“I give myself the gift of honesty. I am clear about what I want. I mince no words with myself. I hold nothing back about the details of where I hope to go, what I aim to experience along the way, and what I am dedicated to serving come clear skies or grey. I take my goals seriously but know that achieving them requires a sense of humor. An appreciation for irony. A love of mythology.
This is my story and I’m sticking with the plot lines that have me cast as the heroine.”
– Chani Nicholas
It’s already five days into February and my plan was to write a reflection about how the first month of the year went. I had originally planned to write a few days into January… and then mid-month… and now we’re here. Writing and reading, especially for leisure, has been hard to do lately.
I wish I could say that my month and half being back in my hometown was well spent but I don’t think that’d be accurate. I rested, yes, and tried my best to relax, but I spent most of the month trying to figure out what my next steps for my life would be. Every time I’m in a period of transition, time feels endless and overwhelming – as if, nothing can possibly get me out of this situation with any good outcome. I know a huge part of that is my anxiety and depression trying to convince me that there’s no right path forward so I should give up while I still can.
It’s not in me to give up though. At least not yet!
Being back home was bizarre though, I’ll say. The area I grew up in hasn’t really changed since I left with the exception of two new boba places that are across the street from each other and a new Asian grocery store around the corner from my mom’s place. I didn’t leave the house often and spent most of the time catching up with my family. It was nice to be in a house filled with people and to eat dinners with everyone each night. I haven’t experienced that in a long time with my family.
Aside from the family time, the month was also spent with me recuperating from the big lupus flare I had back in October, which landed me in the hospital for five days. My body changed throughout the month – I gained weight and my face morphed into the shape of a moon (basically, it looks swollen) all because of the side effects of my medications. My hair is increasingly thinning out and I even decided to get a wig because I couldn’t bear to look in the mirror anymore. My self-esteem has definitely been tested throughout this journey and finding ways to appreciate and love my body is hard to do at times but, I’m trying.
Job searching and searching for clients has also been quite a humbling experience. I went through multiple interviews during the last month and haven’t landed anything substantial yet. Thankfully, I have some small freelance projects to hold me over but definitely still on the search for a living wage. I know I will find something soon but again, it’s hard to imagine something good happening to you when the lingering anxiety and depression is telling you this is why you’re in the place you’re in. That voice is SO annoying.
But again, I’m trying and if this new moon is providing me any insight, it’s that moving forward I’m hoping I’ll get the clean slate or fresh start, that I’ve been desperately needing.
The most cherished time was towards the end of my month back home, which was the drive back up to Portland with my fiance. We decided to drive up the California coast, a trip we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. The trip spanned about five days, driving through small towns starting in Morro Bay, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Crescent City, along with stops along the way to see the views of the ocean or Redwoods. My favorite town so far is probably between Morro Bay and Santa Cruz. I can definitely see myself living in a small coastal town, running a coffee shop/bookstore and just living the rest of my days living simply. I’ve seriously considered this! Overall, California is a beautiful state and even with that trip, I’m still motivated to see more of it!
Despite all of these failures and setbacks this month, I’m STILL torturing myself by trying to run a crowdfunding campaign for my web series, Gabby Antonio Smashes the Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy! For the next 21 days we’re trying to raise $10,000 to support the cost of production for season one. The first week of the campaign was off to a shaky start but we’re back on track and ready to show folks what our writing team has been cooking up for the past few months. It’ll make my heart so happy if you have the capacity to donate before our February 26th deadline, but if not, sharing is extremely helpful too! You can make a pledge to our campaign here.
Here’s to a new moon, to a new year (Year of the Pig!), and to a year of new beginnings. Thank you Universe for keeping me alive.