So today is my second day off Facebook, and I must say, it is quieting my mind and helping me to better focus on my dissertation and job search. I feel a little bit disconnected, but not completely, as I am still on Twitter and Instagram and see plenty of people in person. I'm hoping people will text me about fun goings-on. For instance, there's a comics cosplay event at Battle and Brew in Sandy Springs next weekend. I'm interested in going, so I might have to, wow, email people instead of posting on Facebook about it to convince people to go with me. If anything, this is a test to see who my real friends are and who will make an actual effort to keep in touch with me. I figure if I only see some of my close friends about once a month, maybe even bi-monthly, then some of my Facebook "friends" can go a month without seeing me on there. Plus, AERA, Twitter, the president of the University I now attend and work at, and NCTE have all recently made statements regarding the immigrant band and/or Betsy DeVos's nomination, so I figure I'll let people with actual power make these statements for now and focus on my own work and writing. I can make a difference by writing to my local officials, which I have, and teaching and working on my dissertation. My dissertation is written from a feminist perspective, so DT and his puppet masters probably would not like it. I am trying to use my anger in a productive way and write my dissertation in part to spite them, in addition to hopefully helping others.

I had a productive therapy session today. My therapist said that about 90 percent of her patience have had heightened anxiety since DT came to power, so I'm glad to hear that I am not alone. I told her about Friday night, when the 18 year old Frat boys who live next door to me and have DT stickers on their pick-up trucks were really drunk, cussing a lot on the patio, and essentially keeping me from working on my dissertation. I felt threatened, curled up in my guest room, and felt like I was going to have a panic attack. So I booked a cheap hotel room the next day in a nearby city, which gave me some goddamn peace and quiet. I saw friends that night and went to a UU Fellowship the next day and did a great interview, all of which helped me feel better. My therapist thinks that both me listening to my instincts and knowing I needed to leave and logging off Facebook were good signs that I'm learning to be in tuned to my emotions and act accordingly. She thinks that logging of Facebook is actually a sign of assertiveness because I do not want to be a part of toxic political conversations. I mean, I already know that our country is going in the direction of fascism. I don't need to be reminded of that ten times a day. Lucky for me, I have family and friends fairly close by and live in a liberal university community, so I'll be fine. I just want to do what I can to protect others who might not be.

Tomorrow will be another day, and it will be cold, but beautiful. I look forward to discussing feminist theory for my informal directed study, working on service work for one of my committees, and of course dissertation. Wednesday I must prepare a conference presentation. I have enough to keep me busy, and now I can go home and unwind over a little bit of TV. I have had more time these past couple of days, in a good way.
So early this morning, before passing out for my "second sleep", I deactivated my Facebook account. Note: I have this weird thing where I typically wake up at about 3 or 4 a.m., for no particular reason. I usually can go right back to sleep afterwards, but lately, it's taken me about an hour. I might have to try meditating or some other practice to fall asleep more quickly. I'm open to suggestions. Today, I went to a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship north of Atlanta with two new friends and saw an old friend, which was comforting to me. They talked about mindfulness as associated with Buddhism, along with meditating. During a fairly tumultuous period in my life, I feel that these practices might benefit me. I am trying to finish a dissertation and to find a job to start in the fall, so a lot in my life is uncertain. From what limited information I have, it's most likely that I'll end up either in California or Atlanta. I'd be happy either place, I think, and both would have benefits and drawbacks. My dissertation advisor and mentor tells me not to worry, to keep working on my dissertation, and it will work out as it's supposed to. I'm trying to take her advice as best as I can.

I must say that deactivating Facebook was a liberating feeling for me. I've had a love/hate feeling toward Facebook over the ten-ish years since I've been on it, and recently, it's turned into hate. I think it's partly because I was looking at it too much, and I therefore was getting tired of seeing the endless stream of political posts regarding He Who Must Not Be Named's Executive Orders. Don't get me wrong; I'm pissed about it too, and I realize we need to stay informed. But I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum who have come a bit unhinged. On one side are a few friends who say that they don't need anyone to march for them because Jesus marched from them, and they are praying for us who did the Women's March because they are afraid Satan has a hold of us. I know they mean well, but geez! On the other side, I have friends who blog about DT about six times a day, each with a long rant about how mad they are. I get it, and I think this is more where I was right after the election. But reading these rants was just making me sad and angry all over again. It got to where a part of me was shutting down. I do care about the current political situation very much, but at this point, I want to know what I can DO about it: write my local representatives because they are our best chance to slow things down, volunteer (which I'll have more time for after my Ph.D., and most importantly finish my dissertation. I have seriously considered sending The Donald and his crew of rich White male wackos a copy of my dissertation because I don't think they would like my feminist perspective, but who knows, they just might learn something about listening to other people's voices.

Please don't get me wrong, I know not everyone who voted for DT is a terrible person. In fact, many of them are exceptional people. There are plenty of people who think Hillary is a terrible person, although I honestly don't understand why. The email server thing was weird and sketchy, and she failed to protect the people involved with Benghazi. But still, is that at the level of sexual assault, mocking people repeatedly like a bully, and literally building walls around our country founded by immigrants and refugees to keep people who need freedom out? I don't think so, but if one of my loved ones disagrees with me and is open to a civil discourse about it, I would like to hear their perspective. Sadly, it just doesn't usually happen that way on Facebook; people take things out of context, misconstrue tone, and get pissed. I've found that it's not worth it most of the time.

I prefer to blog about these issues in part because my boyfriend from many years ago Padawan (that's his code name, and mine is Hermione) introduced me to Livejournal. Livejournal and other forms of writing were a big part of how and why we connected the way we did. Through Livejournal, I also got to know my cousin "Luna" and other friends better. Blogging is a lost art, I think, and the relationship building formed through Livejournal sadly seems like a lost art. Facebook can be useful, but I still have one of the only useful aspects of it, messenger. I feel that a lot of the interactions I have on Facebook are shallow. I only have so much time for social connections right now, so when I have them, I would prefer that they be meaningful. Plus, blogging provides more of an opportunity for honest and helpful discourse.

On Friday, I almost had a panic attack. I have a mental health disorder that has been officially diagnosed as "panic disorder," although High Functioning Anxiety is I think a more accurate description of how I move through the world. It's hard sometimes, but I've accepted that it's part of who I am. It's actually served me well in some situations because I get shit done. Within the past couple of months, though, it's become more of a negative issue, and I'm trying to figure out how to better manage it, to keep out the noise so to say.

Writing is therapy for me, along with my literary and fandom connections. Hopefully, this journal will encourage more authentic relationships and catharsis. The Universe knows I could use more of both right now. But I love my research, and I'm going to finish my PhD, in part to spite those who try to oppress me and my other brothers and sisters who do not fit the Patriarchy's most ideal world.
If some of you have been reading my fanfiction stories, I was dawgfan527 on livejournal and am GeorgiaUnicorn on Archive of our Own, Twisting the Hellmouth, and Fanfiction. I'm excited to have this journal, which will mainly be for posting my fanfiction, connecting with fandom communities, and writing practice, as I'm trying to write everyday. I'm keeping this separate from my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so I can be more free in my expression. I miss the old days of livejournal, when I had more intimate "conversations" with my closer friends, so I'm trying to bring some of that back with this journal. Be warned that I might rant about politics on here once in a while, as I'm unhappy that He Who Must Not Be Named won the presidential election. I'm trying to keep that banter off of Facebook, though, as the political spouts on there seem to just fuel my anger. In general, I don't like Facebook, but I'm keeping it as a necessary evil for messages and invites. It has been deleted from my phone. I'm hoping this page will be a healthier avenue to express my thoughts with the written word and to get feedback from others. I'm feeling a need to create right now, and I need to listen to my soul in that regard. I'm enjoying my dissertation and Ph.D. work, and that feeds my intellectual side, but I need to find other avenues for my emotional side and some aspects of my creative side.

Therefore, I have followed a few communities with writing prompts and fanfiction writing challenges. I hope to make new friends here and stronger connection with current friends. I'll definitely write about the CONS, book clubs, fandom events, and conferences I attend on here, as this seems like a captive audience. Let the adventure of 2017 begin!



January 2017

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