The State of the Sushi, Spring 2019

Hi. It’s been awhile, eh? Let’s fix that.

Work stuff
First things first: I have a new job! If you’ve been following me elsewhere online, then you might know that at the end of 2018, my at-the-time job transitioned into a contract position at the beginning of 2019. In a way, this was a relief; I was slowly burning out throughout the second half of 2018, and having some spare time on my hands helped more to get back on my emotional feet than anything else. I had built up substantial savings over the last year and a half at that job and was still doing some freelance work to bring in money, so I didn’t have to accept any old job right away.

This relief and confidence was a new feeling. Sure, I had built up savings before, but never to this amount. I also wasn’t immediately facing the decision to pay the remainder of my self-employment taxes or to pay my rent for the next few months. So when I started a new job in mid-March in my field and only needed to touch those savings to bridge the gap until my first paycheck in early April, I knew that despite my past worries about money, I would be okay. And things would get even better.

(Oh, the job itself is technical writing. I can walk to work and there are dogs and snacks all the time and a Pokemon Go gym on the building. It’s a miracle I get any work done.)

Goal stuff
I mentioned earlier that I had no intention of setting any 2019 goals beyond becoming a better person, however vague that goal is. Since this goal is irritatingly difficult to measure, I have no idea if I’m a better person today than I was in 2018, or in 2016, or in 2014. For all I know, I’m worse and getting worse all the time. Maybe I am. But despite the constant need to do something at all times and trying to accomplish and consume as much as I can, I’m overall less stressed than I have been in the past. Several factors could be contributing to this: a more active social life, higher financial security (as my current job brought a significant raise, plus I’m still continuing my freelance work to finish off my debt), and starting to cook in bulk. I’ll return to this point in six months and see how things are going in the pre-NaNo rush.

As for the one measurable goal I did set this year, I’m crushing it, with 31 books read out of my 50 books goal. Thank some of the extra time I had at the beginning of the year and all the nonfiction audiobooks I listen to on my commute. Maybe next year I’ll set a TV or movie goal.

Writing stuff
Hahahahaha what’s a writing. I’ve thought about my books if that counts at all. (Spoiler: it doesn’t.)

I participated Camp NaNoWriMo with the goal of writing 30 poems in 30 days. Coincidentally, this also aligned with NaPoWriMo in April. Since I had zero previous poetry experience beyond cringeworthy middle school love poetry and the occasional high school poetry unit, this was an experience. The most notable is that I am so used to writing in prose that I find myself writing my poetry in prose and then either rambling into the distance or cutting off the poem before I start rambling into eternity. Thanks to the ridiculous busyness that April became, I lowered my goal to 15 poems and squeaked in a win on the last day.

Pokemon Go Stuff
Yes, this gets its own section now. I’ve been participating in the PVP cups primarily for the social aspect, but thanks to doing decently in the first three cups and winning one of them, I still somehow got an invite to the Silph Arena regional competition. I went 2-4 in regionals, but my losses were ridiculously close and I still had a blast. Best of all, one of the Atlanta folks won and is going to the world championship! He’s also ranked somewhere near the top worldwide.

And yes, I’m going to Chicago’s Go Fest next month! Let me know if you’re also going; I want to meet you! I can give you a DragonCon Unown or a Carnivine if that’s unavailable where you are.

Personal stuff
There’s a lot to put here, things that deserve their own post or five. The short version:

Now that my new job’s health insurance has kicked in, I plan on restarting therapy for some of my anxiety issues, which should be thrilling. Unfortunately my old therapist has moved, so I get to begin the search again. Whee.

My college roommate of three years visited for a week, where we visited our old campus and the local feminist bookstore, hung out with an old mutual friend who came in from out of town, and ate a lot of yummy vegan food. We also got some real talk out of the way before the sanitized version that often happens at reunions. Speaking of reunions…

I went to my ten-year college reunion, where I partied with current students, met up with a few of my old professors, and went to a fairly awkward class party and hub sing. Don’t tell my classmates, but hitting the dance floor and having current students buy me drinks in the dive bar next to campus at 1am is what memories are made of…. Especially when you never partied as a college student in the first place.

All in all, it took a long time to get here, but life is okay at the moment, even if I am looking at my calendar for the next few months and thinking “RIP me”.

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