me, p. 59 really redeemed itself in my eyes for why I wanted to read this book and what I was looking to get out of it, so that is nice! I really enjoyed the notion between Dev and another caseworker, Marnie in tow, towards a ghost that there was no rush for his file to be closed and that it was going to take time. Additionally, that “we’re all in this together. But if we gave up every time we were frustrated, we’d be doomed from the start” (Riesbeck et al, 2020) I really, really loved that message. It was SO poignant to me and really highlighted something important that I could gather from this book and keep with me, hopefully tightly because it’s so relevant for my life!! (I’m looking at you, Avoidance!). Just wanted to highlight that in this review. 😊🤍🤍🤍
p. 60 involved a nice breath of mindfulness where Jose (the ghost), Dev and V’qttyr take another moment to choose to watch the boats pass by on the river because there really isn’t a necessary rush and it’s okay to take a moment sometimes, just for you. 😉😊
My page flag, I believe written in pencil here, says: “I do just love the illustration of existential awareness here.” It was very, very well done, in my opinion!! 😅💙💙 (p. 71)
Another detail I enjoyed out of this book was the dialogue boxed squiggles when Marnie was being silenced/muffled by Xel’s hands over her mouth ahaha. So, instead of a straight line off the speech bubble, her speech bubble main “line” was just a squiggle instead! Like a snaking squiggle, so to speak. A little squiggle with an edge of personality to it ahaha
I feel like my number one favorite scene in this entire book happens, unsurprisingly with C’tharla, on p. 93 when C’tharla is explaining to Marnie that “[C’tharla] has to be the one to tell her employees to care less. That [she] has to be so cold so that Xel can be so warm. This job (she tells Marnie) needs coldness as much as it needs empathy or it would suck us dry. The greatest good for the greatest number” I just absolutely loved this scene and it took SO MUCH care and beauty and challenge and understanding from me. It absolutely made sense and it was just so wonderful I had to share and highlight it in this review (because god knows I shit on this book in the critical section haha!) I just thought it was so powerful and it really humanized C’tharla and made her character have that much more depth and purpose. It’s just beautiful to witness, I feel.
My next favorite scene that I think defines, or should arguably define, this entire book is this: “[C’tharla telling Marnie] A third of our clients will succeed no matter what we do. And a third of our clients will fail no matter what we do. The last third.. that’s where you can make a difference. That’s where you have to focus your energy…” [Marnie:] “Which third am I?” [C’tharla] “That depends on you.” (Riesbeck et. al, 2020, p. 94-95).
The above section is just SUCH a powerful scene, even more so with the images of the body language but yeah like, it’s amazing. That is the biggest thing sticking with me and I’ll focus on it when I consider my recommendation score for sure. Like, the empowerment that is channeled here is amazing and the determination that that part, if nothing else, is up to you, like, oooof, chef’s kiss. I’ll probably even mention it in the what kept me going section of this book and its lasting impressions on me. 💜💜🤩😭
The above image takes place on p. 126 and is really, really something I loved and adored about this book. Xel validating Marnie in the sense that Marnie cannot understand why people wouldn’t give up on the hard cases (like how her life was while she was alive, at least to her perspective) and instead would want to fight through hell and back for people (that wasn’t her experience in life) and Xel’s words saying it’s because these people are WORTH the effort, is just all sorts of emotional, heartwarming and hopefully inspiring. I thought it was worthy of mentioning in this review, myself. 🖤🖤💚💙 They’re worth it. You’re worth it. And so am I. 😱😭
I would like to say that before the concept is brought up later, on p. 139 I was even thinking that Xel was necessary to let go of the box she had placed Marnie in and instead work with her with where MARNIE was at rather than attacking the problem and the issues Marnie was having in only Xel’s point of view and point of reference. It felt to me that Xel was pushing for something that maybe Marnie didn’t even want anything to do with and that was something I was hoping Xel to come to realize on her own (as a Reader, I’m powerless) and luckily she did. I just noticed here that I was hoping for this resolution and I’m glad to say it was reported on later. Sometimes we have to let go, even when we want to hold on tightly and forever. Not necessarily to abandon but to allow for extra space to regather our thoughts and adjust our approaches. 😊
The above image, from p. 143, shows an increasingly pissed off Xel after Marnie jabbed at her roughly regarding how she handles her job and isn’t very good at it. YIKES! She is literally seething and I LOVED the display of emotion here. Not only just within this particular photo but the lead up and drop off after (she just takes a deep breath and re-centers herself) ahaha
I liked this quote in particular from King Tut’s ghost (I imagine if I were still in school, like traditional school ages of middle to high school, I would have better understood this reference and information, but since I’ve been through higher education and left that for a while too, I really don’t remember much if anything at all of King Tut 😅) where he says, on p. 150: “Mine was a life wasted. For three thousands years I have sat idle, as helpless in death as I was in life” There’s just something so somberly beautiful about this concept that I HAD to highlight here. It really speaks volumes to me.
(Once Marnie tells King Tut his true legacy he laughs and says…) “I suppose I feel silly. For spending so much time worrying. And I suppose hearing it made me realize that it really…doesn’t matter. Knowing [my legacy] doesn’t change what I did in life or what I’ve been doing in death” — Riesbeck et al., 2020, p. 153
The emotional and wave of acceptance of these simple facts was just SO much of a relief and a wonder to experience as the Reader, for me at least. It was just so beautiful to get the chance to witness. That in the end either being remembered or being forgotten, in the grand scheme of things, didn’t really matter. It didn’t change what was or could have been and there’s something just so magically empowering about that. This book does have some fantastic sprinkling of messages, even though it didn’t live up to my full viewpoint of potential. It could have been so much more yet… what does exist is still at least worthy of telling. And overall, it sent its message and I was receptive to it. It’s not without faults yet it does have its beauty, too. And amazing artwork at that as well. I probably won’t pick up a graphic novel again for a while but it was nice. It took me a while to get into it or stay in it but it was nice when I was in it.
The motion achieved and captured here was just far too astounding to not include. I love it, yay! Riesbeck et al., 2020, p. 154.
I thought it was powerful the way Xel wanted Marnie to get better no matter what the cost and the ultimatum that was offered to all the characters in that moment. So heartwarming and lovely, I found.
“It’s a process. You’ll get there someday. But give yourself time. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself along the way. Celebrate the wins, even if they’re small” — (Xel) Riesbeck, 2020, p. 198
Wise words to live by and take from this book above if there’s nothing else you read in this post (but if you do read it all I send you a gold star and some glitter (virtual glitter, so no mess!) along the way and thank you very, very much for your time, attention and gratitude!!) 😘🌟⭐🎊✨💖 Remember these few things: time, effort, healing.
THOUGHTS OR IDEAS I HAD WHILE READING:
Probably the nicest thing and also the most surprising thing that I got out of this book was inspiration and motivation for my own novel in the works. By p. 13 I was already adding new notes onto my iPod for my novel, for an improved and new ending, for the main characters to “end as they began” and a few times throughout reading this book I did in fact work on my novel. Noteworthiness was the fact I worked on my novel for about 2 hours just from getting inspired on p. 13. So that was very exciting. 😊
Attention to detail is definitely something this book really shined in doing, and speaking of shine, I absolutely loved the sparkles in each alien character’s/case worker’s hair!! Particularly C’tharla’s, who was honestly my favorite character to begin with ahaha. But Xel was great too. 😁
p. 16 with its “comes to pass” phrase reminded me that I should try and work on my own fanfic “Come to Pass” very, very soon. For fanfics, I’ll most likely be updating these guys soon: ALU, CeC, D&D, S and TAaBBT, AUS
At the beginning of the book, on p. 28 where Marnie is attacking and threatening angrily towards Xel, it’s definitely her depression coming out on the attack but I wondered to myself why Marnie necessarily had to attack Xel’s positivity because that optimism can so often come from a place of having known pain. 😓😔
For a while, and maybe this is to show the change and pay off for Marnie later in the book, but for a while I feel like she chooses to isolate herself and be miserable instead of being open to embracing that while love does hurt and is painful, it can also bring her much peace, understanding and patience. Again, maybe it’s to highlight later how she changes her mind about her predicament, it’s just a bit tough to work through in the beginning, and tough for me as the Reader to give her that time and space to figure it out on her own (there’s a helplessness involved and also I really DID feel for Marnie and I cared enough about her story that I wanted to find out what happened, regardless of my stance in the next section. I did care for Marnie and I wanted to love her and in some ways I did, it was just complicated and a roller coaster getting all the way there, but I’m glad I stuck it out, even if I felt the ending was underwhelming and rushed.) Back to this review though!!
This is ESPECIALLY highlighted on p. 64 where Xel is talking about having patience to Marnie and I realized I maybe needed to have more patience for her, myself, too. I was hoping she would redeem herself in the coming pages (and she did, for a while, until going backwards and then being in a cheesy ending, ahaha).
The chapter where Marnie has to learn how to speak with the character Carol was something I could relate to (Carol seemingly speaks gibberish and unclear English) because the supporting characters tried to give tips or experiences they’ve had with Carol that helped them learn about Carol and how to communicate with Carol, but it turned out their stories had little resolve to complete Marnie’s questions and one of those characters tells her that it just takes time and is something that Marnie will learn on her own. For me, personally, this reminded me of work at Amaryllis and having to learn and build a rapport with each kid and any tips I manage to gather to help with that process, particularly with the nonverbal toddler as of late (though I have to brush up on my interpersonal effectiveness skills because I’m severely lacking in them lately, that and passive/aggressive/assertive stances as well. Ooof, I’m pretty exhausted by this point of the review, a few days later, so this is already feeling rough to get through and I hate it. Ugh. Bleh. I went on another Athena dive too so that reallyyyyy didn’t help anything. Meh. 6/21/2021)
Xel even tells Marnie on p. 125 that her work with Carol is in fact that: work. It’s going to take time and she doesn’t have to rush the process. Again, this reminded me of relationships and building rapport with, in my job, kids, and even just other humans in life in general. 😊 In fact, Xel even says how she can’t give a lecture or show a video for Marnie to learn how to speak with Carol, that it’s just something that is learned and cannot be taught exactly, which again, I related to very much. It’s a process, basically!! Communicating with other humans, hehe.
I loved Marnie’s and Xel’s stare down on p. 150 Ahaha
I found it so heartbreaking when Marnie was apologizing to Xel, thinking Xel was pissed and going to abandon her. My heart, oh! 💔💔
I would say, yeah, not meeting someone where they’re at in recovery or life can be pretty invalidating so try and validate where they ARE rather than where you think they could be! Validation doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the person, too. Take care, out there!
On p. 181 when Xel suddenly hugs Marnie, Marnie makes such a Loki-like comment telling her to put her down and it was just such a hilarious little thing that my MCU mind took over. 😊😉😙
p. 191 reminded me of Deadpool 2 in particular when Deadpool sacrifices himself to save the kid from going on to commit acts of murder against humanity and he dies until Cable goes back in time to save Deadpool from dying with the little token thing. Basically, that sacrifice of the self for someone else just reminded me of Deadpool 2. Which I have to still do a review on…
The book ends with some lovely progress from Marnie. 💚💚🤍🤍
CRITICAL CORNER: THINGS THAT DIDN’T SIT RIGHT WITH ME…
I’m not sure which section this next part should go in exactly: Is it a Critical Corner thought? A Thoughts or Ideas I had while reading thought? A Summary thought? I’m not sure.
But Marnie, as the main character in this story, is… complex. She, to me, was very unlikable. Like, I get that she dealt a lot with worthlessness feelings, low self-esteem, and pushed people away that were only trying to help her, as she had deserved in her living life to begin with however she did not receive, yet at other times she was very scathing and hurtful and angry towards people that were doing her a favor. Like, she was just ruthless and mean-spirited, and didn’t really give herself pause to consider how she might be negatively impacting others around her. She was definitely struggling with her identity and depression and how that was unfair that it wasn’t treated right in her living life and as a ghost, she’s taking out that pain and frustration on everyone around her, and it doesn’t make it right, it makes it understandable and it also was just soooo annoying to me. Like it really grated my nerves. If the story had been about Xel or C’tharla, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more.
And there were times that Marnie would realize the error of her ways and change.. only for her to resort back to abandonment and angry/miserable tactics that weaponized her emotions onto others. And that was frustrating (because I was open to Marnie, I disliked Marnie, I cared again for Marnie, I hated Marnie and then I was indifferent and wanting more from Marnie). And even the ending of this book seemed rushed to me and was so, so cringe, anticlimactic, underdeveloped and unfinished. It just fell really flat. I feel like the main rushed in plot at the end where another supervisor was being introduced, could have been hinted at before rather than being tossed in for one final punch. It was also very unprofessional of everyone involved and lacked any sense of realism, which is ironic for a fiction graphic novel about the bureaucracy of aliens in the afterlife, so I get that’s an odd sentiment to hold.
Also Marnie was apparently 19 years old. She spoke to me and acted FAR more like a fourteen or fifteen year old. We also never really get an insight into how her family coped with her loss or the way she died. Like, it was just a comical joke that her butt blew up from her chair and it was never revisited again. It was very odd.
Pairing this with the ending where, yes, there were some great points by Xel, it also didn’t fully answer anything. It just seemed lackluster and I think at least 20 additional pages could have mapped things out in a far more clear fashion. It just felt and read to me like the deadline for finishing this novel was approaching and everyone just had to put together all the last pieces the night before and one hour before it was due. I would have liked to see more growth. I do think, again, that Xel had some great ending of the book quotes here but like it was cheapened and we don’t get to see the more growth and change that Marnie gets to experience. Does she stay in the job as an intern forever? Does she eventually leave for the further afterlife? It’s never quite answered.
And then what happens to everyone after the boss issue? Do they get spoken to about what happened, is there any justice served to them for their unprofessional behavior? It seemed more like a six year old ending a story than something well thought out and planned meticulously. Again, rushed and just forced.
There were definitely moments where this book made me laugh or made me think or kept me going for sure. I would say 60% of me was disliking Marnie and 40% was me already being invested and needing to know what happened etc. (The closure aspect, I suppose one could say).
So, for instance of how much I disliked Marnie and resented the fact that this story was mainly about her: Take in point p. 50 where her smug attitude is presented towards two of the case workers, the main chapter being on Dev where she is suggesting that instead of finding the ghost they’re looking to work with they just abandon the process (mmm, do you taste that? The sweet scent of projection) and head back to the office. This is putting it delicately for Marnie’s attitude because it’s about to get a whole lot more direct and miserable. Bleh. 😛🤮
Also, in general, I feel like the worlds and environment about the inter-dimensions could be further explained and unraveled but it’s just never covered further.
By p. 55, Marnie is once again hurling insults at the two people she’s working besides. She, to me and in my eyes, became very unlikable, abusive, powerless, miserable and lashing out cruelly in a verbal fashion (though her body language ALSO communicates this without a doubt). She’s so often in a angry positioning of her ghostly form, which is probably just her shtick and how the character wanted to be presented (but it doesn’t make me want to feel for her, at the same time. So, eh). It’s almost like as a character, particularly the MAIN character, Marnie is just so…. agh, I forgot the word. Like, I definitely felt for her more later but so soon into the novel and I’m ready to chuck the book out the window and never touch it again, you know? It’s not the best way to keep the reader engaged, I think. And maybe this is meant later to build such a testament that Marnie plays such a vital role in the ending of the book but at what cost does me disliking Marnie from the get go make me want to stick it out and see how she turns out (for the better/ultimate good)?
I think I honestly may have mentioned it in another section, but I don’t recall where and I’m still plugging away at this post days later, so I just wanted to add that I was also disappointed in the way that the chapter named after V’qttyr BARELY had any of him actually in it, which was super odd and different from how all the other chapters were constructed. And it seemed SUPER rushed to me, like the last hour before a deadline paper is due and you’re just throwing everything at it to get it done. I thought this was pretty, yeah, I already said it, disappointing. I think if the story had gone on even another 20 pages there could have been a better way of handling it. I believe I’ve said this, too, but like the ending with a new character being suddenly involved to serve as the purpose of Marnie growing a thick skin and finding someone darker than she was and crueler than she was so as to build up Marnie and have Marnie change her stance on things (becoming more assertive, sticking up for her friends etc.) was pretty obvious and predictable. The added character was just so random and not built up in previous pages or chapters, so that was rough. There were still some great things that Xel told Marnie then, which I covered before (I’m writing this review out of order, haha) but yeah, it was just not what I was expecting and the fact that I expected something before it even happened made it cringey to me and dull.
Carol is also accidentally misgendered on p. 175.
To me, I felt that the ending of the graphic novel was kinda like the way parents are presented on Disney channel shows. Very like clueless and just a, I mean, I want to say a ‘mockery’ of their own selves but I feel that may be harsher in words than I wish to intend. I guess just it was pretty cheesy and formulaic and not what I was expecting. I would have preferred less of the random new character involved and more thought placed into it with even more scenes if that was possible. I think taking out the new character would have worked fine and there could have been another way to show how much Marnie had changed (and even then, we could potentially question how much of that was that positive change, she was still having somewhat of an attitude) over the course of the plot line but we didn’t quite get that, in this case. It was still a good and decent book overall, with some excellent ability to code and decipher body language and emotional expressions which I really appreciated.
MY EXPERIENCE: WHAT KEPT ME READING AND THE BOOK’S IMPACT ON ME….
As I already hinted at earlier, I got, as I tend to do, pretty invested in this story and needing that sense of closure and finality when it came to seeing through the graphic novel. For better or for worse, no matter how much I disliked Marnie, I still cared for her and wanted to know what happened to her and where the story went. I cannot abandon a story, I have to see it through and this was definitely one of those cases.
In the end, I did enjoy my time with this graphic novel. I definitely don’t want to read another graphic novel for a while and I probably won’t anyways so that is nice at least. I have my next book that I’m working on and I’m so, so, SO ready to finally just let this book go and no longer be in my possession. As you’ll see below at the very end of this review, I read this book on and off since April 2021 and I’m soooo ready to just be done with it. Thank god!!! It’s going to be SUCH a relief to finally pay off all my final fines from my local library and then continue moving on and forwards with the remaining books I have from two other library networks.
I am excited, I am grateful and I am inspired and motivated. I will be making a lot more videos this coming week and I’m really happy and excited. I also have more blog posts I can do and I plan to finish watching Thor and work on that review, and really get out the TIH and IM2 review posts, along with things like life updates, talking about my romantic relationship and some other older book reviews or film reviews that I have in various documents and physical journals.
I cannot wait. I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say.
Soooo, thank you so much for reading, stopping by and putting up with my shenanigans!! Thank you so very, very much. I’m still working on messages and will continue to uphold that across my socials this week. I am already reaping many benefits and just talking with people by doing that so I’m really motivated and inspired. Thank you so much once again!! I can’t wait to bring this book back, yay. Ahaha
My next book? (within the current timeline of me reading, not necessarily next upcoming BES’s)
“Quiet Influence” (2013) by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler PhD
TRACKING DATES I READ THIS BOOK:
4/4/2021, 4/13, 4/14, 5/7 (late night), 5/8 (morning), 5/19, 5/27 (late night read), 6/1 (late night), 6/2, 6/3 (early morning reads), 6/16 (afternoon), 6/17 (multiple hours in one day).
No, so I have a 7 year old BlackBerry smart phone with an actual keyboard (it’ll have its birthday, actually if not this month then next I believe) and it’s been PISSING ME OFF lately like, SO much because:
I cannot receive a text message at the SAME TIME that I am sending one. Because if it happens, and it HAPPENS, my phone REFUSES to load for at least 10 – 15 mins (I should clarify, I cannot access those in question text messages from the person I’m having difficulties loading with or CREATE any other NEW ones to ANYBODY else. I’m pretty much locked out of my phone unless I email or call). And that has to be 10 – 15 mins of active involvement trying to have it load, so if it goes to sleep during that time, it just adds MORE time to the recovery phase of things. This is particularly annoying and I’ll get to that later.
85% of the websites when I do go on Google, most often, save for Youtube and my blog, don’t load. The funky new text interaction and ads just doesn’t work on my phone. When I try and click on them I get an error message. This also applies if I try to enlarge an image via a Google search, it just doesn’t work.
Even with Youtube, I cannot stop or change the location of the video–it has to play all the way through, I cannot, especially now, I cannot change where I put it because the window for it is so small (it wasn’t always this way)
I can’t load Twitter whatsoever. (And we all know how much I use and like Twitter, even when it’s The Void)
I can’t even load most images via emails like if the email is of a company and sample images for promotional purposes it refuses to load or show up at all
When I do have the loading issues like with a “locked” text message (so to speak), my phone starts overheating and I’ve had instances in the past couple of months where it kills literally HALF of my battery power or more. Soooo that’s annoying too!!
Honestly? I think that’s about it. I think I complained and vented enough.
It’s just been proving to be far more of a hindrance than a help lately and I’ve been really getting sick of it. I just want to hurl my phone–OH RIGHT:
8. I believe my keys at work nudged into the bottom center of the screen where the letters ‘T’ and ‘Y’ are (so just above of the keyboard, on the glass screen) while they were in my pocket, maybe back in Feb, and it cracked a (at the time, small) section of the screen. I literally had glass come out and now it’s gotten a bigger scratch expanding from the injured area and more of the glass falling off each day with the glue-like substance beneath it. I did have a screen protector which probably minimized the damage but yeah, that sucks. When I realized what happened (at first, I was eating a bag of pretzels so I thought it was a piece of salt until I found out what happened) my first thought legitimately was “Welp, I guess it’s time for a new phone.”
So I knew the end was coming soon.
Especially given the fact that, oh right:
9. I can’t use most of the main stream apps on my phone because it is neither an iPhone or an Android. It’s…. a BlackBerry.
10. I can’t access things like my accounts on Netflix or Disney+ (which would be helpful at work)
…that I’ve now had an iPod Touch since about Jan. 2020 so I’ve been able to experience the fact, when I’m in a place of WiFi (library, home) where I CAN go on all these websites, I can be on Youtube maneuvering the time stamps to wherever, I can be on app games and such, I can be on TWITTER, I can be on my blog, I can be looking at the Weather app given each town I’m in (to plan my outfits, of course) and so on and so forth.
Of course, while at Amaryllis, because there’s no free WiFi/open WiFi, I can’t access these things— OH YEAH
11. I can no longer go on FFN on my BlackBerry. It doesn’t support it at all. I was fine up until this year when things on the site changed, apparently. Ugh.
—like the Internet and such on my iPod, and I can’t use it as a phone so I can’t send texts or calls but the idea that I one day, with a new phone, will be able to is soooo brightening.
And I’ve been looking at new phones on and off over the last 3 months. I found one that I liked and really attached to but there were some problems with it so that got abandoned and now it’s been over a month since I looked at a phone again. I may still stick with BlackBerry because it DID serve me a long time (I wouldn’t go iPhone, Android only) and it is partnered with Android nowadays or with the models I have briefly looked at so that should be fine. There’s a couple pricey ones and maybe decently priced ones (if we operate on my faulty memory) that do still have a physical keyboard as well. Then there’s things like size of the phone versus pocket to consider and such. Let’s hope that I can start this month again the process of looking at phones. It would be nice, you know?
Now, here’s why I REALLY wanted to blog:
But before that–
Can we just take a moment to celebrate the fact that apparently Mental Health Awareness Month treated me so kindly, and that my iPod was acting up this evening so I couldn’t be on Twitter, for me to bring together the MASS EFFECT of a whirlpool to ACTUALLY be blogging and dealing with my thoughts and feelings IN A BLOG POST like we’re back in 2016 or some shit?
Like, can we just celebrate and take a moment to have a chef’s kiss for everything to have collided right in the universe for me to have my gut reaction to a problem be that I blog (not blob) about it which hasn’t happened in literal YEARS?
Glad that we had that discussion. I’m amazed, I’m in the feels and it feels REALLY good. It’s been so long. And something about being more active on here when I’ve literally craved it after the last couple of years and to see that AHA Twitter took me away from this a little bit (I mean, there were other factors too of course), I don’t know, it just feels magical to discover at the moment. So, one more gif because I’m happy to find that I can use them and thought of them in the first place for the first time (or what feels like forever) here:
I want to talk a little bit about fan fiction. Particularly, MY fan fiction.
If you don’t know:
Hi, hello, it’s Raquel again and I write mainly Loki centered Avengers fan fiction on topics including physical health and mental health, overcoming adversity, hurt/comfort, trauma, suicidality, growth, recovery, adjusting to life’s difficulties, hope, passion, romance (FrostIron, I’m really big on FrostIron; READ: Loki Laufeyson x Tony Stark relationships), medical mysteries, resilience and probably more, let’s be honest.
I have both an FFN account (I made it back in summer 2014, but only started posting my own fics in 2016) under the name: Unmasked Potential and an AO3 account that I made back in 2018 after someone on FFN suggested it for either D&D or ALU, my two most popular stories, because they thought the fics would do very well there too, and my username on AO3 is UnmaskedPotential. 🙂
So yeah, I’ve been writing Loki centered Avengers fan fiction stories since 2016. I, actually someone that I was emailing with just asked me this so I can say it here too, am more of a planster kind of writer: I outline chapters when I go to write them but I also keep adding new projects when I haven’t finished my old ones lmao So I have a LOT of stories in progress, really none that I’ve finished (besides one shots) and even a few others that were drafted or started but not finished or put together (mostly one shots, I’ll be honest). BUT some still as only ideas.
I would say… over the last 5 years I’ve been dabbling in other forms of creative writing, for instance:
While I was in college: research papers, essays for academic purposes as well.
What you guys have seen the most of on my blog since the start (and no I never fully finished it, gwah) my newspaper articles for the paper at uni where I spoke of my mental health on a public sphere and also outlines my recovery etc
And then, of course, within the mix of time (I started college in 2012) things like original short stories, multiple chapter stories and poetry.
I ended college in fall 2018, so I’d say, alongside also doing blog posts for writing within all the years, in 2019 to 2021 I’ve discovered something particularly interesting since I’ve just started in 2020-2021 to write NON fanfic work, so like more original stories or looser fanfic that’s not Avengers/Loki based: (like at work, with kids, etc)
While I can write Loki-styled things really well…
I’ve kinda gotten stuck writing Loki-styled things really well.
Like, I cannot UNDO the Loki!!
Like, okay, maybe my novel is a little different, maybe, I’m not sure.
BUT like other short stories or non related Avengers stuff?
It all sounds like Loki.
IT ALL SOUNDS LIKE IT COULD BE LOKI.
I HAVE BEEN LOKI’D.
I cannot NOT write like I’m writing a Loki centered Avengers fan fiction.
It’s a problem. I SWEAR it is.
I also swear I’m crying laughing at the absurdity of this. Never thought I’d be in this situation ahaha. And the fact that the Loki’d jab references are too good is amazing too (but I’m sad there’s no gif of that)
However, my problem STILL stands.
The way I write that angsty, depressing, unworthiness and stylistic pull and churn of Loki in my fics, just, bleeds through in all other avenues as well, it seems.
I mean, I guess there are worse things.
Maybe I just need more practice to relocate my author’s voice, so to speak. Probably some awareness, cracking down out of it, editing through it and reading new content will help with that. It’s probably not forever broken and maybe I’ll just keep writing free fan fiction until I’m in my forties lmao I can dream, can’t I? (Let’s hope I’ll have some original work published by then, though!!!) [[PS If you happen to have any published work, I’d love to read them and review them onto this blog too!!! Hit me up in the comments or an email. <3]]
But here’s the real meat of what this post was inspired by:
I’m in the process of re-reading my most popular fanfic called A Little Unsteady (ALU) and… I ALWAYS forget how good it is until I go back and reread it. Like, it’s SO GOOD. THE FEELS. The questions. The existential awareness/crises. I always fall back in love with it and I am reminded each time, ‘Aaaa, yes, this is why it’s my No. 1 most popular fic’ Of course, I don’t exactly do this process super often given the fact it’s been a year and 3 months since I last updated it but even so, little things come back to my mind to look forward to (I’m particularly currently excited and fangirling for the scene where Tony and Loki hug!!) OH!!!!!! I JUST remembered how that happens. Ahahahhhaa Loki initiated it, yep. Then he threatened Tony about it, ahaha. By the way, my fics all pretty much take place in an AU where the Avengers movie only recently took place, I go and avoid most of what the MCU covers while still making light references here and there. It’s just the OG team for the majority of them though.
But yeah. Just little things and little reminders and ways that the writing flows. I mean, I’m definitely NOT without typos “pale white streaks” not “pale white steaks” or without a catch all plot formation (I make it up as I go, a lot of the time) but it’s my writing so it’s there. I’m there for it. It’ll grow and change and transform, probably with the more I read and maybe even, oooo, take some creative writing classes again.
But yeah, I’ve just been fangirling after a long day at work, reading from 4:30p this story until about 9p. When I got up to fix the streaks/steaks on AO3 and then had the run in with my phone. It’s been nice. I’m glad it was on my mind again today and I look forward to reading the rest tonight and over the next couple of days.
And hey, maybe it turns out that I had writing vibes in me today after all. 🙂
Welp, that’s the end of this post. How many words? Probably too many. 2,250, eh, not bad, I’ll take it.
I hope that you managed to enjoy this post!!! And check out my fanfic if you have the time and see how Loki things are and maybe I’ll post up some more OG stuff soon so you can let me know if it is really leaked into my every day writing or if it’s a fallacy my mind is creating in and of itself.
I’ve gotta go, but it’s been real.
See you all soon.
Song in background for the last hour: “Dancing with the Devil” by Demi Lovato; I also tried changing the song I listened to each chapter for ALU so that was nice. This is my first time properly online all day! Besides rereading where I did. (On AO3) Links in my About Me page for the fanfic stuff! PPS I’m reading on Chp 5. Post written at the earliest, 8:30p – 10p
It should come as no surprise to you that I’ve been avoiding dealing with you lately. Properly. As it should be dealt with.
I dislike you, very much. That much is obvious. You take away my time, my satisfaction in life and yet you still seem to serve some type of twisted purpose for me.
Why are you so hard to get rid of? Why won’t you leave me alone? What type of self-sabotaging bullshit do you exist in?
I wish you would leave my house already. You’ve brought it back into shambles and I hate that for you. For us. For me.
But every corner I turn, you are there. Waiting and lurking for me, watching me stumble and trip and then swooping right in to waste another hour of my day, another moment of my breath, another video to watch and lurk in but one is never enough, never enough. More and more you crave and more and more I find myself slipping into you. Into your cool embrace and maybe the feeling is just comforting enough that I forget how much I hate you and how much I am frustrated at myself for once again falling in love with you.
Because you’re so, so, so hard to resist these days. You beckon me forwards. You cling to my soul and you dampen my moods and distract me from everything I’m afraid of. You’re a dangerous pill and I wish I could stop–if only it were that easy.
In moments of revelation, I get myself to break free. To run. To hide.
And in other moments, I let myself slip away, into your grip, your hand (locked) on my wrist, dragging me under and making me believe that I’m okay with this torture and the taking away of everything you want me to (not) feel.
You drag me in. And I let you. That’s my mistake, I’ll give you that.
It’s a new day. A new sun has arisen and new clouds are passing through. I thought you were going to pass on through too but today I found that I re-engaged in the same behaviors that for some reason, I was thinking would yield different results. But here I am again, locked in the shadows of a dismantled household and here you are again, watching over me with a sinister grin upon your darkened face. I still find myself broken and with cracks run so ragged my skin bleeds at the tears. I wish to leave, I whisper. I wish to go.
But no, you say. No.
And I whimper close. But no one hears it. No one hears here. They never do.
Take me away again, I beg. Take me away from my thoughts and my feelings. Numb me out, make me laugh, provide me with the comfort I’m so incapable of giving to myself. Shield me from the world and make the hard easy again. Make the fear of tomorrow, the worry of regret, make it all fade away. Make it run dry, make it soundless. With you here, you’re all I need. All I need. I need no one, no thing, nothing else but this. You give me peace. You give me pride. You give me life.
Even if you’re the same one taking away my soul and taking away my motivation and my inspiration. You’re taking my life just as you manage to breathe it back into me.
For that, you are a fool. Because one day I will realize and I will leave and you’ll be all alone again, with only your dark thoughts and the shadows to keep you company. One day I will break free because I was born to fly and these wings are not defective, not like you. One day I will scream and cry and someone will hear me and then the beauty of the lies you hold will break the facade as I crawl my way out of your grasp and out of your darkness.
Mark my words, Avoidance, I’m coming for you. And you can’t ever dare to break me again.
I will find you. I will erase you. I will not stop until you are but a speck of dust in my vision. I will tell this tale loud and I will tell of this fight proudly. I will make a road map for those who are also caught within your grasp and through that, I will find purpose and meaning all over again.
My feelings may be large, but my inspiration is endless. All I have is this moment. All I have is this breath. So I will take it from you and explore it for myself. For me, by me, to me. And maybe, Avoidance, that’ll be the greatest gift of all.
Dear Life Outside of Avoidance,
I may be too scared today to release you. I may be too scared tomorrow to understand your worth and your place within my speck of space in this world. I will try to have an open mind. I will try to do something better for myself, to make beauty out of pain. I will try to take charge of the situation I’ve been placed in and I will try to do better for me because I’ve earned it, no, I LIVE it and that is more than enough.
Dear Life Outside of Avoidance,
You’re so beautiful, it’s hard to look at you for long. But I will try. I will try. And with your grace, I shall move ahead towards the next opportunity. And when I am afraid, because I will be afraid, I will try for one minute to be with you. I will try for one minute to just be here, now, and look not so far ahead but rather just up to the next corner. I know it’s just hard sometimes. Sometimes, life is just hard. I can’t even quite see what you look like, but I’ll keep trying to diminish the blur before your face and live my life as mindfully and spiritually calm as possible. And with the faith that everything else will fall into place, I will live.
Because that is what life calls for. That is what the Life Outside of Avoidance calls for. And I will heed this call. I will take notice of it. And I will follow it. Because it’s right. It’s right.
And after all, there’s only ever so much time in the world.
All the best,
Also, PS Avoidance:
Fuck you, too.
Creative liberties taken up on about 8:50p EST Tu, May 11th 2021. A creative nonfiction release of thoughts and emotion. Grappling with the big questions and the big adversities in my life at the moment. I know one day it’ll get easier. Today isn’t quite that day, not yet. Thank you for reading.I have a new video up on my channel if you’d be so kind as to interact with me there. There will be more to come. Always, always more. xxx 💛💛💛
Welcome to May and it’s Mental Health Awareness Month (alongside borderline personality disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable personality disorder (EUPD) awareness month as well). For the month of May, my goal is to return to the world of blogging each day (if not five or maybe six times a week) with some sort of blog post along the topic of mental health conditions awareness, some fun stuff and recovery oriented endeavors.
As today is the first, I will be sharing a fresh new story that I’m apparently embarking on. It’s actually an original story (so, not fan fiction) with original characters and a timeline that I have no idea will be explored. I’d say the chapters will probably act more as one-shots but that may change at the same time too.** (**If you’d be interested to see my character description for our main character, let me know in a comment and I’ll do a dedicated post to that in the future!! Or you could just wait until I describe it more naturally as the story goes on. Either way 😁😊)
I basically needed to vent from work today so this is what I came up with to do just that. All the names and characters and true inspiration has been changed for confidentiality purposes and so I won’t be discussing so much what happened to me in real life but rather through the bits and pieces of what really happened and how I’m going to handle my reactions towards those things.
If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle either being disrespected or teenagers, thaaaaaat’d be great. Leave them in a comment down below!!! Teenagers are definitely pretty ruthless so any feedback on how to not take their scathing replies personally or how to leave work stuff behind at work and not take it home with you would be SO helpful for me!! I’d love your feedback in any way that I can gobbler it in.
My plan with the rest of today (as I do have work again tomorrow morning): is to reread and edit this first chapter, place it into this post without further much ado, watch maybe a Grey’s Anatomy episode on Netflix, brainstorm ideas for tomorrow’s post (whether that’s a tag, an old film review, watching a new MCU movie, etc.), reading a book, gaming with Animal Crossing and then just going to sleep early is well, erm, that’s it, that’s my plan. 😁😅🤗
So, here is my story and let me know in the comments what you think!! I’ll be back tomorrow to see you all again. I’ve honestly been trying to write a couple of blog posts behind the scenes but this is the first time it’s really gotten further than just rewriting the same sentence or working only a little on a MCU movie review.
Any ways, that’s it. Thanks for reading!!!
“One Woman’s Persistence”
It wasn’t exactly the type of job she’d ever imagined for herself.
Sure, she’d worked with kids before.
Okay, they were her siblings. No surprise there.
But she didn’t realize, didn’t think, couldn’t have imagined that she’d be where she is now, scrubbing running mascara off her face in the bathroom, her shoulders shaking uncontrollably as hot tears rolled down her white highlighted cheeks.
“Damn,” she croaked, her voice breaking between her sobs.
I really thought I was stronger than this.
And, naturally of course, following that was:
If I knew I’d be crying today, I wouldn’t have worn so much makeup.
She couldn’t help but let out an airy chuckle bitterly.
This wasn’t exactly the way she thought her job would go. She was working at a trauma informed residential for youth where they were placed to protect their safety and to stabilize their moods before they went through either adoption or foster care.
They were rambunctious little five-year old’s up to twelve-year old’s that needed a hefty amount of redirection but it wasn’t them she had trouble with. Rather, this crying spell was because of the cruelty in words the older teens had unleashed.
Sure, she understood it wasn’t (necessarily) personal. They were going through hell and abandonment themselves, lashing out at anyone not just because they could but because, maybe, they thought these other adults could take it?
But Jazz would be kidding herself and making a mockery of her tear-stained face if she ever dared to think she could have taken it—because, obviously, she couldn’t.
And it was more than just the disrespect that stung. It was more than the power struggle, the embarrassment that sizzled on her skin for having other teens present to witness her humiliation, it was more than all of that and had everything to do with the frequent verbal leadup that eclipsed the entire event, pushing Jazz past her breaking point.
“Go back to your fucking little kids house where you belong.” The teen, red-faced and blue eyes narrowed in a glare had growled. “Who do you think you are? Telling me what to do?” the teen, Pez, spat, because his words slid out like the candied pieces of a Pez machine, his white skin, freckled and red, resembling more of a caricature than a real human being. “I ain’t some three-year-old you can boss around. I’m seventeen. I’m human. You can’t tell me what to do.” Pez looked down for a moment, hairs bristled. “You ain’t my Momma.”
Hate sliced through him again, “Get the fuck outta here.”
He leaned back in his chair, the wood smacking the wall as it angled.
Jazz had wanted so much to have a clever retort, a witty comeback, a swift end of discussion maneuver, a challenge to return even if it was only verbal.
But instead, all she felt were the tears coming. And she was alone.
No other staff on this side of the house within the facility of five other houses and she couldn’t just run away, either.
Instead, she just bit her lip taunt, teeth clamping onto hot pink, like she was doing now, between the hiccups of pain and the scars of a fresh wound.
When she did manage to get away, about twenty minutes after the air had returned to cool and she could see the lashing fading from the teen’s body, and cast a glimmer of pain at her none the wiser co-worker (save me, please) she drifted away to the bathroom where she was bawling in now.
Jazzelle hadn’t had it easy growing up in her dysfunctional household: with parents that split on each other in a nasty divorce, her mother ending up taking her own life and her father drowning in his guilt as he remarried—Jazzelle often had to be the parent for herself and even more so later when her two younger siblings came into the picture, at least twelve years younger than her, by which Jazz was then sixteen.
By the time Jazz was a junior in high school, she had to lay herself down to the grass and give up: the trauma had been too much to bear alone and she realized she could no longer keep up in school (what was the point anyhow? She’d never make it to college) and had to drop out.
She got small jobs here and there, not much to help in rent or fun excursions, but it was better than nothing which was what she would have had without them.
Yeah, most nights she went hungry, but her sisters Margarette and Janese got to eat and that’s all that really counted.
By eighteen, Jazz was on her feet better than ever, or at least for the time being, as she moved out and got her own apartment with two roommates and assisted state living, succeeding in getting her GED and beginning cosmetology school.
Two and a half years after and thrust in the workforce, she found that while still passionate for her own self-expression and handling jobs on the side focused on hair and makeup, it wasn’t her main source of fulfillment anymore and the thought of doing it for the rest of her life was both nauseating and choke holding.
She had to crawl her way out of that existential crisis alone, too, but once she managed, she found her growing love for photography was maybe something worth pursuing professionally.
So, that’s what she had done.
She applied to a school in the city, packed up her bags and dove right in.
Four years into it after taking one year off, she was still working for her degree when she landed the position, part-time, at the residential.
While toying with the idea of wandering into a sociology degree, in the spare time that Jazzelle never had, she’d be entering into her forty-second week working before she was introduced to the older teens facilities upon her work’s campus. Sure, she’d have covered breaks before or arrived at the very end of the night or given out medications, but this time was her first time really thrown to the wolves as in being alone working on that side of the house with the teenage boys.
So, while things hadn’t exactly gone to plan: between her muffled cries, the snot and all the tears; the disrespect; the incessant tomfoolery; the blaming herself like when she did after her mother’s passing and the high natural order that she’d have to be back to work tomorrow morning—between all of that…maybe Jazz could have done more to prevent this from happening.
She was still slowly getting used to the fact that she didn’t work in a vacuum of space: she and her co-workers were a team and they protected one another, laying upon each other when they needed it, supporting, not always agreeing, and definitely offering feedback and posing the necessary questions.
…Jazz knew this.
It was just hard, still, to ask for help. To not just be the independent, strong woman she had needed to always be for herself, and to finally say, ‘Hey, maybe I can’t and don’t have to handle this alone.’
It was help that totally would have, if supplied right and given at the most opportune moment, completely prevented this sob story for having played out.
Jazz couldn’t have been crying for more than ten minutes but it felt like a forever sense of eternal damnation that she just wasn’t and couldn’t have properly prepared for.
But one small knock on the door, a tapping really, and she was reeling herself back in.
Forget what she could have done, what she could have said, what should or shouldn’t have happened, it was done and over with and while her voice was still hoarse and shaky as she mentioned, “Just a second,” her blue-green eyes fixed their stare at her reflection. She could see the lines on her face, the wrinkles like the Grand Canyon upon her forehead, her face battered from wearing the storm and when she scrunched up her pink lips, half crumpled with gloss and still half in place, she let out a long sigh and put that game face of hers back into play.
She’d handle the rest of the shift.
If she was lucky: away from Pez.
If not, tolerating him would have to be enough.
And while she may have a shake in her step or the hypervigilance to be aware of Pez and where his arms were at, she knew she’d be okay.
She knew she’d make it in tomorrow.
Because that’s just what Jazz did.
In the face of adversity, she persisted.
Written: May 1st 2021 between 4:45p – 6p; typed at 6:15p, edited by 7p, uploaded by 7:30p EST.
Thank you all so much once more, and let’s all hail for tomorrow’s upcoming return!!!
When you’re stressed out, how do you manage your emotions? Is there something you can turn to pretty easily to self-soothe and practice self-care? What could you do to challenge yourself in one small way going forwards?
Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway
Science fiction, Action, Adventure
Torture, substance use (alcohol; tobacco), trauma, manipulation, war/weapons of mass destruction, PTSD, character death, “crazy” reference.
Humor (sarcasm), back-stabbing, betrayal, trust issues, demilitarization, respect/disrespect, responsibilities, heroes, superheroes, feels, grief, ease of emotional expression/body language, cheeseburgers, ethics/morality, determination, grit, perseverance, not giving up, self-sacrifice, saving the world, high stakes, suspense and action, honesty, hope, financial gain, “I am Iron Man.” 🖤🖤🖤
I’m doing something differently for this section in the majority of my MCU film reviews because I’ll be showcasing two to three other people’s content regarding the summary of the movies so that one, it’s not forever long from me and two, because I’m sure others have made it far more concise and user-friendly and three, because it’s been so long most of the time since I’ve watched the movies or I’m just late in the game of reviewing them so I think shouting out what others’ hard work exists out there rather than having the focus, like with the rest of the review, be just about me. Let me know what you think of this choice in the comments!! 😜🤪
(*this section was finally completed as of Apr. 2021, about one month since I watched the film and started this review, as it were.)
Emotional Intensity Along with Character Development Commentary and Scoring:
This film is so emotional: outlined below especially and because it covers such vast and tough subjects. It doesn’t shy away from talking about intense stuff or showing intense stuff (see above trigger warnings as appropriate). It also paints a clear picture of who Tony was before he was captured and how some of that experience changed him afterwards (and we are teased some introduction to Tony and the loss he has already faced in his life). Luckily his snark and humor outlasted him but he definitely did change when he decided he was no longer going to support the mission of his and his father’s reputation which was to build weapons of mass destruction. He learned where they were really going and who they were affecting and he chose to no longer be a part of that story line which is immensely commendable and so, so wonderful to see play out. He’s still arrogant at times but we see such growth. We see him fight for a cause and his determination and perseverance and self-sacrifice really, really shine. He becomes enamored with a new mission and that’s to protect the world and all the people in it, which carries on endlessly throughout the franchise.
Additionally, Robert’s emotional capacity to show this through his body language and facial expressions is so spot-on, and that’s not even mentioning yet his chemistry with his hetero love interest Pepper Potts. Their chemistry is so refreshing and if I wasn’t a total FrostIron shipper, I’d definitely ship Pepperony next. There’s just SO MUCH to unpack in just this performance and I can’t wait to jump aboard as we go further and further into the franchise, yet again.
So, I have to say for emotional intensity and the immense suspense of the movie and the twists and turns it made all along the way, the transitions of the movie and the quick-wittedness it held, this movie definitely landed for me with an emotional intensity/character development of:
The emotional range definitely kept me interested, intrigued and captured myself. I was in it for the long haul and I probably would have scored it higher if it hadn’t been a month since I last watched it in full. Buuuuut, I also think this movie has a great re-watchability factor. So that is equally wonderful. Now, onto the rest of this review!!
Memorable Quotes or Scenes:
(Yinsen to Tony) “Is that how you want to go out? Is this the last act of defiance of the great Tony Stark? Or are you going to do something about it?”
Tony (despondent and depressed): “They’re gonna kill me, you, either way. And if they don’t, I’ll probably be dead in a week.”
Yinsen: “Well then, this is a very important week for you, isn’t it?”
I had to go back into the movie to make sure I heard this right and it was within the same conversation but, god, man, I loved Yinsen. That look of determination that crosses Tony’s face after Yinsen challenges his thought processes from how hopeless and desperate he feels, is just… chef’s kiss. It’s the right amount of push, motivation and inspiration that Tony and the viewer needed and is everything, I swear. The concept of just giving up can be so tempting but placed into this situation and prompted by Yinsen, it was immediately eliminated as a choice, an option, and it’s just so beautiful, I think!!!
2. (Tony to Yinsen) “Thank you for saving me.”
Yinsen: “Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life.”
I’m loving these recurring themes of not wasting your life (from S17 of Grey’s Anatomy, the book I just finished with the acronym FOMO, etc.) (which I’ve done for the last year or so with my Youtube addiction) so it’s especially refreshing and important to me. This scene was SO EMOTIONAL too, as we find out that Yinsen’s family had already passed on and that’s why he was going to be seeing them again soon. Yinsen, too, had sacrificed himself to give Tony more time to escape and live his own life, forming a family and getting a second chance to make things right. It’s so beautiful and tear-jerking. Especially within the context that we know in Endgame that he got that family he wanted and unfortunately, left it behind in his last, ultimate sacrifice. 🖤🖤🖤🖤
3. Tony to Pepper: “There is nothing except this. There’s the next mission and nothing else….. I shouldn’t be alive. Unless it was for a reason. I’m not crazy, Pep. I just finally know what I have to do and I know in my heart that it’s right”
😭😭😭 Once again, the intention and fixation Tony has had on protecting people and the world from their own selves has been present, most certainly, since the beginning. The character development to get to this post is nothing short of amazing and the post-traumatic growth was heightened for sure. I just wish he could have gone on to experience this everlasting peace while he was still alive, in the end. But, I’m kinda jumping ahead a little. By like, twenty movies, haha. I think that intensity of wanting to do right when he’d done wrong for so long really, really matters so much. It was his drive and his self-proclaimed mission and venture. And he did it to the best that he could, and he achieved it for others to carry it forwards on their own shoulders. A true hero. Now I’m gonna start crying next…
Fan fiction Ideas and Themes to Explore in My Fics:
I feel like exploring some fanfic or plot where Tony talks to Loki about Phil’s death and does come to understand that Loki was also being mind controlled by Thanos/the Other and that they just nestle their foreheads together in quiet acceptance, wishing for things to have played out differently and still loving each other all the same. Maybe like some distrust at first and then some understanding even if not liking what happened. I don’t know, I just have that forehead nestling image in my mind right now, and I always kinda forget that Phil’s death was caused by Loki and how that is handled (or not) in fics themselves. So, this could be a meaningful one-shot for me to explore. 🤐😭😱
If I wasn’t such a FrostIron shipper, I’d totally get behind Pepperony. Their chemistry with each other is UNMATCHED. I loved it and could really respect the fandom 😆😗
There’s a scene where Rhodey questions Tony for not having enough respect for other people’s time (shown in how he doesn’t arrive to galas and conventions or making speeches for award shows, etc.) as well as his own self–I thought this nature of potential trauma and self-centeredness would be excellent to explore in a fic. Like, the insecurities that lies behind the front and uncertainty in his own belief of himself and just not respecting himself (lack of self-respect)/unworthiness. I thought that was particularly interesting
I also think more of a reflection and insight into Tony and Yinsen’s relationship would be wonderful to explore as well. Whether that’s him mentioning it to the team more or confiding it into Loki and their relationship as well. Maybe I could even adapt it into some of my fics like D&D, the mental health/eating disorder one. There’s definitely potential here. I have seen a couple of fics that explored this too or covered it in some way and I think it’s definitely something worth expanding and commenting upon.
The classic cheeseburgers. 💔💔
Trust issues (understandably)
Trauma denial (not sleeping enough, not eating enough, being obsessive and fixating on certain topics, over working himself, etc.)
Responsibility and maybe even instances of over-responsibility (thinking the weight of the world does in fact reside on his shoulders and only his, which may be a relief when other heroes join the mix in the future)
Abandonment: (I might explore this in the emotional intensity section above but since I’m writing this section first….) Now that Tony was saying he no longer wanted to create weapons for the military to use against the war on terror (because they were ending up in the wrong hands and he was actually taking responsibility for his work and the damage his reputation and more had already transpired) than no one wanted to be supporting him in this highly ethical and morally just situation/change of heart he had. It’s like the moment he switched gears, people regarded him as “crazy” and didn’t take him seriously or thought badly of him because he was no longer doing what they wanted. It was super frustrating and luckily he called out Pepper on this thinking too (listed above) and then she had a better understanding of his motivations and what he wanted to do. But it just sucks that Rhodey and Obadiah (even if he was the villain so it made sense why he felt threatened) weren’t there for Tony in the same way he would be there emotionally (physically?) for them. Like, once he wasn’t doing what they wanted they saw little use for him. So, that sucks. That kind of abandonment would be nice to explore in a story and the unjust nature of that, the moral dilemmas and second guessing one’s ability, etc.
I don’t know why Tony doesn’t like to be handed things so if anyone could enlighten me on that ’cause I know that’s a theme, that’d be great!!
I also just want to highlight the fact that Tony was self-sacrificing even as early on as this movie, like when he was climbing altitude fast with Obadiah when his suit power was low and again, even if you think about it, with Yinsen and escaping the terrorists and then again when he told Pepper to push the surge from the arc reactor even when he was in the way, knowing it was the only way to stop Obadiah. So, he’s always been like that even as far early on as here. I think exploring this further with like specifics in conversation, probably off-handedly would fit his character (humor/dismissive nature towards help and support) and be something he’d do, haha.
Parallels of the sand landing in this movie and the clip for the “Loki” series on Disney+ 😅😉
What were the 3 months Tony was held in captivity like for everyone else around him?
I find it a little surprising that Tony would be against the military involvement with his suits and future paths of his company yet be for them when it comes to “Civil War”, but then again, I never really understood the depth and bureaucracy behind that later movie (maybe watching it anew and fresh will help, or reading about it more, etc.)
A one-shot exploring the thanks Tony gives to Dum-E would be appropriate, needed and the kind of fluff we all deserve. 🧡❤💛
Subtle or Overt Preparation for Future Movies:
There was definitely a presence of the character Agent Phil Coulson from SHIELD throughout this movie. He served especially helpful towards Pepper Potts when she needed his help and aid to get away from Obadiah after copying over the files he had about making his own iron man suit as a weapon for the military and keeping/aiding fugitives from other countries (as well as being the one behind getting Tony killed in the first place). So, there was that. Coulson is also featured at the end, preparing Tony with the talk about SHIELD and how to handle the press, encouraging and expecting Stark to not alert the authorities to his true identity (and we all know how that really panned out 😉). There was also the end credit scene where Nick Fury himself came to Stark’s home and spoke about the Avengers Initiative. Of course, if we fast forward to other movies (like Captain Marvel) we know why and how the Avengers Initiative got created in the first place along with what the next steps are going forwards. I think that’s all I really remember from this movie now so that’s where I’ll end this section.
Estimated Timeline & Setting of When I Watched this Movie the First Time:
Honestly, I’m not sure when was the first time that I watched this movie in particular. I know that I only became an MCU fan in summer of 2014. I got introduced into the entire MCU then when I started to watch movie clips from Thor (2011) on Youtube and became very intrigued and interested in Loki. Then I watched scenes from Avengers (2012) and I read lots of fan fiction about the Avengers and Loki (my all time favorite story is the well-deserved popularity of “Drown” by Ordis here) and I really, really fell in love. I wound up watching Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 thinking the Avengers scene with Loki were in there (they weren’t) until I finally watched Avengers with my Mom and for the first two hours thinking to myself Aw, shit, it’s not this movie either, but then it WAS. Some time between then and the coming years I saw parts of and then the full Iron Man film that I watched, again, this time in March 2021 for this review and to really make myself feel and cry when the inevitability of Thanos happens and all of that jazz. I guess I just wanted to REALLY feel it again, that pain, but that love too. That…humanity and that kindness and love and wonder. I love Iron Man, he’s my favorite right after Loki. Is it any wonder that I’m a FrostIron shipper? Ahhaha.
I thought it’d also be excellent to re-immerse myself into the characters and plots so as a better way to improve my fanfics and above and beyond, as you probably already read about above. It took me a long while to work on this review and I’m hoping once it’s done, I’ll be able to breathe a little easier. But yeah, that’s been how I engaged with the MCU and in particular this one film. It was a very convoluted way of getting there, to the end with the MCU, but it’s how I managed to do it ahaha. Did I mention I had also watched a lot of Thor and Loki fan videos as part of the process? It was that, the movie clips themselves and then the fan fictions. I read about “Drown” before I searched for the movies so the torture thing for Loki was always already head canon for me. Okay, I’ll move on to the next section now!!! (–April 6th 2021)
My Final Thoughts:
It took me three hours to properly view this film for this review plus two or three more hours thereafter to craft the outline of this review, begin writing it, procrastinating from it, then writing, finishing and editing and publishing it from April 2021 for another three hours, gah. But I’d say it was pretty successful!! I’m nervous and on edge that I have to watch like 2 or 3 MCU movies per week for the next two months to get on more/better track of watching new stuff coming out (in particular, naturally, “Loki” series, “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” plus the movie “Black Widow” etc.) I definitely could have gone without wasting an entire month of my time but it is what it is so I just have to accept it, focus straight ahead and move onward. So, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m nervous that this review won’t be as “perfect” as I’d like it to be but if I keep waiting for that, I’ll be waiting forever. I have some other reviews and posts in the works behind the scenes but lost either concentration, flow or drive to finish them or getting on top of a few other things and letting the others slip away from my grasp, yet again. It’s a process. Sigh.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this review though!! And please check out the mentioned stories and reviews from others! If you happen to read this and you write reviews for MCU movies and you’d like to be shouted out or your work seen from my own words, let me know in a comment or an email via my Contact page!!! I’d be happy to shout you out and showcase some of your work. Or if you even write fanfics yourself!! 🤗🥰🤩
But yes, overall, thank you so much for reading and stopping by!! Let me know what you’d like to see next and I’m gonna be trying to network more in the coming future and all that jazz. If you’d like me to check out a particular post of yours, just let me know. Sending you all light, love and the power it means to be a hero. 💚💚💜💜💙
P.S. My thinking is that I’ll be about a movie ahead when doing these reviews, so for instance, I plan to edit and publish this today Apr. 6th 2021, work on TIH review to be scheduled later this week, and watch IM2 tonight/tomorrow and then work on that review, watch the next movie, publish the previous movie’s review, etc. I hope that makes sense!
PPS I took out the ‘cinematography’ section because I think the emotional intensity section can better cover that area/I can mention it there, and I don’t want to work on this review any longer (it’s been 2.5 hours again) and want to just get it up sooner without having to rewatch a second/third time all over again, so that’s what I’m doing and why.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Information behind the scenes for this post:
Viewing for this review where I wrote brief notes, memorable quotes and things to that effect took place Sunday March 7th 2021 from 8:15p - 11:15p. I began typing the skeleton of this post on March 8th 2021 from 10a - 11a. The rest of the post was completed around 4p - 7p on April 6th 2021. I did various sections, about 8 or 9 of them, on this day so the majority was written in April even though I watched and started it back in March, one month ago. ❤💛❤🖤
Music that helped to listen to in the background to craft this review: burn the house down by AJR, there’s a place by Roo Panes, lonely by Violet Skies, lose somebody by Kygo and One Republic, a 1 hour compilation of Tony Stark ambient sounds.
Sometimes when we reach new places we’ve never been to before, we are able to notice how we would have reacted in the past had it happened to us then. Sometimes we’re able to see that how we’re reacting now is different to then. Sometimes we’re able to understand we want to go backwards, to regress, rather than progress further forwards.
Sometimes the battle we are fighting is within our own worlds. Our perceptions, our interpretations, our urges.
Sometimes I get stuck like that, too. Sometimes I see things happening that aren’t the greatest but that my brain interprets as being desirable. Sometimes my Ill Mind wants things for me that I would never want for me again.
It’s all a part of life and the cost of living in this life. Sometimes we want things that aren’t good for us–unhealthy ways of getting attention, junk food, drug substances, disordered behaviors, and more. Sometimes even when we can rationalize how much they aren’t good for us, we still find ourselves wanting it regardless.
That’s surely happened to me before and I’m almost certain it’s happened to you too.
So for now, in this space, I’d like to talk about my own experiences with that lately in as open and candid as a place of any. This is my safe space. It’s also a very public place–and it’s also where I feel most comfortable. I’d like to discuss some struggles I’ve been facing lately and how I’ve handled them well along with the times where I’ve deeply struggled.
Because I believe the story matters. I believe that my voice is worth sharing and I believe that living in my truth holds more power over my experiences and the narrative I wish to convey to the world, to my friends, to my family and to my peeps that is necessary and dare I say, vital, in situations such as these, in perspectives such as mine, even when there’s an intense and detrimental pandemic occurring in the world and a political system within America that’s horrid and unimaginable and makes it feel like we’ve been living in a reality TV show for the last four years. Regardless of ALL of this, my situation still exists and I am still valid in my feelings. The World of 2020 has been falling apart and it’s been very close to The End of Days and right now is as important and crucial as a time to discuss the topics of mental health, mental health conditions and recovery processes. So, here’s a part of my story and what I’ve been dealing with lately and at the end, I hope you’ll have taken something away from my rambles. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll reflect on some of your own struggles. And maybe you’ll leave this post with a newfound sense of how you can pave over your problems going forwards. And if the cards lie just right, maybe you’ll even add a word or two of your own thoughts down below. Whatever you’re comfortable sharing, of course. So… let’s begin…
I got caught up in trying to find a quote for the above section but what I’d like to talk about here involves the concept narrated above:
How do we become our own light within the shadows of darkness that surrounds each of us at night? How do we choose to be brighter and better than our previous selves the day before? How do we choose to not compare against each other and instead focus on shining our brightest, appreciating our differences and head into the battle ahead with as clear a mind as possible, knowing we’re worth it and we’re able to overcome this fight? How do we get to rely on ourselves instead of looking for attention and validation from others?
These are a lot of questions and I think the important thing to be reminded about life is that…. we don’t have all the answers. Look towards science and modern medicine, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the brain and what it does and how it does what it does. We barely know about the universe that surrounds our tiny little planet, the solar system that exists, how the world began to begin with and if there are or aren’t any other creatures out there for us to interact with (which would be pretty scary!). Hell, we don’t know how to even live amongst ourselves peacefully.
So, it’s okay to not know. Life is a giant puzzle and its purpose lies in being uncomfortable and living DESPITE–no, WITH–that which is uncomfortable. A lot of stuff that life throws at us, wasn’t something that we asked for. We usually don’t get a say in what thing it is we struggle with.
Yet how we react to things life throws our way… that, that is within our control.
We can’t control much but ourselves. We learn, particularly those facing illnesses either mental or physical, that self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is crucial and critical for existing in life. Having balanced meals, getting enough sleep, taking care of physical (and mental) illnesses, spending socialization time with other individuals (and pets!) as well as having a few other things like hobbies, roles in society, a career, an education, and more. We live, we grow, we age, we die.
We procreate, we find love, we make friends, we make enemies. People like us. People don’t. Some people can’t stand us. Most people project their issues onto other people. We fight, we argue, we struggle, we survive. We are warriors. Some in quite a literal fashion.
We are human.
And being human isn’t something to be ashamed of.
We all have emotions–mostly. We all have preferences and habits and crave interaction with one another. We all need attention. We all need love and care and nice things. We all depend on one another, we are inter-connected. We are human. We will face adversity, sometimes a lot, sometimes not as much, but we will all lose something some day and we will all perish just the same.
But what does this have to do with anything?
You’re right, I got a little sidetracked (such is my attention span for today). What I mean to say, what the point of me saying all these things to begin with, is that life is an uncomfortable phase. Life throws things our way that we weren’t expecting or anticipating or were prepared to deal with.
And still, if we want to get the most out of life, we have to find a way to alight our own flame. While it is absolutely imperative to ask for help when you need it, you also need to learn how to be there for yourself.
You’re the only you there’s ever going to be.
You’re the only you always with you.
No one can live your life for you. They can try, they can help, they can enable you but your life is ultimately your choice. Whether you choose to go down into the dark chasms or instead hike up the next hill and the next and the one after that–that’s your choice. That’s within your control. You didn’t choose to have to go up or down, but the up or down IS your choice. You didn’t prepare the map but what you do with it is your own.
Emotion regulation, your ability to soothe yourself, handle yourself, handle your problems and knowing when and where to get help when you need it, those are all critical and necessary tools for surviving. A friend and a loved one can point you in the right direction. They can be there to hold signs and vigils in your honor. Whether you choose to follow or flee is up to you. No one else can make that decision for you.
We all need to learn how to be there for ourselves. ‘Cause we can be there for others but others won’t always be there for us.
But we are.
We are always with ourselves. It’s the one vessel that will withstand all the hell and all the light. It’s important, as humans that evolve and change and grow, to find healthy avenues and know the differences between unhealthy avenues. It’s important, as healthy humans to control and withstand ourselves. When we feel things, we need to have plans on how to handle them. When we are stuck in the darkness, instead of looking for everyone else’s lights, we need to learn how to ignite our own.
Because this light, this life within us now, is the only light and life we’re given. And it will burn out. One day. Somehow. It will. And what we got to do with it, that’s the only thing truly up to us.
Let me move away from the “you”‘s and the “we’s” because I’ve done a lot of that so far. Let me start with where I am at. And that’s in this moment.
I am enough.
It’s such a complex yet simple notion.
I am enough.
I am enough to handle my own circumstances, my own life. Just like with the light, my own light is enough to wash over the road ahead of me. I don’t rely on other people’s lights to guide me home because I know, deep down, that all I need is my own.
Yeah, that’s a pretty lonely road if I only look at it from that angle, but who makes the rules in my reality?
So if I don’t like what I see, then I can change it. Why not, right?
The big thing I want to talk about here is being able to validate myself. Because a lot of the time I get this idea in my head that I need other people’s validation or praise or attention rather than my own. And yes, that’s nice and it’s needed sometimes too. But I need to learn, in this next new phase of my life, how to be there FOR me, BY me. If I’m going to be the only one in it from start to finish, I better start liking myself, ahaha. Excluding when I need outsider’s influences–like their input, their support, their conversation–I can learn how to validate myself by validating others.
If my friend were struggling with my struggles, what would I say to them? How would I put myself in their shoes? What would I say? Act? Show? Now what if it were me, what would I say, act or show to myself? Maybe once I start to see the rules I make for myself, the cognitive distortions I fall into, the old traps and cycles that my brain easily confines for me, maybe after all of that, I’ll find a way to be there for me–I’ll find a way to be ENOUGH for ME.
That brings me back around to the main topic of this post. I know, I know, it’s been scattered through this and I thank you immensely for continuing to read if you HAVE read this far. I’m sure the Editing Version of Me will have some fun with this post ahaha. But I want to talk about that validation piece again–I want to paint a picture to what started this moment for me in general and that involves the dreaded word:
Remember at the start I was talking about the fork in the road between regression and progression? Yes, well, attention has a big play to do with my experiences thus far.
When I was at my worst, I often sought attention online (as well as in person, I think is fair to say). But it was unhealthy, every time I did it, it was unhealthy. Because:
the Internet is not an appropriate crisis space.
This, of course, is excluding the actual places online that ARE designed as crisis spaces. But the reason I say this is twofold:
It truly isn’t a good idea to place intimate, vulnerable thoughts into a space where it can be taken advantage of, manipulated, tossed into a void or come back to bite you later (the Internet is forever of course, and yes, I see the immense irony or hypocrisy for this notion to exist within this own post, however, I’ve accepted my position far in the past for this type of situation.)
Not everyone is going to know what to do, what to say or how to properly and healthily identify what to do in that given situation. Not everyone is going to respond well, not everyone is going to respond at all, not everyone will be kind, some people may instigate further, some people will just have different opinions, some people will speak their mind or some people won’t have anything to say, to add, to note, to express.
And that, when used in crisis, the Internet that is, can be deadly. It’s certainly dangerous.
And it’s not ultimately, entirely, other people’s responsibilities. It’s asking too much from the Internet, in many ways. Yes, the Internet is changing somewhat and there are definitely amazing, great and compassionate individuals and places on the Internet, however it is also dangerous, unsafe and crippling in other places (or within other people).
So wanting more views, wanting more comments, wanting more of that attention, more of that vocalization, more of that validation, more of that pick me up, more and more and more–it’s all a culmination to a potentially very bad outcome.
This is where balance comes into play. This is where being enough for myself comes into play. This is where I recognize I need to take an Internet break. Because as always:
And that’s where regression can happen. Or, recovery progression.
So what happened was I saw or found out about someone online who confessed they were in a difficult spot and wanted a certain type of reaction out of the Internet. In response, their story, their life, kinda blew up in a very positive fashion.
And it made me SO envious. Like I was legit pissed off.
Because that hasn’t been my type of experiences.
But WHY do I want it to be? And hasn’t it? In some ways, by some friends, hasn’t it been?
So I wondered for a moment or two in that sea of anger and envy, I wondered why they had such pleasant experiences when in the past when I’ve done the same, I’ve gotten a small handful of responses or (more often) an echo of long, long silence.
And this ultimately means to me that I’ve been searching for attention and praise where it’s not the healthiest place for it. So I learn that I need to validate myself more. I need to check in with myself more than I am. I need to recognize what is cognitive distortions and when it is that I’m not practicing as much gratitude as I could be and then re-evaluate the way I’m interacting with the world around me–online and off.
Because validation is very easy to become unhealthy with. And I really don’t necessarily need it from other people or at least not in the same way that I once sought for it.
This means, to me, that I need to find ways to boost my projects, my life and my endeavors in a healthy manner that doesn’t rely on how many views it gets or how many people interact with it or even just analyzing what it is I’m hoping to get out of things that I put out on blast. And then maybe, maybe one day I’ll get picked up and maybe I’ll have a few other people to interact with more than I do now, but gratitude will be a good thing for me to practice more too as well as checking the facts and providing my own light for no one else but myself (and then by extension in living my truth and my authentic life, it will burn brightly for other people, too).
Because I have to ask myself: do I want attention for the hell I’ve been through or the growth I’ve made because of it? Do I want attention for who I am rather than what I’ve been through? And which direction is most sustainable?
I know I have a lot left to learn and to experience. I know I have a voice worth sharing and a story left to be told. I know there is so much more I want to do with my life and it doesn’t all have to be about mental health. I know that my identity extends beyond this plane of field and that I can work on getting there each and every day, every moment, and that sometimes I will succeed and sometimes I will fail and it’s in making mistakes that I will learn and grow. It’s within the darkness that I will find my light. It is within the night that I will find my day. The world is a presence of constant dualities and constant instances to try and do better, be better and improve.
I know I’m so much more mature than I was just a few years ago and I know that my happiness and my love for life and light these days is so immeasurably wonderful and not ever something I’d want to trade for a little bit of attention that’s not going to affect my life more than anything else. I, of course, like praise just as the next person, but it’s not my lifeline or my blood or my air. It’s … a bonus.
I have to understand why I create and for what purpose I am sharing it. With time, everything else will follow.
But for now, it’s time to Edit. It’s been a good hour and a half of full-on writing and I’d like to take a break and do something else for a bit. So, thank you for reading and for sticking with me. I really, really appreciate that.
It’s somewhere in the process of breathing and living for myself that I find the most freedom. The ability to be as gracious and thankful as I am able to be now isn’t something I could have ever positively imagined for myself two to three years ago. My stability is amazing and my ability to self-regulate has improved immensely. There are things in my life that I’ve excelled at recently that I’ll lightly touch on here: things like doing ERPs from support groups on OCD; getting certifications for work that seemed daunting and unavoidable (MAP); working more at my job Amaryllis; facing safety issues from youth and exceeding at not getting triggered (and yeah, so I got triggered from a support group but I’m gonna handle it and I’m gonna be okay again, I just need a little bit more time) and other moments that would have crippled me years before are now mere blips in the timeline.
I know that I can use this triggered moment to take a deep breath, then two, then five. I can mindfully listen to music that’s playing on my iPod and work on grounding myself. I can eat some cold ice cream with some yummy pound cake and treat myself WELL and doing the opposite of what’s in my brain because fuck OCD!! So yes, I can manage this, I can use this moment to self-regulate and deal with it with maybe a couple rant-y tweets online ahaha. I’ll even watch some “Kitchen Nightmares” episodes, that would be nice (I’ve been off Youtube ALL day!!!). So yes, I have plans: they include tweeting some more, coughing a bit (I’m getting over a cold), maybe re-reading some fanfic, tracking what I need to track, reading a book, playing Animal Crossing on my Switch, etc. I’ve got this. And I know now that I can believe in that answer, even with all the emotions that FEEL, only feel, otherwise. I am my own hero. I am my own savior. ❤
Thank you so much for reading. If you have the time, you can leave me your thoughts down below. Or don’t, because after all, at the start of the day and at the end of the night, as always, I am (and you are) enough.
❤ ❤ ❤
Background Music to this post: Shuffled playlist; “People Like Us” by Kelly Clarkson and “I am Enough” by Cimorelli; “Wolves” by Emma Blackery.
Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!