About Me

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Washington, DC, United States
I don't write here nearly as much as I should, but when I do, I'll try to make it count for something.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Contributing to Joy: Why It's Challenging but Necessary

OK, so it's been a REALLY long time since I've posted. Like two months or something? First of all, I want to apologize, I swore I wasn't going to do this again... but let me try and explain myself.

I want my blog to be a place of positive reinforcement - both for myself and others - but over the last couple of months, things have been rough in my world. I don't want to go into great detail about everything but I will just say that my father's state of health has worsened, school has intensified, and work is... well, work is (as always) very time consuming and stressful. Truth be told, I haven't really had a whole lot of positive things to say lately - I was in a serious funk, which I tend to fall into from time to time. My "funks" sometimes last for weeks, maybe months, and they involve me not really want to interact with people and also being super sad all the time. The worst thing about when I get like that is no one can really pull me out of it. I have to be ready to pull myself out. I'm sure this is frustrating for my friends - even though they'll never admit it - because there are few things worse than watching someone you love fall into misery while all you can do is just stand by and watch it happen.

But good news! I am out of my dark period, and feeling better about things. Spring is in the air in DC (finally, after winter flat out REFUSED to get the fuck out for a long while) and I am seeing good things in front of me. A recent dinner with my advisor really helped me out, she gave me some sound advice that really struck a chord in me: "Strive to succeed but don't be afraid to fail and don't live in your fear. People fail sometimes, and it's OK. The world won't end."

And that's the rub because I am always TERRIFIED of failing and of letting everyone down. My family, my friends, my boss, my colleagues, my professors. I put an unbelievable amount of pressure on myself and then I hate myself for not being perfect at everything. It's crazy, and I know it's crazy, but what can I do? I just need to give myself a fucking break already. I know I keep saying that and I'm sure if you go back and look at my other blogs I've probably said this same thing over and over again but it's so hard not to fall into that pattern over and over again.

Anyway, while things definitely have been rough, they haven't been all bad. My dad has started chemotherapy and radiation and the doctors are very optimistic about his chances. He didn't want to go this route, treatment-wise, and fought it for a long time (and in fact is still bitter that he's doing it now) but I think he realizes that he wants to live long enough to watch his kids and his grandkids grow and succeed. He wants to get married and live with his new love for as long as possible. He wants to be a really old man sitting on his rocking chair on the back porch, watching the Pacific ocean waves crash against the sand at dawn. And I'm so relieved! He's fighting to live and thank God for that.

School has become more manageable once I got serious about it - in the sense that I was feeling overly confident in those first couple of months, thinking I could handle it all and keep the same lifestyle I've had over the last few years. And just so you all know, I cannot. For one, classes aren't cheap and I'm not rolling in cash. For two... and this is the big one.... I just don't have the time. I just flat out don't. I can't do a bunch of happy hours. I can't party all weekend. And frankly, I don't have the energy to stay up all night reading because I decided I wanted to have a late night dinner with friends. The amount of reading I have to do for my law class is outrageous and good lord, will I be happy when it's fucking over (which will be very soon) but that's the way it is and I need to accept that. And my excess time will decrease with each passing semester.

Though, at the same time, I cannot isolate myself because when I do that, I become sad and lonely. So it's all about finding a balance and hopefully I'll get better at that.

Also! I am moving from Logan Circle to Columbia Heights. A slightly bigger place (though not as nice, with no hardwood floors and no dishwasher and no W/D in the unit) closer to most of my friends in the city. Closer to my gym. And right down the street from Satellite, 930 Club, Town, and Nellie's. In fact, I timed it yesterday, and it takes me approximately 7 minutes to walk to that awesome corner of U Street. Holla! That could be dangerous for me - my love for gay men, live music, and alcoholic smoothies knows no bounds.

So things are looking up. Fun projects like painting my new apartment (which wow, how are my friends awesome enough to want to help me out with this?) and planning a charity event to raise money for Whitman-Walker's AIDS Walk are helping me to be creative and stable in their own ways.

And now... I have finally posted something on my blog. I'll end it with a quote from the amazing Roger Ebert, who lost his battle with cancer this week but will always always always be an inspiration in my life:

"I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."

Much love, you guys.