I’ve been blogging since 2004. I’ve had a blog on most of the bigger blogging platforms. I’ve written posts that probably should have began “Dear Diary.” I’ve written a few political commentaries. I’ve written funny thoughts, and some not so funny. I even did recipe posts.
My blogs have mainly been about my life: dealing with mental illness, caring for an elderly parent. A few short stories, a few essays, some cartoons and a few music videos made appearances.
After a decade of not having a job so I could be a full-time caregiver, I’ve discovered that I’m not all that marketable: no job since 2008, no college degree, being over 50, having physical and mental health issues.
At my last job, I spent a good deal of time working on Excel spreadsheets. Complex, data driven spreadsheets. Spreadsheets that linked to spreadsheets that linked to spreadsheets. Now, I use Excel to make lists of music that’s on my various playlists. I couldn’t even begin to format a cell for data calculations. They have updated Excel many times since 2008. It looks very different from when I used it though the base formatting works the same way. I’m sure the skills would come back the more I worked on it. These days, employers need people who are up-to-date on their Microsoft skills. I think I might even feel like a beginner on the computer itself. Most companies are Windows-based, and I’ve been a Mac user since I quit working. Windows and Mac are similar yet they are also different from each other. Again, skills would be easy enough to relearn, but finding the employer that offers a longer learning curve probably isn’t easy.
Full disclosure: I’ve not applied for any jobs since my mother died in 2017. So, I cannot claim with certainty that my resume would be filed in the garbage can. I base my assumption on resume treatments at various places I worked in the past. I’m uncertain any of my former bosses would see a resume like mine and call the person in for an interview.
Also: I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with daily office life, deal with the drama, deal with being around many people. Over the past decade, I’ve spent all of my time with my mom and with my husband, Julian. Since mom died, Julian is the person I’ve interacted with 99.9% of the time. People skills aren’t my strong suit. I can be good at faking it, but, eventually, I get fed up and things end up not ending well.
I am happy when I am alone. (I am also happy when I am with my husband of 18+ years). I am reasonably happy with my own company.
I’m great at working on my own.
Social interaction is nice now and then. It’s unclear that after a decade of near solitude enforced daily interactions would be something I could handle.
Where does all this leave me?
And what does this all have to do with a blog?
Creating a new blog, one where I am blogging using my real name on a blog named after me, is a way for me to build a brand.
No, no, no. Don’t be scared. I’m not trying to become a brand like “Kardashian”. I’d like to think I have more substance. Certainly less money.
No, what I am going for is a reflection of me: strengths and flaws both proudly displayed.
Life has taught me I am good at a few things: writing (though, perhaps, this page is not the finest example of that); photography; explaining things; talking about myself.
This blog, then, is meant to be a collection of all those things. I have mentioned at various times, in various places, that I’m not a niche blogger. Writing about cooking all the time would bore me. Reviewing books would be dull even though reading is something that brings me great pleasure. Writing perky, self-help tips to help motivate others would probably make me insane.
Instead, this blog is about whatever I’m interested in at any given moment. It’s about the past, the present, maybe even the future.
This blog is about dealing with mental health issues: how those issues started, how they shaped who I am, and how I’m working to live with them in a newer, healthier way. Hopefully, in my stories others will discover they aren’t alone in facing the challenges of mental health issues and, hopefully, will learn along with me how to live with these issues in a better, healthier way. I’ve seen a psychiatrist weekly since 2014 (and many, many times in the years prior). Having frequent, quality mental health care lead to finally being diagnosed and treated for Bipolar 2 Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, General Anxiety disorder, Chronic Depression, and PTSD. It’s my hope that the stories of my past actions and my current steps to move forward will resonate and help one or two people along the way.
This blog is about living with HIV.
This blog is about poetry, both reading and writing.
This blog is about what it was like to be a caregiver to an elderly parent.
This blog is about music.
This blog is about collecting posts from past blogs, posting them here, to have the best and favorites all in one place. For the handful of you who’ve followed me from blog to blog, you might recognize a few of the stories. You may remember some of the things I’ll be posting. Especially the posts about caring for my mom, sharing the funny and sometimes inappropriate stories about my mom and the things she said.
This blog is a gateway to my photography portfolio and web store. You can find the link in the menu.
This blog isn’t about posting every day. I’m not looking to have thousands of views each day. I’m not aiming to be an ‘influencer’. I only hope to be interesting enough to make you want to stop by again sometime. The posts won’t be daily. There are writing projects I am working on that may not appear on the blog. These are stories I am writing with the hope of them being published in other magazines and blogs. Many magazines and blogs will only publish things that haven’t been previously published (they include personal blog posts as being ‘previously published”
This blog is about everything and nothing in particular.
This blog is about my world.
Welcome to it.