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1.15.2023

I love a good “enemies-to-lovers” story. Just take a peak at my reading log, and it’s quite noticeable that that’s a trope I continue to return to. I like it so much in fact, that it’s becoming a pattern with the video games I play.

Yes, this is a confession that I did a complete 180 on Pokemon Violet and finished the game. Not only have I finished it, I cried over the story, completed the regional dex, and poured resources into EV training Pokemon for ongoing raids. I guess this means I’m a sellout now.

The transformation came about when I partook in one of the worst road trips of my life. Luckily, I was just a passenger, but snowy weather conditions made what should have been a six hour trip almost ten hours. In that time, I brought Violet to “give it another chance”, and after stumbling around for a bit, the gameplay loop finally clicked. I’m still extremely annoyed by how unpolished the game is. I was clipping through the map, hitting lag, and finding frustrating glitches. It’s a damn shame the game is so much fun, because it should have been so much more.


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12.10.2022

Video games are weird man. I finished playing Fire Emblem Three Hopes today (all storylines cleared), and LOVED it. Which is weird to say because, for the first two or three hours, I loathed it. Almost dnf-ed it, but decided to stick with it because the story was interesting, I’m so glad I did, once I got used to the systems it became one of my favorites games of the year. And the storylines were great! I just love Fodlan, and am always pleased to see such strong hits for my favorite game series. I just really hope I like Fire Emblem Engage!

Which sort of segways into my next gaming conundrum - Pokemon Violet. I picked it up at launch, and meant to play through it alongside Three Hopes, but holy hell, what happened to this game? By now, the interest is abuzz about the poor performance, glitches, poor graphics, lack of customization, cut corners, and regression of systems from Legends Arceus. It’s yet another example of a game rushed out to meet a holiday deadline

Normally, when it comes to Pokemon, I have a lot of patience as long as the game isn’t holding my hand (*cough* Sun/Moon *cough*). In fact, I loved the notoriously hated Sword and Shield, Let’s Go Eevee, and Legends Arceus has been my favorite game of the year despite its crummy graphics.

Yet, something about Violet made me snap. Maybe it’s the art style, maybe it’s the fact I can’t avoid the drawbacks, maybe it’s the fact that by now the highest grossing media franchise in the world SHOULD be doing better. I can’t help but feel sad looking at the lack of polish, and exploring the open world without Arceus’ quality of life features.

All of this is to say, it’s hard growing up and watching the things you love struggle. Gamefreak is a corporation that doesn’t owe me anything, these games have sold in record numbers. And given that I can’t get a refund, there’s a good chance I’m going to try and at least complete the story. But it’s tough to see, because Pokemon has soooo much potential. It’s my ultimate comfort content, and nostalgia has it hard wired into my brain.

At least Fuecoco is adorable.


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10.16.2022

This has been one of the busiest months I've had in recent memory. I've been a bridesmaid in two weddings, got promoted at work, and went "glamping" with my partner. The fun isn't even over - I have several more engagements before October concludes.

The promotion happened first, and was an emotional rollercoaster. It began with the confidential announcement that my job was about to change, and with it my responsibilities. This was expected, and wanted. However, the compensation was no where close to what I needed, and the Zoom call in which I became aware of this dissolved into disaster when my dog started barking at a man who would not stop ringing my doorbell. Fortunately, I was able to recover with a written proposal instead which yielded a much higher compensation package than what I was hoping for. The excitement is fresh, however the new responsibilities feel like a mountain. I am terrified that, after fighting so hard for myself, I will fail.

Job aside, the weddings I attended were a welcome break from the newly acquired stress. I normally hate weddings, but found both of these to be extremely fun occasions (probably because I was surrounded by people I actually care about). I'm still not sure what I want from a wedding, if I even want one, but seeing some good ones has definitely softened me to the idea.

It does help that I also have a partner who I enjoy spending time with. We holed up in the woods a few weekends ago in a tiny cabin. I'm not a camper, but I love the beauty of the outdoors, so this situation ended up being perfect. No bugs, fair weather, HVAC, and plumbing. Not to mention our dog got to tag along and establish himself as a competent hiker and companion.

Media-wise, I've been in somewhat of a rut with books. I've dropped more books in this month than I have all year, and really hope that turns around. I am watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes and think it's absolutely amazing. 40/110 at the moment, Yang Wenli is my favorite. Fire Emblem Three Hopes has also been a blast now that I've figured out how to actually play the game.


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09.12.2022

(rambling)When I was around 14 years old, I went through a phase where I was obsessed with Watership Down. It started when, during a phase of watching obscure older animated films on YouTube, I stumbled upon the 1978 movie adaptation. Maybe it was because I was a Warriors Cats kid, but something about the series, and its brutal take on a society of rabbits, captivated me. It was shortly thereafter when I got a copy of the novel and fell in love even harder.

Now, over a decade later, I decided to revisit Richard Adams’ bunny society novel once again, and I’m so happy to say it was even better than I remembered. It is such a beautiful story about heroism, survival, and the strengths of cooperation versus absolute authority. Honestly, it’s a bit of a shame to me that Watership Down seems to only be talked about as the “excessively violent rabbit story”, because the violence really isn’t the point of the story. It’s not even a story about glorifying violence, but rather, not shying away from the honest depictions of what prey animals face.

The standouts of this book are its main band of characters. There is Hazel, a leader who can see the big picture, take advice from his companions, and is humble enough to admit when he’s wrong. There’s BigWig who may seem like a hot-headed strongman, but in the end turns out to be extremely clever, loyal, and compassionate. The list goes on and on.

The waves of nostalgia were also very intense in this reread. I remember the summer I spent watching the original movie, reading the big, trying to get through the 90’s adaptation. It was such a different point in my life, and it was a pleasant surprise to see that the story I loved still holds up all these years later.


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08.06.2022

Getting back from yet another trip, this time back to the beach. I've been lucky - two of three trips I've taken this year were basically gifts, otherwise they would not have happened. Trips are so valuable to me because I live in a place with no access to ocean, mountains, or really any natural wonder.

The beach is special inparticular because I spent a few crucial years of my childhood in Florida, much too young to understands the intricicies of "Florida". Instead, I was captivated by year round warm weather, the great big ocean, the wide variety of wildlife, and early 2000's culture in general. My family moved me before I could finish up elementary school, but even still, part of me never left that warm bright spot in the past. Sometimes I miss that part of my life so much it hurts. Now, as an adult, whenever I can find a way back to the ocean and daily seafood it feels oh so special.

Checking in personally, I finished the Wings of Fire series, and the ending of arc 3 was a bit of a bummer. It seems like the newer books are shifting focus to human characters, which I am not a fan of. I'm not beginning to read Crescent City, because Sarah J. Maas owns me and all my friends. In the games department, I am working my way through Fire Emblem 4, which has been so long and so tough, but oh so rewarding. I've been intimidated by it for so long, but now it feels so good to have a handle on it. And it's all thanks to this guide.


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06.11.2022

Recently took a trip to the mountains, and it was wonderful. Went with my partner, and a few friends. We hiked, drank, gamed, cooked, and just had a swell time. I loved the natural beauty of the mountains - the forests, the lakes, the rock formations. It was reinvigorating, and made me reconsider eventually relocating.After I got home I quickly came down with the flu which I am still recovering from as I type this.

On another note, I'm steadily getting through the Wings of Fire series, which has been recommended to me since I'm a Warriors fan (cri), and it has been a wonderful read! I am in love with Sutherland's world and characters, they are so charming. Gaming wise, I'm finally doing a honest to God playthrough of Digimon World, and after many attempts the game is really clicking with me (I blame it on loving Digimon World Next Order so much).


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05.13.2022

I recently finished the Throne of Glass series, and it has got to be one of my all time faves now. I can't believe how hard I fell for this series. The lead was cocky and powerful in an endearing sort of way. The supporting cast was fleshed out and varied, and the ending was oh so satisfying. There were certainly things that bugged me (mainly how the death of one of the chracters was handled), but I ultimately really enjoyed my time with these.

I've also been playing a crap ton of Kirby recently. I forgot how much fun these games are. I beat Forgotten Land on Switch (amazing!), and Nightmare and Dreamland on GBA to name a few. I've been emulating on the Steam Deck and LOVE IT. This thing was made for my tastes.

So happy it's finally spring, and all my energy is back. The weather makes such a huge difference for me.


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04.03.2022

February I took a vacation with my partner. It was the first trip we took just the two of us, and it was so much fun! We ate a lot of food, spent time seeing some of the locales, and just enjoyed the peace of being away from routine. The only downside was we had the airline experience from hell. Moral of the story? Avoid connections at all costs.

March was pretty good all things considered. I played the crap out of Legends Arceus until I completed the pokedex. It was an amazing experience, I had such a blast playing through it. I really Game Freak keeps this formula, but takes the time to perfect it. Legends had really spotty graphics, and suffered from not much of a postgame (after you completed the pokedex that is). It really showed that Pokemon needs a social aspect to be complete. But gosh, I LOVED getting lost in this world, and stumbling upon new Pokemon, and just the freedom it gave you. Such a blast.

I also had a birthday recently which was fun!


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01.27.2022

Adulthood is lonely.

That’s the conclusion I landed on after some images from college popped up on my phone, and the rush of memories and feelings that flooded my brain practically drowned me.

I’ve been feeling lost lately. I keep reflecting that my life in the same routine everyday, and instead of creating things, I’m rapidly consuming other peoples’ things. I must be depressed, but not in the sense that I’m tearful and angry, but in the way that I’m just completely devoid of purpose or affect.

I’ve also been thinking that people tend to want to have children when they’re my age, but I don’t. And even if I did, there is no way I could make it work. The money and time just aren’t there. And could that kind of love really, truly, bring purpose into my life, or just misery? That’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

So, in terms of human connection, that leaves just me, my partner, and work. Friends and family are in the mix too, but it’s so hard to find the right combination of time or energy to engage with them. (And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my partner, but even he needs more than just ME all the time).

Some of the best parts about growing up was constantly being in close quarters with your peers, whether that was primary school or college. Adulthood consists of fleeting interpersonal relationships (if you have time to drive), internet friendship (who isn’t sick of screens though), and co-workers (are they really your friends?).

I just want to feel enriched again. Inspired. Connected to people. And yes, I’m sure the pandemic and January have A LOT to do with this meandering, but I can’t help it. I’m scared of the quiet, and all of thoughts I don’t know how to face.

I guess everyone is looking for purpose and connection, and I just happen to be one of those people.


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08.24.2021

After weeks of working overtime, and being extremely stressed out, I took a vacation. I wrecked my car immediately preceding this trip which was enough to cause a minor mental breakdown. Now, my car is being repaired by insurance, I haven’t worked in over 72 hours, and my mental wellbeing is slowly but surely recovering. In terms of the actual trip, I’ve been hiking, shopping, eating, playing Fire Emblem, and reading the Berserk manga. :-)


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08.08.2021

Living in the 90's again I guess. I recently started re-watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for the first time since I was 12. The show holds up really well! Sitcoms are a guilty pleasure of mine, but Fresh Prince is easily my favorite.

Speaking of 90's, I also *finally* started watching the 1997 Berserk anime after considering this pitch. It's really good so far, but I know shit is going to get fucked by the end. Hoping to get my hands on the manga sometime soon.


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06.29.2021

It's been almost a year since I made my last entry in here. Whoops!

I wanted to make this entry to say, at this moment, I'm doing well. In fact, I've been doing well for a very extended period of time now. And that feels tremendous. It's strange that I only really feel drawn to journaling in here when I'm experiencing some sort of melancoly or anxiety, but I believe it's also important to capture the moments of contentment.

I have recently moved into a new home with my partner (yay!), and have been absolutely in love with the place and neighborhood. I'm still at my pre-pandemic job and, despite its demanding nature, genuiely enjoy it. My puppy and I have bonded, and he is my dearest little friend. And the best part? It's been almost two years since I had my last "depression episode" (won't elaborate on that here).

I don't expect this to be permanente, but I want to capture that today, in this space, I am happy.


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10.10.2020

A few months ago I received a phone call from my dad. I picked up, thinking he wanted to touch base, but was instead greeted with elated urgency.

“Do you want a puppy?” he asked, “I need to know by tomorrow.”

Getting a dog had always been on my radar, but continued to be an ethereal, “maybe later” type situation. I love my parents’ older dogs, but have come to realize they weren’t ever truly “mine”. After much internal debate, I told my father I’d like the puppy, and arranged to receive him a few months later.

Four weeks ago, I took the little rascal home. He’s a shih-poo and has a face that could melt the coldest of hearts. After weeks of preparation I felt ready to acclimate him into my life. I was not.

I immediately experienced the “puppy blues”. I was anxious, depressed, and wasn’t sure I even liked him. His constant whining made me feel like a hostage in my own home, afraid that if I left I’d get a slew of noise complaints. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t even stand to look to look at him. All I could do was cry and mourn my lost sense of freedom. I even considered returning him on several occasions.

However, after two weeks of misery, something weird happened. The pup and I clicked. We’re in a routine now, and he’s much more confident. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the little guy. Now, I’m excited to see him and be with him. We still have a long way to go, but my puppy blues have subsided for the time being. I’m so excited to watch this small animal become my friend and grow into a beautiful adult! Wish me luck throughout his training…


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07.20.2020

I was struck by a fit of boredom this past weekend that resulted in the archiving of several thousand photos I had taken between the years 2008-2020. This arduous task took around six hours to complete, but the outcome is a full drive of pictures neatly categorized by year.

It was a nostalgic, and somewhat sad, experience to go through each of these files. I was faced with images of myself, my friends, my family, my pets, my exes, etc. It’s odd how some images, though happy on the surface, can conjure up such profound feelings of sadness within me. The negativity seems to originate based solely on the time periods the photos were captured in.

2009-2012 were particularly rough. Going through those photos confronted me with pictures of a past abuser, and a version of myself that I absolutely despise. It was in those years where I first received my depression diagnoses, and those years where I was at my most toxic.

2016-2018 were even worse in some ways. I could see the way depression was destroying my body from the outside. My hair was unkempt, bags were permanently etched beneath my eyes, and I hardly looked like myself. I can still feel the absolute despair that my previous self was facing just from looking at her, even though she’s smiling.

Yet, I hold on to the pictures. Because, as bad as those years were, the photographs reflected the rare moments of joy. They also further cemented my gratitude when going through “the good years”. The years where I was growing, optimistic, and surrounded by friends. The years that I laugh at, and recall fond memories of. By the end, it became a personal decision to hold on to everything - the good and the bad. They serve as a reminder that, although circumstances may become challenging, that there is still the potential to experience joy and growth.


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07.13.2020

VENT POST - C/W: Body Dysmorphia, Weight, Body Image, Eating Disorders, Negative Feelings about Body, Depression, all those “fun” things.

Click here to continue reading.


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05.22.2020

It’s been almost two months since my last journal entry, and to be 100% dramatic, my mental state has deteriorated. My initial adaptation was overwhelmed by growing anxiety that has manifested itself as panic attacks, acute insomnia, and feelings of dread. I am seeking treatment for these symptoms, but the common feedback has been, “your body is responding to quarantine and the pandemic.” Melatonin has been my only way of achieving sleep. I tried to get off of it, but that went very poorly. (Almost two weeks of no sleep).

My body itself has responded in strange ways at strange times. I’ll be sitting somewhere when suddenly my pulse accelerates and my “fight or flight” instincts activate. In other words, random panic.

I want to eat. All the time. But I refuse to compromise my diet. I have implemented multiple routines to try and stay healthy (leaving home to walk after work, routine schedule, avoiding bed, working in one spot, cooking healthy meals, etc.). It has done some good, but not enough to ease my growing anger and anxiety.

Despite all the dramatics, not everything is terrible. I rewatched the entirety of Slayers for the first time in years, and that brought back a lot of great memories. Since becoming quarantined I’ve caught up on a lot of shows including Little Witch Academia, Violet Evergarden, Steven Universe Future, Slayers, Clone Wars, and now Code Geass. Animal Crossing has been a Godsend, and a great way to spend time with friends from afar.

The weather has also been beautiful. May is my favorite month of the year. The deep blue skies, puffy white clouds, and plentiful green brings me pure joy. Slowly but surely my anger will subside, and perhaps the world will return to “precedented times”.


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03.26.2020

So I guess I should do the obligatory, "talk about COVID-19 and the quarantine" journal entry. It's so batshit insane that I would be remiss not to reflect on these uncertanties and experiences.

So far, I've settled into a new routine. Work is at home now, and my hours are the same. I've set up a place where I do work, and only work. This way I can still retain some level of relaxation in the rest of my living space. It's strange not seeing my co-workers anymore. I used to bitch about making small talk, but now I'd kill to shoot the shit with an actual like human being. Our work has slowed down significantly, and I'm nervous about potentially being laid off. Lay offs aren't occuring yet, but it doesn't mean I don't worry about it.

Aside from work, my social life has gone from hardly-existent to non-existent. Next week is my birthday. I had a celebration planned, and was going to take a few days off. This has all been cancelled now, and I'm more than a little bummed. The irony was that my days off were going to be a "staycation". I am a clown.

The upside is I'm aready introverted by nature, so having more "me time" hasn't destroyed me. Even so, I'm ready for this to be done...

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03.01.2020

I used to dread Lent. Every year my parents would assemble us (my siblings and myself), and encourage us to give something up for the forty-day period. This was always presented as optional, but the tone of the conversation was usually, "you probably should give something up kiddo." After offering my favorite non-answer of, "I want to give up school", I'd usually settle on something difficult but doable: candy, soda, chocolate, etc. Each week I'd patiently wait for Sunday (apparently Sundays don't count depending on who you ask) and then indulge in my forgotten vice. This all culminated on Easter Sunday, wherein I'd gorge myself on whatever it was I wasn't supposed to have, and then settle back into a comfortable routine.

This pattern continued into my early adulthood. It wasn't until last year that I gained any sort of appriecation for the season. Last year I gave up "Gacha Games" (those horrible mobile games that encourage the play to spend money to trigger that reward system in your brain). I was well addicted to them, and it was actually having a palbable effect on my bank account. It felt like a real gambling addiction. I uninstalled the games for the Lenten season with the idea that "I'll check in every Sunday, and then play again on Easter." Except, I didn't. I lost interest. I never returned. And my bank account and free time has been thankful ever since.

This year, in a similar vain, I've given up social media. I'm a social media apologist- I absolutely love connecting to people through the comfort of my phone or computer. I post constantly, and find myself scrolling for hours without realizing. Which is a problem. It's excessive.

Now, I'm almost a week into this Lenten season and I feel disconnected. So much freetime has opened up, and my muscle memory keeps tapping on apps that aren't there. I feel as though I'm missing out on my friend's lives. Like I don't know what's going on. I'm not there to cheer them on. I have nowhere to dump my thoughts but here, on my little journal.

And, as strange as it all is, I'm not sure that my presence has been missed. Perhaps after a few weeks a few will wonder for a passing moment, but not long enough to form an exchange of any consequence. And me? Well I've already began trying new games, reading new books, exploring new apps. There is so much my phone can do that I didn't even know! So may apps I never thought to try. It's all so neat.

It's moments like these that have lead me to the conclusion that Lent is my favorite time of year. I don't get presents, I don't get food, I don't get friends, but I gain discipline. I get to focus on things that actually matter. It's this "aha" moment of finally understanding why people are insane enough to partake in this season. Perhaps I won't gain enlightenment from not scrolling on instagram for two hours, but at the same time, perhaps I will find new ways to connect with people and form new hobbies. Get myself out of this digital comfort zone. Or not. We shall see.

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02.25.2020

Today I met my therapist. I've tried therapy a number of times in the past, but it's never worked out. Usually, this is due to scheduling, money, or just the wrong fit. However, this initial session has me feeling a cautionary optimism that can only be undone by the first insurance bill slapping me back to reality. Regardless, I told myself I'd stick with this, and as long as I have the means I plan to.

And gosh, after being in my head so much lately, I could certainly use a neautral party. I've been so hyper focused on my flaws, and strained friendships that I have seemingly constant bouts of agitation. I don't like negative relationships that I cannot avoid. I hate having to suit up and endure them. But I also hate confrontation. It's like defusing a bomb. Sometimes it's successful, and everyone celebrates the fact that no one combusted in a brilliant blaze of glory. Or everything immediatly explodes. Good Game.

In a positive development, I've decided to take a hiatus from social media for a while. I think the break will help me get out of my head a little, and refocus that energy on happier things. At least, that's what I hope.

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02.23.2020

I'm hungover today.
That wasn't my intention when I made cocktails with my friends last night, but in an act of hubris I drank one too many. I didn't get sick, or even nauseated for that matter. Instead, I've spent the entire day swimming in fatigue, unwilling to do anything except lay on my couch and eat greasy food. I haven't experienced this in months, and it's the reason I only drink in social, once-a-week type settings.
All of this would be an unfortunate inconvenience if not for the low affect that accompanied my mood. My brain is so hyper focused on productivity, getting things done, being on the move, etc. that when I lose all my energy it's torture. It's the feeling I have during my worst battles with depression. I think it says a lot that my personality has morphed into something so "Type-A" that the act of laying on my couch for a prolonged period of time fills me with dread.
Sometimes I feel that I can't relax. That I actively avoid the silence. Building my website, playing a game, doing work- anything to escape the silence. But why? In the silence, all I have is my inner monologue. My own voice that calls the shots, and critiques every moment of everyday. In the silence, with nothing to focus that energy on, I focus it solely on myself. I critique my performance, I remember the people who've wronged me, I get moody thinking of the people who aggravate me. All of it culminates in a cacophony of thoughts screaming to be heard.
I make it sound worse than it is, but it is something I've become acutely aware of in recent months. I want to change and reshape this voice. I want to learn to relax. But I don't want to compromise my creative energy in the process. I thrive on accomplishing goals and expanding my mind.
But most of all? I don't want to be hungover again anytime soon.

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02.06.2020

Ah yes here we go, a real entry. I told myself if I made this page that I would actually write and use it. Is that true? To be determined.
Regardless, I think the excercise of putting my inner thoughts into words may prove to be the kind of catharsis I need right now. So what's been on my lately?
Friendships. The Passage of Time. Giving and Taking.
I've come to find that I'm a lot more sensitive to people giving their time than I once thought. It's the classic story: you have a friend, or group of friends, that you invest a lot of yourself in, but they don't recirpocate. The relationship isn't as meaningful to them as it is to you.
I'm speaking rhtoerically, but yes, clearly this is what's going on in my "real life". I feel so dejected, and frustrated with myself. I allow myself to get wrapped up in people who don't give me the time of day. People who make excuses to avoid me, without invitations to accomodate.
But it's not as easy as saying, "those people are bad friends. Fuck them." because, maybe my expecations have to be aligned to. Hell, I'm sure I've made people in my life feel the way I'm feeling now. Sometimes, the way someone sees you isn't the way you see yourself. The value you hold in someone else's eyes isn't always aligned with the value they have in yours.
So where does this leave us?
I've been reconsidering the people I want to invest my time into. I want to actively channel it into people who want to see me too. But I also want to evluate how much emotional stock I put into friendships with other people. All relationships are different, and I need to be more mindful and respectful of that. And as with everything, nothing stays the same forever. People grow closer, but they also grow apart. And both of those things are okay. For now, I will cherish the people who I am close to, and look forward to the relationships I have yet to form.

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