Life update: August 2018


For a long time, it had just been too humid to write. I know it sounds like a weak excuse, but when the weather's like this, I feel it starts to manifest in my whole body and thought process. The air becomes a soup that slows my every movement and I want to stay in bed, exerting minimal effort. I could take my computer with me to some air-conditioned cafe where I could get things done without constantly feeling like a gross sticky mess (and no attention-hungry cat threatening to lie on the keyboard). I've also been prioritizing the other blog at the expense of this one, so whenever I have the burst of writing energy in me it usually goes to that. I consider the SNL posts an assignment that I promised to complete (even though I don't get marked or paid for it), while personal blogging is more of a release whenever I have things going on in my life or strong feelings I want to sort out.

I have a few posts in me that I really want to write; things I've felt afraid to share on this page for the longest time. I always love it when people get real in their blogs, particularly if they touch on familiar territory in my own life. Discussions of depression and anxiety. Stories about growing up in and moving away from a religious upbringing resonate with me (part and parcel of being the son of a minister). Posts about coming out and navigating sexuality and gender do too; they have for years, even before I came out to myself 13 years ago. Looking back, that was probably a sign. When someone writes a post that finds a way to articulate similar experiences to ones I've had, I get the urge to connect with them. If it's someone I know expressing these feelings, I feel more of a kinship with them. I want people to have that same feeling when they read my writing.

I still don't know how much of myself I want to expose. One of the things I miss about some of my previous blogs (most of which have been deleted) was the anonymity or ability to limit their audience, but at the same time I would always get back to the same place, where I would feel the need to be seen. It's not enough for me to express myself; I want to know that I'm seen, recognized and accepted. 

There hasn't been too much else going on lately besides work; not really a lot of social gatherings or adventures. Part of this is out of a desire to save money and pay things down toward a nebulous solo trip somewhere (I haven't decided on a time or place, but I'm leaning towards heading to Montreal); it's also harder to make plans when your friends have small children or live outside of the city. Besides, when the air was as muggy as it was during the heat wave, the idea of waiting for a bus somewhere or even walking to my stop wasn't particularly appealing.  I've been reading a fair bit, though; mostly library books, mainly work by women and LGBT authors.

I don't know how people could stand to have hair in that weather. I'm usually completely bald-by-choice (have been so for most of the last 15 years), so perhaps I'm in a different position, but whenever I let whatever hair I have grow out (usually more due to negligence), it feels gross, especially in humidity. Then again, I also tend to feel emotionally better when I give the scalp a fresh lather and shave. I usually go for the fresh shave whenever I'm planning to go out for the evening, and I have a tendency to take more pictures of myself when I'm all groomed this way. Part of it is the whole impermanence of this look, but I feel more attractive with a completely smooth head and feel like it should be the version of myself that's captured for posterity.

On a similar topic, I started an unofficial portrait project: Crossing Paths with Good Folks. I'm still working out the specific parameters with regards to when I will and will not snap, repeat subjects and so forth, but the basic premise is to do a quick cell-phone portrait of the people I know whenever I run into them. I don't know what's my biggest motivation behind this project: trying to force myself to take more pictures, keeping track of all the times I run into people I know, or just trying to represent that part of their personality that I see in them and share it for the world to see. I want to see what shape it takes as I take more pictures, though.

I've mentioned before that I've always wanted to travel to each of the towns I've lived in while growing up and take a series of pictures of them at regular intervals to track the gradual changes. I also want to see more existing pictures of the towns and cities that were taken around the time I lived in each, partially to try to affix my fuzzy memories to specific locations and link them to the present day. I live in Halifax and have memories of coming here as a kid when my family lived in Pictou, but I still can't fully reconcile my present reality with my faded childhood memories. Is it really possible to do so, though? 

This has been a quiet summer. I'm grateful for that in some ways: no periods of worrying about job interviews or extreme depressive spells like in the past few years, but it's almost over. I need to act fast if I want to get some last patio beers or swims in (the latter isn't the easiest when you don't drive and can't get to too many beaches easily by bus). I may as well take advantage of the good weather while I can.