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˗ˏˋ the pawed-cast ˎˊ˗
long-form blog posts
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˗ˏˋ Let's Talk About Dropping Out Of Community College | 04.08.02024 ˎˊ˗

I'm writing this with the intention of it being a puppy chow entry because I feel like I don't have a lot to say, but that's always how it starts and then suddenly I'm several thousands of words deep. I also feel like I get a lot more serious and like… professional? When I end up writing pawed-casts which I really like, but I dunno… we will see where this ends up.

So, I dropped out of community college last week. I feel… conflicted. That feels like the right word. I already have a Bachelor's degree (which I am beyond proud of), so why do I need an Associates? I don't, really. And it also doesn't make much sense to go backwards like that either, if I'm being honest. Five years in uni just to go back and do two more years to get an associates of general education? To each their own, but that feels counterproductive to me and I'm finally seeing that. I also think that the whole reason I enrolled in community college in the first place was because I wasn't ready to let go of being in school. 

I'm in a very privileged position where I'm not being pressured to get a job out of necessity, and for that I am very grateful. However, I feel like there's always been this societal pressure on me to follow that very crafted path in life. It's funny, though, because when that path was first presented to me, I was in the fifth grade, and I wanted to be a biomedical engineer. I didn't have a clue what those words really entailed, but it made the adults around me ooh and ahh… which I adored hearing. I loved praise. I love praise.

Ironically, I found myself in middle school the next year and any dreams I had past the age of 14 were nonexistent. I won't delve more into that, it was sad and dark time in my life, and I've worked very hard to move past it, so there's no need to re-live it just to prove a point. What felt like several eons later, I found myself in high school, and things were looking up again. Yay! I joined theatre because… of course I did. What else does a semi-closeted queer person do in high school, if not join theatre and/or band? I was not graced with the ability to learn an instrument (shoutout to my aging viola gathering dust in the back of my closet…) but I was graced with the ability to run the tech department like the Navy. Well… not that bad, but I like to think of myself as the sole tech department… I was, for the most part. Not only did it come naturally to me because of my fondness for technology (which, sans Python, I can learn just about anything overnight), but I also had so much fun. I loved doing it. And it was at that point where I seriously considered a career, nay, a total life path in theatre. I looked at going to art schools, I looked into jobs for techies… needless to say, though, as my high school theatre career came to a close, so did my dreams of pursuing it forevermore. Don't get me wrong, I would love to do it still, but I am also painfully aware of reality in this moment. 

And so, I found myself in community college for the first time after I graduated high school. I sat and I thought to myself about what I was good at and what I liked doing. I've been told that those are the two ingredients for finding a purpose in life. I must admit, I have never really dreamed of employment. I still don't. Then again, I'm not really sure what I dream of, right now at least. I didn't finish community college the first time. I transferred to a university and worked for a year in the public library. Then I quit my job to "focus on school," when really… it was because my unmedicated anxiety had manifested itself in a fun, new experience - derealization and depersonalization. If I'm being honest, too? I feel like watching Bo Burnham's Inside triggered that for me. I'm okay now, though!

Anyways, I "focused on school" and I actually did finish. I graduated this past December with my Bachelor's of Applied Sciences… I'm a scientist!! I guess the little fifth grade version of me wasn't too far off with their ambitions. But here I am, April 8th, 2024. I had two months left of this semester, but I dropped my last class last week. It wasn't that I didn't like the class or that I was doing poorly in it like the first few classes I dropped. I was the only student acing it! I love math! But, when taking a good look at where I am in life right now? I was less in love. I'm 23 years old. I have never in my life taken a summer off of school. The longest breaks I got from school were the mandated ones in spring and winter. And even then, those drove me batty because I felt like I needed to be doing something at all times. Something academic, that is.

I've always been good at school. I could count to infinity if I wanted to from my first day in kindergarten. In first grade I could tell you the entire history of the terracotta soldiers. In second grade, I was reading Twilight. I should not have been reading Twilight. In third grade, I was already doing long division for fun. By fourth grade, my teachers didn't know what to do with me because I was doing work for sixth graders, but given my emotional needs that weren't being met, I wasn't allowed to skip grades. Thank God, too. If middle school was as hard as it was for me when I went at the same age as my peers, imagine how much worse it would have been if I was the only 9 year old. I digress. In fifth grade, I had a lot of free time, which I filled with listening to classical music and realizing I was a lesbian. I look back on those times very fondly. 

Every summer that came and went, I was reading or doing worksheets and having a grand time. I wasn't necessarily robbed of a childhood, I would say. Not by academia, at least. That's an issue for my therapist and I to unpack, though. Middle school and high school were the same; my summers were full of summer homework which I tried to prolong when I finished within the first week. And then came graduation. I said I would take a semester off. I lasted two weeks. That summer following my high school graduation, I helped other children with their summer homework, so I wasn't really free then either. Despite starting late, I kept going. And I kept going. And then? Five years gone in the blink of an eye. I have a degree. What now?

I couldn't let go of school. I still don't think I have, honestly. I have dropped out of community college, yes. Yet, I find myself yearning for algebraic equations and worksheets. It's what I knew. It's what I've excelled at for my entire life. Now, I sit in a position to figure out what my life entails next, or rather, at all. I have to figure out who I am, and not cling to who I was. I was the poster child for excelling in school. That can't be my identity forever. There are only a few things that I've carried with myself that ring true to who I am: I'm a lesbian, I am genderfluid, I'm great at writing essays, I am incredible at math. I love writing. I like reading. That's it. Who am I outside of school? I think that's what I have to figure out now. Dropping out gives me the chance to do that, but I am oddly terrified to take the plunge and do nothing for a while.

I don't want a job right now. I don't want one ever, but we all know how that goes. I am beyond fortunate enough to be in a position where I'm not in need of one right now. So what do I do??? Wrapping my head around the idea of doing nothing is… kind of terrifying, honestly. I've played a lot of Stardew lately. I'm learning how to make maps on Hammer.exe. I'm trying to be the person I imagined myself as when I was a child, and learning to adjust that to my unique situations. 

So I've dropped out of community college. And I'm terrified. I'm excited. I'm losing my mind. I'm drowning in boredom. I'm living, I think. And I think that might be enough for me to keep going and figure it out, even if it takes me forever and I never figure it out at all. College in any capacity isn't for everyone. It was everything for me. Now it isn't. What is? Hell if I know… but I suppose that's the beauty of where I am in life now. Time to find out. And of course, two thousand (or so) words later… here we are. Another Pawed-Cast entry… but I had a good time writing it… so instead of changing it to be what I want… I'll adapt. That's what I'll do. Here. Now. Tomorrow. Next week. For however long it takes me until it isn't an adjustment and just life.

˗ˏˋ puppy chow ˎˊ˗
short-form rambles
ooh what's hidden in here? :3 meow
˗ˏˋ no bc what even is my code anymore... | 04.08.2024 ˎˊ˗

i am so frustrated FDSHJKFDSKJL i thought i set myself up for easy updates on this page bc like... it seemed like it... my code is SO fucked at this point. none of my uls have li tags ?? but if i put them in it looks wrong but if i leave them out it looks right but also wtf is going on bc that is NOT how code should look...

god i dont even know anymore fhajdksf I don't want to redo my entire code cos i actually really like how this looks for once and i feel like... who cares anyway cos its mostly for me anyway but like DAMN man... its always something!!!


˗ˏˋ bug bites ˎˊ˗
my fav parts of my fav songs
ooh what's hidden in here?
Psychic File II
♫ BEE-PO (2:22 - 2:52)
✉ PSYCHIC FILE II
𓆩♡𓆪 PSYCHIC FEVER

˗ˏˋ Let's Talk About Aging When You're Neurodivergent | 03.31.2024 ˎˊ˗

And no, not in the sense of "anti-aging" skincare products and how stupid those are, or in a weird, dreadfully existential way like questioning the point of life (though rest assured, that has been sitting in the back of my mind for what feels like eons). Actually, I'm not even sure what I mean. At the time of writing this, I'm three and a half hours away from being 23 years old in my timezone. I'm already 23 depending on where you are.

I mentioned in my StatusCafe that 23 feels the exact same as 22 but not at all the same as 18 and that's what got me thinking about writing this. To be fair, when I turned 18 it was… not the best day of my life, if I'm honest. I was at what rock bottom was for that time. (Lord, how much farther I could fall!). Looking back on my 18th birthday, I remember very little, and I think I'm okay with that. But I can also, with confidence, say that turning 23 feels so different. Now, that isn't to say that I'm going to watch the clock change from 11:59 to 12:00am and be a completely different person. Believe me, I let go of that expectation a long time ago. But, I am different.

The last few weeks, I've been talking with my therapist about what adulthood is and what it's supposed to feel like. Spoiler alert, there are no answers to those questions. When I turned 18, I was legally an adult in the United States. I could purchase cigarettes (at the time) and I did so just for the thrill of it. I could vote. I was recognized as a legal adult. But I still felt like I was 14. When I turned 21, I sat at home and watched a movie. Still, I could legally buy alcohol. I feel like I was putting a lot of pressure on those "milestones" as determining factors of adulthood. Perhaps the reason I don't feel like an adult is because none of those milestones applied to me.

I grew up in a rough neighborhood. Not one where I had to fear for my life growing up (ironically, that fear came well into my late teen years!), but one where it was clear that, for lack of better words, the struggle was real. Every single girl I went to elementary school with now has at least one child. Most of them had their first in their early teen years. This isn't judgment, though, I saw how things were and how their lives played out, and it would be hypocritical for me to cast judgment on them knowing that I became subservient to my own environment. It is, however, an observation.

I'm a lesbian. I'm asexual. I'm madly in love with my girlfriend who I refer to as my wife because I want to spend the rest of my life with them. I have known from the youngest of ages that I never wanted children. That only became more apparent as my then untreated mental illnesses ran my life into the ground on several occasions. That hasn't changed for me. Well, it has and it hasn't. Emotionally, I'm in a place where I think it would be stellar to have a child. Not right now, by any means, but one day. And one day, maybe the following will change. I cannot have a child. Not in the physical sense, though that terrifies me as well, but in the sense that given my genetics, both physical and mental, and how I deal with the world, I don't know that I would be a very good parent. And as a child who deserved so much better than what I got, I can't continue the cycle and deprive a child of that, too.

Those same girls were or are addicts and alcoholics. Again, not a judgment, just an observation. I have my own addictions, and it isn't a contest of who's worse off. We're all fucked. But in regards to my earlier point of smoking and drinking, even in the non-addiction sense, they met those markers before we were even allowed to get our learner's permits. That doesn't make them adults, that makes them 14 year olds with addictions. Not to say that addiction in itself is a marker of adulthood either, but rather, I've seen the "gateway" so to speak as a marker for my whole life. Well, at least until my naivety wore off and I realized that I was the odd one out not engaging in all those behaviors.

So where does that leave me in terms of milestones and markers of adulthood? Wanting children certainly can't mark that, because while my mind has changed to wanting a child, that doesn't make me feel more adult. My dislike for the taste of alcohol coupled with my fear of its interactions with my meds certainly doesn't make me less of an adult than any of my peers who like to have a drink every now and again. Smoking wouldn't make me an adult. My own mother smokes and there are times I look at her with bewilderment at the fact that she, too, is an adult. Turning 18, 21, hell, even 23 doesn't make me an adult. Mentally, at least. And for me, at the very least. It's taken me a long time to get comfortable with the idea of aging in ways that aren't what I expected.

When I was 9 or so, I watched my neighbor's teen daughter in amazement (and perhaps… unrealized homosexuality) because she was everything that a teenager was to me at that time. She did her makeup and straightened her hair and read books and had a phone and a purse. When I turned 13, I did my makeup and straightened my hair and read books and had a phone and a purse, but I didn't feel like what I envisioned she felt like. I didn't embody that aura that she had. I felt like a 10 year old in makeup with straight hair and a book in my hand. Not to say that I was pretending to be into reading and all that, because I was, but it still felt like I was acting, if that makes sense. Yet, at the same time, due to some stuff that doesn't really need to be revisited or spoken about on the internet, especially in my safe corner, I was being treated like an adult by a lot of people without my best interest at heart. 13 felt the same as 12 but not at all the same as 8.

When I turned 15 and went off to high school, I had never felt more like a child in my life. I still was a child, actually. I still played with dolls, though I was too old to trick-or-treat. I still covered my walls with posters and drawings, but I insisted on wearing the skimpiest clothing I could find. I couldn't skip class and leave campus because that was breaking the rules and I was a good little girl, but I could absolutely skip a pep-assembly by sitting on the bathroom floor because that's what rebels did. Turning 15 felt the same as turning 14 but so different from turning 13.

And then, I turned 18. We come full circle. I spent my 18th birthday alone, walking around Target and then going home. Empty handed at that. Turning 18 felt the same as turning 15, but so different from turning 13. I was given more freedom from the world and seen as someone who was ready to make decisions that determined the rest of my life. It seemed as though my peers were ready for that. Hell, even stalking through their social medias (although completely falsified, I know), makes it seem like they got it right. I dropped out of high school with one semester left and finished online. I enrolled in community college late, going back on my promise to take a break because I got bored of not doing arithmetic. I dropped out of community college.

I turned 21 a year after I quit my job at the library. I enrolled in university. Things were going great and for a while there, it felt like I had maybe caught up to my peers. God, how stupid of me to think so. Despite only being 2 years ago… I don't know. If I looked at my 21 year old self right now, I would recognize them, painfully well, but they wouldn't me. I'm not the same person I was at 21. I don't know if I'm a good person, necessarily. I'd like to think I am. Or at least, trying to be. I'm better, though. Mentally… I've hit the absolute bottom (or what I hope is the bottom) and I've climbed my way back up. I'm still climbing. I'm still catching up. And while I give myself grace for that most of the time, I'm sitting here watching the clock countdown to midnight and wondering what comes next. Am I supposed to wake up tomorrow knowing? No. Obviously not. To quote one of my favourite movies, "I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it." Though, I don't know if that's true for me. It's more along the lines of saying, "I often give others very good advice but I very seldom mirror it." There's a lot of things I still have to work through, both personally and with my therapist as to why I can't mirror it, but what matters right now is that at least I'm aware of it. Self awareness, the dark mistress praying for my downfall… how she's won many times but desperately begs for more now that I no longer allow it.

So I'm 23. I have a Bachelor's degree. I'm a scientist. I'm madly in love with the person I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with. I'm terrified of a death I once yearned for, so much so that I prayed to Gods I'm not sure even existed, or cared to hear my prayers if they did. I indulge in "childish" things. I'm dependent on medication. I'm having to re-learn how to be a person after I lost myself. I'm 23 years old. And I don't have a fucking clue what that means, what comes next, and when I'll feel like an adult. But the fact that I made it far enough to see 23 means that I did something right along the way, even if I didn't know it at the moment. So maybe that's just it. Maybe I'll never see the moment and I'll look back in some time and realize that I did something right. Which means I am doing something right. And that's all I can ever really ask of myself, right?

˗ˏˋ I TALK SO MUCH | 03.31.2024 ˎˊ˗

woof. that was a lot. LOL. I didn't plan on writing so much, I really did intend for it to be somethinng that goes here, but... oh well. I really like how it came out. I miss writing for pleasure like that. I'm excited to get back to it.

YKNOW WHATS SO FUNNY THO... I intended to write something short so it could go here because I was saving my long ramble to be about season 1 of greys anatomy because I'm gonna start rewatching soon so I can talk about it but here we are. LOL! 20 seasons worth of a grey's anatomy rewatch WILL be coming soon though. Imagine Mike's Mic's Glee video but 90 times longer and about "the white woman's one piece" as my friend called it when I mentioned I was watching it. Anyway. It's m'birthday. Cool beans.


˗ˏˋ bug bites archive ˎˊ˗
my fav parts of my fav songs
ooh what's hidden in here?
Harry's House
♫ Keep Driving (1:23 - 1:58)
✉ Harry's House
𓆩♡𓆪 Harry Styles

˗ˏˋ Let's Talk About the Idea of Selfishness and My Birthday | 03.29.2024 ˎˊ˗

A few weeks ago, when I was in therapy, I brought up how I was told that I was selfish for the majority of my life. This statement took them by surprise a little bit because we were talking about how, as a child, I was deemed selfish for having needs. The silly thing is, all children have needs! 

One of the things they said to me that stuck with me a lot is that selfishness is only valid if it includes a gain for someone that causes a detriment for someone else. And so, as a child, gaining the meeting of my needs is not something that causes a detriment to others, and if it does, that isn't my fault. I am not the first nor the last child to have a need. And yet, I find it incredibly difficult to ask for anything because the very idea of asking for something is selfish.

And while I can sit and agree that perhaps asking for extravagant items while being ignorant to the economic state of the world during my childhood may not have been a stress relieving activity, I can sit here and know that it wasn't selfish. It wasn't a need, it was a want. And of course, we don't always get what we want. 

I wanted to talk about this today because something peculiar happened earlier. My neighbor has a child who was born the same day I was. I pity her and I do pray that middle school treats her much more kindly than it did me, as having an April Fool's birthday was a very easy target for the mean girls of my era. I digress. 

For the first time in many years, I blew out candles on my birthday. This is because said neighbor and her children brought me a cake and flowers and sang to me and let me blow out candles. It felt foreign to me, but I really did enjoy it. It's a fond memory I have now. As a result, I agreed that it would be a nice idea to get the girls something in return, partially as a birthday gift for the older one, but also a little treat for the younger one; I was an only child, yet I am all too familiar with the concept of being left out of things. And so, we went to Target to get some goodies. Begrudgingly, I put the $80 lego set back on the shelf, because my mother was right - I would buy it, build it, and then it would gather dust on the shelf. $80 is a lot of money to spend on a dust-covered decoration. It was a cute set though - a lego technic set of the sun and the earth and its rotational pattern. I've always loved science. Once more, though, I digress. 

As we walked through the store, I tossed a mere four things in the cart: a mini brand ball, $5.99. A Kerroppi stationary set. Another few dollars. A hello kitty blind bag. Finally, a tin of mints that I had been buying as import items from Korea for the last few years. $2.99. We walked to the self-checkout, and while I was hardly bouncing in my steps, it was still a  nice day, all things considered in the morning. And yet, when we get there, my mother fills her arms with $50 worth of things for the girls, leaving my four items in the cart. Confused, I asked about it. She said, "Oh, I thought you were buying them for yourself. I'll buy them for you for your birthday, though, if you want." My birthday has passed. She didn't get me anything for my birthday to begin with. I paid for dinner. I bought my own gifts. 

It upset me, clearly. Now, I'm not one to cause a scene in public. I have anxiety as it is, lest I draw more attention to myself by being the 23 year old crying over a tin of mints. I sit here, typing this, still upset. Bitter, rather. I've been labeled as jealous and selfish. I disagree. I am not jealous that the neighbor's children are getting gifts from my mother. I'm hurt that she will go above and beyond for others but has abandoned me for the better part of my life. Perhaps it's because I wasn't the child she wanted. She's tried her best to shape me into what it was she wanted me to be - a clone of her, with anger issues, a carefree attitude and violence in tow, masqueraded as fearlessness and a desire to party. Yet, I ended up the anxious, homosexual academic overachiever. There's a part of me that fears that she holds a grudge against me for becoming my own person which is completely opposite of what she wanted. It is selfish of me to be my own person. 

But, it isn't. Ironically, a skill I've mastered is being able to logically work my way out of things, thought-wise. I say ironically, because that same part of my brain spent the better part of my life malfunctioning and telling me that every given moment that I feel even a little off, I'm having a medical emergency, or if I didn't do something right the first time, a catastrophic event would happen to me. The latest of which? If I don't turn my humidifier on before 1am, an airplane will crash into my room. But what I mean by logically working my way out of things, interestingly, is that I find a way to justify things, even if they aren't necessarily true. For example - it is indeed selfish of me to ask for a tin of mints because I'm making the situation about me and not about giving to others. I've been given everything I could ever want growing up - a roof over my head, food in my tummy, and a bed to sleep in. How selfish could I be, asking for a treat when I am undeserving of it!?

Which brings us full circle, I suppose. Who is to say I am undeserving of a tin of mints? Who determines that I am undeserving of being celebrated, for big and small things? I earned my Bachelor's degree. That is something worth being celebrated and praised for. I lived another year. In my mind, that is also something worth praising. Yet, here I sit, with 3 less dollars in my bank account because I wanted some mints. It isn't about the mints. It's about the idea of selfishness. It's about how I have been given the burden of making sure that my mother's happiness is constant and above my own. It is about being told that the emotional burden I pose by forcing my mother to parent me - to act on the choices she made - is selfish as it is causing her a detriment, emotionally. But the emotional burden I carry of being, well, a burden? Is selfish because it is all about me. I am no stranger to the knowledge that I grew up an only child. I grew up with the privilege of not having to share things or people or holidays. I am painfully aware that I got what I wanted from my grandparents - they spoiled me rotten. But I am also old enough to know that we all make our own choices. My grandparents chose to buy me things and treat me like a princess. My mother chose to have me. I chose to be the person I am today, and I will likely choose to change over time to be whoever it is that I want to be at any point in the future.

Therapy has done wonders for me, and I have come to many conclusions about many things, but something that I'm presently working on that I felt was worth sharing was that I am not a selfish individual. I do not ask for things with the knowledge or assumption that it will come at a detriment to others. I do not take pleasure in causing problems to others with my needs and wants. I am a person who is allowed to want and need things. It is not selfish of me to make choices that are my own. It is not selfish of me to simply exist. I am not selfish.

˗ˏˋ puppy chow archive ˎˊ˗
short-form rambles
ooh what's hidden in here?
˗ˏˋ archive placeholder | 03.29.2024 ˎˊ˗

somebody needs to tell me why i turned on game grumps in the background for noise and arin is moaning in my ear... get the hell out of there bro


˗ˏˋ bug bites archive ˎˊ˗
my fav parts of my fav songs
ooh what's hidden in here?
sanha
♫ SONG NAME
✉ ALBUM
𓆩♡𓆪 ARTIST