I read the news today, oh boy

The balance between work and life has yet to be fully struck. I’m still only a few weeks into the gig, and though I’m more comfortable being where I am and working alongside a dedicated, energetic, generous, and honest gentleman, the commute still drains me and the work presents new challenges to my logical skills and memory retention every day. If I can succeed more than I fail, even in small ways, at a rate over 50%, I’ll be okay. It’s hard to gauge, at times.

When I’m not at work, I try to take care of myself, and sometimes, that means tuning out the world.

I haven’t always been good at being comfortable in the space I occupy. When I was crashing on couches and bouncing between hosts, I always felt out of place. It was hard to feel like I belonged anywhere. I had very little space to be myself, work on myself, put my best self forward. And I suffered for it.

Now, things are better. I have space that’s mine (mostly). I can have true seclusion, shut everything out, disappear for a while. It’s lovely.

At times in this current world, though, it feels selfish.

I know that we can’t afford to isolate ourselves, to exist merely within our own echo chambers. We must reach out, be connected, stand together. That’s what it means to be a part of the Resistance. We are stronger together, when we cross lines of race and gender and identity and background, when we give one another the benefit of the doubt, when we imagine one another complexly. That means staying current. That means exposing myself to the onslaught of flagrant stupidity and arrogant presumption of those trying to control our world. That means looking at smug faces of the Patriarchy’s cronies, and resisting the urge to punch the screen.

And all the while, my lovely head weasels push back on my forward progress.

I’m working as hard and as well as I can. And that’s valued and appreciated, at home as well as at work. I’m doing more, feeling more, saying more, and slowly, hurting less. I do think about people and parts of my heart I’ve lost every day, but I can work past it in ways that are forward progress, not dwelling in the past or muddling up the moment. This is all good. This is all better than I was. And yet, I struggle to recognize it in myself. My learned behaviors of talking myself down for fear of buying my own hype keep me from building myself up.

Getting past that means being out in the world. Being my best self in the world. And not hiding myself away where none can see my light.

I have to take care of myself, be gentle with myself, keep getting better. The people who love me, who actually care, want that.

But I also have to be a part of this world, because I can help keep it together.

On Fridays I write 500 words.