Fae Escape


All I want is to escape into a magical fairy garden land where I can bask in the sun as I let delicate stems of wildflowers tingle my palms. I crave for the days when the warmth on my cacao skin seeps deep within, reminding me of my power. The shades of green and hues of blue entangled with the subtle glistening of light reflecting off of dragonfly wings and the kisses of heavenly breeze ignites serenity that was long thought to be lost. In one singular moment, I am at peace, I am free and I am me.

Swinging Vines.      

Mushyroom.      

By The Corner.      

Drenched in Serenity.      

When I Lay.      

Fae Escape Collection




Looking for an escape from the four walls of my room but with nowhere to go to -
I remember the littlest joys reside in nature.


With these five illustrations, I wanted to captivate my love for the greens that emerge from Earth and the life they provide.


I've started to believe my muse is Mother Earth.


To support my work/ purchase my artwork as prints and more, click here.

A²

Notes dispersed


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Hope you are well.

Love, 
A²

Women in Asian Cinema


Role and treatment of women in House of Flying Daggers (2004) and Mother (2009) 

This research essay will critically discuss the role and treatment of women in national cinema, namely Zhang Yimou’s, 2004, House of Flying Daggers and Bong Joon-ho’s, 2009, Mother. I will attempt to identify, define and research the characterisation and portrayal of women within contrasting settings and depictions, as well as provide general commentary on the patriarchy and feminism. With the aid of literary resources, I aim to showcase the influence and effectiveness of qualities and attributes within a character brief that consequently provokes discussions about authentic or fair representation. Throughout the essay, I will be highlighting problematic traits and unjust circumstances enforced upon Xiaomei in House of Flying Daggers, whilst pointing out the differences, persuading readers of the power that strong female protagonists hold, generated in the portrayal of Mother in Bong Joon-ho’s Mother, consequently, commenting on the male gaze and the oppression of women. 

 

The aim of this essay is to dismantle misogynistic ideologies and to encourage writers and film directors, to create deeper, broader, and a greater variety of roles for women in cinema, as well as expanding the range and diversity of women represented on-screen to accurately represent real-life and real people; to stray away from the over-done, obvious, cliché characterisation of females that often oppresses them, offends their power and demeans their capabilities.  



Firstly, focusing on House of Flying Daggers’ protagonist Xiaomei, although characterised as strong, capable, and loyal, is thrown right into a male-dominated setting with no granted permission to her own anatomy. Introduced in the brothel scene, she is immediately subject to harassment as Jin lunges at her, ripping her clothes. Barely 10 minutes into the film and it is already evident that there is going to be no justice served as authorities march in and victim-blame Xiaomei for being assaulted. Additionally, from the get-go, it is indisputable that Xiaomei’s appearance will assist in the development and direction of the plot, however only restricted through a male gaze that objectifies her, stripping her of her agency. Time and again Xiaomei is depicted as a damsel in distress, a helpless girl that needs the protection of men, despite all supporting characters haven seen her dagger-work and are aware of her (presumed) status and skill. This ongoing rinse and repeat agenda is regulated by a constant need to depict Xiaomei as an object of desire, and the male characters, namely Jin and Leo, as the embodiment of strength and masculinity, patronizes and belittles any sense of individualism or unique characteristics Xiaomei inhibits.

 

In fact, this slow-burn-type of plot progression, where the oppression imposed upon Xiaomei increases, eventually completely disconnects from the original grounds of motive - finding the new leader of the House of Flying Daggers, as by the end of the film there is no resolution to the original objective, which was to kill the new leader. Rather, it amounts to a disappointing love triangle affair which, too, results in the worst outcome for Xiaomei as she is killed, with no consequences for any of the male characters. Leo tries to force himself upon Xiaomei, but she’s the one that gets killed because she refused his advances. Jin requires saving, but Xiaomei is tricked to her death in the name of sacrifice and true love. 

 

Attempts to form commentary, contrary to this argument based on having given Xiaomei permission ‘despite’ her gender in the film adaptation House of Flying Daggers set in the Tang Dynasty, as compared to her much more oppressed characterization in the original poem by Li Yannian which was set in the Han Dynasty (Ya-Chen, 2005) is an unnoteworthy discourse. To ‘offer’ women “greater freedom” (Ya-Chen, 2005) to do things such as “socialize with men in public” (Ya-Chen, 2005) and not have “strict rules for women’s virginity and chastity” (Ya-Chen, 2005) is nothing to commend. Usually, adaptations or remakes come into existence to re-do plots with a contemporary audience in mind, however, Zhang Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers rather uses this as an excuse to unnecessarily sexualize and close in on appearance and a love-story based plot, further accentuating restrictions often enforced upon womens’ autonomy and the representation of females through a male perspective. 

 

This discussion is further supported by film critics such as McGuire’s (2019) dissection of Yimou’s filmmaking; that although Yimou is undoubtedly a masterful filmmaker, it is undeniable that his films position women as the “lower species” (McGuire, 2019). It is also noted that Yimou values actresses that access the ‘male gaze’ as means to advantage their character, however then only of benefit to the male audience as the “determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure that is styled accordingly” (McGuire, 2019) and “the gaze is built upon culturally defined notions of sexual difference” (McGuire, 2019). 

 

Overall, attempts to depict Xiaomei within the femme fatale troupe ends up rather being a ‘manic-pixie-dream girl’ persona: a woman who is skilled, beautiful, and confident, only to then rid her of her strength, position her purely on the basis of her sexuality and in opposition to men who use her to their advantage and then killing her off, results in a frustrating viewing of this film. It neither accurately represents real-life women or the extent of their capabilities, nor conveys a consistent plot from which a moral can be elicited. It instead almost seems to fulfil a twisted fantasy and desire to keep women oppressed, especially if they are strong.



Contrastingly, the characterization of the female protagonist in Bong Joon-ho’s Mother offers a stark variation in traits, attributes, and societal positioning; exhibiting the expansive variety and diverse representation women in film have to offer. Rather than the overdone sexual assault victim, girl-next-door, or damsel in distress character cage, Mother depicts the realities of living in poverty, of living with mental illness, and explores the nature of being a parent. Furthermore, this is done through the artistry of an unconventional actress, an old female, who captivates the audience and steals the stage with a ground-breaking performance. 

 

From the get-go, the protagonist referred to as solely ‘mother’ throughout the entire film is independent, self-reliant, and has clearly been in charge of the finances and parental care in the Yoon household. The lack of a male or father figure is never discussed, nor even hinted at, further emphasizing the capacity and capabilities of the mother. 

 

Mother is autonomous, making ends meet by selling herbal medication and practising acupuncture, whilst taking care of household chores and a mentally ill adult child, defying the norms of traditional households or an assumed family dynamic with the father as the breadwinner. It is also hinted at, in scenes, that mother herself deals with mental health issues as Yoon Do-Joon recalls her attempts to kill him and then herself, adding to the characteristic of mother as strong and resilient. Having survived what was a suicide attempt and having had continued from that point with a goal of taking care of her child, mother embodies the ultimate survivor as she is surviving for two (Ratner, 2010), emphasizing the true nature and virtue of motherhood, to not even acknowledge her own pain in order to be capable of helping her child. 

 

Furthermore, setting the mother up in the contemporary society where hegemonies are built on the de-sexualisation of elderly women, as well as culturally in a Korean context which excludes the single mother, and possibly a widow from any societally acceptable sexual activity (Kim, 2016), allows for the plot to be directed by her actions and behaviours, using all meagre advantages; the perceived innocuousness and near-invisibility of an elderly woman (Ratner, 2010), for the audience to base their judgment of her personality, rather than her looks or ability to seduce someone. Mother is portrayed as a human rather than as an excuse to portray an unrealistic or idealized woman, as far too often to be a woman in cinema, is to be sexualized or made to use sexuality for personal gains.

 

Although unfortunate that contemporary society devalues elderly women, as they no longer meet the idealized beauty standards; this paradoxically rids them of the constraints, policing, and sexualisation that had been enforced upon them previously, allowing for their lives to be led and for relationships to be made, on a basis other than their gender. 

 

In this manner, Bong Joon-ho’s, Mother, works to finally give centre stage to an age range barely depicted or spoken for in the media. Flipping the inevitable degradation within social hierarchies or the diminishing importance that often results as a woman ages, on its head, Bong Joon-ho uses this to accentuate the mother’s personality, psyche, and identity, allowing for a greater focus on her actions, representing a female life devoid of the male gaze or the incentive of assault and discrimination based on gender, thus better showcasing the effects of economic oppression, mental health issues, corruption and the extent of female power.

 

Mother takes traits that younger women are often ridiculed for, such as being ‘overly emotional’, ‘dramatic’ or ‘caring too much’, and applies it to a situation, utilizing stylistic devices such as plot twists and flashbacks, to rephrase and review those emotions and build a barely-seen-before character type: “a mother [that] will go to any length to save or avenge her child” (Ji-yoon An, 2019), where “the underlying foundation of this hypothesis lies in the notion of excessive maternal love, a trait that is taken to be present in all Korean mothers” (Ji-yoon An, 2019), a sort of love that transcends laws and morals.


Acting almost as a cautionary tale for audiences, to never underestimate a woman, to never mock her emotions, and to never forget the power she holds and isn’t afraid to use when it comes to what she cares about; a tale where “the mother starts off as a victim but gradually transforms into a darker character with the potential to do harm” (Ji-yoon An, 2019).

 

Such argument is also backed up by theorists who have studied the responses from audiences upon watching such films, and their interests for what Korean society has labelled ‘mother thriller’ films (Ji-yoon An, 2019) in which themes of oppressed women who are pushed to their limits in a patriarchal society, forgo their morals in order to save their child or to fight against an often fraudulent and unjust system, with violent and murderous measures. For example, Ji-Yoon An’s research explains how the male-dominated society has made women “quick, calculating and unethical”, in order to practice their “female agency” (2019). 

 

Congruent to this statement, Mother almost stands as a feminist text, where instead of portraying an elderly woman as frail or needing protection, it applies that very reasoning and makes Mother scary. No one is ever suspecting such a demographic of committing a horrendous murder, allowing mother to fly under the radar and never be suspected of the crime; highlighted in the final scene of the film where the mother’s “silhouette joins a crowd of other dancing women, [and] it becomes impossible to distinguish our protagonist, leaving viewers with the frightening speculation that a similarly dark story might exist behind all Korean mothers who dance to forget such memories” (Ji-yoon An, 2019), simultaneously deceiving everyone. It gives way to the psychotic nature that has emerged as a result of frustration, anger, and constant injustice, alerting audiences that women are to be feared and warning them of the effects of pushing women too far, endorsing fear into viewers and making them realize that the very importance they have stripped elderly women of, will be their downfall; a theory emphasized in “the final scene of Mother insinuating all Korean mothers to harbour not only an ability to transform into a subversive character but even a similarly harrowing and hidden past” (Ji-yoon An, 2019).

 

Especially within the context, in which this film was made, the moral of the story is emphasized far more when reached to audiences it had targeted. The role and importance of family and motherhood in Korean culture are far more central and of significance, “the fact that the first female to be imaged on a Korean banknote was a woman known as ‘the great Korean mother’ speaks of the national pride embedded in the image of Korean motherhood.” (Ji-yoon An, 2019). Consequently, the “role of the mother is romanticized to exemplify the familiar image of the ‘wise mother good wife’ with narratives often focusing on a mother’s sacrifice” (Ji-yoon An, 2019) and the majority of Korean family films depicting the role of a mother through rose-coloured lenses with a focus on the purity of motherhood which is challenged tremendously with Mother, which instead explores “the continuing issue of ‘extreme motherhood’ in today’s society” (Ji-yoon An, 2019).

 

Discussing the role and treatment of women in national cinema between Zhang Yimou’s, 2004, House of Flying Daggers and Bong Joon-ho’s, 2009, Mother and comparing depictions and positioning of protagonists within the two texts, the difference in agencies, scope, and ability is undeniably in the favour of mother, so much so that even film critics commented on the stark differences in the characterization of female characters as “thrillers of the past had worked to reinforce masculine solidarity, representatively between a male killer and a male chaser. Women, as the weaker sex, were usually collateral damage in the process of depicting masculine problems with governmental authority” (Ji-yoon An, 2019), and so this newly formed and popularised “image of strong female characters in mother thrillers can be argued as progress in the depiction of women in cinema, particularly within the genre of thrillers” (Ji-yoon An, 2019).

 

Although the setting of both films is dominated by male presence, whether that might be in an authoritative manner or just by the sheer unequal ratio of men to women, the characteristics of Xiaomi even though the feminist reading of the femme fatale, discusses the stories of this period as cautionary tales, designed to warn male readers of female sexuality’s catastrophic effects on patriarchy (Kourelou, 2010), obviously positioning the male audience as its target and alerting them of the consequences of giving women too much freedom. Meanwhile, Bong, a Korean male director, saw Mother as a chance to push an agenda: to destroy the myth of maternal instinct, exhibiting and recognizing that despite the association with care and comfort, motherhood itself is rarely peaceful, setting up a situation that begs mother to break boundaries (Kim, 2016) and illustrates a truer deposition of female hardship and the difficulties of motherhood. 

 

Mother is simply a character treated with more respect and attention. Written with a real person in mind, a conclusion that will engage with audiences as well as start a wider conversation about, and inclusive of demographics that have previously been shoved under the rug, the film works to psychologically question our society, its treatment of elderly women, as well as disabilities in the national and cultural context of Korea as well as the overall patriarchy. However, Xiaomei on the other hand is made to play into all the traps laid out for her by male authorities, the patriarchy, and general discrimination against her gender. Her personality is underdeveloped, written only to the extent of serving the male gaze and offering audiences an attractively enveloped cautionary tale about women’s sexuality and independence, encouraging the shutting down or disapproval of female independence and autonomy.

 

Overall, to conclude, it can be finalised that films, namely Zhang Yimou’s, 2004, House of Flying Daggers and Bong Joon-ho’s, 2009, Mother, showcase the role and treatment of women upon the basis of traits, personality and attributes made available to the character. Additionally, the positioning within a certain context or amongst other characters can highly impact the role, depiction, and treatment of said character, as located in the focus films where although both settings are heavily male-oriented and male-led with overt patriarchal influences, the characteristics, features, and potentials admitted to the female lead directs the moral; as Xiaomei is left helpless and presents the possible liberation of women if they practice their independence or sexuality, sitting as a cautionary tale for men and patriarchy, and mother is allowed to explore the power of maternal instinct as well as dismantle ideologies about age, agency, and capabilities.

References

Chen, Ya-Chen. (2005). There Is A Beauty in the Door(way) of Flying Daggers. Intellect. Asian Cinema, 15:2, pp 277-291. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ac.16.2.277_1

Ji-yoon An. (2019). The Korean mother in contemporary thriller films: a Monster or just modern?, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 11:2, pp154-169, DOI: 10.1080/17564905.2019.1661655 

Kim, Ann Meejung. (2016). Alienating the Maternal Instinct in Bong Joon-ho’s Mother, International Journal of Literature and Arts. 4:5, pp 61-67. DOI: 10.11648/j.ijla.2016040

Kourelou O. (2010) ‘Put the Blame on…Mei’: Zhang Ziyi and the Politics of Global Stardom. In: Hanson H., O’Rawe C. (eds) The Femme Fatale: Images, Histories, Contexts. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230282018_9

McGuire, P. (2019). Unveiling Identities: A Cultural Study of the Portrayal of Leading Women in Zhang Yimou Films. The University of Southern Mississippi, Graduate School, pp. 1-9, pp. 48-57. https://aquila.usm.edu/dissertations/1736/

Ratner, Megan. (2010). Film Comment ‘Mother’. Film Society of Lincoln Center, 46:2, pp 71.

https://search.proquest.com/openview/773fd778da41aa2da0aba9d4bcd681b1/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=24820 


Filmography 


House of Flying Daggers (film). Directed by Zhang Yimou. Edko Films. 2004. 

Mother (film). Directed by Bong Joon-ho. CJ Entertainment. 2009.

I'll want to read back on this

I've been feeling powerful this week, my energy has been calm and I've been soaking in rays of stability and now-ness. 

I was asked by a friend the other day, what 21 has been like for me and my mind directly went to explaining it in comparison to being 17. Maybe comparison isn't the correct word as the two are revealing themselves to be so similar to each other, instead, I think I use the term to emphasize the difference in my understanding of the situations, but within different mindsets, as I am the one who has changed, not necessarily the events. 

17 was full of change, of hardships and it was a transitionary period. It was difficult to navigate and it was challenging to say the least, and although 21 seems quite the same in that aspect, my consciousness is far more present in getting me through every day. I am aware of how the two ages have brought me similar situations but as I am different and have a clearer idea of who I am or what I want; and, I can find peace and pride myself on that growth. 

When I comprehend this thought though, it just seems to me as if we're all a part of some strange joke. A prank maybe, that we're playing on ourselves. I feel as though we are so far into a delusion that even recognizing it feels wrong, yet we all do recognize it, but choose to bury it deep and not think about it because well, what else are we meant to do?  

(I hesitate to expand on that further because I believe I am more convincing when I speak about it, rather than when typing, but then again it differs depending on who I speak to as even a hint of self-doubt ruptures my train of thought and therefore my eloquence. Now I'm questioning whether I'm even good at either? I think I am but if my abilities are lost so easily by the presence of another's intellect, then am I truly good at it? Perhaps it's all insignificant (how ironic) and I'm an overly anxious person as a result of comparing myself to others but always reaching the same conclusion.)

But anyhow, I will attempt to speak type my mind more for myself than anyone else who stumbles across this post; as even if one does, in the end, they will realize that all judgment is so insignificant anyways. 

What seems like a massive joke we have all deluded ourselves of, calling our reality, is the fact that we keep on living each and every moment with some sense of disease, discomfort, dissatisfaction, stress, or fear within us. 

Not to say, I don't live this way, but I feel as though I keep encountering sudden realizations here and there where I truly think to myself- what is the point? and not in a depressing, "I want to die, everything is meaningless" sort of way- no, it's quite the opposite actually. 

It feels like a joke that we all know that we only have about 85 years here (and even that's pushing it). We know that in the end, the only thing that will matter is the feeling of the present moment in which you are passing away (yes you will reflect on your life and all the memories, etc, but there is a moment of sudden self-presence) yet we live in this cycle day after day of anxiety, stress, and helplessness for the imagined future.

We're all aware of our time here, right? And, we are all aware of the fact that this will end, that everything is temporary, and that in the greater scheme of things- we are so insignificant. 

I've been visualizing people I see, even myself, as little energy illuminations rather than seeing people in their human form. It's as if we are simply just clusters of energy, of consciousness that inhibits the outer human shell. Perhaps that illumination changes in color or vibrancy and strength according to how you react or present your thoughts and emotions to the world and to other energies, or what you hold close to your heart and let determine your life. 

I think to myself then, shouldn't this make us recognize how powerful we are? How much we have to explore and experience? How significant we can make our lives because we are so insignificant? 

If you truly think about it, are you making the most of the time you have here? Is our only purpose to get good grades, get a job, make money, be able to afford stuff, etc.? 

I can't help but keep thinking about the fact that we've made these rules for ourselves- we've created our own pain. This society, the way it is constructed, to prioritize some, to give others none, to keep you unsatisfied, to keep fueling sadness. This system that keeps fueling our pain - haven't we created it all? How can we, and are we just letting this happen to us? 

As harboring this human body, the outer shell, being this conscious energy form that deciphers and understands its own emotions, comprehends feelings - are we doing the most with what it has to offer? 

Every time I feel something, respond or react to a situation or emotion that I hadn't predicted, regardless of overthinking and over-protecting myself by making sure I was ready to take on anything possible... When I feel something beyond the possibility of what I thought I could feel or would encounter I am truly taken aback as to how obscure, how unique, and how intense these emotions can be. 

How someone else will never feel something that you do - they can share it with you, but your emotions will always be yours only, and you or no one else can even know for 100% that how or what you feel is the exact same. Empathy or sympathy is the closest we come to it, but it's absolutely baffling and disarming for me when a certain situation results in emotion I didn't think I could feel.

It seems as though the answer to one of the biggest questions - what is our purpose here? can be found through this thinking.

Isn't it just to relish in the fact that we can truly just be?  

Even the shittiest of emotions- grief, sadness, loneliness, depression- are all a part of the human experience are they not? Whether you believe in reincarnation or not is a different topic, but regardless of it, you can't dismiss the truth- that you will never experience things the same way ever, ever again. Like emotion and the ability to comprehend it, express it, feel it and control it is such a minuscule difference between human beings and any other being or form, but it makes us so much more powerful. It gives us consciousness

You have these 85 approx years to keep feeling and exploring what it is to be human- how this ability to be conscious is a gift, a very unique chance to live a life with such depth to it, one which can hold so much meaning and one that has so much to offer. Yet, we allow the fear- of failure, of disappointing or of being in debt or expressing yourself in ways that divert from the 'norm'- all obstacles we have created for ourselves and within ourselves that hinder us from recognizing the simplest truth of life.  

I do know that when I think this way, it comes from a place of privilege. Of course, and hopefully, you as a reader would understand that this way of thinking I am able to exercise or am encouraging people to adopt, cannot be seen as an applicable or appropriate commentary towards the emotions, lives, and experiences of those in the contexts of war, famine, poverty, intellectual disability and such. But, I do believe that even a second of accepting the present moment and realizing the limited time you have here and how you make use of that time, as a grounding technique, can bring some sort of ease to anyone. 

I know this may still not be applicable to many circumstances that I am oblivious to or ignorant of, but one where I can apply it or it has helped me, is one that I feel many can relate to as the context within which I am, and from which my anxieties emerge, is a context shared by many. 

I was asked about a certain relationship in my life, and how I was dealing with it. I responded by saying that as long as that relationship adds to my life, not hinders my peace or happiness, I will allow it to be a part of my life, as, without it, I was satisfied and happy and don't need this relationship. That, if I feel like it is causing me more pain than pleasure then I will cut it out of my life because I am responsible for my own happiness and have the right to remove anything that disrupts that. 

For a while that seemed like such a mature way of thinking- a way to live that will ensure my emotional stability and remove the most possibility of hurt, and I thought I was doing a great job with this mindset because especially for me- someone who is affected quite easily and on a very hard-hitting level when something goes wrong- because I was putting up my boundaries and choosing the life I wanted to live, through what I thought was 'protecting myself'. 

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"Shouldn't you want to experience it, I mean, as a writer?"...

...The way you experience things, the way you use the time you have to feel (or not feel) certain things, are all in your control. So, shouldn't I use exactly that to my advantage, and yes, especially as a writer? 

I should I want to do the most I can with my time here, I want to experience it all, I want to live through it and fight it and love it and be engulfed in the endless possibilities because I can. Because I truly have control over one thing and that is the state of my mind, how I react to things, how I let them affect me, and how I give them the power to make or break the rest of the experiences and emotions left to feel and explore. 

Being in a shitty situation is only shitty because you get fixated on it and let it determine how you will act or how it will reflect on your future. A shitty situation can be great, and necessary for direction, but most make it into a negative, painful experience for themselves.  

It sounds simple- to be in a situation and to learn from it, but it's just as easy to let it ruin you. I think it happens often, especially when depression and anxiety are in the mix, it makes it easier to trip into a downward spiral of self-loathing, hatred for others, discomfort with certain situations, or barricading certain events to happen in your life or from feeling certain things. 

However, I think what I'm trying to do instead, now that I've thought it out differently, is realize that the power I hold over myself is far greater than anything that happens externally. 

You have endless emotions to uncover and experiences to encounter within the given years of your life and I think being stubborn and sticking to certain ways or being rigid about change or how you perceive things seems like such a waste of potential. 

I've found one thing that helps me with this, is utilizing what some may see as a limitation.
As we all thrive on communication, on understanding others' words and actions, which in turn leads us to react in a certain way or say certain things. But that in itself is so powerful. If you simply take a step back before you react or say something, recognize the power of silence. Recognize the power of being in control; of how you perceive things. Acknowledge that you may be wrong or that there may be another way to think about certain things. Or simply understanding that you don't always have to exhibit your thoughts or feelings immediately- gives you so much control over your life and how you live it. 

A big thing I need to remind myself of often is the fact that I box myself up and label it. Or, I box up a certain way I feel, react or respond, and trap it, allowing for it to take over me, guide me and determine my future. Now, although it's something I'm still working on actively; not encasing heavy, negative, or destructive emotions/ reactions and giving other possibilities and assumptions the benefit of the doubt, what has been the most helpful is being kind to myself and my thoughts. 

If a negative through, assumption, or conclusion arises within me, I've been trying to stabilize it and explore what other ways the situation that arose that initial negativity, actually has to offer, logically. 

If my brain can conclude a very bad thing to result from what I've experienced, for example, then surely there are good or slightly less bad things that could also result from a situation?

The quote "It's never as good as you'd want, but it's never as bad as you'd dread", sums up the approach, I reckon. 

I think I've realized that the one way to truly be in control and overall more perceptive about what or how you do things, is by realizing that your actions and words are the only way to really communicate something or to let something have power over you- example, if something makes you angry and you act out on that angry aggressively, then you've let that emotion overpower you and you've become a slave to it almost. 

However, if you approach it differently, allowing yourself to feel the anger, but also taking a step back to recognize what triggered that emotion and realizing that you have the power to no let it bother you- that there may be other ways to look at the situation or act on it- being able to take a break, reflect on how you feel and then being consciously in-charge and in control of your following actions and words, makes life so much easier. 

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Originally this post was going to be just phrases such as the ones below that I would write out to myself throughout the week that help me stay grounded and help clear the fog of anxious and depressive thinking I often find myself in. 

I've still kept them in because they're much more accessible and simpler than reading all the above tangents, and in addition to the phrases, I've added in some scanned pages from my beloved writing book that has truly been on a magical ride with me the past few days. Not much is comprehensible from the pages, but it pleases me to add in the photos as a reflection of my cluttered thinking transforming into words, sentences, and paragraphs. 


Also, it would be criminal not to mention The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, a book that has had a huge impact on me and helped me get out of my depressive state several times. Would recommend it to any and everyone. 

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It will be okay. What you feel right now, won't last forever. 

You get to experience this. It's all something you will look back at - maybe in a few weeks, months, or years. It feels like a lot right now, but one day it won't, and those emotions will transform into another. 

The things that aren't working out now, that are stressing you out and overwhelming you, are so small. So tiny. In the current moment, it seems massive, but time heals and time passes and so does the intensity of these emotions.

Look at yourself- your body- the shell in which you exist and will for the rest of this experience- you are so small, things are so insignificant.

Lockdown gives me the ability to rest, to take things slow, to create, and to enjoy a quiet life. 

What's happening right now is it. You just have to accept things for what they are rather than being stressed over it or wishing it wasn't this way because that won't change things. If you want things to be different, you have to change them.

Whatever ends up happening, you can make it through- rely on your instincts to handle situations rather than overanalyzing them from the beginning- thinking about all the possible situations doesn't solve anything- it creates stress.

You were happy and have the ability to be again. All feelings are temporary. 

Things change so quickly, you don't even know.