Relationships and Mental Wellness

Don’t let the darkness hold you back because someday you will bloom.

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2018 has been a painfully transformative experience. Despite the ups, there have been downs just as great. The last year or so has involved lots of giving and toxic taking and malice from others. The worst thing about being a sensitive empath is the nagging feeling that you’re at fault, that you deserved to be treated horribly. It’s a thought process I’ve struggled with since childhood. I’ve realized lately that others will betray and antagonize you because deep down inside they’re insecure and troubled. I feel as humans we all have our moments, we’re not perfect but it’s during our darkest moments do we realize who our true friends are.

Growing up, I’ve always felt the term friend is thrown around too casually. It’s hard to find who your true friends are. Everyone will gladly shower you with love and support but how they treat you when you’re down speaks volumes about who they are as a person. Recently I was betrayed by someone I perceived as a great friend with warm intentions but quickly and brutally realized only if their happiness was met. Relationships are a two way street. Neither party should constantly be burning through energy only for words to fall on deaf ears. If someone plays on your fears, insecurities, and anxiety cut ties. They don’t deserve to be in your life.

Always remember when someone truly cares about you they show it with actions and words. They’re patient and understanding, not abrasive and pushy. Those you allow in your circle should respect your perspective and that you are uniquely you with your own experiences that have shaped the way you move and interact. You’re not entitled to take a fake persona to keep a friend around. Honor and love yourself. Have faith that goodness exists in this world. I often have my doubts but each one is greeted by a world of love and support. Don’t let people ruin your perspective of life and especially yourself. You are beautiful. You are to be cherished. To be supported. You deserve all the love in the world. Never let toxic people tell you otherwise.

I have a lot to work on within myself but deep down I know my expectations for basic respect will never be cast aside for others’ joy or comfort. I come first because I’m living my life and mine alone. The world is a scary, complex place and honestly sometimes I wonder if I’m meant to spend an eternity alone but I know there’s more to life beyond the pain and let downs. I’m young with lots to learn and experience. As much as I’m tempted to become cold and guarded I know it’s not the life I want to lead. Nor do I want the bitterness of others to infiltrate my being and fill me with negative energy.

I want to spread warmth and positivity throughout the world regardless of my flaws and shortcomings. I’m a work in progress with many visions to realize and growth to be had. In short, I hope you, whoever may be reading this hangs on. Don’t let the darkness hold you back because someday you will bloom.

Ariana x

Inuyashiki

I’m back with another anime review/opinion on one of my all-time favorite series Inuyashiki.

Inuyashiki

Synopsis: Ichirou Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old family man who is going through a difficult time in his life. Though his frequent back problems are painful, nothing hurts quite as much as the indifference and distaste that his wife and children have for him. Despite this, Ichirou still manages to find solace in Hanako, an abandoned Shiba Inu that he adopts into his home. However, his life takes a turn for the worse when a follow-up physical examination reveals that Ichirou has stomach cancer and only three months to live; though he tries to be strong, his family’s disinterest causes an emotional breakdown. Running off into a nearby field, Ichirou embraces his dog and weeps—until he notices a strange figure standing before him.

Suddenly, a bright light appears and Ichirou is enveloped by smoke and dust. When he comes to, he discovers something is amiss—he has been reborn as a mechanized weapon wearing the skin of his former self. Though initially shocked, the compassionate Ichirou immediately uses his newfound powers to save a life, an act of kindness that fills him with happiness and newfound hope.

However, the origins of these strange powers remain unclear. Who was the mysterious figure at the site of the explosion, and are they as kind as Ichirou when it comes to using this dangerous gift?

[Written by MAL Rewrite]

(Retrieved from here.)


This series holds a special place in my heart. I stumbled upon it accidentally while watching this anime opening compilation video. Appealing openings almost always lead to me watching an anime so I dove in right away and boy, did it hook me in. More often than not animes feature a younger protagonist so I was taken aback but happy to see Inuyashiki’s protagonist, Mr. Inuyashiki an older man with a wife and two teenage children. This in itself made him appealing in my eyes because of the situations he faces. Of course an older adult will react to things differently than a teenage protagonist would so it was nice to see a levelheaded hero progress through the series minus the snares shounen protagonists typically face. This in itself kept me engaged throughout.

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Inuyashiki’s protagonist, Ichirou Inuyashiki

On the flip side, the series antagonist Shishigami Hiro is a highschooler and while he’s a teenager his approach to dealing with school woes like bullying is a little bit…excessive and that’s putting it lightly, but I digress. The similarities and differences between the protagonist and antagonist made them into memorable characters, not to mention realistic. These two definitely aren’t your stereotypical good guy vs bad guy and the show never leaves you with that thought for too long before throwing something different in your face. Shishigami is a wonderful foil to the series’ protagonist which only heightened my excitement whenever conflict arose.

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Inuyashiki’s antagonist, Shishigami Hiro

One of my favorite things about Inuyashiki is its exploration of what a hero is. The dynamics between the protagonist and antagonist is guaranteed to keep you watching. As an outcast and oddball myself I found myself resonating with Hiro. His tactics were unusual and brazen, but his passion and perspective are admirable in their own right. I also felt the same for the titular main character. The anime has a charm that I find difficult to find in recent years. I’ve always been a fan of darker series with a purpose, ones that make you question your morality and what humanity is or can be under certain circumstances. Inuyashiki is one of several that truly moved me, even more so after rewatching it making it twice this year, a rare feat for an anime fan like myself. I absolutely love this series, the rewatch value is high and the music is absolutely phenomenal.

 

My Hero is easily one of my all time favorite openings right alongside the likes of Evangelion’s iconic opening. It’s guaranteed to get you pumped and ready for what each episode has in store. It also gives a glimpse of the unique art style Inuyashiki has which is more realistic and blends 2D and 3D animation. At times the 3D aspect can be rough but for the most part it doesn’t take away from the experience. Fight scenes are high octane and beautifully choreographed which makes fight scenes all the more enjoyable to watch.

Inuyashiki’s ending is equally beautiful and emotional. As you watch the series, its message becomes clearer and that’s when the feeling behind it truly hits. Beyond the conflict between Inuyashiki and Hiro, the dynamic between their family and friends are prominent aspects which are continuously addressed throughout the series. Whether you’re for the good guys or bad guys, Inuyashiki does an amazing job with worldbuilding and forging character relationships beyond black and white. The series touches many morally grey areas, it makes you uncomfortable, but leaves you vulnerable desiring to learn more about the characters and yourself in the process.

If you enjoy thought provoking stories with powerful characters and an amazing soundtrack Inuyashiki is the anime for you. At eleven episodes it can be easily watched within a span of a day. Fore warning while it starts of “light hearted” (and that’s putting it loosely) this series is for mature viewers. There’s action, but also many scenes consisting of blood and gore which may make viewers uncomfortable. If Game of Thrones isn’t your cup of tea I’d approach this series with caution. However, if you don’t mind elements like this I can’t recommend Inuyashiki enough! It’s one of the most amazing series to come out in recent years and is worth a shot.


Here’s the conclusion of my anime review/opinion of Inuyashiki. As always thanks so much for reading. As mentioned previously its an eleven episode series for mature audiences. If you’re interested why not check it out?

*All images from Google.

Ariana 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

I have a confession to make, September was a stressful and underwhelming month for me. However I have to praise myself for smoothly transitioning from a month long Minnesota vacation to being back home in New York. Usually I spiral into post vacation blues so hooray for progress. That aside September has had its ups and downs. It feels like every month I set goals yet never have enough time to bring them to fruition. It’s a frustrating cycle but a part of the reason why I don’t take goals too seriously. They’re nice to set but I try not hold them against myself if I fail or fall behind since life happens.

Lots of time is being spent on job hunting. I graduated in May and I’m eager to work however I’ve learned throughout the month it’s not instantaneous. It takes persistence and hope to keep going when the waiting seems endless. I’ve wanted to quit often but I’ve tried to reframe my thinking and work harder to realize my dreams. Life isn’t easy after all and it definitely has no manual. Networking has opened some possibilities so my hopes have been high lately. Hopefully October will be the month I can finally say I’m an employed registered nurse (Fingers crossed).

Besides the ongoing job hunt, I finally started working on my science fantasy novel Fragments of Unity. There’s not much so far but the feedback I’ve gotten has brought relief and pride.

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Originally posted on IG.

FoU is a passion project for me. It helped me through one of my roughest times back in 2015 and the idea has stuck since. It’s definitely something special, eccentric, unique, and one of a kind. I plan on sharing more info about it in the weeks to come. In the mean time here’s a short blurb:

Jintan dreams of becoming a Crown Knight but doubts have sprouted. A splintered royal family threatens to undo years of peace. Jintan and his friends Damian and Arilyn are forced to choose sides as the war roars back to life.

I constantly talk about it on Twitter @DreamingAria_ and occasionally on my IG. Besides FoU, I’m also working on my first art project! I often day dream about my characters but this time I’m dedicating time towards creating them with my own hands. While on vacation I practiced my craft which I talked about in Growth Through Graphite and I’m pleased with my progress so far.

As usual my fibromyalgia has been a nuisance but I’m making progress nonetheless. It’s slow and often frustrating but nothing’s wrong with babysteps. I’ve been focusing on self care and not taking myself too seriously. Time will always move forward but I refuse to wallow in pity at missed opportunities, pain, and whatever else life throws at me. Moving forward is all I can do so I am. I wanted to post way more content the last few months but fibromyalgia gets in the way. I’m working around it though. Embracing my limitations, working with the energy I have to indulge in my passions. Septemeber’s been a tricky month but I think I did okay. I’ve learned a lot about myself which is always a blessing. I’m treading forward with caution but with ambition too. I’m looking forward to sharing lots of content come October till then be well and stay safe and as always thanks for reading.

Ariana x

The Wonders of Hashtag Games

I have mixed feelings towards social media. I’ve had my share of negative experiences, something I express here. However, I’ve had positive experiences as well. There’s a strange dichotomy about social media, but when you dig deep you can uncover some great things. I made a Twitter account in May. Thinking back it was a spur of the moment decision but one I don’t regret. For the longest I focused on my poetry account on Instagram. Lately there’s been changes and the sort of engagement I had has now been muddled by questionable timelines and algorithms. Perhaps that influenced my choice but I digress.

Initially I was at a loss as to what I wanted to do with my Twitter account. Of course I wanted to express myself, but I also wanted to direct more attention on my novel, Fragments of Unity. At some point I looked at hashtags like #amwriting and was exposed to writers and alike. From there I stumbled upon hashtag games and let me tell you, they’ve helped me to grow as a writer, to be more appreciative of my unique perspective, and to reflect on the nuances of my world. At first, I did these hashtag games at random for the most part but the past month I’ve participated in five and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

There’s no need to force yourself to participate in these games but they’re definitely worth a look. Not only do you get to talk about your work in progress but you also get to witness the passion others have for theirs and naturally that attitude leads to friendships and friendships are a beautiful thing to be cherished in this cut throat, competitive society. For me hashtag games have been an outlet of sorts, a way to remove my mind from the negative and instead focus on giving my work undivided attention. The prompts are well thought out and enjoyable, they can be challenging at times but there’s beauty in the struggle.

Personally before participating in the hashtag games I was having mixed feelings about my novel, not so much the story itself but my characters. As a writer I feel realistic, three dimensional characters make a difference and for me my MC fell flat. He was close to being axed if not for these games! In fact he’s become one of my favorite characters. I don’t think this character development would have come any other way. I was content with the prospect of getting rid of my MC and looking back, I’m grateful for these feelings because they fueled the desire to answer the prompts regardless of how daunting they may seem.

As I mentioned previously, there’s no need to force yourself to participate in hashtag games, but from my personal experience they’re enjoyable and have greatly heightened my interactions on Twitter. I take part in five because they’re all unique and reflect the perspectives of their hosts and who doesn’t like seeing the inner workings of fellow creatives? I appreciate the hosts who go out of their way to create these amazing games filled with prompts that truly get your mind going and your hands typing. Here are the hashtag games I participate in an they’re equally awesome and talented creators and hosts:

#OrganicWIP: @Grinradical

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#WIPquistion: @KaitlynAbdou

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#TheMerryWriter: @AriMeghlen and @RPoli3

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#WIPworldbuilders: @skthproductions and @pepperdaphoenix

#sensationalWIP: @CinderfulCircus / @sensationalWIP


I hope you enjoyed my post. Feel free to ask any questions and you can follow me on Twitter @DreamingAria

Ariana x

A Moment of Reflection

Relish in the positives and innumerable possibilities because someone out there will always try to dull your shine, someone will always try to undermine you. Don’t let that person be you.

Time flies. The last few days I’ve caught myself acknowledging about the fact that last year this time I was a senior in college. It was a hellish and at times needlessly stressful year but I made it and looking back I’m astonished by my growth. No matter what I’ll always be a work in progress, which is alright with me, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. Doubts used to control my every breath but now I control them. It’s a wonderful gesture to reflect on your progress. I think as human beings in a competitive society we tend to only acknowledge our progress in comparison to others as opposed to ourselves. We engage in self sabotage and that energy feeds into doubts and troubles which plague us.  While I’m grateful to be where I am today, I can’t help but feel ashamed at times for my immaturity and misguided energy. In the same instance if it weren’t for those hardships then, today perhaps I wouldn’t be here in this moment and this blog certainly wouldn’t be in existence. I talk about this at length in this post.

Reflection should be intimate and personal. It’s so easy to drift into the words of others but think of this for moment. Whose words matter more, a hundred strangers or your closest friends/allies? Don’t dwell on the negative perceptions and conclusions others draw of you because quite frankly your existence is yours and yours alone. You hold no obligation to them, they do not occupy your body and soul. Take control of what you have even when you feel adrift, reflect and reconnect with your deepest thoughts: who you are, all you’ve accomplished, your destiny. Relish in the positives and innumerable possibilities because someone out there will always try to dull your shine, someone will always try to undermine you. Don’t let that person be you.

This year has been highly introspective, especially the past few months. Reflection is scary when you’re giving yourself up to vulnerabilities but I’ve said it once and I’ll continue to say it: there’s beauty in vulnerability, there’s strength in vulnerability. To truly know and accept oneself you must strip yourself bear to the core. You have to accept yourself as you are, untarnished by societal pressures.

It’s a process, everything is, but faith goes a long way. You may not be able to change the past but you can grow from it to better not only yourself but those around you. When those flashbacks hit don’t fear them, that was a past you in different circumstances than now. The past may occupy the present but it’s not you. You are more than your past.


 

Ariana x

Growth Through Graphite

Embracing different perspectives will grant you growth if you let it.

August has been unbelievably kind. I spent the majority of it in Minnesota, a beautiful state in all regards. Being surrounded by nature was a welcomed change from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Who knew my heart craved such an environment and with such intensity too. While I was there I spent time with loved ones and also learned valuable lessons from my incredibly talented brother-in-law.

In my previous post The Anomalies, I talked about my artistic identity. I talked at length about learning to draw from watching shows and mimicking what I saw while adding my own touch. I take pride in the self-taught life style, I enjoy doing things at my own pace however while on vacation I did something I haven’t done in ages. I followed an art tutorial: linked here.  Let me tell you it wasn’t easy. Following steps can be frustrating for a daydreamer like me and while the experience was difficult the final result was worth it.

I never thought I was able to create something like this. I was content with my path but my family showed me a different perspective and the experience in itself was freeing. Art is so chaotic when you think about it. It’s law abiding yet lawless all at once, it’s freedom of expression and unlimited creativity at its core. You can never hit an “end”. It’s ever evolving. As a traditional, self-taught artist who dreams of publishing an art book alongside my novel someday, this tutorial has shaken me at my core but nowhere near as much as my brother-in-law’s words. I’m slowly letting go of the ego and control for the sake of creation. I’ve chosen to let my art evolve unhindered by my desires to attain a certain style. I was taught that style comes all on its own but first to focus on the basics.

Life’s all about baby steps. It’s good to have a big picture, a dream you wholeheartedly want to achieve but there’s greatness that lies in acknowledging different perspectives. We are art and art is us. Everything follows law and order which you can move beyond  to create as your heart envisions but you need to acknowledge what’s in existence first. Embrace the foundation of your journey, whether it be artistic or not, and in time you will achieve what your heart and soul yearns for.


August has come to an end but my dreams are still going. I plan on sharing character portraits in September. What journey are you on currently? What are your goals? Let’s chat.

Ariana 

Cycle of Control

Persistence is key to everything. The harder the journey, the sweeter the reward when you reach your goal.

I must admit deep down I’m a control freak. I like to be the one in action, moving things along but it’s an unrealistic desire and expectation. I’m only one human being in a world of billions, I don’t know all therefore I cannot control all. The reality makes me bitter in all honesty but the more I tell myself the truth the easier it is to swallow. However, with the truth comes change and change can be challenging for many reasons. Recognizing a thought process needs to be fixed is a great step towards progress and change but the mind is a funny thing. It’s one with you, your greatest ally yet your greatest enemy all at once.

I have plans I desire to realize now that I graduated. I want to start working so I can get my experience and truly control aspects of my life which were previously limited i.e. money. I want to gain experience, buy an apartment to call my own, maybe a car, but ultimately I want to become a certified nurse midwife except there’s one problem. If I want to pursue my Masters I need experience, if I want experience I need a job but I must be persistent and patience. I’m extremely persistent but my patience definitely wanes often and it sucks. Good comes to those who wait but if you’re a daydreamer like me then you understand the cyclical conundrum that goes on in my mind.

I desire the future now but the future isn’t here yet I desire to move forward with haste. I wish I could fast forward to working and realizing my potential but again, I cannot control that. It’s a tug of war in my mind to accept the reality and present circumstances, it’s tiring and frustrating. It’s strange how a dream can suddenly become nightmarish but it’s vital to remember you are in control. Regardless of what others say or do, your mind is yours to mold and control. Don’t let yourself or others taint it. Keep moving with purpose and things will align. It’s a mantra we all should adopt. Take control of you and have faith and patience that your dreams and desires will be acknowledged and bloom. Persistence is key to everything. The harder the journey, the sweeter the reward when you reach your goal.

Life is frustrating, hard, and confusing but controlling your mind goes a long way. Take a moment to yourself and identify cycles you need to break. It may not be New Year’s, but it’s a new day and therefore another chance to become the person you want to be and reach for the stars. Enjoy the process and flourish too. Everything will work out in time. Our society always is in a rush so give yourself the opportunity to pause and become familiar with yourself and all you do control.

Ariana