University starts … tomorrow. By calendar time. Where the hell did my goddamn holiday go?
But okay, to be fair I actually did do quite a lot over the four-month break. I attempted Nanowrimo for the first time; I discovered I wasn’t actually a writer; I made myself finally take a proper break from the novel I’d been working on non-stop for the past 3 years; I made myself start working out again (still in the process of that actually); I … bought a bike? Or was that before the holiday?
Also people seem to be reading my blog a lot more lately, by which I mean over the past 7 months I’ve had somewhere between double and triple the number of readers per month I’ve been used to. Which is pretty awesome. So whoever you are, thank you for boosting my ego, and I hope you got something of equal or greater value out of the transaction.
So I did get some stuff done. I also played far more World of Warcraft than I would like to admit, and have already gone back on my word to let my subscription run out twice. I refuse to Have A Problem for this fucking time-vampire and am going to cancel my subscription right now. Now that the month has rolled over and I have a month of game-time paid for. Ahem.
Seriously, while it may not have contributed to any bad grades or anything while I was playing it at undergrad, it just consistently sucks all the purpose out of my time. Or, to be more precise, it retains all the purpose, because I actively go over and dump said purpose into it like a bottomless sinkhole when I’m too afraid to try the things I actually want to do. While it is true that I am much less emotionally dependent on WOW than I was in the first year I played it for, it’s too ready of an excuse to avoid those anxiety-triggering ambitions of mine, and since I have Decided that this year is all about Taking Risks (“risk” here = “things I avoid due to anxiety”), the risk-aversion enabler that is World of Warcraft has gotta go.
Some risks I’m already preparing myself to take:
- Ask somebody about what I’d need to do in order to study computer science and psychology
- Investigate singing/dancing lessons
- Investigate video editing/recording tools and put my YouTube channel into motion
- Commit to a daily routine for exercise, guitar-playing, drawing, creative writing and study
- Commit to handing in all assignments before the due date
- Commit to not being such a hermit
- Commit to kicking this social anxiety/depression bullshit in the genitals until it goes away
- Commit to getting the weird neck tension that I’ve had for years out of my goddamn neck
- Commit to actually reading the books I get out of the library
- Finally record and release that Darth Vader rap that I wrote in 2011
- Finally celebrate my 27th birthday, exactly one year after the fact, because turning 27 on the 27th is more important than obeying the laws of time which are a social construct anyway
And one more, I think, just for good measure:
- Commit to participating in and completing Nanowrimo
Which is a euphemism for “write an entire novel in a month”.
That’s quite a list. I like lists. That’s a good start.
Right now I’m just focusing on preparing for what may be my final semester. I did not consider this before, but if I do decide to continue with Media and go through to Masters I might actually be able to get a job as a tutor, which would be, like, paid work and shit. It might not be a bad option to fall back on.
But that’s all stuff that might be happening in the future. In the present, I’m considering calling it quits with academia after this semester and just looking for work like a normal adult person. I’ve had an incredibly smooth ride in terms of my living arrangements, even for a millennial who came to adulthood just as the 2008 economic crash happened. I’m still anxious about the prospect of entering the workforce and having to deal with, y’know, people. But for the first time I actually feel like I might be able to handle it, if not now then soon.
As for how writing fits into all of this … I don’t know. A while back I made the assertion that no matter what happened I would always make time to write, that it was my lifeblood or some such idiom. That has changed. For the better, certainly, but it does mean that whether or not I make writing a priority if other things need attending to is no longer the sure thing it once was. It’s exciting, and it’s scary as well. It’s been such a constant, a port in a storm so to speak, an easy retreat to fall back to in the event that everything goes to shit and I don’t know what to do.
Kind of like World of Warcraft, actually.
And I’m going to let that stand. Writing has been as much of a crutch as it’s been a comfort – and not just a comfort, but a learning experience and tool at the same time, and of course a source of genuine pleasure and pride, about as often as a source of frustration and anxiety. I am glad that I’ve written so much over the course of my life, but I do regret not having done other things in addition. It is those other things that deserve some attention from me now, going forward, and while I have no current plans to give up writing, as I think to commit to such a huge change would be as stupid as committing to be writing for the rest of my life no matter what happens, I’m comfortable with the idea that I might just not do it for a while as well. That’s become a possibility in my life, and it’s liberating.
It’s been the thing I could turn to for reassurance when I needed to know the answer to who I was, what I wanted and what I was doing with my life. It’s not a sufficient answer anymore. Not on its own.
I mean having said all of that, when I make myself write these days I’m having more fun writing than I have in quite some time. I’m going to roll with that and keep doing it until it stops working. I still have plans for what I want to write and I’m looking forward to them, now more as actual possibilities than vague, free-floating hypothetical fantasy scenarios. I just have to keep making myself write things as they are in my head, push through the embarrassment and sometimes guilt and just get it done, and I’ll be okay. Better than okay, actually, if things keep going the way they’re going.
In the meantime, I’m going to go write a bunch of mechanics for one of the numerous computer games I may or may not ever actually get the chance to create and then go to bed before 4am. That’s another thing I’m going to have to commit to, but it’s so obvious it doesn’t really need to be on the list.
Oh all right.
- Commit to waking up in the morning
Because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m actually a morning person trained to live by a night-owl’s schedule. There’s a lot of that kind of mis-training in my life. And it’s been that way so long that to try and un-mis-train myself is a risk in and of itself, even though it’s the healthy thing to do.
I think health is a risk I’m willing to take.