I’m having Medium anxiety!
My busy life has been interfering with my writing time.
We’re all familiar with the “crazy cat lady” expression. A crazy cat lady has a million felines running around her house and is madly in love with each and every one of them. Her sole purpose in life is to take care of these animals- You could say she lives to be a cat Mom. She dedicates a large portion of her life to spending time with, and loving, her cats. Most of the time she is content being alone because, well, her cats are her company and are the things that bring her joy. She doesn’t need much else in order to feel fulfilled.
This is how I feel about writing.
I have multiple platforms that I dedicate to writing and honing my craft. I manage a blog for a mental health organization and spend a lot of time recruiting and motivating bloggers, brainstorming topics, editing and uploading pieces, as well as writing pieces myself. I also have profiles on other major blogging platforms that tackle mental health issues. All of these pieces are tailored to a specific audience and help me improve my style. I have a personal blog where I compile my pieces and write more specifically to my own experience with mental illness. There I write with less of a filter or specific message and use it to vent and connect with other people who aren’t necessarily writers, but share similar experiences. I of course have a profile on here where I write more about social issues and spend the majority of my time getting to know other writers. I have a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, where I plug my pieces and use my writing to bond with my friends and family. I also like to spend a fair amount of time submitting pieces to freelancing sites, which I see as sort of a way to set goals and network. (I have a piece getting published on Upworthy this week, which is something to look forward to and seriously one of the only things getting me through this week).
All of these avenues are important to me. They are my “babies.” I develop them, help them grow, and they are a huge source of pride for me. Medium is especially important to me at the moment because it is relatively new and I am really enjoying what I am learning and experiencing here. The only problem is this: it is a complete time sucker.
I have been super fortunate this past month to be able to spend significant amounts of time on here. It has helped me navigate the format and gain excitement when my stats rise. Medium is different from other platforms however, because I feel as though every part of it is super important. It’s almost like a game. I can spend hours just looking for to people to follow. I can also spend hours reading the brilliant work on my feed from people that I already do follow. I can browse topics that interest me and read pieces that way, I can jump into conversations in the comments section of any writer I want, I can dedicate time to highlighting people’s work, or I can spend my time writing pieces of my own. The list goes on and on- It never gets boring.
The problem with this is that I have been extremely busy this past week and am starting to feel stretched in every direction. Imagine preparing to eat an amazing piece of toast, only to find that you have a teaspoon of butter left. You scrape it on as evenly as you can to maximize the taste, but you end up trying so hard that you accidentally poke holes in the bread. Now you have ripped, un-buttered toast. You try to enjoy it anyway but it sucks and you are too tired to go get more butter from the store. You accept your fate and put jelly on it instead, except you fucking hate jelly. You vow to get more butter tomorrow. Except that tomorrow comes and you are still too tired to go get butter, so you just say fuck it and skip breakfast altogether. This happens for a week straight.
(I’m not sure if that makes any sense at all, as I am sleep deprived, but that is how my life feels at the moment. It is what it is.)
I teach preschool full-time, which is exhausting in itself. I am also in the middle of moving from my apartment to my first house. Being a new homeowner is amazing, but there is a never-ending to-do list. Both places are extremely messy and shit is everywhere, which drives me nuts. I literally spent 3 hours last night organizing all of our “adult papers.” By that I mean pay-stubs, tax information, explanation of benefits, homeowner papers, insurance information, receipts, medical info, and other documentation. We had 5–8 lbs of unorganized paper just laying around like a giant eyesore and my husband had 2 years of unopened mail sitting in a pile at our new house. I almost had a panic attack. Don’t worry, I avoided it by sitting on the floor and punching holes into paper for three hours.
My dog was ill this weekend and I have been wanting to spend even more time with her than I usually do. (Any large amount of time where I leave her alone is ammunition I use against myself in order to feel like a bad dog Mom, as if that is motivating me somehow).
My husband has been anxious with the move and has needed more of my attention as well. He was staring at me and trying to be playful 5 minutes ago. I was not reciprocating and he knew, as usual, that I was not interested.
“Am I bugging you?”
“Umm, I’m a little busy, yes.”
He went to bed. Now I feel like an asshole.
I’ve got bridesmaid duties, weddings to attend, and my two best friends are having babies this year. (Apparently 26 is the age when all of this starts happening?) I like to stay connected with friends and loved ones, but its hard. I haven’t called my parents in a month and I really never want to do it or even think about it. I also have a bit of residual eating disorder tendencies going on (though I don’t like to admit it) and prior to Medium I had been spending an hour or two a day exercising. Now I feel like a bad friend, a bad daughter, and a fatty.
…I don’t even have kids yet! (Unless an emotional husband and an overweight bulldog qualify as children).
My point is, many parts of my life feel out of control and overwhelmingly busy, and I haven’t been able to dedicate anywhere near the amount of time I’d like to on ANY of my blogs, but especially this one. I’m afraid that I am missing out on enlightening discussions. I fear that I’m not acknowledging the great work I read on here. I am anxious that I will lose the small amount of followers I have (love you guys!) or gaining new followers because I’m not producing work or providing feedback.
My writing time is my time to myself. It is my way of relaxing, winding down, and focusing my attention on something that is important to me. My alone time is limited as is, but the fact that right now I am not able to spend time on here like an addict has been exacerbating by anxiety. Even the fact that this was a vent session rather than a substantial piece of work is worrying me.
I know I am being hard on myself and that all of my roles seem to be needing my attention right now, which is hard to balance. I get that. I also know that it is not the worst thing in the world to have a full life. Some of the reasons I am so busy are actually very exciting and necessary changes taking place in my life.
I just miss writing, that’s all. I’m wishing that I either didn’t need a solid 9 hours of sleep every night like a child, or that there were more hours in the day. Until this all passes, at least.