So as of today, it has officially been one month since I last posted anything here, and more than that since I last wrote anything ‘serious’. What fucking happened?
1. Life/mental health stuff
Around the time I stopped posting, I wasn’t in the greatest place. As I alluded to at the time, I was really struggling with the psychological impact of being mostly unemployed. The fact that I was really, truly leaving grad school hit me all over again, and I felt like a useless failure. I was on the receiving end of amazing support from my friends, including a bit of financial support from my girlfriend, and while I’m exceedingly grateful for all of the assistance, I also felt useless, incompetent, and dependent. I tried to write about this, but I wasn’t ready yet–unmitigated whining is for my personal journal, when I write here I prefer to have a fucking point of some kind.
I’ve gotten through the worst of things, through a combination of small changes. For one, the job situation has improved somewhat. I’m working an assortment of part-time teaching/tutoring gigs, and while it isn’t great–I’m still not even fully replacing what I made as a grad student, since I don’t have full-time hours–it’s an income, and there is progress being made towards improving that further. I also have good reason to believe that things will get better in the fall, when school starts, but I’ll fill you in on the details of that a bit more after things are more locked down.
The other thing that made a big difference was establishing some degree of a daily routine in the midst of the exhausting chaos that is part-time work + continuing job hunting. That routine was a daily yoga class, thanks to an absurdly cheap livingsocial deal for a month of unlimited yoga at a chain of studios with locations all over town. Both the routine and the yoga itself were very grounding, good for my mental and physical health. It was also nice to have made a commitment to myself and followed through–I did yoga at least 6 days a week for a month. I had the incentive of “OMG I’ll never get yoga this cheap again, must take advantage while I can”, which certainly helped, but it also just felt good. I’ll write a whole post about this at some point, but for now, we can leave it at regular exercise/meditation/de-stress time = good.
Anyhow, overall I’m getting to a much better place, and I’m cautiously hopeful that things will continue moving in a positive direction.
2. Writing stuff
Life/work circumstances aside, I also stopped posting because I started a bunch of posts and never finished them. I’d get about halfway through, decide I wasn’t doing the topic justice or was being too whiny or didn’t have the energy… and then I’d never come back. I did this with four different topics. And then I–stupidly, counter-productively–decided that I wasn’t going to write anything else until I finished those things, because I was tired of writing a bunch of half-posts and wasting my time. The longer I stayed away, the more intimidating they became, and after awhile I was just drowning in my little shame-spiral and avoiding the blog altogether.
I really need to cut that crap out, obviously. If I ever want to get anywhere with my writing, on a personal or professional level, I need to have better writing habits. I’ve always written sporadically, waiting for the mood/inspiration to strike, and that’s no way to get shit done or hone a skill. So as of now, I’m going to be holding myself to at least 1/2 an hour of writing a day, every day. It will take more than that to get where I want to be in terms of writing here and starting my science blog, but hopefully making a habit of showing up and writing will break me of my “I can only write when circumstances are perfect and I have everything figured out and can shit out a beautiful finished piece as my first draft” bullshit. Once I have that, I can build from there.
I’m sorry I disappeared. I was busy being sad, recovering from being sad, and shooting myself in the foot with bad habits. I’m going to cut that shit out now, and you’ll hear from me again soon.