Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Headlights and Lightbulb Moments

A couple weeks ago I set about restoring my yellowed, cloudy, dim headlights with a kit I bought off Amazon.

Halfway through the process it began to rain. It is Seattle, after all. And even if I was willing to get wet for the sake of finishing up, the process still requires a 6-hour cure time to complete with no rain, no direct sunlight and no driving. Such restrictions un-garaged folk like me at a serious disadvantage.

Despite my disappointment, the headlights were much brighter for the portion I managed to complete. I reveled in my improved night vision and safety and was all happy and squeeing over it.

Then they began getting dimmer again.

In fact, before I knew it I was having so much trouble seeing I used my brights every second I could that evening of driving. A policeman noticed and followed me a while, down back country roads the Waze app was oddly directing me through, while I frantically tried to act all nonchalant under his authoritative presence.

The next day I was determined to get those headlights done. I got myself in a goodhead space for it. It was going to be awesome! They'd be all fixed up and pretty and safe! And after spending several hours working away at it, I faithfully waited for the sealant to cure all 6 hours before driving.

Finally it was done! The lenses were gorgeous! I was being all safe and responsible and I'd have plenty of light!

Then I turned the key--and noticed something was very off.

I emerged to confirm my suspicions: A headlight was out.

I burst out laughing. So that's why it was so dim the night before.

Every time I think I'm making progress... ah well.

The good news is RockAuto had a rebate on high quality GE bulbs, So with the $15 mail-in rebate I'll be paying just $16 total for a set of premium low beams, including shipping.

I'll get these headlights happening yet!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#6 Hitting my hang-ups

DANG IT this process of writing is freakin' HARD.

There is so much mental conditioning to unravel before I'm going to be any good at this. But I want it, and I'm going for it, so let's see if I can work it out.

I've been drafting things the past 48 hours, three separate pieces on different subjects, and in each one I'm realizing that I tend to subtly censor myself with gradually increasing frequency until I shut down into full-scale writer's block.

And then no matter how hard I try to circumvent the block, the censored bits and pieces blare in my head YOU SHALL NOT PASS and I realize, with sinking dread, that it's not actually happening tonight.

For example, I'm afraid to share positively about my boyfriend sleeping peacefully beside me right now as I type these stammering phrases into the dead of night. He's relaxed for once, his breathing steady and even, giving off a most restful vibe as I try to calm my anxiety and physical discomfort enough to sleep myself.

I cannot think to write the above paragraph without freezing inside. A large number of family and friends would want to confront me on my boyfriend and I sharing the same bed. Some would be shocked; others, just "disappointed" in my lifestyle choices. All would be seeking some sort of engagement from me on the subject.

I'm not well enough to handle that. Not gracefully, not with healthy boundaries. The wounds left by conservative Christian culture are still too fresh.

But something deep inside me is finished hiding, ready or not. Because I'm not ashamed of the beautiful things in my life, even if others view them differently.

I will learn how to do this. The freedom with which I've written elsewhere, anonymously, is something I want to bring home under my name and take ownership of it. I also want to be able to write that way fresh, as Heidi Mull, in spite of all my fears about failing or looking stupid or immature compared to wherever I'll be in a few years' time. This is me right now, and it's nothing to be embarrassed about. I may be struggling but I'm working for what I want, and there's solid dignity in that fact alone.

I'm going to publish this, I'm going to hold my head high, and then I'm going get back to that list of about what I accomplished week towards making a writing career seriously happen. Because I am moving forward. It helps me to remember that on nights like these.

Friday, April 8, 2016

#5 Getting up after life knocks on your ass.

A few hours after my last post on March 28th I was driving on the freeway when there was a sudden hard jolt and the minivan spun out through two lanes of ~60mph traffic.

Turns out a speeding driver had decided to look away from the road and consequently rear-ended us.

My life has been absolute chaos since.

And as the pieces have barely begun to settle, I slowly regained the luxury of thinking back to this writing dream that I once had and how sad it was that it had been wiped out so quickly.

I cannot drive due to injury. I have no laptop. My boyfriend is on the verge of losing his job from his injuries and lawyer stuff is happening amidst a whirlwind of medical appointments without a vehicle.

Yep, it was nice while it lasted. *wistful sigh*
Do I still want it?
The thought came unbidden. I was annoyed. Of course I still want it.

But look at me. I'm a wreck. I've had four major anxiety attacks in as many days, one of them by far the worst I've ever experienced. What is it that I think I can do in this state? How can I possibly write?"
Do. I. Still. Want. It?

So...I got back to work.

I went easy on myself. I'm going to be my own boss for a good long while so it's best I learn how to be the kindly sort who still gets things done. It's my first day on the job after a major accident so taking it slow and gentle is to be expected.

To begin, I glanced over my blog and checked my email, just to get a feel for the layout again. Then I took a break to relax, exercise, and snack. Keeping myself moving tends to help me process things without getting overwhelmed. And in the process of returning to the computer to read a bit and then stepping away to digest it, I could literally feel my perspective shifting as ideas began flooding in.

For today, I decided to tackle building my portfolio from things I've already written. I'd hunt down which writings I want to eventually transfer to my platform for increased publicity and start polishing them up.

I created the folders on my thumb drive, copied over and edited through them. In total I now have three pieces pretty much ready, each one vastly different portraying the large swath of subjects and styles of writing I've done.

And that's only the beginning.

This isn't going to be pretty. The recovery is going to be slow and painful and messy and downright stupid at times. But I'm working on letting go of my perfectionist, overachiever tendencies and learning instead to just get it done.

I know writing this on an empty blog is like shouting into a tunnel to hear your own echo, but for some reason there's still validity in it. I'm doing this. A serious car accident is not going to stop me. And if I can come back from this, I can come back from darn near anything.


I...guess we'll find out.

Either way, I'm giving it my best shot.