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New beginnings

I think my fundamental problem in life is that I want to write books and be a successful academic, but I also just want to sit on the couch and listen to records or play Mario Kart or watch Phish webcasts.

I had to have my cat put to sleep thirteen days ago, and I’m the saddest I’ve ever been in my adult life. Sadness is different than depression, and while I’m thankful for that, sadness still screws up your life. I can’t sleep. I can’t sit still and have instead been cleaning and reorganizing everything in my house as if a better sense of order will solve anything. I feel like I’m fighting something big and don’t know how I’m going to win, just that I have to.

I made a promise to myself thirteen days ago that the next year will be for me. In my job and in most other parts of my life I put the focus on other people and on how I can help them. I’m not necessarily going to stop doing that, but I’m going to take a few steps back and learn how to better do the same thing for myself. Too often I lose myself in my work and don’t have much left to for nurturing myself.

After teaching through the entire summer and then losing Jack days before the semester started, I realized I need to put myself first for awhile. The biggest thing I want to focus on is my writing. I’ve had three pieces accepted this year and would like to get a few more. I also realized just now while I was cleaning my office that I have at least three book projects in the works: the memoir I’ve been trying to write since 2008, the novel I wrote for my dissertation that I want to rewrite, and a novel about a set of characters I dreamed up in college and feel like have never really left me. I have stories to tell, and I need to stop being afraid of failure and just write—even if it’s just a page a day.

There are other things I’d like to do, too, especially my usual ongoing goal of seeing as many shows as I can. I’ve read a pathetically small number of books this year but have some great ones here right now that I’m looking forward to digging into. I want to start making art again for the first time since I was a teenager. I need to see the chiropractor and get back to my acupuncturist this week, and next week I’m going to see my doctor and a nutritionist in his office who I think can help me get my weight loss and quest to get healthier back on track.

I’m going to lose myself in things—things I really love and that I know are good for me. I feel very lost right now, and I know I have to fight through it to try to help myself

Jack brought me so much happiness in the ten years, two months, and three days I had him in my life. Losing him has been heartbreaking, but I think it could be the start of a new phase in my life.

I’m also going to learn not to feel guilty for taking some down time. Mario Kart and Phish webcasts are good for the soul sometimes, I think.

I need a chimp to pull me around and make me do stuff.




Maybe you really believe with every ounce of your being that you can’t do the things you’re afraid of. You’re just not that person. You’re just not ready. There’s other stuff you need to take care of first. The anxiety is too much. People don’t understand what it’s like to struggle with this. You have reasons! There are so many things that could go wrong! 

But chimp buddy knows better than to listen to what your brain thinks.

this is awesome, i thank some of my friends who’ve helped me like chimp buddy

Indeed. Thanks to all of the chimp buddies in our lives that pull us on to awesome things!

(Source: acidocasualidad)

Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.
Anne Lamott (via creatingaquietmind)

(Source: middlenameconfused)

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