Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cool Breeze

Day 10 of my creativity project.

Sitting by the Window

Thunder rolling over
Rain striding by
One droplet at a time
Sun waves from
around the rainbow arc
on my lap, the chihuahua
cowers, unaware of the
gleaming sun streaks

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Them Wax Crayons

The kind from the dollar store
64 sticks of wax and minimum pigment
Incorporated crayon sharpener bonus
I’d sit away, making heavy indentations
Onto a white piece of paper
With brand new crayons

Tips would fade into the waxy covering
I’d sit away, ripping the labels
Ignoring official names
Mistaking the blue for green for black
For violet for darker green for darker blue
They crossed colored paths

Making a layer of colored wax waves
Finally locating the black
I’d make a black cover to rule them all
Furiously, not caring for its life
Until all the colorful joys
Became black covered woes

I’d sit away
Scratching mindless designs
Etching away darkness
Reveling in the colorful dull glow
Just like I do now

Internet Thoughts on “Obamacare”

Obamacare—formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is important. Actually, practically every law that goes into our books is important, the following is just my speculations. This law is important because it will ultimately change the way the health care industry operates. Some people in the industry will say that it’s going to make their lives harder, some will claim that it’s going to deter the quality of health care out there. Others will sit in their barely-livable lives and breathe a sigh of hope. Hope, that one day, they or their future struggling class members will have health care.

What is Obamacare?

This might be redundant, but I’m going to quote and list opinions of regular reddit Internet users. I think they explain the law better than I could ever explain it. The gist of it is that through this law, there will be a chain of reactions that will make health care affordable to almost everyone in the US. This will take roughly eight years to happen. May reduce the huge health care corporations ROIs. Might just make health education easier to prevent a ton of easily preventable diseases. I think it's great news, but that's just me.

Oh, so maybe you want to skip reading the rest of the copied opinions and hit up the current thread on this topic at reddit.

Explanation of the act offered by a reddit user: (as always, I suggest reading the whole thread, because it's just awesome).

The PPACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn't have to.

So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):

Already in effect:

It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices)

It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)

It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn't directly control, PCORI, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money. ( Citation: Page 665, sec. 1181 )

It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy. ( Citation: Page 499, sec. 4205 )

It makes a "high-risk pool" for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of "pre-existing conditions" altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered "pre-existing conditions" can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them. ( Citation: Page 30, sec. 1101, Page 45, sec. 2704, and Page 46, sec. 2702 )

It forbids insurance companies from discriminating based on a disability, or because they were the victim of domestic abuse in the past (yes, insurers really did deny coverage for that) ( Citation: Page 47, sec. 2705 )

It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.

It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths. (Citation: Page 923, sec. 5000B )

It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won't get any more coverage because they have hit a "lifetime limit". Basically, if someone has paid for health insurance, that company can't tell that person that he's used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won't cover him any more. They can't do this for lifetime spending, and they're limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )

Kids can continue to be covered by their parents' health insurance until they're 26. ( Citation: Page 15, sec. 2714 )

No more "pre-existing conditions" for kids under the age of 19. ( Citation: Page 45, sec. 2704 and Page 57, sec. 1255 )

Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.

People in a "Medicare Gap" get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend.

Insurers can't just drop customers once they get sick. (Citation: Page 14, sec. 2712 )

Insurers have to tell customers what they're spending money on. (Instead of just "administrative fee", they have to be more specific).

Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they're turned down.

Anti-fraud funding is increased and new ways to stop fraud are created. ( Citation: Page 699, sec. 6402 )

Medicare extends to smaller hospitals.

Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.

Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.

A new website is made to give people insurance and health information. (I think this is it:

A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness.

A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they're not price-gouging customers. ( Citation: Page 22, sec. 1101 )

A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn't paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover.

Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms.

Any health plans sold after this date must provide preventative care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.

If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%). Edit: To address those who take issue with the word "tiny", a change of 0.9% is relatively tiny. Any look at how taxes have fluctuated over the years will reveal that a change of less than one percent is miniscule,especially when we're talking about people in the top 5% of earners. ( Citation: Page 818, sec. 9015 )


This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.

No more "pre-existing conditions". At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history. (Citation: Page 45, sec. 2704, Page 46, sec. 2701, and Page 57, sec. 1255 )

If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the "mandate" that people are talking about. Basically, it's a trade-off for the "pre-existing conditions" bit, saying that since insurers nowhave to cover you regardless of what you have, you can't just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you'll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you're not buying insurance because you just can't afford it.

Insurers now can't do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )

Make it so more poor people can get Medicaid by making the low-income cut-off higher.

Small businesses get some tax credits for two years. (Citation: Page 138, sec. 1421 )

Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.

Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers.

Cut some Medicare spending

Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them. ( Citation: Page 801, sec. 9005 )

Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower and middle-class, basically making it so they have an easier time getting affordable medical coverage.

Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won't be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen. ( Citation: Page 81, sec. 1312 )

A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.

A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.

A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they'll get taxed.

The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.

Doctors' pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat. Edit: a_real_MD addresses questions regarding this one in far more detail and with far more expertise than I can offer in this post. If you're looking for a more in-depth explanation of this one (as many of you are), I highly recommend you give his post a read.

If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers). ( Citation: Page 98, sec. 1332 )

All health care plans must now cover preventative care (not just the new ones).

A new tax on "Cadillac" health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).

The elimination of the "Medicare gap"

A comedic explanation of the act offered by a reddit user: (as always, I suggest reading the whole thread, because it's just awesome).

Bob: Hi, insurance company. I'd like to buy some health insurance.

Insurance company: No. You had cancer when you were 3 years old, and the cancer could come back. We're not selling you health insurance.

Bob: It's not my fault I got cancer when I was three! Besides, that was years ago!

Insurance company: If we sell insurance to you, we'll probably lose money, and we're not doing it.

Bob: But I need insurance more than anyone! My cancer might come back!

Insurance company: We don't care. We're not selling you insurance.

Obama: Hey, that's totally not fair. Bob is right, he does need insurance! Sell Bob some insurance.

Insurance company: If we have to, I guess.

Mary: This is cool. Obama said the insurance company has to sell insurance to anyone who needs it.

Sam: Hey, I have an idea. I'm going to stop paying for health insurance. If I get sick, I can always go buy some insurance then. The insurance company won't be able to say no, because Obama's told them they have to sell it to anyone who needs it!

Dave: that's a great idea! I'm not paying for health insurance either, at least not until I get sick.

Insurance company: Hey! If everyone stops paying for insurance, we'll go bankrupt!

Obama: Oh come on Sam and Dave, that's not fair either.

Dave: I don't care. It saves me money.

Obama: Oh for god's sake. Sam, Dave, you have to keep paying for health insurance, and not wait until your sick. You too, Mary and Bob.

Mary: But I'm broke! I can't buy insurance! I just don't have any money.

Obama: Mary, show me your piggy bank. Oh, wow, you really are broke. Ok, tell you what. You still have to buy insurance, but I'll help you pay 95% of the cost.

Mary: thank you.

Obama: I need an aspirin.

Insurance company: We're not paying for that aspirin.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I feel like my brain
is a box of crayons
overflowing, in color
with ideas and words
images and shadows,
all crammed up in a box.
Melting out of my ears.

Way Out

Day 9. It's kind of cool how the blanket just fell on the floor like that.

Insides Overcooking

Day 8. Water bottles make for creepy pictures.

See more creativity project pictures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Five 2 One Magazine

Finally! Done with the 2nd issue of Five 2 One. Issue 2 of Five 2 One is live on their website. You can also order a Kindle version or a print version. Up next... Enhance No 8.

B to A

I needed a poetry-writing break. So, I'm going to do as many Poetic Asides Poetry Prompts as I can.

June 20, 2012 prompt: write a straight line poem (yes, I’m playing off a 180-degree angle for the 180th Wednesday Poetry Prompt). There are several ways to tackle this prompt, including writing a poem about a straight line drive through Indiana or Iowa, drawing a straight line in the sand, or writing a poem that is one line long. Those are just some ideas.

B to A

The distance between a straight line
Is the journey we're embarking
From B-line in heaven to the A-track
In the middlespace of my eternity
One tree passes by as we sit
In the air-tight packed train
Two trees pass by
A creek with growing trunks
The Creek of Drowing Dreams
A rash line of thunder pushes us
Awake at the Angel's Crosswalk
I look out the window
Child hand prints push back the black truck
Just in time to miss our passing

Grazing Days

Day 7 of the creativity project. Technically, a very dull photo, but I swear it makes sense when you look at all the photos in the right order.

Monday, June 25, 2012

MM 25 June 2012

Today's playlist is available at Grooveshark, at Spotify or in the embedded widget below.

MM 25 June 2012 by Sopphey Vance on Grooveshark


1. Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
2. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face - Coldplay
3. To the Sea - Jack Johnson
4. Angels - Robbie Williams
5. Blind - Hercules and Love Affair
6. Big Sunglasses - Dragonette

I got a rejection letter Sunday, for poems from my poetry collection. It was, a very special feeling. In part, because I sent out some rejection/acceptance letters today for full 2 hours. And that kind of flipped me over my fear of rejection, because no matter what I write, or what I publish, some pieces will be great, some will be terrible, and some will just be a good exercise to hide underneath a rug. We put too much emphasis on the goodness, the prestige of writing, when writing is just what it is... words; our words.

I know not everyone will agree with that statement, but it brings peace to me. It's just so nice to know that we don't always have to work so hard; that we're awesome regardless of what we do. Maybe it's just me, you know, looking for an easy way out. Waiting for a chance to relax. Yes, relaxing, this playlist is very relaxing like that.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Head is Swimming

But, I feel like I’ve risen from a very cold place. Mainly, my work desk underneath the air vent. Ever since the complex fixed our A/C I’ve been freezing! Not only that, I’ll confess. I’ve started a very routine, very barbaric dietary experiment. Experiment because I didn’t think I’d last six full days by eating half of my daily allotted calories with vegetables, fruits, and nuts. I’ve known, for a really long time that this type of eating would suit me well, but I never actually took that leap.

I was scared. I’m still scared. But, I’ve noticed some great changes (in just six days!):

1. I sleep at night.
2. I only start munching because it’s time for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.
3. Nuts pack a lot of good calories.
4. Our bodies are truly miracles and I couldn’t really process meat after the third day.

Not bad, for a pseudo vegetarian diet. I know pronounce myself an experimental pseudo vegetarian! *Makes fancy self knighting gestures*

My head is swimming for other reasons too. Like, finishing three magazine designs (to be released soon).

Here are some previews:

Enhance No 8

Five 2 One Magazine Issue 2

RGV Real Estate & Community Guide 12-04
I kinda, just wanted to share the little things in my life that make me happy. What makes you happy?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Newspaper Design

I'm a print geek deep down. Very deep down, in my geekiness terms print is lower than poetry. In my print geekiness, I have a very soft spot for newspapers. Newspapers, have an early history in China with private news sheets used to keep government officials up-to-speed. Nowadays, news dissemination occurs via phones, tablets, and computers.

Newspapers have four major distinguishable qualities:

1. publicity, content accessible to public
2. periodicity, publication in regular intervals
3. currency, information is up to date
4. universality, covers a range of topics (as opposed to magazines, which are mostly centered on a few topics)

These same four qualities appear in digital renditions of newspapers. However, I'm more interested in newspaper design and printing. Newspaper designs are a dying brand of print product history. Most times, the original print design of a newspaper is lost in the digital shuffle. Social applications like make a huge effort to incorporate print design into the content. While on the other hand, places like Storify, take the familiar 'social media' graphic approach.

Newspaper design is just fascinating. There is practically no space to fit extraordinary typography, no budget for color designs, and no time to magically design everything in. I found this Google resource with newspapers from all over the place and it's fun to see the type in older ad designs.
Announcement from L'Abeille - Dec 3, 1827

Other than the type choice, not a lot changed in 80 years of the type design. But, maybe just the perspective of readers. In this digital age, black and white type have lost to the gradients and colors of our sRGB screens.
Ad from Yukon World - Aug 27, 1904.
Appreciation for sleek stark text and undisturbed white background is hard to find and that makes my career as a designer a challenge. But, also rewarding when I get to design heavy text black and white projects.

Side of the Road

Day 7 of my creativity project. I do like the negative filter, but it's time to explore other filters/colorings.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 6 Creativity Project Catch Up

I felt kind of sick for the past two days so I didn't make any of these images. Today, however, my creative brain made three. Here's to a really good day 6. See more here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In Natural Flavors and Oils

Lunch inspired Day 5 of the creative project.

Free Me From My Past

Day 4 of the creativity project. I still can't believe how well this picture came out... of course with built in phone camera filters. Soon, very soon, I'll upgrade.

Monday, June 18, 2012

MM 18 July 2012

I had this crazy dream yesterday and woke up with a playlist in my mind. Felt like I had just finished a wonderful movie and the ending credits and ending songs scrolled through my mind. This playlist is inspired by those songs.

Usually, I choose songs that I can find both on Spotify and Grooveshark, but this time around I'm just making an linked Youtube list. I'm also linking each song on it's own. This way, you can pick whichever song you want to listen to, click the link, and listen to it on Youtube (If you want, of course).

Presenting the Track List:

1. Stop Me - Mark Ronson featuring Daniel Merriweather
2. Across the Universe - The Beatles
3. Clear Skies (Villa Dub) - Keane
4. Elle - DJ Gregory
5. Hallelujah - The Helio Sequence
6. Desire Lines - Deerhunter
7. Where's the Love - POP ETC

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hear Me Now

Day 3 of the daily creative project.

About Fathers

I had this incredible dream that included Stephen King as a sort of Dr Seuss character (complete with a family of stranger-than-life characters). The details are sketchy at this point, but some kids got killed. Also, I was walking around with a survivor backpack that held small 'fruit juice' drinks, two Gatorades, and six bottles of water. Strange dream? Not even close.

At first we thought the murderer was King's son. But, it wasn't. To escape the scandal, King and his son (who was in handcuffs) took a bus ride out of the city, then a bus ride to their secluded little town in the middle of nowhere. They arrived at the small city, took a waiting car back to their secluded trailer.

"So this is it?" The son looked at the trailer, sunlight began to dissipate in the background. He sat on the hood. He stared at his handcuffs, wondering what the point of wearing them so long could be. He looked back at the trailer as blue fondant and foam spilled out of the windows and chimney.

"Yep," King smiled.

The door burst open and in a strange perspective, taller than life men and women walked out of the trailer. They wore intricate designs on their long pants and skirts. Most had bright yellow hair, some hand foam on their noses.

"Georgie!" The older women of the bunch cried. She ran to the car and hugged him. She then stepped to King and hugged him with a thank you for bringing our son home squeeze. The two walked over to the rest of the family and each of the grown children hugged their father.

Georgie sat in the car, absorbing everything. One by one his brothers and sisters walked back into the trailer, followed at last by his father.

His mother stood a few steps away from the trailer and called out. "Won't you come home Georgie?"

Georgie stared at his mother, strange he'd never thought he'd say that word. He nodded and his handcuffs disappeared. He jumped off the car, ran to her, hugged her, and they both retreated into the trailer.

One of the most beautiful endings to a dream. I woke up with a full playlist of songs in my head that I'll be making into a Youtube playlist for tomorrow's post. But, I didn't write out my dream to gloat about a playlist. This dream was about fathers. No, I can't say that I've perfected the secret code to deciphering dreams. But, I know this dream is about fathers because of certain specific details:

1. Stephen King's On Writing is represents a father's advice to me. I read the book once, and have reread important parts a hundred times since then. Some of the advice has really shaped how I have grown into an editor and writer.

2. My family is nuts. Yes, that isn't fair to my family as they have no say in this, but trust me, we all have our crazy sides and more often than not our crazy sides reflect a myriad of fantasy characters from Dr Seuss to Lord of the Rings.
3. The survivor backpack is a reflection of some of my siblings favorite drinks when we are on the run. Naturally, we wouldn't be on the run and we would be drinking Dr. Pepper. But, ever since that day when we were hiding from something that we don't talk about to each other, I usually just pack water and/or sugary drinks on our adventures.
4. I'm Georgie. In many ways, but for this example, I'm the kid that never really was around. Yes, I took responsibility for a lot of things, but I'm also the one that just goes away. Mostly into a very foggy creative land.

Let me finish this rambling circle. I had a nagging feeling the other day that parents should always remain parents for their children. Mainly, because I never really had a parent the way that Georgie in my dream has at the end. Secondly, because I believe that parents are really important. Thirdly, today is Father's Day. All together combined, I thought over several things I could write about fathers or my father. But, I don't have anything that won't make me sad or pensive. Just this dream.

What do you have?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Where Dreams Lie

It might be a lot redundant to have title the post the same as the text in this filtered photo. But, I can't help it. Will you take my apology because I will be posting some more of these types of pictures.

See, it all started with my dissatisfaction with my nonexistent editorial calendar. To gather inspiration on topics and or prompts I browsed fellow April Platform Challenger blogs. I hung out at Jo Ann J. A. Jordan's blog a bit, mesmerized by her incredibly cute handwritten journal entry. After I finished gawking at her penmanship, I looked through her other posts. Jo Ann, is working on a Creativity Project, where she makes something creative (paraphrasing the project, apologies) every day.

Now, I made an incredibly serious mental note to try something like this. Something like, starting a daily creative project. I left the note marinate in my imagination and started browsing pictures with captions. Somehow the idea morphed into photos. I've always wanted to try taking photos.

My brain decided to start a series of photos with captions that somehow create poems. The aim is to make these photos with lines of different poems every day. And that's where dreams lie comes from, a poem. It could be the title of the poem, the last line, the first line, but I'm not telling. It's going to be more fun that way.

If you were to create a daily creativity project, what would you do? Would you make it a habit of blogging about it everyday or keep it secret?

All the Thoughts

They stand in line—After the midnight
electric chime
Clicking into the next minute
When the stars sprinkle onto the evening
Full of mysteries
Conceding their abated breath
To Untold Stories
For the narrative to take hold of the mainline
Dull all the ringtones
All the vibrations
Into one channel
When the clock strikes 2
All the characters line up into

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dolphin on a Trip

Today I learned how to use GIMP to delete the background off a dolphin and duplicate the dolphin in some fancy places.

Old McDonald's had a ...
But, the architecture...

These look yummy...

C'est jolie

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Interview at Activist Witch

So a couple of nights ago my friend made me answer some seriously deep questions about my experience with Occupy. Questions like:

What prompted you to transition from Activist to Occupy Activist?

What’s the best part of your experience with the Occupy Movement so far?

What’s the most frustrating part of your experience with the Occupy Movement so far?

And some other questions about the future. You can read the entire interview here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

MM 4 June 2012

Today's playlist is available at Grooveshark, at Spotify or in the embedded widget below.

  MM 4 June 2012 by Sopphey Vance on Grooveshark

Track list

  1. Bad Girls - M.I.A.
  2. Milkshake - Kelis
  3. Space Bound - Eminem
  4. Morris Brown - Outkast
  5. Country Grammar - Nelly
  6. Don't Phunk With My Heart - The Black Eyed Peas
  7. Get It On The Floor - DMX

Everyone remembers their first dance, their first date, their subsequent dances and dates after that. Some people relive prom. I've dreamed about grade school before. Revisited the same classroom and relived the same school day, but never figured out the school year. Nor, if it was a school I attended.

I remember I was very into mainstream rap. It sounded fun then and it still sounds sort of fun now. Like the track Bad Girls by M.I.A. It sounds like old school gangster rap, yet it doesn't sound out of place with our modern times. Modern times that include popularized acts like Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and those who create mass market tracks for clubs.

Do you like rap? Or dislike it with a fiery passion? What do you think a rap song is typically made of? Should rap songs preaching the gospel sit in the same genre as a song by Eminem with lines about statutory rape?

These are all hard questions, but I've seen people make harsh judgments on rap by tearing apart every little component. Should this behavior be justified?

I don't know. I probably think too much about it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Validation and the Individual


Halfway through the various April challenges I stumbled upon Sahaj Kohli's blog A Quarter Life Crisis. A quarter life crisis, or any transition for that matter, sucks according to Sahaj and I agree. I agree completely because it feels like I've been going through a very long, very tiring after graudation quarter life crisis.

No, not everyone goes through this phase. I have a lot of classmates who settled into "the real world" without a hitch. Yet, I'm still stuck, somewhere, on my very own cloud of not-quite-the-real-world. It's an awful feeling. It feels like I'm a semi-dead body floating on the Ganges.

I had dreams. I had plans for my life to rock on 200 levels of awesome. I also misjudged things and failed to have a solid back up plan. Back up plans are very important... I didn't think I needed them. I had spent the last 22 years of my life coming up with one "fail-proof" plan and going for it. I had 22 years of luck on my side, and then I didn't.

Luck is a fucking bastard. The catalyst for my "crisis" made me feel like scum. Made me realize that life doesn't run on luck. Yes, I still have a very good relationship with the Universe and I always get what I need (you know because I'm not dead right now)... but there is more. There is this thing called careful planning, objective measuring, and strategic implementations. This crisis of mine made me doubt my ability to do anything. The constant job application process, the endless hours of but Sopphey has a degree and doesn't have a $25K+ job arguments, and the long nightmares of adding price tags to my life to squeeze by.

At that point in my life, I needed validation that I existed. That I had friends. That someone other than the family chihuahua was glad to see me. That dollar bills weren't an oddity and that I could apply to everywhere and land a job. I wanted to know if there was a place in the wall for me.

There is, I just have to make my own place. I'm 24, and I'm barely coming to terms with myself as an individual. In the past two years I've created a tiny, carefully planned, objectively measured, and strategic network of blogs and magazines. I've gone from signing the odd petition online to standing on the side of the road with a sign. I've actually submitted my writing to magazines. I wrote a movie review book and a poetry book. I've broken all the design rules I learned in college. I created 21 alcoholic drink recipes.

I just about got out-of-touch with the world, too. Then April came, and this picture by Sahaj made me think of me as an individual again:

the Individual

  • In = 
  • 1) Be aware of surroundings, always.
  • 2) Where you are and when is significant.
  • 3) Evaluate relationships you are in, where you are comfortable, confinements and investments.
  • Indi(e) = independent/independence
  • Divid(e) = 
  • 1) separate from expectations of others; veer off and away if you have to in order to find you.
  • 2) Prioritize your passions and parts
  • U = YOU
  • Visual = 1) SEE; use eyes; be more observant. 
  • 2) create charts, time tables and VISION boards to visualize short and long term goals
The Individual 

What is Sopphey the Individual? I don't know who I am a lot of the times. It's like I try to define myself by what I do, by what I create, by the people I associate myself with; it's all confusing. All these questions churn in my head until I can't move, think, or eat. I just sit in a my cloud, wondering about everything and achieving nothing.

I'm in a very exciting place right now. I live in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, and as time will have it, will be going back and forth between here and Corpus Christi this summer. I'm surrounded by wonderful people both on/offline. I don't express it often, I truly value my friendships. Even if as of late I'm making terrible decisions that impact my "friend-able" likeness negatively.

I'm not as independent as I want to be. I rely on public transportation and the goodwill of the weather too much. But, I won't stop trying to make my own. Maybe, spread my options to more than standing on a dirt patch waiting for the bus.

I'm doing it! This time, for sure, I'm going to quit. I've said this a lot for a while now. But, this time, for sure. I'm going to do it! I have to. I can't seem to focus on what I need to do for myself if I'm trying to create answers to lifes' problems. I have to be selfish. I need to spend my days writing away. Editing away, and ultimately sending out poems and stories for possible publication. It's like my destiny.

Me. The writer me needs to take charge.

The biggest visual and motivator is having my work validated by an author. But, just to be on the safe side I made this list to help me out:

Sopphey the Individual is kinda just like Sopphey the poet. Except she bruises easily, sometimes sits on a cloud too long, and doesn't always feel like sunshine over the ocean. I don't like this individual that I am right now, so I'm going to do something about it. I'm going to break off a huge chunk of my time for writing, editing, rewriting, and submitting because it's what I want to do right now.

What do you want to be doing right now?