Why am I writing right now?

Because I feel more comfortable writing things down rather than talking (this may seem surprising to those who know me in real life, but this is true). I’m braver when things are written down, and even braver when the things I write down aren’t made public.

Because I like feeling brave.

Because it lets me say what I need to say, no interruptions. I hate interruptions when I’m trying to say something, to explain something. It’s not that I hate actual organic conversations; it’s just that people tend to ask questions before you even get to answer. I hate explaining things in pieces, when it’s possible to explain things in full. I hate having to go through a thesis defense every damn time I get drawn into a discussion about politics, religion, and goddamn TV shows.

Because I can be wrong when I write. I can be wrong, so very wrong, and it won’t matter all that much; all these words are already out here and I can’t take them back. People will judge you, yes, but they won’t grade you (unless they’re assholes).

Because I’m scared.

Because life sucks and we’re not allowed to let anyone know the specifics, just the general impression.

Because you can’t mispronounce things when you write; and misspellings aren’t as bad as accidentally saying a foreign word for “dickwad” when you try to say someone’s name.

Because everything you say out loud is supposed to be filtered.

Because everything you write down can be edited in a way that makes your insults more nuanced, more subtle, much cleverer.

Because visual puns can actually be more fun that the puns you hear.

Because I’m not me when I’m not writing something somewhere with whatever pen or paper or keyboard I have on hand (except for my phone; my phone is for playing Mystic Messenger and pooping around on Facebook).

Because I can’t breathe when people are talking to me.

Because I can’t stand interrogations; and no matter what you say, every conversation is an interrogation to a person with an anxiety disorder.

Because I have a mild anxiety disorder and not allowed to talk about it.

Because I have a mild anxiety disorder I’m not allowed to talk about because no one will hire me if they knew.

Because I’m not allowed to talk about what I really want to talk about, which is how fucked up it is for people to decide that you’re not allowed to work because you might freak out at an office every once in a while (even though that’s not really how this shit works).

Because I’m not allowed to talk about what I really want to talk about, which is how fucked up we all are for refusing to admit that we’re all fucked up one way or another.

Because I’m not allowed to talk about how fucked up it is that we all have to hide our words just so we won’t hurt other people.

Because I’m not allowed to talk about how fucked up it is that we were raised to give a shit about other people, but are supposed to not give a shit when other people screw us over.

Because I’m not allowed to talk about how fucked up it is that we are made to feel that our feelings are invalid when we say them out loud.

Because fuck this shit.

That’s why I’m writing right now.

On the Wrong Sorts of Rituals

If you’ve been following this blog (to which I would respond: Really? Oh, wow, thanks!), then you probably know that I’ve chosen to take a hiatus from updating it in favor of my job.

In retrospect, it may not have been a good move for me. Stopping THIS particular writing ritual made all my other personal writing habits go to shit. And while I can’t regret going on hiatus (trying to sustain this while keeping up with the schedule I’d imposed upon myself to get work stuff done would have been nuts), I’d have to admit that it had a very negative effect.

Depression over choosing the wrong ritual
Original photo by Ryan McGuire on Pixabay, slightly modified.

With this personal ritual gone, I found myself clinging to my weekday work cycle ritual:

  • Wake up at 3 am to check/respond to emails and work out to-do lists for about an hour
  • Prepare for the office
  • Leave for the office around 5:30 am; get to there on or before 6 (despair for about 10 minutes if I arrive later later)
  • Review other people’s work (if any) or respond to more correspondences at work
  • Try to divine how the hell I’m supposed to do crap with cryptic/changing instructions and scope creep
  • Go straight home (if I don’t have to do overtime or any chores to deal with)
  • Get cleaned up and take a 2-hour nap with the help of ASMR videos
  • Get up for dinner
  • Go back to sleep
  • Repeat on every weekday

Of course, this was not good for me; this was especially since our company’s undergoing massive changes and one change in particular had, diplomatically speaking, put me in situations of conflict.

And call my kum-ba-yah preferences stupid, but I HATE being in conflict and having confrontations.

So essentially, I chose to put all my effort into the wrong sort of ritual and gave up a ritual that actually energized me. I’d give myself some sarcastic applause if it didn’t depress me so much.

To be clear: this is not exactly anyone’s fault.

Things are what they are.

I am who I am.

And, sadly, after all these years, who I am and what I do for a living have stopped working in harmony.

With the right ritual comes peace
Original image from Unsplash via Pixabay, slightly modified.

Whether or not having continued my personal writing would have helped me through the challenges I went through over the last few months is moot. Sometimes, the act of writing is cathartic enough to allow me to set fire to my frustrations, helping me let go. Other times, all it does is reinforce my ash-grey thoughts. It’s a motherfucking crapshoot.

But what I have realized over the last month or so is that there are rituals you have for other people and there are rituals you have for yourself.

The right kind of ritual is whatever helps you become who you need to be for the world.

I think it’s about time I get back to that second kind of ritual. So I guess you guys will be seeing me around a little more often.