My sister visited me in March and my first suggestion was to see Tokyo Disneyland. My friend lives in Chiba, and was only 30 minutes away. Unfortunately, my sister and I had to travel from Utsunomiya - about two hours with the Shinkansen. Still, a really nice ride if you're willing to spend the money.
We were both super psyched since neither of us had been to Disneyland before. After speaking with my friend, and doing a little research, we discovered that Disney Sea was the better alternative. You see, there is Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. Disneyland is the more classic theme park and features rides designed for children, while Disney Sea features more adult rides. Obviously, Disney Sea is the better alternative.
The first step in visiting Disneyland is getting there. You need to catch a train to Maihama station, and before you wonder how you'll know which stop is the right one, let me just say that you'll recognize it when you see it. That's exactly what my friend said to me and it was very true. You could see the resort sprawled out beside the station, and more importantly, elaborately decorated with Mickey Mouse. If you don't notice all of that, then you'll definitely notice the throngs of people with Disney merchandise.
Now, if you want to get to Disney Sea, that means taking the Disney train. You purchase a ticket (or use your suica card) like anywhere else. The train is adorned with Mickey's iconic silhouette. (I do indeed have more photos of things like the gate, and the train, but I'm respecting the privacy of my friend and sister.)
Disney Sea is split into 7 sections and each section is clearly delineated with a particular theme.
Lost River Delta
For full details and a cost breakdown, read on!
Sooo...a little while ago I attended a Bikram Yoga session (otherwise known as "Hot Yoga", for good reason) with my sister. She had gone to a previous class and enjoyed it. So she wanted to share it with me. I was touched by her invitation since we don't have a lot in common, nor does she invite me out often. Although if you knew my sister, then you would also know there is ALWAYS an ulterior motive. Perhaps she believes it to be well hidden, but she doesn't often do things without considering what she's getting out of it. I knew she wanted a Yoga partner, and she's made it obvious to me that she would prefer me if I was slimmer. Don't get me wrong, I could lose a few pounds (who couldn't) but I'm not exactly in the WORST shape. Anyway...
The day started at 6 in the morning, when I woke up. Much earlier than usual - I usually wake up by 9. Why was I getting up so early? Well, it all started when my sister offered me a ride to my boyfriend's. This was a treat since it's a) freezing outside, and b) I usually take the bus. Yes, the bus. Motorcycles don't drive in snow. When my sister offered a ride, I was excited and said yes. I thanked her. She then said that she needed to renew her passport and go to Hot Yoga - since those places were not too far from my boyfriend's place...
Ugh. Yes. Exactly. Every favour comes with a price. She was very willing to drive me - as long as I woke up early, went with her to renew her passport, and attended Hot Yoga. The price was high but I felt a little pinch from my super-ego, telling me to go with my sister. So I agreed once more. You see, she had already trapped me with the first "yes". Clever girl. She knows I have a guilty conscience about everything.
Right - so I woke up at 6 a.m. and we left at 7 to get to Canada Place early (a magical, wondrous, beaurucratic place filled with government offices - mostly about taxes and what not). We arrived, parked out front (very lucky since it's downtown) and went inside. Despite being around 8 in the morning, there were people already waiting in the passport office. Seriously - days start way too early. Anyway, we got it done. It wasn't even 9 in the morning and our yoga session wasn't until noon. We had some time to kill.
What did we do? I was like, why don't we just go for a walk? Since we were downtown and there are connecting pedways between the buildings which allows pedestrians to stay warm. We wandered over to City Centre mall, then back to Canada Place before we left. We waited a bit more until we finally drove to a yoga studio located outside of China town, and beneath an attorney's office. Somehow, it seemed really funny to me - and now, it seems even funnier.
I don't usually give names for specific vendors for numerous reasons - mainly that I want to remain objective and I don't feel like I should influence people to frequent a place if I don't feel convinced. Well in this instance, I will mention the name of the place for many, very good reasons. The yoga studio is called "Bē". I have decided to mention it by name because it was incredibly professional, clean, and overall had a terrific atmosphere and ambiance. If Bikram Yoga is something you're interested in (and you live in the area), I'd look in to it. The prices are reasonable, and the schedule is filled with classes at different times. It's a perfect place for beginners since the first time is free. Very handy for a quick try.
The place was immaculate. There was handy shoe rack at the front door (along with a bench to sit on - it's the little things). Participants sign in with an account, using a tablet at the front desk. This makes it easy to track who attends what, since most of the pricing deals in numbers of classes you want to take. That sort of thing. There are enormous change rooms with hooks for jackets, cubbies for items, and of course attached bathrooms and showers. Everything was painted, tiled and designed to bring a sense of zen.
The yoga instructor informed my sister and I that she was starting to warm up the room, and we could wait inside - acclimatize so-to-speak. I nodded, agreeing that it was probably a good idea. It was warm and moist, but not quite there yet. I immediately noticed the interesting floor, it was so bizarre - like rubber coated string glued together. It's a special type of non-porous, water-proof, non-slip yoga flooring - ideal for use in Bikram Yoga where there is A LOT of "moisture".
Now, I'm no stranger to Yoga. In fact, my mother has been doing Yoga for something like 40 years. So she's definitely an expert. Of course, that means that I've also done some Yoga here and there. I've even done Yoga using Wii Fit. I'm fairly familiar with stances and what-not. However, I was not prepared for the inconceivable heat and humidity involved in Bikram Yoga. Let it be known that I've never been a lover of heat. I like warm sunshine, don't get me wrong, but there is a limit before I completely break down as a human being.
What is this all leading up to? What is all this preamble for? Well, I'll tell you. Hot Yoga is basically Hell. Not the fun kind of "just-suffering", almost acquiescent Hell - the kind where you're forced to work past your limit in stifling, choking heat. I have NEVER experienced anything like that before. I felt like I was dying.
In fact, I was so convinced that I was going to pass out from heat exhaustion or water intoxication, or something worse, that I felt suddenly grateful for my sister being present. If something happened, at least she was there, and even better, I had given the yoga studio my emergency contact information. Suddenly, it made sense why such information was vital.
I thought, if these are my last moments before death, I can at least be rest assured that wherever I'm going will be better. At least it'll be cooler. It would have to be.
The class dragged on and on and on. I was beginning to wonder why it hadn't ended yet. Even by my internal clock it was past an hour. What was going on? How was I going to be able to stay in there any longer? I had to - despite every inch of my body desperately clawing to get out of the room, I had to stay in there. It's a sibling thing largely. If my sister wasn't there, it would have been much easier for my ego to allow me to leave. Instead, I suffered while I performed slippery, strenuous yoga moves.
Finally, the instructor told us to lie down while she turned on the de-humidifier (whoever knew that could be a good thing, I live in a dry climate). Then she turned off the lights and said that we could remain relaxed and quiet for as long we liked. I was like - "fuck this shit" and immediately informed my sister that we needed to leave. I rolled up the rented mat so quickly there was a cooling breeze and waited in anguish while my sister dawdled. Eventually we got out and I breathed the biggest, most grateful breath I've ever breathed. That's when my dear, loving sister informed me that we took part in an 85 minute class (although I think she meant either 75 or 90 minutes). I was exhausted. She asked if I felt "refreshed". I was like, who feels refreshed after working out in the smelliest, sweatiest place ever?
To summarize, Bikram Yoga or "Hot" Yoga should actually be referred to as HELL Yoga - in all caps just as I've written. That name more aptly portrays the true torturous nature of performing difficult moves in an even more arduous climate. If you dislike the heat - stay the HELL away from this type of yoga. You will die. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I do it to save your life. However, if you enjoy the heat and like being stretched like taffy - please feel free to enjoy the many...pungent wonders of HELL Yoga. If the heat doesn't kill you, the smell will.
Friday (November 22) evening I had gone out for pizza and drinks with my best friend and my partner. It was a momentous occasion, since it was the first time both of them were meeting. We were enjoying bulgogi pizza with shots of Soju while my phone was ringing silently. It wasn't until we were all in my friend's car after eating, that I checked my phone. Several missed calls, a voice mail and a few text messages were waiting for me. My sister's message was urgent. This was only somewhat typical - it was the missed call from my father and mother that set me off. I hadn't spoken much to my father since October 25. We had a falling out, so to speak (parents just don't understand). So it must have been important for him to breach the awkward tension to call me.
I called my sister first. She gave me the news. My grandmother is dead. Just like that. Now, just imagine for a moment, a person who is akin to a Nazi, dying. Are you sad? No, not really. Actually, you probably feel elated. Like, finally. One of the most evil people in the world died - no great loss. I know it's a horrible thing to say - people say you should never celebrate someone's death. Well, perhaps if it was a regular person or even if they weren't, as long as they weren't bitter and cruel to their dying days. Unfortunately, my grandmother was like a Nazi. She hated everyone - every sexuality, every colour, every nationality, everyone. She hated her friends, her family and her peers. I don't remember her saying anything nice about a single person - except herself. She always had praise for herself. How kind she was - how smart she was - sadly, all delusions. She may have been steeped in denial and lost all objectivity. Either way, she was not a good person.
I dislike this fact however my opinion isn't necessarily shared. My sister was broken up about it. She was crying. She actually felt sad. I was surprised. I mean, my sister never visited - if anything, I visited much more frequently (to my chagrin). Nor did she speak kindly of her or to her - she would openly mock my grandmother, but in a way that my grandmother didn't know it was happening. It was embarrassing. I never dared to behave that way, despite not liking her. Yet, my sister was broken up about it. My father's reaction was expected - he was sad, but sad for different reasons. He felt like it was a life wasted - she didn't learn anything and she died alone, with no one who loved her. Perhaps she could have arguably deserved some pity if it wasn't for the fact she lived her entire life abusing others. I have zero tolerance for abuse.
So here I am, contemplating. My grandmother was 91 when she died. My father told me that she was found standing up, leaning on her walker with her eyes open. I hate to have been the one to find her. It must have been terrifying. The workers knew my grandmother and did their best to avoid dealing with her except when mandatory. She was in an assisted living facility where they had to check on her twice a day. So there she was, still moving, still stubbornly pushing - she died mid-movement. I can't think of many people who do that. That was her though - she was incredibly stubborn. So stubborn in fact, we were all convinced she would never go. She had already defied the odds years ago when she walked again, after doctors said she wouldn't. She had disc surgery in her back, and in more recent years, both hips replaced. Yet, she walked. Nothing stopped her.
While it's obvious there's no love lost between my grandmother and I, I can admire her tenacity. I have never known another woman so fierce, so stubborn, and so determined. Maybe I have her to thank for those attributes in myself. Either way, she's now gone. There's no point in belaboring the same point again and again, she's dead now.
Yet, it does leave me with some curious questions. How am I supposed to feel? Despite not liking her, I had visited her frequently throughout my entire childhood, adolescence and adulthood. I knew her closely. My father, sister and I played cards with my grandmother. We ate at the same restaurant for years and years and years. This Chinese buffet she preferred going to - she was also incredibly cheap and refused to eat anywhere else. We had gone so frequently, I recognized all the staff and knew exactly what food was served where. I had a preferred route!
So I was "close" to her. Although no one was truly close to her. She didn't have depth - she had layers of manipulative abuse. How do I feel about her death? I was honestly happy. I thought, finally. She's no longer a burden to my father. He often complained about how difficult it was for him to take care of her, and her affairs. She was stressful and demanding. If he didn't answer the phone, she would call the police and have them search for him - from another province! Controlling is a word that describes her. Yet, is that okay? Is it okay not to care about the death of a close family member? If one of your relatives was a "Nazi", would you feel bad upon their death? I will say that she was one of the last remaining ties to my father's side of the family. That part is sad.
Regardless, I wanted to update the Blog with what's going on in my life. I moved in October to a different place, so it's taken a long time to transition and organize everything. I've only begun to get settled in. I apologize for my absence but hopefully there will be more updates coming soon.
I jumped from a plane today! That's right, out of choice.
My sister and I have been thinking about skydiving for years. We finally decided to do it about three weeks ago. We made the reservation and next thing I know, the day is today and we're in a plane.
We drive out to the place, it's almost an hour out of town. I had already went to the bathroom about 6 times but of course, I needed to go again. So my sister and I rushed off to the bathroom before checking in. After that, we filled out waivers and watched a short orientation video on jumping and landing.
Then off to get ready. We meet our instructors. My sister's? A man about her height (she's 5'11") and not only an experienced jumper but also a pilot. What's my sister? A pilot. Skydiving was the next logical step apparently.
My tandem instructor? A tall, Danish man with over 4000 jumps under his belt. I felt like I was in very safe hands. Although he didn't let on he was experienced until much later. He certainly liked to play up some very dark humour while the plane was climbing, I digress.
Sig (my instructor) picked out a jumpsuit and helped me into the harness. At one point he asked me to spread my legs so he could tighten the harness around my crotch. Then he stood and adjusted the ones around my chest. That was all very intimate but of course absolutely necessary. I want it as tight as possible - I'm pretty sure that's the point.
After a brief explanation on the harness and what to expect, we meet our videographers and head out to the field. It's not only the two videographers, instructors, my sister and I, but three professional skydivers. Each one had their own custom jumpsuit and chute. One guy had a purple jumpsuit with the golden lettering, "Curious Chris" (a Curious George reference, no doubt).
The little plane starts up. The propeller whirrs loudly. They set up a little ladder to get inside the large bay door but it's quite steep and very windy, so I require the assistance of my instructor in order to get into the plane. I get inside and sit down, straddling a sort of long bench. A clear shutter is brought down, blocking the large exit and we start going down the runway. I haven't had any time in small planes, so the take off is quite different from a large plane. Of course, my sister is used to even smaller planes than this one, so she handles it like a pro the whole way up.
The ground shrinks away. The climbing is steep and takes a long time. My sister chats up the people around her easily, talking about learning to be a pilot and her flying experience. I watch the view, I can't help but enjoy the plane ride itself. Sig points out familiar landmarks. It was like having a tour guide, I really enjoyed that. I look at my videographer's wrist and see the altimeter rising. We're getting closer to our altitude.
Finally, we reach 12, 500 feet. The giant, clear shutter is opened up and all that's left is sky. The professional solo divers go first. I watch them. Two men and a woman. I can't believe they just did that. My videographer climbs out on to the bar, waiting for me to come out. My instructor helps march me to the door. I crouch, like taught, and look out. Oh god. My instructor reminds me to cross my arms over my chest and look at the camera guy.
Scariest moment of my entire life.
I scream. Apparently my sister says she can hear me scream after I jump (she jumps after me). I want to scream more but there's so much air filling my mouth that I can't dispel any. Instead I look around me. Holy fuck. Everything is so far and beautiful. A perspective I've never had. The weather is perfect, absolutely perfect. Not a cloud in sight and it's warm, and I'm falling. Actually falling. I can feel gravity pulling me down. The view is so awe inspiring that I don't know how to feel but to be amazed. I actually flail around a bit, kicking my legs and such - only because I'm so excited that I don't know how to express myself (since I can't talk).
Then he pulls the chute. We instantly shoot up into the sky. It was at that moment that I realized how fast we were falling because I watched as the videographer fell to the Earth like a comet. I was frightened for his life!
The first thing that happens when he pulls the chute is my legs fly up like I'm sitting. The same thing happened to my sister. The force is so great that it sucks you up.
That's when you really get to enjoy the view. Wow. I've never seen anything like that. All I could say was, "Wow" mostly. My instructor was holding on to the...oh gosh, what's the word? Well, they're handles that control the parachute. He asked me, "would you like to hold them?" I said, "sure!" Next thing I know, I'm steering the parachute! We did a couple 360s for fun (with his help of course)! Wow! So fun!
Finally, it was time for the landing. He brought us in easily and we landed softly. He unhooked me and I jumped up, incredibly excited. My first words, "I want to do it again!"
Obviously, I had the time of my life. I feel like a whole new person. Would I recommend? Oh yes I fucking would.
P.S. What did I wear? I wore my green Paris, France t-shirt my father bought when he was there years ago. I thought it was the perfect symbol.
I read an article recently about how movies were horribly inaccurate in regards to in-laws. I attempted to find the article again but unfortunately no luck. I will update if I find it.
Regardless, I just shook my head. Obviously the author of said article has not dated OR they have had the incredibly rare luck of finding mates with decent, genuine in-laws. I am almost entirely convinced that such a thing does not exist.
In the article, the writer mentioned the film "Monster-in-Law" as being ridiculously dramatic but frankly, they are wrong. Okay, fair enough, some of the events are quite over-the-top however not unlikely.
I've had some experience with "in-laws" and let me tell you, I would recommend avoiding the in-laws, forever. There is no real reason to meet in-laws unless you're getting married. I know that might sound rude or something but let's face it, once you're over 21 your parents are not the decision makers. If they are, you have a problem. I'm specifically speaking about mama's boys - stay the hell away from any man who "loves his mommy". That is a waste of time. You will always be second, if not last.
The very first boyfriend I had was a mama's boy. I wish I had known something about that beforehand. I had no idea that one person could have such an influence over someone's life. I know that when I make decisions that the only opinion that matters is my own. I will consider input from my family or very close friends but ultimately I will have to live with the decision.
In Canada and the United States our observances are based on Christian beliefs due to the beliefs of the colonists who settled here. Valentine's Day is no exception.
The origin of Valentine's Day is at best, spotty. It's allegedly based on a man named Valentinus who lived under the Roman empire. He was imprisoned for apparently performing weddings for Christians. At this particular time in history, the Roman empire was heavily against Christianity. Valentinus was executed but before he died he sent a note to a special girl that ended with, "from your Valentine".
To be honest, it all seems a little too convenient to be true. Especially since the story isn't agreed upon. There were quite a few men named Valentine around that particular time period and different churches across Europe claim ownership to Valentine relics. That's the thing about Christianity, in my opinion it appears to be less about fact and more about ideals of morality.
Regardless of the alleged origin, Valentine's Day has evolved from religious worship by some to a commercialized "Hallmark" holiday observed by many. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that every year 190 million valentines are sent. In the U.K. they spend around 1.3 billion pounds (over 2 billion dollars) on Valentine related gifts annually. It is without a doubt a very profitable holiday for greeting card companies.
This reason might be why many are disenchanted with observing Valentine's Day. Coupled with being single can also be disheartening. I would argue and I'm sure some people would agree, that Valentine's Day is not just about celebrating romantic love. When I was younger every year my parents bought me Valentine gifts to show their unconditional love. Apparently I'm not the only child who receives such gifts since half the valentines in the U.S. are delivered to family members, typically children.
Despite the commercialization of Valentine's Day, I appreciate celebrating a day of love. You don't have to purchase an expensive greeting card or the typical chocolates and what-not. You can do what you like! That's the beauty of it. There are no rules. You're not required to do exactly the same thing as everyone else. You can make the day special by celebrating however you like. If you're single you could do any number of things. You could celebrate your friendships or family. If you're particularly touchy about Valentine's Day and prefer to be alone, then why not make it a day appreciating yourself? Make your favourite meal, watch your favourite movie. I'll be honest, when I was single I paid no attention to it. It was just another day. Mind you, I haven't been single in awhile and I think I would spend it a little differently now.
It doesn't matter how you choose to celebrate the day or if you ignore it altogether. It's your choice. I just like the idea of celebrating love. Love is truly beautiful in all its forms. So take the opportunity to tell someone you love them.
I love you, my readers! Here's a painting I did just for you! Have a great Valentine's Day!
P.S. If you feel like giving some loving back, please fill out my brief 5 question survey by clicking on this link. (No worries, it's still on my site.)
Today is my younger brother's birthday, he is 21. In honour of his birth I will be discussing a condition that is very important to me, Down Syndrome (DS).
My little brother has Down Syndrome. It is a condition present even before birth. There are prenatal tests to assess the possibility that a fetus has Down Syndrome. What does it mean? Down Syndrome is a chromosomal condition where there are too many copies of chromosome 21. Babies can be born with any number of chromosomal abnormalities or mutations which result in infinite possibilities. Down Syndrome just happens to be the most common.
The effects of Down Syndrome are typically mild. They might take a bit longer to learn something but once they do, they don't forget. Most people with Down Syndrome function quite normally in their day-to-day lives. They have responsibilities like working and cooking but they also share meaningful relationships with those around them.
It's funny to think that something so simple can affect someone so much. I'm not necessarily referring to slower cognitive abilities but the attitude surrounding their condition. What makes me particularly sad is the fact that mothers who carry a baby with DS often choose to abort. That sort of attitude only reminds me of other narrow minded beliefs such as aborting female babies because males are more desired. Of course I do believe in the right to choose but I'm hoping that choice is not based on something as superficial as sex or DS.
My mother was aware that my little brother had DS and chose to keep him. I could not be more grateful. He has brought more light and love into our lives than anyone ever could. He is sweet, compassionate, thoughtful, wise and most of all, funny. He is my favourite sibling by far (and I have 5). What hurts me are the attitudes and behaviour of others. However people find out my brother has DS, the reaction is usually the same, judgement. They'll make a sad face and tell me they feel sorry for me, going on about how it must be hard. The only thing that's hard about it are their reactions. They shouldn't feel sorry for me because in all honesty, I pity them.
They don't know the joy and love my brother shares with everyone. They don't know what it feels like to be unconditionally loved no matter what. He doesn't judge, he doesn't hate, he isn't negative and he'll always be on your side. How many people can you say that about? None? The vast majority of people are just the opposite; they're quick to judge, they hate easily, they get down on themselves and everyone around them, and you can forget about them being on anyone's side but their own. I wouldn't call that "smarter". I would say that they're more susceptible to human fallacy.
Therefore I put forward that my brother is smarter than the average person. In fact, I wish more people were like him. Perhaps then this world wouldn't be so filled with hate and fear. The next time you see someone different than yourself, stop yourself from judging. Everyone makes snap judgements, the trick is to find where that judgement is coming from. Is it coming from a place of knowledge or fear of the unknown?
If you ever have the pleasure of meeting someone with DS, don't be awkward. They're people, like you and me. They have feelings just like we do. The best thing you could do is be yourself. Honestly, as a general rule, you should never stop being yourself.
I would like to recommend one of my favourite books about DS: Our Brother Has Down's Syndrome: An Introduction for Children by Shelley Cairo. It's short and sweet, offering a simple explanation and concluding in a similar fashion. I'm very lucky to have such a fantastic brother.
Yesterday was November 11, Remembrance Day. It's a time when everyone thinks back and thanks the soldiers who gave their lives. It began initially after WWI and continues to this day not only to commemorate the lives of the fallen but the survivors. What's unfortunate is that there have been many wars since and I'm sure that many of those soldiers believed they were fighting for peace. Peace may still be a long time from now.
Whenever I think about Remembrance Day I think about my grandfather. (Both of my grandfathers were in WWII but my paternal grandfather passed away before I was born.) I only knew my maternal grandfather for a short time but the time I do remember was special. When I was a little older I learned more about him. He was a top sniper and participated in some of the worst known battles. I think about what it must have done to him, to be forced to kill strangers, strangers with families. Strangers with lives and dreams, never being fulfilled because he was forced to take their lives. It was kill or be killed.
I knew him as a sweet man with a generous nature and infinite compassion. I can't imagine how he must have felt. He left behind poetry he had written during the war and I was fortunate enough to see some of it. Written in neat cursive he recalls moments, some of them heart warming and others heart breaking. In one poem he writes about witnessing his best friend dying in front of him. War is a dirty, horrible thing.
On Remembrance Day I think about everyone who has ever sacrificed to protect their loved ones and I think about the day war is a thing of the past. I hope that happens sooner rather than later.
At the end of October my city had the pleasure of hosting the Star Wars Identities Exhibition. I had been looking forward to it since last year when I first heard they were coming. Up until today I could only imagine what wonders were in store and my goodness, it was wondrous. I visited the exhibit with my family and partner. I suppose the first thing I should mention is that I had bought tickets online for a specific time, well it turns out they were running an hour behind schedule. Even though we showed up early we didn't have the pleasure of getting into the exhibit for over an hour. What did we do with our time? Browsed the other galleries and mostly waited in line. Despite the long wait I would have to say it was definitely worth it.
When we finally made it to the front of the line we were presented with an ear piece, receiver and wrist band. Then we watched a quick 5 minute video on the quest we had all undertaken to discover the hero inside of each of us. It made me so very excited. I cannot fully explain the excitement that was coursing through my veins. Star Wars has been one of my favourite stories my entire life and here I was about to witness some of the greatest props, costumes and concept art that has ever existed. I got to see Boba Fett, C-3P0, R2-D2, Yoda, Han, Leia, Chewbacca...you name it! They were all there!
Maybe you're wondering what they meant by discovering the hero inside of us, well the wristbands we were given were more special than any of us realized. The exhibition had an interactive feature; inside were 10 stations each with a question designed to develop a personal character. You would press the wristband against an illuminated hexagon and voila! You would make choices in order to pick what kind of Star Wars character you wanted to create. The questions ranged from what species you are, how your parents raised you, what your personality was like to choosing the empire or rejecting the offer.
The best part about creating your own character was the consideration they had put into designing these questions. They actually used a variety of psychological theories that were very familiar to me. I truly appreciated that. What an awesome and brilliant idea! Not only were we able to enjoy the amazing movie props but we each created a unique and memorable character. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Star Wars Identities you should take it! I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was truly a wonderful experience.
I think making a distinction between love and obsession is very important. Many people have the two confused in to one ambiguous amalgam.
Obsession: Obsession can feel like love. Someone experiencing feelings of obsession towards someone else will feel an overwhelming desire to be with them at any capacity. They want to be near them all the time. It is similar to infatuation. Obsession is the advanced stage of infatuation. It starts with a crush. You see someone and you like them. Sometimes what someone calls "love at first sight" is purely a superficial reaction with no real substance. You find them attractive so the crush begins. Following that you try to get closer to them, perhaps not in the traditional sense. You might ask others about them or more commonly these days, Facebook stalk them.
This sort of behaviour continues. Depending on the person, the proximity to the crush can vary. In some instances the obsession can occur with a celebrity, so it would be incredibly difficult to get close to them at any capacity. People who develop obsessions tend to view their crush as better than themselves yet they have a belief that since they "love" them so very much that it makes up for any shortcomings, this is a significant point. If the crush is someone they can interact with it is a different situation. In many cases they attempt to become friends and once that has been accomplished they dream about being more.
For some the closest they get is the "friendship". Some of them claim they've been put in the "friend zone". Just because you're nice to someone doesn't mean they owe you a relationship or anything else for that matter. Being nice should be standard for everyone.
Whatever the relationship between the obsessed and the obsession, it can never be genuine. The obsessed is ultimately selfish. They want that person all to themselves. They become intensely jealous and angry when their crush is involved with anyone they might view as a threat. It doesn't even have to be a romantic threat or a credible one, everyone else is suddenly a threat. Obsessions are ultimately negative and can become dangerous. Although the person experiencing the obsession may feel as though they are the only one who truly loves their crush Love is the wrong word.
Some obsessions can become lethal. It can develop into an unhealthy relationship, stalking or in extreme cases, life threatening. Obsessions are not only bad for the person being obsessed over but they are bad for the person experiencing these extreme emotions. If you feel like any of these feelings ring true for you regardless of the degree of obsession, you need to take a step back and really think about why you feel that way. You don't love them. If it was love it would be mutual.
Love: Love is a beautiful, glorious thing. It is nearly indescribable. It is not like obsession. The most important distinction is that feelings of love are mutual. Love doesn't appear right away. It can develop out of infatuation but it is rare. It is more likely to develop as a tense mix of emotions and confusion into the intoxicating sensation of being loved and loving back.
Another significant difference between love and obsession are the emotions. Obsession will leave someone feeling an odd intensity akin to loathing. Ultimately, it's a mixture of negative emotions. Love is different. Love leaves you feeling free, not trapped, for both parties involved. It's practically a whirlwind of confusion and positive emotions. Love is selfless. Love is easy. Most importantly, love is unconditional. Once you have truly loved someone it is permanent, you will never stop loving them no matter what. Sometimes a break-up can truly define whether you experienced love or not. If you end up hating them and wishing you never met, it was never truly love.
The best indicators of a long lasting relationship are oddly the people closest to you like friends or family. People uninvolved in the relationship are able to have a more objective perspective (dependent on the fact they're not obsessed with you). They can determine the legitimacy and longevity of the relationship. If you're enjoying the rose coloured glasses of a relationship, you might not want to ask. Just enjoy what you have no matter what it is. Nothing lasts forever.
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