jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
[personal profile] jedusor
It's funny how life goals morph without really changing at all, the older I get. I've always had a good handle on the things that are important to me, but the words I use to define those things keep changing over time. I know (and have known on a very deep level since I was 13) that my life's work is shaping large-scale cultural changes of opinion on social issues, but I used to think that producing research was the only way I could do that effectively, and it's not. It might not even be the most effective of the many possible ways. I still want to pursue science as a career, but it's no longer tied to my self-worth. I don't need a Ph.D. to be the person I want to be, and I don't need to treat my life as on hold until I get into grad school. I did that for a while, and it sucked. I don't anymore, and I'm happy.

So here's what I'm doing:

I'm writing a YA novel. It grabbed my brain for the first half of this year, then I took a month away from it, and now it's back to keeping me up late at night and early in the morning thinking. I love it when my muse sinks its teeth into a project like this. And it's been really great to play with character building and worldbuilding, two things I haven't gotten as much practice with as most other aspects of writing because most of my creative writing has been fanfic.

I'm preparing a journal article for submission. It's been a long time in the works, but our UW contingent finally finished the testing and now there's pretty much nothing to do but sit down with the doc and make this thing publishable.

I'm playing hockey. I love skating more than pretty much anything. It's good for me on every level--it clears my mind, it helps me make friends, and it's great for my body. I talk about my ass a lot these days, which I'm sure gets old to the people around me, but you try experiencing a significant alteration to the basic structure of one of your body parts and not harping on it. Basically, the way I used to walk relied mostly on my thigh muscles, so actually exercising my glutes has made a massive difference in my posture, my stride, and my silhouette. And I'm more flexible because of hockey, and I'm sure my cardio health is better, and I feel more solid in myself. It's fantastic.

I'm running a sizable mailing list designed to enable in-person fannish meetups in Seattle. Queer movie night has been a particularly successful result of that; I also organized a group trip to a coastal resort last month, which was fabulous. My closest friends these days are mostly through that group, and it's been a great part of my life.

I'm inventing cocktails, mostly themed ones for movie nights. The Jupiter Ascending party was a spectacular success--I still need to get the recipe macros up on Tumblr. I also did themed drinks for Frozen, and I'm doing more for Mad Max: Fury Road next month, as well as a prohibition-themed party at some point. I'm really loving mixology, and having a good time gradually building up my stash of liquor to work with.

I'm experimenting with my appearance. I've been doing nail art for a couple years now, and more recently started messing around with makeup. Shit's harder than it looks. But it's fun to sparkle, and it's fun to get to know the nooks and crannies of my own face, and figure out what works on me and what doesn't.

I'm reading more books. I don't know when I stopped reading physical books in my spare time--sometime in my teens, I think--but I picked it back up this year and it's been great. There's a certain level of focus that doesn't tend to be possible on a computer, with distractions all over the place. I value my computer time and I don't think reading books is better than reading things on the internet, but it's nice to have both.

I'm taking better care of myself. I figured out that the headaches I've been having for over a decade are from dehydration after all--drinking the recommended amount of water didn't work to fix it because the amount of water I need is approximately twice that. So as long as I drink ridiculous quantities of water, I don't get headaches. (I figured this out just before the beach trip, which was nice timing.) I never thought I would be a person with a skincare routine beyond soap and water, but I have a fairly complicated one now, and my face is way less dry and flaky and uncomfortable. I'm focusing on protein more, because of the hockey, and I think it's been good for my energy levels. I'm trying to take care of my wrists, but that hasn't been going so well. At some point I'll pick a two-week period to just go entirely off the grid to let them heal, but right now it's not practical. In the meantime, I'm trying to take the strain off them by watching a lot of Netflix--I've worked my way through almost all of The West Wing in the last month.

There's a corkboard covered with notes for the novel leaning against the TV, and in my kitchen I have a bag full of tomatoes and oregano from a friend's garden, and on the back of the couch is a practice jersey draped on top of a volume of Frank Miller's Daredevil run, and I am surrounded by people who love me. That's about it for the moment.

Date: 2015-10-03 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
Everything about this post makes me so very happy!

Date: 2015-10-04 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamagotcha.livejournal.com
I just tripped over this research and video about how happiness changes over time, and looking back I can say that this was definitely true for me. https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/09/28/jennier-aaker-happiness/

Date: 2015-10-03 03:31 pm (UTC)
ext_2248: (Default)
From: [identity profile] macey-muse.livejournal.com
That is all super awesome yo.

Isn't it weird how much work 'figuring out who you are' is? There are just /so many/ layers of defaults that we assume about ourselves, and seeing past them (like with you dehydration needing more water) is the prerequisite to actually understanding ourselves. Iunno. It's like we're meant to be a cake that's done baking once we pop out into the adult world, but I can't help but think I've done just as much 'growing up' after starting work as before.

Date: 2015-10-04 12:28 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-10-04 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elainetyger.livejournal.com
I like what you've been doing with makeup. I would love to read your drink recipes should you ever decide to share them, for profit or not. My forays have been simple ones... every hard liquor in the world mixes well with the Italian mint sparkling water that I have only found in Whole Foods. Cherry vodka is disgustingly identical in flavor to cough syrup, but is not bad in a tart raspberry sorbet. I could use some broadening in this arena.

I'm still figuring out what goals to have. Not tying them to self-worth is big. Letting go of goals that aren't necessary to income or health and give more aggravation than joy is also big for me at the moment. I would love to focus more on my physical health and am hoping the break from school will prompt me to devote some time and energy to that.

Thanks for sharing!

Date: 2015-10-09 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mh75.livejournal.com
This sounds quite positive, and I'm glad for that.

Its good to take stock sometimes.

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