“I Am” vs. “I Have”

Sometime between my childhood and my adulthood, the terminology of the culture around me changed. When I was a kid, the world was “I am:” I am bipolar. The people in my life were defined by those things too: the bipolar kid, the blind guy, the weird dude.

By the time I entered the workforce, that was now offensive. The guy was no longer “the blind guy;” he was “the person who is blind.” I wasn’t “the bipolar kid,” I was “the person who has bipolar disorder.”

The shift in verbiage is so minor, but it speaks volumes to me. While we’re advocating for people to accept mental and physical disabilities, we’re also in a way separating ourselves from our afflictions. I have to wonder if it’s because in the dark recesses of our minds we consider those identities negative.

It’s bizarre. “She’s bipolar” is negative to the point of insulting for some people, but “she has bipolar disorder” is somehow more positive even though it all means the same thing in the end: there are chemicals doing a rather annoying dance within my brain that might cause me to binge on activity and creativity for 48 hours straight or sit in catatonic depression until someone literally drags me to my feet.

I’m curious. I know there’s quite of a few people who follow this blog that are part of the mental health community: what’s your take on this cultural change? And for my writer followers: have you ever developed characters who identify in one of these two ways? I’d love to know.


March Recap

Can’t believe I haven’t written in a month! Holy crap! I thought it’d been maybe two weeks, but no. A month. Wow.

The last few weeks have been kind of bizarre. I interviewed for two positions within the company. I completely bombed the one interview (it’s okay; I think we were equally disillusioned with one another). The second interview went well enough that they offered me the job. It’s an actual IT position, and they want to take one of my projects from my current job and expand it. I, of course, accepted without a second thought.

Beyond that, I’ve done sort of well with my writing. Devin and Patrick are both annoying me, so I keep revisiting old manuscripts to figure out what’s going on. I think I need to do a short time jump because Devin’s currently having the most mundane conversation with her mother. I have to remind myself again and again that I’m not actually starting this story over, that I’ve actually completed it a few times and there are things from previous manuscripts that should be saved.

Most of my journaling has been in a paper journal or in my head. I’ve not reflected much of my life in the last month just because I want nothing to do with most of it. I’m sincerely trying to do this one-day-at-a-time thing, but it’s hard. I’m programmed to focus on the future.

Currently, I’m in Dallas with my mom and a good friend I haven’t seen in years. I’m learning a lot from him that I can use toward my writing. In fact, this entire trip has been filled with things I can use toward my writing, including a fortuitous seating assignment on the plane ride over. A deep conversation with my neighbor taught me a lot about being a good leader, a good supervisor. Again, I may never use these things in my life off the page, but I can certainly apply them to my stories.

That’s the nutshell of this last month. I’m waiting on a start date for the new position. I’m excited to be starting the next phase of my accidental career. I also have an impending deadline to complete my manuscript. Wherever I happen to be by that date is where the story will stop. I have a goal in mind and it’s going to take some considerable sticktoitiveness to get there.

I hope you’re all having wonderful Aprils. We’ll talk again soon.

I Politely Decline Your Definition of “Impossible”

Things are going wrong right now, so very, very wrong. I don’t know how to stop them from continuing, but something has to happen. Everyone seems to be at a loss. Some people seemed to be resigned to accepting the black cloud over our heads. “It is what it is.”

If you’ve read very many of my posts, you know that I don’t believe in that phrase. I’ve even suggested to have people fired for using it. Apparently HR does’t seem to consider that a valid violation of department policy.

(98% of that is a joke. I have not actually suggested this to HR, though I have brought it up in a few management meetings.)

If you want something to get better, you cannot give into defeatism. Today, I sat curled up in a chair in the office, with my emotions written all over my face. My manager told me to stop looking so depressed.

I don’t do politics. I do results. All one has to do is look at the United States government to see that the two rarely go hand-in-hand. How do I do both without sacrificing my soul in the process?

I’ve been told this is an impossible fight. I like those odds.

Happily Overwhelmed

Soooooooooooooo busy. I really need to get back into writing regularly again, but this merger. . . .

Currently, I’m teaching the new hires for my department which I freaking LOVE. I walked in terrified, and walked out with them asking me to give them exams after they leave my class. Who does that?!

That being said, here’s what my life looks like:

  • I stayed out soooo late last night. I think I got home around 6:30, and I was dead tired at work. 6:30. PM.
  • My new hire class has won over my heart. I have no idea how people do this with rotating classes. I want them forever.
  • I keep forgetting to take my meds, but it seems like if I keep the cycle between 26 and 32 hours between doses, I’m okay.
  • Dinner yesterday with awesome friend from high school.
  • Breakfast Saturday with lovely lady from college.
  • Breakfast Sunday with delightful colleague from Denny’s.
  • Lunch Sunday with beloved couple from church.

Not to speak of my utterly insane work schedule, but that’s a level of insanity not even YouTubers can reach.

All is well on this side, friends. I hope the same stands for you.

1 Year!

WordPress just alerted me that I’ve been rambling for a year now. I never anticipated that I would be able to stick with the blogging thing–my last blog flamed out after about 40 posts and 6 less-than-enthusiastic followers.

I’m not going to muse about what life was like a year ago. If you’d like to know, you’re welcome to go back and read my first few posts. The very first one was a bit, er, strong. What can I say? I have a lot of opinions.

I don’t know what the trajectory of this blog is going to be. God knows I did not intend it to become the primary outlet for my downswing into severe depression. I’m about as optimistic as optimistic gets most days, and I’m passionate about 800 different things (to be completely honest, at last count the list of my passions sat around 60 unique items).

Here’s what I hope for the next year:

  1. Joy
    I want to find happiness that is so complete that even in the hard times, there is a deeper peace in my heart that says things will be okay.
  2. Inspiration (sometimes known as “the hard times”)
    This past year, I received a lot of inspiration, and now my beloved characters have taken on distinct personalities: Patrick, the older, wiser character is my deep-thought, often depressed side; Miss Devona, the young, anxious character is my spontaneous, whirlwind-loving side. A lot of experience went into these personalities.
  3. Success
    A contract with an agent. That’s my definition of success this year. That is my one request of the Universe. Next year, I’ll ask for the book to finally be in perfect form. The year after, I will ask for a publishing contract. This year, I just want to achieve step number one.

I appreciate everyone who is sticking with me through the random blog topics, who have supported me through my bad days and my overly bright days. Last year, I did not imagine 100 followers and cheerleaders, much less 161. You all are an inspiration to me, and I hope to keep you entertained for a long time.

Much love, all.