What Turning 30 Means…

Warning, incoming rant..

Warning, incoming rant..

In the wii hours of the morning on February 9th, 2015, I will officially turn 30 years old.  It’s a milestone year, and nice, round numbers are typically thought of as a good time for reflection.  The word reflect itself calls to mind something quiet, thoughtful, and personal.  It’s really hard though, to keep it calm and cool when reflecting on the first 30 years of my life.


Whaddya mean smile? This *is* my happy face..

The barely functional walking disaster you see before you has come a long way just to get to “barely functional walking disaster”, as a few of you who have traded with me over the years can probably attest.  There’s no sense of accomplishment that comes with the knowledge that you’ve done as much as you have to get to where you are when you still feel this wrecked.  I might be in a nominally better place than I was in some ways, but ultimately, all I see is what hasn’t changed, what hasn’t been accomplished.

I’m still in the exact same circumstances I started in, and I still don’t know how to get out of them.  I still live in the same godforsaken place.  I’m still basically unemployable.  I still can’t hold up my end of a conversation in real life.  I’m still a fat, lazy slob.  I’ve still never been in a relationship.  The stability of my mental health and well-being that makes up the sum of all of the above is still a very clearly dubious thing.  It’s horrible and it sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up.  It’s just frustrating to look back and ruminate on how sideways a person’s life can go without even having a bad upbringing or the discovery of a predilection for illicit substances along the way (besides shiny cardboard, of course).  Just being some combination of bipolar/borderline/aspergery can screw a person up just as bad as trauma and drug abuse.  I feel a million times more guilty about it too, because it’s hard to explain when you have no specific trauma or addiction you can point out to people to explain why you are the way you are.

I’m just a fucked up weirdo who happens to be self-aware enough to realize it, but not smart, or maybe schooled is more accurate, enough to explain it or make sense of it.

It just doesn’t feel good to feel like you’ve let down every single person that’s ever cared about you and/or saw potential in you.  Isn’t that a fun thing to feel whenever you can’t distract yourself hard enough?  I don’t know if, if somehow I managed to accomplish all the dreams I’ve ever had, that I could ever make it up to everybody I’ve let down in my first 30 years.

The truth is, I’m just scared.  Afraid to fail, afraid to succeed.  I don’t trust myself.  I don’t believe in myself.  I feel like a giant fraud, and I’m afraid I’ll never stop seeing/feeling/living life this way.

Griffey commission..

Griffey commission..

Here’s a handy case-in-point.  This is the sketch card commission I did for The Junior Junkie.  He said he loved it and plans to give it a place of honor in his collection, but all I can see is how much unexpected difficulty I had with it, and the resulting mistakes I made in trying to get it looking right.

When I look back, the failure is all I see.  Failed potential, wasted talent, all the dreams I’ve let fall by the wayside because I’m too scared and lazy and damaged and stupid and hopeless to even take the first step.  There’s nothing about me I see that anybody could ever find worthwhile in me…

I think what might scare most in this very moment though, is that while I’m writing this at 30 years old, and I fear that I might not having anything positive to change about it, or add to it, by the time I revisit it on the morning of my 40th birthday.


Weight Loss

For the entirety of 2013 I have weighed in comfortably below 200 lbs (as low as 189).  I’ve been running (maybe more like leisurely paced jogging, but still) since sometime last summer, when I realized I could make the entire 2+ mile trip to my parents without stopping.  I eat… well, not healthily.  Healthy food is often not cheap, and the lack of space for preparation and my tolerance for the tedious work involved make it difficult even for relatively simple salads.  However, I usually eat the usually-not-as-healthy-as-I’d-like food in an relatively controlled way.  My body tends to back up on me and my stomach turns into an atomic fireball of horrible pain until sufficiently unloaded if I gorge too much.  Even aside from that though, I learned that I don’t particularly enjoy eating anyway.  I despise the feeling of not being able to control myself when I eat.  Something to do with all that time on the bad med combo that made me constantly, desperately hungry and ballooned me up to around 300 lbs made, I’d imagine.

As for the physical improvements elevating my activity level and not pigging out that often have caused, well, my posture seems to have noticeably improved.  I feel taller in certain situations anyway.  My thighs are still rather spindly, but they are noticeably more solid and less flabby.  My bootay is a little smaller and less gelatinous too (my apologies for that mental image).  I can pretty comfortably fit into all my 38″ waist shorts & pants, and my 42s are almost too big to wear anymore at all, even with belts.  My calves, which have always been the only part of my body with any noticeable muscle, thanks to being relatively active in my youth I guess, almost seem a little smaller, but they are unquestionably sturdier & stronger as well.  Last, but certainly not least, it seems the more I run, the less my ever creaky (due to being naturally misaligned) knees seem to bother me.  This is undoubtedly due to less weight being put on them, and perhaps also the overall increase in the strength of the rest of my legs.

193 lbs..

Me at approximately 193 lbs.  Unfortunately I have no real “before” pics to show the difference, but you wouldn’t have needed to see me shirtless to know how far I’ve come along anyway..

As you can see, my upper half is still very much on doughy side, but despite not doing a much work on my upper body, there’s an awful lot less dough behind that gut than there used to be.  I had started working my upper body a bit by dancing/flailing around with light, 5 lbs weights for 20-30 minutes at a time recently, but that got derailed for awhile after I tripped while running and landed awkwardly on my wrist & elbow.  My wrist & forearm are feeling about right again though, so immediately after I post this, I’m going to start back up with it, though I’ll probably need to ease myself back into the flow of things.

Make no mistake, I am not strong yet, and I am not slim yet.  But, for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m finally on my way.  To know I’m making noticeable strides… That is a pretty damn cool feeling.

So take heart if you yourself are struggling to get in better shape.  It has literally taken me years of little tweaks just to get to this level of small personal victory, and I think that is the probably best way to go for most people.  I think sometimes it’s just best to forget the specific regimen/goals, and just try to change one little thing for the better here & there, where and when you can.  It’s also much easier to bounce back from setbacks, and there will be setbacks, when you aren’t putting a huge amount of pressure on yourself as well.  I guess what I’m saying is, that idea of just trying to be a little better every day… I think there might be something to it. 😉

So I guess that’s all for this one, folks.  We’ll probably get back to cards, or at least art, in the coming days.  Thanks for dropping by!


I haven’t peaked yet, not even close.  I have barely even started climbing the mountain…

Oh Yeah, I’m Supposed to be a Writer

… I guess I forgot for awhile while I was overextending myself on trades and pretending to be an artist.  I think maybe it’s about time I get back to something I’m actually supposedly kind of good at.  There’s many lifetimes worth of stories kickin’ around in my head, but one in particular is fleshed out enough for me to actually start telling it.  So, once I get things sorted out on the trading front, I may well be going on lengthy hiatus again.

So yeah, I’m gonna try and be writer now.  Legend has it that I have some skill at this.  I think it was my first grade teacher that wanted me to mention her when I wrote my first novel.  And the teacher of one of the last (and greatest) classes I took before the premature end of my high school days noted I had some talent for it, intending to have me take a journalism class the following year.

But alas, I’ve never even had the focus to complete so much as a short story, or even start many.  And if you read into the last sentence of the previous paragraph, you know whatever talent I allegedly have is very un-edumacated.  I’m out of practice too.  I’ve hardly read any books since my mid-teens, and my only effort of note to write (dabbling in fanfiction) about four years ago flamed out after about six chapters.  And now I’m going to write a freakin’ novel?  Lolwut?

As you can see, I’ve got pretty much nothing going for me here… you may even be thinking I’m delusional.  It’s a perfectly reasonable and probably correct assumption.  After all, legit mental health issues aside, I’ve spent my 24 years of life skating by on “potential” and have disappointed everyone who has ever seen anything even remotely special in me.  My mind burns out on things pathetically easily because I’ve never needed to put much effort into stuff to do well enough to just skate by.

To be honest, I don’t even think I can do this.  I have no reason to think so.  Nothing in my history says I am even capable of pulling off something even a thousand times easier.  I’ll be lucky if I make it past the first chapter (and I’m being generous going that high).  But… I have to try to make good here.  I hate myself for failing the above mentioned people who thought I had potential (it’s… not a small number).  I also hate myself for failing myself.  If I had such mythical potential that so many of those people went to ridiculous lengths to try to get me going in the right direction, why am I in such pathetic place in life?

I’ve failed on almost every possible level, and it’s made me very self-loathing and miserable.  I’m sick of feeling useless and worthless and helpless and hopeless.  Worse, I’m sick of BEING all those things, and more.  And for as little as I’ve actually written, writing is the one skill I have enough confidence in to try and make good with.  Even if I’m stable enough, I’m never going to have the mental stamina to be able to work 9-5 or do anything tedious (no, writing isn’t tedious to me), so this is what I’ve got.  I don’t think I can make good for myself or any of the people I failed in the past in any other way.

I’ve been a miserable shell of a person for over a decade, if not my entire life, but for some reason this summer, I’ve started to come out of it a little bit.  Little-by-little, I’ve been finding myself capable of doing things I had no idea I could do.

So… I’m going to try to write now.  I have no real expectation of getting anywhere significant with this project, as bad as I want to have some sudden crazy burst of whatever and write the whole thing in a month or two, but I will give it the best effort I can muster.  It’s all I can do.  Maybe I’ll get a little further than I think, maybe it’ll be a little better than I think.  Maybe it’ll suck like Hoover.  But even if I only manage to write a page & a half that isn’t very good, it will be better than nothing.  It will be something.  It will be a start.  And maybe I can build on it.  I guess I just have to do it, and keep at it for as long as my will can hold out.

~I’m a writer now.