What’s the plural of “hiatus?”

Hey look, a post!

I know I’ve done the thing many times here, where I stop and start, stop and start. I have my reasons, every time, and I deliberate and hum and haw and can never quite decide if I should keep doing the thing or stop doing the thing…

I miss writing book reviews. I really do.

I tried to start fresh not too long ago, get a new blog under a new name, write some reviews and see how it all went. I never entirely stopped reviewing books, really. I just kind of scattered them across other blogs, didn’t make anything cohesive. But I did keep going. Just in places where I felt less pressure to make a specific kind of content. Then a new book review blog.

Then, you know what? Fuck it. I missed what I used to have here. I hated having to pretend I wasn’t me, that I didn’t know the people I was talking to, to pretend we were strangers.
I didn’t do that for too long before I decided yeah, I wasn’t comfortable with living behind that kind of anonymity. It did a disservice to the people I’ve come to know as legitimate friends over the years. I stopped that blog pretty quickly because I felt too guilty over it.

But I still miss book reviews.

So maybe, in 2020, it’s time to dust off Bibliotropic and write a few more.

Dunno how regular it’ll be, or how long this urge will last, because I do have other projects I’ve been working on that take up a decent amount of my time and energy. But it’s not like I’ve stopped reading (heck, like I said earlier, it’s not like I even stopped reviewing entirely), so sure, why not come back and share the book love?

Here’s to a more present 2020, I guess.

When Depression Kicks Your Ass…

I have not been doing well lately. Emotionally, I mean. I didn’t post here at all last week. I planned to post this week, but honestly, this week so far has been a horrible mess of emotions and feelings of doubt and lack of self-worth that I can’t bring myself to summon the energy to write reviews right now.

I posted about things on Facebook, if anyone’s curious about the whole story.

Depression’s darkest moments, it seems, make my emotional capacity behave much like the damaged nerves in my left leg. They only seem to be able to register numbness and pain.

It seems I’m slowly recovering my ability to have emotions, and with that, my ability to give enough of a damn to think about writing something, or thinking about something critically. But it’s still delicate, and I seem to wear out my emotional capacity pretty quickly if I’m asked to care about something for longer than half an hour at a time.

So, no reviews this week. I’m going to try to resume posting next week, but it’s tentative, and I don’t want to wear myself out again. I’m just going to try and slowly bring myself around.

I’m not at a crisis point. I still don’t know what the heck I’m alive for, if not for the sake of others, but I’m not at the point of thinking the only way to end the pain is death. And even when I do get to that point, I know from experience that there’s still a lower place to fall, because thinking those thoughts is just one step on the journey. I think a lot of things. I do something about them very rarely. There’s a gap between thinking it would be better if I died, and actually going about the process. I know, from experience, that even when I’m thinking about death, I’m not yet at the point where I’m going to do something about it.

So please be patient with me, and I’ll try to return to posting when I can.

The Past Year in a Nutshell

It occurs to me that some people who are happy to see this blog return and/or who might be interested in reading it don’t necessarily follow me on Twitter or Facebook. And if they only follow me on Twitter, well, I’ve been pretty absent from there, too. Unless you’ve kept up with me on Facebook, you may have absolutely no clue what’s happening in my life.

So, to catch people up!

I attended the University of Prince Edward Island from September 2017 to May 2018, and I freaking loved it! I was doing damn well, too! My lowest grade in any class was 73%, my highest was 92%, and I finished the year with an average across all classes of 83.67%. I was looking forward to going back this fall…

But that wasn’t to be.

You see, the “fun” part about renting your home is that you’re subject to the whims of your landlords. Yes, there are laws in place to prevent them from doing whatever they want to you, but… This summer, the landlords decided they wanted to sell the house we were renting. This doesn’t automatically mean we had to move out, but it did mean people would be traipsing through our home sometimes, which we weren’t happy about.

We also weren’t happy about the fact that our landlords issued us a termination of lease based on the fact that a realtor told another realtor that our place smelled like cat pee.

Nor were we happy that the landlords didn’t even actually use the correct way of terminating our lease. Or that they didn’t investigate before issuing it to us.

We have a strong suspicion that the truth of the matter is that nobody wanted to buy a home with tenants already in place. For us to be evicted because the house was being sold, we would have to be given 2 months’ notice, and the house would have to be sold to family of the landlords who intended to live in this house and sign an affidavit attesting to that. They can’t just kick us out because they want to sell the house.

They can, however, say that we didn’t keep the place clean enough, which is what they did. Even though multiple people said it didn’t smell like cat pee.

So we started looking for a new place to live in the area. Unfortunately, despite Summerside, PEI, being a city with almost nothing in it, people there wanted ridiculously high rent for their properties. We couldn’t afford anything. At least, we couldn’t afford anything that was actually large enough for 2 people plus cats.

A difficult decision had to be made.

Ultimately, what we decided was that Rachel would stay in Summerside, because that was where she worked. That made sense. But for the safety and health of myself and the cats, I would move back to the city we came from in the first place.

Rachel lives rent-free in a friend’s spare room, something we are endlessly grateful for. I and the cats live in an apartment that Rachel pays for, because Rachel’s the one with an actual job. It’s 5 minutes walk from the city centre, and costs $795 a month with heat, lights, and water included. My comparison, the house we rented in Summerside cost $800 a month with nothing included. It was bigger, yes, but it cost so much more. We pay $135 a month for a storage room here to keep all out extra stuff, and we’re still saving money compared to what we paid before.

This is why I’m not going back to university this year. Between the panic of the house selling and being told we had to leave and trying to find a new place and then actually having to move to another province, there was no time or energy left to apply at the local university and transfer my credits and apply for student loans… It was just too much.

Did I mention that all of this mess started less than 24 hours after Rachel and I announced we were in a romantic relationship? Oh. Because that happened too!

So now we’re in a long-distance romantic relationship after barely having a moment to figure out just what this new relationship dynamic even means.

Rachel’s looking for work in this city so that we can be together, or at the very least much closer to this city than things stand right now. As it is, we can afford to see each other one weekend every few weeks, because we have no car and bus tickets aren’t exactly cheap. I plan to go back to university once life calms the heck down somewhat and I get my ducks in a row regarding funding and applications and the like.

In the meantime, I’m here with my cats, missing my partner, and trying to put anger at what was done to us behind me so that I can move on. My mental health is still on the same shaky ground it always is. my physical health is… wonky (I still can’t absorb B12, I’m nearly always in some kind of pain, I have a fungal skin problem that doesn’t seem to want to entirely go away, and an unpleasant infected wound on my foot, so… yeah). Life isn’t exactly great, and it got this way in only a few short months.

But. But I still have my books, and my video games, and my cats, and I have a romantic relationship with somebody awesome, so it’s not like all is hopeless. I learned that I do well in the academic setting. I actually made some new friends, which surprised the heck out of me! Being back in Saint John, I actually feel like I have some creative motivation for the first time in 3 years (I seriously think PEI wanted us gone; by the end, we could barely coax flowers to grow in the back garden, and the lilies didn’t even bloom until we’d moved out). Things will get better. I have to hope for that.

So, now you’re caught up. People who follow me on Facebook already know all of this, but for those who don’t, I hope you’ve, um, enjoyed this snapshot glimpse into my life while I was away.