Hello, lovelies! It has certainly been a minute since I’ve actually had a moment to be active on this blog–let alone actually write a new post! I wanted to take a quick moment to explain where I’ve been, before looking ahead at the rest of 2021. It’s slated to be quite a busy time for me. I don’t plan to go on any sort of official hiatus, but I do worry that blogging might have to take the backseat, at times–perhaps even unexpectedly and without warning.
So, I just wanted to write quickly to give a heads up and explanation, before looking ahead to see what lies next!
Where I’ve Been
You may have noticed (or perhaps not at all–no shade, if so!) that I haven’t been active in a little over two weeks. My blog? Dormant. Blog hopping? Non-existent. Comments? Neglected. My personal email? A nightmare. It was a surprising turn of events, especially given that I was technically done with my two busiest times of the year for my day job, June and July; where I managed to still keep up with everything. So, with August, what happened? Well:
- Day Job Kicking My Ass: This is 90% the reason why I apparently fell off the face of the planet and couldn’t even be found looking amongst the stars. Since May, we’ve had seven–seven–people quit. I was one of the “lucky ones” chosen to help cover while replacements are being hired (without any training, I may add). This was also during a period where we had to transition to in-person work again for the first time in 1.5+ years. Not to mention trying to complete a personalized graduation plan for all of my seniors and juniors assigned to me (totaling over 100+) in three weeks. On top of student appointments. Plus doing drop-ins for the past two days, which resulted in our team seeing over 80+ students both days. Needless to say, when I get home, I am drained and exhausted. The idea of staying on top of anything feels daunting and overwhelming. So, I don’t. 🤷
- Medical Stuff: Over the past few months, I’ve had some medical stuff come up (gastrointestinal) that was confusing and challenging. Plus, a cancer scare (thankfully benign cysts!). This resulted in numerous doctors appointments, ultrasounds and testing. The gastro stuff resulted in no answers, yet has also…pretty much gone away on it’s own? Which makes me think it might have been due to the severe stress of May through now. Which is…obviously not good, either. Then, my insurance stopped covering my therapy costs (which have been 100% covered the past 1+ years I’ve been going) for no bloody reason? So, I am dealing with trying to sort that out and how to afford it. Thanks to hitting my deductible, I should be able to go the rest of the year, but next year, if it continues being 100% out of pocket, I won’t be able to go to therapy anymore. So, fun.
- Personal: My extended family has also been dealing with some medical issues (many still in development) that has been hard on my immediate family (mostly my Mom). I haven’t been able to be there for her as much as I would like (thanks to sickness and waiting for COVID results in her household–which finally came back negative!), but it’s still a heavy thing. A hard thing. And the future…well, we’ve never had to really go through this before, so I’m not sure what it’ll look like.
So…yeah. Anything that wasn’t work, medical or family related, I pretty much didn’t do. Shout out to all the friends I have been neglecting (missed texts, late emails, slow feedback, etc.). You’ll all been so understanding and it seriously means the world. Thank you.
Trust me, if I was a drinking type (straight edge, though!), I’d be pouring out a glass after reading that, so if you are, feel free to take a sip for me! Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much it’s truly going to improve, looking ahead to the rest of the year! Why’s that, you may wonder? WELL, let me tell you:
- School Starts: You may be aware that I am a non-trad graduate student currently pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing. Well, classes start on August 23rd (RIP) and I’m taking two this year. For two reasons: one) I hope it’ll help me graduate that much earlier (even if I’m currently looking at a Fall 2023 potential). And two) I always take the writing course offered, but I needed one more literature class and my program hadn’t offered anything I was interested in since I started. Well, they offered Victorian Fantasy this year, so I couldn’t really say no. But, not going to lie: really nervous about trying to balance two courseloads on top of everything else below. Like:
- Balancing Two Jobs: Still working as an overworked academic advisor (see above) that I don’t think will honestly lessen ever. Plus, still accepting clients for my freelance editing business (these damn medical bills won’t pay themselves and student loans are looming…). That’s always a balancing act, but adding school into the mix complicates it.
- Hobbies: Because I’m human, I also have hobbies and things I’m interested in, beyond being enslaved to capitalizing and making rent (who knew!). So, my own writing, reading for pleasure, this blog, playing video games! Hanging out with my family (if we can continue to safely do so, with the pandemic), my partner and my dog! I’ve noticed that I haven’t had a ton of time to do some of these (mostly writing) in the past few months and my mental health takes a major hit. So, I hope to not give these up entirely!
Yeah, I’m not really sure what it’s like to not be…busy? Overworked? Always grinding? I dunno, it feels like, ever since middle-school, I’ve always been on the go. I have too many interests and passions to just choose one, and then I’m forced to financially survive, which always complicates things. Plus, you know, the whole hygiene, eating, sleeping and exercise routines I really shouldn’t forget.
Braving the Balancing Act
Writing all of this out, it’s no wonder I’m perceptually tired. I’m very lucky to have a partner who is going to take over cooking each night. I hope to create a better sleeping routine, so I can have a little more time in the mornings and evenings to fit everything in.
Plus, I am trying to remind myself that it’s okay if I can’t do it all. If I need to miss a blog post, it’s okay. (Obviously, since I missed all my planned content for the past two weeks.) Writing I have been sacrificing, but I might start sacrificing gaming time, instead. If I need to take a step back from accepting clients, I can do that and still (barely) financially survive. If it truly gets overwhelming, I can always drop my classes. It’ll suck financially, to have to pay back tuition spent (due to the tuition assistance contract). Yet, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. And that’s what I’m trying to remind myself. I am going to do my best to do it all, but it’s okay to not be able to. It’s okay to prioritize myself.
My therapist has been working with me on my anxiety, giving me this key phrase: “What’s the worst than can happen?”. And when my brain goes into overdrive and comes up with, “my entire life is over,” she’ll remind me to follow up with, “Okay, what’s the worst that can realistically happen?”. Oftentimes, I’ve found it’s not nearly as bad as I imagined and something I can handle, even if albeit unpleasant, sometimes.
So, looking ahead, my plan to survive the rest of 2021 is to:
- Make a routine
- Don’t be afraid to say no, step back and take a break
I hope I can stick to it! And I hope I don’t completely disappear from the blog during that time! I love this space. I love creating here, I love interacting with you all and I really enjoy what I’ve built. But, I appreciate any and all understanding if I’m not as active as I want to be. Or if I don’t respond as quickly as I should. It’s never malicious or with ill-intent, I promise. Most likely, I’m just tired and out of spoons to give in that moment.
In that vein, let’s remember to all take care of ourselves and one another, okay? 🖤