A Break From Reality. And Sanity. And Humanity.

I don’t normally do this, this isn’t the typical content you’ll find on my blog, but today I came across this Time article from 2015.

This 66-Year-Old Woman Is Suing All Gay People—Yes, All of Them

And the article links to a pdf of her petition, which is handwritten in cursive, and friends, it is a riot to read, because from where I’m standing, it reveals so many truths about the lengths to which people will go with a combination of religious dogma and poor logic at the wheel.

And because I found I had so much to say about what this woman said, I felt like giving over a little bit of blog space to sharing my comments on this… hilarious piece of something that I’m fairly certain the woman in question might prefer to forget.

01

Starting off strong. The whole petition is written by Sylvia Ann Driskell, Ambassador “God, and His, Son, Jesus Christ.” Commas and all. So, 4 people? Got it. Is everyone’s surname Christ? God Christ, His Christ, Son Christ, and Jesus Christ? Because that’s how this all reads.

I understand how commas crop up randomly when typing, but that many extra commas in handwriting is another thing entirely.

Also, the defendants are, “Homosexuals, Their Given Name Homosexuals, and Their Alis Gay.” I’m assuming she means alias, because I guess all gay people take on pseudonym when they come out. True story.

02

“[D]o set forth on this 30 days of 2015.” Uh, think you forgot to write in the month there, Sylvia. And you possibly moved to the great state of “Nebraka.”

And she does the comma thing as “and His” again! I guess at least this time, God is a “plintiff” instead of a plaintiff, though.

You’d think if you were going to make this your official document to kick off your lawsuit, you’d at least take the time to make sure said document was free of spelling errors…

03

After questions, you put a question mark. “Is Homosexuality a sin, or not a sin?”

And we’re still in Nebraka. I wonder if they have any good restaurants there.

04

I’m particularly impressed by the way she manages to spell “and” 2 different ways in the same sentence.

Also, I submit this document in the Supreme Court case of “they’re” v “their.”

Now, from here she goes on to use passages from the bible to address whether or not homosexuality is a sin, and frankly, that’s kind of the boring stuff so far as I’m concerned. At least here. Because yes, by the definition that dear Sylvia later gives (quoting from “Webster Dictionary”), it might be.

05

Sin is the willful breaking of religious or moral law. So if a religion says that being gay is a sin, then within that religion’s laws, being gay is a sin. If someone’s morals state that being gay is a sin, then yes, being gay is a sin.

But here’s the thing: no matter how much you might agree with a religion, no matter how much you might think it is the truth, no matter what your morals say is okay or not… None of these things are universal, or even global, absolutes.

We have this tendency to assume that our legal laws are, by definition, moral ones. Which isn’t remotely the case. It can’t be. Everyone’s morals are different. Something you’re fine with might be illegal. Something you think is wrong might be legal. And because we often get our morals from religion, we thus make the connection that our legal laws should be based on religious ones. And that also isn’t the case. Sylvia here is making that conflation, and attempting to argue that a moral and religious transgression ought to be treated identically to a legal one.

Heck, even looking at things purely through the lens of Christianity — which influenced much of Western culture’s, well, culture, and also its laws — this doesn’t hold true. “Thou shalt not kill,” is a pretty strong religious command in Christianity, as in many other religions the world over. But by US law, the definition of murder specifically defines it as an “unlawful premeditated killing,” which implies that there are lawful ways to kill a person. Such as the death penalty. Which definitely involves planning the death beforehand. Loopholes like that are how the US can literally get away with murder, only not really, because legally that’s not actually murder.

But it’s a good example of moral, religious, and legal laws not quite meshing. We accept this in our daily lives in many ways. We accept that legality isn’t always going to match with what we believe to be right and good in our hearts, according to our lived experiences. And when we feel passionately about something, we may try to make our legal laws adjust to our moral ones.

But typically, in a situation of reflection and understanding, we don’t assume that religion = morality = legality.

Anyway, back to Sylvia’s stunning lack of logic and preparation.

06

This was the point where I started to wonder if Sylvia thought that the closet was, well, a literal closet. As though gay teens discovered themselves and then hid, bat-like, in their bedroom closets, refusing to see sunlight again until their demands were met.

Also… Gee, I dunno, Sylvia. Could it be that society was so very good at treating gay people like crap for centuries, both from a legal perspective and the perspective of everyday living, that they felt the need to hide their identities to avoid being punished, imprisoned, even killed, for the crime of merely existing?

This is another thing that I hear get talked about a lot, and it usually comes from a place of impressive ignorance. People like Sylvia see gay people being allowed to get married, raise kids, get all the same rights as straight people, and think, “My goodness, but being gay is bad! Bad people shouldn’t have these rights!” without stopping to think that it’s not just a matter of being able to marry or not, being able to adopt kids or not. For a long period of history in this society and the ones that strongly influenced it, being gay was something that could be punished by death. And while that hasn’t been a thing for a good long while here (thankfully), it’s not like that sort of thing doesn’t cross the minds of gay people at some point. There are moments where pretty much every queer person will just stop and think, “Fucking hell, there was a time, and there are still places, where I could be killed just for being myself.”

Even in lesser ways, we’re not so far out from other “being myself” punishments. Not so long ago, a gay person couldn’t visit their significant other in hospital, because they weren’t family. Allowing marriage equality meant that loved ones could properly say goodbye in a terrible time, or simply just check in on their partner after medical procedures. Legalized marriage meant that if a gay person died, their partner of 30 years might have more say in the funeral arrangements than the gay person’s parents, who might not have spoken to their kid in all that time. This is the reality that so many gay people have lived within memory, and frankly, I think that level of grief trumps your “but gay people are icky” argument.

That’s my moral belief, Sylvia. If your morals say otherwise, I advise you to reflect on what kind of person would actively wish that on others.

Also, you forgot that question mark again.

07

So, here begins a huge section of the petition where Sylvia just kinds of states things and assumes that everyone will arrive at the same conclusion she did. She states a thing gay people say they have rights to, defines that according to the dictionary, quotes a part of the bible that suggests gay people shouldn’t have that right… and then doesn’t actually tie it all together. Not even so much as a, “So as you can see, the bible clearly states that this should not happen.” It’s like she thinks that merely quoting her religious book will make people go, “Sweet fancy fuckery, you’re right! How could I have missed that?!”

This part is about marriage. God stated that a man will leave his family when he gets married, and implies that he shouldn’t cheat on her and that they should probably have sex at some point. Then she defines marriage according to the dictionary, which… actually contains information that destroys her own argument.

“2. to take as husband or wife.”

So, by the dictionary definition, if a woman takes a wife, then that’s marriage. If a man takes a husband, then that’s also marriage. One aspect of the definition is “to join as husband and wife,” yes, but since words can have multiple applications and uses, the second definition doesn’t say anything about how the one taking a wife has to be a man, nor the one taking a husband has to be a woman.

So, according to what words mean, marriage equality isn’t problematic, now that legally, same-gender marriage is a thing.

Quoting a passage from the bible that disagrees with you doesn’t make for a sound argument. All you’re telling me is that your holy book doesn’t agree with what’s happening. You’re not telling me why that should supersede legal definitions. You’re not telling me why your holy book has more authority than the legal system. You’re telling me that you think it does. You might even be telling be that your holy book says it does. But that’s not telling me why. You’re not providing any sort of compelling argument for why I should give more of a damn about your morals than I should about my own.

Which is another place I see people fall down in this debate. Now granted, Sylvia didn’t do this, but I see a lot of people trot out the “religious freedom” argument and say that because they’re legally allowed to worship as they see fit, that means everyone else should do what they say because their religion says they should be allowed that privilege. And quite frankly, even though that’s a bad piece of logic, had Sylvia even said that one during her little petition, it would have made for a more compelling argument than what she provides here. She’s just assuming that everyone takes for granted that the bible is the ultimate moral authority, because she thinks that it is. Because it says it is.

I can say I’m the ultimate moral authority too. That doesn’t make me so. And people can easily argue my claim. Nobody in their right minds would take me seriously if I tried to claim that.

But we grant religions a measure of authority that we don’t grant to people… unless they’re speaking on behalf of a religion. We just kind of assume that something is right if there’s a religion attached to it, that religious morals mean more than personal morals, even if those morals turn out to be the exact same. I’m not areligious, but I can’t deny that really frustrates me. What makes my claim any different than a religion’s claim? Not a damn thing. But people will put more stock in a religion by default.

Anyway, got a little off topic, there.

08

Gay people think they have the right to be parents. The dictionary defines parents as… something that doesn’t dispute that statement.

Sylvia goes on to talk about how everyone knows that the ability to create a child isn’t what makes a good parent, which is both true, and also not related to her two previous statements. Gay people aren’t all claiming they have the right to create children (most do, just not always with their partners), and the dictionary didn’t define a parent as anything to do with directly creating said offspring by sperm-meets-egg stuff. So the whole, “it’s got to do with more than just creating life,” thing came entirely out of left field, and wasn’t what was being debated to begin with.

09

This woman makes a whole lot of leaps and expects people to follow along with her, and I mean, have you ever seen legal arguments? Those things can sometimes take entire pages to specifically define the meaning of a word within a particular context, and Sylvia’s over here going, “A parent is a mother or a father. GAY PEOPLE CAN’T BE PARENTS BECAUSE THEIR CHILDREN WILL GROW UP TO BE LIARS!”

Now that I’ve recovered from the mental whiplash that gave me, I want to take a moment to point out that Sylvia is making some bold and insulting claims here. In her mind, I’m sure she honestly believes that gay people, because they’re gay in direct defiance to what they know to be right and good, are thus bad people who do bad things. And kids who grow up around people who do bad things will learn to do those bad things themselves, will learn that doing so is acceptable. Thus a child with gay parents will probably grow up to be a thief or a swindler or Donald Trump or something.

Sylvia goes on to talk about how gay people insist that God loves them despite their homosexuality, and concedes that they’re right… but that being right still makes them wrong because God gave Jesus to die for everyone’s sins and so when people sin, it’s and affront to that sacrifice, and again, that’s the stuff that’s more boring to me because I can’t really comment on it. I mean sure, the bible does say that stuff, but I’ve already stated that legal laws aren’t the same as religious or moral laws, and you can’t always apply one to the other. Sylvia’s basically summing up her argument with, “In conclusion, I think I’m right and my god agrees with me probably, so everyone should do what I say.” And that’s not a sound legal argument.

Her spelling mistakes sure do make me chuckle, though.

I wrote this piece because frankly, sometimes I have to. When I find people making weird-ass claims like this, I have many thoughts, and I need to get them down somewhere. Usually I end up going through them piece by piece and tearing them down because half the time, doing so methodically is the easiest way to stand up against them. It’s a thing I do. I did it when Elizabeth Moon went on her Islamophobic BS rant almost a decade ago, and I’ll probably keep doing it in the future.

But this, friends, is something that can give you a good idea of who I am. If you didn’t know before, if you’re new to anything I do, whatever, this whole rant is a good place to start in the “getting to know me” section. This is the sort of person I am. I am against people who use religion to bully. I am for gender equality, I am for marriage equality, I am for queer equality and disabled equality and general fucking equality, and I will happily tear apart your arguments as to why these things are Bad and Wrong, and if that’s something that you disagree with, then you’re probably not going to like me very much.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, this queer trans/non-binary person is going to have a cuddle with their queer trans partner.

Mid-Month Check-In

How’re y’all doin’, m’friends?

It’s mid-April already. Somehow March felt like it took an eternity, and April feels like it’s flying by. Time is a weird inconstant thing that I think just messes with my head more and more as I get older.

But seriously. How are you all doing? This has been a damn hard time, and I want to know how you’re holding up.

Me, I’m still a weird mix of stressed and “this is just normal.” I spend most of my days inside anyway. I’m unemployed and have few meatspace friends and life sans pandemic is often spent the same way it is now. I stay in, I do my stuff, I communicate with friends online, and just keep going as I often do.

Then I look at the news and see the numbers rising, and remember that oh yeah, right now I was supposed to be visiting family in the UK, being able to see my 85 year old grandmother for probably the last time because these trips are expensive and all, and I had to cancel that because, well, *gestures*. Sometimes the stress just builds up to the point where I have to cry and I think to myself, “I’m not even supposed to be here,” and it all feels like it’s spiraling out of control and life will never actually be normal again.

I’m in a very lucky place right now, and I know it. For my life to not change that much means I’m probably doing better than people who are used to being out of their homes the majority of the time. My partner is currently sitting on the couch and setting up things for the next class he has to teach this afternoon, and I think how lucky we both are that he can do this, because a year ago, he was working in a hospital lab, and being the overnight tech meant that he was the one who drew blood from patients. Were it not for a chance encounter one day, meeting someone who mentioned they were part of a college that was setting up a new med lab tech program and oh hey, you’re interested in teaching, well send us a resume then… Yeah, if not for that, then my partner would be on the front lines.

Now granted, that would be on Prince Edward Island, where they’ve had only slightly over 2 dozen cases and only yesterday declared a state of emergency. There are perverse upsides to a province having nearly half of its population live in rural areas. But still. Were it not for him getting the teaching job, he’d still be living in a friend’s spare bedroom, working overnights at a hospital and being in a risky field, I’d be living by myself in another city, and visiting would not be an option because all non-essential travel between provinces has been stopped.

Life would be very different. We are very fucking lucky. I can’t allow myself to forget that.

Not when people have gone weeks without seeing their significant others, or have lost family members. We’re all living in a very uncertain time, we don’t know how bad this will get or how long it will last or the things and people we’ll lose along the way.

It’s the uncertainty that wears on me the most, I think. My motivation has been utterly sapped. I’ve been trying to work on videos, but half the time I just can’t be bothered, and then I beat myself up because I should be doing something productive, not just… [insert whatever I’m not deeming as ‘productive’ here]. I try to read, and my attention wanders. I see people learning new skills and cooking really awesome foods and I’m like, “That’s cool; I just ordered McDonald’s for the third time in two weeks.”

I keep trying to tell myself that feeling this way is okay, because society is changing around me and uncertainty means that mentally and emotionally, we don’t know what to do because we don’t know what’s worth taking the time and energy on when things could change tomorrow.

I also keep telling myself that come on, it’s been weeks now, surely you must be used to it by now, not much has changed for you, just get back to work.

…I hate my brain sometimes.

I think it’s normal to feel both things, because normal… kind of isn’t, right now. Normal is in a state of flux, this in-between point of, “Is it going to be like this for long enough that I need to make long-term adjustments?” and “Give it a couple of weeks and it’ll all be over, so I just need to cope for a little while longer and then things will go back to the way they were.” And we don’t know where on that timeline we are. We don’t know what’s worth taking the time to change, and what’s worth hanging on to. So we just kind of… exist.

I think that’s where a lot of my motivational problems stem from. Like a micro version of a macro problem. Just because a lot of my life’s patterns have stayed the same doesn’t mean I don’t still feel adrift in many ways. I would do the same things before as after the pandemic, but in many ways, I don’t know where that work fits into a larger pattern, because the larger pattern has gotten all jumbled up and distorted. If I could just feel a little bit certain about what the next month, for instance, would be like, then I could probably feel more comfortable about chugging along and not feeling so much at loose ends.

I wonder if that’s part of what’s driving other people’s lack of motivation, too. The discomfort of not knowing. Actively not knowing. Sure, we couldn’t really say at any given moment that oh, tomorrow I definitely won’t die, or a week from now, I’ll definitely still have a job, because that stuff can change. But assuming it was warranted, at least most of the time. But then huge factors started to change and up-ended our ideas of what everyday life was supposed to involve, and little seeds of doubt were planted in our minds, whispering to us that maybe it’s not even worth the effort to do a thing when tomorrow everything could change again just as drastically. What’s even the point?

…Wow, this blog post ended up in a different place than where it started.

I’m going to leave it here. Hopefully my pseudo-philosophical ramblings at least, uh, entertained someone? Always got to hope that! But let me know in the comments how you’re doing, whether that’s good or bad. Feel free to have a little ramble there yourself, if you want; it can be remarkable helpful sometimes.

Take care, stay safe, and I love you all.

I Have to be Concerned about COVID-19

There’s no two ways about it. I have to be concerned about the novel coronavirus that’s causing problems damn near everywhere at this point. I’m trying to stay cautiously optimistic, but every day infection and death rates grow, I’ve seen the news stories that have come out of Italy, and yes, I am worried about my health in the midst of all of this.

I am not the most health individual. I’m far from the worst, I’ll grant you that, but my health can be annoyingly touchy at times. I have ongoing pain and fatigue issues that are currently undiagnosed, but don’t mistake “undiagnosed” for “isn’t really happening.”I’m asthmatic, though my asthma is under better control these days than it has been for pretty much the entire rest of my life. My lungs bear scars from multiple bouts of pneumonia when I was younger. This is just the life I live.

But that life, that health, means I fall into the “vulnerable population” category during this outbreak. One of the ones who has to be very damn vigilant about how they do things so as to minimize infection risk.

Which I have to admit would be a fuckton easier if my partner’s workplace would let him work from home!

My partner is a teacher at a local college, teaching medical laboratory science. For context, a medical lab technologist is the person who does the tests on all the blood samples, samples of other fluids, sometimes tissue samples. They’re the ones who, when you need a plus transfusion, will figure out the type of your blood and dispense the right kind so that you don’t get sick as doctor try to make you better (yes, getting the wrong blood type can lead to terrible consequences). Depending on the setup of the hospital, they might also be the ones who take your blood in the first place.

Despite what TV medical dramas would have you believe, it’s not doctors or nurses who do this stuff. Lab techs are the introverted basement-dwellers who make sure your test results are accurate and are received by your doctor in reasonable amount of time. Their work is extremely science-based, it’s of the few medical professions that’s both heavily scientific and has a female-majority workforce, and most people don’t even know they exist.

So, what my partner teaches is extremely important. He’s training up the next generation of lab techs, and Canada has a shortage of those, and they deal with infectious stuff all the damn time. I’m selfishly glad he’s not still working at the hospital…

But the students at the college get to stay home right now. Classes have been cancelled, in an effort to cut down on potential infections.

Teachers and staff, though? They still have to come in and work.

Because apparently teachers are immune to viruses or some shit, I don’t even know!

Teachers are expected to come in to the college and work on class stuff, preparation, all the stuff teachers have to do. They say they’ll attempt to spread the teachers out so there aren’t too many in one place. Okay. But. There are a limited number of rooms in that college with computers for staff to work at, and there are people coming in from satellite campuses to work on the main campus instead now, so ultimately what the college has done is provide a place where students can isolate themselves but teachers still have to put themselves in group situations where infection can spread.

And there is absolutely no reason why this prep work cannot be done from home. Absolutely none.

So thanks to my partner’s workplace apparently not understanding the severity of the situation, my partner is still at risk. I am still at risk. The staff there is at risk, at least moreso than they would be if they all worked from home.

We were all prepared. We have food, we have drinks, we have our regular stash of OTC medications, we have plenty of supplies, we when we heard classes were cancelled, we were all set for an announcement that my partner could work from home for a couple of weeks and we could do what we could to keep ourselves safe and to keep from infecting more people if either of us got sick.

I guess that’s not to be the case.

I’m angry about this. I hoped they’d see sense. I guess they still might, but sadly, I think it will take somebody close to one of the staff getting sick for administration to go, “Oh maybe we should let teachers stay home,” but at that point, it’ll likely be too late. I legitimately don’t think it has occurred to them that any of their staff might be or be close to someone who is particularly vulnerable during the outbreak.

I’m doing what I can to stay healthy. So is my partner. I don’t go out much these days anyway, due to health and money and the fact that trying to make a go of self-employment as a content creator (insert obligatory “subscribe to my YouTube channel” note :p), that takes up a lot of time. I work from home, essentially, even if I don’t make much money from it at present. I’m doing what I can to keep my risk low.

I just wish my partner’s job would let him do the same.

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.