Tag Archives: blogging

Alive.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here. As the days and months ticked by, all that time gone by seemed to pile up into some mountain that looked impossible to climb. The further out from spring 2016 I got, the more difficult the thought of writing became. Part of this distance between easy peasy, chill blogging for fun, and OMG how am I going to write anything coherent, was a very challenging year from late 2016 through most of 2017.

In January 2015 I went back to school again, but continued to work full time. At first it was easy enough to keep up and maintain some sort of normalcy, but as I finished all the intro courses and began to delve into more complex topics (JavaScript almost killed me), keeping up with school on nights and weekends got tougher. In addition to that, I was busy spending my days preparing to move a three story library with no elevator to a new facility.

The move project was yet another temporary job at a workplace I loved. Over the seven years I worked there, having a somewhat annual panic about whether I’d have another project there the next year was a sort of anxious, yet normal state of being. About once a year I’d worry I wouldn’t have another project, but then something would pull through, always with the hope that eventually it would be a permanent gig. Things finally looked promising when a proposed permanent position made it into the budget and survived a few rounds of budget trimming. Alas, in December 2016 I found out that the job didn’t make it through the last brutal budget cut. Not only would I not have a permanent position, but the funds were finally drying up in the temp project fund too.

I had a little temp project cushion to find another job, but that meant that by Spring 2017 I was working full time, doing three graduate school classes (one being my final portfolio project), and applying to and interviewing for potential new jobs. Losing a workplace I loved, coupled with the stress and now very pressing need to finish my library science masters ASAP, along with job applications and interviews (and the very real possibility of having to move away from my beloved Los Angeles) – it all really did a number on me. I graduated. I got another job. I’m still in LA. But honestly I needed the second half of 2017 to remember who I am outside of work and school. I think this is complicated by the fact that what I do for a living is part of who I am off the clock too. What do I do for fun that isn’t work related?

I’ve been compiling a growing list of things I want to write about, but instead of writing about any of these topics, I continue to add to this list. I’m pretty jazzed about a lot of the subjects, but I think it’s been my way of avoiding returning to this blog. There isn’t enough research done yet. I have to outline things. I need to take time and do fresh genealogy research. I think I like plants now? But do I want to write about plants? And other thoughts – like, do my friends still want to spend time with me after I neglected them for two years?

So this is a sort of whiny, weaksauce post that does more for me therapeudically, than it contributes to some greater internet knowledge base. At least it’s a post. I’ve broken through the blog writer’s block. I’m here, I’m alive, I’m ok, and getting more ok by the day.

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Trying something new by sticking to the old.

You can imbue all sorts of meaning into “Illuminated Past” as the title of a blog.

From time to time I’ve considered turning this into a more structured endeavor (see post here), but ultimately that starts to feel a little too much like work, and this is my playpen, not my paycheck. I threw a few categories up over the blog header so anyone wandering through and taking a gander can choose their poison (genealogists may be less interested in my rantings about TV and those who want to read self-absorbed posts about existence and identity might not have the faintest interest in my old dead family members – and then it’s all out there for those interested in reading general mental bric-a-brac).

This has pretty much been my lifelong writing/journaling strategy – write what I feel like when I feel like it.  I’ve hesitated to publicly claim my blog writing as I worry my slightly liberal leaning tendencies and/or rampant honesty might offend any potential future employers located in more conservative areas of the globe.

And as a human being my opinions are all subject to change over time. A post from 2010 might not accurately reflect my current 2014 attitudes.  You can learn and grow a lot in four years, but that old post will still be floating around the internet.  If someone lands on my 2010 post and reads it without noting the date they might judge my current self based on that.  I mean, it’s still me, but a younger less wise me (which is why my 10+ year old livejournal is all privacy blocked these days – I am no longer my 16 year old self, but it’s linked to my name and maybe someone would find my immature gushing over Legolas as a reason to not give me a job or be my adult friend?  I don’t know.  The world is full of judgy-mc-judgersons.).

On a personal level I’m proud to be myself at any age, but on a professional level I worry that written youthful folly might deter future potential job offers.  It’s silly really.  I’m a professional person at work and I don’t let any personal biases or opinions color the quality of what I do.  In this brave new internet era all I want is to continue to be myself in the online public in the same way I am myself in realtimes public, so I’m claiming Illuminated Past as my own.

It’s a space where I ask questions, where I muse about things, where I share stuff, and ultimately a place where I grow. (hearts and stars and rainbows sapfest time)  It’s all interests and all sides of me.  If you want to tag along put on your sweatpants and hop in – it’s like you’ve entered my living room and we’re gonna have a nice long chat over a cold beer.  Otherwise, ignore this and go find my LinkedIn profile or professional social media work and judge me as a workperson.  In this space, I’ve got my stretchpants on, Netflix is queued up, and I hear there’s a Dominos pizza on it’s way over.  Hope you like the Pacific Veggie.

Why write? Why not?

I have to admit, I’m kind of disgusted with myself for ending a blog post with “Next up: running nutrition!  I’m doing a little research and crafting a meal game plan that I’ll share in another post.”  I apologize, not to any imaginary readers, so much as I apologize to myself.

I’m still running, running is awesome.  I sorta eat better, except for the pizza I wolfed down yesterday and today.  I’d be a(n anorexic) twig if I just stopped eating cheese, bread, and beer.  So tasty.

Two comments from people this past weekend fueled my desire to post here again.  I went on a 10 mile run with my half marathon buddy.  She admitted she builds her dream house as she runs, and I admitted I write blog posts as I run.  Blog posts that will never see the light of day, but that are bounced around in my head until they have very specific points to make.  My friend asked why I never recorded my brain blogs (<—- my phrase)?

I don’t know.  Half the time I’m so high off running endorphins that I forget everything I was dreaming up as I ran.  It’s a blur of lower minutes per mile averages, people (and butterfly!) watching, and parsing out that day’s weather.

Then, at a birthday BBQ on Saturday evening somehow I got to talking about how I’ve tried writing fiction several times over the past year, but my writing engine only turns over and never catches.  The people there were very encouraging about JUST FUCKING DO IT ALREADY.  But you know, without the f-bomb and without the caps.  My brain added those parts.

So far I’ve started a Western themed zombie story, a fantasy yarn about a woman with magical ocean powers, a mystical tale about death and people interred in mountains, and then there was the one about self-centered indulgences set amidst a post-apocalyptic world.

So, I have something about death (zombies, dead people buried in mountains, post-apocalyptic world).  My protagonists are mostly female (except for the Western zombie story, which was going to be multiple perspective).

I even downloaded a local wiki program to start building a fantasy world for the ocean powers/connected to water story.  I don’t even like the ocean that much.  It’s pretty to look at, but I prefer forests.

Then there are also maybe half a dozen documents with a few paragraphs or a few lines.  One quirky handful of paragraphs about a woman becoming involved in her uncle’s mysterious train station death is alllllllmost long enough to be on the story attempt list.

The only writing I’ve done in the past few years that I’ve actually liked is some short stream of consciousness diarrhea and poetry.  I sort of like my post-apocalyptic story, but that’s because I really needed to get that one out of my system when I wrote it.  And now I’m good.

Most of all, my urge to write again is being fueled by the intermittent melancholia of loneliness, and a realization that since I stopped writing lengthy research papers writing has slowly become more and more difficult.  I hate that thought even more than the thought of writing terrible stories with no middle or ending.  So I’ll keep turning the engine over and maybe something will catch.

Vroom.  Vroom.

Blogging is now a glossy magazine

I started a blog on Blogger in high school.  At the end of high school I swapped over to livejournal after accounts there were open for anyone to register (as opposed to register by invite only).

This year marks my 10 year anniversary of livejournal blogging.  In those ten years the face of blogging has dramatically changed.  Now bloggers promote lifestyles and create content and generate money on their writing.  Back in the day I turned to journaling online as a great creative exercise and stress release.  I made a couple online friends via livejournal.  Blogging was not a way to make money though, and now that it’s shifted I feel a bit lost as part of an earlier generation of bloggers.

Don’t get me wrong, I read several blogs religiously and really enjoy the great photos, stories, projects, and recipes that bloggers share.  It’s just a different culture.  Maybe blogging used to be like a zine, but now it’s like a glossy magazine?

Blogging used to be a primarily anonymous art form.  Nowadays the early stranger danger days of the internet have been replaced by the openness and greater honesty brought about (I think) by Facebook.  Before Facebook I was a username, but now I am my own name.  I’m not sure if the use of real names increases authenticity or just encourages individuals to more strongly brand themselves, but it has led me to a crossroads.

I’ve been revamping my online presence recently by cutting back on Facebook posting, hiding my old Twitter account, turning my old livejournal entries private, and creating a reworked online portfolio website.  Though I’m not sure what I want to do with this blog.

I’d partially like to go back to the old days of blogging, when I’d write about momentary bouts of depression, good days, and off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts.  But I’d also like to publicly claim this blog as my own, and to do that I feel it’d be necessary to more carefully curate the content that makes its way on here.

I think it’s time to say goodbye to purely stream of consciousness blogging/laying down bare words of vunerability, and time to say hello to a professional front and a curtains-open-only-when-appropriate blog.  This doesn’t mean that my blogging will be any less authentic than it was in the past.  Maybe it’ll even mean my posts will increase their depth of focus and thoughtfulness!

At any rate, it’s time to get back into the blogging game, and I think with this decision I can finally feel less frozen on this blog.  Here’s to starting again, even in a new culture (of sorts)!

Ch-ch-changes

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Reflections