This month has been one of the worst for my mental health in a while. I haven’t felt this bad since my second year at SVA when I wanted to fling myself from our 10th floor window. Things eventually..not turned around so much as just straight up changed for me, so here’s hoping that’ll be the case here again. Or maybe turn around. I’m open to any and all suggestions.
Books Read: 1 The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up is a cute addendum to Marie Konmari (yes, of KonMari fame)’s other books (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy). Where Spark Joy plus’d Magic with new, specific info, techniques and illustrations, Manga throws you into a corny yet cute scenario via comic-book form. It too provided additional diagrams for clothing folding that I used with all of my graphic t-shirts. It’s a cute book to check from a library, and if you’ve read Magic but maybe need a little more push to actually properly use the KonMari method. I still haven’t done the full shebang that she advises, just little ones (which she specifically advises against but what can ya do). I’ve in the middle of a few books right now so hopefully I will actually finish at least one soon. : P
Blog Posts Written: 5, all on this website. To be fair, one of them was a quote I post every August 1st to celebrate Digimon’s anniversary, so that wasn’t much of a post. I have soooo many in my drafts though. I had one to post on eclipse day and totally botched it. I have far too many drafts that I think all slightly overlap each other in small ways so I’m worried I will accidentally post the same sentiments like 4 times in a row. But I already do that so why do I care?
Videos/Projects: Hahahahaha no
At the Movies: It’s been a pretty slow month for movies, actually. I can’t even remember if I did go to the theater at all. I missed out on a screening of Patty Cake$ at work which I am SO bummed about, so I may have to track that down. I still haven’t watched Okja, refuse to watch the US Death Note adaptation. I watched The Defenders despite not actually watching any of the previous shows (Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, or Iron Fist) and I enjoyed it despite some glaring flaws and frustrations (read: Iron Fist is a FUCKING BRATTY CHILD). Oh, I watched The Incredible Jessica James starring Jessica Williams. It was a cute little film. I also finally saw Colossal. It was NOT what I expected, but I definitely enjoyed it.
Oh, Dunkirk. That’s like, the one film I saw in theaters recently. It was aight. Oh wait! Valerian too! It was not aight. It was anti-aight. It had soooo much potential but was soooo painful. If you’re interested in hearing my actual thoughts about these two films and a couple more, you can listen to this 26th episode of my friend’s podcast, Action Film Autopsy.
I also saw a 35mm print screening of Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards, which is as big and beautiful a mess as I remember when I first watched a very terrible quality bootleg of it a few years back.
Highlights: The eclipse was a thing that happened I guess? My bf said something surprising to me the night before the eclipse. We were talking about how the next one that we’d be able to ‘easily’ see is in Montreal in 2024, and he was saying how he was looking forward to the one in 2024 more than the 2017 one. He said that the unknowns in between then and now exciting him, especially since right now neither of us are where we want to be. But that future one brings hope. Maybe, he said, we’ll be in two different places for work and we’d have to meet up in Montreal. Will we be married already? The eclipse itself was frankly interesting for about 2 minutes, and then everyone at the studio headed inside. It was a fun little break, and about what you’d expect if you weren’t in the path of totality.
This month there were a few fun fan-anniversaries to celebrate. As I mentioned, August 1st is Digimon’s big holiday, and this month also marked the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book being published. Yesterday, September 1st also marked the date in the final Harry Potter book where the epilogue takes place–19 years later!
In general though it was a quiet month. You can tell when the only Instagrams I posted were a Digimon quote and this one from the farmer’s market I finally visited! Cross that one off of my previous post of a list of things I still want to do this summer.
Next Month: This September already looks and feels like a fly-over month. The bf is gone for the first chunk of it, on a trip to visit family that I elected to stay behind on. So I guess it will be nice to have a bit of quiet time? But even typing that feels stupid as I can and do get quiet or alone time whenever I want when he’s around? Like. I’d be doing the exact same thing I’m doing right now if he was here. If anything, I’d have more time since he washes the dishes!!
The next month as well as October look like they’ll have a few days each where I go into NYC, which isn’t my favorite thing in the world. But cool stuff and people are there so I have to suck it up and be a human. Bummer. It’ll probably be good for me though. I hope September is good for me.
Dang. It’s already mid-August. How? HOW!?
There are still a few things left to do this summer before it ends and the creeping cold of autumn starts to sneak in. Summer technically doesn’t end until the 22nd of September, so I do have some time. And I actually already recently accomplished
2 3 of 7 things on here, as I’ve had this list in drafts since July. 😛 So here are some end of summer experiences I still need to experience:
Some times with social media, people present a clean-cut version of themselves. It’s not necessarily a lie so much as a high-light reel ignoring the blunders. Y’all have seen the thousands of think-pieces about this. But there are some good things, like #TotallyHonestTuesday and hilarious photos people will post of themselves with a really nice selfie next to their worst/most unflattering/silliest face. Like any blogger, I’ve done my share of over–indulgent pats on the back. Conversely though, I think that I’m pretty safe on here when it comes to the shit things in life, and the same goes for Twitter. Because this
administration year has been such a rage fest for me on social media, I actually deleted a bunch of apps, including Facebook, from my phone. I rarely posted/post personal things on Facebook anyway, instead opting to overshare many a WaPo or Vox article that my conservative family will ignore. Instagram can be a little dangerous in terms of my only showing the good (and delicious), but I sort of justify it since I’ve got this blog to show all dem unflattering angles. Also the 1 Second Everyday I made of 2016 was a good mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ve built up a world where it’s not okay to fail, and that’s just not how life works. Failure is all around us, and it’s crucial to growth. I think part of that is the weight we place on the word. A failure can be a simple trial and error that you immediately find the right answer to after the first mistake, a non-issue, or, sure, it can be a giant thing with actual repercussions. Regardless, it’s an often necessary step in any process.
That being said, I think it’s important to talk about failure. I think it’s important especially being an American, and having been steeped in a culture of results, of “America first” rhetoric, where we did indeed get participation trophies (that none of us asked for or expected, but whatever, parents/Boomers). God sports are the worst. I just wanted to take karate, man.
Anywho, I thought it might be
embarrassing enlightening to take a look at some things I set out to do in 2016 and just totally dropped the ball on, for one reason or another, and maybe help that inform what is left of this year.
DIVE INTO MY MEDIOCRITY! DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!
Softball was something that I can confidently say I was actually good at. Before high school, I was one of only a few players who could catch the big, airborne hits to the outfield. For a long time I resented this, as it often kept me stuck at right field when I wasn’t pitching. I resented it, but at the same time, I knew I was good. One of my travel team coaches had said at the start of a season that for every hit to the outfield caught, he’d buy us a soda, and by the end of that summer, I was eleven cokes richer.
So when we all got to high school, the softball coaches were aware of us from our travel team, and they knew where we’d all played. I’d been on good teams, and this was a high school known for it’s good softball, so they knew to put me right back in right field since there were way more senior pitchers ahead of me. I’d made Junior Varsity as a freshman, as did most of my classmates who I’d played with on competitive travel teams growing up. And for the most part it was fun. My teammates weren’t the nicest people on the planet, but I did well on that team. The JV coach liked me, and she and her husband (who was the Varsity coach) seemed to have a soft spot for me (maybe because I got picked on? Now that I think about it…? wtf). I do think part of it was because I just really liked playing, and I didn’t complain or waste anyone’s time. I didn’t throw a hissy-fit at not pitching because I didn’t particularly love or hate pitching. I didn’t really feel strongly about anything sports-related because as much as I was good at sports and found moments I enjoyed (like my friends growing up or batting), it was more work and stress than I cared for. I never quit though because my dad seemed to enjoy helping out (he never wanted to be a coach or anything–I think my allergy to bureaucracy is thanks to him). The one and only time I wanted to quit a team partway through was my travel soccer team and he wouldn’t let me because I made a commitment. While I get where he was going parenting-wise–trying to bestow ~*~LiFe~LeSsoNs~*~ I think it was stupid. I think it was important that I’d have been taught that it was OK to quit some times, under the right circumstances.
Anywho, back to softball! After a very successful freshman year playing JV, I tried out as usual in my sophomore year. After a week-long tryout, they pulled me aside on the final day. It turns out, they wanted to give me a choice about which team I wanted to be on, as they had been debating it back and forth all week. They knew I was qualified for Varsity, but knew that with the number of upperclassmen they had, that I would be sitting on the bench for most of the season. But I would be on ~VaRsItY~, get the jacket, get the prestige? Which sounded and still sounds like such bullshit but that’s what so many people were about in high school! But they knew that I didn’t give a flying fuck about any type of status symbols or faux prestige that befalls a high school varsity athlete. The Varsity coach still wanted me there, to attend practices and just be on the team, but the JV coach argued that I’d be miserable, and would much rather be on JV and actually get to play.
She was totally right, much to the confusion of my teammates. I’d rather play on JV, and play in every single game, actively contributing to my team’s success than sit on Varsity and be a fly on the wall.
I think about this story a lot lately, especially when it comes to my career, what I want, and what it means to be successful. I’ve found myself using this example far more often to try to explain how I feel about certain situations and possible outcomes. That, some times the better choice isn’t the one that screams out success in the traditional sense. That for me, making larger, more active contributions to a small goal/team is more meaningful than a droplet in a pool. That the day-to-day stress and dog-eat-dog back-stabbiness of high school sports wasn’t worth compromising my personal happiness with each day’s practice and games. Part of that was definitely due to the fact that I had no future plans tied up in softball or any sport for that matter. I knew that I wanted to go to university without any other commitments taking up my time, but there were many girls gunning for scholarships. Which is totally valid, and all the more reason I, a casual observer (basically) didn’t mind just having fun. It’s different when you have end goals.
But lately I am realizing that that’s not necessarily true for me anymore.
I do have end goals, and things I want, but I’ve also become even less tolerant of certain things, and more aware of myself and what I want both long-term and day-to-day. And that’s a big deal for me, as someone who has never felt like I’ve had a strong sense of self. Like, this is something that I’ve actively been aware of, that I’ve seen grown and develop in me, and that’s pretty rad. I think a big part of it is pride, and as I mentioned, what you define as success and knowing to let go of dreams. There was this feeling from my old teammates that I was being left behind, that I should be embarrassed, but in my eyes, they were benchwarmers, I was a starting player. In the four years we were in high school, I played, let’s say 100 games to their 25. But I did also understand that that was their priority, and they were entitled to their feelings and whatever goals they wanted. Maybe at one point I did imagine playing on varsity as a younger player, and while I never wanted a varsity jacket, they were cool–I’d wear one if I had it. But that shifted. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. Not the strongest “moral of the story” but just something I’ve been ruminating on it.