One passion?

January 13, 2013 – Late Night Thoughts

I tried to set up a motivational songs playlist – you can see it on Spotify if you know how to stalk me through those things. I signed up with my name (Pryanka Arora) and main email address (blishful@gmail.com) if that makes things easier. I added the songs Motivation (Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne), I Believe I Can Fly (R. Kelly), Stronger (Kanye West), We Will Rock You (Queen), and Total Eclipse of the Heart (Queen). Then I played a random song and set to work typing up this post.

But whatever thoughts had been pouring out of me dying to be written suddenly got stage fright and disappeared. So I guess this is just one of those nights that I don’t need music on. It was distracting me! That’s a first.

I wanted to talk about firsts today too. Today is the first time I don’t feel like wearing nail polish on my fingers. In fact, I have this strong urge to go downstairs right now and wipe off Sinful Colors, Blue By You, off my nails before I continue writing. I don’t know where this is coming from or why I feel such vehement distaste towards polish on my nails suddenly, but there is no denying that it is there. I have not gone a single day without painted nails once I stumbled across my fascination/addiction/obsession with nail polish in late 2011. It is now January 2013 and this week, I left my nails bare on Wednesday. And after typing this post, I am probably going to remove my polish once more.

I know that people change and it’s nothing to freak out about, but in my typical fashion of overthinking things and drawing out connections, I feel like this week, my passion for nail art is dimming. I am sure it will revitalize or change gradually into a gentler calling.

Passion. I never want to be criticized for not having enough passion. With my career, with my family, with my hobbies – I want to be passionate. I never want to do something I am not passionate about. And it is not until recently that I began to experience so much depression, anxiety, and doubt when it came to law.

Guys, I WANT TO BE A LAWYER. I have wanted to be a lawyer since I can remember. Dreams can change, and it’s okay. But this isn’t even a dream. It is my one goal, ambition, purpose, and passion. My ONE career choice that I felt undying passion and draw to.

Then it came down to it and I underperformed on the LSAT. Maybe not the end of the world, but crushing to my self-esteem and confidence. To my passion.

I feel as though when I lost that passion, I tried to fill in the gaps with things like nail art, beauty blogging, makeup and skincare products, nail polish, and dating. My writing suffered, my academics suffered, and certainly, the law school application process has suffered.

I don’t have a single letter of rec yet, though I brought up the subject with my Professors and Bosses back in November. I just dropped it all. What happened to my passion? WHERE IS IT?

I need it back. I want to be a lawyer. I need to write the BEST essay ever and convince them, in two double-spaced pages, that if they look beyond the numbers, they will see a woman who wants it desperately. Who envisions herself as a lawyer, and who knows she will be a success.

But can I only handle one passion at a time? When I am trying to revitalize my passion for law, why do I find my love of nail polish faltering? Why am I no longer writing creatively? Why have I not done anything in Photoshop in MONTHS???

I still want to be passionate 😦 Help me find my passions. I can’t pick just one.

After I typed up this post, I did actually go down to get my polish remover and open up Youtube to catch up on my subscribed channels. iisuperwomanii posted a new video, and it furthered my melancholy mood 😦 RIP to her grandfather, please watch this extremely moving and emotional and uplifting video though…it has an important message. It felt like she was speaking right to me. Right to my fears and emotions.

I know I am ending this on a serious note, and my heart is just breaking for what she is going through, but I think it’s an important message that I really needed to hear.

What I want to say to you is that in 2013, you will fall. You will get upset, you will get heartbroken, things will go wrong. And what I want to tell you is that you don’t need to wait until the end of the year to decide it’s a new beginning. Every single day, any day you choose can be a new beginning. So in 2013, if something doesn’t go your way, don’t think “Oh, that’s it, the year is done, I can’t do anything.” No! Wake up the next morning, and make it happen. 2013 is your year, I believe in you, follow your dreams. And when I say follow your dreams, that doesn’t mean dream about them. That means wake up and make it happen. Stop wishing, start doing. I believe in you.

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Vintage & Retro Effect Tutorials

Ending the drafts!

This is the second out of my drafts folder! Earlier last summer, I was spending a lot of my free time browsing around and reading up on different Photoshop, Illustrator, and Photography tutorials. I had this amazing idea of compiling these wonderful links in one place so one had only to visit my page to have the pathway to digital arts guru at their fingertips.

Yeah, that page obviously didn’t happen.

However, that doesn’t mean that the below links aren’t still extremely helpful! I may yet undertake the journey to compiling my own little graphic design resource links subset though, we’ll see.

This particular set of tutorials has a vintage/retro vibe to them!

Tutorials –

GETTING THE X-PRO LOMO LOOK

PHOTOSHOP VINTAGE EFFECT TUTORIAL

MIX RETRO CURVES INTO PHOTOGRAPHS

MORE VINTAGE RETRO PICTURE TUTORIALS

I particularly love this last tutorial. I’m going to use it on some of my spring/summer photographs and show you guys!

Day 11: Keep Calm and Carry On

Day 11 — When I’ve had a really bad day, the first thing (not person) I reach for is…

I know I haven’t loosely interpreted most of the other questions this month (so far), but this one…I simply cannot leave my answer at “the first thing” I reach for. That would be incomplete.

The first thing I reach for is my computer. I power it on, plug it in, and I open up Photoshop. You’ve noticed the Graphic Design tab on top of my blog navigation, yes? Once upon a time, I used to post things I did on here. Then I realized I already had a DeviantArt and a Facebook album AND a Public Photobucket account for that. I really should update you guys with my Design  Is poster series though. I’ve completed it all, and the lovely glossy color posters are hanging up on my wall in the apartment. I am REALLY EXTREMELY happy with the end result. It is very expressive of my personality!

Photoshop really soothes me. I lose myself in the layers, and my desire to complete the project in my head overtakes the stress and anger. In fact, I am so engrossed in accomplishing my end result that nothing will phase me. I am often at my most happiest when I’m working on a new piece in Photoshop. There’s just such an enticing and exhilarating feeling when you recreate in print something that was only a glimmer in your head. When you use your knowledge of Adobe’s creative suite to bring your imagination to life. How can you possibly be upset over anything when you’ve done so much. Turned a blank canvas into your masterpiece.

Nothing else matters after that. I find my calm, and the peaceful zone allows me to relax more than any massage probably could.

But I don’t just open Photoshop, I also do some other things to calm myself down. I reach for my phone, obsessively check my emails and texts and send a text to Nabila of bannatreasures. I look in the fridge, pour myself some Juice and find a snack. I turn on some music. Some angry Eminem if I’m that pissed. Otherwise, just normal rap will do. I make plans to go get froyo.

I miss my mom.

I write angsty poetry. And of course, I blog about it.

xoxo,
Pryanka

List of rules and questions is here

Please take a moment to check out the other wonderful blogs participating in 30 days of Blogging Honesty with me!

With You & The Origins of Pryanka As You Know Her

There are certain songs that are forever going to be accompanied by nostalgia for me. For the rest of my life – Chris Brown’s “With You” is one of them. It hit the top of the charts over a year ago…maybe even two? Anyway, “With You” brings back memories of high school, and makes me pine for a “younger me.”

I know I sound like a grandma when I type that out, but its true! The Pryanka of two years ago was much more carefree and innocent…sometimes, I find myself missing that. I was so focused on my AP classes, my homework, my social studies outlines, my SAT scores, my SAT II scores…I was oblivious to the party scene, drinking, staying up late with friends all night in PERSON. My entire social life consisted of my equally as nerdy best friends.

And then there was the Internet.

I’ve gotten so much from there, from my Internet life. My e-personality, so to speak, has had many admirers, fans, and close friends over the years. It all started with Neopets, a game that I’ve been playing since ~2000 now. Heck, maybe even earlier than that…I was in 3rd or 4th grade when I began. Never did I expect my minor obsession to lead to such great things! I can honestly say that without Neopets, NONE of this online progression would have happened. After being unfairly iced, a “neo”friend of mine directed me to a site – http://www.slopdog.com – hinting that it had helped her get to her feet. I was skeptical but the site’s name was so amusing I had to go visit it at least once. I registered on what was obviously a cheating forum with my neopets username and then posted on the “Introductions” thread, exclaiming that I was riazah on neopets, had been unfairly iced before, and told to come here and check out the site.

I checked the link back a day later to see over 40 replies welcoming me to the site and yelling at me to get my username changed. NOW. And so Pryanka the n00b was born ;P That’s the first time I registered for anything even remotely forum related. I must have been 14, about to turn 15, at that time.

I signed up and slinked my way over to the Neopets discussion. For several months, this was the sole subsection of the forum that ignited my attention. I began to follow threads on site discussion, hungrily absorbing new information about Neopets that I hadn’t even known about! To think, I didn’t even know what a transmogrification potion was before Slopdog. Or the Secret Laboratory Ray….

Damn. Anyway, I now had enough posts to view the (25+ posts members only) section – NEOPETS TRADING.

I was skeptical once more…you weren’t allowed to give pets to people and get something in return! At this point, my total bank account on neopets was ~100k. I had no painted pets yet. Damn. My luck changed when somebody on Neopets discussion informed the site that they were quitting and the first 10 people to post on her thread would get 1 million neopoints each. Her username – viralremix – is forever embedded in my memory. At that time I was so incredulous that one user could even HAVE 10 million neopets that she became my idol. At that time, with about 1,000 more posts than me, she was a “Top Dog” member. I asked her what that rank meant and she told me it was a rank one had to apply for. She was also premium – wow, people paid money to this site? That was pretty cool!

I used the neopoints she gave me to buy myself the secret lab map and thus attained my first ever painted pet. It was a camo kougra named cute_fighter91. ❤ I still miss him.

At this point, I frequented Neopets and Neopets Trading every day. I was a religious follower and was fascinated by the amount of elite accounts that traded hands every day. I was tranfixed by the middlemen and middlewomen of Slopdog. Dealers who had batches of 100+ lab accounts to sell, buyers who wanted to buy massive amounts of neopoints. I saw viralremix, a top dog and now a middlewomen too, mediate trades that consisted of upwards of 25 million neopoints transferring accounts. I was amazed, and began to think that perhaps my dream of owning a Krawk would be possible after all. Draiks were too expensive, I just wanted a Krawk. So to figure out how to do this, I watched people trading and tried to figure out how I could trade my way to a Krawk. I had a lovely main account and awesome neohome – I had poured about two hundred thousand neopoints into it at this point, a huge sum for me and the times.

I still think back to unambitious and innocent Pryanka – I sort of miss her! But I was just as determined and methodical then as I am now. I worked upwards with the sole purpose of getting that krawk. I had several side accounts – when I noticed I could put in a little bit of time and effort to build them up, I could sell them for a decent profit. I began selling off my extra painted pets too, courtesy of the lab ray I now had, and I got really REALLY lucky once and zapped myself a Faerie Poogle. Poogles were all the rage back then, and there had been a dry spell of several years where no new ones had been released. I traded one pet for another, working my way higher and higher. AND THEN. And then I got a Krawk ❤

Site's purpose complete, I was all set to go on my way with my new poogle and lab ray but I had gotten somewhat attached to the site. I liked watching the trades and some of the members were even starting to recognize me. I had several of them on MSN – Trades were conducted offsite, of course.

Then for whatever reason, I entered the world of Junk Pile. That was where all of the off-topic posts and conversations were held. And as crazy busy as it was, I LOVED IT. Like, absolutely loved it. It was a venue for me to talk to tons of other people and have nonsensical discussions about all the random stuff we could come up with. Post count did not increase in Spamsville, but I didn't care. I met all the active regulars and before I knew it, I was one of them. I was a Slopdoggian for life xP

And then, here comes life-changing discovery number two.

Graphic Design. Photoshop.

Believe it or not, I was unfamiliar with both until ~10th grade. I had seen people making awesome forum signatures for others, but never thought twice about them. But then I saw that a lot of the tutorials under the graphic design section seemed pretty easy to follow. Now I wanted Photoshop! And Senpai, a member I'd met early in my Slopdog journey – was there to help me out. Slopdog loved nurturing interest. I had only to mention how cool graphic design was and before long, I was talking to all the different graphic artists on the site, learning how to do things and reading their tutorials. I now had Photoshop CS2 and I was making signatures of my own, albeit crappy.

Now money-minded me tried to take my new interest and spin some money out of it. So I did what any reasonable neopets lover would do – I began making and selling images for Neopets.

Provide me with a premade userlookup – I would change the graphics around to whatever you wanted.
I made little banners, avatars, and signatures. I made threads look prettier and more organized. I designed layouts for adoption agencies, neopets selling websites, even other petsites.

Looking back, I still sucked, but my personality and ability to make friends made amends. And the level of "good" wasn't all that high either. The stuff I look back at now and scoff at was top-of-the-line several years ago. Crazy how far the field has come since I've been working in it.

But back to the making friends part – I had seriously risen up the ranks now. Not literally – yet – but I was definitely known. I was going to leave a mark. With over 75+ successful neopets trades under my belt, I was a trusted trader – I would always go second in a trade, preventing any chance of being scammed. I could tell the person I had to get off now and would send the neopoints to them in a week and they wouldn't bat an eyelash. I had also become friends with some pretty amazing people because I was active in graphic design, neopets, and the junk pile. These are people I still interact with and maintain good and close friendships with –

viralremix – Remember her from way back when? Yeah she was a moderator at this point
Senpai – Super moderator now 🙂 And my graphic design mentor ❤
KTRoo – Moderator & one of my closest online friends even now
^ All three of them would hold administrator positions before my time on the forum was over.
Diet Drew – Super Moderator
Nny – Graphic design and photography guru ❤ And yes, she's still amazing

Oh gosh, the list goes on and on. Because I was active in so many busy areas, my own post count was getting to be pretty high as well. Again, before my time on this site was over, I would be top poster, with Senpai a close second. I'm not kidding when I say I poured my heart and soul onto this site.

I was getting better and better at graphic design all this time. I began writing my own tutorials and surprisingly, people were asking ME for help now. Oh, the tables were turning, and I was becoming one of the established members of the site myself. I was now a middlewomen in Neopets trades, had an ever-expanding MSN Buddy List, and was vying for a spot on the Graphics Team. I obtained that too, adding "GFX Dog" to my list of userbars, the other one being "Slop Dog" (the rank given to normal members) and "Middleman"

Soon after obtaining that rank, I realized I met the requirements for Top Dog and had made innumerable contributions to the site. I had a large rep power, was really well-known, and was friends with everybody who had power, and then tons more who didn't. The forum loved me. And I loved the forum.

I applied for and received the Top Dog Rank. I was ecstatic! I had a little mentee of my own. Jacob (Or Danger, as he now goes by) had discovered Graphic Design too, and he had taken to treating me as his mentor. I taught him all that I knew, and he thrived. He reminded me of myself ❤

He was super talented too, and very soon, I was forced to admit that the work he was making was up to par, if not better, than mind. I loved it! I had taught him the techniques that he was now perfecting. We both loved the pen tool, and wrote a huge and comprehensive tutorial together.

Never did I think there would be a day when I could google for a pen tool tutorial and find OURS posted on several different websites.

Including the one Dan owned. Heh, funny how fate works, hmm?

But yeah, I was bordering on close to 200 trades on Neo, I had tons of friends, was loved by all the current staff, and soon, I was actually offered a position to be a moderator myself. I accepted and the crowds rejoiced 😛 No really, I had a congratulations thread that ran to over 20 pages long.

Hell, you wonder why I miss those days? I loved Slop Dog. LOVED IT.

So yeah, all that before my 2nd anniversary on the site 😛 Youngest (forum-age) member on the moderation team and second-youngest (age) moderator. There was a 14 year old programming wiz who had the power to approve/moderate the programming section of the site.

It was an exhilarating rise, and an unforgettable experience. I joined other forums after Slop Dog shut down, and each time, had members who I didn't even know asking me if I was THE Pryanka from Slop Dog. Celebrity status, almost <3.

Let me tell you, when somebody asks you that, you tend to glow with pride inside 🙂

But nowhere else felt like home after that. I joined GamingGutter, DarkZtar, Neofreaks, Tainted Arc….nothing comes close.

I miss that forum, but thank it for what it made me. I would never have had the patience, social skills, boldness, confidence when it comes to talking to others in positions of power, or knowledge of Photoshop that I do now. And those all comprise an invaluable and priceless skill set to me.

So thanks Slop Dog. I miss you, and I always will.

Yep, all that inspired by Chris Brown 🙂