Tiny Weekend Thoughts

 

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This weekend, look out for someone other than yourself.  Or. just make it a point to. Period. 🙂

It’s been a hard week, let’s not kid ourselves. For me, at least, yesterday was a roller coaster of emotions, but make that roller coaster break off the tracks and veer ever so quickly dangerously down a man-made, realistic looking cliff and into a valley of sharp pointy rocks. *shudders*

Oh, and there’s snapping turtles. *extra shudders*

However, we’re not here to focus on yesterday. (at least, I hope not. If we were, I suppose I crumpled up the memo and tossed it into the fire. :P) We’re here to focus on today.
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Today could have a dozen different opportunities waiting for you to find them. Today could have Extraordinary Magic in it, conveniently popping out of sight whenever a no-magic (or was it a muggle, I get those two confused) comes into sight. Or it might be really hard. And by hard I mean the kind of hard when you just don’t want to keep going on. That’s okay too. Whichever your day looks like, I hope you know there’s always a reason to smile.

For example, the Avengers 4 SECOND trailer came out! 😀 For another, the sun’s shining- the heater’s working, someone gave us a bag full of mini Snickers… wait, I’m hungry, one sec. XD

There are people who care for you. Somewhere. Somehow. In maybe the strangest of ways, they’re there. 🙂 Puppies exist. Hope exists. Chocolate ice cream can now come in extra big gallons. There are oreos that are gluten free. Peter Parker is coming back from the dust. There is a God, and He cared so much He sent someone to die for you, and even though He’s a King, you can request an audience 24/7. And He’ll listen. That’s more than smile worthy, I think.
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Perhaps one day I’ll tell all. Maybe one day I won’t have to go about this roundabout way of saying things- maybe one day I’ll write it as it is.

For now though, I hope you have a great Saturday, and a great week, and that this random drabble was one of those things that has the power to make someone smile.

life is a highway, Jo

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Seeking The Truth And Smallfoot

**If anyone throws out the Zendaya is Meechee meme. I will end you. :)**

**There are spoilers**

**sorry**

**not really**

**oh well**

Yes, I was so taken by the theme of a (good) animated film that I decided to do a blog post on it. Honestly, movies maybe not be the best kind of media, but there’s some seriously good things to get from them, just saying.

Family movie night has always been and will always be a thing in our family. Smallfoot was a recent  (*cough cough* like since January recent) watch, and I found myself commenting so much on the theme and characters and idjit humans (yes, I said that and if you watch the movie, you’ll get why) so much the first 30 minutes in my exasperated dad told me to sit down and just watch the movie. Which I did.

So glad I did. Because Smallfoot addresses something very important that people seem to forget- okay, scratch that, it address so many things that gives me some hope for animated films. And people should not forget these things. Not in the slightest. Le’ go.

See the source image

Theme 1, asking questions and being curious

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For those who haven’t seen the movie, basically yeti with very human cultures don’t believe in smallfoots (hint hint: humans) and are promptly shook when the MC, Migo, says he found one.

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Chaos ensues.

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Why? Because the stones (some weird rock thingies with pictures that are supposed to be translated into rules for living) say there are no smallfoot! *crowd gasps*

Anyway, the good citizens of yeti-land (not real name) are told time and time again not to question the stones- or question in general, because questions are bad. And Migo is fully heartedly behind that, no questions about it. Until he gets kicked out for defending what he knows is true and therefore has to ask a question which isn’t the ultimate question but which leads to the ultimate question: Questions are bad?

Meechee, the Stonekeeper’s daughter (more gasps) and her rag-tag bunch, the SES- Smallfoot Existence Society- think differently. That’s why everyone except Meechee was expelled, of course. Because they.. well. were thinking differently. And by differently, they believe that smallfoot exist and have evidence to prove it AND have actual working theories to show for their crazy (in Migo’s eyes, anyway) idea.

“All these questions that we always have/ all we are is curious/there’s nothing wrong with that” Meechee explains in song form (how original)to Migo a few minutes later. The SES soon convince Migo and later, everyone else, that asking questions is the way to knowing the truth. Which is 1. not very mentioned in stories, especially not a girl, let alone a princess, as her motive for science, and is therefore applauded by moi and 2. the next theme in this unusual mix of themes.

Theme 2, seeking the truth

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Truth is hardly ever mentioned in kids’ stories, let alone stories in general, so it was really refreshing to see it mentioned and portrayed. (Also, geek self insists on mentioning that I was studying the Age of Reason at the time, and was irritated that Smallfoot managed to compress and explain the concepts of the Enlightenment while my history teacher took like 4 hours. Which is my way of saying they taught some pretty weighty concepts)Anyway. Poor old Migo knows he saw a smallfoot, but according to the Stonekeeper, he didn’t. Why? The stones say there are no smallfoot, duh. And the stones never lie. Right? I mean, like, they’re the stones.

channing tatum no GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

It might pass by a little kid’s head, (which I am, but let’s ignore that) but Smallfoot’s message was wonderfully clear: Truth. is. important. Even if someone says it’s true, you must find out for yourself. You can’t just take it on someone’s word. Migo, our good yeti homie, has some problems with this because.. well, when you know the truth, it has consequences on everything else. Such as, what, the sun isn’t a giant snail that comes out when you ring a gong? Why do we need gong ringers then?

The truth is, the truth changes your life. And for these uninformed furries, that’s a rather drastic change. Why?

Theme 3, people are gullible and tend to believe whatever a higher trusted source says is true

yeti what GIF by Warner Bros. Deutschland

Smallfoot took a real life phenomenon in our culture and portrayed it for little kids so perfectly it’s a wonder that we “older and wiser” can’t see it for what it is: if you just get the right people an the right audience, people will believe anything you tell them. Case in point, the furries yeti. It’s shown in a humorous way (and even better, a great plot point), but it shows something that’s true: we humans tend to rush in headfirst toward opinions and things we believe are true, just because someone/thing/yeti says so. Which is terrible, because even though the yeti started asking questions, even though the truth was right in front of them, they were still persuaded by the Stonekeeper, simply because he was right. Right? Wrong. And it led to more chaos.

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Theme 4, Integrity

And here I must actually write a paragraph about the idjit humans.

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Well, just the one idjit human. This guy, who *used* to be a naturalist who was all about saving extinct animals by filming himself talking about them, but now just does it for the ratings- and money, of course. Which makes him so desperate he buys a yeti suit for the sake of one epic YT video.

Yeah, not much integrity. And his assistant leaves him because of it.

Aw, hand me a tissue, what a down-on-his-luck- charrie- not. And he knows it.

This character who shall go unnamed because I’m too lazy to actually google it grows a lot through the movie- and learns, as well as the audience, that integrity isn’t about making sure you’re on top. Sometimes you must put yourself out of the way for others. A good lesson for everyone to learn.

And thus concludes this ridiculously long post, for a movie that was as meaningful as it was ridiculous. And while I still have a bone to pick with some elements (such as the challenging of the stones, namely, that just like in the Age of Reason, people decided to question and eventually walk away from the Bible because, like the stones, it mighta just been a wonderfully concocted and too well trusted set of rules. Post for another time.) I popped the movie out of the dvd player surprisingly refreshed by the lessons Smallfoot teaches- and related to Fleem on a personal level.

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the tiny dude.

life is a highway, Jo

A Quicky Q&A and Random Updates

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I had a post coming on, but it wasn’t ready and I wasn’t ready and Enni, the brilliant genius she is, messaged me and asked for a post idea since she was a little low on creativity and since I was low on energy, I suggested a collab interview since those are fun and I was way too tired to think.

There’s an example run-on sentence for your grammar books kids. *thumbs up* On with this post. Although you should probably check out Enni’s answers to my questions over here since they’re much more fun than my answers. And she also posted my death threat on hers too. Cool stuff.

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1. If you could start life over, would ya?
If I could start life over… what. Uh. *sighs* *thinks deeply* No. Because the life I have right now is crazy enough. XD

2. How would you describe your sense of style?

I have no sense of style- it comes and goes.

3. What’s your favorite season?

WINTER FOREVER- snow, skates, CHRISTMAS, more snow, ice, winterrrr
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4. What are your life’s goals?

To live, obviously. And to publish a book, learn to drive, get a black belt, be on American Ninja Warrior, act in any kind of production, go to Bible Bee Nationals, and meet all of my blogger friends on a road trip around the world.

5. Which place in Europe would you most like to visit?

*waves hands wildly* Scotland! One, because of Brave, and two, because.. because Scotland. 😛

I’d also like to stop by Switzerland one time.

6. Which Marvel death broke your heart the most?

*sniffs* Thank you for asking about a fandom Enni I love you so- it would have to be Vision, because Wanda had to watch him die twice and she couldn’t do a thing to stop it and also because poor grey Vis’s lifeless self is heartbreaking. Also Spiderman and Bucky’s  were pretty horrible.
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7. What time do you normally get up in the mornings?
 I do my best to get up around 6 or 7- it sometimes happens. Sometimes.

8. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

The worst book I ever read shall go nameless to protect the innocent, but it was a Western that was so bad I’d rather read Twilight and I hate Twilight. It was so horribly preachy, the characters were unrealistic, the bad guy wasn’t bad guy-y enough, and to top it all off, it was supposed to be good Christian fiction. Ugh.
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9. Cursive or print?

Cursive forever- what can you do with print anyway? Other than print? Legit nothing. Be-yuk.
10. Which of your fandoms is your favorite?
As if I can choose between any of them?? O_O I can’t! Probably AIO. Or the MCU. Or LOTR. It’s a tie between those three.
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Thus concludes the mini random interview. *sighs and slumps onto couch*
Now for the updates that nobody asked for.
I have 4 drafts in my Editor, waiting for me to publish them. Which, I probably won’t until much later when they’re completely faded from relevancy. It’s not like I’m tired of blogging- it’s just that I’m tired, period. It’s hard volunteering for something you didn’t volunteer to do it, y’know? But that’s over now and I’m just in the fallout, waiting for energy to come back and… yeah. I’m alive! *thumbs up* In case you were wondering. Heh.
Currently in the process of finishing my NaNoWriMo 2018 project so I can move on to April Camp 2019’s WIP.. which I’ll announce eventually. As well as the secret project that I totally missed the deadline for but refuse to ditch. I’ll get there. One day.
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That seems to be the mantra for all my days. That one day, it’ll be okay. That one day, I’ll have the willpower to make it today and not one day. That one day will come when I don’t have to remind myself one day is coming. So until that day comes, I’ll try to do the best I can today. Which wasn’t much, but it’s coming- it’s coming! 😛
Here’s to another day, you guys- we’ll make this week. Somehow. *props to you all*
life is a highway, Jo

It Isn’t The End (Never Is, I’m Just Being Dramatic Per Norm)

 

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This is where we’re at, people.

Mondays are hard, math is brutal, and people can be jerks.

It’s not even Monday anymore. smh

Today is just one of those days that you want to end as quickly as possible. Work has gotten 10 times stressful, the people who I’m supposed to be collaborating with ended up dominating  what we were doing and now I’m just another go-get-this and go-do-that. School is crushing- even more so when people demand things that just can’t be met. I have zero time to write, it’s increasingly hard to be with people simply because they don’t really.. I don’t know, recognize that I have feelings? It’s hard. Send me coffee. XD Oh, and don’t forget to add that the fleshly part of me is a horrifying monster that I swear, I wish I could kick out of existence and burn. to. ash. I’m with Paul on this one. I do exactly what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do.

I’m not looking forward to anything right now. There’s no tangible or intangible prize I can think of for sticking out another day (i.e. this day).

So why on earth am I writing this post?

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Why do I feel the need to reveal that it’s a terrible, horrible, no good day and I’m feeling about as energetic as Eeyore and I’m kinda broken right bout now? Why do I bother writing a personal post that I’m not sure even I would enjoy reading? Why am I being so petty and writing who knows how many words of drek about bad days like it’s something so bad and hidden when it’s common knowledge that some days are good and every other day is.. bad times a hundred?

I  don’t know.

I joked to my mom a day or two ago when she was questioning my all-black wardrobe  that it matched the color of my soul. Which, now that I look back on it, seems accurate right now. Life seems a little darker, not enough to grab a flashlight, but not light enough to feel safe either.

Seems.

Hang on while I grab a Nutella sandwich so we can talk about this some more, because I have to believe I’m not the only one out there. Surely there’s someone somewhere and this is where they’re at. Maybe it’s you.
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It isn’t the end.

I’ll say that again, not because you have bad eyes, but because I need this hammered into my numbskull of a brain.

It. is. not. the. end.

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Sure, maybe it looks like whatever rut you fell into, you can’t climb out and maybe it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and maybe it’s too much for you and it’s hard and you want to give up.

But it isn’t too much for God.

Nothing is. Nothing.

So give up. XD

Yes, give it up. Give it up to God, because we were not meant to face the darkness alone. Probably the first thing I’ll say, no matter how preachy it sounds, because it’s true.

Tomorrow is not quite the same as today. The Maker of days has all of yours planned out, and you can trust them into His hands.

Sometimes what you need is to get back into the Word. Read a Psalm. Memorize something. Listen to a praise and worship song. It’s not a wish-and-problem-gone, granted, but you can never go wrong when you draw near to God and His Word.

“Hope is not some vague emotion that comes out of nowhere, like a stomachache. Hope is the confidence that the stupendous future promised to us by the word of the Spirit is going to really come true. ” -John Piper

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While we’re at it, laughter is a literal lifeline, lifesaver, and it’s beautiful. Use often. XD It’s easier to see things on the bright side when you forget that things aren’t for just a little while- when you look at the lighter stuff. And trust me- laughter is contagious and everyone should be infected, in my opinion.

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As previously stated, you. were. not. meant. to. be. alone. kay. The hardest thing about feeling down is that sometimes nobody could care less.

In that case, please know that there’s always someone. God, a cousin, a sibling- sometimes you have to reach out and take a change. Sometimes you’ll be hurt. But please know that no matter what, someone loves you. Always.

I guess when I try to sum it up- don’t give up hope. Grasp for it, step out for it- but don’t give it up. It’s there for you. For me.

Man, I need to take my own poorly hashed advice.

But there it is. 🙂 I’ll be at the thrift store looking for lighter shirts. Because it ain’t all dark. As the wise foolish Poe Dameron once said, “as long as there is light, we still have a chance!”

life is a highway, Jo

Because Star Wars Is Great And So Are My Characters (Writing, Stormtroopers, And Wacky-ness Included)

My smol obsession with Star Wars began the day my cousin Jon was left to watch us kids and decided to toss out Tangled for The Empire Strikes Back. Actually, I don’t remember which one, but here we are.

star wars dancing GIF by Cheezburger

However, this isn’t about my obsession with Star Wars, or the fact that latest SW was.. well…(COME ON THE LAST JEDI NEEDS BE RE-WRITTEN ALL OVER AGAIN LIKE WHY SW) interesting. This is about the fact that Penny Wood, wonderful crazy great Christian blogger writer bean, knowing full well how I love writing and Star Wars, tagged me for the creation of her writerly mildly fandomy taggy. So in honor of the occasion (and because the thrift store had a 50% off sale) I got some SW merch. Behold.

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This shirt, I like it!

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*gasp* ANOTHER.

XD References all around. Let’s get into this so I can go back into my comfy bottom bunk bed nest of oblivion and zero people so I can write and Pinterest my head off.

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Also, I’m no way actually following the rules, but they’re so creative they should be put in every tag:

1. THERE ARE NO RULES.

2. Refer To Number 1.

3. There is one absolute rule: You MUST use your own characters (OCs) for this tag. (Brownie points if you add pictures of your characters.)

4. The Sorta Rule: Scream a huge thank you to whoever tagged you for this whilst treating them to a pizza dinner at your favorite pizza chain.

5. The Kinda Rule: Include This Link In The Post So That The Penny Can Read Everyone’s Answers To This Smol Strange Tag: https://asouthernbellewithstoriestotell.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/the-star-wars-character-tag-i-made-my-own-tag-halp/

6. The Rule That’s Not Really A Rule But It Would Be Great: Include the graphic and tag at least three Jedi or Sith Lords.

Penny, you’re a queen. XD

(Also I was lowkey tempted to use people from real life but after speed writing for NaNo prep, that was tossed outta the window so here we are)

Who’s Your Obi Wan Kenobi? (sassy, a great mentor, but can be a bit strict)

Uh….

Horace Allister from Just Come Home.

Cafe | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

He’s not sassy per say, but he is a great mentor, and he’s strict. XD Horace is a pretty great granduncle kinda figure who likes to pretend he’s intimidating but is actually an either Scottish or Irish cinnamon roll.

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Who’s Your Leia Organa? (feisty, incredible comebacks, and does their own thing)

KATE.

character inspiration

Kate Smith (Just Come Home) is a master of wit and snarky comebacks, and is completely chill with almost anything coming her way. She calls out everyone on whatever they’re up to (usually Gale) and is almost annoyingly unruffled by anyone. Which makes interrogating her nearly impossible. She’d just roll her eyes at you. Also, she has probably watched Star Wars more than once and connects with Leia the most.

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Who’s Your Finn? (overeager, adorable, a cinnamon roll)

Awww, Ricky, from my April 2019 WIP! She’s the walking description of overeager adorable cinnamon roll.

You don’t know her.

But you will. >:)

Do know that she would probably be best buds with Finn.

john boyega finn GIF by Star Wars

Who’s Your Padmé? (kind, loving, but also kick butt)

Oof, Dareine Penner from Mirages.

3,001 Likes, 71 Comments - •Jeeeeeenaaaay• (@jenn_isdaname) on Instagram: “How ima bout to be the rest of 2018 😂#thinkimplaying #latina #femalemarine…”

Sadly, Dareine hasn’t exactly had a chance to show the softer sides of her (maybe because she doesn’t have one? Nobody ever really knows) thanks to life and everything in it, but if you really get to know her, she’s kind and loving- and if anyone crosses her, they’re dead.

You’ve been warned.

Don’t mess with Dare.

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Who’s Your Count Dooku? (deliciously evil, extra, and sick burns)

*glares at Alex*

MarryMe<3 - The Brutus X Dr. Martens Trimfit Shirt Will Give You a Rudeboy Look

Alex is infuriating, terrible, horrible, evil, JUST UGh. no nice words for him. He thrives on being chaotic evil, and has a warped sense of truth that isn’t even truth. (WHICH IS THE WHOLE BOOK OF MIRAGES WOW XD)

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Who’s Your BB-8? (too cute, everyone loves them, can do no wrong)

Awww, Callie from Mirages!

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Callie is a bumpity umpity run aroundity happy precious little bean in a world full of guns and swords and people fighting to the death and everyone’s okay with that. She’s still a toddler at the ripe old age of 6, and like BB-8, she can handle herself really well. And she’s adorable.

Very adorable.

Fight her, and if she doesn’t defend herself, Dareine will handle you.

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Who’s Your Yoda? (underestimated, extra, and wise)

Jake Darn, from Just Come Home. Because he’s a little on the quiet side, doesn’t socialize that much, but if you get to know him, he has way more to him than meets the eye. Also he feels the need to go around passing advice to his siblings because seriously, you guys, stop going around doing crazy things and getting yourself killed please thank you.

Senior Photography bridgettshea.blogspot.com Jake Darn. Hey!

Jake’s pretty underestimated, but that’s okay with him. Taking people by surprise is what he likes doing (take a hint, any colleges out there, pleaseee)

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Who’s Your Anakin Skywalker? (bratty, rebellious, whiny)

†Картинки на аву для крутых девушек †

Bella Worth, from Just Come Home is the breathing Anakin Skywalker but a girl, less skilled with a lightsaber (i.e. legit no clue how to do anything of that sort), and way more petty. She’s just horrible and thinks the entire world revolves around her, and I have no nice words to say about her so I’m just stop right here. UGh.

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Who’s Your C3-PO? (always worrying, gives depressing information, constantly wailing)

Lute. Lute. Definitely Lute from my April Camp WIP. He spouts unnecessary, useless old information at the wrong time and whines about everything ever  to exist. But there’s a reason for that. He’s still loveable, if still very annoyingly despairing 24/7.

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Who’s Your Luke Skywalker? (hero, has been through a lot, has their share of flaws)

Loved by Fabulous-Jones

Gale, my good charrie, is a Luke Skywalker in so many ways it’s not even funny. She’s seriously flawed and it shows, but somehow she sees it through and does her best and yeah. She’s had some Luke Skywalker moments, and she messes up a lot, so her hero qualifications are rather unusual. But they’re there. Somewhere.

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And there you have it. My charries, ‘ccording to Star Wars. *bows*  I really need to get back to plotting. Camp starts next month!

(And Penny, this is just for you, you wonderful Jedi master, you. 😀 )
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life is a highway, Jo

How Comic Books Helped Me Understand Real Life

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**WARNING: While this post puts comics in a good light, I am in no means encouraging you to check any out or saying that they’re pure goodness and are essential to a person’s TBR. They’re not. There are much better books to read XD We good? Great!**

I’ll say it once, and by good gracious I will say it again. Fantastic Four was better in the comics than in the movies.

Fight me.

I have no clue where on earth our FF copy went- but I do know that it, along with a number of others- was picked up and read by a rather naïve little reader who wanted a good story. I was a little too young to get all of it- just like I was with the others taken home and pored over- but looking back, there’s some connections made that have actually been influential in helping me understand things? Which is weird, I guess, but it really did.

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*sighs* I remember being squished with four other people over a copy of Civil War- or at least I think it was Civil War. We had ZERO clue that not only would we have to read Cap and Tony fighting- but only a few years later, we’d actually see that play out. We didn’t even know Spiderman could be that deep. That comic taught me something that’s stuck: that when you give the power to any one person, it can affect millions more. Nobody here on this earth has the ability to have all the power and use it for good all the time. No one government, no one union, no one thing. And that trying to take away the freedoms of those who fight for freedom to fight for it- that takes away the freedoms of those who can’t fight for it too. That was a tongue twister but it’s true. 😛

So fast forward a few years later, heading about stuff like trade wars and borders and what country is doing what, and what comes into my head is Spiderman trying to revoke the Registration Act. My brain is weird. But it worked.

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Heard on the news about overpopulation and euthanasia and how the world is following a path of destruction and pain, and Reed Richards’ attempts to change the future make sense now. I get why he tried to do that.

But I also get why that’s wrong.

I learned how to be brave from Peter Parker. That sometimes in the fight for good, you will lose, and lose, and lose what you love and it will hurt. Bu you gotta do it anyway.

I learned that more lies and more deception NEVER end up good. Seeing Black Widow and The Winter Soldier trying to sift through what’s real and not real- watching as people in real life had to do just that- as I had to do just that- it clicked. I got that.

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I learned that what makes you a hero or a villain is your heart. We could all be villains deep down. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and even they fail. Even Captain America, supposedly a foundation of truth and everything good- he’s human. He fails. In the end, there is one Hero, and He never fails. (And yes, I just said that. Because it’s true.)

You need to work as a team. Squirrel Girl was enough lesson for me. Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, and T’challa taught me the importance of family. Iron Man taught me to concentrate on today. The Avengers as a whole taught me that life is so much more important that any “greater good”. Life IS the greater good.

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I learned that you are gonna have to find a standard. You’re gonna have to find your code of life, conduct, your reason for why you do what you do, your morals, what you absolutely will not cross and what you might have to. You’re gonna hafta be brave.

Maybe from all the comics, something that resounds loud and clear is that it’s not about you. It. is. not. about. you. Steve Rogers gave his life- many times- for his country. Nat went back to the Red Room, where she’d been broken and torn and made into an assassin, to end it so no other girls would have to go through what she did. Spiderman loses a lot. He loses Aunt May. He wears a mask and fights and still manages to crack a joke because it’s all part of making sure his city’s safe. Need I say more?

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Comics are not perfect. Comics are not clean. There are some really bad things you shouldn’t see, bad elements that are wrong, yes, that’s true. Definitely read with the critical(est) of minds. Marvel isn’t perfect. Far from it- Marvel, DC, and other great comics come from fallen studios churning out stories about fallen people.

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But it’s not fair to say that you can’t learn something from them. You can. Maybe it ain’t in clear black and white, maybe it doesn’t need to be. It’s not fair to say that they don’t teach important lessons. It’s not fair to say that valuing life- at no matter what cost- isn’t a theme worth portraying. Because it is.

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Maybe some of the most important things are displayed in 24 panel art with people wearing Spandex and throwing shields.

I know that’s how I’ve found them.

(not all most important things, mind you, just some. 🙂 )

life is a highway, Jo

 

 

 

I Blame My Sister For My Book Addiction (Love ya!)

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I was a wee 5 year old lassie when I plopped into my sister’s room and announced with all the fervor a little kid can muster- “I’m borrrrrreeedd!”

Huge thanks to my sister for not kicking me out the door on sight. I woulda done that to me if I was 5, so there must surely be a big vault of patience that you have. Somewhere. It’s hidden with your stash of hazelnut coffee creamer.

So, like any good bookdragon studying for dear life older sister, mine grabbed an old Abeka Book literature reader- those thin fourth grade ones- and told me to finish them off.

And thus, I was drawn into the wonderful, beautiful world of stories.

Man, that last sentence was really poetic. 😛

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I soon discovered that if I read for too long, I would get something akin to a headache slash high. I became addicted to books. 😛 That particular reader would be devoured over, and over, and over, and over, and over again for months to come. And then another reader. And another. In fact, I snatched every single Abeka Book reader and ended up stashing them on my bunk so I could read it at well. The internet was unknown at that time. 😛 Mom didn’t like that I was reading outta my grade level.. which I can’t really blame for, because I got ahold of the BJU Literature books and was trying to figure my way through Treasure Island. 

Also happened to be eight at the time. 😛

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Around my 150th time re-reading the Abeka reads- lo, and behold, the stories are actually snippets from BOOKS.

I had to know more.

I think in the process, my sister’s library card had fees ranking in the $5s… hehe. But if she had a problem with it, she never mentioned it- always bringing out other stories for me to devour when I was done one.

It was through my sister I discovered the beautiful world of Narnia (note: Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe will keep kids entertained for HOURS. Hence how me and one of my best irl friends are still in the Narnia fandom- when you’ve started at the tender age of 3, you’re in for life!) I found myself enamored with Little Women and Little House On The Prarie- I could and would and have and will read those books so many times until the covers fell apart- they were portals to worlds, and my imagination was the sweetest ride there. I practically squealed when I found out the Avengers first came from comic books- “IT’S A BOOK IT’S A BOOK”. But that’s for another post.

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The point of all this?

Sometimes we forget the people who start us off on paths that kinda really do change our lives, and books.. stories.. for all the hype they get, they’re kinda underrated.

So thanks Ates. 🙂

Also this is the rather long intro the video below which explains everything I’m too lazy to type. 😛

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to read.

And you should go read one too, y’know. 😉

 

life is a highway, Jo

March Is Tomorrow *panics, flails, and ultimately dies*

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Okay, I swear, I only looked at Pinterest for all of two hours!

Per week.

heh.

Where has the time gone? I have zero clue. Swoosh, bye, gone it went and February 2019 has gone to the ages.

It’s been a good month, it really has.

School has successfully managed to kill me, so there’s that. At least I get to do something fun and write a character profile. >:) Also finished Ben Hur- never, ever, ever hang out with your little sister on a precariously built balcony watching a fancy guy with a houseplant on his head go by. *nods seriously*

We had 3 snow days. It was wonderful.

I got a bunch of books to read and only knocked out like a quarter (which reminds me I should probably get to beta-ing this book *rushes*)

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The Lens & The Hard Drive turned one, along with a bunch of other blogs. O_O AH. How have I been doing this for a full year? I have no clue.

A bunch of writing happened, and secret projects and tons of laughing over Google Docs and videochats and just laughing.

I FIGURED OUT HOW INSTALL DESIGNER FONTS ONTO MY LAPTOP AHHHH

Also robbed the freebie section of every font/graphics website I could find, because I’m in the designing bloggies and whatnot mood. Speaking of, if you check out Tess at Silver Sky Dolls, you can see for yourself 😉 Also, please, please lemme know if you want something designed. It’s fun and I may as well put my addiction to Canva to good use, right? 😀

Audiosmiths released a drama- and we’re working on one of the hardest and deepest ones we’ve done yet. Can’t wait to see how that goes. 🙂

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I’ve learned a ton about writing, and the inspiration is slowly coming back. Slowly. We’re only a couple weeks to NaNoWriMo everyone! *squeaks* Can’t wait for this craziness to come at me full force. It’s funny, my first NaNo, I didn’t think anything could be more stressful. Ha I was wrong. XD

Learned a few new songs on all 3 instruments I’m slightly adept at because my mom volunteered me and some other poor unfortunates to play background music at a church dinner. *sighs* Not to mention I’m shooting that too. Actually kinda looking forward to the shooting part- I miss holding a camera. 😛 However, learning the new songs means I get to be distracted with YouTube and wake up ridiculously early for practice. It is not easy to sing alto at 9 am, just sayin’. Also choked back something close to a tear watching clips from Little Women 2018 and Gifted. Onions were chopped a lot this month.

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Got to cheer a friend on because they got accepted to Nationals, to sit by someone who was kinda feeling down, to be goofy and make a rather stressed sibling grin, to laugh evilly with a cousin over our work in progress at 12 am to boot, to enjoy the little blessings of life, to enjoy each day that comes. There’s been a few horrible days, yes. There’s been days I wish I could redo all over again because right now I just wanna crumple them up and toss into a dumpster- but every day has blessings of its own.

And I guess I’m finding them the more I take time to recognize they’re there. 🙂

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Oh, and Ducky kindly agreed to model for me because he’s an adorable sassy stuffie. He is shown above portraying the typical reaction to chemistry homework.

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Here is he, contemplating the reasons for existence as he leans demurely on the railing. That’s one thing I didn’t expect to appreciate: stuffies, and stuffie bloggers. Was not seeing that coming, but it came anyway. I think I’m the better for it.

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I guess he wasn’t that impressed with the whole ordeal. XD

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So I picked him up and got him to fly around!

Ducky: YOU ALMOST MADE ME DIE JO THAT’S WHAT YOU DID THAT WAS SO HIGH UP I COULD DIED OR FALLEN I AM A SENSITIVE PIECE OF STUFFY I SHOULD BE HANDLED WITH CARE, JO, WITH CAREEE DO THAT AGAIN AND I WILL KARATE CHOP YOU

Yeesh, picky old duck.

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*passively-aggressively shows fight stance*

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And this is what happened when he tried attacking me.

Ducky: Medic!

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However, he recovered in time to venture forth into the dark darkness, which definitely had light the little liar.

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Got stuck halfway though.

Ducky: NOT. NICE. JO.

What, I’m just saying!

Anyway.

Favorite from this month.. Hm…

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Favorite Book

I really want to say this Black Widow comic that I’ve been reading, but that’s not my most most favorite, surprisingly.

DSC_0124It would probably be As Brave As You, which is this great story about two boys and their summer with their grandparents. Either it’s really long, or I’m really slow, but I haven’t finished it yet. 😛 I really loved Genie and Ernie’s sibling duo, and the theme. Ah. it’s great.

 

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Favorite Song

This one is almost pretty obvious.

 

I’m Not Here has been on repeat for the longest of times, partly because it’s so good and partly because it reminds me of a charrie down to the intricates of it, so yes, that’s my favorite. It’s also up there with True North by Rend Collective, Learning to Fly (How To Train Your Dragon 3 came out. I’m not okay. My childhood has ended. Ah. Help.) And Two, by Sleeping At Last. But ahhhh this song gets me. All the time. I dunno why. *sobs*

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Favorite Quote

And maybe one day I'll get around to fixing myself too

I think it speaks for itself. It really does.

So that’s been February for me in a nutshell. How ’bout you? Ready for March, or you wanna march in the other direction? Which, if you do, I’d join you, because I pretty much feel like this 110% of the time:

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Yeah, Ducky didn’t really like that.

*muffles his nonliving beak*

Have a good Thursday. And a great new month. 🙂

life is a highway, Jo

A Bit Of Flash Fiction- 1, 2, 3, 4.

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Before I begin, who wants to have a victory cry because Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse won best animated film? Anyone? *cheers* YES YES YES. you have no idea how happy I am about this. YES. YES. HUZZAH!

Also, I had a post ready. I was gonna have this great, important topic and it would be weighty and important but then I ended up writing a short short short story and decided it was good enough to be published onto here. *facesmacks*

I would have you know- it’s completely fiction. That means everything is made up.

I would also have you know that is based on something real.

Have at it!

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1, 2, 3, 4. Thud. Thud. Thud. “Sit here!” they order, waving their hand about with all the force of their position. My head pounds. No. No. No. No. I don’t want to- 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 5, 6, 7, 8. The walls seem to close in on me- I need to get out- I need to get out!

“Come on!” they yell. Their eyes are demanding and expectant. My heart beats faster, my throat feels tight, the world is blurry. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3- No, no, that’s wrong. 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3-

“Come on!” I clutch back a shriek and shuffle to the lone chair. It’s against the wall. There’s a table in front of it. “Sit,” they demand, snatching my device to look through it for themselves. I feel robbed. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4- the numbers are supposed to help my heart calm down. It’s still beating heavily, it still hurts, it’s being squeezed. I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here, I’m so nervous, I can’t sit long. I want to run, I need to run, I have to run!

My feet don’t curl up like they normally do- they stiffen and flatten against the rough carpet. I can run faster than anyone here, must go, must go, must go. I don’t want to be here- I have to go!  A screen, a pen, I can’t think, I can’t speak, they don’t like me, they only want me to listen and obey, not to feel. I want to run- help, help, help! 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. “Listen and understand.” They pull out a Bible as they talk. My heart sinks. Oh no, oh no, now I have to stay whether I like it or not, please- the walls feel even more enclosing- I’m trapped! Trapped in a jail that’s built to free people. But I’m not free to begin with. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. Can- want- can I go? My leg starts to bounce in my chair, and I stand up.

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” What, you’re not listening?” They jeer. “Sit down and listen!” No, no. I can’t sit back down- I need to go, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4,. “Answer the question, come on, why aren’t you answering- do you even understand the question?” 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2. I can’t talk, I can’t talk, I don’t want to talk, my heart races, my chest feels tight. I want to run, I’m gonna shriek, I can’t- I can’t be here! I can’t sit! Please, please, I didn’t know not talking was a sin. I want to go- no, no, I’m not fine, I won’t talk, please don’t make me, please. the accusations hurt and the words- hurt- and I want to go, please, no, no, no, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4,.

“Say something.” Oh no, no, no, you’ll make fun of me, you’ll mock me, you’ll laugh at me, please, no, no! I duck my head and say nothing. They keep talking, they ignore me. my foot taps against the ground- I need to go, I need to go. Maybe they have some food here, maybe- 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3- “Come on! Answer! Answer! Answer!” The words seem to echo over and over and over and over and over in my head. Here, they have some cheese, I like cheese, it’s firm and yellow and it’s 2. 2 means it’s good. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.

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It’s nice. I like cheese. “Answer- and you are a Bible student, really?” they say. The words swarm my head Oh, no, I can’t, I can’t. I take a bite of the cheese. I say nothing. I want to run, I want to run- I don’t belong, everyone knows that I don’t belong, I can’t sit down-

I finished the cheese. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. “Get into the conversation, why don’t you?” Why don’t I? Because just like that I was asked and I answered and they were mean and very mad, they are scary scary, and they wield a Bible, which makes them scarier in my opinion- no. I’m not allowed to talk, no, no, no, no, I’m not, they always say I’m wrong. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4. I want to run, to shriek, dear kind sweet Lord please, I just want to be understood- please no.

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“Come on.” No, no, I can’t just come on, it’s not easy like that, it’s hard just to breathe and you won’t– no, please, no, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. I stand up. I walk around and stretch. They don’t like this, they give me dirty looks, I know. they told me I should sit down properly and pay attention but I can’t do either and most definitely not in that particular order, no, please, please! 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.

“So what can we take from this?” they say. I want to take away. I want to take myself away and never come back. They don’t like me, they just look at me wrong-

I see a widow is open, the windowsill lined with snow. It’s such a long way down.

But the window is open.

“Are you alright?” They do not ask, but someone does.

“I’m fine.” 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.

1, 2, 3-

life is a highway, Jo

 

 

P.S. That mighta been sad.

Mighta not.

Either way, sorry.

 

 

 

 

Flipping Burgers Is A Noble Profession

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We were talking about this article, my brother and dad and I, that talked about this lady who had been working on McDonald’s for over like… 20+ years? Don’t really remember- but she was in her late 90s, and she’d been one of McDonalds’ longest workers- which is really impressive.

But I’m ashamed to say that after reading the article, my dad and brother laughed. As if working at McDonald’s was an easy job that shouldn’t even be considered a job, and that that lady (who kinda really deserved that recognition?) musta been bored outta her brain.

I’m even more ashamed to say I laughed with them. Just like an ignorant kid who didn’t really know.

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(Gah, sometimes I wanna slap past me. That extends to from 2 years ago to 20 minutes.)

The thing is, I was so, wonderfully, hugely wrong.

Really wrong.

I wish I could find that lady and apologize. For thinking so little of that hard earned role I didn’t think to remember her name.

Fast food workers. Homemaking. Maintenance crews. Bus drivers. School bus drivers. The janitors who clean up the big city stores. Window washers.  These are jobs people need done but don’t think it worth doing. “see this? You don’t do your homework, you’ll end up here.” Like the people who do these jobs are on some bottom rung, and everyone who doesn’t is on one higher. 

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See, last summer my sister starting working in the fast food world- at the ultimate (and superior, tbh) fast food place, Tim Hortons. A few weeks in was all it took to know it wasn’t a walk in the park- and I wasn’t even the one working. It was hard and it was tiring, and ya know what- it was work. Actual. hard. work. It wasn’t like waiting at a lemonade stand waiting for people to show up.

So here’s why flipping burgers is a noble profession. Actually, scratch that. Here’s why the professions we deem “what happens if you don’t study in high school” are noble.

God says so. 

HA. And yes, I can prove that.

1 Corinthians 10:31 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Notice the words, “whatever you do, do it all”? It didn’t say “whatever you do that’s in a nice office with plushy swivel chairs, do it all” or “whatever you do that’s in a comfortable work setting, do it all” ” or even, “whatever you do that pays well and has a lotta people seeing the good stuff you’ll do, do it all”. No, it’s whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

That’s a tall order, ‘kay? And yet, that’s what we should strive for in whatever we do. Peter and James and John were fishermen. Paul was a literal tentmaker. Jesus was a carpenter. Dorcas was a tailor- they and many more people, not just from the Bible, but from the rest of history proved that it was indeed possible to do everything to the glory of God. So why people all looking down on these jobs like “seriously, that’s the best you can do?”

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A similar thing kinda happened, but about people in the ministry and everyone who wasn’t in it, that somehow pastors were the ones God deemed saints and regular common people weren’t- that’s messed up and also, not true. *nods head like I know what I’m talking about*

Society needs these jobs, but they’ll never admit it, because society is a weird thing that likes to admit it’s all that when it’s really not.

Imagine a world where the garbage wasn’t taken away from your house every day and you had to get rid of it yourselves. Or imagine a mall you walked into and the halls were muddy from the feet of whoever walked there last night. Or imagine the whole fast food thing never existing. Or imagine going to take a bus, but there wasn’t anyone behind the wheel. Chaotic. Why? Because there aren’t any workers doing the jobs. I mean, don’t get me started on if your mom wasn’t there managing things- and we’re homeschoolers, for the most part, so we should know what that looks like. Oh, and should I even mention moms who work part time? They manage two jobs AND their kids. That’s hard.

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The fact is, we depend so much on the people we deem have “lesser” jobs without even knowing. They’re the engine that keeps things running but isn’t heard if you don’t think about it. These people aren’t paid much to make sure that everyone else has a comfortable time. The least you could do is respect ’em a bit and not talk trash about their job while they’re doing it.

Serving is one of the greatest things you can do, and one of the hardest.

Hey, this can come in all sorts of ways, but how come the commonest ones are hardly ever appreciated?  Garbage truck drivers, bus drivers, teachers, fast food workers- could use a little more appreciation and respect. They’re doing the work so you don’t have to.

They’re people too, y’know. 

My sister and a couple friends I know all ending up working in different places because college is ridiculously expensive here and because experience is a lot and because money is tight. But nobody really cares about that though. Nobody cares that behind the counter is another person trying to make ends meet, just like you. But for you, as soon as you get your burger, you’re outta there. For them, they have to do the same thing all over again for the next person in line. Also, to be honest, some people are really just jerks. A person can only handle so many jerks, y’know?

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Okay, okay, we get the point, whadya want us to do now?

Maybe just to realize this:

I’m not saying just stick with your job, whatever kind of job you have, because it helps society or whatever. If you wanna quit working at a diner to start up a company- go for it! If you think you would rather create music than be an engineer or a welder, do it. if you wanna work at McDonald’s just to save up money to buy a truck and travel cross country around North America taking pictures of everything and falling off cliffs so you can send your pictures to National Geographic, go for it! (Don’t fall off a cliff, but yeah!)

Just don’t look on people who do these jobs. Or who’ve struck a cool balance between them. Fo’ example, there was this infuriating poster once which read, “why be a scientist when you can raise scientists?” and it showed a mom with a couple kids.

Woah.

That’s just broke.

Stay woke, you guys. Why not do both? *gasp* Is it entirely impossible for a mom to *gasps even more* actually do something not kid-raising related while raising kids?

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Uh, no. *shoves Hidden Figures in your face*

*mini rant about moms over*

So here’s to the ones that aren’t in the spotlight. Here’s to the ones who have to clean up even after everyone’s gone. Here’s to the janitors, the late night crews, the bus drivers who have to put up with people and traffic, the moms who stay home and run things, the moms who manage both, the kids who need some money for a future, that lady who worked at McDonald’s for longer than most kids have been alive.

Cause even flipping burgers is a noble profession, whether we realize it or not.

life is a highway, Jo