Muddled Plans: moving through a weird place

I’m in a weird place right now. I’ve got lots of things moving in super slow motion, so it looks and feels like nothing’s happening most of the time. I know that focusing on one goal at the exclusion of the others will increase the speed, but I’m too indecisive to choose my direction right now.

C’est la vie, I’ll figure out a plan eventually!

My Etsy is going on hiatus after the holidays. I say “my” Etsy, because I’m the only one putting any money into it at the moment (via posting fees and shipping costs). I’m also the one who has the most stuff, as well as sales, so far. I figure I’ll leave the shop up through the holidays, giving it the chance to earn a bit more that way. However, after Yule I think I’ll put it on vacation while I revamp and figure out where I want to take it. I might hand over the name (and related email account) to my co-owner, since it fits her eventual goal of an apothecary better than the odds-n-ends I’ve created.

My YouTube isn’t moving forward, but it isn’t moving backward either. My computer is useless for video creation or editing; in fact, it’s useless for just about everything! I’ve purchased a window mount for my phone, so I can use its camera to record vlogs. I’m currently undecided on where to start, though; I’m looking into some random weekly vlogging to get myself going, but I don’t want a bunch of mixed junk on the channel before going full-on pagan. I’m working on a happy medium, which is why I haven’t recorded or posted anything since I opened the channel in the first place.

I want to write! I’ve been making myself read ebook after ebook (from my huge collection of freebies), and it’s gotten me wound up. I haven’t written a story in ages, and I can feel my muse uncurling herself from the corner I unintentionally tucked her into. I’ve read the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I look forward to joining the fray. Knowing myself, though, I’m going to start with revamping an old story of mine (from high school); the plot is great, but it’s not very well-written or descriptive. I’ve developed a distinctive voice since then; rereading my early writings makes me snicker!

My blog has taken a backseat for various reasons. Between a higher workload and lending out my laptop, I just don’t have any time (or place) to write a blog post; I’d have to swype it on my phone, which is a nightmare! So I have half a dozen drafted post ideas, but this is the first one I’ve focused on long enough to complete.

I’ve got some fitness goals at the moment, and they’re the most active (haha). I’m starting Couch-to-5K, a running program that helps you develop running strength from the ground up; it was my idea, inspired by a couple of YouTubers I like who have used it before to jumpstart their fitness plans. We’re fixing up our garage too, making space for our weights and such. I’m not setting a weight goal at all; instead, I’m just going with the flow and planning to follow the program to completion. Eventually, I’ll be able to run 5K without dying! That’s a good enough goal, though I’ll surely lose weight along the way.

As a side note, I’m still trying to conceive. I don’t write about it much, because each month is a weight I’m tired of carrying. It’s been eight months, and I’ve been more focused on praying for regular cycles than anything else. Birth control is wonderful, but it comes with a high cost after years of use; my body doesn’t remember how to woman.

All in all, I’m walking the line between action and inaction right now. Everything’s still in mind, even if it’s not at the forefront.


Love: Firsts, Seconds, and all the rest

Found surfing the Quotes section on Pinterest

Found surfing the Quotes section on Pinterest

I read this quote last night when I couldn’t sleep, and it had me thinking.

I’m a weird realist-idealist hybrid. I grew up reading romance books and believing in love as a beautiful, magical thing. At the same time, I recognized that there was a difference between liking someone and loving them; the cute boy in class that made me laugh was likable, but there was no depth in my feelings for me. Love would be far more obvious, and far less fickle.

My first love was at the age of twelve or so. As an adult, that age seems really young and immature and silly; however, that’s only because we (adults) tend to forget what it felt like when the storms of puberty were raging. Adults often brush off the experiences of teenagers as childish and unimportant, as if they’re less real. It’s one of the biggest causes of disconnect between parents and their children, but I digress.

I fell in love with a boy who made me glow. He knew how to make me laugh and infuriate me; he also knew how to listen to my secret hopes and dreams (and shared his own). He was a sweet boy, staying with his aunt for about a year while his parents relocated or deployed or something similar; I never really paid attention to that detail. I knew our time was more temporary than the usual armybrat countdown, but that was okay.

My best friend at the time was a girl who lived two doors down from this boy. She had me sleepover regularly, and she was constantly trying to play matchmaker and get us alone together. The strangest thing was how upset he would get when she did that; he enjoyed being around me (alone and with others around), except when she tried to make him do so. It was confusing! I thought, perhaps, he didn’t appreciate her meddling anymore than I did.

Life was far more complicated than I’d imagined, and love was not kind. Long story short, I was betrayed. The boy had been dating my “friend” since before we’d met, but she’s sworn him to secrecy. He attempted to be loyal and keep quiet for her sake, and she had fun watching him squirm as I was tossed in his lap over and over. The day I found out was also his last day in our town; he’d intended to leave without saying goodbye, but my “friend” had decided that wasn’t any fun.

At the end of it all, after a few hours of explanations and arguments, I was left broken. My heart was broken, because my first love had been a long and elaborate lie. My trust was broken, because my closest friend had goaded me on for her own amusement. My self-esteem was shot, because I was clearly a foolish twit to have believed in anyone in the first place.

The next few months were quiet and lonely; I stopped hanging around that false friend and mostly dragged myself from school to home and back again out of habit. I wrote two long, detailed stories during that time frame; writing has always been a vehicle of escape from reality for me.

When I think back to my first love, I remember it all like a rainbow of emotions. Sharing the story reminds me of the love and fun and laughter, but it also reminds me of how betrayal tastes bitter on the tongue. I’m surprised, actually, that I didn’t develop trust issues from the whole damned thing!

That said, my second love is harder to pin down. I loved small for a couple of years after that, never letting myself sink in deep yet never closing myself off to the feeling. When I did dive into loving someone again, I ended up in a relationship that started with an inspiring amount of happiness and ended with my heart and soul in an abused wreck on the floor. The only good thing out of that relationship was the way it molded me into who I am today; every misstep and break and scar shaped me into the loving and gentle spirit I am now, and I’m grateful for it.

So… yeah. That quote. I think some people really do need that second love to remind them that love still is, that is still exists and is worth accepting and sharing with others.

But some of us will love with wild abandon, damn the consequences. Some of us will love over and over, kissing the hand that bruises our hearts and knowing that we are richer for the experience (good or bad). Some of us will never stop loving, because it shines out from us like the blazing summer sunlight, warming everyone and everything around us.

For some of us, the first love isn’t really the first; instead, it’s the starting gun in a race to love everyone and everything.

YouTube on pause

Decisions, decisions, decisions! 

I’m trying to decide what the best course of action is for my YouTube adventures. 

On one hand, I’ve discovered I don’t like BookTube per se. Everyone’s reading the same trendy, new titles; I’ve always been a rebel, so I don’t like to read what everyone else is reading. Seriously, I’m a hipster when it comes to books! I like to read things that nobody’s heard of, undiscovered gems. The only exceptions are series I discovered early on (before their big fame), or or occasionally recommended books from trusted friends with similar tastes. 

That said, I didn’t have an issue with vlogging. My problem instead is twofold: finding focus and adjusting equipment. 

Focus is a minor issue. Kind of. I know I want to vlog the way I write; I like bouncing from topic to topic, without scripts and outlines. I want to cover various pagan and philosophical topics, but I might just babble about Guardians of the Galaxy if that’s what’s on my mind. The biggest concern is where to start, as far as pagan topics and the like. There is no real “beginning” to studying paganism, though most people jump straight at the “history” (I use that term loosely). I might have to just ramble on about the reality of Wicca vs fictionalized pagan origin stories… 

The equipment I’m using is a major issue. My laptop is crap; it’s slow and hard to edit anything on, and the sound/video quality is poor as well. I can’t make it better with a webcam or external microphone. Believe me, I’ve tried. So my options are:

  • Work with what I have. It’s lame and low-tech, but it gets the job done. My patience will be tested to its limit, and some people will skip my videos simply due to their apparent unprofessionalism. 
  • Work with what I have, amended. My phone has a decent camera, one that works better than my laptop. It’s hard to control and angle, though; I tried to use it before, when the YouTube idea first came to mind. After the frustrations of working with my laptop, I might be able to adjust; however, editing would still be an impossibility, as my phone can only directly upload to YouTube (it’s not that high-tech, after all). 
  • Get something new. I could try to find and purchase a decent camera, or a really good memory card for the cameras we have around the house. I’d want a plug for them, too, because those old-school cameras suck batteries like crazy. This option is expensive, and it doesn’t really solve the editing problem. Instead, it makes the videos easily transferred to a better (borrowed) computer, and they’d start off in a better quality in need of less editing.

I really don’t want to pump money into anything right now, especially with various events coming up that I’d like to attend. If you happen to read this and have some thoughts or suggestions, I’m all ears. 

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.


Feminist Science – an experiment


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.