Starting a Bullet Journal

Hi everybody! Lately, I have personally been extremely scatterbrained- so, in order to increase my productivity, I will be utilizing my bullet journal. As there have been some people asking me what a bullet journal is, I will be giving a lot of information in this blog post!

What is a bullet journal?
A bullet journal is a specific journal system devoted to maintaining a productive aspect of life, all the while giving the option of customization. You can easily create your own bullet journal simply from an empty notebook and a pen. Although most people tend to add a lot of colors and artsy aspects to their “bujo”, the fact is that how you style yours is completely up to you: that is the beauty of the idea!

img_2888

How did you start yours?
I’ll be real. I’ve been doing bullet journals on-and-off since late 2015. One trick that has always grasped me is that I used to add too many tasks in one day, just for the sake of filling up the book. I emphasize heavily against this, and instead, utilizing a habit tracker- which I will be using this time around for a change.

That being said, I always set the first particular page as the Dashboard page- usually for the month. I often find myself needing a special region to throw random notes and ideas, and so the Dashboard would be quite a good place for that; especially if you often get hang-out ideas without a set date thrown on you.

img_2890.jpg

Afterward, I did end up trying something brand-new: a habit tracker. Even though most of these tasks are pretty straight-forward, there are some days where I might not remember if I took my morning medication! If I am able to look back on the tracker and see, I believe that it will be of immense usage to me. In addition, I cut the page in half, so I could use the other side for the following habit tracker.. but also so I can write out on the back page any certain notes about habits.

img_2891.jpg

Lastly, of course, is the weekly spread! I admit, I ended up getting frustrated with how I initially set up this page, because I am accustomed to using one full page per day. However, I think that the habit tracker and a weekly spread will turn out to be quite useful, regardless!

img_2893.jpg

There we go! If you have any suggestions or tips on how you set up your bullet journal, feel free to leave them in the comments! 🙂

[R] How I Found My Special Place

Hi everybody! So, today’s blog post will be a bit personal, because not necessarily everybody knows the beliefs I follow and the practices I attend to. For those of who you are unaware, I am an eclectic person- I take beliefs from different religions and apply them to my own, but I mainly follow a Pagan-related system. With that in mind, I realize not everybody feels as connected to nature as I do- but there is one place more than anywhere else that I have bonded with.

I have always been an indoors person, truth be told. I don’t like venturing outdoors very much, mostly because of my irrational fear of bees, but also because I don’t take enjoyment in sitting in sunlight and whatnot. That being said, I go on a walk almost daily primarily to get some exercise, but also to meditate.

My special sanctuary, where I feel closest to nature, is actually the playground of an elementary school. Some might view this as odd, but considering I am from Alaska and nearly every place is surrounded by some form of forest, I suppose that makes up for it.

I attended the elementary school as a little girl, but I have always found myself drawn back to the swing-set overlooking the nearby field. I noticed this summer that whenever I meditate at the given place- usually on the swing itself- I feel safe and I also sense an inner tranquil. Some people have to venture more to discover their special place. After all, it took me years to really confirm that the particular playground was mine.

Is there a particular area you feel drawn to outside of your home? That might be your place, and you’ll never know for sure unless you try to discover it. 🙂

Courage

Hi guys! Today’s post will be focused on a story I wish to share with all of you. As many of my readers know, I deal with multiple disabilities, as well as general social anxiety.

So, every other day at least, I go on a walk for about half a mile to visit a playground of the elementary school I attended. Not only does walking with my music clear my mind, but I find swinging on playground swings extremely relaxing. Considering how stressed I discover I can be at times, taking time out of my day to give myself fresh air is actually quite helpful.

When I swing for a bit, I catch a view of two teenage boys playing basketball, and immediately, I knew I wanted to participate. They had clearly just arrived as well, probably a few minutes before I did. So, while swinging, I tried to figure out the best way to approach them. Granted, I have huge social anxiety, and so even talking to strangers leaves me extremely nervous- regardless of age or anything.

After about twenty to thirty minutes, I finally gathered up the courage to speak to them. I asked them if I could play- after all, worst case scenario, they’d say no, right? In a surprising turn, the boys eagerly accepted my request, and I spent the next half hour in an intense game of basketball.

The thing is, social anxiety can control you, yes. However, if you summon enough strength in yourself to push past it, there’s no doubt you’ll regret it. Consider the worst possible thing that can happen: maybe you get told off or something. However, I would rather regret the things I do than the things I don’t do.

And that is how I found courage despite my anxiety.

[F] My Problem With 13 Reasons Why

Hi guys! So, lately, my Facebook feed has been buzzing with the release of the new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”, and while I realize that many of my friends like the show, I would like to explain why I do not. I originally was advised by my counselor not to watch the show, and I have not seen more than twenty minutes worth of clips (my Mum and sister watched it). However, what I have seen warrants this post.

This blog post will have mentions of suicide/depression/self-harm!! Do not read this post if you cannot handle those topics!

So, as we all know, 13 Reasons Why is about a girl who commits suicide, and has a few cassette tapes- each side discussing her story and the people who wronged her, which led her to commit suicide.

I don’t know how to begin to describe the sheer amount of wrong I find with this.

First of all, I’ve lost a couple of people to suicide, one of them being my uncle. So I understand that suicide affects literally everybody- furthermore, I’ve tried to overdose once, because things had gotten extremely tough and I felt utterly hopeless.

Hannah Baker, the deceased, felt hopeless, yes. But the fact that she made these tapes? She deliberately wanted to ruin everybody elses’ lives following the demise of hers. She wanted revenge, essentially, because of the people who made her feel terrible. And that’s not okay material to have people be watching, especially in a world filled with so much hate and pain already. If the show had slipped in some sort of anti-bullying message (which, seems to be the basis of Hannah’s many reasons to want to commit), I would have given props to them.

The thing is, when you make an active decision, you need to take accountability for it. Hannah knew exactly what she was doing, and she had the ability at any point to stop making the audio recordings (as the suicide appeared to have been immensely planned out). She did not. Hannah Baker made the active choice to take her own life, and while the circumstances were extremely rough, she ended up taking her life.

I’m not trying to demean the people who have taken their life in any way- the fact Hannah placed intense blame on the people who hurt her is the issue I honestly have. Nobody should be forced to carry that burden in knowing they hurt somebody so bad, and they’re probably never going to overcome that struggle, especially in the manner Hannah emphasized her pain. Because blaming other people for a decision you made is not the way to go about your problems in this world.

[F] Why I Despise Bluestar

So, some people from the Warriors fandom have repeatedly asked me “Why do you despise Bluestar so much?”, and usually, I gave them a general answer. Today, I would like to go into why I think there’s a sheer amount of wrong with Bluestar as a character in the Warrior cats series.

I never always had a problem with Bluestar. In fact, I once viewed her as one of the most noble characters there was in the entire series.. then Bluestar’s Prophecy was released. And as I read the book, I tried my very best to keep an open mind. Problem is, you cannot really keep an open mind when everything you’ve been taught about clashes with everything you’re reading. Allow me to explain.

As an apprentice, Bluestar held a very major disdain for the duties she was being taught- I suppose the best word to sum it up is impulsive. She was too quick to judge a task (as seen with her practice of gathering moss for the elders) for what she thought it might be. That, in a sense, rubbed me the wrong way. Then the whole battle with WindClan occurred, and Bluestar’s mother, Moonflower, died by the claws of Hawkheart- a medicine cat.

This is the point when I lose all respect for Bluestar. The day she stopped focusing on her Clan for the sake of focusing on her losses, that is the day she became an invalid character.

When you have a major loss or death of a family member, it is perfectly natural to shy away from others and avoid them for some time. People (and cats, I guess) cope in their own individual way when a huge traumatic event like that happens. But you don’t spend three months or so avoiding all the things you need to do in your life just because something happened. You keep moving forward- and I’m grateful for Sunstar’s character because he quite frankly knocks sense into the apprentice.

Another thing that immensely irritated me was the whole deal with Thistleclaw. Not only was he loved by Bluestar’s sister, Snowfur, but he was also massively despised by Bluestar. For no good reason. All Bluestar saw was an arrogant warrior- and eventually that led him to being damned out of StarClan by Bluestar after she died. Her opinion sent a cat who technically never broke the warrior code to the Dark Forest.

Speaking of Snowfur, she eventually dies and Bluestar yet again abandons her loyalty and duties.

And then she falls in love with a RiverClan warrior.

I actually agreed with Goosefeather when he said “it is not your destiny to feel better” after Bluestar had kits and gave them up to Oakheart. Although the whole thing was against the code, Bluestar had the audacity to mourn a loss she never would have had to face if she didn’t do the deed.

So, I suppose that I have no sympathy for characters who waste their time on dwelling. Bluestar didn’t deserve to be leader, quite frankly, regardless of whatever prophecy might have existed for her. She wasted a majority of her life mourning instead of striving to be the best she could be.

That is why I don’t like her.

Cleaning Out My Phone!

Hey guys! So, today, I’ve decided to clean out my phone of unused applications and replace them with ones I actually am interested in using. I will be going over how I decide which applications to remove and whatnot. For those of you who don’t know, I’m an avid user of social media, so most of that will be staying…

My Set-Up Beforehand!

So, right off the bat, I can automatically tell you guys which applications I will be keeping for various reasons..

Amino- Amino is a great application in my opinion because it connects you with communities of your own personal interest. I am involved in quite a few, and as there’s no known website for the application, I will definitely be keeping it on my phone for the time being!

Facebook- Whenever I’m out and about, I prefer to keep Facebook on hand just in case somebody needs to contact me. In addition to that, I tend to snap photos and it’s easier for me to upload them from my phone as opposed to going onto my laptop.

Instagram- Instagram is staying because some of my friends are on Instagram as opposed to other messenger services. Plus, I frequently upload my photos to Instagram as well.

Notes- I absolutely need Notes because I use them for my Instagram caption layouts and I keep random thoughts of mine there. It’d be a bad idea for me to remove it.

SnapChat- I debated on this one for a while. Although I am not too terribly fond of SnapChat and had deleted it last time, I’ve decided to keep it because I talk to a wide variety of friends on there.

Tumblr- Much like Instagram, I’m keeping tumblr because I have a rather broad following on the account I have there. I often check my phone first thing in the morning, so if I receive an ask on tumblr, I’ll be able to check it right away as opposed to logging into a slow laptop.

Twitter- Even though I’m still iffy on Twitter, I’ll be keeping the application because I like to see what’s going on in the world and Twitter is often where I receive a good majority of news, believe it or not.

MediBang- I tried to remove this one. I really did. Honestly, though, this application is where I make most of my digital drawings and although I’ve tried other ones, I cannot tear myself away from MediBang. It stays.

Wattpad- I’m trying to grow my writing skills and therefore, I am keeping Wattpad because I would like to keep track of the story statistics I have on there. I might end up removing it if my story doesn’t go well.

LuckyCactus- I got this application on a whim a few months ago, and it’s honestly something I have yet to try out for legitimacy. For now, I’ll keep it around.

Block Hexa- This game is a puzzle game, and I actually love it! It keeps me busy and it focuses my mind as necessary.

Solitaire- Much like Block Hexa, this is a game I enjoy playing. It’s great for passing the time, too!

Etsy- Even though I’ve only ordered from Etsy a few times, their products have never once failed me. Considering that I’m looking to do a bit of shopping this week, I figured I’d keep Etsy on the list.

AliExpress- This application has a ton of bargain items! It would be extremely unwise of me to remove it. I have yet to order from them, but I’m keeping my mind open for now.

Messenger- Facebook Messenger is my go-to platform, basically. I use it excessively to talk to friends, and I know I’ll definitely need it when I’m out and about.

Skype- In case Facebook Messenger fails, at least I got Skype. 😛

Music- I refuse to go on walks without any means of music.

Which Applications Are Being Removed?

Deal Or No Deal / Legendary / Monopoly / Trivia Crack / Wheel of Fortune- These games never really grabbed my sole interest and so I will be removing them.

YouTube- Even though I use YouTube excessively, I think using it while on my walks is extremely troublesome- especially for my battery and data plan. Plus, I can’t really visit other social media while listening to videos so there’s that.

Ebates / CheckOut 51 / ibotta / RetailMeNot / ReceiptHog- I tried to get into all of these, but they simply required too much effort on my part.

Scrabble Free- I’m not into word game spam. I have the bad habit of starting a bunch of games then getting overwhelmed by notifications.

Wish / Amazon / Ebay / Walmart / GroupOn- I prefer to stick to a select few shopping applications.

Discord- Now this one will come as a shock, because I use Discord often. But the thing is, I’m in so many Discord groups with multiple channels that it’s too troublesome for me to select which ones I want notifications from and whatnot. So I find it best to save Discord usage for when I’m at home.

My New Set-Up!

17968769_150226575508758_372766451_o

[F] What Makes a Good Warriors OC

As a Warriors fan of well over ten years, I’ve seen many characters in my time. I have seen unbelievable characters where they somehow grow wings and fly, whereas I have also witnessed some of the most realistic ideas come to life in the form of a cat. Note that this blog post is not meant to bash anybody’s characters, but if you’re highly sensitive to realism of a Warriors character, then I do not think this blog post is for you.

DO NOT DO THESE:

Unrealistic Powers- While I am fully aware that there are some characters in the series with some unexplained unrealistic powers, I do not believe it is wise to incorporate them in an original character. Unless you’re planning on writing an in-depth explanation and a decent story behind it, I fully believe that flying or invincibility should be left behind. In addition to that, it severely off-puts me whenever people write characters like that and expect me to role-play with them. I do not want to role-play with a character that’s going to whoop my rear end in battle! I want to role-play with a character that grows casually and has no massive advantages.

Obvious Prophecies- It drives me nuts whenever people center their characters around a huge prophecy and make it super obvious from the beginning. Prophecies are supposed to be difficult to figure out- leave your readers wondering! If you make it clear right from the get-go that your character is meant to save the world from destruction, then the readers won’t bother reading the story because they know what happens!

Multiple Personalities- I do not agree with anybody who does not add in a few flaws relevant to their cat’s character. You absolutely cannot have a fierce warrior and a gentle, sweet cat in the same character. It’s contradictory, but it’s also frustrating beyond belief. If you want to have a fierce warrior, make sure that they’re fiery and stubborn. I’m not saying they cannot have a soft side, but don’t make it so that they’re switching personalities every so often.

Unbearable Tragic Backstories- I understand that every cat has a background story; all of them do. But do not, I repeat, do not have a cat who loses literally everything within their first year of life. That’s a huge no-no because it adds way too much tension to a story. If you truly want to have a decent backstory, then ensure that your character loses special friends and whatnot as the story continues. Do not just drop a bombshell right at the start. Also, going along with that, a tragic backstory is not ideal for the making of an evil character and justifying it. What I mean is: it’s okay to make a character evil because of their back story, but that does not excuse any behavior. Do not make your readers feel sorry for them as that cat chose his/her own path in the end.

Why Do I Isolate Myself?

Hi guys! So, for those of you who don’t know, I’m still accepted submissions for questions to answer. Also, because lately, I notice I’ve been rather isolating myself, I wanted to get into the topic of why I do that..

So, I’m quite frankly somebody who does not take bad news well- who does? But when it comes to coping with such situations, I tend to isolate myself from other people. I draw in all of my pain towards myself- which can be seen as extremely self-destructive (and it is), and not many people really ever understand why.

The reason why I isolate myself is not because I don’t want the support. Because honestly, I do need the support more than anything and it’s the number one thing that I seriously want in desperate times. But there’s multiple factors that are involved.

One of them is that I have been hurt many times by people I thought I trusted. Every time I have tried to allow the majority of people into my life, I believe I’ve been turned away the times I did need somebody, whether they were busy or didn’t care or whatnot. So, I feel as if my problems will be better solved if I keep them to myself.

Another reason I isolate is because I don’t like to bother people with things that are upsetting me. It partially is because I believe that if somebody wants to fix something, they shouldn’t complain about it, and I do my absolute best to hold true to that very ideal. Plus, I just feel worse whenever I talk about my situations, because either the person pities me or tries to solve it and that’s the last thing I want.

The third reason is that chances are, the problem has been solved and I just needed to stew about the remains of it. It’s honestly a strange concept, but after I finish dealing with a situation, I find myself needing to share it as if it was still going on. Somehow, I think it makes it feel more valid and perhaps might make me feel stronger about solving it.

I’m not trying to push away or hurt other people. I isolate in desperate times because I don’t want to bother anybody. And so, I usually don’t.

Introduction of the Blue Jay!

Hi guys!

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Ayla! I am an 18 year old woman living and loving life in Alaska, USA, but I deal with a multitude of different disabilities on a day-to-day basis. I was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and mild Bipolar Disorder in July 2016, while I’ve dealt with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and general Anxiety throughout my entire life.

In time, I’ve come to accept my disabilities, but I also act differently to situations than other people might. I tend to grow attached to people and ideas far more than what can be considered normal, and I have a lot of different ideas and thought processes. My general concepts can usually be emphasized through writing, which is why I’ve started this blog.

I want people who don’t have my mindset to understand where I’m coming from on a variety of topics. So, here’s to a lovely future! 😀

[DML] Cleaning my Phone (1)

Hi guys! So, as per my Declutter My Life Challenge, I will be writing blog posts about the process I am undergoing to maintain a non-messy lifestyle.


Today, I have gone through my phone- particularly the photos. For many of you who don’t know, I have a tendency to hoard photos: especially memes and selfies.

Whenever I delete a photo, I ensure that I actually want it removed. If there is some question as to if I should remove one, I ask myself a series of them to decide.

Do I have any future use for this photo?

Can I find this photo elsewhere (old messages with friends) as needed?

Does the photo have any sentimental value to me?


If I find that there is future use, I keep the photo, along with if yes to sentimental value.

However, if I am able to find the photo as another file (in a text message with a friend, for example), then I typically delete the picture. If I end up needing the photo in the future, though, then I refer to the place needed.

In the future, though, I will be avoiding saving so many images unless I am absolutely positive I am able to use them. While internet memes are great, a clean phone is even better!!

[Help] Back to School Tips

Hi guys!

Even though I’m done with schooling, I know very well that a good majority of my friends are not, but rather are just returning to their journey! So, I figured a small list of tips might help!

1. Use a planner or a bullet journal- whatever will help you keep track of deadlines/homework!

  • If you struggle with planners, simply make one that will work for you! I avoid planners altogether and use a bullet journal!
  • Just don’t go in assuming you’ll remember everything. You won’t.

2. Know your classes!

  • You need to know when, where, and what your classes are. Don’t walk in late- show initiative and show early!
  • Keep your schedule handy for the first week or until you’re comfortable without it.

3. Be prepared!

  • Do not be that person who needs to ask for a pencil because they forgot their pencil case at home: pack your backpack the night before!
  • Try not to overload on supplies to take to school- you’ll need some for home.

4. Have a planned system!

  • You need to decide how you will keep organized!
  • I hated lockers. I refused to touch mine, so I decided quickly I would keep everything in my backpack. It was heavy, but it worked in my favor.

5. Cut out negativity from the get-go!

  • If there’s a dark cloud in your life, sever ties. You need to maintain a content mental state!

6. Go through course material beforehand!

  • Do some summer studying if you still have time! Refreshing your mind on what you have already learned will aid your learning process!

7. Start your routine 1-2 weeks early!

  • Do not go to bed at 3am on the first day. In fact, start getting yourself to bed at a reasonable hour so you’ll be ready for the early mornings ahead.
  • Avoid coffee at all costs. It might help temporarily, but the crash is troublesome. I did the same thing with candy and sugary cereals.

8. Read the class syllabuses!

  • Note that learning the expectations your teachers have is immensely important in organization.
  • Do not argue with teachers on their rules… just don’t.

9. Do not be in a hurry to grow up!

  • High school is a journey. I wish I had taken more time to realize and appreciate that!

[DML] Introduction / Challenge

Hi guys!

My name is AJ, for those of you who don’t know. I’ll be 19 this month, and as I have started work, my life has gotten severely cluttered in many ways. I have developed a challenge for myself in order to declutter my life!

The challenge itself will last a couple weeks- but the effects will need to be maintained over the course of my years. I have taken some of the most messy aspects of my life and am going to write a blog post about how I’m going to essentially fix them.

  • My Phone
  • My Room
  • My Laptop
  • My Work
  • My Mind

Stay tuned for more blogs- oh, and if you’re interested in doing the challenge yourself, let me know and show me how it goes for you!!

[Guide] How to Make a Bujo Spread

Hi guys! I know I went over how to make a bujo (bullet journal) spread, but I have never really delved into how I make my spreads. As I have adopted a new way of making my bujo layouts, I think I should share it!!

Supplies Needed:

    Pencil / Good Eraser
    Black Pen
    Color of your choice in at least 2 different shades (preferably marker)
    Your Bullet Journal (preferably dotted)

Guide!:

  1. Because I used a dotted journal, I determined my sketching by the squares that could be formed by the dots. Now, I avoid gridded journals because they don’t allow as much freedom as the dotted journals do! So, lightly doodle boxes with the pencil as a rough sketch: indicate for sure where the corners are!
  2. Assuming you will be coloring your headers, outline and fill the box with the lightest shade of your chosen color.
  3. For additional effects, use the next darkest tint and outline only the box and where the text might be.
  4. Go ahead and erase the pencil indicators on the top.
  5. With your black pen- preferably a fineliner- outline the box all around. Erase as you go, but make sure that the eraser shavings are gone before continuing to outline!
  6. Add a couple doodles here and there, but again, go from a lighter scheme to dark!! 🙂

Below is my result of this process!!

    Why I Don’t Pick Sides

    Hi everybody! Today, I wanted to discuss a topic that I haven’t really addressed in full. In passing, I might have mentioned that I do not like involving myself in others’ drama or that I prefer to stay neutral. However, I have never outright given reasons explaining why I do this.

    What does it mean to choose a side?
    So, when somebody confronts me with a problem with another individual, I am often prone to wanting to involve myself- especially if I have already formed an opinion on the other person. As I tend to be a rather soft-hearted being, I struggle at times with stepping back with a neutral mind.

    However, I currently serve as an administrator on a central hub for a particular website- and I recently attained the position. In the process, I’ve definitely learned that neutrality is a must in order to keep the peace. Bias leads only to further conflict that can easily be avoided.

    Why do I refuse to fight other battles?
    I never used to avoid others’ arguments; in fact, I always involved myself in debates that were never mine to begin with. As I’ve mellowed gradually through the years, I’ve discovered that other people will not grow up if they have their battles fought for them all the time.

    One example I refer to is back when I was a new sophomore in JROTC- in that class, you’re expected to know how to put on your rank and military uniform a specific way. I always relied on my then-boyfriend to put on my rank- then, when we broke up (thus, avoiding each other), I had a hard time setting my rank.

    The thing is, I eventually learned. In the process of my struggle, I gained practice in just doing the task. If I deny others the ability to fight their own wars, they are never going to be able to grow as human beings. In time, they’ll learn to appreciate the journey.

    [Fan] Illidan S. Poem

    Fel-seared eyes,Through broken lies,

    He wasn’t always this way.
    Loved the magic of light,

    Still had his sight,

    Though he never saved the day.
    Cast into the shadow of leaves,

    Forced to pick up his greaves,

    And continue on from there.
    His love and his cause, shattered by all,

    Yet he continues to rise and fall.
    Do you blame Illidan Stormrage,

    For turning to the next page?

    Growing Up

    It gets better. I’m not lying: it really does. Truth be told, life is super hard. I know that. Depending on your beliefs, it’s one of the truest journeys you’ll ever have, but also among the toughest. The thing is, though, if it was honestly easy? Everybody would be more than eager to grow up and go through the motions. Everybody would do it, which is why life is the way it is. These struggles are not going to define nor kill you. If you are given a challenge, all I ask of you is to embrace it head-on. Yes, it is going to tear and sting and you will fall a couple of times, but it never changes. As children, we learn how to ride a bicycle. Obviously, all of us learn at our own pace; some with more injuries than others. However, it is well worth it when you can look back with satisfaction and say you survived.