Currently // July 2017: Freedom is Bad for Writing

The passing of June was a time of conflicting feelings for me, but the passing of July is just down right depressing. The heat of summer may continue, but my freedom will end almost immediately. Working for a school district means August is a chaotic time. No matter how many school years we begin and end, they never seem to get easier. Every year is different, and each comes with new challenges and new anxieties.

Then again, I’m kind of looking forward to returning my old structured schedule. One thing I learned this summer is that I am not very good at managing my time and working when no one is making me do it. I spent plenty of time napping and feeling guilty about napping. With the return of the children, there will be the return of reasons to wake up early and days that come with writing time already built in. The loss of all this free time might be the best thing to happen to my writing in months.

But before I get back to it, here is what I am currently:

Writing more blog posts, and essays, and poems, as usual, but this time, purely for me and purely for fun. I dropped off the face of the internet for much of July because I lost my passion for writing. I lost my passion for writing because I was trying too hard to be someone else. I want to be successful, and so I watch what other successful people do and try to emulate it, but that isn’t fun, or interesting, and it doesn’t lead to fulfillment, joy, or pride in my work. So, I’m going to stop listening to all the things people say I should do and just do what feels good for a while. Blogging feels good and so does writing about whatever pops into my head and sometimes writing about nonsense.

Planning my first real vacation. I can’t give away too many details yet but it looks like very soon my girlfriend, and I might be heading west and away from all our stress. We’re taking a break from worrying about the future for a while. I can’t wait. Actually, I am planning a lot of things. I’m hoping to start actually planning our wedding too. We’ve been engaged forever now, and we’re coming up on a year out from our “we’re getting married no matter what” date so we need to get our shit together asap.

Making a lot of Old Fashioned whiskey cocktails lately.  I had one a while back at one of our new favorite restaurants and thought I’d give it a try on my own. I have special ice cube molds and a couple of thick bottom glasses leftover from our old set. I’ve been having fun adjusting the recipe to taste and I contrary to the website I got the recipe from I do enjoy adding a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry, but I do skip the club soda. That is too far from the classic for me.

Anticipating a quiet month. July was stressful. There were a lot of birthdays and events to attend along with all the work obligations. We also spent a lot of time making improvements to the house, and despite how exhausted we are somehow it feels like we barely accomplished anything. Next month there are only two birthdays in the family, and our calendars have been wiped clean to focus on work for a while. As the school year starts, every day will get easier and easier, and hopefully, by the time we get to September, everything will be running smoothly.

Reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, still. I don’t know what it is, but I am having a tough time getting into this book. All of humanity pretty much agrees it’s a classic and I’m still hovering around the first third of the book trying to figure out the flow so I can make sense of where I am and where Woolf is trying to take me. I’m not giving up though, I’m just trying a new strategy. I’m going to read two books at once. I’ve decided to revisit Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul by Giulio Tononi. I attempted to read it years ago and never did maybe switching between two books I’m struggling with and giving myself a break from each every chapter will get me to the end of both.

Watching Game of Thrones yo! We’re three episodes in, and I’ve already grieved the loss of another favorite character and worried about the possible loss of another. Every episode leaves me shocked and wishing the week would fly by a little faster so I could find out what happens next. Besides GoT, I’m watching two other HBO originals, Insecure and Room 104, and rewatching the old L Word series since I hear a sequel is in the works.

Feeling lost, and a little sad. Being alive is hard and knowing that one day I won’t be is even harder than that. My anxiety has been at an all time high, and my self-esteem seems to be getting lower every day. Then again, I feel so much gratitude too. At least I get to be alive at all, even if my little life is nothing but a blink of an eye and even if I don’t get to be someone who will be remembered outside of my own family. I got to be here, and I have to stop worrying about the end and get on with enjoying the time I have.

Needing a little more independence. I had hoped by now I would have made more progress, any progress toward overcoming my driving phobia, but I haven’t. Not being able to drive has had a profoundly negative effect on my self-esteem and not being able to go places and do the things I want to do has contributed to my feelings of isolation and depression. So, I guess what I really need is more courage so that one day I might be able to get the independence I crave so much.

Loving the latest season of The Heart podcast, No, in which “Kaitlin explores her sexual boundaries from youth to adulthood.” The episodes explore sexual coercion and can be super triggering if you aren’t in the right head space but if you can I encourage you to listen. One thing I love about The Heart is that when they explore these painful issues they tackle them from all sides, and this season it was interesting to hear from men who admit pressuring women into sex and coming to term within themselves about why they did it and how wrong it was.

Hating the entire sprawling Trump and Co. circle of family, friends, and ass-kissers. Politically this year has been the longest and most exhausting of my life. I miss the Obamas so bad it fucking hurts. I miss feeling like America stood for something more than just money and greed and self-centeredness. I want to return to a time when there was at least the illusion even if there was little more of us being leaders in the world fighting for what was right, defending the oppressed, and working to bring nations together rather than tear the world apart. Is it 2020 yet?

Hoping that now that the Republicans have finally tried and failed and tried and fail and tried and failed to kill the Affordable Care Act they can finally get down to the business of real health care reform. I am one of those people with a pesky pre-existing condition and who is finally receiving the care I need because of “Obamacare” and as grateful as I am Even I can see that the system is far from perfect. Let’s finally start helping people!

All in all, this month was…not the best, but it wasn’t all bad. I may not have made a lot of writing progress but I did learn some valuable lessons and I did make progress in other parts of my life. I had some fun and through all of the stress my girlfriend and I have been able to find ways to lean on one another, be there for one another, and continue to grow together.

I know things can only get better from here.

So, how about you? Was July a good or bad month for you? What goals did you accomplish? In what ways were you disappointed? What are you reading, watching, or looking forward to in August? Let me know in the comments (:

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

The inspiration for these posts come from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Featured image by Stanley Dai on Unsplash

Yeah I Write For Me, but I Write Well For You

When I started blogging I don’t think I knew what to expect. I didn’t know much about writing. I didn’t know anything about how to connect with others through blogging. I didn’t know much about how a blog should look. I didn’t even know what I was going to write about. And I certainly didn’t know if anyone was going to care.

I just wanted to write.

I wanted to have a place to say things when I needed to say. I hoped to learn what I wanted to say and how to say it along the way. I hoped to learn and how to connect with people and how to make writing and blogging into a fulfilling part of my life too.

In the beginning, every time I posted something, I immediately regretted it. I thought it was stupid and no one would care. I regularly felt the urge to delete every post I had written, but I didn’t. I knew I had to keep going and I promised myself that no matter what, whether people liked me or hated me, I would always write for myself first.

Things have changed a bit since then. I still write for myself first but I take better care in the way I write for my readers. I figure if people take time out of their day to pay attention to me and what I am saying then at the very least I owe them the courtesy of decent spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. I should also try to keep it entertaining but that is something I am learning as I go.

I ask that my readers please be patient with me in that regard.

No one wants to read full-page paragraphs with no punctuation and misspelled words. No one want to read a post that is disorganized and has no focus. No one wants to read a bunch of “text writing” like u, ur, luv, tho, or whatever else the kids these days are doing. I know I would feel personally offended if I wasted even a few seconds of my life clicking a link that lead to crap like that.

So while I may write a bunch of stuff that only matters to me, I promise to a least keep it as legible as I can and I welcome all “grammar Nazi’s” to correct me when necessary.

This, I will do for you, dear reader.
NaBloPoMo July 2015
In response to July NaBloPoMo prompt: Do you write only for yourself, or do you use your blog to try to connect to other people?

I took the prompt in a bit of a different direction though.

Can I Get a Little Understanding?

I think about the concept of “understanding” a lot. I wonder if a person can ever truly understand another person? I wonder if anyone has ever truly understood me? And I wonder why we all have this desire to be understood at all?

One of my biggest motivations for writing is to try my best at explaining myself as plainly as possible. I want to explain everything about myself. Why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, how the world appears to me, and what I think people ought to do. I want to explain where I have been and where I am going, and why. I want everyone to know that someone like me exists.

As much as I am driven to be understand, I am driven to understand too. I want to know people. I want to know where they come from and how they have lived. I want to know what they see and feel and I want to know what drives them forward. I want to know that other people who exist too.

So far my need to be understood, and to understand, has not been resolved. People generally misunderstand me but I think it is more my fault then theirs. I just haven’t learned to articulate my thoughts as well as I would like. Not only that but all words and phrases in any human language can have multiple meanings. We can be easily misunderstood by things that have nothing to do with the words we are using. Context, tone, body language, even the other person’s mood can affect how we are understood.

For me, it feels like something always goes wrong and my words never mean precisely what I want them to mean.

Writing helps though. People aren’t inherently good at listening, not in my experience anyway. They don’t like to hear another person talk about themselves for too long. They like to get to the part where they get to say what they want to say. But with writing I can ramble on as much as I want about whatever I want and people will read it and actually take in my words. They have to wait until I am done to respond.

It may sound a little narcissistic, but all I want is to be heard, to be known to others. With writing I find that more and more my words are doing what I want them too, and other people are understand exactly what I mean to say.

NaBloPoMo July 2015

In response to July NaBloPoMo prompt: Do people generally understand what you’re trying to say?