Jan. 5th, 2017

roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (BF - Vast and solemn spaces)

Well, that was an incredibly rough year for me. Probably the grimmest of my life to date.

Most of the badness was concentrated in the second half of 2016, and woo boy was it concentrated. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and underwent two major surgeries and some chemo, and my grandmother and my aunt both sickened and died with very little warning. (Grandma had some pneumonia that seemed to be getting better until suddenly it wasn't, and she was gone by the next day. That's my last grandparent gone, btw. Aunt Shellie got a pancreatic cancer diagnosis with a prediction of three to six months, which turned out to be an overestimate; she lasted about one.) We still don't know how Mom's disease is going to go; this is the sort of thing where they talk about 50% average 5-year survival rates. I know that nobody's "average," but the point is anything could happen. We got good-ish news from the pathology report after the liver resection. I don't know.

And then there's all the nazis.

To be honest, I'm not sure what else to say here. It was incredibly hard and the future looks very dark. I'm going to be seeking therapy, because I kind have to assume something in my brain has been strained past its normal operating condition by all this. I feel a little... I don't know, thinned-out, let's say. Stretched and translucent.

Not busted, though. I'm still going. More resilient than I thought I'd probably be.

There was some good this year, too, but I kind of don't even want to talk about it in the same breath as all this other stuff? There's no personal scale of fortune that balances (or partway-balances) out; the good things happened at full volume and the bad things happened at full volume too, and nothing mitigates anything.

Well, I'll guess I'll say this: I've had some hard years before, and they were almost always hard for internal reasons: wrestling with depression and loneliness, unhappy with my job, unhappy with the distance between the person I was and the person I wanted to be. This year was brutal for external reasons, but I felt secure in who I was, I felt like I generally understood the correct thing to do when shit came up, and I mostly felt strong enough to do it. A better Nick in a worse world. So there's that.

Swimming

Jan. 5th, 2017 05:38 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)

I was looking through this year's Garbage Book, and I ran into this! It's a post I meant to post but never got around to, for whatever reason. From before all the Everything, when the year was actually going pretty great.

IDK if I'll do a Good Things from 2016 post, so this might end up standing in for it. (And besides, my real new year happens in March anyway.)

Another thing that's up: Ruth's giving me swim lessons! Okay, yes: I can sort of swim. I managed to flounder my way to Eagle Scout, so I must have passed a few swimming exams in there somewhere. But I am Real Shit at it, and it's been a low-key embarrassment for decades.

For a while there in my 20s, I decided to just accept it. I was a natural sinker, and that's just how it was. But more recently, I've been thinking: maybe fuck that? Because last time I tried learning to swim, I was weak, uncoordinated, and just generally not at home in my own body. And now I'm Quite Strong, much more coordinated (partially ambidextrous, even), and better at learning to boot. (My brain might not be as plastic, but I'm much better at driving it.) Maybe, just maybe, I can actually get good at it this time.

It's going pretty well so far. :)

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roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
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