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!