Category Archives: Just Life

I WILL NOT LET FEAR BAR ME FROM HAPPINESS!

Standard

I think this is truly my year of the butterfly, of shedding my layers of masks and shells and letting my beautiful self out to enjoy the world in my own unique way.  And how fitting it will be to wear huge butterfly wings at my wedding, in a few months! Yes, I’m getting married to my love, the wonderful, loving, Pan in the flesh that I’ve been with almost 3 years!

shedding masks and shells merged

This picture has been made by tweaking a picture taken at the ‘Sensational Butterflies’ exhibit by the Natural History Museum (I assume in London), seen in this blog, and a picture of myself, and then tweaked further with tools used in GIMP.  Original Artwork.

My whole life, I’ve gone through a progression of taming my spirit, and hiding it away with carefully created masks, and letting fears bar me from being myself and truly happy.  But when did the taming of my spirit start?  I certainly wasn’t as tame when I was little.  My mom has told me that when I was a toddler, at about one or two years old, I had so much energy that I would rock back and forth so much in the barnvang, Swedish for baby carriage, that she needed to strap me in so that I wouldn’t fall out.  And my true self has always had this zest for life, excited to do things, meet people, play, and so forth.  I was a happy kid, spontaneous, playing in puddles or riding my tricycle all over town on adventures.  It was the 70s, and people weren’t afraid of child abductors (as far as I knew); kids could ride a tricycle several blocks away to a friend’s place to play, on their own, at about 4 or 5 years old, and no one would worry. Maybe my mom did worry, but if she did, I didn’t know about it!  So from birth to about 5, my spirit was untamed, happy, and confident in myself.

I’m not sure what happened, but at about 6, I started to realize that I was seen as gangly and nerdy, I was teased by many children at once, and I started to tame myself, to tamp down on my energy, be more careful, don’t attract attention, do as others do, and that sort of thing.  We had moved to Colorado from Massachusetts.  I was seen as different and odd, I had Swedish androgynous clothes and probably clothes from Massachusetts, I was pretty direct, and maybe I talked with an accent, though I’m not really sure if that’s why kids made fun of me.  It didn’t happen right away, so it wasn’t all about how I looked.  (If any childhood peeps happen to read this and have any insights, as long as you can tell me in a constructive, positive way, I would welcome that.) Anyway, it was then I that started tamping down on myself, not letting myself be my true self, and letting that bit of me shine out in a glimmer only after a long time after someone started to get to know me.  Also, for some reason I let all that get to me, whereas before that I didn’t.  I’m not sure why.

Then in my middle school years, my two friends at school stopped being my friends suddenly, and I started getting bad grades, not caring, and being depressed.  I’m not sure which happened first, was it my extreme shyness or that incident that caused it?  At that time, I was too afraid to even get up in class to get a tissue to blow my nose.  I would sit, frozen at my desk, not wanting to attract any attention, didn’t want eyes on me as I walked to get a tissue, didn’t want anyone to see boogers come out of my nose, and so on!  It was ridiculous.  I was painfully, painfully shy.  I was still teased, then, too, and also ostracized.  I think that again, it was that I was different, and maybe my negativity that caused it as well.

Throughout all of that, I could have shrugged off what others thought, been confident in myself, and not let it get to me.  I could have gone up to those who teased me and asked them blunt questions, such as why are you even focused on me?  And who cares what kind of ___ I wear or look like or act like anyway?  I could have let myself be free and untamed, rather than letting myself force my spirit down and away from what I thought were judgmental eyes and minds.  I realize now that I acted like prey.  Wanting to hide away from it, rather than standing up for myself.  As it was, I actively hid myself away from others and rarely let myself out to play and be free.

Though, I felt safe at home, playing with my sister in my neighborhood, and also had some great friends as I grew up, so there’s that positive part to my life.  Still, at home and with those friends, I had a mask and way of behaving in order to please them, though those masks were lighter than the various ones I put on to be out and about in the world.

I started to shed some of the shells and masks at the start of 9th grade, and I started to like myself better as I am, but it was only a start.  I still did things very carefully, and that has continued throughout my life, planning out what I was going to say or do before I did it, weighing whether people would see me or not, practicing my outer mask in the mirror, how to smile, how to look and act.  I created shell upon shell that others would have to slowly melt or break through to get to who I really was.

Now, there are some good things about being careful what you say, and caring how other people think. In that way you don’t act as a crass, selfish and despicable human being. Everything is tempered by something else.  It’s still good to consider others’ feelings and comfort zones when doing things.  I’m not saying I should disregard that, just not let fears rule my life.  Also, a bit of a mask is good, so you don’t let the goo of all your emotions and thought spill out all over the place.  So, there’s that.  It’s just that the inhibiting of myself that I’ve done throughout my life has been extreme and debilitating.

Of course, all of this extreme tamping down of my spirit went on without me really being conscious that it was happening.  In high school and college, I started to realize who I truly was, what I really liked and believed, and started to be able to shed my exterior mask that kept my true self in line.  I forced myself to talk to strangers, to train myself to not be as shy.  Basically everything I did, I had to force myself to do, most of the time.  Once I started, I started to realize I was fine.  For example, though I used to get very scared and upset when I got lost as I drove, later, I consciously let myself get lost, and be OK with being lost while driving, because then I’d know where I was the next time.  Keep in mind that this was before cell phones and GPS, with just a paper map to guide me.  I went to movie theaters, restaurants, and traveled by plane or train by myself.  I proved to myself that I could do things, and that helped me shed layers of my shell.  All throughout, though, I was afraid of what people might think, and felt weird being out and about all by myself.  I just had to ignore those feelings and go ahead and do it.

So I still have inklings of that social fear, which rationally, I know, is ridiculous.  Recently, I have been hesitating to do things like ride my bike or hula hoop, because I have an subconscious feeling that people are looking and judging. Rationally I know that isn’t true, but the feeling is there, and I don’t realize it until later.  So instead, I have been opting to stay inside and watch Netflix or similar.  That fear that I let build up and strengthen throughout my life is still there, unhealed, and I only recently realized it’s still there!  Also, my Christian upbringing, while having some positive points, has really influenced my life in ways that I also want to release- being prudish about sex, or feeling guilty feelings over things that are natural, needs to be released and it’s there, influencing the tamping down of my spirit.  I thought I had already released all of that, but the roots of all that is still clinging to me.  I think a good burning off the old brush kind of ritual is in order!

Just this past week, I realized that though a few years ago I became more and more untamed and shed some of my masks and shells, I was back to putting on my masks and shells again.  Then and there, through tears of anguish over the thought of losing myself and losing someone I hold very dear because of my fears, I decided to STOP LETTING FEARS BAR ME FROM MY HAPPINESS.  That has become my mantra.  That realization and determination has released me again and I’m willing to get out there and do things that make me happy, as well as try new things.  Here’s a list of silly little things I may not do because of fear, what that silly fear is, and why it’s silly.

(A Monty Python quote comes to mind:   “Jethro Q. Bunn Whackett Buzzard Stubble and Boot Walrustitty…, Silly Party…. Malcolm Peter Brian Telescope Adrian Blackpool Rock Stoatgobbler John Raw Vegetable Brrroooo Norman Michael (rings bell) (blows whistle) Edward (sounds car horn) (does train impersonation) (sounds buzzer) Thomas Moo… (sings) ‘We’ll keep a welcome in the…’ (fires gun) William (makes silly noise) ‘Raindrops keep falling on my’ (weird noise) ‘Don’t sleep in the subway’ (cuckoo cuckoo) Naaoooo… Smith.: Very Silly. ….”) (No, I didn’t have that memorized!!)

Silly Little Things List

Listed as in this format-   (bullet point) activity: fears; why silly


  • hula hoop:  eyes, criticism, look awkward; silly because who’s looking anyway, who cares what people think? Just do it, like Nike says (and how cool is that, that Nike is a Greek Goddess? Totally pagan).
  • ride bike: (same as above), also the fear of ‘what if I fall and break open my head and I can’t call for help on my phone?’; silly, because that fear can apply to any situation!  Don’t go your life not doing things ‘cuz of fears like that, right?
  • wearing clothes or hairstyle that are out of the norm for a situation: odd looks from strangers, unwanted attention (positive or negative attention, doesn’t matter), losing a job or negative job evaluations, viewed as inappropriate; silly to some extent ‘cuz who cares what people think (something I really need to release myself from, that worry), and I really won’t lose my job or get negative job evaluations over it unless it’s very extreme or inappropriate, which my own style isn’t really.
  • not wearing a bra (!): OH MY what if my nipples pop out of my shirt and scare off the muggles or attract the creepers; who the f* cares, and if they do, then too bad. (Though, I do wear a bra at work, don’t want to be deemed inappropriate since I work with kids.)
  • admitting my sexual preferences and living a lifestyle that matches that:  becoming lost or soul degrades in a lustful situation (this fear stems from my Christian upbringing), losing my hubby-to-be to someone else (not going to happen), awkward friendships after (no, this hasn’t happened, though it could), also the stigma of having a non-muggle persona (I’ve already gotten over that fear mostly).
  • posting a blog about this and admitting my fears to others (!): who KNOWS what could happen? That’s way too open and revealing of yourself; again, who the f* cares and maybe, just maybe, a blog like this will help others who also feel the same way.
  • Doing pagany things again:  the scars of the past being reopened (no, I doubt it, but if that happens, that means I have more healing to do), going down into that dark scary cave where you don’t know what monsters lurk and doing the spiritual work on yourself that needs to be done; all paganism isn’t deep and dark, a lot of it is very fun, and maybe you SHOULD go into that deep dark cave and confront the monsters!
  • talking to others, flirting, or complimenting others, especially strangers: being out of the comfort zone, entering into awkward situations, not knowing what to say, not knowing what to do next, what will the other person think etc.; many reasons why this is silly but also I just need to be OK with being in an awkward situation and not be afraid of that in itself.

Anyway, I could go on and on.  But again, my mantra now is: I WILL NOT LET FEAR BAR ME FROM MY HAPPINESS.  Somehow, that mantra is helping me shrug off the shells and just BE.  And I’m already so much happier and free just knowing I can do this.

This is my year of the butterfly, to be my own untamed womyn! So mote it be!

Advertisements

Goddess Nudges – Or is it the Way the Cookie Crumbles?

Standard
Do I see the Goddess or Leaves

Do I See the Goddess or the Leaves? – Original Artwork

Dear lovely readers, my apologies for not posting in such a long time!  Part of the reason is that so much of this blog has been about my change in career from Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TODHH) to sign language interpreter, and now I’m back, teaching the sweet kiddos.  I felt that I had messages and nudges from the Goddess/ the universe/ the powers that be/ The Force, whatever you want to call it, to move in that direction, and now I’m back to what I was doing before? How do I explain that?

I’m still interpreting occasionally.  I volunteer interpreted at a rally, and I still interpret at a local Springtime music / pagan festival.  Two years ago in December, 2015, or maybe it was November, 2015, I got word from a fellow interpreter that a job as itinerant TODHH had opened up in her district, which was close to where I live now.  I got the job and started in January of 2016.  Oh, and I moved in with my sweetie sweetness, I’m not sure if said that in the last blog- I probably did.

I’ve been loving my job as itinerant teacher!  It was a learning curve to adjust to that, since I used to be a classroom teacher.  I used to stay in one or two schools, with a caseload of about 10 students.  Now I travel from school to school (about 13-15 schools and about 24-30 students in my caseload).  There’s fluctuation, students moving in or out of the district, graduating, or other TODHHs available, or not, to take on some of my students into their caseload.  I teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids from preschool to 12th grade.  For some kids, I help them develop vocabulary and language, or I help with literacy, or I help with self advocacy and care of their hearing equipment.  I still use my sign language skills in my job with some of my students, and I love that.

I had not really worked with preschoolers before, and audiologists took care of the hearing equipment needs.  Now I troubleshoot hearing aids, BAHAs (Bone conduction hearing aids), and cochlear implants.  I don’t know enough to program them or anything, but I can clean them and change batteries and put them on kids, and though I knew some of that, I know a lot more now than I did before.  Also managing the schedule and trying to see students in my caseload, and finding schools, kept my brain challenged and learning last year.  Now I’m comfortable with it.

Wow, preschool.  I am now comfortable with the wee little ones.  I was so used to secondary students.  I wasn’t sure what to do last year, and I grew into it, and figured it out.  It’s pretty fun being a goofball with little ones and figuring out how to draw language out of them, so to speak, and then driving and meeting with an older student. I like the variety I get in my job, and the flexibility.

So, did I get ‘messages from beyond’ supporting my decision to go back to teaching? Not really- unless I wasn’t paying attention to them.  It just seemed right and it’s been great so far.  But what about those messages from beyond before, how do I justify going against what they supposedly said?  I don’t know how to answer that.  I can’t justify it.  Lame, huh.  I’m a lame pagan dork.  And I’m also a fantastic pagan dork! Haha.

I’m still doing some pagan things. I joined a pagan chamber choir (I know right? Those exist? I thought all pagan music was heavy metal!) Joking on that last comment of course. I’m not as witchy-poo as I used to be; I’m not mixing herbs and doing spells and sitting at my altar like I used to.  I have kind of fallen off the magic carpet I used to ride.  What’s up with me? I have no idea.  I still love the Earth and I love connecting with other pagans.  But am I still pagan?  Yeah…. I just ‘practice’ the pagan stuff less.  I’m sure that’s why I didn’t get nudges about whether I moved in the right direction regarding my job- I didn’t ask. I just did.

My sweetie, who I think of as a gift from the divine and a somewhat subdued Pan in the flesh, and I will be getting married this summer.  After just dating a few months, we felt like we’d known each other forever.  Now, we’ve been together about 2 and a half  years.  He’s my gift, because of many reasons:  all sexual needs fulfilled, intimacy needs as well, he’s my Obi Wan Kenobi when it comes to my little worries and shyness and how to relate with people and how to be free in life, he’s my guru, my friend, and he’s my lover.  I am so blessed.

Anyway, I think I fell off of my overtly pagany ways, and so did this blog along with that.  I am still pagan though! I am, I am, I swear.  My brand of paganism is just less obvious than it was before… I am just me.  I haven’t felt a draw to go to circles and drum or do rituals with others, in fact, I feel a bit of a resistance inside.  I’m not sure why.  I think I’ve seen the people behind the curtain and I’m a little disillusioned.  That, and another group I know is wonderful is such a long car drive away.  Also, I had some magic experiences and then fell flat on my face.  After you do that, you might not want the magic experiences any more, or at least you might be hesitant about them.

I feel like my life is good right now.  I’m happy.  I’m free to be myself most of the time, and less shy to express myself the way I want to.  I’m with someone who truly cares for me and supports me.  I have sweet, sweet friends that like me the way I am.  My job is pretty darned good.  I have what I need in abundance.  Thank you, God and Goddess, for providing.  I am so grateful for this wonderful life.

Be Untamed and Wonderful

Standard
crows on telgraph pole darkened

I made this by combining two photos and tweaking them in various ways.

Some of you may remember the message I got from the Goddess (specifically The Morrighan and the Norns; whatever being it is that prefers to represent herself in those forms) two years ago:

“Know this.  I am to the right of you.  I am to the left of you.  I am before you and behind you.  I am always all around you.  My ravens will remind you of this.”

At that time, The Morrighan said that I would be fine for the next 3 years if I would let go of what was blocking me, and that I knew what that was.  At the time I wasn’t sure, but didn’t ask.  I think I know now what has been blocking me.

If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ll know that I’m in my internship for becoming a sign language interpreter.  Also, since my last blog, I’ve moved in with my new lover, and we’ve now been together about 7 months.  I’ve rented my place out to a friend of his, and am contributing money to food and board to my boyfriend.  I’m still tutoring which earns hardly anything, living off savings, and now the rent money is helping out.  So I continue to have my needs taken care of, while pursuing my new career.  I’ve been watching my savings diminish to less and less, and I still have enough.

In the internship, it has been pretty stressful, trying to get all the hours I need to pass, and to do well.  Like many of the students in our IPP (Interpreter Preparation Program) cohort, I am quite hard on myself and have high expectations.  For the most part, I’ve been doing really well in the internship, able to practice a lot and get great feedback.

Used with permission from the artist, selphy6.  The pic can be found at: http://selphy6.deviantart.com/art/Cleffa-playing-balloon-380231141

Used with permission from the artist, selphy6. The pic can be found at: http://selphy6.deviantart.com/art/Cleffa-playing-balloon-380231141

I’ve felt pretty confident overall, though confidence is a strange animal (like one of the gazillion Pokemon– I think I’ll call it Wonkywonks or something- my lover’s 17 year old daughter knows all about them).  Confidence can inflate to be way too big, to medium, and then lose air like a balloon and become almost non-existent.  And it has special powers:  when it’s too small, it can make your brain run really slowly, and when it’s too big, the brain runs fast and wildly.  Over the course of the internship, it went from a little more than medium, to medium pretty steadily, and recently it’s taken some dips into small.  Last week, it got way too small.  There’s a Philosophy class I’ve been interning in,  and the professor is super smart and talks a mile a minute.  Sometimes the structure of his lesson is difficult to discern, and as interpreters in the class, we have to have faith that what we’re interpreting will have come kind of cohesion and make sense eventually.

I’ve struggled to keep up with this professor, and I realized that what was keeping me back was my perfectionist nature- I needed to get all the concepts correct and tie it all in with the gestalt (this is interpreter jargon we students have started to incorporate into our internal lexicons).  So, last Tuesday, I was going way slower than I should have been and I dropped the concepts, so that my supervising interpreter had to pick up the slack many times and take over.  After the class, she gave me some crushing news, that she may have to take over the class if I didn’t speed up.  That same day, I had a voicing test, and I’m not sure if my nerves over the test affected my interpreting that day, or what was going on, but my self confidence had become small.  I had to struggle to build it up again and try to relax a bit before the test so that I wouldn’t freeze up.  During the test, I lost a lot of chunks of information, and I felt like I had bombed it.

So: back to that strange transparent fish that wanted to escape capture: what was it that was blocking me from shining at my best?  Yes, my perfectionist nature, but more than that:  I didn’t have faith in myself.  I felt like I had to over-monitor how I was doing, in order to do well, instead of letting me just do what I am already good at.  I was micromanaging myself.  I’m not sure if that makes sense.  I had to free the wild awesome woman that I am, the wild interpreter.  Or, maybe ‘wild’ isn’t the right word- more like a wild animal, untamed, rather than acting wildly.  I had to relax to let myself be the best untamed human I can be, and trust that I CAN be the best I can be.

On Wednesday, I did well at my internship in one class I consider to be easy, and another class I consider to be more difficult.  That helped my confidence a bit.  My new lover also helped me feel better, expressing his faith in me and to not worry about results of things or how other people grade me because that can be subjective and unreliable.  (He’s very skilled in interpreting data and even has a degree related to it.)

That night, I came up with a way to help myself feel better: a plan. I always feel better when I have a plan.  In case my supervising interpreter decided on choice A: to let me have another chance before taking over, I would up my game and rise to the challenge.  In case she went with choice B: take over the class, I would accept it as a relief from stress (I hoped I would react that way, anyway), and record the lectures and observe her sign choices, and practice interpreting the lecture afterward.  That way I would still be pursuing my goal to be able to handle the class.

So, to prepare for choice A, I brought up a youtube video related to the same topic, with a fast talking professor, and practiced signing.  I sat on our bed, practicing signing a mile a minute, finding that I could keep up with the professor for the most part!  I also needed to limber up my fingers to fingerspell quickly.  At one point, signing wildly on the bed, I looked up and saw our dog looking in the doorway, with a stricken look on her face.  She stood still and stared at me- this strange transformation of my calm and quiet self into a crazily waving person (in her view, I’m guessing).  At one point I took a short break, and she came up on the bed (where she prefers to be, in arms length of petting).  After a while I started up with signing again and she left, like “Ok, I’m outta here.”  Pretty funny.

The next day, last Thursday, I felt a little nauseous with worry over what would happen.  I practiced again, had more caffeine to wake up my neurons, and drove in to the internship site.  Before class, I was fingerspelling philosopher’s names in the hallway, when the Deaf student came up and caught me practicing.  We chatted a bit, then entered the room when the supervising interpreter came walking up.  It turned out that my supervising interpreter chose A, to give me a chance, for which I’m grateful.  She started first, interpreting for 20 minutes, as we had previously agreed.  Then it was my turn, and I … want to say I was on fire, but I think that’s my heart being happy about it.  I wasn’t really on fire, I was *just right.*  I did it!  Later at class that night, I found out I got a B on the test.  What a relief! I had done better on that test than I had thought.

Back to the ravens.  I had a thought this week that since I’d moved far away from where I was living before, I hadn’t seen any ravens, and I missed seeing them.  Guess what I saw on Wednesday and Thursday?  Crows, not ravens, but close enough to give me a wonderful feeling.  I’m still being taken care of.

So:  my soul homework is to let my wonderful untamed interpreter woman free to be the best I can be, and not be so restraining of myself.  I also need to trust that I’m still being taken care of by deity.  It’s a wonderful cozy feeling.  I hope that you, reading this, can take some tidbit of a reassuring lesson from this, to apply this to your life as well.  So mote it  be. ❤

Like Jack and Sally, We’re Meant to Be

Standard
Used with permission from the artist, Lulu Inthesky.  See www.luluinthesky.fr to see more of her artwork.

Used with permission from the artist, Lulu Inthesky. See http://www.luluinthesky.fr to see more of her artwork.

I have met, possibly, the best match in a lover, ever, for me.  In fact, we had our first date the day I posted the last blog. (You know, the one in which I was going on about how I’m just going to chill out on relationships for a while?)

Well, that’s funny.  I’m way deep in a very serious relationship now!  After that first date, I thought he was interesting and that it would be fun to see him again.  We had our second date the very next day.  We went to a park and had a picnic, and ended up kissing under a blanket as it sprinkled.  I’m smiling now, remembering how wonderful that was.

Since then, I’ve found out so many awesome things about him, some of which are uncanny signs that appear to point in the direction of ‘You are made for each other.’  So many things about our personalities jive with each other and we really match and fit so well together, that sometimes I’ve felt like I’ve made him up, except that he’s better than what I could have made up.

One of the really cool, uncanny similarities we have is that we are both really into butterflies.  If you read some of my past blogs, (or this one, or this one) you’ll be filled in on what I mean.  One or two years ago, images of butterflies were popping out at me, around 2-3 images per day, for months on end.  The same thing happened for him, but for a shorter time.  I now have a tattoo of a blue butterfly on my left shoulder blade and a few other things like barrettes, notebooks, and so on, that have butterfly images on them.  He has a lot of butterfly images and actual butterflies (framed) in his home.  I’m still seeing butterfly imagery quite often.  Just today, I saw these butterflies in the CD sleeve of a Frenchy and the Punk album, and the lyrics next to them are so wonderful.  I texted him with this picture, which has now been tweaked for posterity:

"...now that all is said and done, we can join forces two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key. Like Jack and Sally, we're meant to be.  Now the charade is over and done, we still march forward two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key, like Jack and Sally, we're meant to be." - Frenchy and the Punk, Bonnie and Clyde

“…now that all is said and done, we can join forces two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key. Like Jack and Sally, we’re meant to be. Now the charade is over and done, we still march forward two as one, for deep in our hearts we found the key, like Jack and Sally, we’re meant to be.” – Frenchy and the Punk, Bonnie and Clyde

Another fun coincidence is a mutual interest in girls and tanks (in a way).  A few years ago, I dressed up as Tank Girl for a convention in Denver.  I am a huge fan of the original comic books by Hewlett and Martin.  He has had a long time interest in tanks, and even designed a tank- I’m not sure how in depth his design is, if it’s a working tank or more of an art form for him (I would guess: both).  He wrote a fictional story that he wants to turn into a comic book about women in tanks!  How cool is that!

Myself as Tank Girl, 2012

Myself as Tank Girl, 2012

We match in so many ways.  I’ve owned guns before and shot them only a few times (not any more- the interest didn’t really go away, but the money to buy them did; I pawned the ones I had, about twenty years ago), and he owns guns and is into guns, a bit.  We’re both into Science Fiction.  I have all the old Avengers TV shows (Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and have watched them and love them, and he’s watched all of them with his daughter.  We both like comic books.  We’re both artists, though he’s practiced art much more than I have.  We both like to write stories.  We both like to dance (though I hadn’t been club dancing in a really long time).  He took me dancing and it was so much fun!

What else do we have in common… we’re both teachers.  Though I’m only tutoring two students right now, and he’s a full time teacher.  He teaches high school students Math and Game Design.  We’re both computer savvy and graphic arts savvy- though he’s much more so than I am.

We’re both leader types.  We’re both generous and like to help other people. We both really like cuddling, touching, kissing, and have high sex drives.  (And it’s been wild!)  He communicates a lot with me, and we’ve been very frank and open with each other.  We’re both polite and considerate people.  We both see people as just that, people, and have a wide variety of friends, male, female, transgender.  We’re both bisexual.  We both don’t mind if the other person finds other people attractive and tells the former person about it.  We’re so wild about each other and in love that this doesn’t conflict with what we’ve got going with each other.

We do, of course, differ in a few ways.  He likes line dancing (country style dancing), and I’m not into that at all.  I’m more into pagan things and think in a pagan way much more than he does.  He’s Buddhist, and is open minded about spirituality, which helps us match.  But he wouldn’t quite get into the same spiritual things I’m into (as far as I’ve been able to discern).  He’s much more outgoing than I am (and I’m more of a friendly introvert).  He makes people laugh and glow after he’s talked with them, and I love this about him.

I have been given this wonderful present: a lover who is as excited about me as I am about him, and who is wonderful, beautiful, and unique in his own right.  I have other blessings as well: sign language interpreting school is going great, I have what I need, and am blessed with wonderful people in my life.

So.  I feel the need to do something special to thank the cosmic mother and father and guardian spirits, and deity, or whoever has helped bring us together.  Some kind of sacrifice is probably called for, and I’m going to think about what I can do to create a balance for all the blessings I have been given.  I don’t have a lot of money to spend, so I need to think of something I can do or make and it has to be big or require a lot of time.  I’ll have to think on that one a bit.  (If you have any ideas, it would be fun to read them!)  In the meantime, all I have are words coming from a sincerely felt humility.  Thank you for all that I have been given! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Letting my Life Thread Flow

Standard
life threads

Original artwork

This past June, during a meditation, I received a message from divinity to “Go with the flow.”  In the past months, I’m realizing more and more what this means for me.

I think I may be going through a kind of biological mating imperative lately.  My psyche sometimes fights a slightly crazed feeling of “Must mate, now!  Who’s next to try? Will it be you?”  I hate that feeling!  It is what it is, and I’m not constantly feeling it, thankfully.  I also wonder if part of the feeling comes from remnants from being married (i.e. mated) already, and wanting that seemingly steadfast bond with someone again.  Or, it could be those magical moments I had this summer that I just didn’t want to end.

But relationships are not constantly magical.  We are not living and breathing and pooping rainbows all the time.  For me, it wouldn’t be rainbows, but it would be starry nights or full moons.  I love that energy, I love the ethereal connection I had, but there’s also the other parts of ourselves we need to consider.  We are not completely astral, and if we were, things would be so much easier.  We need to work and learn and feed ourselves.  Our teeth chip or our cars which spew ick into the air may break down, but we are tied to these earthly things.  We are not completely pure and evolved, either.  We have jealousy, or feelings of abandonment.  We (well, I; speaking for myself, here, but assuming I’m not the only one) are all dealing with these things in waves.

After those wonderfully magical experiences I had in June, the mundane issues came back.  My life thread wants to bond and mate, but that’s not necessarily healthy, it’s like ‘Chill out, life thread!’  The other person I was involved with- that my life thread sought- isn’t ready for that and is sifting through his own issues.  And I’ve come to realize that while my soul was seeking his, he’s not really seeking mine back, that I can tell (unless I’m totally oblivious to something or too impatient to wait for the signs).

I tried seeking other life threads through online dating.  What a weird mental space that is!  It’s like you’re shopping for other people, and they’re shopping for people, of whom you’re one of the commodities as well.  Then you start connecting with someone, but it’s not truly connecting, or you think you do and it was a lie, ugh it’s so shallow and strange.  Just strange!  I’ve been on a few dates, and that concept of “Go with the flow” is back.  No need for anything immediate to happen.

I’m cutting off that internet dating thing this weekend, as school’s about to start again.  The whole arena kindof turns my stomach anyway, but I’ve met a few people and had some wonderful conversations in the process.  We’ll see how it goes, no magical connections, but can you expect to constantly have magical connections?  I wish!  It’s a rare thing.  (Update from 8/14:  just had a second date with a guy I met internet dating and I stand corrected, I just had a wonderful, magical time with him!)

Go with the flow; it’s all about developing your own enjoyment of life independent of anything else.  Being open to opportunities as they arise, keeping an open mind and heart, but not tying your own heart down or anchoring it to one possibility.  That last bit is what I’ve been struggling with this summer.  And I think I’m getting there, and becoming really comfortable with just being me right now.  Developing and strengthening my own life thread, putting life and color into it, and weaving it wherever I want to weave it.

Living Again as a Single Pagan Woman

Standard

Original Photo

About a month ago, I broke up with the boyfriend that I’ve been more recently referring to in my blogs.  He’s the one that is Catholic and with whom I decorated his home for Christmas. This blog isn’t about the personal details between us, but about my own thought process regarding this relationship in general. I hadn’t dated anyone who didn’t at least have a similar religious path as mine for quite a while before this.  Our differences were striking to me; I think they were more striking to me than they were for him, but I could be wrong about that.

There’s a kind of mentality you get used to as a Pagan person, that, when you encounter the worldview of a “normal person,” or what I like to call Muggle in reference to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, it can be strange and disconcerting.  By the way, I don’t use the term Muggle to mean anything derogatory, I use the term for people who are ‘normal’ and don’t live magical lives (or with the worldview of living such a life) like Pagans do.

I’m used to thinking of people as just people, and I know so many different people and I’ve become used to a variety of people so that it’s become my normal world.  I forget sometimes that other people aren’t used to ‘odd’ people who stray away from their ‘normal’ lens.  I know people of all sorts of ways of being- transgender, non-traditional couples, lesbians, gays, poly, people who are suburban yet believe in Native American, shamanistic beliefs; I know Messianic Jews, Jews, Atheists and Muslims.  I know people from lots of different places in the world, cultures, Deaf people and ‘hearie-heads.’  I know a man who wears dresses, and a woman who shaves her head.  And some Muggles would faint at the fact that someone wears frankincense in a vial dangling from a necklace!  At a tiny thing like that!

And since people are just people, we walk around as such whether or not we have clothes on.  Clothes are just something that we cover ourselves with, keep us warm, make us look good or blend in.  When you get used to people who also think this way, and go to places where clothing is optional, that also becomes the new kind of normal.  It’s a little odd at first even for us who are more used to it, because in our every day lives we wear clothes all the time, but when you go to a pagan festival or a clothing optional hot springs, or beach in Italy for example, once everyone doesn’t mind, then it’s fine.  It’s not deranged or perverse, it just is.  Nudity has as much to do with sex as beds do.

Not that all Pagans are nudists.  But many are.  And it’s not like at these festivals, that people are walking around naked all the time. It’s whatever people feel like, which usually means once in a while some clothing comes off, then goes back on, and only in areas where everyone is an adult. Diverse people and nudity are examples, of many, of the culture that is Paganism.  And just like with any culture, we’re not all the same.

Another example of this Pagan culture is that when we break up with someone, we are often still friends with that person, even hang out with that person.  Not always, but I would guess that it’s much more of a phenomenon with Pagans than with Muggles.  I have maintained friendships with the two guys I dated that are pagan or pagan friendly- well, one is definitely a Pagan and the other is Gnostic.  I still talk with them, sometimes hang out with them (one much more so than the other), and we really are just friends.

These three examples of the way that Pagans  look at life and live life were things that my most recent ex boyfriend couldn’t understand while we were dating, and I don’t believe he will anytime soon.  And, after a month, I have finally let go of the idea of holding on to the wonderful friendship that we had.  While I don’t think he completely understood me, as friends, we joked and talked with each other every day, mostly on Facebook.  I feel like I came to know him pretty well, and that he came to know me pretty well, too.  It was nice talking with him.  But that’s over now, and I think I’ve finally stopped shedding tears over that fact.

Bonds with people are very important to me.  I take a very long time to let go, a while after the other person has already let go, sometimes it takes a while before I realize that I’m holding on to thin air.  And severing bonds is painful.  It’s like I’ve formed the bond with my own umbilical cord or something.  Or sometimes maybe the bond is more fragile to begin with, in which case it’s easier to sever the bond, but it still hurts.  I regret not being friends, when, in my mind, why can’t we be?

Again, it’s that different way of looking at things and perhaps a different way of feeling about things.  He says I broke his heart, but in my mind I only stopped the romantic part of our relationship, and truly wanted to continue the friendship; I rejected one part of our relationship, and he rejected the whole thing in return.  To me, our friendship was so much stronger than the romantic part of our relationship ever was.  And I truly did love him and want the romantic part to work.  We are just different people who show our love in different ways, and that caused conflict and friction.

What I’m really sorry for is hurting his feelings, and letting the relationship (as a romantic one) drag out as long as it did.  I really wanted it to work, so it’s almost like I was trying to force it, when that personality conflict was there, really the whole time, causing me grief in the midst of my happiness. Now, the bond severed and my heart being O.K. with it (at least today it is), I’m not looking to the recent past any more.  I can’t grieve any more about something that can’t be fixed.  I have to focus on my life and the people who choose to be in it, and move on. I may have up and down days, but I hope my emotional path smooths out from now on so that I can continue to enjoy life again. It feels smooth today.

Nature is so healing- everything around me is turning green, trees budding and blooming, smelling so wonderful, and animals are moving about again.  Rabbits are hopping around each other and grazing in yards, crows and red tailed hawks are flying about. Seeing all these things reminds me that life is meant to be lived, and I’ve got to get on with living it.  And not just live it:  I need to let my heart soar with the happiness vibrating from the very core of nature. So mote it be.

Geeking out on – of all things – Organizing!

Standard

This post is going to be a bit mundane.  It has nothing, or probably nearly nothing, to do with anything pagan.  It’s just something about my daily life.  Unless it can be said that pagans are messy, but that would be stereotyping ourselves, I’m sure!  I know plenty of very clean and neat pagans… I’m not one of them!

For about a half a year, and especially the last month or so, I’ve been focused on organizing and getting rid of things.  As I may have already said, I’m a Cancerian- a ‘double’ Cancerian with my moon and sun in Cancer.  A typical trait of Cancerians is that we hoard.  Uh yeah, erm, understatement.  I hoard things.  I’m getting rid of things I’ve had since college.  That would be 15 years ago.  I have a “give-away” pile going just past my entryway- out of the walking path, pushed to the side.

Those who have worked with me will confess with long-suffering smiles that I am *Messy*.  My teacher desk is clean, for maybe the first week of school.  Maybe.  Then it has piles on it until, well, the end of school.

It may be a sad statement to make that I am finally at the point where I don’t have so many things needing done ‘yesterday’ at work that I can finally organize things to make my work easier.  If that had been done in the beginning of the year, well, that would have been logical, wouldn’t it.

Regardless of how late in the year it is and how “ironical” it is, it does feel good to get organized.  It’s been a gradual process in my life.  I have some OCD people to thank for that.

No, seriously. 🙂  One of my best friends is OCD.  She not just jokingly is, and she’s a wonderful person.  Her purse has little bags in it to organize all her stuff.  It would seem like this is common sense, and maybe it is common sense for most people, but this was a HUGE thing for me to realize: a purse can be organized!  Since then I have little bags in my purse, too!  I do still need to clean it out from time to time, but I have a special spot for each thing.  The ‘special spots’ have been developed especially in the last month.  For example, I didn’t have a place just for my gum/menthos/etc.  Now I do!  For some reason that makes me proud!

I’m so proud, in fact, that I would now like to brag about all the things I have organized so far:

my ribbon– in a special box with holes in it to let the ribbon out, with dowels to put the ‘wheels’ of ribbon on.  I am a little embarrassed to say that it was a Martha Stewart idea.  I have been a scoffer when it comes to her kind of ideas, they are a little too ‘posh’ and uppity for me, but maybe that’s my own little weirdness.  Maybe it’s that I’m turning into Martha Stewart as I age, and the little teenager in me wants to still be a headbanger!

Dec. 31 2012 (3)

I cut the box shorter so it would fit in a drawer.

Dec. 31 2012

my purse, as mentioned.

-as of today: files for the days of the week and Math folders in my classroom for the students to put away work.  In my own defense, before I moved classrooms, I did have a days of the week file thingy for my desk.  I now have one again and WOW it feels awesome to put papers in there!! Not just from a paper-nerd standpoint, but it’s a relief to put it in a place I’ll easily find it for when I need it!  I know, go figure, huh!

DSC02355

The one on the right is the Math folder organizer for students. It doesn’t have a label yet… baby steps.

DSC02358

Folder organizer on teacher desk- has a lesson plan folder, discipline slips, passes, sub folder, Mon-Fri folders, and folders specifically for classes.

-some fabric.  Not all- I do have a whole bunch occupying seats around my table waiting to be made into something.  But the rest *is* in fact, believe it or not, organized in my craft room!  I even have organized socks to be used as material in projects.

DSC02366

I’m not really into fake flowers, but I had a lot left over from crafting- I saved these and gave the rest away. Organized by color. 🙂 I made the top shelves out of packing material that cushioned electronic devices.

-the inside of my teacher desk- I am very proud to say I organized that in the beginning of the school year!  There are even labels in there for where things go!  ::geeking out on the labels::

DSC02359

I taped everything down with packaging tape, because it drives me nuts when things swish around in there and it gets all messed up.

-my curlers and curling iron and blow dryer and blowdrying hairbrushes are all in the same bin now.  It used to be a bread box but they all fit in there, and they tuck away under a kindof antique stool that works as a small table in my bathroom.

DSC02363

DSC02364

Someday I want to paint the stool. It’s a kindof cool retro color, but it’s too “Mary Kay” for me. I was thinking some kind of purply light blue. Also the black rubber has spots- I want to clean that and make it look sharp.

-my pantry:  it was a mess until one or two years ago.  I bought a WHOLE bunch of clear plastic rectangular shaped bins, and organized and labeled ALL of it.  I do need to go through it and throw out old stuff (like boxes with 1 cookie left in them), but it is _really_ organized now.

DSC02360

I recently put in the curtain. It used to have a trashed plastic accordion door.

DSC02362

-My DVDs and VHS tapes: I am getting rid of a lot of them, which helped me organize them again.  They are alphabetized.  ::geeking out on that concept alone::

DSC02368

I left spaces on the shelves just in case I add one, so I don’t have to shuffle everything to keep it alphabetized.

Now, don’t be fooled- I still have various piles of things, either waiting to be organized, or waiting to be made into something, or… just waiting.  Lonely little piles, just waiting for someone to love them.  ::sniff::!!

All of this to say, that I’m not sure where this trend is coming from, but I do like it!  And I hope it continues!