some lessons learned

truth

Well, it’s been a minute since I was here.

I was really busy with work and now I’m back in an ebb state. Such is the name of the game of being my own business.

There are a few things that have come to mind in the past couple of days that I’ll just list out, because it’s hard to tie them all together (maybe I need more coffee–working on that!)

Poverty is isolating and terrorizing. And so much of this blog is just me reacting to poverty. And, I won’t be ashamed of that any longer. Meanwhile, white men can make oodles of money off of the poverty narrative. This thread is full of how poverty can really fuck with your head and your overall well-being. I couldn’t read too much of it because I related too much. But at the same time, I’m comforted that I’m not alone in these feelings. 

Companies really don’t care about you. I know that and that’s one of the reasons why I dug Fight Club so much (toxic masculinity aside). It really got to that Gen X core of life being more than things and possessions.

This week, there were massive layoffs at digital publishers BuzzFeed and Huffington Post, as well as at publishing conglomerate Gannett and whatever the fuck Verizon Media Group is (formerly Oath, including Yahoo and AOL).

About 1,000 media folks lost their jobs with more to come since BuzzFeed couldn’t get their shit together and stave off the rumors of layoffs. So now, there are people who are having some shitty weekends while waiting for news. BuzzFeed is probably preparing for a merger with another group call Group Nine, which specializes in…wait for it…video. 

I just had something similar happen to me last night, as if the Universe wanted me to embody this fact. I was expecting the cut, but couldn’t really put my finger on why. Thursday night, I could barely sleep because I felt I had already lost it.

Prophetic intuition can sometimes come as a form of fear.

The only other time I’ve felt like that about a job was almost 20 years ago. I was freaking out about getting laid off at a crooked personal injury law firm. My colleagues thought I was being paranoid, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. I learned later that the powers that be couldn’t find me on Friday to do let me go. So I was let go on Monday.

Sidenote: I really have to start honoring my intuition and not doubting myself.

So today, I feel…free and happy. I am repeatedly repelling any shame or resentment. I don’t have to do work I hate like that anymore!

I’m constantly shutting down the typical internal conversation of what went wrong, of what could have been done better, of why this is happening now, of the shitty email that was sent. All those thoughts are unhelpful when acceptance of this new reality makes it so much easier to move on.

I did the work because I needed the money–that’s all. In one Facebook group I’m in, a colleague had posted that they had also gotten this work but decided it was too much and wondered how to get it. And they were right, it was too much. But, it kept me afloat for three months, and I’m really grateful for that.

But this month was incredibly hard for some reason. Part of it was allergies (the pollen count is high right now down in Central Florida). Part of it was doing other work. But maybe my heart had finally checked out of the work I was doing. But I felt like such a snob.

I kept having this conversation with myself about how I needed to be grateful and honor this work. I know I can be elitist because of my background of being a doctor’s daughter, of going to an elite university, of having a master’s degree.

America can make you feel so entitled to things you should have, and I don’t mean basic needs (America does the opposite of that with the basics). I should be further along in my life. Why am I doing this terrible survival work?

But I needed to pay some bills and without a car, this was what was in front of me. So I did it.

Yet the nagging feeling, that I was just felt like some replaceable cog in a wheel, lining someone else’s pockets, only grew and made me feel terrible. I never felt any real connection to this group. It doesn’t seem like they can hold quality people, but they don’t really provide that much support. I only was spoken to when I was wrong.

And I wonder if all these veteran journalists, editors, producers, videographers, etc. now feel the same way, like a replaceable cog in a wheel. They were doing a lot more important work than creating content for who I imagine are bored retirees. But with all those layoffs, 1,000 people could form their own newsroom right now, and a really good one.

So, to sum it all up:

You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Capitalism is a dehumanizing affair, and it doesn’t belong in journalism–or in most places. And if corporations are people, then they lack a lot of empathy (as do most people, sadly).

Despite life being full of suffering, we must find joy in life. So the season finale of The Good Place, the only American sitcom that I can stand, was on Thursday night. And the ending made me cry because of all of the shitty things that happened last year in particular. If you haven’t watched it and you’re a fan of the show, go watch it and then come back.

Eleanor asks Janet, the all-knowing android, what the meaning of life is, if it’s just full of pain. Janet responds that if she told her, then life would just be some stupid machine. Life would lose its mystery. Since life doesn’t really make much sense, when we find someone or something that does make sense, it’s miraculous. And it’s those glimmers of happiness that we should strive for as we embrace the suck of being human.

I remember saying this to a friend in an email a couple of months ago because I had heard this same message in a podcast about leaving evangelical Christianity. Life is suffering, so when there are moments when we’re not suffering, we should savor them.

Those insights made me cherish the people I had in my life. It made me feel lucky and fortunate, not abandoned and alone.

It’s funny, when I left social media for the holidays and Marie Kondo’s Netflix show came on, I came back to so much xenophobic snark about the concept of what sparks joy for someone.

Clearly, Americans don’t even understand this concept, and a few people have said as much–specifically that we’ve been trained to believe that things bring us joy. So when our houses are full of shit we don’t even use, Kondo’s gentle suggestions about how to store and sort through what you need and don’t need felt like indictments.

So joy…is not happiness or exuberance or giddiness. It’s deeper than that. For me, it has to do with connecting to your life purpose and your essence, the things that make you really you. Deep satisfaction with who you are and the life you have.

And yeah, sometimes it’s hard to find that when your basic needs aren’t being met and you’re treated like some object that has lost its use. But after last night, I felt a new sense of determination to find real joy, even in the midst of loss. I can’t wait for the perfect client, place, friends, relationships or time.

And the time is now. It is always now.

So what’s deeply resonating for me and who I am is working with people who honor my time, talents, and efforts. I want to be with people who are thoughtful and kind. I want to live in a place where my life matters and where I can be useful. 

None of that is happening right now, and honestly, I know that’s a lot to ask for from humanity. But I must commit that I will die trying to find it. There’s no other option besides just giving up completely and dying. My life has to align to these values or I will wither inside.

And, that’s a process. I sometimes think at the end of writing something, whatever lessons I’ve learned from the process of writing will somehow just be permanently imprinted. 

But then life happens, loss happens. Something doesn’t go my way. I screw something up. Taking it so personally is suffering. And I don’t need to suffer any more than I already do.

Anyway, this blog is, in essence, me trying to remember what life for me really is about. And it takes a lot of keystrokes and conversations to remember and to keep remembering that I am not even the poverty I live in nor the people I don’t have in my life.

I am so much more, and I find it hard to find the right words to say what that exactly is besides the word “me.”

Not knowing isn’t a bug—it’s a feature. So now that I don’t have this soul-crushing client anymore, I feel more space opening up. All the people, places, and things that left, that didn’t work out, that I messed up–now there’s space to explore what I do want. 

Until maybe this morning, I really was exhausted by the question, “So now what?” I don’t know, and that’s not a problem. It’s how life is.

I know there are a lot of obstacles in my way towards being what I deem to be a financially stable, well-loved person, and they’re ones I don’t really think about.

But then I think about how so many people have stable lives because of their race or gender or good looks or wealth–very arbitrary, meaningless things. Despite the meaningless, immoral riches of billionaires who decide the fate of people they don’t even care about, despite all the noxious -isms that are on my back and blocking my path, I still have to try to figure this life stuff out for me.

It’s tough because it’s been a very lonely road and the further along I walk, the less people walk with me. That’s also by design, it seems, and something I’ll get into in another post. 

But I don’t necessarily know where I’m headed. For example, right now, it’s a brisk 57 degrees outside, and where I was thinking I’d be living now has wind chills in the negative 50s.

I was telling my writing accountability partner this week that I hate fumbling around to figure things out (she hates it, too). That’s what I’ve been doing since I left grad school. Going on five years of fumbling.

Doors open and close without warning. People appear and disappear. We grow older and hopefully wiser. And that’s (part of) life.

And I know that wherever I’m trying to get to, as soon as I “arrive”, another journey of fumbling will begin. My hope is that it won’t be as hard as living with an inconsistent income and that better people stick around for that journey.

So in between here and there, it’s just more reminders to myself to hang in there, to see the good, to find the silver linings when I can, and to be kind to myself when it’s too painful to smile or see anything redemptive of a FUBAR situation.

I can finally see how my resilience is a blessing. I can see how I’m rebounding more quickly from failures and setbacks. I’m already starting to forget what happened last night and soon, I’ll even start seeking failure and rejection out as learning experiences and ways to move forward. That takes some inner strength and wholeness that I haven’t really had before, but it’s being developed.

My hope for you is that you journey well and have the best traveling companions, that you don’t grow weary when you journey alone or come upon obstacles, and that you become stronger and more whole with each step you take.

Godspeed.


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

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

Advertisements

and the point is…?

transition SOM

Today (Friday), I was going to publish this poem as an ode to someone, but yesterday, I deleted it before it published it.

And now, today is yesterday. And maybe I will publish that poem…someday.

I’m in a little tiny place of confusion and flux.

Yesterday (Thursday), I was faced with yet another disappointing relationship demise. It’s yet another link in this long chain of disappointments that made me ask the heavens:

what is this all for?

And it’s not just in love. It’s just with everything.

Today, I bounced back pretty quickly, much to my surprise. Apparently, when you just let yourself be in your feelings, then it’s easier to surf through them.

It could be because I had more of a paper cut than an actual deep wound on my heart. But it’s not like paper cuts don’t hurt.

It could also be that I’m almost resigned to things falling apart and people leaving.

Almost.

Yesterday wasn’t the end of the world. It was just the end of me thinking I’d be able to get out of this vortex of peculiarity and pain.

This whole blog is just a plea for this cycle of shittiness to stop. I realized that I had taken a vacation from this living nightmare cycle for about 3 weeks.

And it was so nice.

But now I’m back.

I don’t know if I just haven’t had the wherewithal, the gumption, the moxie to really start following my dreams post-grad-school. The only goal has been survival, but I can’t do that anymore.

I’m not completely blaming my own circumstances for what went down yesterday (which you can read about if you become a $10/month patron).

That was probably a long time coming. And that’s OK.

But at the same time, that this…thing…started at all was a sign that my shitty circumstances aren’t holding me back from bringing me to the right people.

Still, I feel stuck…not necessarily even in circumstances, but that I’m in some spiritual school that I didn’t sign up for. And I’m not even in the mood to learn anymore. It’s exhausting to seek or derive meaning from every event.

Sometimes things just suck.

I want my daily circumstances to not trip me up so much that I can’t focus on anything else. It makes for a dull and unattractive me.

But here I am again, being asked to trust that everything is working out as it should.

When bills are hard to pay and lapse…

When I’m (thankfully gladly) eating ramen…

When I have to sign up for writing tasks I don’t like doing because they pay poorly…

When I seem to keep attracting men who are also somehow sweet and kind, but also going through some sort of spiritual transformation that keeps them at arm’s length…

When I live in a house that seems to never be right for longer than a few days…

When my body seems to have a mind of its own…

When friends keep coming and going but never stay…

When I’m doing my best despite all of these failures and shortcomings…

There’s the holy and divine invitation to trust, right there, in every one of those circumstances.

Meanwhile, this is me:

temper tantrum

So I was in the middle of writing this last night, and then things changed again. And that’s…actually OK. It was good that things changed. And there’s probably going to be another somewhat vague blog post about that.

There’s a bit of an exhaustion that can come when you live in a transitional space.

I just want to get to somewhere better (don’t we all?).

Still, with all of these challenges and opportunities, I have to trust that not only does the Universe/God/Source knows what she’s doing, but that I know what I’m doing, too.

And I wish I were more elegant with this spiritual journey, but I’m just fumbling towards some truths, along some hazy, washed out plumb lines.

Even as my arms hold so much yearning and loss, there’s so much more space for wonder, miracles, and just good ole sustenance.

Things…the things that I want…they just aren’t coming as quickly as I want, but they are coming. And I have to keep rising up to meet them as they come.

I also have to hope that they do come. And the anticipation isn’t wasted. It’s used as fuel to bring those dreams home.

To keep myself open to all the good, even as I’ve endured a lot of bad…that’s where the rub is, the gold is, the real life is.

And maybe that’s the point.

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! 💘

Work With Me and Book A Reading

book a reading

This week’s blog post, my friends, will be considerably short. And that’s especially because I wrote a long, cathartic post for my patrons on Patreon last night.

If you want to read it (because it includes an update on the human trashbag tenant, as well as a follow-up to this post on better listening, then you’ll want to sign up for the $10/month tier.

I wanted to formally and officially tell you about about the astrology and tarot services that I am offering here on sunoppositemoon.com.

But first, you may be asking — well, why are you providing these services now? If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, maybe it won’t be a surprise. I do talk about astrology and tarot a lot here.

Even still, it’s because of a couple of reasons.

The first is that I had an intuitive reading a couple of weeks ago that really encouraged me to use my own intuitive gifts. This website was recently already upgraded to do that, but I didn’t have in mind to do this for my blog.

I’ve been studying tarot and astrology for a few years now, and have really upped my game with my studies in the past couple of years. I officially launched on July 2, 2018.

The second is that I’ve already provided astrology and tarot readings to people, so I thought it was also time to offer these readings officially.

So I have three readings. The first is the Natal Chart Reading, and I’d strongly suggest this if you are new to astrology. I break down what your natal chart is like, house by house. It’ll give you a sense of what you’re working with astrologically. You’ll probably learn new things about yourself or understand why you do things or see things a particular way.

The second reading is the Stellar Weather Report, and this is great if you already have a decent sense of what your natal chart is and you’re concerned about upcoming planetary transits, such as the recent partial solar eclipse/new moon in Cancer from July 12, 2018, or the upcoming total lunar eclipse/full moon in Aquarius that will happen on July 27, 2018. I’ll look at how the transit affects you and what you can do to get the most out of it.

The third reading is a Tarot Reading. So we consult the cards together about what questions you may have. I’m more into providing prescriptive than predictive guidance, meaning I want to help you with your life as it is right now vs. peering into the future.

The future is unknown and circumstances and choices may change after a reading–which is really important to keep in mind. BUT I’m not 100% against forecasting. I just don’t know if you’ll get that job or if your significant other will come back.

So those are my readings so far, and I’d love to work with you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Once you pay for your reading, I’ll contact you with either my calendar of when we can have a chat or when I’ll email you your reading.

And if you’re into astrology and tarot, you should be following me on Twitter, where I talk more about those topics in depth, as well as retweet and engage with my favorite astrologers and tarot readers.

That’s it, my lovelies. I hope you have a wonderful week!

I’m curious, if you’re into astrology or tarot, tell me what your sun sign is and/or tell me what your favorite tarot card is and why in the comments!

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.

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! 💘