And just didn’t realize it

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Picture by Sam Manns on Unsplash

Compulsory heterosexuality is a very real thing. When I was growing up, being gay or lesbian wasn’t even talked about.

The first time I ever heard the word “gay” was when I was seven years old on the bus to school, when a kid used that word to make fun of me. I asked my parents what “gay” meant when I got home, and they told me it meant “happy.” The next day, when that kid called me gay again, I was completely unbothered by it, thinking it was a compliment. He stopped bothering me after that.

Growing up surrounded by heteronormative entertainment and expectations, hearing things such as “You’re going to meet a great man one day,” “Do you have a crush on him?” and “You two would make a cute couple,” made it very difficult for me to understand my own feelings. If I was supposed to be with a man and have a husband, then no matter how wrong it felt, I should just accept that was how it was supposed to feel, right? What other option was there?

I learned these the hard way, so you don’t have to.

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Picture by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

1. You can’t change someone, but people can change

I know people can change because I have.

I went from being a manipulative, controlling, needy, and anxiously-attached partner to a more secure one: giving more space, demanding less attention, and not worrying so much about things outside my control. Not only did this improve my abandonment anxiety, but it also improved my relationships.

It’s okay to want your partner to change within reason and for self-improvement. After all, we want the best for our relationship — we want it to succeed — and we do so by showing up as our best selves. But unless they are admitting their faults (you need to do this too), want to change, are motivating themselves, and putting the effort in, they won’t. …

It’s not always easy to put emotions into words.

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Picture by John Jennings on Unsplash

There is something extra special about receiving a love letter; the tangible representation of effort, seeing the words in their handwriting, being able to read it over and over again.. Thought, intent, and effort are all displayed in romantic letters, and they never fail to make me feel genuinely loved.

I like writing love letters, too. It is a way for me to express my love and for my partner to receive my love. …

How my health changed for the better

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Picture by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

I was in a horrible place physically before going vegan, which I have now been for 2.5 years. Here are some of the things I noticed in my body once changing my diet:

1. My digestive problems improved

I have always had digestive troubles.. the “I needed suppositories even as a baby” sort of troubles, if you catch my drift.

These issues had been dismissed by doctors throughout my life, though my woes were often a topic of discussion during check-ups, to my embarrassment. …

How you begin can make it or break it

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Picture by Bethany Cirlincione on Unsplash

When you’re writing a novel, it’s no secret that you want a beginning that stands out and that entices your readers to keep turning the pages. Because of the weight the first chapter holds, it can be intimidating not only to start, but also to determine how you want to start.

This article covers 6 different methods you can use to introduce your characters, setting, and plot. You can experiment with these techniques to determine what fits your book’s tone and point of view best.


In this type of introduction, your protagonist is partway through a situation already. The reader will not fully understand what’s happening, and should receive crucial information about the conflict in pieces as they progress. …

How I overcame the shame and guilt

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Picture by Stavrialena Gontzou on Unsplash

I was thirteen years old at the time, sitting at a table in church, surrounded by four other teenagers. Every week for two years the five of us would gather together with the pastor, working through Luther’s Catechism and Bible lessons so we could get confirmed as church members. On this particular day, the topic of sexuality came up.

“Homosexual acts are a sin in God’s eyes,” the pastor warned us all.

(Of course, the church has made a distinction between “homosexual acts” and being a homosexual, so we can remain in the church... as long as we are celibate.)

I could feel myself getting hot and red, but tried as best as I could to hide it. It was around that age when I started questioning my sexuality.. but I wasn’t yet convinced that I was actually gay (despite the shocking amount of evidence that I obviously was). But if I were, what would I do? Was God really that against it? …

A short poem

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Picture by Benjamin LECOMTE on Unsplash

All the hope that was there
Once before
You chiseled away at
A little bit more

I couldn’t stop you;
I could only watch
Trying to piece back the dust
Into rock

A poem

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picture by Damiano Lingauri on

I was strong;
Stronger than I perhaps
Gave myself credit for

But I was tired;

Tired of living in a world
Where I had no choice
But to be strong

#3: Turn off your devices

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Picture by Luca Laurence on Unsplash

A part of the reason why I gave up was because writing a novel is a daunting task. You need to develop characters, fill in the plot, research, keep ideas flowing, create timelines, and make everything coherent. It’s a lot, it’s a messy process, and it can be overwhelming and confusing at times.

Another reason why I quit projects so easily was because of my perfectionistic mindset; nothing I wrote ever felt good enough to publish or continue working on.

Here are the best pieces of advice I’ve learned and applied, which have drastically improved my writing productivity.


I once heard someone say, “your first book will probably be terrible,” and although harsh, it was also very freeing.

Based off of mere personal opinion

The first Zelda game was The Legend of Zelda, introduced to Japan in 1986. Over the past 34 years, we have seen many more Zelda installments get added to the franchise, though they are not all created equally. As an avid Zelda gamer since the early age of 7, I’ve decided to rank every game I have ever played.

#11 Hyrule Warriors (2014)

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Hyrule Warriors, image from

This game is remodeled from Dynasty Warriors, making it very different from other Zelda games. It is lacking many of the main elements that make The Legend of Zelda enjoyable, such as the size quests, puzzle solving, and exploration. Since I usually avoid games centered around fighting, I’m giving this game the lowest rating. This is not to say the game itself is bad, but it does not have the same feel that Zelda games are known for having. It is rather satisfying, however, to take down ten Mokoblins at once and to play as other beloved characters, including Midna, Ruto, Zelda (Sheik), and Impa. …


Jenna McRae

Freelance writer. A writer, poet, artist, geek, hopeless (and hopeful) romantic, and over thinker. My website:

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