Monday, 21 January 2019

“Things that were, things that are, and some things… that have not yet come to pass.”

Happy Twenty Wine-Teen, everyone! (Not claiming to have coined that one, but I also haven’t seen/heard it elsewhere, just saying! :P)

I am just so proud of all of us here to be still kicking and keeping on and doing our individual things in the world. You may not know it, but a lot of you keep me going on a regular basis! Thank you for that. Seriously! Even you lurkers, I see you!  and I love you! It’s been a wild time to be alive, that’s for sure. Time is such a weird thing, so let’s not dwell on it. We’ve all had hardships and struggles and great losses, time never really changes that. It’s just part of living. I’m grateful for every new day and every new night, I greet the moon with a knowing smile of appreciation for all the hard work she’s been doing for us here on Earth.
While I’ve never been one for annual rituals of the typical sort, I have begun what feels to be a big new chapter of my life. You see back in October I found out that I was losing my housing unexpectedly, but I had some notice, though no prospects. Actually, let’s step that back a bit because October was absolutely awful! My only two nearest women friends both moved out of state within a week of each other (separate states, separate people). Not only did my personal cheerleader and work soulmate move away, but so did my beloved dance partner. Then the housing thing came up. Housing opportunities for those not already wealthy in the San Francisco bay area are fucking grim, and that’s putting it lightly. Doing my best to not feel too sorry for myself, and truly overcome 24/7 by anxiety about housing and ending up in a horrible situation out of necessity, my landlord had told me that he also had to move due to insurance and city demands for updating the electrical on his property. I spent every day and night searching ads, apps, cold calling management companies, even resorting to scrolling google earth for possibilities. It was fucking dire! Suddenly not having my support system (well the lady half of it anyway) plus the uncertainty of having a roof over my head nearly did me in entirely. The week I had planned to take off of work for vacation was turned into a MUST FIND A PLACE TO LIVE tour, only to be sidelined day one by a severe cold and spent the remainder (including my birthday) sick in bed.
Amazingly my ex-husband and his wife invited me and my bffs over on another night (once I was feeling better) for a backyard get together around their fire pit that was just perfect. My puggo and I even stayed the night in their RV and the whole lot of us headed to Santa Cruz the next morning for a hot brunch spot that had a menu for dogs! We had the best time and it really made up for being sick on my bday. I’m so grateful to have the friendships that I do, especially with my ex, I know how rare that is. They all made me feel so special and cared for and the puggo had the time of his tiny life (can you believe he’s 9 now?!).
I came very close, twice, to signing a lease on a terrible apartment. I mean, it was a shoebox masquerading as a studio apartment (small by even NYC standards, lemme tell ya!). It didn’t feel safe and despite the insistence from the management company, I kept hesitating. Something just wouldn’t let me sign. I listened to my gut and after a week of back and forth and a second inspection I decided not to sign. This actually freaked me out more than I can even put in words. Basically I was consumed with, “Who do you think you are to turn down housing, any housing at all?!?! You’re gonna be fucking homeless you idiot loser!” Yeah, that asshole is in my head sometimes, but I knew my gut would steer me in the right direction. After weeks of all of this hysteria-level of searching, I randomly came across a place on craigslist. I had given up on craigslist as it is 99.9999% scams galore, but randomly, after weeks of not even checking it, I checked and found a place and went to see it the same day. When I saw the building I wasn’t impressed, but the unit itself was everything I’d hoped for, if not a bit more than I wanted to pay in rent. I tried to sign the lease right then and there but the manager insisted I consider it over the weekend and sign on Monday. I did, it’s mine, and I moved to a new town December 1st! It was super scary and crazy making, and yes many friends offered to help, but I got the whole fucking thing done myself (hired movers of course) and even unpacked 80% of my house before xmas!
You have no idea how scary this all was for me. Housing has always been a terror-inducing issue in my life, since my earliest of memories. And as time went on in my apartment hunting it became apparent to me that I was very likely lied to about the reasons for my needing to move. But once I had moved all my worries went away! (Okay, only sort.) I mean, signing a lease in my own name, being 100% responsible for all of my rent and deposit and insurance and the whole shebang?! Honestly, it was scarier than my wedding day! (I mean at least then I knew what I was getting into! Hahahaha!) It was a tough move, I was able to take some time off to get ALLLLLL the packing done. I couldn’t have accounted for a sudden change in my anxiety symptoms though. Suddenly I’d be frozen, just still as can be, my mind racing and screaming for my limbs to jump back into action, but I couldn’t snap out of it. I later discovered that this is quite common with more severe anxiety sufferers, and well my PTSD-C ain’t nothing, and boy how your mind and body can change as we age! Whew! I’m fortunate to have access to legal cannabis and well informed enough to know what I needed to push through and get everything done (Sativa is my jam, keeps me focused and gives me an energy boost when I need it, but would never use for/at work). It was a lot to handle, but I did it, dammit!
The first few weeks felt surreal. My last place was a tiny in-law studio, my bed was literally built into a box in the wall. It was quirky but it got me through some of the worst parts of my adult life, so for that I am thankful af! My new place is a true one bedroom apartment in an older building in a small working class neighborhood and I love it! I have hardwood floors in every room! They don’t all match but who cares?! I have a nearly normal sized kitchen with a dishwasher (!!!) and new stove. I even have a backdoor with a little yard so my doggo can go out when it’s too rainy for a full walk (we’ve had some heavy storms). I have my own bedroom with a door I can close! It feels ginormous! It’s not, but it feels like a fucking palace to me and I’m still getting used to it. I have a bathroom with a tub and shower, my old place had only a standup shower. It’s so much easier to bathe the puggo in a tub than trying to keep him from escaping the walk-in shower! Ha-ha!

I invited the bffs for xmas nibbles and drinks and enjoyed the results of that motivation for unpacking and decorating in time for those festivities. And my nibbles were a hit! I made a secret concoction for them to each take home and enjoy (my own take on a halloween themed cocktail that I switched up to more winter aromatics). My new bathroom I decked out in white and I still can’t believe that was a choice I willingly made. I have always hated white! Always! But, I love it in my bathroom! I got a ruffled fabric shower curtain and a crochet trimmed rug. It all came together so easily and I just love it. I’m still figuring some things out. Like my bedroom is still in boxes. But the rest of the place has really come together and it feels like my actual home! It’s perhaps a bit lonely, but I have friends and enjoy the hell out of my butter-spinster-hermit life most of the time. I’ve reconnected with a couple of old friends I’d previously lost touch with and have enjoyed their company. OH! I also asked for and got a raise! This was right before my move, actually, so that was awesome! Getting used to my new rent and creating a new budget for myself is still a work in progress. This new rent definitely sets me back quite a bit as far as paying off my debt, but again, I love it and I know it was the right choice. Please send out all the good vibes that my lil’ Toyota lasts me another couple of years, though!

My job has been mostly great, to be honest. I’m getting to do things and plan things on a scale I haven’t before, so that’s been fun. I have a great working relationship with my boss and the company I work for is doing really well. It’s not without it’s issues, but I think I’m in a good place over all right now. I’ve been doing a lot of self work and reflecting, too. I am always suspicious of anyone from the past popping up, but neither of the two people who have come back into my life ever betrayed me or caused any major drama or anything. Though I will always be a bit at arm’s length with them both, that is more to do with my issues than anything to do with them, really. I know this and I accept it, I don’t feel it’s a poor trait at this point so I’m just rolling with it. I have had some time to pause and really look at some of my own past toxic behaviors and beliefs and I have been amazed at just how much that simple thing can do to improve one’s mental health and self esteem. Like, look, we all gotta start from somewhere, and where I am right now is where I am and if that means having to unlearn and relearn some things others may have sooner is not for me to be concerned with. Just having the capacity to do this self work is a privilege.
Having this big new space to myself was at first a bit overwhelming. I wanted to decorate everything all at once, but I’m finding that my taste in things has been changing and I have been enjoying that as I go. I decided to forego the usual area rug focal point of your average American living room in order to preserve the open space and hardwood flooring so that I may get back into dancing again. I have always danced, but I mean, getting back into developing my own choreography from a place of joy and experimentation, not for a show. I haven’t done that in almost ten years. It used to be a natural part of my life. I would love to host a monthly gathering of some sort. My horoscope mentioned my wanting to make my house warm and inviting in order to host a salon and I’m not sure what that means in the modern sense, but my head goes to a mostly fictional Venice, Italy setting of artists and poets and wine and hearty discourse and lively discussions of philosophy. *LeSigh*
I have not dated over the past two years, except for a one off here and there. My last relationship was so unique that I guess I needed time to process and reprioritize and really work on getting my shit together once and for all. I feel very close to that “my shit is together” part, so close! Honestly, if I just had my bedroom unpacked and organized I’d pretty much be there! I am just at a loss for inspiration. Before my lil’ in-law studio I shared a house with a roommate, so I really only lived and worried about one room. Now I can do whatever and that is just too open a prospect for me to get my head around. I definitely need to do another wardrobe purge, though I did get rid of 5 bags of clothes and 2 bags of shoes when I moved. I need to dig deeper and really shed all I can and stick to the things I actually enjoy wearing instead of what I like looking at but never wear.
I want to write again, but I never feel I have anything worth while to say. I share my life with you here because it’s what I know and many have reached out separately to check in and see if I’m still breathing. Thank you for that. When feeling invisible is a part of my daily life, I forget that I have this incredible community spread out the world over. I cherish your existence! I would like to get more involved in fat activism again, but I have been focusing more on anti-racism and disability initiatives, and have struggled with and been challenged by my own fat politics these days. Going through some old docs I came across a bunch of poetry I wrote back in March of 2018 and it is actually pretty good, if I do say so myself. I’m just not sure people even buy or care about poetry anymore. Putting it online feels wrong to me, I do feel an urge to even handwrite a small chapbook or zine-style booklet for them. I’m uncertain. I want to feel that electric charge that art and creativity used to spark within me. I want to believe my best is yet to come in all aspects of my life. I’ve never been one for routines or disciplines, though. I’ve always been the random one who sort of sparks and shines and then fizzles out again.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what all of these different bit and parts of my lifetime mean now. It’s a collage unto itself, really. Careers and relationships aplenty! Ha-ha! I used to be more of a risk taker, and I don’t think that I’m not one now, but I feel less urgency with most things lately and appreciate a more languid approach to decisions and relationships in general. I mentioned not dating…I have realized this past year more than any before it how truly demisexual I am. I have been horny af but still unable to “get there” (ahem) even when thoroughly enjoying myself in the moment. I really need to feel a strong connection with someone, or have feels, if you will. It is nice to know myself so well, but it makes it much more difficult to get laid in a way that works for me. I have decided to dip a toe back into the dating pool once again, but I will not suffer fools nor waste time on those who are only self-interested/fulfilling. So yeah, I’m gonna be single awhile! Ha-ha! I am super okay with this, though. Like happy as fuck about it, honestly. I love my alone time. I think I am ready for someone and something awesome to happen, but I’m not chasing it.

I have thought about writing here for so long. It was really tough times for me through that last slog in my old place. It is amazing what we will grow accustomed to out of necessity. I had grown so used to feeling ashamed about my living situation and blamed myself and my mental illnesses and even my childhood and parents for how I was living. It wasn’t until my ex came to help haul away some garbage after the move that I realized how many limitations and restrictions I was living with in order to survive and most of which had zero to do with me or my brain and everything to do with access! Had you seen my place before I moved you would have easily, though wrongly, assumed I was a hoarder. Dearest readers, I am not a hoarder, though I am incredibly sympathetic to what it means to live that way. I believe that I and my bio mother likely have some semblance of hoarding but in the no energy to do a thing or have access to handling a thing and thus everything is too much and it just sort of envelopes your whole world I grew up in that environment.

No one talked about my mother having a mental illness but I knew all along she wasn’t like other moms. I knew I could never invite friends to my home growing up, and not being able to as an adult hurt my fucking soul. When I moved to that place, back to my hometown, I had a mental breakdown. I think not even a year later I had another when I lost two close friendships within a month of each other (absolutely not the two I just recently reconnected with). It’s quite possible I had another last xmas, but it was a dark time over all. To know deep within myself that I will never get back to that level of ick in my house again is such a huge relief! To admit that I’d reached out for help to a couple of organizations for help and got no response is upsetting, but in the end I feel better and more secure in myself knowing that I was able to handle it on my own (and I can be proud for asking for help even if I didn’t get it). There is that little asshole voice whispering, “but what if you couldn’t do it on your own? What if you were still there now?” and I cannot entertain that shit because it will pull me back down into the worst of it again. Nope. No more.

OH! I sang in the big moves show in October, too, but it was awful! My anxiety killed my voice, I had no air in my lungs, and it went all high-pitched and stringy. Luckily my dress made me look like a bombshell and hey if you shake your ass in a sparkly dress everyone cheers! Ha-ha! But I’m not so sure I’ll be attempting another vocal performance again…well maybe karaoke with a few cocktails, but that’s it! Ha! It was the last show before Tigress moved away and I had to do it, ya know? And I worked fucking hard rehearsing, too. Like I pushed myself to lose my voice and even vomit a few times, the song was tough but I wanted to own that shit! Oh well, you never can account for anxiety to suddenly fuck things up for ya. I was happy to be there to see Tigress’ number, she never ceases to amaze in both originality and costuming! That community specifically, feels like home to me a lot of the time. I don’t know if I’ll perform in the big moves big dance show this year. I won’t say I won’t, but I can’t say that I will, either. Luckily there’s plenty of time for life to show me the way.
So yeah! That’s what I’ve been up to. What the hell is new with you?!?! What are you pinning hopes on or looking forward to? My bff is coming to visit me in March and I cannot friggin’ wait! The last time she came for a visit she was stricken with a severe health issue so we didn’t really get to do any fun things. I haven’t seen her in over 5 years so this is gonna be BIG!!! We are gonna fat it uuuup!!! Ha-ha! So yeah, I just keep chuggin’ along doing my thing. I hope all is well with you and yours. I’m still here. If you ever need a sympathetic ear, hit me up! notblueatall@notblueatall.com I would love to hear from you! Or if you’d like to guest post here, I’d be into that!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S


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