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New Year, New Series

Blogging has always been a form of experimentation for me. There was my stint with doing the journal excerpts, the brief period where I posted poetry, and the general dumping of my life into the internet and seeing what happens. I tried to make a series out of that, with the Hello, I’m…Discovery series, the Game Master series, and so on, and now I’d like to add one more.

The Stories of Adulthood series. Really, it will be just another way for me to clarify my intentions with posts instead of rambling on and on (like this one does).

Blogging, to me, feels like community. I like hearing about other people’s lives, and I think they like hearing about mine, so with this new series, let’s all laugh at ourselves and share ridiculous stories about being an adult, eh?

Here we go.

Hello, I’m a Feminist.

Dangerous. Subversive. Radical. Selfish. Sensual. Worldly. Evil. Shameful. Shameless. Foolish. All words used to describe feminism in my circles.

Growing up, feminism was a bad word in my community. Church, family, and friends alike treated the word and people who identified with it as either criminally naive or just plain evil.

It was in this atmosphere I grew up, independent, fiercely sure of my own worth and intelligence, but also firmly aware of my place in the world.

I’ve been a feminist for a while, but it took me quite a long time to accept the word. Accept, and them embrace.

At first, I was careful. I believed in equality, I stressed. Not women’s superiority, so it wasn’t really feminism. Never mind that I had never done a lick of research into feminism. Never mind that the only things I heard about feminism were from its opponents. Feminism was a bad thing. Like liberalism. Destroying America, and the family, and worldwide faith.

So in the beginning, I was careful. Not real feminism, but equality. Women could do anything. They just shouldn’t do…certain things. It wasn’t right. 

But that didn’t mean we were unequal. Nope. No way. Oh, dear young self. Dear many, many younger selves who are stuck in this loop.

I am feminist now. Adamantly so. I take issue with how women are portrayed in media, how words associated with the feminine are used, and how the idea of the female has been relegated to a secondary status in almost all areas of life.

I’m not starting a lecture. I’m not going to get in a debate or list all the ways women have been subdued or oppressed. It’s not my time for that. For now, for the first thing, I’m just declaring what I am. I am a feminist.

One Year Later

It always surprises me how quickly a year goes by. Today, December 22, marks the one year anniversary of the day I came back from Korea. If you haven’t been around, I had an epic health meltdown that prompted my quick return, and this past year has been one of healing, discovery, and baby steps on the path to…well, something. The future, but that sounds cheesy.

Taking stock, I’ve done a hell of a lot this year.

You can see that in between the small things, life has taken a quick upswing in momentum. I got a job, a car, and a new home all within about four months, and those were four of my five big milestones for my life I wrote back at the beginning of this year.

One year later, everything is coming up roses. I’m still stressed out about money and life and the future and everything, but I’m learning to live with that fear. I’m learning to walk with it instead of constantly fighting it, and overall, I’m feeling eager, hopeful, and curious about life. If this past year has taught me anything, it’s that life can change in a day, and what you thought would be the trajectory of your life is but the next ten feet in the fog, and you really, really can’t see beyond that.

This next year, I have so, so many plans, and some of those will succeed and most of them will fail, but always, I will strive to fail better, and so life will go on.

Happy New Year, friends, and happy anniversary to me.

NaNoWriMo Check-In: After the Fact

NaNo has officially come to an end (duh, Audra, it’s been like a week, where have you been?). I’ve been here, in my chair, trying to keep up the writing habit on another project.

Here’s the thing. I WON NANO! Again. It’s such a good feeling. Although my story isn’t close to being done and I’m now seeing that the main thrust of the story  might not be working at all…I still did it. I wrote fifty thousand words in one month. FIFTY THOUSAND. 

I feel really good about that. I mean, I take a lot of pride in that fact. No, you can’t read it. No, I can’t even really pin down what it’s about. Doesn’t mean I’m not over the moon about finishing what I set out to do. 

Because more than just writing a novel, NaNo, for me, is a chance to prove to myself that I can make a hard goal and stick to it for one month. It means when I look at other goals or habits I want to create, I know I can do anything for one month. 

My brain is currently fried on writing – I lost momentum with the new project and have taken a few days off, but I wanted to drop an update and brag a bit. 

I won NaNo. 

NaNoWriMo Check-In: Week 3

Required word count: 35,000

Actual word count: 35,076

Week three is generally supposed to be easier, when you’ve passed the valley of death (ahem, week 2), and can see the finish line. Some people have already hit their 50k, those lucky dogs. For me, though, this third week was kind of terrible. I skipped a couple of days and had to fight to get back up to make my word-count, which I did, but it was tough going. I had to exercise some real self-discipline. 

The story itself is getting weird, in that I’m now skipping around in scenes instead of writing it all chronologically, as I was doing for the most part. I have a lot of ** COMMENTS *** like that one about what needs to happen between scenes, or where to add descriptions. I think my main feeling now is curiosity – I’m curious whether this story will reach 50k before the end, or whether it will surprise me with extra content. 

Energy level: Adequate, still. So my habit of writing is taking hold, and I can make my butt go in chair when it needs to. Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard = happy writing life. 

Enthusiasm for my story: Also still adequate, with some curiosity and a lot of “can’t I just be done with it now.” 

Outlook on next week: I’m about 99% sure I will finish on time, barring a major life catastrophe. But my story will be even messier and disjointed than I’d intended, so…

Anything memorable? The day I made up my lost word count by writing 3400 words in one sitting. Ouch. But also, I CAN DO THAT? I may need to do that all the time and start writing for real.