by isaac black

I decided there’s no reason why I can’t take the rest of the year off, so I’m going to. It’s only three months more than my original plan, but it makes me feel more confident about what I have going on. I’m meeting with an advisor at the U of U about a masters program in History this week, and I’m getting closer to getting my hot sauce business off the ground. I also got a writing assignment for a local news blog. None of these things quite add up to financial independence, but they don’t mean a 9 to 5 behind a desk either.

Not having the stress of a full time job has allowed me the capacity to confront a lot of emotions in the past month. I had two intense conversations with the woman I’m dating, which investigated a lot of my own dysfunction in relationships. The conversations went well, but I wonder with the stress of not getting enough time to myself to process my feelings if I would have engaged or just drifted further into my own world and ended things. This has been a really important project for me.

I’ve also been investigating my own sexism, partly because of some blunt feedback from the writers group I’m in. This has been tied up in the rest of my emotional journey because of my history with guilt. At the risk of emboldening any anti-PC mouthbreathers who may be reading this, social justice concerns can take on the weight of religious dogma. Its adherents can become fixated on their own ritual purity. Because I have every privilege imaginable, I fell into a vestigial pattern of invalidating my own feelings because of my imperfection. I haven’t completely resolved this, but I’ve made big steps with help from a woman friend as well as the woman I’m dating. I realize that I have blind spots toward misogynistic oppression, but I try to listen to women and I go out of my way to study feminist theory. I can’t expect myself to have a woman’s lived experience. Besides, I have my own perspective about the adverse effects of patriarchy that are worthwhile. Regardless, I realized that I don’t have to devalue my feelings for any reason.

Anyway. Summer is coming, and it’s been a snowy spring but I’m getting myself ready to take some fun trips. Hopefully I can get some more good work in on my novel before I start partying.