I was inspired to write this reflection upon realization of how much I let others control me through toxicity and deception. For years I let others play puppeteer to my emotions, feelings, and future. Such action destroyed me, broke me down but in time built me back up. The blogging sphere is like any space in life. There’s those who strive to bring peace, light, clarity, and understanding to everyone who happens to cross paths with them on their journey. Others bring negative energy, a mask of lies, and ego above reality with each step they take. I try to befriend those I can and make amends with those who’ve wronged me (and those I’ve wronged as well). Humility is my ally in all facets of life.
I’ve made amends with some while deceived and played by others but I’ve reached a pinnacle of self love I thought impossible and unlikely to achieve. I have a lot of growing to do. 2019 has been the year of hardship, pain, loss, and more doubts than I can count but somehow through falling apart I’ve fallen together. My mind is muddled, but my spirit is burning brighter than ever before.
The turn around, this metamorphosis has only just begun and I hope you, whoever you may be find that which you seek or yearn for within these words.
Wherever life takes me I hope I can continue being a beacon of hope to those who wonder if life will become better. I’m here to say it will.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now! 2019 has been a lot slower on the blogging front compared to last year. This year has come with lots of major changes, the biggest being acclimating to the Midwest after living my entire life on the East Coast. Life after college has had its ups and downs but I’m still here fighting as hard as I possibly can. 2019 is winding down but my creativity and ideas aren’t.
One of the biggest changes in my life is my aforementioned move to the Midwest (Minnesota to be exact). Let me start by saying if you’re planning to move to an area such as this, be cautious because winters are brutal. I’ve never seen or felt -40 degrees since I came here. Ultimately I moved here for work + fulfilling my desire to leave NYC for an area smaller, calmer, and all together slower paced and nature filled. I successfully filled this personal goal/desire but it didn’t come without hardships nonetheless I’m fighting as I always have. Knock me down and I’ll keep on rising, just like the Phoenix, I find strength within ashes.
Life truly is a mysterious entity that I strive to fully appreciate and embrace everyday. Being an imperfect being I often have doubts that cloud my judgment almost daily but I’m still here nonetheless. I’m working hard to reclaim my inner peace and to truly realize the me which has been buried and ignored for years now. It’s funny how hardships bring the best out of you one way or the other. Sometimes after the haze of tears have faded you discover the reality you ought to embrace because it is there you will thrive and strive in all your heart, soul, mind, and body desires. Now that I’ve got this spiritual empath rant out of the way I want to answer a question I’ve struggled with for months now.
Where is this blog going?
First off, my blog started on a whim but somehow managed to touch the lives of many. I never thought my words would resonate with others but over the past few months I’ve learned otherwise and I’m grateful I can be a beacon of guidance and hope for the lost because I’ve been (and still am) lost and that’s okay. I’ve never thought of blogging as my go to career, I view it as a hobby near and dear to my heart which for a time was drowned out by the wonders of life and the transition from being a full time college student to job hunter to inevitably employee trying to find balance between work and play. The last few months have granted much needed clarity and with that I can express my future plans.
For one, Fragments of Unity is still very much my beloved work in progress. I hope to bring more of my prose and poetry onto this blog in the future. I’m not sure how yet but definitely keep an eye on this space and totally check out my IG @aria_thedreamer, home to my artwork, prose, poetry, and photography! That aside I’m hoping to continue my anime reviews and eventually would love to review indie books as well. A dream of mine is to start a series dedicated to interviewing creatives and giving them a space to share their visions, views, passions, ambitions, and to ultimately broaden their audience. I don’t think I have enough presence for such a feat but a girl can dream, right?
All in all I’m hoping to blog more frequently and at my own pace. I hope to kick this off with a photo diary chronicling my journey of self love and acceptance as well as sharing my opinion/view on life as an enby in today’s climate/culture/world. I’d also like to blog more about mental health/wellness and chronic pain too as both topics are incredibly important to me. Wherever life takes me I hope I can continue being a beacon of hope to those who wonder if life will become better. I’m here to say it will. I can’t say how and when but life in a way is cyclical. There’s ups and downs but ultimately we breathe, we exist, we leave our unique marks on this world through smiles and tears, anguish and triumph. You exist, I exist, we exist and one day our world will bring light to a troubled reality and perhaps bring peace to all and ourselves ultimately. Here’s to that I say.
Life will knock you down but how you decide to rise can be your saving grace in the long run.
First and foremost, I think it’s vital that I preface this post with the fact that this was drafted/written in October 2018. (Pretty strange to think autumn is a long way from now). I plan to write a reflective series of sorts based on this area which is important to my heart and mind.
My depression has been at an all time low lately, life’s been far more disappointing and painful than I imagined possible. Throughout the anguish writing has given me a freedom others often strip away. Writing allows me to be truly myself. It’s the freedom of expression and creativity at its core, a passion I love to indulge in. Writing gives me purpose no person may ever take away. It’s an extension of myself, my soul. Unfortunately there’s days where it’s too much to handle and I’m unable to write. It’s frustrating when it occurs, but I’ve learned ways to deal with it. As previously mentioned in Off Days I acknowledge the bad moments for what they are, but work not to dwell on them.
Writer’s block happens to me for a number of reasons, but when I realize it stems from something separate from writing I work towards dealing with it accordingly. There’s many instances where I find myself obsessed with things completely out of my control so I have to figure out how to let go. Acknowledging what you can control and letting go of what you cannot is a beautiful thing and will always be to your benefit (Cycle of Control).
I accept that there will be days that my depression and fibromyalgia will inevitably worsen to an extent that clouds my mind, but I refuse to let them control me. They can knock me down momentarily but I’ll always get up. There’s no need to rush from one extreme to the other, being content is okay. For years I’ve used the negative in my life to fuel productivity by creating to my heart’s content. Negativity can breed more negativity but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m only human and sometimes I wallow deep in negativity and the misery it brings but lately I’ve realized my high points of creativity can be linked to my darkest and most distressing moments in life. Of course my creativity is always flowing, but there’s times where it peaks exponentially.
There’s lots to learn and gain from our struggles, as the saying goes “Every cloud has its silver lining” and I personally feel this applies to a host of situations and problems we all face as human beings trying to live life without a manual. Life will knock you down but how you decide to rise can be your saving grace in the long run. Depression and chronic pain are two things that are ever present but by expressing myself through my passions I reclaim control, I reclaim domain of my life. Whenever things go downhill whether it be due to internal or external circumstances or a combination of the two I throw myself into writing. Sometimes you have to rip off the band aid and reflect on the now before you can truly move forward. Writing has given me the power to do that plus productivity.
Certain emotions don’t have to impede your progress. Only how you choose to displace or channel it can. Sadness doesn’t have to define you, nor does anger or any other negative emotion. My emotions are a catalyst for the work I do. My novel wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the series of unfortunate, heartbreaking events 2015 was, I couldn’t undo the losses but I could refocus the energy towards positivity so I did. Such progress would be impossible if I chose to stay immersed in sadness and dwell on that which was out of my control. Of course everyone and our stories are different, the way we deal with our struggles and setbacks vary but I just wanted to say if you’re struggling with a mental illness, chronic illness, or simply are in tough spot in life currently, while you can’t control those around you you can control yourself and that is a power you should cherish and remember during the dark times.
Don’t let the darkness hold you back because someday you will bloom.
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.
I’m back with another anime review/opinion on one of my all-time favorite series 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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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: