Well, I'm happy to say that after a very, very dark winter, I feel as though I'm starting to pull myself out of my hole of depression.
I think this winter was particularly hard due to uncertainly. I was uncertain about pretty much everything I was doing. Well, I was certain that I hated my job; and that I needed to quit. I did that, and now, a few weeks later, I'm finally starting to feel a little better.
As people who suffer from mental illness can most likely relate to, I entered that exceptionally special version of depression where I did not want to show my face in public. I would be social at work, or when I had to; but once I was home, it was "don't leave the bedroom" status for me. This became my comfortable place throughout the winter. I stopped going snowboarding on my days off from work. If I did go, it was somewhere isolated, where I was sure to see no one else. I stopped responding to my friends and family. I withdrew, completely, from the person I was and the community I was a part of.
For whatever reason, I woke up this morning with a "fuck you" kind of attitude. That's not "fuck you" in any sort of disrespectful way, but meaning, I'm not going to keep wallowing away in my apartment miserable and alone. I guess my "fuck you" is kind of like a "fuck me" too. I feel motivated to go out and be the best person I can be. Whatever that is. Uncertainty is still a HUGE part of my present and future at the moment. I have no idea when I will be able to resume my marriage plans(that were interrupted due to border closures recently), and I have no idea what I'm going to do from now until then. But, all I've got to say about that is... "fuck you". Which means, I'll figure it out.
I've always wanted to become self-employed in one way or another. My issue is, I can't figure out what I can do. Obviously, I want to write, but you need financial support to get started. You can't just spend months writing a novel and then months waiting for a response, without another source of income. So, I've been trying to figure out a way to support myself for long enough to try to get a figurative foot in the door for my writing.
I've been toying with the concept of starting a clothing brand. I know it sounds so... typical, but it's something I believe I could do really well. I have a good eye for design in general. I'm good at marketing- especially in these days where many small businesses gain traction through use of things such as social media. I feel very confident in my ability to make something that will gain support and that I am genuinely proud of- but I also want to do it right, which means it will take me some time. I want to figure out the best places to source from; ethically and financially. I know the common thought is those two things are mutually exclusive, but I think I can find some people to work with. I have plenty of small brand owners I look up to, and I know that they'd be willing to talk with me a little bit about it.
There's a lot of moving parts on that front that I won't get too into. Among others things, because I still don't know if that's the direction I want to go. It would be a big investment. It would be a lot easier for me to pull the trigger on it if things had worked out and I was in Chile at this moment preparing for my wedding. It's a very scary time for me to be making any big decisions. My partner and I still need to start our life together, and we still don't know what kind of unexpected hurdles we will need to go through financially in terms of visas and things of that nature.
I think part of what has helped me gain some motivation recently is just.. well being outside. A lot. I've been hiking every day and that's been a big help for me. I've gotten WAY out of shape this winter; by far the least in shape I've ever been in my 27 years here on earth. I expected to be in a special kind of hell the morning after my first hike(they haven't exactly been "easy" hikes).
It's not just the hiking, though. It's the way that translates to everything else in my life. Once I get myself up and out of the house, my entire mentality flips. I get motivated to write. I get motivated to create. I get motivated to start thinking about the next stage of my life.
And I get motivated to do all those things that only people with serious mental health issues can relate to. I get motivated to take care of my apartment. Do laundry. Pick my clothes up off the floor. Make coffee. Take out the trash. Cook and eat well. You know... what "normal" people have no problem doing. Maybe that's my "fuck you". Is "you know what? I can be a functional person as well"
I'm ranting about this because this series is not only a source of therapy for me, but I also choose to publish these because I hope that I can in some way help others dealing with similar mental health problems.
The weather here as of late has been beautiful. The snow is all gone, except for the manmade streaks on the mountain I can see through my living room window at the moment, as I sit here drinking coffee and listening to Saada Bonaire. I'm getting excited to get out and skate, bike, things like that. Take my dog to the water.
And I'm also really excited to go snowboarding a few more times before they finally decide to pull the plug on the mountain. I have been motivated by the SkateHive community ran by @knowhow92 to start something similar for snowboarding. And skiing I suppose. I love what he's doing with that community, and I think it's an amazing idea. It reminds me what the blockchain can do for the youth and neglected "misfit" communities in general.
The communities I have been a part of; skateboarders, snowboarders, artists, musicians, punks, geeks, cooks, dweebs, writers, tattoo artists; the list goes on and on- weirdos, misfits, rejects; have always been filled with extremely smart, creative and talented individuals who simply find the monotonies of day to day "normal" life boring. And more often than not, these communities are filled with people who are not financially well off nor supported. They work jobs that allow them to "get by" so they can focus on what they want to do. That doesn't really allow any room for financial growth; which would allow them to focus their energies on their artwork in the future.
Using HIVE as an example, blockchain can really help kids like this. Kids that can't get solid footing in life. The kids packing in 12 people into a 3 bedroom house(I think my record was a house in Salt Lake City; we had 27 people living in a 4 bedroom house at one point). If all those kids could actually gain some real support for their creative outlets, it would open a lot of doors for their future. I'm sure anyone on here knows this so I won't say more but, anyways; I would like to bring the same energy and opportunities that @knowhow92 has provided for skateboarders to the snowboard culture as well.
This all might sound silly from the viewpoint of a typical person's impression of what the winter industry is like. Yes, it is an elitist, expensive, capitalistic industry that is overly expensive and greedy.
However, especially when you grow up in rural snowy areas; it's not really like that for all. That's what you see on TV. In media. In the parking lots at your local resort. Skiing and snowboarding has become even more unaffordable for our generations. Which means kids need to find loopholes. Kids start snowboarding and skiing in their backyards. They watch videos and source inspiration from them. They take that inspiration to go try to mimick it in any way they can. The park(I guess what the typical person would call "freestyle") community is filled with misfits looking to get on snow without any sort of money. It's filled with small companies barely scraping by because they're supporting so much younger kids. Free equipment is a dime a dozen these days. Sponsorships exist everywhere. The typical sponsored snowboarder has dozens of ways to give out free equipment- regardless of how broken or fucked up it is. I think I rode strictly broken snowboards for about a decade. I had a boot lace holding my binding together for a full year.
This is the point I always reach where I understand I'm not starting to ramble far too much about something in a place it's not meant for. I'll save it for the community. I tried to create it just now, but I will have to wait for my next rewards. Realizing I had to wait was what inspired me to write a 10,000 hours post instead.
Just one post, so that I can go get outside, and find some motivation for more things to write about. I'm really loving becoming involved in this community again. It's been a slow re-introduction but, it's coming along. The motivation I found today, I hope, will translate into a lot more interaction here. Not just with my own writing, but continuing to try to make connections.
I will say I am noticing a drastic improvement on that front. I remember when almost no one replied to comments, save for a few accounts. It's so nice here to actually receive a response when trying to reach out or encourage people here. It's a BIG difference from what I've experienced in the past.
Wishing well to you and yours, always <3