Hello, World!

I used to maintain a blog here, but then I decided to semi-retire from the Internet, so this was the first thing to go. (Or maybe it was my Flickr account.) Prior to my semi-retirement, I wasn’t that great at maintaining this space, either; I have gotten to a place in life where I very rarely look at a computer in my spare time. I’d rather read a book. But over the past few months, I’ve started feeling the pull of this space again, and I thought, you know, maybe I’ll start writing again.

I don’t write much in my day-to-day life anymore (except for countless one-to-three-sentence emails), and writing used to be my FAVORITE THING EVER, so, hey, why not?

Here it is, the start of a new year. Blogging has changed a lot, it seems, since I last put any real effort into it. I look at blogs pretty regularly, but they are all about something — food, books, programming, etc. — and I’ve never really been that focused. So what will I write about? I guess we’ll see.

But here are some possibilities:

Books: Last year, I put myself up to a challenge to read 26 books, which is 2 books a month, so come on, Jamelah. But I only made it to, I think, 15. I started out really well, and then I got crazy busy in the late summer and lost my reading momentum for basically the rest of the year. But I’m going to try again. First up is Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, because I seem to like to kick off a year with a Murakami book. Basically because nothing encapsulates the feeling of starting a new year like wondering what the hell just happened.

School: I spend a large chunk of life thinking about data (really), and in an attempt to learn how to do useful things with data, I’m going to take some classes, starting with a statistics class that begins later this month. I’ve also been teaching myself ways to work with data using Python, R, and SQL. Who have I become? I don’t even know anymore.

Food: Food and cooking have always been interests of mine. I have to eat to live, so what I eat might as well be delicious, you know? But this past year, I pretty much overhauled my entire diet. I was diagnosed with a disease in May, finally putting a name on something I have struggled with since I was a teenager. I learned that my treatment options were just to deal with it forever because it’s never going away, or I could take meds for the rest of my life which would destroy my health in other ways. Neither are particularly great options, so I started doing research on ways I could mitigate the problem and find (I hoped) some sort of middle ground. At some point, I stumbled on information about using food to reverse autoimmunity. So I started doing more research, found The Paleo Approach, about reversing autoimmunity and healing my body gut-first. I jumped in mid-November, eliminating gluten, grains, seeds, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, and most nightshades from my diet (occasional detours for pizza and beer, I won’t lie). (Also I still drink coffee (seed) and eat black pepper (seed).) I haven’t talked about it much, since I never want to become one of those obnoxious people who tell other people what they should be eating because (fill in the blank), but the change has been really great for me. It’s been challenging, too, and I don’t care, I still don’t like rutabagas, but I feel really good, overall. It’s a journey toward healing, so I’m not looking at it as a thing where someday I will be 100% perfect and I won’t have to think about it anymore, and in the process, I’ve already had some great results. I don’t have headaches, I sleep better and have more energy (and the 3 p.m. slump at work every day is gone), and even though my focus is on feeling better and not being on a diet to lose weight, I have gone down a size, which is a bonus I will not complain about. Also, even though I would normally be in the throes of Seasonal Affective Disorder right now, I haven’t experienced that, either. I spend most of the day on Sundays cooking now, and someday, when I get more familiar with cooking this way so I’m not as tied to recipes, I hope to get comfortable enough to do some creative riffing in the kitchen and if anything turns out okay, I will share what I’ve come up with.

Or maybe I will just spend the year writing my thoughts about Donald Trump’s hair. I have so many thoughts on that subject. Dear God, what is that thing?