Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: August Check-In

A day late, but full of good news and excitement! Despite my fears and stress, everything’s falling into place for my trip, and I’m feeling so excited and thankful and blessed. I’m still raising funds (you can support me on Crowdrise or Patreon, if you have cash to spare), but I’m now officially days out. Lovely friends have been housing me and helping me out, and I wouldn’t be 2 days from departure without y’all — thanks so much for all the love and support, really.

This month once again has no tracker photos, because those have basically fallen by the wayside with most of my stuff in storage and living out of backpacks. This month’s review is below the cut.

 

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Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: July Check-In

Still fundraising for my trip (you can support me here), and prepping for that — just about a month left before I go. I am now homeless, staying with friends and living out of a duffel and backpack, which is making everything a bit harder and more complicated. This post is, as usual, late, but on purpose this time, because I wanted to finish up some work before I posted. (More on that below!)

I’ve also been struggling a lot with the recent highly publicized shootings of unarmed/unresisting Black people. I am well aware these happen all the time — US police are on pace to kill one unarmed Black person a day in 2016 — but if I let myself marinate in Black death all the time, I wouldn’t be able to function. Sad to say, but wilfully ignoring the violence is better for my health on the average day. I set aside time to do what work I can in the struggle for justice, including on the Fists Up OR/WA Facebook page, and try not to feel too guilty the rest of the time.

No GHDR Tracker Photos this time — moving has done a number on me and my organization. Should be back next month, though. Review below the cut.

 

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Groundhog Day 2016 Resolutions: June Check-In

Better late than never, eh? I have been so busy and stressed that this is the first time I’ve really had time and energy to work on this post. It was meant to go up on the 6th, of course, but that was finals week, and I had to crank out three papers, give a presentation in Spanish, and take a final exam — everything else was put on the backburner. Since then I’ve been frantically trying to get things together for my trip to Ghana. There’s so much for this trip I didn’t even think about. I’m giving myself serious adulting points for all of this — it’s a lot of work! Below are May’s points, and the Review post is below the cut.

 

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On Asking for Help (and, Hopefully, Not Starving)

Asking is hard. Particularly for those of us who are femme, who were socialised to be women, or who do caretaking work, it can be so easy to put the needs and desires of others above our own; we grow very used to advocating for others, at our own expense. And for those of us from marginalised communities, whom society disregards or punishes for existing, it’s almost impossible to feel like our wants and needs matter.

But they do matter, and we have to believe that, because we are sometimes the only advocates we have. Others cannot know what we want and need if we never share it with them. That’s a shame, because we often find folks ready and willing to help us. We just need to give them the chance.

Still, it’s really scary. So many questions come up to block our path: what if no one helps? What if they call us selfish? What if, what if, what if? We want the help, but we wish that others could intuit and “opt in”, rather than us risk rejection from those who aren’t interested. Putting ourselves out there makes us vulnerable.

Okay, deep breath.

This isn’t abstract. I need to ask for your help right now.

This past week, I had a medical emergency. My blood sugar got dangerously high, so high that I grew dehydrated and had to go to the emergency room. I spent 5 hours on a saline drip, and was given a shot of insulin. I was really scared, and in the aftermath, I started thinking about my life.

Currently, I attend classes at Portland State University. I’m about a year from graduating. I also work at the Queer Resource Center on campus, a job I may not have once summer starts, since the positions open up at the end of each school year. I don’t know how I’ll pay my bills or eat this summer. I don’t know how I’ll find a job after I graduate, one that will be understanding about my chronic illnesses and disability. I feel like my best bet is to really focus on my small press. Hopefully, in a year, I’ll be able to get by on that and my income from freelancing.

Last week, I launched an Indiegogo to raise funds. I’m asking for $10,000 to buy things like ISBNs, a P.O. Box for business correspondence, a storage unit for books waiting to be sold, and other physical things, as well as give the press the ability to contract artists to design book covers, offer small (likely tiny, actually) advances to authors we’ll publish in the next year, and stuff like that. If we reach the goal, I might be able to start actually paying myself from sales of my book. If we overshoot the goal, I may even be able to hire a part-time assistant to help me out. (Which would be great, because I am disabled, so there are some things I may need help with.)

I’m really dedicated to making Mourning Glory Publishing a successful business, not just so I don’t starve, but because I believe that the voices MGP will publish are vital ones, that need to be heard. I believe in the power of stories to change the world. Telling stories saves lives, transforms them. The voices of the most marginalized members of our society need to be heard, to be recognized and lifted up, to be celebrated. It’s this work I want to do, and why MGP is so important to me. (Not starving would be a nice bonus, though.)

So, the ask: please visit the link, and share with your friends, family, followers. If you have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or GooglePlus, please share on those platforms. Let folks know you support the press. And if you can give, please do. I really am grateful for everyone’s support, and I still have a long way to go to reach the goal.

Thank you.

Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: May Check-In

Another month gone… Things have been hard, busy, and intense this past month. I’m really looking forward to the summer, in terms of not having to worry about classes. On the downside, I will be unemployed, and that’s an added worry, in terms of my stress level. Not sure how I’m gonna eat, let alone pay my rent over the summer, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

(Shameless plug: if you want to help reduce the chances I’ll be homeless/starve this summer, I’d love any form of support you can offer. Seriously.)

Anyway, onto the Groundhog Day Goals May check-in! Continue reading “Groundhog Day 2015 Resolutions: May Check-In”

Where Did Nap Time Go? #Adulting

I miss nap time. It’s funny, because kids hate nap time. When we are young, we just want to play and run, and even though not napping makes us cranky, we still don’t want to lay down when there are so many other things we could be doing.

Now, I’m about a year away from graduating university, and I miss sleep. Somewhere along the way, I lost the ability to pull all-nighters (at about 23 years old, I suspect); now, if I get anything less than 7 hours of sleep, I’m exhausted and crusty in the morning, and slow all day long. I’m adjusting to this new normal, but I am also a bit of a workaholic, so I sometimes forget I can’t keep going, and then I spend the whole day really needing a nap.

But the thing that has made me feel like an adult more than any other milestone is travel.

The last two summers, I got scholarships to go to the Make Progress Summit in Washington DC, including travel and lodging costs. But since July, I’ve had cause to travel twice on my own, booking all of my own flight and lodging, and that feels like the crossover point, somehow.

When all the flight and hotel is taken care of, I just show up when and where I’m told, but when I book things myself, I have to think of timing and logistics and figure out all the little details myself, and pay for it all. Going through airport security makes me feel like a child: everything is so scary, and I keep waiting to be told that I’m in the wrong place, or that I’m doing something wrong. But booking things feels more responsible, more in control, and more adult.

I’ve been furiously calculating and re-calculating my funds for the weekend, trying to make sure my flight, hotel, and food are all covered. (Shameless plug: if you wanna help cover my costs so I don’t, you know, slip into a diabetic coma on the streets of New York City, you can do that here. I’d definitely appreciate the support.) I got scholarship to attend BinderCon, and I’m really excited to go, even as I’ve been stressing out about money and logistics.

There’s so much to think about for this trip. I’ll be missing a day of work. And I have so many variables and questions: How late can I leave to get there? If I leave for NY Thursday night and take the red-eye, it’s cheaper, but I can’t go to my hotel until after 3pm on Friday, and how will it be to wander NY on little sleep? Can I get coffee and see friends on Friday? How late can I leave on Sunday and still get home at a reasonable time? When will I get homework done? It makes me feel very grown up.

I don’t like it. I’m tired and cranky, and I want someone else to take care of me.

I vote we bring back nap time.

Update: Writing from the Core, Ferguson…

As you may have noticed, I haven’t updated about Writing from the Core since Day 12. The last day I got serious writing done on it was Day 14, six days ago. This is because I had a paper due last Saturday and two more on Monday, and all of my spare thought and energy has been devoted to the ongoing struggle in Ferguson, MO.

I am talking with a local organiser who’s in touch with a national network of folks, and we’re in the process of organising a ride from Oregon to Ferguson with supplies and assistance for labour day weekend. I have started fundraising to that end, and have several donors on the line to donate supplies once we know exactly what folks on the ground need.

My intent is to bring needed supplies, and help out wherever possible. I’m honestly not sure how much writing I will be getting done between now and then, though I will keep writing for myself as much as I can.

I want to thank everyone for the support you offered on my Writing from the Core posts, and the personal support that has been given to me outside of this blog. If you are willing and able, please donate to our effort or your own community’s effort to support Ferguson. This situation has had far-reaching effects and implications, and we need to band together to get through.

Thank you.