It’s Like Slapping Yourself in the Face

I’m home again, for now, and I’m laid up for the night with a tweaked back again, so it feels like a good time to write up some general life updates (in chronological order):

I moved!

I hate moving. I’ve done it way too much in the last ten years, and I’d promised myself I wouldn’t do it again until I was moving to another city. But there are always circumstances that can wear down this resolve: the lack of a sense of privacy, an abundance of unpleasant memories, piles of boxes related to said memories that cannot be unpacked or hidden. My new place eradicated all of those. As such, I love it. And it feels more like home than everywhere else I’ve lived in this city.

I sold another story!

This one to The Journal of Unlikely Architecture! It’s a strange story I originally wrote ages ago in response to a flash challenge my friend and VP classmate, Tucker, posed over twitter one afternoon when I was bored at work. It quickly swelled beyond flash, and I’d fiddled with it off-and-on in the meantime until Fran pointed me in the right direction. It’s called The Tower and it’s due out next month. I’ll post the link here, and on twitter when it goes live.

I turned 31!

My 30’s really were worth waiting for, and it’s already become the most productive and artistically fulfilling periods of my life. The writing is going well. The band is going well. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. Everything’s fucking ducky. Which, of course, means that my brain has switched into neurotic overdrive.

[Warning: emotions ahead]

[I’m not supposed to feel good: my basal state has always been to be kind of sad and lonely and broken. When I don’t feel that way, I’m acutely aware that it’s a temporary state at best, and that I’ll go back to feeling slightly miserable again soon enough. It’s why I try to appreciate those moments of passing beauty – because they’re respites during which my tiny miseries are diminished. It’s why I try to jam so many of those moments into the stories I write. They’re important. They’re what I hold on to. 30 was filled with them, and 31 promises to be packed.

So I’m trying to fix it, because the cycling between moments and misery is becoming more rapid, and the crashes harder to cope with. That basal state, as far as my brain is concerned, is WHO I AM. I’m not supposed to mess with it. It’s too deep. But it’s a trap. It’s a lingering depression I’ve curled up with for so long that the thought of losing it gives me a strange anxiety, and it’s the root of a knee-jerk flight reaction that’s infuriating and confusing. I don’t like myself in these liminal states between the two. So I’m working on it. I only worry that there are too many tangled things and I won’t be able to work through them all on my own (which is a whole other bag of neurotic worms). Which also makes me want to entrench myself in over-intellectualization, where nothing gets solved because everything is hypothetical. The bummer about it is that though I have enough experience now to understand that doing is better than thinking, and when I try to do, I immediately run away. It’s hard to make progress.]

I went to Madison! I went to New York!

I’m having a good fucking year for seeing all of my grad school family. We went through hell together. I love those kids to death. I always will. Madison was too brief, but we filled as much time as we could together with drinking and laughing and (swatting ineffectually at a mosquito army) and reminiscing and relief in each other’s company. New York was a week-long drunken mess of a cuddle puddle, full of bars and laughter and Spaceteam and Evil Apples and walking (oh, the walking), and even a rare appearance by Erik Melons, my friend Derek’s hilarious drunken alter ego. It’s hard to think about the fact that we’re never all going to live in the same city together again. Which is why we joke about buying a house together when we’re old and decrepit so we can keep drinking and laughing and talking endlessly about books and movies and video games and science and life. It hurts to keep saying goodbye to the people I love.

Well, that got maudlin fast.

But really, I couldn’t be happier. I have a bunch of new story drafts that I really like, my band’s got an awesome show coming up and our first EP should be coming out later this year, and I’m spending all weekend making crazy art with my friend April for the 48 hour film project. My free time is filled with stories and art and music and friends and laughter and joy. In all, I’m one lucky asshole.

Which, on a night like tonight where I AM in that weird liminal come-down state, is a helpful thing to remind myself of.

I hope wherever you are, you’re safe and warm and loved.

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