It’s been a little over three months since I last wrote here. Not that I haven’t written at all, nor that I have had nothing happen over the last three months. I published two articles at Modern Poly, the latter of which shares the same header image as the one I am using for this blog entry. I just really like this picture. The former article got quite a bit of attention, for alluding to the popular science of personality typology. The latter was just released yesterday, unannounced to me until I refreshed the page and there it was.
The feeling of being plurally published is a strange one. After the rush of the first article, which seems like the biggest obstacle in the world, subsequent ones slide out with more or less difficulty, less internal fanfare, and more of a feeling of obligation. I ought to keep creating, because I have proven that I can already do it. People will read what I write, and respond to it. But nothing quenches that thirst for more feedback.
I took the liberty of searching up my more ancient, teenaged web presences. I looked at old anime fanfiction and angsty poetry. It was embarrassing to see the quality of my work, though I was praised for it at the time.
Yet, I feel smaller versions of this looking at my work for Modern Poly — a bit of embarrassment that the articles could be even more polished and succinct, but ended up on somebody else’s website anyway, for thousands of potential readers. I wonder if all published authors experience this self-consciousness looking at their own works. I asked a prolific friend, Steve Szczytko, how he deals with releasing so much material and the haunting thought that it could have been better “if only…” feeling. He said he churns out cards and links to everyone he meets, and never looks at his work again once it’s done. He turns his back on his work and makes it everyone else’s problem to deal with after he’s finished. I guess it works for him.
Other changes have taken place since I’ve last written here.
Last week, I went Facebook official with my partner of over two years.
I don’t like to talk about my relationships publicly for the most part, but in this instance I have chosen to because it has massive effects on my living situation. I also can’t bring myself to pause and navigate individual announcements, so you all get this instead. What started as a live-in relationship has recently become a long distance as a result of job shortages in Phoenix and opportunities and connections elsewhere. I am in a strange position, having to disentangle my life from such intensity, but also with eight years of LDRs to pad this experience.
I have primarily been in long distance relationships for most of my dating life. I have no doubt that they can function and succeed, especially having watched on Facebook as a high-school friend and fellow writer, Shannon Young, successfully navigated one for three and a half years, resulting in marriage.
But now I am doing everything backwards. Doing things a little differently from everyone else is not foreign to me, and pretty much defines my current lifestyle. This step in particular is half familiar. I am remembering the routine ritual creation of distance, the imperative relationship with communication, the patterns of doing things on my own, and even meeting familiar objections with my relationship style. I have done all these things before. Cohabitation was relatively new to me to begin with (five years) — distance has a longer legacy (eight years). But it is also a juvenile legacy. I was a child then, and I am (questionably) an adult now. Relationships change from your teens to your twenties. Everything changes.
Many things stay the same. My oldest friend will call me on my old vices when he sees them pop up again. We’re not best friends anymore, but he’s still there looking out for me, watching the pieces fall in predictable patterns. I have many of the same personality traits as I had as a teenager: sentimentality, introspection, pride, strong will. But I have developed traits that I didn’t have before: jadedness, flexibility, and longer term planning.
So it’s this whole two steps forward, one step back routine that’s really tripping me up right now… co-habitation to LDR, publishing success to languid obligation. Life isn’t linear, things don’t always grow exponentially. Things happen all at once, in several directions, or not at all. I decided to go Facebook official with my relationship to introduce a rare element of traditionality in my non-traditional relationship, as did Angi Becker in her recent second marriage.
Symbols mean something to me, even if typical guidelines don’t.
Being recognized for my accomplishments, personal and professional, means something to me, even if they’re not prototypical accomplishments. Not linear accomplishments.
So for this entry, I ask for appreciation, recognition of my accomplishments thus far, and understanding. I may have diverged wildly from the path that my peers have taken, but I emerge nonetheless with my own rewards from this journey.