Dear Diary: Introducing A New Series

Hello, hello!

It’s been a hot minute! Again! I swear, one day I will be as consistent about posting as my planner wants me to be. Alas, January was a rough month for me—as it so often is—so, shocking to absolutely no one, the very high expectations I set for myself were not met.

I spent some time wallowing about this. January was chock full of fun content I’d been planning, and I was so excited to execute it all… but then I actually started, and I realized it wasn’t sparking the kind of joy I’d hoped. Actually, I realized nothing was sparking the kind of joy I was looking for.

In thinking about this the other day, while prepping my planner for this new month, I came up with this new mini-series to feature in this space: Dear Diary.

When I started this blog, it was a space where I would exclusively talk about the books I was reading, the books I wanted to read, the books I was excited about. When I realized I could not feasibly keep my reading schedule up with a weekly content schedule that I am so ardently striving for, I expanded my blog to feature other topics: lifestyle, home décor, relationships, wellness. I wanted to build a platform like the IG Influencers whose stories and blogs I watch and read every day.

But that’s just not who I am. I tried the whole content mill thing, writing for a company whose name I will not type but whose mission went from sharing meaningful stories to pumping out as much baseless content in a pyramid scheme-type fashion in the three short years I wrote for them. After quitting my position with this company, I endeavored to never write fluff again for an audience.

With this new content, I’m trying to be intentional in the things I share. I still write about books when I can—because my heart will always lie with wonderful stories that need to be screamed about into the void that is the Internet. When I write about home décor, or relationships, or life events, it’s usually because that’s what’s going on in my life. Whether I can do that weekly, or multiple times a week like I’d attempted to do last month, is really up to what’s going on in my personal life that I feel comfortable sharing.

The issue lately has been that there is nothing going on in my personal life that is “content worthy” at all.

Thus, the idea of Dear Diary was born.

Maybe it’s very 90s-2000s, but once upon a time blogs were a space where people just ranted about whatever they had on their minds. Was it angsty and a bit cringey? Yeah, absolutely. But there’s also something kind of sentimental about that, something nostalgic at the thought of sharing your mundane with the Internet Void.

There is not always “content worthy” stuff happening in my life, but there is always something. This is my space to talk about that something, that mundane, the part that wouldn’t necessarily be featured on a smiling influencer’s stories.

The truth is, January was a very rough month for me. It’s been four months now since we “officially” moved, and we’re going on month two of my job being shut down. They expect to reopen in February, but when in February I have no idea. I’ve tried every hobby I could afford to purchase from Michaels, I’ve played the Sims 4 more frequently than I have since high school, I’ve cleaned my apartment top to bottom what feels like every day (seriously, why is there always something to clean? We are two people!)—but I’m really wearing down. The winter months are tough on me to begin with, but I’ve noticed it’s gotten a lot worse these past few weeks.

Most days, I struggle to get out of bed and start my day before 10. By the time 8 o’clock rolls around in the evening, I’m ready to close my eyes and call it quits. I try to fill my days with things I like; I’ve been binging My Favorite Murder from the beginning, trying to catch up, I try to read the ever-looming stack of books in my TBR pile, I try to make new crafts to list on my Etsy store, or some just for me, but nothing is really all that appealing to me anymore.

This isn’t new to me, though. I’ve struggled with depression since my parents divorced when I was ten. I’m twenty-four now—this is not my first rodeo and I’m certain it won’t be my last. But it still sucks all the same.

The worst part of catching yourself in a spiral, in my opinion, is knowing you’ve been here before, and knowing you have the tools to get out of it, but still feeling trapped or hopeless. It’s like I can force myself to read but I won’t absorb the story. I can force myself to write, but nothing that comes out is any good. I can force myself to make something, but there’s always that voice in the back of my head telling me everything I make is crap and I shouldn’t bother wasting money on the materials to begin with. Rationally I know this line of thinking is unhealthy, but man, it’s hard to force yourself out of that mindset. It’s so easy to go from realizing you forgot to run the dishwasher last night, to telling yourself you’re a worthless piece of garbage and that nobody loves you. You know the statement isn’t true—you know you have value as a person and that plenty of people care about you—but your brain still drags you to that dark place.

This is what I’ve been struggling with these past few weeks. It’s wild to me even that it’s only been a few weeks, because it feels like so much longer. The pandemic only adds fuel to the fire, of course. I miss going out for drinks with my friends, I miss taking myself on dates to the movies, I miss existing in a public sphere without fear of contracting a deadly virus—as I’m sure we all do. I know I count myself as lucky to have my health, and that everyone in my family, my husband’s family, and my close friends are safe and healthy as well. That’s not the common story anymore, and I don’t take my good fortune lightly. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the enormous loss this pandemic has caused—needlessly, in this country, but I won’t go there today—and I feel selfish every time I beg the universe to let things go back to the Before Times. But I miss the Before Times so, so much lately. I miss the opportunity to go out with friends—and the chance to go meet new friends, especially considering the one single friend that I started this pandemic with who still talks to me lives 400 miles away from me now. I miss going to see her, and I miss my family. It’s hard to be so distant from the people you love, your community, at a time like this. It’s even harder when you’ve got your brain fighting you at every turn on top of it all.

I feel as though I should end this post with something uplifting, something about how things always get better and how it’s always darkest before the light, or blah blah blah… I’m not going to say any of that. On the off chance that anyone reading this is feeling the same way, they probably know how unhelpful that is. Feeling this way fucking sucks, to put it plainly. But feeling like this does not last forever. It’s been fourteen years since I first thought this world would be better without me, and while I don’t think I’ve made the lasting impact I wanted to yet, I know I’ve made some impact on the people around me. And I know if I stick around, that impact will only get larger.

It’s okay to feel this way from time to time. But it’s also okay to reach out when you can’t handle it on your own. This is something I’ve always struggled with; my entire life, I had it reinforced in my head that asking for help was weak. It’s taken a lot of time to undo that line of thinking, and even longer still to make myself reach out when I need it, but it helps. It really does. It’s okay to lean on your community when you need it—and sometimes, even when you just want it.

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