Monday, September 28, 2009

Introductory Post

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

     - Rumi

"You just shook your head! That doesn't make you happy?"

     - Fezzik, The Princess Bride

This blog was originally meant to replace my book tumblr. It was going to be mostly Young Adult book reviews, with other posts related to reading, writing, libraries, and library school.

I love YA lit, and it's a large part of the reason I'm in library school. But there are already a lot of great YA book blogs out there, doing great work. If I'm honest with myself, reviewing isn't my favorite thing to do.

So I'm going to talk about myself. Which is, in fact, my favorite thing to do (writing-wise, that is; I'm not Gilderoy Lockhart). Specifically, I'm going to write about my experiences living with various mental and physical illnesses, none of which are severe enough to land me in a hospital, but all of which impact my life, every day.

I am inspired by others who write about their experiences with mental illness, physical illness, and disability with honesty, humor, and eloquence. Some of the best of these are: amandaw at three rivers fog, Kameron Hurley at Brutal Women, abbyjean at think on this., and Cleolinda at Occupation: Girl. The writers at Shapely Prose and Feministe also inspire me to share my own perspective.

I'll almost certainly write about other things as time goes on. My interests are subject to change, but a random smattering of them can always be found at my tumblr. If you'd like to read some of what I wrote about my life before I started this blog, check out my LiveJournal.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Imaginary Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Don't you have an online journal and a tumblelog already? Why another blog?
A: Because I feel like it, and LiveJournal is not what it used to be.

Q: Wait, what's a tumblelog?
A: It's an online scrapbook of anything you find on the internet--quotes, photos, videos, mp3s, links, etc. I find a ton of stuff online that I like, but don't feel like writing a full blog post about. Lolcats, for example. But I also use it as a gathering place for anything I think is important and worth reading.

Q: So what's at your LiveJournal?
A: My LiveJournal stretches back eight years. The vast majority of that is locked, but I have left some posts public. Right now, the public content is mostly an archive of my struggle with depression, anxiety, and IBS, starting about three years ago when I had a breakdown of sorts. Some of it is intensely personal, but I would rather people see what I've gone through, and maybe take solace that they're not alone, than keep everything hidden for my own protection. Mental illness is too often swept under the rug out of fear or shame.

Q: So... you're all better now?
A: Nope. I wage daily battles with depression, struggle often with anxiety, and I haven't had ice cream in three years (sigh). But I am doing much better than I used to be, thanks to a combination of therapy, drugs, mindfulness practice, dietary changes, and support from my friends and especially my family.

Q: Why do you have ads on your blog? Sellout.
A: Ah, but see, you can't sell out if you never sold in.

Q: That doesn't make any sense.
A: So's your face.