Wow! It’s been a minute since I last took the time to write. I’m trying very hard not to feel bad about that and instead accept the fact that I’m just a multi-faceted creator who likes to rotate creation mediums fairly rapidly. It’s not particularly easy though.
Speaking of which, I’ve been working on my YouTube channel lately as I’ve been trying to learn to film and edit video. Ashe and I have been watching a lot of YouTube content lately between watching Markiplier be a lovable idiot, learning to garden and homestead from Roots and Refuge Farm and Epic Gardening, or learning a bunch of other skills from a bunch of other channels. Watching other creators share very vulnerable and imperfect parts of themselves and be able to connect to others despite some of these creators being fairly introverted made me want to try and do the same.
Blogging was originally supposed to be a similar thing for me but I found that I didn’t set aside enough time to plan, and write, and edit. I put so much pressure on myself to produce professional content that I found it hard to find the right motivation to get started on new blog posts. For whatever reason, I thought it would be more natural for me to use an easier, more free form style of creative expression like video where I only have to plan, and write, and edit, and do things while filming them, and then do more editing, and then publishing, and promoting…
Yeah, I know. I’m dumb and I’m having the same issues with creating video as I have with my writing. Big surprise.
That being said, I am finding it easier to have a more regular creation schedule with video creation than I have with writing in the past. The process of filming and video editing is simply more interesting to me right now than writing ever has been. I get to work with all sorts of gadgets and learn all sorts of different techniques. I get to combine a lot of the creative skills of my past like graphic design, photography, and writing.
When things are all said and done, the end product after I take the time to film and edit something carefully is simply something that I find more interesting and compelling because I’m sharing more of myself in this form than any other medium. As someone who has been able to lose themselves easily in the past, these very concrete reminders of who I am are becoming more and more valuable, especially as I watch from a distance as my maternal Grandmother suffers more and more from Alzheimer’s. I’m hoping that I can stave off Alzheimer’s for myself with some applied herbalism and techniques to keep my mind fairly plastic but I’m very aware that I might still completely lose my memory as well and I’d like to have something to hold on to when I get to that stage in my life.
Still working in the garden
In addition to the filming that I’ve been doing, I’ve also been continuing work in the garden. It’s been at a slower pace than I’d like, but it also feels like we’re doing things all of the time. Most recently, Ashe cut down a bunch of saplings in the back yard so that I could cut down the dead dogwood tree with my friend Sam who let us borrow her chainsaw. We also put down some landscaping fabric to hurry of the process of sheet mulching the back yard and we’ve put a few more plants outside.
I’ve been doing some filming in the garden as well but I’m behind on my editing, so the only garden videos that I have available right now are my May 17th Garden Tour and my May 25th Garden Tour. Still, I’d love if you’d check them out and share your wisdom with me. I could use as much help as possible when it comes to figuring out this gardening thing.
We also just had a contractor come out today to give us an estimate for how much it would cost to replace our old white fence and move it out towards the sidewalk so that we could have more patio space. Unfortunately, they told me that the City of Urbana does not allow privacy fences on a side of the house that faces the street like that. I find that confusing since so many of my neighbors seem to have a fence in the configuration that I would like mine. I’ve already contacted Urbana’s Building Safety department to get some clarification and see if there’s a possibility to get a permit exemption, so we’ll see what they say.
Traveling in the Pandemic
It still feels really weird but Ashe and I have started to do a bit more traveling again now that we’ve been vaccinated for over a month. Our anxiety has gone down quite a bit when it comes to the possibility of catching COVID-19 since the vaccine seems to be effective even against the recent variant that caused the recent surge in India. Now, the reason that it’s hard to be out in public is simply because it’s hard to be around people and try to be a person myself.
This past weekend, Ashe and I went out to Springfield, IL to get my first tattoo in over a year from their friend, Nick Demarco. He was really amazing to work with and I love what he’s created. I think I’m going to have him work on another piece with me soon which will be a tribute to Aesop Rock’s song, Jumping Coffin, which I find to illustrate a core philosophy of my life which is to let in and accept the weird stuff instead of shutting out what you’re scared of. Seeing the quality of this tattoo and how enthusiastic Nick was about my design, I’m extremely excited.
This coming weekend, Ashe is going to an outdoor skills camp with their mom and sister while Dot and I hold down the fort at home and celebrate Record Store day. I’m a little jealous as I would love to go to that camp myself and get some hands-on basic survival skills but I’m glad that they’re getting the chance to go.
It’s kind of funny that I’m really pining for the experiences that I took totally for granted when I was in Boy Scouts. Now I really wish that I had an organization like that where I could learn simple life skills in a real-life community setting. I know that there’s probably local groups that I could join but that means meeting complete strangers and that’s just not something that I’m super interested in right now. It takes a ton of energy to meet new people and I’ve got creative projects that demand attention. Which is why I’m looking to find community through those creative projects, I guess.
If it feels like I’m going in circles a bit, I feel it too. These are the racing thoughts that run through my head all day long and it’s quite frankly exhausting. Thank goodness for cannabis that at least allows me to quiet my brain every once in a while.
Soon after Ashe gets back from camp, we’re driving out to Hendersonville, North Carolina to stay in an AirBnB for a week as I take my first week-long vacation since I joined Spreedly. I’m not sure what all we’ll get up to but I expect that we’ll check out the hippie culture of Asheville, we’ll spend some time out in nature, we’ll spend some time in the hot tub, and maybe we’ll drive across the state all the way to the beach. While I’m writing this, Ashe is looking up fancy-ass restaurants for us to try so that we can indulge our love of cuisine. I’ll be bringing my camera with me, of course, and I’m excited to capture footage of how gorgeous North Carolina is. I’ve always loved visiting that area and I can’t wait to share a piece of it with you as well.
Then soon after that, I think we’ll have a trip to St. Louis to grab some things from my parents and celebrate Ashe’s birthday with a couple of their vaccinated friends and go to the St. Louis Zoo or the Missouri Botanical Gardens. We’re also starting to plan other trips too even though they might not be for a while. We want to go back to an IKEA and grab a few things for their plant room and for my office/YouTube studio. Our friend got a tattoo apprenticeship in the SeaTac area and we want to go out and get a tattoo for them to support them since we love their art and I figured I’d see if I could hit up some old friends from the CU area or some of my old Support Driven friends who I miss dearly. Those are just a few of the places that we feel called to, so we’ve got to really pace ourselves or else we’ll burn ourselves out.
And even though I’m excited about all of that, I’m also anxious that the pandemic will slap me down for my hubris of wanting to travel and I’ll learn that we were overconfident in the vaccine’s effectiveness. I can’t help but worry that indulging in travel will aid the spread of COVID even though the vaccine shows promise of preventing us from even being carriers. But I’m also trying to accept the fact that I have a bit of a nomadic spirit and I need to be somewhat constantly in motion.
Those are the thoughts in my head currently. There are apparently lots of them. Thanks for listening! If you’d like to see what I’m up to in a different format, check out my YouTube channel. Let me know what you’d like to see and I might add your idea to my queue of things to create content about.
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