The Other Shoe Isn’t Ever Going to Drop

It’s hard for to keep a positive mindset.

After a streak of really good things, I have this terrible habit of waiting for something bad to happen. It doesn’t matter what part of my life, whether it’s relationships, work, my organization or anything else, I expect the positive streak to end in a catastrophe.
Ever since I was a kid I learned that the happier you are now the harder the fall is going to be when shit hits the fan. I’m not going to delve into my childhood, but through those events I conditioned myself to feel like happiness leads to inevitable pain. So to avoid feeling pain, and thus anything at all, I can’t let myself feel happiness.
I don’t want you to think that I’ve spent every waking moment of my teenage and adult life making myself sad and crying all of the time. I have experienced many happy moments in my life, but with the full-fledged belief that the other shoe is going to drop and smack me in the face. And when bad things did happen, they were a punishment for my happiness.
Thanks to therapy, medication, and my girlfriend, most of those negative thought processes have been put behind me. But sometimes those little voices come creeping back, preventing me from feeling happy or content. Because, according to them, if I feel happiness that some terrible is lurking behind the corner waiting for me.
One of my goals for this year is to focus on being happy and revel in my successes without expecting the sky to fall on me. Bad things happen. Sometimes in quick succession. But they don’t have anything to do with the positive aspects of my life. They never will. My success isn’t diminished by my hardships.
Most importantly, I deserve true happiness.

Complaining and Writing

I love exploring fantasy worlds – everything from Lord of the Rings to Legend of Korra to Harry Potter. The ability to escape into new worlds has always fascinated me and I love exploring different civilizations and cultures.

As I got older, I noticed that I had trouble relating to many of the characters I loved to read about. Mainly because most of these characters were men, and hardly any of them were queer. That’s why when my girlfriend and I watched the ending of Korra, we were extremely excited that a fantasy cartoon had canonically queer characters.
That ending made me excited, for obvious reasons, and it also frustrated the hell out of me. Why are characters like this so rare? Why aren’t queer characters more mainstream? Why when queer people are represented, straight people act like there are so many LGBT characters?
I’ve been frustrated about the lack of diverse queer characters in pop culture. And I love to complain about it to whomever wants to listen. I’m going to preach to the choir: representation matters. When we don’t see ourselves in books, televisions, and video games it’s frustrating. People should be able to see themselves in media without shock value or a scandal.
I’ve realized that I’ve been far too focused on criticizing the system without offering any solutions. Criticism is important when it inspires people. I’ve been complaining about the lack of queer books, video games, and television shows. Am I going to single-handedly solve the problem? No, but hopefully my attempt to make accessible queer content.
I love to write. Should I just twiddle my thumbs while I complain about the lack of queer representation in the media? If I have the ability to make a difference, whether I write about LGBT issues or make LGBT centered content, I should do it.
That’s why I write this blog. It’s why I’m working on a lesbian zombie novel and creating queer-centric fantasy universe.
I obviously hope some if not all of these projects are successful – for myself as well as for the LGBT community. The more that we write and create the more we’ll have real representation. Hopefully queer-baiting will be a thing of the past and LGBT characters won’t be used for shock value or controversy.
With each story, game, and show we’ll be able to help the LGBT community see themselves in these fantasical worlds, universes, and cultures. By creating queer content we are creating more representation that truly reflects our narratives. We need to critique content that already exists, but we need queer stories told with queer voices.
Write, draw, create. It’s up to us.

Getting into the Holiday Spirit

I love this time of year and all of the traditions that come with it. Baking cookies, decorating the tree – it’s one of my favorite times of the year. Even in the midst of my depression, Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years was always a shining light, a chance for me to not wallow in my problems and really get into the spirit of things.

This year, however, I experienced something during the season that I haven’t probably felt in over a decade – joy. The feeling hit me while helping my girlfriend’s mom make cookies, while my girlfriend and her dad were setting up trains underneath the Christmas tree.

What did it take for me to feel this way? The simple answer is that I’ve been actively working on my recovery for the past year and a half. Working on my recovery isn’t just about working on overcoming the biological obstacles; it has also been an acknowledgement of the environment I had been creating for myself.

There have been many toxic friendships and relationships that I have cut out from my life. I no longer spend my time on people and drama that is doing absolutely nothing to support who I am, the work I’m doing, and my recovery.

I have also welcomed new and accepting people into my life, and I’ve realized the importance of those people in my everyday life. My girlfriend’s parents have always been friendly and welcoming, and have accepted me as a part of the family. It finally hit me a couple of weeks ago, and that’s why I was able to fully immerse myself in Christmas.

Often the end of the year and the beginning of the new one means shedding things or cutting things out. Which I think is extremely important. But when we cut the toxic out of our life, we need to be open and accepting to the positive aspects that are new or that we haven’t noticed in our life.

I’m not where I wanted to be at the beginning of 2015, but I’m a lot closer to my goals now than I was a year ago.

May the new year be full of positive moments and full of strength and perseverance to overcome negativity and challenges.