Stay

I. I sent out a newsletter today – more like a love letter – in which I extolled the virtues of puttering and shared my newfound love of putting gold stars on the back cover of my journal when I complete tasks. You can read it here if you want. I’ll wait.

Within mere moments, I started getting emails from my lovely subscribers thanking me for sharing & reporting that they are going to go buy some gold stars because they love this idea. Some shared some sadness over how little appreciation or acknowledgement they grew up getting. Some shared that they are currently struggling and that this idea sounds motivating.

My heart!

II. I know it doesn’t look like much, but this little page of gold stars represents every moment that I overcame executive dysfunction, depression, anxiety, trauma, the consequences of narcissistic abuse syndrome…

These little stars are victories that range from making a difficult phone call to filling out a crucial form to doing my dishes to ordering dog food to feeding myself before noon to launching an e-course to scribbling the realness that is in my journal.

Victories.

III. The thing I really want to share with you, though, is that after I finished writing that little blurb about puttering and how it helps me and gold stars and how they help me, I had a moment of hesitation. I thought to myself “No one cares about this stuff. You aren’t doing yourself any favours by sharing this. People are going to think you’re silly/childish/unwell. You are taking up too much space in other people’s inboxes. NO ONE CARES EFFY. WHY SHOULD THEY?”

And my finger hovered over the edit button for longer than I’d like to admit before I shrugged, gave myself a little internal hug, and hit send. I put another gold star in my journal right away. Because, victory.

IV. I also got some feedback yesterday about this paragraph from this blog post:

I was talking to a peer last night about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur and feel like you have to be positive all the time and “keep up appearances” in order to succeed. It’s such bullshit. So alienating. Life is a mixed bag of delight and despair and I’m too tired to lie.

I heard from more than a few people that they resonate with this and they are as tired as I am of living in a world where we all have to be shiny happy people all the time.

I am not a shiny happy person all the time. My choice is to stop sharing when I’m less than shiny, fake shininess so I feel comfortable being in the world, or being honest about the world as it is for me and share anyway and let those that want me, stay and those that don’t, leave.

I choose the latter.

V. I woke up this morning to find this awesome writing on my timeline. Andrea and I share a lot of the same concerns about online marketing and entrepreneurship, justice, and cultural misappropriation, so I always listen when she speaks. This blog post on spiritual bypassing was just what the doctor ordered.

VI. What if we just showed up in our realness? The thing we are taught to fear is that everyone will leave us. No one will buy our stuff. We will end up homeless. We will be labeled negative nellies or worse. But I’ve been doing this for over ten years now in a variety of venues, and while I do not have the quantity others may have to show it, I have the quality. People who just want me to shut up and talk about paint don’t stick around for long, but those that appreciate feeling like their own realness is welcomed, do.

And I live for that, even if it sometimes makes me wonder if I’d be a millionaire by now if I just shut my fucking mouth about how hard things are sometimes.

Being real? A million dollars?

I’d rather be real.

VII. Speaking of real, this is what one corner of the studio looks like right now.

And this is what one corner of my living room looks like right now:

And this is my life. Some of it is a mess. Some of it is sanctuary. All of it is useful and all of it matters. 

VIII. I know I’m not alone in this, but I was not allowed to have needs when I was a child. If I needed attention (as all children do) I was attention-seeking. If I needed comfort, I was needy. If I was sad, I was dramatic. If I was angry, I was defiant. Having feelings was very dangerous and often resulted in abuse, but I never learned the knack of not having feelings. I don’t know why. I know a lot of people raised in the situation I was raised hardened. I didn’t harden. I got better boundaries – especially over the last few years of intense therapy, but I didn’t harden. I stayed open. I stayed sensitive. I stayed emotional. I *stayed with myself*.

Through betrayal, abandonment, rejection, apathy, I stayed with myself.

As as I stayed with myself I noticed who stayed alongside me. And I noticed who didn’t. And (eventually) I stopped chasing the ones who didn’t. I turned to face the ones who stayed and they are my chosen family and I know they’ve got me and I’ve got them. In their eyes I am not “too much” of anything. I am just the right amount of everything. A lot, yes. But never too much.

IX. If someone decides that you are “too much”, let them go find someone lesser because they are *not enough* for you. 

X. I want you to stay with yourself. Come sit by me. Let’s stay with one another.

 

 

Delight & Despair

I. I’ve been down with varying degrees of dizziness/vertigo for two weeks now, and I’m over it. Leaf mold allergy, probably, since this happens every year around this time if there’s a lot of rain. I’m doing Benadryl and Gravol when it gets really bad.

II. Turmeric and ginger in my coffee in the morning, and turmeric and ginger in my chamomile tea at night. Luscious.

III. Pottery makes me happy. I turned and trimmed 12? 13? pieces yesterday and also got to play with coloured slip. I’m going back next Tuesday to glaze. I can’t wait.

IV. We’ve had issues with a peeping tom on the property for almost a year now. He was caught red handed on Saturday morning, charged, issued a restraining order, and then released. It was a *nightmare* waking up to all that drama (cops on the front lawn – my dogs went off their rocker and my heart aged ten years), and it’s been a nightmare worrying about whether or not he’ll come back, since he is clearly not right in the head and these things have a nasty habit of escalating.

I am feeling very woe, woe, why me as a result because *fuck me can I not get a break?*

V. Since I’ve been leaving the house more, Salem has regressed a bit in her house training. This is unpleasant and frustrating to say the least. Add that to the disaster that my house becomes when I have vertigo, and I’ve been in a state BUT today has been better. I’ve been watching her like a hawk and crating her when I can’t and so far, so good. I also got four loads of laundry done.

In better furbabe news, Sybil has been super snuggly, and I love it.

VI. Here! Have a giveaway!

VII.I still miss him and I’m pissed off about that because I should be over it by now, but nope. Definitely not over it.

VIII. I was talking to a peer last night about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur and feel like you have to be positive all the time and “keep up appearances” in order to succeed. It’s such bullshit. So alienating. Life is a mixed bag of delight and despair and I’m too tired to lie.

IX. I am craving cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, and I am going to make that happen.

X. And you? How are you? Tell me everything, the delight and despair.

October Was A Bear

I. And not a teddy bear, either. A red in the fang and claw, big burly cantankerous miserable lumbering dangerous “The Revenant” style bear. But I got through it.

II. The usual autumnal bout of vertigo hit me just in time for Samhain, which annoyed me to no end, and I had a few moments there where I wondered if this was just gonna be my new normal, but nope. Benadryl and Reactine eventually worked and I am no longer spinning off the planet every time I move. Leaf mold allergy. Who’da thunk it? But given that when I went to get tested for allergies my whole arm lit up like a Christmas tree, it figures. Last time it was this bad, it lasted for weeks and weeks, but I got savvy to it this time, so it passed within a week. I expect I’ll grapple with it until the trees are done doing their thing and we have a good blanket of snow, but at least I know how to treat it and that I’m not going to die from it.

III. We had snow yesterday and I loved it. This surprised me because I am usually the kind of girl who will groan and whine and fuss over the onset of winter, but not this time. This time I’m ready for thigh-high cable knit reading socks and my Amigo The Devil plush hooded robe and blanket forting with the furbabes and hot toddies and binge-watching whatever I want.

IV. Mumblefish about things I can’t talk about because they’re too heavy and too painful and not really my story to tell but universe? If you’re listening? Fix it. Thank you.

V. Butandalso there are two big containers of soup to heat and eat today, and the vertigo is gone, and I went to pottery on Tuesday and had some success at centering, opening, and widening, and I’m going back on Saturday to do more of the same and it is the most wholesome thing I’ve ever done – the most grounding and challenging – and there’s this thing they do where you can rent a wheel for a week and make all the pots you can in that time and return the wheel with the pots and they’ll fire them for you and let you use their glazes. This is something I’m going to do this winter. That and handbuild watercolour palettes and paint cups and maybe little offering bowls.

VI. GG is doing a lot better. It was touch and go there for a while, but he is stable and medicated and gainfully employed and in good spirits. I am relieved. We gotta get him moved here, though. I want him close enough to come over for Sunday dinner on the regular, and he wants the same. We’re conspiring. Wish us luck.

VII. I got Moonshine and BOD ready earlier this year than last year and I’m counting that as a victory. I’ve also nailed down what I want to do over on Patreon next year. “Book Of Mirrors”. Uplifting spreads in a Sweet Trash Journal. Some poems, some songs, some quotes. Something for everyone. My patrons are excited about it and so am I.

VIII. Andrea wrote a thing on spiritual bypassing and gaslighting and I was so happy to read it because I have been chafing about this stuff for a long, long time now and it’s good to see I’m not alone. If your response to people in distress is to tell them to look on the bright side, or to abandon them because they’re “too negative” or to offer them unsolicited, useless advice, you’re kind of an asshole, okay? Stop that. It serves no one.

IX. I said what I said.

X. Today is for clawing my house back from the week of vertigo, and I’m resentful that the dishes have not yet learned how to do themselves, but in other news, I look like this in this hat so it’s not all bad.

A friend took this picture during a Ladies Night with the next-door neighbours on a Saturday before the vertigo hit and now a hat just like this is on its way to me because I *need this hat*. This hat is life!

Oh, and also! I dressed up for Halloween for the first time in a million years and went to an actual party and that was super fun and memorable.

And this was me after teaching the second in a new series of weekend retreats that I’m doing now that I know how much I love teaching “live” in a Zoom room full of engaged and lovely human beans.

There. Proof of life.

xo

Effy

P.S. Art Bundles for Good went on sale today and my Journal Jam Retreat is included. Get it!

A Mixed Dozen

I. I am hoping that this is my last October in this headspace. That’s the hope. *Fingers crossed*

II. Meanwhile, the weekend got much, much better. The girls next door had me over and we talked until the wee hours. It was delightful. Sunday was for puttering and working and being extremely gentle with myself and so was Monday. Yesterday was for filming and editing and laundry and yet more puttering.

III. This got finished for A Year Of Mary

IV. This got finished for New Moon

V. I finished figuring out who teaches in what month in BOD2022, so I’m getting there with putting that together so it can open for registration on November 15th. Moonshine 2022 is also almost ready.

VI. I put this together for next weekend.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday live on Zoom with forever access to the replays after. It’s going to be amazing. Here’s a video promo:

I don’t think I’ve ever actually made one of those before! It was super fun!

VII. Stuff going on with the family that I can’t talk about but whoa. The worries. I am aging exponentially as we speak, yo.

VIII. I am ok, though. Everything is moving in the direction it should be. I’m hanging in there.

IX. I’m here today because I didn’t want that last post to sit here as the first thing on the page for any longer. After I wrote it, I pulled the six of swords and that was a good nudge in the direction of “Okay, missy. Time to move on.”

X. Insert many thoughts here about how much easier it would be to move on if I knew what I was moving towards and how tired I am of the pandemic and how much I wish I had someone who was adept at navigating life to take me by the hand and help me figure out *waves at all of this*. But also thoughts about how at least pottery is awesome and how well work is going and how much I love my people. So, yanno. It’s a mixed dozen around here as usual. Heh. :)

 

 

I Miss Your Face

I. This is a thing we used to say to each other, and I miss saying it. I also hate feeling it because,yo. I miss your fucking face.

II. This is the hardest weekend of the year for me because right now, at this time every year, I’d be either anticipating your arrival, or you’d have already shown up and we’d be hanging out. I am *gutted* tonight. Gutted. I’m Sinead O’Conner level fucked up over the loss of you tonight.

III. I *will* move past it though. I am doing all the spiritual work I need to do to make sure of that. All the therapeutic work. All the self-inquiry. All the fucking work.

IV. But tonight is not *fine* with me. I am not fine.

V. I miss your face.

VI. I am writing into a void. If you’re smart, you’re not reading this. You’re not reading anything. You have disappeared and nothinged me. But you, Trailer Park, were never all that smart, so I suspect you are reading this. Ya fuckin’ donut.

VII. I poured you up a shot of Fireball. It’s sitting by George who is guarding it for you. I whispered in his ears that I want you happy, over it, well, and thoroughly moved on and George said “You’re lying” so the work is a work in progress. Most of this is true. I want you happy and well. I do not want you over it or moved on. I want you missing my face. I want you full of egrets.

are they stability? My love. I hope they are stability af.

Full of them. I want you to have anniversaries like I have anniversaries. I want you drunk on the garage floor with my name in your mouth. I want there to be things you hear or see that make your guts flip. I want you gutted.

VIII. I do not like what this says about me, but I can live with it because unlike you, I can live with all my parts.

IX. You should come hang out with me and learn to live with all your parts.

X. In my dreams, we are just about to walk up the hill toward the fire. I put on something pretty because you called me a beautiful woman once and I believed you. You take my hand. We have all we need. The buffalo skin we’ll spread out by the fire. The cooler of whatever we’re drinking – Caesar’s and Fireball and maybe some Buttershots. You look at me like maybe I am magick and I am happy and certain and ready for whatever comes next.

XI. I miss your face. <insert a bunch of swearing because I really fucking miss your fucking face>.

XII. Our people are gathering tonight, virtually. We’re doing a burn. Last time we all did a burn in person, I watched you help to manage the burn. Your tall, broad frame at ready to save the fucking world if anything went awry. My triple A, Mine, I thought. You strode back my way and you called me Ivory tower. I laughed at you and called you Trailer Park. Laurie wandered over to tell us we were one of her favourite couples. You took my face in your hands and kissed me soundly. There was applause. I was *yours*, I thought. You were mine. I was yours.

XIII. I was wrong, though, and I wish I’d known sooner, because dude.

XIV. It’s a year on now and I’m still pretty much gutted.

XV. My love, my love. I miss your face. I really fucking miss your face.