February 28, 2015

I moved almost a month ago. Unpacking came in bursts on the weekends, until almost an entire week of snow days happened and there was plenty of time to get more organized.

Migraines have escalated, to a point I had been hoping they wouldn’t reach. But they achieved a feat not many can claim, and that is finding my breaking point. I am not sure what has been worse: the pain or trying to find a doctor to help without just throwing nasty meds at it that I don’t want in my life. As of today, three days into the second medication they have prescribed, after the first one managed to increase the pain to a crippling amount, help seems more promising. I probably don’t have to explain to anyone how hard it is to function when all you want to do is curl up into a ball in a dark, quiet room, and cry until the relief of unconsciousness.

If that was my mid-week, today is better by far. The headache is still trying to catch my attention, but the meds seem to be trying to mask it, at the very least. So I can function, which is great, because I have been so behind on grading for my classes, I hate myself a little for it. I got caught up to a manageable point earlier this afternoon, and will easily be able to get all the way up to date tomorrow.

Writing-wise: In late December, I finished preliminary revisions for the piece I wrote last summer. I will probably start looking into the next phase of re-writing that soon. It’s a fun, weird little thing, that most likely I will just post on this website, or maybe try to get published as a chapbook somewhere.

Also in late December, I started going to a songwriting group in Ludlow, KY. The place that hosts it is Folk School Coffee Parlor, and it’s a really lovely space. The first time I walked into it, I thought, “Oh holy shit, this place has a really nice creative vibe about it.” It reminded me of writing with my friend Sherry, back when we were doing NaNoWriMo, before she fell ill in 2010 and was eventually lost to this world. Anyway, since I started going to the 52-week songwriter’s group, I have written 5 songs, and 2 of them I kind of like a lot. The next post I want to make here will be one of those songs. I just have some more practicing to do before then, and also to decide which song I want to post here first.

There’s a lot going on right now. I am still settling into the new place. Unpacking was one thing, but getting organized is quite another. I keep finding more things I just need to get rid of for good, which is lovely, because having less clutter around is always a positive. Working 40 hours, teaching 7 credit hours (3 classes), working on the lit mag, and writing songs. It doesn’t really leave a lot of time for other things, but this is how I have to face the winter, anymore: make myself so busy I don’t have time to let the SAD get the best of me. I’d rather put the best into my writing anyway.

This year, I have faced the winter in a few other ways. Sometimes, I have gone outside and spun around as the snow fell, pretending this world is self-contained in a snowglobe and that I am trying to figure out how to break out of it. Today I went to the park to recycle boxes from moving, and I saw abandoned snow forts on the hillside. A lady with a box called out to her husband to help her lift the lid of the recycling bin, but she didn’t shout loud. I said, “Oh, I’ll help.” But she said, “I was talking to my husband.” I glanced over my shoulder and could see he wasn’t coming over to help. I said, “Nah, I’ll help. I had one of those once. That’s how I remember it.” I was jesting, somewhat, and she didn’t laugh, but then she stayed and helped lift the lid for me when I was dumping my boxes in. Her husband started their car and sat inside where it was warm. Nice lady, even after I made it weird. I drove home and went a way I don’t normally go, and because of that, I saw giant snowmen with huge gaping mouths and far-reaching branches for limbs, like something out of Calvin and Hobbes. I felt good about most of those choices.

Last night, because the sun was shining and because I wanted to, I sat outside on the front porch and played a song I wrote. I think I felt a lot of things in that moment. Proud that I actually wrote a thing I have been trying to do for years now, and glad that it doesn’t sound terrible. Happy that this place is just so damn awesome and that I am glad I found it and jumped on it without much internal debate. Hopeful for more positive changes in the coming months. I have weird feelings like something bigger and better is coming, and I won’t know it til it’s here, but I’m not going to wait around, either. I’ll keep working hard, writing things, learning and improving my skills, and then see what’s what.

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