In which I attempt to explain my life for the past 6 months

My world has been a whirlwind for the past year.

I say past year, and I mean past year. Not since the beginning of 2020; since March of 2019.

I’ve been meaning to explain all this for a while, for those who might have picked up bits and pieces of the story and could be confused, and for everyone following this blog who’s noticed my repeated absences. And since I’ll probably be stuck in the house for the foreseeable future, now is as good a time as any to get you all caught up and try to move forward with this blog.

There’s a lot, though. It’s a bit hard to know where to start…

I suppose I should begin at the beginning and go on till I come to the end; then I’ll stop.

(someone will get that, and I have a pretty good idea of who the first one will be…)

So, the beginning:

About a year ago, my dad’s job in West Virginia was terminated. It was a complete shock. We’d moved to the area we were living in then when he took that job, about 5 years before. We were quite comfortable in our lives there, and while we always had the idea of moving back to the South (where both my parents were from and all but one of us kids had been born) in the back of our minds, we weren’t looking to do it so suddenly.

Dad looked for a new job that wouldn’t require us to relocate. But after months of searching for opportunities in the area, he had no leads. So the search moved gradually South. And finally, he found something – in South Carolina.

So we were finally getting back to the South. Not really “my part” of the South — I was born in central North Carolina, and I think that’ll always be Home for me in a very personal way.

My dad started working at his new job, but the rest of us continued to live in our house in WV for a while, getting things ready to put it on the market, saying goodbye to our friends, and getting the essential things packed up. The plan was to move into a (quite small) rental house in North Carolina owned by some family members until our house in West Virginia sold when we’d move and everything we’d left in West Virginia into a permanent house near Dad’s new job.

To be honest, I loved the months we stayed in North Carolina. The house was tiny, and we only got to see Dad on the weekends, but we were only a few minutes from a bustling town – grocery stores, shopping, a nice Books-a-Million, a bunch of craft stores. And I had some experiences there (taking my first college courses via a local community college’s online dual-credits program, for one) that were pretty big for me. I loved my room there, right on the corner of a busy street. The noise of the traffic took some getting used to, and I worried about a semi-truck coming through my outer wall and flattening me in the middle of the night a few times, but once I got used to it (and added some sound-deadening blackout curtains over the windows), I found those noises comforting.

The house in West Virginia didn’t sell quite as quickly as we’d hoped.

As I write this, we’re about to put it back on the market after taking it down for a while to do some “fixing up” that’ll hopefully make it more attractive to prospective buyers.

But we moved on to South Carolina anyway. And all our stuff is here now. At least half of it is still in boxes in the garage.

All the moving threw my family for a loop, especially when it came to school-related activities. Since my family homeschools, we didn’t have the drama of having to adjust to new schools in the middle of the schoolyear like my mom did every time her family moved during her childhood. And it wasn’t a huge deal for my sisters – one’s still in the first grade, another does almost all her classes online through streaming programs, and the third does mostly independent bookwork. And none of them have college looming just around the corner, eyeing them menacingly like a large and ugly buzzard.

So since getting into our most recent living quarters, my mom and I have been researching, stressing, making phone calls, sending emails, and stressing some more about my studies. I’ve gotten behind in a few subjects, which wouldn’t be a big deal if I wasn’t hoping to graduate at the end of next year, and I’m already a bit older than most kids in my current grade due to the timing of my birthday. Of course, I’m continuing ahead with my regular work in the meantime – there’s always another lesson of math to be labored through and another chapter of science to try to finish without falling asleep. And I think we’ve finally worked out a good picture of what the next year or two of my life will look like, education-wise. In the meantime, we’re starting to look seriously at colleges, and will most likely visit a few of my top choices this summer.

Throughout all of this, I’ve discovered some great new music, some podcasts and blogs I’ve found very thought-provoking, compiled a huge stack of books (mainly a result of my last birthday and Christmas), rediscovered my love of knitting, and started learning my way around digital art. I’ve also been consuming a steady stream of Doctor Who media for over a year now (my Classic Who watch has been all but paused because a friend and I have gotten rather obsessed with the Big Finish audios lately; we’re currently working through all the releases featuring the Eighth Doctor and his companion Charley Pollard), and planned the cosplays I hope to bring to life this year.

One thing I HAVEN’T done as much as I was hoping is to write.

I was doing pretty well with my writing while we were in North Carolina. I was really enjoying it, and I was regularly working on blog posts and little fanfiction stories. But since we’ve moved again, it’s like the exhaustion I’ve felt toward reading anything much longer than an online article for the past few months has extended to my writing as well.

I’m going to try to fix that, which I know I say often, but I’m going to try much harder to get things published (on this blog, and maybe on my AO3 account if I can scratch together some more fic I’m proud enough of to share). Usually, I’m not so much of a perfectionist that it inhibits my ability to enjoy my hobbies, but for some reason, I stress a lot over my writing. Probably because I’ve always been complimented on my writing skills, and it’s made me paranoid about ever sharing anything subpar. Probably also because I have so many amazing friends who are great writers and who writing just seems to come so naturally to, so I tend to compare myself to them and my work to theirs. I like to think it’s a way of pulling myself upwards – finding people I look up to and setting their work as a goal for me to attain someday. Seeing their stories or blogs and saying, “I hope I create something that good eventually.” But it just serves to squelch the inclination I do have to write, because I start thinking about how a lot of those great bloggers are social media mutuals and friends, how they’re likely going to see my writing and judge it, and how I really should be a better writer by now and it’s clearly my own fault for not dedicating myself more and just naturally being “better”.

I especially tend to want everything to be highly polished and as near perfect as I can get it before I show it to anyone else.

I’m going to try to keep a hold on those voices and strive to publish writing regularly anyway, even if it’s not as deep or well-thought-out or life-changing as I might wish before I push the “Publish” button, or after when it’s late at night and I’m once again considering erasing both my sites and all my social media and permanently disappearing from the world because I’m positive I’m an absolute fool and everyone would appreciate it if I just kept my mouth shut from now on.

I think I’ve gotten everyone all caught up now… Oh, aside from my recent attempts at journaling, but I think I’ll write a separate post about that sometime. And I’m also working on something about an episode from the most recent series of Doctor Who which meant a lot to me and I would like to share my perspective on.

Alright, guys, I gotta go to bed so I can edit and hopefully publish this tomorrow. Stay safe, wash your hands, drink water, and feel free to reach out if you’re struggling with all this quarantine/social-distancing and need someone to chat with.

✨ shay

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