How I Came to My Bisexuality

For those not in the know, today is Bi Visibility Day...and with that, I decided to talk a bit about my bisexuality as it's a topic that I have occasionally addressed in this blog but not necessarily head on.  I mean, I did a whole schtick about it and talked about the linguistics of it, and reviewed an amazing book on the subject, but have never really done more than that.  So buckle up to hear how I got here.

I've read enough stories of coming out, had a great many friends come out to me, and witnessed a good deal of coming out stories to understand that there's a significant amount of them that have similar trajectories but for many of us, that is not the case.  My own story has familiar threads but woven from many different coming out stories.  


Some bisexuals have always known this aspect of their identity, but I, like others, discovered my bisexuality.  Heterosexuals tend to never have to discover or even question their heterosexuality, that's what we mean when we talk about heteronormative practices.  It's an assumption of presence (heterosexuality) and few are given or encouraged to challenge that assumption.  But bisexuals like me often stumble upon it, realizing that a part of one's self has been hidden from one's self.  


I grew up in a heteronormative society.  I liked and was socially accepted in my interest in females.  I knew attraction to males was openly shunned in our society.  Any attraction to males that I experienced could and was quickly disregarded as random thoughts but nothing serious or to be investigated because I had a clear attraction to women.  I could be either gay or straight; not both.  


Word cloud of this blog post in the shape of an umbrella.



Bi-Ways to Discovery

For the first twenty of so years of my life; that was easier than digging deeper into those occasional thoughts wherein I found myself intrigued by (never attracted, right?) men or the handful of homoerotic sexual fantasies I experienced.  But like many others, college gave me an opportunity to expand my understanding and lens in many ways.  It brought me into contact with a great many other students, staff, and campus leaders who were not straight.  Beyond normalizing what had been taboo and punishable in high school, I was also learning much from my course of study as it introduced me to the many different types of marginalized people within history and society (history major, keep in mind). The most profound idea that college introduced me to that helped me to eventually claim my identity as a bisexual was that non-heteronormative identities varied greatly and were perfectly acceptable means of self and sexual expression.   

After college, I found myself working at a large seller of Christian goods.  Many people found their way there as part of their spiritual journey or felt that they were doing God's work (I'm not sure capitalizing off everything biblically related is really what Jesus would do--but that's between them and their maker).  A significant percentage of them were either conservative, fundamentalist, or both, which meant the wrath and judgment of God hovered about two feet over each and every conversation.  For me, it was a job that I liked in terms of the work I was doing but not necessarily one that I was inspired by in terms of the content we were shucking.  But it would be while working at this job that I fully realized my bisexuality.  


Maybe that makes sense; maybe the spirit moved me in the right direction.  A significant part of my job did not necessarily entail a lot of mental energy. It was computer work that could be done without much thinking and therefore I could listen to audiobooks and audio programs while working.  We all know that I'm an audiobook fanatic so that is often how I filled my days.  But it was the early days of Audible and one of my favorite shows/podcasts that they had was In Bed With Susie Bright.  


A picture of a different people at a cookout with "Celebrate Bisexuality Day held every Sept 23"
Source.


Learning Bi Myself

Susie Bright is a writer, editor, podcaster, activist, bisexual, polyamorist, rockstar.   You can read more about her elsewhere but I was listening to her weekly podcast and being introduced to a wide variety of people, books, ideas, etc over the course of several years while working at that first professional job out of college.  Between her words, her interviews, follow-up exploration on the topics she introduced, I found myself delving deep into the worlds of gender, sex, and sexuality.  So there I sat in my cubicle, listening and expanding my mind on these topics while surrounded by people who loved to cast stones.  

I can give a lot of credit to a lot of different people for helping me get there, but Susie Bright's podcast was probably the game changer for me.  She was the first bisexual that I can recall who didn't offer one sole form of bisexuality or put parameters around what it should look like.  Her driving message about bisexuality is that it comes in myriad forms and that it (like much of sexuality) has a fluidity to it that is self-determined and understood.  I think that's a key thing I appreciated and found liberating about moving away from the heterosexuality box was escaping the overwhelming conformity it presented, repressing sexual exploration beyond a dogmatic insistence of male as defacto lead and female as de facto follower.  (That's not to say that alternatives and variety doesn't exist in the heterosexual world, but that the emphasis of the male/female dynamic described above is that which is promoted).   


In addition to her sage advice, I continued to expand my knowledge of sex, gender, and sexuality with books, websites, documentaries, and courses.  I voraciously consumed these pieces of information and lens both because I was interested in this area in an academic and a personal sense.  I came back to the topic time and again in an associate degree I was pursuing after college (in criminal justice) and in the graduate degree that followed in American Studies. 


Each piece of learning helped me to reflect about my past and present experiences and attractions to males. It first helped me to reposition those past memories and fantasies as not inexplicable and alienated actions but as something that was part of me.  This encouraged me to think more about why and how these occurred and were there other times to which such emotions and feelings were aroused in others besides females.  

So by this time, I came to better understand that I was in fact bisexual and began to identify as such in certain contexts (e.g. dating) and among certain people.  It took over 20 years for me to realize it, given the culture we live in and the mutability of attraction that occurred in me (and I would imagine other bisexual males in our culture).  For me, which is so damn fitting for me that I laugh every time I think about it is, is that it took books and learning for me to better understand it.  That is, as someone who has spent so much of his life in education as a student, instructor, and professional staff member --as a self-proclaimed nerd as it were, I found my way to bisexuality by reading books and articles, writing about sexuality, and taking courses both directly and indirectly related to it.    


The Phased Coming Out

It's a strange thing to come out in your 20s as bisexual (ok, it was strange for me). I did it in phases because, well, coming out as bisexual is complicated or maybe it is made complicated by others as a result of a mixture of ignorance on what bisexuality is or biphobia, which like homophobia can be found prevalently within our culture.  Making a statement about one's sexuality, especially when it conflicts with one's previously evident sexual interactions, can often be met with skepticism.  Inevitably, as many nonheterosexuals, queer, and trans people know, when one comes out, there is always an expectation of evidence to validate the claim.  For bisexuals, this means evidence of cross-dating, for gay and lesbian folk, it means having a same-sex partner, and for transpeople, it can mean having the surgery (regardless of whether the transperson has any intention of any of the surgeries related to transitioning).  

But I did it in phases because there were some people that it was going to be more relevant to than others and quite frankly, I didn't want to have conversations with people that I felt would be circular, cause me frustration or where I would be misunderstood.  So while I would be open about my bisexuality in relationships, with nonheterosexual friends, I was more selective about the circle of people I shared my identity with beyond that--at least in much of my 20s.  

There were other reasons for this as well.  For chunks of my 20s, I worked with youth, particularly after school daycare, summer camp, and residential teens.  With all but one of these places (a residential home specifically for LGBTQ teens), I did not openly speak about my identity because they did not feel like safe places to acknowledge such things.  Bi-phobia does exist; I've seen people's visceral reaction to someone who does not choose either/or but both.  We as humans are often comfortable with category and bisexuality crosses categories.  I had no interest in dealing with such bigotry why working because it had nothing to do with the work I was doing.  

However, once I was working at a residential program for LGBTQ teens, I realized, especially for the teens who often lacked positive and localized (as opposed to national or iconic) role models with which to look to and realize or appreciate different ways in which sexuality is expressed and how it is not the sole definer of our experiences.  From there, I became much more open about my bisexuality professionally, but working in academia, there is certainly a bit more acceptance of that (not a universal, but working in academia in Massachusetts, it is more so).  Sometime in 2012, I switched this blog from its original name (the Hitchhiking Adjunct) to its present name, By Any Other Nerd.  And sometime shortly thereafter, I identified as bisexual in my About page.  At different times, I have included this or not, depending on the changes I've made to my about pages and other additional pages.  

Coming out to my family was an outward to inward approach.  I came out first to my two cousins who also were also not heterosexual.  What was nice about one of these relationships is that it was a cousin whom I had not been particularly close with throughout much of my life and now, in our thirties, she's one of the closest family members I have.  As for the other cousin, I don't know.  She had disconnected from the family years previously for reasons I can understand in general but never specifically the disconnect from me.  Reaching out to her and coming out to her, I thought might bring us closer her but all I got was silence.  

Coming out to my immediate family didn't formally happened until I did my first stand-up routine which focused on being bisexual. Of course, I warned them ahead of time what the focus of my routine was and thus came out to them in the later part of my thirties. Coming out nearly 15 years after I knew may sound as if I was hiding from them.  It is more a matter of I had issue with bringing it up unless there was reason to.  If I had dated any guy long enough to "bring home", I would have had the conversation.  But in the absence of "proof", I didn't trust my family to actually understand it or appreciate what it was that I was sharing with them. So, it took a while for the circumstances to make it evident.   

Parting Thoughts 

Nowadays, I'm more open to dropping the B-word where it's relevant in a discussion or in a given moment.  I'm less hesitant to talk about it openly in nearly all space, but of course, that's context.  I don't know if I would carry the same confidence were I in different region or area of the country or the world.  But I do my best to talk about it without over-talking about it as I realize many non-heteronormative people don't get this opportunity.  If I can increase normality of nonheteronormative identities through being more open, then it behooves me to do so.  

I recognize that for a variety of reasons, coming out for me was not as challenging or life-threatening as it can be for others.  For that, I am grateful and recognize the privilege associated with my cultural, social, class standings that allow for that.  But I think it's worth considering for all of us to stop and think what it means for people to feel necessary to "come out."  In many cases, it's a result of the assumptions of culture that are put upon the person to which they must reject.  It requires the person to have to claim the space of "I am not who you're assuming."  And that can be an awfully hard space to navigate, especially in a culture that still has very strong notions about boys and girls, men and women (and the strict adherence to an artificial gender/sex binary therein).     

I'll probably have more posts about this subject in the months and years to come but for those who are discovering this for the first time, I'm assuming this changes nothing.  For those that were already in the know, I hope this provides some further understanding about who I am.  And for those that are grappling with your own identity or coming to understand it, I am sending you kind thoughts and hopes that you will be able to navigate to a place where you and your loved ones are comfortable with who you are.  




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Review: Blood Canticle

Blood Canticle Blood Canticle by Anne Rice
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is of both the book and the audiobook. Following as a direct sequel to Blackwood Farm, The Blood Canticle picks up only minutes after it’s predecessor. Anne Rice’s most famous bloodsucker from The Vampire Chronicles, Lestat, tells this story from the first person point of view—something Rice has not done since Memnoch the Devil, published in 1995. Lestat initiates this new adventure by addressing his listeners and fans in the amusing and stylish trademark that he has become known for. He rebukes his audience for complaining about his recent transition from devilish and mischievous deviant to new sainthood-hunting benevolent Boy Scout—in so much as a vampire can be a boy scout. Lestat’s new goal in life is to become a saint.

The book opens up to immediate excitement with Quinn Blackwood bringing his near-to-death dearest love, Mona Mayfair to his bed in order so she can die in his arms. Before her death, Mona chooses the “gift” and becomes a vampire, like Quinn and Lestat. Her transition releases her from a wasting sickness that had ravaged her body for more than three years. More so, than in any prior novel, Anne Rice combines her two popular series, The Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches by turning Mona Mayfair into a vampire—forever binding these two powerful families. Of course, some characters are happier about this merger than others and the same can be said of Anne Rice fans.

With her recovery in sight, Quinn, Lestat, and Mona seek out Rowan Mayfair, the Mayfair heiress, and others in the Mayfair clan to discover the whereabouts of Mona’s child whom she birthed several years prior. The child was taken from Mona and now, in her healthy vampire state, she wishes to reunite with the child. However, Mona did not give birth to any child but a mythical humanlike creature known as a Taltos. The rest of the book deals with discovering the true nature of the child, unveiling the secrets of the Taltos, and ultimately, saving them.

Like many of Rice’s novels, this one is jammed pack with detail, sexual overtones of all kinds, wit, gore, and even a moral, or two somewhere in the mix. Both Lestat and Quinn are easily likable characters that the listener cares about. Mona is hard to immediately accept because her character goes through so many changes throughout the book—from being on the verge of death, to becoming immortal and then, discovering the truth to lies told to her by her family as well as finding your long lost child—but she does grow on you. All the characters are decently fleshed out both by good story telling and by a good performance.

Stephen Spinella made a highly believable and excellent Lestat. He narrated in a lightly French accent that lets the reader dissolve completely into Lestat’s world. Stephen’s voice genuinely reflects Lestat’s characteristics as well as the atmosphere. He tackles the other accents of the story with just as much ease and quality. The only stumbling block comes when dealing with Mona Mayfair. Her voice has certain fluctuations and nuances that do not seem natural and sometimes were inconsistent with her entire character. The listener is left wondering if that is a result of her transformation into a vampire, her youthful passion, or the narrator.

Do you choose style or story? Typically, with abridgements of Rice’s books, that is the ultimate decision. Lestat has a very distinct style about him and when he spins a tale in the first person, the decision needs to be made. Do you keep Lestat’s smooth and detailed style and skimp out on the plot or do you forego Lestat’s style and delve into the story? More often than not, this abridgement relies on Lestat’s style and treads lightly on the action. This does not always work. For instance, Lestat delivers a brief paragraph on the training he gives his two fledgling vampires followed by a long explanation of just what the three vampires are wearing when embarking on their mission. There seems a bit of short-changing by going on about clothing instead of a first hand account of learning the ways of a vampire. Would Empire Strikes Back be as exciting, if the audience watched Luke Skywalker spend an hour picking out his clothes and a brief snippet of him training with Yoda?

As an entry for both of her series, The Blood Canticles blends storylines and characters succinctly and smoothly. Rice has delivered another great tale for her fans to drool over and for listens to enjoy. And with Spinella voicing the work, it is hard to believe anyone else could make a better Lestat. True fans of Anne Rice will want to stick with the unabridged audiobook but for those wishing to dabble or to get a rough idea of what her stories entail, this abridgement of The Blood Canticle would make an excellent choice.

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Goals Check-In 2017: 9 Month Mark

So I ended up skipping July's check in because I was so busy that trying to write about my goals was near impossible.  I fell off my schedule nearly entirely for blogging because things were that busy.  Thank goodness for canned posts that could go out automatically.   The last 3 months have including a 3-week writing intensive workshop for my doctoral program, the start of a new job for me, the start of a new job for my partner, and a move.  So, it's kept me way more busy than I anticipated, but now that we're through it, we're thoroughly happy where we are. 


Complete a Triathlon

For this year, I think I'll need to put this goal aside.  I may still try to do one but with so much going on, this goal seems a bit removed until I can get back into a regime of swimming.  I am definitely still running a lot and biking more (my new home and job are connected by a bike path) but it doesn't seem like the right time this year.    

15000 a day

As of this writing today, I have walked 15,000 steps for 235 days in a row.  I've crossed the half-way mark and figure it should be easy to get to the finish line on this one.     


Goal

15 more pounds

With the stress and busy-ness of June/July, I'm just getting back in the swing, but I'm down five pounds so the finish line is viewable, I just need to stay on target.  I think the new place that I'm living is encouraging a lot more physical activity, which is good, I just have to avoid overindulgence (which is always my challenge).  

Stay on Target for Running

The running has been consistent.  No strains or injuries.  I've had some really good runs including a new PR for 10K (52 minutes and some change).  The week that I'm writing this, I made it a goal to run to work and back every day (for a total of 55 miles) and it's been going quick well.  I'm getting used to running with a backpack and with some weight in it.  I'm pretty sure I'll hit the 1000 mile mark this year if not the 1200.  It also helps that my new place has a fitness facility so I can workout whenever I want.    

Complete the Book

I'm back on track with this one.  I won't finish this year but I will shortly in the new year.  

Less Mindlessness

This comes and goes with my time-crunches and sometimes seems to happen more the more time-crunch I get.  Whether it's intentional distraction or just needing space from what I'm doing, remains to be seen.  But I think having to check in on this through these check-ins helps to remind me to reduce the mindless scroll. 

Focus on the Breath

Yet again, another one that comes and goes.  I think for next year, I'll need to reconfigure this one and the next one to be more specific.  It's too vague making it hard to execute whereas the 15,000 step goal is clear and specific.     

Figure Out My Dissertation

If you want to find out where I am with my dissertation, you can check out my latest dissertation journaling post.  I haven't updated yet but will soon.  My dissertation direction is pretty well set and I'm starting down my path with some good encouragement and advice from my advisors.  

More Politically Active

The moving and new job made this really hard to enact but now that I'm settled in, I'm becoming familiar with the different political groups in my area to figure out which one is best suited for me to join.  So I'll hopefully have more news on that in the future.  

Those are all the updates for now.  How are you doing with your monthly, yearly, life goals?  What challenges are you running into? 




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Review: Wolves of the Calla

Wolves of the Calla Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is of both the book and the audiobook. A book series that releases a new book every year or two creates sufficient anxiety while awaiting the new volume. But a series that has taken over twenty years to finish can be downright torturous. The Dark Tower series started in 1982 with The Gunslinger and since then, four other novels have continued the saga of Roland of Gilead and his troupe of fellow gunslingers as they venture forth to the mysterious Dark Tower. Wolves of the Calla is the fifth in this seven book series.

Wolves of the Calla finds Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and their pet, Oy, arriving at Calla Bryn Sturgis, a rural community in the borderlands of a parallel universe. They are quickly recruited and accept a mission to protect the children from the group known as the Wolves of Thunderclap Mountain. These “wolves” sweep through the town every generation taking half of the children. The gunslingers must figure out how to defeat this horde of sixty laser-sword wielding warriors. Of course, this is not their only challenge. While training the townspeople to fight, they must also prevent the Sombra Corporation from acquiring a plot of land in New York City, 1977. If the Sombra Corporation gains control of the land, they will destroy a crucial piece of the puzzle regarding the Dark Tower. In addition, mistrust and betrayal breeds within Roland and the gunslingers that could tear their group apart and relinquish any chance of making it to the Dark Tower.

As a preempt to listening to Wolves of the Calla, one might consider re-reading most, if not all of Stephen King’s prior works—and innumerous other literary works. One might even contemplate skimming through E.D. Hirsch’s Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, to assist in a fuller appreciation of King’s new book. The depth of his interconnected worlds is rivaled only by the universe created by Isaac Asimov in his Foundation and Robot series. His uncountable cross-references both with his prior Dark Tower books and other works is astounding, fascinating, and frustrating at the same time. One understands many of the references but wants to go back and catch up on all the other references he’s not sure about. Attempting to dive into Wolves of the Calla without first tackling its predecessors will leave the listener lost and confused with only a vague understanding of what the book is about. The introduction gives brief summations of the prior four books but they only really work as slight refreshers for those who have kept up to date with the series. And even still, you might consider listening again to last book if not all four, if you have not heard them in quite a while.

Picking up the mantle dawned by Frank Muller as narrator for the Dark Tower series; George Guidall does not hesitate or disappoint audiences in his narration. While Guidall’s voice isn’t as gravelly as Frank Muller, he adds a light rasp, making the audiobook a smooth transition from Muller to Guidall. At the same time, Guidall maintains his own unique style and doesn’t display any hints of copying Muller. Guidall delivers an impressive performance even without comparison or consideration of other narrators of prior Stephen King books. Guidall’s amazing ability to narrate such a wide range of characters with such accuracy and believability and maintain the suspense of the story only further illustrates why he was chosen to narrate this audiobook.

One of King's many admirable talents is his use of slang. He finds the most appropriate slang for the era, location, and person. While the listener may not be familiar with the terms, he can easily understand and value the relation between the slang and the user. This smoothness is only further capitulated by Guidall's ability to read them so naturally.

Towards the end of the book, one wonders how many cultural references Stephen King can squeeze in and is it too many? Considering the breadth and expanse of this series, the references can often be quite amusing and even appropriate while not delineating from the quality of the tale.

The very touching note read by Stephen King at the end was rewarding almost as much as the book. Stephen positively comments on audiobooks and pays tribute to Frank Muller as his “inner voice” when writing. He also mentions the WaveDancer Foundation, a charity to assist in the welfare, health, and recovery of disabled artists. This note by the author can also be found in the text version.

Stephen King’s Dark Tower series will further propel the fantasy genre nearly as much as The Lord of the Rings established it. He blends the real and unreal with simple ease and has created a universe that is deep and compelling. As Stephen King mentions, he hears a voice whenever he is writing and maybe we should thank that voice (and of course George Guidall’s voice) for providing us with an unabridged story that is just as easy to listen to, as it is to read.

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This Is 38




So this is what 38 looks like to me:

I turned 38 today. Not a huge marker by any means but I decided this would be the year to start doing a bit more intentional tracking and reflecting on my birthday because well, that's what I do on this blog, right?

So let's first take stock of some of the basic and relevant (what I find) facts about me at 38.  I decided to put these in alphabetical order to avoid trying to rank them in any away (who's got time for that!).

The Facts

Lance Eaton after a 5.5 mile run in a yellow tech shirt.
Best time on a 5K: 24:31
Best time on a 10K: 52:56
Best time on 1/2 marathon: 1:52:35
Blog Posts in the last year:  198
Books read in 2017: 127
Blog Pageviews: 139,630
Blog Subscribers: 28/276
Blog Visitors: 81,000
Cats Owned:  2 (Bear & Pumpkin)
Credits Completed Toward Dissertation: 42 out of 72.
Degrees earned: 5 (3 masters, 1 bachelor, 1 associate)
Degree working on:  Phd in Higher Education
Facebook Friends: 715
Home:  Watertown, Massachusetts
LinkedIn Connections: 872
Miles run in in the last year: 952 miles 
Push-ups in a single stretch: 65
Relationship status:  Married (3+ years)
Short Stories Written:  4
Social Media Consulting Gigs:  2
Twitter Followers:  942
Website Domains owned:  3
Weight: 225 pounds
Work:  full-time: Instructional Designer at Brandeis University.  Freelance reviewing audiobooks and graphic novels for Audiofile Magazine & Publishers Weekly.  Occasionally teaching courses at North Shore Community College 

The Thoughts

Obviously that list isn't exhaustive.  Again, I ain't got time for that.  But it focuses on a few different areas of my current attention.  Namely: Education, health, relationships, social media, work. writing.  These are areas that are on my mind, easy to quantify and discuss.  What's not on the list that I'm still working on: being politically active and socially-justice minded--and what that looks like for  me, trying to be a better friend, and continuing to push myself in new and different directions.

Education

I've passed the half-way mark with my doctoral program in terms of credits and am now starting the process of dissertating (that's what it is, right?).  I'm excited to be at this stage and excited about my topic. I'm looking forward to being done but enjoying the process throughout.  By the way, if you're interested in those adventures, you can always check out my posts dedicated to the my PhD adventures (keep in mind, they are posted 1 year after they're written).

Health

Well, I'm running 20-30 miles a week and cycling the same amount.  I'm also covering 15,000 steps a day and can do 50 push up.  I feel at my optimum health for my life as a whole and certainly for my age.  Definitely have some weight to lose if I prescribe to the BMI, which I don't entirely, but do believe I could shed another 10-15 pounds and be healthy.  What's more is that I crave working out and enjoy healthy foods (certainly enjoy unhealthy foods). I appreciate the sense of accomplishment and the biochemical dynamics that produce positive emotions and energy after working out. I've run some of my best races in the last year or so and that feels amazing too (I mean who thought I'd be able to run a half-marathon in well under 2 hours!).  

Relationships

Well, I'm in an amazing one with a supportive partner who helps me be a better person by not just role modeling it but helping me figure out what's going on in my head as well as being collaborative in our relationship to address any challenges that come at us or stress us out.  We both just change jobs and negotiated a move while also taking courses within our respective programs.  We navigated it mindfully with a lot of communication, checking in, and redirecting our stress-points away from one another and onto/into other things (e.g. running).  

Social Media

So the numbers about social media and the blog are not brag.  In fact, the subscribers for the blog is split because I have 2 RSS feed and while the small number appears accurate, the other one is filled with a dubious amount of emails and therefore I think is compromised; 98% off the email addresses are from Outlook accounts, which doesn't seem right.  Anyways, I'm marking it to see how it changes over the next year, particularly as I think differently about how I engage in social media and through my blog.  We all know that social media has the potential to be a meaningless time-suck, so I'm trying to be a bit more cognizant of that.  Also, as I continued to teach and advise on social media, I want to see how this develop and grows (or shrinks).  

Work

I like all that I'm doing; where I work, who I work with, and the kinds of work I do.  I look forward to when my doctoral program is over and I can pursue some additional teaching and writing opportunities, but appreciate the flexibility of them currently. I really enjoy working at Brandeis University between my colleagues and leadership.  Also, since moving to Watertown, I can now run/bike ride to  work, which certainly helps my health and physical accomplishments.  


Writing
I'm so itching to get back to writing, be it on my blog, fiction, or other projects.  My mind is exploding with ideas and snippets of writing.  Without trying, I've written four stories in the past year (and even published one!) and a handful of other publications.  But I keep railing it in because so much of my writing needs to focus on my dissertation.

This post (like so many of mine) probably isn't for the reader but for me to take stock of what I'm up to and where I want to go.  I appreciate those of you who still stick around despite these ramblings.  If nothing else, this blog helps me to think about things and I always appreciate that.  

Well, here's to 38 years that have put me in a place of substantial mental, physical, emotional, and spirtual helath.  I'm glad I've made it this far.  



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