Especially for any of you joining me here from my old blog taking a jigsaw to the fangs, I would start by writing about the last several years.
Around the time I trailed off at the old blog, I had just left my job at National Wholesale. I was lucky enough to be in a position where rent on my apartment was paid for 6 months. So I focused on maintaining sobriety and looking inward to discern my own needs and boundaries more clearly than I ever had before.
All in all I would say 2017 was a year of landing. I was finally landing after years of grief (the latter half of my 20s was losing all of my immediate family). And I was in the aftermath of an abusive relationship, homelessness, sexual assault. Due to coping via alcohol through much of that, and I suspect the effect trauma has on memory as well, I felt scared of losing the past. Losing home. My childhood home having been foreclosed while my parents were alive, and my mamaw’s house actively rotting, and everyone passed away, it began to feel like home was a forever lost concept.
So when I began the old blog that year it felt vital to write as much as I could of memories of family and my childhood. And as I was clawing my way out of homelessness and everything else I was having to fully claim myself in a way I had been afraid to do before. So it also felt vital to write about my being autistic and to look at my experiences through that lens.
In early 2018, right as my prepaid rent was about to run out, I found a job at a gas station near my apartment. This was my first job with customers in a good while, even if I had pretty extensive experience with such at one time, and it was kind of a long adjustment mentally. But I have managed and am still working that same job now. I do ultimately hope to get out of retail, and indeed was gearing up to do so when this pandemic put the brakes on that for me. Right now I’ve just been glad to have a job I could maintain through it.
But in general, for while I’m stuck in retail, this isn’t bad. There are quiet times with no customers as this is not a bustling store. I work alone, so when there are no customers I have alone time. The manager has had moments where she has increased my anxiety due to her communication style. But overall she does really care about everyone she employs. She also doesn’t hold us to that notion of “the customer is always right.” If someone is nasty to me I don’t feel pressured to try to be nice to them.
In early 2019 I finally got a car after three years without one. This has allowed me access to cheaper stores, stretching my money much more effectively. And it has allowed me to get to parks freely and do a lot of photography. As well as, throughout my life, taking a drive especially through the country, has always been a good means for me to self-regulate.
I’m not sure yet exactly what direction this blog will take, or if it will just be many directions simultaneously. But I’m excited to be back at it.