Categories
Chronicle

Day 574 and Brain Fog

My mind is in such a haze today. We are in the middle of the final packing job for our move to Montana and I’ve been removed from the house as I’m just getting in the way at this point.

I am surprised at how mentally tired I am from the move. I assumed it would be physically and emotionally draining. But why would my mind not be sharp? I’m just bumbling though basic communication. I cannot even finish a Duolingo lesson. I am struggling to form sentences in any language.

It is days like this that I am grateful my rhythms hold together my life as even though I’m teetering on the edge of complete incompetence I am still here writing. It’s a forgettable three paragraph kind of day and that is alright.

Categories
Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 560 and Unstuck

Yesterday was a particularly challenging day for me physically. I described how I was becoming stuck simply because the pain to change positions, even if I was uncomfortable sitting up, was such an obstacle.

I’m just stuck in the pain until an even worse pain develops. That’s probably a good metaphor for life. We will stay in an uncomfortable position until it’s so intolerable we simply must change.

Waxing philosophic about pain is clearly an ongoing theme of this daily writing exercise. I’ve got 108 mentions of the topic so yeah that’s chill. Considering it’s a daily accompaniment I’m relieved it’s not a larger number. Most days I am clearly able to become unstuck from the pain enough that other topics occupy my mind.

I am however not feeling great about how unstuck I feel in life this week. Perhaps it’s the combination of a symptom flare with the final countdown to the big move to Montana. It’s all waiting and anticipation and frantic preparations combined with physical struggle and fatigue. It does not make make for an environment where I feel I am best moving my life forward.

I am someone who very much relies on and feels embolden by willpower. The feeling that I can simply apply my intention to something and through that focus bring it into fruition is a super power. The American dream has been littered with manifesting energy. The Secret literally is our religion.

So I hope that, as I sit in this last waiting period before I confront massive change, I am able to let myself be. To not be obsessed with being stuck or unstuck. But just be in the moment I am in without judgement.

Categories
Aesthetics Travel

Day 546 and Evil Empire

Sometimes it pays to get a little distance. Sometimes a little distance makes you feel crazy and alone. I am not entirely sure where my mind and body will find themselves this week. But it will be distant.

I’m a bit off the beaten path of my usual life. I’m on a Mediterranean Sea I haven’t considered since I was studying Attic Greek. It’s hot and humid and the air conditioning can barely push back the natural heat. Fuck linen weather.

The car uses natural gas and some gas stations without underground tanks are struggling to fuel as it’s too hot to pump. The gas expands. You think you are pumping but it’s actually just air. That’s a first for me. A little bit of climate dystopia today.

I push off into rolling hills. There is probably some ancient tribe with greater claims to democracy than a thousand generations of my ancestors. It’s like driving though a Maxfield Parrish painting. It’s misty and ancient and old country all while I listen to eighties tunes. It’s Evil Empire somewhere sometime somehow. The sun never sets on Bakersfield California or under the Tuscan Sun. It’s enough to make you miss Reagan.

Categories
Internet Culture

Day 536 and Keeping Tabs

I sometimes forget that other people read what I write. That makes me pretty comfortable just saying whatever I like in public. It’s not like anyone cares right? As someone skilled in the dark arts of marketing, I know getting anyone to pay attention to anything is a shit ton of work. Surely I am speaking into the void.

As I don’t actively promote my writing in any commercial way, my assumption is that the one Tweet I send daily with a link isn’t garnering a large audience. I know that I have a big presence on social media but I’m not a celebrity so I’ve never felt particularly scrutinized. No one is keeping tabs on me.

So I’m often surprised when someone has read what I’ve said. Not because it is a secret but because I know just how hard it is to get attention for anything in this world. And yet people do pay attention.

And since my husband loves to joke that I’m incapable of lying, I worry that I’ll get myself in trouble by saying so much of my truth online. If I’ve done something in my life the chances are good I’ll immediately discuss it. Which is a recipe for being main charactered.

Dissembling is not one of my talents. This isn’t to say that I’m not capable of crafting a narrative. I think facts exist in a context and I’ve got no problem articulating my worldview based on my own specific context. But telling an outright lie? There is a reason I don’t play poker. So I guess I might be stuck with saying my truth online as I’ve got neither the skills nor the talent to hide it. But if you are reading you are more than welcome to comment, email, @ Tweet me or find online.

Categories
Chronicle

Day 525 and Unfocused

I cannot seem to hold a coherent thought today. When I absolutely have to be on point I find myself getting anxious. I have no good reason for my mind to be absolutely offline today. But I’m comically unfocused.

I’d love to blame the heat as I’m in Texas but I’ve actually not gone outside yet today. I’ve had a number of extremely productive topics cross my transom and yet I’ve not been able to hold on to a single one. Every thought has drifting on the wind.

I’m a bit sad about this lack of mental acuity today as I’ve had a couple cogent thoughts about manners, femininity, and social graces that I would like to turn into an essay but I think it’s best left to another day. I’ll be forgiving of current state as I hope my acceptance will allow the ideas to grow and blossom at their own pace.

Categories
Internet Culture

Day 521 and Lots of Words

Today is the second day in #1000WordsofSummer. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a program run by Jami Attenberg. I am not using my daily writing exercise to “count” for it as they are separate experiences in my mind. So now I suppose I’ve really opted myself into a very prolific two weeks of writing.

I wanted to begin on my story when I first woke up. I had ideas for plot points and details running through my head. But I had some other work that is due on Monday so I put my head down and pushed through everything else so I could get to my science fiction.

I considered writing the thousand words first but I don’t like the idea of using writing to procrastinate for some reason. I’d prefer to get the main tasks down and out of the way. Then my fun writing gets it be a treat and serve as a carrot to get other deliverables done.

So I got my power point done and then I went straight into my short story. I did an edit pass and that somehow added in an additional 700 or so words as different parts got more fully realized. I sketched out some plot points and areas I wanted to explore. That was another 300. It was much easier going for second try than the first. W

hich is a very good argument for just doing something and not judging it. By the time you come round for the second try, you will have learned some tiny sliver of something. And that little something slowly over time makes it all easier. The struggle is the work.

Categories
Internet Culture

Day 520 and A Thousand Words

I’ve done a lot of writing that isn’t for this blog recently. And it’s mostly been about DAOs and corporate governance. My talk for Consensus involved a fair amount of original writing and research. If you want a preview of it it just went up today. To be honest I was tempted to just repost here to count for today as it’s very good. I hope you will read it.

And then this morning I decided why not jump into Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsofSummer. It’s a two week community exercise in putting the proverbial pen to paper. I’ve been wanting to play around with writing science fiction as it’s my favorite genre.

I got down a thousand words about a a woman who is a sentiment analyst for a a bunch of DAOs in the 2070s. I wanted to explore what an alternative corporate governance structure fork from hierarchical limited liability corporations into decentralized autonomous organizations might look like practically. I’m not sure if it’s any good but I had fun with laying out some thought experiments.

She was probably stuck with low yield yoga and step side quests which wouldn’t do much to make up for the loss of her analyst pay. Investment DAOs paid better than scientific ones. Anyone that contributed to price discovery remained well remunerated. That had been true in her grandma’s day too.

My protagonist is trying to take a break from her workload but still needs to earn some side hustle to make up for the shortfall. I take you through her thought process on what to do. It’s mostly an excuse to riff on how we will sell different kinds of our personal data but maybe also get more in return. Lots of theory of labor value goofing off that I hopefully find a way to put into an enjoyable narrative structure.

It seems a bit crazy to take on an additional writing experiment when I already opt into writing every single day. But this blog has really evolved into a personal space to explore how I feel and what I’m working on. It doesn’t really build on itself in a natural narrative fashion. So I’ll keep poking away at a thousand words of fiction and see what happens. I can’t promise I’ll publish it but I may just put it out there for fun.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 514 and Get Your Mind Right

Back when I was in my twenties Gawker was at the height of its power to anoint local stars in New York City. There was one personality I just thought was the funniest and most incisive judge of the human condition. She was woman whose slogan was “Girl, Get Your Mind Right!”

Tiona Smalls had a column on Gawker and eventually turned it into a burgeoning self help empire with tv shows and books. It looks like she is now a realtor so maybe internet game is fickle. I didn’t see any of her later pop culture work. But I did read her Gawker column religiously. I liked her no nonsense attitude.

The premise of her first book, which landed her the Gawker column, was that you’ve got to stop doing shit that isn’t getting you what you want. Hence “girl, get your mind right.” It was nominally a dating advice book. I mostly took it as a basic kind of self help.

I feel like I could use Tionna right now. I’m just emotionally so fucked by the last month. Granted I’ve made some pretty major life decisions in the last thirty days but it doesn’t feel like I should be so wrecked. I am absolutely blaming the flu for kicking up chronic inflammatory shit. Watch out for long Covid folks! Viruses have a weird tendency to go latent. But like really being sick isn’t an excuse to have a bad mental state. I’m practically professionally sick so this shouldn’t phase me.

I’m thinking of maybe going to Europe for a bit. Enjoy that the turmoil in the markets means things are a bit slow for work. While everyone figures out how much to freak out about a recession I might as well reset my central nervous system with some down time. But whatever happens I’ve got to get my mind right.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 499 and Maturity

I don’t get FOMO. “The fear of missing out”hasn’t ever plagued me. Maybe because I had good years where I was a cool kid and I lived at the tip of the cultural spear and at the top of the class food chain. And no I don’t feel cool typing that, it’s actually kind of embarrassing. But now I find myself getting further in touch with exactly who I want to be and where I want to do it. This has been a year of becoming myself. I’m maturing into the adult I plan to be. I went all in on being middle aged. The Boomers never got old but their millennial kids hit middle aged in record time

As I’ve shared the decision making process of moving our family Montana I’ve been so moved to see so many of our friends and extended community members support us. Alex and I both talked through this decision in real time across our social media and in our daily in-real-life lives. And people have been here for us. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to people. I honestly had no idea this many people wanted good things for Alex and myself. It makes me feel so loved. If you think I’m talking about you trust me yes I am. This is a subtweet about how much you helped.

One of my husbands good friends is a general contractor and he came up to Montana to do a walk through on the property with us. Thanks to his insights we are much more confident in our decision to buy. And as I mentioned earlier in the week two of our good friends came up with us to Montana. Their emotional insight and support helped us make this massive investment. This support has enabled Alex and I to confidently make one of the biggest decisions of our lives.

When you are younger you play an optionality game. You seek to maximize your choices so you can pursue the biggest life possible. You have the totally rational viewpoint that your whole life is ahead of you. You shouldn’t limit yourself. And then suddenly you find yourself wanting to put down roots. You want to find your people. You want to find your family. Maybe it doesn’t look like everyone else’s family but that’s ok because eventually you have the maturity to accept the consequences of the life you want. And then you have to take action on making that the life you life. And it’s actually quite hard to have the maturity to do exactly what you want. Nothing is free and everything has a price.

So am I absolutely terrified that I’m in over my head by deciding to move to Montana? Actually no I’m not. I’m supposed to tell you of course I’m scared. The right emotional play is to talk about my uncertainties. But I am not uncertain. I’ve seen the data points that I need to make a choice about my life. Maybe I’m willing to make the bet earlier than most. I probably am. My girlfriend called me a cultivator. I am here for the journey and I’m not afraid to commit before anyone else. I don’t mind if you think I’m crazy.

I’m actually so glad that I’ve had this experience during a time when I’m chronicling my life. Having decided to write every single day I’ve opted into a certain amount of transparency but also responsibility for my own thoughts. I’ve had to own a lot in the moment. That actually was a little scary at first. But at some point the benefit I derive from being this present is worth the risk. And I’m absolutely confident that this has been worth the investment.

Categories
Travel

Day 454 and Up In The Air

When I first started this experiment in daily writing my schedule was quite predictable. We were in the middle of the pandemic and each day could be relied upon to deliver some consistency. But now that era of at home living is slipping away for abled people, even marginally at risk folks like myself have to contend with new challenges.

In this case, the challenge is writing before being offline. It’s noon in Frankfurt. I’ll be catching a flight back to a Colorado early this afternoon. I’ll land in the late afternoon Mountain Time but for me it will be Thursday already. So I have to consider if writing on the proper day in both Germany and Colorado counts, or if I could leave it till when I land. I decided to do it ahead of time as it is both in the spirit of the daily consistent writing pattern but also I’ll be far too tired to do it after a ten hour flight.

What’s a fascinating to me is that this one big travel block felt like a one off. But once I broke the seal on being up in the air I felt like I could do it again. So I’ve booked a trip to Miami next week. And then Montana in May to spend time with friends working remotely and scouring for homesteads. And from there I’ll be headed to Austin in June. And so the schedule of travel renews.

It’s not exactly the new normal. Travel is still a nightmare. I just had a wheezing fit of tachycardia because of a security line issue and had to beg to have my mask off so I could take medicine and slow my heart. Flying is still a bit of a nightmare. But it feels good to take flight again. I am spiritually ready to be up in the air again.