Your Older Sister: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging




I started blogging late in 2012, following my beginning a journey in mental health treatment. Blogging wasn’t completely foreign to me; I had participated in LiveJournal accounts. This post is about advice in regards to blogging. So: here are 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging.

10. Have a plan

When I started blogging, I wanted to track my journey with mental health professionals. Basically, my posts were mostly angry and self-pitying. There was no plan behind my blog, no awareness of niche. In a way, I approached my blogging as a LiveJournal writer might: as a diary.

My assumption was that someone with mental illness would connect with me based on having the same diagnosis, which is a very flawed series of assumptions on my part. Again, there was no planning. I had zero recognition of process and intentions (because there were none).

9. Know Your audience

I am still very guilty of this, because I don’t quite know who the “masses” who visit my blog are. Perhaps I can do polls to get to know them better. For the most part, they are fellow book readers. There’s a lot of common approaches to writing in this community, and I am trying to see what works for me as a writer.

Awareness comes from interacting with your audience (which is something I’m new to). No one is obliged to read your posts.

8. Networking

This networking thing is very strange to me, because I am very bad at approaching people. If anything, my whole book blogging career is owed to Inge. She introduced me to people who are so lovely and kind to me. Then, Ely added me to this group of bold and strong individuals while we worked on the Disability Diaries.

I am not good at making friends, but I’d tell myself to try to comment on more blogs and network better to get a better sense of audience, content, and ways to present myself.

7. write what you like

Shannon always says this on her blog: write what you like to talk about. At first, I was like, “Pfft, Shannon.” But, the more I read her blog, the more I see what she means. The more passionate you are about the topic at hand, the more engaging and interesting your writing becomes. Also, and this is kind of something I didn’t ever consider before, when you write about what you’re truly passionate about, you start connecting with your own people–folks who have things in common with you.

6. keywords and seo plugins

I am very new to WordPress Up until September of 2016, I was using Blogger. Now, with this new web hosting service, I am able to use some nice plugins to help guide me along the way. In a way, these plugins help guide me until I get better at writing posts that are streamlined.

5. Consistency matters

Some people say that if you write amazing posts, you’ll be successful. I don’t agree with this approach to blogging. Instead, I am keen on posting consistently to have a nice batch of content for people to enjoy.

4. Write in Advance

This ties back to posting consistently. For me, I get bouts of heavy depression and general anxiety (along with other issues). Life happens, too. Writing in advance and scheduling posts helps keep the blog consistent, even when you are not actually writing every day.

3. List new ideas somewhere accessible

I am a fan of Evernote but I also like writing in a notebook. Always brainstorm new topics. Explore things that interest you. See what other people are writing, and fill in the holes in the narrative from your own perspective.


2. Don’t do it for the money

Blogging is not easy, and I am not sure how one can actually sustain themselves with this job as their main source of income. If you approach it as a business, it loses its fun. This is not work, this is your passions laid out for people to see and connect to. Sure, you can still consider it a serious job (I do!). It’s my main job and has been this way for a year.

Money can dampen your fire, though, because you’ll feel pressured to post things just to get views. And, that’s not the kind of life I’d want for us to have. The way I think of it, your posts should be things you genuinely feel connected to at the time.

 1. Be Yourself

Finally, remember who you are. Your values and sensibilities are ultimately what will define your blog and its direction. Use writing as a way to chart your development as a thinker, writer, reader, artist, person.

Being yourself is the best shade of you that anyone could ask for. But, also, be open to learn and grow–develop yourself as a person and blogger.


  Today, I am sharing some tips on how to find your authentic self. In
I have had depression all my life--this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It's like
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

The Netflix Chronicles: Season 1 of The 100


Shannon, my buddy who loves this show called The 100, recommended that I give it a shot. After millions of years full of hesitation, I finally managed to finish my first season of the show. Here are some of my thoughts.


In essence, the story doesn’t start out as particularly foreign. It has to do with space, radiation, and coming back to earth. These are some of the more out of the ordinary elements in the premise. But, the rest: colonization, survival, morality, romance, dystopia. These are all relevant topics.


It took me a while to actually figure out who are my favorites. Thirteen episodes, and I still hate Murphy. This boy is so much trouble. Surprisingly, Bellamy was not my favorite at first. But, I feel like his character arc, and the dynamic he has with Clarke is promising and rather compelling. Also: “Here, there are no laws,” is one of the most iconic lines I have ever heard. Oh, that and, “Whatever the hell we want.”

Raven is probably up there in terms of favorites. I like her contrast with someone like Jasper (another favorite). The way the story is set up, it pushes the envelopes of natural selection against a more unbalanced competition between various groups of people.

I am liking the transition the 100 go through, from criminals, prisoners, to pioneers, all the way to invaders and enemies. The struggle these characters face in defining themselves with a harsh and unforgiving background is executed beautifully.

The Adults

It is going to be so interesting to see the adults on the ground, dealing with the issues these young people grappled with. I have a feeling things won’t go well for the People from the Sky.


This is probably one of the very few shows where I am content with whichever ship is presented in the fandom or in canon. It’s probably because I like (almost) all of the characters. My qualm is in the lack of diversity within these characters.

People of color are rare, and it is kind of baffling to me. Also: how come there are no queer people? I am confused. Sincerely confused.

What is Next?

“On which planet would you rather?” I am curious to see Jasper’s unfurling PTSD. He’s probably the closest one to my existence. I wish I were more like Octavia or at least bright like Raven.

Oh well.

To these characters, all I have to say is, “See you on the other side.”

And, to my Shannon, thank you.


  I have a couple of ideas to expand my blog entries' variety. Among these

The Spotify Playlist Project: The 100 (Season 1)

New series included:

I love making playlists and exploring new music. Therefore, it became an idea of mine to start sharing my Spotify playlists. My plan is twofold: first, I’d like to spend more time listening to tunes. Then, I’d like to create playlists so I can have my own fangirling experience. Obviously, I want to make all kinds of playlists, not just those inspired by shows. However, I thought it’d be a good idea to start with a show I feel very strongly towards: The 100. 


Overall Tone of the Show:

The most typical song you can include is “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. So, I am straying away from that hit.

“Start a War” by the National
We expected something, something better than before
We expected something more

This song feels like the very heart of this group of humans crashing back into the ground.

Another one, “R.I.P to My Youth” by The Neighborhood 
Well…These kids have to grow up way too fast and the circumstances on the ground really rob them of their youth.

Finally: “Things We Lost in the Fire” by Bastille 
Grounders vs. People from the Sky show down in season 1 finale 

Character Themes

“The Other Side” by Ruelle 
Powerful and hurt, the song reminds me of my precious Jasper Jordan. “We are buried in broken dreams/We are knee-deep without a plea.” It reminds me of his, “See you on the other side” catch-phrase. To me, this one reminds me of Monty as well (because I can already tell we could lose either one of these friends).

“Lady Lizard” by Laura Doggett
“But you’ve got so lost you can’t even remember what’s gone
‘Cause you spent too long trying to please the few
But the sacrifice was you
You shout blue murder, blue murder
But they wouldn’t have a clue”
An Octavia song for you, as she searches for her place on the ground. Is she a grounder or a person from the Ark? Seeing her in battle, full on cold blooded reminded me of this song. Yet, I always have a feeling that Octavia won’t make it by the end of the series. Both societies could wipe her out.

Ghost in the Wind by Birdy
“Can someone tell me who I am?
I haven’t recognized myself in a while
And since you left I stay up every night
Thinking if you were here, you put me right” 
Excuse me while I ship Bellamy and Clarke ever so blatantly. These two leaders, the mind and the heart, trudging through very murky waters with heavy responsibilities on their shoulders. But, also, the song reminds me of the 100 and the adults up in the Ark.

“Silhouette” by Aquilo
The devil’s on your shoulder/The strangers in your head/As if you don’t/remember/As if you can forget/It’s only been a moment
It’s only been a lifetime/But tonight you’re a stranger/Some silhouette” 

A Bellamy (and sometimes Murphy-esque) song right there.

(Dina, you said “finally.” Well, I LIED.)

“Dancing on My Own” by Callum Scott
And yeah, I know it’s stupid/But I just gotta see it for myself/I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, oh oh oh/ I’m right over here, why can’t you see me, oh oh”
My darling Raven Reyes’ song. I am so impressed with this girl’s strength, intelligence, and resilience. She gets to watch someone so special to her fall in love with someone else. Ugh. SO MANY FEELS.
Reminds me of her epic line, “Not the way I want you to love me.”

Human” by Rag’n’Bone
” Some people got the real problems/Some people out of luck/Some people think I can solve them/Lord heavens above/I’m only human after all”

Another Bellamy and Clarke song. Reminds me more of Clarke since she is more of a “royalty” type person (her parents are on the council). She was faced with so much animosity at first. People tend to expect her to have all the answers.


So you want to hear these songs?

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Characters Who Are Foodies

This week for Top 5 Wednesday, we have a fantastic topic: character fitness routines. Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group where we get weekly topics to discuss on our blogs. Because yesterday’s post was about bad-asses, I wanted to talk about my top 5 characters who are foodies.

5. Alice in Wonderland by lewis carrol

In my head, this answer includes two characters. While I have not read Heartless by Marissa Meyer, I am CERTAIN that home girl likes to eat. And, in Alice in Wonderland, that scene where Alice samples different foods (mushrooms!) always sticks out to me.

4. Simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda by becky albertali

Simon and his Oreo loving ways is definitely up there with me on the foodie-loving spectrum.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of azkaban JK Rowling

These kids LOVE food, okay? The food is described so beautifully and it just makes me want to cry (from hunger, not sadness). I am a fan of the food at the feasts and Honeydukes! Also, just to be honest, Butterbeer sounds really appealing as well.

2. the hobbit by jrr tolkien

Bilbo and all the hobbits love their food, too. Second breakfasts, and enjoying each other’s company is what it is all about for these characters. However, don’t be quick to assume that Bilbo and Frodo are the same in this regard. I don’t think they are. Bilbo was used to comfort. Frodo adjusted to camping and being on the run. In my head, it takes Bilbo way longer to get used to this change in, uh, pace.

 1. Lord of shadows by cassandra clare

Listen, Kit Herondale and his frustrations with eating AND being a Shadowhunter just resonated with me so much. I love that kid already. To me, he’ll always be a foodie.

Let me explain:

I think you can be a foodie and still be a hero, get things done, and be fantastic. This assumption that foodies are lazy or unworthy always upsets me, as someone who is in recovery from disordered eating habits. Furthermore, I have a lot of frustration toward the shaming of bigger bodies. When I was thin and unhealthy, no one gave me grief. But, now that I am fat and have healthier eating habits, I am faced with a lot of critique, shaming, and hyper-sexualizing. And, that is not cool, yo.

Your Turn:

What is one thing you imagine about characters you love most? How do they spend their days? What are their routines like?


        Hello! Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday. This a Goodreads group
  Ah, another Top Five Wednesday. This week, the topic is the Top Five Series
It's another Wednesday, which means it is time for Top Five Wednesday. As always, I

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Recommendations for Fans of Bad-ass Characters






Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday. This week, the lovely meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is fully back in the swing of things with a topic of recommending books. For me, I want to focus on the top ten books I’d recommend for those who are fans of bad-ass characters.

10. Graceling by kristin cashore

In this world, some children are “graced” with special skills/talents. Our main character is graced with the ability to kill people. She is such a warrior and a brave girl. I would posit, though, that she’s not just a bad-ass in terms of physical ability. Her willingness to go against bullies and defy unjust rulers marks her as one of the most bad-ass characters I have ever encountered.

9. The Hunger games by suzanne collins

Katniss Everdeen is not the bad-ass some people know. I think, for me, she becomes a true fighter when she faces her trauma. While I understand this girl struggled from having such heavy burdens and responsibilities heaved upon her, I think she had the issues even earlier in her life.  With all of these factors in mind, I think Katniss is survivor of really tough things and that makes her a bad-ass.

8.The vanishing throne by elizabeth may

Aithinne and Karian are truly my focus in this series. They are the true bad-asses. I understand that Aileana is the heroine, and I love her, but she’s part of something much bigger. I like the exploration of trauma and abuse in this book in particular. The connection Aithinne and Aileana have is just fantastic, and bad-ass.

7.harry potter and the order of the phoenix by jk rowling

Obviously, you have to read the stories leading up to this one, but oh man, how cool is it to see Harry as a teacher. To me, I don’t believe for a second that Harry would  ever work for the Ministry of Magic. He’d be a professor at Hogwarts, to provide a home to those who, like him, have no home. In this book, he becomes this role of a mentor to a group of his friends, and guides them into a war. If that’s not bad-ass, I don’t know what is.

6. A Darker Shade of Magic by v.e. schwab

Bravery is recognizing you made a mistake, and handling the consequences. Kel and Holland have that in common. It’s also about loving people with kindness, as we see with Rhy. Lila is another bad-ass for all the sass she and Alucard exchange, all the fighting tips, all the magic lessons make me love her so much. She bravely steps into new roles for herself and pushes the boundaries of her definitions.

5. the demon king by cinda williams chima

I still am reeling from this book because Han and Raisa are bad-asses. Raisa who is passionate about learning about her people, goes out to experience life in her kingdom. Han, who has a mysterious background, takes an amulet and has to fend for himself in a dog-eat-dog world.

4. Vampire academy by richelle mead

Most people would say that Rose Hathaway is the heroine of these tales. To me, I am more fascinated with Lissa. The element of spirit is hard to control, it seems, and she goes through quite the journey to develop her skill. Lissa is a bad-ass because she never uses physical force to settle her disputes. The older she gets, the wiser she becomes. I love her.

Books on my tbr that are rumored to have bad-ass characters

3. the darkest minds trilogy by alexandra bracken

Dystopia and special powers, concentration camps and kids working together: that is all I needed to hear to get this whole series. Ruby and the gang have so much potential right now.

2. The name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I know the main character is a bad-ass. Just look at that cover. Freaking yes! Kvothe, from what I know, narrates his life as a boy who is accepted in a magic school. In my head, at least, he becomes a bad-ass mage. Can’t wait to read this one.

1. legacy of kings by eleanor herman

Alexander the Great is clearly going to be a bad-ass in these books. People call him the Great for reasons. I cannot wait to see what he’s like in the story. Don’t really know much about the books, but I am excited!


As you may have read in previous blog entries, I will be participating in Emojiathon
After disappearing for a while there, I am hoping to pick up the pace around
T5W, or Top 5 Wednesday, is a meme that is run by Sam from Thoughts

My Relationship with Plant-Based Diets, and Trying Veganism Again


In 2007, I decided to become a vegetarian for health reasons. Then, six months later, on the eve of New Years, I had watched some PETA videos and realized that I wanted to be vegan. It’s been nine years. I had a lot of failures, but mostly success.

the change

For the past month or two, I have been tracking down why I get these bursts of cheese cravings. I realized that it is from my eating disorders. I feel nervous, and angry at myself, so I self harm by eating something that will cause me great discomfort. Physically and emotionally. Plus, part of it is that I felt like I was starving. As a response to that, I have been making sure I have lots of options when it comes to food. This is not always easy, but it’s something I am working on.

A year or so ago, I discovered a really nice group of vegan folks. I got to discover people more aligned with my values and the lifestyle I’d like to live. Ellen Fisher and her sister Hannah are pioneers for me. Bonny Rebecca makes food look fun. She is sunshine. I love her videos.

But it is the simplicity that Ellen has with her eating that attracts me to living differently. I like basic cooking, because I’m not the most patient person, and I have a lot of anxiety with leftovers. Then there is the lovely High Carb Hannah and Sarah Lemkus.

What my plan is going to be

First, I want to educate myself better on veganism, even if it hurts and makes me uncomfortable. If I approach it from a health perspective alongside the humane angle, I think it’ll stick better. There are documentaries I’d like to watch and take notes on.

The other thing I have been doing (and plan to do more) is to have access to easy recipes. By doing this, food stops feeling like a scary prospect. Fully Raw Kristina makes me happy. I like Tara Stiles’ approach to food, too. Laura Miller does some cool things.

Luckily for me, I have books by these lovely people already. In addition, I have some cookbooks from the olden days of my life as a career girl with an income to afford vegan cookbooks. I can use those too.

Privilege and veganism

Part of my contention with veganism lies in the way many vegans rely on faux-meat and dairy substitutes. The truth is: a) I cannot afford these things, and b) if I did, I have no access to them anyway. I’m the only vegan in the house. My sister is a vegetarian, but she loves her cheese and butter. Besides, I don’t want to rely on anyone when it comes to food. This is self care and it is important to spend the time nourishing myself.

Mostly, I felt like the vegan movement isolated those who were not white, too. For some reason, it was a whitewashing of all cultures. As if health is only one shade, and one approach. There was a lot of shaming for those who use oil (“that’s just pure fat” a lot of people said). I don’t know, hearing this kind of stuff pushed me to just binge on food because I don’t enjoy oil-less food. And, it made me feel guilty for coming from a culture where people use oil in their cooking and in their salads, and even in breakfast foods.


I am trying to approach veganism from a more comfortable place, less afraid of judgment and labeling. To me, I had been vegan all along, nine years ago, and I am proud of all my attempts. The point is that I had been trying. I am still trying.

A lot of my problems came from eating disorders and mental illnesses I have been trying to shed for years. Chances are, I will always have to fight these things on a daily basis. And, I am starting to accept that challenge.

The cultural pressures that I go through, the isolation, the insults I get, all these things took a toll on me for a while there. But, I am back in full swing. I am making this work.

Before I forget a few more cool vegans to check out: Pick Up Limes, Happy Healthy Vegan, SweetPotatoSoul  , Bite Size Vegan,


    Hi there. While watching Ely's introduction of her cat Percy, I thought of

August, 2017, Week 2 TBR Pile


Welcome to mid-August of 2017! So, this week marks the beginning of the Reading Quest challenge. This challenge will guide my reading for the next four weeks.

tying some loose ends

I haven’t finished Graceling yet, and I am halfway through it. Going to be reading that book early into the week. In an ideal world, I’d be starting the Reading Quest challenge with no books on my currently-reading pile (and is it a pile if it’s only one book? Questions I cannot answer fully).

First book in a series

So, this week I’m beginning the challenge with a first book in a series. For that challenge, I’m reading Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

side quests

In addition, I am going to be trying The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Gray for the Open World side quest. I have been really hoping to read this one book for so long.


Explaining the past week’s reading crisis

If I do move finish reading these books, it would be a miracle. But, I am hoping to read as much as I can. My goal is to get myself back to the plan of reading regularly, writing, commenting, and participating in life in general.

As you may have read on the Twitters, I have been complaining about dentist drama. I don’t handle doctor appointments very well as a whole, so I often feel frazzled afterwards. This past week was intense for me. Hopefully things are smooth sailing for a while now.


Your turn

Do you have any reading plans for this upcoming week? How’s August treating you thus far? Oooh, are you participating in any readathons? Share your TBR links with me, so I can fangirl with you. Best of luck on this challenge. Hope we all read all the things (I know it’s unlikely, but we can dream together).



Hello! I have been seeing a rumble of Reading Quest sign ups on Twitter. Because
    Ah, August week 2 is here, and so it is time to share
  Hello, August, 2017! I'm having more anxiety than usual for this month. But, I'd

#TheReadingQuest Sign up

Hello! I have been seeing a rumble of Reading Quest sign ups on Twitter. Because I am striving to read more, I will join the masses. This Reading Quest challenge was created by Aentee over at Read At Midnight. The graphics were made by the lovely CW over at Read, Think, Ponder.

Basically, the reading quest lasts from August 13 to September 10. From what I gathered, you pick a character class (sort of like Dungeons and Dragons?). Then, Bingo your way through the board.

I hope that made some sort of sense.  As always, I am freaking out that I somehow don’t understand the rules. So, if you notice any errors, please let me know.

Character Class:

It took me a couple of tries to decide which character class I’ll be for this. The typical approach is “bard,” because I like to write. However, I want to read more warrior stories. So. That’s the path I am on. Oh! Also, I picked the knight with the darkest skin, because they were the cutest to me.

Reading challenges/my quest route

The First Book In a Series: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

A Book With a Verb In the Title: The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

A Book With a Weapon on the Cover: Fire by Kristin Cashore

A Book with Red on the Cover: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

A Book with a TV Show or Adaptation: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Rebelling already

Because my anxiety is already way too high, I am not competing. Instead, I am going to read and enjoy the process. My approach is to also add other books to my TBR as I go along.

Hope you join in on the fun.


  Welcome to mid-August of 2017! So, this week marks the beginning of the Reading
    Ah, August week 2 is here, and so it is time to share
  Hello, August, 2017! I'm having more anxiety than usual for this month. But, I'd

Cinderella: To Be Seen As We Truly Are


I have been trying to write a post for the past five days, and I just couldn’t. You see, my life had taken an ugly turn. One minute I was in control, the next, I’d turned into an anxious person. Lots of sobbing and anxiety. So, I went back and watched Cinderella (the live action version). Now, I have things to say about the inspiring messages/themes of the film.

Be Kind

The beauty of the Cinderella movie lays in its themes of kindness and bravery. Watching Cinderella being kind to animals touched my heart as a vegan. I think of kindness toward those who were put on this earth as a testament to our humanity; I personally think it’s our job to take care of animals, the environment, our fellow humans.

I’d like to suggest that Cinderella’s kindness extended beyond the mice and Mr. Goose, though. She was kind to her stepsisters and stepmother, a challenging feat. Perhaps the biggest act of kindness is twofold: being kind to those who dislike you and also being gentle with your own heart.


Be Brave

Part of the story’s charm is that Cinderella was not a sword-fighting woman. Bravery is not always attached to some sort of violence or physicality in general. The nice thing is that even bravery has nuance and relativity to the persons involved.

Cinderella’s most brave action was shielding Kit from her stepmother as well as maintaining a strong sense of self. I think that was even harder to keep alive for her, given her losses.

Even more brave is the gentle and loving approach to others. Cinderella was loving toward her stepsisters, stepmother, her fun animal friends, even towards Kit.

The bravery extends to also belief. It’s the way Ella believed in true love, in fairy godmothers, and in the possibility of a happy ending.


I personally connect with this story repeatedly, continuously, like a looped soundtrack. And, yes, I know that there are complicated portrayals in this story in regards to agency. More specifically, I wish there was a narrative from the stepmother and/or stepsisters’ perspectives. While they make me upset, I do want to see a more fleshed out exploration of these women and their reasons for acting the way they do. To some extent, I am unsure of this “needlessly evil” (mustache twirling evil) portrayal of these characters.

Your Turn:

What is your favorite fairy-tale? Why do you connect to it? Share your experiences in the comments. I’d love to hear all about them.



    Hey there! Today, I'm sharing a film review of the new Power Rangers
  You may not know this about me, but I had disordered eating all my

Paper Towns and the Middle Aged Dilemma









When I had initially read Paper Towns, I was in my early twenties. At the time, I was more moved by John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. But, as I near the middle aged years, I realize that perhaps Paper Towns is more relevant to me now.

Happy Now

I understand that many people dislike Margo, but the older I get, the stronger the connection gets between us. You see, I was more of a Q growing up. Driven, ambitious, and academically inclined, I barreled through life–furiously trying to prove my worth to an unforgiving crowd.

I tried to be good at my job. I pushed harder than ever to be present, to do my work, to not take breaks. Sometimes, I’d stay awake for days just to grade and reply to emails. The biggest surprise was my failure. Even when I check reviews of my teaching, years later, I see what very few people noticed: I was doing things for the wrong reasons. When my breakdown and subsequent hospitalization happened, I started to realize that I was in the wrong group. I was in the wrong field.

Odd Ducks

A couple of weekends ago, I had an obsessive episode, where I had to look up old classmates. Most of them were teaching in universities. A lot of them were friends on social media.

At first, I felt sorrow. But, then I realized that I had never made any connections with people. I was the weirdest teacher to ever grace a campus. First, it was because of my emotional nature. I cried about my failures all the time (there were many failures. No one talked about their struggles).

In retrospect, this reminds me of the idea of Paper Towns. This is the images we mark on maps for authenticity. Maybe adulthood and success were at different spots in maps. I am recognizing my own path. Like Margo, I get to redefine myself while others are locked in their paper towns and paper lives, paper relationships. And, I am careful not to say it in a judgmental way. Some people like being hamsters on a treadmill–an eyes on the prize mentality driving them.

I don’t.

“Isn’t there something that can make you happy now?”

Her Story to tell

And, I think this ties back to the Fault in Our Stars, and every John Green book I have ever loved (read: all of them). It’s about leaving a legacy. But it is not about making financial gains, or some sort of tangible effect on the world necessarily. I know so many ex-classmates who will do great things. On the other hand, I recognize that I have mental illness, and it sways my perception of the world quite a bit. My priorities are different. If I have carried myself with grace and kindness, if I was brave and creative, if I was sincere in my interactions and open about my insecurities, I am happy. I am happy if I am open with God and loving His creation. And, I know not everyone agrees with my faith. So, it’s part of my mission, too, to be inclusive and loving of people no matter how different we may be.

You know, I tried expressing my own freedom for social norms by doing all kinds of weird things.  Now, I am trying to quiet down, and listen up close to what truly speaks to me deeply. That is what Margo would do.

And Gus.

And Hazel.

Even Alaska would agree.


I have been wanting to discuss mental illness, and its complex nature, for a while
It's been a while since we have had a discussion. Have a seat. Let's talk
I posted this discussion regarding queer characters in some popular shows. My point is that