Friday, December 29, 2017

A Letter to Myself for 2018

What have I learned in the past year? What do I need to remember and bring with me into the next year?

First and foremost on my mind, today, is the subject of relationships. Last spring I told the man who I had previously promised to spend my life with to never contact me again. I cannot possibly explain what brought me to that point in a brief blog post, nor is it something that I am ready to talk about so openly, but I can share a few of the things I learned that led me to walking away from him. One thing I had to learn is that my needs are more important than any other person's wants. Another is that I should not silence or hide who I am for the sake of anyone or any relationship. These are things that I had known in theory, but not fully believed were applicable to myself. In truth, there are still times I'm not fully convinced that these facts apply to me, which is why I'm starting this letter with them. Also, just for good measure, believe someone when they show you who they are.

(Yes, I know that previous paragraph is pure vagueblogging. Bear with me. Or not. Whatever.)

Later in the year I was also fortunate enough to learn from another person what a healthy relationship is supposed to feel like. That relationship has just ended, and whatever I've learned from it is too fresh for me to distill down to a few key sentences, so all I'll say about it here and now is to remember that it's possible.

And of course, these are lessons that are applicable far beyond romantic relationships. I need to bring them into all facets of my life.

The other subject which comes to mind is my mental health. I think the only thing I have really learned in the last year is that I'm not the person I was before my "anxiety meltdown," and that's ok. It just means that I need to learn how my brain works now, which is annoying, but that's just how life goes sometimes.

There are other lessons I've become aware of during the past year, but which haven't really seeped into me yet. If I have any resolutions for the coming year, one is for the following to seep into my psyche enough that I remember it when I freeze with panic: Take baby steps to do something, and then let the feeling of completion set in. Just act, no matter how small. Once I really learn this, I think my life will become somewhat easier.

If I'm going to have a second resolution, it's to get into the habit of sharing my experiences and thoughts again. To that end, I intend to resume blogging or vlogging. Whichever feels more appealing to me at any given moment is fine, I just want to stop hiding myself from the world. I think that's something I learned to do because of someone who is no longer in my life, and I think it's time to unlearn that habit.

Best of luck in 2018, and I look forward to whatever new lessons I may learn.

The solar eclipse, a highlight of my year.

Note: I felt the urge to write this after watching this Vlogbrothers video.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Shakespeare in Ashland

I'm currently in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and am here with a class from my university. I'd been planning to make a travel vlog to share on YouTube, but am having trouble finding a good place to record. I could use my hostel room, but I'm worried about sound carrying and bothering others staying there. I could also find a quiet place at the local park, but it's too freaking hot for that. So I'm finding myself coming back tot his blog, as I've been meaning to do for quite a while.

So far we've seen two plays: The Merry Wives of Windsor, and 1 Henry IV. I'll leave descriptions of them for another time, because I need to write about both performances for school anyways. I'll probably put those writings on my book blog. In a few hours we'll be watching Shakespeare in Love, which surprised me because I had expected that we would only be studying Shakespeare's work. That's still our focus, but I suspect this last play will lend itself to discussion that we already have about how people today interact with the idea of Shakespeare and his works.

I haven't done much during this trip aside from seeing the plays and meeting with classmates for discussions about Shakespeare. What little I have done is visit the local park, get food, and find my way to my hostel. I might have done more if I hadn't been so tired; I got no sleep Thursday night and had been awake for well over twenty-four hours by the time I got to sleep at about midnight last night. Despite almost five hours of sleep I'm still tired, and was having trouble keeping my eyes open at times during 1 Henry IV. I'd been considering finding my way back to the hostel for a nap before the evening play, but the battle scene woke me up. It turns out that gunfire, strobe lights, and the smell of smoke will wake a person up.

Yes, they seriously brought the sense of smell into play during the battle scene. I've never seen (or smelled) that done before, and although I hope that anyone who needed an inhaler had one handy, it added a sense of reality to the fighting that was incredible.

A dream of whip cream
Did I say that I'd wait to talk about the plays? Oops. Let's just say that I'm still excitable about how they did the battle. Even with the warning ahead of time of what we the audience should expect I was still taken by surprise at its effect. 

...so now I'm sitting in a coffee shop, having given up momentarily on trying to make notes on the performances to keep them fresh in my mind for when I need to write about them. Writing this post is easy enough, but that's difficult for some reason.

And because I want to share some kind of photo, but would rather wait until I've had a chance to properly go through my photos before sharing any of Ashland, here's a freaking amazing drink that I found. It has whip cream in the middle. EEEEEE.

Now it's back to attempting to write notes on the performances. Hopefully this will have jump started me enough that I don't freeze up again. And hopefully this post doesn't require too much editing, because it's not going to get any. Such brain power is needed more elsewhere.