When is the last time you thought, I wonder what TA thinks about this?
Ok, for a lot of you, that’s multiple times a day. I get it; I am the dominant political intellectual force in your life. The responsibility is kind of massive. As I was saying to Heather Cox Richardson and Laurence Tribe the other day….
Oh, don’t I wish! The truth is, the answer to the question above is: Who can remember? If ever!
Once upon a time, twenty years ago even (!), I was a blogger read by dozens, sometimes hundreds. I posted regularly, mostly on BlueOregon, and it was a blast. I got to meet a lot of people as a result, and I had the chance to do some exciting things. (Volunteering with the Bus Project was also a big part of that.)
But when I ventured out on my own, it all fell apart. That was because my mental health, never very good, got worse. I had no foundation of personal values to stand on. I was just going through the motions, leaning on beliefs and expectations and fear. As I failed over and over at various projects, anxiety and depression deepened their hold.
Then came a public breakdown, and I went into hiding.
Then came covid.
But also, then came help. I got into the VA health care system, I got the care I needed, and I got a lot healthier. I came to understand my anxiety and the lack of values. I began a mindfulness practice to deal with the anxiety, and I set myself to defining the values I wanted to live by and how I would do that living.
But I’ve yet to return to the kind of political blogging I used to enjoy. I’ve also yet to return to the kind of political activism that my blogging was part of. I’ve no real desire to get back into that kind of activism because I want to focus on mental health issues. I want to do so as, god help me, a [shudders] content creator.
Excuse me. I need a shower.
No, seriously. I want to blog, vlog, and so much more. I want to write and do videos about a variety of things, mostly mental health and bicycling. Also, whatever travel adventures I have. Sports and music.
I want to make paper, too. No real reason. I just want to.
And I’m as dedicated to cooking, including baking, as ever.
The world is a big, wonderful place. Humans are incredible critters, but we are destroying ourselves. Unless we develop an effective mental health care system and put it to use, we are toast. I have no magic wand to make that happen, and I have almost zero influence. I have no audience at this time; literally none.
I hope to change that. I hope people who used to read me on BlueOregon will do so again here and elsewhere. Well, hope won’t do that. I need to do the writing and the promoting. I need to do the kind of work I wasn’t capable of before I got the mental health care I so desperately needed. I spent sixty years living a life based on fear and self-hatred.
Not a formula for success.
Now I need to learn how to live based on values, commitment, and a trust in myself to keep moving forward. I’ve written this 600-word post. Now, what am I going to do with it?
What am I going to do after it?