KateNap Is Coming To A Close

Lovely readers,

Some of you have been reading my haphazard words since June 21, 2009. Some of you have been around for less time, but I love you all the same for sticking around, or just sticking your head in once. I started KateNap with a post called “Reasons I Shouldn’t Blog.” I suppose I could call this post “Reasons I Wouldn’t Blog” but I’d like to think that I am less pessimistic now than I was at age 17. (Isn’t it funny? I could have sworn I was 15 when I started blogging. I can’t decide if that makes my old posts more or less embarrassing.)

I have learned so much blogging here over the years. Writing for an audience (no matter how big or small) made me articulate my thoughts in a way that I needed to do and would not have done for myself. It acted as a record of every milestone of my recovery and it allowed  me to vent when things got rough. From time to time, it even alerted family members to when I was going through a particularly volatile period and gave them a chance to step in when I wouldn’t ask for help directly. In 520 posts I documented a quarter of my life. And I am so glad that I did it.

But time keeps moving. I am entering my final year of college after numerous chops and changes. I have less time and energy than I did back in 2009 thanks to a greater workload and a greater appreciation for self care. I have less things to say, I think, or maybe I just feel like others say them with more clarity and more authority. WordPress (and KateNap) are no longer the best platform for me.

I am no longer the person I was when I started KateNap. Everything here explains me: a hardcore Leaving Cert year, dropping out of med school, various failed relationships, recovering from an eating disorder, starting nursing school, leaving nursing school, singing songs, surviving an assault, surviving my own impulses, being diagnosed with a chronic illness – all these things make up little parts of me, but alone do not describe the whole. Which is why I have decided to move on and start anew. KateNap will remain as a record of my life thus far. The rest of the story will be written elsewhere.

If you want to continue to monitor my epiphanies and exploits, I will be blogging (and re-blogging) about all things body (illness and fatness and fashion) over on Tumblr at Shirts, Skirts & a Hapless Flirt. Whether that’s your wheelhouse or not, I thank you for taking an interest in my ramblings until now.

I love you all,

Kate

x

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Why We Write

So often in my life, I have gone through periods without writing a word. No blog posts, no songs, no articles, no essays, no journals, no nothings. Zero. Zilch. Although reading is always a joy, and assignments frequently a necessity, I sometimes see little point in engaging in such an elective activity, particularly when I am tumultuously busy. In the last fortnight, I have been fervently journalling and banging out chords on my piano, as well as tentatively recommenced with blog posts. What has changed? Primarily, I have nothing but time right now, but that’s hardly the point. I wonder, as evidenced by the plethora of blogs, books, ballads, and bands at our disposal, why it is that we are compelled to express, to create, to write?

We exist. We survive. We do what is necessary to withstand the world. We build high, thick walls, which emotions, cumbersome and loaded, are unable to break through. And so in this ineptitude of basic human expression, we turn to alternative means. The pages which fit through the cracks. The harmonies that float around the fortress. The rhymes and rhythms and rondos and ritenutos that explain the overwhelmed self far more clearly than our anxious, disorganised minds could ever articulate. Writing is catharsis. Art allows us to endure, even when the product is not particularly inspiring. The blank page wilfully takes the haphazard array of post-it notes on the board of my mind without judgement, and sits with me consolingly as I blindly try to make sense of them.

We write to inform, to impact, to interest and idealise and intimate. Even if it is only to ourselves. These songs, these musings, these diary pages, these blog posts; they are self conscious and meaningless and rarely see the light of day. But the simple act of articulating, asking yourself “What is happening? What am I doing? What in the world does any of this mean?” – these private moments guide us, presenting mini epiphanies and bursts of awareness in the most trying times in our lives.

In the last ten days, I have learnt so much from my scrawled musings. Simple things that are a given to so many have taken these twenty two years to hit home. I am starting to realise that I am not stuck with the choices I make now for the next forty years. I am trying to remember that plans change, and that’s okay. I am understanding that responsibility is the cost of freedom and choice, but that it is worth the undertaking. January has been a difficult, horrible, awful month, as months go. But writing has helped, and writing will continue to help, and in the face of emotion (blunted and painful and otherwise), I write.

 

50 Questions to Free Your Mind: Question 16

My mopey writing must be getting boring. So I’m returning to 50 questions. I’ve been doing these for far too long to only be on question 16. Anyways, Ciara is amazing. As is Beyonce. These two ladies were my get out of bed motivators today and I love them.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?

It’s silly I guess but I wish I had the guts to go out and get gigs. All on my lonesome and playing what I want to play and spending time and committing to getting good and actually making money off of it. There are lots of reasons why I’m not doing this. Time constraints. Pleasing an audience with songs that they like rather than what you like. Not having adequate connections in the music scene here.

But there are other things holding me back. Fear. Inadequacy. Comparison to my other musician acquaintances who are all doing degrees in music and basing their lives off of it whereas I took the safe nursing career path. Instability. Lack of social skills. All summed up by not believing in myself.

But I digress. I shouldn’t complain. I am very grateful for my music opportunities. I get to teach and sing at weddings and sing with my father and sing in community centres for the elderly and, best of all, I get to play in the band in church.

So no more doom and gloom.

Only gratitude.

50 Questions to Free Your Mind: Question 15

How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

A lot of things make me happy. Books. Disney characters. Tumblr. Good coffee. Holding hands with lovely people. My sparkly beautiful group of queers. Babies (particularly my adorable cousin Sebastian). Mezzo soprano arias. God. Skinny boys in suits. Red lipstick. Queer older couples. Flan Costello’s sticky floor.

Those things are not everyone’s taste (the latter particularly is the Marmite of Limerick.) Sometimes it’s frustrating when people don’t get it. Sometimes it’s frustrating to be out and about and be sick to shit of everything when everyone else is having the craic. But life would be boring if we were all enamoured with the same things.

There’s a balance to be struck. There is some sort of link between scarcity and desire – if I do the same awesome thing every day, I’ll probably start questioning its awesomeness, until I’m not able to do it for a while, then it will be great again. Even things that are only okay, seem so much better when I can’t do them. Just out of reach.

I’ve been trying to convince myself for years that it isn’t things and people that bring happiness. But it isn’t. Its us. Maybe that’s why none of us are the same.

50 Questions to Free Your Mind: Question 14

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I could speculate and say that I worry differently or I study differently or I do any manner of deep, intellectual things differently, but I can’t know if other people also get strange intrusive thoughts or have regular hip pain or all the other things that I delude myself into thinking are solely related to myself.

So instead, I will tell you what I know I do differently than most. I use the wrong hands for cutlery. I hold my knife in my left hand and fork in my right hand and I’m not left handed. I have met one other person who does this and I fell instantly in love. Everyone else thinks I’m weird.