Currently // October 2018: A Whole Month of Halloween

And just like that, October is over, but at least it goes out with a bang! At least we get to end by dressing up, gorging on all our favorite candies, and indulging in the sick pleasure of scary movies and ghost stories. If you were lucky, like me, you got to spend the whole month celebrating Halloween. I went to a haunted house, Beetlejuice movie party, and a costume party. I watch some of my favorite scary movies and binge-watched some new creepy shows too. October is by far the flashiest and the most fun of all the months if you make the most of it. I really hope you did.

Productivity-wise, my priorities shifted this month. I had to spend more time on my day job than on my hobbies and passions but somehow I’m not feeling disappointed in the fact. I may not have been productive on the writing front, but a lot of the time I was physically at work, I was mentally brainstorming new possibilities and I am excited to make November the start of big changes.

But first, here is what I am currently:

Writing blog posts, believe it or not. I really wish you guys could see my drafts folder, ugh! It’s full of thought fragments and half-finished pieces. I don’t know what’s wrong with me or why I can’t seem to finish anything I start. I haven’t lost my enthusiasm, I’ve just lost focus. Or, maybe, I’m in search of a focus I never had? This blog, I think, has become too personal and the things I have been posting are no longer what I wish I was posting. I have a solution in mind but it’s not easy to execute. I’m separating myself from my message and writing for one or the other in turn, not both in the same at once.

Making ugly analog collages that I’m too insecure to share. I promise they aren’t all that interesting but I hope with practice they will become good enough to show off. In the meantime, I’m making a new pocket notebook to carry around and staring at my art journal wishing I could think of some art to make in it.

Planning for the new year. I know, I know, it’s entirely too early to even mention the new year. We’ve barely gotten through Halloween, but every year, with all the hustle and bustle, the cooking and shopping, the stress and depression, the end of the year kind of sneaks up on us. I don’t want to be caught so unaware this time. I want to have solid celebratory plans, an editorial calendar that carries me through to Spring, and a plan that sets me up for New Year’s resolution success!

Anticipating upcoming election results across the country! Of course, I am hoping to see the Dems get back some control of either the Senate or the House—preferably both— but I’m also anxiously awaiting the results of some very interesting ballot issues here at home. One, in particular, is Proposition 112, a statewide citizen-initiative to push all new oil and gas development (not on federal land) at least 2,500 feet back from occupied and vulnerable areas. Big Oil is pouring money into attack ads but I have faith in my fellow Coloradans.

Reading The Iliad, still, but making a lot of progress. More importantly, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m still reading On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche too. I was enjoying it, but then I wasn’t. I’m getting back to liking it again slowly now that the end is near. I would have finished both of these by now but I haven’t been spending as much time reading as I know I should. The problem is my phone. So, I’m working on a set of new habits to keep me from picking the damn thing up and to make it easier for me to put it back down when I do.

Watching The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. I actually finished it already. It was so good I binge watched all 10 episodes in one night—from 5 PM to 3 AM the next day. I don’t recommend you do that, but I do think you should definitely check out the show. It’s creepy, of course, but there is also plenty of real-life family drama too. I’m also watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, also on Netflix, and it’s definitely a lot creepier than I thought it would be. Both are 100% worth your time!

Feeling a little withdrawn, but not necessarily down. I’m consumed with finding a path for my writing and that’s made me a bit closed off and distant. It’s gotta be this new space I’m slowly carving out. I had been feeling stuck in a rut for a long while now. I’ve been feeling incapable, ordinary, and unimaginative. I’d even been considering giving up since it seemed clear I had no talent, but this new idea is freeing. I feel full of possibility and this place feels like a place of purpose again.

Fearing that I’m not taking care of my day-to-day responsibilities as well as I should. My anxiety is bad and while my health has been much better, fatigue is still kicking my ass and causing forgetfulness at times. Just getting up, working, getting down and few words, and cleaning up around the house is all I can seem to do with my days. Anything more wipes me out. I’m afraid to be a burden to my fiance. I’m afraid to be resented one day.

Reflecting on how I’ve gotten too comfortable with my life. I grew up in a household where nothing ever felt secure or certain and as an adult, I’ve—without realizing it or wanting to admit it—built a life where there is as much security, certainty, and predictability as possible. I’ve worked the same job, with the same scheduled, lived in the same house, and done the same things day after day. I’m starting to see just how small of a box I’ve put myself in and wondering if my comfort zone no longer serves its purpose.

Needing more time. I know we all could use a few more hours a day, and I know that no matter how much anyone ever wished, the length of days will never change. I need to reclaim, redistribute, and repurpose the time I have. I mentioned the issue with my phone. I’ve deleted the Facebook app and all games, I’ve started plugging it in across the room and limiting notifications, but my phone isn’t the only problem. My couch is a big one too. After work and all weekend long I lounge around watching shows and movies, or simply sleeping. All that time, lost, sometimes wasted, but no more.

Learning not a lot right now I’m ashamed to say. I’ve not kept up with math lessons on Khan Academy or my Spanish or German lessons on Duolingo. I would like to pick them back up and add this writing course from the renowned Roxane Gay on Skillshare. If I can get back the focus I had just a year ago and start gaining some momentum, some recognition, and a few paid opportunities I’d love to try one of these writing classes from Catapult as well. A good challenge can be a great motivator and I could really use some day-to-day motivation right now.

Loving my amazing friends, who always let me know that it’s okay to be me and that there is plenty of patience and forgiveness for the days when I am not my best self. When I am grouchy, awkward, irritating, angry, or forgetful. People need that. People need to know that their mistakes don’t mean the end of relationships and friendships. You need to know you are loved and liked even when you say the wrong thing, let someone down, or just need time to learn to do better. I’m happy I have that.

Hating the ugliness coming out of the White House right now. The twisting of facts, the outright lies, the dog whistles and the obvious attempts to rile up some of the most dangerous groups in this country. I hate that I feel so unsafe and that I worry so much about not just my rights and safety, but the rights and safety of others too. I hate that I feel so small and powerless. I hate the damage being done to us and how low the price of our collective souls has sunk.

Hoping that liberal voters come through this year and get out there and vote. It doesn’t take much time and your vote could mean a better, safer life for a lot of people if we can bring this administration under control. The recent attacks on the LGBTQ community and immigrants should motivate us all, not to mention the attempted assassinations of high-level Democrats and supporters the Pittsburg Synagogue shooting. I’m hoping for a blue wave and a great sigh of relief come next Tuesday.

So, yeah, all in all, October was great fun, and I am sad to see it go. The winter holidays sound nice in theory but it can be the most stressful time of the year. So, today, for just one more day, I’m going to be a little weird and wild. I’m going to eat all the candy I want, dress up a little, and take time to scare myself some.

Tomorrow the holiday music begins.

But what about you? How did you celebrate the month of Halloween? What is your favorite horror film? (I’m always looking for recommendations.) Have you voted already? Or at least plan to vote on Tuesday? Are you dragging a friend or three down to the polls with you?

Let me know in the comments!

“We were letting go of October, relinquishing color,
readying ourselves for streets lacquered with ice,
the town closed like a walnut, locked inside the cold.”

— Mark Perlberg, The Impossible Toystore

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

Photo by Altınay Dinç on Unsplash

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Musings and Ramblings on the Election Results

I’m not going to pretend to be very informed about the issues and what happened last night. I am, however, taking time today to figure out where the country stands, post-election. At first glance this morning it seemed a bit depressing. I looked at a map of the election results and I saw a whole lot of red. I’m not going to lie, that scares me.

I should clarify here that I am not exactly a Democrat. In fact, I am a registered libertarian. I like the core values of social-liberalism coupled with fiscal responsibility. I don’t always agree with other Libertarians though and I do not like their tendency to vote Republican. I consider myself to be a left leaning Libertarian who is leans farther left every election cycle. In my opinion people who say they are socially liberal are only socially liberal when it comes to things they want. Libertarians I have met in person often end up showing me their true colors over time. They are often secret racists or homophobes.

So what about the results? Well like I said, seeing a whole lot of red scares me. I’m afraid that all the progress we’ve made for marriage equality will come to a screeching halt over the next few years. I’m afraid reproductive rights will be set back. I’m afraid affordable health care is out the door. And I’m also afraid that no progress will be made as Republicans continue to hinder any good the President tries to do.

My biggest issue is trying to figure out how this happened? A lot of people are saying that this country has made it clear that we are unhappy and want a different kind of change but I don’t believe that is entirely true. I believe two things were working against us.

One, people who identify as Liberals are often the ones who believe voting does no good. Yesterday I noticed a lot of liberals, both online and in my own circle of friends, who not only chose not to vote, but even bragged about it! Their reasons were mainly because they believe their vote didn’t matter, they didn’t like any of the candidates, or they were ignorant of the issues.

I honestly never hear Conservatives talk this way. Conservatives believe whole heartedly in the voting process and always show up for their party and candidates. I believe that if Liberals showed the same enthusiasm we would easily win!

The other issue is the Millennials. The Millennials were born anywhere from the early 80s to the early 2000s. I myself am a Millennial. We tend to be more liberal, we tend to vote Democratic, but we also tend to sit out midterm elections. I blame the candidates for that though. I think young people have a hard to identifying with candidates and I think a lot of young people think midterm elections are boring and unimportant. Candidates need to work harder to connect with young people and let them know they care about them.

votingage-nbcnews

I can honestly say that even though I did vote is was not because any one candidate really spoke to me or made me feel like I was truly represented. I voted because being a lesbian politics often directly affects my day to day life. I can easily see though how the everyday average person can feel like politics has nothing to do with them. I can see the disconnect between these candidates and regular people who are younger, poorer, and non-white.

So whats done is done now and hopefully the next two years won’t be too bad. I honestly do hope the Republicans can do some good, but I am afraid of their intentions. I am thinking of getting more involved myself. I think I’d like to look in to volunteering in some way next election round. I need to do something because for me this is very important. I love my country very much and I want to see us move forward. I want to see us become a country that cares for all it’s citizens and where the American Dream we all talk about can be realized by everyone.

Results Map via Politico

Graph via NBC News – Where Are the Millennials? Midterm Voters Skew Old

It’s Voting Day!

Here in the U.S. it’s that time again. It’s voting day! I admit I am usually a much more informed voter than I am today but through the power of Google and social media I am taking time today to look up candidates and ballot issues and doing my best to vote with my conscious.

I am a big believer in the power of democracy and I am encouraging everyone I know to get out and vote today too. Unfortunately, my efforts are being met with a lot of indifference. Most people are either claiming ignorance of the issues or lack of confidence in the system as their primary reasons for not voting today. I fell like all I’m hearing are excuses for laziness and a means of skirting responsibility when the government isn’t working the way the people want it to.

For me voting is of the utmost importance. How can we hope to change anything when so many people are choosing to not even get involved in the process. This country is very polarized and so many of these elections and issues are poll at an almost 50/50 split. In this day and age every vote really does matter.

This morning I took to Twitter to help encourage the undecided and uninformed to at least make some kind of effort today. One person tweeted that even if you are uninformed but have good intentions you should vote, if for no other reason than to cancel out the votes of the uninformed but ill-intentioned. I liked that. There are many out there who are voting along party lines just because their party has more racists or hate poor people more. The good intentioned could really even things out.

I was also surprised to see so many women and POC proclaiming proudly that they weren’t going to vote today. Most of them claimed that voting doesn’t matter and that the government will do whatever they want to do anyway. I cannot prove that this isn’t true but I do not that if it isn’t true the people who want the government to be able to do whatever they want will today by default. So I figure it’s better to make the effort just in case.

I also have issues with people who don’t vote, yet constantly complain about the government. We get mad that abortion rights are still an issue, but then we choose not to vote. We get mad the there is no help for the poor, then we choose not to vote. We get mad that marriage equality isn’t moving forward fast enough, then we choose not to vote. This make no sense! Laws are changed in many ways but the easiest and simplest way to change the country and the laws is to VOTE!

And if that doesn’t sway you, at least try to remember that there were many people who fought and died so that you could be heard today. Remember that there was a time when whole groups of people didn’t get a say in who was elected or what laws were enacted. Some of those people were threatened, and beaten, and killed, so that you could be represented. I think the least you could do to thank them is to take a few minutes of your time every two years to go and vote.

So please, please, please, for the love of God, go vote today. It isn’t hard and as long as you do your best and vote with good intentions I promise you will feel good about it afterwards. And you get a sticker! :)