About sunoppositemoon

I'm a writer and editor.

a softening

soft stuff som

Lately, there isn’t much to talk about except my business. So my apologies for going full-on Capricorn here.

Last week, what looked like more work coming my way was the complete opposite. What was great about this was that last week, I found this group of writers and found a lot of support and advice for my client quandary.

The advice went along with my gut feelings: it’s time to move on.

Including with that situation, I’ve taken two other leaps of faith–joining another writing platform and a mastermind group.

Investing in my business while it seems everything else is going to shit–it’s scary, but it’s necessary.

One message that has been showing up over and over, in my own daily tarot readings that I post on twitter and just in things I’ve read–it’s being true to myself.

Currently, that message seems to be about knowing my worth–and not compromising to get it.

And that can be extremely hard to form when circumstances are trying to shape your own self-concept. And the past few months have been an invitation to push back on those circumstantial messages.


I said this in my monthly post for my $10+/month patrons on Patreon, and elsewhere here on this blog–that if circumstances aren’t shifting, there’s something greater being worked.

The past couple of weeks have been particularly rough, mainly because other work that I thought was coming through this month didn’t come. A client decided that the work available was below my rate and not worth my time or money. Then I did a maybe unnecessary backbend to do the work. But I wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t be a precedent for my rates.

Summertime is slow, and I wanted to help us both out.

But the work had already been assigned. Oof. I could have used that work! And I was using that promise of work as a way to stop myself from freaking out. Now it seemed like my freakout was warranted.

I have been spending my time prospecting, but that process probably needs refinement–just because the results suck. Maybe my expectations are way too high.

It’s also a process that requires, upfront, a lot of time and effort. It also takes time for my efforts to show any fruition.

And I don’t feel like I have any time left. And trying to effectively communicate that frustration with time, and the lack of it, was really hard to do last week.


Last week, I had a conversation with my biz coach which made me feel misunderstood.

If you haven’t gotten a sense of who I am already, I’ll just tell you that I am an emotionally intense person. I’ve come into acceptance that this is who I am, for better and for worse.

I’ve known this coach for a few weeks, but I’m starting to get the sense that because they are from the coaching realm, they are also in the realm of performative positivity. I can’t really express the darker sides of owning a business without popping back up and being positive about it.

I felt judged. And I felt like I needed to hide this large part of myself in the future.

Yet there’s no time to hide who I am, either. It’s a conundrum. I do think intimacy requires trust, and there are levels. From that conversation, I learned that she wasn’t properly prepared to deal with my emotions–which aren’t freak or strange. It is par for the course to be emotional about your work as a business owner.

I’m grateful for their presence in their life, but that convo requires a boundary and opacity adjustment.

And thankfully, I’ve found others who can take on those weary woes and provide support and tips on changing my mindset without excusing the rather stark circumstances I’m in.


And those circumstances…last week, with all the disappointment and with feeling unseen, but also finding great support at the same time…I’ve had to accept that even though I’m doing the best I can, things still aren’t going my way, like psychology Rick Hanson talks about accepting difficulty.

But these undone things are not who I am.

I didn’t know that I took a certain deep pride in being able to take care of myself. And, I still am taking care. It just involves me putting out more fires, quelling the insistent voices that want things from me.

I’ve talked about how humbling it’s been for the past six years to live here in Florida. But last week, I really felt like I had been made low.

I’ve never been this pathetic in my life.

I asked for a lot of help in grad school, with many mostly unsuccessful fundraisers–and I got over my pride with that. Grad school was and has been impoverishing–although I have no regrets.

It’s more that I have always felt above all of this happening to me.

Being this helpless happens to other people, but not to me.

But no–this has happened to me, over and over. Four years ago this month was when I became homeless and was wandering around the city for a month, and finally the trauma of that manifested into high anxiety, sadness, and shame last week.

I don’t know if you could call it PTSD, but I could call it a very painful reminder of how precariously placed I feel.

I have never really had time to process that. For a while, my mom was wiring me money so I could be in Airbnb every few days until a couple I went to church with decided to let me stay with them for a month.

That charity came at a cost, though–they basically pushed me into an abusive situation with a fellow church member.

And then I ended up here–in stable housing on going on four years. I never thought this would be an accomplishment, but it is.

And not to be super dramatic, but I’m trapped here without a car (but thank goodness for Lyft). So that means no real social interaction offline, or even a chance to say–screw freelancing, I’m going back to work.

I really am doing the best I can, even if I don’t like the results. And that’s especially tough to swallow during Virgo season, that wants to find the best or most efficient way to do things.

But then those expectations, for the best, start to be almost unattainable…


As someone who is entirely too hard on herself, I have to remind myself that I don’t live in a vacuum, that even if my mindset is jacked up on doom, the environment I live in–my house, my city, my state, and my country–all play a key role in how I can see opportunities from the challenges I face.

In particular, how we see individuals with money vs. how we see corporations with money are entirely different. Corporations are officially seen as people thanks to our kinda screwy SCOTUS, but they aren’t seen as morally corruptible like people are.

If you’re broke in America, then it’s your fault. You’re lazy, unproductive, and spend your money on the wrong things. It doesn’t matter if you’re paying taxes into a system that isn’t completely serving you (and a lot of this depends on the state you reside in). You’re just not working hard enough.

But if you’re a corporation who gets a myriad of tax breaks from the state and federal government, hide money in offshore bank accounts, pay workers poorly while give C-Suite executives golden parachutes, then you’re serving your stakeholders. Good job!

In America, poverty and debt are moral failings, even if the game has been rigged in your favor or against you.

So with that in mind, how can I keep beating myself up for doing my darnedest to support myself?

Something has to give here. And something has.


There’s a softening that’s happening inside of me and towards myself.

It’s not even that I have high expectations of myself (I still do). It’s that I can’t even clear a bar of self-sufficiency right now.

And in Capricorn terms, that makes me feel pretty useless especially to myself. And that’s even without capitalism incessantly whispering lies in my ear that I’m not productive, or valuable, enough.

So who is this person emerging…the one who can’t pay all her bills, the one who struggles and sees lights of hope flicker on and off on the horizon?

Going even deeper–I thought I had overcome my perfectionism, a perfectionism so deep and layered, it was a part of my everyday life.

So OK: I wasn’t publicly crying over test grades in junior high (this only happened once but you know how bad it must be for a double Capricorn to cry in public).

In high school, I gave up trying to be perfect scholastically in general because I knew others would excel despite my best efforts.

In college, I learned to compete with myself because again–someone would always be smarter

I’m doing good enough and it’s still great! Hallelujah!

I really thought that my adult life didn’t involve the crippling perfectionism. But here it was, still wrapped around me like a kudzu vine.

But I still was used to having all the right answers for everything. And that goes back to wanting to feel useful.

Even still–that’s a lot of pressure to put on someone, to put on myself, even if money is tight and I’ve been used to being great at everything.

Don’t I deserve some grace? Some understanding? Some love? A break? Wouldn’t I offer the same to someone who is in my shoes?

Even within my work this summer, I’ve noticed places where I was missing the mark. It felt foreign–to miss things, to be wrong. And of course, stress is probably adding to it, but I’m so used to not missing the mark.

I’ve performed under immense pressure for most of my life and it not affect my work. And this year, that era is ending. I can feel how fragile and susceptible I am.

Whether it’s a cumulative effect of being in survival mode, or just a place in my life that is calling me to identify with inner riches…I can’t keep doing things the way I’ve done for the past 40 years.

Maybe my whole life is a coping mechanism…


There’s so many trite things I can say about learning from mistakes, but one thing I’ve missed from being “so above it all,” was the freedom to be a fully human being.

Again, it’s hard for me to separate myself from the world I live in. If you’re not a rich, straight cis white man, the freedom to be fully human becomes limited. And maybe this is something I picked up on as a kid and internalized.

But even within restrictive cultures, within restricted finances, within restricted spaces…there’s still space to free myself from the expectations that I have to have it all together.

I’m trying to use (maybe too many) words to talk about how this softening is happening. I started to notice it in the past couple of days. I don’t know how to explain it, but I do feel like a different person.

I’m not as interested in surface-level hierarchies of how we view people, of who’s better, smarter, more affluent, more connected. And a lot of times, these are Capricorn concerns…as we climb the mountains of life.

It’s not just that we want praise or recognition. Capricorns want security.

But as my rubric for success continues to change, my rubric for security has to change, too.

There’s a lot falling into arrears, falling away, and I don’t have enough emotional bandwidth to hold it all.

I am not my past due bills. I am not my lack of transportation. I am not my dreams deferred or dashed. I am not the countless rejections and heartaches I’ve received and endured. I am not even the loneliness that I’ve become used to.

I am not all the things I lack.

And I try to think about the other freelancers and solopreneurs that are struggling just like I am right now, on the brink of a new life.

I’m not alone in this.

I’m not alone not only in this business struggle, but just in life in general. When I write these words, I wonder if someone has ever felt these things before, before I was born, before this century or millennium, even before we had words…

I may have a unique life, but I know this isn’t a novel feeling–of inadequacy and soul exhaustion, but continuing on anyway, knowing that circumstances are temporary.

Can I tap into the history of humanity, or even to the consciousness right now, and feel that this isn’t new? That there are others right now, just as human as me, trying their best, failing, and continuing to try, and trying not to take this on as a moral failing…but as a sign that they’re trying?


In the ashes of my hopes and expectations, I stand…looking for places to be grateful.

I work towards being more grateful, because I don’t want to be covered in bitter ashes forever

Gratitude is not a feeling, but a daily practice.

I am grateful right now that I’m not homeless. I am grateful that 22 years ago this month, when I was supposed to go to college and my father’s paranoia prevented me–that I was able to go to the following year and finally finish.

I am grateful that for now, my phone is still on. I am grateful that if and when it turns off, I’ll be eventually to turn it back on.

I am grateful that I will be paid for work later on this month. I am grateful that I’m creating space for better clients to come along.

I am grateful for the little personal pizza that I’ll be heating up in a few minutes for lunch and that I don’t have to eat ramen again (as much as I love it).

I am grateful for all these lessons that have introduced me to someone who could be more unfettered…someone who isn’t all exact angles…someone who can carry greater compassion for herself, and in turn greater compassion for others.

I am grateful that I can keep writing about the same thing over and over and glean more wisdom and grace for myself…and that people like you continue to keep reading.

I am grateful that I’m learning that I am not the things that happen to me. I’m something far more weighty and valuable.

I am a fallible human being, worthy of love, grace, and compassion.

I am person who keeps trying.

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

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remembering where I’m headed

It’s Virgo season, which means a lot of us are examining and scrutinizing the details of our lives, seeing where we can enhance and improve.

And sometimes, that can be quite annoying without the right perspective.

Personally, I had a very needed reminder from the full moon in Cancer, New Year’s Day, 2017, of who I’ve become and where I’m headed.

And I only thought of this because I got a little sidetracked in a brief moment of sadness and longing.

This morning, I childhood friend of mine had posted this beautiful picture of a frittata that she had made for her and one of her best friends for her bachelorette getaway. This childhood friend is a newlywed herself.

First of all, she’s a great cook (and has her sun in Cancer), but she’s also just a great nurturing friend–one that I had to leave when we moved back when I was eight years old.

So seeing her Instagram post doubly stung. We’d never be that close because I had moved. But also, someone was getting married. Usually, I don’t care about people getting married. I had been pretty OK with being a singleton lately.

But I think the combo of a lovely family friend and her closer friend and the early morning made me more vulnerable and fragile than usual.

Back to last year…I had been frustrated on my practically non-existent dating life, but I had this revelation about where I had been for most of my life. I had been a staunch evangelical and if I had settled down and married years ago, I’d be looking at some divorce.

It’s almost as if the Universe knew I’d be someone else entirely different–someone much more like myself.

I know this blog has been about that very transition, from evangelical to, I guess, spiritualist. But it’s been a very Virgo time–it’s been about the minutia and details of what’s been going on.

Specificity is great for story, but then what is the bigger story being told here?

So after that reflex of pain that I had looking on Instagram, I had to remind myself of who I am now and what the real story is about.

Yes, most of my suffering has been financial. This month in particular is a trigger. Four years ago, I was sent packing after not being able to pay rent and losing my job. I went on a month-long adventure across the metro area via airbnb.

Sidenote: I started this blog right before I had to leave, so it’s been a record of meandering and instability. You could say that all these troubles have been an initiation.

Although I’m mostly healed from that experience of leaving a crazy home and being quasi-homeless, it’s not something I want to go through again.

This year is the first year where I even remembered that terrible time. And it’s also the first time in years that I’ve really felt unsettled and, frankly, scared of what’s going to happen to me.

At the same time, this blog hasn’t just been about all the suffering over my misfortune, heartache, and betrayals. It’s been about:

growth

And as I said last time, things are better, but it’s still really scary. I got a call today that I didn’t answer about a bill that’s past due. It put me in the worst mood, like it 2014 again, except I’m carless. So it took a lot–although it was really just listening to music–to not spiral into a catastrophizing fit.

And sometimes, spiraling is a way to cope. But it’s not a coping mechanism that was helping me today.

The dark fantasy: I will be homeless and ruined.

The stark reality: the bill will probably get paid this week and in the next two weeks, things will be stable again.

And here’s the thing about poverty–it limits your focus and your gaze. You’re reduced to worrying about things that may never happen, having Sophie’s choices over bills and your wellbeing, and being a walking a ledger sheet of money coming in and going out.

So yeah, I have a lot of compassion for myself here. Even when I look at this blog, I see the uncarryable weight of not having enough money and not having local people around to support me. And I’ve seen how I keep fighting to not have this myopic view, even if I sound terribly whiny and bratty.

Well, fuck it–I don’t care anymore about how I sound or how I may seem to others. This is my journey, my fight, my life. And I thank you for bearing witness to it, week after week.

But what’s beyond all this? *makes wild gesticulations*

If I don’t spiritually bypass or somehow make sense all the terrible shit I’ve been through, I can simply say that I really am where I need to be, as a complete person.

I can say that the things I want and need–I may not be fully ready for them.

Yes, I want to have a bunch of girlfriends to celebrate an upcoming wedding with, but if I really had to be honest with myself, I’ve been transformed.

The woman who left to go on a journey of housing instability is now someone who is even more intentional about creating what she wants. She is someone who isn’t going to wait for circumstances to be right to start following my bliss.

And that took some big disappointments for me to get here.

So yeah, I have these major goals: I want to move out of state, grow my business, find my tribe, find my person, and explore the world. But right now, the way hasn’t been opened yet…although I can see a sliver of light on the darkened horizon…a way will be shown for those desires to come to fruition.

But then there’s an even bigger story: the journey of becoming and unfolding who I am. I pulled this card in a read from the Energy Oracle Card deck by Sandra Anne Taylor:

screenshot_20180909-121812_energy8828607193942416168.jpg

And this card signifies the spiritual journey I’m on. I’m going in the right direction and this place–the garden and the temple–this is where I’m headed. The lights are the spiritual support I have here on earth and beyond the veil.

The winding path has been what I’ve been focused on for so long, every little pebble and brick and weed growing in the cracks. But really, if I only lifted my head once in a while, I’d see where I was going–and how beautiful it is.

Yes, life is about the journey, not the destination. And I have been so tired of thinking about my soul’s growth–but this could also be about positioning.

That can be so tough to hear when you’re in a holding pattern. The stuckness may not be even a consequence of your actions.

It really could be that you’re on the right path. That yes, it’ll all make sense later.

Even though seeing a pretty egg dish post made me sad about where I am right now, it doesn’t mean I don’t deserve that dish, a friend to make that dish, or a celebration where that dish would be made.

It just means that if I’m here, then I’m supposed to be here.

And again–this can be, and for me has been, so hard to stomach and accept, but even five years ago, if I could see where I would be now–talking to you about astrology and tarot, about my soul’s growth, about oracle cards, about telepathy and kinds of connections with others, about all the synchronicities I see and keep seeing…there’s no way I could have known that this would happen–especially because of what I had gone through.

I had only reached out to other spiritual people–people who worked with crystals and angels and oracle cards–because I desperately needed help.

But truly–this life is what I wanted and needed.

Even though there’s a very bitter struggle just to support myself, I’m dwelling in this lush garden of me. Right now, there’s nothing and no one distracting me from hearing myself.

I’m creating businesses from practically nothing.

the magician

I still struggle to be grateful for it all because I feel like there could be so much more that I could be doing or being as a person.

One day, I’ll learn that surrender is so much easier than resistance.

But I was given a lot to heal from and sort through, including how I was raised. It never ceases to amaze me how much more parental stuff I have to work through because it’s warping how I see myself and the world. That’s part of the winding path I’m on.

So sure, where I’m headed are those goals I previously mentioned. Great goals, beautiful goals. But I’m also headed to a place where I can be more myself–more myself in ways I didn’t even know was possible or could ever even imagine.

I feel like I’m just babbling right now, but if I could sum up how I feel about it all, it’d be this in this fortune:

Everything serves to further

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘

true success

miguel-bruna-704166-unsplash

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

I had my weekly coaching session with my business coach yesterday, and it was a humbling experience because I felt like I had run out of runway to take my life in the direction that I have wanted to for so long.

My writing business has taken a while to recover from losing an anchor client back in April. So for going on five months now, I’ve been trying my best to get a new one. Technically, this anchor client would be my coach: we barter writing services for coaching services.

But I have tunnel vision–no, myopia, about this goal.

And that’s a typical Capricorn–get that money!

But I am miserable.

And it’s not just because of limited funds. It’s that life has become about this one thing, and the rest of me is resisting–and rightfully so.

my precious

Last week, my coach and I talked about scheduling my time better (something that came up around this time last year). And I didn’t do anything about it last week because somehow time got away from me. 🙄

I dealt with the pressure of time pretty well last year. I was having these low-key panic attacks over writing, waiting until the last minute to get things done. I sought out an astrologer, we worked on those issues, and then I had more structure.

But then I slowly got out of the habit of having structured time to do the things I want and need to do.

Being so driven for one thing has made me dull. What am I outside of this one goal, outside of what is, or isn’t in my bank account?

I’ve quoted Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club before, but this quote really reminds me of what I am.

You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

This individuation from old coping mechanisms–chiefly delaying gratification to the point that I never get any when tasks are done–it’s painful, but it’s also one that makes me laugh because this is when I feel like the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

Coping mechanisms work until they don’t. I’m not sure how long I’ve been running on fumes, but I’ve reached the point that effort alone isn’t enough. Working hard isn’t getting me anywhere because I feel terrible and self-defeated about it. It’s an inescapable ouroboros of misery, a leminscate of terror.

When I reach out to people about business opportunities, it almost feels like I am tossing coins in a fountain, just wishing for something to come back. But I’m putting in much more effort and intention in every email and contact request I make.

Why can’t I give myself any credit for that skillful effort?

Sure, I can rewind back to how my parents were hypercritical of me, how they rarely gave me praise for any good I did. Their brittle view of their little girl and firstborn was one that already interfaced with my unyielding, intense, and, at times, cruel way I looked at myself.

Yet my “inner mean girl” never seems to be hurling insults and epithets at me–well, not that often. It’s more that she withholds any credit, any praise, any celebration of success. If I do celebrate, it seems stupid because it’s not the big win. That’s all that matters to me.

And what an empty life that is. It’s not self-discipline. It’s self-deprivation.

No carrots, just sticks.

Business is actually picking up, but I am acting like I’m going to go through my own personal recession again. The fear keeps me on this treadmill of terror. I keep running, running, running…and getting nowhere. I’m lost in a labyrinth of longing and loss.

I’m just tired, sweaty, and sore–and for all the wrong reasons.

And to my credit–having a successful business isn’t for some deep personal reason. I’m still doing this because there aren’t any other options right now. This is it. This is about survival. I am committed, whether I want to be or not–but I want to be.

What’s interesting about all this, too–this is all happening in the background. It’s subliminal messaging I’ve given myself probably for my whole life. It worked for a while, being this driven and merciless to myself.

But not anymore.

My coach asked me what success looks like–without this big win that I’m obsessed with.

It was laughable but ultimately sad because I didn’t think I was that successful.

My coach pressed back with questions: well, what about finishing your client work on time? What about following up on emails from prospective clients? How many people did you reach out to last week?

The problem is a lot of what I do just ends up disappearing into the ether of time. I don’t keep track. They are just tasks or events that occur, and I move onto the next.

I can only seem to congratulate myself for tough wins, like when I finished this project over the weekend that seemed to be mired in doubt and confusion from the client. So I just decided to finish it and hope for the best.

The client accepted the work and gave me a 5-star review. And here’s the GIF I used to celebrate:

YES

I celebrated that win on Twitter today, but according to my coach, I should be celebrating much more often.

And back to how I grew up–we didn’t really celebrate much of anything, not even my birthday after a while.

But I am tired of feeling like life is a slog when it comes to my everyday life. If life is about the journey, not the destination, then it’s time to start acting like that. It’s time to start embracing the bulk of my life.

So my homework for this week is to schedule my time so I can start doing more of the other things I love–like tarot and astrology professional development, writing professional development, and journal about my work day.

Astrologically, I realized today that there’s a lot of restructuring (Saturn) and healing (Chiron) that has been going on in my life for the past few months. It’s uncomfortable, painful, and even embarrassing sometimes.

A lot of old hurts and wounds are being drawn to the surface for healing. But the timing isn’t quite right yet. But that’s OK. Healing is still in progress.

What’s funny is that so many times as I’ve been working to get to a place of OK to better, I always think–now the real healing is going to begin. I’ve finally arrived! But there are always layers, layers which have served as protection for a battered and weary heart.

The healing journey is never-ending, but it does get easier, because eventually there are less layers, even if we accumulate new hurts and wounds along the way. And also–we accumulate wisdom and other therapeutic tools to keep us safe and to help us heal more quickly.

This time, I’ll say again that this seems like I’m in the inner chambers of all that I’ve endured and what’s befallen me…and letting the weight of all the years just all fall off of me. I wish it was some dramatic reveal, like a slinky evening gown that I could shrug off.

And that’s because I’m impatient. And rightfully so. It’s been a constricting time–not only by circumstances, but my own almost grandiose ambitions and expectations I have for myself.

I hate to glorify suffering, but I can at least see some semblance of sanity woven through the last six years of my life. It’s like what I said last time, how my heart has expanded with empathy. I feel so much more connected to my fellow human beings because I’ve been so much closer to my dusty existence than the loftier life of the mind.

I didn’t have to choose that empathy, though. And I didn’t all the time. Sometimes I chose bitterness and entitlement–and sometimes I felt those choices were unavoidable and inevitable. Even still–choice or no choice–I want to choose differently now.

And failing over and over, but still rebounding and trying again after each failure–sure, that’s part of my journey as a double Capricorn, trudging up and sometimes falling down the mountain. But so is triumph, the mountaintop view.

That brings me back to what I believe success is. It’s not the just the glittery, glorious triumphs, the accolades, the praise and the parades.

It’s the gritty rebound.

It’s picking yourself up out of the mud and trying again. It’s letting people help you get up again. It’s helping others get up and keep going.

So it brings tears to my eyes to admit this to myself for the first time: my time in Florida has been extremely successful, that my life is a glittering, glorious success.

It’s time to feel good, and proud, about that.

feel good SOM

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

really letting things hurt

pain will leave you SOM

Yesterday, I went into the kitchen to start my breakfast, and the shut-in roommate that I never see or talk to came out of his room. He’s got a big shaggy beard, thinning pale hair, and thin, pale skin.

“Hey there!” he said.

“Hi,” I said. I was washing my dishes.

“Haven’t seen ya in a while!” he said to my back.

I can’t remember if I answered, or if i said, “Yeah.”

“So do you know if we’re getting a new roommate?”

“I…I don’t know.” I was filling up water from the faucet for my oatmeal.

He was at the table in the dining room, looking at the mail. And then he left for his driving around.

I don’t think I had spoken to him since February, when I had told him about the piece of shit roommate who harassed me and had finally left in July–the one that the shut-in had enabled.

I knew eventually, one day, our paths would cross again, and that I would be mad and hurt about the betrayal.

It wasn’t true that he hadn’t seen me in a while. It was a couple of weeks or more that he was sitting in the living room, talking loudly about the medications he was taking for some clinical trial for something.

I didn’t talk to him, but he blared through the earplugs I still had from sleeping the night before.

That loud conversation was informative–although it wasn’t the first time he had been talking loudly on the phone about his medications and illnesses. Still, I was reminded me that although I saw him as a traitor, I don’t know if it really could have been helped. I’m not sure if that’s an ableist way to look at it, though.

Yet it didn’t really help, and it really hasn’t helped, the feelings I had and still have…the feelings I would rather forget, like a bad trip I had taken, like a disgusting meal I was forced to eat.

I lived in the same house for over a year with a man who didn’t do and still doesn’t do much with keeping this house clean. It’s been up to me. It’s been up to me to make sure that this place is habitable and hospitable. And I’ve really only done it for my safety and comfort, although he gets the benefits.

The shut-in never cleans. A former roommate complained about how it seemed like he had never cleaned up after himself before. And last month, he didn’t take out the trash for whatever lazy reason he came up with. That was actually a first.

I knew I would see him again and be forced to talk to him as if everything was OK. I have never really been one for pleasantries, although I used to have a rule about acknowledging the existence of everyone, friend or foe.

After many foes and not many friends, I had to change the rules, rules that seemed to be about being the bigger and better person.

Being the bigger and better person now is about making sure that I’m OK, that I’m taken care of, that I’m safe.

So by being cold and withdrawn, I was OK with showing, albeit passively, that our warm and amiable relationship had frozen over into cold, forced cordiality.

I wasn’t really ready to face that, that I had one less ally in this place. I wasn’t really ready to also look at my relationship to this place. It’s become more and more like a prison–albeit thankfully less and less like a psych ward…


There’s been a room in my heart that I can only peek into. I open it a crack and I’m blasted with warm, moist air and the taste of my own tears. It reminds me of that test that Paul Atreides from the sci-fi novel, Dune, had to undergo with his mother and another Bene Gesserit woman.

He had to put his hand inside of a box, a box that contained pain. If he withdrew it too early, he would die. So he put his hand inside, feeling like his flesh was being burned and flayed…and then when he was allowed to remove his hand, his hand was just fine.

That room in my heart is like that box of pain, and I need to go inside. And I’m afraid that I will be burned and flayed. I’m afraid that I won’t survive it.

It’s not even going to be as dramatic as Paul and his box of pain. I know what’s in my room that I continue to avoid.

There have been some miserable failures this summer. But I decided after this sad and bizarre separation I had with someone over a week ago, that it was time to at least tend to my wounds–not just this summer’s, but as many as I can.

I needed to deal with my whole self–nurture it as it hasn’t really been nurtured by me before; nurture it as my parents should have but didn’t; nurture it as if no one else ever will; nurture it as if my life depended on it, because it does.

Part of that nurturing has been taking this 10-day course about returning to myself. And that has been restorative and healing–but not dramatically. It’s been more of the intention I’ve set: to not put so many other people’s feelings and needs before mine.

Part of that nurturing has been letting things really hurt. And it hasn’t been me sobbing on the floor. It’s literally sitting with feelings, the feelings that aren’t so clear-cut or line-bright.

Most of those feelings are grief over things that never got to be or have yet to be–the me that doesn’t live in Florida anymore; the me that got to be with that person; the me who hasn’t had to grind and scrape just to make it month-to-month; the me who actually did have supportive parents.

That last one floats in and out, because I don’t know how to grieve something that I never had. I can only imagine how it could be, to have parents be there for me unselfishly, to not have narcissistic parents. I could base on other people’s experiences, or base on fictional portrayals. I have a feeling that may become more profound and real when I have my own family, or when my parents pass–or maybe both.

The personal losses this summer…the confusing grief has batted me around, flipped me back and forth like I was some rag doll.

How could this be? Is this really happening?

This is happening. This is really happening.

Usually with loss, I never feel so ambivalent. I am quite resolute. With cold, surgical precision, I can amputate people, places, and things from my life and never look back.

It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when I do it. It just means that I don’t attempt to reattach. I’ve only done in twice in my life.

The first was with my first love–but he dumped me. The second was a few years ago with a woman I had known since we were teenagers. We just drifted apart and I noticed she had unfriended me from Facebook. She responded that basically she was too busy but that she had thought about me often.

This time, I can finally understand why it takes people so long to get over people, at the very least. It took me years to get over how long it took me to get through college–years longer than most people wanted to know or hear about.

But I knew I deserved the time to grieve a formative time in my life, especially since the people who had wanted me to move on had never gone through what I had gone through.

I needed the time.

But that’s the thing with grief. Grief takes as long as it takes. Grief, especially when it comes to death, is an ever-morphing companion that you will never shake. Some days, it’s a whisper of a ghost. Other times, it’s a monster that will violently shake you over something you don’t even think is a big deal.

Even with this one-month odyssey that I was on…there are times that I question whether it’s really over. And then there are other times that I’m glad it’s over. And then, there are other times that I want to go back, even if there are only ashes and embers left.

It’s weird to go through things that you feel like you should have gone through half a lifetime ago. But now, having gone through these things…I feel a lot more human now. The empathy that’s grown inside of me has stretched me open. I can almost say I’m grateful for the experience, because there’s this whole other part of life that I can’t process through my brain.

I can see how irrational love and grief is now.

love is pi


Yesterday, I knew the shut-in was probably waiting to talk to me. When I left my room, his door, which is right across from mine in a tiny hallway, was cracked with a seam of light shining through–and this usually meant that he was going to leave soon.

I dreaded seeing him, but our meeting was better than I thought it would be…initially. I thought I had held up pretty well, considering.

Seeing him and talking to him reminded me of what I went through, by myself.  And I was tired of going back in the past. And his cheery little performative bullshit was an insult.

Could someone be that far removed from reality, really?

I knew that was true because of how my mom handled my father when he was mentally ill. I didn’t really get as much protection as I deserved. She was lost in her religion and her god to pay attention to how living under someone who was abusive and neglectful was doing to her and to her children.

So yeah, I’ve been here before. And I thought because it was over, I was over it all.

But then afterward, I felt like someone shoved me in this dark, small room of despair. I felt like I was physically starting to slow down. I just wanted to sleep.

I had some existential fears leap out:

Would I ever get out of this gotdamn house? Would I be stuck here forever? Do I really have people on my side? Will I ever be successful again? Am I always going to have an almost life?

I was really concerned that I was becoming depressed. I was sleeping more during the day, but it was also because I had some major insomnia (thanks, full moon). I still have a bit of a sleep deficit.

I did a lot of talking and praying with my guides and angels…

And even typing this, about guides and angels…somehow it’s a little embarrassing, like I’m one of those, one of those weirdo woo-woo women…

Then today, I was back to my normal self.

So maybe yesterday, I had a brief moment in that room of grief that I keep avoiding. It was a little scary, but I made it through.


And before this, last week I was really angry, angry that life had been so disappointing for so long. I was and am so fed up. And that anger can be a catalyst for change.

I still believe that this is my time.

What’s really interesting about all this is how these feelings of sadness and grief are on the heels of things getting better for my business now.

Shameless plug for another business – I do tarot and astrological consultations!

It’s like when you’re about to hit the finish line, after having run a long race, and you have the freedom to slow down.

I don’t have to be tough anymore. I don’t have to gut it through. I don’t have to have it all together. I don’t have to be “right.”

I can be hurt, disappointed, and angry that a fellow human being whom I live with didn’t stick up for me while I was being abused.

I can want to have someone back in my life that I’m not entirely sure is good for me.

I can mourn all the fabulous selves I didn’t get to be because I have narcissistic parents.

I can let all of it really hurt as it should, and then move on.

But it doesn’t have to be all sad.

I can choose to nurture myself instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

I can get lost in novels like I used to do when I was younger.

I can continue to explore what brings me pleasure even if I feel like that’s a short list right now.

I can check in on myself much more than I check in on others…because people will be just fine without my care.

I can continue on the journey of not letting my circumstances define me.

I can also be thankful for what I have.


My ungratefulness is what prevents me from opening the door to my grief.

Somehow, embracing amor fati has felt like a death.

How can I be grateful for all of this, every last thing?

By being grateful, I feel like I have to give up my fight for justice for myself, for making things right. It’s like letting everyone off the hook–even myself.

But to really be grateful, I really do have to reckon with my losses, all of them. Yet I’m not sure what that looks like practically, besides being more intentional about caring for myself.

How can gratitude and the comfort of justice intersect? Or will they always run parallel?

I know that to live the full, joyous life that I want–beyond what circumstances come my way–I have to accept this invitation to gratitude.

I feel impermeable to this kind of all-encompassing gratitude. All I want to do is to have yet another internal temper tantrum. I don’t feel holy or wise enough to do this. I feel petty, bitter, and small.

But that’s at least a place to start–with some honesty about where I am and where I want to be.

When I took a little vacation from my normal life by meeting new people who didn’t know me or my life story, including the one that I can’t easily forget, it was great to be seen for who I was, outside of all I had been through. So I can live that life where I’m not all the things I didn’t get to be, but all the things I already am and will be.

So this isn’t some fantasy. This can be my new reality.

I just have to stop acting like some indestructible robot and let it hurt so I can feel better. Let myself be confused so I can find better answers. Let myself really rage with anger so I can find the peace and calm within.

Let myself be so I can emerge into a more authentic self.

I can’t really solve the puzzle of being grateful for all the bad things I’ve gone through just this summer: of being called racial slurs in my own home, of having a terrible landlady, of not being able to move yet, of losing a biz opportunity because of things outside of my control, of getting so close to finding my person and seeing that chance being thrown into an abyss…

I’m just too human and short-sighted to see the good in any of this right now.

It’s so tough to override my humanness right now. When things are bad, we focus on them so we can fix them. But when we can’t fix them, we suffer. If we decide not to focus on them, then it seems like we’re abdicating our duties of being good people.

And I’ve said all this before. But the struggle remains to create meaning and good from seemingly meaningless, terrible things.

All I can do right now is to be at least grateful for the good, in a way that isn’t performative or hollow. Maybe that can create space for the impossible–being grateful for all of it.

At least I can say that I am grateful that I am still here, that I have survived the unbearable, the unfair, the bizarre, the disgusting, the absurd. And that as long as I’m still breathing, the life that I want and deserve is still within reach.

ETA: this song has been haunting me.

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are you ready for the good?

opening to love SOM

Sometimes, I feel like an alien species, here to learn some things about the human condition. There are some heartaches that I’ve collected that many people won’t go through. But then there are others that others go through that I haven’t been through yet.

Friday night, I learned how people can want and need good things and people in their lives, but may not be ready to receive it because they don’t feel worthy. It baffles my mind, but this happens so often–often on a subconscious level.

I’ve been writing about this more in detail for my $10+/month patrons. It’s been an exciting and excruciating month, of goodbyes that don’t seem to stick.

Friday night’s kiss off is probably going to stick.

It wasn’t gracious. It wasn’t kind. It was brutal. And it hurts more on a philosophical level now.

My sojourn here in Florida, which this blog chronicles, has been exciting but mostly excruciating. This journey has been about following my dreams, but also how I’ve grown as an adult and a spiritual being. Most of that experience has been unglamourous and gut-wrenching.

So when something or someone seemingly good comes along, I pounce on it like a kitten playing with a toy mouse. I’m not going to let go easily.

I understand and yet I don’t fully understand when people reject the good that serendipitously comes into their lives.

Friday went from a tenuous reconciliation to laughter that made my stomach hurt to being rudely and forcefully shoved out of someone’s life.

And because I’ve been through so much, I can see through feeble attempts to let things and people go, self-sabotaging behavior. And I withstood it for a while, earlier…but Friday was so full of desperation and pain, the hatchet job that was done to sever ties was complete.

Unless there’s some (miraculous?) transformation, this door will remain closed, by me.

It’s something I had never gone through before, irrational arguments with someone I cared about. But I have gone through the self-sabotaging behavior by someone who was afraid by what they were feeling about me, because of me.

I know I elicit some pretty strong reactions from people, and most people can’t seem to handle it. And this may sound haughty, but most people are not ready for me, for the level of honesty and integrity I demand and require.

A lot of people want to hide in the shadows of illusions of their own making. But I have the knack of seeing people as they are, where they are–and accepting them.

And that feel like blessed relief…or it can create a growing sense of self-loathing.

So the attacks definitely hurt. I’m human–I’m tough, but I’m tender, too.

But since they were so out of character and so ludicrous, I just wanted to know where they were coming from. When the attacks got more intense and focused on me as a person, it was easier to let go–of course, that was by design.

As a double Capricorn with a tender Cancer moon heart, there’s only so much understanding and patience I can have for someone wilding out in pain. You wound my pride and honor, on purpose, then your wish can be granted: I will let you go.

And what I discovered from a restless night of sleep talking to my guides and angels was that this person resented that I didn’t really have much wrong with me. I was a little too perfect in their eyes. So they invented a dealbreaker that we both couldn’t abide by. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t separate.

I demanded that this person be accountable for their words and actions, which they would twist and turn in at their convenience–probably as a defense mechanism.

I’m still in shock that someone would go to such lengths to push out of the good that was happening in their lives.

And, as a woman, I have to say here–this isn’t me looking at someone’s potential and living in the future. This is me, seeing someone in the now, with what they were offering now, with what we were now…

It’s like looking at a puzzle, with all the pieces there, laid out, some parts already put together. Not many pieces were left to put it all together. You can see the picture forming. You know what it’s going to look like. It looks like the picture on the box. There’s no reason not to finish the puzzle.

That’s how good and easy it was and felt. All that had to be done was keep going.

So this was no project. That’s what kills me the most. And that I’ve been here before, where everything is laid out and it only takes a little bit of effort to make things really real, whole, and complete.

But this good…it was a good that required them to change, to make space, to grow.

And, they didn’t want to–not now, not like this.

But that’s what love does. That’s what love requires. That’s what love demands.

I get it, though: change is scary, and so is truly being vulnerable, letting someone else in to see who you really are. Will you be embraced or will you be rejected?

There’s something about being close to people, where you start to see how your actions affect others–many times for the worse. Will you choose to change your behaviors or will you “stay true to who you are” and remain frozen?

But because of this terribly painful journey of failure and loss I’ve been on while living in Florida, I don’t have the luxury of cowering, of pushing the good away because it’s too scary, because it demands too much.

I have to leap forward and embrace the good or…? I don’t want to say “die,” but it feels that desperate, that crucial, that detrimental.

There is no room for fear to rule me here.

So now, as my own paper cuts on my heart recover and scab over, I am just sad that anyone is in so much pain, they have to pick fights to cause drama, and then tire of the drama they created and blame the other person for creating it or being a co-conspirator.

Love can do so many things, but it can’t untangle webs of self-deception like that.

And even as I write this, I don’t think of this person as a villain. I don’t hate them at all. And that, in it of itself, is a miracle, because grudges can come easily in my territory.

Instead, most likely…there will always be a part of me that will love them and hope they find the peace that they keep pushing away.

But that hope and love will be beamed from a safe distance.

They said, over and over, that I deserve better. And I agree. I just wish they saw the better in themselves, fully embraced it, and lived it out. It was a cognitive dissonance they couldn’t really reconcile within themselves. At least not yet.

But whether they ever realize it, or never realize it–that’s not my job to do. It’s theirs.

So, I hope through this unnecessary disaster, they can walk out of the ruins of this thing we were trying to build and find the courage to do the work–to start sealing up those broken places and spaces, to become a living kintsugi.

The Universe has been calling out to them, too. Transformation is coming, even as they resist it. And I just hope that eventually, they’ll heed her calls and accept the spiritual gifts they have.

What do I want and need, though? I need someone who is brave, someone who is ready to be seen and loved for who they are, someone who isn’t going to harpoon their own good chances…someone who isn’t blinded by their pain.

Sometimes love can be so hard. But sometimes, we make it harder than it needs to be.

But to me, love is worth the risk, every fucking time. What else are we here to do?

And I don’t want to sound like some cliched love song in this post, but I also understand them more every time love gets thwarted like this. It’s a part of the human condition that I had been preventing myself to feel.

It sucks to feel like you can’t do anything, that you can’t fix what’s irreparably broken.

And like I said in my last post, I’m beyond wanting to get some lessons out of this. I already have them. I will probably get more. That’s the beauty and glory of hindsight.

I don’t care about that anymore.

What I cared about was that a person who made me happy wanted out. What I care about is how I handled myself as I knew this person–I’m really proud of myself, even if I may have been a little too permissive. What I care about is that I know that I am not some broken person, attracting emotionally unavailable people.

What I know is that there’s a lot of brokenness in the world, and a lot of it is unavoidable. But to get the love that I need, I have to be even more brave while reminding myself that I can’t take on other people’s burdens as if they are my own.

Last night, in my journal, I yelled at the Universe in 48pt font about what I wanted, after years of languishing and “hanging in there.”

After Friday night’s melodramatics, I was done. I’m done being shit on by life in general. I put that all on the Universe, asking her to stop treating me terribly.

And Friday night, I yelled back at them, about how the names I was being called were bullshit, about how obstacles were being created for no reason, about how this was being broken when there were no cracks in the first place.

I never yell, but my patience and grace broke open into fiery, righteous anger and frustration…when I finally realized what was happening and why…and how I couldn’t stop it from happening.

I know I was being provoked to anger, and I hated that I couldn’t be cool, calm, and collected anymore. Things were becoming absurd–and I wanted to scream some sense into the conversation.

But my yells and screams fell on a deaf heart.

Something that came to me after journaling and talking about this with a couple of friends about free will choices…and how I may be trusting the Universe too much in certain ways and not enough in other ways.

We may try to do root work and other things to influence each other, but eventually–a lot of what’s happened here on earth is about what people have chosen to do. It’s not even about the Universe allowing it to happen. But it is about the Universe being there to provide support–especially when there are choices other people make that adversely affect us.

But I had to say the impolite thing, that the Universe needed to apologize for this mess (and she did, even though this is probably not her fault). I needed to lose my fucking cool about the way my life was going. I felt like I didn’t look like I was giving a shit about how disappointing things had been, especially this summer.

Even though I’ve been exhausted emotionally, I certainly do give a shit. And I know the Universe knows–but it was important to say what I really felt, not giving the spiritual pat answers about why bad things happen to good people.

And I know those are my evangelical roots showing–God as a psychotic, untrustworthy, capricious deity.

Why would the Universe allow me to meet this person and then go through all this heartache? Is this for some greater purpose, for my spiritual growth?

Life is probably a lot more neutral than that, though.

But what if I’m more of the lead author of my story, even with all these uncontrollable consequences and circumstances?

What if this is really about just doing the best you can and infusing meaning when you can, however you can?

Life may not be that deep.

There can be signs and synchronicities (and we’ve had a plethora of them), but we still have to acknowledge and incorporate them. We still have to say yes. And yet, we can still choose to say no. And sometimes, we’ll disagree about these choices, and then we’ll part ways.

But then there’s also fate. How much do we have control over that? It’s hard to say from here except to say life is a lot like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. You are presented with choices, and those choices have set consequences.

And maybe, this is where spirituality comes in. We can give and receive guidance to make better choices, and thus, create better outcomes…

So now, I have a choice that I need to make. What narrative am I ascribing to the last month? That the Universe is a sadist? That I’m a masochist? That this person/relationship was some test or lesson?

What’s harder to accept, but what is more likely to be true is that the Universe gave us a nudge to come together, but it was up to us to determine what would happen.

And what happened, after that divine nudge, was a rollercoaster ride of emotions which is now over. And I have no regrets about it. It definitely inspired me to look at my life with more purpose and scrutiny–because someone was possibly going to be a part of it for a while. And that’s important.

And of course, in all kinds of relationships, we learn about ourselves the most. I learned that I was tougher and yet kinder than I thought. I learned that I wasn’t identified to the struggles that I’m still entangled in.

And that means I’m not as doomed as I thought.

But even still, sometimes we can get adrift in the questions about meaning when there should be more questions and statements about acceptance.

What’s in front of you right now and what are you doing with it?

One thing I know and about the state of my heart: so many people have left this year, people I wouldn’t ever think would leave; but my heart is resilient, strong, and open. And I refuse to keep my heart shut just because there have been issues with alignment and timing.

Eventually, those puzzle pieces will fit with ease. The timing will be perfect. And there won’t be anything, or anyone, in the way.

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