I need an adult with experience at adulting

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Thomas McTavish, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. I'm a teenager, 16 years of age, entering my junior year of high school. The years are going by quickly, time seems to be speeding up, and adulthood is heading towards me all too fast.

    And I'm scared.

    Terrified, actually.

    I don't know how to be an adult. I don't know anything about being an adult, or doing things that adults have to do. I don't know how to pay taxes, or pay rent, or mortgage, or pay bills, or get a job, or balance a checkbook or any of that important shit adults have to do.

    The only thing I'm absolutely sure I can expect from adulthood is hardship and unimaginable amounts of stress.

    I get it now. Life is not like a video game. There are no saves. There are no do-overs. The only way to stop playing is death. And the game just gets harder, and harder, and harder.

    And I'll be honest, I don't know how hard it can be, but I've seen people who do. My mom is still trying to pull herself all the way out of depression. I've seen her cry. I've seen it only get harder for everyone, especially in these times.

    And it almost makes me want to quit playing the game.

    I haven't see anything good that comes from becoming an adult, and I can't see anything good about it myself, either. You could say having kids is a good thing- but I've just known it to make things harder. Yeah, some good comes out of it, but I know I'm often no more than a nuisance. I find myself unable to do things right and require very specific instructions on what needs to be done and how, because I'm afraid if I don't know exactly how it's supposed to be done I'm going to fuck it up. But I digress.

    The point is, I need help seeing the bright side of being an adult. I don't have a very optimistic outlook on the future right now. Please, let me know what good things I can expect from being an adult. I really need to know if there's more to life than hardship.

    Please help me.
  2. You get to cook all your own food, you can eat what you desire, while there is some stress if you plan enough the stress can be minimized! I'm 22, I live in my own apartment, I pay my own bills, and my parents have helped me figure out how much I need to make in order to live comfortably. As for taxes, you'll learn to do it. My advice is to try to use Turbo Tax if you're in the US. The ez form is free to fill out. Balancing checkbook's just basic math. paying bills is just making sure you have enough money to pay them ^.^ Trust me, being an "adult" isn't too bad. I promise that with a little help from friends and family things will be okay. I pay my rent (which you could think of as a morgatage) once a month. you know how much everything's going to be when it comes in. Some are pre-set like internet or cable. But I promise it's not as bad as you think! I was terrified too. But you're still 16. Breathe, get some ideas of what you wanna do for a job and do your best! Feel free to message me if you wanna talk! I know how scary it is to go into "adult land". I spent a few nights freaked out, crying, hyperventilating, and that was even after people assured me it would be fine >.< So please, don't hesitate to send me a message!!!
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  3. Dear Thomas McTravish,
    Congratulations on making it to your junior year in high school. I remember my times in school and I miss it because I was able to be care-free. Now adulthood is approaching you from behind like it does everyone else and it is okay to be scared. I was in your shoes long ago and it isn't easy nor is it meant to be. Though there is a lot more in adult hood like taxes, bills and other un-fun stuff there are also people out there to help you despite the fact that some have to be paid in order to help. There should also be classes available in your school to help you at least get a basic understanding. I know there were a few in mine. Never be afraid to question your parents about it either, they would probably be proud to hear you ask.
    Adulthood isn't bad though as long as you have a basic idea and can fend for yourself. Be prepared too before you turn 18, get a part-time job and just save all the money you can. Pay a cell phone bill is a great way to get a hence on paying bills too and if your parents pay for you ask if you can do it. Be determined and never hang your head low. We all will go through periods of times where things just seem like nothing is going right. Don't be scared though because it is going to happen. Like I said there are people out there that can help you and I am sure people on here wouldn't mind giving you advice or pointers. Taxes are the hardest part for me and can rarely do them myself so I take them to some company that does it for me. It's better too because I get more money back.
    Good things about adulthood? Well there is plenty as long as your eyes are open to it. Take in the sense of freedom. Yes I understand you have seen negative outcomes through your parents but you don't know the whole story nor could it happen to you. You are not alone! You can do this, just save money and go have some fun.

    P.S You can message me anytime, I will help out anyway I can. :)
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  4. Okay, first, take a deep breath! Have you done that, good!

    Now on to the annoying adult stuff, you know how you do it, practice! No seriously. Now how to get a job is not as easy as it was when I was your age, the economy has changed and a lot of jobs that were meant as part time for teens is now occupied by adults who got their asses handed to them, but there ARE still jobs out there! Go out there and ask every retail place, fast food restaurant, grocery store, if they are hiring. Chances are they will tell you to go online, but that's okay. If you show up (do NOT call) dressed nicely (no not a suit), ask politely a worker who is not with a customer, they might remember you. Also ask relatives and neighbors if they have any work they need. This can be personal things like meowing the lawn or watching kids, to back office work for a small business. Be eager! Learn! Say YES unless you have a prior commitment you can not reschedule. You might have to skip birthday parties or sports games, but unless you have a job, you are working towards the long term.

    With money you can now learn how to balance your checkbook. The trick, do it all the time! Every transaction, be it check or debt, you record. It's all about habit making.

    Taxes are NOT scary when you're young because you do not have a ton of deductibles. There is an EZ form, there are legit sites and tax firms that will do IT for you for free even. LATER in life it will get trickier, but then you pay someone to help you.

    Okay, now for the good stuff. Finding out who you are, not what others expect of you is very liberating. You might not figure it out for a while, but you get to choose how you make the journey and how you handle bumps in the road. Yes things will go bad! You will be hurt, betrayed, lost... But you choose how you deal with it, do you let it effect all you decisions forever, or do you learn from them.

    Look at your dreams, write them down, then figure out how you can make it happen.

    Oh, and one last thing, you'll never feel like you've figured it all out, that you're completely a grown up.
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  5. Tommy :)

    How I wish I could return to my 16 year of age.

    ...If I could say anything to the 16 year old me....I would say "Time is relative, control the universe around you and within"

    Fear is a good instinct until it controls you, feeling fear is normal, feeling 'the end' is also normal. Its good to have fear, its bad to let in conquer you. Some-days are better than others...but there is a boarder tomorrow for you. Realizing fear is that first step to over coming it, your honesty to yourself will get you very far. You will be an excellent adult. Both Self aware and ready. you are not the first, nor the last, to fear adulthood. Just be the best you that you can possibly be and go easy on yourself, being a human is hard work lol. Don't worry about the small stuff. :)
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  6. Thank you guys so much, I can't tell you how much this means to me and how much this helps me. It's always seemed so hard to be an adult, but you guys make it seem a little easier now, or at least not as overwhelming. Very much appreciated. ^^
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  7. I'm 23 and I'm still a newb at some adult stuff. (I started doing "adult stuff" when I was 17.) Occasionally the reminder of this will give me anxiety, but most of the time I don't worry about it. When you're learning to do adult things like preparing taxes, making appointments, applying for something... There's most likely somebody in that profession (or just a random someone who knows what they're doing!) who's willing to help you. Everyday, there are adults who don't know what they're doing. Or they simply forget. And sometimes, you can get do-overs, if not just another chance to fix an issue. Good things can happen when you're assertive, or even just plain honest. I've actually told my landlord I forgot to pay rent and that's why it's late. Yet, I wasn't charged a late fee. The lady appreciated how truthful I was. And when it comes to signing forms, I can be so dumb. LOL Doctors offices, I tend to ask the same questions every visit and the receptionists are cool with it. Super helpful too. *shrugs* You just never know.

    And y'know, you get to have fun. Plan some road trips, go house hunting when it's in the budget, spend hours at the library without having to worry about someone waiting on you. Or whatever, you know? You can go out to bars with your friends if that's something you're into. (I personally don't care for the bar scene, I prefer private get togethers with some wine.) You get to make all your own decisions, make your own agenda, have your own place to decorate and fill with memories. When you're grown up, you're free. You'll spend years discovering who you are and it's amazing.

    As for kids, yes, they do make life difficult. It'll be the biggest drain on your finances, the greatest test of your patience too. I can say from experience that it's normal to be unsure about it. It's also normal to want to throw the kid out the window when they're annoying the shit out of you. :| Parenthood is so rewarding, though. You get to watch this tiny bundle grow into a whole person. Watch them learn to walk, talk, hug, kiss, dance, succeed--it's magical. Those precious moments make you forget the suffering and remind you why you're making these sacrifices.

    If you're still afraid, just be brave. Follow what you think is right, set goals, achieve those goals, and celebrate them.

    And remember Iwaku. We got plenty of adults here who'd be willing to help you when you have questions. Even when I was 16, I was asking my older Iwaku friends for advice on some pretty big stuff. I can honestly say I couldn't have done it without them.
    #7 Fluffy, Aug 15, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
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  8. Allow me to summarize:

    NOBODY knows how to be an adult; just be a person, do what you know to be right and try to think before you act.
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  9. Wait, I'm an adult??? I'm starting to feel old here... Haha, but in all seriousness, yeah... growing up is rough. There will not always be people there to put bandaids on your booboos (metaphorically speaking) and you have to learn how to do things yourself, without being told. But your parents went through the same thing, and theirs, and theirs, and your friends and everyone else on the planet has. The secret, I think, is learning to be content with what you have and not worrying too much about tomorrow.

    Maybe look for work part time while in HS and start saving, and practicing good spending habits. I personally think our culture is ridiculous, asking teenagers to decide what career they want and then to go in debt pursuing that all before they've had a chance to really figure out who they are. Statistically, most people don't really start to come into their own till maybe mid twenties... if I remember my Ed. Psych class right. And, for example, I started out in college as an Engineer because that's what my parents both did, and my grandpa did, I was good at math, and hell, I played with legos as a kid. But I watched my mom go back to work and she HATED working as an Engineer, and we have similar personalities. I also got an internship at a software company where I made sooooo much money, but I really hated the work. I tried to stick it out in my major, but depression, lack of motivation, and a slew of other things led to me failing class after class after class. I nearly got kicked out of the university, lost thousands of dollars worth of scholarships, and had to move back home with my parents because I had no money. During that time I also started dating my first girlfriend and after close to a year I was convinced I would marry her. Then she left abruptly, coincidentally around when my money ran out. That whole situation was stressful, there were times I wanted to die from shame, but now I am so glad that I pressed through. I have switched majors to Education, something I am passionate about, have a solid part time job, and have made so many friends through that hard time. I feel truly blessed to be where I am today, and yes, sometimes it is a struggle, but I live for the little joys. Getting off work early when tired, finding $20 in a pocket I forgot about, and sitting in a parking lot talking to a friend for four hours about all the shit we've been through, both the good and the bad.

    So, try not to stress out about all the unknowns of the future. There are enough problems in the present to deal with, and things tend to have a way of working themselves out. Almost never in the fashion we had planned (or I'd be married, have a kid and a boring well paying job), but what results is often so much better. So, enjoy HS while you can and learn who YOU are, not who people want you to be necessarily.
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  10. Man, so I was hoping this was going to be about... you know, other "adult" activities. I could talk all day about that.


    ANYWAY Tavish, to answer the question you asked, being an adult does indeed come with its own share of joys and happiness. Things that you wouldn't find happiness in as a child, simply because you don't have the understanding of why they bring people joy.

    Before I go any further and burden you with a wall of text, let me say this first. If there is any one thing I wish I could tell everyone in the world about life, it is this:


    That is the single most important piece of advice I can give. Here comes the rest of it.

    Growing up used to terrify me too. Now I'm here, and honestly, it ain't so bad. As with all things, people usually complain much more than they compliment. When things are good and all is well, people think that's just kinda to be expected, but when things suck, that's when we'll bitch and moan. Well, life has its fair share of both its ups and its downs, but a lot of people only ever hear about the downs! So I can understand why you are intimidated.

    If I could give you one more piece of advice it would be this: think about the things you are good at, and think about the things you enjoy doing. If there is anything that falls into both categories, that is the type of career work you probably want to look for. There usually is something like this for everyone. In case there isn't, then you may need to choose between work you enjoy doing and work you are good at.

    Keep in mind there is a difference between a job and a career. I'll let the infallible Chris Rock explain that. Sometimes you gotta start with a job, and that's okay. If you can, try to get something related to the type of work you intend to someday make a career out of. Be flexible and creative about it being "related." If you can draw a connection between one work skill and another, no matter how far-fetched, go for it. At the very least it will make an entertaining story to an employer when you explain it, which will score you points regardless.

    But I say this for a reason. Your attitude about what you do for a living is one of the most determining factors on your happiness in adult life. Depending on your outlook, some people can look past the drudgery of an unhappy workplace. Many people cannot. If you enjoy your work and/or are passionate about it, that's half the battle right there.

    There are usually small victories in adult life. Not because the victories themselves are insignificant, but because we as people have grown and can appreciate them in all their subtlety. The smell of freshly cut grass, the sight of a newly hung decoration, the feel of your own bed and sheets and pillows that you bought with your own hard-earned money, the taste of hand-prepared food.

    These are just a few of the things adults can and do enjoy. Sometimes they enjoy them without realizing, because, like I said - when things go well that's to be expected. But keeping your head up and appreciating the things you have is important in any stage of life. If you can make a choice to be happy, oftentimes the rest will just sort of fall into place.

    EDIT: Also, whenever something gets you down in life, feel free to consult this nifty flowchart. Keep your problems in perspective, because for every problem you have, there are numerous other greater problems that could be in its place.


    All in all, Tavish, you have struck me as a very mature individual with a wisdom far beyond your years. I would never have expected that you were 16 if you didn't say so, and I mean that honestly. I don't think you have anything to be worried about - you are going to be awesome. How do I know?

    Because you already are. ^^
    #10 fatalrendezvous, Aug 18, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
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  11. I am a middle aged adult. O_O I have a house mortgage. I know what an ESCROW is.

    I don't feel like an adult. >> I feel like I'm still 14. I act like I'm a 17 year old twerpy highschool girl. I really have NO idea what I'm doing half the time, I just sort of bullshit my way through it and ask people for help when I don't have a clue.

    We just bought a new garage door, it makes me feel like I'm pretending to be an adult. XD

    It's really easy doing adult things, though it can be kinda stressful knowing you're responsible for yourself. o_o But as long as you're not trying to be someone -else's- idea of what an "adult" is, you're cooooool.
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  12. I can understand your concerns and fears about growing up. I will gladly input my thoughts.

    You're right. Life is hard. But it can also be full of miraculous joy.

    According to Dale Carnegie, who wrote How To Win Friends and Influence People, everyone has something that makes them feel important. For some it is having children, for others it is wealth and fame. For myself, it is my job. Nothing makes me feel as proud as when I accomplish something difficult, or when I improve a system. Helping and teaching others also makes me feel important. As much as I'd like to tell you the one magical thing that will make adulthood enjoyable for you, the truth is I can't.This is something you have to do yourself. Find the thing you're good at, or makes you feel important, like the reason you were put on this earth, and amplify it. Find ways to immerse yourself in it. That is how you will find happiness. When you are happy the "bad," or stressful parts of being an adult won't seem quite so bad and overwhelming.

    Instead of seeing the things like paying taxes, balancing check books, paying bills, etc.. as a bad thing, try looking at them like a challenge. Similar to a challenge in a game. When you accomplish it you gain a point. When you master it, you gain a level. This way instead of looking ahead at it with fear and apprehension, you look to it with eagerness and curiosity. Every new skill you earn is just another tally mark on your life skills.

    We all get stressed every now and then. It is how you handle that stress that defines who you are as an adult. Will you crack under the pressure and turn to substance abuse or something worse? Or will you rise above it and use it to make you a stronger person, and maybe you can use your experiences to help another is desperate need.
  13. Honestly, I'm an "adult" and the only bright side I've seen over being a kid is being able to (mostly) make my own choices. I have the freedom to have the sleeping schedule I want, to go places, and to meet the friends I enjoy. I started going to conventions by myself, which would have been totally unfeasible as a teen. It's not much, but it's something.

    Besides that, I look to roleplaying, music, video games, and other entertainment to relieve my stress.

    But truly, at 16 I was so stressed out with life and school that I had to convince myself things got easier. You're already way ahead by understanding that it really doesnt. I would never relive my teen years, but things don't get easier. They stay just as hard if not harder.

    That being said, remember that there is some awesome stuff to live for. There's your friends, your experiences, and there's a lot that the world has to offer. Even if you can't travel, just look at how much the Internet has to offer!

    If it matters, I'm currently 22, and I'm somewhere in between. I'm more responsible about a lot of things, and more responsibilities are coming, but I don't really consider myself all the way there yet.
  14. Humans always handle new situations by drawing on experience. The first time my air conditioner started leaking, I stood there mopping up water into a bucket, and was crushed by desolation - it was me, the leaky AC, and a thunderstorm that put down sheets of rain. But now I know what to do.

    When you gain true independence from your parents, things are weird. All the order slips from your life. Wait, there wasn't a 1-2-3 to packing for the airport? You're saying I can go to bed anytime and making a sandwich for dinner (I'm chinese)? Everything is so new and weird. And on the other side you realize that we're all just winging it day to day.

    Anyways, the point is that it's not as bad as you think, and yes, it's a little weird at first. But it'll be the same in the end. Paying bills is easy as logging into your bank account and clicking a button. And nothing anyone here says is going to change that you need to experience it yourself to get it - no amount of advice will help you there!

    Might I offer you some advice by advocating habits? Habits are things you do so frequently they become a part of your routine, like brushing your teeth and doing chores. The first step always sucks (where have I heard that before ...) but once you're in it, you don't even notice.
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  15. bloooop


    As for actual, true-ass advice though... I can say your overwhelming fear of entering adulthood is a good start because the sooner you can get rid of that bullshit-ass teenager romanticized stardust-in-the-eyes fuckery about adulthood the better. The worst thing you could do is enter adulthood with all these stupid fucking notions of what adulthood is and how you should conform to that shit.

    The tax-paying, laundry and other things are kinda scary, true 'nuff but it's not as scary literally, when you work out a schedule to do them and actually do them. You'll learn which ones you can put off for a day (laundry full of non-essential clothes, i.e. house clothes/pajamas), which ones are better done far in advanced (taxes & bill payments) and which ones you can do because you miraculously have some free time to kill (dirty dishes in the sink or a carpet to vaccuum).

    Now, I read what you were scared about and I'm on a good, solid 99.9% certainty that a lot of it stems from this teenage fear of not being able to adult "right". No one here was lying about learning to do taxes, balance checkbooks will get easier with repetition, if you're bad at math it's just a nuisance rather that a horror story. A lot of adults still can't do that shit right, honest talk-- it's why there's actual professions that are there to help people figure this shit out. Auditors, tax lawyers, legit folk who knew there were gonna be motherfuckers who don't know how to take care of that shit.

    And that's okay.

    One of the biggest lies teenagers ingest and repeat amongst themselves about adulthood is that your ass needa know everything right off the bat.

    FALSE-ASS LIES. First'n foremost. Somebody lied on that shit, and a whole bunch of other fuckasses kept it going. Get rid of that thought, Thom.

    On that note, however, I wanna tell your young butt something right thefuck now: Disabuse yourself of anything lookin' close to "I am/You are an adult, I should/shouldn't _______."


    Try not to do and try not to fuck with anyone who even smells like they busy themselves with what they think an adult does, doesn't, should or shouldn't. Those fucks are too preoccupied with looking like adults rather than being adults. You know that fear you shared with us about your mother? She's not a bad adult. She's an adult who's fighting with depression, and that is hard in and of itself. That's depression on top of doing things that need to be done whether or not she's feeling up to it, on top of folk trying to act like their shit don't stink and feel like they have something meaningful to say about how she handles her business. With what you've told, there IS a problem in our (U.S.) society where an adult isn't allowed to have shit in their life that makes adulthood "hard". Too much of that bootstrap shenanigans. The other folks you mentioned, who've had shit get "harder, and harder" on them... well, there's the shit that makes it hard but what really does not help is this sentiment we all have that's echoed throughout your first post that adults "should" always be on top of their game.

    Another ginormous lie that teenagers ingest and pass around to each other about adulthood is that if you fuck up or you fuck up and don't recover quickly enough it is game-over.


    ... But I get it, you've seen folk crash and burn on their shit and it's scary as fuck. What tends to stop folk is that little annoying voice saying "This 'shouldn't' have been a problem, I can't believe it. You failed on this. There's nothing now. You failed. You failed. You failed."

    Bull. Roar.

    Fucking up by, for example, saying some racist fucking shit in which your employer finds out about and consequently fires your ass is not the same as missing a payment and now you have to do some extra paperwork and wait a week or two for your light to come back on. Now, I'm gonna say something that sounds really scary but you gotta hear me out on it, okay?

    Life does not give a slippery shit or a flying fuck about your successes or your failures. It's going to keep going with or without you being ready.

    Seems horrifying, doesn't it? It's not. Not really. Now, what I mean by this is (without entertaining ridiculously extreme examples like inadvertently participating in genocide) there is no fucking up so badly that you can't bounce back from it. Lemme get a little Deepak Chopra on you real quick:

    "If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

    The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience."

    Now, the original quote is a bit longer but this was the most relevant piece. Adulthood doesn't grant you clairvoyancy. You know that that extra slice of pizza is gonna tip you over the edge and you'll spend a couple of hours as an uncomfortable human beach ball but you can't know if taking the job at the call center is gonna be better than taking the job at the local mall's security force. I see a little bit of myself in you right now Thom, especially when you let out that you want to learn how to do shit correctly the first time. That's a good mindset, not a good practice. You might fuck up in recreating whatever shit you just learned, and I'm telling you to unclench and allow yourself the inevitable fuck up. Other people do not have the time to be holding your hand through something, this is the literalest of literal things. Like, you're scared that when you get a job and then you learn to do the register you'll fuck up someone's money or cost the company a huge sum of money that'l come out of your paycheck. You definitely do not want that, neither does the company.

    But what the company knows that you don't is... that you're new. You're learning. It's going to take time. But I know, "Koori, Koori! Okay, you say that, but what if... what if, what if I fuck up so badly I'm fired on the spot!"

    brb ugly laughing

    Okay, first thefuck of all, I said unclench. The likelihood of you fucking up SO ENTIRELY BADLY that you are fired on the spot is pretty goddamn small. I'm serious about unclenching, the more you clench up is the less information you're taking in on how to do your job. You literally need to relax, pay attention when someone's teaching you and, I know high school didn't really prepare you kids right but if you need something clarified...


    While your supervisor doesn't have time to hold your hand through everything, what they'll appreciate is you nipping any future hiccups in the bud during training. It also looks good, they'll see you as as an employee dedicated to the job, wanting to know how to keep shit running smooth. Shit, take notes if you have to. Fuck any fellow trainees tryin' to side eye you with your little notepad and pencil. You needa learn your shit, and if you feel like you gotta write shit down so you can look at it and properly digest the information, then you fucking do it. Get your shit right, because those judgemental little assholes aren't gonna get your paycheck, you are so handle your business. Don't fuck with kids who'll try to one-up you about that kind of shit. You do what you need to.

    That's what I mean by as soon as you sniff 'em out, don't fuck with the kids preoccupied with looking like adults. Fuck those kids. You'll know who they are when they say shit like "Why don't you just get a car?" Those kids are nonsense and have no concept of money. Or literally how shit works. Boromir's quote about not simply walking into Mordor is applicable in so many other parts of life that's not even on Middle Earth.

    Koori is tl;dr:









    EDIT: Oh shit, I forgot to put the other part you asked for. The bright side to being an adult... is getting to decide what that means for you.

    The taxes'n bill paying etc. is non-negotiable tho, that shit you have to do regardless. sorry booboo
    #15 Kooriryu, Sep 15, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
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