2017 state of things

Hello hello hello.

2017 has been a shit year for the world. Thankfully we have Facebooks and Twitters and Tumblrs and all sorts of social media that you can reference regarding that particular breakdown of our country’s fundamental governing. This is my blog, so of course I will talk about myself.

For me 2017 has been more mediocre and lacking in ambition than anything else. There have been some high points: I was in a play, the first legitimate paying gig in like three years. It was a lean cut of Shakespeare’sĀ Troilus & Cressida, done at Lone Fir Cemetery here in Portland, by Portland Actors Ensemble. We had a great cast and an equally great run, and I am thoroughly proud of the production and the people within it. It, for a brief moment, sparked a renewed passion to act again, though to be honest that spark has since dwindled, for reasons I’ll talk about later.

I have a new job, working as a Legal Secretary for the Oregon Department of Justice. My first state job. I started in September and still have a couple of months left on my trial period. To be honest I took a positional hit for this job–I was a Legal Assistant at my old job, though jobwise it was much more on par with being a paralegal[1. If you’re confused about the hierarchy of these titles, you know how a rectangle is sometimes a square but a square is never a rectangle? Yeah, it’s that kind of confusing.]. Either way, definitely a higher position than secretary. I’m hoping that this is the beginning of an upward climb through the state system, either through the DOJ or somewhere else in the state. I appreciate the job security, the benefits, and the ability to get my student loans forgiven.

Also, the Dept of Justice’s online intranet site is called DOJO, which is fun.

In February I wrote some really great songs as part of FAWM, which I hope to throw onto a website this year.

In November I finished NaNoWriMo for the second time in the 15 years I’ve attempted. The book is calledĀ Leap Year One and I hope to get it ready for a first draft by March or April or something like that.

So I have a lot to be happy about. And yet so many other things are nagging at me.

December is a month of promise. From after Thanksgiving to New Years Day, there is a crackle of energy in the air. This energy is commitment, it’s motivation, it’s discipline. It is the ultimate con: in January, I will do better.

It’s a con because you say this in early December, with twenty days to ruminate, and Christmas, and candy and chocolate, and stocking stuffers, and milk and cookies, presents, family, all that. You prepare ten new years resolutions, which get chipped down to nine, then to eight, then seven, until, by New Years Eve, you have three solid resolutions, one of which being an actual concrete goal you can achieve, the other two abstract concepts you’ll never figure out how to fulfill.

I tend to spend the last couple of months of the year either hunkering down in my fallout shelter in Funk City[2. Not to be confused with Funkytown, which is a much better place to hang out.], surrounded by lumpy pillows made out of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or feverishly latching on to those aforementioned promised resolutions. The yearly calendar is arbitrary; it ends at a random time in the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. And yet it has done that for centuries now, and we humans love tradition, mostly because we like to party during traditions, so New Years is a thing. Why it doesn’t happen in spring is beyond me.

This year I am lucky enough to not be in such a bad place mentally that creation of art or human interaction doesn’t feel like trudging through slowly crystallizing molasses. However, I don’t feel 100% Good. That’s been an issue for some time now–and I mean that Generally and Specifically. Generally, I’m not sure that I’ve ever felt Good. I think I have moments of happiness and contentment sprinkled atop a cake that tastes kind of like poop. The reasons behind this are probably genetic and/or chemical in nature, mixed with various life setbacks that have only amplified the former reason. But it’s always there, a smoldering pit of coals constantly gnawing at my insides, constantly making me feel like a burden, an impostor, or a damaged person.

Specifically, the last three years have been a particularly difficult uphill climb to mental stability. I currently have half a dozen or so different document drafts detailing this debilitating depressive condition I’ve dwelt in[3. Yes, I rode the alliteration wave here.], and each one seems wholly insufficient in describing how I feel, or don’t feel, depending on the instance. So instead I’ll just blurt it out: I’ve been depressed and have been suffering from some degree of anxiety for the past three years or so. This level of depression is worse than I’ve ever felt it before (refer back to my “general” statement), and I have documented it somewhat in a few poems I wrote in 2014, which, I’d argue, was the worst year of it. I have a therapist, one that I’ve been seeing since 2010, actually, so it’s not like I’ve been alone in dealing with it, but I’ve always been slow to react to change so it’s taking a while for me to feel “alright.” I’m not on any medication, yet. Still working that one out.

I haven’t told this to very many people so if it’s news to you: surprise! I suspect it won’t be too surprising to a lot of you, though.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I’m on the mend, which is good, though I still have a long way before I feel good enough to, say, clean my apartment on a regular basis, or not feel like a terrible burden on every woman I go on dates with, or, you know, go outside more often. I definitely feel well enough to write and create more art. So with that in mind, I am going to attempt to write some poems, specifically a poem a day. That’s 365 poems if you missed science class[4. Or whatever class they teach calendar days in. Calendar class?].

Poems are great because they’re so visceral no matter what. Good poems are viscerally good, and bad poems are viscerally bad. They both hit you in the gut, you know? So most of these poems will probably be bad, and I’m excited about that.

In addition, I hope to write a new updates post once a week. Just updates on my life and what I’m doing. My constant nagging burden statement makes this difficult, as I always feel like nobody gives a shit about what I do with my life, to the point where, when people ask, I have a lot of trouble responding. I’ll try to do better.

Hope your 2018 is ambitious, loving, and full of self-care.

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