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Yeah, I took a break from writing on this blog. A long ass break. It wasn’t intentional; it wasn’t on accident either. The fact is that my best blog entries come to me when I have focused my anger and passion like a surgeon focuses her scalpel. Over the past 11 months, I have been on a roller coaster of experiences, ranging from receiving one honor to becoming the target of three catastrophes — wash, rinse, repeat the cycle. Given the frequency of emotional whiplash, it seemed inevitable that I would grow…tired. A person only has so many spoons, and when you are in the midst of, among other things, fighting to keep your health and your house together [literally and metaphorically], prioritizing the war against the Kyriarchy first and foremost doesn’t seem like the best course of action.

Because let’s be real: we may be all about the Struggle, but the Struggle is not all about us.

I wasn’t fighting. I had grown too tired to fight. After my third surgery in 2015 and its accompanying complications, I barely had the strength to stand up for the first 10 days. So I just…stopped. I spent 3 ½ weeks on medical leave and I just stopped doing anything, including and especially writing, which is usually the first signal that something has gone awry.

So, this is me: making some fumbled, hectic attempt to come back to writing, to start practicing self-care again. And let you be warned, you may not like what you read next.

[What? The constant whining wasn’t getting me anywhere, not even past King II while playing Xiaoyu in Tournament mode. Neither was sitting on the couch binge-watching new shows on Netflix. And don’t get me started with rearranging my life board to find that missing piece of that happiness puzzle. And yes, I checked in between my couch cushions. It ain’t there.]

So now what?

How about you turn off the PlayStation 2 and start remembering what specifically makes you happy?

Ay, there’s the rub. What the hell does happiness look like to me?

Doesn’t it look like the result of practicing self-care?

Now, here’s where I turn into the Semantics Asshole. The way I see self-care, it’s supposed to be set of rituals that helps you find some sort of catharsis in your chaotic life. By its very name, it is not supposed to be anyone else’s plan, and by its very nature, it’s not supposed to be for anyone else either. My program of self-care is going to look very different from yours, and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is how many media sources exist that propel you towards a self-care regiment that results in Happiness(™).

Keep your yoga pants on. I’ll elaborate on what I mean by Happiness(™).

The Mainstream’s ideal of Happiness(™) that we [those of us who present as women, femmes, NB, etc.] are sold is eurocentric, gender essentialist, heterosexist and capitalist at its very core. This is a construct that attempts to drill into me that I should want the following things in order to achieve just that little modicum of that Hallmark-hatched contentment:

  • A husband;
  • Children;
  • A house;
  • A circle of girlfriends that participate in get-togethers chalk full of Chardonnay-fueled self-esteem destruction by means of passive-aggressive communication;
  • And maybe a passive hobby like sporadically volunteering at an obscure charity organization that, in reality, just helps privileged white people look good in People Magazine.

While I’m not a fan of the Mainstream, I can’t ignore the fact that Progressivism isn’t exactly free from its own construct of Happiness(™) either:

  • At least one loving, supportive and similarly ideologically stationed partner (gender allegedly irrelevant);
  • A sustainable urban domicile complete with composting set-up and locally sourced, GMO-free products;
  • Babies, preferably of the fur variety;
  • A close group of friends to reaffirm the resonance of your echo chamber;
  • An active cause into which you pool your independently-sourced caffeine energy that also acts as a convenient shelter prohibiting from you analyzing your own privilege

So yeah…neither of these constructs applies to or is ever going to work for me. If they work for you, that’s great!! I sincerely mean that…but remember:

THIS. POST. ISN’T. ABOUT. YOU.

So, what then? What do you need? What do you want for yourself?

I want to/I need to be able to take a fucking break once in awhile. I need to be able to take a step back and take care of myself without having my commitment to the Cause questioned. I need to be able to flip that switch to “OFF” from time to time, and that might look like anything from enjoying a Tarantino movie to scarfing down a plate of Veal Parmesan to fucking another consenting adult and possibly never speaking to them again. What it won’t look like is a trail of intentional destruction and desecration of the ideals and the people whom I hold dear. I would like to believe that I’ve grown a little wiser since going down that road; besides, I’m not a fan of traveling down the same road twice.

Now, I have most certainly pissed off a lot of people with this post, and honestly I’m OK with that. Being a proud Cleric [for real, yo – check out the picture at the end of the post] against the Struggle does not mean that I have to be a bottomless receptacle for it. There are no extra credit points for being The Angriest Activist; there’s only extra credit misery, and I typically get my fill of it before I can get my first cup of coffee.

So, for 2016, I’m going to try to be better at making myself happy. I tend to be a better fighter when I am anyway.

Pic of ULC Credentials redacted

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