De-myth-ify: Oedipus (Part 2)

Let’s talk about some classic Greek mythology, the Sophoclean tragedy, Oedipus Rex(also called Oedipus Tyrannus or Oedipus the King) today. This is part two of a three-part series on Oedipus. This continues from where part one left off. If you haven’t read it, do go and read Part one before you continue here.

The Sphinx would ask every person who encountered it the same riddle and upon getting the wrong answer would murder and devour them.(A bit of an overreaction, if you ask me) So, she asked Oedipus the riddle that many unfortunate souls before him had lost their lives to, “What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?” Oedipus was a clever man, he thought carefully and did what no one else before him had done; he solved the riddle. I’ll let you take a second to think about it, try to see if your smarts measure up to Oedipus’. If you already know, shush, don’t spoil it for anyone else.

The Sphinx

Here is Oedipus’ answer: “Man-he crawls on all fours as a child, walks on two feet as an adult and uses a walking stick as an old man.” The Sphinx, in a very un-ladylike manner, was unable to handle her ego after her defeat and jumped off the rock it was sitting on and fell to its death. Hurray! The Sphinx was vanquished. Now Oedipus gets his prize! (Yikes.) The throne of his father(who, I have to remind you he killed) and his mother as his wife. Talk about tough luck.

And thus, Oedipus was crowned king and married Jocasta, both unaware of their true relationship and had four children: Eteocles, Polynices, Antigone, and Ismene. He ruled well for many years, with his mom-wife by his side. Then one day, a terrible plague struck Thebes. Determined to cure his city, he sends his brother-in-law/uncle Creon to the Oracle at Delphi to find out the cause for it. Creon comes back to report that is the gods’ punishment for the killer of Laius was never brought to justice. (Just by the way, Oedipus is Laius’ killer. And he doesn’t know that.)

Oedipus then swears to find and punish the man responsible. He summons the blind prophet Tiresias to seek answers. At first, Tiresias refuses to answer but when forced, he points an accusing finger at Oedipus himself. (Damn, that’s a power move right there.) Unable to fathom how he could be Laius’ murderer he decides that Tiresias had been paid by Creon to blame Oedipus and steal his throne. This is where shit, finally, totally hits the fan.

 

 

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Tiresias, the blind prophet.

 

 

Jocasta in an attempt to comfort her husband-son, tells Oedipus that Laius was killed by bandits on the road and narrates the circumstances of her husband’s(her actual husband) death. Oedipus is extremely unnerved by the similarity between one of the encounters he had on the road and his mom-wife’s narration. He is understandably, shaken up and sends for that one servant of Lauis’ who survived that encounter.

Before the servant, however, a messenger from Corinth arrives informing him of Polybus’ death (From natural causes). Oedipus is visibly relieved to hear this as that meant he had evaded the first half of the prophecy(You wish Oedipus, you wish.) but fearing that the second half might still come to be, declines to attend the funeral. The messenger, however, tells him to not worry about that as Merope and Polybus were never his real parents. How does this messenger know that? Get ready for the most telenovela and soap opera-esque twist. This messenger is none other than the shepherd who dropped him off at Corinth as a baby all those years ago. (Mic drop.)

 

 

Oedipus Separating from Jocasta by Alexandre Cabanel

 

 

Hearing this and realising that the prophecy had, in fact, had its way, Jocasta flees to her chamber and hangs herself in despair. Oedipus however, still needs more proof and it walks right in as the servant who he summoned comes and verifies the horrifying truth: Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. When Oedipus realises what he has done, he tried to find Jocasta and finds her lifeless body. At this point, he takes two golden pins from her dress and blinds himself in his fury. He banishes himself from Thebes, as he had promised to do to the killer of Laius and lives a long, miserable, guilt-ridden life, to eventually die, as all mortals do. And with that, we come to the disturbing end of Oedipus’s story. ( For real though, thank all the greek gods we’re finally here. The man has been through enough.)

To be continued.

THIS POST’ QUESTION: This is the story of characters with terrible luck.Who do you think has it worst of them all and why? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

De-myth-ify: Oedipus (Part 1)

Let’s talk about some classic Greek mythology, the Sophoclean tragedy, Oedipus Rex(also called Oedipus Tyrannus or Oedipus the King) today. This is part one of a three-part series on Oedipus.

Oedipus’ story begins in typical Greek fashion, with a prophecy. When Laius, the king of Thebes decided to consult the Oracle at Delphi(It was believed that Apollo, the god of prophecy spoke through the Oracle who sat in the ancient sanctuary in Delphi) on whether he and his wife would ever have a son. What he learned, however, was that any son they have is destined to kill Laius and marry Jocasta, Laius’ wife.

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The Oracle at Delphi. (I found this image at ancient-origins.net )

Then, Laius reacted in a way that would be expected of him, he avoided his wife’s bed and decided to do away with any and all hopes for children. However, in what is truly the ultimate millennial move all the way back in ancient Greece, alcohol got the best of him. Jocasta got pregnant and in 9 months, the drunken mistake(read: the baby) was here.

Some believe that Laius pierced the baby’s ankles so that it wouldn’t even be able to crawl, let alone hurt him. (Oedipus means swollen foot in ancient Greek) This is, however, a pretty disputed fact among researchers. This is also where I remind you that killing family was one of the biggest sins in ancient Greece and you would certainly end up cursed and facing the wrath of the gods. This is why Laius, that little sneak, found a loophole in this whole shebang and instead asked some shepherd to drop his baby off at the mountains to die.

The shepherd, just a regular dude was obviously not quite that cold-hearted and handed the baby to a second shepherd passing his infanticidal duties on to on him. This shepherd, also not an infanticidal maniac and a Corinthian, could not bring himself to leave him to die. Instead, he took him to the childless King and Queen of Corinth, Polybus and Merope, who took the baby in and raised him as their own.

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The Finding Of Oedipus, a 17th/18th-century painting depicting the adoption of baby Oedipus by King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth

So, Oedipus grew up, believing himself to be the prince of Corinth, that Polybus and Merope were his parents and blissfully unaware of the extraordinary circumstances that brought him to Corinth. One day, a drunkard told Oedipus that his parents were not his birth parents and you know, basically his whole life was a lie and all that and Oedipus obviously chose to give a drunk man’s word merit and investigate this little rumour. He ended up at Delphi, much like his father before him(you know Laius, his actual dad) seeking answers. This is where he heard the prophecy that had defined his life from even before he existed: he would kill his father and marry his mother. This is also where the intermission would come if this was a movie.

Then, Oedipus reacted in a way that would be expected of him, he decided to head far far away from Corinth and head north towards, you guessed it, Thebes. Along the way, at one point, his charioteer and another charioteer coming from the opposite direction got into a fight over who had the right to pass first. This little squabble ended with Oedipus killing the other charioteer and person he was carrying, who, surprise surprise, was none other than his actual daddy, the genius King of Thebes, Laius and just like that half the prophecy was fulfilled. Oh and also, a servant of Laius’ was the only survivor of Oedipus’ wrath. Keep that in mind. Moving on.

The Murder of Laius by Oedipus, by Joseph Blanc.

Oedipus was finally almost at his birthplace, Thebes. It was here that he encountered the legendary Sphinx with its head of a human, body of a lion and the wings of an eagle, an encounter that is part of popular lore and is pretty well known. The lesser-known fact of that story is that the Sphinx had been plaguing Thebes for a long time and it had been decreed that the one who managed to relieve Thebes of this terror would be crowned the king and get the widowed queen’s hand in marriage. I’m sure you can guess what happened next but I still have a story to tell and hence comes part two of this story.

To be continued.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What do you think of Laius’ reaction to finding out about the prophecy ? Do you think it is cold or do you think it is justified,given the circumstances? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

Third Blogversary!

Let’s talk about blogging for 3 years, what I’ve learned and take a trip down memory lane today.

Hi! Today is a milestone post. I made this very blog on the 7th of February in 2016 and published my first blog post the next day(Click here to read it!) which means I have now completed 3 years(on and off) blogging! Happy 3rd blogversary, Musings Of A Whimsical Soul and all you wonderful people who have given a young girl’s thoughts and opinions value here!

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In 3 years, the kind and content of the blog posts have changed and grown, much as I have. I made this blog when I was almost 17 and now I’m almost 20.  These have been very transformative years for me as a person and I feel quite fortunate to see my thoughts and their growth through the blog. In these 3 years, I became an adult(Read my post about my thoughts on that here!), I graduated from school (Read my post about that here!), I started college (Read my first post after starting college here!  ) and now I’ll be finishing with my teenage and starting my twenties. I am so thankful that I have all these milestones recorded on this blog. I find it to be the most wonderful thing and I love rereading the posts and cringing(a little) at little 16-year-old me.

3 years ago, I received just the most insane amount of love from this community when I joined it so much so that I ended up with 100 followers in one month! How crazy is that! Today, I’m at almost 1000 which completely blow my mind because just the fact that 1000 people care about what I have to say is HUGE and so completely wild.

I haven’t been the most regular around here because like I said, these are some of the biggest years of my life. When life got too hectic, the blog took a backseat. I wish it didn’t but I’m only human. Still, I can say I have 3 years of experience and there’s a lot I’ve learned and that might be helpful for new bloggers. I don’t want to be to sound too preachy but still, I’ve got three main tips that might be helpful to new bloggers or maybe even old ones and would love to hear some of yours. God knows I’m only an amateur here.

  • Be regular with your writing and posting

That is rich coming from me, i know, but I will tell you this. Regularity, having a posting and writing schedule will not only help you stay productive but also keep your readers engaged. You can stick to what works for you, I(try to) stick with a once a week schedule. You can choose twice, thrice a week or maybe even once a month. It will bring an organisation that will be so helpful to your blog for yourself and the readers.

  • Be careful to save your drafts 

This one comes from a painful,painful experience. I wrote an entire post on the Leaning Tower of Pisa for my Visting World Wonders series ( Click here for the last post of the series! and here for the first!) and then by chance, my browser refreshed,the draft hadn’t been saved and I lost all the pictures, the writing, everything. I was devastated and I am pretty sure I cried over it. (And as you might have noticed, I still haven’t got around to making that post again. This was in September 2018.) So, learn from my mistakes and always ALWAYS save your drafts.

  • Read, read and read!

WordPress has many wonderful blogs with many different kinds of content in them. Find your taste, your niche and read as much as possible. This goes for all writing, reading is the best thing you can do for your writing!

In conclusion, thank you for being so amazing to me for the last 3 years. It has been a blast. If the last three years are anything to go by, I cannot wait to see where the next 3 years will take us. To the next three!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: When did you start blogging? Do you have any tips from what you’ve learnt over your time blogging?  Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Some Thoughts on Airports.

 

Let’s talk about airports today.

Airports. Grounded gateways to aerial escapes to a different world. A new city, a new country, a new continent. Ah, how I love them.

In my lifetime, I have taken a decent number of flights. In the last year though, I have racked up some crazy flying miles, what with my vacation across Europe and flying to and fro between home and university. All this flying has meant I have spent a rather significant amount of time at airports too. Hence, this post dedicated to airports, paying a homage to the unsung holder of all things duty-free.

The thing about airports is, they’re essentially a test of a person’s patience. A lot of the time spent there is in wait. Waiting for check-in, waiting for security, waiting for your mom to buy the entire batch of duty-free candy or waiting for boarding. The human mind does not bode well for waiting and when in wait, it wanders. All this wandering has led to a lot of thinking and a lot of thoughts many of which I wrote in the notes app on my phone and I’ll try to consolidate in this post.

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Airports hold so many people. People from different walks of life with different goals, ambitions, dreams. It amazes me to no end when I stand to wait and look around to see all the people who have a different story yet at this epoch they all intersect, right here at this airport. Perhaps, someone is going home or going away from home. Maybe, there’s a new baby in the family. Maybe, god forbid, there’s a loss. Maybe, they’re going to their dream job, maybe they just missed out on it. The possibilities are endless and I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the extent of these.

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One thing I have also always noticed about airports is that time is seemingly not a construct in there. Any notion of day and night is only expressed through a peak outside. Inside, its always moving, never stopping. Airports are the land where time stops or rather, becomes irrelevant because there are people taking a flight to somewhere or from somewhere at just about all times and airports are always full. This led me to the very serious realization that an empty airport with no movement and no hint of day or night makes a fabulous setup for a dystopia or post-apocalyptic novel. Huh, maybe, I’ll write that, someday.

In all the airports I’ve been to, I’ve always seen a tiny glimpse into the culture of the city or country. All airports show little pieces of the personality of the place they are in. Be it the futuristic installations at Changi Aiport, Singapore or the grandeur of the airport at Dubai or even the wonderful food at the airport in Rome, it’s a little slice of what the country or city has to offer. Taking the phrase, “First Impressions are the last impressions” to heart, more often than not, most places put their best foot forward in the airport and thus, exploring an airport will almost always show you the best of what the place holds.

 

Airports are thus, apart from housing great candy and the best books, a building full of many many human emotions. There’s hope, there’s nostalgia, there’s joy, there’s sadness, there’s dread, there’s anticipation, there’s wonder, there’s  marvel. And for me, right there, wedged in with all the billion emotions, it’s almost like, there’s home.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What are some of your airport thoughts? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

The Sad Truth About Going To Disneyland As An Adult.

Let’s talk about going to Disneyland as an adult and why that’s sad.

I went to Disneyland(Any Disneyland that is) for the first time on 4th June 2017 at the age of 18 years,2 months and 24 days. The one we went to was Disneyland Paris, the day was an unfortunate long weekend Sunday. I went on 5-6 rides in 10ish hours, saw the evening parade and 3 shows. It was disappointing.There, I said it.

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So, now that you have your pitchforks out and mouse ears on ready to attack me, let me finish with my explanation of as to why. If after that, you still feel compelled to chase me around with digital pitchforks you’re more than welcome to do so. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Now, shocking as I bet it is for some of you, I never went to a Disneyland before I was an adult. (Yes, some countries don’t have their own Disneyland, imagine that!) I had gone to a theme park before,i.e. Universal Studios, Singapore and had the best time ever. We all had fast passes and Universal was such a breeze that I had higher expectations for Disneyland simply because it’s Disneyland. It’s the OG theme park! It’s where wishes come true. C’mon.

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Instead, I found huge crowds and desperately long lines and  rides I really looked forward to and waited an hour for shutting in front of my eyes as I finally reached the front of the line. It had been my childhood dream to go to a Disneyland. I wanted to feel the Disney magic and carry some pixie dust back with me to soar and fly in the world of my imagination. Instead, I was exhausted from waiting in line, went to barely any rides, had to stand on my toes to watch the shows, was jostled in the crowds and was melting in the sun. Of course, I was disappointed. Wouldn’t you be?

Now, I’ll state factors that I concurred led to this letdown. First off, it was a Sunday. Secondly, it was a long weekend. Thirdly, we did not have fast passes. Fourth, it was a hot day for Paris. Three of these were in my hand. I give you that. I will still feel disappointed because this was a childhood dream and I refuse to be fully logical here. Call me stubborn or call me a child.(How I wish for the latter!) The bottom line is, right now between Disney and Universal Studios, I choose Universal because me, the young adult , enjoyed Universal much much more.

Now, to clarify, I did not think Disney was horrible nor have I written it off for life. The magic in that place is so strong, it doesn’t die out this easy. It only diminishes with the number of people entering the park and the intensity with which the sun beats down on our heads. I liked the rides I went on. I liked the shows. I really really loved the parade. I also realised that I would have loved all the things so much more as a child. It was almost sad, realising I was too old to love things I would’ve once loved so much.

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I would, for sure, come back to Disney, for a better, more magical experience. We all chase magic, I’m no exception. I feel sad merely because my first experience, my mythical changing is tainted by adult things like crowds and waiting too long for human beings to wait. It’s also the loss of my childhood innocence, of being able to see too far, not feeling wonder or curiosity as powerfully, knowing too much and losing sight of the magic that everything holds. That’s all.  Are your mouse ears still on? Can I put mine on too, to match?

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I found this picture on Pinterest but couldn’t track the owner of the picture. Let me know if you know who it is.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you ever been to Disneyland? How was your first Disneyland experience as an adult or otherwise? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

Half Yearly Bullet Journal Update.

Let’s talk about Bullet Journaling and how my Bullet Journal looks, halfway through the year.

Hi everyone! If you’ve been around a little bit, you might be aware that this year I kept a Bullet Journal. If not, well, now you know! ( Have a look here for more on the thought process behind it.) I’ve made a few Bullet Journaling related posts since I started and have tried to take you along on this journey. So, here’s another one, to keep you in the loop as to how things are looking.

Now that that’s cleared up, getting back to the topic, this is the Half Yearly BuJo Update. How its going, what I like, what I dont like, how it looks, all that jazz. Yes, shockingly we are halfway through the year of 2018 already. It makes me uncomfortable too. Just a heads up, I’m going to try my best to be super honest because I’m not an artistic person and so my Bullet Journal is not something that is easy peas lemon squeezy for me. We’ll go covering all the little aspects of the Journal and I’ll try to update you on each of them.

The Year In Pixels

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So, my year in pixels is pretty red, because life is usually just okay and that’s okay. I like the Year in Pixels because that way you can look back and see good days, bad days, okay days, amazing days. Its a great jog down the memory lane but I admit that it’s not much of a help as an organisational activity. Its a hassle to keep up with too. I have had days where I forgot to colour in on that very day and did it the next day instead. Would I like to have it in my future Bullet Journals? No, I don’t think so. It makes for a nice memory box but with the compulsive picture taking habits I have, I pack them in just fine. It’s still a fun way to look at your entire year and how it went.

Book/Movie/T.V Show Tracker

The first thing you might have noticed is that there is no picture of a book tracker at all. That is because, as I shamefully admit, I haven’t got through an entire book this year yet. Blame it on long or boring books if you will, but the truth is, at one point in time I could get through 4 books a month easily and I have lost my momentum completely. It’s very sad and I will make a blog post about it soon because I NEED to fix this and that empty book tracker woefully reminds me of this tragedy every day. Movies, I watched many. I’m happy with the number. T.V. Shows, I didn’t do so well with but that’s because I keep binge-ing things I’ve already seen. I blame me. Are these trackers fun? Yeah, absolutely. These help me keep up with my goals for the year so if I have similar goals the next year I would continue having these trackers.

Monthly Spreads

I do monthly spread a tad differently because for me the idea was tracking my progress over the month and things I do. I have the name of the month, a quote I liked that month, a little “Hello” to the month with the significance behind the name of the month and an explanation for it all on the left page. On the right, I have a “Firsts” box to write whatever new thing I did that month and little boxes for updates on various other things like the blog or my end terms. I like doing monthly spreads a lot, though being artistically challenged makes it a little bit frustrating many times. Or, not having done much to document over the month, not all months are that productive!

Exam Schedules

An exam favourite! I draw out my midterm and endterm schedules as soon as I get them in the journal and the happiness that ticking the boxes next to the exams gives me is unreal. It helps me see how many are left, times, dates and is just a great planning and motivation tool during dreary exam days. I would definitely keep these in future Bullet Journals.

Birthday Pages

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I loved doing these too! It is a great thing to look back on and a practice I plan to continue, a little letter to self every year with goals for the next year, praise for the progress and acceptance of the shortcomings of the past year. I talk about these in depth in this post.

Half Yearly Goal Update

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I made this little goal progress check for myself writing down the exact goals I wrote at the beginning of my journal for the year and how the realisation of those goals is coming along.  It made me realise what I needed to work harder towards, reaffirmed my goals for the year and was a great reality check. I would definitely do this again as I found it quite useful and informative.

Quote Pages

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I make quote pages like this one when I am free and have another quote that really inspires me that month. I am someone who is very moved by words and for me and my abysmal lettering skills, this is also great lettering practice. I like doing these because its entirely up to me if i want to do one and the flexibility is relaxing.

And that’s all for the half-yearly Bullet Journal update! I hope it was helpful and I was able to keep it real. I really tried. Have a good next half of the year!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: How did your first half of the year go? What are your hopes for the second half? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

My Bullet Journal Essentials!

Let’s talk about the pages I chose to have in my bullet journal, as a first-time bullet journal-er.

Hello! In my previous post, I talked about how I came to start Bullet Journaling. First off, I would like to thank all of you for your kind words and lovely advice. It has been a bigger driving force for me than I could put into words!

In this post, I wanted to talk about the few starter pages(That is, pages minus the monthly/weekly/daily spreads) I felt were essential for me in my bullet journal, at this point in my life.

(Also a massive shout out to Little Coffee Fox whose blog posts about Bullet Journaling have been such a boon and who a lot of my attempts at brush lettering are inspired from. I have also used Shelby’s free month printables in some places in my own journal because I’m only beginning to learn and there are some places where cutting and pasting makes things so much easier.)

A Cover Page

I really just wanted to design a cover that sets up the theme for the journal and is commemorative of the fresh start that is this new year.The cover was important because it sets the theme for the rest of the journal and is the representative of the journal itself.Since I’m not particularly artistically gifted, I knew I had to keep it simple and elegant. I had been idea-searching on Instagram for months and this is the end result.

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A Calendar

While, in today’s smartphone age, physical calendars are going out of vogue, I personally liked the idea of having a written calendar in my bullet journal, which being my planner, organiser and journal hybrid, will make it a massive boon for me throughout the year.Something about being able to see the months and days together appeals to my organisational side. This is the final calendar I made. The beautifully written 2018 is Shelby’s free printable 2018, credited above.

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Year In Pixels

A wonderful little project that I recommend everyone should do, not only people who bullet journal. It is an easily made record of how the year went, that I first found on Instagram last year and fell in love with. The number of categories and colours and level of artistic-ness is totally up to you and it makes for several jolly trips down the memory lane, so I had to have it. This is how my Year In Pixels spread looks.Also just for your information, this picture was taken a few days after New Year’s hence some days are already coloured in.

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Goals For 2018

I had to have all my major goals for 2018 listed out explicitly and in one place, so I could have a look at what i want to achieve over the year whenever i want, enjoy the clarity of thought it brings and judiciously work toward achieving said goals. The broad goals and what I do for them is something I’ll track through my monthly spreads.This is how my Goals for 2018 spread looked. You’ll notice goals related to all the important things in my life; academics, personal happiness and growth, this blog and my passions.

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Trackers

Knowing my broad goals, I set up a bunch of trackers in my journal to track their progress and just keep a record of how things are working out with that yearly goal. It also offers me a chance to record things I’ve done/achieved over the year that I can look back on later. I made 4 trackers in my Journal:-

  1. A Book Tracker: A place for me to maintain a record of the book is read over the year to track my goal of reading more.

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  1. A Movie Tracker: A place for me to list out all the movies I watch over the year to track my goal of watching more movies. You’ll notice one movie already there, because like I previously mentioned, I took these pictures a couple of days after New Year’s and thus had already seen a movie by then.(Also since we are already at it, can we talk about the amazing-ness that is Ant-Man?)

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  1. A T.V. Show Tracker: A place for me to take note of all the t.v. shows i watch over the year to track my goal of watching more quality television.

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  1. A Blog Tracker: A place for me to track where things go on my blog o meet my goal of working harder towards my passion,i.e. blogging. I took a bunch of statistics like my follower count,total views,number of posts and total visitors and noted them down from the Stats section on my Site Admin on the 1st of January 2018 and will write those same statistics again on 31st December 2018 to see how much my blog has grown using those numbers.

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THIS POST’S QUESTION: Which pages do you HAVE to have in your own Bullet Journal,if you have/were to have one? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

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