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)

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Hola!~ (after so long…) Here’s some thoughts…

Heya! I just wanted to, again, thank the lovely DBZchick for her awesome generosity in giving me (and another person, at that) a one-year sub on DA!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Isn’t she just so nice? ♥ (I know she wasn’t looking for so much public praise in return, but I can’t help it XD). It’s not an obligation; it’s of my own free will though, therefore it’s more significant!!… Right? :0 RIGHT! XD XD… Annywayyysss… lolz.

I’ve been an interesting person in the last few months… er… more like a year… or so…

That is an understatement for being so upside-down and backwards in my thinking that I was even amusing myself with my own destructive thoughts… XD There, that’s more accurate, lol…

SO, I can give you a quick run-down (if you care to read this; I just need to get out a personal declaration of a sort).
Btw, before I begin, I just finished The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (as an audiobook). It was really good, but, very sad! Though, I think I needed to read it.

As a story-writer, I can kind of understand this too:

“18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?” ~Romans 9: 18-22

I was feeling very bitter and angry toward God, and just my surroundings in general (I hated people and myself, among other things…). “Why am I in this position?” I thought. “Why does nothing ever seem to go right?” But then, I kind of reflected upon my past thoughts in the last year or so.

I’d become very idolatrous.

This means that I’ve been “worshiping” idols– things, people, places, anything else– instead of the one, true God. Now, now, if you are going to retort back to me in your disbelief, please either 1.) Keep it to yourself. 2.) Let me know how you feel, though don’t expect to convince me.

I will now continue.

When there is something that I know I should be doing and do not do it, it comes back to haunt me. Anything, from drawing something I should be drawing, or helping someone in need, or even thinking a certain way I know I should–but don’t– think… it always catches up with me. (James 4:17) And in this past year of reflection, I’ve finally figured out why. Call it karma if you want; whatever it is, I call it divine retribution, or rebuking.  There is only so much you can do before it comes back to haunt you. If you’ve realized your mistakes, and don’t take the time to correct it, it will be even worse than if you didn’t realize it and were punished for it. (Luke 12:47-48) All in all, I knew that something was wrong; I knew I was idolizing things, but it never occurred to me how to change it, or that I needed to seek help. I thought it would go away all on its own. Not only that, I did not realize the depth of idol worship that I had been doing. I had become blinded by what I believed my idols would do for me– what I THOUGHT would make me “happy” once I got them. But, boy, was I fooled.

“Nana…how come being happy and making your dreams come true are two different things? Even now, I still don’t know why…” ~Nana Komatsu (Nana manga)

I feel like I’m beginning to understand it now… I don’t totally get it, but I’m beginning to understand.

They are just empty promises; promises grounded on sand rather than solid ground; promises that can break and shatter at any moment. Who ever promises that, with wealth, brings everlasting freedom, or that no one can ever take it away? Who ever promises that your “love”– that you devoted your entire life and heart to– will never fade into nothingness? How can we build our faith and happiness on our dreams, after all? Who says (for example), that even if I did sell a million comics (hypothetically), that I couldn’t lose as many fans that I’d gained just as quickly? You see it happening all around you, right? Stars and celebrities (even internet celebrities) that gain fame and lose it just as quickly– if not, quicker– than how they’ve obtained it. People driving themselves into starvation for the purpose of composing the “right” body image, and going mad when they find that it’s unattainable, unless by developing a permanent sickly status. (Well, eventually, you won’t be sickly. You will be dead.)

But isn’t that just like anything else though? Eventually, our cravings for these temporary, replaceable pleasures will only starve us, always leaving us wanting more, more MORE. It never satisfies; it never COMPLETELY takes away our unhappiness. In the dead of the night, in the minutes before breathing your last breath, will the worries of those even matter in the end? What will truly matter to you then? What you wore to your homecoming? What you ate for breakfast before ‘that’ big day? What dates you went on? Those– used to be believed– “unrecoverable”  bad days you used to have?

Life goes on, doesn’t it…? What should really matter? What about saying what you want to say; the stories that YOU want to say– despite the wanted recognition and/or monetary result that you want? What about helping to improve the life of another person? What about loving someone– your family, a stranger, your friends– here and now? What will really matter? (Loving God and others, of course!)

I know that people who don’t believe in God– or anything ‘solid’ and unchanging for that matter (except ‘change’, itself) will not understand, nor try to. Don’t worry; I do understand where you may be coming from. (I will never be able to completely understand, but I can see why you would not believe.) After all, people have been distorting God’s words in the bible, and using it for their own selfish purposes for years and years. The distortion is inevitable. However, we have the free will to choose what we want to believe. You wouldn’t want someone to love you out of compulsion anyway, would you? But I also believe in the basic facts and principles about this world.

Especially when I see this world in such chaos, it is very unsettling to think that God is just “letting” this happen. But, then again, I think about people’s free wills. If we didn’t have them, we would just be robots. WE have the choice to make the world a better, more richer place, OR we also have the choice to make it into a destructive, suicidal place. The choice is indeed ours, but we need to ACTIVELY EXERCISE the GOOD in us in order to rule out/even out the BAD in others. There is NO way to erase the darkness in the world without lighting a light. You can’t battle darkness with darkness!

Anyway… I will just say that in these unstable times, it truly is God who never changes. God is my rock. But how do I know? Maybe you think it’s because I’m crazy? Maybe you think it’s very stupid to believe in something/someone that is invisible (in the normal way we see anybody, anyway). But since everything we CAN see is temporary (just name it), I’d like to believe that what we cannot see is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Faith is called faith for a reason though. Blind faith, I do not believe. I need reasons. But I see them when my eyes and ears are open to them. (Matthew 13:11-17) Otherwise, I feel the world is a dreadful, unhappy place. Again, we have a choice– to see the world in darkness or to see the world in light. If parts ARE dark, what will you do? Sit there and moan or mope about it? Or will you let your light shine onto it? If it is light, will you expose your own personal darkness onto it, thereby inevitably affecting someone else by your negative shadowed world? It is your choice.

Before I finish, I just want to say thank you to DBZchick again for her gift of generosity. I was feeling very down. Ready to give up; not really minding if I had died (Would anything be different for me then? But I would never commit suicide since I knew God does not like murderers…); but then someone’s light affected me. The simplest acts of kindness can often go unnoticed (by people), but even so, it can make a huge difference in the world. No matter what we do– whether it’s good or bad, the world will feel your light or darkness. It DOES affect everyone else, no matter how much of a small island you want to live on. It will not go unnoticed forever. If EVERYONE decided to constantly commit acts of kindness, how do you think the world would look? So I/we need to stop blaming God for “letting this happen”. WE are letting this happen!!

So if you DO want the world to become a better place, it’s about time to see what you can do to light it up, right? For every act of evil in the world, perhaps do an act of kindness. God does work many wonders THROUGH us too. We have a spirit with a conscience. In this bleak and dark-ridden world, it will remind people that there is “some good in this world, after all.” 🙂 And, boy, do we all need reminders…! 🙂

Rainbow Kisses– Orieal and Co.

RainbowKisses2Orieal

—-

Also on DA:

“Well, there’s more than Orieal, actually! lol (She’s just in the front, that’s all.)
These are characters from my Nekoturr’s Realm story… and actually… I’ve been work on this pic off and on for like 3 years (well, Dec. 2010)! I’m just trying to finish up some half-done things around here, is all…
🙂
Hope you like it! (And my 80’s color scheme! lols)

From left-to-right: Orieal, Cara (bg), Nikolao (bg)
Then top-to-bottom on right: Rukii, Trevor, and Marihara

Genesis 9:12-16
“12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.””

Submitting to companies, vs. submitting on the web/self-publishing

Here’s a sketchy-sketch!

HuHesk1

This is Robin (top-left character). He is from the same story as Karina (who I drew before— on the bottom-right). Working on this story now… it’s getting longer than I thought, lol.

You know, in submitting to companies and such (as opposed to only posting on the web or self-publishing), I’ve learned that it’s much harder (yet easier) to organize and draw out your comics.

Reasons Why It’s Harder: Because you have to abide by a pages in increments of eight (usually). If, once drawn out, your story is 35 pages, when you told them it’d be 40, well, you have to add those five pages in somewhere! If you’re two pages over, you have to take those two pages out somewhere! Therefore, it’s best to organize all of that stuff in the script-writing process– before you even fully flesh out your comic. Otherwise, I hope you like re-drawing, or taking out an awesome scene of dialogue because of a simple mistake or miscount! (This has happened to me before… and recently too, lol. So, that’s why I’m saying this.) I’ve learned the value of writing out stories in the ‘official’ comic book format of scriptwriting (where it lists pages and panel numbers). Makes it much easier in the long run. But I don’t know how efficient it is to do it initially, when you’re writing your first draft, etc… For me (for now), it’s easier to write everything out, and then figure out how many pages it will be BEFORE I submit it to any companies. Maybe it is not the most professional method, but as of right now, it’s what works for me.

Reasons Why It’s Easier: Having limitations can be incredibly inspiring, because being forced to work within boundaries causes your mind to explore all of the possibilities within those ‘boxes’ of creativity. For example, it is sometimes hard to decide on something if you have a million different choices to choose from. But, if you have about 10 (vs. a million), it’s much, much easier to decide. Also, the more solid of an idea that your world is in your mind, the easier it is to fathom stories and characters for it. Solidifying your world is what makes storytelling (in general) easiest for me. This could be the reason why fanfiction/fancomics can be much easier than original works sometime– because their worlds are already very “solid” in your mind about what can and cannot happen within them. This is the difference between a plan and a wish.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Also..)

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” ~Hebrews 11:1

Movie writers and probs every other kind of writer has to work within the publisher’s limitations, too. However, if we have to edit, rewrite, and be able to work within such constraints, and STILL have a great story, well, that just means you’re a really great writer, regardless of the circumstances!

But, if you don’t fully believe in your world, how do you expect someone else to? It has to feel real to you– not just a fuzzy idea or a hypothetical situation. Give it real dimension, real emotion and real problems and solutions. In order for people to connect with your characters, they have to feel they are real (enough) to them, first. I’m still trying to do my best at doing this too; this is just something I wanted to say as a reminder for myself, as well. (After all, when we point the finger at someone, we are also pointing at ourselves, methinks.)

In other random news:

Psalm 7:15 “Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made.”

This always reminds me of Team Rocket. Always.

Digital Manga.com, The Hunger Games, Atlantis and new art (sorta)

I have good news! I’ve been accepted to publish one of my comics on Digitalmanga.com/emanga.com!! Haha, it’s just “One-Shot!” though… but maybe I’ll try making other stories for them; I dunno. (But I think they only want completed titles!)

Speaking of ‘completed titles’, here’s a half-done illustration for a totally un-completed title, lol.

Rukiiandcosk

It’s actually more finished than this, but eh… I don’t like submitting almost-done things! hehe…
I semi-want to get started on a webcomic, but I don’t want it to end up as something unfinished again. Especially while I’m submitting my comics to all of these companies and contests… I might have the time. But, we’ll see.

P.S. I was told that I look like Rue. O_o
(XD)

I just finished watching “The Hunger Games” (and before that, “Atlantis”), and well…
Aren’t we all already participating in our own “Hunger Games”? Isn’t that whole movie a metaphor for what’s already going on in our society? (I’m supposing that’s sort of the point, but…) When you think about it, “society” really tries to hurt and compete with each other for “survival”, to make themselves look better (a brand or name), or to pit us against each other for the things they say that we need… but even the things that we really DO need (food), they ration it to us and sell it way over-priced, just to make a few extra bucks in their pockets (like oil). Also, I dislike how reality T.V. is (or, has turned into) just a big scene that glorifies one’s own sin for entertainment. Just like glorifying murder (in “The Hunger Games”), huh!

“Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” ~1 John 3:15
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” ~Matthew 5:21-22

Are we really supposed to cheer on the “winner”? There is no real winner in that sort of “game.”
So, us hating one another is just one step away from actually murdering someone. In our hearts, we have already murdered them, or wished for it… Well, all I’ll say is that we need to be careful on who we are casting our ”hate” on.
Though, we should “hate what is evil” ;P lol (Romans 12:9- “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”) ((Not necessarily “who” is evil…! But, their evil behavior, right? The act/sin itself, right?))

[**Possible spoilers?**]

…Which brings me to Atlantis. It was an okay film. I’m not a pro film critic or anything, but I give it a B/B+… I cannot exactly say what was ‘wrong’ with it (maybe I will be able to if I think about it some more, or see it again– maybe the sometimes cheesy dialogue, lol), but that’s just how I felt on the matter. I did like the conflict between their love of money and supporting their friends. I suppose it’s a ‘realistic’-ish view on what might happen. Though, I’m disturbed by the love of money, itself.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” ~Matthew 6:24

I wonder if they would have been okay with not getting anything in the end? I guess it was just kind of weird that they still got what they (selfishly) wanted, but at least it happened in the nicer way than simply stealing from the Atlanteans (<-huh? lol) who live there. 😛 Oh well… I liked the visuals and voices though! 😛 🙂

Dichotomies + Rukii cover sketch

coverconceptsthumb

New sketch! (Well, sort of new… Which (oddly)  semi-relates to what I am talking about below…)
Btw, he’ll have a shirt on in the final version. 😛 This is just for anatomic purposes…

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” ~Proverbs 16:2
“Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.” ~John Barth

In stories, villains (if done right) believe that what they are doing is right, and that they are perfectly justified. Sound familiar? It happens all around this world too. Essentially, we have the ability to become either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, since we are all protagonists of our own stories. Who would pursue something that they knowingly knew was “bad?” We all mentally persuade ourselves that we are doing what is right for ourselves. When we are facing a difficult decision and have cognitive dissonance, whereas, we do something that doesn’t fit into our core beliefs, we rationalize our actions away (a.k.a. fool ourselves) into further believing that what we are doing is okay. (Not all of the time, but it happens.) But for every action there is a reaction and every negative has a positive. Even if you don’t believe in good and evil (that nothing is good or evil, except what we put labels on), it remains that– in this world– we exist in a place of dichotomies; of differences, of opposites. So, let’s all be mindful of how we are affecting others. If the villain in a story never sees him/her/itself as being “evil”, let’s be careful with our own thinking as well. (We don’t want to end up as someone’s ‘villain’… at least, intentionally… we will probably always be someone’s antagonist though) At least let’s stop lying to ourselves about what actions fit with our belief systems. Is it easier to change our actions or change our beliefs to fit with our actions?

“The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.”

“A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.”

“You can understand and relate to most people better if you look at them — no matter how old or impressive they may be — as if they are children. For most of us never really grow up or mature all that much — we simply grow taller. O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.”

~Leo Rosten

Some quotes

“People buy things they do not need with money they do not have to impress people they do not even like.” ~George Fooshee

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~Dr. Seuss

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~Mother Teresa

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?” ~Ian Wallace

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~George Eliot

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” ~Sam Levenson

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” ~Maya Angelou

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” ~Lance Armstrong, Every Second Counts

“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” ~Helen Keller

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston S. Churchill

“You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.” ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama XIV

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