As part of my Year of Re-creation, I’m embarking on a journey to reclaim stress and change how I respond to it at a physiological level. This sounds like a daunting task–I mean, seriously, changing physiology?–but it’s actually an application of the age-old adage “mind over matter”: By adopting a new stress mindset, my body will learn to react to stress in a new, more empowering manner.
I was hanging around the guilds on HabitRPG when another user gave a heads up to queer writers: Have you heard about Strange Horizon’s “Our Queer Planet” issue?
The sci-fi e-zine is hosting a celebration of queer identity, specifically looking for “work that explores intersectional queer imaginaries and experiences around the world,” with an emphasis on stories set on Earth (timeline variable). So I looked through my past fiction, and some of my best sci-fi stories feature gay male leads or gender-non-binary aliens–but none of them take place on Earth.
So, I decided, I’ll just have to write something new.
But then, I asked myself, what’s queer literature?
Yesterday I began sharing the thirteen things I learned in 2013–a look at thankfulness, thinking, and things, with the great revelation that things don’t matter. Today I pick up the narrative once more for the next five lessons on our syllabus.
It’s hard to believe this year was, in fact, no longer than last year–it just felt that way. The journey I’ve taken from January 1, 2013, to today has been among the most adventurous I’ve ever had–blessed with confusion and clarity, strewn across two continents, and featuring my life-long highest and lowest points, it’s certainly been anything but expected.
And yet I’ve survived and stand here today a changed man. I’ve learned a lot along the way–a lot more than algebra and analysis, conservation and creative writing, policies and politics–things that fill me with more wisdom than Zelda with her Triforce piece (I’ve been playing again lately), and as my last act of 2013, I want to share these lessons with you.
I have a friend who likes to tell me–whether sincerely or sarcastically I sometimes cannot tell–that I’m the kind of guy who, when life throws shit at me, just keeps on smiling. And I suppose it’s true. If you’re a longtime reader, you might recall past discussions on regret and pessimism that asserted I believe everything must work out in the end, and that the best way to survive is to keep smiling–even if it’s only a choice, not a direct response.
So I keep on smiling.
But sometimes it feels there’s no need–because everything’s in order anyways.
A few weekends ago was North Carolina Pride–a festival of solidarity, equality, and fun. Lots of fun. N.C. State’s student group marched in the parade, and then we all hung around afterwards in various manners until the day came to a close. It was enjoyable. It was–in one regard–exactly like Pride was last year and the year I went before that, but somehow that sameness makes it special–we don’t have to worry what we’ll find, because we know it already.
Somehow that sameness seems to make it meaningless.
Fundraising should be fun. Many people think “fundraising” begins with funds–we need money, we don’t have money, so let’s get someone to give us money. The truth is–and I think I’m realizing this–is that “fundraising” actually begins with fun (and we can ignore that fact that, technically speaking, we can derive an even shorter start to the word, but such obscenities might actually deter the act giving).
So would you care to join me for a spot of fun-raising?
It’s hard to admit it was last year when I last mentioned my trip to Belize in the spring (and I had to say it–the joke’s too good not to). On the bright side, with many thanks to my contributors, I’ve reached twelve percent of my fundraising goal! If you’re able to help, you can make a donation here. If you’re still not convinced, keep reading and hopefully I’ll change your mind.
I like to use different color Chanukah candles. One color might look nice and traditional, but two colors add more options–in fact, on the last night, using just two colors of candles, there are more than five hundred ways to arrange them! The possible patterns are overwhelming, and just imagine how much more endless they are considering there are more than two colors available and no two nights have the same number to arrange!
A little diversity makes the light shine brighter, doesn’t it? Some days I don’t think people realize how much small differences can make.
A week ago I was still sick. Then a little less than a week ago I finally got put on prescription drugs, which are very similar to those other medications I was thankful for, but were finally strong enough to kick out this sickness for sure. (Truth is, I’ve got some residual allergies, and my lower back still hurts although I’m not sure why, and I’ve got a bit of a cough remaining, but for the most part I feel much–much–better than I did last week.)
So now that I’ve had a week of lying in bed, reading late into the night and sleeping late into the day, it’s time to get back to life. It’s time to let life get back to me. Tomorrow starts what is technically my fifth semester of college, and let me tell you, I’m thankful for that.