hello, past self

hello, past self

Today is September 19th, meaning I’m another year older, and perhaps that’s gotten me thinking about what this day has been like in all the 20something years past. Something that’s particular salient this year is the multitude of things from both my past and present that have been melding lately, and I specifically refrain from using the word “colliding,” because I don’t think any of those things are at odds. In fact, similarly to what I’ve written about intermittently over the course of the last year, I think right now is one of the points in my life where I actually feel more whole than ever, the point where my 11-year old self is meeting my present self.

In that moment, I think there’s a mix of emotions. My present self feels heavy and protective of my 11-year old self, knowing so vividly all the things that are going to happen in the next decade or so that my 11-year old self could never know about or be prepared for. And at the same time, my present self almost feels more jealous of my 11-year old self because of how simple and clean things were during that stage of life, before realizing that despite all the things that have happened in the last five years or so, things are slowly starting to return to a similar simple state, sometimes through the oddest and most trivial things. But then again, that’s what simplicity is, isn’t it? And maybe that’s what feeling in this odd between place, this sensation of simultaneously feeling 20something and 11 at the same time, this sensation of returning to a simpler age.

learning how to enjoy the journey

learning how to enjoy the journey

Despite what a random stretch of 90 degree days in the middle of September would lead you to believe, summer is coming to a close, school is back in full swing, and oddly enough, I’m finding myself feeling more than a little restless these days. And restlessness is an odd thing, because it would cause you to think that I’m not busy or that I don’t have enough to keep myself occupied, but that wouldn’t be true, even though I have cut back on some commitments coming into September.

No, with hundreds of pages of grad school reading due every week and still half a mental health social work case load to manage, among the myriad of other little responsibilities we each find ourselves with on the daily, weekly, and monthly, I’m definitely keeping myself busy, but somehow that hasn’t kept me from feeling restless or antsy or, dare I say, bored in some strange manner of speaking.

Sometimes, in times like these, this perplexes me, because while I do enjoy a good dose of spontaneity here and there, I’m definitely the kind of person who thrives more on routine and structure than anything else. And yet, here I am, in a position where the majority of major things in my life have remained more or less the same over the last year and a half, and I find myself craving some sort of drastic change because I’m feeling restless/antsy/bored. Perhaps more than anything, I’m profoundly experience the sensation of my own discontentedness.

burning bright & burning out

burning bright & burning out

I suppose you could say this is another one of those cliche blog posts about needing to take some time to rest and recollect myself, but here I am, writing it anyway, perhaps just because I need to remind myself that it's okay to slow down for a bit every once in a while. It's one of the things I simultaneously love and hate about myself. I'm the kind of person who believes I should be able to go blazing full throttle through life, doing absolutely everything at the same time without needing to take a break, and DEFINITELY without having a breakdown at some point in between. But that's not very realistic, is it? It probably has something to do with my Enneagram 3 wing that I find myself frequently leaning into, mostly when it comes to life things more than anything else.

Because why shouldn't I be able to work full time, do grad school full time, exercise every so often, actually see my friends and family, and have time to myself to process the high speed life I'm living without something breaking down? That's a small fraction of my internal dialogue on any given day, and I'm not necessarily saying it's a good thing.

a week with the queers

a week with the queers

Okay, so maybe the title and header are a little misleading. It was four days. And we stayed in cabins, so I guess it doesn't *really* count as camping, but the prevailing idea remains, and I think it's really important to write about it and talk about it.

As a queer person, and specifically as a queer Christian who grew up in a lot of conservative Christian circles, I went into this four day glamping trip with exclusively other queer people with an odd mix of sheer excitement, trepidation, and wonder. I mean, when you really think about it (and when I would tell people about what my plans for the end of July were), it does sound a little crazy doesn't it?

I was about to fly from Minneapolis to Nashville to go to "queer summer camp," as we had all collectively dubbed it, with about 15 other queer people that I had only otherwise met on the internet, specifically from Twitter. Sure, many of us had interacted extensively online before and many more of us had FaceTimed each other or otherwise gotten the chance to spend time together virtually, but this four day trip was going to be the first time that many of us would be meeting each other in person. And for me, it was going to be the first time I would be meeting any of these people in person.

this summer is sacred

this summer is sacred

Something I noticed recently is how we often don't pay all that much attention to the progression of the calendar year, because for the most part, it's become mostly irrelevant. We say that the first of January signals the beginning of a new year, but because of how central the school year is to so many of our lives, whether we're students, or parents of students, etc., the beginning of the calendar year usually feels a little more like the middle of the year, with Christmas break and all.

Likewise, summer often tends to feel like the end of the year, with the end of summer relaying that the school year is about to start again. That's generally when I feel like the majority of us tend to feel like we're approaching a new year, as the fall rolls around.

Despite our general indifference/ignorance towards what actually constitutes the beginning or end of a given season, I've found myself acutely aware of just how many months have gone by over the course of 2018, and maybe that's why this current summer, the summer of 2018, feels peculiarly sacred.