Life Update: February 2020

Since it’s been almost two years since I gave any sort of life update, I figured now would be as good a time as any. I’m notoriously bad at talking about myself or sharing any interesting information about the things I do, and I’m trying to be better about that. I know that I’ve alluded to a few decisions (and non-decisions) that I’ve made throughout this blog’s run, and I’d like to be clearer about them. I challenge my readers every week to be their best self, to show the world that they’re more than their mental illness. How can I challenge someone if I’m not showing the world that I’m more than mine?

In looking back on my earlier posts, I was a lot more candid about my future plans. I was dead-set on moving to Europe and teaching English – in fact, it was a plan that was in the works from the moment I started this blog. But in the summer of 2019, six weeks before leaving, I decided not to go. It wasn’t because I was too nervous or afraid to live in another country; I’d realized that I never really enjoyed teaching, and I don’t have the temperament or personality to teach the 40-50 hours per week I’d need to make enough money to provide for myself. So, I stayed, and in hindsight it was the best decision I could’ve made.

After deciding to stay, I thought a lot more about what I wanted and needed at this point in my life. I realized that I wanted to stay put in my city and build in DC, both personally and professionally. Then 2020 hit, and life changed in almost every possible way. I started dating a truly fantastic woman in January 2020, and it’s changed me for the better. The way that we’ve gotten to know each other has been so unique and wonderful, and her ability to understand and empathize with my struggles is one of the many, many reasons I know she’s someone special. We recently celebrated our one-year anniversary, and I’m excited to celebrate more.

Onto pandemic things. This past year didn’t provide many exciting personal moments, but it did continue to teach me one lesson after another. I stayed home. I ordered carryout and saw friends in the park. I had more Zoom game nights than I can count, and I focused more on my mental health than ever before. It’s as if I preemptively knew that this would be my life for the foreseeable future. And I tried to help where I could, when I could. That approach helped me get through the year, and while I wasn’t always thriving, I survived, mental health intact.

I also started going back to therapy in July 2020. I’ve had minimal results from therapy in the past (or non-results, even), and my main reason for going this time was to improve how I saw and communicated with the world. It’s too early to say if this new therapeutic approach is changing my life (I decided to go with the ACT method instead of CBT), but I’m also proud that I’ve been seeing the same therapist for almost eight months straight – a personal best for me.

And the final update that I’ll give today is that in the past few months, I’ve changed jobs! After working at my first job out of college for three-and-a-half years, my sister told me about a job with a non-profit that does incredible work in DC. I’d been looking for a new job off-and-on since 2019, and this opportunity felt like a perfect fit. I’ve been on the job for a month now, and I can already tell how this position will improve my mental wellness. I’m very excited for the opportunity!

I hope I can provide more timely updates so that I don’t have to do a whole news dump like this, but I’m glad that I’m able to share some of my joys as well as some of my struggles with you all. Daily life continues to be a challenge, and bad days of depression and anxiety happen often. But I’m doing my best to see the forest for the trees, and treat myself like a person who’s like anyone else. And once in a while, I get to smile at seeing how that’s paid off. Much love to all of you.

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