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…
okay, let’s take a moment and get real—we live in a capitalist hellscape and it’s made us hyper-focused on productivity and a global pandemic is probably a great time to shed that obsession… except, that’s not gonna work for all of us. some of us crave routine and structure; some of us have become the primary (or maybe only) breadwinners in our households due to the shelter-in-place orders moving across the country so we need to make it work.
hi, hello, it’s me, your flaky friend. you might not have said this to me, or about me, but I’m sure at some moment I have canceled or amended plans at the last-minute and you’ve sighed and been like “yeah, that tracks.” I might’ve even called myself that in the multi-text message and prefaced it message with 35 apologies and some self-deprecating bit like because of who I am as a person in order to soften the blow.
the truth is, I’m not really a flake.
I don’t cancel because I don’t want to see you or because I don’t care about your time or because I think someone else is more important than you. I just have a bit of, a, cutlery issue and I run out of spoons very often. (not sure what I mean by that? you can read the Unified Cutlery Theory here, explained much more concisely than I could do it. no, really, go ahead. I’ll wait.)
so, how does the cutlery relate to me canceling plans? let me illustrate this for you…
(cw: mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety; discussions of ADHD; mentions of societal fatphobia)
(for the Jewish month of Elul, which happens to coincide pretty perfectly with the month of September this year, I’m going to try to blog once a day about one of the themes for the month to prepare for the upcoming Yamim Nora’im or High Holy Days. I will most likely blog in the evenings, so it will technically already be the next day in the Hebrew calendar, but I’m really going to try to keep up with this! you can pop on over to originator Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s blog for more details about this project.)
(pardon my scattered thoughts—I’m writing this with a lot of Benadryl in my system and the exhaustion of someone who chased, wrestled, and carried an almost-nineteen-pound cat to and from the vet today.)
as someone who has both anxiety and ADHD, I have a complicated relationship with remembering. the anxious side of me remembers everything it shouldn’t, like an embarrassing thing that I said to someone seven years ago—and the ADHD side of me cannot remember that she renewed her car registration even when she gets ticketed and, when she does remember, she cannot figure out where the sticker went after it arrived. (this is absolutely a true story, I am sad to say.) but if there’s one thing that this push-and-pull has taught me, it’s this: remembering is an active process. it requires effort to remember, either because one uses tools like reminders and calendars, or because one exerts large amounts of effort and focus to recall the information independently.
but, I think, there is also a Jewish aspect to remembering because remembering is, to me, a mitzvah. the important part is to be careful to remember not for vengeance but for justice; not for trying to find fault for the past but to inform decisions and prevent those mistakes in the future. it is our job to remember in order to preserve, and choosing to do that involves thousands of small decisions that allow us to remember, constantly, who we are as Jews and what that means in a world that is often unfriendly to us. having converted to Judaism, I feel a particular responsibility to remember where I came from and work on building bridges between the world I left and the world I joined. and, of course, there’s the element of wanting to be remembered—wanting to do something that impacts the world in a way that will outlast us. the work is now, and it is never-ending.