I can’t even begin to think of where to begin on what I’ve been up to in the last (… oh my god, what has it… 8 fucking years!) since I blogged regularly. So much has happened. So much of it was so. hard.
I have thought for awhile now about blogging again, and have been thinking long and hard about how to provide an update, without having a three-miles long post that no one’s going to want to read. Honestly, I’m not sure I could really write it. My memory is so terrible that I went and looked at my old Twitter Feed, most of it from between 2011-2013, and honestly I don’t even remember tweeting almost any of that stuff.
Going over old tweets was eerie, like reading the journal of someone both close and distant; a younger sibling perhaps. Most of my tweets were downright mundane. Example:
Woke up to the cat on my lap. Gave her a BIG good-morning hug, then she purred loudly… and jumped away. I’m gonna play with the dog.
— Samuel Loveland (@samuelloveland) March 3, 2013
I can’t for the life of me remember why I thought this was worth tweeting. Or even where I was at the time.
But there were also a few like this:
So many of my friends are angry because of what the Supreme Court ruled today. I need new friends.
— Samuel Loveland (@samuelloveland) June 26, 2013
I didn’t remember the day, or the ruling itself (though I just looked it up and here’s a reference article). However everything else about that tweet is haunting and poignant for me, especially as I look back at these last 8 years.
This is what I mean by eerie. This was some crazy mutherfucking foreshadowing.
Living in Idaho, in Mormonism, struggling to become myself, to become better, to figure out how to make a living, to figure out how to deal with depression, and to figure out my place in the world…
A lot has happened.
Rather than give you the play-by-play, or task myself with writing a memoir no one wants to read, I’ve decided to trust that what needs to come out will, bit by bit over time. So instead, I’ll give a few statistics and a wrap-up summary.
- I am down one religion (born into, indoctrinated), the large community that I am used to having that came with that, and almost all the friends that were linked to that community in any way. I was down most my family members too as a result, but most of those were distant relations.
- Closely related to the item above: I am in roughly $50,000 Student Debt with only an Associate’s Degree to show for it.
- I live and work in the Olympia area, roughly an hour or so from Seattle Washington.
- I’ve switched workplaces 2 times, jobs 3 times. All of them in Web Application Development.
- My income has increased by about tenfold. I mean, I was deep below the poverty line to begin with, but I get to pay taxes now. (But seriously: this is a good statistic. Life is much more stable now. Sara and I express our gratitude every day on this one.)
- I drink 100% more now (mathematically that doesn’t work, since I drank exactly nothing alcoholic ever before). Distilled drinks are something of a hobby for me, I like mixing different combinations. I themed my 2016 birthday party around five cocktails I designed around my favorite Pokemon.
- Per the line item above, I’m still a big nerd.
- I’ve got a lot more useless shit. It clogs up my garage. Most of it is inherited (old tenants and roommates), and despite everything I do to try and clear out the garage and make it a work-space, it’s still a fucking storage container. This will not stand.
- I’ve gained another 50-something pounds. This was after I was already quite displeased with my weight. I have done calorie-restricted diets and months of regular daily gym time, but I always hit a plateau after the first 15 lbs. One time I kept up the habit even after hitting the plateau for another 6 months… no movement on the scale. It’s hard to keep motivation after that. Especially when this fucking truck comes out of nowhere:
- I’ve lost my younger brother to suicide. This kicked off the worst year of my life. I’m sure there will not be another one to equal it, no matter what earthly possible thing could happen in my future. Our family is still picking up the pieces. Our world was shattered. There were entire months where I could not figure out how I was going to keep doing daily tasks like work, shower, walk.
- I’m still here.
I don’t really know how, but somehow I am. And healing has happened. It’s not done; it will never really be done. But yes, there has been some returning to life. It’s not the same life, and I’m not the same person. But this life, too, is worth living: it has dreams, and desires, and joys, and connection, and fulfillment.
At the end of 2017, I began to feel some similar sensations of being myself when I was able to read a new book in a series that Joseph and I had both loved. It didn’t lift the clouds away… but they did rise off the ground enough that I could see better.
2018 was marred by financial stress, as car accidents, sick/dying animals, and other emergencies piled on one after the other. I obsessed over budgeting for a solid 6 months straight. One of the positive results of that is this year, I’m still budgeting. And it helps keep the stress away. The depression-fog gradually continued to lift.
2019. Kicked off hard with Snowmegeddon. We finally exited the lifestyle of having roommates and Sara and I had the place to ourselves. I have focused mostly on creating healthy routines (like good sleeping habits) and allowing myself to get bored.
This boredom was a carefully crafted strategy. My hope was that boredom would give me the capacity of time, energy, brain-space and creativity to begin pursuing hobbies again.
And it must have worked, because here I am! Thanks to all 3-8 of you for reading! (I’m trying optimism.)
I’m sure there will be much to say in the future, and so I’ll trust my future self to see to it, one piece at a time.