Propensities

It’s been a long while since I blogged. And I wonder if this is intentional. Subconsciously.

I certainly haven’t put intention into writing. Something I used to never want to stop doing. And that’s how it goes, that’s growing up; blah, blah, blah.

I have a propensity for giving up what I love as soon as things become serious. Not by choice, not usually. Some outside force ends the partnership but I don’t fight. I don’t hold on, white-knuckled. In the realest physical sense of letting go, I am an expert. In the lingering nostalgia and cherry pits jumping in my stomach at familiar intersections, in the right smells, his face on the same dating app I use… I have never let go. Mentally and emotionally my grip is kevlar: flexible to suit my needs and probably overkill in this situation.

The disconnect between my physical life and my imagined ideal life is jarring at times. Except for when it’s not. I don’t do grays, instead swinging wildly between loving the little life I have built for myself and tearing everything apart trying to start over. Again.

I have a propensity for being ungrateful. Not explicitly and not loudly, but I struggle to appreciate what is in front of me in favor of new ventures and ideas. I still struggle to live in the present. I think, at this point, most of us do.

The days are both long and short. The nights endless and finite. I don’t know which I prefer, just that no matter the case I am tired. But it is almost winter and winter always makes me tired. The snow a blanket, the cold an approval for five more minutes.

I would like to think winter is the problem but I know in the pith of my bones that I would still be tired in the endless summer of sunny California. Muggy Florida. Dusty Arizona. The tiredness begins with me. It’s been there since the beginning or at least as long as I can remember. The bags under my eyes in childhood photos serve as proof.

It’s as if I was never a child but am one still. Moody. Impatient. Quick to draw. Silly. Quick to laugh. A little too blunt for comfort but sensitive to my own medicine.

At least I have a propensity for self reflection even if it’s also self-indulgent.

Habitual

Consistency has never been my strong suit. At least, not without structures in place to make me consistent. I can be consistent for work. For school. But in my personal life, everything gets a little muddled. Pisces, my sun sign, is what’s called a mutable sign. Ever-changing, always shifting, and and not at all prone to ritualistic habits.

This year, I did make one ritualistic habit: MORNING AFFIRMATIONS (ugh, yes, I know. Rest assured this is not a toxic positivity blog.) Every morning, after I make my bed, I sit cross-legged in front of my altar. I grab whatever crystal or rock feels right, and repeat affirmations to myself, saying each three times, before I get on with my day.

These aren’t “I am a boss babe” type affirmations, but rather confirmations of what kinds of abundance I am seeking, and reassurance to myself that a day will come when they are not just thoughts, hopes, or dreams, but part of physical reality. One of my favorites:

When I follow my intuition and my heart, I am safe and sound.

This is a reminder to trust myself and my gut instead of whatever is going on in my brain. Anxiety can create a cacophony of “what if” or “that’ll never happen” or “of course that will happen, it’s the worst case scenario” so I find it important to quiet those thoughts, at least a bit, before they actually start.

I won’t share other affirmations, as some are personal and private, but as much as I love to consider myself a little chaotic and blunt, this very flowery morning ritual helps me center myself. I am not all love and light, I am also mood swings and anger and jealousy and fear. And that’s fine. My anger is righteous, my jealousy ambitious, my fear valid; and my mood swings just keep things interesting. There’s no use is shaving off the spines and spikes of my personality, and no reason to. The important part is self-awareness. I am still learning to pin point these feelings before they happen. I am still learning to react appropriately. But I’m much closer, now.

Marilyn

When my grandmother’s brain aneurysm burst in 2010 she demanded a Tylenol and insisted everything was fine. She’d always believed she was invincible, and until then she was right. She passed away this March. They’d only given her a few months to live back then, but her stubborn ass powered through another ten years.

This past weekend was supposed to be her celebration of life. But COVID happened. And it kept happening. And Deadwood, South Dakota, her home town, is right in the thick of the spike.

In honor of Grandma Marilyn I have made a list of ways I want to learn from her life–do’s and don’t’s. 

  1. Never apologize for what isn’t your fault.
  2. Some people suck. You don’t have to suck it up and hang around them anyway–cut them off.
  3. Family comes first.
  4. Be bold and feisty. You don’t have to be the life of the party, but you better be the talk of the town.
  5. It’s 100% up to you to break your negative habits before they catch up to you.
  6. Moderation and balance are key. Don’t over or under do it. 
  7. Ending relationships can be cathartic.
  8. You need to be your own best friend.
  9. Eat the fucking dessert. Especially if it’s chocolate and caramel.
  10. Watermelon is a pointless fruit.
  11. Go hiking more.
  12. You aren’t invincible.
  13. Don’t be afraid to let go. It’s better to drift into the unknown than to cling to the unhappy familiar.

Grandma wouldn’t want me to mourn and lament–she’d want me to get vodka drunk and go out gambling. To meet her in the middle, I’m having a WhiteClaw at home and making lists.

I want to be the last in the bloodline to carry the generational trauma from her mother, and her mother’s mother. I want to learn for all of us. Letting her be my teacher is the most important step.

9 of Cups

Every day, I pull a tarot card from an excited, bubbly deck called Mystic Mondays (created by Grace Duong). I post a picture of that card on my Snapchat and Instagram stories, putting it out there for whoever may resonate with the message.

On Friday, I pulled the 2 of Pentacles and posted it to my social media.

You’re doing a great job focusing on the big picture. You can use every small moment to work toward your end goal.  Get your priorities in order. You may not feel it, but you have all the time, energy, and support in the world.

I wanted to do a “bonus card” so I grabbed a deck with a much different flavor. Thoth is a sassier, darker deck. It’s always more critical of me and me choices. If it thinks I’m asking a stupid question, I will start pulling cards that essentially tell me to stop asking and figure it out on my own. Sometimes that’s empowering, other times defeating.

90fcups_happiness

I anticipated a sassy, critical card in contrast with supportive Mystic Mondays, but Thoth gave me the 9 of Cups.

The imagery is…encouraging. Each cup is overflowing with liquid gold from the lotus flowers, pouring more into the cups beneath. The card is labeled Happiness. It isn’t a very difficult card to interpret, but with Thoth there’s always plenty of nuance to consider. All nine cups are stacked in a block that fills the entire card, and the gold liquid puddles at the bottom. The streams that fall from cup to cup look like rays of light, directed to go where they need to be.

Satisfaction and surplus are coming. You will find what you seek, in exactly the way that serves you best. Be patient. All you need is on its way.

That message, from “the mean deck,” felt more profound than my usual daily pull; as if the cantankerous old man in town who scowls at everything and everyone had smiled at me for the first time.

I didn’t post it on social media. I felt selfish, but some messages are just for me. Not all of my intuition and my energy needs to be given out for free.

Settle In

How many times have I driven down Highway 93 to Boulder feeling like my world was ending, when all it ever really did was change?

The tectonics fissured and cracked the Pangea of my first imagined doomsday passage, (move-in day for my Freshman year of college) and my continents had long drifted into a new landscape green with lush possibility and blue with deep nostalgia. I could drown or get lost anywhere in my world. This thin stretch of highway was nothing but a touchpoint for boosting every shift of mantle—taking the changes in my life to overdrive.

I know this. But for someone hugely anxious at any change in plan, every drive still felt like the day of judgment. Unexpected, panicky changes are my cycle. I start to feel a little stable, I tune out, and everything goes up in proverbial flames.

Even when I am going steady, it all feels like a transition. Everywhere is an in-between place, some liminal space separating where I’ve been and where I’m going to end up. I’m not very good at living in the moment, but I am adept at living in my head. Somehow it feels safer, but really, it’s messier there.

I lack the energy for consistency. I don’t write consistently. I don’t meditate consistently. I don’t give affection consistently. I don’t communicate consistently. I don’t clean the house consistently. My moods are erratic and so are my spurts of motivation.

Here’s the biggest thing I’ve learned though: it’s okay to be a little inconsistent. To do what you can when you have the energy and rest when you don’t have any effort to offer. As long as it all gets done, does it matter? There are plenty of unpleasant things we have to do and we have to make time for, so if you want to go the fuck to bed and watch BoJack Horseman instead of doing your daily mindfulness practice, that’s okay. The structure of schedule and habit can be freeing but forcing yourself to fit a that structure when you can’t, is imprisoning.

I know rest is necessary if I ever expect to be able to settle into changes. If I keep moving and stay busy just so that the anxiety attacks can’t catch up, I’ll never be able to sit with change and accept it. Everywhere will always be a liminal space.

I have four new goals: Do whatever I want. Make the big, tough decisions. Move forward. But for god’s sake, give myself time to rest.