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.
So. Friday. I log on, ready to post. WordPress lets me know that there are a few things I should probably fix on my blog. And I’m like, “Okay, sure. I’ll get on that.”
One of them was updating to https. Now, I have the technological know-how of a squirrel, but after looking it up, I think, “Oh! Okay. I’ve got this. All I have to do is change one little thing here, and-”
I can’t log in. None of my posts can be clicked on. They all lead to some North Carolina plumbing service’s website.
So, I decided to handle this in a calm, mature fashion, and proceeded to promptly freak out.
My parents didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. 5 years of work seemingly went straight down the tubes. I have all the pictures saved, but none of the writing, because what even is backing up?
And, of course, it had to happen on a Friday afternoon. With COVID-19 prancing around the country. Because IMPECCABLE TIMING.
I finally managed to gather enough of my senses to Google what the sweet hell what I’m supposed to do now. And I discovered a WordPress Support website. Thank GOD.
I get in touch with someone. I spill all the sweet gory details of what happened to my precious blog. And they get right to work.
Apparently, my directory databases got corrupted, which screwed up my ability to log in. Could they fix it? Yes they could.
I paid up the money (which was a lot), sent them what I could – and all I could do was wait. And panic. And stress. And wait. And hope I wasn’t being taken for a ride.
The next day, at 11 AM, I woke up from my post-breakfast nap, because clearly I slept well the night before, and saw an email.
I clicked over to my website and lo and behold, I Draw Walruses is alive.
And there was much rejoicing.
Even though I don’t get a lot of traffic, even though I get maybe 10 people tops reading this website – this is my baby. My diary. It’s seen a lot over the past five years. Post-grad unemployment. Getting hired as a page. Experiencing all sorts of fun adulting stuff. Getting promoted. Whatever the heck is going on now. And developing all sorts of fun characters – Lars, Willa, Eliza, Jeff the Reindeer, Cleo, and more.
And to lose that all – that would hurt. That would just drain me even more that this whole event did.
So, now, what do I do?
I think I know what I did wrong. BUT. I refuse to touch anything, do anything stupid at all, before I back everything up.
That is truly the lesson to be gained from all this. Don’t take anything for granted, and back up your work.
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.
Please note: I do try to avoid talking politics whenever humanly possible. So this will hopefully be the one and only comic touching on the presidential election this year.
But really, I can already tell, it’s going to be a weird one. Which, truth be told, I think we have the last election to thank for that, setting a unfortunate new precedent for whatever shenanigans happen in future elections.
I’ve been wanting to post more art on Instagram for a while now, just to get more eyes looking at it, and I’ve been trying to figure out what I should be posting. I mean, I’ve got this backlog of comics here on this website.
The only problem is, I look at some of it, and…it’s rough. Or at least I think it’s rough. Especially the earlier stuff. So that’s probably just going to stay here on I Draw Walruses.
Maybe it’s just an artist thing to think all your early stuff is bad, I dunno. I mean, I’ve definitely improved on some level, thank goodness. Maybe I’ll redraw a few. Who knows?