(For you non-Americans, that stands for “missing in action.”)
Hey there. I know I’ve been a bit absent of late, and I apologize. Things have been very busy, but also very stressful. I’ve been going through some stuff, and some of it is very challenging emotionally.
First the busy stuff — I’ve been trying to find a place where Mil and I can move in together. We’ve both been trying to find a place, whether in Hawaii or Australia. There are benefits and drawbacks to both places, but the bottom line is that one of us would have to emigrate, and of course that’s always tough. We nearly bought a house together on the Big Island, but the erupting volcano forestalled our plans. (It’s probably a good thing it didn’t erupt AFTER we’d bought some property in the area, but it was still a huge disappointment.)
Most recently, we’d applied for some “affordable housing” on Oahu, right in town. Rather than buying a home we’d be renting an apartment. But the apartment is in a very convenient location, and it’s supposedly built especially for artists. If we get it, Mil could do her art and I could do my writing. There was a lottery and we drew a fairly low number, so we do have a chance. But it’s been a real roller coaster ride trying to qualify. We’ve had criminal background checks done, submitted years of financial statements, and sat for two 2-hour interviews. If we qualify, there will also be an artists’ panel interview.
We were originally turned down for the apartment, but went through an appeals process and are back in the running. I had to quit one of my part-time jobs in order to qualify. The construction of the building has had delays, so the move-in date has been pushed back 3 times now. Every time they push things back, we have to submit new statements to verify employment and financial accounts. It’s pretty grueling, but it’s all we have to hope for at this point.
While this has been going on, I’ve also been dealing with the fact that a close friend has developed early-onset dementia. We were partners for 11 years, and even after we broke up, we remained in close contact (as lesbians tend to do). She’s like family to me. She’s in another state, and she’s been caring for her mother who has full blown dementia. She doesn’t have any family who can care for her, so I’ve been trying, with the help of her friends, to handle things long-distance. Trying to find resources, trying to handle her finances so all her bills are paid, trying to qualify for assistance, trying to battle her deep depression and fear.
When she has moments of lucidness, she cries about not understanding what’s happening to her. But most of the time she’s depressed, or angry, or frustrated. Her world has closed up, she can no longer do the simplest things, and her very personality has changed from a bright, sweet, funny woman to someone with the narrowest vision and no hope. I can’t even begin to tell you how heart-wrenching it all is. It saps my energy and the worry causes insomnia that affects my health. I haven’t written anything new in months.
I’m not complaining, because nothing I’m experiencing can be as awful as what she’s experiencing. But I wanted you all to know why I’ve been less visible and responsive. Recently, I watched the entire season of “Gentleman Jack” and became inspired to start writing again. The writing is slow, but at least it’s something. If you haven’t seen the series, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s beautifully affirming for lesbians, but even if you’re not a lesbian I still think you should watch it. It’s incredibly clever and funny, and approaches its subject in an innovative way. The tone of the series is modern and jaunty and not like the usual BBC period drama at all. The theme song is awesome, and the way the characters “break the fourth wall” and send speaking looks to the camera will have you laughing out loud.
So….to summarize, I just wanted you all to know what’s going on with me, and how much I appreciate your patience. I also wanted to end on a hopeful note, because I also binge-watched 4 seasons of SuperGirl in a couple of weeks, and that show is all about hope. 😀 Where would we be without TV, eh?