In Sickness and In Health

No video this week — I am still under the weather, and feeling precisely the opposite of photogenic. Last week I was drained of energy, but I assumed it was over-work. By Saturday I could tell I was coming down with a cold. In my video last Sunday you can hear I am hoarse. Sunday night it hit me hard, and by Monday my throat was so ragged from coughing fits that I began to cough up blood. This has never happened to me before, so I became quite alarmed. I saw a doctor to rule out strep throat, and anything that might worsen into bronchitis or pneumonia, but thankfully it is only a cold. For two days I mostly slept, and while I still have a mild cough and some congestion, by the end of the week I was able to work an 11.5 hour shift at my job and get back to the gym. I finished the week about 3lbs lighter than I started it. Eating has been a challenge, generally. I am still up a pound, to about 111lbs. I am frustrated with my upper body, but I have seen a noticeable increase of strength in my legs and core. I am starting to feel more solid, even if it is psychosomatic.

Stephen and I are back together, again, and working on our relationship. He is taking more seriously the promises he made to me, giving me more space to be creative, and doing more to address his issues that predate us getting together. For my part, I am making a conscious and concentrated effort to be more accommodating, understanding of differences, supportive, and less in need of strictly controlling all aspects of my environment. When you grow up alone and lonely, lacking reassurance and physical affection, genuine intimacy and sharing a living space can feel quite suffocating. The instinctive reaction to this discomfort is to tend toward self-defeat and self-destruction. Like the Ghost of Christmas Future, I have seen glimpses of the bitter and isolated life that awaits me, if I did not — and I do not continue to — learn to become emotionally available, and connect with other people in more than superficial and self-serving ways. I am brave, intelligent, secure, and self-aware enough to recognize my mistakes, and push myself in the directions I need to grow and escape my patterns. As I have been doing, since 2015. I am blessed to have a wonderful adoptive family of friends and coworkers, and I am actively seeking out mutually beneficial relationships with fellow artists and creatives to find the fulfillment and collaboration I crave in that area as well.

Baby Cal
My friend Taya’s baby boy.

The Christmas tree has accumulated a small collection of gifts, and it pleases me greatly. I have been through multiple real and artificial trees since arriving in Saint Paul, none of which felt “right” to me, but this one is perfect. It is a colourful explosion of vintage-inspired tackiness. Most of the ornaments were chosen as symbols of the important relationships and passions in my life, and some of the decorations were given to me by friends. Speaking of gifts, thank you for the items from my wishlist I recently received. I have been wearing the base layers daily, and with my new coat, this winter has been much more comfortable so far. I have lost a lot of body mass, and I am always cold.

Christmas Tree

This has been a watershed year for me. I crossed several long-term goals off my list, and have had some serious breakthroughs. I am excited to move on to the next phase of my life and career, finishing Lunch Break and proceeding with Queen of Assholes. I finally subscribed to Quickbooks and TurboTax, and I am almost finished correcting three years of slipshod book-keeping, with my PayPal and Etsy store synced up and automated going forward. This was the last major area of my life that needed attention, and it is going to save me so much time and energy, it is almost as good as hiring a personal assistant.

Looking forward to a nice Christmas and strong start to 2019.

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