Let's see how this goes

I've been out of the workforce for basically two weeks now, and for the most part, things are actually going really well. The problem is, I just received my last paycheck from my previous job and that brings a certain amount of nervousness that is not fun to deal with.

I've spent the morning looking around for potential ways to bring in money that don't require working for someone else right now, and decided to put up my services as a photo-illustrator-person on Fiverr. It's kind of a long shot, but I'm giving it a chance for no other reason than "why the hell not?" with a side of "what do I have to lose?"

Meanwhile, I know I haven't produced anything in the last few days, mostly due to some unforeseen body pain. I had been using our dining room table as a desk, which exacerbated some shoulder/arm issues I acquired after a decade spent typing at a poorly-planned desk.  Robin and I found a desk better suited to my needs and I then tweaked my lower back trying to move things around our house to make room in our den. Good job, me!

On the upside, Robin and I have now set up our den to better accommodate our office needs and I am slowly on the mend. So, starting next week, expect to see some new work and writing! 

Seriously. Being not-creative is kind of awful, especially when you technically have the time for it!

Thank you, and some thoughts

There was a part of me that was nervous to talk about the current state of my life, not wanting to come across as bragging or anything. So getting a positive response has been really appreciated given I am both excited and terrified at finally getting this opportunity. I am lucky to have people in my life (even if I don't see you all the time) that have faith in me, and it's a little overwhelming -- but in the best of ways.

There's another part of me that keeps forgetting why I am here in the first place, and it's actually making things a little difficult. This change largely came about because I kept getting sick, and the last time a doctor told me very seriously that if I didn't get better I was to take myself to the emergency room immediately. Not great.

On the upside, a week later, I can breathe better than I could then: I can walk up and down stairs without wheezing, I can inhale deeply and not cough hard enough to bring up a lung or two. But I'm still tired and nauseous at every turn, which is not an enjoyable way to spend a day, to say nothing of several in a row.

There is a part of me that wants to jump on myself anytime I am not taking every free moment to Create A Thing(TM). It's a part of myself that also is bad at relaxing now that my "job" is to be creative, so I can't bring myself to take time to putter around and be idle, even if I've "done stuff" during the day. If I'm not careful, this is going to cause problems, so I want to take the time to call it out now so I can't say I wasn't aware of it.

The fact of the matter is, I'm still sick. It's entirely possible I will be for a while, given how hard my ass has been kicked in recent weeks between strep and tonsillitis and THEN super pneumonia. Add to that several months and years of chronic depression and exhaustion and I'm basically being silly to expect so much of myself all at once.

I want to achieve things now, and I'm having trouble remembering that achievement takes time -- ESPECIALLY when you need to rebuild after a rough patch. To quote one of my favorite drag queens in the whole world, Latrice Royale, "Good god, get a grip girl!"

Those 5 Gs are very important and I really should take them to heart as I am working this out and trying to get myself to a better place physically and mentally. I won't be able to keep this up if I burn myself out through overexertion. So this is me getting a grip while also attempting to kick much ass in the coming days.

Hell yeah and whatnot. 

New Beginnings, Accountability, and Privilege

This is kind of a weird post, one I'm both excited about and nervous about -- but it needs to be written, so here goes.

Let me start by saying that it's been a hell of a few months -- I don't just mean about the election and the currently terrifying state of American politics -- I've basically been varying degrees of seriously ill since just after Thanksgiving: I went from having strep throat to tonsilitis to bilateral multifocal pneumonia (basically a bad case of "double pneumonia," which is a bad case of regular ol' pneumonia) and am now picking my immune system off the floor and trying to dust it off so it can work again.

On top of that, my mental health decided to take a nosedive because it apparently wasn't getting enough attention. So while my body was trying to stop working, my mind was egging it on like a really misguided cheerleader.

After some conversations with Robin, we decided it was worth trying to see how it goes if I leave the workforce for a while. I am very lucky (and this is where the "privilege" part of the title comes in, which I suspect I'll get into more at a later date) that my husband has a great job that not only makes him happy and fulfilled, but also pays him well enough to more than make up for my current lack of income -- though part of that is the fact that I make significantly less than he does, so there is less to have to make up.

Robin's one suggestion was that I make sure I use the time I'm taking wisely and create a portfolio I can point to in case we need me to go back into the workforce. That way there isn't a huge unexplained gap in my employment history if I can say, "I took time to work on these projects" and have something to show for it. 

And that's where the accountability comes in. I have spent most of the past decade or more wanting "a break" so I can focus myself on my creative endeavors without worrying about keeping tabs on a job. Robin is giving me the ability and freedom to do that, so it is up to me to take full advantage of it so I can make myself and those around me proud.

So what does this all mean? What can people expect?

Excellent questions.

My current plan is: 

  • to restart a tumblr I used to keep back in the day (which has since been deleted due to disuse, whoops) where I wrote short fiction inspired by photography found on random posts,
  • to draw more and post it on deviantart,
  • and then cross-post both here and then link this on Facebook/etc so anyone who cares has easy access to it.

This page will also be a checking-in place, not just for creative endeavors, but also for my mental/physical health and general things that come up in the meantime. If I start my freelancing back up, I'll discuss that in detail, for instance.

Basically, I need to do what I can to make this worth it so I can actually be proud of myself and what I've been able to accomplish. I haven't felt anything like that in years since I did my "drawing a day" thing, which only lasted six-eight months before I gave up on it. But that was good for me, and I could really use something along those lines again.

So. Here goes nothing!