The Life & Times of Anne

2013 was the beginning of a period I call the Great Funk. I was depressed, listless, and unable to motivate myself to do anything.


It’s time for a re-evaluation of what’s coming down the pipeline for little old me, these days.

The year 2013 has been a bizarre, strange time. I believe the last time I really made a post here was in September 2012. My friends, a lot of things have changed - and yet, so much is the same.

My head is still shaved. I still love small business web. I still develop, albeit slowly, for my very own WordPress Dictionary Plugin.

Things are good.

However, I’ve slowed down on the blogging front. I’ve become less active on my social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Oh, and I totally moved from San Diego, California to Austin, Texas.

When I make new friends these days, I like to quote Fight Club and tell them: “You’ve met me at a very strange time in my life.”

Where I thought 2013 was going…

Anne taking a selfie with her sister in the bright sun

Let’s be honest, I thought I was getting my life together back at the beginning of the year. I had dreams of finally normalizing my fitness routines, getting this whole online presence thing down, collaborating with the rising stars of the internet on really interesting projects, the works.

I did the SoCal Super Spartan, which was a blast but there’s no proof I was there because they totally slacked on getting anyone in SoCal their photos. Guys, it’s been a half year 3 years. Surely, something? No?

The funk that came next had been creeping up for a while, but I’d been pretending it wasn’t there.

Right around that time, I lost my long-term partner to a breakup, and the funk could no longer be ignored.

Getting out of bed and showering was a chore. Facing my students and teaching them introduction to PHP and JavaScript without breaking down mid-class was a challenge.

I decided to let go of my lease and move back in temporarily at my mom’s house.

Life was not looking so good.

Where 2013 was actually going…

Anne with her arm around her friend Melissa

And so there was the Great Funk of 2013, which led to my dramatic decrease of online activity. As a person, this was probably healthy, but as someone who has plans of world takeover making the world a better place through the power of the internet, it has led to a decline of what little influence I have worked so hard to achieve.

So… What did 2013 lead to, anyways?

My sleep issues from high school were resurfacing. Insomnia was becoming a major issue. How did I handle this? I took to going out nights - partially to wear myself out so I could sleep when I finally did get home, and partially to meet new friends.

Truth be told, I was learning to make my own social circle. I was socializing at work more, I was actually introducing myself to people I didn’t know out at bars, and I was finding myself with people who seemed to care about me and like me - people I had sought out all on my own. None of these people really came built-in to my life.

This was new. It was exciting, but also terrifying.

An era was beginning. It was the beginning of my true independence. The beginning of who Anne is when Anne is left to her own devices.

The art of Self Discovery.

Two girls in a bedroom, one plays guitar to the other

And yet, the fizzle I usually have for all of my projects - online and off - was out.

I kept trying to write inspired posts. I kept trying to create art. I kept seeking out new and interesting things, only to wind up sitting in bed catching up on New Girl and Bones.

My days became a blur. I was sleeping in late, watching TV, teaching class, and then staying out meeting interesting characters until 2-3am most nights.

Rinse. Repeat.

Where was all this leading to? Is this who I was? Someone who would choose to lay around doing nothing, wallowing in her own self pity?

I was surrounded by my family, I wasn’t exactly alone. I just wasn’t even sure what I was looking for.

This creative funk had never happened before. I have always been driven. I have always had goals. I have always been striving for something bigger and better, something that excites me and everyone I speak to about it if only for the contagious energy I so love to spread.

I did not like Funk Anne.

The decision to get out of Dodge.

Google Maps screenshot of directions from San Diego to Austin

I knew what I needed was a big change. Something that would inspire me. Something that would force me to crawl out of my self-pitying ditch of despair and do something new.

Maybe I’d move, or keep traveling. I wasn’t sure what it would be, but I started keeping my eye out for ideas.

That’s when my friend Page from the NerdFitness forums half-jokingly mentioned she and her husband were looking for a new roommate. Austin was definitely high on my list of cities I’d like to live in one day, and even though I wasn’t in the best place financially… I said I’d do it.

6 weeks. That’s how long I had to prepare for and get out to Austin, TX.

My muse, my hasty move, and such things.

Closeup of crinkled forehead and eyes looking off in concern

A lot can happen in 6 weeks.

You can make new really good friends. You can get really close to your existing new friends. You can write songs. You can create art. You can start imagining new and great things.

You can start liking life a lot more again.

There were quite a few factors at hand. I was really finding my place at work and with my friends there, which was kind of sad since at that point I knew I’d be leaving them.

I’d also found a new collective muse in two of my new friends, a couple I’d met while out on an odd Tuesday night.

I was being able to write music again. I was finding myself creating random works of art. I was writing again, although this time for myself rather than for the benefit of others.

My groove was coming back.

I was uncomfortable with myself and what I had to offer creatively and as a person, but they pushed to see what I could do - and when I did, what I brought was received with great enthusiasm.

My preparation for the move was minimal. I’d intended to sell more things than I sold, trash more things than I trashed, and pack more things earlier than I packed them. Instead, I absorbed all that I could out of the experiences that would be unique to San Diego. I swallowed up everything I could manage from the people I knew I would be missing oh-so-much.

Time waits for no one. The 6 weeks came and went before I realized it had happened.

Austin, and beyond.

Closeup of chicken wings from Austin chain Pluckers

Getting to Austin took a lot of caffeine. As it turns out, I don’t fare well on long monotonous drives by myself.

The first thing I did when I arrived was go with my roommates (whose car has A/C, thank the lord) to Pluckers… the only place with chicken that I can truly profess to love.

The next question that came to light was - how do you make friends as an adult?

I’ve spent the last almost-month figuring out the answer to that. I think I’ll maybe write my next Without Boxes post on that. I’ll summarize quickly here, though:

  • Existing friends in the vicinity
  • Networking events
  • Niche events that match your interests
  • Craigslist (no, seriously)
  • MeetUp.com - Note: I haven’t actually used it here yet, but I’ve definitely gotten ideas on where to go and hangout.

I’m still working on it, but I have a few contacts and friends here. You won’t click with everyone, but you can certainly do your best to at least throw a broad net.

Meanwhile, I think my brain is finally leveling out to a place where I can take a look at where I want to take my next steps so far as my online world is concerned. (One thing I know, is I’d like to start using this domain as a personal platform for me as a person rather than my projects.)

To close, here’s a picture of the Austin skyline as seen from Zilker Park.

Skyline of downtown Austin as seen from Zilker Park