Writing Strong Emotions

So Krivash’s prelude was kind of a bummer. I knew it was going to be, when I had developed Krivash for our Starfinder game, I had most of that mapped out in my head.

Problem is—it’s a bummer story. About halfway through writing it I suddenly had some doubts: what is the point of this story? Is it’s only point and purpose to be sad? I tried to add a positive spin on it; Krivash was going to try and become the diplomat that Ashraya and Lafid saw him as, and try and give their memory validation.

Since Rogue Trader started, I’ve ended up talking to a bunch of my players and their writing. Seems that our group getting back into RPG’s has kicked off a personal writing renaissance. A common theme I’ve seen among my friends is that the writing is usually a pattern of tragedies. It makes sense: a very common thread among calls to adventure are negative emotions. You don’t often see adventurers happy from the get-go. At least I don’t.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I want to write happier things, and some of the stories I have in my head definitely end happier, but I realized a couple things as I mused on it.

It’s easier to write sad things because everyone has experienced deep, profound sadness in some way, but not everyone has experienced deep, profound happiness. It’s interesting to think about how great happiness and great sadness manifest themselves in the same way emotionally.

Not many. I’ve been thinking about this because I’m crafting a narrative for Rogue Trader, and I don’t want everything to feel sad. I had a reunion between a player and her characters lost brother, and thinking about how to act that out I realized a bunch of these things.

When you think about someone dealing with loss, you see quiet, disbelief, usually accompanied by crying.

When you think about someone experiencing great happiness, you see disbelief, usually accompanied by crying.

Here’s the thing: 99% of books I’ve read end happy. The conflict is resolved, the protagonist gets the love interest, and they all live happily ever after. So why is it hard to write happiness in the shorter form, like me and my players usually write?

We lack the time and space to develop the investment needed to feel happy. Sadness is often a shortcut.We write sad things because we believe having an emotional reaction to writing makes it good writing. Sad things are caused by emotions everyone has felt before: heartbreak, betrayal, death, abandonment.

How many of us know the feeling of suddenly having our burdens relieved? How many of us have beaten cancer? Inherited a ton of money? Found a long lost loved one?

Stories have happy endings because there is enough time for the reader to understand the characters, parse the problems that they face, and most importantly, develop an investment in what happens. This is what I hope to achieve in my writing, and what I hope to achieve in Rogue Trader.

This probably wasn’t a ground breaking thought to a lot of people, but I need to move past the point where sad things is the point of my writing. It’s neat to evoke an emotional response, but I know that I can craft stories better than that. I need to write something longer, or at the very least explore other ideas in my short form writing.



The Moments that Define Us Pt. 2

I always find it nostalgic to read about our childhoods.  I remember that Christmas with the Nintendo 64 but its hard to think that it was almost 20 years ago.

Twenty fucking years ago.

Hang on.

Image result for Man Drinking Alone at Bar

Its hard for me to look back and pick out the little things that defined huge swaths of my life.

Probably because memories become less about facts and certainties more about how things felt.

I started drawing when I was young because Toonami came to Nickelodeon.  I remember watching Gundam Wing for the first time.  It was amazing.  I was just sitting there slack jawed in awe of it.  I began drawing my own Gundams in my free time and building those model kits.  We moved to Washington and I had to enroll in middle school late.  The only elective classes open were scrapbooking (not a joke) and drafting.  I asked mother was drafting was and she got excited for me, “It’s like how you draw airplanes and robots!”

Drafting led to CAD drawing, which led to industrial design software, which led to me becoming a 3D render artist.  You know, the career I have today.  All because of Toonami.

I met Pretzel in middle school.  We didn’t interact much but it was around the time that I started thinking girls were really pretty and I remember her standing out to me.  She had cute hair and full lips.  We had some sort of a study hall class together and I’d always peak at her during reading hour.  She was the perfect combination of pretty and tomboy.

Innocent enough.  We didn’t even have a meet cute until high school.  We didn’t date because I was too nervous to talk to her and apparently I was into some jive bitches.  My girlfriend at the time went into my phone one weekend and deleted all of girls out of my contacts.  So I lost contact with Pretzel for a while after high school.

One day I was walking down the street heading to god knows where I and I see Pretzels friend driving down the street.  I get in front of her car to stop her and then I walk up to the window (because apparently I was a maniac) and asked her for Pretzel’s number again.

I live with Pretzel now.  We’ve been dating for two years and some change and its the happiest I’ve ever been because she’s neither jive or bitchy.

All because one day I was walking down the street and her friend drove by.

After we’d lived in Washington for a year one of our numerous Wisconsin relatives passed away.  We drove back.  Four days, twelve hours each.  I promptly finished my book the first day.  Within the first hour I think.  We pulled over to go to a department store or something and there was a Barnes and Noble.

I was wandering around.  I was just getting into literature that was more sophisticated than Animorphs and The Circle of Magic.  I was walking past a “Must Reads” table and picked one up.  The cover looked neat and the world looked expansive.

It was Steven Eriksons Gardens of the Moon.  I read his books to this day and wait for them with bated breath.  I have that original hardcover on my shelf along with the rest of the series.  I’ve been reading that series for almost two decades.


Image result for gardens of the moon

Seriously, read this series.

One summer my previously mentioned jive bitch and I were out shopping.  And by shopping I mean stealing stuff.  You know this one.  We went to Winco and stole a couple of sodas.  Security was watching us and stopped us in the parking lot.  I remember being in that office.  They put the Pepsi in front of me while calling mom and dad.  The Pepsi cost $1.08 and the fine was $150.  The drink all together cost $151.08 and they didn’t even let me drink it.

So I was ultra-grounded.  I had a lot of time that summer.  I found an old set of throwing darts I was given and mom gave me some hypodermic needle heads from her nursing bag.  I used an exact-o knife to carve the plastic dart tips into mounts for the needle heads.  I made hypodermic throwing darts.  No, I never used them for anything.


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That you know of.


I did take them to school because I don’t learn lessons involving rules and guidelines to show some people.  In my science class some dude sat next to me who I’d seen around but never really talk to.  I showed him my throwing darts.

That person was Devon Cox.  The dude I’m still best buds with today.  He tells me he used to think I was a douchebag, but when he saw the darts he realized he we were going to be friends.

Because I stole a Pepsi.  If I had had a dollar on me at the time, he’d probably still think I was a douchebag.

Got anymore about me that I’m not thinking about?



Waiting for the Hook

173I liked the show Stranger Things.

If you’re out of the loop, Stranger Things is a Netflix series about a small town right outside a secret government base. Something happens and people start to go missing and it’s up to the town’s residents to figure out what’s going on and save a little boy named Will.

Anyway, I really loved this show. It’s a wonderful blend of three very common horror narratives: children coming of age and fighting monsters, like in Stephen King’s It or the movie Super 8; high school hallway horror, like in any 80s slasher film; and adults fighting human monsters and government corruption, like Cabin in the Woods. Stranger Things combines all of these plots to create one cohesive, highly addictive story that had me hooked as soon as I started watching it.

Now, earlier this week you brought up the show and said that you HATED it. The first three episodes were so boring you got up to do laundry while you watched. You also hated the characterization, which to be honest was one of the reasons I liked it. Anyway, my response to this was asking how far you got. You said three episodes and I said “oh, it picks up after that. You just have to push through.”

Where in the world did this logic come from? Why in the world do we force ourselves through boredom or painfully bad acting in hopes that it gets better? That’s what I’ve been thinking a lot about since we talked about Stranger Things, Daniel. The conclusion I’ve come to is that it all depends on who told you to.

So looking back at my own life I’ve on multiple occasions pushed my way through something boring because someone I trusted told me it would get better. The best example I have is Parks and Rec, a show which I can say without any sarcasm actually changed my life. However, before you get to the wonderful, positive, hilarious bits of that show you have to sit through the first season, which oh my god. I could get through maybe an episode a day and that was it.

It took me maybe two weeks to get through the first season. I got through the next six seasons in maybe a month, that’s how much it picked up.


If I had just given up when it got boring I would never have experienced the positivity and beauty of that show. Why did I not give up? Because my friend Meredith told me not to, and I believed her. If anyone else had told me to keep going, I might not have, but I respected Meredith’s opinion.


Me reading about the Dursleys in the first chapter.

Another example is Harry Potter. Now, I don’t know if you remember this, Daniel, but I didn’t read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone first. I tried, but the first few chapters were SO BORING. I just couldn’t get through it. Then, my wonderful older brother gave me Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He told me “it’s kinda like a scary story and you like scary stories.” I gave it a try and WOW. I had been missing out!

How do you feel Daniel knowing it was you who got me into Harry Potter? If you hadn’t done that, I literally might not be married right now. Let that sink in.

On the other hand, there have been plenty of instances where I heard that I had to stick with something and it would eventually get good and it never did.


Wanna know something? These twins,  the most iconic twins in all of movie history, WEREN’T IN THE BOOK. OH MY GOD.


The movie version of The Shining for instance. Stanley Kubrick ruined The Shining. He completely destroyed my favorite characters and stripped out all of the amazing characterization in order to prop up Jack Nicholson’s acting skills. I could go on, but I could write an entire spoiler filled post about how much I hate that movie.

The John Carter of Mars series was another. I read the first one. It was okay, but I kept hearing from people “oh, you have to read the rest! They’re amazing!” Actually, no they’re not. They’re surprisingly racist is what they are! I almost couldn’t finish them because I felt SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE.

When I think back to these two instances though, you know what the difference is? No one I trusted told me to give them a try, it was society that insisted these things were good. Everyone loves Kubrick so much so The Shining had to be a good movie! Wrong. Everyone adored John Carter of Mars so the sequels had to be awesome. Uh, no.

The point I’m trying to get to is that sometimes there are things that you have to “suffer through” to get to the good parts, but you shouldn’t use that logic for everything. Listen to the people who know you and follow your own interests rather than those of the masses. It will save you a lot of boredom.

Well, before I end this post I’ll just say, after some consideration, don’t bother trying to finish Stranger Things, Daniel. It tapped into my love of horror, which I know you don’t share so don’t put yourself through it. I will just be alone in my adoration of this show.


Making Friends as an Introvert

Shall I jump from one semi-angsty topic to another? I think I should so for this post I want to talk about how difficult it is to make friends when you’re an adult.

This week one of my friends and coworkers left Pullman to work in Eugene, Oregon. Of course I’m thrilled for her and wish her all the best in her new adventure, but I’ll miss her. Over the last year we’d become very close and I could count on her for spontaneous coffee runs at work and after work happy hour parties. Now she’s gone. What do I do now?

I, of course, have other friends here in Pullman, but her leaving has made me think about how hard it is to make friends as an adult. A majority of my friends are through work because I am pretty much forced to spend forty hours a week in the same hallway they’re in. So what about outside of work? Can I just go up to someone and decide “you’re my friend now”?

I wish. There are so many societal rules about what’s okay and what’s not okay and what friendships should look like, and they drive me nuts. I can’t do this because it’s creepy and you have to keep work and personal life separate. Blah, blah, blah…

As an adult I also feel like I’m saddled with a lot more self-doubt. Every time I meet a new person, especially at work, I’m worried about making a good impression. Basically, my entire life is spent wondering when I can let the crazy out. Will they find my tabletop gaming hobby cute or weird? Should I tell them my reading consists of Stephen King novels and slasher fiction? I want them to like me, dammit! How do I make them like me?

Friendship shouldn’t be this hard!

Also, as an introvert, meeting new people is impossible. A majority of my close friends I’ve either met through work or through my husband because he’s an extrovert. If I want to make friends on my own I have to go out and meet people and that just sounds unpleasant. I want all the benefits of friendship like trust and companionship without the awkward getting-to-know-each-other phase.

My introverted-ness also means maintaining friendships is really hard. I’m just not a very social person so maintaining the friendships I have in Pullman is already hard enough. Maintaining the friendships back in Vancouver or from college is pretty much impossible!

I’ve only ever actively ended a few friendships. Most of the other ones fizzled out because we physically moved away from each other. I’m not trying to ignore them, but unless I see them on a day-to-day basis, they’re just not on my mind. I know that sounds horrible and I don’t know how to stop myself. When did being a low-maintenance person become a burden? Oh, that’s right, when adulthood struck.

I feel like as an adult there’s a certain idea of what being friends means. It no longer means people that you get along with and talk with. It means people you go out for coffee with and text on a regular basis and actively go out of your way to make plans with. Honestly, that’s not who I am. I’m an introvert, a home body by default, and I would rather spend an evening reading or watching Netflix than going out for coffee, so where do I find the motivation to plan these outings? Oh, that’s right. My friends do it for me.

What I really enjoy is friendship that doesn’t have specific expectations. A friend in my mind is someone I get along with and have fun with and if I don’t see them for a few weeks, that’s fine. We’ll pick up where we left off when we reconnect. I also like friends who are as introverted and laid back as I am. One of my best friends will just show up at my apartment and let himself in so we can watch TV. I only see another one of my best friends every other week and we can hang like nothing happened. My third best friend also likes Netflixs and we’ll share what we’re watching via Snapchat. It’s no big deal. No activity needed.

Sorry if this post is a little jumbled. This has been on my mind for a while and it’s something that I struggle with. Thankfully, as an adult, I also realize that having a handful of really close friends is way better than having a wide net of casual acquaintances. I also realize that making friends through work and through my husband are nothing to be ashamed of, as long as those people make me happy. Yeah, it sucks when I meet cool people and have no idea how to turn out casual meetings into a full-blown friendship, but that’s okay. I still have a lot of love in my life.


Am I boring?

Do you ever feel like you’re a boring person?

Last night I got home from work, ran a few errands, and then spent the evening drinking incredibly cheap wine and watching West Wing. In the back of my mind I knew I had to write a blog post, but, for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything to write about. My life felt so…boring. What on earth could I write about that would be interesting to other people?

To be honest, I wrote this post this morning before work. I just couldn’t find the motivation to write it last night so I went to bed, hoping inspiration would hit me in the morning and actually it did.

I’d like to talk about why sometimes we inexplicably feel boring. I know other people feel this way sometimes and often post about it on Tumblr and Twitter, but why do we feel this way?

Honestly, after thinking about it over coffee this morning, I think it’s another form of self-censorship, similar to the term guilty pleasure. Man, I have been on a self-censorship kick recently, haven’t I?

Anyway, what I mean is that logically no one is really boring. Everyone has something interesting to talk about, I think we as people have a tendency to downplay our own interests and achievements because we fear rejection from society. We don’t want to bring up what makes us happy or proud because we don’t want to feel rejected by our peers, so we by default reject ourselves and call ourselves boring.

I’ll use myself as an example. Earlier this week, as you remember, I was mentioned in a BigCatDerek Walk Around the Compound webcast, which to me is a huge deal. I watched the video at work and was so excited I immediately jumped up from my desk to tell someone. I wanted to share my excitement! Then I realized no one else in my office even knows who BigCatDerek is and they wouldn’t find it that interesting. In fact, they would find it boring.

See what I did there? Yes, a few of my coworkers wouldn’t understand my excitement, but they would still be excited for me. I was the one who decided it was uninteresting and boring because I didn’t want them to say it was uninteresting and boring. I discredited my own excitement because I felt like I should. How messed up is that?

I did something similar last night. I got home from work and decided my life was too boring to write about. Just to give you an idea of how unboring my evening was, I got home and immediately went to pick up mealworms for my chameleon, Togashi. Watching him eat is fascinating. Why couldn’t I write about that? Nope, I decided that was too boring.

After that, I went to Walmart to pick up snacks for a friend and ended up in the makeup aisle for twenty minutes, fawning over lipstick shades. Makeup and beauty products are definitely my vice, which I find a little ironic considering how much of a tomboy I was when I was a kid. Could I write about when my attitude changed? Nope, too boring. Daniel wouldn’t care about the new matte lip stains or how I associate them with self-care and self-love.

Do you care, Daniel?

When I finally got home, I cracked open a cheap bottle of cabernet, which ended up having a cork so obviously it wasn’t that cheap. Grumbling, I had to go to the kitchen to find one of our two corkscrews, which felt like a huge inconvenience! Could I have written about why we have two corkscrews and approximately ten thousand bottle openers? Nah, too boring. Could I write about how I for some reason only buy expensive beer, but never buy wine that’s more than ten dollars? Boring, boring, boring.

Would that have been boring, Daniel? Or am I just making things up in my head?

I finished off the night drinking my wine, crocheting a pillowcase for a friend, and watching West Wing on Netflix. I love West Wing specifically because of Allison Janney’s character, C.J. Cregg. She’s the Press Secretary for President Jed Bartlett and I always found her to be an inspiration. She’s smart, tough, feminine, and six feet tall. Watching her own the White House press corp always made me feel like I could accomplish anything and still be feminine, despite being a giant. Should I write about how she inspired me to go into communications and public relations? Nah, too boring.

Or is it?

Logically, my life is very interesting. It’s just not interesting to me because I live it and, instead of giving you the chance to decide if you’re interested, I just wrote it off. I kept thinking how could I continue the conversation about video games because I knew that’s what interested you instead of thinking about my own experiences.

I need to stop doing that. I need to stop discrediting myself and my hobbies just because I’m afraid someone will actually call me boring.

Sorry this post went up a little late.


Stop Hating on Pokemon Go

I had lots of ideas for my post this week. I wanted to continue talking about my love of horror. I wanted to talk about how much I enjoy buying new beauty products and how much of a “goo hoarder” I am, to use Jenna Marbles terminology. But, after spending two weeks playing Pokemon Go, I think I want to address the hatred some people have for this game.

If I had thought of this earlier this week I would’ve spent the time to collect data and examples of people who hate this game for no good reason, but I only thought of this last night so I didn’t have the time. Maybe I’ll continue this discussion in my next post. For now, all of my opinions will be just that, opinions.

Anyway, I downloaded Pokemon Go on July 7. I’d been halfway following the progress of its development in the media and I was excited to give it a try. I can’t say I was the biggest Pokemon fan when I was younger, but it left enough of an impression on me as a 90s kid that I couldn’t resist.

The game turned out to be amazing, and not just because of the augmented reality or cool Pokemon interface. For me, what really struck me as amazing was how social and active this game can be. I was meeting new people and walking more. It was great!

Well, in the weeks that followed me downloading the game, the internet exploded. It seemed like Pokemon Go was a black-or-white issue. You either adored the game and played it all the time or you hated it with a burning passion, there was no gray zone. Why? Why did such a simple and fun game create such an argument?

This whole Pokemon Go argument has really struck a chord with me, especially all of the people who are trying to make me and other players feel guilty about it. As you remember from my post on guilty pleasures, I absolutely hate how judgmental people can be and how the term “guilty pleasure” is something we use to discredit our own hobbies in order to fit in.

Pokemon Go is not my guilty pleasure. It is my hobby and I’m not ashamed of it.

So, because the world is trying to discredit me, I’d like to take some time to discredit all of the Pokemon hatred I’ve seen floating around the internet.

You’re not 10 years old. You shouldn’t be so excited about this game.

Excuse me? First of all, you’re not allowed to tell me what I should and should not be excited about. I don’t jump down your throat when you get excited about something so don’t jump down mine.

Secondly, do you not have a basic understanding of timelines? Yes, Pokemon was originally designed for children, but guess which children got a hold of it first. Kids born in the 2000s? Nope. It was 90s kids. According to Bulbapedia, Pokemon was released in 1997. If I remember correctly, I would’ve been six. Sooo…guess what? Even at 25 years old, I’m still a part of the target audience for this game.

Finally, why does age dictate what we get to enjoy? I have coworkers who play this game who are in the 40s and 50s and their love of this game is just as legitimate as mine. They play is because it’s fun and there’s nothing wrong with that.

This game is taking up too much of your time. You need to get a life.

Ah, yes, you’re right. This is the first time in the history of human existence that people have become obsessed with something, therefore we should ban this game. I see your logic.

Oh, wait, no it’s not. Ever since humans started walking upright we’ve been passionate creatures. We dive into our hobbies and let them take over our lives. I wonder if anyone ever told Vincent Van Gogh that he painted too much and that he needed to get out more. Did anyone ever tell Mary Shelley to stop being so morbid, stop writing about dead things, and get a life?

Also, within the last decade people have been obsessed with phone games that are, in my opinion, way more pointless than Pokemon Go. For a while it was Candy Crush. Before that, Angry Birds. Why is Pokemon Go being singled out? At least Pokemon Go requires players to get off the couch and go for walks. It encourages people to interact with each other and work together to find rare Pokemon. That’s not something Angry Birds ever did.

To use myself as an example, before I downloaded Pokemon Go I would waste at least a couple hours on my phone. I would play Neko Atsume and My Singing Monsters and browse Tumblr and Reddit, all while sitting on the couch in my PJs. Now, I spend those hours outside, walking around. In the last two weeks I have walked an extra 50km trying to find Pokemon. That’s insane.

Also, Michael and I now routinely go on our “Pokemon Date Nights.” In the evening, after dinner, we’ll put on our shoes, go downtown, and walk along the creek looking for Pokemon and incubating eggs. That’s two extra hours I get to spend with my husband and guess what? We don’t spend a dime. For two young adults still trying to pay off student loans, finding a date solution that costs nothing is FANTASTIC.

There are so many bad things going on in the world, and you’re out catching Pokemon.

This one. This reasoning is the one that gets me the most because this basically sums up a huge flaw in our culture. For some reason, our culture right now is addicted to the idea of productivity. You have to spend every moment of your life working toward something or accomplishing something and if you don’t, you’re lazy.

Wrong. This is so very wrong and it’s just making people suffer. As someone who has extreme anxiety, this cultural trend has made me skip lunches, cancel vacations, and stay late at work just because I didn’t want to feel “lazy.”

Anyway, the fact that people are trying to make Pokemon Go players feel guilty because bad things are happening in the world is incredibly unnecessary.  Yes, we still need to fight for justice in our world and try to fix wrongs, but taking time to indulge in simple pleasures is also a necessity. You can’t spend your entire life working and giving and fighting. Soon, you’ll be running on empty and you can’t give back to the world if there’s nothing to give.

And, again, at least Pokemon Go is making people active and social. I’ve heard, mostly anecdotally, of people going to animal shelters and walking dogs while they play, of people sharing food with homeless people while they’re out playing, and of people taking their kids out to the park to play. Pokemon Go might be a simple pleasure, but at least it’s a positive one.

Okay, I think I’ll end my rant here, Daniel. Maybe I’ll do some more research and put together a more data-driven argument in my next post.


Found Cool Stick

Yesterday, you told me to write a post about how awful the two-party system is in American politics and why it sucks that we’re going to have to choose between Clinton and Trump. Sorry, I’m not going to do that. I’m just tired. I’m going to be honest, these last few weeks have been stressful.

Now, when I say stressful I don’t necessarily mean bad. Just busy with not a lot of “down time” for myself. In the past few weeks my ferret, Bandit, went into the hospital, I had family come to visit, I’ve had big projects on my plate at work, and I was sick with a migraine just to name a few things. It’s been busy and I just feel exhausted. I feel like I haven’t had a break since mid-May.

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about in this post. What I want to talk about is how I handle stress. It’s taken me a long, long time to figure out how to handle stress and anxiety in a healthy, constructive way and honestly I can sum it up in a very stupid phrase: Found cool stick.

As you know, I have this phrase tattooed on my left wrist because it reminds me to address my stress in a healthy way. What it basically means is celebrate the little things, even when you don’t feel like celebrating.

When I first started working at WSU I was having a hard time adjusting to living away from my family and being independent. I was stressed constantly and lost interest in my hobbies. I just didn’t feel happy. One day I was out walking on campus and found a free art magazine. In the magazine was a silly editorial comic called “Little Victories” or something like that. It had things like “Made a souffle that didn’t collapse” and “Pronounced hor d’oeuvres correctly.” It was obviously supposed to be a joke.

The last panel included a cute drawing of a dog holding a stick and it said “Found cool stick.” For some reason that just really resonated with me. In that moment I thought to myself “Why is that dog so happy? All it found was a stick! Oh, it’s happy because it decided to be happy.”

It was like a light finally came on in my head. I was so stressed because I was letting myself be stressed. Now stress is inevitable and I’m not saying that people who are stressed are just stupid and don’t know how to just not be stressed. What I realized was that I was letting my stress and anxiety run rampant and ruin my life without even putting up the slightest effort. That’s why it was consuming me, because I wasn’t stopping it.

The dog was excited it found a cool stick because it let itself feel happiness and pride for its small accomplishment. That’s how I should live too. I shouldn’t focus so much on what’s stressing me out. I should give myself the chance to feel happiness over little things, even if to some they don’t seem that important. Things like getting up in the morning without hitting snooze or finding matching socks. For some reason I wasn’t giving myself credit for stuff like that because it didn’t seem important. I’ve found that if I start to celebrate all of my victories, even the little ones, I felt better and happier. I was no longer dwelling on what I couldn’t do. I was focusing on what I could do.

I know, I know. I’m adding a whole lot of depth to a two inch editorial cartoon that was just supposed to get a chuckle or two, but it’s art and I’m allowed to interpret it how I want, dangit. It was so helpful in such a low part of my life that I decided to get it permanently on my body. Every day I wake up and see those words and remember life is what you make it. Making a kickass grilled cheese is just as impressive as finishing a big project at work or running a marathon if you let it be.

Sorry for switching topics on you, Dan. Maybe next time I’ll write about American politics.