I’m not counting the ones that hide in the scraps folder… yet.

A couple of months ago I shared some loose ideas to expand my content. They were things I knew I would move into but I wasn’t sure how.

Then, big sad wormy brain things happened. Then I went on vacation. Then I got back and even more big sad wormy brain things happened and got pretty bad for awhile. Then I got most of the worms out and my head screwed back on straight.

Typically when I go awhile without publishing anything it’s because I’m in a drought—but this time is the opposite.

I’m a big Sims player. In The Sims 4, there’s a hideous little object that strikes either joy or fear in the heart of every Simmer in the know: the lump of clay.

A Sim with a lump of clay in their inventory is a dangerous beast. It’s always there, always lumpy, and always a constant distraction. You cannot leave a Sim unsupervised for even 5 game minutes when they have these stashed away. Invariably you will reunite with your Sim standing in their filthy bathroom dressed in their party gown completely mesmerized by their lump of clay. They squish it and mold it and ooh and aah over it for up to several Sim hours. Even if you interrupt their squishy-session with something innocuous such as eating or changing a baby’s diaper, they will pull the damn lump of clay back out again and mold, mold, mold.

Eventually, finally, they will cease. Sometimes they leave a fun shape: a star, the Eiffel Tower, a bunny. Most of the time it is returned to its natural state, a lump and nothing else. But the mood of the Sim is transformed: they are Inspired! Sometimes even Very Inspired! A moodlet will appear in their queue for several hours, simply for the joy of having made their hands dirty and busy for awhile.

That’s been me the past month or so. Playing with a lump of clay and unable to stop myself.

When I returned from my trip, I had a lot of feelings, thoughts, and ideas. I didn’t know what to do with any of them. I felt awful and thought I couldn’t explain why. It turns out I could, but simply didn’t want to.

So I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned the past couple of months is to identify when I am intellectualizing versus truly being vulnerable and open with myself. To no one’s surprise, I was mostly the former and rarely the latter. Maybe even never the latter—that’s a discussion for another day.

So every so often I have had to stop and just let myself feel. And when I did that, the writing got better. More varied. I could start erecting frameworks for projects while also working out some other things that I am still unsure how to express or in what order.

I’m excited—some of what’s to come will be the deepest I’ve gone. But there will be so much fun stuff too, things outside of myself that I’ve longed to share and discuss. Art, music, leisure, and a whole lot of messy stuff in between.

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