having long-distance relationships with family and close friends for the last five years has really changed the way i communicate. to prevent my family from worrying and to keep everyone appeased i’ve become accustomed to the somewhat isolating practice of image-crafting. i mean, we all do it one way or another with facebook and the like anyway, right? we post highlight reels. it’s normal. but living so far away from people closest to me, i often feel as if i can’t really let anyone in to my struggles, for fear of their worry, or maybe — as an achievement oriented person — because i don’t want them to think things have taken a downturn. i know i should be grateful for everything i have and i am. i’m almost done my phd (even though my defense is delayed until the fall/winter term), i have a partner who loves and supports me unconditionally, an amazing, resilient family, lovely well-adjusted pets, a little brick house in england, my health (mostly), and a job. everyone knows i’ve struggled with depression and i actually have that mostly in check, too. but see, even here, i’ll just write my way away from really disclosing myself again. it’s taking a toll on my work, making me turn away from the confessional/autobiographical tendencies in my earlier performance practices. Maybe I’m just tired of my own emotions, or scared that unveiling these ugly things is an admission of guilt/failure. Or shame. And I don’t have time for that anymore.

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