People Doodles #4

Doodled some people while waiting for a friend at the mall. Sat near the carousel so I could draw some children (and because its a PokeStop). I need to draw more children; they are difficult. Their body proportions are all off! Those heads! So big! And their parents dress them in such cute little outfits! Except I ended up drawing only a couple. Feels extra creepy drawing children when their parents catch me…

I couldn’t listen to my music, so I could hear some of the conversations between the kids and their parents. The way adults condescend children so brutally kind of upsets me. Adults talk to children as if they are pets: in a baby voice, or treating every word/action they say with “awws” without actually listening or watching, or issuing commands (“come here, boy!” “Stop doing that!”) without explaining things and getting mad when the children make loud noises, even just flat out ignoring them, staring at their phones. Children are people too! Just because they are naive and don’t know much about the world doesn’t mean they are stupid; not a sheep on a rope, not a kitten with a yarn ball. Why not be a decent person to the thing you’re supposed to be nurturing and educating? Okay, rant done.


<Previous People Doodles>

Fighting the Current

Fighting the current is hard, but I don’t want to just let it take me away…I am stuck, just swimming for my life, swimming in place. I am making no progress and slowly just inching further backwards. 

I see others, they let the current take them, but when they decide to fight, its easy for them! They fly! Why am I stuck? I need to find to summon the willpower, but I don’t have the ability to do even that! Where do I find the means when all my focus it put into the fight?

Is the fight worth it? Everyone says yes, but I see no evidence of this. They all let the waters take them, how can they know? They think letting the current take you IS the fight; they do not know what fighting really is. They think I am fighting against something unnecessary, something that only exists for me, and if I just let go everything will become easy. Some of them fight for whatever lies upriver, but they don’t come back and tell those struggling how to do it. Is continuing the fight worth it? Is it better to let go? Or should I just get the fuck out of this river?

I know I am not making much sense.

To everyone else, I am fighting an invisible wall. I give myself these mental problems and this anxiety by choosing to overthink things and think things the wrong way. They give me advice on how to change that, but I don’t want to change that. This is what makes me me. No one understands the real me, no one accepts it, the real me is a freak who needs to be fixed. Their advice makes me angry. Of course an animal would resist being caged! How can they not see this?! If I said it, they would act like I am being ridiculous. Like I am being crazy to not accept this “wonderful” life I could have if I just give in to the current.

How many times has my father said I am acting crazy? How many times has mom said I’ll feel better once I start doing things properly? And CD? Always trying to control me, even in the tiny subtle ways that normal people don’t notice until it is too late. They think selling myself for tickets into this god-awful system will make everything bad and wrong disappear, because money cures everything, right?!  If I had money, the first thing I would do is fly the fuck away from here.

They mean well, but they’re blind. They want me to join in on their system, because they think it will help me. If I tell them they are wrong, I am crazy. If they loved me, they wouldn’t control me, they would understand and enable me!

Talking to E is helping me realize this. He is different. He understands. He is like a hand reaching out from the shore to help me out of the fucked up river, instead of these others telling me to just let it take me. He won’t try to fix me, he will enable me. If he is able to give me the strength to fight the current, then he will have saved my life.

Strange Muse

Feeling inspired to update here and to write some whimsical unedited free form crap about my feelings. I really need to remember to keep this going. May be crap, but helpful for mental soothing. Was also encouraged to post more online, even anonymously, even on dumb unread blog, ahah. Maybe its the lack of sleep. Inspiration truly is a fanatical mistress; knocking on the door when I am ill equipped to deal with her!

Maybe its because I stuck my head out from the cave, saw a glimpse of the sunshine, and remembered how pleasing it is. Cave still too cozy and safe to want to leave though.

I’ve been feeling like a rock for months. A boulder wedged into a cliff, stuck and about ready to fall and crack to pieces. Can’t leave the house, can’t talk to anyone, barely create. Just a crusty old unproductive rock. But I feel different today. I think a waterfall is coming to unwedge and push away in a blast of water. It’s terrifying. I’m not sure I’m ready for the dam to be broken! May also be false alarm.

How is it possible to fall in love with the black and white shapes of words? Just text? Not even a name or a face to it. This muse comes unexpectedly from an unexpected place, though a muse wouldn’t be as musical if it could be expected. In strange form too, not even physical. No name, no face, no body; just words. Like a ghost whispering through my head at night.

I think I am just under illusions created by my own stupid forlorn heart. Enchanted by a mind that isn’t like the others. I might as well be a puppy, latching onto and following after the first kind gesture after being kicked. Sad, desperate, little puppy. But any spark of life is good, right? So long as I don’t go running blindly after it?

The ghost whispers, desperately seeking help, but it doesn’t care to hear. Any sound pleases it, urges it on. This is bad. Definitely not a good sign. Helping the ghost feels good, too good, but after? It will only be bad when the ghost has moved on. Must remember to not become attached. But right now, basking in the music is nice.

It’s also very confusing. I don’t understand why I like it. Ghosts are cold, unfeeling to anything outside their own form. Yet…what is it, exactly? I am an overemotional, hopeless romantic, enchanted by what? What do cold, logical, unpassionate ghosts see in that? I don’t understand why the ghosts like me, or why I like them. Opposites attract? It has happened before. Drawn to whispers, only to be left behind with my own whispers disappearing in the dark. Can’t let it happen again.

I am happy to say that this rambling has been helpful. The egotisticalness of wanting to say my own words almost makes me cringe, but I suppose that’s the curse of a writer.

The Horror That Was Japanese Class

Last term, I finished Japanese 101. Yes, it was level 1, super n00b, Kindergarten hiragana, basics of Japanese class. And holy crap, it was the most stressful experience of my college life. Seeing the sketch I posted yesterday, the one about the DOOR TO HELL, made me want to rant.

The system that they used to teach us was called “Baptism by Fire” by one of the instructors. He was joking, but I will forever remember that that is exactly what he said about it. Also, we had five instructors, and two professors. It was zero tolerance English, instructors feigning to not understand Engish, completely clear desks except for name plates with our last names, no note-taking. The instructors, whom all except one were Japanese, taught these classes. But there was one day a week where the American professor explained grammar, structure, and the “whys” and “whens” of words in the culture IN ENGLISH. Those days were like HEAVEN. The no-English thing started halfway into the first day of class, after the T.A. told us how the class would work and what our instructors expected from us. We had class every single weekday from noon to 1 o’clock, and had to memorize a list of vocab and some sentence exchanges before every class. Some days we also had to memorize 10 hiragana or kanji in addition to words and sentences, and had to be able to recognize all learned characters, write them down in a Japanese sentence, and read sentences out loud from the overhead projector. Sometimes we simply had to answer the question in Japanese, and that was somehow harder to process. In class, the instructors would simply speak to us. They would hold up signs and objects, ask questions, have us ask each other questions, and put on little performances of everyday situations (like ordering food or having to talk to your boss at work) and the instructor would call on us randomly and frequently to do all these. Every day, we got graded on a score of 1 to 10. I got about 8.5 everyday, because my brain commutes everything super slow (autism!!). The only times I got lower than 8.5 was when our only male Japanese instructor taught the class. Fellow students also noticed this tendency to score lower on days where he was teaching and the theory was because he is just harsher because in Japan (according to fellow student) teachers grade lower on everything to push students to get higher grades. Not sure how accurate that is, or if our instructors followed it. For some reason, I was intimidated by this instructor (Because he was male? Because he was a semi-serious very-Japanese person who only spoke to me in a language I barely understood in the naturally fast way he would speak it to any other Japanese person??). For the one-on-one end of term interview, I kept thinking “please not him, please not him…” Sure enough, it was friggin’ him. CURSE YOU ASHLEY FOR NEEDING TO SWITCH PLACES WITH ME!

This class may not sound that rough for some people, and yes, there were a bunch of very successful people in our class who thought it was a breeze. They didn’t stutter, hesitate or cop-out (at least, most of the time they didn’t), and even though I respected their ambition and (probable) no time left in their days for a social life in addition to their other classes and other whatnot throughout their days, I also kind of hated them and wished they would move up to the higher level class so that the rest of us struggling fools wouldn’t feel so stupid. Luckily I was among the people who were getting it all down, but just by BARELY. It all advanced so fast that if I slacked off even a little I would be horribly behind.

I guess it was a good lesson in discipline at least…

I have Asperger Syndrome, and as much as I hate using that as an excuse for anything, my brain works different! People with Asperger’s, or any kind of autism, take longer to understand the stimuli around them, or just don’t take some of it in at all. First, I have to hear what the instructor said in Japanese clearly in my mind (which usually takes more than one try,  mou ichi do, onegai shimas became my catch-phrase), and then I had to translate it in my head to English, then I had to figure out the normal-person response in English, then translate it to Japanese, and then say it correctly, all while fully aware of the spear-like gazes of my classmates and instructor on me and the knowledge that my ability  and speed affects my grade. If I had a processor in my brain it would have been on fire. I had to sit there in silence for a moment to organize everything in my head. Sometimes I would stumble a bit trying to figure something out, and the instructor would just skip over me and onto the next person. It was extremely frustrating. Instead of having a legitimate brain issue, they just think I’m stupid.

At the end of each class our instructor would bow and say arigato gozaimas, to indicate our class being dismissed, and when that happened everyday it was like a splash of water washing away all of the overheating electrodes in my brain, and I simply felt relieved and exhausted. Arigato gozaimas is now a very calming phrase for me haha. This class was just grueling. I mentioned my little brain issue with the professor, and she told me that I should find a way to cope. COPE?! Bleeesh! I, at least, did not entirely beef the class miserably. I did…decently…

But I don’t regret taking it. I learned a lot and I will definitely continue studying Japanese…just not at PSU…I will try Rosetta Stone or something, to learn in my freetime where I won’t feel so overburdened and rushed and feeling like my GPA is on the line simply because I cannot TALK or think right. The thought of ‘giving up’ really does not sit well with me, so I try to think of it more like ‘accommodate’ even though that kind of sounds worse…BUT either way, I will still keep learning. I feel very pleased with myself when I can read things that are in Japanese in anime and manga, and not have to read the subtitles. WOOT! So I DO enjoy knowing it, at least!

It feels good to get that off my chest. I have been trying very hard to not complain about this class the WHOLE term long…