Comics and Recaps and Podcasts, Oh My!

I’m feeling the urge to write because I know I need more practice. And practice and routine are two things I’m not very good at. I wrote about exactly this, over a year ago when I announced I was starting a blog because I suck at routine and how I need to be more disciplined and this was my opportunity and my proof to the world that I would be better about it. Since then, I’ve written two blog posts and not much else. So, I’m trying again. I don’t want to make promises but I also want to forgive myself for being human. I want to be better, just like everyone else on the planet.

Problem is, I don’t know what I want to write about. I’m sitting on the edge of my couch, hunched over my work computer on the coffee table that I just cleaned. I have about an hour left of nothing to do until my boyfriend gets home from work and we leave for his dad’s house for Sunday dinner.

I woke up early (and abruptly) to drive my boyfriend to work, something I’ll typically do on the weekends when he has an AM shift at the restaurant. And since I usually can’t go back to sleep after doing so, I end up with a mostly full day to myself. When I’m in the car driving back, I have grand plans in my head of being productive, maybe writing something or even going to the gym. But 95% of the time I wind up on the couch under the blankets, watching TV and beating myself up for being lazy. Today was a 5% kind of day. (Maybe I’ll be able to change the ratio soon but again, I’m not making promises today.)

When I got back, I spent a good two hours laying on the couch (stick with me here) re-reading Thor: God of Thunder (Volume 1) by Jason Aaron. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they may be interested in the character of Thor in Marvel comics, because this series really deals with the fantastic elements of his nature as an immortal god and how that effects the very long course of his life. Many people have spoken highly of Jason Aaron for his work on the character of Thor over the past few years, so if you’re interested I know you can find out more about him online. I’ll just say that he’s the guy who created the new female Thor and that it wasn’t something completely out of left field from Marvel to fill a diversity quota. The female Thor’s storyline stems from the God of Thunder storyline. Aaron has been creating a vast, interconnected story about Thors and Asgardians and Mjölnir since 2012 and it’s incredibly fascinating. The artwork is detailed and grandiose and helps convey the sense that you’re consuming an epic story (in the Classic sense of the word, like The Illiad & The Odyessy). I’m excited to get back into it and pick up the other volumes that I haven’t yet had the chance to read. I’m trying to diversify the content I consume because I’ve been focused pretty heavily on TV for a while now.

Case and point: after some time reading and then surfing the World Wide Web, I ended up watching a nearly twenty-minute recap video about Game of Thrones. A video all about certain swords in Game of Thrones and their history/whereabouts. And I absolutely loved it. Has it sunk in to you yet that I am a gigantic geek?

But then I decided to be productive once again, so I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen while listening to the first two episodes of a new podcast called Nancy. I’ve only just started to get into podcasts in the past few months, but I really enjoy how they can take you on a journey while you accomplish other things, like cleaning or driving or completing mindless tasks at work. Podcasts are perfect for multitasking.

Anyway, Nancy is hosted by a gay man and a gay woman. Episodes are about a half-hour long and are about the modern LGBTQ experience, but I know people who don’t identify as LGBTQ would enjoy them, too. The first episode, in which the hosts talk to their parents about what it was like for them when their son/daughter came out of the closet, brought me to tears. The cord it struck  was that even though I’ll be learning to accept who I am and will be coming out for the rest of my life, others around me will always have to deal with it, too. I still don’t know if my parents have fully, 100% accepted who I am. They are supportive and loving and are two of the most wonderful people in my life. Bringing my boyfriend home is no longer an awkward situation. But I know it’s still difficult for them on some level. It took a while to get to this stage because most parents need time to mourn the person they thought their son or daughter would become. It’s hard to accept that their vision of my future (with a wife and kids) will not fully come to be. I can’t imagine going through something like that. And I’m really happy that this podcast was able to address and articulate this in a direct and honest manner.

So, this all may seem like a dis-jointed rant or a self-interested “here’s what I did with my day, don’t you want to read all about it?!” kind of blog entry. But for me, today and this blog are about the many forms of content I consume. There is so much good stuff I want to enjoy that it becomes overwhelming. I feel like there’s no way I’ll be able to get to all of it so sometimes I freeze up and just spend hours with what’s already familiar—re-watching episodes of Parks & Recreation or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia until I can’t keep my eyes open any more.  But what’s really going on is that I’m procrastinating the various forms of content I want to create.

I’ve tried a lot of them (blog-writing, movie-making, novel-writing, starting a YouTube channel, developing an aesthetic on my Instagram profile) and haven’t started others (podcasting, reviewing TV shows, actually writing the book series that’s I’ve been thinking about since high school). But I never fully follow through. I’ll get excited about something, get started, and then it either feels too hard or I get bored. I need to attempt to follow through on at least one of them.

On the other hand, I don’t want to focus all my energy in just one area. There is a lot I want to do and I want to be able to jump from thing to thing. Different content will evoke different feelings and hold different meaning. Talking about a comic book series or a television show may not hold the same objective importance as talking about the reality of being a gay man in the modern world, but I think they both hold value.

Maybe all I need in order to start being successful in whatever outlets I choose is to continually think of myself as a content creator and a storyteller. Maybe then, the action will follow. Or maybe a shift in the way I think about myself is the best I can hope for right now.

In any case, this is me trying. I don’t know how good of a job I’ve done today—especially because I can’t for the life of me think of a proper way to end this blog—but I’m going to keep trying. Hopefully I get better as time goes on.

(You can hear Nancy online or however you listen to podcasts. You can follow Alt Sift X on YouTube if you want to fall deeper into the black hole that is the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. And if you find any of the Thor stuff interesting, I’ll let you borrow the books I have—as long as you promise to keep them in good condition. I’m a freak about the way books are treated.)

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