The past twelve months have been the worst, for me, in at least ten years. In December I lost a job that I thought I was doing well at, where I felt creative and productive. In July, my dog died and my aunt died, within a week of each other, while I wasn't in the country. My mother's will finally came to term this year, so I've spent several months both mentally and physically preparing for the sale of my childhood home, which I own, and going through all the stuff of hers that was put into storage in a hurry. The house I rent - and I adore it - was also sold, and I had to deal first of all with financial advice and banks and bridging loans and begging in an attempt to buy it myself, which did not work out timing-wise, so then there were photographers and viewings and pushy agents and house-hunting. That situation didn't end up as bad as it could have - the new owners settled before an auction took place and we get to stay here as tenants (though there's a 40% rent increase) but it was a really bad time, especially as it was happening concurrently with all the death stuff.
These circumstances caused long stretches of won't-get-out-of-bed, lose-track-of-time, can't-reply-to-emails-until-six-months-later depression, and a full-on shaking-on-the-floor panic attack in the airport when I was trying to fly out of San Diego to get back to Australia for a funeral and the local connecting airline accidentally locked my ticket so that the main airline wasn't able to access it.
Don't get me wrong, a lot of really awesome things happened too (amazing UK trip last October for The Libertines and everything that's happened with them since then, Megan visiting Australia for the first time, doing SDCC with Hypable, getting my learners permit, discovering The Raven Cycle and Hannibal and Hamilton and Kingsman and Deadpool and cronuts) and even the bad stuff served to strengthen a lot of personal bonds that I have with people - I've had important one-on-one conversations with a lot of friends this year and received immense amounts of support from places I never expected. But it's been a time, guys. This was The Year The Bad Things Happened.
During this time, writing was not something that helped me. I've never labeled myself a writer, but I was always a blogger - not, like, a "blogger," just a weblog diarist - from the moment I really got involved with online communities. I got a lot out of it, particularly in the days of LiveJournal. The instant gratification of Twitter did wean me off long-form blogging a bit, and I love my Twitter more than anything in this life, but I always returned to my blog when I really had something that I wanted to tell people about, or to explain the details of a situation and let my friends know what was going on.
That stopped working for me. In the past year, that prospect has seemed daunting. Attempting to explain myself or how I feel has been draining, not cathartic. Opening up a blank entry page was just like a stressful horror story, and I did it as little as possible, including, as I mentioned, replying to emails. This goes for my work as a features writer at Hypable too. I had no ideas or opinions that I could be bothered expressing. I've always toed deadlines because I find that I work best then, but this was more than that, it was active procrastination because I did not want to do it. Producing content each week became an anxiety-ridden obligation, to the point where I had to take an official break from my duties for the first time since I joined the site in 2011.
However, I'm finding in recent weeks that the worst is over. I took a really indulgent holiday by myself in September, after all of the housing/death mess was over. I saw a favorite band's reunion concert, a ton of friends, and five musicals in five days. It was intended to heal and recharge, and it kind of worked... or maybe it was just a matter of time. I'm writing for the site again and as I go, I'm actually getting excited about the prospect of composing my articles, jumping out of the shower to make notes... The thing is, I knew that I wanted to want to write. I just literally couldn't. But for now, I can. And for the first time in a long time, I also feel like writing for myself, in a more personal manner. I came across an old post on here today and thought that I'd dust this account off and have another go. I thought about starting a new blog, but that seems unnecessarily dramatic.
So this is ultimately going to be a personal, but public, blog. I've never actually had one of those before - my writing was always very divided between locked personal accounts, and public pop culture accounts, like this one used to be for a hot second. I hope to post medium sized-entries about anything that occurs to me, from my current mental state to reviews of the pizzas that I eat.
To any newbies who happen to end up here: no, I'm not trying to be, like, a thing. I come from the LiveJournal generation. We all used to do this. LiveJournal was like Twitter, but longer.
To any oldbies: hey.