Vacuums like Black Holes

blackhole
Image courtesy of NASA

I spent the first part of February down with the flu for almost 2 1/2 weeks. Once I was able to get out of bed without wanting to collapse the first thing I did was to start/continue cleaning out my apartment.

I’ve rearranged pictures. Ordered a new, brighter colored comforter and curtains for my bedroom. Finally sorted through and put away the little piles of stuff I had in my kitchen. It became my personal mission to find at least five things every day that I could either donate or throw out.

I’m not done, but I’m amazed at the results. Both external and internal.

I’m very conscious of the vacuums in my life at the moment. I feel the pull of space around me; can physically feel the spaces that have opened up in my life.

Sitting in this space feels like how I imagine it feels to sit on the cusp of a black hole. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there. You feel the nothingness swirling around you. Being aware of the openness and simultaneously that time is slipping by you like a nearby star…it’s odd.

And it’s most definitely not because things aren’t happening, or that I’m not getting them done. Quite the contrary. It’s feeling stationary when everything is moving around you because from the outside, it looks like everyone is accelerating while you’re staying still. It reality, it’s recognizing that your waypoints have shifted. You aren’t in the same galaxy anymore.

Trajectories change.

I am not comfortable in this space, but this time around, it’s…easier? That’s not quite right; it’s not easy to be in the space of waiting and openness. I’ve been here before, I got through it before, and I know I’ll get through it again. It’s a space of not knowing what comes next.

It’s a space of not knowing what comes next, with all the beauty and terror that implies.

And yes, I’m still writing.

 

New Year, New Name

martinlutherkingjr

Today I have an extra day off for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It’s a good day to write, reflect, and to get my house (literally and figuratively in order).

One bright spot is that I’m officially back to my maiden name of Kormos. I’m still in the process of updating everything I need to, but it’s legal. I got my new driver’s license, and can now say I have a terrible, terrible picture. Still, I’m happy to have my name back.

The day job has made it interesting, as everyone assumes that the reason for the name change is because I got married. As a newly single girl, that’s been just LOADS of fun.

However, now that I am officially also 35, I give substantially fewer fucks than I did a year ago. Most of the time I say nothing and let them guess. It’s pretty freeing. Let them think of me what they will, and give them something to talk about.

It’s harder and harder to be optimistic about the future when the state of our country looks so bleak. I’ve written letters and made phone calls. I’ve spoken out the way Dr. King would, still believing that the way is for us to join together as people. As humans. To discuss those differences, knowing that just rabidly yelling my opinion won’t make a difference.

One note at a time. One voice at a time. One discussion at a time. I hope to make a change.

We’ve been thinking in absolutes instead of working with our system of government. We’re thinking in poisonous, vile memes instead of calling for reform and working to make things better.

The changes that are being discussed have motivated American people politically more than they ever have before. As a lifelong learner, I’m afraid that it may be too little too late.

When I thought about everything I wanted to accomplish this year, I picked “tenacity” and “talk less, do more” as my focal points.

I think I need to add “hope” to the list.

The things that are hardest to do are the things we must do.

 

Eating My Words

 

img_3080-2 One at a time, I eat my words.

“Us” is the first to go, because that construct is gone, followed by “we.”

I wrap tiny little words and phrases together to hasten the process

Slurping down a facsimile that once carried moonlight on a beach

Sand between my toes, later in my hair

And hope and promises

My gut aches and twists but I don’t stop

Can’t stop.

I leave “you” for last, because when it is gone, there will be only one word left.

Me.

 

2016: A Dickensian Year of Astonishing Exuberance

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was 2016, a year to be remembered; a year many wish to forget.

This year was like riding on the world’s most epic rollercoaster – and like riding on the weirdest, most twisted rollercoaster one could imagine. One that has no end and no escape.

 

mrbones
Yup, this sums it all up (see Mr. Bones Wild Ride)

This sentiment is both humbling and empowering; terrifying and yet gives me hope.

I normally do a year-end blog. I’m sitting here, listening to the torrential downpour outside, and having the most gloriously boring New Year’s Eve ever, and when I think about this year, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, awe, love, and excitement for the year ahead.

I had some pretty horrible shit go down this year, too, but right now, on the last day of 2016, with my 35th birthday right around the corner, I don’t see it. All I see is the good that happened this year. So buckle up, buttercup; it’s about to get real.

Ms. Jess’s Wild Ride

Highlights:

  • Traveled to Las Vegas for the first time – by myself – and got my first (but not last) tattoo at Revolt Tattoos by the one, the only, Mr. Walter Frank.

IMG_1057

  • Contacted a swing dance/writer friend on a whim – which led to us working together on a variety of projects – including the creation of Dear Anne Media. Thank you, Steph, for giving me a chance to work with you. It makes my heart so happy.
  • Attended Paradise Lost in April in San Antonio, TX, which lead to a massive expansion of my writer tribe. I love y’all more than I can say. SPACE RAPTORS FOREVAH.
    • Paradise Lost was the catalyst for many things. I learned at Paradise Lost that I was eligible to join the neo-pro spec fic group Codex, and had been since I attended Viable Paradise. Somehow I did not know this, but now I’m a member.
    • It was also at Paradise Lost that I decided to spend 6 months believing in myself & my writing. I quit a mediocre part-time job in the process and freaked out repeatedly for 2 months about my decision.
  • According to Grammarly, wrote over 2 million words. That seems about write (HAH! Puns!).
  • Wrote and submitted more this year than any other
  • There’s good news on that front, but I can’t talk about it publicly yet.
  • OH! I’m officially back to my maiden name of Kormos.
  • Was surprised and swept off my feet by the best man I’ve ever known, even if he is a scruffy nerf herder. Love, Your Weirdo 😛
  • Switched to a new QA position at the day job – causing an immediate increase in satisfaction and a massive decrease in stress.
  • Dad & stepmom came out to visit from PA – which included Dad & Jess’s Excellent Adventures when we road tripped to Norco to see is former bandmate, Vince.

 

rapidtransitsystem-1972psu
I now have so, so much blackmail material. It’s also scary how much we look alike in this pic.

 

There’s a lot more that I could talk about, but it’s impossible to sum up a year in a post like this. I had good days and trying days. I had days when I wondered just who the hell I thought I was to want to be a writer, and days when I just wondered who the hell I was period. For every good thing that happened, there were a million steps that came before it.

The grandest thing that happened this year is that I fully embraced my beautiful, messy, imperfect life and my beautiful, messy, imperfect self.

What a difference a year makes.

Happy New Year’s everyone. May 2017 be more amazing than anything you could possibly dream.

 

84 Days Later: The Zombie Edition

Wow. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 84 days since my last blog post.

Why the zombie edition? Because I’m bringing this blog back from the dead!

I was reading my last blog post, and I honestly can’t believe how much has changed from finishing my 100 days of Scary challenge. Freelance work that I love and some super secret projects that will be announced soon. A blossoming relationship with a wonderful man. A job shuffle that initially did scare me, and has made me so much happier. A lovely visit with family. My first fiction reprint sale. Copyediting for a magazine that I adore with writers and editors I love.

It didn’t take me long after finishing the 100-day challenge to set new goals. There is always something to improve, always something to strive for; there always awaits a new thing to focus on.

Day 100: 100 Days of Scary

100+ Days. Unexpected journeys. So much love. All worth it.

 

Spaceraptor
This blog post calls for a space raptor running with the space winds.

 

I put on the happiest music I can think of to write this. All my swing dance friends will know why I picked Gonzalo (and all the non-swing dance ones should check him out here because he and his band are amazing).

The other reason I’m writing this to the lovely tones of my favorite band to bal to? Because it represents a return to my true self. The “me” that I thought I’d lost, and the “me” I was convinced I’d never find again. I’m not the same person that I was, which is a glorious thing. But I also feel like I’m finally the truest version of myself I’d ever hoped to be.

I started this blog series with the sole goal of doing things that put me out of my comfort zone. Okay, and the purpose of giving me one real task a day to focus on. Emotional and mental healing isn’t a straight line. Some days I felt like I could conquer the world and others? Not so much. For those more challenging days, no matter what else was going on I could work on my scary thing.

I could not have predicted how this journey would change me. I absolutely could not, nor would I have wanted to, predict any of it. I do love surprises. I have never been more surprised than I am now, nor have I ever been so full of gratitude. My family – biological and chosen – absolutely made this journey the beautiful, healing, fun experience it’s been.

This post is dedicated to you, oh members of my tribe. It wasn’t until I was explaining who was in my tribe that I realized just how many of you there are. Because people I’ve known for a short while, and people who I’ve known for years; through swing dancing or living in Los Angeles; through Viable Paradise and Paradise Lost, in all its space raptor glory?

You’re my people. You’re my tribe.

Yes, I did the work. I will own that. I’ve worked very hard to heal. I read. I wrote. I reflected. I got back to nature. One day I woke up and realized I wasn’t sad anymore.

But you, my tribe? You held my hand every step of the way, sometimes quite literally. You laughed with me, and cried with me, and made me feel the love. And oh boy, do I feel loved. I feel so loved and know I love you,too.

I can’t wait to see what the next 100 days bring, for all of us. It doesn’t seem like a large enough word, but I will say it anyways.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Yes. Thank you. I love you.

 

 

Day 99: 100 Days of Scary

blog pic

Day 99: I say Yes.

Did you ever wonder if you actually got what you wanted if you’d be brave enough to accept what the universe sends you?

Throughout this entire blog series, I’ve never been more scared than I’ve been the last month or so. Almost every day it seems that I’m constantly being tested to see if I’m ready to step into being the person I’ve always wanted to be. Because of timing, there hasn’t been much of an opportunity to think too much.

I’ve just needed to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and go. At every turn, I’ve been encouraged to just say yes.

My good friend, Joe, told me he saw things going gangbusters for me here shortly. I didn’t really believe him, but I tried to. I approached it like an experiment: pretend you’re hopeful, and enjoy the quiet time. I kept myself open to it. I said yes to the possibility.

Joe? You were SO RIGHT.

I’m doing work that I love; work that makes my heart and soul sing. I’m challenging myself in new and different ways. I have wonderful people in my life who are supporting me through all these big changes and encouraging me at every step of the way.

And when you meet someone really special – someone who makes you laugh, who is as big of a geek as you are, and who tells you that your first date was the best date of his life, and you feel the same – who asks you to be exclusive, you close your eyes, take a deep breath…

…and you just say yes.

 

 

 

 

Day 98: 100 Days of Scary

We are down to the last 3 entries, my friends. What a ride it’s been.

Don’t worry, I’ll save the big speech for the final blog.

Day 98: I choose myself.

Most of these action steps haven’t happened independently of each other. They definitely didn’t happen on one day, but this one? I clearly had an “a-ha!” moment where choosing myself became actionable.

I chose me by choosing my health and well-being over what I felt I “should” be doing. I chose to focus on some new writing projects that I’m loving more than I ever thought possible. I’m choosing belief in myself that I can transition into a career that will make me ecstatic to get out of bed in the morning. I may not know what any of this looks like yet, but I believe that this is the best place to be. My heart is open enough to know what I want, and my mind is grounded enough to keep my focused on the work.

The rest of it? I’d rather not control this so much anymore. It’s more fun to just focus on the things I can do, and keep myself plugged into the universe around me. The last month has been downright magical in all areas of my life.

I stopped some negative internal dialogue that’s been going on for most of my life. Normally this returns like Gollum after the ring, and with a vengeance. Instead? I found true self-acceptance. For my flaws, for my good qualities, for things that I want to improve. I just let it all go.

loki-meme-let-it-go-frozen

I would be remiss if I didn’t pause a little bit here to talk about the journey you’ve all been a part of. I still remember – vividly – days where I was convinced that maybe this would be as good as things ever got for me. I didn’t have faith that things would change, even though a part of me knew that change is the one constant.

I’m at a much fuller, healthier, wholehearted place. This is good.

 

Day 97: 100 Days of Scary

Day 97 (multiple days): I choose action

Remember Day 95, where I chose hope? Because a world without hope isn’t worth living in, etc.?

I did a lot of thinking. Lots of walking whenever I could get myself out in nature in between a heat wave that I hope ends any day now, but the humidity rant is one for another day.

Much like getting myself out in nature, I needed to take action. Hope – and many other positive emotions – are active. Much like a lab full of clones in stasis, they require constant care and nurturing to become the best little clone assassins they can be. It’s not enough to say you are hopeful or loving, or kind, or whatever. You have to do it and you have to be it.

clone bone

I decided I was healthy enough in all regards to really put myself back out there again. I reactivated my OkCupid profile. I updated my profile picture to show off my awesome tattoo, and then I promptly decided I had done enough for one night and would update my questions later. I had no time frame, felt no pressure, and just said I’d see what happened.

It was a big deal for me to do this. Okay, it was HUGE. GIGANTIC. MASSIVE.

Phrasing_pam

Day 96: 100 Days of Scary

Day 96 (August 7): I choose to have more fun.

I make a conscious decision to have more fun in my life. Goofy, silly, pure unadulterated fun. No purpose, no end goal in mind. Just fun for fun’s sake.

I practice being a lighthearted person.

My version of fun? Buckle up for pure ridiculousness.

  • I binge watched “Gravity Falls”, which is now one of my favorite shows of all time.
  • I make a delicious, homemade gin and tonic (just one!). But it’s strong enough that I..
  • Wrote – get this!  – for fun! And, to confess…
  • Made an internet purchase. Yup, I ordered my starter Waddles. Confession: I own 2 stuffed animals, and both were purchased after a cocktail. I’m a lightweight, and also apparently a child…er…childish? Yeah, we’ll go with that. Plus piggy.Starter Waddles