With every mundane wish granted, where do I go?
I’m young and free and intelligent and resourceful and I’m in the rich world. By far the most painful thing I’ve had to deal with is a few minor cases of a broken heart. What kind of life without challenge is worth living? When I think about it, with this gift I’ve been given comes an undeniable obligation, to the world, to my family, to my parents, for giving me such a beautiful and privileged childhood. I live in a world where things have come together. It’s like the happy ending. There was no starvation, no death, no pain, nothing to compare this comfortable life of mine to, nothing except what I’ve read in books or been told of. No motivation fueled by a need for shelter or for food or for love. I’ve been surrounded by all of those things, in excess, since the day I was born. The only source of motivation left is from passion. And what have I been passionate about? Love. Men. Romance. And I’ve had that. And I exercised that passion and I ran that meter dry. I’ve done the relationships and found that they can’t exist without lies, not until theres someone there who doesn’t lie, someone who isn’t here and so the problem is solved, that passion is to be exercised some other time. I feel like I’ve been given everything but I can’t find passion. How strange to have my elders to look up to, who have so much history of pain, whose lives have been so entirely different from mine, who’ve lost parents and friends and lovers to disease and war and who as children were poor or underprivileged or whose circumstances were damagingly dysfunctional in some way. How can their path, with the motives behind their actions having to be so different than mine, solely because of their circumstances, be a template for my much different upbringing and prospective path and my much different circumstances? What do I have to look up to? How could it be possible to use them as examples with each action of mine having such little consequence, no one dependent on me except myself. With every mundane wish granted, where do I go? What do I do? There’s nothing to do. Every circumstance I encounter is insignificant, each one having been solved by someone before me many, many times. Don’t get me wrong, my days and moments are filled with joy but still with a kind of emptiness. No problem to fixate on, to play over in my head and try to solve. My mind, when it’s unoccupied with a current activity (pretty much all the time since my job, though fun, doesn’t require much thought) doesn’t know what to do. I’ve risen above these terrestrial (human?) dilemmas. I don’t worry about what he said or she said. I don’t worry about tomorrow because what’s the point? Since my mind doesn’t know what to do, I am so horribly conscious, it’s excruciating. I bury my face in my phone, scouring through my facebook newsfeed, searching for something to give a shit about. I can’t find that passion. I wonder how my fellow human beings, who all are programmed by the EXACT same genetic code as me function? How do they cope with this melancholia? I find relief in honest, real, passionate connection with other human beings, in immersing my mind in witty television shows, where somehow the writers can trick my mind into thinking things matter, perhaps with humor. Still since a few months ago or so(I can’t remember exactly when), I haven’t been able to find anything lasting to cling to. So my mind is empty. I’ve poured over books. So many books. Trying to find that reason. That thing. That answer. That motivation. There isn’t one. The most truth I’ve found is in Taoism. The way of living based, in fact, around the acknowledgment of the truth, that nothing matters. That everything just is. But still that voice inside me is for some reason wired to care. To need something to do. It can’t just be. It doesn’t want to. I try so hard to find something for it to care about but no matter what I do, experience, or read I’m always left with that one conclusion. Everything mearly “is.”
So what do I do now? Go with the Tao and choose to be joyful? Spread my light? I know that though there is nothing, or everything, however you’d like to think of it, the nothing is wonderfully beautiful. It IS inspiring, it’s fulfilling, it just doesn’t need solving. It doesn’t need studying, something which our minds can’t exist without. We are, I’m sure through evolution and for the sake of our primitive ancestor’s survival and growth, wired with the need to ask questions and get the answers. To, when faced with problems, be able to think about them and solve them. How strange to live in a world where every problem having to do with survival is solved. The only thing left to do is to create from passion, which isn’t motivated by “life or death” circumstances, it doesn’t matter or exist without joy. And how hard to get to that place where you have enough passion about something to be motivated enough to do it? Perhaps it’s just me. Should I just keep doing nothing? Let it be? “Bring about emptiness to the extreme”?- Lao-tzu
It’s okay if you think I’m crazy. I’m done hiding my thoughts. As I said, I get relief from my mind when engaging in passionate connection with other human beings and this dilemma, “the human condition”, is what I’m passionate about.
(when i say “every mundane wish granted” i don’t mean that i’m filthy rich or anything it’s just that i don’t want material things. money doesn’t concern me. i’m a waitress/shift manager and have what i need. anything i do decide i want or need comes to me through the power of attraction)
i hope there are some like-minded people on here that can understand what i’m asking. there sure as hell aren’t many where i live :)
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@mikeyw829, “I can’t be motivated to do things out of desire to attain things, or at least not even 1/5 as well as I used to. And I don’t mean this in Buddhist philosophy way where it’s just a belief I have about it. But then what is there to motivate me if chasing things doesn’t? That’s what I’m finding out right now.”
Mikey, that is awesome. breaking out of the way we were raised is challenging, no doubt about it. all I can say it to be patient with yourself, take your time. enjoy the journey and all that jazz. and good luck!
@calielynn112, ” I’m feeling “fine” and i guess thats a bit boring compared to what I’ve been used to. All my life I’ve been used to feeling worried or excited or nervous or anything! All the time!”
yeah those worried/excited/nervous feelings kind of fill your mind with distractions. it’s a lot like people who have to talk and can’t appreciate silence. from underneath that boring/fine feeling a more stable, quiet calm bubbles up, where you don’t need distraction. doing “nothing” is definitely underrated :-)
Or, you’re overthinking and don’t know what to do. Life is not that complicated.
“I’ve done the relationships and found that they can’t exist without lies, not until theres someone there who doesn’t lie, someone who isn’t here and so the problem is solved, that passion is to be exercised some other time”
Oh, you’ll be surprised how much more you lie to yourself, than anyone lies to you. :)
So your mind needs busy work? Hope I didn’t take that wrong, I’ll just throw in some suggestions, maybe you’ll find them interesting. Try math, math is good for the brain, never ending problems to solve. Once you’re a math genius, who knows what you’ll figure out! Taking up a coding language isn’t a bad option either. Or perhaps meditate in a cave all day. Spreading joy sounds like a wonderful option too, remember, lots of people need help who are in poorer situations. The best thing you can do is, once you find what tickles your spine, always remember what caused it, rinse, repeat, you may end up feeling fulfilled :)
@calielynn112, Hello Calie, i’ve just finished reading your posts and everyone’s reply. I guess everybody has experienced, or are experiencing, or will experience a similar situation as what you are experiencing now in a way or another, in some point of one’s life, may it be brief or in a longer duration.. It’s a part of living.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory can somehow give us some understanding about why are we feeling incomplete (wanting, needing, feeling of emptiness). Although many had contested and falsified the manner of how Maslow formulated his theory, it helped me understand somehow the human condition especially about why is there something in us that needs to pursue things other than for survival.
It seems like you’re searching for problems, not enjoying a life without them. You’re stressing over not having anything to stress about, and that’s just self-destructive, selfish behavior. You “value” people who have “survived” and so you want to create issues for yourself to pretend you’re as “strong” as others.
But none of that matters. Life is about being happy, not about surviving. It just happens to be the fact that some of us have to survive. I come from a family of 4 that lives under $17,000 a year. I don’t feel any stronger than others because I lived well below the poverty line in the US with parents that refused to take government help.
Just grow up and stop thinking about yourself. Enjoy what you have and stop demanding more, especially when you’re demanding something negative to gain some sort of self-righteous positive.
Thank you for taking the time to read it! I’m not sure if it came through in my post but i like to think that i take a more optimistic approach to life, i didn’t mean to sound cynical it’s just that the more i learn, the more detached from the “mundane falsehoods/trivial pursuits” i feel, and since that’s the norm i’ve started to feel more and more alone. i feel the best way to look at life is through the scientific approach and so i’m so glad that you explained your reason for believing in a life purpose. i never looked at it that way but you’re right, it’s like my mind is hungry and needs to be fed. whether or not i can turn it into a belief, i’m not sure. it’s not even that Taoism is a belief of mine as much as it is an idea that i like to play with. thanks so much for your advice. it’s that type of connection and understanding that i love having. i love you too, @lytning91
@calielynn112, Hey Calie!! I hope you’re doing great!
Well I’ve read your messages and it’s hard to answer the “so many questions” you are asking haha! I’ve tried to summarise and understand how you feel. Though it’s always hard trying to put oneself in somebody else’s heart and mind.
But I think I understand a bit what you mean.
There is ONE big thing that had changed my life for ever. My perspective of life has totally changed after having travelled. Well, there are many different kinds of travels of course. But I’m here talking about those trips where you realise how complex, beautiful and intense life is the world is. From one place to another, it can be totally different.
So it IS mind-blowing.
From my personal experience, I can say that my trips to South-East Asia have changed me. Really. Going to places that are different from where we were born and where we have grown up, feeling life differently, smelling things you’ve never smelled before, trying things you’ve never tried before, seeing huge smiles as never you have enjoyed before.
Our western society, besides its many known advantages (I’m getting more and more doubtful about them though!), has got a lot of failures. People are not happy anymore. Everybody’s in the rush. No one even takes TIME TO LIVE! That is crazy.
And I truly think that a good part of our “alienation” comes from that.
Well Calie, I believe you just need to travel the world :) :)
Meet great people, smile at life (even if life has no meaning), be happy of the purest and simplest things in life such as eating, drinking, loving, and well, BEING!
I hope that will help ;)
Take good care of you, and don’t forget to always bring your cute smile along :)
The empathy that I feel for you is beyond imagining.
We come from very similar circumstances. And everything that you say you feel was once a major part of my life, and it still is. But in a different way. It no longer drags me down.
Honestly, some of the sadness and old emotion returned reading your first post. I almost came to tears.
I am not sure if I can help you, at least not as sure as the others who are already trying. But if you do ever need anything, my ( and probably everyone here) inbox is always open.
But I hope that you find what you are looking for. I really do. You are not alone by any means.
@mikeyw829, your response motivated me to give this post a chance – I have been loving the challenging shit you’ve posted lately.
@calielynn112, The “Enter” key would be a great thing to add to your life!! OK seriously your post seems to be about yourself. do you do things for others, share your good fortune (as I am in a similar position – born to happy parents who took good care of me and taught me money doesn’t matter) with those who are having a rougher go of things? you seem to be a bit self-absorbed, trying to find ways to entertain yourself in this life where everything comes easy. “How strange to live in a world where every problem having to do with survival is solved. ” – that statement is only true for your very small world. if you’re looking for problems to solve, there are lots of people in your community or over on the wrong side of the tracks who just need a hand (NOT a hand-out) to get back up on their feet.
also, what happens when you just sit peacefully? Are you able to feel the rhythm of the earth beneath your feet? I’m a dad so my life is pretty full but when I have some time to myself, I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of watching the trees, listening to the wind, staring into a campfire, letting a river run over my feet – just existing. If you are not comfortable just quietly existing, I’d wonder if there is something you’re hiding from, something you’re blocking that is pushing you to fill it with your phone and witty TV shows.
hope this helps, I am not trying to be condescending but I do think your bliss is out there, somewhere.
@daveb, I do want to challenge you on something though.
“I’m a dad so my life is pretty full but when I have some time to myself, I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of watching the trees, listening to the wind, staring into a campfire, letting a river run over my feet”
Are you sure that you are not just switching out TV, phones, etc. and switching to nature in order to add to your sense of self? Don’t get me wrong, it’s better to be in nature than get obsessed with TV, but at some level, those two things are one and the same. If you think about it, even if nature gives you something, some sense of completeness, then it probably isn’t a good thing. I’m not sure if that was the angle you were coming from or not, but I think that might be one of the problems that a lot of people have, including myself. You can feel a sense of connection with everything, even TV. And a lot of these new age advocates I think are just fooling themselves by switching their interests from TV and consumerism to ‘mother earth’ and activism without actually feeling anything different internally. So they really haven’t made any progress at all internally, they just have just changed their superficial identity. I guess that’s not really that bad of a thing, but it really isn’t doing anything beneficial either. I’m not saying this is you at all, it’s just an example. It really seems like you are ahead of me (whatever that means) in a lot of ways. But it’s something to always question in yourself as to what your motives are for doing something.
And that’s what I think is wrong with a lot of the advice given on here by people. Switching up what you do (by helping the community or whatever it is )won’t change anything, except on a very superficial level. So if I start helping people more, but still feel the same on the inside, I don’t think it really matters. I think there is something deeper (karma maybe) in which intention behind the action is actually what is important, not the action in and of itself.
@daveb, I appreciate that. What you explained is kind of where I’m heading it seems like. And I agree it is self-absorbed, but honestly how could we know any differently? And when I see ‘we’, I think you can guess at who I’m talking about. Most of the people around me aren’t even at the point where they realize they are self-absorbed. It’s kind of sickening sometimes, and I don’t mean that judgmentally. It is what it is.. just plain sickening. I mean don’t get me wrong, I think there are people who are not self-absorbed at all that I interact with pretty often, but for the most part this is not the case. But the problem for me is that I kind of feel stuck because I can’t be motivated to do things out of desire to attain things, or at least not even 1/5 as well as I used to. And I don’t mean this in Buddhist philosophy way where it’s just a belief I have about it. But then what is there to motivate me if chasing things doesn’t? That’s what I’m finding out right now. This is affecting my whole life.. from how I perceive women, to what I think is important and all my values. I admit I should not complain that I have the luxury to have these problems though, but it’s where I’m at so why deny it.
I guess basically what I’m saying is actions are illusions. The world is an illusion. Looking just at actions and just at the world is superficial and a distraction. The intention is what’s real. The internal state is what’s real. Actions are secondary, a way to express your internal self. The world isn’t here to give us anything. So whether I want to believe in Christianity or Islam, or go out and save the world and humanity, it doesn’t mean shit if it’s coming from a place of neediness and self-aggrandizement. Which is why “Kony 2012″ failed, and anything like that will always fail. That’s why religion will ultimately fail, and eventually (hopefully not), that is why the world will ultimately fail. Unless people stop being scared to travel into the unknown and stop believing things to feel safe. Don’t really know how much this has to do with the OP anymore… I think it still does though
@calielynn112, I somehow passed over this in my notifications and had thought just hadn’t had the chance to read what I wrote.
I’m very glad that I was able to provide you with something beneficial, for that is truly what I wanted and it fulfills me very much to know that I have succeeded, at least so some degree. All I can tell you, aside from what I already have, is that I am here to talk to you when you are feeling unfulfilled and there are others all over this site willing to do the same. I feel like everyone here can relate to feeling alone when surrounded by the shallow and so you’ve got connections all around. And you have me specifically. I’ll do all I can to make sure that this cause is addressed in the fullest, because the only ones who actually care about it are those who have to deal with it.
It’s like we have the ability to perceive the plight of those who are sucked into empty lives as well as our own misfortune in feeling alone because of those people. They, however, don’t pause to wonder how lonely it must be for us, too consumed by ignorant bliss. Maybe that’s a little strong of a wording, but I believe you will understand.
How are you feeling today, dear?
@mikeyw829, oh my gosh you totally get it! this is amazing i’m so glad i found this site.
@falsecandles, it’s comforting even to know that there are people out there who’ve gone through this stuff before. thank you for reaching out:)
@frankidelics, thank you for the great advice and for understanding my situation! :)
@lytning91, again i’ll say that the way you’ve explained the topic has changed my perspective! pillars and props! it makes a lot of sense and i believe will help me a lot when looking at my relationships with others. thank you so much. this website, or i guess i should say the people on it, are amazing.
@lytning91, i’m absolutely thrilled to see that you’re interested in how i’m feeling today! i have a lot to say. i’ll be sure to use paragraphs this time:)
My day was filled with pleasantness. It seems like every moment i experience is different than one ive ever had even if ive done that particular activity thousands of times before. Theres always something new to take in. Then theres lots of experiences that bore me. For example, my coworker complaining about a new rust spot he found on his beloved Mercedes. Him enthusiastically showing it to me, me not having the energy to throw off his pretend identity by saying, “who cares?” and then having to explain why it doesn’t matter and instead just nodding and expressing my insincere condolence. I don’t mind participating in that type of small talk at all, its just that I don’t get anything out of it. I focus on customers. I try to make my brief interaction with them joyful. Sometimes, especially if they seem unhappy, I visualize my energy and love surrounding them in white light.
Sometimes I have a thought that reminds me that everything is an illusion. An illusion that I’m stuck in and I look around and feel afraid. I wonder, “what’s really going on?” Then ill let it go and move on to something else. Eventually during our shift my coworker forgot about his problems and we had fun together labeling all the items throughout the store “spaceballs pepperoni, spaceballs microwave, spaceballs maketable, spaceballs dishwasher” being able to act like a kid with Dan is why I love him. He is openly gay and pretty comfortable with who he is which makes it easy for him to let loose. We Dance and sing together. It’s easy to be my joyful self around him and pretty much everyone else I work with. It doesn’t feel like work it feels pretty effortless and fun like its just a place I go for 40 hours a week and hang out. It occurred to me today that maybe my life isn’t supposed to have that struggle that i explained in the post that i thought i needed, maybe I AM living with passion and Its ok for my mind to be at peace. (But then from what ive known of passion, it doesn’t feel mild like my feelings do)
I’ve lived so long with all the buzzing going on of daily troubles and worries and recently realizing that none of them matter has made a huge change in my thought processes. Maybe i was missing them? Or missing having something for my mind to do. It’s not like im unhappy with my life. Its just that people are social beings. They connect with eachother by talking and they talk about what they think about and most of the people i know think about their day to day struggles, which i don’t dwell on.
Really the only trouble is that sometimes I don’t know how to make genuine connections with people, aside from a few close friends and my family. I guess that does make me a bit self absorbed. I have trouble caring about the little things people complain about or feeling any empathy for them. I know theyre okay and their worries are just imaginary. And how can I not be self absorbed when my entire experience is filtered through my own brain which takes the information coming in and translates it in a way that i can understand. All I see and experience comes from my own brain. Same goes for everyone else and who’s to say that everyone else isn’t just as, if not more, self absorbed than I am? (Just like @mikeyw829 said. Also Mikey, thanks for sharing. i’m glad to know there’s people out there that can relate to this.) I’m not mean to people, I don’t ever ignore people in fact I do my best to love them. And I do love them, theyre all so unique and beautiful in their own way. I was reading about the difference between conditional and unconditional love a few days ago and how once the conditions are taken out, it’s so much easier to see the raw beauty of everyone and everything and appreciate it. haha. I’m feeling “fine” and i guess thats a bit boring compared to what I’ve been used to. All my life I’ve been used to feeling worried or excited or nervous or anything! All the time!
Thanks for reading:) you have no idea what it means to me to be able to share my thoughts in a place where they have a chance to be understood. i’m interested in hearing about how you feel too. it feels a bit awkward to talk so much about myself and i really don’t mean to come off as selfish or to offend anyone. thanks again.
@mikeyw829, that is a great question, I have no answer. A couple of weeks back I posted a question as to whether or not it was a good thing that I enjoy watching the sun rise. that’s not to say I get all bummed out on a rainy day so if there’s any dependency it’s small, but still, I wonder . . .
there’s another half of that thought that I am having difficulty putting into words so let’s try this . . . I like to eat food that tastes good. I had a friend I lived with for a few years after college who didn’t see the point. he would eat these bland mash-ups of whatever – fuel is fuel. we were both healthy eaters but for him eating is a necessary chore, to be completed as efficiently as possible. for me, eating is a necessary chore – and so I enjoy the process of cooking and eating.
in the same way, right now I have the desire (so much for eliminating desire from my heart) to enjoy life, experience the full range of emotions. and if that means drawing something from my surroundings, I’m OK with that. it may well be more enlightened or whatever for me to transcend that, but I don’t feel the need. I don’t need anyone else to make some kind of entertainment or product, so I’m as independent as I think I need to be but probably not as independent as I could be. if stoic detachment means losing the range of emotions that for me is part of being human, count me out. maybe you and I are both searching for a third option.
does that make sense?
@calielynn112, ugh Mr. Mercedes sounds like he’d be fun up until the point where I had to try and sympathize over a rust spot. Besides that, I am familiar with the type of person that you are talking about.
I was once really good friends with a gay guy who I had a great time hanging out with (myself a male as well) because he was completely comfortable with himself and was open about his gay-ness. With that came a great amount of energy and gusto, such that he basically just said and did whatever he wanted. Though it could obviously be said that such a way of being could be detrimental, it was also quite liberating to be around him. I already was outspoken about who I was, but to have someone else on a equal or greater level of self-awareness was awesome. I have to say that he wasn’t really that shallow though, in terms of being a friend. We actually had a lot of deep talks about several things, and he’s the reason that I wound of dating an amazing girl for 3 1/2 years (though that is over now).
Making legitimate connections with people is difficult mainly because it doesn’t seem like they even want to. I talked to someone once about this, and I described it as two categories of people: you have your props and your pillars. The props are the ones that live carefree, basically as a result of propping themselves up on pillars. They gain a blissful ignorance by being able to have that support and, where there is a pillar, there will be countless props. The pillars are the ones that have to support all of the weight of both the ignorant and themselves. Because of the nature of pillars, props tend to fill a majority of the surrounding area such that it is difficult to really be close to any other pillars. Laslty, when pillars are able to come together, they can lean on one another, and the physical nature of those two objects coming together allows for both of them to sustain a larger load of props because they are exerting energies back and forth from one another.
That example makes a lot of sense in my head, and I bet I could explain it a little better than that, but I am tired and am not even going to spell/grammar check this.
Either way, the more pillars clustered together with one another (close friends) the more props you can handle. You cannot compensate for pillars with extra props, it just makes you weigh more and sink into the ground on which you stand. Only with a tight circle of pillars can you handle the world of props that exists.
All of this sounds really pretentious to me, but I really do think that some people just do not stop to think about what they say/do and how that effects others. People are selfish, and these people wind up sucking the life out of selfless others, so long as they do not have other, like-minded people to help them deal with it.
In the end, every type serves a purpose. I do not mind trying to support others in the ways that I can because I have people to help me sustain the load. This allows me to love people for who they are and what they do, and even props can be great company in a lot of situations, it just requires some extra energy to work amongst them.
I think I’ll remain a mystery because this is already really long and my fingers hurt.
I took the time to read all of this so I have no idea exactly how long my reply will be or if you will care to read it.
First of all, from the way you describe your life you have that cookie cutter stuff that makes you feel like you have no strife to fuel your future endeavors. That I simply cannot relate to. I have been through a lot of emotional crap since I was a kid dealing with my mother and father’s divorce. That’s not of concern to you, though, and I don’t think it will effect what I have to say that much, given my ability to understand your situation aside from that difference.
Some days I go through life wondering why I even care to have a job. Money is stupid (I recently opened a can of that nature on the discussion board), trinkets just either distract me or make me feel bad about my interest in having them when I know there are better uses for my money, and I have no ideas on what I really wanna do with my life. Everywhere I look I just see less and less worth and it makes me feel as though I am confined. I see the smiling faces and read the exciting posts about people out there ‘making it,’ and meanwhile I’m here wondering what the heck I did wrong…that I have to passively observe other people loving life while I hate it.
Some days I feel connected to people around me, however. I talk to my closer friends more honestly about my thoughts and we share more intimate relations, whether it be an activity or general bonding experience. On those days, between the distraction and the general belief that there is a realness to the people I am close to, I get by without too much overthinking.
Now, where we differ the most (and this is where I hope to help you maybe gain something else) is in the “Life’s Answer” area. Your views on Taoism completely conflict with my own, and I most certainly see purpose in life even on my worst days. There have been numerous posts relating to the concept of a purpose, and I find that for me the purpose of life really is just to live yours and discover yourself as you do it. Obviously, that sounds like a giant crock of BS and I know it does if you approach it cynically (as I do on some days), but consider the nature of our existence: you said yourself that your mind/soul have the insatiable desire to care, have passion, and enjoy life. Now, this in mind, would it not be the cruelest of pranks for your mind to work so ineffectively, delivering a desire that carries no purpose? If you appeal to science, this may intrigue as it does me. Our stomaches hurt when we are hungry, not when we are full: this encourages us to eat; our eyes close when we get weary, not when we are energized: this allows us to sleep and to see when we are awake.
Why then, if all of our processes make so much sense, would our minds lie to us? You can discuss a disease or illness like psychosis or being crippled, but those cases are not the norm. If we are malfunctioning such that we have a craving for belonging, purpose, and a sense of what is to come in EVERY single one of us, then boy did science screw up our codes.
But the thing is, it didn’t. There is a reason that we feel the need to be something more, to do something more, and to live. When you feel as though life weighs you down with mundane falsehoods and trivial pursuits, know that the urning you cannot contain is there to keep your heart beating, your mind dreaming, and your soul searching.
And love everyday in as many ways as possible.
It goes like this: I love you, @calielynn112