In this live what we give is supposed to reap certain rewards, either in this life, or the next. Depends on how you believe. You could believe you don’t reap spiritual rewards just satisfaction, and hat in and of itself honestly would be enough. Maybe not even satisfaction, I think the word in this case I would be looking for is peace. Forgetting all spiritual rewards of reincarnation of something good happening because you did a good thing because that is never why I do a good thing in the first place.
I do it because it is right. Period. Even if it costs me.
Earlier this year, around October, my beloved 2004 Suzuki Forenza Brego broke down. Something you need to understand before I go any further is a bit of backstory, in case you don’t know me.
I have a few chronic illnesses, one of them being vertigo. Driving would bring it on, and at the very least make it difficult to drive in a straight line. I knew my limitations and how far I could drive before the weird vision trigger warning would set in, telling me I might be getting ready to have an attack. I also take 6 medications that cause drowsiness. Yet doctors never tell you not to drive on them. Ever. Insane isn’t it? “Use caution while operating heavy machinery.” on every bottle. I’ve driven for years like that because doctors never said it was wrong, and I never thought my reflexes were that hindered.
Back to the vertigo. I had driven with it when it was so bad back when it started because I had t work, I had no choices, it was a train wreck. Eventually I didn’t drive that way anymore and ended up on disability for my plethora of health issues.
None of this is to get a whoa is me. What it is for is to point to why I made a decision. One pushed forward by my car breaking down.
I needed to stop driving. It was time. It was dangerous and I was going to end up hurting someone else or myself. I would never have gotten over hurting someone else just because of being too damn stubborn to do what was right. So I did what was right. I got pennies for my car and started taking the bus.
I like the bus. Since I disabled I get a 30 day pass at a good rate and I save a lot of money not having to worry about a car. It’s easy. I don’t have to have panic attacks while driving, I can relax and listen to my headphones. I really do enjoy it, as weird as that sounds.
What I did not really think about when I stopped driving was how much smaller my already small world would become.
You don’t make friends, keeping friends becomes almost impossible. You get invited places you can’t go because the bus doesn’t run that late. “Well take a cab, use Uber!” 20.00 both ways? Yeah, who can afford a 20.00 night out before even getting there, paying a cover, getting a soda, buying something you want. I don’t have that kind of money.
So you just stop trying to make friends. I was so optimistic about trying to this year. People don’t like giving people rides, it’s a pain in the ass. I get it because it is a pain in the ass, especially when it’s out of the way.
There are so many things I would like to do, places I want to go and I become so frustrated because all I wanted was to make sure people were safe. That no one got hurt because of my negligence. That’s what I really wanted, and it took even more of my life away.
I’m not sorry I stopped driving, I will never be sorry, because it was what was right, and if I have to not go to cons, if I have to sit at home while cool parties are happening, if I have to not meet people then that is the way it is. At least I am comfortable in the knowledge I did the right thing. I have my cats, I have movies and the internet, I have books, my family, my internet friends, my Best Friend who is a saint among Men and Women, if I have to live a life with just that knowing I didn’t hit a pedestrian then I will.
Most always doing what you should requires sacrifice. Most of my life I have found out it’s usually fairly large, fairly painful, but always peaceful.
I hope that it finds all of you well and happy as the seasons change and we see the buds bloom, seeds are planted, and the robins land with their red tummies.
This is the frst Ostara I have actually acknowledged in my three years in my journey as a Witch. I am not celebrating really. We are going to try to dye eggs. I plan to wear lovely spring colors, and to spend time outside, with the blooming things, watching the ducks as they scowl at me for daring to live in this complex when clearly it belongs to them since they have a nest by the pond.
I remember when I was a little girl, near our our front stairs we had four red tulips that came up every spring, and I would wait and wait and I knew when I saw their green pushing through the soil it was time, and soon the days would be longer, and we could pay outside more, and the sun would be warm. Fall has always been my favorite season, but as I learn to appreciate this planet, I learn to appreciate it all.
So this year, spring coming has been a beautiful thing to me. Every bud, the birds singing in the early hours. The feel of the cool breeze against my face, even when I was in the sun.
So welcome spring, welcome Blessed Maiden. Show us, teach us of life anew.
Blessed be everyone.
I have been through lots of therapy, talked to lots of “Licensed therapists.” Never once had I heard this term. Recently, watching videos about various things, and reading about various things, all mostly to do with Paganism, self-growth, etc. I came across the term self-love. The act of truly, genuinely loving yourself. Not in the way therapist try to get you to do. The “Keep your chin up and remember you are a great person and it will get better.” with a fake smile kind of way.” No in a nitty-gritty being deeply real with yourself, learning about yourself until you come to understand you genuinely ARE an awesome person. It doesn’t come overnight, and it doesn’t come from your basic self help books, and it certainly doesn’t come at 100 some odd bucks an hour.
It comes from you. It comes from me.
I have to do all the work. So far I really haven’t found a guide. I’m sure there is one. Right now I am sort of just meandering through. Reminding myself if I do a good job at something I am fucking well going to be proud of it and if someone thinks I am arrogant well screw them. The thing is, in our society we are not given the inherent right to love ourselves. We have to shove all that down. Don’t be proud, that’s arrogant! Don’t brag! Don’t show people that new skill you learned that’s showing off!! Why can’t we do those things? I know I am thrilled to see new skills people have learned, and proud when friends accomplish things that are hard for them. We are told to love ourselves but not given the right to truly do so.
Sometimes, you are your only cheerleader. Maybe you tell three people and one of them half hears you. Maybe no one thinks it was a big deal, and you know it was for YOU, Maybe there is no one there at that moment to say anything. So you give yourself a pat on the back, and that is the most important praise you can ever get. Other praise fades, sometimes can be false, but true praise, from yourself to yourself, that never goes away.
So when you do something you though was impossible, brag. Tell the people you care about. Post about it on facebook and twitter, but most of all stop, breath, and tell yourself you did it. You did this thing you didn’t think you could do, and now you can do it again.
Good link to a self love monifesto.The Four Queens wrote this on her blog, and I think it gives some good examples.
In the fall of 2010 my life changed in so many ways. Oh so many. Walls torn down, the status quo of my life ashes on the floor as I attempted to build them back up. Build them I did.
As one person burned them down she made a statement, which I paraphrase.
“I can’t live with the intensity in which you live.”
I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. None. I figured my current problems at that time were an easy way to end a dying friendship, and I still think that is true to a certain point. There comes a time when a friendship sometimes just doesn’t work anymore, when you should walk away, and that one had long since left the bus station. We just refused to see it. Which often leaves an awful mess. Which it did. Leaving people hurt on all sides in it’s wake. Now, if I ever feel a relationship is suffering, needs tweaking, it’s time to move on, I say something. Sometimes the very act of saying something is all that was needed. Amanda Palmer’s Bed Song is a very good example of that. The “Why didn’t you say something?”
I digress slightly. Back to the whole intensity thing. Let’s define intensity with our dear friend, Merriam-Webster.
Full Definition of INTENSITY1: the quality or state of being intense; especially : extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling
“To Acquiescent:tending to accept or allow what other people want or demand”
I have tried many times now to write this blog, and I end up deleting it. I have to wonder if there is a part of me I am not being honest with. A part of me I should be sharing with all of you, fear holding me back.
I can tell you this, if you had told me on February 27, 2014 I would be sitting here the person I am at this very instant, I would not have believed you. I would have felt fear, grief, maybe some confused joy. Things I don’t feel now, in this space at all.
in 2014, I was not single, at least not for part of it. It was wonderful, and real, and I have not a single regret, and a beautiful friend for it. I sit here very single. Is it hard? Well…that’s almost a loaded question. The simple answer, from most people would be “Yes.”. I’m not simple, and I am not most people.
Sometimes it can be difficult, but as most of you who read this blog know, I am very much a loner. I do not say an introvert, because those two things are not mutually exclusive. You can be introverted and need far more human interaction than I do. I enjoy the company of just myself and my cats as much as I do the company of my close friends. So is it difficult. Sometimes. Like anyone I can get lonely. No matter how much of a “Hermit” you are, you are still human. So that was the long answer. Yes, it is hard. I miss what we had, but I know that we parted when it was right, and what we had was right. That’s what I need to know.
One final word on that. I think, for now; I meant to be single. I have many things to learn. A lot of things to deal with. I need to learn to love myself, to take care of all things self, nature, and spiritual. To learn a lot. I know I won’t ever be perfect, but when the person comes along I will be hopefully in the right place as a person as will they.
Spiritually I am in a place I would not have seen at this time last year. My beliefs are still the same, just deeper. Richer. I am taking them more seriously. Studying as I can. I know many people in Oklahoma follow their Native American ancestral paths. For example I am Cherokee. A lot of people call following that Spiritual path that a form of Paganism. I chose to follow the deities of my Celtic Irish Ancestors. Which is also considered Paganism. When you think about it that way it sounds a lot less scary doesn’t it? We have festivals just like everyone else, Nature is extremely important to us, family, ancestors, our stories of past heroes, how the world was created. So yes, I am a Pagan. I don’t sacrifice animals, and the word witch is probably scary.. Witches knew the ways of healing and herbs, as many of us do now. 🙂 So I am taking that far more seriously. It is fulfilling and important to me.
I am seriously learning to read Tarot. They have been used over the years for everything from the mysticism of the spiritualist movement in the late 1800’s, to Psychology and helping with various archetype of the Psyche by one of the fathers of modern Psychiatric therapy, Carl Jung. They are a never ending puzzle to constantly learn, and I love it!
I think if you had told me at this time last year I would have been trying so hard to work on betterment of self I would never have believed them, as I consider a pixie haircut again. The imagery of no longer hiding behind long bangs not lost on me.
Other endeavors. Working with the nutritionist and becoming a vegetarian again, working with the exercise therapist at the Indian Clinic, Getting the paints out again, going for walks outside more. Finding crows to feed. Enjoying small pleasures. Laughing more.
So I sit here with my favorite Stash brand Chai tea, eating gluten free cinnamon bread, feeling pretty content as I listen to the Avalon album by Heather Dale.
If you’d told me I would have started being fascinated by Arthurian Legend like I was in High School I probably would’t have believed you either, although there would have been more of a chance since last year I did love the TV show, and I DO have a poster on my wall.
I suppose everything can’t be a surprise. Believe I have no problem with that.
Let’s see what 2015 brings.
Let me tell a small story. You see, I am a recovered Evangelical. Strong words? Yes, they are. Disclaimer:Obviously not all churches are as controlling as the ones I have been to, and many do great kind works and accept all. I don’t need comment s about that on this post. This is my story. A small part of it. It’s mine to tell, not anyone’s to change or to preach out of me.
About 10 years ago I started growing away from the church for good. I got friends outside of the church. (Thank you Lord of the Rings Trading card game a little bit of courage!). For ten years off adn I had tried to be a part of a plce I did not fit. I’ve always questioned, I’ve never been one to sit by and follow. I’m not now, it makes my chest hurt, it make me ill, and I can’t breath. I needed out.
Unfortunately I was so indoctrinated I was terrified. I was certain I would go to hell if I left the church. I could not even utter certain words in songs.
In 2003 I left the church for good. I never went back, and I have only set foot into an actual church service once since. A catholic church service at a Christmas mass with a friend. It was lovely and I made fun of the teeny box they put Jesus in. I think she wanted to crawl under a pew.
In 2004 I was still battling the thoughts that I was going to go to hell. They hang onto your ankles like the demons the church says they are, and believe me do they hold on. I remember the exact moment when I let them go.
When American Idiot came out, I bought it. I can’t really remember why except I heard the song on the radion, I liked it, and had always liked Green Day even though I had never owned any of their stuff. Probably because Satan listened to it or something. So there I was, in my car. The CD playing. On my way home from work.
It was late, and dark. I always worked late shifts. It had been a long day, and I was tired, and sad, and I didn’t fit in and basically was just sick of everything and the words
“Forget me nots and second thoughts live in isolation
Heads or tails and fairytales in my mind
Are we we are, are we we are the waiting unknown
The rage and love, the story of my life
The Jesus of suburbia is a lie ” (Green Day lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong album American Idiot)
Now those lyrics probably were not meant how they hit me, but they hit me exactly in the middle of my gut, and tore it wide open. All the crap that was left there every false belief, all this left over hurt and anxiety came spilling out. Sitting at a stoplight on 71st and Sheridan I starting sobbing, windows down. I was finally able to let it go, I was finally able to sing those lyrics and I was finally able to know it was true.
Things started getting even better from there. Forming my own ideas, until now it is not a problem at all. The only hell I believe in is the one we create for ourselves here on earth. For ten years I created that for myself. I accept now that a lot of my misery during that time wasn’t being pinned in, it was allowing myself to not open the gate when it was clearly unlocked..
That, is part of my story.
The video is the night I got to hear the song that was that pivotal moment in my life live. Like 20 feet from Billie Joe, I did not film this. I don’t film at shows, but it is on youtube.
It’s that time again. When I get more crazy than I generally am, do things I would not normally do, thrust myself into the very depths of my weirdness.
It’s GISHWHES 2014(Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen), and I am a GISHER. This is my third year captaining my team, CrowsinStarships and I can only say at this point I can’t wait. That as usually I am marginally scared, and that I can’t wait.
I’m sure once again I will have to explain to my family and friends it’s not a cult despite my calling Misha Collins overlord all the time. No seriously. It’s not a cult.
Every year this gets better and better for me. I have Chronic health issues, and to be honest the first year I did GISHWHES I thought “What in the FUCK have I gotten myself into?” For the last two years, despite it generally making me ill and taking weeks to recover, I do this anyway. I only usually do an item or two, easier ones, and then I keep track of the team list and submissions,
It’s worth getting sick because for one week I feel like a normal human being. That I can do what every other person can do. Somehow I put the vertigo and the migraines and the body pain on hold and somehow I just do it.
The best part of it for me though is getting to share in a team. Meeting friends, Watching my team mates make amazing art under the oddest of circumstances out of the weirdest things you can imagine. GISHWHES seems to love food clothing. Cheese, toast, kale, tea bags…and yes people wear them, and wear them well. The idea is not not buy anything but create from what you have, or what you can scavenge, Hello, scavenger hunt.
GISHWHES has taught me I can do things I never thought I would or could do. I’ve called asking for Marching bands, news stories, made a video begging Astronauts to out my teams name in space. (That sounds far more distinguished…the item was to have the astronauts say hi to your team and hold a sign with your team’s name on it. COME ON. Seriously I loved space as a kid!.) I’ve written congressmen, foreign diplomats.
In life there are no limits, and when you learn that there are no limits to what you can do…then GISHWES takes it a step further by its many Random Acts of Kindness items. You learn to take the shy self you shed calling begging for a billboard, you take this new person and begin working for, volunteering, anything you can do to make the world better.
Death to Normalcy. It’s the point of GISHWHES. Art, fun, mayhem, exhaustion, hunger, weird conversations, sitting in a thunderstorm trying to make a paper crane.
Death to normalcy is something else as well. It’s death to the normal complacent nature all of us have grown too comfortable with. Death to that part of you that walks past homeless kittens, ignores your elderly neighbor because “It’s not your place to entertain them.” the part of you that doesn’t smile at the grocery cashier, keeps your eyes down at work. That part of normalcy goes away too and you start noticing. You really see the world for what it is, and then you start to do what you can to make it a better place.
So long live GISHWHES. I am proud to be counted among so many wonderful people.
This post was inspired by the following dog. Bolt.
Bolt has been at the Glasgow Scottish SPCA center for 466 days. It doesn’t say that on the page. What inspired me is a small video on their Facebook page which can be found here.
Why has he been there that long? What’s wrong with him?
Absolutely nothing. He’s beautiful, and I can see why they named him Bolt. He runs really fast. He sits patiently next to the person in the video, allowing himself to be described, then a bit later in the short video who see him running around having fun.
So why? As someone that volunteered at an animal shelter I have a few theories. I want to dispel the myths behind what might be keeping this beautiful dog at a shelter.
First, he is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There is no such thing as a Pit Bull. This breed falls under a category that has been called that. They can be hard to adopt out, though their reputations are getting much better as people find they are actually the dogs who fall under that umbrella are wonderful, friendly and loving.
Second, he must be the only pet in the home. This can make a dog hard to adopt, but I heard far too many times, especially with larger dogs. “Oh, is he aggressive?” Now were he a cat, no one would say that as a general rule. It would be chalked up to cats wanting their owner to themselves, etc. Well, dogs sometimes just want the house to themselves. Even if they are not too keen on other dogs in the house certainly doesn’t mean they are going to bite you, or your neighbor. They’re not mean. It’s just a personality trait. Much like a person who likes to be the only person in the apartment.
Third, he should only be around older children. Again the inevitable “Is he mean?” These questions come up more with certain breeds when it comes to this stipulation. Children at younger ages are small. They pull ears, shriek, squeal, hit the dog. Until they learn how to treat an animal, which is general better with older children. Some pets just do not have the patience for it. Would you? Again, this dog is not mean, this is just who he is. Maybe he likes quiet. Not having his ears pulled and being chased round the house no matter where he goes because little ones don’t understand not to, until they learn.
I know these things put people off. Even single people who have no children, or no other pets.
He’s not mean, vicious, antisocial, or not a good pet.
Usually with smaller dogs I found this was often over looked because “Well they are small, I can see how a child might seem like a holy terror.”
So please, when you see a dog like Bolt, and you have a home that he could fit into, give him a chance. If he catches your eye, take him out for a play, hang out with him. If he gets along with you, give him a chance.
Sounds depressing? It is and it isn’t. As I sit here with the sorest Boobs ever from my first Mammogram (May I clarify the lady who did it was amazing and it did not hurt then, but muscles were stretched so…soreness.) and feeling triumphant in finding out I don’t even have pre-diabetes. I realize something.
I’m not old, but to 20 year old me I would have been old. That me never thought about Doctors, nurses, dentists. I stayed up almost all night, worked the next day. Lather, rinse, repeat. I never was a party girl. At age 18 when others drank I was volunteering at the animal shelter.
I went to a few parties, but I liked playing Dungeons and Dragons better.
I had dreams, they seemed real. Attainable. I felt invincible. Even after a few car wrecks (NOT my fault) I felt invincible.
Then my mid twenties happened, I was miserable.
Then they went away. Thank the Goddess, although I learned a lot. I entered my thirties. I gained weight, I slowed down.
The age was setting in. You aren’t old in your thirties! I certainly could not do at age 30 what I did at 20.
My point is today, it sank in. I’m getting older. I’ll need all this stuff checked all the time. Dear God.
So what’s the trade off? Our bodies slow down, eyesight starts to go, hearing…what’s the trade off?
Wisdom. At least for some of us, some not so much. I don’t know where I fall on that scale. In the end though. Wisdom.
In our society so against wrinkles and sagging boobs and stretch marks, age spots, shrinking as our backs bend and compress. Stay young! Society says, have surgeries, do this, and that.
Why? In days most people probably don’t even remember anymore, the elderly were put on a pedestal. They taught us, passed down stories from generation to generation. Sometimes there was no paper, or computers. I know, hard to believe. So the stories were passed down word of mouth for decades.
The Old knew the healing herbs and potions, the best hunting techniques.
We needed them.
So now in this day where all of this is not valued by many, I watch myself age I wonder if maybe it will be more like the ways of ancestors from all my lineage? Will we go back to listening, storytelling, learning, instead of fighting the inevitable.
So, fuck it in the end. My forties, I’m going to make them the best I can. It’s my life. I want to live it, and nobody better come at me with anti-aging cream!!
Lately things have been wily nilly. Not bad. I’m happy, just a guess scattered some, together some.
Unpacking the last little bits of things is as daunting as the very beginning. So many things that you do want to keep, but since everything is rearranged, well; you haven’t the slightest idea where to put it.
I think we get this way in our lives. First a few big thoughts come along. We handle those ideas or problems with some ease, because we know what to do with them. No biggie.
Then the little things come along. OH I wrote the wrong address on that letter…oh my God it will end up in someone’s house on Mars, and they’ll know all about my secret habits only Mr. Receiver of All My Deepest Darkest Things Ever should know. Oh God, then the Mars Rover will find it. It will be on the news…
You get the idea. One tiny problem and we toss it into def con 5.
My Grandma calls it making a Mountain out of a Mole Hill.
it’s something I excel at.
I’ve been a bit frazzled, but extremely happy lately. Which is a mixed up place.
I’ve some to those last few things to unpack. You’d think I had to manufacture an apartment by hand. I take one item out, stare at it, think, then put it back. I try another…oh..hmmm….well I really like this. Do I need it. Yeah I do, I actually used that a while back. Well OK, let me think some more. So I put it back.
Silly things can be so frustrating.
A few months ago I was in a place where I was just…not grumpy, but sick and feeling kinda useless, and worried that my life would never be right, that I would always be sick, blah blah.
Suddenly, the signs started popping up.
Painted on things every place I went. “Its OK”
The first one I saw, I had gone to the park. I think I tried to go for a walk, but couldn’t quite make it. Frustrated I was leaving and looked over at the recycle bin. In black spray paint “Its OK”. Now I believe in signs, think what you will. That little sign made me feel better. I went home.
Here and there I kept seeing them. All over town too! I figured they must be helping other people too. They really weren’t defacing, in my opinion, they were never put somewhere that wasn’t just being used for anything more than a solid colored surface. Why not put that on it.
Every time I saw it, I felt better.
Today, I am where I am. We’ve moved, I’m surrounded by bright colors and things I love.
It IS OK.
Somehow in this time I have tried to learn to be happy. I hope I am learning. I hope more than that that I am making other people happy. When I do that, I feel like a million bucks.
What a world we live in. Each of us needs the other. The simple art of making each other happy, making one another safe, warm, fed, clothed. When we do help one another it is gratifying, and so I think the world truly works that way. It’s just people get scared, they cling to things, they fight.
Those words could probably fix half the world’s problems. Am I an optimist? A lot of the time, yeah I really am. I can also be a realist, and in this case I am being one.
We want this, no we want this.
Meet in the middle. It’s OK.
Try it, see how those two words affect your life. I am so glad that they kept popping up in mine.