the weight of being too flexible

love mask som

I’m trying to play catch-up here, from the three posts I didn’t write from July 22nd to August 5th.

This is post #3.

It has been a time.

Like I said in a recent post, a lot of it was working. And I wrote about one particular thing that’s still unfolding in my life for my $10+/month patrons on Patreon. Almost 5000 words of personal examination which may be mixed with copious amounts of sunny-day optimism.

Besides learning that I am really a human after all, I’ve been learning even more (always more) about healthy boundaries and what I tolerate from others.

And the two are related.

I was talking to a friend today about how having gone through a lot, my limits of compassion are wide–but maybe a little too wide. And that can cause me to overextend myself, to start taking responsibility for things that aren’t mine (to take care of).

This is definitely #CapricornProblems and this tweet from astrologer Annabel Gat sums up the dynamic I have within myself.

Sometimes, I’m steamrolling over my own boundaries.

One thing I’m learning is that although I can see through most bullshit, it’s necessarily my job to clean it up. At best, I should point it out. But that’s it.

There’s a bit of a fear as I start to really keep these boundaries and shed this extra weight of other people’s problems and issues that rejection will happen.

It’s certain to happen. It’s happened before.

There’s a certain situation that I’m going to probably get some major clarity on by the end of the weekend that’s in this realm of dividing my stuff and theirs. And what pains me is that it’s the repetition of a particularly painful pattern with people that I have to stop–where I keep taking more of my fair share of responsibility to make a relationship work or happen at all.

And people keep letting me take their fair share. But I am tired.

What’s been hiding out and fueling this pattern is a fear of being alone…but also a fear of being really seen–and then, rejected.

Sometimes, I feel like my perceptive gifts end up backfiring on me.

Seeing through to who someone is so easily doesn’t mean they can see themselves in that same way. Seeing through situations and being able to solve them doesn’t mean it’s my job to solve them.

And one way I have to keep learning these is in relationships, of all sorts. In all my 40+ years, I’m surprised at how much more I have to learn.

How do I deal with this tension of perceiving, my willingness, and my caring?

You’d think after living with this guy and giving him one too many chances, I would have learned.

But I love people. And I love the human potential. I love when lives are transformed and when I’ve been the catalyst of those changes. And I love when people have sparked positive change in my life–well, most of the time.

If I really love people, though…then I have to also love those immaterial barriers that keep us separate–our free wills, specifically.

Lately, I’ve been learning how pedantic and know-it-all I come across sometimes. Meanwhile, I see myself just sharing some information.

🤦🏾‍♀️

What’s cool though is that all the grace and compassion I give to others freely, I can give to myself. I’m starting to accepting things like that I talk too long to people I care about. I told my friend today that I gorge on people like I’m some emotional zombie. 🧟‍♀️

But there’s still that fear…and it’s a common one. I’m “not enough” or I’m “too much” for people. So then I will mitigate risks. I’ll meet people more than halfway.

It’s like how I have hypermobile joints, which used to make me look like a circus freak because I used to be able to take my arms and pull them all the away around my back.

But hypermobile joints makes one more susceptible to strains and sprains. And I’ve been in physical therapy way too many times for my shoulder, knee, and ankle.

So sometimes, you can be too flexible.

I was just making a joke on Twitter about how fixed zodiac signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) are hard to convince and are hard-headed in general. And I don’t really have much of that energy in my own natal chart.

Maybe there’s something I can learn from that naturally inflexible?

Even me writing about this semi-publicly is strange, about the secret people pleaser who adores humanity. I naturally have an all-business, misanthropic exterior, so to let my mushy homebody personality out is bewildering.

But here she is, like some lost, lovesick puppy! 🐶

I’m too old for this shit, for hiding parts of myself…

They say as you age that you start to care less about what people think. Here’s something that Death Cab for Cutie’s frontman, Ben Gibbard, who is about to turn 42 on Saturday, said about aging in this Noisey interview:

At that point in my life I was probably focusing more on the people who didn’t like me than the people who did like me, which is all part of being in your 20s, right? There’s that saying: You spend your 20s thinking everybody’s talking about you, you spend your 30s wondering why nobody’s talking about you, and you realize in your 40s that no one was ever talking about you. So for me now, I realize how super-sensitive I was that people didn’t like me. Like, “Oh, Pitchfork doesn’t like me, a weekly said something mean about me.” Looking back on it now, who fucking cares?

So, what if I started to consciously care less about rejection? It’s hard because self-acceptance does not occur in a vacuum. Gibbard went on to say that he focuses on those who bring positivity in his life, and I’ve been leaning towards that golden path lately–sheerly and merely out of necessity.

Part of the process of finding who is on your team is finding who is not on your team. To fully accept that no matter how I contort myself, I cannot please everyone.

Everyone can’t be on my team.

And this is all conventional wisdom, but when it starts to crop up in your everyday life, it starts to look like it’s not all that obvious–it’s not common sense.

It could be the Capricorn nature of conquering everything. But people aren’t meant to be conquered. D’oh!

So out of weariness, I am just trying to find out who is on my team.

So maybe, during Leo season,  I can let the same sunshine that falls on other people fall on me. Maybe I don’t have to cower in the darkness of my fallibility. Maybe I can be bolder and stand up for what I really believe in–maybe with fear, but with bravery and courage.

It’s really the only way to find who is truly for me.

P.S. A great parting thought about letting people do their own healing work from the IG account @mindfulmft: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmR74JqAe6S/?taken-by=mindfulmft

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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the book

2017-07-18 18.29.16I need to write a book.

So says two astrologers, a medium, and two intuitives, over the past few years.

I’ve written two books. One is my master’s thesis, which I haven’t touched in 4 years.

The other is a hopefully literary romance novel, which I I wrote during grad school and two rounds of #NaNoWriMo.

The novel needs major revisions and time. And I need to start doing that this month.

And this kind of writing is really important, to me, and to my life purpose. One intuitive told me recently that my guides said copywriting was “too mechanical.”

I agree, but…here’s the healthy fear–trying to create a living for myself.

It seems like I’m looking at a washed out bridge and being told to cross over to this land of creative writing…which I left when I graduated from grad school. I never thought of this as a viable profession.

The memoir…I don’t think I can publish that until my parents pass. I am sure that I have four years and counting of wisdom that would re-work that memoir anyway. That’s a life’s work.

I do know the steps I need to take with the romance novel. This is what I learned in grad school.

Revise, revise, revise. Start looking for an agent. Start pitching to publishers.

I don’t think I’m being told to just drop everything and start doing that, too. I still have to support myself. Eventually, supporting myself will happen.

Right now, though, supporting myself is the main priority/anxiety. And it’s consuming me–although not as much.

It’s a lot of work to connect with people and convert them into clients, especially when you need the work now now now.

Things are looking up, though. And at this point, I need to get out of the fear of screwing this up.

I need to just start doing something, like revising that romance novel this week.

This is a part of myself that I used to not be in touch with as a kid. And I met someone recently who also was really into writing as a kid, but feels like that’s all behind him now.

For his sake alone, I hope that isn’t true. In my 30s, I went back to writing, to the daydream of working with a steaming cup of coffee, in my PJs, with a typewriter. Thank goodness the typewriter doesn’t need to be a part of this dream now, but I’m pretty close to what I wanted to do.  And I have no regrets about retrieving those very precious parts of myself.

I had a conversation with an old friend last night who I had no idea was a creative. I have known her for at least a decade and that’s because we sang together at church. So I only knew about her musical side.

Specifically, in her younger years, she was into acting and dancing. She loved musical theater when she was younger but didn’t pursue it in college.

I was so excited to hear that she was getting back in touch with those creative parts of herself that she had abandoned after her mother’s death when she was a little girl.

I’ve had Lyz Lenz’s piercing essay about the importance of writing during times of despair, like what’s going on in America…like what’s going on in the world. It’s a great essay and you should read it.

I’ve journaled to make sense of ineffable pain and suffering. I’ve written to beg someone to come back to me. I’ve written introductions and conclusions. I’ve written a myriad of letters by hand. I’ve typed thousands of emails.

I’ve written about myself here and elsewhere–and rarely has that been uplifting.

But when it comes to fiction, I’ve written mainly for my own pleasure.

I realize I don’t even think about writing like this anymore, so I’m glad it’s back in my view. I should be reading The Rumpus. I should have my writing in The Rumpus.

But life has happened, over and over. That distracting little minx, LIFE.

But also, life has been asking me to write books. So I’ve been ignoring that call. Yet it’s easy to ignore when you’re just focused on trying to survive and create a copywriting business for yourself. I’m starting to see the fruits of my labor recently, too.

But dreams, little girl dreams of writing a novel. I have to feed those hungry dreams now.

But but but…it’s scary, for some reason. To start revising this novel, this means that this wasn’t some writing stunt.

I’m revising it so other people can read it. Publishing. Sending it out into the world. To share.

Unlike here, where the readership is so low, this is like writing in a diary. Although I value every little eyeball that looks at what I write.

I went to school for this. And yet. I really didn’t think I’d be doing anything really special with writing, not for a long time.

But here come these dreams, begging for nourishment.

My fears of rejection (and maybe of success) have to be pushed aside now, fear that seemed to have kept me safe.

Deep down, I’m actually a little excited. I loved the world I created and it was great respite and healing for me as I wrote those characters. It’s just strange to really take this seriously. And that may be the literary snob that has been beaten into me from earning an MFA.

But that’s the thing about writing that I love the most–the world building that ends up nourishing you. And you can only hope that other people will find the same nourishment, the same pleasure, the same solace, the same joy, the same wonder…

Writing is magical and alchemical. Even after doing this on and off since I was a 1st grader, I still don’t understand how it all works.

The connections it creates between people. The worlds that are impacted and created. The characters that we come to know and love as friends and family. The parallels that start to run through a writer’s life and the lives of their characters.

And as I think about it…it’s the creative process that mirrors the natural world, and it puts me more in tune with the earth itself. It’s something so tangible and yet something so immaterial at the same time.

And for you, reading this–I hope that if you’ve let some little children and dreams behind, for whatever reason, that you’re able to retrieve those children and bring them up as your own.

It’s never too late to find that nascent creative spark.

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!  💘

scooped out

clean up SOM

I’m not sure if I forgot to write last week, or if I didn’t have much to say, or both.

I’ve been writing a lot for work, which is a good thing, but it also short circuits my creative spark.

The only thing on my mind worth to talk about right now is that lingering fear that I’m not doing enough to make my life better.

Heavy weather, heavy shit.

I just talked this out with a friend today, and between that conversation and another conversation we had earlier this week, I feel like I’ve been emotionally scooped out, empty and clean.

My current housing situation is swirling down the drain of time. And that’s a good thing, even if looks scary and feels uncomfortable.

The creepy roommate that I didn’t think I’d write about again got creepier. All last week, as I was going out more and more for a number of reasons, he was always around on the porch, or lingering in the living room watching TV.

The climax was when I went outside to take pictures of the orange blossoms on the in the backyard. The scent is intoxicating, a heady perfume, and it’s amazing that this is the first time I’ve really smelled it.

 

I turned to go back to inside, and there he is, picking up cigarette butts from outside his open window.

(So this asshole is still smoking in his room. I’m sure I still smell it every once in a while. While looking outside my window one day, I saw smoke curl on the wind. We’re under a red flag advisory so I hope he doesn’t end up causing a fire with his errant ashes.)

When I walked back to the house, I said loudly, “You’re a CREEP!”

After the owner asked me for rent on Sunday, I told her about the stalking and that although I will give her the (undeserved) 30 days notice, living in this house was insane and that I would be looking for a new place to live.

That felt good and right to do. I needed to see myself say, this is insane. I need to leave.

I never heard back from her, just like last time, just like many times.

The effort to handhold someone to a path of decency and respect. Right now, I don’t have the strength. And I’m not sure if that’s conditioning or the conditions.

This old house has triggered so many old wounds I thought I had healed from childhood.

There’s something primal in me that didn’t get her needs met, something non-verbal, something like a newborn’s withering cry, still reverberating inside of me.

And then there’s the obvious parallel of living with someone who has an untreated mental illness, like I did for most of my childhood.

The repetition of being in the same old scary place of not being heeded and heard.

Why don’t I just leave? 

To where? And how?

There are some options that are popping up, and my finances are opening up.

But I’m still a bit stuck here.

I need a little more grease, a more monkey grease, a little more time…

A little more patience with myself, with the process, with the becoming…

I know that I have been called to call in my own power, to inculcate the idea in my being that I do have power, here. Now.

And surprisingly, that has helped.

The creeping has stopped…for now. I’ve had to improve my spiritual hygiene, do things on a daily basis that creates protection.

There are other things–well, really just one thing–forming that I wish I could publicly talking about. It’s been interesting to see how the Universe has been bodying me into this new place, a place that I don’t really want to go, but I am open to explore…

In the meantime, as I’m welcoming this new idea of place, I have been letting go of another idea, another one I really have wanted for over a year.

Or, at the very least, I’m putting it aside.

As things have improved in my life, I’m wondering if this was just a life preserver, not something permanent? I’d like for it to be permanent, but…so much in my life has not been permanent.

If I misunderstood things…well, I can’t take the disappointment right now.

Have you ever hedged your bets like this? Put off taking life-changing risks because the chance of failure is so great, you’re unsure you’ll be able to pick yourself up again? Or if you are able, it’ll take months to put yourself back together again, even with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men?

I’m strong in so many places, but I’m oh so fragile right here.

To have hopes dashed, again, in this desolate, barren place…

…now is not the time for a broken heart (is there really a good time for that? 🤣)

And it’s OK to wait until I’m OK to take the blow of defeat, or even to ride the waves fear and regret.

Although I was drowning in a lake of self-loathing over my loquaciousness, I’ve realized that I’m thinking more clearly lately.

It could just be that not being broke makes me less stressed out. But even when I was making more money, I was still stressed out. So as work satisfaction and financial stability are growing, my home life is soon to follow.

So as I ponder if I’m doing enough to improve my life, it seems easier to do, to examine myself more critically.

So here’s what I’ve come up with.

I haven’t left this house because there aren’t the right options open to me right now. And I’m trying to tie up things from my past which is tying up my money.

And all of that is OK. All of this is about getting to the life that I want.

It seems the climate and locale and people that life will be filled with–all of that is changing.

But there’s still a gap between what I am capable of, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and where I want and need to be.

And honestly, the bridge will be made of miracles.

‘Cause there’s only so much that I can do…

Here’s a song from Sia, from the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, “Deer in Headlights.”

It really sums up how I feel, especially since words are failing me now…

 

Hoping for a miracle
I’m not equipped for this
But I can’t move until I choose
I need a crystal ball
I’m falling apart
And I can’t take anymore
Standing at the crossroads
There’s no right answer
No one’s brain to pick
Under the spy
There’s no escaping, I’m a deer caught in headlights

I am hoping for a sign
Something bring me right here
Not in a drink, not in a drift
Please see me through metaphors in blue
I’m holding on for dear life

Ego, I am a slave to you
You’re running the show, my confidence is bruised
Dumbstruck, I’m falling for his act
Down a shame spiral, I am at the news

I am hoping for a sign
Something bring me right here
Not in a drink, not in a drift
Please see me through metaphors in blue
I’m holding on for dear life

Something bring me right here
I am dreaming, I’m in a drift
Please see me through metaphors in blue
I’m holding on for dear life

Spirit, please don’t abandon me

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. 

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fear as a gift

I can't watch this

Pretty sure this happened when one of the ladies was going to try to kiss the bachelor. It was totally cringeworthy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching The Bachelor. I watch the whole cursed franchise because it’s a way to have a virtual weekly date with my friend.

She loves the show, and I love her. But, I think it’s pretty stupid. I just use it as a hangout time.

At least these contestants get to go to some really cool places across the world. And, there’s the catty, nighttime soap drummed-up by the producers drama that’s kind of fun to watch.

I admit, too: I thought I liked this season’s bachelor. I mean, he’s a looker.  But, he’s also a cheeseball. So, I regained my senses during this episode. He’s probably a bit sleazy which I took as attentive and kind at first.

really need to get out more often.

Anyway, I saw two contestants practically lose their shit on their dates with the bachelor, and both got eliminated on the spot instead of at the rose ceremony.

This happens on occasion, but how they did themselves in reminded me of how my intuition went crazy years ago right before I was fired.

A Runaway Motormouth

One contestant was on a date in Napa Valley. Lovely scenery, plus swilling wine should help with romantic vibes. But one of the many blonde Laurens on this show just kept freaking out.

She was so nervous and really had reason to be–she kept telling the viewers that in her little interviews. She felt like she couldn’t control herself. I agreed, no reason to be nervous.

She kept nervously talking and talking about everything and nothing. She just could not shut up. The bachelor let her go for the silliest reason–apparently, she loves her family too much to be here. He may have been trying to let her down easy because I don’t even think he let her go because of her incessant babbling.

“The Human Anxiety Attack”

The other woman who got let go, Vulture calls her “the human anxiety attack,” and for a good reason. This show gets a little silly, because it takes mundane instances in our lives and blows them up on TV.

So let me preface this to say that yes, it’s important to get some physical chemistry with your love interest, but usually these are internal or private conversations. It is so weird to have them outside of yourself and to tell millions of strangers these sorts of machinations.

This lady, who I was rooting for and find to be probably too sensitive for a TV game show where the prize is an engagement, was freaking out about not having yet kissed the bachelor.

So she tried to get some one-on-one time with him before the rose ceremony to make it happen, and he says, nah.

I hate to be reductive here, but from my experience any time a straight guy turns down a kiss or sex, something is gravely wrong.

She tries again, and he sends her home.

Smoke Breaks Saved Me a Day of Dignity

These freakouts reminded me about when I was working as a legal assistant at a law firm and one Friday, I couldn’t stop freaking out about getting fired. I just knew.

I didn’t think I wasn’t doing my job well, but the two law firm partners reminded me of my parents. One was aloof and the other was certifiable and had been banned from certain court rooms.

The irrational one thought I was lazy. In retrospect, it was probably racism and sexism involved, since my two other colleagues were white males doing the same amount and kind of work.

Everyone thought I was freaking out for nothing.

The next Monday morning, I was laid off. Apparently, it would have been Friday, but they couldn’t find me to fire me. I was a smoker at the time, so I think I was nervously taking a lot of smoke breaks outside.

So what do these three incidents have in common? A woman’s intuition.

Fear and Intuition

As I was watching The Bachelor, I told my friend that those two women knew this wasn’t going to work out with the bachelor, but at the same time, their minds didn’t really know. Instead started to bargain or cling onto this guy through their meltdowns.

With blonde Lauren, the incessant babbling to me was a sign that they were not connecting. She was trying to fill in the silences and make up for what the bachelor was not giving. As Vulture pointed out, the guy was so checked out, he started eating during dinner.

I have been there, many times, and it is a horrible feeling–to not feel connected to someone when you are so trying to make it happen.

With the anxious lady, there’s of course the time pressure–there’s the rose ceremony where you get chosen, or not chosen–but there’s also the knowing she clearly had. When would you otherwise try to force a kiss to happen with a man? Never.

And as sleazy and cheesy as this guy is, she knew it should have happened already. She was trying to force things to happen. But, and maybe graciously, she hastened her elimination and went home before the rose ceremony.

I’m not exactly sure why these two incidents stood out to me, but I have been fed up with how people in the spiritual community talk about fear. Fear is bad–and that’s it. It’s very dualistic thinking, and the the older I get, I see more of life as a gradient than two black and white choices for everything.

The Gift of Fear

As research for this blog post, I just started reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. His book is more about preventing violence. So, for these three examples, it’s outside of the scope of this post.

I’m still going to read the book because even though it was written in 1997, with mass shootings happening so often (just today, there was a shooting at a Kentucky school where one person was kill and multiple people were wounded), it’s important to know how to use fear as a gift, as a tool to protect you.

You have more brain cells than there are grains of sand on your favorite beach, and you have cleverness, dexterity, and creativity–all of which powerfully combine when you are at risk–if you listen to your intuition.

Still, what if those women had listened to themselves, to their bodies? If they knew why they were freaking out, maybe they could have saved a little face and left the show without having the bachelor eliminate them. Both women were disappointed and sad, but at least they would have had more control of what happened to them.

For my situation, which happened 17 years ago, I really didn’t want to be unemployed, so I don’t think it could have been avoided. I don’t think it would have made sense to go up to my boss and say, fire me because I have uneasy vibes.

There’s so much focus in the personal development world on positive thinking, which I a lot of it has to do with positive psychology.  Positive psychology isn’t bad. But I do think it can mislead people to not listen to themselves when fear arises.

Mind you, I do not include chronic anxiety in this. That could be due to trauma or brain chemistry or both. If you listened to that all day, you’d be exhausted, especially since most of it is misinformation.

What I’m talking about are those uneasy vibes that won’t go away.

Fear as a Messenger

So what do you do when fear arises? Do you dismiss it as negative thinking? Or do you pay attention to it?

Beyond that the fact that fear can save your life from violence, it could also prevent some embarrassment. It can end a relationship that has long since grown stale. It can give you some insight on how to handle the future when you feel an ending coming (like losing a job).

Fear is not bad. Rage is not bad. Anger is not bad. Sadness is not bad. Even pain is not bad.

Emotions are really neutral messengers that we must heed–whether we’re on some stupid game show, or at our places of work, or at home, or out and about.

Emotions aren’t optional.

Of course, any emotion in excess can be bad. But, to me, fear gets such a bad rep, and needlessly so. It’s almost like Westerners have a meta-fear–a fear about fear.

Maybe for those two eliminated game contestants, it’s just that their nerves got the best of them. But I still think it was really because they both had a foretelling, a foreboding, of an end coming. And neither of them wanted that end to occur.

So, if you have really acute, exaggerated reactions to people, places, or things–pay attention to them. Don’t dismiss them.

Your intuition knows.

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Calling on the right ones

call-for-help-1518789

Photo credit: Tim Van Damme

This is a long one, so just sit back and get cozy.

I wrote this two months ago, and I didn’t publish it because I felt super whiny, albeit rightly so. It’s a little scattered, like the energy that swirls around in the U.S. So I apologize in advance for the motifs and metaphors that come and go.

Two months later, not much has changed in my life, and this topic of asking, and not receiving, is still very relevant right now. Today is Day 120 of unemployment and under this moon in Pisces, I feel very done.

Pisces is the last sign in the zodiac, so that’s also why I feel done. Pisces is a water sign and it’s very intuitive, but also very emotional. So I also feel like a catharsis from the past 4 months.

The pain I’m enduring is not being wasted. The isolation I’m experiencing is not being wasted. The incessant asking that isn’t being answered is not being wasted. I have to believe in the law of conservation of energy: 

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; instead, it transforms from one form to another.

I’m still scared, but not as much. And I’m still sad, but not as much. When I woke up after I thought about all this, the black weighty gloom lifted, just a little.

I cannot tell  you how many times I’ve repeated this process, of pushing the tag team twins of doom and gloom off of me, like I’m under too hot of blankets. It’s becoming an almost everyday process, of choosing to be here, of choosing not to look at my circumstances and letting that be the only story told about who I am and my purpose here on Earth.

This morning, before I was officially awake, I was blogging in my head. Maybe the correct term is ruminating. Either way, my adventure with NaNoWriMo must have kicked on my loquacious Mercury in Sagitarrius writer’s button, because now, I can’t stop writing.

I know that keep writing about the same topic, over and over. I also feel like I’ve been running in place for over four years–that Sisyphean energy.

What’s this all worth, really?

Fixed candles are burning, pink and green, pulling down love and money respectively. I’m waiting to be called for my phone interview with a former employer [That went well, but there may not be a decision until, at the latest, March?]. ETA: I heard back yesterday when I checked in, and there will be no face-to-face interview. Today [January 31st] I also got another rejection from the worst phone interview I’ve ever had. Friday, I got a rejection from what I thought was my dream job. 

Clouds are starting to gather as I see our resident vultures gliding high in the air. I’ve been listening to Coldplay’s Ghost Stories, over and over. It’s been reported to be a breakup album, from when Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. It sounds more like their old stuff. I actually need to stop before I start hating it. But hey, you can use this as the soundtrack for this post.

What I was blogging in my head has escaped me a bit, mainly because I resolved that angsty puzzle. But I remember now.

Today, in two different tarot/oracle card decks, I pulled the equivalent of Three of Swords: heartache, sadness, loss. It was definitely a reading of my energy–maybe it’s just the residue, or it’s just always there.

I’m already loathe to talk about this, because I can hear my own inner critic join the chorus of my fellow Americans who have bought into the bootstrapping myth, as if any of us can make it without any help. There are so many conversations I’ve had with friends about the value in asking for help and the importance of community, and they are all running in my head right now.

Under this full moon in Gemini, which is not helping with keeping my head clear due to the streaming of information, I’m thinking about the losses of this year. Besides struggling with a job loss, I did lose a few friends. I’ve gotten wise about how life works, though. So many lessons in the losses… mainly I was trying way too hard with those friendships. It’s a bad habit that has cost me time and money. I’m finally sensitive to not trying to make anything happen.

But with those losses, I’m doing a lot of grinding by myself.

I’ve had to really upgrade my definition of “friend.” Right now, I have a lot of really good acquaintances and not a lot of friends. And as an immigrant’s daughter, there really isn’t family to fall back on during hard times. I fall back on myself.

I’m resilient, very resilient. And I tire of it. I remember telling my therapist in grad school of my exhaustion with my own indefatigable spirit.

I look at my unemployment, which is the longest stretch I’ve ever had, and wonder when it will end. It keeps unfurling, like a long, blank scroll, emphasis on blank.

And I know why I resent my resilience. There’s some inner child wounding being healed as I go through this valley, places inside of me that need parenting and re-parenting. have to do it, no one else. I have to release the need, the compulsion, of my parents to come in and take care of me.

It’s not a bad one, this need. It’s 100% natural. It’s how the parent/child relationship is set up. But when the parents are unable or unwilling, you have to take up the slack. And I don’t like it. Thankfully, even the acknowledgement of not liking it is a step towards healing.

Yes, I deserved better support and guidance, and yet, I didn’t receive it. And yes, in order to move forward, I have to just (suck it up) take care of myself.

I don’t necessarily believe in shitty circumstances being orchestrated  in your life, just so you can learn things. That’s a bit self-absorbed, in my opinion. I am 100% sure that the Universe would rather draw us through kindness.

The way I see life is that shitty things will happen, regardless of whether I’m at the “proper vibration” or whether I had enough “faith.” The question isn’t if those things will happen–it’s when. And then what are you being invited to do? How will your RSVP, oui ou non?

Not finding work as quickly as I need isn’t some grand universe conspiracy. But I have been invited to slow down, reassess my life, and continue to bring healing to that deserving inner child that seems to have been left by herself. I’ve also been invited to trust the Universe in ways that are frightening–at least for a Capricorn sun and a Cancer moon. Job and housing insecurity would probably frighten most people, though.

Until I came down here to Florida for grad school, I never really realized how much I relied on myself and on my friends. I don’t know if I took my friends for granted, or even myself. I hope I’ve always come from a place of gratitude.

The longer I’ve been here, the more I’ve become active on social media–and thank goodness because otherwise, I’d be worse off in all ways–and not connected to people locally. That’s mainly because of money: it costs to hang out with people, even if you’re just driving to meet up to do something free. I’ve been able to give myself a lot of patience and grace with this, and I need to give myself even more.

I did realize, though, that culturally, the way I was raised as a Ghanaian does not mesh well with the “rugged individualism” of America. Looking back, I can see how my family’s relationships with other Ghanaian families weren’t a luxury, they were a necessity. We went out of our way to go on road trips to visit people in Michigan, Georgia, Louisiana.

Even though I’m not close with most of those families anymore, I still consider them as family–somewhat. Even with this current lack of closeness, you could say that American culture has started to erode our bonds. Not to be too simplistic, though–because I know there are a myriad of reasons why people grow apart over time. Still, we’ve gotten absorbed in our own lives.

But I’m still wired to go out of my way. Yet, there are fewer and fewer people to go out of my way for. And vice versa.

And that was a big lesson this year. I was going out of my way for people who would never make that effort back. And now, they are gone. Effort can’t solve everything.

It’s been a funny journey for me with my willingness to asking for help. I have loathed hating asking for help, and it’s possible I’m living a self-fulfilling prophetic nightmare. Before I even made it to Florida, I had to ask for help to get down here. Since I’ve been here, I’ve asked and asked and asked–and I’m still asking. To hear the silence roaring back in response to my request, and not have it be about me, to not have it be that I’m not deserving or that I’m unworthy or whatever other ugly self-judgments that I have to fight off…I know I’m learning a few things from that.

  1. I’m not the only one whose voice isn’t being heard or heeded to. There are people all over the world who ask help for help and are ignored.
  2. Asking for help doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be helped by the ones I ask.
  3. Related to #2, this message came across Twitter earlier today: I’m not asking for too much, but I’m asking the wrong people.

This last message, about who to ask, has been a mindbender for me. I’ve looked back at how I’ve been provided for in ways that were unexpected. As a Capricorn, I really like efficiency. I just want the big ole windfall, the amount of money that will take care of everything all at once. But that’s not what I’ve been invited to receive.

My ultimate invitation, every day, is to trust the Universe, for everything. When it gets to brass tacks stuff: my bills, food, shelter, transportation–it’s scary. My hierarchy of needs pyramid is on fire, starting from the bottom. It’s admittedly crazy-making. Not having enough money is stressful and can cause you to not think clearly.

Through that fog of confusion, I can clearly see that the right one to ask for help from is the Universe. I’ve been incredibly stubborn and resistant about this change because it’s not how I usually have gotten things done. Being resilient and rallying for help when I needed–it hasn’t been as difficult as it has been for the past few years.

And again, the struggle is not to make this about my self-worth, i.e. it’s not raining money on you, so that means you don’t matter.

This has been a baby stepwise process. (Aren’t all life journeys?) I’ve talked about this before. There have been a few times that I talk to Archangel Ariel,  who is known to help with  earthly needs, and audibly ask, “What else can I do? I’ve got nothing.” Something seems to always happen: I get more time to pay something, or money shows up. I’m in a similar place this month, and I don’t know how things will be taken care of.

I’ve gone through this so many times, though. I should be a pro. But every time, I feel like this is some major test of my existence.

Somehow, faith is being grown, in this rocky, dusty soil of my life. I’m not sitting here panicking, like I usually would. I’ve had to find my worth outside of the number of friends I have, whether I feel overlooked and misunderstood or not, whether I have a job or not, whether I’ve had a car or not, whether I had a BA or not, whether I’ve been in a relationship or not.

That’s what’s being transformed in me, right now, in this cauldron of waiting and wondering and worry: these precious, priceless gems of my true worth.

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