Hello Readers! I’ve decided I’m wrapping up Introverted Comrade to make space for bigger writing ambitions. Like most decisions, this seemed to emerge in a clear flash (in this case, moments after working out). But as is often the case, I notice upon deeper reflection that I’d simply been avoiding change as long as my conscious mind would allow. 

I created this website five years ago as a platform to explore both political organizing and the human condition in the midst of rapid social change. The tagline was “Building a left community, quietly.” I was trying to find my people in socialist circles while maintaining a longstanding creative writing practice. Sometimes I wrote about political organizing from the perspective of a 40-something mom in the Democratic Socialists of America. Sometimes I wrote about TV sitcoms or classic films. Many times I wrote about coping through various bigger-than-me challenges (managing winter depression became a perennial topic). These essays, which drew heavily from my personal experiences, usually harkened back to leftist values that kept me engaged in collective struggle. Looking back, I can see that the organizational shop talk essays were a way of venting. I had much more fun writing about pop culture and my twisty-turny mental health; those are also the pieces I remember best.

I quit organizing at the start of this year – another “snap” decision that spawned multiple essays about my developing mental health. Now that I’ve processed that big change, I feel myself settling into a life determined less by guilt and obligation. Instead I’m choosing a life motivated by creativity and pleasure. I’m ready to be my real self, and that person is a writer. Sure, I’ve been writing the whole time I’ve been involved with political orgs. But for so long I believed I’d have to be some terrible, selfish person to allow myself to focus more on writing than organizing. Cue the maudlin violins of latent Catholic guilt…

Thanks to a lot of therapy, I am releasing the guilt. I’m not currently interested in political organizing. While I intend to keep writing essays on other topics, this website no longer feels like the right place to showcase that work. I find myself in a calmer, more confident place where I think I’m ready to forgo the instant gratification of self-publishing on this very small platform, and instead pitch pieces to publications that reach a larger audience. I’m also beginning to envision what a book of essays might look like. It’s a very new sensation, taking my creative work seriously without panic or shame. That alone feels pretty exciting.

Thank you so much to everyone who’s read and engaged with my Introverted Comrade essays ❤ There’s no fix quite like feeling understood, especially when sharing parts of myself I used to keep hidden. That joy has played a crucial role in improving my mental health and building my confidence.

Now I’m left to wonder, did I accomplish my goal of building a left community quietly? I certainly put a lot of loving work into my local DSA chapter and other left orgs. I’ve connected with tons of people and made many friends. Some of those relationships withered over time while others grew stronger. I’m a long way from who I was in 2018. The past year alone has seen me quit three very big habits that greatly impacted my social life (drinking, Twitter, and organizing). I experience other people differently than I used to. And that’s cool, because I’ve learned community is something that tends to grow organically more than intentionally. I also suspect that by being more myself – a writer who happens to be a socialist mom – my sense of belonging in community will flourish. I’m gonna give it a shot, anyway.

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