January 2015

Blogs are hard. Even more so when I’m so tired from hours and hours of travel and a near week-long con and more snow than I can reasonably deal with even on good days.

But regardless, here I am in a bed in Massachusetts that’s more comfortable than my own back in Indiana and I’m trying to think of a clever way to take it and its usual contents back with me. So much has happened over the last eleven days (and just this month in general to be honest) that I’m still having trouble processing it all at times.

Let’s break it down and then I’ll go into further detail:

  • I finished my first craft of the year!
  • Baby’s first long distance train ride!
  • Baby’s first MAGfest!
  • I went a bit more public with my name!
  • Therapy progress and where I probably stand for this next year in terms of what I want to accomplish!
  • Something about video games probably! More so in regards to what I wanna do speedgame wise and streaming maybe? I’m actually kinda halfassing this blog post if I’m gonna be completely honest.
  • I dunno, overall goals for this year!

This post is really gonna be all over the place and probably kinda large oops~

Alright, here we go. Craft! I took on a rather large project already this year that involved making a stuffed Oyasumi Punpun themed “pillow” I guess with a bunch of embroidery and sewn on stars as a late Christmas gift for my partner. I’m a complete dolt and forgot to take a bunch of pictures of my progress but at least I have the final project shown on my twitter to kinda cross post it.

Let me say, stitching through felt AND a layer of freezer paper by hand it so incredibly taxing. I think I spent a good handful of days working on this and I was so worried I wouldn’t get it finished by the time I needed to leave for my trip! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I’m kind of a jerk to myself when I make anything myself and hold myself to really warped standards at times, which is definitely something I need to work on. It was my first time really doing something of this nature, so I’m feeling good about it. My fingers were definitely sore for a few days after all of this.

On a not really related whatsoever note, I watched the entirety of InuYasha while working on this. I don’t mean to brag, but, I really started this year off well.

Train ride! That was a fu-new… experience… for me… It was my first experience with Amtrak in general and to date my farthest train ride. Indiana to Massachusetts was supposed to be around 21 hours with obviously a few stops here and there for people to get on and off but it ended up being 25. I’m sure Lake Shore Limited is a gorgeous route when it’s not in the middle of winter and everything’s dead and bleak. I seem to have a habit of waking up in Cleveland (I did this on my bus ride to NYC in October as well) and I can’t say I’m exactly excited to have a Cleveland alarm preset in my head. The ride itself really wasn’t that bad. I just wound up in the car with a teething baby that really hated existing and made the rest of us hate doing it too. I barely slept the whole ride out here because the screams woke me up every hour. With no wifi on the train, it was pretty difficult keeping a stable Netflix connection to drown out infant cries with Bojack groans. I managed at least. We even got complimentary beef stew for dinner because we were four hours behind schedule thanks to the brakes needing to be repaired while we were in PA. Other than screaming and the heat being out 90% of the journey the only real thing that sticks out is this guy who got on in Cleveland talking nonstop about anything he could think about. I heard talk about Boston, New York, cars (caaaaahs), recent news, that new sniper movie, to working in the food industry. Learned quite a bit about this guy’s family and I wasn’t even in the conversations. I love people watching and learning about them, sure, but that was quite a bit even for me. Next time I do something like this (I keep telling myself I won’t because I was honestly pretty miserable and overstimulated and anxious, but you never know…) I’ll probably make sure to bring a blanket and a handheld RPG to keep me busy.

All of that led me to a short but great sleep and an 8 hour+ drive to MD for MAGfest. My only con experience prior to this has been ACen and I’ve gotta say… three ACens in a row did not prepare me for this whatsoever. I was used to four day getaways, not six. Those two extra days really changed the game for me. I had a lot of fun, though! It was a great new experience and I got to meet a lot of new people and see a lot of old friends. I’m honestly still a little shocked that so many people were so excited to see me. It’s been nearly four years since I was at any “major” dance game meet up and I kinda fell off the boat with keeping in touch with a lot of the people I became friends with back then. It was great, though, really. We all kinda went back into interacting like we used to, yet we all knew how much time had passed and agreed to not let that happen again. I also got to meet up with some streaming/twitter friends which was kind of the best. Part of me wishes the con atmosphere allowed for different types of hanging out, though, cos I didn’t really feel like I did a whole lot with them. Con life definitely does not cater to new IRL friendships outside of parties and food trips. Speaking of parties, I tried more new beers than I can count (ok, I can count it, but it was definitely pushing near 30 by the time it was all said and done) and ate at a bunch of new food places. Talk about culture shock, though. Everything was so new and full of so many people that trying to keep up with it all made me so incredibly nervous those first few days. I did get to play some rounds of DDR, though the pads were pretty ridiculously rude the times I attempted it. Also got to play my first sets of Soul Calibur 2 on an arcade setup which was pretty awesome even though I definitely had my ass handed to me every time I was up. Everyone in that group was really nice to me, though, and tried to give me some pointers here and there so I could keep my head above water. I remember getting a KO in after losing pretty badly and a handful of people behind me just started yelling, “OH, SHE’S PISSED! SHE’S OUT FOR BLOOD!”
I at least made a tiny name for myself~

While I’m still on the topic of names, I can kinda swoop into the next topic. It still counts as part of MAGfest so this is fun. Anyway, as most of you already know, I’ve been slowly working in my preferred name into practice and putting my given name to rest. Started with very select people and slowly worked up the courage to be open about it on twitter and my friends there were very positive and understanding and it made me feel really good about my decision. MAGfest was my first real “test” with introducing myself as Kalu to people. I got to try this out last year at a fair that I went to with Sarah, Adrian, and Ben, so I wasn’t completely terrified by how that could go. I’d say I was successful. People were very good with it and asked questions to kinda understand it better and I didn’t mind explaining anything. I chose this name for myself, I might as well have some sort of pride and be ok with saying I did that. My main struggle was meeting up with old friends that had no idea and not knowing how to really explain it to them. I kinda dropped the information here and there, especially when they were around and I was meeting someone new. It sorta worked in the sense that I at least planted the seed in there to make them more prepared for when I got back and made a huge status updated on facebook explaining it all. I ended up blocking my family members from seeing it and even deleted nearly 50 people before posting it to make myself feel more safe about the whole situation. Being that honest with a bunch of people that I’m not necessarily close to and putting myself on the line like that was pretty scary. It’s tough. I know that not everyone will understand my motives, I can only hope that they’re understanding enough to respect what I have to say and not be rude. So far I seem to be doing well with that. The amount of friends that have been supportive and have even told me they’re proud of me has been pretty large compared to what I expected and it’s a really great feeling. I know I’ll never be able to really talk about this with family, but we’ll just take that on as it comes. I’ll eventually look into having my name legally changed and getting the courage to change my name on facebook and being as “public” as I can be in my mostly protected internet spaces. Baby steps, though. I’ll get there. At least for now I feel significantly more true to myself and that’s really important.

I’m getting pretty good at this whole, “haHA!!! I just said this thing so now I can talk about THIS!” ordeal. Are you proud of me?
Baby steps. The biggest baby steps portion of my life is definitely my therapy and healing/recovering processes. It’s not unknown that I have bipolar I and PTSD as well as a ton of physical issues. I’ve been working as hard as I can lately to really sort through this stuff and make big steps in being healthier and happier. Some days are absolutely unbearable and I rarely get out of bed. Other days I’m a nonstop active mess and it takes days for that to end. It’s aggressive, occasionally dangerous, and most of all exhausting on both ends of the spectrum. I think I’ve been doing really well as of late with it all, though. I’ve had a really great support system behind me for awhile now and I’m so thankful. This year I’m hoping to really buckle down and learn new and better ways of coping and understanding my cycles even more to be able to protect myself from certain elements that might push me over my limits. I’ve learned how to be more honest about my past traumas and I know that’s going to play a pretty heavy role with my treatment. That kinda really scares me. Being face to face with those demons that I’ve not only been forced to tuck away to keep myself afloat but also had to fight to even make it know that they are real isn’t something I can prepare for. I’m in so many processes for things that are pretty vital to my survival and it’s definitely very overwhelming. I won’t give up, though. I have an appointment in a little over a week and I’m hoping that will really help me solidify my game plan for this year. I want to be more open, more honest, to let myself really feel things. I want to learn more ways to express myself and how to let people in when I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like I can. I won’t let this control me. There are so many things I want to do and experience in life and I don’t think being disabled like this should keep me from that. I will make the best out of what I have.

I’m gonna kinda scrunch up those last two points up there into one big thing. I’m definitely running on empty after nearly a full day of trying to type all of this out in a way that I’m content with.
So things I want to do with myself this year! Shall I use more bullet points? Oh, I shall~

  • Streaming/speedgames: I’d like to be able to start streaming again. I’m still a little shaky after the last few months and hesitant, but I think I can probably get back into it within the next few weeks. Maybe casual games at first– like RPGs that I’d like to beat just to get myself back into the habit. I’d like to start learning routes for games like SMRPG, Illusion of Gaia, FF4, Silent Hill (if I can get over my need to fill out the maps) and maybe DKC2 if I’m feeling feisty enough. For all I know I’ll pick aLTTP and B&B back up just to see if I can still do anything with them. I guess aLTTP moreso than anything since I struggled pretty hard with that before.
  • Being active: I’d like to at least get back into doing my old body weight routine just to have something to build from. I want to start playing DDR regularly again. I want to dive deeper into yoga beyond relaxation. I tried doing some beginner’s yoga before and the learning curve was so high that I couldn’t keep up. I want to try again. I want a body I can be proud of. I’ve done a lot of acceptance and learning about myself when it comes to my body already, so I just gotta put in some work to make it something that I really enjoy seeing. Even with bad image days, I should be able to do this.
  • Food!: I want to start cooking more. Maybe I’ll try a new recipe every month and move it to every few weeks. I wish I lived somewhere that I could invite friends over for food regularly, but for now I’m just a little screwed. I want to be able to feed myself and expand my love of food into something that’s kinda like a craft. I also really want to get to a point where I can cook meats without being terrified that I’ll end up sick. That’s pretty important.
  • Crafts: I want to try to make at least one thing a month for now. I want to learn how to crochet and needle knit. All of it sounds like a lot of fun and I have this huge pile of yarn just waiting to be used. Don’t even get me started on the giant pile of fabrics I have. Sheesh.
  • Me: I know I tweeted this before but I do want to be a better me. I want to work on really building up the friendships I currently have and work on making new ones. I want to do well and be the best that I can be for my partner as well. I have so many amazing people in my life and I want them to know that I appreciate them and that I’ll be there for them as often and as well as I can. I want to learn more about certain disorders and how people act and learn more about what my loved ones enjoy so we can have even more things to discuss and maybe I’ll find more stuff to enjoy myself. I want to promote happiness and healthiness with everyone I come across and hope they have a desire to question and learn and take care of others as well. I want this to be a year of love and bonding.

Wowee this has become quite the blog post! I’ll be pretty hype if any of you are still around! Who knew I could have to much to say about a single month. Everything happens so much, right? I feel pretty silly not having a whole lot of photos to really spice this post up, but I’m doing the best I can with what I have. Maybe I need an actual laptop instead of this silly netbook. I’m sure my next posts will be much more colorful. Also less word vomit probably. Maybe. I can’t really guarantee anything on that aspect really. This has been pretty fun, though. Getting all of these thoughts out and being able to kinda see them in front of my face instead of just spurts of thoughts here and there that I’ll end up forgetting in a few days has been pretty helpful. I hope to post a few times a month to keep myself focused.

I hope to have the layout finished in the very near future. I’ll need to sort out a tagging system and finish the sidebar/about me/etc, but I think I can do it pretty quickly.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with some beer, food, and a guy that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world to get ready for. See you next month.