So this is the time in November where I realize how incredibly far behind I am on NaNo. In the past few years, I’ve just stopped here. That’s because there was usually someone in the hospital, or dying, or recently passed, and November is just kind of a shit month all around and writing 50,000 words has just been beyond my capabilities. But this year things are OK. *knock on wood*
So I’m in a unique position this year to figure out what to do from here. I’m currently at almost 10,000 words, where I should be over 18,000. I have a few options.
1. I could bust my ass and catch up. So I would really need to have 2 5k days to make this work. 3 3,333 days would also work, but seems less likely. I also need to build in a day for Thanksgiving, when no writing gets done at all.
2. I could give myself a break and say that my new goal is 30,000. Or 40,000. Or 25,000. Whatever. I could give up on the glory of winning the full, official NaNo (which I did do in 2011, and it felt AMAZING.) That way, I’m still writing (and I LOVE this story), but I’m not killing myself to get to the 50K mark.
3. I could give up on NaNo entirely, relax, and tell myself that I’ll keep writing when I can. But the truth is that I won’t. Our financial situation is precarious, and if I give up, I’m just going to try to do things to make money happen, and writing will go to the very farthest of the back burners, which is where it usually sits.
So what’s a girl to do? I guess I’m going to delay my decision. I’m going to hustle today and all weekend, and see if #1 seems like a possibility. If it doesn’t, I’ll slide to #2. I’ll only entertain #3 if/when somebody (possibly me- from stress) goes into the hospital, etc. I’ll be counting this blog post as part of my word count, as it’s NaNoWriMo month, and this is writing, dammit.
Related: This is why I didn’t release a Bewitching the Moon video for the full moon last week. I was typing furiously, and just kind of forgot. Sorry!
Edited: After talking this out with Joe, he said some minor thing that I can’t remember, but it totally inspired the shit out of me. So I went on to write 4,000 words today, and I’m feeling like I can keep going and catch up! Writing is a fickle mistress.
It’s also come to my attention recently that I’m not a very good friend. I wasn’t given any reasons for this, but I’ve had 3 important people just vacate over the last 6 weeks or so. Here I thought I was a pretty decent and supportive, but when the same thing happens over and over again, you just have to consider that the common denominator is you and that it’s time to examine yourself.
I have some theories about why this happened, but the truth is I’ll probably never know. So I’m going to list ways that I think I’m probably a shitty friend, ways that I’m a challenging human in general, and my personal boundaries when it comes to friendship. If we’re friends, feel free to confirm if any of these ring true.
1. I hate flakes with a burning passion. If I make plans to do something or be somewhere, I will do that thing or be in that place. Barring extreme illness (I’ll certainly go with a cold or headache), hospitalization of myself or someone I love, or car trouble, I will be there. And usually pretty close to on time. (The exception is parties, which we always seem to be late at, but it’s not like people are waiting on us.)
So when I have to wait for 30 minutes to several hours every single time I make plans with someone, the message is clear. They don’t value my time. Believe me, I probably had other shit I could have been doing. I get it if there’s a health issue or personal stuff going on, but if you just routinely make me wait to make me wait… Yeah, no.
Also, if you constantly completely flake out, I’m done. I usually give people 3 chances with this, which I think is generous. Again, I get it if life stuff is happening or if you’re really sick, but things like ‘Yeah, I know we said this specific day and time, but I’m in the middle of a game right now’, that’s a full-on flake. 3 chances and done. I will never try to make plans with you again, and when you say things like ‘I miss you! We need to hang out!’, I’ll roll my eyes.
That also includes meeting up online. If we keep setting specific times, and those specific times don’t work out over and over again when you agreed that they would be the best times, nope. Done.
I could probably be more understanding and willing to compromise on this, but it’s just not in my nature. Sorry, not sorry.
2. I like to think of myself as a creative cheerleader for my friends, but the truth is that I’m probably more of a creative bully. I get so excited about projects, and I sometimes try to drag other people into them, whether they’re really interested or not. It’s a huge flaw, and one I’ve learned my lesson on. I just get lost in manic brain creative chaos, and trying to get other people involved and excited makes me feel less alone in my crazy. As much as I want to continue trying to find some awesome collaboration where everyone is involved and excited, I need to just stop trying to make it happen all by myself. So no more creating Facebook groups, no more making crazy plans, no more enlisting friends into my crazy bi-polar schemes, plots, and strategies.
When I look back at all the things I’ve done in my life that I was proudest of, it was always my solo projects that really meant something, anyways.
But I do still have a dream of a Pagan writing/creativity group. I’m going to just keep talking about it until someone volunteers to join up with me to make it happen. I’m not going to push it on anyone.
3. If I say I’m not interested romantically, I’m not interested romantically. The end. You won’t win me over by constantly saying you wish you had someone like me or how lucky husbear is. I’m honestly not interested in dating anyone at all right now. Sure, there’s a vision in the back of my mind of someone I can connect to on a creative/intellectual/humor/compassion/spiritual level, but the person I’ve dreamed up is so ridiculously perfect without a single compromise on my part, that it will just never happen. And short of that, I’m just too busy to even bother trying. It would just leave us both hurt and unhappy if I did, because any effort on my part would be half-assed at best.
4. If someone wants to ghost, I let them. I try to let my friends know that I’m there for them, that I’d love to talk to them about their problems if they need me, that I care about them. But I’M NOT A FUCKING MIND READER. So if someone’s going through stuff, and they just pull away without saying anything, I just assume that they don’t want to hang out anymore. I will not chase a person down and beg them to talk to me, or to be my friend. If your path lies elsewhere, fine, I wish you the best on that path. And if you’ve been seriously ill, but just didn’t tell me? I assumed you ghosted and found something else to spend my time/energy on.
I feel like friendship should include communication, or is that some pie-in-the-sky ideal? I honestly don’t think I’m wrong here.
5. In some ways I have really healthy self-esteem and self-worth. I know that I try hard to take care of the people I love, but when someone treats me like my feelings don’t matter, my time doesn’t matter, or *I* don’t matter, I’m done. That’s the thing about the world we live in today. It’s not hard to find something else to keep busy with, or other people to spend time with. Sure, these 3 people that ghosted left an empty spot, but fuck it. I’ve been writing. I’m not spending my time weeping and miserable. There are other things to do. In December, I’m going to draw/paint pictures to go along with what I’ve written in November, knit, and also plan for my 2018. I have things to keep me busy, and though I’m not filled with trust for people right now, I’ll always try to be open to meeting and connecting with new friends.
6. If you only contact me when all the shit’s hit the fan and you want to lay your problems at my feet to get sympathy, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Yes, I’m empathic, yes I’m compassionate, yes, I care about you. But if you abuse that by bringing me waves of woe, and never really asking me how I’m doing or giving me space to be anything but your surrogate mother/free therapist/emotional dumping ground, we’re just not going to be friends for very long. I have had to create strong boundaries against this, as people love nothing more than sucking the life out of a compassionate, empathic person. Seriously, you’d be surprised how many of my interactions are based on exactly this dynamic.
7. I really suck at being the first person to text/message ‘Hi!’ I know this is a flaw. But I have a lot of trouble with mornings. Fibro makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a truck every single morning, and being a parent to geriatric dogs means that I had to let them out 4 or 5 times during the night. Being an insomniac means it took me forever to get back to sleep each time. So I usually wake up some time after noon, and have to fight myself to get up and get going. It’s not always easy. Once I do, I manage food, and usually sit down to start working on something. It may be 5 or 6 pm before I’m actually ready to ‘people’. Sorry, it’s just the way my brain and body flow.
On the flip side, I may text/message you random hilarous things I find on the Internet at 3am. That can be shitty too.
8. I can be self-involved. I’m really sorry about this one. I spend so much of my time trying to work around physical health issues and mental health issues, that I’m constantly checking in with myself to keep from going down a bad road. Add that to bipolar with a creative focus, and I’m usually at least 80% stuck in my head. I do make an effort to ask friends about their stuff, send them pictures I find online that I think they’ll like, let them know I care, etc. But sometimes I forget, and I’m sorry. My mind can be a bad neighborhood sometimes, and I do my best to navigate it.
There are other thoughts rolling around in my noggin, but I’m going to let this go. I’ve cut some energetic ties, and I’m not going to dwell on these people any more. In the end, they just opened up my energy so that I can meet people that are on the same wavelength about these things. ‘Tis the season of culling, after all.
What does an ideal friend look like?
1. They like and value me just as much as I like and value them.
2. They’re interesting and genuinely excited/passionate about the things they love. This can be hobbies, movies, books, whatever. I just love talking to people who give me space to gush about my stuff while they gush about theirs too.
3. They communicate, gently, if I’m going something that pisses them off. They don’t just cut and run, because they realize that I’M NOT A FUCKING MIND READER. They also let me communicate with them as well.
4. They want to make plans and do things and have fun. That can mean doing things in person if we live close, or online if they don’t. And they DON’T FLAKE.
5. They want to talk. If they’re going to be unavailable for a bit, they let me know, and they understand if I’m going through a busy phase as well, but they genuinely want to talk to me. Because I like talking to my friends.
6. They’re Pagan, or spiritually open-minded enough that I can talk about elements of my faith and practice without creating distance.
7. They’re more inclined to talk nicely about people than to indulge in nasty gossip. I hate that shit. I’d rather look at how I can be a better person than to cut someone else down and get some false sense of superiority.
8. They don’t dwell in negativity, but keep looking forward to the future. I understand depression, I understand disability, and I understand that it’s easy to get bogged down. I deal with all of that myself. But I tend to grit my teeth and smile and find something nice to talk about. It’s just a mindset thing. Sure, I could detail every part of my body that hurts, or the horrible thoughts that I obsess about when I’m spiraling down, but isn’t it more fun to talk about art? Or a movie that’s coming out? That’s not to say that I won’t empathize with a friend who’s in a really dark place, but there are people who dwell in that dark place permanently because it’s more comfortable than trying to have a life despite it. I fight to have a life despite the pain.
9. They prefer peace and happiness and having fun over chasing or creating drama. Life’s to short for that shit.
I’m sure there are more things, but I’m tired. It’s been a long day, and I’m going to take a bath and read. Take care of each other, tell your (good) friends that you love and appreciate them. Blessed be!