I’m pretty good at psychoanalyzing myself. It takes a few days, but eventually I can figure out what’s up with me when things go south.

Usually not before I break down sobbing once or a few times, but you know, I get there.

Re-acclimating myself to Reality Camp after Burning Flipside this year was HARD.

All the stress I put on a shelf was waiting for me when I got back, and it was angry.

I like my jobs, but juggling three part-time jobs has challenges which are different from one soul-sucking 40-hr a week job. It’s hard for me to make room for a day “off” every week, and I never get two days off in a row anymore. Especially because both my bosses only have a handful of employees, I kind of feel like I’m always “on call” – I’ve never had employers who regularly texted me about work or wanted me to change my schedule on a regular basis before.

Also, my hours are variable (both in the days of the week and times of the day I work, as well as the number of hours I work per week) and summer is slow at the store so I have been feeling stressed about money. But I got an extra cleaning gig this week so I feel like the Universe is being kind. I wish I felt I could make a living just cleaning. There are people who will pay me $100 for an afternoon’s work, but finding enough of those people who will commit to a monthly gig seems daunting based on past experience, and I’d rather know I have regular – if variable – work instead of being in the ether without a safety net.

Overall, I’m doing a lot better and it’s been a positive change, but nothing is perfect.

I’ve come to the realization that no city, no job, no person is going to make me happy and my life perfect.

Which should be a no-brainer but there you are.

I have done things which have improved my life, but there just isn’t a quick-fix solution where all problems magically disappear.

I think because I don’t hate my job with every fiber of my being anymore I’ve been more lax about self-care. 

I was never very good at it, but it was a necessity when I was working in a call center. Without self care, I wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed to go to work and pay the rent.

I was talking with a friend today and she asked what I do for pleasure and I listed off my hobbies but I realized I haven’t been DOING them. I haven’t been doing much of anything but working lately, and the projects on my to-do list feel burdensome now since they’ve been on there so long and no longer fun somehow.

Now I’m back in the dangerous grey area of working myself to death because I forget to take care of myself.

I think I got into this routine where I was using time with my significant other as self care in an unconscious way – like, when I see them, we will do something fun. Especially because we usually end up spending my day off together. But that was putting too much pressure on our interactions to go a certain way, and I need to do fun things for myself when I’m alone, too.

I need to find a class – modern dance or watercolors or pottery. Despite the fact that one of my jobs is freelance writing, I think I am still creatively stifled. I think the artist inside me has needs that crochet projects and gardening can’t quite fill.

I don’t have a lot of disposable income (or any, really), but I think I’ve been using Netflix to quell the acting bug lately. But living vicariously through characters isn’t going to fulfill me creatively, obviously, or it would have and I wouldn’t be writing this now. I need to find or create some artistic outlet that will, but it’s difficult to figure out where I fit anymore. I wish I knew where to find other people like me in Austin.

That’s the other thing. I need more friends. I need more artistic and creative friends. I know where to go to find the different subculture groups that I belong to, but being an artist is a more central facet of my identity than any of those, and I don’t know where to go to find “my” people. I also work a lot of evenings, so where do I find people who want to hang out at 11am? Being an adult is hard.

This was so easy in college and graduate school where there are built-in opportunities for friend-making. I wish I wasn’t so bad at it. There are so many social organizations in Austin and large group social interactions are so draining for me that it’s hard to know which ones are worth the investment. 

I’m lonely and creatively blocked and still trying to figure out how to manage my time when some days I work two hours and other days ten.

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