I Went Away.

A month ago, I took a trip. I’m super duper extra #blessed to come from a family who loves to travel. They aren’t really the types to voluntarily take a long road trip or bop somewhere for a weekend—they like a Big Trip. I grew up with stories like that one time, in 1984, when my grandparents took their three kids and spouses to still-Apartheid South Africa. My father fell extremely ill, so the rest of the family decided to go on safari and leave him and my mother back at the hotel—which sounds fine enough, except that the hotel was really a collection of tents outdoors. Evidently, the wild baboon population had learned to pillage the campsite for food as soon as the tourists left, and so, as the rest of the family watched giraffes graze on acacia trees and lions drink from the watering hole and the beauty of nature unfold before their eyes, my mother sat quivering back at camp, hoping to avoid being torn limb from limb by wild apes. My dad, useless and feverish inside the tent, missed the whole thing. This is just how the Kanters unwind as a group.

So several years ago, my dad got it in his mind that The Next Big Trip would be a relaxing little mid-winter jaunt down to the continent of Antarctica. You know the one, at the bottom of the planet? Where people do not generally go because it’s very hard to get to and very cold and there are no beaches? That’s the one. That’s where I went. It was fucking unreal.

In case you’re curious, here are the basic strokes: we all flew to Santiago, Chile, where we were for a couple of days. Then we flew to Ushuaia, Argentina, which is the southernmost city in the world, and then boarded a ship called Orion. The ship is basically a co-production of National Geographic and a tourism company called Linblad Expeditions, designed to hold about 100 passengers and 60 crew members. They call it an “expedition cruise,” which is essentially their way of describing a situation in which you’re exploring, kind of, while also being very comfortable and having all your needs constantly met. Once boarded and safety-briefed, you begin to sail—a term, I learned, that does not actually require the use of sails to be accurate. You sail for about two days, much of it through an area where the Atlantic and the Pacific collide to form a notoriously rough area of ocean called Drake Passage. A lot of people get seasick. I did not, because I’m better than everyone else.

Once near the Antarctic Peninsula, the waters calm and everything looks insane. Like, am-I-on-a-different-planet-level-insane. Cool blue water and icebergs and crisp allergen-free air and the occasional sea bird trailing the ship. This is where the expedition part of the cruise comes in, because weather changes rapidly and ice conditions are constantly in flux, so the captain and expedition leaders are constantly forming and re-forming an itinerary until the sail back to Ushuaia. While in/around the peninsula, they aim to get you off the boat twice a day for about 3 hours each time (these are the expeditions), and the rest of the time is taken up by eating, sleeping, attending lectures, enjoying the ship’s bar, and sailing to the next place. Sometimes you encounter whales along the way.

Truth be told, I almost never want to hear about other peoples vacations, and this is not a travel blog, so I feel inclined to stop talking about it now. I got to go do an amazing thing. I feel really lucky about it. I wasn’t allowed to touch the animals. I was allowed to touch the ice. I learned a lot, and I love my family.

Altogether, we were away for three weeks. Which went quickly, but still seemed like an insane amount of time to be, like, a grown-up but not responsible for anything. To detach from normal life and experience something so…unlike normal life. So even though it was more physically/mentally involved than, say, 3 weeks on a beach, it did give me some time to just…pause. And think. And take stock.

Get ready, I have a lot of feelings.

I am not a person who naturally does that. I’m more of a busy-body, going about life with an urgency and focus reserved only for whatever is calling out the loudest for attention. Of course, the quieter things don’t just disappear. More often, they fester and grow somewhere just outside my line of sight, lurking off in the periphery.

Maybe this is why taking breaks usually feels stressful for me: it means pausing whatever is currently holding my attention, stepping back, and surveying the bigger picture. It means looking at that stuff in the periphery. Confronting the stuff that’s been flying under the radar. To me, that’s fucking terrifying. Overwhelming. It makes me feel absolutely horrible.

I’m not actually convinced that it needs to be this way, or that it will be forever, but it has for a while. And I’m not just trying to whine—it’s just me, telling you, that I’m recognizing a problem, which in turn effects this blog, and I’m working on it. And maybe some of this rings true for you, too, and maybe we can work on it together.

A few weeks ago on December 31, I was scrolling through a few photos on my iPhone when that “On this Day” feature popped up. I tapped on “On This Day: December 31, 2016”—New Year’s Eve, exactly one year prior. I had taken exactly one photo, of my friend’s front door when we arrived for her New Year’s party. The wreath from Christmas was still hanging up between the panels, and underneath was a black bumper sticker with white text reading, simply, FUCK 2016. I remember walking up to that door, laughing a little, and thinking something along the lines of “amen to that.

I also remember thinking the same thing about 2015. And maybe 2014, too, although some distance has made it more difficult to pinpoint exactly why. I know I felt that way about 2017, though—in a really big way—which quickly made me concerned that just maybe some of this feeling could be attributed to the common denominator of those years of my life: me.

Well, shit.

2017 was a rough ride. I am so not trying to play Misery Poker here. I’m well aware that there are enormous swaths of the population who have it a whole hell of a lot worse than I do. My life is actually pretty terrific, especially through the lens of blogs and instagrams and whatnot. So let’s dispense with that, for a sec.

I can take you through it, kind of. Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. That sentence alone. What a thing to be playing out, like some sticky fog that’s in and around and over and under everything. It’s such a dark, horrible, oppressive, depressing and inescapable feeling/backdrop/preoccupation/threat. Many of you can probably relate. Some other stuff went awry, too. A big project I thought I’d be developing kind of vanished. Renovation plans I’d made for my house, derailed. Plans I’d made for bluestone cottage, still unfinished. A future opportunity that fell through at the eleventh hour. This other small job I ended up taking that turned unexpectedly large. A project we didn’t get to before the weather turned. The attempt to wean off my anti-depressants (why, Daniel, why?). I over-committed. I got distracted. My dog died. I messed up with my blog. I let people down. I still don’t have a kitchen. Anxiety won.

Avoidance and anxiety go hand in hand, I guess. At least for me they do. I’m attracted to motivational statements like “nothing will make you feel better except doing the work” because I know they’re true and I also know they are counter to how I act when I encounter anxiety. A lifetime of it (and several years of its sleepy, somehow even less fun companion, depression) taught me to avoid anxiety in order to make life more manageable. This is not unanimously a terrible strategy: if snakes make you anxious, avoiding snakes is not such a bad way to live? There are plenty of other valuable things you can spend your time dealing with than the thing that you don’t like. If you never hold a snake, does it really matter?

The strategy becomes intensely problematic when pretty much everything makes you anxious. Like little tiny things and also really big things. Hello, my name is Daniel Kanter. I have not been doing great, thank you for asking. I’m trying to be better.

Take, for instance: this past summer, I started working on a house for a couple of clients. I haven’t talked about it here. I wanted to, but client gigs are fast-paced and draining and don’t leave a lot of time for blogging—that is true. But that doesn’t mean there’s literally no time—I also wasn’t making it. After spending 8 hours a day working on a renovation, it’s difficult to then want to spend several more hours thinking about it, writing about it, editing photos of it…and so I didn’t. I didn’t write about anything else, either. For a few weeks this felt good.

Some handy self-deception quickly took hold. I wasn’t being a lousy blogger, I was just taking a step back from blogging. Because I’ve been blogging for 7+ years and I can take a few weeks if I want to. Nobody would notice, probably. The story I told myself was that I just wanted to focus on the work, without the distraction of a broader group actively commenting on something in progress. I told myself I didn’t want to be influenced by what I thought readers would want or expect to see (which is puzzling, because I don’t really think I am normally? this isn’t an actual concern of mine?) and just focus on doing right by the house and the clients. I told myself that blog readerships create a certain kind of pressure—whether the content-creator is aware of it or not—to keep doing the thing that’s gotten them recognition or did well on Pinterest or whatever in the past. This, I told myself, is why it can seem like a lot of bloggers show a stunning lack of diversity in their creative output, and I did not want to fall into that trap by prioritizing the constant need to be sharing whatever I was doing over just doing the best job I could at the thing that I was doing.

I’m not even saying that these thoughts/feelings/theories are incorrect. But I am recognizing them for what they mostly were: justifications. I was vastly underachieving at something that’s important to me, so I created noble-sounding reasons to avoid feeling that failure-anxiety. That doesn’t work for very long.

And so, the anxiety-avoidance cycle. It’s a self-sustaining system that never fails to compound. I didn’t just not blog. I pretty much pretended that I didn’t even have a blog. Like I didn’t even know what blogs were! I focused on “the work” (of playing contractor for a relatively short-term freelance project), and whenever I thought about writing a blog post, anxiety told me that I’d first have to sign into WordPress, and then I’d be confronted with the comments I’d missed—at this point, there might be somebody asking if I was OK, or dead, or stopped blogging entirely, or accusing me of only posting because of X, Y, or Z, or even just telling me they missed my posts—and any of those things would make me feel worse. So I didn’t look. Instagram became anxiety-provoking, too. Other blogs. E-mail. Texts.

It’s almost like the longer you avoid something, the scarier it becomes. FANCY THAT.

This anxiety-avoidance-anxiety loop told me that all of you must hate me. That I had been letting everyone down, and even if/when I did write a blog post, or even post a picture to instagram, it would be met with anger and resentment for having disappeared, or something. Or something—because as much as I can try to explain the specific fears behind anxiety, it’s never just one thing or one bad outcome. It’s all of them. And then, what do you even do? Like, I can’t not post for a few months and then just come back with some whatever post about whatevers-town. It should be awesome. Creating something that you feel confident will be universally viewed as awesome by a reader that already hates you is, you guessed it, anxiety-provoking primarily because it’s probably impossible. So I kept…not doing it. I actually waited until a blogger friend was in town, handed them my phone, rattled off my password, and asked them to moderate months of missed comments for me. I couldn’t face it. Having given it some thought, that’s…crazy. But it’s kind of how I’ve been about stuff.

When Linus died, I knew I had to tell you. It took me a few weeks. Part of that was because I was very sad, and grieving, and not really in the headspace to sit down and write a eulogy, but another part of it was the anxiety-avoidance thing. The loop that actually had me convinced that even on that post I was likely to receive a barrage of guilt and shame for being a shitty blogger, and I couldn’t deal with it on top of mourning my dead dog. Of course, you didn’t do that.

You never have. If legitimate fears need to be backed up by evidence or past experience, this fear is not legitimate. None of my fears about blogging—or most things that make me anxious, really—are all that legitimate. But that’s not how fears born of anxiety work. They’re not rational but they are persistent. They’re exhausting.

I hate this thing—this anxiety surrounding blogging and you. It’s not just a problem with blogging—it’s a problem in other areas of my life, too, in many cases for longer than this—but blogging? That’s new. I’ve always liked blogging I think because it felt separate from the anxieties of everyday life, like a relief from it, not an addition to it. So this thing where I can’t even sign into WordPress to check comments? It’s extremely unpleasant. And ultimately counter-productive, if the goal is to not feel like shit. Avoiding the thing that’s making me anxious is not helping. It’s making it worse.

In other words, I need to Stop That. Here and elsewhere in my life.

Reflecting on this past year, and the few preceding it, have me feeling a certain urgency to not feel this way in another 12 months. Also 9 months after that, when I’ll be 30. I don’t want to still be in this place, where anxiety still wins and everything feels like it has one or many loose ends to tie. So I’m, like, consciously trying to change my approach to things? I’m trying to take control of this situation. Make it better. It’s not just going to happen.

I want to get back to having fun—with life, with my house, with my work, and with this blog. I miss sharing. Not sharing doesn’t make me feel good; I know this now.

So since I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to get into some new shit. I started going to acupuncture. We’ll see. I made haircut appointments for myself every month for the next year. I did a huge purge of digital clutter and reclaimed 170 gigabytes of hard drive space and avoided the need for a new computer. I’ve been aggressively getting the house in order. I began posting to Instagram again. I started a book club where all we do is indulge our secret fascination with self-help books by reading self-help books (//hoping we get something out of it no lie). I’ve been cooking more of my own food (my makeshift situation would be funny if it hadn’t lasted so long and was therefore so embarrassing/upsetting) and trying to take better care of my body. I’ve been working on creating boundaries at work and trying really hard to stop comparing myself to the success of others. I’ve been making goals and outlining plans and trying to give myself some goddamn tools to succeed. And I’m writing this blog post, and that’s something.

So that’s where I’m at. They’re steps forward. I’m trying, and I’ll keep trying. It’s good to see you.

I hope your 2018 is off to a good start. I’m excited to make this one better.



  1. I hope I speak for all of us in saying, welcome back. You are loved. You are human. It’s ok. We’re all in the fight, and many of us are dealing with similar issues. The first step to healing is acknowledging we are wounded. Put on your own oxygen mask first and make your life as fulfilling as you can.

    • omg all of that, said much better than I would. Are there any updates on your kitchen? I am very slowly working on mine

      • Yes, actually! It feels unbelieeevvvvaaabbblllllyyyy slow, but I did manage to get the new window and door arrangement and remaining framing work done, so *soon* I’ll be in finishing work mode! Picking materials kind of has me pulling my hair out, haha.

    • so glad this is the first post, bc it sums it all up perfectly.

      and, honestly, your struggle is one i’m also struggling with. it doesn’t help that this culture is currently obsessed with perfect-life social media.

      i recently found out i’m bipolar, and a lot of my symptoms are similar to yours. the biggest thing that’s helped me so far is recognizing where my boundary lines are, and enforcing boundaries before they’re crossed. safety nets!

      all this to say, i support you and your journey <3

      • Thank you so much, Anna, and back at you! Boundaries are so hard—this gives me something to think about, too, so thank you for that. :)

    • Thank you, Sterling. Nicely put. :) :)

    • A resounding YES to this comment. Daniel, if I could, I’d reach right through this computer screen and hug you. Of course, that would be weird and uncomfortable for both of us, but probably mostly for you. I’m a stranger.

      I expect nothing from you. I enjoy what you offer when you offer it. Take care!

      • Thank you Stacy! I’m totally a hugger. Come at me.

      • What Stacy G. said. All of it — the hugs and not having any expectations of you. Seeing a new post from you brings me pure happiness!

        I am sorry to hear of your struggle. I’m familiar with the lonely anxiety-avoidance cycle myself. Bravo for breaking through the massive obstacle you saw. My hope is that the path to your joy does not ice over again and that your ice-breaking tools continue to work.

      • “I expect nothing from you. I enjoy what you offer when you offer it.” YES, THIS. I think I can speak for all of your followers when I say, we adore you.

        You are one of my favorite bloggers, and that has nothing to do with your posting schedule. Whatever you want to post, whenever, is fantastic as long as it’s also fantastic for you.
        Take care of yourself (because if not that, then what?).

        And fwiw, my late 20s were by far the hardest slog of my career, specifically when it came to the blending of the personal and professional. I needed to take some time to think and work on myself, and it changed everything for the better. I hope it does you too.

      • This. I really enjoy what you send up, when you send it. If you happier not blogging, do that. Take care of yourself, the world is better having you in it.

      • Agree with all of the above sentiments. Take care! And all the hugs!

    • Ditto.
      Welcome Back.
      We missed You.

    • This. I’m always grateful for whatever content you post, Daniel, and it is a delight when there is an Instagram or blog post, but it is not an expectation. You’re human, and as Sterling so rightly pointed out, we are all getting through as best as we can each day. I wish you the best with taking care of your self and your projects.

    • “put your own oxygen mask on first” – I love that sentiment. And this post. Welcome back, Daniel, in whatever form you use to come back to us!

    • Dear Sterling, well said.
      Dear Daniel, lovely post. Just lovely.

    • What he said! You do you, Daniel.

      And Antarctica looks amazing.

    • I second this!

  2. Gee WHIZ, I was sure you were going to say you’d decided to stop blogging, and that was really bumming me out. I’m glad I read to the end. Do what you need to do.

  3. ((((((Hugs))))))

  4. May you be here when you want to be here and may you not worry about us when you don’t. Life is too short for that sort of pressure and it’s hard to find the balance between giving and reserving for yourself. I hope 2018 is full of good things for you, Daniel. xo

  5. I so wish I didn’t understand this way too well! Thank you, and I look forward to going forward with you unless we’re having a momentary backward thing happening and then we can work on making sure it’s only momentary. XO

  6. I agree with Sterling up there. ^^^ Welcome back. We love you, that’s why we still come back to read your wonderful and entertaining posts whenever you are able to post them.
    Also, your trip looks like it was truly amazing! I never thought I’d consider Antarctica as a must-see destination, but wow.

  7. Oh gosh, I’m laughing and crying and saying “OH, YES” to it all and I’m 70 years old (how the heck did that happen?). That might be scary to you but things have improved over time, for many of the things you said. Seeing the problem, wanting things to change, taking the bull by the horns, etc. But you know what? The last few years have BEEN shitty on a much wider scale than the personal level. What I’ve seen over the years is that things go in cycles. Some bad years, where you aren’t sure what else bad can happen but are afraid to ask “What else…” for fear you’ll find out followed by some good years where you thank your lucky stars for what’s been given to you. So – no pressure from me. Good luck on your forward progress – it does happen.

  8. Dear Daniel, it is always great to hear from you no matter how long it’s been. Your trip to the southernmost part of the planet sounds beyond awesome and makes me want to take my whole family there too. And the beginnings of your expedition into 2018 fills me with hope for us all. I’m excited too. Love from afar from a stranger who loves your blog and your way with words and the wordless thoughts you somehow magically manage to verbalize. Here’s to more awesome journeys ahead! Cheers!

  9. As the big sister of a guy that is a lot like you in many ways, I want to say in a big sisterly fashion that you are entertaining but you are not entertainMENT. Your pace, your issues, your life comes first and whatever you feel up for sharing is gravy. You are one of the few bloggers that I follow anymore largely because you remind me of someone I care about and have a connection with, not because you are cranking out consistent content. I was actually more concerned for your well-being than anything when you were absent from the blog for a while and I hope you can own that- we all just want you to be well and you don’t owe us any more than that.

    • Hear, hear! Christine has just written what I was going to write (albeit, more eloquently). :) Welcome back.

    • Totally agree with Christine, very well put! <3
      Also the Antarctica part made me start looking for trips there…

    • Well said. Also, life has waves – anxiety or no. Sometimes, certain activities that inspire us in one phase become an obligation in another. While I selfishly would love for you to keep blogging regularly, you have ONE LIFE. If this is no longer where your heart lies, you do you.

  10. Dude! Your trip looks like it was fantastic and that kind of magical scenery would have been very self-reflectorial. I’m really glad you’re back, totally 100% understand why you were gone. I’ve been there too. So happy you’re back though. :-)

  11. I look forward to seeing your blog notifications in a big way and I echo what Sterling and Barbara H. and Joan and Cat and April and everyone else said. You are a very talented writer – funny and self deprecating – but also true and real.
    When people write posts like this one I am moved beyond words at how vulnerable and raw and beautiful people are. How fucking brave they are. You are. I hope you kick 2018’s ass.

    Also, the Antarctica photos are Nat Geo worthy.

    • Thank you so much, Kim. And when I see comments like this (also see: above and below), I’m similarly moved by how beautiful and kind and good people are. <3

  12. My best friend and grandmother use to have to remind me to count the things I had done, not the ones left to do when I needed reminding I wasn’t useless. You’re there. I tend to spiral myself with anxiety. It’s more normal than our culture admits.

    Your trip looks fantastic. You look amazing. You’ve been through a lot. Celebrate every second. I’m convinced that’s how we find our joy. Forgive yourself for hindsight guilt when you made the best decision that the you-at-the-time could make. You are pretty damn awesome, Mister.

  13. Thank you Daniel, for sharing your thoughts! And gosh, do they all sound extremely familiar! For 2018 I’d decided to switch jobs… contacted a few recruiters on LinkedIn, only to be so stressed out (and anxious!!!) about the whole thing, that I can’t bring myself to open my Li account and answer any of their messages… Not only don’t I like my current job, but my inability to change anything about it, makes me feel like an even worse failure… So yes, the vicious circle you’re so aptly describing: been there & still there :-)

    • Aw, I FEEL YA. I know exactly what you’re talking about. It. feels. terrible. I’m not, like, “problem solved!!” because I put up a blog post, but I can say that breaking that avoidance thing? It feels good today. It did not feel good until I did it. I realized I was never going to write and publish a blog post by accident, so I made myself do it. And managed to stretch it out for a week. And then a couple days before hitting publish. And tomorrow, I’ll probably have to do it again, but I’m confident-ish that it’ll be easier. We’re gonna figure this out. <3

  14. I usually never post but I needed to let you know that YOU inspire me. Taking care of yourself should always be at the top of the care cycle. Things will always attempt to distract, waylay and interfere with self care.

    Plus, the trip to the bottom of the world sounds and looks amazing by the photos.

    • Thank you, that’s very kind! :)

      Self-care IS super important—I think for me, I have to be super careful about what it means, though. I think I’ve used it as a justification in the past for indulging that avoidance thing, like caring for myself is about feeling OK and not-anxious, if that makes sense? And then I wind up compounding the problem—I guess what I’m saying is, I have to think of part of that self-care as pushing myself into that feeling of not-OK-ness to do what ultimately makes me feel good.

  15. Nice to have you back.

  16. Bonjour! Just to let you know it’s nice to have you back. I chanced upon your blog some years ago and have always enjoyed taking that 5min brake to read what you were up to, wishing I had your energy! Somehow no other blog got my attention this long. So I wish you all the best in life, blog or not. Life is about enjoying the small things that make you happy. I’d say your blog became a little piece of happiness in my life. (PS: I’m a Parisian exiled in a small French town)

    • Thank you, Anne-Laure! This blog is a piece of happiness in my life too—really. That’s why it’s held my attention this long! :)

  17. *hugs*
    Anxiety is like some sort of sneaky brain octopus that I can never seem to recognize in the moment. After the fact I’m like, yes, that was totally just Matilda the anxious octopus talking, but in the moment those concerns are REAL and VALID and OH MY GOD I’M FAILING AND EVERYTHING IS OVER. Sigh, seriously all the hugs and hurrays for recognizing it for yourself.
    Also, you could just post pictures and thoughts about your mismatched silverware (does anyone actually have matching silverware?) and I would still click over to read it and be utterly delighted!
    Also also, penguins! And short sleeves?!?!

    • Matilda the Anxious Brain Octopus! It’s a children’s book. It’s a t-shirt. It’s a foam hat. RUN WITH IT.

      And yes to it all.

      Also: I actually *do* have matching silverware and I really resent it. It came from West Elm and was so beautiful and brassy and delicate and fucking $28 a set or some shit, and then like AS SOON as we started washing them (by hand!!) the brass started rubbing off and looking terrible. They continued to get worse. I now have service for 12 in this weird mottled stainless steel/brass nightmare that somehow manages to look dirty even when it’s completely clean. Also, since it didn’t seem to make any fucking difference, I got a dishwasher and just started putting it in there, and those elegant slender handles are JUST small enough to slip through the little plastic grid at the bottom of the utensil caddy thing, and then the drawer gets stuck and it’s like this garbage silverware exists to make me rue the day I purchased it.

      Unless you were talking about actual *silver* silverware and not just, like, flatware, in which case no I do not have that but I already wrote the top part so whatever, I’ve covered my bases.

      • This comment is the reason I love you.

      • Exactly Bobbi!

      • Give yourself permission to donate that garbage silverware and start finding stuff you enjoy using! That same thrift store may have it. If not, Craig’s list will.
        These are the kind of anxiety releases I found myself capable of this past year. Working lots of overtime was another, because the money is a real worry but it does keep me from facing other fears.

      • You can find sets of antique silver (solid, not plate) for reasonable prices, and it survives the dishwasher just fine. I know this probably inspires horror in some, but it’s true. Nobody wants formal silver anymore, it’s fun to just use it for everyday.

        Thanks for your post, Daniel. You don’t owe your readership anything, but I was worried, and I’m relieved that you weren’t gone for some unspecified worse reason. Take care.

      • “This comment is why I love you”, exactly. Also, West Elm dishware also sucks balls. If you’re listening West Elm, there, I said it.

      • What Anne said! I have mismatched real silver silverware and run it through the dishwasher. Picked up lots on eBay or at antique fairs or thrifts stores–like a big ziplock bag labeled 100 pieces of silverware, mismatched $20 for the lot, kinda deals–means you won’t necessarily have the same number of teaspoons as forks, but I love using it everyday and salvaging something well made and beautiful that most people don’t want to deal with. And using it daily and washing in the dishwasher means you don’t ever need to polish. The only thing you have to be careful about is pieces that are plated can have certain areas of the plating go away and then whatever is beneath will rust if left in water.

        So happy to hear that you’re still interested in sharing your world with us :)

      • If you ever feel like you’re out of ideas for a post, let me tell you that I would welcome a post totally comprised of you dragging products that were supposed to be great but weren’t. YOU’RE ON NOTICE, WEST ELM!

      • I love this comment. Also, thanks for that heads-up, because I hadn’t even considered how the streamlined flatware I’ve been coveting would be total trash in the dishwasher. I have better things to do with my life than wash anything unnecessary by hand!

  18. While I am so glad you are back, please know you owe me nothing. You don’t know me, but I do care about you even though I know you only through your wonderful blog. I know from personal experience that writing is intense work. It’s okay to take a break from it. Ignore any guilt your readers may heap on you. Whatever you share of your life and work is a gift to all of us! Thank you for that.

  19. Then there is this: when you stopped posting, I stopped reading ALL the blogs. Even Emily Henderson. It is clear who the frontrunner is, no? Daniel joy is Zan joy. Welcome back. You are always missed, and we are always glad when you return.

    • Aw <3 <3

      (for what it's worth, so did I. I have some catching up to do! people be buying houses I don't even know about!)

    • Right? Me, too!

      You’re the best, Daniel and I for one (and clearly I’m not alone) am S-O-O-O-O glad you’re back! That is all. Okay; no it’s not. I feel you on so many levels… . I lost the fuzzy-faced love of my life almost two years ago and it still feels as if his leaving ripped the heart out of me just yesterday and I’ll never get it back. The anxiety/avoidance/perfectionism/depression monster is my close personal confidante.

  20. Same, Daniel. Same.
    If you were to have a look at my blog, you’d see that I haven’t posted in forever as well. Mostly because I don’t have any readers who would notice. But that’s beside the point. Avoidance really does increase the anxiety. And getting help with that really makes a huge difference. I can tell you that.
    All that being said…I’m so happy to have you back here. You not only post amazing things, you make me think. And that’s good for all of us.
    You don’t owe us anything. But we are all better people because you do post with such vulnerability.
    Much love <3 <3 <3

  21. Torn as to whether leave a comment.

    Suffice it to say “welcome back”. I love reading your voice in the interwebs. xo

  22. Hi Daniel, I’ve been wondering about you and figured you were deep into some big project. Your blog is special to me — because you DON’T post just for the sake of posting. And the way you cover your projects is both in-depth and personal. I don’t mind waiting intervals between posts.

    In yoga practice, it’s common to hear “let go of anything that isn’t serving you right now.” I always love that phrase. When you feel anxiety creeping up, take a deep breath and on the exhale whisper “Let it go” – works wonders.

    Meanwhile, we’ll all still be waiting here, and not judging.

    Fan of Dan

  23. what a perfect place to go – the bottom of the earth – and then to come back (((hugs)))

  24. You cute thing! This is why I love you, because you are real. Ignore the pressure to give 110%(already impossible)all the time! Rest works! It is important. Can’t draw from an empty well! Thanks for blowing a beautiful hole in the success trap. I was a little worried that you were becoming too successful to be relatable. Thanks for keeping it real! Your family sounds cool. Much love!

  25. Welcome back, buddy. I missed you, and I feel you. It sort of felt like I was reading my own diary at points (I don’t own a diary). This post-election world is disgusting and everything feels upside down. We have to do whatever we need to do to make it feel right-side up again – whether that’s taking breaks or jumping into new projects, getting fit or eating ice cream every day. Your struggle is all too familiar and what I love most about your blog is that you share more than just what’s going on with the walls in your house (though I could listen to you talk about plaster all day). Thank you for sharing with us and I’m glad to have you back – in whatever capacity works for you.

  26. No worries Daniel! Interested to read what you post, when you post, however often or not often that is.

  27. Just glad to get a post and hear what’s up. No pressure of more, grateful for whatever you choose to share. And those photos are AMAZING.

  28. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve commented on your blog before, but I’ve been reading for over a year and made the effort to read your posts from the beginning.
    Anxiety sucks. I’m sorry.
    Please know that I am happy every time I see you’ve posted, whether a week from now, 6 months, a year. Do what you need to do, but know you have an audience whenever you’re up to it.

  29. Daniel, everyone has said it better – but you have a little community here that cares and understands. I hope it’s a lovely 2018 for you. Also, LOVE your Antartica snaps, and your family travel stories.

  30. Love you! Glad you are back. You rock, you really do.

  31. Geez Daniel, do we share a brain? My dog died in 2017 too (her angelversary was just last week) and I’m only now starting to pull myself back together, even though I got another dog seven months ago (who has generated an entirely new and different level of stress). Yeah, 2017 was sub-optimum, as was 2016 (when my girl was diagnosed with the cancer that took her to the Bridge).
    I’m de-lurking after (many, many, many) years of following you to say it will get better – you sound like you’re taking care of all the things you need to take care of – it will get better, I promise. And as for your faithful readership, we miss you when you’re gone, I know I do, but zero pressure. Turn up when you can and we’ll welcome you with open arms.
    And Antarctica looks awesome!! Now I want to go! And I have never gone on “The Next Big Trip” (also my preferred vacation style) that I’ve not gone through massive life changes immediately on my return. It’s the pause and the perspective things I’m afraid.
    Hang tough and good luck and we are all here for you!

  32. Welcome back. I still checked for posts every day. I’m so sorry about Linus, losing a dog is so very, very hard. Hopefully you’ll have another bundle of love someday soon. My stepdaughter has a specially trained dog that helps her with anxiety. But I suspect even your run of the mill dog improves everything.
    BTW, those trip pictures look absolutely amazing. How awesome that your family went somewhere so remote and unusual. Not many people get to see that part of the world.
    I think you’ve made a good start on 2018…

  33. I’m a reader in Buffalo, NY, that has missed you. Just last week I googled your blog in case your feed had changed and I wasn’t getting your posts, because I missed them! I enjoy your writing and your attitude and your work – please keep writing and sharing. I want to see Bluestone Cottage and hear and see the final outcome of the huge disastrous renovation of the house you were doing for clients. I’d love to see more about your trip!

  34. There are friends you see every few years and when you do it’s like no time has passed. That’s how I feel about your blog. Blog as much as you want and whenever you want – we will always be happy to see you.

  35. Welcome back. Look forward to hearing more from you. I was excited to open your blog when I saw it.

  36. Good luck Daniel. I hope you figure out what helps you be less anxious. I’ve missed your blogging last year, and hope you return to it, but know how time consuming it is. If it makes you happy keep doing it. If it just becomes work, then reconsider.

  37. dang, daniel. kudos for sharing. i think many of us have been/are there. it all takes work so i say this not to simplify – but as someone just a few years into their 30s – i noticed a huge turning point at the end of my 20s. people often say the 30s are the best years…blah blah blah…but i’ve found it kinda to be true? i went through my teens fairly unscathed and didn’t realize the 20s were so hard until i was out of them. especially when on the surface you seem to have your shit together – you just kind of manage and then one day realize, as you so eloquently shared – this is kind of not peak living. not to sound too much like a soulcycle instructor, but be easy on yourself and where you are. it’s all a process. you now realize it doesn’t HAVE to feel this way and you’re doing something about it. we’re here for it all!

  38. Oh Daniel! I, and so many of us, can so relate to your anxiety and avoidance! We have been there, and it does get better. Please know that we love the real you – all of you – and are delighted when you choose to share any part of yourself with us. We absorb your words as we would listen to an old friend we haven’t seen in years but can re-connect with instantly. Please take care of yourself first! Your trip looks amazing and you looked wonderful, healthy and relaxed. Short sleeves in snow???? What did Mom say? I am glad you are doing acupuncture, but please don’t be afraid to take meds either. It is easier to work on issues when you are not crippled by them, like using a crutch to walk on a broken leg. Wishing you sunshine through your fog and warm hugs from your online family.

    • Thank you so much, Rosemary. :)

      It’s funny, it was actually warmer in Antarctica than it was at home! It’s summer down there, so temperatures tended to be in the high 30s and 40s. So after climbing up a mountain, shedding some layers was a relief!

  39. That was a big post in so many ways. Fitting that Antarctica was your back drop. About turning 30- I loved it! A weight was lifted off my shoulders almost immediately. Some weird cosmic pressure was released & I could breathe. I hope the same will be true for you. Of course, you could just jump the gun, mutter Fuck It, and give yourself the space to be you… And be ok with it. No need to wait until 30.

  40. Part of my recent personal work has been to stop giving unsolicited advice. So I’ll just say thanks for hanging in there. We’ve all got our shit. We love your content.

  41. I love your blog…. when and if you write one. Thanks for letting all of us in your life.

  42. I am hesitant to post a “welcome back!” post because…well I get how that in itself can create it’s own sort of pressure of being “back”.
    I love your blog – I love the posts on house renovations, and I also love the posts that are just about sharing your life and travels. As a twenty-nine year old, I also really appreciate your words about a generalized un-pinpoint-able anxiety that feeds on being swept under the rug. When I was in grad school a few years ago I felt so overwhelmed that I stopped going to class and answering my professors emails. The more I ignored everything the worse it got. The only thing that ever made it better (before temporarily making things much more stressful!) was eventually facing the music and essentially re-doing an entire semester. What I learned (and am constantly re-learning) is that people are understanding when you are honest with them about your feelings (mainly because they have felt the same way at some point), and also things are usually a bigger deal in your own head than they are to everyone else.
    My point is, I’m happy to see you write – your trip looked absolutely amazing – and I’d love to just see some other photos of your time away! No words needed! Or not – either way, I’m here to stay as a follower of you!

    • Thank you so much, Katie—you’re absolutely right. The things that make me feel HORRIBLE or SO PANICKED are so often linked to the feeling of disappointing people, and usually for them it’s not a big deal or at least not terribly difficult to remedy. It’s something I re-learn all the time, too.

      • Has you read The four tendencies by Gretchen Rubin? Sounds like you are an Obliger… I think it would be insightful and useful in order to understand yourself a little better. It helped me a lot. BTW you are a wonderful human being and we all love you.

  43. Thank you

  44. As a long time reader, it was really nice to see another one of your posts as you are always refreshingly honest about your experiences. Welcome back! Love everything you post. Waiting super patiently for the next one!

  45. Hi Daniel! You don’t know me, but I know you (in a bloggy kinda way), and here’s my input:

    1. Anxiety sucks and we are far meaner to ourselves when we imagine what other people must be thinking about us than what those other people actually are thinking of us. Which is usually nothing! Other people spend far less time thinking about me than I do. (Who knew?)
    2. As a reader who fucking LOVES your blog (it’s one of the 2 I actually subscribe to), yeah, I missed you, but it was like, “He’s busy, he’ll get back to it.” I am thrilled you wrote this entry (and the entry about sweet Linus, even though it made me sob), and the more you write the happier I will be – but that does not follow that the less you write the unhappier I will be. Your blog is free entertainment for me; I’m not about to look a gift blog in the mouth. If you decide to stop blogging, I’ll be sad, sure, but you have to do what’s best for you. Your life, your blog, your choice.
    3. 2016 and 2017 sucked, pretty universally, but I’m all for cultivating optimism.
    4. Anti-depressants are a #blessing.
    5. That trip looks amazing. I’m so glad you had that experience. Your family sounds rad.

    • 1. YEP!
      2. Thank you. I’ll keep up the gift blog, haha!
      3. ikr? I guess part of what I’ve been thinking about too is how to better separate my own mental state from the world around me, because honestly I’m not banking on it getting better out there any time in the near future (our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Mr. Mueller), and besides there will always be some bullshit in the world that’s going to suck. But I also don’t want to be one of these people who tunes it all out and doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, either, so…I’m not sure I have any answers here, it’s just been on my mind.
      4. yas.
      5. they’re the best. :)

  46. XOXO

  47. I’ve been following your projects with great jealousy over the years. You are so brave to take on all those wonderful projects. I wish I had the balls at your age to do that. That said – you post whenever you want to. I’m always glad to see a post, but I know you have a life outside this blog.
    My son has had ongoing issues with anxiety and depression since he was 10. You hang in there – it is a rough ride. Be gentle with yourself. Big hugs. And welcome back :)

    • Thank you, Sara. Your son is lucky to have a mom by his side like you! 10 was the age it really hit me, too—it’s a rough, shitty thing to carry around at that age and through all these really formative moments in your life, but oddly I think can lead to rich experiences in its own backwards kind of way. Give that kid a fist-bump for me, or whatever they’re doing these days. :)

  48. As so many others have already said, I come here for your writing and your voice and whenever you return is always a gift. I can totally understand that anxiety, am currently dealing with a similar issue myself, and I know it is a self-perpetuating machine of misery. But hopefully all of these supportive comments can at least remind you that we will always be here for you as readers. I have only ever subscribed to one blog, and that is yours, because, after so many weeks of silence, I definitely didn’t want to miss your next entry, but checking it obsessively (and daily!) was making me anxious for you! So I clicked that subscribe button, and waited patiently for my notifications. And I always will. No matter what you write about (the first thing I read of yours was about cleaning a marble threshold and it was amazing. I don’t have a marble threshold.) I will always want to read it.

    Oh, and Antarctica?? Are you kidding me? Incredible. Your pictures are especially incredible. So glad you got to have that experience.

    • Aw, thank you Sara L. All these supportive comments definitely remind me of that—I’m sort of forever in awe of this little community here. <3 <3 <3

  49. ❤️❤️❤️ hugs to you!

  50. My patience has no bounds when I find those rare engaging writers who grab my attention and hold it–whether it’s a blog post or a printed 3-volume set. You, my dear, are one of those rare engaging writers. Sympathies on the anxiety/avoidance loop as that’s a familial trait I am familiar with. Echoing someone else who commented, as a senior these are traits that become easier as we evolve in the passage of time. That does not mean it does not take personal work.

    Good luck and great writing…all as you desire.


  51. Nice to see you…Stay well.
    That photo of a penguin standing by itself is SO GOOD.

  52. Welcome back. Big hugzzz. One of the reasons you are one of the few blogs I follow is because you keep it real. I very much admire your honesty and to all your obstacles I’d say oh yes, oh yes, oh hell yes do I know these issues. Hang in there. Be kind to yourself. Love you like we do.

  53. Glad to have you back, Daniel. Antarctica looks amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  54. It’s OK. You’re OK.

  55. Your bare-boned honesty is compelling, appreciated and definitely hits common ground with many of your readers, I’m sure….I, for one. Thank you for being who you are – a first rate renovator, blogger and human being. May 2018 be the best for you.

  56. Oh wow, I know all about the anxiety-avoidance rollercoaster. Welcome back. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  57. Hey mate. I love reading your blog, because you are funny and insightful and creative and honest, and I am sure there are many like me out there. But don’t just for one second think that you owe us anything! If you don’f feel like writing -don’t. Look after yourself. x

  58. Ok, first things first, I will take 900 more of your amazing pictures from your trip! What an amazing time you must of had and how incredibly beautiful. The fun stuff out of the way, we missed you because of who you are, not because of some trend you started. This should be a place where you can say and do what you want. If someone doesn’t like it, there are a hundred other blogs to read. Do what is best for you and know that we will still be here checking your blog and getting excited when something new pops up. No matter if that is every day, every week, every month or every year. Good luck on your journey to a better you and I hope we can all be along for the ride.

  59. Feeling you, and you post whenever you damn well feel like it. I just appreciate your perspective on this thing we call life, whenever you get around to sharing it.

  60. I love your blog but my love doesn’t supersede your happiness! Whatever you need to do to be happy and take care of yourself comes before all. I’m sure I speak for a lot of readers when I say we’re just happy to be along for whenever!

  61. Daniel – Happy 2018.
    I am so sorry to hear about sweet Linus. It’s a hard thing to say goodbye to our furry family.
    Antarctica? Holy Cow. Not someplace I’d ever considered going until seeing your pictures. What a fantastic and otherworldly place. Plus – Penquins!
    Maybe turn comments off for a while? We’ll read what you post, regardless!

    • Thank you, Wendy! Occasionally I disable comments on a given post, but I really enjoy the conversation that happens in the comments! Any avoidance is really just my own crazy talking, which of course is something I’m trying to indulge less and not more :) It’s still a wonder to me that people read this blog, let alone feel compelled to take the time to leave a comment, and that people should be SO NICE AND AWESOME EVERY TIME is so special to me and feels like a rarity on the internet. I feel so lucky and sincerely honored to be able to facilitate this thing that feels so positive and compassionate and cool—I’d be bummed if that part of it went away!

  62. That was such an honest blog post. Thank you for sharing it. I hope 2018 is a better year for you.

  63. You didn’t need to explain your absence, but thank you. I missed your voice on the Interwebs! No need for guilt, though. You are human and need to take care of yourself. Anxiety and depression can be so challenging. Overwhelming feelings can easily take over your life. You are not alone. I wish you well with your plans this year and in the future. This post was a good reminder to assess my own self care. Hmmm. Cheers!

  64. Welcome back, Daniel! It’s good to read you. (No pressure, no expectations.) I so wish I could reach through my screen to you and give you a big ol’ hug.

    Also: get the hell out of my head, please. In all seriousness, you described the cycle of anxiety/avoidance so well, I’m going to refer others to your description. Yes, we are all here ridiculously privileged compared to most (I’m guessing everyone who reads your blog has access to a computer and time to read about your adventures), but it doesn’t make our feelings less intense, and sometimes it makes things feel *worse* because then we dwell on the guilt.

    Anyway, all this to say: be kinder to yourself if you can. You deserve it. (No, really. You do deserve it. Trust.)

  65. When I saw you had a new post my first response was joy, then a tiny bit of disappointment that it wasn’t about your house, then, once I started reading, an overwhelming feeling of connection or even affection (?) which I immediately questioned- how could I possibly feel this connection towards someone that I do not know aside from reading a blog. But it is your amazing writing style that flows so free and is much like having a conversation that has created this sense of connection. You are such an open and honest person with such a great, if sometimes self-deprecating, sense of humor that it is so easy to read and connect with you. I stopped looking at almost all the blogs I once followed but even if you only posted once a year I would continue to check in because it is a treat to read anything and everything that you write. I have a feeling that many feel this way and have very little expectations on what you should do with your blog aside form just getting to it when you can and as you feel good about it. I would hate to imagine you struggling to write just to please others. You are gifted in many ways and should embrace your talents in a way that makes you happy.
    Anxiety is a tricky thing, I hope that you have a really great, deep thinking, open minded counselor to talk with. I would also recommend meditation. 8 Minute Meditation is a good book to try. Additionally, just getting older and finding peace with yourself and really knowing yourself, releasing yourself from the burden of trying to please others or compete/keep up with others makes the biggest difference. It is easier said than done, especially with social media endlessly flaunting perfection in our face, but I do think that as we age and as we realize that the most important relationship that we have is with our self that we must take the time to know what we hold important, know what makes us happy, know what is best to avoid, accept our flaws that cannot change and aim to work on ones that can so that we can find that peace within our own self. And, of course, always be aware of the importance of healthy relationships with others and honest about those that harm. Our relationship with our self and others is the most important and fulfilling aspect of being alive, all the rest of it is just human made filler.

    • Thank you, ss :)

      Meditation is one of the things I am…aspiring?…to get into. I downloaded an app, anyway. The concept feels so super foreign and impossible to me, which I think may be an indication that it’s worth trying/practicing.

      I also think finding a counselor is a good idea, and one I’ve been, well, avoiding. Like so many other things that would make me feel better—funny how that works! I don’t honestly know if therapy is a thing for me—saw one for a while, stopped going because I didn’t find it valuable. I stand by that decision, actually, but I’m trying to tell myself what I’d tell a friend, which is that this person was obviously a bad fit for me (for anyone I think, but that’s neither here nor there) and very OFTEN it takes trying out different people to find a compatible match. I know giving it another shot is the right move.

  66. Hey–
    Anxiety sucks, man. It’s not rational. But I’m here not to tell you you’re a terrible blogger, but that posting this was really brave. Thank you for being honest; you don’t owe us this post, but I’m so glad you shared. So many people in my circles are feeling this way, especially this year. 2018: fuck cynicism, anxiety, and negativity. I’m all for ‘lets figure this out together’…best of luck to you. Welcome Back .

  67. ps. the cycle of anxiety/avoidance/depression is like a merry-go-round in hell. finding the right meds is also super crappy for all the obvious reasons. I’m sure you’re working with someone who can help navigate, and knows when to try something else (or stop, if that’s your jam).

    pps. the story of your trip and the pictures are a delight. thank you for sharing! (but no pressure or expectations.)

  68. I have never commented on any blog in my entire life. I am the textbook definition of a lurker. Your post is beautiful and true and so powerful that I have to respond. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE LOVED. Those stories that your anxiety tells you are LIES. ( P.S. I highly recommend Brene Brown if you are looking for material for your book club )

  69. I am always thrilled to see you pop up in my blog post feed. Glad to hear you are taking better care of you.

  70. Thank you for this post! I imagine it must have taken an enormous amount of energy. The photos are beautiful, and so is your writing. I’m glad you’re taking care of you.

  71. I love your blog for your honesty and wonderful projects. I did wonder what happened to you, so I am glad you are back. Take it easy on yourself, we don’t expect you to constantly post projects or be up beat. We all love you.

  72. I’m so glad to hear from you and know that you are okay. Sending good thoughts for your struggles, Daniel. I missed you! (But no guilt, okay?).

  73. Thanks for sharing! So much of this rang very true (as I sit here ignoring my dissertation). You’re not alone. That trip looks unbelievable. BRB, booking a vaca to Antarctica. Glad to have you back for whatever you post.

  74. We’ve been with you from the start. We’re still here. We’ll be here whenever. Glad you’re back.

  75. This loyal reader is happy to hear from you, on any subject, on any schedule that seems right and doable for you. Glad your 2018 got off to such a powerful start with that trip to Antarctica.

  76. Oh honey. Ya. I get it. Been there. Done that. Horrible doesn’t describe it. Glad you’re finding a little light to find your way out. One of the things that has helped me the most is this challenge to all that “I should do X, Y, Z,” statements: Does it really matter? What are the consequences? Do I actually give a f*ck?

    Mostly, the answer is, “hm, nope, sure doesn’t really matter or have real consquences and I don’t care that much.” This helped make room from all the “shoulds” for this: “seek joy.” Walking home to catch the landscaping instead of rushing past because I should clean the house or whatever. Just in case it helps.

    Also, incredible trip. I want to go badly!!!!

    • Thanks MB! I like that a lot. :)

      • One of the most powerful little tricks I’ve heard for getting out of mental traps is replacing the word “should” with the word “prefer” in all of those sentences.

        “I should get back to that guy ASAP” vs. “I prefer to get back to that guy ASAP” are very different sentences with very different amounts of pressure and judgment.

        My family’s motto is “Oh well,” and I’ve also found those very sane words to live by too.

  77. We appreciate not just your blog but also Daniel Kanter. We want happiness for you and stand behind you in every way. Do what you need to get better. We’ll adapt to your schedule. You’ve got friends out here.

  78. We love you Daniel. Post once a year if you like – we’ll still savor every word and feel refreshed after reading it. You have that effect. Don’t feel unnecessary pressure to blog, just post when you want to and enjoy sharing it with us.

  79. Welcome back! I hope you know, you’re loved and you’re missed. Seeing your post made me so happy, regardless of what it would have been (well, unless you would have said you were quitting blogging. Then I would have been sad for my own reasons, but happy for you for doing XYZ with your life instead.)

    You’re human. You’re not perfect. And that’s not only perfectly acceptable, it’s perfectly fucking commendable. You bare your soul on this blog (and other places like Instagram) for the entire world to see. Not everyone can do it and manage it, let alone exist with it. You’re doing far better than your anxiety lets you believe. I promise you. Fuck anxiety.

    Here’s to more of you doing whatever you want to do! Also, if you’re looking for a self-help book, Emotional First-Aid was a really great read for me in the beginning of 2017 after the inauguration. It’s quick, but it helped.

    Antartica looked amazing. I can’t believe you’re in a t-shirt surrounded by all of it. I’m frozen just looking at it.

    • Thank you, Miranda. Fuck anxiety, here here! I’ll check out the book!!

      (It wasn’t even that cold! It’s summer down there!)

  80. You have made me look at myself, and I so needed this kick in the ass! I have missed you!

  81. Every week, my therapist goes through a checklist of things to see where I’m at. Are you eating? Are you sleeping? Are you returning texts/phone calls/emails? etc. Eating and sleeping are variable, and quite honestly not the things that give me, or my therapist, pause (read: I have a 4yo daughter and 6 month old son. No parent eats or sleeps dependably). It’s the avoidance—not answering messages, not responding, not connecting—that is the biggest red flag. And we pretty much always come to the same conclusion as to the reason for this—it’s the fear. Not the fear of people or responding or connecting or engaging or performing (et al!)—it’s the fear of THE FEAR. Read that again. The fear of the fear. The debilitating part of anxiety and it’s friend depression is not the rational fear of anything; it’s the simple fear of fearing anything and everything and the fact that none of it can be explained or prevented or fixed in any easy way. It’s the fear of being afraid that is so debilitating, and therefore stops us in our tracks. My point being—you are afraid. And yet here you are despite it all. Bravo to you, friend. You are strong. You are brave. You are afraid—and that’s ok. You’re gonna do it anyway. That’s the hardest part, and the worthiest and holiest and most important. So happy to “hear” (actually, read) your voice again. When you’re ready yo use it again, we’ll be here cheering you on. xoxo

  82. Salut Daniel,
    your trip in such an exotic location looks like it was the place you had to see ,the experience you needed to look inside of yourself. Also, the idea of traveling with your family as a grown up looks like a lot of fun! Your photos are spectacular. I know we all say the same thing here, but somehow I feel the need to say it too : you are my favourite blog because you are so funny and witty and I love your style but the number one reason is really because your voice feels authentic. You dont owe us anything, so no pressure. You made me cry reading this, I might need to take a trip inside me! Take care of yourself.

  83. You have made me look at myself, and I so needed this kick in the ass! I have missed you!

  84. What they said.

  85. Yeah, the last three years have sucked big time here, too. I love reading what you post, but always kind of took your posts as kind of a gift. Like, oh, wow, thanks, Daniel, I really enjoyed that, and whenever you have the time or inclination, I’ll be glad to read more. BUT. It’s your blog. You get to make the choices, and we get to appreciate them.

  86. We’re still here. You got this.

  87. Can we join your book club? I recently like “You Are A Badass.” :)

    • That’s on our list, haha!! I think it’s March. You can totally join. The first book was “Finish” by Jon Acuff and it totes spoke to meeeee.

  88. Hey waving over here! So glad you are back and ok.. read the first comment and agree . we are all human – you too.

    and i am SO happy to see you back… remember the great house hunt of 2017?.. yea well its still on.. looking at more houses this weekend… so need you back so i can pick your brain – one of them is gonna need work and its the best price and so if i get it i will SO need your advice!

    cant even imagine how awesome that antarctica trip was! so happy you had that experience.

    here’s to a better 2018 for all of us

  89. I was worried. I was scared. I’m a mom! I’m so happy you let us know where you are. I’ve done the same kind of avoidance in my life. I didn’t talk to friends for months, didn’t answer email etc. I’m 60 now and it does get better, I learned to see the anxiety in time to shake my finger at it and say “Oh no you don’t!”
    I missed your writing and hope you feel like doing it some more.

    • Thanks Rose, and I’m sorry to have caused any concern!! I think part of what’s so frustrating about anxiety and depression is having to learn that lesson of recognizing and trying to nip it in the bud before it’s a problem over and over again. So often (particularly with depressive episodes) I don’t realize what’s going on until I’m out of it and can look back. There have been parts of my life where I’ve felt like I had control over this stuff, and then periods like this happen that make me realize how much I don’t—and, of course, that’s super discouraging. But I’m still better than I’ve been in the past, and that’s not nothing. :)

  90. Daniel– your blog has been, over the years, a great escape for me: beautiful pictures, dreams of what my apartment could look like, etc. And when you took a step back last year, I noticed. Didn’t *want* anything from you that you couldn’t give, but noticed that you were stepping away– like a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s so nice, friend, to hear from you. I’m sorry it’s been hard; it sounds like you’ve got a good plan for making things better. This post meant a lot to me, someone who’s familiar with that cycle, and I wanted to say hello and thank you for speaking up. It’s hard and important to remember. Also, your pictures from your trip are amazing. It sounds like the trip gave you the space you needed.

  91. You are taking the first amazing steps by seeing that your thoughts are driving your feelings and anxiety.

    If you change your thoughts you will change your life.

    Your followers love you no matter what.

  92. Daniel, i love reading your blog. You are so REAL. This year I am trying to live by “each day as a life”.

  93. I used to read a blog (I’d link it but I can’t remember the name!!), but the girl went on that same trip, ended up loving it and was hired to do photography for them. Maybe she was on board!?!?! Her pictures were like yours, beautiful, crazy, not on this planet kind of pics.

    As for the other stuff, sorry you are dealing with anxiety but I myself just figured you were busy and you checked in when you could. It’s life, its not perfect, it’s crazy.
    Like the 70s cat poster says… “Hang in There”

    • woah! she wasn’t on our ship, but I can totalllllly understand the impulse! I had no idea what to expect (like, does this even sound fun? just being honest, I pretty much define “indoor kid,” and as mentioned my brain has been weird), but I’d do again in a heartbeat.

  94. First – we love you, and we understand. More than you might realize (ie: fellow anxiety warrior here, also with a “dead” blog, although not as successful as yours… and I can’t bring myself to write the post explaining life since I stopped writing)

    Second – HOLY SHIT you went on one of the excursion cruises I saw on the “Mighty Ships” tv show and cried at how beautiful it was. That was the moment I realized I wasn’t living life the way I wanted to. I’m still stuck in the middle… but I know where I don’t want to be.

    Last, but not least… you’re doing wonderfully with getting yourself connected with the world around you. One thing I added to my “arsenal” this year was yoga, online, from the comfort of my living room. Yoga with Adriene – 31 day Revolution on YouTube. She’s personable, and I’ve gone from out of shape beginner to “hunh, this is actually working” in 26 days. Keep your head up, Daniel, you’ve got this, and we’ll be happy to go along the journey with you, or just wait here with open arms for whenever you’re ready again.

    • First—thank you so much. And sometimes it just takes a long time to collect our thoughts—that doesn’t mean you won’t! One of the biggest challenges of blogging I think is the immediacy of it, you know? Other types of writing *expect* us to have done the whole digesting/reflecting part before publishing, and blogging makes us feel like if we haven’t shared it immediately, there’s no point in doing it at all. I’m working on that. WHAT DOES IT MATTER if I’m talking about something that happened two years ago, really?

      Thank you for the yoga tip! As part of adulting, I also feel compelled to try to find a form of exercise that doesn’t make me want to kill whoever is making me do it. I’ll check it out.

  95. Your blog is one of my favorites, and I love seeing what you put out, whenever you put it out. No judgement, just enjoyment. Peace.

  96. I love your work and dedication, and really enjoy your writing. When you are back we will all be happy!

  97. Your trip sounds fantastic, especially since it gave you the chance to step back and reflect. I was so happy to see you post, but that doesn’t mean I get upset when you don’t because I get that life gets busy or circumstances are such that you don’t feel like sharing. It’s all good. Priority 1 is to look after yourself and Mekko :-)

    Speaking of Mekko, please post some pics of her soon!

  98. Thank you so much for sharing this. It hit very close to home to read it, and gave me some concrete ideas to combat my own anxiety/avoidance/guilt cycle. That’s my only goal for 2018.

    And it is lovely to hear your (digital) voice again, about anything. But seriously: thanks for the brave honesty. It helps.

    • That’s a good goal! I’m right there with ya—wishing you good luck!! And feel free to let me know if you find things that work, I think a lot of us could use a little help! :)

  99. Reading and nodding all the way through. I relate. Except for the weaning off meds, I’ve already decided I’m a lifer, haha.

    When I see a post pop up in my aggregator, I’m never, never upset or judging you (I’ve already judged you fun and likeable and worth reading, and judged myself lucky to read your blog). I’m just so happy to hear your next story.

    Also, ANTARCTICA!?! That’s so cool! Love the pictures, love that you got three weeks with your family.

    Cheers, Maura

  100. <3
    And so sorry still about Linus.

  101. Welcome back. You are loved regardless of if you post. It’s just easier to tell you when there is something to comment on.

  102. First, welcome back! You are a wonderful writer and as you can already see by the sea of comments that your readers are happy to take you as you are. Anxiety is a Bitch and she will tell you that we (the readers) resent you being away. Punch that bitch in the face and don’t listen to her! We are just happy to read what you are able and willing to share and wish you nothing but the best.

    I deal with many of the things you mentioned and it’s awesome to see you (and many of your readers) be so open about the struggles of anxiety and depession. There is something about hearing from people dealing with similar issues that helps others (and me) not feel so alone in it. Thank you for sharing!

    • It helps me too! I think that’s part of the thing with self-help books that’s sort of comforting, too—like EVEN if I don’t get a damn thing out of them, just the fact that there are entire books dedicated to helping with problems that feel SO isolating is…reassuring? Other people are trying to figure this out too. Other people have made improvements. I can too!

  103. Even the preternaturally gifted get sad and tired. Depressed and anxious. You are still so very, very young. Ask for what you need, I bet you find many, many people willing to help. Thank you for coming back and saying this. <3

  104. This lurker is so glad to read a post from you! Also, I’m a calm, glass-is-half-full, practical little old lady, and 2017 even knocked ME for a loop. I’ve never been so in my life as I have been this past year. Well, onward, and, hopefully, upward….

  105. Nothing but respect to you, Daniel. It’s a hard thing to do to open yourself up and lay things out for everyone to see. I’ve nothing more to add that hasn’t already been said before. I love your posts, but write them when it feels right to for you and not as part of an obligation. We’ll all still be here :-)

  106. Oh, thank God you’re back! You were truly missed, Daniel. You and your unique, quirky, individual voice. I am glad you are back, on whatever terms you need them to be.

    My sister did the same thing re:meds. When she spun out of control and realized her mistake, her old tried-and-true meds no longer worked. Her slide continued while drugs were weaned, new drugs introduced, new therapists tried and failures happened again and again. Her slide is finally halted, and she is slowly returning to “normal”. I can guess your experience has its parallels. I wish a strong, steady, lasting recovery as fervently for you as I do for her.

    Do what you need to do, but know that your admiring fans are still here and strongly rooting for you, Daniel. And thank you ever so much for the update. It’s a great way to start the year.

  107. I agree with Sterling!!
    I too feel like you are a friend that is welcome to pop in & visit whenever it’s best for you because you are welcomed anytime! Amazing trip!!

  108. Love your blog, in every form.

  109. Well, Daniel, I’ve been following you since you lived in a dorm. I’m certainly not going to stop now. You have been through a lot the last three or four years. Give yourself a break. I will advise you to try DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I took a course of this at Silver Hill Hospital in Fairfield County, CT. It is a way of recognizing, coping with, dealing, and planning ahead for anxiety and panic attacks and the rest. It is a fairly new therapy from the 1990s, but very effective. You need tools to talk yourself out of anxiety and other problems. You can get several books about DBT on Amazon. Depression is a bitch, but it can be handled with structure, therapy and meds. You may have to be on meds your whole life, but if you are functioning, that’s better than not functioning. Don’t feel guilty. You are overwhelmed. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and we will still be here. Kisses

    • Very interesting, thank you AnnW! I’ll look into it further absolutely.

      (at first I thought you were recommending Dianetics like the Scientology thing. LOL oh man.)

  110. H’okay: I’ll confess I didn’t read every single word of every 133 comments that come before mine but it appears that all these folks have written in to say say, ‘hey – just glad you’re okay’ and that’s pretty cool.

    I’d like to relieve you of one concern: who needs a finished kitchen? Kitchens are overrated because kitchens lead to cooking and cooking is a household chore and household chores are dreary by definition. See: don’t you feel better?

    Best wishes to you and Miko for a happy 2018.

    • It IS pretty cool. More than pretty cool! People are fucking great. Never ceases to amaze.

      So funny, part of what I’ve been thinking about is how, ACTUALLY, it would be TOTALLY FINE to have a kitchen that functions and has all the essentials but doesn’t need to be DONE—I can work on that over time! I actually really enjoy cooking (and, ya know, the convenience of a kitchen sink…it’s the little things), but I know the kitchen is a huge amount of work and I have to let go of the idea that it all needs to be done at once before I can reasonably move on to the other things that are stressing me out particularly BECAUSE of how long they’ve gone unaddressed. Fancy moldings and a tiled backsplash will not make my dinner taste better, ya know? I’ll get to them at some point, but I’m not going to feel like a failure for not finishing every last detail in no time—I got other shit to do!

  111. Beannacht
    On the day when
    The weight deadens
    On your shoulders
    And you stumble,
    May the clay dance
    To balance you.

    And when your eyes
    Freeze behind
    The grey window
    And the ghost of loss
    Gets into you,
    May a flock of colours,
    Indigo, red, green
    And azure blue,
    Come to awaken in you
    A meadow of delight.

    When the canvas frays
    In the currach of thought
    And a stain of ocean
    Blackens beneath you,
    May there come across the waters
    A path of yellow moonlight
    To bring you safely home.

    May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
    May the clarity of light be yours,
    May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
    May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

    And so may a slow
    Wind work these words
    Of love around you,
    An invisible cloak
    To mind your life.

  112. Kudos to you and all who responsed. Such is life. As I near my 70’s ( strange to even state) anxiety becomes tempered with experience. The Trump era will hopefully be a blip on the screen. After I crawled out from under my bed I decided to speak out as loudly as I could and put my money where my mouth was. Guess what…..even in my tiny town I found others like me and it was better. But crawling out from under the bed was hard! Take your meds, eat your veggies, and keep writing in whatever format you choose. Your voice is important!

  113. So my friend was planning a trip to upstate New York, and out of my mouth popped, “you should go visit my friend, Daniel!” Then I remembered that you don’t actually know me. But, anything you write, I will happily read.

  114. You’re back. Hooray.
    I love reading through the comments – I feel all warm and fuzzy in this lovely supportive little place. I also love that Sterling’s comment is the first we read…SO true.
    We’re all here for you Daniel. <3

  115. Hey Daniel, I hope 2018 (and every year after that) will be good to you.

    I was nodding with recognition through the whole anxiety-avoidance-anxiety bit. I get that badly with letters, texts, emails – anything where I feel other people are expecting something back from me and that the longer I leave it, the crosser they’ll get, but the crosser they are the less I can bear to deal with it. When it’s bad, I can’t even open the letter/text/email in the first place, telling myself I’ll open it when I have ‘time’ to reply even though a reply would only take a moment.

    Anyway, true story. I got an email from a girl I’d been quite good friends with a few years before but had lost touch with. I was going through a really terrible patch of stress-related anxiety and couldn’t face opening the email and reading a ‘long time no speak, where have you been, what’s new?’ and trying to respond in a bright and positive way. For SIX years that email sat unopened in my inbox. Even when I managed to open other emails and get my inbox up to date that one would still be sitting there, unopened, making me feel horribly guilty. Six years. Then, about three years ago, I finally got brave, bit the bullet and clicked to open. And it was spam. A junk link sent by someone who had hijacked her account. Six years of feeling guilty and miserable for that. What a muppet.

    Anyway, you’re not alone. Thanks for having the courage to write and share where you’re at. I hope you keep writing – seeing your work and reading your stories brings a lot of joy to my life. And if you’re not feeling good, I hope you take whatever time and space you need without guilt or anxiety taking hold.

    Also, I just about squealed with delight at that first photo, hoping that you had indeed gone to Antarctica! I managed to scrounge a visit there as a 23-year-old backpacker, way back in the day, and ate bread rolls for months afterwards because it had basically taken all my money. Best thing I ever did. So other-worldly beautiful, so peaceful.

    Sorry for the wildly long comment. I only write one about every five years.

    • Oh man Laura, I feel like I could have written this comment. BEEN. THERE. Although maybe not the spam part, but that’s kind of the ultimate lesson isn’t it. Thank you for sharing this!!

  116. Amazing post. Amazing time with family (in Antartica!).

    Oh yeah, problems with overcommitting yourself and so making it impossible to meet your own standards? Been there, done that. There was a time in my life (fortunately long gone: recovery is possible) when I used to throw up into the wastebins in the street on the way into work, out of stress and anxiety. Congratulations on putting your own boundaries and remedies into place.

  117. I felt compelled to comment after reading your post. You don’t owe anyone anything. When I see that you have a new post up, I am completely thrilled. I have never thought anything even remotely negative about the space between your posts. You are human. You have a life. And your posts are so real–the time, energy and strength it must take for you to share yourself has to be monumental. Thank you for being authentic. I’ll be here whenever you post again!

  118. Love you Daniel :) You do YOU because that is what we love about this blog.

  119. Good for you. All you need to do is take care of you. Everything else is just gravy.

  120. Love reading your blog to follow your adventures, told in your unique voice. You have opened my world up to new ideas and perspectives, and I thank you for that! You don’t owe us readers anything, so please don’t feel pressure to appease. We will be here when you are ready, and we will be reading your archives when you are away ;) Take care of yourself and I hope 2018 brings you peace and many moments of joy!

  121. Welcome back, darling boy! Missed you. I find your posts charming and have always thought of you as delightful. Young, clever and talented, what a combo! Being slightly over 70 and having, to date, lived a rocky, sometimes thrilling, sometimes overwhelming and sometimes amazingly wonderful life to date, I thought to myself you were absent because life had just “hijacked” you somewhere along the way and you would return if and when you were ready. So happy you are okay. I’m another hugger, so here comes a big long hug. As we used to say in the 70s, “hang in there, baby”. Seriously, though, we are here for you whether you are posting or not. You have won our hearts! Best wishes.

  122. Blogs are a funny thing. They can be so personal and raw and as readers, we are voyeurs into the parts of life the blogger shares. From this vantage point, I see your struggle and simply want to say Thank You for sharing what you do and welcome back. I hope it feels good. No pressure on content or frequency. You are such a unique individual and your stories, style, and perseverance are awesome.

  123. I not only sympathize, but feel as though I’m in the EXACT SAME BOAT. Anxiety avoidance… have never even heard it put into those terms, but sweet adorable, thats what it is. When the need to get the immediate at hand work done and you no longer get to do what you originally loved (the blogging, the posting, etc.) it is definitely not a good balance to keep carrying on. Cheers love – you’re great, and if you posted 5 times or 500 in 2018, I’ll be cheering you on regardless. I’ll try to post a little more myself. Thanks again for writing this <3

  124. Mindfulness meditation practice helped me so much with this kind of things. Sincerely, practicing was HORRIBLE to me during a year. Then it became OK. Still not living the dream while meditating and mostly practicing mindfulness during the day, through normal activities. But my world, or at least the way I am acting and reacting to it, is not the same anymore. Much better.
    On another hand, sometimes having a little headspace from a blogger I like is something I appreciate :-)
    PS. Love the pinguins

  125. Daniel-what they said!

    Also, the self help thing hits around 30 so you are totally in the right place emotionally.

    For me, it was the book, “The Artist’s Way” that helped me get back to more of me instead of just wife and teacher and mom-of-twins. We tend to lose ourselves somewhat when we are filling societal roles IMHO. Good news is once recognized, it can be rewritten-sounds like that’s what you are doing so goodonya.

    The other thing that made a difference to me was giving more of myself-not $, but my time. I volunteer with a group that helps previously fostered teens transition to housing/jobs/college etc. It’s crazy rewarding.

    We’re redoing a mid century house here in San Diego and I enjoy going through your old posts too see some stuff that I bookmarked in my head for when we did buy a house.

    Tl;dr: welcome back. Go do some work so we can be jealous. Your trip looked awesome and your photos were awesome squared. 2018 is year of the dog in Feng Shui circles. Enjoy!

    • I’ll look up the book, thank you! Best of luck with your house projects!!

      (and as a twin myself, THANK YOU! being a mom to multiples is a special kind of difficult—SOMEDAY they will grow up and appreciate that, I promise!)

  126. You are one of the most wonderful human beings on the internet, and you’re free to post about anything you damn well like. Loved the Antarctica photos. Would also love to hear about any self-help books that especially resonate with you… speaking as someone who also falls into inaction when anxiety takes its terrible hold.

    • Haha, thank you Alison! The first book was “Finish” by Jon Acuff and I actually really enjoyed it! It’s all about how perfectionism gets in the way of completing (or even starting) goals, and practical-ish actions one can take to get past that. I’d recommend it!

  127. Oh Daniel! Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so glum and pressured. I read your blog for your voice, and I am happy to read you writing about anything — dogs, renovation projects, vacations, your awesome mom, working with your neighbor. But I wouldn’t think you were a bum if you stopped blogging! I feel like I know you a little, since I’ve been reading your blog all these years, and I like you, and I like reading what you write, but I don’t feel like you’re derelict in your duty if you don’t blog for a while — and I will treasure the things you have written about if you decide to stop blogging. I have zero expectations of you having a responsibility to entertain me and my high esteem for you will change not one iota if you pull the plug on the blog.

    • Thank you Erica, that’s very kind! Pulling the plug isn’t really something I’m considering right now (I still love blogging!), more just brainstorming how to get past my bullshit and have fun with it! Which goes for way more than just blogging—I make myself crazy about any and everything. Blogging is just one of the more recent additions that’s made me feel like a broader shift in perspective is in order.

  128. Daniel,
    So glad you are back and as a fellow queer and one that procrastinates badly on some things, I hear you loud and clear.

    I know anxiety too, and for me, it overwhelms me and I, like you, tend to put things off, things like getting my blog monetized so I can augment my income and living paycheck to paycheck with NO safety net is the ultimate root cause here. Never mind I did reduce my housing costs quite a bit. I went from paying $1135/Mo for renting a 600SqFt 1 bedroom apt to buying a 3 bed, 836SqFt HOUSE for LESS than $800/Mo mortgage, including insurance, taxes and PMI. Not bad, though like your house, it’s a fixer upper, just not needing nearly as extensive of work as yours but it needs updating nontheless.

    I decided that this year I was going to entertain more (began that by having 2 of my 3 sisters over for brunch for my Birthday a couple of weeks ago), ask for money to buy paint to begin repainting 2 rooms (living room and hall) as they are this awful light green that is called, Cucumber (think inside flesh of said veggie) yuk.

    I’m also slowly doing some stereo upgrades this year by first selling some old speakers to upgrade, then the amp section and then the turntable (yes, I do vinyl).

    I also hope to reduce debt this year, hopefully through my taxes as 2017 reflects my first full year in the house so should get a decent sized refund and that’ll help reduce the financial worries at least some and I’m sure that’ll help in general with how I function.

    I’m firmly a believer in taking care of yourself, and that means treating yourself to something you enjoy, be it wine, a record or whatever. We all get these negative voices in our heads or just get overwhelmed and I have found that if you just DO, and allow a couple of hours max to work on whatever, you can accomplish a good bit. Since early December, I’ve cleared out lots of old papers and other crap from my office and just last weekend, got the floor so I can get in and out without dodging coats and what not and I can see the floor.

    I also worked in my art room and it’s better but still got lots more to do as it’s also my catch all room at the moment, but seeing progress fuels me to do more and the trick is to NOT let it go too long between stints.

    At the end of the day, don’t be too hard on yourself and try not to let the guilt get to you (I know, being Jewish and all that means, easier said than done, but try). Give yourself permission to fail and not try to be perfect all the time and one reason I don’t do Pinterest as it’s nothing but an anxiety inducing site as all the photos appear just so perfect (and unrealistic) and I think it sets people up to fail so I just don’t go there.

    Glad you are back and had a great trip, sometimes that helps more than you may realize right now.

    I hope you find avenues to work through the depression and anxiety and thus the tendency to not do and we can read of your projects. By the way, need to update MY blog again.

  129. Hi. I’m hoping you manage the paradox between self challenge and self care.

    I’m new to your blog and I love your work

  130. What a great post! I never comment, but the post showed up on my blog reader, and of course, I immediately read it because often your posts are funny, insightful, beautiful, and it’d been a while. (No biggie). So, I never comment but just had to say something today, even if it’s not saying much at all! :)

  131. Hi Daniel, thank you for sharing and I hope you’re giving yourself the credit due for recognizing and articulating that there is a problem. That’s no easy thing. I think a great many of us can empathize with the anxiety monster and would never hold it against you. For your self-help book club, I’d suggest Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule. I’ve historically been one of those snobby assholes who turned my nose up at self-help books, but I watched a class Robbins gave on CreativeLive (called How to Ditch Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence) and it was sort of mind-blowing to me. I use her techniques (including the 5 second rule), which are all backed by brain science, every single day, and they’ve been really helping me do things I normally avoid because of anxiety. So far my 2018 is looking (and feeling) very different in a good way because of it. So much for being a snob, huh? Anyways, just a suggestion.

    • I’ll look it up Jen, thank you! I totally get it—I think a lot of us have a natural tendency to want to figure it out on our own, like looking at what someone else has already figured out is cheating or something? Which is silly! It’s like we’re happy to borrow someone else’s knowledge when it comes to all kinds of other things (exercise, nutrition, anything you learn in school), but helping ourselves with pretty fundamental just, ya know, strategies for being alive is somehow stupid and off-limits. I can occasionally roll my eyes at some of the more “self-help-y” language and STILL learn something valuable or at least be inspired to think about something I hadn’t—amazing! Haha.

  132. Well you are a special soul, dear. Don’t spend too long bashing yourself for things that are already passed. Yours is a gifted journey and with it has come some heavy weight, too. I’m sorry for your struggles. Know that they won’t always be like this. Thank you for sharing of yourself with me (and so many others). Sending you positive energy! xoxo

  133. What I have enjoyed most about your blog (since your dorm room days!) is the reality of it all. Your intelligent, high quality documentation of the long process that your work takes in real-life time is what is satisfying, I’m not here for scheduled pinterest click bait. Your projects have become much bigger than just hanging a shelf or changing a fixture. I think we all understand that your blog is an entry point to your process, which isn’t just one thing. Your process – whatever that may be – is what I’m here, or not here, for. Manhattan Nest doesn’t prescribe to blogging tropes, and that’s why I always check back.
    Take care Daniel
    xo Emily

  134. I’ve read your blog for years! Primarily because 1. you do rad stuff and 2. you aren’t putting forward some fake, veneered “content.” Do you and post as often or as little as you like. Life is hard sometimes, it has real ups and downs and being an adult comes with no handbook. I wish you all the very best!

  135. Hey! I think you were on the same expedition as my friends Greg and Lauren from Ohio. How cool is that! (see what I did there? ;-) )
    Blogging can be so stressful, always trying to live up to expectations that you aren’t sure of. Take heart in the fact that all bloggers who blog on their own can get burned out and need to take a break. I found your blog when the Young House Love Kids (I’m old enough to be their mom, so I call them The YHL Kids) said they were done with blogging. They took a loooooooong break, saying they weren’t going to blog at all anymore. But eventually they figured out a way to blog part-time rather than posting something new every day, and they still have their huge fan base following them.
    Those of us who follow you will still hang around and wait eagerly for your posts no matter how frequently or infrequently you feel up to blogging. So, take care of yourself first, knowing that we’re over here cheering you on and looking forward to hearing from you.

    • That would be crazy! No Greg and Lauren from Ohio on our ship, but perhaps they were on the trip right before or after or something. 100 passengers is pretty cozy; you know most people by the time it’s over!

      (and thank you! xoxo)

  136. wow, and also you’re my favorite. oh and cool icebergs and penguins.

  137. First the important question: Do you get a stamp in your passport for Antartica? And if so, could you post a pic of it? I’d love to know what it looks like! A lot of times when I go on vacation, or life gets busy, or I just stop feeling like reading, I just mark all new blog posts as read. Thousands of them. Because thinking about going back in time and reading all that stuff is overwhelming. And then I pick back up and life goes on. Please don’t ever feel guilty for not writing, or not answering comments, or not doing anything you don’t feel like doing.

    • good question—yes and no! Antarctica is not really controlled by any single nation or anything—it’s been designated for research, preservation, and the advancement of human knowledge since the late 1950s, I believe. Various countries have bases/research stations on the continent, and we went to a British base from the 1940s called Port Lockroy which is also the only gift shop or post office on the continent, and they’ll stamp your passport there! It’s not an actual official stamp, but it looks cool! If you google port lockroy passport stamp, there are some examples of the stamps they’ve used over the years. We also got to send postcards home, which were fun to receive a few weeks later.

      (I think that’s a good strategy, btw! sometimes we just need to clean the slate and move on. I tend to bulk-archive all emails that are over a few months old every now and then—if I didn’t see it 6 months ago and the person hasn’t emailed again, I JUST CANNOT MAKE MYSELF CRAZY OVER IT. If it’s that important, they’ll follow up or I’ll be able to search for it, but just getting it out of the inbox feels good and like I’m able to start addressing the ones that do matter and not freaking out over the ones that probably don’t anymore.)

  138. You are so talented in your work and your writing, and such a delightful human being, any little bit you want to share is great. Anytime you don’t, also great ( but not so much fun). Also I suspect any self-employed person has a wild and raggedy work record, comes with the territory. The photos are magnificent. I have decided, after many years, that a vacation should be at least 3 weeks long because only that really gives you the room to unwind.

  139. Daniel, you’re sweet, and adorable, and cute, and super smart, and awesome. About anxiety and depression, what I can say as someone with cyclothymia, is that the way to deal with it is to do it directly. Meaning that dealing with other stuff, like the blog, may not make the anxiety better in the long-term. The blog is really, truly fine, including long-ish absences. That’s just life. Fixing life things may help to uplift our spirits, but will not put an end to anxiety. I don’t have to take meds, but have to continuously check myself to understand what’s happening (like, is this me or anxiety talking), and I don’t have to tell you it’s a pain in the ass. It’s like living with anemia or another condition that needs constant tending. On the other hand, looking at it as a specific, separate anomaly can help stop it from permeating everything we do. It has an effect, yes, the way anemia does. But treating it as a specific issue may prevent it from spreading into the rest of our lives, I think.
    Love, love, love and envy your trip to the bottom of the world. Incredible!

  140. Oh Daniel. I JUST LOVE YOU. I look forward to everything you post-or don’t. Be well.

  141. I have missed your posts, but I knew you had a good reason for not posting. I suffered from anxiety for years until a really stressful job forced me to get help (I was in my late 20s at the time). Counseling and antidepressants did wonders. I still struggle with my Matilda (I love that!), but it’s easier. I also completely understand the whole anxiety – avoidance – anxiety cycle. It’s still a big problem for me.
    The bottoml line is that you need to do what works for you! I’m pretty sure we all support you 110%. Anyone who doesn’t, sucks, and you don’t need to worry about them anyway.

    Ridiculously awesome vacation, btw.

  142. I’ve been a prisoner of the anxiety-avoidance-anxiety loop for longer than I’d care to acknowledge. You’re incredibly brave to share your struggles with all of us and to commit to putting in the work to make improvements in your health and wellness. As much as I enjoy your blog, I can tell you that you owe me nothing. I love your posts but I view them as a treat– not an entitlement. Come back to the blog whenever your heart leads you here and I’ll keep reading. And, in the meantime, take good care.

  143. Your writing is a such a joy to read that I welcome it whenever it comes. Do what is right for you and just know that the rest of us will be happy to read it whenever it’s there. I’ve waited much longer than a few months (or a year!) to read writing as thoughtful, witty, and refreshing. I’m with you. Kanter 20/20?

  144. It’s good to see you, too… <3

  145. Welcome back friend. I missed you ❤️

  146. Daniel,
    Amen brother. Your courage in writing this post is amazing. You’re so relatable and funny and lovable. It feels good when you really start to take care of you…odd buy good. Thanks for being so wonderfully human. ❤️

  147. It’s lovely to hear from you, Daniel. When I see a new post from you, there’s this little blip of pleasure. Your trip sounds amazing and your journey has so much promise.

  148. I, for one, like to think of myself as an aunt who is always, always tickled to hear from you and never gives a thought to how long it’s been, though I perhaps spare a moment now and then to wish you well in thought. I also see myself in the description of your “coping” mechanisms, completely. If you figure it out let the rest of us anxious humans know. Love love love to you

  149. Good to hear from you, Daniel.

    Always happy to see a post from you, no matter how long between. Wishing you a peaceful year ahead and know that we’re all in your corner.

  150. We’ve all been there. And we will all be there again. Thanks for coming back! Eloquently stated. A professional therapist might help you work through these things!

  151. Daniel!! We are with you. So brave of you to write this and thank you for sharing. You are not alone.

  152. I’m sending you my love, Daniel, all the way from Belgium.
    (long time reader, first time commenter)

  153. hi Daniel,
    Nice to have you back. I really missed hearing about your renovating adventures. I have read your blog from the beginning. You are a very gifted individual. You are an amazing writer as well as a talented designer. Life is too short to not to do what makes you happy. Losing Linus was a big thing. We get so attached to these little animals. Our constant, uncomplaining, loving companions. We feel the lack of their presence keenly.

    Perhaps you are simply lonely and keep busy to avoid thinking about it. Everyone needs a special someone in their life whether human or animal.

    I hope 2018 is a year where you will find contentment.

    All the best

    maureen Blair

  154. Progress, not perfection. Welcome back Daniel!

  155. Daniel

    You have this amazing way of sharing deep disturbance and pain utterly fully and personally and yet never self-indulgent – rare, inspiring, moving – I’m deeply affected and try to learn from you

    It’s clear you have a handle on this and don’t need advice from me – nevertheless I have to mention DANCE

    Conscious dance – I like 5rhythms but there are others – is great for getting me out of my head and breaking up stuckness, movement creates movement – 5rhythms.com

    Ok enough of that

    Thank you from me in Somerset – your writing is a special thing in my life

    Catherine xxx

  156. Not to ignore the beautifully written and intense sentiments in your post, but what kind of camera did you use for these pictures – they are stunning!

    • OK, a bit ashamed to say…iPhone 6 SE! Edited in the VSCO app. I let my older brother worry about taking the really nice photos with the fancy equipment.

  157. Welcome back! I have missed you! Loved hearing about this trip and everything it meant to you.

  158. Good for you Daniel. I thought about asking if you are okay but I always have to remind myself that, as much as your excellent writing makes me feel like I know you, I really don’t, and that would probably be creepy. But please know: everyone who reads your blog thinks you are great. And you don’t actually owe us anything. You write a blog that we all get to enjoy for free. You deserve to make money off of it, or take a break from it, or avoid reading mean comments, or throw in the towel tomorrow, or whatever you want to do. Glad you are feeling better. I can definitely relate.

  159. How odd it must be to have so many people who care about you, who you have never met. And yet, I’m wondering, as I reread your post and your stranger-friends’ comments, if maybe there’s a lesson for all of us in the kindness and love of strangers. Your post, and your stranger-friends’ comments, remind me of labor and delivery with my oldest son. I exposed myself to strangers for the first time in my anxious life and they did not judge me. They took care of me, cleaned me up, relieved my pain. And then I went back to a world where that exposure is indecent, but remained vaguely aware that when I asked for help it was given, kindly.
    Remarkable you and your smart remarkable stranger-friends remind me of that lesson. In your honest and exposed posts the meanness that threatens to bury us (truly, fuck 2016; fuck 2017) falls away. You’ve created a platform for kindness. What a gift you’ve given us! Thank you.
    (Plus, I painted all my doors onyx black. I think of you with gratitude and admiration every time I cross a threshold :-) .)

    • Everything about your comment—yes. It IS really odd (and, to be honest, difficult for me to accept), but beyond incredible. I might have created a platform but I didn’t create any of THIS—that’s a bunch of really awesome people and some seriously good fortune. For me it’s an enormous gift and honor and truly restorative when the world feels dark. People are good. Things will be OK. :)

    • Hi Daniel – I loved reading this relatable post and wow your readers are crushing it with the comments!
      I can relate to your friends Fuck 2016 bumper sticker. Every year we go to our friends Christmas party and they have a toast to friends near the end but always wrap up saying they are so happy to see the end of the previous year and how horrible it was. I get it – they (and we) have had some very rough years. But it became this thing I dreaded hearing and this year I thought I might skip the party just so I could miss that part – especially as 2017 had been an extremely hard year for everyone in our friend group – like hardest ever! But I went. And to my amazement they didn’t wrap up their toast that way this year. It was more of a met the challenges we felt we could and let go of the ones we couldn’t, loving our people and love for ourselves. And I was so glad I didn’t miss it. I’m learning to make room in my life for all the emotions…happy/sad, calm/anxious – because truly you can’t appreciate one without the other.
      JoAnne xo

  160. One reason (but hardly the only reason) I love reading your blog is because you always have some awesome anecdote that has nothing to do with renovations or restoring or houses at all but is wildly entertaining and totally (somehow) on point. See exhibit African-safari-tent-hotel-baboon-terrorized family vacation.

    So glad to see you back!

    Also, I have a great suggestion for your self-help book club: The Upside of Stress, by Dr. Kelly McGonigal. Amazing, easy to read, well-researched, and so entertaining and inspiring. She also gave a TED talk, if you want to check that out first. https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend

  161. I wasn’t going to comment on this post and maybe shouldn’t but having said that I also wanted YOU and your readership to know that we understand. We understand and your family LOVES you–all of you and treasure every moment. As I read your words, which are so relatable because we’ve all been there. Not to belittle where you or anyone else is on the spectrum of fear/guilt/anxiety/depression, I really believe that if you drew this on a chart and at one hand had a person lying in a fetal position, unable to cope with the world around them and at the other hand had a person making their way happily through (this chaotic crazy life we are tending towards living) skipping and picking daisies along the way, we’d all be somewhere on the chart and most would place themselves more toward the fetal end. I firmly believe that we and the people circulating around us, whether friend or stranger, all have their own fears and anxieties. Obviously it’s a matter of degree, but let’s all work towards moving ourselves across the chart or at least towards the middle ground. (FUCK 2016 AND 2017, they sucked on every level)

  162. An an anxiety sufferer who had a nervous breakdown at age 36, I can SO relate to everything your thinking mind made you BELIEVE was true, even though it was totally not true. It took me a long time to realize thinking mind is not actually ME. And all those anxious thoughts are just anxious thoughts. Not reality, and not the boss. You are on the right track in taking a look inward and making changes, not just running running running. May I gently suggest finding a good therapist? One FANTASTIC sessoon with a really good therapist got me farther than 4 years of trying to go it alone. Athletes at the top of their game have coaches. Business folks at the very top have coaches. It’s how you make quantum leaps and tell yourself you are serious about not fucking around in the pit any longer. We are all here, cheering for you, loving you and waiting with baited breath for the next fabulous post. You’ve got this!

  163. Daniel- thank you for sharing. It was beautifully written like everything you’ve ever shared with us. I’m cheering for you in Chicago. Looking forward to following along in 2018 :)

  164. Whatever you write is a pleasure to read, doesn’t matter when or how often. Thanks for sharing your words – and your honest feelings. Here’s hoping 2018 has a lot of good in store ❤️

  165. Hi Daniel, I couldn’t help but wonder if you had gone through your own personal Drake Passage. I hope that what follows the rough seas will be the same for you: calm, clarity, beauty and adventure.

  166. Welcome back. Not that you went anywhere.
    Safe space. Your space.
    You decide what and when and how and don’t need to listen to the direction of your audience.
    Everything you describe is very familiar to me (I’m not a content creator but I am a creative). And I know the feeling when even checking email or responding to a text can be too much. I don’t know how to fix it or how I’ve come out of it time and time again… But just know it’s ok to not be ok… You’re seen and heard. Take your time. Make sure you get some fresh air everyday.
    This maybe went a bit far but all that to say, be well.

  167. Daniel,

    You set such a high bar for yourself that you bring yourself to believe that everyone else’s is that high too. Nope. We expect nothing of you. We demand nothing of you.We need nothing from you. We’re just grateful for your posts because they make us happy. They should always make you happy too. Anxiety’s a bitch, I get that. I’m really glad you stood up to your fears and took up blogging again. See, we’re still here, no anger, only happiness! Maybe you could bring yourself to learn to live a bit more in the moment; plan a little less (sometimes no plan is also a good plan) have you ever had a weekend with NOTHING PLANNED, enjoy little things, don’t stress about missed opportunities (they were not meant to be), and cut yourself some slack. You are not a superhero, nobody needs you to be one, you’re just a human. But a pretty darn fantastic one ;).
    Hugging you all the way from Belgium (which looks just like Antartica at the moment. Without the sun. And the icebergs. And the penguins. And the blue sea. Yay)

    • Thank you, Doorot! I wanted to say, when I saw your comment last night, I had just put on work jeans and was half-heartedly gearing up to deal with some house crap because I had basically accomplished NOTHING over the weekend and was feeling bad about it…and then your comment about a weekend (what a concept!) with NOTHING PLANNED (say what?!) and not stressing (surely, you have me confused) led me to text my boyfriend, change back into regular clothes, and go see a movie I really wanted to see. I appreciate it! :)

  168. Happy to see you back. The photos are just superb!

  169. Your post moved me in a multitude of ways. So honest-rare and valued qualities. Anxiety is a soul killer and can reduce everything to black and white -I personally have struggled with it for a long time and have given myself over to the Pharmaceutical Gods. No regrets except that I hate being imperfect. Write more often, you have a gift!

  170. First, your photos are absolutely stunning. You have an artist’s eye. Second, welcome back and good luck. As a lifer on antidepressants myself, all I can say is, thank FSM for them.

  171. great to hear from you again :) love your posts and your adventures, always makes my day when they pop up in my feed! paradoxically even more so if it’s been awhile since the last one/I’m not expecting one. great way to start a week x

  172. I can completely relate. Perpetual anxietiest. Is that even a word? I get anxiety about everything and know how hard it is. I wish you the best. I love reading your blog posts and seeing your instagram pics, but if you have a day where you don’t want to post don’t. Your blog and insta is about you, no one else.

  173. Glad your back!

  174. The anxiety/depression cycle (having anxiety, starting to avoid things out of anxiety, becoming depressed about All the Things that you now “can’t” do because they make you too anxious)… is a nightmare. And oh my god, I empathize with what you went through so much. I have anxiety and panic disorder with a healthy side order of depression that occasionally is compounded on by seasonal depression and mild obsessive compulsive disorder. I can’t be medicated because I am too sensitive to the medication (we’ve tried, four different types of antidepressants and an absolutely terrifying bout of hallucinations later, I made the executive decision to not) and so I try to meditate regularly and see a therapist, but it is easily the most difficult thing to deal with, knowing that my own mind does not always want to cooperate with me. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I know how it feels. And I really don’t think anyone resents you for taking a break (even some of the more… entitled… commenters on previous posts were almost immediately shut down by other, more supportive commenters!) and I am so glad that you are back, and doing better.

  175. Well, first off, how awesome that you got to go to Antarctica! I’ve never gone anywhere so spectacular and I loved your pictures! Sounds like your family is pretty incredible, i.e. my parents never did anything like that for us. I’m always happy to see you pop-up in my inbox but I am never mad with you for anything! I grew up not far from Kingston and feel not only a kinship with you but I feel protective of you because you’re such a sweet, caring young man. Be kind to yourself!

  176. Daniel – I’ve nver met you but I’ve been worried about you. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself.

  177. Daniel! Are we the same person?? I mean, obviously not because you’ve been to Antarctica and I haven’t (weirdly I spent all winter researching trips there, it looks amazing) but the anxiety, avoidance, and most of all, the wondering if the feeling of stumbling exhausted over the threshold of each year is actually just ME. I feel all that, so hard.

    You’ve already got 200+ comments to this effect and probably don’t need another one, but just to drive the point home: we love you, we are all happy to hear from you, we are never angry with you for taking the time and space you need. A post from you always brightens my day, but as a nice bonus, not something expected or demanded. Live your life, get happy and healthy, and then please explain to me what worked for you because I also live the anxiety struggle, dude. Oh, and hug Mekko for me, if you would?

  178. A) whenever I see Manhattan Nest in my feed I get a little jolt of pleasure. Thank you for that. It’s a gift not a requirement.
    B) my mom went on that sam3 trip and loved it.
    C) amazing pictures. I hope your framing some of them! My favorite was the last one with the penguin.

    D) I do that exact same spiral of anxiety/avoidance. It’s so self destructive and SO HARD to break. My best friend and I have a Term for it-cat box-because of a particular avoidance situation that involved not cleaning the litter box for several months and leaving it in a closed off room. But sadly was her art supply room which meant no art got produced for a couple months until I talked her through the process of going in and cleaning it over the phone. Turns out it wasn’t nearly as bad as she thought it would be. (Which is of course what usually happens) So now when one of us has one of those situations we call each other and say I have a cat box and the other one talks us through facing it over the phone. Like literally stays on the phone with the other one as they do the project at least get started on it. So. Your not alone. Just saying.

  179. Your trip sounds completely amazing. Now I want to go to Antarctica!
    Hug yourself, hug Mekko, & remember to take care of you. I’m always glad to read your posts, whenever you post them. I know how anxiety can just build & build till it takes over, and like others have said, it’s important to put on your own oxygen mask first. Take care, & we’ll be here, whenever you pop in.

  180. Good to see your post. I have to admit I check your blog just about every day and was always a bit let down when I saw there wasn’t anything new. But I know life takes over sometimes & you had a good reason to be away. I secretly hoped you would come back to us ;)
    Good to see you & can I say FUKIN amazing trip!!!! Wow! Glad you spent it with ones you love.

  181. Hi! So, first of all, I feel your pain: in graduate school, I once did not check my email for FOUR MONTHS because I was concerned there might be a challenging email from my advisor in my inbox. It worked about as well as you’d expect. Second of all, do remember that you are giving your readers fun, interesting content for free with no expectation of any reciprocity from them, and anyone who makes you feel bad for not giving them enough free content in a timely enough fashion is a grasping maniac. Third, your blog is nothing without you, the human being behind it, and the human being behind it has to be nurtured and fed by the project. Fourth, I love and am grateful for anything you post, whenever it happens. Fifth, I’m so sorry again about Linus. Sixth, re: self-help books, do you know the By The Book podcast? It is spectacular, very relevant to your book club in that two funny, interesting people try to live by the laws of self help books for two weeks, partially to make fun of them and partially in hope that they might work. I don’t think WordPress will let me link it, but it’s a Panoply podcast.

    • Beeeennnnn therreeeeee on the email front. It can get so intense.

      So funny, I was talking to someone about my “book club” on the ship, and she suggested the podcast!! Truthfully I don’t LOVE it, but it’s cute and fun and I listened to almost all the episodes, haha.

  182. Daniel- you are wonderful and provide inspiration and moments of *joy* for many people beyond me (I’m sure of it) who read your words and see your pics. For that, we owe you— not the other way around ;)

    Happy 2018.


    p.s. Antarctica looks m-f-ing awesome.

  183. Thank you for being you – and for sharing it. Here to cheer you on, always – to 2018 and beyond!

  184. amen brother.
    Had/have a blog that we tried to update at first every other week, then month, then… just stopped over a year ago. I’m sure our seven or so readers may or may not have noticed, but we have. I used to quite enjoy the random monkey bang keyboard thing, but then life (and election) happened and the attempted lightness of the writing just didn’t work. And the longer you are away, the more it is a big deal, giant wall, big hairy clog in the septic system…I might have digressed a bit there.

    all is well, now to just to buy that story…short version, not alone.

    Thanks for the post.

  185. being a 1989 baby (me too) seems to produce a special concoction of anxiety & depression based on a perfectionism / superhero kinda complex. the 88 and 90 kids are similar but whenever other 89ers talk about it i’m just like… damn. so familiar. sending solidarity through the interweb wires.

    • That’s interesting, Parker! I can totally see that being true. Sending solidarity back! We’ll figure it out someday. :)

  186. <3 I don't know you, but Anxiety and I are quite well acquainted. And I love your blog. So I'm sending you a hug and a deep breath to let you know that that pesky bitch Anxiety will come and go from your life in waves and some periods are good and some periods suck. But as long as you acknowledge her existence, you have power over her (or him, or whatever).

  187. ” I was vastly underachieving at something that’s important to me, so I created noble-sounding reasons to avoid feeling that failure-anxiety. That doesn’t work for very long.”

    Shit, you just described me in two sentences!

    Welcome back, I’m glad you’ve decided to get back!

    Big hug!

  188. So first of all, before you do anything else, even if you aren’t a reader, please go read Where’s You Go, Bernadette. At first, I was going to mention it because there’s a connection to Antarctica, a place I never really thought about going until I read this book. Second, because once you started talking about BEING HUMAN and feeling guilty about it, I thought: He definitely needs to read Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

    I’m newish to your blog (only a few years), but I love your voice and that little dark cloud above your head that I recognize. And, of course, your design.

    • I’ll look it up, thank you! Weirdly/not-weirdly enough, one of the passengers on our ship was named Bernadette. IS IT ABOUT HER?! ;)

      • I’ve wanted to read that book since it hit the best seller lists, but haven’t been able to because I have the same name. And it’s not a common name, so I am not used to this. Which makes me wonder, do people with common names also suffer from the character-has-the-same-name-as-me aversion?

  189. Glad you’re back!

  190. Looks like an amazing trip! And thank you for every blog post. They are all gifts – I don’t have specific expectations for them because I feel each one is a bonus.

  191. I read fewer and fewer blogs but yours is one I always enjoy. You have maintained an authentic voice and I love your design style choices. Even when I would have chosen differently, I love how you write about your process! I am sorry that anxiety and/or depression impacts your life negatively. That sounds just awful. Soul-sucking. I’m so glad you came back to this space. You are never a disappointment!!

  192. Man, I think every third blogger or writer or artist or creative person I’ve heard from has been saying “so….was anyone else also finding it really hard to actually DO anything in 2017 because you were anxious as shit, or was it just me?”

    It wasn’t just you. It wasn’t just me either. The past couple years have been hell on toast for a lot of people. Personally, I had a really lousy job for a couple years that underpaid me like hell and that I didn’t know what I was doing, and that sapped pretty much my entire will to do much of anything for a couple years until I got the hell out of there – and that effectively killed off a freelance writing gig I’d been doing for a year. Not only would it be hard to go back to that gig….I actually don’t even want to.

    But you find your way forward. I’m finding that getting back to FUN is a wise course for me too, if that helps: I had a blog that wasn’t really doing anything, and then after a really awful day at work I came home and watched a classic movie on Netflix and felt great afterward, and said “you know what, how about I just watch through all of the movies from that ‘1001 movies to see before you die’ book and blog about that.” It’s been a year now, and that has now BECOME my blog, effectively. It ain’t paying me jack, it probably won’t lead to anything, but you know what, it’s fun. In fact, it’s fun enough that I’m writing regularly again – which is getting me back in practice.

    A lot of us are in the same boat. It’s okay. You’re finding your way forward, which is the important thing.

    (P.S. – the link to my blog is up above, look for the posts titled “Movie Crash Course”. I’m watching through all the films in chronological order and am just about to cross over into all the talkies finally. I’ve come to learn that I love Buster Keaton and I totally don’t get Soviet propaganda films.)

    • What a project! And here’s to having fun, totally. Stuff (especially stuff like blogging!) SHOULD be fun—it’s something I’m trying to keep in mind moving forward, in part because I’ve been at this a while and maybe sometimes I want to post about some other thing that I think is cool or whatever, and why not! I think in the past I’ve had some self-restrictive beliefs about what’s relevant to post here, but at the end of the day…if it’s fun to write about and talk about and think about, what exactly is problem?? In what other context could I, as a writer, write whatever the hell I want?? WE SHOULD DO THAT!

      • I have also gotten to discover Buster Keaton movies this way and that was a fantastic revelation. But equally as fun was this bizarre French silent film serial called “The Vampires” – which is actually NOT about vampires, it is about ninja jewel thieves. It is gloriously over-the-top in every possible way.

  193. Anxiety is a lot of fun in that you feel it, and then you start hunting for reasons why it’s there. If you don’t find anything jumping right up to the forefront, a million little things crowd forward in your mind to overwhelm you just as much as a big thing would.

    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now. Glad to see you’re back in in a better headspace, and aren’t leaving blogging behind.

  194. Hi- first, don’t feel like you need to respond to this because that’s a lot! But I wanted to thank you for the honesty and vulnerability you shared here. I’ve read your blog for years and have always loved your tone and candor, but I’m increasingly grateful for the times when people who write publicly also share their struggles or difficulties. I can’t imagine how hard that must be, generally and because our culture seems so hell bent on only ever putting our best faces/feet forward online (or anywhere, really). But I hope you know, and that comments above mine underscore how much it can mean to read about another person struggling with something familiar, or even anything at all. Anxiety, fear, difficulty, sadness- it’s all so isolating. You’ve let readers in, and by doing that you’ve offered us some solace, some hope, and some community in our pain as well. I just wanted to commend you for that. Good luck with what you have ahead.

  195. You can go away, it’s not a problem – what, are you going to owe us refunds?

  196. Welcome back! And thank you for your honesty. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, but in a world that doesn’t seem to value mental health as it should, I think it’s so important for us all to be honest when we struggle. I’ve been doing this same thing. I too, went away. Not from blogging, but from my life and friends and family, my email, my hobbies, my happiness. I’ve known it on some level for quite awhile now, but reading your post today made me realize it’s time to come back. <3

    • Good luck, Kati!! Wading back in feels good, but those first steps are difficult and uncomfortable. Rooting for ya. :)

  197. HI, I’m glad your back, here’s to a better year. I don’t do cold but Antarctica looks amazing and you saw penguins!. I’m sorry about Linus, losing a buddy like that is so hard.


  198. Daniel Kanter for Prime Minister! Canada would love to have you but there may just be a back lash from your fellow American fans. FYI-the current administration weighs heavily on us Canucks too. Hang in there and thanks for the incredible post. XO

  199. Never comment, but I just wanted to say: You do you. We are here for you, when you’re ready to be here for us. Thanks for being awesome.

  200. Thanks for sharing! You are not alone in all that you’re feeling … But know that your blog always comes as great inspiration for me. Keep it up! xx

  201. <3 You're great, you're doing a good job at hard things, and I look forward to hearing from you again.

    An acquaintance of mine who is very funny and sharp has written a book about her experiences in mitigating anxiety, and the way you've written makes me think that you might appreciate her book: https://www.amazon.com/Okay-Fine-Whatever-Afraid-Everything/dp/0316395706

  202. I appreciate you, Daniel. I enjoy reading your posts. Be kind to yourself.

  203. I love you. Here’s to 20fucking18! And welcome back!

  204. You went away.

    And I’m glad you came back.

  205. Daniel, I just want to throw a whole big bucket of love, confidence and joy all over you!

  206. Daniel, I still do the anxiety/avoidance cycle and I’m forty. I realize that’s not particularly heartening but I tell you this so you know we are all in the same boat. Well not always, I mean, but often. You write in such a way that I want to know what you’re doing (that house! your kitchen! I’m still holding out thinking I might get mine done before you, but since my basement kitchen crawl space still looks like a place where crimes are committed probably not) and also how you’re doing. We don’t care how often you post or that you don’t post every day at the same time. Shit happens. Reality can hit you hard bro. We’re all with you.

  207. Thrilled to hear from you, internet friend-type person! So glad you are taking care of yourself. Here’s to a better year from this point on.

  208. Your blog has given me SO MUCH pleasure over the years, and there’s never been a quantitative aspect to that. Whatever and whenever you share, I’m happy. Hugs to you, Daniel –

  209. I’m glad to see you back here! I have thought about you on and off since you’ve been gone and hoped you were having a great time. I’m sorry to hear that’s not been true, at least not mostly.

    I have been really down this week because I’ve had to confront similar things. It’s been a rough few years. And then the rough few years led to a couple years where I was tired out and basically did the bare minimum and that was ‘coping well’ and then a bunch of things that I value in my life sort of fell away because you just can’t maintain a full and wonderful life while you’re wrangling serious mental health stuff. But I told myself it could be worse, I was doing ok, everything was fine. Those things were true, but they weren’t enough. Anyway, I’ve been on meds for a year now and I am JUST NOW sort of coming good, along with a bunch of life changes like working less that have opened up time to both reflect and to try and get some of those things back in my life.

    And so this last week some things happened that were nbd in themselves but led to me having to confront the holes in my life. Nothing essential. Nothing major. Nothing unfixable. But it feels like I’ve let myself down. Anyway, that’s all fine and now I know and I can make some changes and work on being kind to myself about it because nothing makes trying to make things better harder than having negative thoughts about how you should have already done it. Yikes.

    ANYWAY. The point is. Yes. And thank you for posting this. I wish neither of us were feeling like this but it’s good to know this is part of the ebb and flow of being human. One of the things I struggle with is blogging and social media – not letting it be a guilt god but also not letting it go because it’s so good for me when it’s good.

    Your trip looks amazing and those pictures are INCREDIBLE. Will any of them end up on your walls?

  210. Thank you Daniel for sharing these past months. Your writing is amazing – I can almost hear you speaking. Here’s to a wonderful 2018 for you. Will look forward to reading more posts as the year goes by. But…no pressure.

  211. You basically summed up life for most of us. We all dread checking our emails and have a fear of retribution that never materializes. I’m 41 and have no answers for you. Of course I haven’t had good sleep in days so what do I know?

    Just write in your blog like it’s a journal/blog of yester year and move on.

    Doesn’t have the be perfect.

  212. Daniel, welcome back! You have been missed, so thank you for choosing to return. Just be at the pace you are good with. No worries at all.

    Love these photos of the South Pole. Now I want to go too. Cheers!

  213. Hey Daniel,
    I don’t usually comment but I wanted to say that I sure am glad you’re back. I’ve missed your posts.
    Good luck with your work to make 2018 better. Your trip sounds like it was pretty awesome.

  214. “I’m Fine” by Whitney Cummings. OMG!

    your trip looks AH mAzIng!

    life happens, it’s cool <3

  215. I know bloggers sometimes have to stick to a posting schedule. Probably for a combination of reasons… planning on their part to keep organized, sponsorship that pays the bills, who knows… I’m not a blogger. But I will say, my favorite bloggers are the ones who, when they don’t have anything interesting, feeling uninspired, or lacking content, just don’t post. Even my favorite bloggers who I look forward to reading every day. I’d rather read nothing at all then a post that feels bland and forced. So personally, whether you post every day, once a week, or take a couple months off… cool! As long as you aren’t posting because you feel like you haaave to. and when you do post, it will be a welcomed enjoyable read. Thanks for posting, whenever that may be :)

  216. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for battling anxiety to continue to share. You have an incredible voice and writing style. I wish you the best, always!

    P.S. How f-ing awesome was it to see penguins and whales in the wild?!

  217. I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones or the lack of sleep but this had me in TEARS. I relate to this so hard it hurts. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your feelings and struggles with anxiety. It helps those of us dealing with the same issues feel like we’re not alone.
    Also, we’ve all missed you. :)

  218. Just Yes, everything, so well articulated! I am one of those ‘have it all together people’ and I hate that people see that because I really don’t. I’m 42 and it took me years to realize that I struggle with anxiety, took me until it immobilised my then 8 year old, gorgeous, fabulous son. Now we are all figuring it out together and I see how often anxiety and creativity weave together in this artistic dance. Like you I am learning what helps to keep me in balance and to have Grace when I’m not. Excited for you and for us because I love you blog :-)!!!

  219. 2015-2016-2017-2018… they’ve all been rough years, especially for those of us fighting the good fight against anxiety. I’m a new mom, and read something interesting recently – that the moms most likely to face debilitating anxiety after childbirth are the ones with underlying anxiety issues to begin with. On the one hand – duh. But. Also, I took a moment to reflect on that and think about how I can react to that statistic. I realized, oh, okay, all new moms go through the same types of stressors, I just need to spend some time figuring out better ways to manage that stress since I’m not as well equipped, and those stressors make me feel worse than they do other people. Maybe that will resonate with you, too? Life is going to throw all kinds of sh*t at us–like the orange Cheeto himself–and the only guaranteed truth in all of this is that it’s on me to manage how I react to those situations. I like feeling that sense of control over it! Maybe this is all “duh” to you, but I hadn’t thought of it so simply before. In any event, your blog is my favorite and I’ve missed you.

  220. Daniel,
    Glad you had such an amazing experience on the family trip! Also this post resonates, is recognizable and familiar feeling – thank you for sharing and glad you are feeling empowered to work on things you feel you need to. A good reminder for the rest of us!

  221. You went away.
    You came back.
    This makes me happy, like, really happy. Over the years I’ve been reading your blog, you’ve felt like a friend and well, I missed hearing about what you were up to. Nice to have you home ole’ pal. Hugs from grey London Town x

  222. A++

  223. I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE BACK! I used to blog (not nearly to the extent that you have/do) and 100% understand the “but I’ve been gone so long, how do I just start again?” feeling. I’m 100% on board with “declaring bankruptcy”, if you will. I stole this idea from a friend who sometimes declares email bankruptcy: when her inbox is neglected for too long and overflowing she’ll delete it all. If it’s important, someone will reach out again. If it’s not, it’s gone and not hanging over her head. I used to think it was an insane way to deal with it, but the more time goes by the more I realize how amazing the idea is.

    We all need to give ourselves a break every now and then (some of us more often than others – and THAT’S OKAY), and learning how to give yourself that break can be hard – I’m 38 and I’m still figuring that shit out! If email/comment/’blog bankruptcy is how you do it…well, do it. Your mental health is a million times more important than any potential judgement from anyone who is self-involved enough to judge you for it.

    The term self-care is so overused right now, but for all of us that suffer from anxiety and depression it’s so fucking important. Sometimes self care takes the form of declaring email bankruptcy. Sometimes it takes the form of blocking off one weekend a month on your personal calendar to binge watch TV while snuggling under a blanket with your puppy and never changing out of pajamas. A lot of times it’s about learning where you need to set boundaries, and that’s a hard process. I’m proud of you for working on it, and for talking about it openly!

  224. DUDE. SAME. Thank you for sharing ;)

  225. Delighted you’re back! Give yourself a break – the break just means you’re human like the rest of us. Thank gawd!
    My suggestion – post something else soon, then being away will be seriously in the past.

  226. Reading through everyone’s comments of love made my heart explode – you have created an amazing community here and it is a such a privilege to get to be a part of it. Whatever and whenever you want to share, we’ll be here. ❤️

  227. We don’t hate you–you’re adorable. Be well, and do what you like.

  228. What an incredible trip. I would never think of going there.
    You don’t know me and I am a very different person than you, but I still always enjoy your posts and your point of view. Just wanted to say that. Wishing you lots of lightness and happiness.

  229. So there’s no way I can top the “welcome back” and supportive comments above — with which I wholeheartedly agree –- so I have to ask… a t-shirt in Antartica? Please explain.

    • So of course I see that you responded now (oops). Now I’ve been enlightened. So glad you are back!

  230. I think you are an incredible human being! Your blog has given me hope that I can actually follow my dreams and do the things my soul craves. I do a lot of similar things to my house which is a 100 years old, and seeing what you have accomplished has motivated me to just take risks and just do instead of just thinking about it. You have inspired my creative side on so many eccentric levels. You are so honest about everything in your life and that says a lot about someone. I think everyone deals with similar struggles on a daily basis and that no matter how good things can get, there is no such thing as perfect. Life would be boring if it was perfect. So thank you for the hope and sharing your journey.

    Much love from Omaha :-)

  231. Welcome back, mister. So glad to hear from you, and to hear about this amazing dream of a trip. Also, and maybe this is weird, I’m glad for you that you had this dark night of the soul, only because the wisdom that tends to follow those dark nights is always valuable. I wish we could learn about ourselves more easily, without having to do the suffering first, but I’ve never been able to skip that step.

    Sending you a hug and hoping you find a cheerful, no-bullshit cognitive-behavioral therapist. They are marvelous for dealing with anxiety-avoidance and a host of other things. (I am in the middle of a sleep-pattern “hard reset,” assigned by my therapist to try to help me deal with insomnia, which of course makes the anxiety and avoidance worse, always…)

  232. Glad to hear your voice (in my head) and see your incredible photos. I want to echo what so many have said before me— you are real and funny and talented and kind and I am just happy to read your posts whenever it feels right to you. Maybe 2018 won’t be the best year of your life for reasons beyond your control. But there will be the good stuff, too, like being with your family and friends, making things beautiful, and all that you can control. I look forward to hearing about the good and bad, and the in between.

  233. Welcome back! Just wanted to pass along my recommendation of the podcast “by the book” where the 2 women live by a self help books guidelines for 2 weeks. I absolutely love it and I think you would like it too. One of the women talks a lot about her struggles with anxiety as well. Here’s to a 2018 with lots of good self-care!!

  234. Thank you Daniel for letting it out. The whole mess of it. Because you were willing to stand naked in front of us, and roll out your anxiety, I will sleep better tonight, resting comfortably in the sweet thought that I am not alone. And neither are you. Damn the anxiety. Damn.
    We don’t just survive, we endure.

  235. Daniel! I’m so happy to see you, and I relate so much to what you’ve said. You’re doing a great job!

  236. Hi, Daniel. I too have had the shittiest of shitty shithole 2017s and my anxiety is off the charts. I know exactly what you mean by wanting to avoid it – all of it. To go to sleep for a few months and wake up when life has returned to “normal.” To have so many decisions to make that you can’t (and don’t) make any of them so they all pile up and then threaten to topple over and suffocate you. That, my dear friend, is analysis paralysis.

    Let’s put on our oxygen masks, unwind from the anxiety octopus, and congratulate ourselves for getting out of bed this morning. Do you have clothes on? Double-congratulations. Let’s focus on what we can do, rather than what is not yet done. Just because you’re driving this train doesn’t mean you have to take us anywhere; there’s no timetable and we passengers love you, but that love doesn’t mean you owe us or that we are entitled to anything at all. As another commenter said, ‘Our patience is boundless.’

  237. Daniel! You’re human, how about that!! Cheering for you as you take your steps…you’re doing great, and you will keep doing great! So glad you wrote this and so glad to hear you got a wonderful break.
    Hang in there, and remember to take care of you! Blessings always

  238. Yep, been there, done that, still dealing with that. It feels like there is only so much you can do and making the step to do more feels completely impossible. Well, baby steps, first. No, really, be kind to yourself and take care of yourself. No one else can do that for you. Although, now that I think about it, a good back rub is worth a million :)
    I am glad you had a great trip. It really looks something else, Antarctica. Thank you for sharing that with us. You write wonderfully, as always.

  239. Hi Daniel,
    I love you.
    I love your blog for your design and your writing and your voice. And because you love dogs and old houses like I do. I consider it a privilege to receive your creativity and I will take as much of it as I can get, even when that’s not a lot.

    Thank you!

  240. I’ve been thinking this post a lot. I’ve read it a few times.

    I think I if I ever had the chance to read your grocery list I think I would learn something deep and important about the world and about myself. All of your writing impacts me this way (although your writing about your dogs hits a super deep chord). I look forward to your posts. And, as others have posted, I hesitate to say this because I don’t want to imply that if you don’t post that I am disappointed or let down. I’m not at all. I just think of you sometimes and feel comforted that you exist and that your thoughts are happening.

    What I’m trying to say is that your honesty and the amazingness that comes out of your head on to Manhattan Nest is a gift. Your photos are a gift. As a super-dedicated reader I guess I want you to know that when you don’t post you are not letting me down. When you have some awesome stuff going on I want to read about whatever you want to share. When you have some heavy shit going on I want to read whatever you want to share.

    This is particularly true of I Went Away. You wrote: “maybe some of this rings true for you, too, and maybe we can work on it together.” Like many others who have posted, yes, this is all super true for me, but I haven’t been able to describe it as well as you do. I’m thinking about my own challenges and what I want to do about them with some new thoughts thanks to you.

    It’s good to see you again. You made my 2018 better. So did all these other awesome people who have posted comments. It’s a good group you’ve brought together here.

  241. Aww Daniel— you are such a love. Hope you have the best year ever!

  242. Whew. For a minute there I thought you were screwing up your nerve to tell us you’d quit!

    Thanks for pouring your thoughts/heart to us.

    We love you. We will just be here at the sidelines waiting for you to welcome us back in.

  243. Those photos of your trip look amazing!! Your book club sounds so fun, someone has probably already mentioned it but in case they haven’t make sure you check out the By The Book podcast with Jolenta and Kristen on panoply. It’s all self help books and those girls are funny. I think you’ll love it.
    I hope you continue to feel better and better xxx

  244. I love your blog, and I suspect others do as well, because it shares the moments of making a life — the stressful, vulnerable, glorious, triumphant, disappointing, comfy, challenging parts that make life living. Your writing and what you share is amazing and comforting because it is so uniquely you and so human. And that includes all the tough parts about being human too [hey anxiety, what up]. This is your blog, and your right to share however much and however often you want. Know that when you share and when you don’t, your readers love and support you no matter what.

  245. Seriously one of the best blog posts I have ever read! Thank you…

  246. I am so sorry to hear about how you were felling! so sorry about your dog! miss you and hope you keep blogging :D

  247. We all love you so much and it has absolutely MADE. MY. DAY. to see that you’re back to posting again. While I can’t say I’ve struggled with the exact same issues you have, I do understand how the fear of pleasing others can back you into a corner and prevent you from living your best life (as tacky as that sounds!).

    I can’t wait to read all about your kitchen, bluestone cottage, and these other projects you have been filling your time with – but take your time on the posts! No rush, no pressure, just love.


  248. I have been following your blog religiously since a random post on another website led me here, years ago. Your post made me laugh hysterically and has continued to bring me joy since. I will continue to enjoy your posts and laugh and cry with you. Your trip to Antarctica sounds and looks amazing! I hope that even though 2018 will come with all new challenges, you will continue to meet them with dignity (and deep breathing). Thank you!!

  249. Thanks for the honesty and bravery. Be kind to yourself. If it’s not natural, pretend until it is. Treat yourself with the patience and love you would treat a close friend. And, keep on, your blog is one of my favorites.

  250. I learned something very helpful from a person called Dushka Zapata, a rule she came up with: No Enemies Inside. Whenever your brain tries to haul you over the coals about sth, just tell it Nope, no enemies inside. And move on to other things that need thinking about or observing. If anyone deserves you to have your back, it’s you honey.

  251. YAY!!! You’re back. You look great, you sound great. All these comments are amazing and I agree with all of them. You have made my 2018 better already!

  252. Dear Daniel,

    I was so happy to see your post. As a fellow traveller of the depression/anxiety, not Antartica kind, I can relate to the cycle. Please don’t feel the need to post/blog/answer folks, do what makes you happy.

    Here is to a non sucking 2018!

  253. The Antarctica photos look amazing! It’s good to hear from you again~ I’ve been reading your blog since I saw the post about your desk on Apartment Therapy several years back, and it’s crazy to think that this much time has passed.

  254. First, what an amazing trip! Definitely a bucket list item for me.

    Second, welcome back and I totally get it. I don’t have a blog so I can’t relate to that, but you literally just described my anxiety perfectly. So many areas of my life are affected by this vicious cycle of avoidance and everything just spirals and then before you know it having to make a quick errand has turned into this monumental task that feels complicated and messy. I stared running 2 years ago and that had helped tremendously! I hope you find the thing (or several) that help you get things under control!

  255. I’ve read your blog for a while but have never commented before. Your post really resonated with me – especially the whole avoidance thing and how it just gets worse, which makes me avoid stuff further and makes me feel increasingly awful about myself. I’ve been treated for depression for almost 8 years, with my own failed attempt at weaning off medication. This post, though, it makes me realize that I need to get my anxiety issues under control. Thank you for fighting through your inner “noise” to share this. I hope that 2018 is a happy one for you.

  256. I will admit that I love your blog like no other! Your writing style, humorous way of writing about renovation and life and just the way you truly care about your house and reusing everything and your distaste for the current political state in our country; I love it all. I missed your blogs and would constantly check to see if I had missed one. That all being said there is nothing owed, no pressure. If you walked away from this tomorrow I would be bummed as hell, but I would get over it and wish you well. Truly, we are here for you and with you when you’re here and when you’re not here we are hoping you’re out living your life.
    You have a creative mind and I bet it’s exhausting how many ideas you have and sometimes they are so overwhelming that it’s easier to do nothing and sometimes you just need a break from everything. I’m glad you got away and relaxed! Im older than you , but from one angst ridden person to another it will get easier. Trying to do everything and being a people pleaser and just being about the work is a fucking exhausting way to live and around your age I learned to control my boundaries and to have more control over my thoughts. I’m just glad you’re here today to remind us all to have care for our mental health. It’s very important to not leave that part of ourselves out. If this is your only blog for 2018, it was thought provoking and just as worthwhile as showing new kitchen plans. My condolences on the loss of your baby; he was beyond adorable!

  257. You.Fucking.Rock.

  258. You really bared some of your vulnerabilities and that takes a lot of courage, even just self-acknowledgement is a huge step. I’ve been reading your blog since your desk hack all those years ago and have enjoyed seeing you grow as a person and take on new projects. I can identify with underlying anxiety. I’ve been in denial for a long time. I too distract by throwing myself into projects, usually too many, and lie to myself that everything’s fine all the time. I developed ulcers, which I also denied were anxiety related. Then it reached a point where I knew I was not happy but it took me some time to figure out why. When you don’t acknowledge those unpleasant emotions at the time, there’s a tendency to disassociate those feelings with the actual event, person or thing that instigated them. I realized I felt overwhelmed. My never ending to do lists don’t help me stay organized as much as they remind me of all the shit I haven’t accomplished. I’m not renovating a house, but my day job is as an architect and I’m fixing up my old apartment. It’s hard to do work at home after fixing other people’s stuff all day. I’ve been living with pooh stained plaster, a half completed kitchen and tattered furniture. I need a new project like I need a hole in my head! I’ve decided to slow down a bit-attend to the most important things the best I can and live for now instead of mapping out impossible plans for the future. I’ve accepted I’m not going to be ahead at work right now and that’s okay-I can’t stay late every night. I’m finishing my license. I sent some old furniture to be reupholstered, rearranged some pieces in the apartment and hung some pictures. I need to feel comfortable now-not like I’m living out of a box. My husband and I are going to couple’s counseling and trying to make more time for each other. It’s not perfect but these small efforts make a difference and it all seems more manageable. I have my bad days but I feel like if you keep chipping away, you’ll eventually get there. Keep up the good work and don’t be so hard on yourself. Make this the best damn year in years!

  259. God dammit, I’ve missed you.

    I was one of those assholes that was mad at you–because I fucking adore your work, your words, your … well, YOU. And you poofed. I was worried about you. I was frustrated because this amazing person with wonderful words that I’ve appreciated so much over the years suddenly disappeared.

    And through teary eyes, I am am writing now, to tell you just how much I appreciate you, and how amazing you are, and how much I’ve missed you, and to apologize deeply for being mad at you. And all this shit you’ve been going through? I know this shit very well myself–I get it, completely. Please forgive me.

    And welcome back. <3

  260. Hi! Long-time reader, first-time poster
    WELCOME BACK! We have missed you and we are HAPPY you are back. Welcome! Take your time to do your things, post whenever you feel like. And thanks for sharing your thoughts. A big hug coming your way.

  261. We are glad you are back. Keep fighting the good fight.

  262. This is the second time I’ve posted and for some reason I’m thinking the same thing as before: your parents brought up a real HUMAN BEING. If I was your mom I would be beyond proud of you.

    Whenever you want to be here on your blog is good. Life is more important, and sometimes life is just too noisy, especially with anxiety and an over-developed sense of responsibility, the latter of which is part of why you’re such a real human being. :)

    Also, we’ve had a piece of string adjusting the spacing of the hard-wired pendants over our kitchen table for 6 years now, and someday we might do something about that. Meanwhile, we’ve had lots of dinner parties and enjoy the table every day. Things will happen when they happen and that’s fine.

  263. Super long time reader, never commented before. Pretty much love you, have read your blog multiple times lol

    I know you didn’t ask for recommendations, but I got a big nose. I have always had anxiety, but since going through a horrible break up two years ago, it has significantly worsened, stemming from fears of rejections. I am also this year actively working towards improvement, because I don’t want to live like this for my whole life. Some things I have recently tried are essential oils, primarily at bedtime and in the shower, mindful based cognitive therapy, exercising more, and talking to my anxiety as if it it’s a friend I am talking to and not myself. I am really excited to hear how the acupuncture goes (needles are my snakes lol)

    Lots of love

  264. Glad you’re back! Turning 30 is wonderful. It’s like a giant fuck you to all the bs of your 20s. Maybe that was just for me, but I say take advantage of it.

    Your fellow staghorn fern killer,

  265. Thank you for sharing this with us. I don’t usually comment on blogs but thank you for keeping it real. I love following your blog and your house and it’s like a treat when I see one of your posts. Welcome back! We’re excited to have you back!!!

  266. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with anxiety. Your humanity is one of the many reasons I love your blog. Take all the time you need. Come back only when and if it feels good for you. Here’s to 2018.

  267. You aren’t alone! I get on that anxiety wheel myself. Just know that I (and I’m sure most if not all of your readers) enjoy your writing and content. No matter the topic. Sharing personal happenings of all sizes can be overwhelming. We’re your internet stranger friends and if someone comments on their feelings of abandonment…hopefully they just miss you. Because maybe your blog is one of their means of companionship. And that’s not a bad thing. To be missed. You seem like a pretty swell guy. I’ll be here to read when ever you have the time and desire to post. No pressure. Take care of you first.

  268. Your trip looks amazing. This post is amazing. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  269. I love this blog and you can take off as much time as you want, I’ll always come back!

  270. Dear Daniel,

    Like many I’m more of a lurker, but just wanted to say how much you are truly loved. I have often been heard saying, like others, “my friend, Daniel…”
    Glad you are taking care of yourself. Thank you for inspiring me to do the same.

    Also, yours is one of the few blogs I still keep up with and the only blog where I enjoy the comments just as much. What a great community you’ve grown here.


  271. I can so relate to the anxiety stuff. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, but I went through postpartum anxiety this past summer/fall, and it was a real trip. I’m still avoiding certain baby-related things and telling myself it’s because I’m busy, I don’t need the pressure, etc., but it’s really because I just don’t want to think about them. There’s a feeling almost like resentment that still lingers, and I push it and the things that trigger it away. Like you, I’ve also committed to taking better care of myself, mostly my mental health. Hope 2018 is a good year for both of us. (Also, I’m closer to the end of my 30s, and all-in-all, they haven’t been awful. :) )

  272. ♥️

  273. It’s good to see you, too, Daniel. Many of us have told you we’re tickled to read pretty much anything you care to write and share with us, because you’re that good, that human, that real. Because it’s your voice, and the you who shines through everything is so endearing. Talented, funny, self-deprecating, flawed (painfully so to yourself, maybe, but not to us). Your posts and Instagram pix lighten the day for your fans around the world. You don’t have to do more than show up when you want to.

    Welcome back. Be well. And remember: You deserve at least as much kindness from yourself as you show to your dogs.


  274. Have you seen this by chance? I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but it looks fascinating.

  275. Are we the same person? Beautiful post – well done for taking steps to break that dastardly cycle! I’m still stuck in mine for the moment – but your thoughtful and brave words are giving me a bit more of nudge to start getting myself out of it too. Thank you, Daniel. I think you’re fucking amazing.

  276. Thank you for sharing with us, your fantastic humor, your amazing dedication to and stewardship of beautiful and oft forgotten or abused architecture and your wonderfully personable style and voice. You owe us nothing but I am so happy you’re back. You have a beautiful way with words and an amazing spirit. Don’t you effing forget it :)

  277. I come back to your blog again and again because of posts like this one. Take all the time you need. We’re all just doing our best.

  278. I read your post on exactly the day I needed to know I’m not alone in these feelings. I also read this article this morning: https://medium.com/@krisgage/what-to-do-when-its-not-getting-better-3a12af5aa6ab
    and the aspect of pulling back from a problem, of not trying to fix all the things all the time, really resonated with me. Maybe it will with you too. Keep taking care of you and the rest will happen as it should.

  279. Sending you all the love ❤❤❤

  280. Everything you said, I get. The all-consuming fear and anxiety can be crippling. So glad you’re fighting through it. <3

  281. Oh boy. This sounds hard. I’m sorry. I am quite talented at that anxiety loop you write about. I find the shame so paralyzing.

    In the last month, I’ve read similar posts of “I’m having a hard time right now” on other blogs too. I think in this struggle it’s easy to tell ourselves that we are alone. Reading honest, vulnerable posts almost feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s not just me. Thank you for making me feel more normal.

  282. Wow so many feelings and so well articulated, unsurprisingly, coming from you! First I’d just say I’m so sorry you’ve been having such a hard time. But the second is as someone who has read your blog for ever, I think all of us readers always only wnlant the best for you. If you blog less, I assume you’re busy (or sometimes, I’m busy and I don’t notice!). But never fear coming back! We’re like fuzzy warm slippers to pop in and snuggle up with. Sounds like you’re drawing up some solid boundaries and taking care of yourself – keep that up! Sending you support and love – and it really is lovely to read your voice in the internet again xx

  283. So much (so VERY much) of this resonates with me. Thank you for having the heart and the courage to give voice to what so many of us out there are feeling, but are too afraid to admit – to ourselves and others.

    You are such an incredibly gifted writer and I’m sure I speak for many when I say we’re so happy to have you back.

  284. This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. I relate so much to your struggle with anxiety and the vicious, exhausting cycles of justification and how it all robs you of life and energy and joy. All the things start to feel too tiring and eventually life feels too tiring. Your goals are admirable and I love that you’re looking ahead to what you don’t want in your life as well as what you do. Currently trying to do the same thing and baby, if I can get to where you are in your journey I’ll be a happy girl. Thank you for being honest and brave.

  285. Sending so much love to you! Thank you for sharing such real, relatable stuff. I’m sure your transparency is encouraging more people than you know. I haven’t been my real/best self for almost two years, and I’ve just recently worked up the drive and determination to fully acknowledge this and make changes. The results are going to be slow so it’s great to hear that someone else is setting goals, forming new habits, and trying to honestly acknowledge where they are too. Keep us posted and welcome back!!!

  286. Dear Daniel, the photos are stunning but more importantly thank you. Welcome back and you are so very loved. Your words and thoughts about anxiety avoidance really resonated with me. I hit a bout of depression which is thankfull getting better but I pretty much disappeared from the world and I am terrified to re-engage. That feeling of thinking I’ve let people down the longer it goes on. Emails and texts unreplied, readers waiting, instagram dusty. I’m afraid to think of all the comments, the expectations and guilt. I avoided reading blogs/news but this morning I decided to take that little step and see what the world is up to and how fortuitous I see your post. You have inspired me to bite the bullet. I’m very glad you’re back. And the armoire is gorgeous! I’m glad I didn’t miss that ;)

  287. Just adding to the general love-pile — all of your content is such a delight. I’ve loved your recent instagram stories and how I get to experience you in a totally different medium. Whether it’s long, comical prose on this blog, or funny video bites about Edwin and getting your hands dirty on site, I just adore you. Keep on keepin’ on, Daniel! You are truly an original.

  288. “ I made haircut appointments for myself every month for the next year.”
    You’re a damn genius.

  289. This is so fucking exposed and raw and vulnerable and wonderful. I’m so sorry that you struggle with anxiety and depression. I’m so proud that you actively work to make yourself better everyday. The world needs you. We, your readers and supporters, need you. Thank you for working to make you the best you you can be. And thank you for TALKING about it. We’ve got to take away this weirdo stigma that everything SHOULD be ok and that if it’s not YOU’RE not ok. You’re a badass, Daniel Kanter. You don’t know me but you have impressed the hell out of me with your strength and vulnerability all at the same time. AND ALSO, you’re designs are the shit. Keep kicking ass, dude.

  290. All of the above. My personal prescription: yoga/horsebackriding/gardeningwhenweatherpermits & oddly the MOST helpful: walking homeless dogs @ the local animal shelter. Best to you & thanks so much for your return. You are loved.

  291. You are wonderful, Daniel. That is all.

  292. Daniel,I will join to other’s comments and say that all of us probably feel the privilege to be able to read your blog.As a person who struggle with depression every winter I know how hard is to believe that you not jugged by others.And it definitely helps sharing your thoughts and feelings,even with strangers.Bravo!

  293. welcome back. we’re here for you!

  294. Daniel, WE ALL LOVE YOU AND ARE SO THRILLED YOURE BACK!! I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and what you describe sounds so familiar. You are brave and strong to tell us about it!!!! Personally, I finally found a medication that is very helpful, and I have 5 years of cognitive behavioral therapy and 6 months of EMDR therapy under my belt – and I am truly happier and more content than I have ever been.

  295. Your post moved me to tears. Congratulations on doing the hard work that you are doing : on yourself, on your home, on all your projects… Sending much Love and thank you for sharing with us!

  296. you are astonishingly good at not having typos.

  297. Thank you for that post. Your vulnerability makes me love you even more!

    You are not alone, Daniel. Thank you for sharing about your anxiety. I feel the same way with this anxiety-avoidance-anxiety loop you described, and it can be so crippling. But as far as this blog goes, there are no expectations from me, and I appreciate each post like it’s a little gem. Thank you for including us on your journey and sharing the highs and the lows. It is a privilege to have seen the glimpses you have chosen to share with us, and posts like this one remind me why after all these years I keep coming back. Best wishes in not saying “Fuck 2018” when it’s over. That sounds like a great goal to me!

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