Soooooooooo that was a year.
A tale of two halves really. For the purpose of my place on this website and the ways I choose to engage with it, it doesn't make sense to dwell too much on the first half of the year. Let's just say I learned a lot and leave it at that.
In the second half of the year I did a lot to focus on my health and well being. Made new dietary habits and lost some weight. Recommitted to daily basic stretching routines and to healthier sleeping patterns with inconsistent results, but any sort of attempt in these matters can be considered progress. Engaged more with my spirituality on my own time and in my own terms. Tried as hard as I could to put away money into savings every paycheck, which is not so easy to do in this country between debts, mandatory insurance, and general living expenses. Finished (and started) reading some books which had been on the back burner for a very long time. Began spending slightly more YouTube time with topical, biographical, informational, and otherwise educational things and slightly less time on mindless junk. And, as evidenced, began publishing more things on E2.
Most of the things posted in the 2nd half of this year were older things which had needed to be resuscitated before they were ready for publishing. Lots of editing and reimagining, as well as linking and formatting. But there sure were a lot of old pieces that I always wanted to publish here, I just lacked the impetus to put in the elbow grease. But I'm so glad I found/forced that impetus again. It feels particularly good to have put Waste, Witness, and Last Christmas Lights out into the nodegel. Those things have meant a lot to me for a long time.
I always felt as though reaching level 12 would be a big milestone for me. The most meaningful levelup on this site since level 4, and the last meaningful levelup until level 15. But honestly the closer I got to the levelup, the less important it seems. And now since I've had it, I haven't managed to find more than one writeup per day I've wanted to give a C! to. My standards for writeups I believe to be C! worthy are probably too high, but I have to stick to my principles.
Anyway, all that to say that if the leveling/xp system was ever a motivation for me to participate on this website then it definitlely isn't anymore. I've struggled with motivation issues, particularly self-motivation, all my life. There are still a few older things I could work into publishing here and that are probably worth the time and effort, but my amounts of pre-existing unpublished material is dwindling. And it's not that I don't want to write and publish "new" content, or even that I haven't been doing so. It's not even that I feel particularly uninspired. It's just so hard to get in the groove, so to speak. So difficult for me to get into the headspace I need to be in to write as compared to 2013, when I was writing every day, all the time. It's like a kind of mentality that's harder to access the less frequently you access it. It's a kind of a momentum concept. Like how it's so much easier to drive efficiently on the highway than it is in the city where you're constantly stopping and starting.
Not only do I have so much less free time on my hands than I did when I was younger but in the free time I do have, I still feel the pressure and momentum of an "adult" life, a working class life. Unless you're a clergyman or a tenured university professor, there's pretty much no such thing as a sabbatical in this country. No opportunity to just simply clear one's mind, on a broader scale. It's a culture where constant voluntary labor is kind of the expectation. Gaps of time in which you might be unemployed even for a single month tend to look bad on a résumé. It's much harder to find a new place to live when you're in between jobs. But I just find it so hard to conform to a labor-based culture. A 40-hour work week just seems to take so much away from my mental development and mental freedom. But then again, maybe I should try to find a way to make this culture work for me, and to engage in a career path that's better suited to me instead of just settling for a job. Easier said than done for a Hamlet like me.
But in any case, I know that the pace that I've set in posting writeups over the last 6 months is unsustainable. And I've accepted the inevitable lapse in posting before it's even happened (I'm no stranger to going quiet for long periods of time). But it's still worth saying on record that it's meant a lot to me to be able to re-engage with myself as a writer through the medium of this website, and despite the fact that the future seems pretty unclear, I'm not finished yet.