ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

Cherry blossoms against a blue sky

Hello loyal readers,

This blog has been in existence going on five years, and readership has grown over that time. I’m very grateful for each and every one of you who have signed up to read my blog. 

I’ve been promoting my Patreon here since November 2016. I’ve held steady at four patrons, to which I am exceptionally grateful.

I’ve wanted to have more Patreon readers, but I realize there isn’t that much difference between blogging here and blogging there. 

So it’s time for a change.

Starting now, I will only be posting my work here once a month. The rest will be for my Patreon subscribers only. 

Since I already posted a blog post for this month, this means it’s so long until April…unless you want to sign up to be a patron today. Four tiers range from $2 to $15 a month, all with more writing from me, including a bonus post and a chance to chat with me about writing.

I’ve also been going through some subtle but important changes in my life that I don’t feel is fit for public consumption anymore. So let’s get better acquainted at Patreon!

If you decide that you want to stay here for the monthly blog post, I appreciate that you continue to read my writing! But I really hope you consider and reconsider monetarily supporting my writing.

Thanks again to all of you for reading my writing. As spring approaches in a couple of days, I feel like it’s time to blossom in a way that’s more supportive of me and where I’m at in my life. 

I look forward to you joining me at Patreon today.

Goodbye for now,

Deborah


If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $2/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. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

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a thread on abandonment recovery

reality SOM

This is a short yet rather long post, and depending on how I feel next week, I may count this as a double-header.

It’s because I need to focus on more reading than writing. Writers write and read, and typically, writers should be reading more than they write.

So, I haven’t been reading enough and if I actually want to start editing/finish writing my romance novel, I need to start reading some. How fun! 😉😈 I may find that it’s not actually a romance novel, but we’ll see. I’ll probably blog about this soon.

Topically, I may have also exhausted what I can write on grief and loss, which is a good thing! You’ll find no complaints from me here. 

And it’s not as if my circumstances have changed. I feel like, especially financially, things have been just as challenging as they were two years ago.

But at least right now, today, I feel like I have a lot less worry and a lot more ease. There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but I at least know that worrying about it has served its purpose. 

Somehow things work out the way they should. I’m learning to trust in that truth more every day.

This journey to wholeness and stability isn’t over, but I feel like I’m a less cranky traveler now. 

So, along those lines, this past week, I read and livetweeted a book on recovering from being abandoned.

It’s over 8000 words in length, so feel free to get cozy (although it should read quickly). It also comes with some screenshots from the book and some fun GIFs.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1095006897437057024.html

I highly recommend the book if you’ve ever experienced anyone leave you or have been excluded in any way. It really helped me to piece some parts of my life back together. I’ve written about abandonment before, so you can revisit those posts this week, too.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week ahead. 💖


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. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

waiting is never passive

allow yourself SOM

It’s a somewhat chilly Monday morning, with brightly leadened skies. The heater is blasting as it’s almost 60 degrees. That probably sounds balmy to you if you’ve endured the latest polar vortex, but Floridian homes are created to breathe not insulate. So it can get very drafty and damp. The cold seems to get in your bones, making you unable to get warm.

So it’s a new month and a new moon in Aquarius becoming exact this afternoon. 

A new moon, a new work week, a new month, and I don’t really know what’s coming or what I’m doing next.

Except that I kinda do.

And now, I want to shift back to how I wanted this blog to be besides a log of the struggles and trials I’ve been through.

I want to talk about the spiritual shit more than the psychological shit. It all belongs, but I haven’t really been talking about this much. And that’s mainly because I have put that part of my life on ice.

Or, a more generous perspective: life’s circumstances caused me to focus on the daily practical parts of my life.

So within the past week I’ve had two tarot readings, and they’ve repeated what I have known I’ve needed to do, but I haven’t given myself permission to do:

Chill the fuck out.

No hustling. No grinding. That’s over.

I should be glad, but I’m a bit terrified, as one of my tarot readers and friend thought I would be.

It’s not only that I need to chill. It’s that things are going to get better. Unsurprisingly, I’m wary of that because I don’t feel like I’ve worked hard enough to get there right now. And that working hard could be some overcompensation of feeling undeserving.

Could good things just come to me?

Besides that, my work desk is cleared. There are only three people I want to follow up with, which I will do tomorrow.

But beyond that, it’s just me, celebrating and resting (as I have been invited to do by my latest tarot reading), which automatically sounds like laziness. 

But it’s not. Within this waiting period, for the good to come, I want to respond to things I’m only thrilled about doing.

The last project I worked on was basically for an audience like myself, so that was fun and pretty easy to do. 

And that project came to me, through my business website.

What I’ve realized is that when projects come to me, they’re pretty easy to do. Most of what I did last year, for better and for worse, came to me.

So even though I’ve heard twice – that by relaxing, I’ll be able to get what I need and then some – it’s a struggle to relax.

I’m actually getting some supplemental help because my Capricornian nature basically needs to be forced to relax. I’ll let you all know how that goes.

I’ve written about how I see all this space opening up. Having lost some business at the end of last month is a part of that opening up.

And this is what I want, new and better things to come to me. I just thought it’d be more of a hand-off, like a relay, from one project to the next. Not, as what has been foreseen, a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation.

Of course, the worry is mainly about money, and that’s primarily what the readings had concerns about, but even more largely: what’s next?

What one of the tarot readings showed that I’ll be doing something which combines everything I’ve done in the past, but that there isn’t necessarily a word or label for it yet. And that aligns with how I feel right now, and what I’ve been trying to accomplish for the past few years but have been unable to fully bring into being.

Or, you could say that all my attempts will be realized soon.

I can’t remember who mentioned to me that I’d be going into coaching and speaking –maybe another intuitive – but that almost fit. I’ve heard it before that I’d be a speaker. But that sounds like a lifetime ago.

Simply put, I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for or waiting on. I just know that I can’t take on projects just because I think I can do them and because I need the money. 

If there has ever been a lesson I’ve learned in the past few years is that although I can’t necessarily control the circumstances where I’m desperate, when you are desperate, you tend to make piss poor choices, whether it’s with the friends you keep or the jobs you take or the items your purchase or how you market yourself to potential clients and employers.

Desperation clouds sound decision making.

(While I was looking at Twitter, an astrologer friend said the same thing about desperation. As the kids say: energy! (I have no idea what this means.))

So as the skies have now cleared and the sun is now shining…

Even though I’m not supposed to grind and hustle, I want to be drawn towards the people, places, and situations from a place of inner stability.

Another word for inner stability: confidence. I had an astrological reading with another friend before the two tarot readings, and confidence came up. It came up in the first of the two tarot readings as well.

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, it’s no surprise that my confidence, especially after last year, had been shaken.

Where I shakily am right now is…I don’t want to do anything stupid.

But there are things I want to do which I feel like are stupid to do right now…because if I’m not searching for another gig or client, then I’m not doing my part in the survival and thrival of me.

Thin, cottony clouds have gathered again and the sunshine is bright and pale.

While writing this, I just reached out to four people that I want to work with or have worked with (couldn’t wait until tomorrow). But that’s the energy I want to follow, evolving from a sense of duty and forced ability to desire and easy, breezy joy.

So what “stupid” things do I want to do? Right now, just two things, but they’re lengthy.

I want to read these two books on indie rock bands that I’ve received over my Christmas birthdays. I want to work on my novel. 

One more thing that isn’t so stupid to me: write like how I used to in grad school. I feel my writing is stalling or crystallizing in a way that shows that it’s prematurely finished.

I feel like I haven’t done enough creatively with it. It’s going on five years since I graduated from grad school…

I try to capture words and then they scatter like a flock of pigeons. I feel like I write something solid and bordering on really good and it only gets two views…

The skies have cleared again and the sun is mercilessly shining on me.

I know this time alone is precious, oh so precious…but sometimes it still feels like it’s some cosmic punishment. And I know I’ve said this before.

There will be a time when I look back upon this fumbling around and wish I had that space again, to explore, to fuck up, to try again, and to follow my gut. 

Doing very little of what I’m used to doing – calling, writing, chasing, scoping, fretting – it’s really terrifying.

I’m a doer, not a receiver. I’m not a go-by-her-gut’er, not a rester.

Can I trust myself and the guidance I’ve repeatedly received?

I was reading this blog post, which has a podcast and transcript about a blogger who writes about waiting. There’s been a lot of waiting already, for my whole adult life.

But waiting is never passive.

And so much of having work and having money is being able to live the life I want, but all of that has been stalled. And in a capitalist society, it’s hard to have meaningful relationships with having some money, which is really sad to say.

Even still, I’m trying (a forum here, a game alliance there), and the results have been mostly mixed.

But that’s OK. I have to keep reminding myself that relying on school and church as my primary social gatherings will take time to unlearn, that it’s OK just to get out there and try…and fail…and try again. It doesn’t make me less of a human for being sometimes lonely and mostly alone. It makes me even more human to reach out and to continue to reach out, even through tears of disappointment and rejection.

It’s tough to read articles like this one, which is something I’ve been waiting on, too. But also, I’ve been forcing this to happen for years, this type of close friendship – on almost everyone, on too many people.

Intimacy does take some intention and follow-through, but it also takes ready and willing partners. It takes time for people to get to know one another. And sometimes, it just takes the right timing, for all the stars to align.

That’s a thing I want, that I’ve always wanted, but I can at least say that isn’t stupid. It’s just fucking elusive.

The sun has ducked under some stratus clouds, but it’s still quite bright. It will set in a couple of hours.

But eventually, I know I’ll be in a place where I will be truly loved and cared for, where I can give that love and care in return without feeling depleted or misunderstood. And it’s good albeit humbling to be open about that…

Like with my current musical crush, The Divine Comedy. In my last blog, I put a song of theirs at the end.

Their (or really his because it’s basically this one dude, Neil Hannon) latest album, Foreverland, is unabashedly about love and about his significant other (an Irish singer/songwriter whom you can hear on a couple of the tracks). He says as much somewhere (wish I could find it). 

The Divine Comedy is an orchestral pop outfit (which may be my favorite genre of music, right up there with house and indie rock), and he’s/they’re quite funny, sometimes a little baudy, artful, and, in that latest album, disarmingly sincere. That sincerity can be found on other songs, too.

I’ve been listening to this group for the past few days and it’s been an aural delight. It’s all because I listened to this song by Robbie Williams and Hannon sang “goodbye” with a sonorous baritone voice,  and I always liked that part but never knew who sang it.

Also! Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys sings the other background vocal and I went on a Pet Shop Boys listening binge late last year, too. So yeah, that song has spawn three listening binges, and it’s one of my favorite Robbie Williams songs. And come to think of it, all three of these dudes have some very distinctive voices…

Behind trees and thin cirrus clouds, the sun starts its setting motion and the golden hour will begin soon.

One of the things brought up in my latest tarot reading was love, like the mushy romantic type, and I believe I finally feel ready for it. And oddly (in a timely fashion), listening to The Divine Comedy has pushed me head first into these dizzying pools of emotion.

Although, when the card came up (The Lovers), I thought, cool, I need to make a choice! That’s one of the common interpretations. And I actually default to that now because my incurably romantic side always defaulted to romantic love. 

I’ll keep the rest of this to myself, but even though I feel ready, it doesn’t make it any less scary, and that’s because this person isn’t new (I’ll say that much, which is too much). And that would confirm all the messages I have received about them recently.

But really, I just feel like…whatever I’m going to be doing with this person is a big part of what’s next – OK, that’s my hope.

No matter who it’s with, I feel like there’s not much left to do except that, but “that” is a very big that. And that is really strange to say, as some go-get-’em Capricorn, to start engine braking instead of hitting the gas; to coast instead of accelerate; to let gravity and entropy have their way. 

Could it really be that I’ve done enough?

It’s strange when you’re used to years of digging, toiling, pulling, pushing…and then something just gives way.

You see sunlight. You hit that vein of gold. You find that hidden reservoir. 

You can rest now.

I’ve dug and toiled and pulled and pushed. And there isn’t much left around me.

This whole space clearing goes beyond career, and even beyond this person. Dare I be prophetic about it, or at least intentional: it’s going to be a whole new life. And this life that I live now has prepared me for it.

But it was be markedly different, to the point that this part, this unsatisfying, painful, bitter part, will seem like someone else lived that life.

And that’s what I want. That’s what I’ve worked towards. That’s what I’ve called in, prayed for, cried over, written about for years…

The sun will set in 27 minutes. I can’t see the sun anymore, though. Just waning light filtering through some clouds…

I should be excited, right? A job/gig that will incorporate all that I’ve done and being with someone that I don’t have to try so hard with.

But where’s the certainty? Where are the reassurances?  Where’s the security that life often will not give me but I seek anyway?

Where’s the proof? Where are the receipts? Where is the money-back guarantee? Where’s the insurance? What are the plans B through Z?

Everything comes down to faith and trust, no matter if I coat it with a Joel Osteen evangelical sheen or bedazzle it with rose quartz crystals.

And, well, that sucks.

I could go to a 100 tarot readers and they would all say the same thing. For example, I had my annual birthday tarot reading with a friend and The Lovers came up, for love not a choice.

So yes, reassurances have been made. Good things are coming. Soon. 

Yay?

But shit happens, you know? Unexpected shit. And shit has happened. Lots of shit. But I’m done with this shit, especially the shit that is planning for the rainy day, the disaster, the unmitigated tragedy, the skinned knees, and the broken hearts.

It’s the occupational hazards of being a human being. And this month, I have to let my heart lead the way, through the jungles of doubts and past hurts and disappointments.

I have to believe that I know what I’m doing, even if it seems crazy to me.

I have to keep the faith in the goodness waiting for me just around the bend…

The sun set about five minutes ago. The golden hour ends and the blue hour begins. I see the sun’s orange-pink reflections in some puffy clouds out to the west.

I was going to end this with a song from The Divine Comedy (this one). But I will end with some Tom Petty, since I’m heading this way anyway…

You can consider this chorus as a prayer for you and for me.

And I know that look that’s on your face
There’s somethin’ lucky about this place
There’s somethin’ good comin’
For you and me
Somethin’ good comin’
There has to be


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. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

booster rockets

rocket som

For years, I’ve been thinking about the concept of booster rockets as metaphors for personal and spiritual development – but in the most depressing and isolating way.

This may sound self-indulgent and self-piteous and haughty all at once. That isn’t an apology. Just a heads up.

2019 has been a pretty chill year so far until Friday night. And even that isn’t disastrous. Just inopportune. But even that assessment is a (blessed) shift in perspective.

It’s been chill because there is barely anyone in my life right now–at least anyone constant. It’s very empty.

My relationships with people have been like booster rockets. They’re intense, fiery, and then they drop off and I’m a million miles away from where we started.

And, I’ve been feeling guilty about it. That has never been my intention. I feel like I use people, but in retrospect, it’s typically mutually beneficial.

It goes back to the idea of me being a catalyst in people’s lives and how I don’t like it anymore.

Last year, when so many people dropped away or were cut off, it was really jarring because it was the exact opposite of what I (thought I) needed.

And it’s not just been last year. It’s been years and years of having these really short, intense encounters with people and then the encounter abruptly ending.

And although it would be lovely to go into detail here, I don’t want to, really–and that’s a story in it of itself. It feels tender to try to probe into this space. 

I’ll try a little, though.


I think (I hope) I’m finally over the incredulity of what happened with my love life last year. It was so absurd and I feel separate from it now. That was another lifetime ago.

And maybe last year has made me able to finally write about this constant loss of people. People were either lost in conflict or lost through consistent absence. Both felt pretty violent.

Now, there’s silence and space. And relief, that the fighting is over and that the battle wounds are healing.

And…there’s a nagging fear that life will always be this way. And another fear: that I will get used to it and become the Capricorn I’ve always wanted to be: independent and needing no one.

But as I’ve watched another perfectly good relationship drop into the ocean and I keep heading towards space, I wonder:

Where am I actually headed?


Maybe there’s no real purpose to all of this, to how I relate to people. Maybe this period of solitude just is.

I know there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with me. There are tons of people who are complete assholes who have more people in their lives, people who actually care about them and actively love them.

But there does seem to be a purpose, at least right now. And that’s what I feel guilty about. Although, again, as a catalyst, I know I’m serving the same purpose.

I’ve grown so much from last year through learning about myself, what I’m good at and what I’m not good at. And it feels like those lessons have started to stabilized within me.

I’m still here. I’m not dead in any way. I no longer feel brokenhearted. I’m further along.

Also, this time alone has made me realize how much energy and effort I put into relationships and how a lot of times, that energy isn’t returned. It can be the most casual relationship to the most intimate – I am grinding. And frankly, that’s just wasteful.

Part of me is just wired to care for others. But writing this, in my head I sound like a martyr. But that’s definitely not what I want, a cross to be up on and people to pity.

I nurture, I guide, I help to heal. But last year, I saw my efforts hilariously and spectacularly fail and flail.

Even this past weekend, I reached out to a couple of people and they don’t actually need my support in the way that I want to give it – booster rocket style.

Although I’m at peace and am feeling better about my life, I’m no Happy Cappy…at least if I compare myself to what everyone else is doing.

I don’t have friends I text or call often – or really, at all. And that’s really weird to me.

But what’s even weirder: I can’t really think of anyone where we’d talk even every week on the phone or via text and it’d feel natural. I don’t think I’ve met those people yet.

And that’s OK. In fact, it’s encouraging. They’re still out there.

I only start to feel like a complete loser when I look around, I think – wow, if this is it, this is really bad. This is not good. I may have always had some existential loneliness, but prolonging this would be bad. 

It’s not good to be so disconnected.

A big part of this experience has to deal with poverty, which basically makes me a shut-in. But then if I had more money beyond basic expenses and had more the time to be out there again…it’s exhausting to think about.

I have been balls to the wall about people since I got here on Earth and I have very little to show for it except, wow, I know humanity pretty well and I’ve discovered that we don’t vibe that well together. Yay?

I was a lot happier as a misanthrope, back in my 20s. Maybe it’s time to bring that bitch back!

But having all this space now, I can appreciate the good times without resenting they ended. Yet I’m still quite bewildered by where I am now, at my age. And as it is Aquarius season, I feel extra alien and unrelatable.

But who gives a shit? Who really gives a shit?

I do. Thank god, I do.


And, I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this here or for my patrons, being so exhausted in giving, there needs to be a break, a shift, a disruption in this cycle of outflow and barren reception.

So as I take this rocket ship to nowhere, I believe one of two things will happen, or possibly both.

I will get used to people just popping in and out of my life and just be surprised if someone sticks around longer than a year. Or, more people will stick around longer than a year.

The thing is, too – out of all the people who have ghosted or left or have been cut out by me, I only miss one of them, but it’s not even in a painful way. It’s more like…well, it’d be nice if you returned. But I’m not going to put anymore effort into it because yowsa.

Too. Much.


To pull back with a wider lens: I live in a society with rampant loneliness, with fragmented relationships, with companies that throw people away like yesterday’s garbage, in a country that has immigrant children in concentration camps.

I live in a land that barely values me as a person with full citizenship – and I mean that in a personhood sense.

So honestly, it’s a miracle, a remarkable miracle, that any love gets to me, or any of us, at all. 

Even though my life looks like a wasteland of used up people, a wasteland of me being used up, somehow, I have some optimism that this will all make sense later. 

For now, I feel like I need to put this nurturing impulse to better use. That doesn’t mean I have to change who I am. The times are just different now and I need to find out what “better use” means – without rushing it.


Before I started writing this, I thought, what if I became the object of all this nurturing and care? It’s something I’ve been doing lately, but as I reach out to others and don’t have that effort reciprocated, I need to continue to focus on myself, as awkward and sad as that can feel.

There’s nothing wrong with the path of least resistance. And there’s nothing wrong with learning how to shift my focus towards myself for a while. I need to heal up from the losses, losses and abuses that go all the way back to high school, or even further back than that.

And it’s not that I’m reliving and ruminating over the past. The exhaustion is cumulative.

I swear I’ve written about this before, about how sometimes this feels like this is some cosmic punishment. 

Here is what I hear the Universe say to me (but I am completely mishearing them):

You’re too much for people and We’re putting you on an indefinite time out! Sit here and be alone until you’re ready to play well with others!

🥺


Some of these experiences, I really don’t understand what it’s for. And maybe it’s as simple as that I’m incredibly unlucky.

But I will not pathologize myself any longer. There’s enough pain with loss without making it all about me and how wrong I allegedly am.

Last summer, there was one person who left kept telling me, as he was leaving me, before it got ugly: “You’re such a lovely person.”

But. (one of his favorite words, by the way)

It was like it couldn’t be that it couldn’t work between us because I wasn’t an asshole. So he became the asshole.

It wasn’t me. It was him. And we both know that.

He’s not the person that I still miss, either.


My path is strange and there’s still a lot of shame around it. I’m not doing what I consider to be adult mature things that I expect for myself, like traveling, hanging out with friends, being with someone who knows I’m a lovely person and didn’t commit self-sabotage seppuku (actually, yeah, that’s pretty adult, so I guess I’m adulting).

I’ve done all of those things before.

Instead, I’m super isolated. And now I’m mostly fine with it. 

I guess I wish my life wasn’t so weird and unrelatable. It makes it hard to be a writer if no one understands what you’re experiencing (or at least openly says so).

But hey, I feel less crappy about not having anyone local around who cares because I sure as hell fucking tried, for years, to connect.

And as I was trying, I was evolving.

The gazillion dollar question: I really like who I am now, but did it come at the cost of all these people who aren’t in my life anymore?

It’s probably more true that the changes that I went through couldn’t be held within the relationships I’ve had with people. Or the people I was in relationship with were also changing beyond the scope of how we related.

And that is OK. I just want it to fucking stop eventually.

And maybe I finally know and believe that I won’t be poor forever. I know I’ll find the people who will stick around.

But right now, for once, mercifully…I’m really reluctant to open up and get to know anyone new – at least the way that I do it, which is a deep sea dive into one’s soul. I feel like that’s a healthy response! I’m not running headlong into anything, great or godawful. 

There’s just me and for now, that’s all I need. But I look forward to when I have the strength, and the means, and the heart, to open up again, whether it’s to someone new or someone from the past.

So thank you to all the former friends who help me get to this place of emotional self-sufficiency. I literally couldn’t have done it with you.

All through my life there have been
Many rare and precious things
I have tried to call mine
But I just cannot seem
To keep hold of anything
For more than a short time


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. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

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

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