Do you remember being a teenager and seeing someone you hated wearing something you also owned, and all of a sudden that item of clothing became repulsive and you could never look at it the same way again? That's how I feel about blogging in Buffalo.
We've been here for over a year now, and I'm really glad we tried it because now I can finally let it go. I considered this move for years and years, always wondering when I'd get the chance to come back and if it would really be as ideal as it seemed. Now we know it's not! There are days and specific places that make Buffalo feel like home, but usually I feel like I'm watching each second slip by in a place where nothing ever happens and everyone is the same. It's very hard to leave a huge city and go somewhere smaller. Much harder than the other way around, in my opinion. Expanding your mind with experiences and differences is easy; we have almost limitless capacity for growth in that regard. But if we stop, noticeable hunger appears in the gaps where all the new experiences used to be. To put it simply, I've plateaued. I'm not OK with that feeling.
I've been pretty open about my own depression over the past year or so, but only recently have I felt like I fully understand how everything happened. It looks something like this:
A. Went on birth control. Birth control hormones MADE EVERYTHING A NEVER-ENDING NIGHTMARE. Lost a bit of myself.
B. Got engaged, hooray! Except that I didn't prepare myself for how it might affect my need for solitude. Lost a bit more of myself. Effect worsened by A.
C. Quit a job through which I had gained a very important sense of what I was/wanted to be. Lost even more of myself. Effects worsened by A and B.
D. Left a city in which I had spent 7 years. Lost an enormous part of myself, as location has always been such a *thing* to me, you know? Effects worsened by A, B, and C.
E. Got married — another wonderful event, except that I still didn't prepare myself for how it would affect my need for solitude. Lost the last major remaining part of myself that was completely my own. Effects worsened by A through D.
I basically gave up all of the things that I had allowed to define who I was, and was left feeling like I had nothing, even though that's not true. So I went through all the stages of grief. And boooyyyy did I feel every single one. Feeling and fact don't often intersect, especially not when you pump your body full of estrogen like I did, wheeeeee
I feel happy, now. About 6 months after stopping birth control, I finally felt lighter. I stopped needing countdowns to get out of bed. The hair I lost is growing back. I no longer have days when I feel so hopeless that I cry endless buckets of tears. I've lost a lot of stress weight. I have interest in all the things I love again. I've adjusted to being married and it feels like a warm, comforting friend that's always been there. I'm freelancing as much as possible, and the projects I've take on as an independent contractor are so much cooler than anything I've ever done as an employee; seeing that value in my own clients has fixed the grief (really) that I felt from stopping full-time work.
I don't know how I fit in with the blogging world. I've gotten the urge to write a few times over the past month, but I'm stopped by so many things. I just want to write what I feel and have select people read it and discuss. I changed all of my social media usernames from @fffilth to @hannadekker because I want this site to stand alone, totally unrelated to all the noise that surrounds work, politics, art, etc. I don't want texts from my parents about my posts that end up making me feel guilty for saying what I feel. I don't want mediocre companies emailing me to ask if I'll wear one of their stupid shirts in a blog post. I don't want sponsors and workshops and cross-promotions and insights and analytics and SEO, it is all so catastrophically fucking boring and pointless to me. I just wanna feel all of the important feelings and talk about them with other people who feel important feelings too. I want to relate to people through writing, and that's it.