The past few weeks have been a bit busy. Exciting things, and painful things.

Exciting things first: something good came in the mail!

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I wrote before (here) that I’m planning to invest in myself a bit and build on my very basic skills in metal jewelry making. This book has been really helpful. I’m figuring out exactly what basic tools and materials I need to get started in doing metal jewelry. (Some of the technique instructions aren’t enough on their own. I will need to look up more information online. But this book has been great for finding information about tools and it is a great reference that shows what else is out there to pursue further. It’s hard to research a technique if I don’t even know what it’s called.)

I also found a studio where I can pay by the hour to use soldering equipment, which would be a good place to start! I’ll be calling them this week to learn the details.

I will need to spend a few hundred dollars on these things and that is really scary for me. Enough so that I get panicky moments where I start to feel sick to my stomach and I second-guess myself. In these moments I feel like I don’t deserve any of this, that I will do terribly and give up and feel ashamed for trying to give myself something fun. I’m not sure where those feeling comes from. Collecting lots of inspirational pictures from Pinterest and Instagram is helping me to work through that, though. It makes me feel excited, gives me design ideas, and reminds this that this is a thing that people do, and it is ok that I want to try it.

There have been other difficult moments too. I had a night where I thought a family member that I am staying away from had found my blog or was otherwise getting information about me that I have not been sharing with them. It was really, really stressful. It left me really shaken up for a few days. I actually wrote a blog post related to that which I’ve redacted. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it needs to sit a little longer. It should have been a journal entry, not a blog post. I want to work through those feelings more. Thanks to those of you who read it and hit ‘like’ anyway.

All that intense stress led to bodily pain, which manifested in a new place: my neck and shoulders. My neck muscles were so tight that my ears were ringing constantly for about 2 weeks, and I could hear my neck bones crunching around when I moved my head. I’ve since seen my doctor, worked with my chiropractor a few times and gone to acupuncture (both have been super helpful to me for other chronic pain problems), but this is just going to take time and persistent effort to work through. I’m finally starting to feel a bit better, so that is something. This is one situation where I really need to keep my mind on progress, because that helps derail the cycle of stress-makes-pain-makes-stress-makes-pain…

So here is some of that progress: I’m able to exercise more! My hip issue that has been holding me back for a year is exponentially better, and I have been pretty good for a few weeks. I’m going for longer walks and even doing some more rigorous cardio on an elliptical. I’ve come up with a routine of deep yoga stretches incorporating a heating pad that I do almost every day to help relax and re-train problematic muscles.

Also, my awful ringing ears and rope-tight neck let up for one day when I really needed it to. I managed to go on a bit of an adventure, to interview people and do research for a writing assignment I’ve been working on. (I do some freelance article writing for my alma mater’s alumni magazine.) I was really happy with how that day went. I got to visit a new place and shadow an art history class. It felt a little like being a college student again. I don’t miss the workload, but I do miss going to classes.

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Finally, I’ve been plugging away at my crochet blanket project. It brings some color into my life. I’m glad I started it up again.

I like taking pictures of all the squares I made in a day. The sets tend to have an interesting (and unintentional) character to them.

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In conclusion, some things have happened. (I’ve just missed blogging and wanted to come back, but at the moment I’m scatter-brained and just have rambling things to say. I like reading other people’s journal-type posts, so I guess I can do some of that too.)

And I didn’t want to devote a whole post to this, but I really want to thank the people who’ve followed my blog. I see you and you make me feel encouraged and happy. The point of this was never to get tons of views, but recently, every time I post something new,  I seem to reach someone new. I have 60+ followers, all people I’ve never met before. I know for some bloggers that is tiny, but it is a huge deal to me, especially since I put no effort into promoting my blog. So thank you for stopping by, and for sometimes staying. You’ve given me a gift.

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