to be perfectly honest, I don’t know why I’m writing this here, of all places—or now, after all this time.
I don’t know a lot of things right now.
perhaps that is why I’m writing this, after all… so I can try to make sense of things. thus, this will most likely be messy and it might not ever reach a conclusion—but I can promise you it’ll be honest.
and so, in the interest of honesty, allow me to (re)introduce myself: I’m elle, I’ll be 33 in six weeks, I’m divorced and jewish and queer and neurodivergent, and I’m an educator and doctoral student…
…and last thursday, for the first time in over two years, I wished I were dead.
there’s so, so much to talk about that I don’t really know where to begin—but I figured it might be safest to start here, in a familiar format, just trying to do some updates. that should work, right?
buckle in—this will be long and you might get a bit of whiplash.
let’s give it a go.
create a writing routine. man, has this been a wild ride—and by that I mean that my feelings about this have been a wild ride, while my actual writing has been at a standstill. even the bujo fell by the wayside in June after really valiant efforts to keep it going through what felt like literal hell this year! I mean, I literally wrote once in the entire month of May and twice in June. I’ve done a fair amount of writing in the past two days, though, and I’m working on creating a workflow for the summer since I’ll be juggling several projects and setting my own schedule since I won’t be working summer camp or summer school (more on this below). I finalized the revisions on the first chapter of my dissertation and made a fair bit of progress on the second, and I joined a co-writing group so I can hopefully make some more progress on it this summer. I have yet to determine whether I’m also going to try and work on DoA again this month… we’ll see. I might just give it another go in November. I’m also maybe dipping my toes into some more fun writing pursuits to relieve some pressure and try to find some joy in it again. ♥
be responsible with money. this has been pretty solid so far except for one glaring situation—neither summer camp nor summer school are happening for me this year, which means that I’m not bringing in any of my usual income this summer. since we went on strike last October, I also had to fly home for my dad’s funeral and drop several grand on divorce proceedings, so my savings are absolutely not where I would want them to be—so I’ve taken on several freelance projects and extra tutoring assignments to supplement those. I still expect that the summer will be lean and I’m a little nervous, but it is what it is and I know that I am extremely blessed to be where I am in the first place, which is why I’ve also made sure to donate whenever I could. (and, well. there have been some “treat yourself and your closest friends” moments, most of which have included BTS merch. y’all know me—I don’t know how to half-ass anything, I can only whole-ass… so now that I have committed to this fandom, I have done it with my whole-ass heart and I am so glad I have because they have been my #1 source of serotonin in the darkest days.)
okay so far? let’s dig into where things really start to go off the rails.
yes, I’m still here, and stuff is still happening, and I’ve got some updates for y’all.
create a writing routine. y’all, this went so well at the start of this month… I was ahead of the curve for Camp NaNoWriMo! but then the depressive episode hit mid-month and I’ve just been stuck in neutral ever since. I made a lot of progress on this month’s project and I wrote some stuff for it that I really loved, but I’m really not certain where I’m going next or whether I’m gonna be able to do any writing tomorrow so I’m sad to have yet another one where I don’t get to finish, especially since I started out so well. but it was so nice to have a space where I could write this month, and I really appreciated getting to do it, so I want to do so much more of it! we’ll see!
be responsible with money. this has been pretty good despite the madness of this pandemic, and I’ve managed to pay off another two things and just renewed my lease so I’m feeling pretty steady about the next year… I’m just freaking out a little about the summer because of course summer camp isn’t happening and I’m going to have to find a way to supplement my income because I haven’t been able to save like I wanted to what with how wild the past few months have been. it’s been hard to know that I’ve been improving so much on this and I might still end up in that hot mess place this summer! but we’ll see how things end up…
(weekly updates two weeks in a row? in this, the year of some people’s lord 2020? who is she?)
create a writing routine. this has been… interesting. now that I have a writing nook in my room (pictures coming soon!!!), I am definitely taking some time to sit down and decompress with my bullet journal every night so that’s working well. we’re also only on day two of Camp NaNoWriMo, but I did block writing time on my calendar and I have at least spent some of the scheduled time writing—so perhaps I’ve found a routine that will work in times of quarantine? we just have to see what happens if and when I need to start leaving the house again…
be responsible with money. this is still not back to normal from the furniture I replaced and some of the other household things I got—I’m hoping that I’ll have a better idea of how I’m doing with making these decisions by my next pay period. 😬
let’s see how much we remember and when we’re at with stuff… I’m hoping this is a new baseline and that I can start getting back on track with stuff next month (but something awful has gone down every month so far so I’m not suuuuuper hopeful).
create a writing routine. as is obvious by the fact that I didn’t exactly blog for, oh, two months, this is totally something I haven’t been doing. I particularly have struggled with starting my dissertation as my life’s been falling apart over the past almost eight weeks. BUT, better times are in sight—I actually worked on chapter one of my dissertation tonight and should have a draft of it sent to my chair by EOB tomorrow, and I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month with my student teacher and our students. I’ve also been a lot more active on here over the past week and I’m hoping to continue posting at least once a week moving forward… we’ll see!
be responsible with money. this has been… a total mess. the madness of the past eight weeks required some unexpected spending in the form of flights and a lawyer’s retainer—so, several thousand dollars later, I had to sort of rethink my financial goals for the year. that said, I’ve officially paid off another credit account, I’m current on everything, and I’ve been true to my work of rethinking my relationship with my possessions and going through my closet/drawers/bookshelves with some KonMari magic. spending time going through memories and choosing to cleanse my space has actually been really healing… and I’m looking forward to sharing some more information about The Unfuckening™️—aka my big apartment makeover—as soon as it’s done in a couple of weeks.
(recurring cw for the THIRD goal: mentions/discussions of mental health [specifically anxiety, bipolar depression, ADHD], psychotropic medications, weight loss, food/nutrient/calorie tracking. if any of these could be remotely upsetting, please take care of yourself and skip that whole section! to make it easier to know what’s where, I’ve tagged mental and physical health in bold italics.)
hi everyone! I’m so excited to write the first weekly update of the year (although it’s the update for the second week, haha). I don’t anticipate that updates will always be this long, but since I did a lot of set-up work over the past week, I’ve got a lot to report!
create a writing routine. not a lot of progress on this yet—I’ve got some ideas and things are aligning for it, but I haven’t really deployed it yet (other than scheduling blogging time for Wednesdays, which I’ve been doing since last year). I have been good about logging stuff for my bullet journal and I did create a journaling/reflecting routine at least, so that should work moving forward. I’m hoping that this will improve moving forward, especially now that things are flowing with some of the other goals…
be responsible with money. this was a pretty good money week—things got paid on time and I was good about knowing what was due when. this will definitely be more of a long-term thing for me, so I’m waiting to see how things develop—but one of the things I wanted to do was to reduce the amount of times I got food delivered and I definitely did that! I’m also doing some inventorying in my closet right now and trying to schedule some time to slowly make my way through my room and start cleaning out the multitude of things I’ve accumulated but don’t use!
(recurring cw for the THIRD goal: mentions/discussions of mental health [specifically anxiety, bipolar II, ADHD], psychotropic medications, weight loss, food/nutrient/calorie tracking, intermittent fasting. if any of these could be remotely upsetting, please take care of yourself and skip that whole section! to make it easier to know what’s where, I’ve tagged mental and physical health in bold italics.)
a day late, but here’s our second-to-last updates!
write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve done some scribbling and done some thinking about several projects, but nothing in true progress… and I expect I will be working on my dissertation nonstop throughout the break so academic writing is most likely all I’m going to do. I officially have a dissertation playlist (which is almost exclusively Bastille, tbqh), so I expect that will also help me powering through. 🙂
be better about money. I did end up paying off those two accounts I said I would, which was awesome, and now I just have to grab a few Chrismukkah presents with this next check and get provisions for our little Chanukah party… but I’m getting some emails that indicate my student loans might go into repayment sooner than expected, so I do think this is going to remain an area for me to work on next year. I just think I’m going to have to get a little more specific than this year’s goal…
self-validate more. I celebrated myself when I paid off those two accounts, and when I took a lot of steps to take care of myself recently, including scheduling a bunch of doctor’s appointment and actually going even when they’re in the afternoon and I’m exhausted. I feel strongly that I’ve really improved in the way that I talk to myself, and I’m exploring different ways to take care of myself that I can add to next year’s list…
hello from testing logistics hell! admin’s out of town and we’ve got 108 students testing tomorrow, so please feel free to send any good vibes, thoughts, and/or prayers our way! in the meantime, here’s a quick check in:
write something every day (except Shabbat). this continues to be a struggle all around, particularly as I’ve been handling more logistics at work. the biggest issue for me has been that I haven’t been working on my dissertation proposal as I should be, and I’m not sure if it’s the stress of that of the pressure I’m putting on myself or what, but this feels like I’m crumbling more than a little bit. (I wrote more about the issues with progress on my dissertation, and with my workload in general, on Twitter yesterday.) I’m hoping that, once the test is over (tomorrow) and it’s time for winter break from work, I can spend a couple of weeks actually working on the damn thing. fingers crossed. and don’t even get me started on the bullet journal I’ve abandoned…
be better about money. I was able to get current on every payment last Friday, bless, and will most likely be paying off one more credit card before the end of the year—so, if nothing else, that feels awesome. I know I will have to continue working on this next year, and probably for the rest of my life due to my impulsive spending tendencies, but I have made more progress than I expected on this and I’m excited to celebrate that growth.
self-validate more. this has been tough over the last couple days as I have struggled with my lack of progress on my dissertation—and with the fact that I have to explain to my dissertation chair that I’m essentially falling apart in the face of this task. I’ve managed to not engage in negative self-talk for the most part, but haven’t necessarily avoided the negative thoughts or the self-blame. I’ve been really steady in this throughout the year with few exceptions, though, so I am not feeling too terrible about this setback right now.
until next time… two more updates and then I’ll have a new set!
it’s my first day back at school (since my stomach flu from hell!) and it was a back-to-back class-and-meeting kind of day, and I’m about to go get my blood drawn for some tests, so please excuse the all-over-the-place situation happening with today’s updates…
write something every day (except Shabbat). this is really tragic to consider after an absolute failure at NaNoWriMo, but the truth is that I’ve been too depressed to even work on my dissertation even though I need to get that first chapter to my chair ASAP. I’m hoping that December will be better in several areas, but I also don’t know just how much I’m going to accomplish in one month. I know I’ve written more this year than literally any year up to date, and that I’ve built better writing habits and come up with new and exciting ideas… but it’s so hard to have another year be close to ending and still be the aspiring writer with not a damn thing finished.
be better about money. we recently made the decision to cancel our April cruise, at least for now—it’s not financially feasible right now because of the strike and other expenses, but we might just book ourselves a cabin at the last minute to run off and still have a spring break trip. in the meantime, I will be grateful for the deposit’s return, as it will mean that I can catch up on some more payments and maybe even purchase some holiday gifts! but, really, the focus for me right now is on making sure I’m up-to-date on everything before the end of the year so I can enter 2020 on sure footing and be truly prepared to finish paying off a couple of things and get truly ready for student loan repayment time as I finish my PhD.
self-validate more. this was surprisingly hard over the past week. part of it has been that I’ve been in such a depressive haze, for sure; part of it was that getting as sick as I did and when I did not only ruined Thanksgiving break for me and my friends but also really got in the way of me completing the first chapter of my dissertation. a lot of the feelings of uselessness and hopelessness resurfaced and, since it’s been a good while, I think it took me longer to notice/counteract than it would have taken me at a different point in my life.
until next time… only three updates to go for this year on these resolutions!
hello from my classroom, where I am sitting during my lunch period and which is barely emptier now than it was my last class (where three students showed up). can you say “day before fall break”? anyway, as soon as I’m home from work I’ve gotta pack for my girls’ trip to Madison (also known as the finish-your-dissertation-proposal-draft trip), so here’s some updates for y’all…
write something every day (except Shabbat). this has continued to be a struggle, to the point that I think I’m going to have to roll this over because I haven’t really created this habit yet… and I know that the only way to improve my writing and complete any of my writing projects will be to, you know, write consistently.
be better about money. I’m still in the same boat as last week, except that I’m finally in the black, baruch HaShem. next week I’ll be getting my first full paycheck in over a month, whereupon I will make as many payments as possible to get caught up before the end of the year. what isn’t yet clear, however, is whether we’ll be able to pay off the cruise by the deadline and therefore attend as we’d planned… we made those plans before there was a strike in sight and now we’ve got some tough decisions to make…
self-validate more. I feel confident that I don’t need to roll this over (because, yes, I’m already thinking about new resolutions), and that’s a really exciting feeling. that said, I’ve realized that I’m struggling with some negative feelings about some other folk and finding ways to blame myself for issues in our relationships, so I think I’m going to be looking for a new therapist next year so I can work on processing these difficulties without making them my fault… the negative self-speak hasn’t resurfaced but I know that blaming myself for everything isn’t healthy, pretty words or not.
so that’s where we’re at right now! have a nice holiday, if you will be celebrating, and make sure you shoot down colonizer bullshit and support indigenous people and businesses whenever you can! until next time!