An update

A bunch of things happened this week that put me in a contemplative mood. And also a mood that made it so I’d snap at everyone who even slightly irritated me. Have you no patience?, you ask. No, not really; not at the moment. I’m fed up with just about everything recently: my friends, my school/ work situation, my family (to a certain extent), and my writing.

First, I realised last weekend that this month is Blog Every Day April and, like last year, I’m behind. But this year, it just didn’t seem as important. Recently I read a blog by an online comic artist (I don’t remember which one, so don’t ask) who was quitting his comic because it had gotten to the point where, when he updated, his viewers would say “It’s about time!” instead of “Wow, thanks for putting out another strip!” Not that he was asking for thanks for every strip, but he felt like people were indignant when he didn’t provide instead of grateful when he did. He felt like they thought he owed them something. (Newsflash: he didn’t owe them anything. He was creating that comic out of the goodness of his heart because he loved drawing, and he wasn’t getting paid for it.) I’m getting to the point where people poke me and say, “Why haven’t you updated recently?” and they’re not just asking because they’re curious. They’re asking because they think I owe them a blog post. Which I don’t.

Second, Monday was the 25th birthday of a friend who didn’t live very long past her 24th birthday. I’ve been meaning to visit her grave and haven’t been able yet. I’m thinking about going this weekend or next week, when I’ll be on spring break.

Third, I’ve been seriously thinking of ditching my Twitter and/or Facebook and/or Formspring accounts. On the one hand, the most obvious of the three to delete would be Formspring because I’ve had it for the least amount of time and no one asks me questions on there anyway. At least not questions I feel comfortable answering without some serious thought. Twitter is similar, and also I’m just getting bored of it. On the other hand, Facebook is the most obvious because I’ve had it the longest and has therefore wasted my time the longest. I have friends who don’t have Facebook accounts and they do just fine without them. Or, I could delete all three because they just seem more and more like a waste of time.

I joined Facebook in the Autumn of 2004, during my sophomore year, at the insistence of a young woman who was, at the time, my dorm hall’s resident assistant and who later became my Big Sister in my sorority. It was when Facebook was still .edu email addresses only, and I wasn’t really interested then, either. It seems somewhat disingenuous to just delete it now, though, after I’ve amassed so many friends and have access to all their personal information, but I’m finding that other people having access to my personal information just puts me on edge. I’m a private person by nature, and this journal is already out there enough.

Fourth, and speaking of this journal… I’ve become aware of the disappointing fact (disappointing to me, at least) that this journal has recently become two things: a place for reviews and a place for Twitter updates. Neither of those things are bad, per se, but I want this to be focused on my writing, and not just in 140-character spurts. And not just critiquing other people’s writing/work. Since I finished my MFA in January, I’ve been drifting, and it hasn’t been a good feeling. I need direction in my life, and I’m not getting it from my friends or family any more than I was when I was in school. The logical part of my brain says, “More school”, but that can only take me so far.

At this point, I have no passion for any of the things I once did, except writing, and even that I don’t do enough to call myself a decent writer. It seems as though I have nothing to write about, and that’s dragging me down. I still have no work, and the two classes I’m taking are seriously bird classes, though I am learning a decent amount from both of them. What I’ve been doing so far hasn’t been working, obviously, so I have to change something or nothing will change. I have to stop assuming I’m owed something just because I’m alive and start working for it.

I’ve been letting my personal issues (OCD, friends, etc.) get in the way of success, and that’s not going to happen anymore. I’m going to work to become more assertive. I’m going to think about what I really want and then figure out a way to get it. Just because my friends aren’t doing well doesn’t make it okay for me to fail, too.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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