Don’t worry, Dot. Pretty sure that the cicadas are all starting to die out, judging by the massive pile of dead bugs on our porch. And they have gotten quieter – haven’t been hearing that low alien drone as much recently. So it might be the start of the end.
Is it weird that I’m gonna kind of miss them? I dunno. Circle of life, I suppose.
After 17 years (I was 12 the last time they came around – good GOD), the cicadas have indeed arisen. And they are indeed kind of freaky looking.
Not necessarily the hell spawn that Dot’s picturing them as, but still. Weird little buggers. Half the time I’m not sure if they’re dead or alive. A quick nudge usually helps to tell if they are. It also helps to flip them over, as they seem to struggle with that.
They seem to struggle in general, honestly.
I can relate.
Here’s to you, you freaky little bugs. Make some noise. Shed some skin. Do your cicada thing.
It was just minor surgery to correct an issue that I’ve been dealing with since last year. And I’m feeling much better. Or at least I’m getting there.
It was a series of firsts for me, though. First time having to put on a hospital gown. First time getting an IV. First time getting wheeled away on a gurney. First time getting one of those canulas shoved up my nose. All stuff I’d seen before but I’ve never experienced myself.
And I was extremely nervous about all of it.
Especially the anaesthesia.
My anxiety-riddled brain decided to focus primarily on that. Every worst what-if reared their ugly little heads. What if I had a bad reaction? What if it sent me into a coma? What if it just didn’t work at all? Fun stuff like that.
It was probably a control thing – being sent to sleep by something else that wasn’t me. Or a deep fear of death. Possibly both.
I just kept seeing this surgery as some weird endpoint. Like, everything was going to end on Monday and I couldn’t see anything else beyond that. I wasn’t going to finish my list of books or play Pokemon or draw or eat or anything. It would all just end.
Clearly, though, it didn’t. I’m still here.
The anaesthesia as a whole was an interesting experience that could be basically summed up like this:
Anaesthesiologist: Okay, I’m giving you the anaesthesia now.
Me: Huh. I really hope this works.
H E A D R U S H
Me: Woo heady I guess it’s working –
Cue me coming to in the recovery room feeling extremely loopy.
After finally being able to get up without feeling dizzy and getting dressed, I was able to go home. Which is where I’ve been for the past few days recovering.
I am doing much better than I was for the first couple of days – I was mostly tired and sore and not wanting to do much. Just been taking it easy. I actually get to go back to work tomorrow, where I will not be pushing myself. I will just be going slow to make sure I don’t end up hurting myself.
In the meantime, I’m going to be spending my last day at home relaxing and continuing to heal.
Because even though it was technically minor surgery, it was still, indeed, surgery.
Now, I know that I am super duper lucky to be employed right now. Believe me, it’s a relief to not have to think about unemployment.
But it’s still not the same.
I miss working with the books. I miss being at the returns desk. I even miss interacting with the patrons to an extent.
Not all of them. But most.
It’s not fun being here at home, at the dining room table, scrolling through the library catalog and trying to figure out what to do with my time. Plus, my sole coworker only really seems to care about mealworms and napping. Not much for conversation.
I know when we reopen, things are going to be different. My boss is already talking about masks, installing plastic shields on the desks, trying to make sure we can still do the six feet apart deal – that’s fine. I’ll take it.
It’s gonna be nuts whenever we reopen, I know that for sure.
Until then, I’ll be here. Teleworking. Having a blast and a half.
With all that’s going on right now, we need to be cognizant of not just our physical wellbeing, but our mental health as well.
Case in point: when COVID-19 first settled stateside, I could not stop googling the news about it. I’d just have to. Next thing I know, it’s two hour later and I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of news articles and opinion pieces. The result? My anxiety would spike hardcore, and I needed to get all my thoughts out there and just vent and vent and vent (mostly to my parents, who are indeed saints for dealing with me), my mind a non-stop roller coaster of awful. And it would always be right before I’d go to bed. The worst time to have my brain running a hundred miles per hour.
I’m not promoting ignorance. At all. It is important to stay informed. But this is not being informed. This is me racing through internet pages and internalizing everything awful, then spewing it back out.
The fact is, I need to step back. For me to stay in one piece, I need to keep myself from this horrible habit. I’ve been trying – a few slip-ups here and there, but for the most part, I think I’ve done okay. I’ve learned that I need to redirect myself or physically hold myself back. I don’t know if it’s some weird OCD thing or not – I have not been diagnosed by a professional, so I really don’t want to classify it as such. But I do need to breathe, and back away from the Google, if I want to have any chance of coming away from the COVID-19 pandemic mentally together.
If reading the news helps keep your anxiety in check, great. Go for it. But I know that I can’t right now. Because I won’t get anything from it. My anxiety will just suffer.
So I will step back. Breathe. Knit. Draw. Whatever.
I am well aware that I have a very small audience.
A handful of people reading this blog, a slightly bigger handful following me on Instagram – not a whole lotta eyeballs looking at my work.
So, one of the things that I do find myself fantasizing about is gaining that audience, having people follow me and seeing what I do. And maybe, if I got big enough, I could even try and make this a career. I mean, that was the dream when I was younger, right? Professional cartoonist.
However – and this is a very BIG however – there are moments where I pause and say, “Do I want that? I mean – really?”
Because people, in my honest opinion, are terrifying.
They whine if you don’t do this. They can rip you apart if they so feel like it. They complain, spread rumors, drag your name through the mud, try to get you “cancelled” – again, all terrifying.
There is this YouTuber that I enjoy, Kurtis Conner. Nice enough guy, I like his commentary. He had a friend who said something stupid, and suddenly he got dragged into it simply by association, being the bigger name. Another artist who just released a generally well recieved cartoon pilot is facing people digging up dirt from when she was a teenager – stuff that she had already apologized for and was, overall, generally irrelevant.
And don’t get me started on the Pokemon community as of late. That’s more than enough to make me want to hide under my covers forever.
So right now, I’m feeling stuck in this odd place – wanting to get my name out there, and scared of what would happen if I do. Fun stuff, all around.
I’m going to keep chugging along and drawing, of course. But, man. People. Exhausting.
Took a quick break to recuperate from Inktober, but now, it’s time to get back into the swing of things.
And yes, I did go to my first Anime Convention a couple weekends back. Truly an experience, and a really fun one at that. The costumes that people wore were amazing – had to marvel at the artistry on display with a good many of them. And I got to attend some interesting panels, like one talking about Joan of Arc’s impact on pop culture (not something you’d expect to see at an anime con, but really quite fascinating), one about Japanese mythology in anime, a kind of creepy one about number stations – all really awesome, truly.
Best part was probably Artist’s Alley and the Dealer’s Den – basically, merch central. Probably spent way too much money, but there was so much cool stuff to buy. So I mostly wrote it off as helping out my fellow artists. And now I have more keychains than I know what to do with.
All in all, a fun experience. But once I got home, I definitely needed to hide, just wanted to get away from being around so many people. My introvert battery was bottoming out and in desperate need of a recharge. Of course, I did have to go to work the next day, but I managed for the most part.
But yeah, now I’m back. Expect more cartoons shortly!