My 10 Most Popular Posts (so far)

real popularity SOMHi friends,

I’ve written over 100 posts in the past 3.5 years. So I thought it’d be a good time today to look back on what I’ve written. I’m going to list from the oldest to the latest, what my most popular posts have been.

Next week, I’ll show you my least popular posts.

If you want to support my work here, become a patron on Patreon!

I can’t tell you why these were more popular than others, because, for example, This Is My Time felt like a personal triumph, but no one barely looked at it.

  1. Woo fucking woo–my first post!
  2. Just Enough Light–my second post!
  3. A trip to woo-woo land–that one time I went to see an angel card reader
  4. I need your help/How can I help you?–This was a month after my contract had ended. I’m pretty sure this still applies almost 2 years later as a freelancer. AND this is my most popular post!
  5. how to be your own mother — Mommy issues!
  6. the astrology of my family — I’ll be updating this today because I got something about my father wrong (appropriate for Father’s Day?)
  7. it’s time to move on, it’s time to get going — a tribute to the late, great Tom Petty
  8. the greatest wound, the greatest healing — existential loneliness sucks.
  9. hell is living with other people — my almost complete history of terrible roommates
  10. Digging Up Old Roots: An Elegy — buh bye, Christianity

If you’ve been with me from the very first post, thanks for being on my writing journey with me. Especially if you’ve been a long-time patron of mine, your material support has meant the world to me.

Wherever you picked up to come along for the ride, I appreciate you. I hope you have a great week and a beautiful Summer Solstice.

Share in the comments what your favorite post is from the sun opposite moon blog!

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

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

Thank you so much for your support!  💘

 

 

 

Advertisements

thank you, Universe

So I read this shitty “boring memoir as self-help book” this weekend. I had bought it some time ago, hoping I could fix my life.

Well, it barely gave me anything new. If you had watched Oprah or Super Soul Sunday, you’ve already learned what this wannabe tough lady wanted to convey to her probably super rich, white, and bored audience.

I may never try to hate read a book again because it was full of phony baloney spiritualist schlock like:

“Fear is a choice!”

“Happiness is a choice!”

You can choose not to be depressed!

If you change how you think, then you can manifest the life that you want!

So much of that is basically just–try harder. But hey, the Universe is there to help you, too.

No mention of the systemic biases like racism, sexism, and homophobia that help keep people oppressed.

No, you should just get off your ass and do something–all with a bunch of affected AAVE speech:

“Thems is some big words…” (that’s not even grammatical for AAVE)

GIRL.

Anyway, it was so poorly organized, I don’t know how it was meant to actually give a reader real ways to change her life without getting lost in the bland pablum this woman was peddling.

I won’t mention the name, but the book has a yellow cover.

I picked up this book because, 1) I was told to (higher self + spirit guides) and also 2) I’m in a bit of a rut or transitional space, something I could been saying for the past 5 years, honestly.

Specifically, I need to increase my sales for my business so I can move out of this godforsaken house and on with my life–and also pay some bills!

As I was chatting with a friend today, it’s not a good thing to be feeling desperate when you’re looking for some answers to your life.

Sure, necessity is the mother of invention, but I think, especially in American society, that desperation can leave you vulnerable to shysters and crooks who want to manipulate into parting with your money.

So OK, I had already bought this book, so no harm there, and I was told to read this book by my spiritual team (if you will, I hate these cheesy-ass labels). I actually got some good things out of it, even if I feel a little scarred after reading it.

But the scarring is adjacent to older scars.

So much of this shit is what I learned growing up in the “faith” movement in the 1980s and 1990s.

If you just have enough faith, you can move mountains (read: get that Cadillac and new house!). It’s shit I’ve been trying so desperately to unlearn, and I basically unloaded more on myself by reading this book.

But yes–what was the good I got out of it?

For one thing, I know how I don’t want to write about spirituality. It was a very inspiring book in that regard.

But the most practical piece of advice for my life right now is about gratitude.

It’s a topic that makes me roll my eyes. It feels like such a burden–and it really shouldn’t (but I’ll get into that in a little bit). But also, it’s so on trend to have an attitude of gratitude.

Even beyond the personal development scensters, gratitude works, and it works really well.

Gratitude has some scientifically proven benefits about improving one’s physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. It’s not like working with crystals or doing rituals where your mileage may vary.

Gratitude has just been a tough practice for me, especially in the past few years. It comes and goes with my emotional state and circumstances. There have been times, though, I’ve been grateful just to have a roof over my head and food to eat because I was technically homeless.

But deep down, there are so many times where I think, life has just been so fucking cruel and unfair. I do not want to write in my gratitude journal, ever. 

And, reading that book, I was reading about a woman who was kind of a dick and ended up with an amazing life.

So then, even when it comes to money, it’s definitely not given to those who “deserve” it, because the Universe finds them to be more morally upright and kind.

These sorts of disparities leave me with some really big, uneasy questions with unwieldy, flighty answers.

Like…

Why are so many kind people being taken advantage of and this self-appointed rockstar guru is given a life that she barely deserves?

Yes, it’s a version of the classic question: why do bad things happen to good people?

That’s probably for another blog post, but I bring it up because 1) I don’t think the Universe just automatically has your back (right? should the Universe be OK with evil people?

and

2) there must be more than just acquiring things and using spirituality to receive those things.

Also

3) there’s a bigger story that we’re all a part of, and we don’t know how it even truly began or where it ends, even after death.

We just don’t know why so many things happen, good or bad, and to what degree we’re involved in those occurrences.

Whew, that’s heavy. But really, that’s to give us all some perspective here, to tether us to something bigger…

So yeah, alright–I have some major impediments to gratitude here, but a daily gratitude practice does help me live a better life, so I need fucking be grateful already…right?

Right.

Finally, the point of this post…

So from this trash heap of a book, the author suggests writing daily thank-you notes to whatever higher power you’re into.

And I think that unlocked a cage of ineptitude that I had been trapped in because when I write “I am grateful for…” there is no object.

It means nothing to me.

I have that same feeling when you have to go around the Thanksgiving table and say what you’re thankful for. Most of us can come up with something that sounds halfway decent.

But usually, I’m sitting there, stewing, thinking life is unfair–when it really is, and I’m not being an entitled bitch about it.

What unlocked for me is that by writing daily thank-you notes to God or Source, etc., there is an object.

We don’t just say “thank you” into a vacuum. We direct our gratitude to a person.

It’s something that even reminds me of worshipping and offering thanks to God, something I grew up doing for most of my life in the form of song. And now, not being in church, that part has been missing for me–that special connection to God (especially through song).

I need to say thank you to the Universe for so many things, even when life is unfair and hard and excruciating. It’s to help me keep perspective of all the good that has happened, so I don’t sit here in a boiling vat of my own bitterness.

And I’m not just writing this down because Oprah said to do it. Definitely science is helping me to do it. But finally, after years of trying to be grateful for whatever is in my life, I can do it in a more directed and meaningful way.

So let me start right now…

thank you note

Thank you, Universe for bringing this book into my life–even if it was chock full of so much of what I don’t need.

I thank you that even though my spiritual team guided me to this book–and I feel like I need to recover from having read it–there’s still some method to the madness, that maybe something beautiful is opening up inside of me for me to share with others who really need to hear it.

Thank you, God, for the good people you’ve brought into my life, especially within the past year. Some have already moved on, but I am grateful for the light and beauty that they brought into my life and whatever good that they graciously accepted into their lives through me.

Thank you that I do have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for bringing me to a better home where I can safely and freely be myself.

Thank you that the creepy housemate decompensated on me so I could stop wasting my time talking to him like he was sane and also hold the owner of this house more accountable.

Thank you for the chances to be more assertive for my well-being.

Thank you that the mammogram and ultrasound exam I went through on Friday came up with only cysts that will hopefully be aspirated soon.

Thank you for affordable healthcare to get those tests and low copays.

Thank you for all the opportunities that I don’t even know about yet. Thank you for all the opportunities that are available to me now.

Thank you for gifting me with grit, resilience, patience, perseverance, and a sense of humor to keep me from getting too serious.

Thank you that I don’t have to know everything, that I can ask for help early and often, and that I don’t have to do everything on my own.

And thank you, dear reader, for being here and bearing witness.

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

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

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now

I’m writing this because the only thing that’s worth writing about, I can’t really talk about. But I’ve written so many heavy things lately, so let’s keep it light this week.

  1. Canada’s Tess Virtue and Scott Moir, Olympic gold medal-winning ice dancers sextraordinairevirtue and moir.gif

I ship them, even if they’re unsure if they ship themselves? (and look at their faces in that picture in the link, JFC!) And my wish for all of us is that we are loved like they portray love on the ice.

I could watch this GIF all day…😍

2. Laughing over my calamity

hilary duff laugh.gif

I decided that Pisces season would be a season of mirth (so far, so good). Over the weekend, I had something happen to me that was a little jarring and emotionally overwhelming. It wasn’t life-ending, though. Laughing with friends over the situation helped me to move on from those surprise feelings and it helped to bring a larger, more balanced perspective.

Life has been so dour and overly serious lately. I plan to laugh my way to success now.

Let. Joy. Loose.

3. Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch Cereal by Nature’s Path

I just had some for dinner. It’s good and good for you. Nature’s Path is great overall in terms of food.

4. My Himalayan salt lamp

I have no idea if this is really going to help my respiratory system. Right now, I’ve been having some major allergies because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here (highs in the mid-80s, when highs should be in the low-70s). But makes the room pinker. I just wanted more light.

5. Embracing all that I am

After writing about my Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius in the 12th house placement, I actually decided to get a book.

2018-02-20 22.12.05_1

It’s alright. I’m about one-fourth of the way through, but I hope it gets beyond the rudimentary psychology. I know that this astrological placement makes me work harder to connect and communicate–but it’s also better to work smarter.

Honestly, my lack of not having anything to say is mainly due to things in my life being fairly stable–well, as much as one can be when living in a crazy house. And I’m happy about that. But, I’m also trying to get out of here, grow my business, and take care of my health. It’s great to have the necessary energy and focus to do these things, too, instead of being in this painful holding pattern of survival.

I’m glad that right now, I’m not in an emotional abyss so dark, that I can’t find five things that make me happy right now.

And I’ve been there, where I had start being grateful about sunsets (my go-to) or having a toothbrush or having a roof over your head. It’s desperate gratitude, but sometimes, that’s all you have. And it can sustain.

There are other holding patterns I’m in, and although I can’t yet report on them here, I can say that the Universe has been aggressively bringing things together for me. And that’s yet another thing that’s making me happy right now.

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

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

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

 

 

2017: a return to myself

real generosity SOM

So this year was…a lot of things.

Trying to wrap my head around all the things I learned and did and endured and gained and lost. So many things.

So, I’ll just focus on the one thing I’m really glad is happening: being me again.

I’ve tweeted about this, so if you follow me on twitter, this will be a little repetitive.

It’s been a stressful year to say the least, mainly financial. And I’m exhausted from talking about it, let alone living it.

 

Being so poor and so obsessed with income really made me miserable and fucking humorless. I remember being in college and being so hilarious even as my family was falling apart and I was drowning in the darkness of clinical depression.

It was almost to mock the horrors going on in my life.

Fast forward 19 years and this year was so serious and so unfunny. It’s been a blur of activity and loss.

The one event that I really remember starting the shift that was someone tweeting an encouraging to me when I desperately needed it.

I was annoyed and tired over having my room flood. I was displaced to this other house they owned for two weeks. The owners promised me having rent be reduced for my trouble. I unfortunately didn’t have renters’ insurance (like I do now).

Here was the annoying rub: the conversation at the first of the month had a different message than I had had the previous month.

I needed to pay full rent. The reason was I didn’t live elsewhere and I had prevented them from renting the room–a room they offered to give me.

I had gotten about $60 bucks off or something like that. I was so pissed.

So I had tweeted out this grown over an astrological transit (“Ugh” was all I said), and they tweeted as if they exactly knew how the old me would want to hear it: pro-me and definitely, and defiantly, anti-stupid idiots.

That moment was a little bit like looking in the mirror of the plucky girl I used to be back in college. I needed that grit, with that steely edge of sardonic humor, which had all served me so well during my 20s.

For that moment, I’ll forever be grateful because it felt like a little bit of light was shoved into this box of darkness I was sitting in.

It was so great to have someone be on my side, and I didn’t have to explain anything.

Also this year, I also started being around friends with Aquarians, or people had strong Aquarian energy–like the two best friends I had in college.

I started laughing my ass off. I started laughing over stupid shit, like I used to.

And then, just this past month, I saw this woman, laughing crying over her life:

This would be me and my Aquarian best friend in college. I started laughing crying, too. We would call it “The Place” where we would just be kind of crazy and silly–basically in hysterics.

Watching that video, I knew that I was mostly back.

In between the time I had my room flood on January 30th and now, I’ve been able to have a sort of OK business for myself, and I have friends that I regularly talk to now. They may be geographically far away, but they exist, and we support each other–Aquarians and Pisceans, just like college.

The children of winter have kept me warm with heavy blankets of kindness and laughter.

But here’s where all the joy went–into chronic stress. Specifically, it’s the stress of not knowing how you’re going to pay for bills. It can erode any joy that you can have.

You get so laser-focused on applying for jobs, fundraising, dealing with the fallout of losing things and housing instability, there’s little room for fun, for laughs, for levity, for a breath. Even when you’re on vacation or away, it’s still in the back of your mind.

I have ping-ponged back and forth over the abyss of despair for years, and this summer, when I got my first two major clients, I was able to get some stability. And that was all due to a friend who was able to connect me to clients, along with other resources that I have barely tapped into.

Anytime I thank them, which is often, they reply, “No problem!”

I’m often blown away by the generosity of relative strangers. I’ve received crazy blessings that have left me speechless, amazing readings, wonderful advice, understanding, and support.

So although I was steering the ship back to the familiar shores of my laughter and mirth, I got a push back in March and then things just kept going in the right direction.

I’m almost ready to throw down my anchor and welcome myself back home.

So what’s ahead? Work-wise, the grind of marketing and prospecting. I feel like 2018 will bring some more stability to my financial life–and it will be because I worked hard for it (sounds like Capricorn season is in full swing!).

Today (December 22nd), I decided to take a long Twitter break because I feel like things are shifting energetically and I need to pay attention to the shift. I’ve seen three close friends leave that space in a matter of months. It’s given me a huge pause. I need to seek my life outside of that box–and let life seek me.

Everything else? The Universe has been incessantly bothering me about one thing for months, but there’s nothing I can do about it except to continue to seek guidance, to be grateful for the signs, and to be patient.

I hope you all say goodbye to 2017 in style, because it’s been one dumpster fire of a year. I hope that something went right this year, something that you’re proud of, something that gave you some hope, something that was good and nourishing to your soul.

It’s been so tough, but I’m so glad I’m still here.

Happy New Year! Thank you for reading!

If you want to give a one-time donation or donate on a monthly basis to my blog, click here now.

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

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

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

welp, it’s a birthday listicle

life begins at 40 SOMI’m writing all this before I go away on vacation (today is 12/12). I’m excited that I can leave here and see people I love and care about, which is usually all I want for my unfortunate 40th birthday, which is, by the way, December 25th.

So here’s a listicle of 40 things I’m grateful for enduring and embracing this year.

  1. My room flooding
  2. Sir Coughs-a-Lot, the incessant coughing housemate
  3. energy vamp, the second incessant coughing housemate
  4. Developing better boundaries, especially energetically
  5. Helping a friend move from Miami to D.C.
  6. Staying at the Omni Hotel in D.C.
  7. Twitter
  8. Losing my car again
  9. Letting go of people who weren’t healthy for me
  10. Sour gummies (I should let these go in 2017)
  11. New noise-canceling headphones
  12. Spell work
  13. Scented candles from Bath and Body Works (as long as I’m not allergic)
  14. Those moments of heartfelt connection, kindness, and knowing
  15. Fall and winter sunsets in Florida
  16. The hawk who comes to visit
  17. Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” episode
  18. Getting unemployment
  19. Having a safe place to be during Hurricane Irma
  20. Annie
  21. Dayna
  22. Jamie
  23. Amaya
  24. Nancy
  25. Zikea
  26. Learning about narcissistic mothers
  27. Losing Tom Petty
  28. The solar eclipse
  29. Winning #NaNoWriMo
  30. Lost frogs
  31. One of my patrons who gave me a monetary gift, just when I needed it
  32. Singing loudly in the car with the windows rolled down and the sunroof open
  33. Full moon insomnia
  34. A deeper knowledge of astrology
  35. All the things that I wanted to work out but didn’t
  36. Being a full-time freelancer (whether I wanted to or not)
  37. The groups I floated in and out of
  38. Any time I spent on the beach
  39. Real, deep healing from past hurts and traumas
  40. Every day when I can wake up and try to do this life thing again.

Good Lordy, I’m 40, and I’m just getting started.

Psst… if you want to slip me a birthday gift, feel free:

PaypalCash.meMy Amazon Wishlist

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

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

Thanks for your support! 💘

what to say?

stencil-blog-post-image-1

I really hope this is short. I’m sorry if it’s really disjointed.

Um, it has been a time. On Wednesday, it’ll be 5 months of underemployment. I can’t keep asking why anymore. It just is.

My body is becoming an exquisite corpse for this chapter of my life. It’s not at its prettiest. My hair is greyer and thinner. There’s weight gain and skin eruptions and tight joints.

I definitely didn’t think that I wouldn’t be working full-time at this point. I’m getting calls for two jobs back at the last gig (same manager, too), two jobs that I’ve already applied for. I’m still waiting to hear back about the second writing exercise I am sure I over did–for the managing editor position.

I keep having to solely pull myself and out of the pits of doom together every day. I’ve gotten really good at it. And, for once, I’m not really resentful of it. My self-reliance is why  I am still alive.

I want to say this as dispassionately as possible: I feel like how my parents raised me, with very little affection and encouragement, is helping me now. There is no one saying on a daily basis–hang in there, keep going. The only voice I hear consistently is my own.

There must be a reason, though, why real help hasn’t arrived. The answers are all awful, so let’s skip that.

I have to keep hope at bay. I’ve ridden the waves of hope from shore to shore. From a couple of readings saying I’d get job offers this month, well…I did get new clients.

It’s scary to push hope back, because then–what is there to look forward to?

The general message I’m getting from the Universe is to hang in there, to keep going. No savior, no deliverance, no big red bow on an expensive car, no unbelievable happy ending. It’s keep crawling, keep scraping, keep it moving.

Keep. Going.

Things are bad, but I’ve been through worse. I wish I had new insights about this time, besides that I am grateful that I am resilient since the relief I need hasn’t shown up. I’m just getting battered and there’s no energy to resist it.

I’m sorry that I have to keep writing this boring ass story over, and over, and over: of underemployment, of fear, of anxiety, of poverty, and how it’s all messing with my head and my soul like I’m on the frappe speed of a mixer.

How many cliches for my resiliency can I come up with?

I’m putting one foot in front of the other.

I’m riding the wave.

I’m hanging in there.

I’m staying strong.

I’m waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.

I know that it’s darkest before the dawn.

I know that something is waiting for me around the corner.

I’m treading water.

My mind is tired, so that’s all I have for the list of cliches. Right now, I don’t care about potential or hope or predictions or even faith. I only care about relief. Real relief. The Universe only seems to be sending big raindrops, like the ones that happen right before a big downpour–but no downpour.

I’m impatient and unhappy about it. I’m parched. This is an ugly, disillusioning journey. And as many people I’ve walked with through tough times–there’s just me on this trip (that’s a whole other post that I will never write).

This agitation is somehow tempered by gratitude–of still having my car, of having gas in my car, of paying my car insurance, of having enough to eat, of having dessert, of having any work at all.

But underneath is unending exhaustion–a different type of soul exhaustion than I’ve experienced, but that even with getting a new full-time job, it won’t easily disperse. It’s like a middling kind. Not the “where I am sleeping tonight?” kind. Nor is it the eviction kind. It’s not even the being unfairly shamed by others kind. It’s the “I’m not quite at a place of stability and I’m really tired of trying to make it happen” kind. It’s the “I have no choice to keep going” kind. I have the strength but it seems so, well, stupid to spend so much effort on this type of writing and merely on survival, especially when the stakes are high, but the cost to keep me going is so low.

But there’s nothing else. This is the muddy, weedy, lonely path. One foot in front of the other. A faceplant. Mud on hands. Grass stains. Pain. Get up. Keep going. So complaining about it is fruitless. It just makes me more tired.

And that’s also why I haven’t made time to write here. What is there to write about? Not much, nothing of pleasure or of insight.

And that’s that. On Monday, I keep going, keep hanging in there. I will try to renew my SNAP. I will write two articles. I will hope that the hundreds of dollars of work that I did last week will finally be paid out. I will keep going and compartmentalize the exhaustion until I can safely unload and unpack the burden.

I will not wait for relief to come. I will somehow be an alchemist and create it myself, for myself, by myself.

I will persist, and I will win–because I have no choice.

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

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

Thanks for your support! 💘

Candle cowinkydink?

candle wisdom SOMI should have written this yesterday, but I didn’t.

As I mentioned in my last post, I bought some special candles from the woo woo shop I visited last Friday. I’m actually burning two of them right now–one for financial luck/business/etc, and one for love. Both of the candles are orange. The former smells of honeysuckle (my favorite scent) and the other smells of, um…honey? I guess? Yesterday, though, I was burning one, a bright blue candle of rosemary. This was to rid my place of negativity, mainly because lately, I had been feeling so down–and for good reason.

One way to frame the “feeling down” vibes is that–and this has been my sorrowful lament since I moved down here from Chicago in 2012–life in Florida hasn’t really been that swell. Right now, I have to find a new place to live, the fifth one I would have had since I moved down here three years ago. Teaching English composition has been challenging and a bit disappointing. My students aren’t doing well and I don’t feel like I can do that well on about $1750 to teach the whole semester. I do enjoy my part-time job as a technical writer, but it also isn’t paying as well as someone with a lot of job experience plus an advanced degree in writing should be paid. Today, I just took care of applying for economic hardship for my two student loans and realized that the percentage would be close to 40% of my gross income. When people say doesn’t buy happiness, they have never have had their hierarchy of needs fucked with.

My time here could be a memoir on its own, but I’ve grown tired of this droning lament. Probably most of my friends have, too. Chronic crisis isn’t the most endearing trait.

So yesterday, I just lit that candle. I really bought it because I don’t like living here, although I like the idea of living here. I have own little sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom. I just have to come downstairs to the kitchen and to leave the house. Simply put–under the guise of charity, the landlady here has taken advantage of my poverty. It has caused a lot of suffering and heartache and exhaustion. It’s the third time I’ve been taken advantage of because I was poor. So, in the end, it’s good that I’m leaving soon, even if I have no idea where that will be, even if I feel like “better the devil you know.”

Still, it’s a morass of feelings I wanted to escape and drain out of this space. I lit the candle and kind of forgot about it. I had been avoiding the teaching observation that happened two weeks ago. I had been so nervous and I knew it wasn’t going well. I was stumbling over my words and acting like a typical absent-minded professor. I hadn’t opened the email yet, though, because even the very email made me feel very small, very insignificant, very incapable. Logically, I knew, and still know, that it was meant to help me be a better teacher, but the true Capricorn I am, failing in business is like failing at life. Not being in secure housing, not having reliable transportation, not having a full-time job with benefits–it’s all been starting to weigh me down.

Maybe it was the candle, but I decided I needed to finally open this email full of failure on my phone. I was painfully frightened, like I could my body undulate in anxiety and dread. I decided I needed to literally phone a friend and talk my way through not only opening the email but reviewing the evaluation. So that’s what I did. Of course, while reading through the evaluation, my worries were much worse than reality. The observer had written down some rather nitpicky issues–don’t sit at a desk, be more focused, have a tardy policy (which I already had). It was still full of fail, though–three out of four areas were “not yet acceptable.” For someone who has had success come easily to her–at least academically–this was hard to take, even as a rookie. As a nerd, I take teaching probably way too seriously and way too personally. I could definitely afford to cut myself some slack.

What was cool/strange was that even knowing that I was going to have a phone call with this friend made things so much easier to bear. I instantly felt the sludge of negativity subside. I believe I had also called to pray with someone that day, too. There’s a 24-hour prayer hotline through my church’s movement and it’s been handy when I feel like I can’t bear to carry all these woes and concerns. Usually, I never feel instantly relieved with prayer, but some time later, I usually can feel the peace that can pervade everything.

Even the candles are there as flickering reminders that I’m trying to do something, that I’m trying to pull some good things into my life, that I don’t have to be immobilized with fear and shame as my life’s circumstances make me feel like things will always be this hard, this unsatisfying, this lonely.

But, like I said, I should have written this yesterday, when the sludge–which I’ll call dysthymia–hadn’t yet returned, when the grace and ease was still present. Right now, it’s presenting as major sinus pressure and avoidance of grading and quite a bit of self-loathing. Yet I’m almost relieved that I feel down because it somewhat means that I have some time and space to actually feel anything at all; that there’s some level of safety to actually burn candles, sage this house, burn incense, to think of how I can reach out to people who are beacons of hope, to be less avoidant. It hopefully means that the survival mode I’ve been stuck in going on two years might be ending.

One day, I’ll be grateful for this spiritual renaissance that was born through the most difficult time of my life. As I take another pain pill for this incessant headache, I know that day is not today. I’ll burn candles instead.

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

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

Thanks for your support! 💘