I come to you this morning with nothing, which is how I often come to the page. I begin in the old way I used to, by noticing. There is a bottle of fizzy water to my right, made in a Sodastream, which was a birthday gift from my ex. I am addicted to carbonated water, and go through three or four litres of the stuff a day. I used to have it delivered in cases – Perrier. How Bougie! Now, I just make it, and having an unlimited supply of the stuff makes me happy.
There is a candle lit, as usual. I begin every day with light, with this prayer:
In you we live, move, and have our being.
From you all things emerge,
and until you all things return.
Once lit, the flame lends itself to a cone of incense, which I light in silence. I breathe deeply for a while, letting the scent fill the room, fill my consciousness. It’s something different every day. White sage. Patchouli. Jasmine. Whatever I happen to pluck from the box. It’s almost like an oracle, since each scent brings me into a different kind of attention. Patchouli brings me into my body. White sage, into my environment. Jasmine stirs something sensual in me. There’s one called “Moon” that makes me want to write poems.
Whatever I light, it lends itself to the moment.
There is an empty coffee cup. I’ve had my day’s allowance of caffeine in the form of bullet coffee – a 32 ounce French Press worth – and I’m a little sad that there is no more on the horizon. I love my coffee, but I am also aware of how too much ramps up my anxiety, so I take care of myself by saying a gentle ‘no’ to any more than that one Bodum full. It’s stainless steel, double walled so it keeps the coffee hot. This means I can linger with it if I want to. Stretch it out, make it last.
There is an empty glass with a fingerprint on it. My ex’s, leftover from last night’s Friday on my couch. We played dice (I beat him soundly, making up for the trouncing he gave me last week). He read some of what I’ve been writing lately, witnessing where I am in my journey, remarking that this is the old voice he remembers from when we first met. We talked therapy & what’s up with us. We talked about this long goodbye and how it is serving us. We watched a few episodes of Vikings before he finally took his leave and I crawled into bed with my lovely fur babes.
There is an open tarot box. I pulled Justice today, and jotted down the words “You reap what you sow so sprinkle goodness everywhere”. There is a glue stick. There is a box of tissues.
To my left are books and books and books. References, mostly. All my fiction books live on my iPad or phone. My pleasure reading is done on my iPad or I listen to audiobooks on my phone. Reference books need to be paper. I need to be able to underline, bookmark, highlight. My inner nerd demands it.
There is a dog snoring in my lap, and a cat and a dog curled up together within arms reach. The one snoring on my lap is letting me use her as an arm rest while I type. Her snoring delights me. It makes me giggle. This dog, this lovely, grumpy old dog, came me late last year as a rescue. It wasn’t easy, getting her to this point, and we still have some issues (she is fat, and she likes to steal her sisters food whenever possible. She is a resource guarder – food, her person, space – she guards it all either by marking it with urine (in the case of space), becoming dominant when someone else has my attention, or gobbling up whatever food is around in two seconds flat, which gives her terrible indigestion). She’s doing better, though. The resource guarding is easing. I feed the dogs separately so Sookie (the other dog) can graze (which is her way) without Sasha gobbling it up before she can finish. She doesn’t pee on things anymore, but that’ mostly because I am always watching her. She has been caught snuggling with the other animals, and yesterday, I watched her chase Sybil around the house gleefully, tail wagging, full of fun…
She’s a gift. I love her, because while my Sookie dog feels like a child, Sasha feels like an old friend. She’s grumpy pants, like me. She doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and has to be cajoled. She grumbles when I make her move, and gives me looks like “Woman, leave me alone.” but, still. She lets me move her. She has let me earn her trust in a way that I never had to with Sookie. She has *chosen me*, and that is powerful and beautiful and makes my heart melt.
There is a list of things to do today. Not a huge one because it is Saturday, and in the spirit of self-care, I am trying not to work quite so much on weekends.
There is a party to attend tonight in a space I’m assessing for its rightness or wrongness for me as I grow. It requires me to be self-censored. I can’t just blurt out whatever is on my heart or mind. I’ve been attending these parties for a few years now, but they are starting to feel like ‘not for me’. I’m going in clear-eyed. I am checking in with myself with regards to whether or not I am well served by attending or feel depleted afterwards in a way that makes it not worth it.
My therapist and I talked about this on Thursday – how I’m coming into a place where my level of insight makes people more and more difficult to be around for any length of time. I recognize (and am deeply triggered) by abusive behaviour. I recognize (and am deeply triggered) by shitty boundaries. In order to be social, I need to find ways to maintain my own boundaries without aiming my pointed commentary at people who aren’t safe. And very few people are safe. My chosen few, my casserole people, know how to handle me. They know that when I share an insight, it is out of love. The rest of the world? Well, not so much. The rest of the world feels like a minefield of unexamined unconscious content. I feel like I’m forever in danger of setting one off, and getting a face full of shrapnel.
No, thanks. Just, no.
But if I don’t learn how to be in the world in less intimate ways than I am comfortable with, I will end up spending every weekend alone.
So, that’s a thing.
I want to learn how to people, how to be in the world without calling it out all the time. how to be honest without being polarizing, how to avoid the awkward moment when a thing flies out of my mouth that I can’t take back…
Fuck. Peopleing is hard. Really hard. I am better virtually, where I have time to think before I articulate, and even then there are people who have so misunderstood me and my intentions that they *hate me*.
Which leads me to thinking about how much I love it when someone I loves calls me out.
I know, I’m weird, but to me, being called out on a true thing is an act of love. I’m not saying that I immediately respond with gratitude to being told a true thing I might not want to hear. I don’t. Like anyone else, I can go to the shame place pretty quickly. I can get defensive, even angry. But when someone risks being with me in that, and tells me a true thing, it is a gift. If it adds to my self-awareness, if I am given a thing I can work on, if I understand myself better as a result of a call out – man, that’s such a gift.
I tend to choose people who will call me out. I tend to choose people that I can call out. I don’t do shallow friendships. I don’t do small talk. I like to get right to the heart of the matter, whatever it might be. I like to hold space for people to be exactly who they are, to love them exactly as they are without indulging in denial about their peccadillos. I like people who do the same with me. “I see you over there medicating with too much wine and Netflix every evening. Can I help? Are you ready to tackle that, or is this one of those things you are letting unfold organically?” That’s a loving thing, as stingy as it may be, as much as the initial sense of exposure might hurt. Love looks like someone telling me I have spinach in my teeth. Love looks like caring if I’m hurting myself. Love looks like singing me back to centre when I’ve lost my way, reminding me of my goodness, reminding me of my power.
But then again, I’m not open to the entire world calling me out. Too often, people call out from their wound place. They don’t so much call out as lash out. They aren’t doing it with my best interests at heart. They want to fix me or advise me from their own filters and projections, and I’m really not up for that. If you don’t know me well enough to have been braless on my couch, I probably don’t want to hear what you think of me.
So, hello, Effy. If you don’t know people well enough to have been braless on their couch, they probably don’t want to hear what you think of them.
So, that’s a thing.
I have a nest date tomorrow. This is a date that takes place entirely in the nest I call my bedroom. Candles, twinkly lights. A sultan’s palace worth of pillows. Finger food set out on a platter. The lap top set up for the watching of things while we snuggle. A playlist queued for when we’re done watching things. These are my favourite kinds of dates, and whenever I start seeing someone, however casually, I get really eager to get to this kind of date. Dinner out, the movie, the evenings on the couch – those are all great, but nest dates are life. They are where I most want to live. The dogs, the cat, my person, all snuggled up in the nest. Yes. Yes. Yes.
And that’s me. That’s everything that wanted to come through today. There are poems in here somewhere, but mostly, there is simply what is true.
About The Blog Along
Every year, twice a year, once in April, and again in September, I blog every day for a month, and invite others to do the same. We have a Facebook group, and in that group the only rule is that for every link you post to your own blog, you go off and read three other blogs and leave a comment. This is simply a way to ensure that a community happens rather than just a ‘promo’ group. You’re welcome to join in as long as you are willing to read and comment on three blogs for every blog you post. Click here to join us! If you’re too busy for that, you’re welcome to just blog on your own for a month. Easy peasy. No one is keeping score. There are no prizes except that you get to build your own readership by regularly populating your blog with good content.
To read all my entries for the Blogalong, please click here to access the Blogalong With Effy Category on my blog.
IN OTHER NEWS