I finally gave my LJ a fresh backup on dreamwidth, and fixed the hideous broken style it had had for years. I also went through the titles for my entries 2012-2014 in preparation for writing year-summary posts for those, and was utterly taken aback at the way that my frequency of posting reflects my mental state. Even more than the titles. In 2013, I made zero posts in January, one post in February, one post in March, and one post in April: that was the worst period of depression in my life. My happy, healthy posting speed is at least eight times per month, and if it drops below three, some serious shit is happening.
Also, a fun positive side-effect of including icon descriptions is that now even when my icons don't import to DW because I have more slots here than there, the correct description is part of the post. I really wish I had the wherewithal to go back and add descriptions to all of my old posts, but that would be ELEVEN YEARS of posts. And I couldn't possibly remember when the old icons got changed out. I re-use my keywords, you see: my 'antagonistic' icon was at one point Angelina Jolie snarling, then a snow leopard snarling, then me with violet hair and cat-eye makeup snarling. My 'fantasy' icon was once a digital painting of an elfin creature in all violet tones, and is now a photo I took of a tiny toy faery laying in a curled-up beech leaf. My 'writing' icon was changed out from season to season of LJ Idol, whenever I participated in one, and is currently a relief carving of Seshat, overlaid with my fractal "Colorflight."
I haven't posted much lately because for one thing, I am incredibly stressed out about not having a job and it makes me want to escape. I feel like I am holding up a boulder with a very thin stick and trying not to waver my grip lest it snap and crush me. I am feeling like I wasted my time getting this degree and the promise of financial stability and possibilities may have always been a mirage. Ugh. And this one job, I want SO VERY BADLY and all I can do is hope they call me. Also I was super social for like a solid week and am just now feeling like I can handle voluntary interaction with human beings. My youngest sibling, Ace, came in town with almost no warning and hasn't visited in at least four years, so I hastily threw together some plans so that Ace could meet my people and vice versa.
Ace wanted to hang out with my cousin and pibling (parent's sibling) and grandparent, so I ended up hanging out with them which meant wearing my Company Face. I had thought I was going to build connection with my pibling and cousin after we all went on vacation last year, but then they never accepted any invitation I sent them and never sent any invitations of their own, even on things I had directly expressed interest in doing with them. And they didn't come to my graduation nor my graduation party, and my cousin didn't even bother to reply with an excuse. So I quit trying with them, and knowing how Ace values harmony I didn't express my feelings about it during the time we all hung out. I had so thoroughly stepped into Company Face that I forgot why I was uncomfortable being around them, until someone said "we should hang out more" and then my memory clicked and I thought "I feel certain you don't mean that now." I actually meant it, and tried, when I said it. With them I think it's just the polite thing to say or something. I also overheard my pibling deadname me on the phone right after my cousin called me by the correct name, which says to me that they don't use the correct name except to my face. I'm sure there is no harm meant but that is hurtful.
Anyway, other than that discomfort, it was an okay visit. Ace wanted to go to a lesbian bar, so we did, but it was Monday night so not much was happening. Cass, Katie, Katie's person Molly, and Topaz hung out with me and Ace and just talked, and afterward Topaz and Ace and I went to dinner and Ace laid out some heavy questions. First Ace tested Topaz with a point-blank "so what do you feel about belenen?" (or something very close to that) and Topaz reeled briefly and then answered honestly and openly while looking me in the eyes, and Ace judged them as truthful. Ace is extraordinarily observant and blunt and doesn't fuck around when they want to know something.
Then Ace asked me "why do you hate our parents?" and I replied calmly that I don't hate them, I'm just not that attached. Topaz later told me that they were amazed at the full blast of the questions (because they got more pointed from there) and at how I handled them, and then I realized that they were some hard questions, but I appreciate bluntness and while Ace did ask very leading questions, I'm pretty good at not being lead. However, I was also way too literal in answering them, because I think what Ace was looking for was some empathy for their suffering, but what they were asking about was my suffering, which they were then comparing to theirs. I didn't realize this until later, talking about it with Topaz, who realized it during the conversation. I felt shitty that I didn't realize and thus missed the opportunity to connect there.
The next day I had planned a small gather which Topaz hosted, with Topaz, me, Ace, Allison, Elliot, Serenity, Kylei, Jaime, and my cousin. It was a wonderful group of people and I really enjoyed everyone's company, though my ADD got way out of hand when we all played Dixit together. I'm gonna trust the box next time and agree that more than 7 people is too many, unless everyone is a fairly quiet person. We had four or five boisterous people and I just couldn't manage it after a while. Nobody got mad when I said I needed a break or when we didn't end up returning to the game, though, so it was okay.
I was hoping to have more time with Ace but since they were smoking a lot of the time and thus were outside while I was inside we didn't really interact directly very much. They said they liked all my friends (said this to me multiple times) and said to Topaz "I love you for my [sibling]," which I was very pleased by because they're usually very suspicious of anyone I am close to. This was also the first time I got to introduce several people to each other (which I love doing) and people volunteered their positive impressions of each other to me which made me VERY happy.
Then Wednesday I spent time with Ace, my cousin, and my grandparent, very casual, working on a long-term art project of Ace's. I was so so so wiped out after that though -- family Sunday, family AND new scary place (I'd never been to a lesbian bar and I get very anxious about not looking queer enough) Monday, big social thing including family Tuesday, more family Wednesday. I took Thursday to recover and then spent Friday vacuuming the dust/dander/fur out of the rugs and then spending time with Topaz.
Saturday was a day I had been planning for two months: a Sense8 marathon. Topaz, Sande, Evelyn, Serenity, and I watched it on the projector that I borrowed from Kylei. I don't remember how many episodes various people watched but it felt really wonderful to be with people that I feel such strong connections with, watching a show that feels like a part of me. And it was good that it was low-interaction because I certainly couldn't have handled more active social at the end of such a week!
It was really really wonderful to have Topaz in my house, after so long of them not being there due to allergies. I replaced the air filter very recently, dusted the week before, vacuumed the day before, and Serenity mopped the floors the day before too, and I turned the air conditioning high while Topaz was here (because cold helps). It all paid off -- Topaz didn't seem to have much of a reaction at all, and was able to stay for like five hours.