A Few Faltering Steps into the Real World

What my time away from Medium has shown me

Ilana Lydia
2 min readFeb 22


Photo by Jared Ng on Unsplash

When I came on Medium about a year and a half ago, I was looking for three things:

  1. To express my thoughts coherently in a public forum.
  2. To make friends with like-minded individuals, as well as people different from me.
  3. A little cash wouldn’t hurt.

I can say I have achieved all my goals, and then some.

I actually met my partner through Medium. A country away with a very different lifestyle and set of interests, my ideal mate nevertheless materialized because of the writing we both put out there.

During my absence from Medium, here are the main things I’ve been working on:

Carrying my own weight

For a long time, I had been leaning heavily on others to get my basic needs met. I am doing my best to move out of this phase and into a provider role. Growing up, maybe? Yes, please.

Working well with others

I can’t say that I’ve succeeded all the time with this, but for the majority of the time, gratitude, humbleness, and a sense of humor have been my tools, and they have served me well. Relationships with people are really all we have at the end of the day — well, people and animals — and they are rarely disposable.

Finding my place in the world

The jury’s still out on this one, but boy has it been important to me. How can I thrive without knowing who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing here?

Learning to prioritize happiness

Old me: I have to get things done, no matter the cost.

New me: Wait a minute. Sometimes the cost is too high. How can I see more clearly so that I can make a fair and accurate decision?

Grief management

Well, yeah. Lost my dad under a year ago. Sold my house, had a double mastectomy, lost my cat. 2022 was nothing if not ripe with opportunities to understand grieving better.

And on and on, as Kurt Vonnegut would say.

The villains have started fading in my head. Politically, artistically, personally. Now it’s more of a distant landscape than being caught on a cliff with no way down when thinking of them.

What happens when you refocus your vision? A lot of new details appear. Priorities change. Life goes on.

Thank you for taking this journey with me. I appreciate you all so much.



Ilana Lydia

A theater person/writer/reader of curiosities. A believer in wonder.