I. I went out last night to hang out with new friends at a backyard BBQ. Remember those? There was a hottub. There was a fire. There was music (and discovering how much we all love live shows and I now have people to go to live shows with). There was a lovely dog who made the rounds with her derpy and adorable attention. I Ubered home because there were Fireball shots, and the party wasn’t really over by the time I wanted to go home, but I got a “Did you get home safe” text complete with a picture of my smiling hosts wishing me a good sleep and a “see you again soon”.

All good things.

II. This is floating around on Facebook and while I get that it is meant to be a joke, truer words have never been spoken.

I’m not saying that I will never want to couple (or triple or quadruple) up. I’m open to finding myself in love sharing my life with someone or someones. I am open to a variety of romantic configurations as long as the dynamic is healthy and loving. I have been monogamous and I’ve been polyamourus and I do well either way as long as there is clear communication and a sense that I matter.

But I’m not looking for someone to complete me. I’m complete already. There is no “other half” out there for me. I show up whole.

I’ve also grown to really value living alone so if someone wants me to change that, they’d better bring a lot to the table. Like giving me lots of space and time to myself. Like having a whole life of their own that they are happy with and enjoy. Like compersion when it comes to my other loves, be they hobbies, my work, my therapeutic process, my beloveds. The only kind of relationships I want to have are ones in which I can be completely myself. There are details I can compromise on, but I will not compromise who I am. At all. Ever.

This feels good to know. It also feels good (and hopeful) to notice that I’m thinking about it because that is a marker of healing after last year’s devastating dumpster fire.

III. The fact of my willingness to open myself up to love again is a bit of a miracle all things considered, but I am forever surprising myself with miraculous recoveries from devastating dumpster fires, so whatever. I’ll take it.

IV. Plans are in place for a beach day in two weeks. I am very excited.

V. I wrote this on my timeline yesterday but I wanted to put it here so it doesn’t get lost:
One of the things I love about teaching live, and why I do it more often these days (and by live, I mean streaming live over the internet) is that often when I’m teaching live, I say things *I need to hear*.

And because I know how it works, and because I have mastered this particular branch of magic, I trust that if I need to hear it, someone else needs to hear it.

I read a post by someone I will not name expressing how squicky (my word) it made them feel when other people praise themselves – specifically their works of art. I get it. We are definitely not raised to praise ourselves and when you come, as I did, from severe childhood abuse even *thinking* positive things about yourself can trigger shame.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I have been in therapy *this time* for just a shade over 8 years now and I can tell you this for nothing: praising oneself is sometimes the only antidote to the other shitty voices in your head that were embedded there by your abusers.

So. Let me model something for you. Unashamed praise of oneself.

I am a damned fine teacher and I am a channel for and a force for good. This is not simply an “affirmation”. This is a true fact. This isn’t something I say to mask my imposter syndrome while I secretly and silently think otherwise. It is not a statement meant to fool anyone into believing something that isn’t true. It is simply a statement of fact.

I am a damned fine teacher and I am a channel for and a force for good.

VI. This whole thing got me thinking about how much I *love* it when my people praise themselves. I want to fist bump them and cheer. It is so heartening to witness someone making a declaration about their awesomeness and I am always going to be a fan of that kind of self-loyalty.

And excuse me but what the fuck is up with people thinking that liking oneself and saying so is gross? You know what’s gross? The humble brag (hat tip to Renee for that brilliant phrase) that people do instead so they don’t “seem” full of themselves.

VII. I am unashamedly full of myself. Who else should I be full of? Do you think that makes me arrogant? Here’s your hat. What’s your hurry? Bless your heart.

VIII. I am still Effy Full Of Grace even after all of *waves at all of this* and if you come at me with a sincere apology I will probably forgive you, but if your apology doesn’t include changed behaviour, I’m going to notice and I’m going to drift away.

I like this about myself.

IX. Lots of stuff coming up in therapy about the scapegoat (me) vs. golden child (sister) dynamic that was at play in my childhood. I have attracted and become entangled with golden children all my life, and I started noticing this pattern. It is not the golden child’s fault that they were cast in that role but they do often become shitty people as a result. I’m watching out for them now because they are not good for me. Golden children who are unaware that this is what they were/are seem always to come with an unbearable sense of entitlement and as I heal, I find their presence absolutely toxic.

Give me a good old-fashioned black sheep misfit any day, please and thank you. They always seem to come with a willingness to poke at their own bits, scads of self-awareness, and grace.

X. This was a lot for a Sunday, I know, but…

P.S. I used a lot of terms that might be unfamiliar to you if you’re not versed in alternative romantic styles or abusive family dynamics. If you’re curious, I encourage you to use your Googlefu, since I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to define these terms for you. xo

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