keep getting back up (or, 2017 in review)

I did exactly none of what I’d planned on for this year, and yet I did well.

Apparently I made two separate lists of goals for 2017, and the first one did not work out. I’ve been threatening those posts since I started blogging, EHouse is now only one of a bunch of different things I wanna do with my life, I failed spectacularly at new connections (though I did do way better than expected at maintaining and nurturing old ones), my writing was hit-or-miss, and I still worry about everything (but am learning to use my anxiety). Zero out of five.

List two fared better. Novel is still not done (as usual stay tuned for updates), but I did – at the end of November – get a paid publication of, in my opinion, one of the best pieces I’ve ever written. Online dating ended up not being worth the hassle, but I learned a few unexpected things about myself that I hope to figure out how to use going forward. I ended up going to six cons, almost got in an altercation with protestors in frack-nowhere Kentucky (thank you drunk pirates for picking that fight before I could), had a couple minor panics because my big costume for the year involved a sleeveless top, and overall got a lot better at cosplaying and channeling characters and having a really good time. Those all feel like wins, so… three out of three.

But me being me, and me having documented my life all over the internet for the last couple years, I should’ve known that all the beautiful stuff was gonna be unexpected.

I got a lot better at turning my experiences into fiction. Actual memoirs are still a decade away (though I do have vague plans for a book of comedic essays about working retail), but fictionalized versions – especially expressed through characters who aren’t mine – helped me see things for what they were.

I had some lessons in who stays and who leaves. Wasn’t expecting either of those situations to turn out like they did, but this year as opposed to last year, I’m down a clone and up a… hell if I know what that person is, but one relationship in particular improved in unexpected ways this year.

I changed job positions twice, the first time because I was convenient and the second because I got brave.

I got two new tattoos (the newer one should be a post in like a week because holy shit do I have feelings about it).

I didn’t fall in love. And yet I kinda did, but in a weird blossomy I-would-and-will-wait-ten-years-if-that’s-what-it-takes kinda way. Non-creepy variant (for the most part, and better as the year progressed). Absolutely working on that situation and learning to make the most of it, but I haven’t given up hope.

I got a couple opportunities to fully live my beliefs, and I did not screw up. One in particular changed a lot of perceptions about me once I let it get traced back to me. (And also provided a weird bonding moment between myself and a close friend, because for once “I’m gonna wring his neck” was actually a SANE response to a situation and I was NOT overreacting!!)

I learned to embrace clichés a little more. There’ll be more about that if/when one of the current primary writing projects ever gets anywhere, but… sometimes, as much as you wanna be a pretentious asshole, sometimes it’s cute to write about two middle-aged people falling in love while herding around a dozen malcontent teenagers. (And yes, I should’ve learned this a couple years ago while writing very similar fanfic, but it’s even more fun when the characters are MINE and I get to do stuff that I like.)

I went off meds again because the side effects got bad again, and I think this time I might be off ’em for good. I made progress on control and rescuing myself instead of inflicting my episodes on other people, and I am SO FRICKING PROUD of where I am mentally now as opposed to last year.

So, overall, 2017 was a good year for me. Bit unpredictable, but I can see a lot of progress made all around. Well done me.

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2017 goals

As most of you either know from past observation or can guess from similar, I’m not that great at follow-through. Big epic schemes? I have like three of ’em a day (much to the dismay of whatever unfortunate soul gets stuck talking me out of them), but I’m not so good about actually… y’know, doing any of them. Ever. (In a day or two I’m gonna go looking for my 2016 list and tear that thing to shreds on here, but that’s a whole ‘nother animal.)

That said, here are some appropriately vague goals for the new year that I genuinely do think I can accomplish.:

  • actually do most if not all of the posts I’ve previously threatened. This is probably the most viable one because as far as time and effort goes, blog posts don’t take much. I’ve made a lot of progress in the last year or so at figuring out who I am and what I believe, and I’ve got a lot to say about that. I’ve also got a lot to say about the toxic elements of midrange conservative christian homeschooling culture (boy do I EVER have stuff to say about that). In 2017, I want to take on a few subjects I’ve been eyeing for a while but previously have not had the courage to openly set on fire. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, I want to finally do a series on formative influences – books and TV shows that essentially created the woman I have become. I’ve been threatening that one since I started blogging, but I think it’s finally time to go there.
  • take active steps towards the creation of Eowyn House. EHouse is a longterm project I haven’t talked about on here and don’t plan to anytime soon, but what y’all need to know is it’s somewhere my heart has been leading for the last couple of years. I’m still not sure how this thing is gonna happen, but my EHouse goal for 2017 is to nail down some details and a timeline and hopefully start making the first few connections that will make my heartsong possible.
  • make more connections, period. I need new people in my life. In 2016, I did a pretty thorough job of declaring my separation from the world that created me. In 2017, I need to remake my social side. I have a few ideas for how to do this, most of which will be discussed as they happen, but the one I’m comfortable sharing right now is I plan to go to at least six cons this coming year. Maybe not the best way of meeting people, but a definite outlet for making me feel like I’m part of something and that’s one of the best feelings in the world for me so… yeah.
  • write stuff I’m proud of. I’m not gonna say “finish blahblahblah” because that’s the quickest way to damn myself. Nor am I gonna set any publication goals because that’s out of my hands (submitting everywhere I can is a good move, of course, but my point still stands). Instead, my goal for 2017 is to write fiction and poetry that I can look at if/when it gets published and think “wow, I did good” instead of “wtf is this”. I think that’s viable.
  • focus on moments. My caretaker has been emphasizing this with me a lot over the last couple months, and while I’ve definitely made progress, I still have miles to go. I’m usually a planner and a worrier – yay anxiety – and while those are good traits in moderation, I need to shorten their leash a little bit and let myself live.

Welp, if nothing else, this is probably my shortest list of resolutions in at least a couple years. We’ll see how long they last…