Lesson from the Universe (Round 3?)

Lesson from the Universe: When a situation no longer serves a purpose for you, use your Will and move on to greener pastures.

I think I might be facing a third round of the same lesson, and it makes me frustrated just as much as it makes me shake my head (at myself and my own stubbornness, that is).

Round 1: When I was in high school, my longterm relationship was ended without any warning or explanation. Instead of accepting the situation and moving on, I clung to the idea of loving him. I ended up losing my virginity to him months after our breakup, and then we devolved into a sexually abusive relationship for six months. It was rough. I only got out after my family got stationed elsewhere; I tried to leave him several times, but I didn’t have the Will to do so.

Round 2: When I was in my coven last time, there were issues. They’re ancient history now, but at the time I made excuse after excuse as to why I was better off staying than leaving. It really came down to my personal inability to use my Will and walk away; I spent months considering the possibility before successfully making the change I needed to see. [Note: I'm back in the coven, but the people and situation have both changed drastically; the issues I needed to walk away from no longer exist.]

Round 3: Right now, I’m in a job that I enjoy. I’ve moved around the same department for almost four years now, taking new positions as they opened in our area. I’ve ignored other options, because I’m comfortable. Often, this is an excuse I use for staying put in a situation. However, I’m finding my work environment is starting to get uncomfortable. Between constant interaction with strangers (something I’d gotten more comfortable avoiding) and growing animosity from a coworker, I’m not longer in a good place. A large part of me wants to stay put in our department; “better the devil you know” is another reason I use as a crutch to avoid change.

If I use my Will, though, there’s a position I qualify for in a field (IT-related) that I’ve always been intrigued by. I could stop working directly with strangers and do formating and editing on an online system; that’s always been a fantasy job for me! The only thing that could make it perfect would be a work-from-home option, which (unfortunately) isn’t a possibility. Still, if I’m willing to get off my ass and take a chance on change, I could apply for this position and move on.

I’m in a crunch, though. I have to decide in the next couple of weeks whether or not this is a good idea for myself. I don’t have time to mull it over. The position closes at the end of July (“or until filled”), and my probationary period ends two weeks later. If the position’s still open at that point, my chances are high; after all, if no one with better skills has applied and accepted the job, that means I’m not competing with veteran tech people.

[Note: If I don't want to do this, time is irrelevant; I just don't, and the lesson is skipped again for future repetition.]

I’ve been working on my Will this year so far. Fire is an element I’ve never been comfortable with, because forcefulness just feels aggressive. I’ve always been a passive, quiet, calm person… but something’s changed. I want what I want, I need what I need, and I’m willing to take the action to get it.

Scary.

Feminist Science – an experiment

stem_logo

I’ve started an experiment that’s going to take six months (or more) to complete, and I’m actually using the good ol’ Scientific Method from high school to put the experiment together. My calendar has reminders for me once a week to make notes on my experiences and thoughts as I go, to keep the data flowing in for future analysis.

So what’s the hypothesis?

Shaving serves no purpose, and not shaving will provide benefits in addition to removing a step from hygiene routines.

My original thoughts on shaving were related to various articles and blogs about women who chose to stop shaving their armpits, or who didn’t shave for religious reasons. It got me to thinking…

Why did I start shaving, and why do I continue to do so?

It’s all trained habit. I don’t feel a need to have prepubescent legs, armpits, or pubes; however, I’d been shown at an early age how to remove “unwanted” hair (especially with how dark my Filipino-Mexican body hair can be). Everyone on TV is hairless, as are porn stars and other women I see on the streets. Even other pagans are hairless, for the most part (and I’ve attended “clothing optional” events, so I know this as fact).

But why? Why shave? What’s attractive about making ourselves look like children again? I happen to like being a grown woman, for the most part. I don’t feel sexier hairless; I feel itchy and then prickly only a couple days later! Men walk around hairy without an issue, and we don’t consider them gross or dirty for doing so.

I had a long, philosophical talk with friends and then my boyfriend. He said it was sexy when a woman was confident enough to own her body and do whatever made *her* feel comfortable and sexy. That was the last encouragement I needed. At the very end of June, I shaved my armpits and legs for the last time.

And so… it has begun!

I have a notepad with the various pieces of this experiment outlined. Essentially, I’m not shaving anything on my body for the next six months. I’ll make notes of how I feel, how my body feels, how others reaction, and anything else I experience in the process. In the end, I’ll decide if it’s going to become a permanent change or not.

I already have interesting data!

For example, I hadn’t realized how hard it would be psychologically to get past the habit of shaving once my hair was visible. I’ve nearly grabbed a razor several times, just out of reflex! I had to move my razor out of the shower (and out of sight) to remove the instinctive reaction to my dark fuzzies growing in. I’m wondering how long it will take for the reflex to fade.

Another random lesson: not shaving has lowered my body order levels. Seriously! You’d think it’d be the opposite, but I’ve found my armpits are less pungent in this wonderful Texas heat than they ever were as naked patches. My natural body chemistry generally leads to quite and annoying body odor in the summer, regardless of deodorants applied; I look forward to seeing if this trend of non-stinkiness continues.

I call this Feminist Science, because feminism is about equality and choice. Looking at societal beauty standards, I don’t see the fairness in making women remove hair and appear like children (a little pedophilic) while men walk around in their natural hairy glory. Sure, some women like being hairless, just like some women like makeup and high heels. I’m not one of them, though, so this experiment is perfect for me.

Have you ever reconsidered a habit after failing to find a good reason for it to exist?

Rambling frustration

Now this is just annoying. I can’t decide how to blog what I’m thinking. That’s new.

It’s been hectic lately, in every single facet of my life. There isn’t a single piece of my day that’s mellow, except for maybe sleep.

At work, it’s summer. All these jerks are going on vacation; meanwhile, I’m filling in giant gaps to keep the work flowing. I know it’s appreciated, and it’s temporary, and blah blah blah… but it’s hard to feel anything but fiery frustration when you’re handed a new hire, extra job duties, and a smile. I can’t remember the last day we had a full staff AND everything actually showed up to work.

Trying to conceive is a joke I’m tired of hearing. I finally got my cycle again; this time, it only took 82 days. Last time, it was 96; I counted last night, trying to perk myself up by pointing out the two weeks closer to normal. The doctor said you can’t really expect ovulation during a cycle over 60 days long. I should go out Friday, when I officially hit six months of pointless trying… would it be melodramatic to wear black?

Added to that, someone should’ve read the myth of Pandora’s Box before they broke my seal and opened me up. I’d guess that I’m grieving, because the stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance; I’m going out of order, but I’m definitely traveling that road. Thanks to hormones and stress from work, I’m currently swimming in anger like a shark in chum-baited waters, hungry for blood. [insert Jaws theme]

I keep journaling on paper, writing things I can’t post in public; I hate honoring someone else’s privacy over my own urge to share, but my ethical standards require silence. Yay, ethics. [That was sarcasm.] The journal is fun, because I’ve been playing with writing backward like this:

!easily ,can I ?sentence this read you Can
.everything from me distract to helps It

Imagine that for pages and pages! It’s entertaining, and it’s not easy for anyone else to read. In a way, the words look poetic if you read them in the correct direction (i.e. from left to right). Go ahead, read the two sentences above out look, starting on the left. It can’t NOT be poetic!

On feeling tender-hearted

I’m feeling extremely tender-hearted today.

Logically, I know it’s coming from various causes, an avalanche of issues all weighing me down. Examples include:

  • I discussed my fertility in the last 24 hours, which is an auto-depressant.
  • The Hobby Lobby court case depresses me as a woman and feminist.
  • A solution I’ve selected for a problem I’ve been having isn’t comfortable to enact.
  • My friend’s uncle passed away this week, and she told us all about how he was like a father to her. It made me miss my dad, which made me angry and sad.
  • I made the mistake of commenting on YouTube about the government’s role in our lives. (I know better.)
  • I sadly recognize that living in another state would feel slightly better, but I’ve accepted too many ties and roots to make that kind of relocation possible.
  • I get frustrated when I realize I’m frustrated with my roots here, even though all I ever dreamed of as a kid was finally putting down roots.

Le sigh.

The best remedy is melancholy music and lots of work. I’ve been plowing through data entry today at work, while listening to a mega-list of Secondhard Serenade music (my favorite sad stuff). It’s working to ease the ache, but I’m still just so…

…tender. There’s not another word for it. Maybe the stars are aligned a certain way or something, making my heart open and achy and raw?

In ethics (which I need to finish posting on here), we discuss being lovingly honest with ourselves. Right now, I should probably consider some chakra meditation to close down my heart center; I think it must be wide-open right now. I don’t usually do chakra work, because it doesn’t really connect with my spirituality, but I might need to make an exception.

This is a beautiful image of a heart chakra. I couldn't resist sharing, though I don't know who the artist was; it was one of those shared-shared-reshared images.

This is a beautiful image of a heart chakra. I couldn’t resist sharing, though I don’t know who the artist was; it was one of those shared-shared-reshared images.

Ugly Birds

Ravenari's Art -

Ravenari’s Art – “Crow”

Pigeons.

Seagulls.

Crows, and ravens.

I’ve always loved the “ugly” birds. I love their loud caws and boisterous antics. I love their fluttering underfoot, undaunted by humanity flowing around them. I love their resilience, the way they’re persistent in staying where they want to live, regardless of our desire for clean statues and nest-free buildings. I love their wildness, so close you can touch it. I love their ability to live off our trash, to scavenge from the junk and make it work.

It’s fitting, then, that my new pagan name has stepped up and given me a reminder of their beauty.

Koraki.

Koh-RAH-key. In Greek, it’s a raven or crow. In reality, it’s Google translate and a friend’s random decision to swype a word unasked.

My legal last name is amazingly similar. Corichi (Koh-REE-chee). It’s my ex-husband’s last name, so I only use it when legally obligated, but I love having something so similar to rinse away the grime of bad choices and make me smirk.

The original reason for finding Koraki was in looking up “raven”, not “crow”. I like that it means both, though. I love the idea of embracing the ugly birds, of being one of them. Beautiful, playful, simple, loud. Alive.

My initial reaction to the name “Koraki” was intrigue, a pull on my spirit before I even heard the translation. It felt right without any definition. Meditation and tarot readings have since re-emphasized the feeling of rightness, but that initial gut feeling is something I take above all else; instincts led me to my first pagan name Maluna, after all, before I had any explanation or understanding of what it would mean down the road.

I’m looking forward to growing into Koraki. I had the name Maluna for 15 years, starting at the very beginning of my pagan path. I can’t help but wonder how long Koraki will be with me.

Playing, with focus and passion

I throw myself into new things with focus and passion.

Taking LARPing, for example. I’ve been to two games, one in May and one in June. That’s just 8-ish hours of playing a vampire. And yet, here I am with a small handful of email conversations running, plays for my character to travel to a couple places for visits, and daydreams of July’s Court.

I also don’t half-ass it when it comes to roleplay in emails; I stick to in-character behavior and language, and I try to avoid having to ask/say anything out of character to explain myself. In other words, I deal with the misunderstandings and errors as if they were real life mistakes, rather than using OOC (out-of-character) responses to undo the damage.

I’ve arranged to text-roleplay bits, too. For example, I live with a few other vampires, but I’m only seeing them once a month? That’s not normal! So we’re going to text-to-play here and there, allowing my character to be up-to-date on whatever my friend’s character has been up to at home.

The same goes for a visit to the coast this weekend; while I’d love to go in person, the reality is that I’ll be text-playing with another person while running errands and grocery shopping. We’ll spend most of the day texting back and forth to act out my visit and our moonlit swim.

I’d probably be even more involved… if other people were as enthusiastic! It’s hard to interact with someone who only checks their LARP email account once a month, especially as a new player; I have to build both in- and out-of-character relationships with a bunch of new people. Then there’s the distance, since I don’t live down among the Austinites. I don’t get to join them for random movie nights, tabletop gaming weekends, or other events.

Le sigh.

I’m a dork. And a geek. If you play in the MES (Mind’s Eye Society), let me know. Maybe *you* can be my next email buddy?

Choices

There are always choices.

I could bottle it all back up. Pretend we never discussed the possibility. Return to business as usual. I could push it all away. Disconnect from the feelings, and find distance. Logic myself out of trouble. I could move forward. Push the issue, take a chance that I’ll succeed. Take a chance that I’ll fail.

It’s always about you.
What’s best for you.
What’s easiest for you.
What will make you happy.

I can’t not focus on that. I try.

I tried to make you take the lead, until I saw your discomfort. I couldn’t just let you struggle to explain things. And I couldn’t let you stumble into something deeper than you were asking for, so I had to be honest. I did so knowing it’d suck, that you’d change your mind. Knowing the happiness you want is different from what I have to give.

Polyamory is stupid, and difficult, and frustrating, and awe-inspiring.

I’ve never loved people so deeply, or so unconditionally, or so eternally. It’s painfully beautiful, the way I feel every day toward so many different people. It’s looking up into the night sky and realizing how intimately connected I am to the entire Universe, to every star and speck of dust.

Overwhelming. It’s completely overwhelming.

I can’t not love someone just to make them more comfortable. I can’t lie like that, not with a heart so ridiculously open. And I can’t be sorry for loving people, either. My love isn’t a weapon, or leaverage, or a leash, or a contageous disease. It’s the feeling of happiness at another’s existence. It’s resonating, spirit to spirit, energy to energy. It’s glowing when you think of a specific person, place, or thing. It’s the glue that holds us all together.

I’m frustrated. No choice is a perfect choice. If I bottle everything back up, I’m lying to myself and pretending that nothing’s changed; the whole reason I was able to curl into myself before was in the face of complete disinterest and rejection. If I push everything away, it risks losing parts of our friendship that hold the deepest connection; after all, being close friends is why I fell in love in the first place. If I take a chance and ignore your decision to back down, I risk alienating you and other friends; I could succeed, but it could also blow up in my face.

I’ve written this journal entry a dozen times, deleting line after line of indecisiveness for weeks. I’m not a private, quiet person; it’s unnatural for me to keep my thought-trains and internal debates completely to myself. I respect your privacy, but I also respect my right to speak. That’s why this whole thing is so iceburg: a surface peak only, no glance at the real scope of things. I wonder if this is all a test from the Universe and, if so, which way my lesson is supposed to head.

Or maybe the Trickster has taken a liking to me?