So, after a brief (?) hiatus, I’ve decided to return.
Things have changed somewhat since I was last here.
As you know, I decided to move away from teaching and had secured a temporary position as an advisor at our local community college.
I’m pleased to say that today I begin a full-time permanent position in admissions! I’ll be working in a different role, but with many of the same people I’ve been working with since June. We’re all excited.
You may remember that I mentioned my mental health wasn’t in the best state. I had to come to terms that much of my “work ethic” and daily habits were actually my body’s coping mechanisms for moderate-to-extreme anxiety and mild depression, and then begin a healing/rebuilding process. Running, reading, writing, and even my coffee regimen were all ways I dealt with stress. Combine the life changes, family situations, and everything related to COVID and my body just said “no” to most of these things.
But now I’m in a better headspace. Krystal says I’m the most relaxed she’s ever seen me in the fifteen years we’ve known each other! And so, as I begin to find a new routine, I’m slowly putting those things back into my daily schedule.
I’m trying to cook more, though my new work schedule means I’m cooking more things that we can freeze/refrigerate and eat throughout the week. I’m reading more and listening to music again – I’m also trying to read on my lunch breaks rather than doom scrolling through social media. I’m also making better use of my social media, choosing to use the block/mute/unfollow buttons more liberally.
I haven’t started running again – yet – but I need to; there’s a marathon coming up in November!
These changes have also meant I’ve shifted some goals.
I’ve decided to change my November marathon from in-person to virtual. It will be a slow time given my lack of training, but it will also mean we don’t have to travel and deal with *gestures to everything*.
Speaking of marathons, though, my oldest brother is planning to come out from California and run a marathon with me in February! We’ve decided we’ll run it together and not worry about the time – so long as we don’t get kick off the course for being too slow, that is!
Another goal I’m not too concerned about is my Goodreads reading goal. I’m a few books behind, but I’m not going to rush to complete my goal. I’ll simply change the goalposts to match what I’ve read. I do this every year because I’ve exceeded my goal; I see no reason why I can’t lower it to make myself feel good. What can I say? I need those animated balloons.
This year has been a year of growth and self-improvement. In some ways I feel bad that things have, overall, been going well for me when the world in general (or at least the USA) seems to be a raging dumpster fire.
Other things that have been going well: keeping the house clean, enjoying D&D on Monday nights, starting to play a World of Darkness campaign (set in 2019 New Orleans), reaching out to at least one friend daily, and starting to work on cosplays again.
I’m seriously considering getting an ampersand tattoo. It’s my favorite punctuation mark, and as a sign of continuation I can think of nothing better to cover the only remaining visible self-harm scar (16 years incident free!) and commemorate this year. I want it in the Dante font in honor of Dante Alighieri, whose Divine Comedy literally saved my life in college and continues to be a source of inspiration. I’m worried it might be cliché, but as everyone I’ve talked to has pointed out, it’s not cliché if it means something to the person wearing it.
But I don’t want to commit to something without trying it out first, so I’ve got one of those temporary tattoos from Inkbox. We’ll see how it goes.
And speaking of mental health, if you’re in the USA and you find yourself in a bad place, please reach out to the suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255. I’ve both used and recommended this number, and I hope it continues to help those in need for years to come.