I. Therapy today for the first time since early December. I cried a bit, but mostly I sat upright and I railed, and that is progress because these things are undeniably true, and these things hurt, but they are still undeniably true.
People who talk about me and not *to* me can go fuck themselves.
People who beg me to trust them and then lie to me can go fuck themselves.
People who say “You can share everything with me. I’ve got you.” and then abandon me when I share everything with them because they don’t like what it reveals to them *about them* can go fuck themselves.
People who insist that I believe they are on my side and then behave as though I am the devil because I say what I see can go fuck themselves.
People who think my therapist is some flaky spiritual healer without a degree (she’s a PhD, y’all) can go fuck themselves.
People who demonize me instead of facing their own demons can go fuck themselves.
People who tell me to cheer up instead of sitting me with I’m in pain can go fuck themselves.
II. I said to her “I’m recovering myself right out of any kind of ability to tolerate anyone else’s bullshit. I am becoming way more thorn than rose. I will never be able to let anyone in again. I can’t trust. That part is over.”
And she said “For now. We will work on all of that later. Right now, this is good.”
I believe her.
So onward, because *no one knows me as well as she knows me* and if your story about me contradicts her story about me, I will believe her story about me any day of the week. Hell, if my story about myself contradicts her story, I will believe her, because she knows me better than I know myself. I tell her *everything*. I have done for seven years now.
III. Maybe your issue with my healing, your throwing my therapy in my face, your “therapy doesn’t make you an expert” bullshit has more to do with the fact that you’re afraid I might be *right* about some things you don’t want me to be right about and less about *me and my healing process*.
That’s usually the way of it, tbh. People go to therapy, see what’s going on, say what’s going on, and suddenly our therapy is problematic. We’ve changed, they say. We aren’t the same, they say.
Fucking right, buttercup. We get boundaries. We self-align.
Try it. I fucking *dare you*.
IV. Most of what I deal with in therapy is directly related to the shit that gets stirred up by the people in my life who have refused to go to therapy. This is true, I think, for most therapeutic clients.
V. There is a pattern in my life of people rejecting me because I see them too clearly, and they can’t live with that.
VI. Suddenly, I am okay with that. Because if you can’t be seen and loved as you are (which is what I offer), I can’t love you as you are.
You won’t let me.
VII. I’ve got people to love and shit to do, so I’m done pouring into cups that *don’t pour back*.
VIII. There is nothing I’ve ever asked of anyone that was unreasonable. Nothing. In fact, I don’t ask for *nearly enough*.
But that’s changing.
Someone sent this to me and no one is fessing up. You’re fucking right I am, and also thank you.
X. I. Choose. Me.
I. I’ve spent this first two weeks of 2021 with my head down, doing my own work. For the most part. I have occasionally peeked up out of my little hermit cave to watch the news (holy Hannah) or check the numbers (holy Hannah), but mostly I’m just filming, painting, writing content, answering emails, and doing what I do. This is the part of my life that works, so I’ve taken up residence within it and I’m letting the rest go on without me.
II. I’m doing a lot better than I was as the calendar flipped over from 2020 to 2021 despite *waves at all of this*. I’m eating. More importantly, I’m cooking. My house feels good. I take pleasure in things. I’m not overwhelmed with the business of living. It all feels manageable. I’m laughing a lot more. I catch myself singing along to whatever Spotify is dishing up. I’m looking forward to things. I’m not hopeless. I feel useful. I feel more sure of myself.
III. I’ve stopped wondering why. Why did they respond that way? Why did they lie to me? Why did that happen?
I don’t care “why” anymore. I have spent my life wondering why, like a plaintive child railing against injustice.
Why did they say that thing? Why did they do/not do that thing?
Who cares. They said that thing. They did that thing or they did not do that thing they said they were going to do.
That’s all I need to know.
This feels solid. Because understanding people’s motives might matter if there’s something to work out but it there isn’t? It doesn’t matter. Whatever their motives were, the *impact* is what matters. I’m too busy healing from and dealing with the impact to indulge that plaintive inner child’s need to understand why.
IV. I think I have a history of grappling with the “why” of things because I desperately want a reason to forgive. The sooner I can repair a rupture and forgive, the better. But I’m starting to understand that this is a trauma response. This is a form of fawning. This puts me in harm’s way.
V. Impact > intention. I won’t chase the why anymore. I won’t ask for apologies. I won’t accept them, either.
Changed behavior? Yes. Apologies? No.
VI. Progress? I think so.
VII. Rufus on Friday’s. Saving my bacon.
That plaque up above the laptop there that says “Hair up, Bra off, Wine Poured.” was a Christmas present from Kimi. Her knowing me. :)
Also, Jeff Martin on Patreon. I want that ZOOM call SO BAD.
Also, Dreadful Bird and the gentle reminders to engage gratitude.
He’s on TikTok, too.
VIII. I drew this!
And then I painted it!
X. I’m going to be okay.
I. The year is off to a really good start, and while that’s not trickling down into a ‘feel good’ moment, it is a ‘not feeling bad’ moment, and I’ll take it. Programs are up and running beautifully. So many new faces! I’m gobsmacked and in awe of all of you! More of this, please.
II. I got an unexpected bit of leisure time today because Myrna’s internet is being repaired + I slept in and didn’t want to run wild-eyed into Journal Jam. We’ll meet tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, this affords me the time to put my studio back into some semblance of inspiring since right now it is a pit of year-end omgdoom and needs a thorough going over. There are paper scraps all over the floor and a pile of stuff that need to be put back in place. My brushes need soaking and washing. It will feel so good to get it all done.
III. My new office chair is AMAZING and I love it so much. It is deep so my whole butt + crossed legs fit (I always sit cross-legged) AND it has a lumbar massager that I can remove and use anywhere. It is SO much better than my old chair. Here’s the one I got.
IV. I also got a champagne and rose coloured blue tooth headset so when I am actually ready to start gaming in earnest, I am all ready. I have been experiencing some serious screen fatigue, though, so I haven’t felt compelled. When I do, I have WoW Shadowlands all ready to go.
V. My art winos. Gods, how lucky am I to have them. So much gratitude for your presence in my life.
VI. My youngest daughter and I spent a few hours on Zoom last night and it was so good to talk real talk and to know that she *knows me* so she doesn’t let anyone else’s story about me impact her, nor does she let *me* tell bullshit stories about myself *to her*. She is wise, firm, honest, and true, and I love that she came through me.
VII. Cocoon. Self-loyalty. Clawing myself back from 2020.
VIII. When you said you were a coward, I should have listened. When you said you weren’t worth it, I should have listened. When you said you were lazy and thoughtless, I should have listened.
I wished I had listened because I have regrets I would not have if I had listened. But I loved you, and I aligned myself with the other words you uttered – the ones I wanted to hear.
Butandalso you taught me to tune my ears and heart to where actions and words align vs. where they don’t. You taught me to believe a person when they tell you they are what they are. You taught me about what I can and can’t live with in terms of my own integrity, too, and that will all serve me well if I ever decide to trust anyone with my heart ever again. Right now it feels unlikely because it’s a chewed up piece of gristle in your teeth and under your boot, but I have spent the last decade levelling up and I am continuing to do my work to become the best version of myself that I can be and I believe that someday the universe will put me in the way of the worthy.
May you heal. May you find your way. May you be happy. Fare thee well.
X. Today is a good day. I just want to bask in that.
*Pours more coffee. Turns on Mountain Men. Snuggles dogs.*
I. I am okay. New Year’s was what it was. I spent some time with peeps over Zoom. I watched The Last Alaskans. I couldn’t sleep because of all the feels, but I *did not cry* – have not cried in days – and I even managed to get up and get all the programs launched for 2021.
I’m saving my tears for the worthy.
II. I am a badass.
III. That feeling when every time you open the fridge, you are reminded that you should have cleaned out the fridge weeks ago. Garbage day isn’t ’till Tuesday. I am so fucking tired.
IV. There is a long hot soak in my future. Also lasagna.
V. We’re going to be okay.
VI. Hope is a dangerous thing for a girl like me butandalso hopelessness is even more dangerous.
VII. Everyone I love is experiencing shit mental health and I am so full of grace over it. We’re all a little COVID crazy right now, and *that is fucking okay*.
VIII. Treading everywhere with equal measures of trepidation and kindness.
IX. I usually do a month in review AND a year in review at the end of December but fuck that. No. I don’t want to, so I’m not going to. December was great, work-wise. I managed to keep it together. The programs are all open and full and gorgeous and awesome. I’ve made some changes this month that will see me through 2021 – like hiring a house-elf to help with all the things I find too daunting to do. Like getting a better office chair. Slow, gentle shifts in the right direction. I’m not out of the woods, but I’m getting there. Therapy resumes on the 7th. I will probably start the first session with something like “what is life anymore anyway? what is time? why are people? wtf?”
X. Hello 2021. Be careful how you bend me.
I. Journaling of any kind is hard right now. Everything feels frozen.
Holding pattern. Same old same old day in day out. Numbness followed by desolation followed by apathy followed by despair.
A change is coming, though. I feel it.
II. Vaccines are coming and once it’s safe to get back out into the world, I aim to explore my new city and find things to do that will get me out of the house and out of my head. I’m thinking about volunteering or something. Putting myself in the way of other humans. Being of service in some way. Something to keep me occupied so that by the end of the day I am exhausted in a good way and ready to sleep right through. Meanwhile, I am just hunkered down here in my little nest making content and waiting.
III.I spent Solstice alone. I spent Christmas alone. I’ll spend New Year’s alone. I can’t even talk about how that has been for me, so I won’t.
IV. Tomorrow, though, I will do a drive with my bubble up person – Kimi – we both live alone and are being extraordinarily careful – to pick up meds, which is essential. No puffers, no breathing, so off I go to get them. It’ll require a walk through Costco, but thankfully, they are enforcing masks and hand sanitizing. I’m afraid to be out in the world, but I am also looking forward to a few hours of company and open roads and blue sky. Note to self: call in your scripts.
V. Everything is done for Jan 1 except for the part where I face the camera and say enthusiastic and happy things to welcome in my students for the year. I am struggling with that. I want to be honest and I want to be inspiring and I’m not sure I can be both right now, but I am going to try.
VI. I’m alive. I feel a bit like I’m going feral, but I’m alive.
VII. My plants are still alive. That’s a minor miracle. I’ve never kept plants alive!
VIII. Dreadful Bird on Patreon is a gift. I discovered him on TikTok and now every time he comes across my feed, I drop my shoulders and take a deep breath.
IX. Cocooning or avoidant? Does it matter right now? Probably not. My therapist will call me out on it if it’s the latter, so I’m just letting things be what they are right now. I’m tip-toeing into the new year like it might bite. Head down. Doing my own work. Hoping for the best.
X. Hoping for the best. Hanging in there. Really looking forward to working with Mary Oliver throughout 2021. Something about her poems feels medicinal to me.
I. I did a live workshop yesterday for Pull, Paint, Pen with Kiala Givehand and even though I went into it with some trepidation (because I was in a lot of pain and people make me cry at the drop of a hat these days), it was *fabulous*. I taught a lesson on engaging with the Queens in Tarot to call up parts of self that we might need more of in the moment, or that we might want to acknowledge and celebrate. I lectured on it for a while off the cuff – completely unscripted – and, miraculously, I made it make sense, it was of value to the students, and we had a beautiful two hours together.
I also taught lip up girls, which I love teaching because it guarantees that even if you ‘can’t draw’, you *can* get beautiful, interesting faces in your art journals. At the end of the class, everyone showed me their work and I ‘read’ their lip up girls for what might have been coming through them as they created them. THAT was SUPER FUN and reminded me that I am *really really* good at what I do.
II. Next year, I’m doing a Year of Mary exclusively on Patreon, which will feature twelve paintings using the ‘lip up’ technique inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver. This is a quiet offering – not going to do a lot of promo for it – but it will be available at the $10 level. Once the year is through, it will be released as a standalone, self-guided offering. I’m *really* exciteda about it because, I don’t know about you, but I could use a year of savouring Mary’s words and resting in the crook of her comforting arms. Starts January 15th.
III. A friend just messaged me to ask how I’m doing, and I was honest and said “I’m struggling”, and then this popped up in my timeline, so you know. Algorhythms or magicks. Whichever.
Mid-conquer *is* a struggle, but this still works for me because it promises an end in sight. It is a reminder that I won’t struggle forever. At least not with this particular configuration of things.
IV. My lovely friend, Jessica, dragged me by the hair over to TikTok and I am now obsessed. Where Facebook feels like a field of land mines, TikTok is so fucking wholesome. I’m over here.
I posted my first video last night and then almost immediately deleted it, because I realized that I can’t take any kind of exposure right now (says the woman who is blogging her life). Kindness & unkindness both slay me. So, I’ll be over there as a consumer of all the goodness until such time as I feel braver. Follow me, though so I can find you!
V. My shoulder is healing (as I knew it would). Yesterday, along with getting the live class done (and editing the video for it after), I did a half load of dishes (cut my finger in the process, but whatever), bagged up all the empties, and cleared off all the surfaces. I also worked on the cover of my Effydori, which is what I’ll be using for all my classes next year. Today, I plan to film for New Moon in Sagitarrius. I think I want to do a fantasy horse because they make me happy.
VI. I need shenanigans. GIVE ME SHENANIGANS. Also sex. Also someone who loves me unconditionally and will not abandon me when I am in the trenches.
VII. Jarcuterie. When we can all gather again, I’m going to have a party, and I’m going to make these.
VIII. My Spotify playlist for 2020 is so good. SO GOOD.
IX. The Life Book 2021 Free Taster Session is going into a seven day replay, so if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend GET IN THERE.
X. I got a new pen organizer and it is making me ridiculously happy.
It’s the little things.