The Death of Today

How would you like to die today?…

Oh, I’m sorry… You weren’t planning on dying today, were you?

Let me rephrase: How are you planning on living during the death of today?

I’m sure you’ve heard that we are never promised tomorrow– or even our next breath.

14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
– Jas 4:14

Sure, we may do what we can to prevent a physical death, but have you ever thought about how constantly our days die?

We may try to “make up for it” the next day, what we didn’t do that day, but really… It doesn’t take away the fact that our yesterday is gone & we did not spend our 12,088th day of being alive (for example) to its fullest advantage.

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
– Ep 5:15-16

Maybe, instead of counting our lives in years, we should count them in days. It may help us to cherish our individual days/ moments more.

I’ll never get back that 12,087th day of being alive…

But, the question we have to ask ourselves is: “Did I die well today?” And, “How do I want to spend my 12,088th day of dying?”

(I feel like if we ask, “Did I live well,” it causes us to think moreso that we will be alive for a personal, predetermined amount of time. However, we never know when what day/moment will be our last, whether it be in 8 minutes, 8 months, 8 years or 80 years.)

A certain martial arts class I was in taught me to think: “Today is a good day to die.” But I want to think of it in a different way: Not as some final time/ date when our spirits leave our physical bodies, but as right now– everyday– since our todays are always passing away.

So… Did we die well?

We are either growing or dying (in all areas of life). Once we reach a certain age (in our twenties), we are no longer officially “growing.” The remainder of our lives is trying to hang on to what we currently have and sustaining it as best as possible. But we are still physically dying. (Mental & spiritual growth are different & still possible, however.)

I’m no expert in telling you how the best way to live/die is. I am still learning too. But I do know that it involves doing our best in the current moments we are given, and to always keep the eternal in the forefront of our minds. Appreciate each day… “Don’t Procrastinate”, is so cliche, so here’s a geeky anime quote instead. 😉

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today.” (“Follow Your Dream” song, from “Project A-Ko”)

Store up treasures in Heaven than on Earth.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

– Mt 6:19-21

Don’t put all of your energy/ trust in worldly wealth. It’s all temporary anyway.

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

– Lk 12:20

We may not be perfect in doing this, but thank goodness that there is grace. But let’s not take grace for granted too. Let’s not take anything for granted. Even time, itself, is temporary.

Instead, let’s just do our best!

がんばってね! (Ganbatte ne!) ✌️

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Rethinking

Hey, guys!

1. So… did anyone see the end of Dragon Ball Super? It was great! A little cliche, perhaps, but I still liked it. Honestly, anything that has to deal with a ‘tournament’ of some type is like a cop-out story line to me… but what do I know? lol
Though (obviously) DBZ is better, I did enjoy DBS for what it was. I understand now though, that perhaps I shouldn’t have totally given up on my Trunks’ Date story ~because of DBS~ because, besides the canon, people can believe whatever they want to believe anyway. Also, I didn’t like the canon anyway, haha (Trunks & Mai). So, me, stopping, really doesn’t matter when it comes to that. Moreso, it’s just not having enough time to do it (the fancomic), I think. Or more like… I should be doing my original art more, you know?
#whynotboth ? Still wondering that though. I should just do whatever gives me the most energy and inspiration. -_- Who’s to say how my “success” should happen or should look like? I have been trying to make/force my own rules and paths for far too long….

2. I did do some site updates, though, they may not seem so apparent to you guys, haha. Just changed the feed source to the site updates on the right side of the main page, and added a few social media buttons on the top~

3. My comic, Mystery of the Black Water, is now being sold in this store! 🙌https://www.facebook.com/thinkoutsidethebooks/

& It may be in another local store as well! Very excited! Though, now, I need to make more comics to have more of a variety in those stores, haha… 🙂 #wishmeluck
Thanks for sticking with me! 🌟

4. Sorry that I have been absent from DA for a very long time! I should at least check in to let people know that I’m alive! lol. Thank you for the birthday wishes!! I should do some fanart sometime… (At least one…) 👧🏽✨ Most of my current life updates can be found on my main site though! www.rejenasmiley.com

The Desire to Scratch

Website is back up! + Other stuff

The website is back up! (Finally!) I still have a few tweaks to work out here and there, but for the most part, it’s working okay! XD

I’ve also added the comic that I did for the Silent Manga competition on there…

And speaking of manga, I’m really torn. I feel like I want to start on a new comic, but I’m the type of person where, if I don’t have enough drive to finish something (or if I am not motivated by the initial thing that got me started), then it is very, very hard for me to finish something. But I feel like I want to… I just don’t want it to end up being another unfinished project in the works, you know? (Not to say that I don’t plan on finishing the ones I’m currently working on…)

That’s all. ( ̄∠ )ノ (Random babbling.)

When ‘doing what you love’ turns into ‘doing what you must’

…When turning your ‘hobby’ into a career, there is a dangerous chance that what you originally did, just to please yourself (and maybe a few friends, here and there) has turned into this monster– this insatiable monster– wherein you must create, create, create to reach this never-ending road to perfection. By perfection, I mean this perfect life that you supposedly dreamed up for yourself.

When you were little (or just younger), what did you dream of becoming? Has it manifested itself into reality lately? If not, is there something holding you back? By ‘you’, I am speaking of myself here too. I am always holding my own self back, it feels. People-pleasing has always been a big thing for me to overcome. And even once I feel that I’m over it, the need to do so sucks me right back in. And why?

Of course, I want others to love and appreciate my stories, but to the expense of who I am– who I feel I really need to express? That is not a very fair trade-off, is it? I wouldn’t want my friends to sacrifice their very soul just ‘to be liked’, or what have you. I would like them to ‘express the real you’; everything else will just be a shadow of themselves. Not what I’d really like to see.

So, what’s the big deal then with me, you ask? I’m not quite clear on it, myself, but from what I do know, it seems my ‘people-pleasing’ has turned into ‘company-pleasing’. Instead of sacrificing myself/art to satisfy a certain group of people, that group/audience has merely shifted into people who are in charge of other people– a.k.a. comic book companies. When’s the last real time I did any art JUST for myself, huh? Or just to please myself, or just to get something out, huh?

I mean, I have a few good stories out there that I’ve done in the past– just for myself– but what about now? What, in the last two years have been really for myself, and not for the sake of ‘getting a job’ or whatnot? Of course, I’m not saying that getting a job isn’t important (and even more so if you want to ‘follow your dream(job)s’), but when your dream doesn’t even feel pleasurable anymore, when you lose the original meaning to why you did art in the first place, well… I just don’t get why I’m still doing this anymore.

I’m not saying that turning your hobby into a career is NEVER going to feel like work; it is actually a LOT of work. (I am not there yet, but it is work so far). But there is a difference between doing work that you LOVE, that you don’t MIND how many strenuous hours it takes, and doing work that you despise, don’t look forward to, and ‘must distract yourself to get through it’ work. I can always tell when I am working on a drawing or a story that I love vs. one that I don’t because I don’t NEED any other distractions (in terms of background music/movies and frequent breaks); and in fact, sometimes I cut it completely out because it’s more enjoyable to be in the moment of story-telling  and making things as perfect as can be, that to be partially enveloped in someone else’s story (for distraction purposes). Also, by perfect, I simply mean that you want to get your emotions and meaning in your artwork and words as close to how it is in your head onto the page. You will always be/feel better or worse that someone else, so there’s no use comparing there. (Plus, art is subjective, anyway! 😛 )

What I really mean to say here is that we/I need to be careful when doing/combining something so natural (self-expression through art) with a ‘work’, so that it does not become systematic and chore-like.

I need to draw/write more– a LOT more– if I ever plan to really do art/comics as my ‘career’. I’m 29 already. When is enough going to be enough? Although I believe it is never too late to start on your dream, when are you (I mean “I” going to take the roadblocks off of your own path, and quit pretending that you’re making progress, when all that you’re doing is driving SOMEWHERE, ANYwhere and getting lost? As long as you get back on the road, you’ll be fine (nothing wrong with failure, as long as you realize it and try to correct it), but be careful not to waste any gas by going in a direction you know you never should have traveled. And why should a road trip like this be painful to the very end? As long as you’re enjoying the ride, then it shouldn’t matter, really… but that’s the thing; you have to ENJOY it in order to make your trip (through life) worthwhile. Otherwise, what’s the point? If all you were going to do was have a monotonous art job that you don’t really enjoy, you might as well have done that OTHER monotonous job without wasting all of that practice time.

The difference, I feel, between doing something you regret and ‘normal sadness’ can be found in this slightly old fan-comic that I did about Death Note, oddly enough. (This is an explanation of ‘driving where you know you shouldn’t.’)

100 percent- L's Philosophy, page 1 by genaminna

Even if I never make it to where I (think I) want to be, I should at least enjoy the ride, wherever I am going. Who says that I know the exact direction anyway? Who is really driving this thing?!? Lol. 🙂

When your soul will never be satisfied by your work until you achieve the ‘end result’ that you had for it… well… isn’t being focused on the end result, ONLY– being attached to the outcome– the sure-fire way to not be happy with whatever turns about? After all, how can we expect to control everyone’s reactions to our work?? Maybe it is not up to us on HOW we will achieve our dreams. And maybe that’s a good thing.

I still would like for people to like my artwork and stories, HOWEVER, there is a limit to performing like a scripted clown, hoping that people will laugh VS. a person who is laughing on the inside (or outside) as he is performing.
You get me?

I bid you adieu!~

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

Random Girl, Blood Moon, and SNOW?!

randomgirlw

Oohh, new pic!~ It’s a… random girl for practice, lol. Still need my lines!!

Also, there is supposed to be a blood moon tonight. But, alas, there’s snow and clouds… (maybe it’ll clear up by 3am though).
Speaking of snow: what the heck, weather?!! It was 70 degrees earlier today… -_- But that’s typical for the Midwestern states, lol. Crazy weather…

So, yeah, I’m been trying different styles in my coloring (and drawing a bit too), but I realize that the best person to be/imitate is yourself (and God too, in terms of character). But everyone has their own style, their own “something they’re good at.” We should just focus on building our strengths with that, and not worry about the rest. There is at least one thing that can make us unique or “known for”. either in our art or otherwise. So, just work on finding your “special brand of something!” 🙂

/endsupposedinspirationalrant

“Baggage” Cover

BaggagepagesCop

Here’s a new pic! 🙂

Well, this is just the cover page for my comic, “Baggage” that I did about a year ago for the 2013 Silent Manga competition…
Wow, an actual W.i.p. that I completed! Haha. The unfinished version is here. As you can see, it’s dated last year… lols…

By the way, I’m trying to get better in my writing too; been reading books, listening to podcasts about writing (for comics, and in general), and the like. I wonder if creators with long stories ever write (not just outline) out their whole story before beginning to draw it? Inquiring minds (namely me) want to know…

In random news, I went to a TLC concert recently. It was rather cool. (Too bad I never got to see them perform with Left Eye long ago… sigh.) I couldn’t exactly sing to all of their songs though. XD (Not because I didn’t know them… but after becoming a disciple… you know…)

Which brings me to my other thought/conundrum… I can’t finish as many stories that I started before [I got baptized] ‘as planned’, since they are either: 1.) Too perverted/dirty, or too otherwise promoting something trifling. If there is some way I can twist it around where it doesn’t promote as trifling behavior, then I will try and change the story a bit, but… there are certain ones which are blatantly obvious that I couldn’t finish in good conscience.

For example, I made a Gohan and Videl fic long ago which shall not be named… but I cannot finish that in good conscience… sorry! (I was thinking, if I’m married, would it be so bad to think the thoughts? But that is basically inviting other unmarried people too to think these thoughts, and arghhh, it’s about another “person” anyway, and…! Too complicated.)
I am trying to find a way to change/write “Trunks’ Date” a bit where it won’t be so full of perverted stuff (the original idea wasn’t SO bad, but it did include some… eh… “suggestive” scenes that I don’t want to draw out now). So… we’ll see where that goes…!