.journal 2000.12.15
I'm overworked.

Now listening to: Orbital, Snivilisation
Now reading: Poppy Z. Brite, Wormwood
Now playing: Final Fantasy VII (Playstation)

It's Friday already? Yikes.

Anyway, I am Sean Shannon and yes, I still have yet to post that long-promised story for you. I'm still waiting for a couple of more opinions on it, and quite frankly I'd just go ahead and post my own edit of it except that the opinions I am waiting for are ones that are really, really vauable to me, and I feel they will both be very useful in helping me really get the story perfected. And if you're reading this and going, "Oh no, I'm the reason Sean's story is being held up," relax - like I said, I'm still waiting for more than just you.

I doubt that I'd even have had the time to complete my edit this week anyway, because I have just been crazy swamped at work this past week, and it doesn't look like that's going to let up anytime in the near future. I probably shouldn't even be spending time typing this up, but I've been going at things non-stop for the past few days and I think I'm starting to go crazy from it. I'm hoping that this will give my brain the break it needs, so hopefully later tonight I can get back to things with a fresh perspective.

I suppose I should say something about the conclusion of the presidential election, but quite frankly I don't like talking about politics, let alone debating them. As all my friends know, I am a bleeding heart liberal (and a proud one at that), so you can guess how I felt about the outcome this week. But somehow I have the feeling that after all is said and done, what happened this week will ultimately benefit the Democrats more than the Republicans. Although it doesn't help that the national economy is slowing down, and the last time that happened and a Republican was in the Oval Office, I lost my job. Sigh.

I was hoping to get to Wildwood sometime here in the next few days to get some nice snow pics for all of you, but I've been too busy at work to have time to do that. Even if I had the time, though, I'd have to walk over because I've yet to have experience driving on icy roads, and quite frankly I want to go out with my father first so he can teach me, or at least be there to help me pry the dead bodies out of any cars I run into. And right now I really don't feel like walking over to Wildwood, given how cold it is and how I've yet to buy a real winter jacket and I'm trying to make due with a lighter coat that isn't too terribly insulating.

Of course, one of the reasons I didn't used to need an insulating coat was because I had plenty of natural insulation in my body to keep me warm, but now that's all disappearing on me. Another problem that is posing for me is that I've never exactly been known to splurge on mattresses, and now that I have actual bones to sleep on and not a big pocket of fat, I am waking up sore and stiff every morning. I need a new mattress, but between holiday shopping and my need for a new VCR, not to mention the little issue of buying my own car, it's hard to stretch my money that far. I'll find a way, I know, and it's not like I'm not putting in tons of hours at work to help finance these things.

If things keep going like they have been at work, though, it may solve my little quandry about whether or not to return to college, because there's no way I could keep going at my current pace at work and have time to take classes as well. And I'm still trying to figure out which means more to me: keeping up with my current work, or going back to school so I can be sociable, learn some new stuff and ultimately make myself much more employable than I am at present. It's not an easy decision to make, and I just hope that it's one that I'll still be able to make for myself in the spring.

What I think it all really boils down to is a matter of independence. That's really what I had at Antioch that I didn't have anywhere else, was that feeling of really being my own person. Now granted, the folks were sending me money every week so I wasn't really all that independent, but it was a lot more freeing than living in the same house with them and working for their business. I guess in those years where I'd just kind of died inside and really didn't give too much care for my own feelings, it really didn't matter to me whether I was independent or not, just so long as I was safe and I knew I would have a roof over my head and food on my plate. But now that I'm regaining my sense of self, I'm finding myself more and more dissatisfied with my current living condition and desiring some kind of change.

I've talked about this previously, and I continue to explore the matter every day in my own head. The counter-argument to all this is that right now what is basically happening is that my folks are financing the opportunity I have here to work on my music and my writing as much as I have been, and ultimately my music and writing are the most important things in my life. And when you look at it that way, it's tempting to just stay my current course, so I can devote as much time as possible to the things that mean the most to me.

But these past few days, when I've been so busy at work, I haven't had any time to write, and that's probably why I've been so depressed these past couple of days. I keep a list of what I guess some people would call "affirmations" taped next to my computer monitor, and two of the top three items on the list are "WRITE EVERY DAY!" and "Writing will make me feel better." As Julia Cameron emphasizes in The Artists' Way, writing is as important to a creative person like myself as food or water, and not writing does for my spirit what not eating or drinking does to anyone's body. And it's hard to feel good about yourself when you've got a malnourished spirit curled up inside of you, trying to stay energetic and awake when it hasn't had any fuel in days.

The temptation is to say "screw work" and just write, but I can't do that. One of the opportunities I foresee for myself in terms of my independence is work-related, and this past week I really started to see that window closing on me. And losing that opportunity, I fear, could have a trickle-down effect on the other situations in my life to which it is related, and it may cause other opportunities to disappear, leaving me with no choice but to stay in my current, unhappy situation. So that's meant a sacrifice of my creativity these past few days, a sacrifice that has made me unhappy but one which may be for my greater good.

And I'm pretty sure that these past few days I could have taken an hour or so off from work, like I'm doing at present, and just spent that small amount of time writing, doing the things I enjoy and giving myself creative sustenance. But I fear losing my future opportunities so much, especially when I continue to grow ever weary of the way my life is currently going. As much as it eats me up inside right now, I keep thinking that if I can just keep holding out a few more days, keep busy with work as much as possible and get as much done there as I can to shore that situation up, eventually it will lead me to more happiness in my future.

But by taking time off to write this little update, I guess I've already conceded that all work and no creative play just was not working for me. Hopefully now that I've gotten all this out of my system, I can feel better about going back to work. And maybe these next few days I'll allow myself a little more leeway when it comes to taking time off to be creative, in the hopes that it prevents me from spiraling as low as I've been recently. But fear is a very powerful monster, one which I'm still learning how to control, and I am still afraid that even by allowing myself these little necessities I will allow my future happiness to disappear.

I realize life is all about balancing these things and trying to deal with down times like this as best I can, but you know what? That doesn't stop it from sucking any less.

Anyway, I think I shall depart here and get back to all that nasty work. I promise, though, once I get all the feedback from my buddies on the story, I will take enough time off to complete my edit of the story and get it posted here. I don't like disappointing you all, and I don't want to risk building the story up to the point where nothing I could put up here will satisfy the lead-up, so I swear that I will get it posted as soon as I can.

I will see you all soon.

- Sean