May 19th

May 19, 2017 was a day that changed forever my relationship with May 19th.. It will always be colored just a bit gray for me.

As the years pass it gets alittle less noticeable- the memories aren’t as sharp but parts will stay at the fore front of my memory. I was preparing to celebrate my then boyfriend’s birthday. We had planned to stay in Netflix and chill with pizza and toys. It was supposed to be a good night.. It was a Friday..

Everything that has happened sense has helped me to grow and it has expanded my being, my empathy and my personality. I survived but I was not unscathed. I came though it scarred and i’ve been healing wounds ever since.

You can heal without forgetting.. You can still be sad at the memories without it meaning that you aren’t healed. You are allowed to mourn the past version of yourself- lost to circumstance and lost to fate. You can wake up and get up and pretend it’s just another day and not say anything to anyone about it.. You can refuse to wallow in the dark. You can survive. And you will.

Worst Case Scenarios

I can’t help but to let me mind drift to the worst case. The unlikely but still possible negatives that sit constantly at the fringes of my consciousness. I want to be optimistic but part of my mind doesn’t believe in happily ever after or that good things can last.

I’ve been preparing for the other shoe to drop for most of my life.. Hoping for the best while preparing for or cleaning up after the worst. I’m a misaligned stargazer. A grazer of misery. I don’t want to eat but I refuse to starve.

I’m the cause of some of my discontent – obviously I am. Pursuing that which I know will eventually leave or hurt me. Unsustainable and unexplainable – emotionally- only partly available. Because the loss would hurt- hurt so much that I many never recover – to love deeply is a risk some people find impossible to take. To break is a risk i’ve decided not to partake.

I’m opening and shifting- trying and changing but my mind is still in need of re-rearranging. So the worse case can become “What if it’s actually good? What if there are fairies and tales? What if dreams come turn and dogs have their day? What if it works out?”

And so what if it ends- so what if it hurts? To have live is to have lost and that gives it it’s worth. delight in the sunshine- embrace that it will rain.
The Worst Case Scenario is …that things stay the same.

I’m so angry I can hardly speak

In 2020, after a lot of struggle and much deliberation I got a Paraguard IUD- Highly effective, 10 years of protection from unwanted pregnancy. I never wanted to take birth control- with the side effects and risks I had avoided it for a long while. I barely take aspirin but I knew I had been very lucky not to have gotten pregnant accidentally.

But there was another push at that time to take the leap.. The writing was on the wall. The government was going to start messing with women’s reproduction rights again and I didn’t want to risk not begin permitted to get the procedure later. 10 years gets me near to menopause seeing as I was told repeatedly since I was 24 that I couldn’t have my tubes tied.

I was not allowed- They would not do the surgery because the doctors had decided that I might not actually want it and would change my mind. So, every year, for 8 years, at my annual OB-GYN visit I’d ask again and every year they told me to wait.

It took 4 months before I could have the IUD placed. 3 separate office visits that required I take off work to attend. I’m sure my insurance billed individually for each one. Plus, my appointments were re-scheduled twice. And yet I was still lucky- the reason I could have the procedure, my benefits from my job, meant the procedure and appointments costed me only about $30. When I finally got it put in- it was horrible- The most extreme pain i’ve ever felt which left me dizzy. I threw up in the bathroom before I drove myself home. I should not have been driving. Even so, I was relieved..If it took, if I was lucky and had no adverse side effects- I might be able to actually enjoy intimate moments with my partner without extreme fear and anxiety for the first time in my life.

I was lucky. I had no issues with my IUD and I was grateful for the weight that was removed from my chest.

But I knew this day was coming.. The day when my rights would be threatened because women are not protected in this country. With birthrates on a steady decline- everywhere, not just in the US, governments are seeking to protect their own interests and economies by forcing their citizens to reproduce to replenish/ensure there is a working class to support them. Other counties have tried to implement incentive programs to encourage and support childbirth and rearing with paid leave from work, benefits, childcare assistance and more and yet birthrates continue to decline. It is almost as though people don’t want to start families in a world that is riddled with disaster, disease, climate change and economic instability where the cost of living continues to rise while wages do not and our governments value us more as inmates and low wage labor than as humans. Perhaps, we are not seen as human at all.

The men elected to represent us, the American people, say they will not listen to the public. They will not be influenced by popular opinion in their decision making.. If that isn’t the most antidemocratic thing I have ever heard- In a Democracy it is quite literally the job of the elected to represent the popular opinion- the people who have given them power to govern them. That power will continue to be tested if our representatives continue to ignore us and threaten our rights until more drastic methods are taken. We deserve better than this.. We are better than this.

Monitor your Candle Blower-outers

So, I was listening to a talk with the one and only Brene Brown- one of my absolute favorite role model witches. And she talked about the importance of surrounding yourself with a team of supporters..

To paraphrase: You have a light, like a candle, that is your motivation, your dive, your spirit and it needs tending to. You are responsible for protecting this flame and keeping it burning at all cost. The people you want around you should also seek to help you protect this flame. It’s not their first priority as they are responsible for their own flame but they also help you protect yours. You want to tell them when good things happen because they will celebrate with you. You want to tell them when bad things happen because they will commiserate with you while also encouraging you. You want to show them your ideas and creations because they will be proud of you, hype you up and drive you forward to keep discovering and creating.

Unfortunately, there will be people who are not going to help you protect and fan your flame. They aren’t bad people and they may be very close to you; family, parents and friends. And their inability to fan your flame is probably more about them then you- their fears, insecurities and desires. You may already know who they are.. Someone you don’t tell your good news to or show your newest creation to until last because they will criticize first or cause you to doubt yourself. Someone who doesn’t seem all that happy for you when good times come. These people are your Candle Blower-Outers.

The advise was to monitor your supporters, identify the candle blower-outers and mitigate the damage. You may not be able to cut them out of your life completely but can you limit the amount of influence you afford them?

Maybe this person only blows on your candle about your work.. So, you don’t talk about work with them or around them. Maybe they hate your sense of fashion- the way you dress or style your hair so you don’t immediately send them pictures of your latest cut. I agree with Brene Brown that some people are just toxic to your spirit and your flame can not burn bright in their presence but I loved that she gave this more realistic advice then the simple “just cut them off” .

We have all had a moment when we were excited by something only to have our parents rain on our parade with all their concerns and opinions. Just remember, people who only support you when you are doing what they want you to do are not your supporters. People who shame you for what you do, make or want are not your supporters. People who criticize you, unsolicited, are not your supporters and while they may have a place in your life you need to protect your candle by making sure you have true supporters who are capable of protecting your flame.

Finding Some Peace in a World of Chaos

What i’ve learned recently is that not all coping mechanisms are bad. A coping mechanism is just that.. it’s something you do that helps you to deal with some external stimuli.. its a way to release stress or manage anxiety, depression or grief.

These mechanisms only become problematic when they create a greater problem. In a perfect world, you would notice that one of your coping management skills is unhealthy (Recognition), process the reasons this is an issue (Acknowledgement), make a plan to fix the problem (Take Action- substitute a more healthy option) and repeat that action until it becomes your new coping mechanism (Resolution- build the new and healthy habit). In the real world, however, this isn’t always that easy.

You may recognize that there is a problem, analysis why it’s negative for you to continue doing it but have a hard time implementing a plan and taking steps to change the behavior. You may convince yourself that your making progress by staying in the planning phase trying to make it perfect without taking an action. Or like me- you may have more issues in the final steps, making the change permanent by building it as a new habit overtime.. repeating it over and over until it becomes ingrained. You might know that something works for you but when the world outside gets difficult you fall back into old, familiar and easier habits.

This is a struggle. You are not alone in this.

What often seems to throw me off is the ideal me.. The idea that there is a me in the future who has everything figured out. She’s perfect, she loves herself and everything about her life everyday. She does everything perfectly and never makes any mistakes.. She’s obviously not real and not possible and yet I still strive to be her.

In the last 3-4 months I’ve been battling with a lot of my personal demons. The biggest being, how can I manage my “self care” when everything outside of me is also such a mess. The consent violations related to living in a world that is still going though a global pandemic, a mounting financial crisis, and political and social unrest on ever news feed and on the lips of everyone around me.. It’s enough to make a person a little batty.

However, at this moment I embrace two fundamental truths.

  1. I am here. Right now in this moment. I only have this fleeting moment to be and nothing about the past can be changed. Nothing about the future is truly known. This universe is not static.
  2. I am not alone. Everyone and everything as one combined unit is here with me. The problems that I can’t solve on my own- I am also not responsible for them on my own. we own them together and I believe we can work to improve things.

This gives me peace. Along with actively choosing from moment to moment to be mindful and do things I enjoy. It is in these times of peace that you build your fortress- build yourself up so that when the wind outside begins to howl and the temperatures plummet.. You are safe, still, dry and warm inside. And then the defenses start to break you will choose to mend the cracks instead of burning everything down..

Blessed Be

Welcome to 2022

If your looking for a 2021 year recap or a lengthy list of resolutions, goals and plans you, my dear friend, are in the wrong place.

With a year that starts with the death of a global icon.. anything and everything is fair game.

Don’t get me wrong- I love a good celebration as much as the next neo-pagan but even before the current pandemic I was already over resolutions. I’m past trying to understand the passage of time.

Instead i’ve been trying to mentally tackle the bigger idea that time is an illusion.. The only “time” that exists is the current moment.

Now, I still love a good time travel movie as much as the next nerd but under current situations we have no power to go back and the rate at which we move forward it static so where does that leave us?

Living each moment as fully and completely as possible. Not letting the mind drift to often into thoughts about the things that could have gone differently in the past or having crippling anxiety about what may happen in the future. Instead, existing and accepting the current moment as it is and letting it pass peacefully.

I just completed “The Power of Now” which i’ll save you 5 hours, is a very repetitive read. The question/answer format was grating and there was a little too much “woo woo” for my personal liking but overall the gist of that your brain likes to think. I’d recommend it to a friend.

Your brain, naturally, drifts from the present into past and future, it creates drama (often where there isn’t any) which fuels the little hormonal spikes we love so much, and it is telling you that your life situation, the stuff that makes up your experience, is the most important thing- that it’s you..

However, you are not your situation. You are not your emotions. You are not your pain.

What you are is a part of the whole that makes up everything.. Nothing can be taken from you because everything is also you!

Your ego likes for you to feel superior, to feel right or justified or validated. Your ego wants to be better than “everyone else”. Your ego feels loss and rejection and pride and hubris. But once again your ego isn’t you.

As we navigate this time where it seems globally people are beginning to re-evaluate what is important, what jobs they want, what things they actually need and where they want to spend their “time” it feels like the shift is already well underway. We are opening our eyes to the present.

In this present moment, I’m so grateful. I love you. I’m proud of you.

Blessed Be!

Honest conversation and the revolution of multiple truths

Are you a liar? Are you?

I was just having a thought and I wanted to get it down before it got away.

The idea of the multiverse from the perspective of Nickelodeon’s So Weird was explained fairly simply. Every choice that is made splits the universe into befores and afters- One where the choice is say, you wear your red socks and others where you wear other various colors of socks. These seemingly insignificant choices can actually change things in these individual timelines very dramatically.

I bring this up to help explain my thought process towards a totally unrelated phenomenon. Various realities, actual truths, exist in the minds of every person within a situation. These perceptions are influenced by things like previous experience, personal bias, and frame of reference.

Therefore, two people can be telling “the truth” about an event while also telling completely different stories. They each share their point of view and the way in which events took place according to their perspectives and both are valid. Both are true, because true is not necessarily accurate.. accurate to let’s say a non-partial camera.

So when you enter into a conversation with another person about “the truth” you are actually opening a dialogue about “their truth” and the conversation becomes less about what happened and more about their experience and emotion surrounding what happened.

Fascinating..

I am Just like Other Girls

I don’t like sports or fart jokes.

I’m looking for a committed relationship.

I’m emotion personified.

I’m not a “cool” girl who will eat burgers with you and play video games and not hold you accountable for your words and actions..

I’m not a “I’m not like other girls” girl. I am just like other girls.

I’m a feminist like other girls. I’ll fight to protect my own. I’m not afraid to take up the space I own.

I’m not afraid of dying alone, being childless, being on my own.

I believe in people. I believe in women- in their beauty as well as their power- and their right to choice.

TO FUCKING CHOOSE!

To be Mothers, Doctors, Lawyers, Hockey Players, Brick Layers, Cosmetologists, Archeologists, Ballerinas, and Bitches.

To wear dresses, trousers, suits and spenders. To wear their hair long or short – treated or natural- shaved or full.

To be taken seriously! In the eyes of their employers, doctors, lovers, the general public and the law!

I will not seek acceptance and admiration by distancing myself from my femininity on the bases that the basest of MANkind view it as a weakness. Basic.

The “cool” girl could care less about where you were all night because she was off being a Badass Boss Bitch and I applaud her. She lives her own life with her own rules and can be more of a dude than most dudes are.

I’m not her though. I’m the girl that is going to read into everything- every change in vibe and missed communication. I’m going to test you- have expectations for you- and hold you too them. Or i’ll make you disappear.

From my life..

…like you were never even there…

poof…

I am just like other girls..

I am not a minimalist

I understand and even sympathize with the minimal movement. The idea that by eliminating the unnecessary, excessive and mundane you make more room in your life and space for the stuff you really love. The items that really matter.

We’ve all seen the video with the 20-something sitting on the floor in front of a blank wall in an empty apartment explaining how fantastic it is not to be owned by things- to only have the necessities. And they seem so content with this. Sleeping on a mattress on the floor- wearing the same 7 outfits- no pictures or mementos cluttering their spaces. “Poor on Purpose”

Well, I can’t and don’t desire to be a minimalist. I like a little excess. I like keeping things I love around me.. I kept the ticket stub from the first movie I went to with my first boyfriend. I make and own a lot of clothing as it is both a passion and a hobby. I like fancy Victorian looking furniture and special occasion plates and stemware. I love my books! I re-read them and sometimes I just like to go over to my bookshelf and look at them. I like having tools! I like having the tool I need for the job at my fingertips.

And somehow- While, yes I have a lot of stuff- the stuff I have- I do love.

And I purge- I go through and donate or gift items that no longer serve me. I reuse and recycle as much as I can. I try not to buy anything unless I feel I can’t live without it.. I stopped buying clothes as much because I knew I wanted to make more and that meant less fast fashion in my closet.

The majority of purchases and acquisitions from my recent move weren’t things but rather storage. I need bookshelves and I got a small wardrobe to use as a broom closet. I was gifted a kitchen island cart to store my cooking utensils in. I up cycled a cabinet for the bathroom and my dresser for the closet. I also bought storage bins and baskets. Small pieces of filler furniture like a table for my record player and side tables for next to the bed are still needed..

I guess my point is- I choose to have the things I want to have.. Do I Need it? No. I could survive without matching bedsheets or curtains. I won’t die if my books stayed in their boxes and totes. But I want to have certain things in a style I appreciate because that brings me a bit of joy..

So I’ll be a curator, a maximalist, a collector.. You can keep your empty rooms.