If you’ve wondered where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, Instagram was probably a good place to start. I wasn’t posting too much of the personal journey, which is ongoing, but I was active enough to make a dent in this crazy world of balancing life with social media activity.
When it comes I writing, I have a few partially started pieces (and multiple manuscripts), but I didn’t get very far with anything because I’ve been distracted, sick, and trying to live. The living part is where things get tricky. The art of balancing means I’ve been close to hitting my head many times.
No matter what you may or may not be going through, it’s important to know who is on your side. Over the past year, I’ve watched my circle shrink to a dot. Nothing I say here is anything I will not, or have not, said to someone’s face. Establishing hardcore boundaries showed me who was going to ride things out with me, and who wasn’t. I’m okay. I’m mentally prepared to cut off family members, empty friendships, and anything and anyone who is unhealthy or toxic. People are going to be surprised, but I am ready for this next chapter. My patience is gone. My temper is at an all-time high. I am never one hundred percent sure what is going to come out of my mouth, and I’ve been super honest about this.
Part of my silence here is because my life is changing and for a long time, I felt like I was losing my identity. It felt as though someone had erased my accomplishments, wiped things clean, and took me along with them. It is a horrible feeling. I’m struggling, and I have exactly two people who are aware of what is going on. It feels like a burden; a two person support system. It makes me even angrier, because I listen to everyone with a genuine heart. I answer texts and e-mails. I take calls, even when I would prefer not to. I’m hurting, and that’s actually kind of dangerous because I am dealing with so much narcissistic selfishness that it’s borderline unfathomable, and I do not use this expression lightly.
I wear many hats and titles, some more important than others, but as a writer, you never want to lose your purpose for speaking up and speaking out. You will have occasional ups and downs, because that is life in a nutshell, but lifting yourself back up into your role, and your gift, well, it’s been difficult for me. It is important to talk about it, to address it, and to remember you only compete against yourself. No one else on this planet has what I have to offer. There’s a reason for everyone’s unique perspective. It is a Divine gift.
Someone suggested I put one word in front of the other, and just keep going. They weren’t in the same room with me when they said this, or I would have tossed them out the closest window. It came off so dismissive. Two days later, I had someone else be even more dismissive with me, and I returned from that interaction sick as a dog.
Covid has taught me that I am actually sickened by people in all kinds of situations, large or small, and would prefer to keep things as small and as private as humanly possible. Some things are too damn precious to share. I am adjusting to this knowledge, while honoring my very real feelings on this matter.
When everything is “officially” reopened next month, I will still be taking precautions. I am going to prioritize my safety, and the safety of my family. I am going to put my mental and emotional health first. I am not going to jump into anything, because the cast iron skillet isn’t ever safe. It’s not about fear or paranoia; it’s about common sense. The world has changed. So have I; for the better.
Life is chaotic and messy, but I’m looking forward towards all the beauty coming my way. I’m going to absorb all of it, privately. In peace. And yeah, I will write about things, because it’s what I do.
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I wanted to pause and take a moment to thank all of you for being here. We live in troubling times and our worlds are fast-paced and driven my headlines and social media. Taking a moment out of your busy day to read whatever it is I have written or shared means so much to me. The likes and e-mails do not go unnoticed. I find the e-mails especially touching because they are so unexpected.
I know my social media aesthetic is quite different from that of most people. This month marks my tenth year with WordPress, and I have actually had many of you as friends in real life from day one. That is special and I have immense gratitude for it all. I take nothing for granted.
This year was challenging for me, and for so many others. At times, I didn’t write here because I was so focused on manuscripts. So determined to tell beautiful, complicated, fantastic stories. My attention has since shifted. Don’t get me wrong; I have plenty of drafts for a lifetime, millions of thoughts, and a trillion ideas. That’s simply how my mind works. In a little over two months, I have found myself wanting to return to who I was long before I ever started out by taking print format online.
In late October, my closest friends heard me say, “I feel like myself again. I feel like New York City Lisa.” She is a different beast, indeed. I missed her. She is truly a force to be reckoned with. I missed having a purpose every single day. Even if it meant making enemies, instead of friends. I was my most unapologetic self, but I have grown. The same person exists, but I am stronger. I missed the real me, who often felt neutered by society and over-dramatic, unimportant nonsense. This person sounds like an alter ego, but that’s not it at all. It’s the real me.
When I first took my work online, my goal was to remain authentic and true. I do feel I’ve done that and I am proud of pretty much everything I’ve written, no matter how difficult or painful it may have been. There were many days and nights where I typed beautiful things through hysterical tears.
I am not a crier. I am deeply private. I love my autonomy. I love writing. I love putting ink to paper, but find it harder to pick up a pen these days due to early arthritis from repetitive typing. Other writers know what I mean; we feel it when we take a break. I love Blonde Espresso in my Cold Brew, but I also like simpler things. I love rainy days. I love snow days that don’t last too long, but just long enough that I’ve had a massive cup of Earl Grey. I love first edition books, music, and well-made films. And most importantly, I LOVE having a passion for what I do. It’s crucial to my existence.
I’ve been a writer longer than I care to admit. The majority of my life has been spent in front of various computers, typing all kinds of prose. There is power to using words properly, and while I will absolutely continue to write, I have also decided to go back to doing something I love. Something I am amazing at. It’s all about the right time and the right opportunity. There’s one of my intentions for 2023. It’s time to take back what’s second nature to me. Stay tuned!
Wishing you all a very safe, happy, and healthy New Year! Please don’t drink and drive.
“The boundaries of this world are forever shifting – from day to night, joy to sorrow, love to hate, and from life itself to death; and who can say at what moment we may suddenly cross over the border, from one state of existence to another, like heat applied to some flammable substance? I have been given my own ever-changing margins, across which I move, continually and hungrily, like a migrating animal. Now civilized, now untamed; now responsive to decency and human concern, now viciously attuned to the darkest of desires.” ―Michael Cox
I blinked and it’s Thanksgiving week. How the hell did that happen?! The past two years have truly been a blur, and I definitely wasn’t having any fun. Yesterday was the most Friday-feeling a Monday could be. I spent the entire afternoon confused about what day it was and what the damn time was. Genuinely sad. We’ll add it to the list of things that make me feel completely fucking pathetic. 😦
I’m chalking a lot of this confusion up to burnout. Nine to ten hours of sleep most nights doesn’t really fix anything for me, either. The body needs constant rest and calm, two things I find extremely difficult to achieve long-term. I was born stressed (that’s not a joke, but an actual fact.). I’ve struggled with insomnia for so long, I don’t think about it much any more. Not until it interrupts my life and screws with my ability to be a functioning human-being. It’s doing that now; interrupting my life, and it has been for a long time. I’ve worked so hard to regulate it and get it under control. As soon as I do, and I think I’m on to something, something else happens which completely interrupts the new cycle, and then I am back at square one. I will address that with my doctor next year (In truth, I am looking for a new doctor because this one makes me contemplate evil things.).
I have been experiencing bone-deep, soul-deep exhaustion. A misdiagnosis for chronic fatigue is evident, and I’m going to confront it. The last time I made the statement about how exhausted and drained I feel, my doctor found my Vitamin D levels were almost non-existent. It has never happened to me in my entire life (Especially as someone who avoids the sun.), so he blew it off as a New England thing. Yeah, I rolled my eyes at that ridiculous explanation, only to find out it IS quite common here. He put me on a two month prescription to replenish my stores and then ordered me to take 2000 mgs every single day afterwards. Not a single change in how I feel as happened by supplementing Vitamin D, and I’m not going to keep taking them if they’re unnecessary. My other tests were normal, but the few that were questionable were also blown off. I have major organs I need to be concerned about, and a doctor who doesn’t give a shit because his agenda doesn’t involve actually helping me. The previous doctors who treated me were big on recommending Tylenol and Aleve any time my chronic pain came up. They didn’t care if I was taking a bottle a month, so long as I wasn’t talking to them about my physical pain levels, because G-d forbid a pain patient should want quality of life! This doctor had a low-key meltdown over the mere mention of Tylenol, and when we spoke, I had stopped taking it entirely. His thought process was that it was killing my organs. Gee, ya think?! Stop pushing it at pain patients like it’s 1982! We aren’t amused, and gastrointestinal bleeds are at an all-time high right now where pain sufferers are concerned. It ISN’T overdose, it’s neglect. We aren’t being given options, unless it’s to be treated like hardcore addicts at pain clinics, with monthly pill counts and drug testing. If you come up negative for the prescribed drug, you don’t even get to say, “Maybe I metabolize it faster than other people do.”, which is a real thing, because you’ll immediately be accused of selling your pills. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who regularly goes to a pain clinic. They’ve seen it all, and it scares them. A friend of mine was shamed by the doctor at a clinic because one pill a day is not helping her. She’s suffering, but was given the riot act on how she should feel like a failure if one pill a day isn’t enough. I was OUTRAGED when I heard what happened. I find the language used towards pain patients pretty despicable to begin with, so this was a new low.
I decided to set a few of my writing projects aside in order to focus on something more important, for now. I’m not going to walk away from solid opportunities, even if that means moving out of my comfort zone a little, or in this case, a lot. I caught myself being pulled in too many directions and at the end of the day, there’s only one me. Telling my brain is harder than telling myself what I am doing on any given day. The brain is slower on the uptake. If you ever assume I’m being hard on myself, it’s because I am. Harder than I care to admit.
Sometimes I don’t think other people realize how blessed they are to be in good health. They will mention minor issues to me and I’ll find myself utterly dispassionate and disinterested in such things which can easily be corrected. I openly admit to lacking empathy and compassion about a LOT of things these days. Most people don’t know me well enough to know that’s how I’m reacting, but I’m being honest about it. What bothers me day in and day out doesn’t seem to affect other people, and I slowly catch on to their behavioral changes (I love when people think I don’t notice how they’re behaving towards me. They’re underestimating my intuition.), and then make adjustments to my response system in accordance. It’s a psychological survival technique, and for some of us, it’s every day life.
Getting out of bed each day without pain is something people should be grateful for. Little things you go through with no issue or suffering… Please consider how it sounds to people who are suffering so much that they have stopped communicating how bad it is to you because they are met with disinterest. We’re glad it’s easy for you, but we’d like to be considered, too. I’ve become dispassionate as a result of the lack of support. I am not alone in my emotional responses, either. I talk to people who are experiencing the same damn thing. We’re fed up, and we only feel supported in our own communities.
This year, I’m ditching Thanksgiving entirely. I am grateful for what I have every single day of my life, and Chanukah begins on the 28th. I decided to embrace that above all else. I had the best time finding unique, handmade items for my close family members. I’m not entirely done, but I paid attention to the things that bothered them last year, and tried to find happier things for this holiday, which is my absolute FAVORITE. I boxed up a bunch of treats for my brother, which he’ll likely get in time. He’ll also be receiving some cool things from a company I found on Etsy. I did almost all of my holiday shopping by supporting small businesses on Etsy’s website. Not only were they happy to help, but they were also timely in getting things shipped out. I had to hide things in some ridiculously uncreative ways, but I’m so excited to see the joy on people’s faces when they open up something that not everyone will own. Anyone who is receiving a surprise in the mail will hopefully be delighted, as well. I tried to be thoughtful and unique in all of my choices, and it stems from years of cringing every time someone would ignore me, and give me something I’d never in a million years look at.
Is it odd that after all these years, I’d be happier with a Harry Potter memento, as opposed to a book I probably won’t read (If you follow me on Goodreads, you probably have an idea of who my top ten favorite authors might be.)? I’m only slightly furious that Pandora created all these amazing Harry Potter charms, yet made them overpriced as hell. That’s okay, though, as I don’t buy their items anyway, but if you were looking at these charms, I will say the detail is incredible. They’re beautiful. I’ve had my own Harry Potter charm bracelet since 2003. I had it custom made in Arlington, Texas and while I do have to polish it, it still means a lot to me, as does my original which is so jam-packed you can hear me coming if I wear both of them together.
Is it terrible that I don’t think Ulta gift cards EVER go out of style (They don’t, and you can tell by how I used my birthday gift cards from the brands I work with throughout the year. Asian skincare is THE BEST, but have you tried The Ordinary? Excellent product line. It’s affordable, but they don’t skimp out on quality. Their most expensive item is under $30. Since I also use 111 Skin, which is not cheap, it is very easy for you to do the math between the companies.)? If I want something badly enough, I will get it for myself or save up for it. I am the person who expects nothing from others, but gets a kick out of being the giver of gifts.
I will be staying out of big box stores this year for holiday items. I want small businesses to get the support. I plan to book an appointment at a local New Age/crystal shop, as well. I’ve become friendly with a local reader. I like her so much (You rarely hear me say I like anyone, so when I do, it’s a big deal for me.), and I’d rather support her as opposed to a total stranger who might not have the accuracy she does. That’s a gift to myself. I’ve found it’s wise to reward myself this time of year, too, especially since December is difficult as I move towards the anniversary of my Great-Uncle and father’s passing. It doesn’t get easier. Every year, the memories are so vivid for me and if I were a lesser being (As in, less emotionally intuitive and less emotionally intelligent.), it probably wouldn’t bother me, but it does. Honoring loved ones, even if the relationships weren’t what you may have hoped for, is still important. It’s my responsibility to do it as the leader for my generation. I could eschew it, but that feels wrong.
Next year, I will likely make a pilgrimage to all of the cemeteries involved since it’s important to make sure everything is cared for. My parents are low maintenance because it was their express request, but I haven’t been back to most graves in at least ten years, and I know it’s time. Especially when I consider how long it’s probably been since I’ve visited my Great-Grandparents’ graves. My Grandmother was still alive when I did it, so I know it’s been way too long. It’s depressing, but I feel a strong sense of responsibility for these things, even though they’re unpleasant parts of life, they’re also reality.
I’m sorry this is not an upbeat piece of work, but at least it’s honest. I look forward to sharing as we head toward a brand new year. 🙂
This is incredibly timely as I polish off this amazing manuscript. It’ll be hard to say goodbye to these characters, but they will be back for a second chapter. As will I. As will all the new projects coming up the pipeline. I have so much gratitude for what the past year and a half has brought me.
“We rest; a dream has power to poison sleep.
We rise; one wand’ring thought pollutes the day.
We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh or weep,
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away;
It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free.
Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability!” ―Percy Bysshe Shelley
“We live in a world that is beyond our control, and life is in a constant flux of change. So we have a decision to make: keep trying to control a storm that is not going to go away or start learning how to live within the rain.” ―Glenn Pemberton
Things can change in the blink of an eye, especially if you’re not paying attention.
I am trying to get some things written for all of you (and in general), but I am recovering from a medical treatment that was performed yesterday afternoon. I currently feel like someone whacked me in the head with a sledgehammer. Between that and the neck pain, it’s not fun. Sometimes my body has autoimmune responses to certain things and it makes recovery harder. I know I’m supposed to give myself up to two weeks to fully recover and go back to my “normal life”, which would be funny if anything about me was “normal”, but I’m still trying to process a lot of things. Some days you just have to respect the fact that you got out of bed.