back after 1 month away: apologies, life updates, etc.

Okay.

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.

 

In conclusion…

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.

11 thoughts on “back after 1 month away: apologies, life updates, etc.

  1. Welcome back Keely. 😀
    Sorry to hear things got so shite for a while but hurrah for some work, and oh wow, the yoga! So jealous.

    And my word, can I relate to that second paragraph under ‘writing stuff’.
    *hugs* + *cake*

    1. Not amazing shape, but getting there. I can now do a headstand, which I never thought I’d manage. Still working on the upper body strength for handstands and arm balances though. :-/

  2. Yay! So glad you’re back :-)!

    I am HELLA JEALOUS of your yoga schedule. If I could do 6 days a week for 6 weeks, I TOTALLY would. Yoga is so expensive. *sigh* I can’t wait to read about your yoga experiences.

    As for the bad writing habits and the good writing habits, shit happens. What really helped me is when I randomly gave myself a deadline. I was like, I will post every Tuesday and every Thursday at 10am. And I did. Because for some reason hypothetical deadlines are just as real to me as real deadlines. And also I kept telling myself that my readers would be expecting posts on those days and I needed to deliver.

    And you know what? I got really good at posting multiple things a week. And then I gave myself the occasional break if I didn’t post right at 10am, or if I didn’t post on Thursday but I posted Mon-Wed, and also Friday. And now I try to post *something* every day if I can.

    I also apply a “shit or get off the pot” mentality to my drafts folder. If it stays in there longer than a few months, I trash it. Nothing is preventing you from coming back to that idea in the future. In fact, after you mentioned on my comment for Captain Awkward that I should write a “Chaos Muppet” post of my own, I had that post sitting in my drafts FOR-EV-ER!!! But I just didn’t have the right inspiration to write it. So I tossed it, and I’ll come back to it when I really get inspired.

    I hope that you really can commit to writing for an hour each day, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. I certainly don’t spend a full hour each day writing. Even if I wanted to, I don’t have the uninterrupted time.

    Just try to write *something* each day. Even if it’s something little. Even if it’s just “so and so wrote this awesome thing, go read it!”. Those posts still count.

    Many Jedi hugs to you, chica! I’m glad you’re back in the saddle. 🙂
    ~Kait

    1. Aww, thanks.

      As for yoga, I got really lucky with a sweet deal for the first month. Now that it’s up I’ve been practicing at home, but my girlfriend is going to help me pay for classes at least a few times a week because she’s seen how much I get out of them.

    2. Also, re: affordable yoga, there is now a ridiculous number of sites offering high-quality yoga class videos online for $15–$20 a month. Most of those sites also offer free trials, so you could easily string together a few free trials in order to get a month’s worth of access without paying for anything. It isn’t the same as going to a studio, of course, but maybe that + going to an actual studio once a week or once a month so you get some in-person help/feedback would be an affordable substitute for the “going to yoga everyday” experience?

  3. Is it dangerous and/or does it hurt to do a handstand because I’ve been to a yoga studio several times but I’ve only done the level 1 easy yoga

    1. You have to build up the strength to do one, but once you get there it doesn’t hurt and teachers will supervise/help you into the pose while you’re learning. I’ve only gotten into doing headstands because one patient teacher worked with me. I still don’t do full handstands, but I’m getting close!

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