Hi! I’m creating a new blog. I hope you all will follow me over at that blog. I’ll post links to it here for a while before I stop posting altogether on here. The new page is spellboundscribbler.wordpress.com and please feel free to share it. I just posted my first blog at spellboundscribbler. Come on over and take a look!
I survived the move. More or less. I’m staying with friends for a bit while I find something I can live with for a long time to come. It works. I still haven’t stopped sneezing. Decided to go for full-blown bronchitis. But I’m heavily medicated so we should be right as rain soon. Now that the move is over (for now), I’m trying to get back into my writing. I made sure not to pack all my writing gear into the storage unit. I have been making notes on a new alien story. I don’t usually write aliens but I can’t get this idea out of my head. I’ve let it stew long enough that it’s about ready for a full outline and some serious writing. It’s funny and has a point and I am liking this idea a lot. Now I just need to stop coughing…
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re saying. Isn’t it a little early for that? To give you a quick answer, No! I’ve decided not to buy the little house I’ve been staying in. It’s not so little and a bitch to keep warm and tons of stuff need fixed or freshened up. I’m just not that in love with the house.
That means I’m packing again. But it’s not just packing up all the stuff I have. I’m cleaning out, too. I’m asking myself if I really need all those empty binders and notebooks. Do I really need to keep the two dozen magazines I’ve not looked at in over a year? Do I need two dozen pairs of shoes when I only have about four pairs I wear regularly? How much stuff am I holding on to simply because I remember growing up without a lot of stuff?
Don’t get me wrong. My brother and I had everything we truly needed as kids. But we didn’t get a lot of the stuff we wanted because it wasn’t possible. So I’m cleaning out boxes and drawers and notebooks. I’m packing up the stuff I will use and need. I am not packing the other stuff. The fluff and detritus of 43 years. I’m trimming the fat, so to speak. And once I stop sneezing from all the dust, it’s going to feel really good.
I just read a blog about voice. The blogger was making a point about not being fake, not using a voice for a purpose and then being someone else in public or private. And I realized that I have never truly expressed my own voice. There has always been a tinge somewhere of the people around me when a child develops their voice.
Voice is not the actual tonal quality of your speaking voice. It’s not a persona people see. It’s who you are on a soul-deep level. My last couple of blogs I’ve mentioned struggling with a bit of old baggage. I finally figured it out today. I felt like my voice was stifled so long and so deep that I am still figuring out who I am. I had a similar breakthrough once I realized that the ex-husband did not define me. I define me.
Let me say that again. I DEFINE ME. Not the ex. Not my mom. Not my friends. People who knew me when I was younger see a different person now. Who I used to be was the persona, the version of me I thought I was expected to portray. But it’s not who I truly am.
The true me, well, I think the tattoo I got when I had that other breakthrough is very appropriate to answer that question. It’s an attitude that I have to remind myself of sometimes. The tattoo says Foxy Bitch. It sits across the back of my neck at the top of my spine. Appropriate considering I had to find my backbone along the way. Sometimes Foxy gets a little lost and I have to go looking for her.
When I read Chuck Wendig’s blog this morning, I realized that I had lost sight of Foxy again. I didn’t have to look far. She’s there, here, typing out these words for you to read. When that moment of insight hits I get chills. The release of emotion is like shedding 50 pounds in an instant. I did shed a few tears because I’ve really been struggling with this for the last few weeks. And you want to talk about timing, I have a blues music channel on the TV and Etta James’ At Last came on and I had to sing with her. Loud. That’s who I am.
I’m loud and sarcastic and funny. I’ll talk about most anything with anybody but I can hold a secret tighter than a leprechaun holds gold. I love the rain and Mondays and cars with tailfins. I can and will take anything you say and make it sound perverted. I have a zillion ideas for stories in my head and I think now, finally, I can tell those stories. For that, I have to say thank you to Chuck. He helped Foxy find me again.
I love jigsaw puzzles. They allow me to space out. While the eyes and hands are busy forming connections, the subconscious is making connections in the background. Sometimes I get antsy and can’t focus and have to pull out a puzzle to help me narrow things down.
Recently I’ve been working on an issue with some pretty heavy baggage attached. I’ve written in my journal and delved into my puzzle stash to work through this one. It involves both Mom and Dad and rewiring my creative process. The puzzle I started is not complete…and never will be. That in itself could be a blog-worthy metaphor but that’s not where I made the connection. There are border pieces missing. The puzzle itself is broken.
Let me explain why this became significant. When I work a puzzle, my OCD kicks into overdrive. Pieces are separated into baggies, worked in sections and laid out in neat rows to be counted and rearranged as I progress. I don’t lose pieces. The last time I lost a piece was 1999. When I realized the border was a problem, the question occurred to me: how do you know when something is beyond repair?
Yes, it would be possible to contact the manufacturer to inquire about replacement pieces. But is that necessary? It’s like a relationship. Two people have joined their lives together into an intricate tapestry of emotions and behaviors. Sometimes something changes. The pieces don’t fit anymore. No matter how much therapy or how many arguments they go through, the relationship is not meant to be fixed.
How do you admit that it’s time to let go? When you’ve tried everything you can think of and it’s still not working, when you realize you don’t even know the other person anymore, when your partner is more of an enemy who tries to undermine your very existence, it is time to say I’m done.
Walk away and realize you tried. You cannot make a relationship work by yourself. It takes two people willing to learn and grow with each other, not grow apart. If the pieces don’t fit together anymore, just let it go. Open your hands and heart and let in fresh air and happiness. When the other person is unwilling to grow in the same direction, make your own path.
Without a doubt, the energy of a house is important if you want to be comfortable in your own space. I’ve been in my house just over a month now. There were several things I did to help make my space comfy. A couple of these things may sound strange but they work.
[Disclaimer: I’m of the Pagan persuasion and use energy work in my everyday life. Don’t be alarmed. Just read.]
One of the first things I did was cover all the mirrors already in the house (bathrooms and furniture-wise) with a white sheet. This helped in two ways. One, it cuts out all reflections that might spook you. New houses have lots of sounds and can cause sensory overload. Eliminating reflections will help ease you through that. No worries about scaring yourself when you catch sight of your morning hair in the mirror. No cats to run by a glass door at night and make you think a wild animal is prowling on your patio. No catching movement from the corner of your eye and trying to calm down long enough to realize it’s just yourself walking past a mirrored vanity. The other reason this is a good thing is that mirrors can be used as doorways. Covering all those mirrors for three days will close any possible entry points for wayward spirits. It eliminates some of the bumps in the night.
The second thing I did is one of those Pagan kinda things. Trust me on this one. I used sage and salt to seal the house off from any negative energies or spirits. This is how this works. From the main door you use to enter the house, light the end of a sage stick so it smokes and go left (counterclockwise). Wave the sage around all the entryways, doors and windows. Say aloud: All negative energies are released from this space; this house is now mine and negative spirits are not welcome here; only light and love are allowed in my space. Make your way all through the house until you come back to that main door. Now take a box of salt and go in the same direction, sprinkling salt across the thresholds of any and all outside doors and in each of the four outermost corners of your house. Important*, leave the main doorway open or open the window to the screen if it has one. This allows any negative energy a path to leave by as you go through the house. And salt the main doorway last. Close the door and leave for at least fifteen minutes so the house can calm down. This also helps rid the house of bumps in the night.
Next, get some nightlights. The first two weeks in the house I slept with lights on in both bathrooms and my bedroom door open. It’s a bit much. Especially if you like to sleep in a really dark room. So get some inexpensive nightlights. I found some cute ones at the local dollar store. The change from fully lit room across the hall to having a soft blue glow in the other rooms took a few nights to get used to, but I slept much better.
Spread your stuff all around the house. This may sound odd but keep in mind I had almost a house full of stuff crammed into one room. Unpack, open boxes, hang pictures, spread out through your space and put something you’ve touched in every room. This helps put your own energy in the space. Your own positive energy will circulate throughout the house. You’ll feel more relaxed with your stuff around you.
Invite people over. Call your family and friends. Have people come over for dinner, even if it’s just take-out from the taco place down the street. Fill your space with people you care about, laughter, happy sounds. This helps build up positive energy in your space.
Lastly, stop making assumptions. Every noise is not a serial killer clown breaking in to kill you. Go ahead and get up to investigate. But learn the sounds of the heat or air conditioning kicking off and on, the pool pump, the ice maker, traffic patterns, the neighbor’s dog, the plumbing. And yes, it’s okay to laugh at yourself when you get jumpy. I scared myself half to death the first night in the house. I hadn’t had a chance to salt/sage or to cover anything. I was seeing a reflection in the stove door from three rooms away when the air kicked on. I jumped out of my skin. This was after fighting of Psycho flashbacks while I took a shower. Alone. After dark.
Go ahead and laugh. I did.
We never know how we look through another person’s eyes. A year ago today, Dove published a video showing women describing themselves to a sketch artist. Then another person who had just met them described them to the artist. The two pictures of each woman were very different. The experiment focused only on women, many of whom appeared really upset when confronted with the two different images. You can see the original experiment from Dove here.
Just a couple days ago, BuzzFeed posted an article with a variation of this experiment. They brought in a group of people to stand in front of a mirror and talk about themselves. They did not know it was a two way mirror with another person making observations about them. A few days later they were brought back in to look at the video footage of the people behind the mirrors. One big difference from this and the Dove experiment is that some of the participants were men. The men had just as much negative talk about themselves as the women did.
What struck me most, was one man saying that the mirror lies. The mirror cannot lie. It can only repeat back to us what we have told it. The mirror is simply an amplifier. The problem is our perspective of what we see in the mirror. So many people have a skewed self-image that they only see the negative. Many have been told their entire lives that they are not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough. They’ve been told that they will never measure up to someone else, and spend their lives trying to reach a goal that at best is not theirs to reach and at worst is so far out of reach as to be impossible.
When we hear the negative often enough we start to believe it. It becomes our reality. Most people don’t recognize the negative self-talk they use everyday. Not unless someone points it out to them. These experiments are a wake-up call for these people. The truth of how other people see us is right there in front of us. It can be very hard to accept that reality. It’s scary. It’s not the familiar that we’ve become so accustomed to. Letting go is not easy. It is confidence building to hear what someone else thinks about your body and realize that they may be right. Maybe my cheekbones are shaped nicely. Maybe my hair is not as mousy as I thought it was. Maybe my thighs don’t look so bad. But even this thinking can be detrimental if spoken in negative terms.
It’s important to always look at yourself and find something positive. Even if it’s just one thing, celebrate that one thing. Then the next day, find and celebrate another thing. Keep working at it until you believe those positive things. Keep celebrating the beautiful things about yourself and others will notice them, too. We are all more than we think we are. We just need to change our perception in order to see it. The full article is here on BuzzFeed. The video is below.