I'm taking a moment to break in this space a little. I want to get comfortable using it and make it a habit, so I don't fall silent for months at a time when things get busy.

Deadlines are approaching, so I'm working most hours, most days. And the hours that I'm not working have largely been occupied by mundane things like fetching groceries and getting my flu shot. Riveting, I know. That said, I have managed to listen to an audio book and go visit a friend in the last few weeks. Little things, but the little things do matter.

I am once again running into a familiar problem: what do I have that's even worth saying? I think that's part of why I struggle to connect with people. I think about things I want to say or write about, sometimes I even type them out, and probably 99% of it ends up dying on the tongue or the draft page. A lot of it probably comes back to the concept of "taking up space". And for all that deleting and rewriting, instead of something concise and insightful, meta-level musing is the outcome. As always, I am my own worst critic, though there seem to be a few folks out there who would like to claim that title.

Settling In

So, I guess I'll just share a bit of what I can. My new apartment is both lovely and lonely. It's much bigger than I need but the same price as many smaller units in the area. Big, beautiful windows light up every room, and mysterious downstairs neighbors frequently fill this space with very strong food smells that register as unhealthy air quality levels on my air purifier. It's an older building, and I'm expecting it to be a freezer in the winter and an oven in the summer—so far it's meeting these expectations precisely. It does have a lovely, spacious tub accented by strange turquoise-and-black tile and hard-water stains that I have yet to fully remove. I now have a little office that I spend most of my waking hours in. It's cozy and my giant whiteboard is right at home on the wall. There's an enormous, vacuous living-room that I have no idea what to do with, which is pretty telling if I'm being honest. There's no grocery store in the neighborhood, but there are two bus routes a block away, which makes things manageable. Like most things in life, it's a mixed bag.

So, I have this big, largely empty space I'm inhabiting. I hope I'll get to know my neighbors, but with it being winter and covid being a thing and all... I'm not sure how that will come about. Me not knowing what the hell to say to people certainly plays a role too. That said, despite basically not knowing my neighbors, I have learned there is some drama™️surrounding parking spaces. One of my neighbors was kind enough to stop by and fill me in, seemingly in the hopes that I would exercise my right to two parking spaces that I have no use whatsoever for. So far, I've gotten to know the local baristas better than my neighbors because it seems more socially acceptable to go for a walk and grab some coffee than pester people in their own homes.

I've honestly gotten 90% moved in and then stalled really hard on that last 10%. Maybe writing this down will inspire me to do something about that. Maybe.

SAD season

I haven't been at my best lately. Stress levels have been high. I wake up to darkness and it's dark again by dinner time. It's always cold now, and frequently gray and rainy too. My recent travel, though very worthwhile, obliterated my routine in every way, and I'm still having off days with that. It's also the holiday season, when people go to visit family and have big celebrations, and I can't help but hope I'll do something like that at some point with friends. Not this year, though. This year, I'll be keeping my planner updated, doing my daily meditation, and checking off tasks as I take things a day at a time.

I guess that's a little snippet of what's new with me. Maybe it's not very exciting, but I do feel a bit better after writing it. (Not to mention most of us probably have enough excitement in our lives right now, and not necessarily the good kind.) It's nice to just sit with my life for a little bit, to render a little sliver of something real, as a break from the steady flow of abstract problems and projects that have been occupying my days.

Wishing you health, safety, and happiness during the winter months ahead.

What I've been listening to:
- Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris - Strongly do not recommend this one. Plenty of potential soured by an often incredibly uncomfortable narrative voice.
- Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore - Saw this on my friend's shelf and enjoying the ever-loving hell out of it so far. It is a joy to listen to, like a blend of Neuromancer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and something uniquely gay that I didn't know I was missing in my life.

A day at a time, a week at a time...