If you’ve been with me for past few months then you know that my posting schedule has been a bit erratic. There are periods where I’ll have a pretty set posting schedule. The quality of my photographs has definitely gotten better. But inevitably the same thing would happen. The posts petered off or stopped altogether with no warning. It’s my fault, entirely. I want to extend an apology for my absence and I hope that you missed me as much as I missed writing for this blog.
When my semester ended, I had dropped out of most of my classes for a job that later fired me because I wasn’t available enough. Yes, the irony of my situation is not lost on me. Now I thought I handled the fact that I lost my job and I no longer had as many classes as I needed to pass the semester really well. Just to give you some background in the wonderland that is my mind “handling things well” means that my room is clean, I’m eating at least once a day, and bathing regularly. At that point I was still at a relative high for me, so I never explored how losing my job made me feel.
And, just to get this off my chest, it felt awful. I loved my job. My job gave me butterflies in my stomach. I would dream about going to work and seeing my still new but lovely coworkers. I worked in one of the most beautiful cities in California, surrounded by beautiful music and art and, to be frank, a gross amount of mindless consumerism.
I felt like I was a part of my company, a valued member who’s opinions were not only heard but processed and put into thought to better the company. I interviewed with my boss and she loved me, everyone at that place claimed to love me. Yet a few days after my first check I was summarily dismissed in a cold email. None of my coworkers, who surely must have known before I did, told me about my dismissal. I had to learn about it in one of the most awful ways ever, showing up to work and having my boss go, “What are you doing here?”
At the time I thought I handled the firing with my dignity in tact. I accepted it and wished my boss and coworkers well, and then happily began looking for a new job. I told my family about it with a rueful smile, insisting to my family and friends that I was fine. Then I ran out of money from financial aid and that last check, and school was literally two days a week with very little homework. I suddenly had all this time on my hands, and I wasn’t getting any callback’s from job applications. This around the same time that I realized that I wasn’t just disappointed in losing my job, I was pissed.
Now you think that when you have a lot of alone time you could now work on your hobbies. Which, dear reader, is a really sensible thing to think. Alas that was not what I did. I could focus enough to read, I hated everything I tried to write, and I didn’t go out of my house enough to take pictures. Everything I tried didn’t feel worth it, I couldn’t see the purpose. This led to my realization that I didn’t enjoy things any more. Everything that I loved doing, things that I’m good at, and consider hobbies, I did it for a specific reason.
When I wrote fanfiction, I liked feeling connected to fandom, but what I liked the most was seeing the little hit counter go up and up. I placed too much value on the fics that got a lot of hits and likes. When I started this blog, it was with the overall goal of creating a creative outlet I could one day profit off of. This isn’t to say that those were my only reasons for doing it, but I put a lot of value in those superficial reasons. This made it harder to enjoy writing when I didn’t get the results I wanted enough. It was unattainable, I would never be satisfied and I was miserable. I didn’t enjoy doing these things that I wanted to do so badly.
This is what led to my pause. For so long as I kid, I believed that either you did something well or you did something bad. If you were bad at it, you needed to stop. But if you were good at it, you should keep doing it, especially if it could give you something at the end of the day. I never considered the fact I should at least enjoy these hobbies I was picking up. I never even thought about what to do if I was good at it and I wanted to quit it. Quitting things felt like failure, but continuing to do things I never enjoyed felt worse. I was stuck and I felt like I had no options.
So I took a pause. I decided to quit writing, just for the moment, until I could do it in a way I enjoyed again. I have a habit of deleting my mistakes in this never ending quest to have a veneer of perfection, but this time I decided to keep everything right where they were. I do, deep down, love this blog and my fanfiction. Deleting things in the past always felt good in the moment, but then there’s just regret. I didn’t want all the hard work I put into this blog and my fanfiction to disappear.
I’ve spent the past month and a half thinking hard about my plans going forward after this epiphany. I wanted to be sure I didn’t fall back into those habits when I started writing again. It’s too easy to realize a problem and then just live with it because changing is too hard.
First thing’s first, I need to take away the value I put on hit counts and popularity. Those are fluctuating things that will always leave me wanting more and thus, never satisfied. I’ve decided to place value on the quality of the work I’m putting on this blog and into my writing. That’s something I can actually attain, and it’s a beneficial thing to put value in. I can make sure that the content I give you guys is the best I can do.
I hope you guys enjoyed this rambly post because there will probably be more of them. If you have any post ideas you’d like me to try out leave a comment, or if you want to chat you and follow me on my twitter. I’m always over there yelling about something.