On top of all the stress of learning a new system, I'm dealing with a tricky situation in terms of office politics and so I keep stepping on toes a bit. Plus it means I don't have some of the things I need to be useful, like computer access. I think that will work itself out in time, but it's more than a bit stressful right out of the gate when you don't know a lot about who does what and how things work interpersonally.
That's always been my Achilles' heel, understanding people. And I've overheard people talking about me, saying I'm great with computers and oviously a hard worker, and so the impression I'm getting (adding my own neuroses into the mid :^P ) is that I'm great at the task but also not great at mixing with other people. It doesn't help that I'm really not socially like a lot of the people there. I don't have family or even a boy/girlfriend or significant other at all. I go to hurch, I have a few people I knew in my old neighborhood but not really where I live now. I have no interest in going out for a drink after work and would much rather go home and watch Doctor Who or talk to folks onlne about the same. I can be friendly and definitely useful (once I'm properly trained up, at least), but my priorities are going to be different than a lot of peoples'. It doesn't mean I'm not nice and I don't think it will be a problem professionally, but personaity-wise... the things that are important to my coworkers, they just don't seem to be what's driving me at some level. Or something like that.
That was actually one of the problems my first day. I came home having people ask about my family. Well... one side of the family is mostly dead (a series of illnesses and accidents in the family in Germany that was as close as I could get to an actual emotional family a few years back) and I'm more or less estranged from my birth family - we talk when it's necessary, but I definitely don't go home at Christmas. No one in New York, and I don't even really want that. I mean, it's not like I'm dating or wanting to date. And people were asking all those uncomfortable questions that women in their thirties get asked, but that I never did in grad school because we were all there for serious work (TM). It is what it is, and on the atrocity bell curve I've certainly put up with worse. In some ways it's really nice to be able to come home from work and be able to read and write, and not have to worry about things. Life is simpler and in many ways it's even better - certainly better than when I was worrying about money. It's just... it makes me feel different from the people I'm around, I guess, not better or worse, but just like I'm me and I'm them, but that I've failed at being the kind of person who I am most naturally, the kind of person who does stuff rather than connects to people.
On the other hand, today (meaning Saturday) was the first real day I had to just play around on Tumblr and have some conversations. No more worrying about grad school, or money so much, or finding a job. And it was ... nice. To have that kind of freedom. This might not be so bad even if it's all I'm able to do from here on out, and I think this job could be good for more than that. Certainly I think it would give me some experience I need to do better in the future. I've been thinking about digging out some old Sherlock WIPs and seeing if they can be salvaged, or maybe coming up with something new to work on. I feel like I'm allowed to breathe again. I'm also thinking about the things I promised to write for Christmas but just wasn't able to do because I was too stressed to be creative. I still want to write them so I may have a February Marta-posts-ficlets-for-reasons thing. Or something.
The honest truth is that 2014 was simply awful and 2013 wasn't all that much better - probably the lowest point since 2004, and those of you who knew me back then know that's not a comparison I make lightly. I say I quit grad school, which technically I did, but a lot of that was not by choice, or at least a compelled choice, and I never really had the luxury of getting angry over that, certainly not to the extent that people who know the situation said they would have reacted. And now that the job search is finally over I feel free from that stuation and having to think in those terms, except to the extent that it's scar tissue where there should be healthy flesh. New schedule, new profession, new house even.
And new fandom. Around the time all that grad school stuff was going on, I got a bit burned out over Tolkien fandom. Part of that was the end of the MEFAs, which was honestly my main fannish connetion at that point, that and BMEM writing. Again, the situation wasn't what I would have chosen, and so it did leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth (for which I am emphatically not blaming anyone - it's just the nature of endings). So I needed something new and Baker Street provided, a bit, and I just don't feel fannish about Tolkien these days. Love my friends from that world, love the stories, but the community just doesn't jive in the same way it used to. For me, the friendships are separate from a shared drive to create in Middle-earth these days, and while I like the stories and will occasionally write about those characters, I'm much more happy to enjoy it at a remove and am not driven to create in that world, I guess. Still, I am wanting to write and I love reading fanfic and reviewing it and discussing other fannish things (I'm talking Sherlock Holmes here), and I've enjoyed writing the odd fanfic or post discussing the books at Tumblr, so who knows? If Middle-earth teaches us anything, it's that creation (or sub-creation) is cyclical.
The important thing, I guess, is that I'm still a fan, and a fan-creator, and that it lets me create art. Also that the people I know are doing the same thing, and we're still able to be friends and have a kind of shared fannishness even if we're working on different projects. Oddly enough, I felt more creative and more in common with active Tolkien fanfic writers when I first got involved in Sherlock. This was before the job search ground me down a bit, and I'm hoping now that I feel I have the luxury to be creative (and it is a luxury, and a privilege in the social justice/Tumblr-speak sense of that word), hopefully I'll get more of that back.
On that note, I really am trying to spend more time back on LJ. One of the things I'm realizing is that if something can be imported into an RSS reader because it lets me get caught up and filter by what I'm actually interested in. Also, I get to take advantage of periods when I'm offline, like on the bus. Tumblr has always been set up through RSS, whereas LJ, I needed to come and log in to the website and that just never happened as I got more stressed (before) and more busy (now). But I miss you guys and do want to spend more time keeping up with you.
So I took some time today to set up my RSS to grab from LJ pages. Trouble is, so far as I can tell it only picks up public messages. That's better than nothing, and I'll try to pop over and skim for friends-only messages every now and then. Likely with the same (non-)success I have to read all LJ messages at the website now, I'm afraid, but I'll try. It's not up to me to tell you guys how to post, but I did want to let you know, if there's something you want me to see, the odds go way up that I'll read it if you use public posts rather than friends-only posts. I mean, if there's a reason you're more comfortable making it friends-locked, that's you're choice of course, but if it's just out of habit, I thought I'd point out that there is a cost there, and that I'm more likely to read and comment if you make it public. Then again I'm just one person, so that's completely up to you.
Another way you can help me if you don't want to make posts public: use a certain tag for friends-only posts, and let me know what that tag is. I can set up LJ to send me an email whenever you make a post with that tag, and that will hopefully "nudge" me to check it out. If you're willing to do that, just comment below with what tag you'll be using. I really am trying to be more involved or at least aware with what's going on in peoples' lives, now that my own is (finally, *crosses fingers*) settling down to something more manageable.