Sixmonth Blogaversary

Yesterday marked 6 months I’ve been blogging Monday through Friday. I don’t really have anything planned for my blogaversary, except that it’s something to write about, and since I have to produce one of these fuckers every weekday, I might as well cover it in addition to everything else I drop here.

I’m trying to think of how my life is different from six months ago. I feel like there are a few things going on at the same time, and I’m not sure if they’re all related. Readers from before I was a 5-day a week blogger may remember that last year I was diagnosed with depersonalization disorder. For months before that, I had been fairly depressed and conflicted about basically everything. Since I stopped talking to my mom, I’d pulled away from my entire family on both sides, not wanting to pressure them to choose. I also took on more and more responsibility at work, far above my pay grade. I learned a lot, but I began avoiding social situations, even as I was overspending and not saving. I seriously wondered what I was doing with my life.

Eventually, I went to therapy, then I went to good therapy. I got the depersonalization diagnosis, which really helped me. I started hanging out with people again, being a presence in my friends lives, and calling my family. Work stayed insane, and I sort of still felt like I was living in a fog. Now I realize that at least part of it was because I wasn’t feeding my artistic apatite, instead I used the opportunities I got at the office as a substitute for my own creative fulfillment.

I started this blog because I knew I wanted something else, I just didn’t know what exactly. Long term plans haven’t changed, we still want to get out of L.A., but other than that, and how that obscure goal relates to my daily blogging, I had no expectations for my new hobby.

In the last 6 months, I’ve discovered a lot of resources that I didn’t know were available to me. A parallel I can draw to something recent is The Edible Front Lawn Tour. The people on the tour started their gardening alone, but as their projects went along, they discovered a community of neighbors and fellow gardeners they wouldn’t have known was there if they hadn’t set out to create something for themselves in the first place. I started blogging Monday through Friday in order to create something for my own benefit now and in the future, and in doing that, I found all of you guys.

I mentioned before that the blog doesn’t have a very large readership, and I’m not sure how much I want to care about that kind of stuff. On any given day, there’s about 40 to 60 25-50 of you reading this, and that’s more people than I could get to do anything else with me in it. The last party I threw had 2 attendees (which is good, because more than that couldn’t have fit in my living room.) I do look at the analytics and pay attention to the comments here and on facebook and twitter. I try to remember what you guys like the most, and if I like it too, I focus on producing more of that. As much as my approval-seeking personality allows, I try to keep follower-grubbing to a minimum, and I think that’s a good thing. Blogs that try to pander to the widest possible margin seem to lose a lot of what makes a blog great in the first place.

I recently told a friend that the last year and a half of my life have been a wash, but that wasn’t really the correct way to phrase it. More like the last year and a half of my life is probably one of the few times where I’ve been treading water, expending all the energy I usually use to advance just to stay where I am. I learned a lot, and grew emotionally; especially in regard to my relationship with my mother and her impact on me. But while I was figuring all this out, there were days where all my effort went towards maintaining the status quo: not fucking up at my job, not overtaxing personal relationships. It was exhausting. I did a lot of crying in odd places. Once, at dinner with the same friend I just mentioned, I burst into tears for no reason. I was just so tired it was all I could do.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m coming out of the fog of exhaustion and stress. Starting with changing the frequency of the blog, I was able to have a creative outlet that was 100% mine. Then there was a major positive change in my working situation. I feel like I have energy again, like there’s direction to my life, like I know what I want and I’m reasonably sure how to get it. I’ve started to see what’s really important.

A year ago I would have definitely told you that my career was the most important thing to me. Now, I’d say that my connections to my loved ones, and my ability to do work that I’m proud of, more than the title I hold or the pay rate I’m at, are priorities for me. I could just be saying that because I finally (through no effort of mine) got the title I had been gunning for since last year, and I also (again, not by my doing) am at a place where my contributions to my savings account are where I think they should be without taking anything away from my budget, but I’m pretty sure it’s thanks to the lessons I’ve learned.

I don’t know how long I’ll be blogging Monday through Friday, hopefully for a long time. Now that Ben’s back on a regular schedule at work, there are sometimes conflicts when he wants to go to bed and I have “one more thing” I want to get down before I’m done. I’ve started a ‘production hour’ policy, wherein the first hour after we get home from work we spend on personal projects like the blog, or our websites or other things. Hopefully this will stop situations like tonight where Ben is in bed right now and I’m still typing this up.

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