It’s been awhile.

This is where I started.

I wrote online here first in a real way. I started long after the boom in blogging. I’m glad I started writing at all though.

It’s where I started being myself online.

A lot has happened. I’m not a full-time professional writer, but I do write and edit online. I’m good enough at it that people might look me up to do some editorial or writing work for them.

I live in a new city and have a different job. I have side projects like editing at two online publications, Botany One and The POSTDOCket. I have written my own science blog for a few years now. I co-host a podcast. All of these things keep me busy and can be satisfying.

And yet, a lot hasn’t changed.

My inner self is still relatively down. There’s a static-ness to life that hasn’t lifted in decades, despite efforts to move forward. It’s independent of time. It seems to be independent of space as I’ve moved. It’s a brain thing that persists that I’m having a hard time figuring out how to feel vital again.

I see other seemingly vibrant lives with things going on, making decisions, doing the best they can, and doing great work, building successful relationships.

And I still struggle to connect. Personally and professionally, I feel like I only just pass some minimal bar. And personally, feel I do far less than I needed in this life.

I want to prioritize it, and yet everything in life seems to dictate I do not get connection. It’s not something anyone is entitled to, but is a real human need

There are things going on I interact with sometimes, but still feel removed. It’s like I’m dark matter, or at best, a noble gas. Largely inert, but detected every so often.

I’ll always be reserved, introverted, and reserved. I’ve come to accept that. But getting what I would find satisfying seems challenging. Zoe Plait got at something that is at least part of what I’m going through, I think. that adulting requires the skills and the mental health to be able to execute them. Depression and anxiety erode the latter ability.

I can do things, especially when it serves others, or helps them in some way. I am a lot better at that. When it comes to prioritizing myself, I seem to perhaps have the skill, but lack the mentally healthy headspace to say “I am worthy of caring for”.

And so here I am. Maybe doing better in some ways, finding some solutions to things, but still not there, still struggling.

This will be the first thing I’ve published in weeks. Writing is one of the things that’s kind of left me. I’m hoping coming back here, to where I started, to trying to get at what got me started being a relatively prolific writer on the internet will spark something in me to write more.

I hope it works.




Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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