There may be another blog post coming later, complete with feelings and opinions and things, but for right now I would just like to let everyone know very briefly what’s happening.
Massively, and the whole network we’re a part of, have experienced dramatic budget cuts and as a result of this myself, and other talented people, have been laid off (or, in some cases, had their workload cut to the extreme). This will be my last week. No choices were made based on our performance – our blog is doing exceptionally well – this is just one of those things that happens and nobody likes it. AOL shifted their funding around and we didn’t end up with enough to keep everyone employed.
As a website, Massively will continue. This isn’t the death of our blog by a long shot, just a massive (ha ha!) restructuring. Please know none of these changes have anything to do with the management at Massively proper – our boss has always taken care of us to the best of her ability, and this situation is out of our hands. Everyone is doing the best they can, but sometimes that means making hard choices, like who to lay off.
I leave Massively with only the best wishes for everyone still there, and I take with me many happy memories. I will miss my Massively family. I can’t quite imagine finding another home that will feel the same. I love you all.
This week I go in for my first therapy appointment in so many years and I couldn’t be happier about it. Bless you brand new insurance.
I absolutely can’t stand the stigma surrounding choosing to take care of our mind like we’re expected to take care of our body. I don’t “need” therapy just like I don’t “need” to eat healthy or “need” exercise right now. I’m still able to stand up and function on a day to day basis. I’m not broken. I don’t have heart disease. I’m not suicidal.
But I also don’t want to become unhealthy, I don’t want to get heart disease, and I don’t want to become suicidal. I firmly believe that preventative medicine can be hugely beneficial. I don’t wait until I have severe tooth pain before I see a dentist so why the actual fuck should I wait until I’m incapacitated from a complete mental breakdown before I see a therapist? It shouldn’t be considered weird to spend time keeping my mind healthy just like I spend time keeping my body healthy.
I read self improvement books. I meditate. I take “me time”. I value caring for my heart and mind as much as caring for my body. Therapy is just another way to care for myself. I’m not ashamed to love myself and I’m not ashamed to use every tool at my disposal to make sure I’m doing the best I can.
I now have insurance that makes therapy incredibly affordable. It also makes a specialist for my back pain affordable. I made an appointment to care for my mind and I’ll be making an appointment to care for my lower back.
I will have my body and my mind for the rest of my life so I’m going to take the best care of both of them I possibly can. This is a healthy choice that it’s alright to talk about.
Since last night many folks on Twitter and Facebook have jokingly asked “what took him so long!” Chris didn’t ask me for my hand in marriage, we sat down together and communicated our intentions and feelings about the future of our relationship many, many times throughout the last 2+ years.
A few months ago we had a long, loving talk and decided it was the right time to become engaged. We picked out rings for the both of us, put mine on layaway, and aimed to be engaged before Christmas so we could tell his gigantic family in person.
The actual engagement took place at sunset on a gorgeous beach in southern California. We brought the rings with us, recorded bits by hand using one of my cameras, and spent about an hour sitting there watching the waves and talking about how much we love each other, how we want to continue building a life together, and how excited we are to have found someone in our life we can share everything with.
Getting married is a very big decision and it wasn’t something either of us wanted to spring on the other person. This works wonderfully for other couples, but it wasn’t right for us. Our relationship has been built on equal communication and mutual decisions from the very beginning and it only felt right to continue that at every stage of our life.
Tradition can be lovely and perfect for your situation, or it might not quite fit. It’s alright to do what makes the most sense for you (or your relationship) even when it might take a bit of explaining to other people. Chris having an engagement ring certainly sparked quite a lot of questions from his family while we were in Minnesota!
I didn’t write this as a proper blog post, more as a general stream of consciousness to get my thoughts down before I recorded the video. I’m posting this, with the text, on Christmas eve in the hopes that this finds someone who needs it. Maybe you can’t watch a video but you can read this blog post. If I help anyone then it’s all worth it. The video is embedded at the bottom of this post and this is a direct link to my YouTube channel. Thank you for reading or watching. Good luck with tomorrow.
Hello, internet. This video is for people who are dealing with a rough Christmas. I know I’m very lucky to have my mother to spend my holidays with, I love her so much and she’s been so supportive of me my entire life. This Christmas is a bit different, for the first time in my life I’ll be away from her. I’m spending it with Chris’s family so I can meet everyone and while I will miss her a great deal I know Chris’s family will take fantastic care of me and welcome me with open arms.
Not everyone gets the privilege of being around people that genuinely love and support them. Maybe your family isn’t supportive of your career choices, or your partner, or your sexuality, or maybe they’re flat out rude. Just because they’re family doesn’t mean you automatically have to get along with them or that they’ll automatically love you and stick by you. Personally I do a lot of crying in the bathroom when I end up in crappy social situation so I designed this as something that would be helpful to me when I’m at the end of my rope. This video is for you to watch on your phone, in the bathroom, when you feel like you can’t possibly get through another hour of this crap.
You are a good person. You’re making choices that you feel are the best ones you could possibly make for yourself and that’s exactly what you should be doing. You’re doing the best you can and that’s enough. All you can do is the best you can do.
Even if your family is trying to act in your best interest, it’s okay to feel frustrated and sad when they aren’t being supportive. You don’t have to be thankful for crappy advice just because it’s coming from your family. At the end of the day the only person looking back at you in the mirror is yourself. You need to do what you need to do, sometimes other people won’t understand that, and that’s alright.
If you’re doing your best to make yourself happy then you’re doing the right thing. Are you in school? Are you doing your best to make yourself happy? Then you’re doing the right thing. School is still your life, your choices, and what comes out of it impacts you. If you’re changing schools, or quitting, or taking time off, or not going at all, or going to one your family doesn’t approve of, that’s fine. Your family isn’t writing twelve page essays on politics. If they want to see someone get a specific degree so much then they can go do it.
If your relationships are making you happy, then you’re doing the right thing. The person you love? It’s okay to love them. It’s okay to love them no matter what your family says. It’s okay to go home, lay in their arms, and tell them how special they are to you. Being with them makes you happy. Even if your parents end up being right and the person you’re with isn’t good enough for you, you’ll find that out in your own time. Every relationship is a learning experience. If you’re happy now, then be happy.
And if you’re single that’s completely alright. You don’t need another person in your life to make you happy. I love Chris deeply but I was also a perfectly happy, complete, fulfilled person before we found each other. Being single is not a sign of failure. You don’t need someone! If you’re happy, then keep being happy. Your family might not understand how you can be single and still feel fulfilled and happy but that’s alright. You understand. You know when you go home you’re going to watch the shows you want, play the video games you like, make the foods you want to eat, and keep loving your life. You are not defined by the person you are, or are not, with.
If you’re hiding something from your family that you’re not ready to tell them, that’s alright. You don’t need to do it right now. You can wait until you’re ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s an illness, or your sexuality, or a partner, or anything else happening in your life. You decide when it’s time for you to tell people. You are not a failure for waiting, and you are not weak. You’re making the choices you need to make for yourself and that is completely, honestly fine.
And if your family is abusive or even just real jerks then it’s alright to not like them. You are not required to love every single person you are related to, and you certainly are not required to like them. Every jerk has family and maybe you’re that family. Someone’s related to the people who make YouTube comments. You do not need to enjoy being around someone just because you share genes. It’s okay to flat out hate someone you’re related to. You do not have to feel guilty.
Your worth is not defined by anyone else. Not family, friends, strangers, anyone. You define your worth. Nobody else does it for you.
You deserve to be happy. You deserve to feel loved. If you aren’t getting that love from your family it’s alright to find that love elsewhere. Find it inside of you. Love yourself.