A Note On Breakdowns

A curious thing happened after my last post: I had friends and family checking up on me.

Which is not to say I didn’t appreciate hearing from every single one of you. You are all amazing and I am honored that you care about me. Thank you for that. ♥

I almost chose not to mention the breakdown. After all, the point of the post was the fact that I get a chance to do something exciting and terrifying that will go a long way to fulfilling a dream that I’ve maybe never quite believed possible.

Let’s face it: there is not enough discussion about mental and emotional health. There is a stigma attached to the subject, and treating it like it’s something rare or unique or unusual isn’t helping anyone.

That’s why I didn’t edit it out of the last post. Well, that and because I felt truly badass for being such a wreck and then doing something so awesomely terrifying.

Breakdowns are considered a weakness, and weakness is shameful. Or so society seems to want us to believe. But acknowledging and embracing weakness is also a form of strength. Breakdowns happen every day and are nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t understand dancing around the fact of them or using coded language to talk about them as obliquely as possible.

Newsflash: none of this makes them go away; it only perpetuates the culture of avoidance.

They happen to all of us, at one point or another, because life is hard, and we all reach a point where we just can’t deal with it. Some of us are blessed and privileged with the ability to get through them – move past them – more quickly than others. (I think I’m one of the privileged ones, so please take all this with a grain of salt.)

If I’m talking about a breakdown, that means it’s over and done, and I’m fine. Seriously. And if you’re checking up on me, please be patient if I’m confused and don’t immediately remember why you might be concerned.

Most importantly, thank you for caring.

Badass

In further proof that I’m insane, I’ve officially signed up to do something that terrifies me. Yesterday, I volunteered to run a scriptwriting workshop for a bunch of teenagers. After spending the greater part of the day battling an emotional breakdown. (Completely unrelated, fyi.)

My day:

  • sleep in
  • make awesome breakfast
  • proceed to breakdown
  • haul in firewood before too much snow fell
  • continue with breakdown
  • ok, done.
  • Now let’s do this terrifying thing!

In conclusion: I am either insane or badass. I can live with that.

Highlights Of A Snow Day

  1. I actually really like the snow, even (especially?) when the drifts are waist-high.
  2. Shoveling is an amazing workout. I will be sore tomorrow.
  3. Finally sat down and typed a couple shorter pieces I’ve been procrastinating on for a while.
  4. Realized that those pieces are not as horrible as I thought.
  5. No (day job) work!
  6. This post. :)

This has been an excellent, relaxing and productive day off. Adult life does not have nearly enough proper snow days.

Talent

I saw a performance of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman last weekend. I went because I have friends in it, and because I saw the auditions (it was a dual audition with Turn of the Screw) and wanted to see how the actors – and their characters – would grow from there.

The show was fantastic. The best moment came at the end – the curtain call – when the titular character’s actor stepped out. I’d somehow forgotten that there was a real live person behind the character.

That was amazing. Just wanted to share.

The Book List, 2014

The last few years, I’ve kept a list of the books I’ve read. It’s fun to revisit them at the end of the year. But it 2014, I also kept a record of days when I didn’t write.

The grand total of 2014’s non-writing days? 12.

The awesome of that somewhat balances the fact that I only finished 33 books last year.

  1. Angel’s Ink, Jocelynn Drake
  2. The Pattern Scars, Caitlin Sweet
  3. Summoning, Carol Wolf
  4. Alice in Zombieland, Gena Showalter
  5. Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
  6. Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead
  7. Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
  8. Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
  9. Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)
  10. Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
  11. Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)
  12. Tortall and Other Lands, Tamora Pierce
  13. Wild Magic
  14. Wolf-Speaker
  15. Emperor Mage
  16. The Realms of the Gods
  17. Protector of the Small: First Test
  18. Protector of the Small: Paige
  19. Protector of the Small: Squire
  20. Protector of the Small: Knight
  21. Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
  22. Written in Red, Anne Bishop
  23. Lives of Tao, Wesley Chu
  24. Fight Like a Girl, edited by April Steenburgh and Christy Lennox
  25. Tiger Burning Bright, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, and Mercedes Lackey
  26. The House of Discarded Dreams, Ekaterina Sedia
  27. Darkbeast, Morgan Keyes
  28. Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh, Jay Lake
  29. The Midnight Queen, Sylvia Izzo Hunter
  30. Urban Green Man, edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine
  31. Bloody Fabulous: Stories of Fantasy and Fashion, edited by Ekaterina Sedia
  32. Kabu-Kabu, Nnedi Okorafor
  33. The Young Elites, Marie Lu

Welcome 2015

Happy New Year!

2015 has officially arrived, my laundry list of goals and challenges for the year created, tweaked, and ready for tackling. 2014 was (mostly) a whirlwind of awesome, and I hope this year continues and builds on that trend.

May we all have a happy, healthy year spending time with those we love, accomplishing dreams and astonishing ourselves with our capabilities. Thank you, 2014, for the milestones and memories, good and bad. Welcome, 2015: I hear you could be fantastic.