I. It’s been too quiet in here today and so I keep channel surfing, but to no avail. Nothing seems interesting enough to press play on and music isn’t doing it either, so I’m just grappling with stillness and silence. It feels like a desert. Like my voice might echo back to me if I used it.
II. It’s okay, though. Like, I’m not in pain or anything today. A little anxious, maybe – vulnerability hangover after an unexpected grief tsunami – but also just whoa. It’s *so quiet in here* and there’s no sound that feels right to fill it.
III. Art Winos later though so this silence will be broken with laughter.
V. Also #Mood
VI. Also #Mood
VII. Warm brie on melba toast is life.
VIII. Pickled herring, too. I know. I’m weird.
IX. I think I’m on a growing edge because I feel very sixes and sevens and loose ends and wispy. Liminal. In the between. What’s next?
X. What’s next?
I. Therapy yesterday. I started out whining that I find it frustrating that I always go into classes intending to *do the lessons* as they are offered as a way to learn new skills and develop my own style, but I always veer off at some point and do my own thing.
“This is a first world problem.” I said. “This is not worth $124.30 an hour.”
I was laughing as I said it.
“What would be worth $124.30 an hour?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Not this.”
II. As we continued to explore this frustration, I had a series of flashbacks to times when I was told to do it their way or else, and the “or else” included varying degrees of emotional and physical violence, including abandonment.
I recognized a pattern.
In my early life, I was rebellious because that was the only way to survive with my big S Self intact. The role I played was that of scapegoat, and I did not accept that quietly.
As the consequences of my rebellion got worse my rebellion turned into fawning. I tried with all my might to fit my square self into the round hole I was being asked to occupy. In time, though, resentment and a sense of wrongness would take over and I would start to call things out. And yes, calling things out would earn me abandonment or violence, but after the abandonment or violence came freedom, both from having to be someone other than who I was and from violence.
In almost every case I can think of, the perceived abandonment was actually a release.
III. Since I started therapy in 2013, I’ve been learning ever so slowly but surely to assert my square self, and in the process, there has been a shedding of all relationships in which I am required to be a round peg “or else”. But there are holdovers. Voices in my head that insist I must do things in a particular way “or else”. These voices assert themselves in arenas like the aforementioned art classes. Do it right or else. This is not serving me at all. It leads me to drop out. I hear myself say to myself “Do it right or don’t do it at all.”
IV. That voice is not my own. It is a terrified part of self that is mimicking a cacophony of old voices that promised abandonment or violence if I didn’t comply and while I understand that the voice believes it is protecting me from abandonment and violence, I don’t need it anymore.
V. I am not a “follow instructions and do it perfectly” kind of learner. I am a “fuck around and find out” kind of learner and when I look at what I’ve learned and how my skills have developed in the years since I started working with mixed media, my way of learning absolutely works. It is also my way of teaching. I don’t encourage “step by step” learning. I encourage people to experiment, to use what I offer as inspiration, to play around until they stumble upon their thing.
Not all of us learn the same. Some of us are going to benefit from step by step “Do it my way before you do it your way” style instruction, but me? I rebel. And that rebellion is holy.
VI. So much for “first world problems” and not being worth $124.30 for the hour. That was an epiphany wrapped in a revelation.
VII. Doing it “right” never got me anywhere. I am where I am because I fucked around and found out. Realizing that and accepting that this is the way I learn best came as such a relief to me, and when I went back to the painty table after my session and looked over the painting above, I decided to share it (where before I felt uncomfortable about doing so) even though it doesn’t resemble the lesson it was inspired by. And the drawing I’d started that morning based on a lesson looked really GOOD to me (where it was frustrating me before) even though it, too, had veered way off from the lesson it was based on.
VIII. I keep thinking that I won’t develop as an artist unless I “do it right”, which is pretty ridiculous considering how much I’ve actually developed as an artist. While some might develop best by digging into drills or skills building intentionally through technical classes and practices, I think I develop best by embracing my inner Magpie and going with what’s shiny that day. Especially given that what really serves me is the process, not the end product, though I also have to admit that I really *love* my end products. My paintings make me happy. In short, I *am* doing it right.
IX. So that was therapy yesterday, and it is so nice to be talking about something other than all the other stuff I’ve had to talk about. There are no fires, currently. I am not “in crisis” (except for the pandemic, but even that is feeling manageable). I am just grappling with stuff like allowing myself to do things my own way without fear of abandonment or violence.
X. Safety. So this is what it feels like.
I. Month end achieved. That was a SLOG y’all, but the results were just gorgeous.
These tutorials all went up in Book Of Days 2021.
This went up in Moonshine & Moonshine Lite for February.
This was for Journal Jam, which we streamed live yesterday. The replay is up on Patreon.
II. Lockdown fatigue is real, but cases are way down in London, so I have been hanging out with Lee a little, which is awesome because he is the best platonic life partner ever. He came over on Monday night and made me a huge Shark Coot with cheese and bread that HE BOUGHT AND BROUGHT and sat up with me ’till 3 in the morning while we watched The Magicians. It was grand.
III. I feel like all I do is work, but I love my work, so it’s okay. I keep imagining all the things I’ll do when this is over, and that feels hopeful and optimistic but also a bit frustrating because I WANT TO DO IT NOW.
IV. Someone dumped me on Patreon because I’m a smoker. I am amused and also a little o.O WTF? My Patreon is AMAZING and if my smoking is a judgmental bish deterrent, so be it. FYI I ALSO SWEAR AND DRINK AND HAVE UNMARRIED SEX WHEN THAT’S POSSIBLE.
Some people. *Shakes head*
V. Watching Catfish. I do not know how people fall for any of this. Denial, man. It’s some powerful stuff.
VI. This is too true.
VII. Indigo Girls are doing livestreams on Facebook and I’m here for it.
VIII. I need to claw my house back from month end. Thankfully, I have help, but it’s exhausting just thinking about even making the list for my house elf, though, so I’m girding my loins and deep breathing and reminding myself that I *am allowed to delegate* and *I am worthy of my own self-care that comes in the form of paying people to do the things I really would rather not have to do*. That was a really long fucking sentence, but y’all, the struggle with this whole “letting myself have help” thing is *real*.
The work to feel worthy continues. Does it ever end?
IX. I find myself no longer fearing dying alone. I don’t know when that shift happened, or how, really, but it has happened. I have stopped moaning about how much I hate being single. I don’t actually hate it. In fact, when I think about having someone in my life, I also think about how much labour there is involved in *waves at all of that*.
I think part of that is because my primary love language is acts of service. I overdeliver, and overdo, and then I resent it when my needs aren’t being met. Part of that is because I’ve never actually had a relationship that met my needs in the long term. Part of it, though, is that men just seem to expect their partners to do all the emotional labour, and that gets exhausting.
I don’t want to be exhausted. I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to be deceived. I don’t want to be taken for granted. And when I think about being in a relationship, that’s what I think is going to happen, so I’m kind of opposed to it right now.
A lover, though. I’d love a lover. Someone I don’t have to serve or clean up after. Someone who won’t expect me to do all the work. Someone who never shows up empty handed and never out stays his welcome. Someone who’ll be honest with me. Someone for whom my pleasure matters as much as their own.
I suspect that a lot of this “Oh fuck no” feeling around relationships stems from having been so badly burned, and I may heal from that and change my mind one day but for now, I’m all “Oh fuck no”, and that’s okay.
X. The kind of passionate love I’ve experienced has led me down some dark roads. I’m ready for light roads. I’m ready for easy.
I. Painted this happy thing live yesterday with my Coven. It is full of the rebellious joy I have been feeling lately.
It’s inspired by a meme that I saw floating around on Facebook which I will include at the end of today’s musings. Perfect, I think, for Full Moon In Leo.
II. Happy Full Moon in Leo, my moon babes. There are soft pink tulips and a lemon poppyseed cake coming to my house so I can properly celebrate with flowers and candles and cakes and wine.
III. There are six massive containers of chicken and lentil soup in my fridge because I’m cooking a lot lately and now I am aware of my deep need for a deep freezer. I’m looking at an apartment sized one, because my place is a hobbit hole, but first I need to clean out the corner of chaos because that’s the only space I’ve got to put it in.
IV. I am loving the idea of having a freezer stocked with soups and stews that I can just take out and reheat as the mood hits. I have only ordered in *once* this year so far because I am really loving cooking again.
V. I had that delicious soup for breakfast and it was *life*.
VI. Therapy today. It was really good. Solid progress is being made on all fronts. I am presently unfuckablewith.
VII. The new White House press secretary is giving me West Wing C.J. Cregg vibes and I AM HERE FOR IT.
VIII. Month end. Omg doom.
IX. My galaxy projector arrived, and I love it.
X. You were here last night in my dreams. You said “I’m not done being mad at you.”
I chuckled and said “Will you ever be?”
You said “Oh, probably.” and I woke up crying, because I know you hate being mad. I know you hate feeling anything that isn’t good. But I also know this is part of things, and you may be mad for eons, and that’s okay. I don’t need your permission to love you, and I don’t need you to be present, either.
Besides. I’m not done being mad at you, either. Will I ever be?
I. I like blogging on the weekends because it’s quiet in here. Quiet is good when I’m writing from a tender place, and today I’m in a tender place. The following four things are why. Feel free to skip them.
II. Two years ago, I made reservations at the pub down the street, brought cake with their permission, and arranged with the band to have you serenaded. It was a very good night. I remember S saying that she had never seen you happier. She took a picture of us that I sent her a copy of because she loved it so much. Your crinkled up eyes. Your smile. Your delight when the bagpiper came on over and played for you. Do you remember?
III. I’m glad I gave you that day. Despite everything. Remembering it is good.
IV. Today, I’m thinking about you and doing the whole “sending love and healing thing” and I trust that some part of you is feeling it, and even if not, well. I’m feeling it and it feels…
V…well, wistful and sweet and good. So there’s that. I’m making chicken and dumplings in your honour. I’m skipping the Caesars, though, because that would be asking for a case of the vodka induced morbs and I don’t have the bandwidth for that. It’s bad enough that Spotify presented me with this song yesterday (fucking algorithms!), right? Right. So, anyway.
VI. In other news, I spent the first half of the day doing dishes, putting away groceries, formatting content for a thing for Moonshine’s February unit, correcting a mistake in the Darling Human Planner, scheduling the supportive email that will be sent out tomorrow, listening to music (and dancing to some of it so I can get my daily steps in), painting, and nibbling cheese. That’s not a euphemism for anything, by the way. I just really like cheese.
VII. Later, I’ve got Art Winos, and then cards with a friend.
VIII. Numbers are way, way down in London – a fact for which I am incredibly grateful. We’re out of the triple digits, thank the gods, and though we won’t be any kind of “out of the woods” until everyone is vaccinated, I am really feeling hopeful. The nature of mRNA vaccines means there’s true ease in tweaking them to apply to the different variants that are coming on the scene. I really believe we’re going to be okay if we just hang in there, mask up, distance, and wash our hands.
IX. It feels good to feel so goddamned good. Yes, it’s mixed. Yes, there’s a thread of sorrow through it all. Yes, I am feeling all my feels and not just the good ones, but I feel *alive* and that is a huge shift. I’ll take it.
X. All right. Back to painting. Love you.
This edition of ‘ten things’ started over on FB, but I’m continuing it here.
I.Since the break up with 42, I’ve been haunted by the number. Stalked even. I look at the time, and it’s 4:20. There are 42 comments on my posts for an outrageously long time. I have 42 things in my inbox. People mention the number eleventy billion times in a comedy routine or whatever.
When it first came to my awareness that this was happening, I found it painful. As time passed, I began to find it annoying. Then, one night last week as I was drifting off to sleep I got this download:
“When you see his number, send him love and healing. Don’t argue. Just do it.”
So, I started sending him love and healing every time it occurred to me because while *I am okay* I’m not so sure he is and that download, however annoyed I might have been when it first came down the pipe, makes sense to me.It’s been about a week of sending him love and healing every time the number comes up in whatever context (so, dozens of times, really) and last night I had the loveliest dream about him.We were curled up together. I had my head on his chest. We were laughing and talking like we used to, and all of a sudden he sat up, looked down at me with those eyes of his and said “God, you’re a beautiful woman. I love you.”
I woke up smiling and wishing him love and healing.
You all know I’m a bit on the woo side. I do believe that these experiences have meaning and impact. I do believe in the veracity of these kinds of ‘instructions from the universe’ that come in the form of numbers coming up over and over again. I do believe in downloads from our more evolved selves (divine or higher or however you like to think of it). I knew when I got that command to send him love and healing that it would also *help to heal me*.
I don’t know about parallel universes or being in union in other dimensions when one is separated in this one, but I know that dream felt as real as anything I’ve ever experienced, and where before it might have caused me to wake in tears, railing against the loss, this morning I woke in the full possession of truth that the love between was real and is eternal.I’ll see him again one day. Probably not in this life, but some day.
Meanwhile, we both have work to do.
II. Yesterday was AMAZEBALLS. Kimi and I carefully combed through the rules around contact here in London during this latest iteration of “Lockdown” and discovered that we are allowed to bubble up our households since I live alone and she & her daughter live alone. There is no one else in our bubbles currently, and knowing how safe she is (and visa versa) we decided to have a Friday night together here at my place with wine and charcuterie (which we call Shark Coot because we’re nerds like that) and Rufus and whatever else.It was soooooo good. Pictures to prove it.
Click through to see full-sized images.
III. Anyone that knows me knows that music is my love language so introducing people to the music I love really matters to me. We spent the entire night doing just that. Rufus. Leonard Cohen. Martha Wainwright. And then we talked and talked and talked until I finally started to fade.
More of that please.
IV. Today is for getting some work done because yesterday was all about cleaning the house. The house thing felt *amazing*, and I am loving being in my space now that I’m able to keep up with things. It’s always a good indicator that I’m coming up out of a depression when I can’t stand to let my kitchen get too out of hand. Also, I cook.
V. Speaking of cooking, back in 2018, I noticed that the weight I was at was hard on my lungs. I couldn’t get comfortable when attempting sleep. The numbers don’t really matter because I don’t believe in BMI being an indicator of much of anything, but I was feeling like I’d like to be lighter so I started eating differently, and I started to drop the weight.
I fell in love in late 2018 and that weight started creeping back on like it does, but slowly and I wasn’t worried about it.
A few weeks ago a friend asked if I’d lost weight. This was not one of those rude congratulatory comments that I abhor, but rather a question that arose out of love and concern. I told her I didn’t know. I had stopped weighing myself before I moved to London.
This question led me to take a look in the mirror, whereupon I realized that I have been really disembodied for a long time. I never turn the bathroom light on when I’m in there – I even bathe in candlelight. I don’t look at myself, ever, unless I’m filming a thing that requires my face, and that is *very difficult for me* so I get it done as quickly as I can and without a whole lot of eye contact. I had no idea what was going on in my body, or that my ASS had completely disappeared – like WHERE THE HELL DID MY ASS GO?!?!
So I ordered a scale. And, whoa indeed.
I accidentally and without trying found myself at the goal weight I set for myself in 2018. According to ‘the experts *cough* bullshit *cough*, I am still “obese” and my BMI is still higher than it “should be” but I am not buying it. I am at the perfect weight for me right now BUT I am lacking in muscle tone and I am probably malnourished because this weight dropped off due to grief and stress. For the first few weeks after the breakup I couldn’t keep any food down, and then as the depression continued to ravage me, I lost my appetite. My well-known love for feeding myself beautifully fell by the wayside. I would toss a few crackers and some olives down my throat when I got hungry enough to feel nauseated. I would order in crap, eat half of it, and toss the rest away.
This is not an ideal way to lose weight, y’all. I lost muscle. I lost strength. I lost MY ASS!
VI. I’m cooking and eating again and while I do want to maintain something pretty close to this number, I also want to build some muscle. I want to get some stamina and strength. So I’m doing stuff about it. Because I’m worth my own excellent care.
V. “Something about it” includes looking myself in the mirror – in the eyes. It means turning on the light when I’m brushing my teeth. It means buying a makeup mirror and a new set of brushes to go with the new palettes I bought myself so I can play with putting on a face. Self-adornment. It means thinking not just about what I put in my body, but what I put on it. There’s a bottle of lotion by the bed that I use on my arms and legs every day. There’s a pack of rose scented face wipes. There’s a little manicure kit. I have charged up my Oculus Quest and I’m going to start playing Beat Saber a few times a week for as long as my body can stand it because that is a super fun way to get myself moving.
VI. I just ordered myself this, too, because truer words do not exist right now:
VII. I am not into the spiritual bypass, but the lessons I’ve learned over the course of the last two years are really serving me beautifully and I *am* grateful. Fuck the pandemic, for sure, but without this pressure cooker I found myself in, there is a lot that would have taken a lot longer to be revealed. These revelations were necessary in order to move me forward, and I’m running with that in the direction of my own prayers.
VIII. I like me. A lot.
IX. My plants are *still alive* y’all! This one is my favorite.
X. This witchy box subscription that I got for myself makes me ridiculously happy. The first box came with a black satin robe with the words “Moonchild” emblazoned across the back. I’ve been wearing it ever since it arrived.
This is the way.