A Modern Woman on the Move

in hot pursuit of the great green light…

Posts Tagged ‘community

Beth Ditto Fan Art!

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This is a drawing I finished up today as part of the roadmap zine I’m making for the campers of Rock’N’Roll Camp For Girls.

bethditto

In the zine, it will be black instead of yellow, but I drew it in yellow because it just felt right. Now I am debating which quote from her to use to pair with the drawing.

I am wrapping up laying out the roadmap, debating banging out one more coloring page of a rad musician. I can’t wait to try to put together a coloring book of more drawing one day (in the NEAR future) for rock camp.

We’re going to be binding the zine for the campers of the first session at my house on Saturday (the first session begind next week). We’re going to just be hole-punching and tying with colored twine (kind of like thishttp://www.pebblesandbuttons.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Tie-a-knot-or-a-bow.jpg), so it’s very easy work. There will just be about 70 of them to do, so many hands will make the work quick!

If you’ve been looking for someway to help rock camp, this would be a great start! In addition to having a chance to help out rock camp, you can have a chance to meet other rad volunteers. Plus, you can check out the road map I made for campers, which will be including some rad art of musicians.

If you have something you’d like to donate to rock camp, gift cards, services, art, whatever, this would be a great time to drop a donation off. Remember, RNRC4G is a nonprofit and you will get a receipt for your tax-deductible donation. So, for example, if you’re an artist, you get to set the value of what you’ve donated. Also, what’s more awesome than giving your comics or your band’s cd to young people?

We’re also going to watch The Punk Singer (probably starting it at 3:00), because I have been wanting to see it and showing it during working on this seemed appropriate. ♥

Blue will provide some tasty snacks and beverages for this work part, but you’re welcome to bring some too! If you want to come and you don’t know where I live, you can message me for the address. Feel free to invite your rad friends!

PZS is coming… A love letter to inspiration and community.

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Another year, another Portland Zine Symposium.

Actually, I am very excited about this year’s zine symposium. While we’ll be at The Refuge for the second year and that space really isn’t big enough for us, it looks like we’re experiencing a re-invigoration among the organizers.

I have been trying to think about why that is and I have come up with a few reasons…

The biggest is that there are two new, awesome zine fests/events/etc. that have popped up with excited and ambitious organizers. The awesome, new LA Zine Fest and Chicago Zine Fest have really helped breathe new life into the idea of organizing zine fests. They have stuck to DIY and non profit kind of attitude, while also trying new, creative, and interactive events and promotions for zines and zine fests. As someone that has been helping out with Portland Zine Symposium for 5 years now, it is so helpful to see new fests with DIY values but also new ideas. It also is inspiring to know some of the organizers and be hearing them trying to figure out how to start he fest and seeing them succeed.

I used to live in Chicago when I was younger and I met Neil Brideau years ago in Portland through comics, we bonded over having lived Chicago, zines, veganism, and biking. When I visited him on a trip to Chicago, we talked at length about the zines and comics community in Chicago and how he might be able to facilitate people coming together in a more solid community. The next thing I new, he had helped start Chicago Zine Fest and registration was opening up for it. He has tried to pick my brain about organization of zine fests over the years…. But I have to confess to being less available than I would like to commiserate, motivate, and brainstorm with him due to my schedule and how I have grown to hate communicating by long emails and rather just talk on the phone.

I met the awesome Eryca Sender at PZS one year for a zine organizers panel, I think it was in 2010. She was helping to begin to plan for LA Zine Fest and I admired her ambition. When I first came into PZS, I felt full of ideas and motivation, but, the last couple years, I have been dealing with burnout and tired of feeling like I was the only one who wanted to do more new things and more events for more zine outreach. Take that dramatic thought with a grain of salt, because other PZS organizers do want to do more things and more outreach, we are just stretched thin with our low number of organizers and some of the other organizers or more grounded and cautious than I, they’re not just boring naysayers or anything. Connecting with her and just having the zine organizers panel discussion reminded me how much interest there is in zine and DIY media and how I need to refocus on bring it together instead of moping that there is a lot to do every year and that it’s hard. Now the LA Zine Fest seems to be off to a great start and it’s so awesome to read Eryca’s updates and my friends reports that the fest has been fun.

I haven’t made it to either the LA or Chicago Zine Fests because my traveling budget the last two years has been nonexistent, but I am really aiming for 2013 to be the year I finally freaking make to to both.

Another big reason that this year feels more exciting and inspiring is because of the Zine Events Organizers google group. I am so thankful that group was started and I have been so thankful to read all the threads about other people’s ideas, thoughts, challenges, etc. To have support int hat way and to be able to participate on a broad scale in supporting other people who are navigating planning zines events and fostering community has been amazing. I feel that group has helped to ground my experience in zine event planning by grounding me in a community of people who are doing the same. What a way to get back in touch with my inspiration!

And having that community now feels critical, having lost a core PZS organizer, Dylan Williams, and an inspiring friend to leukemia last year has hit hard. It has given me another reason why doing this type of volunteer work is so important and why it is fulfilling, so I want to work twice as hard at it again instead of being burnt out. I want to get people involved in this community, the community that someone I respected cared about so much as part of my own way of honoring his memory.

And, this year, we are so lucky because we have potential new organizers for helping out this year, including old organizers coming back. Our potential new organizers this year are hopskotch SunDAY, Martha Grover, Marc Parker, Derek Neuland, and maybe one or two more people. I mention the ones who have expressed the most seriousness so far, just to be cautious. I already know hopskotch is awesome because he does Stumptown Underground (though it means I already know that he is crazy busy), so it’s excited to think of doing another project with him. I don’t know Martha hardly at all, but I love her work and I love the positive and ambitious attitude she’s already bring to PZS, plus I have heard great things about her personally from fellow IPRC volunteer, Micheal Heald.  I haven’t ever done a project with Marc before, but I have known him for quite awhile and he’s been a good friend. I am interested to learn what working with him will be like. Then there’s Derek, who organized with us in 2010, moved away for a year and is now back. Derek has a lot of drive, though we did butt heads a little bit in 2010, I was thankful and proud of us both for working through the little bit of clash we had and I am glad to see him return. The last one or two people that have expressed interest in joining as organizers for PZS haven’t made it to a meeting yet, but I am even excited about them. There just seems like so much new possibility!

Finally, there’s the tried and true. While we may be recovering from slight burnout, I am so thankful for Alex Wrekk and Katie Ash. I have known these ladies for years, worked on various projects with them, and love them to pieces. I am so thankful to have them in my life, much less to be collaborating with both of them. I am thankful for their patience through all the project and personal ups and downs, for their honesty even when it’s been tough, for their dedication to our shared values, and for their continued support. I am lucky to know both of them. Thank you so much, Alex and Katie!

I actually started this post yesterday, because I wanted to announce that PZS table registration was going to be opening up at noon today.  So, anyways, the Portland Zine Symposium registration is up! Go register!

Seriously though, we have fewer tables this year than we have had in quite a while. Even though we’ve been selling out of tables every year, we just haven’t found bigger (and in our price range) space to host us and last year The Refuge was too crowded. This was partially because we had planned on the stage being taken down when determining our table space, but they had just forgot to take it down or decided not to, and also because we don’t really have the workshop space we need there (and they also hadn’t totally cleared the space we assigned for the workshops and we had to change things last minute). The space tried to make it up to us and were nice about it, but we still need to find a bigger venue with more space for our tablers and workshops. We are working on this for 2013, but, in the meantime, we’re making this work. To help it be less crowded to get around in, we are only having 70 tables and only 10 of those will be available as full tables. So, we are estimating on having 10 full table registrations and 120 half table registrations available. You better get on it! http://pdxzines.com/tabling/

When you register, please note the option to select “Up for trades” on the form. What is it? Well, go read about it, darn it! Seriously though, it’s another attempt on our (the organizers’) part to keep PZS zine focused and community-centric. If you select that option, you will be getting a discount on your registration, an “Up For Trades” button to wear during PZS, and some other potential perks. <3

Life Eternal

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So, as several of you know, either because I emailed you or talked to you in person or because you saw my last blog post, I am working on a zine in remembrance of and in dedication to Dylan Williams.

At this point, after talking to Emily regarding how to handle distributing the zine (if it should be free, if it should be sold by Sparkplug to help keep it going, etc), I approached Justin at the IPRC about selling this zine to help raise funds for a scholarship that IPRC is just announcing will be offered in Dylan’s memory for the IPRC’s Comics Certificate Program. Dylan taught in the program, teaching and supporting others in their creative endeavors was important to him in many ways, and it seems like the best thing to do with the result of the zine… Especially since Emily suggested it. So, this zine will be sold all over and all proceeds will go to the Dylan Williams Scholarship Fund for the IPRC’s Comics Certificate Program.

I am also thinking of calling the zine Life Eternal, because my favorite photo of Dylan is the one Theo posted of Dylan next to those words. I think Dylan would feel kind of awkward if his face was on the cover of something, as he was rather humble, so I was having the cover all black, those letters in white, and that photo on the inside cover with an explanation of the zine, how it’s in dedication to his life and ideas and what the sales of the zine go to. This is not an idea I am married to and I need to ask Theo about using the photo, but it’s the first idea I had. I would also be open to doing a call for an illustration for the cover.

As far as submissions go, anyone can submit anything related to Dylan Williams, his ideas, his life, and so on. I would like to keep guidelines very loose so as to have the zine be  as inclusive as it can. Writing, illustrations, comics… Pretty much anything printable.

Do you have any thoughts on any of this? To what degree would you like to help? Just contributing? Helping review submissions? Organizing? Just organizing advice? I am open to as little or much involvement from anyone at this point, because I’d like to approach it with an inclusive and cooperative spirit. The zine anthology I work on usually, Stumptown Underground, is a collective I started to publish anthologies where all organizers have equal input and submissions are totally open to anyone, so I guess that’s why I would approach this that way.

Please email me regarding any of this or to contribute.
lovemotionstory [at] gmail [dot] com

Thank you, Dylan Williams.

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There aren’t words to express how much Dylan Williams meant to me, yet I have trying to find them since I heard the news of his passing on Saturday.

As a friend, Dylan was kind and honest. He was able to say the things that I would offer to friends but had trouble remembering for myself, the things I needed to hear in a way that I actually heard them. There are so many examples I could give about this throughout our friendship, I can hardly figure out where to start. Instead, I will say that I always took his words and advice to heart and his support and encouragement changed my life. When Dylan confided in me about a couple situations with his friends asking what I thought, I felt like I had one a special prize of maturity, since I so deeply looked up to him.

There was so much I turned to him for, that we commiserated about, that we laughed about, that we worked on… He was vegan, he published, he taught, he created, he organized, he had similar parental issues as I did, he got mad about the same things I get frustrated over (but acted WAY more diplomatically about it). Often, the times when I was confiding in him were when I was trying to reel in my confrontational nature or to channel it more constructively. Conversely, often the times when he confided in me was to determine a way to be more confrontational or direct with someone about something. I laugh and cry just thinking about all of it.


As I search for photos of us together, I see countless emails between us over the years and it breaks my heart that I will never have a chance to work on anything with him again. I wish that I could call him and ask him what he thinks the best way to deal with any of this is right now. If you want to see a really amazing photo of Dylan, check out Theo’s blog about Dylan here. 

So many times before I got to know her, I thought how lucky Emily must be to be Dylan’s partner. As I got to know her better, I realized it wasn’t luck at all, it was because she is completely amazing as well. I got to know Emily more and more working on the Portland Zine Symposium together and I can’t imagine what she has been through or is going through because I saw so much love and support between the two of them. They worked on projects together (like PZS and Sparkplug) and supported each other in a way any of us would be fortunate to have with anyone. Knowing Dylan was an inspiration, but knowing Emily and Dylan and watching them care for each other was also a great personal inspiration to me.

When I talked to Emily on the phone yesterday, I felt helpless because I wish I could somehow make everything better. She is such a wonderful and strong person, I know she will get through this, but please consider buying comics from Sparkplug, contributing to any of the many benefits in Dylan’s honor, or showing her some kind of love.  Alex Wrekk and I were talking about doing a Delivered Dish Certificate for her, I have been thinking of just cooking some food and bringing it to her, and stuff like that.

Even in the midst of Dylan being in the hospital, Emily still helped with PZS. We all felt a gaping hole not having Dylan there this year, as he was in the hospital. We passed around a giant card for people to sign (you can see it in this video: http://youtu.be/dytCOyE3tNA, but let me know if you have a photo of that card), but I didn’t  imagine he would not be there next year. Thinking of the Portland Zine Symposium without Dylan there breaks my heart. Like most things Dylan worked on, he brought so much to it.

As a role model to me, Dylan was hardcore. Dylan got shit done. Dylan was an inspiration to see because he followed through on his ideas with action. Dylan was an inspiration to me because we had so many similar values and passions, he embodied those values and passions through his work, successfully. His work and his life showed me what was possible in helping others, building community and being a good friend. I am passionate about many ideas and projects, I try to act constructively and follow through on those ideas and projects. So often, I feel I see people talking about values and ideas without action to back their words up. Dylan didn’t just talk about comics, he made them. Dylan didn’t just support others’ comics, he published, distributed and taught comics. Dylan was an alternative before there was much of an alternative and he didn’t buy into any ideas about how comics should be, he supported anyone in making comics in their own way. He didn’t view anything as “more legitimate” just because it was mainstream, he truly found value in comics as art and supported artists making what they were inspired to make. Dylan didn’t just show compassion, he was kind to people he didn’t even agree with, something I struggle to do in my own life and often fall short on. Knowing and talking to Dylan about such conflicts has helped me improve on that and I can try to continue improving on remembering how he approached those he didn’t agree with. Even when he saw people in the Portland comics scene abandoning more independent, community-driven roots, he was thinking about starting a new independent fest. He could have just complained, but he was starting to think of new ideas to grow something instead. Dylan built community, attending zine and comics fests across the nation, contributing to other’s zines and more. When I started Stumptown Underground, his support meant so much to me. Then, when he contributed, despite all the other shit he was working on, I felt like I must be doing something worthwhile.

I also volunteer at IPRC, where Dylan taught as well. I watching him treat his students with such encouragement and dignity. His teaching philosophies were so spot on and it was reflected in I saw his students’ work grow while working with him. Always bringing people together, he would get on them to submit to Stumptown Underground or table at PZS, too.

And, you know, that’s the thing about Dylan. He could make you feel special, he could make you laugh, he could put things in perspective with no bullshit, he could give support in a way that made you feel like what you were doing mattered. Why? Because it does matter! Dylan was genuine and it mattered to him in a real way.

Humbly, without ego and without selfish ploys for credit, Dylan pushed forward ideas, compassion, support and projects for the sake of doing it, because he believed that was the way to be.

And, damn, is he right. Reading posts by others who knew him, it all shines through. It is only sad to lose Dylan because knowing him was such joy and inspiration. That his life was cut short is only a loss because he gave so much.


I could go on and on, but I am still processing. One of the ways I deal with pain is through creative expression. I want to thank everyone who has written about Dylan so far (I have already personally emailed some, I imagine I will have more people to thank soon). All your positive and loving stories are amazing to read and it makes me want to figure out a way to preserve a lot of this for each other, for those who may not have known Dylan as well, or for those who will never get the chance to know him in person.

I have started sending out emails about doing a zine dedicated to / in remembrance of Dylan. I am not sure what direction it will take, but maybe it will just be really loose, anything people who have known him would like to contribute, stories about him, his ideas, his work, etc. I would like help putting it together and help giving the whole idea shape. I think I would like to make it something widely available for free, leaving it in comic book stores around Portland and taking it to conventions, etc. Or maybe continually printing and supplying the to Sparkplug and letting Sparkplug sell it? I am not sure. One of the many values Dylan and I shared was a passion for collective, equal organizing. I would love the organizational help in an equal way from anyone who is interested. If you want to help me organize it or just to contribute, please email me at lovemotionstory [at] gmail [dot] com, I would love to hear from anyone who knew Dylan about this. I also am thinking about starting another independent comics fest in his honor, as we’ve seen more indie comics people coming to PZS looking for a place to express their voice.

Thank you for everything, Dylan Williams. You lead your life in such a kind, sincere and active way. We are all so lucky to know you.


Here are other posts about Dylan that specifically meant a lot to me:

Alex Wrekk – http://alexwrekk.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/1576/
Tom Neely – http://www.facebook.com/iwilldestroyyou/posts/10150296855268051 – “he was better than all of us. and he only wanted us to be ourselves. that’s all i can say right now.”
Tessa Brunton – http://tessab.net/2011/09/11/in-peace/
Gabby Playhouse – http://www.gabbysplayhouse.com/?p=1934
Austin English – http://dominobooksnews.com/2011/09/11/
Elijah Brubaker – http://elijahbrubaker.com/?p=1311
David King – http://www.reliablecomics.com/2011/09/dylan-williams/
2D Cloud – http://2dcloud.blogspot.com/2011/09/dylan-william-publisher-at-sparkplug.html
Katy Ellis O’Brien – http://blog.trumpetflower.net/?p=725
If you are interested in reading more about Dylan and all the wonderful things people have to say about his life, you can check out The Comics Reporter page of the collective memory of Dylan Williams: http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/collective_memory_dylan_williams_rip/

Written by lovemotionstory

September 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

It Would Mean A Lot To Me

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Those of you who have known me for awhile, well, this won’t be news to you, but may be, perhaps, a good reminder. For the past 5 years, I have volunteered as an organizer for the Portland Zine Symposium, which is finally peaking again this weekend with the main event: The 11th Annual Portland Zine Symposium.

There have been a few outreach events the last couple months, but this weekend is the actual convention. Every year, I, along with my fellow organizers, work incredibly hard to put the Portland Zine Symposium together.

We don’t always do everything perfectly, we don’t give ourselves fancy titles within our group, like “President” or “Director,” but we all work our collective fingers to the bone to make it happen. We take on jobs, each to our ability and availability. We brainstorm, we plan, we write, we outreach, we laugh, we get frustrated, we cry, we organize, we lose sleep, we just do it until it’s done… And, somehow, it all comes together.

This year, we moved to an entirely different location, The Refuge. We did this because we didn’t want to do the Stott Gym again, for a variety of reasons, and we didn’t have the guarantee of the Smith Ballroom. In fact, we were told, it would probably be unavailable to us. We couldn’t’ wait to find that out, but we got still got the space we were moving to confirmed very late. We only have two rooms for workshops this year in this new space. We only have room for about 80 tables and our sold out with a waiting list again this year. All details that are hard, but you have to make do with what you have and press on. As Alex has noted, we are facing a problem most zine fests confront, finding a space within our means. And, to be more specific, finding a space within our means to host our community event in a way that can include the community we attempt to serve. That means, a space big enough, planned with enough time, that is cheap enough that we don’t have to jack up our tabling prices, finding other ways to increase funding (outreach/fund-raising events, fund-raising projects, etc).

We all have responsibilities for PZS. We all also work, go to school, and/or try to maintain some semblance of a social/love life to maintain our sanity. One of us became very sick this year and has been in and out of the hospital, about to undergo more surgery just before PZS. Another one of us is married to that one of us that has been having these health issues. Another has been traveling quite a bit. We need help, but a lot of people are happy we exist for them to attend the event. Without knowing what it takes to do the work to put it together, without knowing what goes into it… While thinking they just don’t have the time, while thinking they don’t know enough to help, while thinking it’s not their problem. So, when I say that we all work our collective fingers to the bone to make it happen, I mean it. When I say that we brainstorm, we plan, we write, we outreach, we laugh, we get frustrated, we cry, we organize, we lose sleep, we just do it until it’s done… I mean it.

And, somehow, it all comes together.

People have been asking me for year how I find the time to do all the projects I do. I only have one answer, I MAKE THE TIME. Unfortunately, there is no magical wizard that stops clocks for me, granting me just a few more hours in a day than you, I only have the time that I make.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone the idea that they don’t do what I do. I understand that people are different than me, I accept it. I wouldn’t ask you to do what I do. Odds are, you are really amazing at something you do that I couldn’t even imagine excelling at doing…

I only ask for consideration.

Please, consider attending the Portland Zine Symposium this weekend. I could tell you, “Look, see how many talented people will be there?” Or I could say, “Look, see all the workshops and panels there will be to go to for free?” Or, I could even say, “Hey, did you know there is free food and cool prized at the Portland Zine Symposium?

But, honestly, if you are someone I know who imagines that we are at all friends, please consider attending the Portland Zine Symposium and one of its events sometime this weekend because I work really, really hard on it every year because it is reallyimportant to me. If I know you, it would mean a lot to me to see you there.

Written by lovemotionstory

August 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

What I am making time for…

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We only have the time we’re willing to make.

I haven’t been to Jazzkat’s Coffee Bar in ages, because I don’t live or work near there. So, I made sure make the time to go there today and it’s still as awesome as ever. I love you Whitney Baskins! Plus, do all my vegan friends know that a new vegan tattoo joint has opened up around the corner? When I got to Jazzkat’s today, Whitney walked me around the corner to introduce me to the new vegan tattoo shop owners of Ritual Art Tattoo and Body Piecing, which happens to be a queer-owned vegan tattoo place, no less. There is another empty space next to Whitney’s for rent, so I was joking to her that we needed to get another vegan shop there to create a second vegan mini-mall. Maybe FoodFight needs a second location? There are already a couple grocery stores in the neighborhood though. Since Whitney’s place has coffee and sandwiches, I wouldn’t want to see something that competed with her.Maybe another Herbivore? Hm..

Anyways, I have been working harder to re-socialize myself, making time and spending time with friends I have neglected the last year and half. I had coffee with Noah last week and it was the first time I had seen him in forever. It felt so good to sit and talk, it also seemed that we had some mirroring experiences since the last time we’d really hung hung out. I also had an affirming get together with a guy I dated off and on for a year before the big-bad-ex, in which he apologized for not being a better friend while he had starting dating someone else. I had gone into meeting him expecting to still be mad but hoping to make amends, so I was pleasantly surprised when we talked and I felt he was sincerely reaching out to me. I tried explained to him that I could understand where he was coming from because I had neglected a lot of my friends while I was doing a big, unhealthy thing for over a year, so it would be pretty hypocritical not to try to offer a bit of forgiveness and understanding for his attempt at reconnection… But I would also like to be friends with him anyways, which is why it hurt to feel like it didn’t matter to him before. So, yeah, all kinds of resolutions happening, all kinds of reconnecting, all kinds of new connections.

There are some new connections happening too, which are interesting. I am dating a boy who actually is enthusiastically poly and already has a relationship going with another lady long before me, which is actually a new position for me. I am usually the lady that’s already with the guy, navigating the new ladies in the guy’s life. And often the guys haven’t been good at being honest and open with their other goings on and the ladies haven’t been very friendly to the relationship that already existed. So, in a weird way, I feel I am getting to be the kind of woman I would have liked to see in my life and I am really loving the opportunity. The other lady came to Trek in the Park with us, then her and I had coffee last week, then we all had coffee yesterday. There are some obstacles for us, mainly that she has a couple of guy friends in her life that I had bad interactions with a few years ago (I am not a fan of them and, as a result, they are not a fan of me) and that poly is still very new to her. If there has ever been one universal motivator for me, it’s been to succeed in spite of other people’s negativity or bad shit in the past. There is also the idea that polyamorous relationships are different for each set of people trying to have them, so even if the boy and his lady weren’t at all new to this, we’d still have a lot to navigate and sort out between us and I have been just blown away with the level of communication and open-heartedness from both of them.

In other news, the ocean-themed submissions deadline for Stumptown Underground is just around the corner (July 23rd) and I hope you all make time to submit to it. The submissions for the summer-themed issue were low enough and we’ve been so behind on things within SU, that is looks like we’re may combine the summer and ocean issues.

I completed the PZS 3rd Annual 24hr Zine Challenge this past weekend, but I kind of hate what I made. So, unless you sponsored me for the challenge, donating $10 or more to the Portland Zine Symposium, you probably won’t ever see this zine. I have more thoughts about the 24hr Zine Challenge for another post soo

Also, we’re doing the bike-in movie night again for PZS this year, this time with Whiffies new mobile, yellow beast. We had an open vote on the movie this year, which has finished and Triplets of Belleville was chosen! The bike-in movie night is happening on July 29th, you should all probably come.

In slighted related music listening linkage, here is a kind of dorky song I am have been liking…

Transitioning…

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Alright, here we are.

I made big promises about updating my blog with zine reviews and my life and whatever, but I haven’t been doing that.

To tell you all the truth, I have really been struggling the last few months to do most things. I have only just barely been keeping up with publishing Stumptown Underground and pitching in with the Portland Zine Symposium (that’s probably because they’re collectively organized, so I have other people helping keep me in line). This is mostly because I have been kind of depressed. Okay, not kind of, majorly.

This has been the first big bout of sadness I have had in 7 years. The last one was situational as well (read as: an unhealthy and draining relationship). I have been trying to figure out a serious relationship (in which I’ve had a boundary-pushing partner with a lot of issues while also trying to deal with my deeper issues popping up because we’ve been together for quite a while and because I am not getting all my emotional needs met), struggling with developing some new hobbies and a new line of work (which I have been open and honest with a few of my friends about, but which I can’t tell everyone about), I haven’t been biking and exercising enough (which would be a healthy way to combat some of these down-in-the-dumps feelings), and I was thinking that I maybe needed a break from most everyone.

I have a bad habit of isolating myself when I am sad. Primarily because I don’t want to bum anyone else out, but also because I feel embarrassed for being sad or depressed. This is horrible to do because, when you’re sad, that’s when you need your friends (your support network) the most. I am really thankful for the close friends I have that remind me how good it feels to talk to someone….. It’s what’s finally bringing my foot around to my ass to kick myself back into reality. Also, friends remind you that you’re worth getting your needs met and being in a loving relationship if your relationships get rocky.

My primary relationship was getting really rocky for a lot of reasons and it’s finally time for things to change, one way or another. Being with someone that is mostly inclined to see and expect the worst before the hoping for the best has been killing my usual appreciation and happiness with life. I hate this. I have had real problems in life, real struggles in situation I had no control over (an abusive parent and an abandoning parent), so I am not interested in treating life as horrible now. I am thankful to be alive, I am thankful to be me, I am thankful for my independence, I am thankful for every opportunity to love and be loved. I am, however, very much an emotional chameleon and the attitude of the people around me, especially people close to me, affects me profoundly. It’s hard when I hang out with someone depressing or angry, but it’s also what makes me so empathetic. I am thnkful for my close friends who have been reminding me of some key things as I have been getting caught up in the tornado of this partner’s problems and started feeling ways that are just not me…. It’s unacceptable for someone to get angry with me just because I am sad, especially when I am very supportive to that someone and their anxiety issues. It’s unacceptable to have a partner who will consistently lie to me to dodge any potential conflict. It’s unacceptable to have a partner who tries to superimpose their past relationships onto our relationship and onto me. It’s hard to draw the line and to know when to say when to say enough is enough, however, when you love someone and you feel like you can help your love… When you think that you’ve seen progress and you should just stick with them through this next things and then they will treat you nicely again… Or maybe this problem, or maybe once we get through that thing, or maybe just after this issue. With someone who is so overwhelmingly negative but also can be terribly charming and funny, the ups and downs are too extreme.

Knowing the distinction between the genuine effort it takes to navigate a healthy relationship and realizing that a relationship has engulfed you and taken you away from the other parts of your life is difficult. When you’re used to thinking everything will pass and be alright, it’s hard to see if someone you love actually has a problem of treating most problems like crises that they can never handle (so they just shut down, get angry or run away). Escalating more often than helping and resolving. For us it was especially hard because he brought me into a new community that I discovered I enjoyed and had a place in… Finding what my place is and learning a lot of new dynamics took a lot of patience, bravery, self reflection, mistakes and time…  But I don’t want to abandon the other communities in my life just because a new hobby is challenging. Figuring out that balance has been hard.

I am trying to get back to my own life and strike a balance again. I kind of came out as having been depressed and trying to get back to reality on twitter/facebook/to the friends I saw, but I wanted to take the time to really sit down and write about it more… This is in order to keep talking about it so that I can keep myself consciously working on these balancing issues, but also to put my feelings/experiences out there in case anyone wants to talk (or just wants to silently relate and be reminded that you’re not the only one).

And I think I am doing okay. I am going out more again and I getting back in touch with myself… My confident, independent self that has fun and appreciates that life is truly beautiful. I want to thank my close friends for being there for me. My close and supportive friends are the reason I am able to come out on the other side of all  these changes and balance myself back out with my new hobbies in tow, while also drawing some lines with my primary partner. My friends who reminded me that the rest of my life is still here and they still want to hang out even when I am sad. I am lucky for all of you and I can only hope that I am half as good of a friend to you as you all are to me.

Written by lovemotionstory

February 7, 2011 at 10:21 am