Where I Am Now

Where I am now is home. A new home, yes, in a new neighbourhood, with a new housemate and his cat. I live in a little green house near the west bank of the Red River, in a lovely neighbourhood that both inspires and requires me to walk more. But the most important thing about where I am now, is that it is the city I love most, the city in which I became an adult, the city that somehow, over the ten years that I lived here, burrowed its prairie roots deep into my being and identity and made itself a part of me. I may not have grown up here in the Heart of the Continent, but the person I have become is so much a product of this city’s soil, grass, concrete, stucco, clapboard, rare bricks, disparate neighbourhoods, uncommonly common kindness.

Oh, Winnipeg, I'm home.

Oh, Winnipeg, I’m home.

This move has proven difficult and stressful, as most moves do, certainly moves across a nation so spacious as ours. I arrived 10 days ahead of my furniture and am camping out in my new room-that-doesn’t-feel-mine-yet on a borrowed air-bed, my clothes and sundry items spilling out of suitcases in unruly piles. Jack the Cat has made himself right at home, of course; I’ve discovered that he is a much more easily adaptable being than I am. Not the fragile flower I assumed he was, he’s adjusted to each new space with a spirit of curiosity and adventure, leaving the anxiety and stress-migraines to me.

So yes, dear reader, we are in a time of transition. As I settle into a new routine and begin carving out this next stage of my life, I’ll return to posting more regularly and getting back to the weekly features you’ve come to know and (hopefully) love.

On Persistence (or, what I really learned from my first surfing lesson)

Hello, dear readers!

I haven’t forgotten you. The last month or so has been consumed by preparing for two major events: moving back home to Winnipeg, and going on vacation with my boyfriend. I write to you from South Cocoa Beach, Florida, where I have been wrestling with my attitude toward high heat and humidity while revelling in the company of my favourite boy. We’ve so far enjoyed the beach a fair bit, which is a block and a half from where we are staying, as well as the Kennedy Space Center and local gastronomical landmarks like Taco City.

Taco City - the most delicious tex-mex dive joint around.

Taco City – the most delicious tex-mex dive joint around.

I’m not here to give you a log of my vacation activities, though. What brought me out of my blog-hibernation, what tugged my writerly heartstrings and made me crave to talk to you, dear reader, was my first surfing lesson, which I had yesterday.

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The Thing About Depression

Oh readers. I haven’t forgotten you. I look longingly and with a heavy, guilt-ridden heart at the stagnating space here, grasping at straws and reaching any place I can for some writerly inspiration. I know that there is so much more to say and to share, even if at times, mental illness builds labyrinthine walls between my core ego and the things I want to explore and share. Walls like “I’m too tired to write today.”

sorry

“I don’t have anything else to say.”

“What’s the fucking point, anyway? This world is awful.”

“Yes, by all means, continue celebrating your failed adulthood by pretending to be some kind of pro-bono Internet Sex Oracle.”

And the thing is, I know all these internal monologues are the products of illness, not of reality, truth, love, compassion, or kindness. Even being on a (mostly successful) regime of medication and therapy, I find that my mental health still cycles through periodic dives, especially in periods of stress and uncertainty. My time in therapy has given me tools to help me work through these times; my practice of mindfulness helps me to sort of ride it out, but while hanging on and trying not to completely relapse, everything else kind of…. stops. All of my energy turns inward. Socializing gets really hard, and then I get very lonely, and then I start feeling more doubts and sad things about my worth as a person and the value of my friendships. It’s a delicate walk on a knife-edge that demands so much of my mental and emotional energy, I find myself often sleeping twelve to fourteen hours at a time. This doesn’t create much of a fruitful headspace for writing, because I don’t feel like I can trust the thought-products of my mind.

I don’t feel safe or confident writing about sexuality and kink during these periods, either, because my own drives take such a sharp turn toward self-destruction, self-annihilation, and I am still in my own process of learning how to manage and channel the urge to self-destruct in a healthier, more compassionate and self-caring way. Kinkster friends and readers, do you have experience with this kind of thing? Learning how to express and work through self-destructive impulses and drives, without having to deal with the immediate dump of shame-bricks? It’s not easy.

But I am still here, and I’m still determined to fight my way through this latest round of neurochemical assholery.

Thank you for hanging in there with me.

 

 

The Sunday Jack: Extremely busy edition!

Hello readers! I realize that at this point this blog is becoming a cat pictures blog. Things are very busy with a lot of changes on the near horizon, and this weekend has been full of visits from family and friends. Despite all this, here is your Sunday Jack!

 

Determined to have a very brief adventure on the balcony. At least until the wind pushes him too hard.

Determined to have a very brief adventure on the balcony. At least until the wind pushes him too hard.

The Sunday Jack – Writers’ Block Edition!

I’m not dead, I’m trying to write things for you, it’s just been REALLY HARD lately because real life is annoying sometimes, and flare-ups of depression and anxiety don’t help things either! You know who does help things though?

This is my happy face.

This is my happy face.

THIS GUY.

I haven’t forgotten you, dear readers. I’ll be back soon! And with a guest post by my brilliant (if I do say so myself) boyfriend, too! Stay tuned.

The Sunday Jack: Good News Edition!

Happy Sunday, friends! I received some good news this week; I’ll be getting my first print (and e-book) publication credit in an upcoming Spindles Anthology, a fairy tale collection. Hooray! Jack and I are celebrating with ice cream (for me) and blankets¬†(for him).

Jack likes blankets, Alot.

Jack likes blankets, Alot.

The stuffed creature you see in the background is an Alot, handmade by a dear friend of mine (his first ever sewing project!). If you don’t know about the Alot, you should.