so, my absolute favorite form of exercise is going to the pool. i did it all through my pregnancy, until the last month when i started feeling really sluggish, probably because i gained like twenty pounds of water weight overnight. & as soon as i got the all-clear to immerse my c-section scar in water once again, i was back at the pool. yes, in january. it’s obviously more fun to go to the outdoor public pool downtown during the summertime, but the indoor pool is okay too.
occasionally terrible things happen at the pool, like the locker room floor being littered in enormous gobs of hair, or my swimsuit self-destructing in front of a whole crowd of teenagers competing in a swim meet. (one of the top three most embarrassing moments of my life, for sure.) but mostly i just do laps for 45 minutes or so & allow my mind to wander where it likes.
often during these surprisingly relaxing interludes, i think about how i haven’t made a new zine in like two & a half years & i start wondering if i will ever make another zine again. my last one was kind of a bummer. i was rushing to get it done in time for the portland zine symposium in 2010, & so i wrote & laid the whole thing out in five days. there was no editing & it got kind of dark & cranky. like, even more than usual for me. i’m not wild about it. partly because, the whole time i was working on it, i was thinking, “why am i doing this? i don’t really have anything to put in a zine. i’m kind of over zines. i’m just going through the motions here.” i tried to explain that thought process a little bit in the zine itself, but i don’t know how well i captured it. not well, i assume.
thinking about it at the pool, i realized that zines (for me, anyway) are kind of an exercise in documented self-discovery. i probably feel that way because i was so young when i got into them–only twelve years old. & i stuck with them for the next twenty years, which are kind of the prime years for a person’s journey through self-discovery. i’m not saying that i’m all done learning new things about myself now that i’m 33, but i have definitely come to accept that there are certain things about myself that are unlikely to change too much, there are certain parameters to my life that are going to limit the sorts of adventures i have, & in general, i am far less interested in having my major epiphanies documented for random strangers to peruse in an infoshop.
having a baby is an interesting adventure (to me, anyway), & i have spent a fair amount of time thinking about what kind of zine i might make now that i’m a mom. finding the time to put a zine together is another story though. having a baby has taught me a lot about priorities. if i want to go to the pool three times a week, & write in my journal everyday, & read stories to ramona, & keep up with the laundry…well, some other stuff that i might like to do is going to have to go undone. & i just don’t know if i am interested in enough in zine-making to bump something else off the to-do list to make room to work on it. it’s not outside the realm of possibility, but it’s definitely more of a decision now that i have this kiddo to look after.
strange how things have changed. i no longer believe that i have anything particularly groundbreaking to say about anything–not in a self-loathing, low self-esteem way. just in a respecting other people’s contributions/accepting my own limitations way. or perhaps i should say, accepting my own interests. this is weird & unexpected, but as i get older, i am less & less interested in the kind of political stuff that was so important to me when i was younger. i’m still a feminist, & i am undoubtedly more informed about current events than i have ever been before in my life. i just never want to have another conversation about whether or not consent is, as the kids say, sexy, or how expecting women to shave their legs is totally sexist, or whether or not breaking windows at the evil corporate shops is a valid form of direct action.
i was thinking the other day about the summer i lived in minneapolis & how there was a conference that happened right after i moved there called sexy spring. all the workshops were about stuff like consent & reproductive health. i hated the name “sexy spring” even at the time, but thinking about it almost eight years later really made my skin crawl. & really? an entire weekend-long radical conference where grimy punks who had just trainhopped in from, like, philly sat around & talked about whether or not garlic effectively kills yeast infections & debated the merits of the antioch consent policy? that used to be my life? how did i not throw myself into the mississippi?
this is the kind of stuff that is pretty awesome to a 23-year-old, for whom these are relatively new concepts. but i am not being hyperbolic when i say that i am more thrilled by the idea of sitting at home, clipping my toenails. this change of heart (or simple growing up process) makes me question what kind of zine i could reasonably make. & who would read it. & why.
while i ponder these questions, i must prepare some snacks for jared & i to enjoy while we watch the state of the union address tonight. because somehow i have become the kind of person for whom the state of the union is appointment TV.