newton’s cradle of grief

newton's cradle.gif

This month has been a lot for a heart to take and to process.

A massacre. A rock legend’s death. Potentially hundreds of people dying in on an island with barely any power or not enough clean running water. The exposure of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of one movie mogul. The cascade of stories of survival and the exposure of other perpetrators. Wildfires destroying more acreage than the size of New York City.

Another rock legend dies from brain cancer last night.

I took yet another break from Twitter because I was starting to sound shrill and sucked into this vortex of pain and anger. For me to leave because of an emotional contagion is saying a lot, because that’s not usually my bag. The people I am friends with on Twitter are my main community, which I am chagrined, but they are real people, real people who really matter. So it’s kind of a big deal to me when I’m not there.

And I’m not the only one who has left for Twitter for a spell. It’s more than OK to take a break from things when they aren’t serving you.

I also left because astrologically, Mercury is conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio and I wanted to focus more on improving my writing and editing business, to dip my silver tongue in the stars and say all the right things to all the right people. But emotionally, I’ve been a lot distracted, even with my sabbatical from Twitter.

And actually, Mercury conjunct Jupiter, in Scorpio, has probably created the climate of this fixation on sharing pain and anger.

And my heart just pours over…

Gord Downie’s death last night was one that Canada has been bracing for since he announced his battle with brain cancer and the subsequent final tour with his band, The Tragically Hip. It was a band I knew about back in 1996. I loved the song, “Ahead by a Century,” but I had no clue how big the band was in Canada and how much Downie meant to his nation. I learned a lot about that last year.

It’s weird how his death allowed me to shed at least one tear for Tom Petty. I’m listening to him right now (Highway Companion, for the record) and I can finally do that a little more, listen to his music. It’s like all the pain and trauma from this month is in a Newton’s cradle. This new loss of Gord Downie, and the grief of a whole nation, knocks through all the grief from before and starts at the grief at the beginning of the month.

I can’t even comprehend what happened in Las Vegas, though. It’s unfathomable, even though people die of violence here, and elsewhere, every day. What’s going on in Puerto Rico is closing in on genocide due to chosen negligence.

My conscience is seared all the way around, but maybe it’s the only way to get through the day so I don’t collapse under the weight of the all the pain and sorrow that’s been very heavy lately. It’s fixed, like Scorpio energy can be.

And then there’s my own stuff.

Not to roll out the scroll of my own suffering, but living here has been triggering memories of living with my family of origin, of how unpredictable it was due to living with someone who has untreated mental health issues. That came to a(nother) head today when I once again woke at 5:30am in the morning to the smell of brewing coffee, which derailed my whole day. It took forever to go back to bed, and then I woke up too late.

If something gets tripped up like that, over and over, to mean it means it’s time for healing. So today, I was planning on doing some work-related things, but today was a day to work some of those old emotions out: forgiveness and self-compassion and grief and anger.

New things knocking around old things.

And I imagine that’s what it’s like to hear these survivor stories–being triggered as others tell their stories. I only hope that healing can occur as Newton’s cradle of grief goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

This may sound really rah-rah and strident, but in this increasingly fixed and stubborn energy, I want to think about solutions. Especially if you’re any kind of marginalized person, you already know the world is a fucked up place. You’ve tried, in your own way, to heal yourself, to bring healing to your corner of the planet. Yet sometimes Twitter can just become an echo chamber and all you can hear are endless screams and cries and groans and yells. It could be an empath’s burden, feeling everyone else’s feels so easily. But one can only feel so much…

As I was telling a friend today, I’m so tired of hearing people glibly say that we’re all gonna die. I’ve gone through hell and back too many times for that sort of existential resignation.

I don’t have any overarching solutions right now that don’t involve a lot of money–as my friend today has surmised. So right now, the best thing I can do is to make sure I can make some so I can donate to causes that support marginalized people, i.e., take care of myself so I can take care of others.

What else can I do?

I love the people who love me back hard.

I continue to find compassion for myself as I look at my old stories with fresh and kind eyes.

I try to push back the dark, rolling clouds of doom that tried, and failed to overwhelm me today.

I keep hope close to me, but not too close so it smothers me with exaggerated optimism.

I cry if I need to.

I attempt to be more grateful and rejoice if and when I’m successful.

I look for the threads that hold things the good things together. Tie those thread tighter.

I do the best I can and know that it’s enough.

I can even look forward to things, like having my own family and not living here and/or in Florida anymore.

For now, I have to focus on the work that’s in front of me, which includes fighting to be here and not drowning in doom. If I’m sleep deprived like I am today, it can be really hard. But the fight is worth it.

To find joy and hope in the midst of immense suffering can seem impossible. But in order to survive and really live, it’s necessary.

May we all keep fighting to be here and to be happy, loved, and safe.

lucky blooms 💐

late bloomer SOM

Well.

First of all, reading that from poet Sharon Olds immediately pierced me, with some hope.

I come here lacking gratitude for my opening buds, and especially for the buds that have yet to be formed.

But I’m feeling a little chastened. I usually don’t do this much throat clearing before I get into a post.

(This post is brought to you by the pre-mid-life crisis transit of Pluto square Pluto.)

I don’t feel so lucky. I feel tired. I feel late. I have been planning my life my whole life. Hear the travails and laments of a tortured double Capricorn.

I thought I had some wisdom about this post, about how things were supposed to happen. It seems to have escaped me. I’m sure I’ll find some new wisdom as I write.

Things are getting better. I feel 10 years late on that, though. If I were 29 and finally starting my own business, that seems right. Why did this take so long?

I know why. It’s a lot of stuff, and here’s the timeline:

family upheaval caused by untreated mental illness ➡️ delay in attending and finishing college ➡️ finding my own emotional equilibrium ➡️ discovering I suck at college science ➡️releasing medicine as a future profession ➡️ picking up writing as a potential profession at age 30 or so ➡️ finally getting to do it on my own as a legit business nine years.

But that’s how the story was supposed to go. Why? Because it happened that way. This was my timeline at age 17:

college ➡️ med school ➡️ psychiatry residency ➡️ married and have my first kid by 30.

Look how tidy that is. I am pretty sure I was fretting about this with my 11th grade English teacher. Maybe deep down, I knew that this little neat timeline was not going to happen, which is why I was having legit panic about whether this was going to happen.

The delays, the diversions, the detours—at least I can say that it got me back to myself, to my first love of writing. I also thought that things like marriage and kids would just happen.

And, they haven’t.

I’ve gotten to this weird place of resignation that probably comes from going through very hard times for a very long time.

Sidenote: I hate that I have to care about this stuff as a woman, but I also hate that I hate that I care about any of this at all. Most men do not sit around fretting about marriage and kids. Maybe I thought like a dude for a little too long. Even beyond just stupid fertility, I’m socialized to want this thing that does not help ultimately make women happy.

I’m in this thing I can’t really speak of publicly, but it’s like this energetic holding pattern where I have to wait around to see what happens. In the back of my head, instead of anxiety, there’s just a knowing that things will work.

But the resignation makes me feel safer. I’m tired. Holding out hope for things you can’t control gets tiring.

And that’s probably the point, too, right? To let go already. There’s some weird alchemical thing that has to happen. You have to reach the end of yourself, to feel your fingertips to start slipping on the last threads of hope you have, and then something, Something, catches you, just in time.

I’m starting not to care anymore, though, like time’s run out. I should just be grateful that I can kinda be an adult that can take care of herself, that can see herself through crisis after crisis. And yet time probably hasn’t run out. Yet it’s easier to grieve and let go than to hold on. It’s doubly sad to think about. But hope is a very heavy thing and my arms are buckling…

And then the Universe will send a sign. It is not in agreement with me about giving up. It’s a cycle of despair and determination that I’ve gone through many times this year, not only with love, but just life in general. I’ve thought about how life would just be better if it stopped because the agony of living was not worth waking up to.

So, I was thankfully wrong about that.

Let’s go back to what Sharon said. Am I going to be one of the very lucky ones when it comes to love? I feel like my business had to be established before I’m released from whatever holding pattern I’m in. And maybe, you know, it’s not about me. It could be about the other person, it could be about other things that I had to go through that I don’t even realize yet. I’ve been told as much by probably tarot readers and astrologers. It’s hard to remember since the goons of poverty have been pummeling for a while now.

Patience. Oh, patience. I tire of you.

When I think about my friends who have all started families, looking at their curated pictures on Facebook, I stare back into the emptiness that engulfs me locally. Being down here so long, as I have said a few times here, I started to forget how to be human. In Libra season especially, it starts to look like something is wrong with me.

🗣Nothing is wrong with me.

Going back to Chicago this month to escape Hurricane Irma, I realized how easy it was to be myself there. I left a lot of heartache and betrayal there, too, but I laid it all to rest (almost 15 years of shit). When I move back, I don’t want to be thinking about any of that. This year, with a bevy of Aquarian friends, I’ve been able to find that wicked sense of humor that carried me through so much grief and loss, but also just made the room lighter.

Hey man, I’m back.

So looking into whatever *this* could be, it’s more than my 17-year-old self could have hoped for. That’s why I’m still kind of loitering in confusion. It would be worth waiting for, too, even this long, even as patience and temperance and perseverance try me.  That isn’t me holding onto hope, though. That’s me being curious about how things will work out, if at all.

Gosh, could it really be that good?

And here comes the grace…boy, it has been a time. I have had a time. Why would I expect anything good from people when I could write a series of books of all the heartache, betrayal, and just plain evil I’ve experienced? My track record with the human race is spotty. There have been some angels and demons, and then some people I can’t remember…

Scolding my skepticism seems silly now.

Despite wanting to join Facebook Nation and say, hey, I checked some other adulting things off of my to-do list, it’s the Pluto square Pluto thing (transiting Pluto is in my 1st house, and my Pluto is in my 10th house). I’ve been obsessed with legacy. What am I leaving behind when I die? I really hope it’s good people—my (now future) kids.

Nothing seems good enough yet. I have barely begun.

But whatever. I’m a double Capricorn who can’t plan that much right now. I feel like I’ve been benched. Put me in, Coach? I’m ready to play? Today?

Yet it does feel weird to just think—if this were meant to happen, it would have happened already. It almost sounds logical, but my life is strewn with late blooms…

Oh well. You tried. Good effort. At least you survived. Count your lucky blooms, girl.

Consolation prize: your very breath. *sigh*

Did I mention I was tired? If anything, if anything, this year, my ceiling was raised so high, it’s practically the sky. If I have to come back and try again, then I know what to aim for. And that would be a very big if at this point.

It’s also a sign of healing, though. Please let’s give myself some credit before I drag my sorry soul over more broken glass. My hierarchy of needs is not an inverted triangle anymore. Being able to support myself means I can support a relationship, and now I don’t feel as desperate for it anymore. And I’ve heard that desperation, shockingly enough, pushes things away.

During my years long time out with the Universe, I’ve watered and nurtured my spiritual roots. I’ve found amazing women that I am close with and love dearly. It’s the right ordering of things. As I told one friend: boys last. Always last.

But hey, it’s Libra season. I do care about the one-on-one, a lot. Where my Pluto is, also in Libra, also means I’m going to care about this topics in a big mushroom cloud sort of way. I don’t want to kid myself here.

I’m ready to live already. Unencumbered. I’ve waited for college, for grad school, for my career.  Even still, though: good news! The treacherous obstacle course of my life seems to be nearing completion. I’m not sure if this will be waiting at the end.

So I’m just going to close my eyes and run like hell to the finish line.

This song just came up in a Daily Mix I’m listening to. I hear you, Universe…

break

breaking

When everything falls apart, it is a good sign that everything is about to come together.

from Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser

It’s been said that you should write from your scars, not from your wounds. Welp, this is a wound with a scab forming, and I don’t have time to wait for this to scar over.

Earlier this morning, after tossing some trash in the outside garbage bin, I walked down my now bare driveway and went to the mailbox–something I used to do every day before my car was taken back by the car lender. It was a daily way for me to stretch my legs which doesn’t happen enough for me as a writer.

It’s been raining almost daily. It’s rainy season in Florida and we desperately need the rain since we’ve had a severe drought and subsequent brush fires for months. Usually, the weather wouldn’t deter me from my daily little walk. But I haven’t been interested in getting the mail. Maybe it’s because I’m still little heartbroken.

Although the mailbox was closed, the mail was damp from all the humidity, which can reach full saturation (100%) especially in the mornings. One of the letters I received was from my now former awful car lender, telling me how much I still owe after the car was auctioned off. The amount is basically the interest of a high-interest loan, which would have been OK 9 months ago when I was working a full-time job with an employer. But that four-figure now just another drop in the ocean of debt that doesn’t even reach my shore much anymore. I live in the small lagoon of survival now.

This car situation has been a tough one to overcome, and it’s not because I no longer have reliable transportation. Sure, part of it is the pride of being a self-sustaining adult and not being able to hold onto what seems to be a basic necessity in a city that has some godawful public transportation.

Admittedly, though, when this first happened, I felt some instant relief. I no longer have to deal with this money drain for a vehicle I used like maybe 5 times a month? Based on what I make now, I can be just fine as I build my freelance writing and editing business, even with the occasional Lyft ride.

Through another bill that I’m actually fighting since I was not driving the car, my toll transponder told me when my car was taken: early in the morning, in the 1 o’clock hour. That night, I actually slept so well–how ironic.

Also, I’ve been here before, 2 years ago when I was teaching and making even less than what I make now. I could take as a moral issue in one of two ways. The first is a (self-)judgmental, (self-)blaming route–how can you have this happen to you again? You’re irresponsible with your money. The other route is just seeing the larger landscape of where I live right now. I’ve done the best I can in a shitty job market and lower income people are routinely taken advantage of. I’ll take route #2, because route #1 is a well-worn path that doesn’t head anywhere except to more heartache.

The heartbreak isn’t over the car, per se, but what my cries for help represent to me–only three people helped me: a total stranger and two friends.

My cries for help went unheard and unheeded.

There are so many reasons why: race, gender, the lack of a cult of personality online, the bootstrap mentality that isn’t applied equally. Not really here to dive into all of that, into the politics of what gets funded and why.

I’m also not here to make this about abundance, prosperity, believing enough (or not), manifestation, or any other things that many times just seem like American capitalism dressed up in spiritual garb, but has no semblance of compassion or empathy.

Over a month later, there’s quite a lot of resentment that I have to burn off or hand off to the Universe. As I try to gain a better perspective, I am accepting what is.

Simply put: no one likes being inconvenienced. That’s the ethos of America. It’s the heart of innovation, but it’s also the heart of our mores and social structure. It’s the mentality that tells you that asking for help is some sort of entitlement. Even the way Social Security is framed is as an entitlement vs. an investment that people make so that they had some income for their twilight years. How dare you ask for help for your basic needs! You should just get a job (or else you’re clearly just lazy and want a handout). There’s someone in the current administration who said just that about Medicaid recipients, millions of those being children. It’s a pervasive mindset, no matter your political leanings or religious beliefs.

What has been really hard but necessary to do is to not make this seeming failure be about me or my worth as a human being. Even knowing that culturally, there’s still a lot of shame in asking for help, this still stings, a lot. I’ve been helped in the past, so why am I feeling abandoned now?

How this all happened still marvels me, which makes me believe that something bigger is going on.

At the time I started to think about writing this particular post, I felt very broken. There are still parts of me that feel very shattered and irreplaceable. I was concerned that I was depressed–and if I was/am depressed, then of course, it makes sense after such a loss like losing reliable transportation.

Nothing seems to be going right and things seem to get worse as I spiritually grow leaps and bounds. There are synchronicities all over the place. I know that Spirit is moving in my life–and maybe it’s because of the destruction left in its wake.

Then I remembered a book that I read, Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser (yes, it’s basically a book about manifestation–but there’s nothing wrong with writing down what you want and need and leaving it up to the Universe how it provides those things to do).

Klauser has a chapter aptly called, “Handling Breakdown.” It basically talks about how things may have manifested in a way you weren’t expecting; or, if your desires haven’t come to fruition yet, that you shouldn’t give up.

Two key quotes: “There is no failure, only a delay in results.” and  “There is no failure, only feedback.”

Why I remembered the book wasn’t for those quotes. It was because she talked about how when everything isn’t working out, that you are close to a breakthrough. She compared this to the process of childbirth, ten minutes before delivery which is called the “transition.” It’s the toughest part of labor.

I saw this happen recently with this reality TV star who filmed a special about her pregnancy. She wanted to have her baby at home, and while she was in labor, she hit a wall of exhaustion. She was just done, just through, no more. She got up to go to the bathroom, but before she and her midwives could leave to go to the hospital, she had the baby on the toilet!

So maybe I’m proverbially on the toilet right now, wanting to go to the hospital and have this baby of a profitable writer’s life. I know I need to keep pushing, even though I am exhausted.

So who is holding me up as I push? I do have a few good online friends that have been of great emotional support. But I have no one local like that in my life right now. Astrologically, I can easily blame this Pluto in Capricorn transit that is transforming me from the inside out, as it has run roughshod over my very essence and ethos.

This struggle is beyond the car now. Yet the car was a breaking point for me. Like what gives? I know I’m supposed to be a writer, to be a writer here. But I can’t connect to anyone permanently here. I lost my car twice. Grad school was a nightmare, so was life afterward. I’ve survived horrible living conditions–and I’m enduring one now. How many L’s can I take, and then take them like a champ?

What gives?

I’m not used to things being bad for this long, especially not with work. Eventually, I find the community, I find the better job, it all comes together. To have the reverse Midas touch is not my style. I always find help. I always Mentos commercial or MacGyver my way out of shit.

I’m super can-do-without-you, and that’s by necessity. For better and for worse, I grew up highly resilient, priding myself in not needing others. I’ve been humbled since I moved down here in 2012, realizing how I can’t be who I need to be without some help. And, for the most part, I’m actually quite OK with asking for help now, even as I face the fear of rejection.

So rejection has come and I am starting to be able to accept what is–I don’t really have the supportive community I need, not yet. I can also see the thin yet gleaming silver lining of this tough circumstance–I’m saving hundreds of dollars.

That brings me back to the spiritual support that I need to access. Yes, the loss of my car brought me to my knees. It was sad to repeat a loss like this, thinking that I would be better off this time around. Can I rejoice and be happy like Klauser says? Can I “count it all joy” like the writer James of the New Testament? Can I be grateful for my faith being tested and producing patience?

It’s really like holding onto a seedling, knowing one day it will be a tall tree. Depending on the day, the hour, the minute, I can hold onto this tiny hope or I can drop it and drown in despair.

At least in the spirit realm, I’m not alone. My cries for help were heard. I matter. To be able to really believe all of that, in the face of disappointment, of loneliness, of heartbreak–emotions I’ve felt often in my life–it takes some faith, faith at times I don’t have or want to conjure up, faith that something new is breaking through, something better that I could ever imagine.

So I have two choices. I either keep playing this shitty game of Tetris where I feel like none of the blocks are clearing, or I quit the game altogether.

The latter doesn’t even feel like a choice, so game on.

a six of swords journey

This may actually be a short(er) post, for once. God, who am I kidding?

It’s been a tumultuous week for the United States with our new president whom I call Tainted Tangelo. I’ve rage tweeted and ranted about the assault on the truth and immigrants. It’s been a blinding blitzkrieg of utter bullshit.

As the day has gone on, chaos has erupted at our airports, of refugees and green card holders being detained and sent back to their home countries. It’s just starting to abate because the ACLU came and saved the day with getting a U.S. District Court judge to grant a stay on this ridiculous “Muslim ban”–at least for those stranded. Some may have been deported anyway, despite the ruling.

Alas, I didn’t come to write about that, although my head is full of these horrific stories. There’s been so much news just today, I can’t keep up. My immigrant’s daughter’s heart is  wrenched with anguish. To think about my own mom’s green card waiting for her at the airport when she arrived here in 1970s, and how family friends of mine had green cards before even leaving home…and now how so much has changed since then, and before then. It deserves a whole blog post. Maybe some other time when my head isn’t  being gripped with a vice grip of a headache.

So. My struggle continues, and there may be an upturn.

It’s time for “Unemployed Capricorn seeks…duh, work.”

This past Monday, I had a phone interview that was an actual interview. That was a surprise, actually, since phone interviews are usually like screeners. It was with this small business that does a lot of high tech stuff. It was hostile–I believe it’s called “behavioral interviewing.” I felt micromanaged before I even started the job! I never have anyone asking me specifically how to do things that I’ve already proven to be able to do. Oh well. I need a security clearance and my credit is crap. So, I’m probably not going to move forward with them. And I’m relieved.

I had a little chat with another possible employer later that day. This was for a managing editor position where my cover letter I had a ton of typos (!!!!!), and it was the first serious job I applied for, back in October.

Yesterday, I just finished this extensive writing exercise that stressed me out a bit. I’ll be talking to the CEO and my possible future boss next week sometime about what I wrote, and then maybe I’ll go in for a face-to-face interview. The future boss seems really nice and was clear about what he wanted. I am probably older than him, but he seems competent–a rarity.

THEN, on Thursday, the old gig, like the gig with the engineer (whom I haven’t heard back from (weary face emoji)), called back for a longer contract and more pay. Same manager, too. Actually, at the same time my old agency emailed me, I got a random call from a recruiter. I applied with my same agency. I know the old manager loved me, so we’ll see what happens.

It’s honestly more of a back-up plan because the managing editor position is what I need to move forward. I’d have control of everything that goes out of this company–and they have 3 offices globally. Yes, power, authority, control: three favorite words of a Capricorn! It really feels like the adult job that I have worked hard to obtain. Even that failed job interview would be similar in terms of authority.

The only way I could see that working out better than the managing editor position is if I was able to find work for myself, sustainable work, during that time. That’s a toughie–at least right now. So, at least right now, I feel like I’m to explore all options and then see what develops.

And then, the downturn. Yesterday, I got a very nice and sadly somewhat expected rejection letter from this environmental group. THEIR LOSS. Seriously, it is. That’s my ego talking, my heart talking, my body talking, my everything talking. I’m passionate about nature. I’m an excellent writer. I have the experience they needed. THEIR. LOSS.

But, just as I said about the old gig calling back–which, by the way, felt like the last Mercury Retrograde shadow burp (Mercury got back to where it started prior to the retrograde motion yesterday)–this job would have been nice if I was able to move across the country. But I bet they were looking for someone younger (read: less expensive).

They also really tried to soften the blow of the rejection by putting in the last sentence of a very long paragraph. Gutless. Tell me upfront, then butter me up. So, not the place for me. I’m still waiting to hear back about another position at another old job. Maybe I’ll hear something next week.

But, back on the upswing (for not that much money, but hopefully it will improve), I have a tiny social media gig on the side. I just completed a little bit of it my tasks today. It’s nice to use a little of my creative side, to create “memes”–I’m just going to call them inspirational posters.

On a non-work note: I have gone to a Meetup two times in a row, meeting with local women, as I have wanted. It seems miraculous at times, when I found this group, and even the name of it.

I still hear my inner critic say: “You’re too much.” “You’re not listening enough.” “You’re trying to be the leader, aren’t you?” Despite the lies from this frightened part of myself, lies that are meant to keep me safe, I’m still glad that I have a space where I can be. Granted, it’s not diverse, so I can’t fully be, but it’s still pretty OK for now.

So, yes– my orange season may be ending soon! I am able to see glimmers of hope on the horizon, like I’m in the tarot card of 6 of Swords, rowing my boat to the other side of whatever this wide lake of an odyssey has been.

It’s been almost 160 days, one-third of a calendar year, of not working. It’s been…strange. Bewildering. Surprising. Devastating.

Really briefly: I do feel that I’ve strengthened (my soul, my spirit, my mind) through this long waiting period. Maybe because the waiting makes sense now. I say that partly because of how this managing editor process has gone. But, I also say it because I finally feel some relief–no, more relief. It’s not the financial relief I was hoping for–as in all bills paid on time. As of this writing, my fundraiser has stalled. It’s disappointing. But, even in and through those thick clouds of disappointment, I’ve received what I have needed, as it was the last time I was in such a dire situation, just a couple of years ago.

Maybe I’ve gotten accustomed to my circumstances. Maybe it is meeting with people weekly–like how I used to when I was a regular churchgoer. Maybe this brave new hope is actually solid, actually real–not like magical thinking or merely wishing for things to be better. Maybe I can feel OK knowing that this season is finally coming to an end.

I don’t want to be good at this, though–at just might can make it. Instead, I want to be good at being grateful for all the good, especially when life really gets good. But it seems I can only do that by going through weird, disorienting shit like what I’ve recently been through.

So yes. The only way to the good is through.

 

when there’s nothing else left to say

silence-1401486

Winter in Switzerland – tomtown

My birthday was yesterday. It was uneventful–fortunately, and a little unfortunately. I did want to go to the beach, but there was fog and rain in the forecast. The beach is about an hour away, which is wonderful, but it’s still a little out of reach. If I’m going to drive out an hour, I’d better stay more than two hours.

So,  I stayed home, watched movies (Frozen and the music doc oasis: supersonic), drank sparkling rose, ate chocolate cake, and then learned George Michael died in his sleep. A double Cancer with a Leo moon. I’m still gutted about his death about how much I took his immaculate talent for granted, how he was so easily vulnerable in his music.

I have a job interview tomorrow at the old gig, but with different people. I feel alright about it, not too nervous, but not too confident. It’s going on 3 months of unemployment (and hey, if you want to donate to my fundraiser, click here). It’s hard to feel anything besides that I just need to do the best I can and leave it up to the Universe to say yay or nay. A sigh of a resignation is all I can give as I try to surrender a little more, resist a little less.

Having some freelance work on the side has brought a little sense of normalcy, but then I hear that godawful cough of my old ass roomie, and then I know there can be more. There must be more.

Right now, spiritually, I’m beyond tapped out. Maybe it’s more like low tide. Not much new is being brought it. There’s plenty of shit to send out, shit I don’t need anymore, mostly emotional shit.

This lack of activity and aliveness reminds me of when I left church years ago. I had heard all I needed to hear. If I was ever to return, I would need to find people who were more open to acting upon what they had heard vs. just consuming yet another meal.

This time, I’ve heard all I’ve needed to hear. The oracle cards keep repeating themselves.

One card that I have been repeatedly, and hilariously, pulling has been about music. Three times recently, I pull the card, I promptly forget about it, and then listen to music for hours. Besides the fact that noise-canceling headphones prevent me from hearing the death rattling cough of the somewhat middle-aged, somewhat senior roomie, it’s been healing to get lost in music again. I don’t know anything beyond that, whether I should find some band or be my own band. I don’t feel that compulsion. It seems more linear–music plugging into sooth my ragged emotional state. Today, I got lost in a Twitter thread about JoJo. I listened to her and got teary. That Sag lady is gifted.

I’ve heard all I’ve needed to hear, and, I’ve done all I can do. The only thing to do is patiently wait for the relief that I’ve worked hard to obtain.

This year, I’ve been lead to keep taking leaps of faith, where ultimately, I land on face–hard. And that’s life. Even for a very cautious double Capricorn that needs to calculate risk like the best actuary. This is life. The road burn on my face, on my heart, is my life, are signs of life. It doesn’t soothe me, hearing that just now, but it justifies the injuries. These are the occupational hazards of a human, living.

Even though my Cancer moon may work overtime to connect the dots of everything, this time, felt like the outcome I wanted would be immediate and apparent. It’s been neither of those things. It’s been exhausting and humiliating. Yet I got to a point yesterday that I didn’t care what happened anymore. Caring is heavy. Caring is tiring. Caring can be so Sisyphean. I was going to be fine. I’ve always been fine.

I just glossed over this feat, this accomplishment. It’s a big deal to say that I’ll be fine no matter what. It’s true. And that’s why apathy can creep in and protect me. Is this zen or a collapse? Or both? Or both.

All I know is that I did my part. That’s what comforts me, like a cozy blanket to fall asleep under.

I did my part. I did what I was told. I followed the guidance. I took the whistling kettle off the stove. I did my part. I heard you. Clearly.

Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised, but either way, I wish I were brave or wise enough to say that it was worth it. I can’t say that now–it’s too soon to tell. Even though that this is life, that this is my life, that the hurt is a vigorous shoot pushing through the soil  of life, I still feel like I’ve been reckless, with myself. But I haven’t had any choice in it.

Even still, I’m already putting on my warm coat of disinterest and heading out the door.

I’ve got to get out of here.

As a Capricorn, I crave material security. I seemed to have only experienced it in fleeting moments this year. I haven’t been able to pin it down and really own it. It’s been crazy making the past three months. The uncertainty and the vulnerability tag team me and try to choke me out. But as I am slowly provided for, I don’t want to get all crazy with things like hope and faith, but maybe things are turning around. I’ll break out a noisemaker of cautious optimism, and then I’ll put it back under lock and key.

I can maybe trust in the pattern of change. Maybe.

As 2016 is hobbling towards its final exit on Saturday night, I feel that I’m being shrouded in a resolute, defiant silence.

I know what I want. I know what I need. They are all one in the same this time. And I know I deserve all this and more.

What else is left to say?

OK with everything 👌

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No, really! It will be!

 

A Week in Review

A lot has happened last week, but in front of the backdrop of unemployment, they all seem really banal and boring. It’s kinda hazy

I’m still avoiding #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I wrote 22 words for it and somehow think I’ll come up with 50,000 words or more by the 30th. I don’t want to do it because the subject matter is a little too tender post-election. Being broke is distracting me from the joys of writing. I don’t even want to write this blog post, but it’s becoming a Sunday tradition to write. As a Capricorn, it seems like a distraction from the work of trying not to be broke. I really don’t like writing fiction. I tip my hat to anyone who does it well and enjoys it because it’s very hard to create a realistic world, a decent plot, fleshed out characters, and keep all those balls in the air.

I wrote a couple of articles. I applied to a few jobs. I reached out to some recruiters who never got back to me. I had a phone screen/interview where I got defensive about my last salary because I don’t think it’s anyone’s fucking business.

I finally paid the rest of my rent–very grateful. Still dreading the other bills that are languishing, like my phone bill. I hope it stays on this week.

I got groceries from Target and saved over $32! I looked on the Cartwheel app and found that I could have saved a couple of bucks more. Oof.

I applied for SNAP, again. This time, I didn’t feel any shame about it, even when my last employer had to verify the separation. They faxed over the form within the hour, which I really appreciated.

Sidenote: Shame and despair are to be avoided, at all costs. It’s one thing that I learned the hard way last month, as well as this month. Being beat up from my ongoing financial upheaval down here, I really started to take on a broke and beat down, despairing persona. Last month, I was exhausted from the hypergrind, but I was also cowering. Ironically, I really wasn’t taking care of myself, of the business of myself, because I was way too optimistic of how things would work out for me.

Moral of the story: find the middle path and find a healthy way to face your stuff.

I launched my Patreon site for this blog. You should join!

I looked up a friend who has passed on who “lead” (I guess he’s a spirit guide now) me to a blog post written by another friend of his. And this has really messed me up. He deserves a whole separate post. I’ve written about him before–and you can read that if you sign up at Patreon. It’s really intriguing and sad to read another friend’s point of view of a loved one. It was also very freeing and enlightening. I was going to write about him for this post, but it’s still too fresh, too raw, too messy. Grief is so weird and not confined to time.

I caught up on the second season of The Royals. I love that tawdry, cheeky show.

But really, overall, I really felt good last week, despite how my life isn’t going the way I want, as fast as I want. That’s really all one can hope for in life: to have one’s emotions to be separate from circumstances.

The Week Ahead

It’ll be more of the same above–talk to recruiters, apply for jobs, write a couple of articles.

I will try to sell some more clothes. Finally saying goodbye to my Chicago cold weather persona.

We leave the dark depths of Scorpio season and pack our bags and passports for the wide lands of Sagittarius season. And we thank God.

*heavy sigh*

I’m not doing anything for Thanksgiving. Beyond it being really a commemoration of genocide, I don’t have any family, “framily,” or anything like that near me. This year, I will resist self-pity imposed on society that claims I need to be with people on Thursday. I don’t need to do anything except take care of myself and not be an asshole.

But since Halloween, as we slowly dip, minute by minute, into the darkness, after we ended Daylight Savings time, it’s been a slow death march to social obligation and forced connection. Last year, I traveled a lot to see friends. This year, I probably will go to the beach for sunrise. Before that, maybe I will buy some pumpkin pie with French Vanilla Cool Whip. Perhaps, I’ll try the Publix turkey sub (holiday sub?).

Still, I may cry, because fighting loneliness isn’t a fun or fair fight. I may cry because this year has been transformative and has left me broken in more than my bank account. I may cry because I’m still so very tired of living, living like this. I may cry because existential loneliness is a constant companion that I’m still not comfortable with. I may cry because there going to be weeks and weeks of this and Thanksgiving will kick it off. I may cry because even though I had a great week last week, I’m still stuck in this house, with the guy whose coughing sounds close to vomiting, in this redneck neighborhood, in this frustrating, stifling holding pattern.

And if those tears form and fall, they will be welcomed. If the only thing I can be thankful for is crying, then I will be thankful for that. I will be thankful for being able to embrace my suffering.

I will miss the Thanksgiving spread. A lot.

Still, the freaking featured image here says “Everything Is Going to Be OK”–and the caption says, “No, really! It will be!” So, um, gotta address that.

That image comes from a book I bought some time ago. I wish I remembered when or where. The whole book has a lot of crafted images of hope and encouragement. I haven’t opened it in a while. It’s just on my bed, as a reminder.

The caption is how I feel like my own oracle and tarot card readings are affirming and reaffirming. And this is where faith lives–Spirit’s waiting room. Spirit’s womb. Spirit’s cocoon.

(OMG that rhymed.)

And this is where faith is planted, sprouts, grows, and lives–between what I see and what I can’t see. One message I keep getting this month is about a financial windfall, or a job promotion. I laugh when I see these messages, like how Sarah from the Bible laughed when God said she’d bear a son in her very old age. Inconceivable! I look at my bank account balance: $2.34. My five loaves and two fishes.

But I am reminded that life has been so much worse, though.  I’m still housed. I still have my car. I am clear-headed and strong. I’m stubborn as hell.

Still, my laughter is heavily laced with incredulity.

I’m also befuddled. Show me the money, honey? Where is it? These messages of golden opportunities are also coming from other people, people I don’t know. YouTube videos of people giving tarot, oracle, and crystal readings. Readings I have requested from friends.

I don’t need to do anything differently. I just need to keep on, keepin’ on.

I need to hear this, and yet I laugh. When I don’t hear those messages, then I wonder if I’ve been abandoned by the Universe.

Another is that everything will be OK. It’s hard to hear. I feel like I’m being teased still. When has everything been OK? Then I have to ask, what is “everything?” It’s clearly not my bank account, my employment status, my marital status, my home address, the number of local friends I have–all the things that I wish were better, that I work on every day to change.

Even though I’ve written some really sad stuff here, I say this as an observer. One thing a friend mentioned to me while we were talking about Mercury Retrograde (which starts on December 19th, but you may start feeling some of those effects soon) is this great quote from the Dalai Lama:

If a problem can be fixed, there’s no use worrying. If it can’t be fixed, there’s no use worrying. –The Dalai Lama

Maybe, circumstantially, things will get worse before they get better. The darkest before the dawn. Impaled in the back by 10 swords like the 10 of Swords tarot card. Or, at the very least, I won’t get what I want when I want (hell, NEED) it. Maybe I won’t work until the New Year. Maybe my phone will get shut off. I’m scared, also, that I’m going to write this same sort of post for the next few weeks–I hope not! It’s all to say that although I’d welcome a miracle, usually life is a second by second unfolding. That requires patience that I usually don’t have. It is being worked in and through me.

I’m scared, also, that I’m going to write this same sort of post of holding on for dear life for the next few weeks–I hope not! It’s all to say that although I’d welcome a miracle, usually life is a second by second unfolding. That requires patience that I usually don’t have.

I wish I could be on a spiritual Neptunian cloud and just transcend this. I wish I could just automatically trust that things will be OK. But you know how I am about this journey through the mud. It’s one step at a time. I can’t think beyond today, and not in a fun “Oh, I can’t wait for this to be over!” way.

So. It’s probably going to be that I am going to be OK with everything, to be able to accept life as it is. Can I trust that the Universe has my back? For a few seconds at a time, yes. I know that this has been the ultimate lesson in my time down here in Florida, and with my whole life. I am sure that as I was being born, I had to rely on the Universe to bring me into the world safely (long story short: mom passed out due to a funky epidural, so she wasn’t even awake for my birth).

As an observer of my life, I can sit in the cozy knowledge that I’m doing the best I can, even if the circumstances don’t instantly change. I’m learning not to take them personally. I can watch it happen without getting as emotionally involved. Going through this financial crisis a third time, I feel different. This is a different time, a different season of my life. If I hit rock bottom again, it won’t crush me like it did the last two times.

I won’t let it. It’s like I turned a corner, into the light, and

I turned a corner, into the light, and this post seems to crystalize when and how that happened.

Hope isn’t a lighthouse, and I’m miles away from shore. It’s being stranded alone on a dark road and finally seeing headlights a few hundred feet away.

And I’m waving my arms like crazy, hoping that help has finally arrived.

If you want to help me out during this time, you can donate to cash.me  or paypal.me. Thank you in advance! If you’re interested in how I can help you with your writing needs, let’s talk really soon.

The roller coaster mystery

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I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions, mainly in and out of despair.

This season of my life has been about trusting the Universe, and I suck at it. It’s OK that I suck at it because eventually, I’ll get better at it, and maybe teach others how to do it without sounding sanctimonious and shrill.

The despair corkscrew turns, though, have been quicker and easier to get through. I don’t spend that much time in them, catastrophizing the worst because I’ve already been through the worst. And if the worst happens again, berating myself for not being positive enough is not going to help me, period. Ironically, and thankfully, I use that hostile energy and transmute it to some desperately needed self-compassion.

know where I’ve been. I know my scars. I know how to love me best.

Even if I think outside of the need to be right, the intention of wanting better for others can sound really…not like that. Spirituality is not as formulaic and easy as we Westerners make it out to be. I’ll write about this another time, but the mystery of faith and spirituality cannot be found in some pithy sayings or programs.

I usually have some semblance of a map for my life. I like seeing the whole forest of my life. I know the paths I should take, and even with obstacles, eventually I will get there. On this leg of my journey, I have to go step by step. It’s a theme in my life down here, of wanting to know 10 steps ahead but only being able to see the step head.

The trees for the forest. Only one piece of a map. Fog rolling in and out. The trees start to morph into different trees. The path becomes impassable. You keep going anyway.

The frenetic pace of life slows to walking speed, even with the internal cries of “How will this bill be paid?” start to drown out the hope and strength I’ve grown into and have fought for. I can’t go any faster than–apply for this job. Talk to this person. Read this. Meditate. Pray. Continue to ask for help. Be patient, be patient, for fuck’s sake–be patient.

Even as I get sick from being dunked in the pits of despairs while being brought up to the mountaintops of hope, this is how it goes. The mucking about, figuring it out, the stumbling, the clawing, the crawling, and even sometimes the running…the up and down on the roller coaster–you don’t escape it. You embrace it, as much as you can.

I suck at embracing the roller coaster mystery, too. But eventually, the exhaustion of being vigilant, of trying to figure it out all at once so I can feel safe, of trying to pick the outcomes I want–it’s all caught up to me and laid me out.

It’s not upsetting, though–I’m relieved. I have a little smidgen of peace that I can hold. In this moment, all is well. My mind wants to list all the things in my life and in the world that are not well, but it’s really true–even if my mind doesn’t want to agree. Like the well-meaning naysayers, my mind wants me to be safe. But we can’t control (for) everything. Your best is good enough and my best is good enough. You can’t quit the ride. You hang on.

The ride never ends. You just get better at handling the turns.