From Treading Water to Swimming

Creative limbo can be hell. It’s something we all struggle with in some form at some point. For me, this limbo has presented itself in struggling to consistently create content for the blog. I know it hasn’t been long since I started but when something is important to you and it’s not panning out like you imagined, it does not take much for frustration to begin creeping in. The frustration has doubled because of my inability to pinpoint why I was feeling like this.

Then, as with many things in my mind, it suddenly clicked. I was only treading water, I was keeping myself from going under but I was not actually going anywhere. I had gotten too caught up in comparing myself to others, too bogged down in figuring out how I was going to make an impact. I thought that I needed to figure out how I was going to make a name for myself, create a distinction from all the other content creators. Then I realized that my distinction was that where I live, how I live, and my personality means that I experience geekdom in a more introspective and existential way. And that is what needs to be reflected here. At heart, I am an essayist; I find joy in the proverbial putting of my pen to the paper, in giving life to my ideas, thoughts, and opinions to. Sure, they may not earth shattering or prodigious, but they are mine, and that is what makes it worth it. That’s what differentiates this blog from the next. I had it figured out all along, I had just unintentionally lost sight of that.

Yes, I always want to do the best that I can. Yes, I want to reach as big an audience as possible. Yes, I want to create conversations and dialogue with those who share similar interests. But this is not my full-time job.  I cannot, should not, will not try and compete with blogs and fan sites whose moderators have the ability to commit more time that I am able. The only purpose that will serve is to drive me crazy, to drive me to the point that I don’t want to write anymore. I can not, do not, want that. Not at all. So the key is to remember that it does not make my little corner of the Internet any less important, any less worthwhile if there is a lapse between posts. It does not make my little corner of the Internet any less important, any less worthwhile if I do not post on anything and everything that comes and goes in the world. So as long as I am writing, so long as I am hopefully creating content worth reading, I will be happy and I will keep doing what I’m doing. And I hope you will keep coming back to visit.

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Drowning in a Sea of Comic Books

Marvel Unlimited is ruining my life.

But I’m not complaining.

I’m sure that this medium is not new to many of you but it is to me. I knew it existed as I’d seen in on the Marvel website, but once I realized that I wanted to delve further back into the volumes of some of the series that I’m currently reading (as well as other ones), it was obvious that Marvel Unlimited would be the easiest and most economical way to do so.

In the single evening after signing up, I read issues 1-6 of the current Invincible Iron Man series (leaving me 7-11 to read in order to be caught up), the entire 2012 Hawkeye series, and two or three issues of Captain America where he is shot after Civil War. I pretty much read for over four hours straight. I made myself go to bed because I knew I’d be regretting it the next day at work if I didn’t.

There is so much to discover, over 17,000 books, that I now have access to. And with my addictive personality, that means I’m pretty much going to devour as much as I can as quickly as I can. My love for Marvel is nothing new, but now that I’m starting to learn the true history and subtle nuances of the characters, I just cannot get enough. This is what I live for; this is why I love being a geek.

If you need me, just yell down the rabbit hole. But don’t be mad if I’m too absorbed in my reading to answer back. It’s nothing personal.

August Objectives- Quick Update

One of the bigger goals I set for August was no spending outside of the essentials. A relatively easy task, yes, but I am 100% an impulse buyer. I see something, I buy it. I get bored, I go browsing around online. It never ends well for my wallet.

Twice now, I have made myself walk away from something I wanted to buy but absolutely did not need. It’s so much harder to do that in real life than it is online where you can just exit the browser. It shows I know what the responsible thing is to do, it shows I’m capable of not throwing my money away on frivolous finds. I was so proud of myself that I just had to do a quick post.

I ran to the store yesterday on my lunch break to grab a few things. I cut across  the office supply aisle, and, wouldn’t you know it, there was a display of 5×7 notebooks with old school Marvel Comics cover. Not only am I an office supply addict, but notebooks and stationary are my kryptonite. And only $5! How could I not get them? Into the cart two of them went and on my merry little way I went. I didn’t even get to the end of the aisle before I stopped and realized that I couldn’t do this. I had no immediate, specific purpose for them (other than the fact that they were so much fun) and therefore couldn’t justify buying them. Placing them back on the shelf if felt like they weighed a ton. But by cheating on my goals I only cheat myself in the end. And that makes no sense.

Then today I ran to Kohl’s on my lunch break to return a few shirts. I had time to waste and nothing else to do so I just walked around. I found a cute crossbody/clutch on clearance. I’ve been wanting  a new one so I picked it up and went to check out. But I kid you not, I was in line having a very loud yet internal debate with myself about this stupid $12 clutch. I finally made myself turnaround and take the clutch back to the handbag department. Just because this one was on clearance does not mean that I have to buy it.

It’s an old adage but it holds true- if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish almost anything. If I put my mind to it that I don’t buy things that I don’t need (instead of making an excuse to justify the purchase), and I act accordingly when the need arises, eventually it will be habit. I’m not saying I’m going to stop shopping all together but I need to learn to control my impulse buying, to make more responsible spending decisions. These last two days have shown me that I’m capable of that. Let’s hope I hold strong to finish out the month!

 

August Objectives

Try as I might, I’ve been pretty lackluster so far in my attempts to buckle down and get serious with various pursuits. This is in part due to a combination of poor effort, lack of accountability, and too much ambiguity in what I was trying to achieve. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for several months now. I can’t quite pin down the exact root of the issue but all I know is that I’m sick of it. So I’ve decided to take a page out of some of my fellow bloggers books’ and start a monthly goals post.

Objective #1: For the month of August, I will not buy anything outside of the necessities. No online shopping, no random trips to the mall or Target, no Amazon orders. My discretionary spending has been out of control the last three months. I sat down and actually figured it all up and honest to god nearly had a heart attack. 90% of the things I bought were pure indulgences. And while that is okay (especially for someone who is single and not behind on their bills), the extent to which I’ve done it has crossed into ridiculousness. Every penny that I save will add to account I use for cons and trips. Not only that but I’m working on rebuilding the savings that was spent down after buying a house last year.

Objective #2: Lose 6 pounds before ChiCon. My weight is something I’ve struggled with for many years. About two years ago I started to be more conscious about the amount I was eating and exercising. By this time last year I had lost 40 pounds and I felt great. Then winter hit and I stopped going to gym consistently like I had been. By the time spring arrived, I had lost pretty much all motivation for working out. Over the course of those 3-5 months I gained back about 15 pounds and I can tell. What’s more disturbing is that that I can see myself falling back into my old, bad habits. The changes I had made those two years ago were not drastic by any means. It’s just a matter of willpower to start making the right choices again. Six pounds is completely doable and will hopefully get me back to where I was and eventually making even more progress.

Objective #3: Be more effective at time management. Unless I have a specific project to complete or deadline to meet, time management is not my forte. And it doesn’t help that I can tend towards being lazy. I’ve gotten in the bad habit of only doing one thing each evening. Once that’s done, I pretty much veg out for the rest of the night, regardless of what time it is. And while downtime is essential to my mental health, there is plenty of room to add other activities. Whether it’s going back to the gym, doing some writing, DIY around the house, there is no excuse for spending so much time not doing anything. I need to realize that there is nothing wrong with having and maintaining a schedule for all aspects of my life. If it’s what will help me achieve my goals, whatever they may be, then it’s well worth the micromanagement.

We all occasionally need a push or nudge that gets us going back in the right direction. I had thought that happened earlier this summer but apparently that nudge wasn’t strong enough. Various conversations and some personal insights have hopefully given me the major kick in the ass that I need so I can get back on track. I’m ready and I’m hopeful, so here we go!

Do you have any goals that you’re working on? Or is there a goal you’ve reached that you’re proud of? Let me know in the comments!