If it's not obvious, I've been having some trouble really working out this whole "being consistent" thing. Well, no one is born organized, right? I'll keep trying until I get it.
I've been working on two sites lately: one new and one old. The older one I've decided to step up the game this week and start really digging in. The new one... well, you'll find out all about it next week.
As for this site, it's gonna be where I announce all the articles I wrote the week before last to the people that know me. Which means you readers will know the secret identity behind all my pen names. Fun times! If you have any questions, feel free to comment here or on Facebook.
I'll figure this routine thing out eventually!
Today, I found out I had a flat tire.
It wasn't just that it had gone flat, but that I probably drove about 20 miles on it last night. I was too tired to question why my car drove funny, and there wasn't the usual grinding, flapping noises. The tire wasn't completely flat, but it was flat enough.
Keep Calm and Just Do It
I freaked out. My first impulse was to ask my roommate what to do. I texted him, saying I needed him to call ASAP. After a moment went by waiting, I realized something.
I could do this myself.
I had a spare and the equipment, and I've changed flat tires before. In my youth, I seemed to run over every nail in the neighborhood. I was no stranger to the beast that was changing a tire. Why was I so helpless?
Wearing a Skirt Attracts Helpers...
So I got to work, pulling out the tire and everything. I had never used any of these specific tools before, but I had used tools just like them so I knew I could figure it out. Empowered by my decision not to be a helpless woman, I set to work.
And like clockwork, a man came to rescue me in my "time of need."
Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the help. But he asked if I needed help, and I told him no. As I said no, he bent down and started helping anyway.
I thought, 'Alright, I guess help isn't a bad thing. I don't need it, but that's fine.'
Help That Isn't Help
The guy couldn't figure out how to work the jack. It was stuck somehow, so we assumed it was rusted. I tried it out for a moment, but I just took his word for it that he was twisting it the right way. In retrospect, I think he was doing it wrong.
So naturally, when another guy came to ask if we needed help, the first guy said, 'You got another jack?' The second guy asked what was wrong with the jack, and tried it and had no problems. So of course he was now invested in the project of changing my tire. He got the jack under the car and told the other guy to loosen the bolts... which I had already done.
He didn't even address me. In fact, the only time he even spoke to me during the whole thing was to make sure I didn't drive around on the spare like it was a regular tire. As if I had no idea what damage could be done to the alignment and frame to do so.
Sexism Isn't Anti-Help or Anti-Man
I really am happy they helped. I didn't want to change the tire, so the fact that they were willing to do so (knowing they probably didn't want to, either) was very kind of them.
However, I felt very much minimized by their actions and assumptions. Yes, I was wearing a skirt. Yes, I am a woman. But it was just assumed the men would do the job while I stood around and did nothing, helplessly. As if they were required by some unspoken law to help me see it through to the end.
Had I been a man myself, I wonder if they would have still asked if I needed help? And if they had asked, would they have assumed that they needed to take over the job for me and let me just stand there lazily doing nothing? I doubt it. I'm fairly sure they would have done whatever specific thing I asked for and then expected me to do the rest on my own.
Which was exactly what I had been expecting them to do that entire time.
What's The Point Of This?
Nothing. Not a damn thing. I just found it to be an interesting event that inspires a line of inquiry I had never really thought of before. They didn't just change my tire for me, they changed the way I view myself. I'm not helpless. I can do anything you can do, sometimes even better.
But I'm expected to be. Looking back, I'm pretty sure that expectation was why I freaked out in the first place. And I'm not sure how I feel about how I've expected MYSELF to be helpless as a result.
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was learning some things from Wealthy Affiliate. I've been trying to power my way through the training so I can put it to use as soon as possible. In doing so, I realized something very important...
Until I get my Metaphysiology site established, trying to write is going to be extremely difficult.
I'm not giving up, but it's going to take longer to publish any of my writing than I anticipated. Probably.
Learning to prioritize means setting aside projects to focus on the most important one. For me, I guess that's Metaphysiology. That might mean I never even publish an erotic work, ever. A little sad, but that's OK. I can live with that. Honestly, I'm having so much pull to write other things that it's difficult to focus on erotica even without doing anything with my websites.
I guess we will just have to wait and see what all I'm capable of! ;)
I don't have everything I want in my life.
Last week I got pretty low and started thinking again about how much time I've wasted not doing or finishing things. Where could I be now if I had just pulled myself together and did what I planned to do? How much better could my life be now?
I started to feel like a failure looking back on all the opportunities I've had to really dig my heels in and get to work before now. All the unfinished projects, the days and sleepless nights making lists and plans that I just couldn't figure out how to stick with after a good night's rest, and the weeks of actual productivity that formed a stable habit of getting things done that blew away in the hurricane of the next depression just weighed on my soul. Again. That feeling, that horrible feeling of worthlessness dragged me into the void and crushed me into pieces.
But I just couldn't accept that. Not this time.
The difference, honestly, was that no one was there to talk to. All my friends and loved ones were mired in their own difficult situations, with no time to help pull me out of mine. There was no lack of love or sympathy, and yet I still felt utterly abandoned. I wanted nothing else but for someone -anyone- to help me.
But no one was there.
After wallowing in self-pity for awhile, I came to terms with the fact that everybody is suffering. It wasn't just me, and it wasn't their fault I was depressed. I had to figure a way out of it on my own.
Now, you might be thinking I'm some super-spoiled brat that never had to do this before. I assure you, that is not the case. Up until ten years ago, I was constantly left to my own devices to pull myself out. Sometimes there would be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen -for a moment. After that moment, everyone was all too willing to tell me what I was doing wrong and how to fix my problem. The pity was always short-lived and conditional; telling anyone my true feelings meant consenting to an open-season barrage of pot shots and advice (that to be frank, wasn't quite as helpful as they thought it was).
Ten years ago, I met a man that truly gave me that shoulder to cry on and the ear to listen to my thoughts and feelings without the additional guilt-inducing struggle after. It's true, though, that I may have gotten a bit spoiled during that time. I had never experienced anything like it; someone that would listen and console me, while telling me I was doing the best I could? That it really was ok that I failed, and I can grieve my failure without the need to justify what I did? That seemed impossible. I had never even dreamed of such an experience.
It's been a long, long time since I got as low as I did last week. Years, in fact. So long, I had almost forgotten being that low before.
Having the experience of knowing someone believed in me unconditionally was what really guided me through. The knowledge that I can try and fail and still be loved picked me up and got me searching, even in the midst of my depression. Inspired by years of memories just like that when he had the time and energy to help me through to the other side, I started looking for my next project.
This didn't happen at random, though. It wasn't as if I was able to conjure up those memories on my own by "positive thinking," or some mantra. No, the trigger came from a very unlikely source: my often troubled friend, Amanda.
There she was, for the brief time she had before she was called away to deal with her own struggles, trying to cheer me up. What made her an unlikely source was that the roles were reversed; I usually was the one rooting for her. Honestly, I expected talking to her was more likely to draw out her problems so I could focus on anything other than myself. But it didn't. Instead, she listened and boosted me up.
And then out of nowhere, she offered me a suggestion to try out.
It wasn't like advice or picking apart what I'd done wrong, but rather a new idea I hadn't considered. It wasn't helpful in and of itself (sorry, Amanda!), but knowing she believed in me enough to offer the idea triggered the memory of all those past moments I'd had the privilege to experience. She thought about an app she had been enjoying recently and believed in me enough to think "she could do that, easy. No question."
I took the idea and ran with it. Check out my next project here!
So it may not have been the idea she was trying to inspire, but I want to thank Amanda for helping to inspire my new direction (and let you know if you're interested, I may need someone to help proofread!).
The lesson I learned from all this is when life smacks you down hard, the best thing to do is remember to contact your crazy friends. Don't be afraid to share your weak moments with those you've helped in the past, because it's likely they've been waiting long enough to return the favor. That's what friendship is all about, right?
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, internet drifters!
Decisions have been made!
I've already started on some new projects and have a plan for how to go from here. Yay!
If you're confused about my last post and its stark contrast to this one, that's just how depression works. It's like a bad friend that punches you in the gut when you're down, but when it leaves you nurse your wounds and move on like nothing happened. Maybe it's more like having a sibling. You know the one, the sibling you love because you have to but never really want to be around because they always drag you down? And when they leave, you feel lighter, you rejoice? Yeah, like that.
Anyway, I'll be posting an update (the first one!!) on my projects blog here in a moment about what I've been doing (yes, even while depressed I'm still keeping on- in fact, it helps to maintain sanity to have something to do) and what I plan to do next. Check it out here!
What's the point of having my own website and blog if I'm always worried about hiding behind some face of professionalism? This is me, raw and unfiltered. Well, mostly.
I suffer from depression and anxiety. Some would say most creative types do. I don't think it's so black and white, myself. But what do I know? I'm no psychologist.
Sometimes I get productive highs and I feel unstoppable. I'll have such lofty hopes and ideas just flow like exhalations of my spirit. It's hard to remember to stop and rest, but it's so much fun I don't want to stop.
Usually I start huge projects I can't possibly finish before the cycle begins to decline. Stuck in the middle of a gargantuan undertaking, I will feel my chemicals nag at me, pulling me away to think about something else, work on something more pressing. Sometimes I resist, and every once in awhile I actually get to *mostly* finish before the low hits. This site is one of those rare moments.
I'm so glad I got most of this overhaul complete, with a bit of time to float around and consider what to tackle next. There's a lot left to do here, but for a first pass, I'd call it a working completion. In past revisions, I left a lot more undone. This time, I have a working blog designed JUST to share my semi-daily experiences. Blogs in the past had rigid rules about what topic I could write about, so posting became too restrictive to keep up.
This time, even at my low I can find something to add. Like right now.
I won't launch into a pity party about how useless and powerless I feel. Already did that with some friends- and scared them away for the time being. I will say, however, if you're reading this as an aspiring... anything, find some way to create art through your passions. Even in the low times. Especially in the low times. At the very least it helps relieve the pressure while you're waiting for the cycle to turn around so you can get back to work again.
And who knows? Maybe the low times are worthwhile in their own right. I know I'm not the only one that is feeling this way right now, or ever. Maybe my words, shouting out from the darkness into the infinite space of the interwebs, will reach someone that really needs it. I can only hope to be such an inspiration to another soul as lost as my own to get through another day. Sometimes, that's all there is, getting through it.
After a week's worth of hustle, I've finally finished overhauling the website! Hopefully the site is easier to use...
There are still a lot of pages to fill, and my other sites need attention as well. So check back often for updates!
I haven't quite decided whether to continue down this rabbit hole or another one yet, though. Right now, I'm waffling between my three sites and the many books I've got on the backburner. It's anyone's guess at this point. ;D
It is time.
Too long have I stopped myself from putting my thoughts and works out there for all to see- for fear of judgment.
Over the years, I have created several fictitious names to hide behind so people couldn't see me and judge me for my endeavors. Izanamikun is the most transparent one of them, the one that most clearly reflects the true me. Instead of hiding behind those other personas, they will serve to reflect the works I publish under them. Here, I will openly reveal the 'me' behind them.
No more hiding, no more fearing the judgment. If I am to be judged, I'll deal with it as it comes.
Back in January, I created and uploaded a video to my YouTube channel. I have since unpublished it, ashamed that I hadn't published another in all this time. I decided to focus first on updating this website and spontaneously building the videos as I go. I tend to be better at writing than speaking anyway.
I am Iza, and Izanamikun is my platform through which I expose myself to the world. For better or worse.