Not optional.

Life has been a struggle lately. I know; shocker, right? It’s almost as if the world is a political dumpster fire and I’m having a midlife crisis, facing down mortality between being in an accident and also facing medical issues for myself and family. No big.

I hate to say it, but since the accident in September, I’ve been fighting depression and massive anxiety. Thankfully, I have some medication for both and a truly amazing therapist. Work has been fairly understanding and all of my doctors so far are treating my pain as valid, which sometimes still amazes me as a heavier femme-presenting person. We don’t always get heard and believed right away, so I’m grateful for everyone who has so far. I think it has a little to do with the fact that so far, all the medical professionals I’ve seen have been women, but that’s another post.

This post is about floundering, and finding my way out of it. I’ve been having a hard time figuring out what’s…next. I had a job I adored but that ended because I was in a toxic, untenable environment. I miss it so much, some times. The freedom to make my own schedule within reason, working with creative people, the opportunities to be creative myself, helping the communities I believe in and am part of. It took a few years, but I finally got to a place where I felt capable. Intelligent. Good at what I did and like I was making a difference. It didn’t pay all that well, compared to what people who were doing what I did in more corporate settings, but I adored with all my heart. I believed in the events and the most of the people. Some were people that I loved dearly, respected greatly, and to be seen as a peer, to be loved and respected in turn…it was amazing. If I could’ve turned it into a career, I would’ve. Maybe I still can.

Now, I have a job. It’s a decent job. It’s given me time to heal from all the massive upheaval of the last year and my previous job. I’ve met some wonderful people. There is a certain element of helping involved in this job that I like. The hours mean I don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic. But. It’s not a forever job for me. I am doing my best, but I’d prefer to do something that is less capitalistic and more based in helping the communities I love and adore, and being creative.

There’s a lot of stress in my life lately, since the accident. Dealing with many phone calls, emails, doctors, work, appointments. Trying to keep it all straight. And none of it was my fault. It just happened. Similarly, someone very dear to me has a terminal diagnosis. They didn’t do anything wrong. It just happened. And it makes life feel so tenuous, unfair, and uncontrollable. And it scares the hell out of me.

Also, I had decided to get divorced earlier this year. And we have to move by the end of the year. So nothing major.

On the plus side, my spouse and I have decided to live together for another year to figure some things out and to give us both breathing room from too much chaos all at once. But we still have to find a place and move. I’ve been looking, but so far, nothing yet.

During all of this, even during all the “New Year, New You” posts I’ve been making…with all the music making, and writing, and becoming a better witch, and all that good stuff…I have a confession to make. I’ve been living like a goddamn garbage animal at home. There are piles of clothes. I mean, we’ve got the requisite clutter. The one armchair laden with clothes for so long that half of it was winter clothes I never put away and now, I guess the bonus is that I don’t have to! The other half is a pile of stuff to get rid of that never made it out of the house to the consignment and goodwills and friends I wanted to spread them out to. There are piles of papers everywhere. My filing system is in shambles. I didn’t so much unpack from the various events I went to this year as explode in a seldom used corner of the bedroom. When I’ve needed something from that area, I’ve just waded in and plucked what I wanted from the pile…most of the time with minimal clusterfuckery, cursing, and tossing shit haphazardly onto other parts of the pile making it even worse.

My desk is over run with cute tchotchkes, papers, and other shit. The office table is just a never ending pile of old mail, books, little jars that I was keeping for a project I had in conjunction with an interest me and a now ex share…but no longer share together.

I haven’t been able to read much. Or write much. Thankfully, I’m still playing uke and singing. I was behind on my posting a video a month of me singing, until I played a show where I opened for a dear friend in October. There are now four songs online of me singing, which totally covers August, September, October, and November. But I’m behind in my New Year, New You. And my Cannonball Read challenge. And I started eating sugar again. After I found out that I lost a total of 30 lbs from March 2017 to September 2018.

Thing is, I’m on medication now to help with anxiety and I can’t drink while on it. So! 5″ real buttercream cakes have been my go to ways to cope and that’s a GRAND idea, right?



I feel lost. I explained to a sister Amazon today that I felt kind of like a kid pitching a hissy fit and part of me feels numb. Can’t process all that’s going on.


That’s changing, too. I had been reading a few months ago about the upcoming autumn and winter and how it was going to be an intense time of going within. To have a reckoning, to heal, to deal with the things I have to deal with. Sure enough, almost instantaneous as soon as the summer ended, the fall came literally crashing into me and changed everything. Now I’m not seeing people as often as I was. My poly life has been stripped down to the very basic relationship, for me, of me and my spouse and me trying to figure out the rest of what I need. I’m not able to drive as much. I have injuries that need to heal, literal piles of personal shit to sort through, and life and death that needs attending.

I haven’t been doing all that well with it. Going back to work has meant that I have a half hour after I get home to eat and decompress before I go to bed to do it all again. On my days off, I’m seeing doctors, running errands, and trying to keep my head on. I explained all this to my sister Amazon. How now is just not a good time. How I don’t know what I want out of life…beyond writing a book, recording a CD, having a poly/creative commune, and a job where I feel like I’m making a different in communities I love. Oh, and get healthier, be a better witch, keep a nice home, and own a Kia Soul.

Her response?

“Okay. So what will you do this month to move you closer to those things?” Because “every time is a terrible time. I’m not trying to be mean. It just is. ”

She went on to say that, “I’ve seen you in that space at cons. You need to bring that for yourself daily. That’s how this shit will happen.”

My problem, and what I said to her was that I have no idea how to get that mojo back.

To which she succinctly replied with, “you know how a bunch of shit is not optional at a con? You need to make that happen for yourself. It’s not ‘if I have the energy, I’ll write.’ It’s ‘if I don’t write 500 words tonight, I’mma have people screaming at me on the walkie’.”


That broke through a wall in my head, and I said as much.

And here I am. Writing. I have to sit down and reaffirm and restructure what’s important to me and come up with some clear goals and then, treat them as not optional. I am not optional. So. Tomorrow, I’m going to complete the next “New Year, New You” prompt and then I will have the next Cannonball Read review done by Monday. And I’m gonna get my ass back to posting twice a week. There are three books I’ve read that I haven’t reviewed, which means that I still need to read and review four MORE books on top of the other three I still have to review. But a little under two months is doable for that. I have to remind myself that I did the full Cannonball Read (52 books read and reviewed in one year) once.

And tomorrow night, my spouse and I are going to continue cleaning, keep looking for a place to live, and talk about finances and future stuffs.

This is a good start. More to come. Not optional.



[New Year, New You] Week 16: Little Magics Everywhere

Aaaaand, I’m back to a mostly weekly schedule for this challenge, which is awesome.

This week, we’re working on “little magics everywhere“.

For my life, one of the little magics I’m doing is taking back my power from people I’ve given it to in the past who demonstrate that they are no longer worthy of it. One of the ways that a friend helped me do this is by reminding me that names have power and by changing what I call a thing or a person, I can change the power involved. So I’ve been doing that with some very odd but good results.

I’ve also been manifesting like a mofo and reaching out to other magically-inclined friends to help with that, which has been incredibly successful. Some goals for the upcoming week are to figure out some offerings to my guiding spirits, trying the prosperity shot glass trick, grounding and centering every night, figuring out a regular gratitude practice, and planning for the upcoming full moon and lunar eclipse.

This post might be shorter than most, but it feels like one of the more potent ones. I finally feel like I’m actually making progress. I might be tired, and lacking in some energy or direction, but I also finally, finally feel like I’m moving forward and not just mired in the past. Like some of healing I’ve been putting massive amounts of energy into is actually starting to happen. In not just mental and spiritual ways, but in actual physical ways.

I lost 11 pounds doing the No Sugar Vow. Chronic skin irritations are healing. I’ve mostly broken my dependence on food as a comfort or replacement for love and affection. When talking with a friend this weekend, I had said that life over the course of the last few weeks has at least helped me figure out a better direction for myself and where I would ultimately like to live, at least short term if an opportunity I was recently presented with doesn’t pan out. Just the fact that I was presented with that opportunity shows me that I’m opening up more to the world and possibilities and moving more towards who I really am, want to be, and what I want to work towards.

So that’s some pretty awesome little magics everywhere, I think!


[New Year, New You] Week 12 – Everyday You’re Hustling

So close to the last page of the writing prompts! I mean…it’s the longest page, what with ten prompts on it, but I’m almost there! I can do this! After this prompt, there’s only one more and then it’s the last page! I’m doing it! Look at me go! Thankfully, I’ve got some good momentum towards the hustlin’ I gotta do for this week.

So. What does hustlin’ mean in this context? From the original post:

I keep talking about breaking down your goals into small pieces. This week is about putting your money where your mouth is. I want you to keep a daily journal. In it, talk about what you’ve done that day to accomplish your goal(s). If you didn’t do something towards your goals, examine your reasons why. Were you really that busy or could you have taken a half hour to work towards your goals? What stopped you from making your goals a priority?

If there are days when you don’t do something that moves you closer to your goal, be sure to journal about what stopped you from getting there. This might be a good week to contemplate a phrase that’s often used in matters of the heart: Never make someone a priority when you’re only an option.

Have you made you an option instead of a priority? If so, it’s time to make yourself a priority so you can accomplish the things you want to accomplish.

Daily journal it is! Here is the journal from this past week, including steps for the day and daily tarot card draw:

Day one: (Card of the Day: Ace of Shells) helped a friend move. This challenged me to get over a fear from the last time I drove a big box truck (clipped a hearse…in a funeral processional…in front of a state tropper. I know how to do it up.) Thankfully, no hearses were harmed in the move this time. But I got my strongs on. Made my body active because one of my goals is to move more. Reached out to a friend for help and they were able to. Got a little sassy with them when we were parting ways, but it helped me establish better parameters. Passed along some vessels for a creative project they’re helping me with. Read a short story when I got home. Instead of going to quick fast food, I drove to Shoprite and bought a semi fast but way healthier dinner option (mmmmm, pad thai) and made that for myself. Took a delicious shower. Continuing my one card a day draw to get more familiar with my new tarot deck. 7702 steps.

Day two: (Card of the Day: Five of Shells) caught up on my two weeks behind writing goals and also started working on this week’s. Both posts focused on spirituality, which is a double bonus towards goals. Also, in the middle of the night, I felt compelled to do a 3 card draw about a situation I’m confused about. More confused, but I’m working on it. (Spread: Situation/Action/Outcome – Cards: Awakening, The Star, Love) Thanked friend for amazing tarot deck gift. 2378 steps.

Day three: (Card of the Day: King of Acorns) Opened up to a coworker about spiritual things. Listened to their stories and helped where I could and opened up to their guidance and assistance and knowledge. Still processing that. Might be it’s own post. Gave me perspective, though, on relationships, spirituality, my path, my abilities, some of my health issues. Stood up for myself in an argument. Asked a friend for help reseting my brain. I know that I have a lot of work and manifesting and challenges to go through yet and I’m already depleted and exhausted and just…want something good. Something that shuts my brain off. So I went to a friend I know who has the best track record so far to do that. Talked to a new friend about some poly and kink stuffs.  Also tarot. 1484 steps.

Day four: Day off from work! Slept waaaaaay the fuck in. Couldn’t fall asleep until around 4am and didn’t make it out of bed until around 2pm. Asked to reschedule an early morning meeting I had for a project I’m working on because I hadn’t slept. Turns out the meeting was the next day. D’oh! But yay for doing my best asking for what I need. Did some laundry. Set up dinner plans with best friend. Realized that that I really needed to see my therapist, so I apologized for the short notice but asked her for an appointment for Friday. She did. Awesome. Asked a close friend if they’d be available to talk anytime soon, because I sensed I was going to need support with some life stuff happening. Also wanted to get their feedback as someone whose opinion I trust. We set up a time to talk the next day. Didn’t get a response from friend about reset so I checked in. Turns out there was a tech glitch and my full message didn’t go through. Cleared it up and they agreed and are working on it. Realized when I was going to sleep that I didn’t do a daily card draw. Felt a way about it, but realized that I’ve been doing it very consistently, and my morning routine was very different because of morning phone call. Need to make sure I’m still paying attention to spirituality even when life changes. But also need to go with flow and not beat myself up abut not doing something. Don’t want to get locked into it becoming a crutch and superstition.  Worked a little bit on an event class me and a partner are developing. 1446 steps.

Day five: (Card of the Day: The Wheel) Day two off from work! Managed to get up earlier on time for early morning phone call, which went well. Had therapy. Also went well. Had phone convo with close friend about some major changes that I felt coming in my life and how some very life changing discussions were likely to be happening soon. Had lunch with another close friend to catch up and also talk about said major changes I felt coming. Had an incredibly hard, fucking painful convo re: some relationship things. 1941 steps.

Day six: (Card[s] of the Day: Awakening & Love jumped the deck. Actual pull was Five of Acorns) Crazy busy day at work. Took some time off from work to have lunch with best friend who was awesome and came to visit me at work to help keep me sane. Also good because they got something through to me that I’ve been having a hard time with. I need to ground and center every night. And it should involve yoga. Messaged back a new connection I met at Beltane to talk about future stuff. Stood up for myself and said when I wasn’t comfortable with something with someone at work. Sang. Didn’t accomplish much else in terms of creative or health goals (well, making sure I ate on a holiday weekend was good towards my health.) But had no energy to do anything else after I got home after 14 hours of work. 2075 steps.

Day seven: (Card of the Day: The Tower) Another crazy busy day at work. Stayed in touch with most of my Amazon Network for support. Got to know a new (to me) coworker and that was fun. My best friend recommended I try to keep positives in my heart and let them carry me. Had a good success with that. Left work early (yay for splits!) Had dinner with nesting partner and then decided to go see Solo. 1437 steps.

All in all, it’s a good-ish week in terms of goals, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

Here’s the shortlist of goals I’m working towards (from Week 2 of the writing challenge):

  • Creativity – music, writing, drawing
  • Spirituality – practicing more, meditating again, yoga
  • Kink – honoring all sides of the slash, seeking out play, educating myself more about the scene, honing my classes
  • Health – mental, physical, emotional
  • Authentic Relationships – better communication, being my most authentic self, fixing my own fuck ups and holding others accountable for theirs, seeking better connections and not settling
  • Cleaning – organizing, downsizing, not living like a trash panda

And here’s a breakdown of how I did adhering to those goals this week:

Creativity: Wrote two posts and started working on two others. Sang almost every day, even if it was only just in my car. Did sing one day for coworker.

Spirituality: I’m doing well with spirituality, I think. Want to do better with actual rituals and manifesting. And read more about tarot. Learn both my decks better. But I’m doing my morning draws, learning various spreads. Talking with people about it to learn more.

Kink: Worked a little on class I’m developing with a partner. Reached out for reset. Worked on new groundwork for new connection. Talked a bit with dear friend about scene possibilities.

Health: I think I did stellar for my mental health this week. Therapy, looking for a reset, talking with Amazon Network, taking some time away from work for mental and physical health breaks for important things like connecting to friends and eating foods. Honoring my emotional and mental limitations. Trying to get enough sleep. Need to walk more. Need to eat better. Going to be working on a meal plan soon with a dear friend. Took my meds every day. Stayed pretty hydrated.

Authentic Relationships: Staying connected to Amazon Network, having really fucking difficult conversations and honoring the weirdness of relationship changes but also that love doesn’t have to look one way. Being fairly blunt and not letting my brain get into the same traps with certain people as it has in the past year.

Cleaning: This is the one I fail the most hardcore on. I’m in such a cleaning rut. I don’t remember which day it was, but I did clean one bathroom counter. Took care of the dishes a few times. Did some laundry. But otherwise, I really need to downsize more and quicker. Sell and give away stuff. Go through paperwork and clean out my car.

So now, I think I’m going to come up with some short term goals within the framework of these bigger, long term goals to help me keep working towards them. Can’t wait to work on that and next week’s writing prompt!

[New Year, New You] Week 11: Casting Out Doubts

So, I’m a week or three behind with my NYNY writing prompts. I have to keep reminding myself that I made a commitment to complete and I will, but it might take a little longer than the original challenge. My best friend has told me more than a few times to be gentle with myself and to go at my own pace, and I think I’m finally getting there. I purposefully waited until going to Beltane to do this week’s prompt because it seemed like the perfect place to do it. I was right, but not in the way I expected.

Y’see, this week is all about Casting Out Doubts. Pssssshh. It’s not like I have any doubts. At all. Whatsoever. *cue sarcastic, uncomfortable laughter that fades out into a sigh of defeat*

Fine. I have all sorts of doubts. That I’m not attractive enough. That I’m not spiritual enough. That I’m not sexy enough. That I’m not talented enough. That I will never have the life I want. That I suck at writing. That I’ll never make a living in a way that honors my values. That my voice isn’t good enough. That I’m not good enough.

I’ve been challenging myself to release videos once a month of me as I learn uke and sing. And while I’m proud of myself for doing it, I’m a month behind and every time I hear my voice and my still rudimentary uke skills, I cringe. Also, Jesus Christ, when the hell am I going to start eating healthier for the two hormonal conditions I have?

Also, I’m not exercising enough. I’m not dancing enough.

I have eleventy-bajillion relationship questions and evolutions happening in me that I don’t know how to reconcile. If you don’t stay married, what the fuck are you going to do? And how would you even afford a divorce if you wanted one?

Also, what the hell even is your sexuality these days?

Also also, the people you like and/or are attracted to do not think about you nearly as much as you think about them. Chill the fuck out. Because you’re never going to get what you want in that regard. That magical feeling you’ve found a few times with some people will never be something you can sustain. It doesn’t exist for you because you’re too fat and old.

And how are you going to get another car because yours is dying soon. Fuck, and if you don’t have a car, how will you make money? Also, how will you stave off the anxiety attacks of not having a car? You’re never going to be able to just buy a car that you love on your own like normal people who go to a dealership and pick out something they actually like, not what’s given to them.

Where will you live after this house? You know you’ll never be able to have the poly creative commune that you dream about, that you yearn for, where you’re surrounded by and inspired by people you care about and can teach, travel, write, sing, and dance for living. That’s just stupid. Because you’ll never find a career or cobble together a career that unifies the things you loved about your last job without all the madness and negative chaos that also came with it because that’s just not poss…


It has to STOP.

Like the post this was inspired by said:

We need to free ourselves from this horribly insidious, inner voice that wants us to never try, to never dare, to never dream, and to never step outside our little boxes. It sure as hell doesn’t want us to succeed, despite living inside us. It’s a really shitty team player because it tries to put on its Concerned Face and tell us how it’s only looking out for us and doesn’t want us to be hurt or rejected.

This voice is a lying, lying liar! It’s not concerned! It just wants to be comfortable, even if you’re miserable right now. It doesn’t want you to change because change is hard and scary.

Comfortable misery (or status quo) is good enough for this voice.

Do you feel uncomfortable right now doing this Experiment? You should. That’s how you know you’re doing this right. That’s what’s riling up that annoying, horrible voice inside you to triple volume . You are freaking it out.

Well, then. Yes. All of that. I am freaking out that horrible voice inside me. It’s in full-on panic mode currently, as all levels of life are in a flux and I feel myself moving into a new major phase of my life with no idea exactly where I’m going.

So what to do about it?

Again, from the original post:

There are two approaches to dealing with this Horrible Voice (HV):

1. The HV is like a scared child inside you. It may be your scared child inside you (or Talking Self or Fred or whatever you want to call it). Regardless of its name, HV is bugging out right now because HV is terrified. You can try talking to HV and see if you can soothe HV or get HV to open up as to why HV is being such a colossal pain in the ass. You can explore how to get HV to stop.

2. HV is shitty energy you’ve collected from yourself and others. It’s time to get rid of it. This can be done by washing your hands with salt. (Wash towards the sink, away from your body.) As the salt washes down the drain, chant, “Seeds of doubt, I cast you out!” Or you could use a method of your own choosing to banish the negative energy.

Like I said, I waited until Beltane to deal with this HV. I was totally expecting to go with the second option and actually, ritually cleansing and casting out the doubts with salt and chanting. Turns out, Ramblewood had other plans for me. Here’s what I wrote in my notebook while there:

Talking to my Horrible Voice (HV) tonight. In a field under the stars. Unsure of where to go. Wanting to dance but not feeling drawn to the drum circle fire pit nor the dance party. What if I look stupid? They are all thinner. Prettier. Done up in Bellydance gear or birthday suits. I don’t look like I fit in. Or they’re all ravers twirling things. I’d look so out of place.

But also…also thinking that maybe I’d go topless. Around people. Ones I know, even. And strangers. That scares the fuck out of me. But maybe…

The thought I had as I picked the liminal place as I so often do, between the fire circle drumming and the barn techno raver dance party, was:

what would happen if you just…stopped? Stopped caring what that HV said. Stopped being afraid of your body and people’s reactions to it?

And this feeling of peace washed over me. I mean, it was already peaceful as hell in the field. But then I let the energy of the drumming and fire and dancing and the earth under me take over and thought:

What if? What if I just opened myself all the way up? Was my full Goddess self? What if I held that scared inner child who grabs a megaphone and spouts terrible things to protect herself? What if I held her sacred and told her I got this? I got her. I got us. And what would happen if I turned my magic all the way the fuck on?

She felt okay with that. She put the megaphone down, but she’s still got it within arm’s reach. We’re going to work on working together now. Thankfully, during the 7 day yoga challenge I still have yet to write about, she and I started talking a bit so it was a bit easier once I got to Beltane and had the magic of Ramblewood to help facilitate more in depth conversations with each other.

It’s funny; the original post had the above-mentioned two suggested ways of dealing with the HV. Before Beltane, I kept thinking that I had to get salt to do this because we were out of salt. I kept forgetting. And I didn’t realize until after I’d gotten back from Beltane that my spouse had picked up salt before I left. Turns out I didn’t need it after all.

[New Year, New You] Week 10: What Motivates You

This week’s writing prompt is about finding what motivates me.

Given that I’m currently taking part in four challenges (Body Positive Yoga [physical & artistic], Cannonball Read 10 [reading & writing], posting my top 10 favorite albums [it’s silly in the grand scheme of things, but it’s helping keep me going with regular reminders of things that inspire me] and this New Year New You [writing]), I’d definitely say “A Challenge” is high up on the list of things that motivate me.

Achievable, understandable goals are definitely on the list. If the goal is too big, or I don’t understand it well enough, it gets too muddled and too big and I give up. Sometimes, for bonus points, before I even start!

Connection is also something that motivates me. Nurturing healthier connections, learning, growing with those connections.

On a related note, surrounding myself with people who are motivated and also want to learn and grow and be healthy motivates the fuck out of me. My therapist and I have taken to calling the amazing circle of women that I’ve cultivated open, honest tribe ties with my Amazon Network. Because they are truly Amazons and I love them all in different ways. They motivate the hell out of me to be a better person and to love myself along the journey, and both are so necessary.

Music can motivate the fuck out of me, whether I’m listening to it or I’m playing/singing it, music has always been a driving force for me. Currently, this song from my past just popped up this week and is motivating me to keep going:

Adjust Your Dreams/Shining My Flashlight by Christine Lavin

What can you do
When it is clear to you
That your dreams
Will not come true

Where can you go
When everything you think you know
Disappears from view

You can hang your head
Roll over and play dead
Curse the world
And all it’s evil schemes

Or you can
Adjust your dreams

Just a trace of gold in the leaves today
There’s just a touch of gray in my hair
The stream along this road runs a little colder
There’s a hint of a chill in the air
The blue sky is fading into purple
Late afternoon is gliding to a close
With my hands on the wheel
I wonder how it feels
If you’re the last bloom of the summer
Or the first autumn rose

So I pull off this highway
Drive these winding roads instead
Thoughts of the bad years
Disappear ’cause up ahead
Off in the distance is a strange and soothing sight
The mountains look like sleeping manatees this cool September night

I leave the car by the roadside
And I hike up that hill
Stars circle in slow motion here
As they always will
A million miles away
From where I was this afternoon
I wrap my misgivings in a tune
While I’m Shining My Flashlight On The Moon