the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

On 2017.

Bee ButlerComment

One of my biggest goals this year (note that I said GOAL and not RESOLUTION, but more on that in a minute) is to post with some regularity. I have so much to say and so much time to do so, and yet I find myself reaching for this space less and less, because I feel that my audience elsewhere is more responsive.

But this space isn't just for me.

I write here because I have a way with words. I have the ability to maintain an eloquent presence on the internet, and that comes in handy when my personal experiences coincide with stigmatized issues and events. I write here because I have been there, and maybe someone else will read it and feel a little bit less alone. 

I cut my teeth on Dooce and The Bloggess, both of whom I adore and feel personally attached to, because they wrote openly about their mental illness and somehow it made me more normal, more okay, and I realized that I could carve out my own little niche in the giant expanse that is the internet, and I could go there to rant and explain and explore.

So I will.

Right now I'm intentionally making changes in my daily life because I was and am unhappy with many things about myself and the way I went about existing. I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but it's true. I have allowed my depression to warp itself out of control again, which has led to flakiness, unanswered calls, unresponsiveness to people who reached out to me, events missed, and days spent in bed. I have been unemployed for close to two months, and in that time I have accomplished basically nothing. I fell far from grace and got to a point where I was wondering if I could go back to old habits temporarily for comfort. I didn't do it, but I wanted to. I have been someone I am not proud of. I have been lazy and anxious and felt so very alone, and my alone-ness was caused by my failure to get out the door, which was caused by the depression of alone-ness, and so on and so on until a week had gone by and I had only seen the three people I live with and our dog.

That is not a way to live. 

The end of 2016 felt like a revival. I burned it in effigy and let myself celebrate the death of one of the worst years that has ever happened both to and around me. I heralded the new year with no expectations, except that anything would be better than what had come before. I made no resolutions. I wrote down no promises that I might break or rules that I might ignore. I saw no reason to do what I'd always done, because I wanted different results, and to do the former and expect the latter is the definition of insanity. Instead, I set about exploring some intentions, and I am pushing myself to do things with them.

I want to get out of debt. 
I want to graduate and start grad school.
I want to get my own place.
I want to go to the beach more often and explore the area I live in.
I want to find my way back to God and plug into a church.
I want to maintain my sobriety and strengthen my eating and exercise habits.
I want to get things off my chest and manage my health with less medication and more therapy.

I want to figure out what it means to be happy, and I want to get drunk on it.

None of those things will be accomplished perfectly, and some of them might not even be accomplished at all. Even if I don't make changes that reflect those desires, I have spoken them and made myself somewhat accountable. It is easier to do what you set out to do when people ask you if you're doing them.

Per usual, I'm pulling an unintended all-nighter, moving from January 2nd into January 3rd in one seamless internet binge. I'm listening to podcasts and audiobooks and catching up on my RSS feeds and scrolling through social media, grabbing onto little things that seem interesting. I can spend this time in a lazy twilight, and I won't be able to soon, so I'm enjoying it while I can. I'm writing here because I want to write more, and I've got the time to kill. 

I ended 2016 with a show at the Whisky (after four years of zero stage time) and a visit from my dad, which was beautiful and fun and a little bit nerve-wracking. I want to keep performing and tell the story of how my music dreams are unfolding, and I want to sit down and pour out a lot of the thoughts that have been floating around in my head. I'll get around to it when I'm less asleep and more coherent.

I welcome 2017 with open arms.
I'm glad you're here with me.

Until I've had a nap,