Still fundraising for my trip (you can support me here), and prepping for that — just about a month left before I go. I am now homeless, staying with friends and living out of a duffel and backpack, which is making everything a bit harder and more complicated. This post is, as usual, late, but on purpose this time, because I wanted to finish up some work before I posted. (More on that below!)
I’ve also been struggling a lot with the recent highly publicized shootings of unarmed/unresisting Black people. I am well aware these happen all the time — US police are on pace to kill one unarmed Black person a day in 2016 — but if I let myself marinate in Black death all the time, I wouldn’t be able to function. Sad to say, but wilfully ignoring the violence is better for my health on the average day. I set aside time to do what work I can in the struggle for justice, including on the Fists Up OR/WA Facebook page, and try not to feel too guilty the rest of the time.
No GHDR Tracker Photos this time — moving has done a number on me and my organization. Should be back next month, though. Review below the cut.
- Build up my small press
- Consciously love and care for myself
- Continue learning and expanding my skill set
Month in Review:
What worked? What didn’t?
1) Press is still not a big focus, as a lot of other things are taking my attention. I did talk to a friend about starting a lit journal when I return from Ghana, with planned themes including queerness & sobriety, and Black and Brown Jews speaking out against imperialism. I also asked a friend to check the press’s mailbox while I’m gone.
2) I have packed up everything I own, put most of it in storage, and found friend-housing to stay in. I reached out and got a lot of support from my amazing community, which made things less stressful than they could have been. Friends helped me take apart my bed and bookshelves and such, and move it into storage, and one friend is graciously allowing me to stay in a spare room at their house. I’ve been working on making sure I eat relatively healthy, though I miss having my blender and rice cooker kind of a lot. I’ve been taking each day as it comes, napping as needed, writing and working when I can, but not putting too much pressure on myself to perform, to be “on” or to socialize when I’m not up to it.
I’ve recently realized that I have been mistaking my own friendly outgoingness for extroversion basically my whole life, and that I’m really quite introverted. I will go to a party and spend almost the entire evening enjoying an intense conversation with one or two people, away from the main group! I can get excited and energized talking about my passions and interests with a small group of people, but I am exhausted by crowds, and need a lot of recovery time following stressful events or busy weekends. Recognizing this has helped me feel like I can assert my own needs and that I don’t have to feel guilty if I don’t go out to attend every event in my community. While I have some extroverted tendencies, especially in comparison to some of my relatives, I am an introvert at heart, and I feel like I can embrace that and let it take me where it will.
3) I’ve sold a couple of shirts in my Zazzle shop, and have been diligent about regularly updating that and finding creative solutions for fundraising. I published my spoken word poetry album on Bandcamp, and made some new designs for the Zazzle shop.
I went ahead and got a good quality rolling duffel and a headlamp, as well as a few first aid kit things, because there were some decent sales going on the past couple of weeks. I picked the things I plan to have with me for the next month, and what I plan to take, and set them aside from the storage stuff, so there’s not a ton of work to do there. Yay!
Thanks to a generous loan from a friend, I have purchased my roundtrip tickets! Feeling super blessed by my beautiful community: a friend connected me to a discount flight site where I got my flight for $300 less than Expedia. I went to my travel consult at the Fred Meyer pharmacy, and got my vaccinations, which were all covered by insurance. What could have cost me upwards of $500 instead cost $50. I’ve filled out my visa application as well. Things are really coming together, and I’m really starting to get excited!
Planning the Next Month:
What am I working on going forward?
1) I may hammer out more details on the lit journal idea, but this remains lower on the priority list than a lot of other stuff. Will be reading as the featured poet in the Ghost Town Poetry open mic next week, and I’ll sell some books there, hopefully. I’ve got to set the book shop to on vacation,since I won’t be able to fulfill orders from Ghana.
2) I need to figure out when and where I’m switching to another friend’s house to crash, and I need to figure out the logistics of food and storage in the short term. Also, more sleep. Feeling kind of weird from my shots, I think.
3) I plan to pack my bags with what I’ll be taking with me by August 10th. I have vacuum seal bags, and some necessities packed already, including a rain jacket and some emergency medical supplies. The pharmacist put in a request with my doctor for anti-malaria meds, and I’ll be meeting with my doc on Friday to figure out that and the rest of my prescriptions, excepting adderall. I’ll be meeting with my psychiatrist next week to figure out the adderall situation.
Get copies of the GHDR Tracker form: Version 1, Version 2.
Support my semester abroad: Fundraiser – Zazzle – Book – Spoken Word Album
See all of the Groundhog Day Resolutions posts here.