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!
Progress is a dangerous word. I haven’t made a lot of progress lately. I finished a dress in time to wear it in a friend’s wedding. Finished a Christmas present around Valentines. Still have a gift for a baby shower to finish. The child is 3 months old now. I’ve not been so busy that I’ve lost ground. I have had a lot of emotional upheaval. It makes me set up bad habits. I get lazy and don’t work on stuff I want to get done. Remembering how to buckle down is easy. Actually doing it is hard. But I did sit down to write you another blog. That’s a step in the right direction. Only one thing left to say about. Suck it up, Buttercup.
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.
Fear of failure and fear of success are the same things. You could say they are two sides of the same coin. They have the same outcome when you don’t take control of them. That outcome is stagnation.
Fear of failure makes us shy away from doing things because we are afraid we won’t do a good job or won’t do the right job. It makes us avoid doing things we want and like to do. We become adept at avoiding situations that put us in a position to possibly fail. Possibly is the key word there. We might fail. We might not. The fear is the same either way. So we withdraw from the activities we love, the people we love, and we allow ourselves to become more reclusive out of fear of something that may not happen.
Fear of success works the same way. When you have never had successes with positive feedback, encouragement that shows you that it is a good thing to succeed, reaching that finish line is just as terrifying as not reaching it. The process repeats itself. We withdraw from our lives until we are so afraid of doing anything that we find ourselves sitting at home alone eating ice cream in our underwear wondering how in the hell we ended up like this.
The problem with these fears is that their origins are so far back in our development. What we see our parents do and how they encourage our tiny selves has an enormous impact on how we learn to fail or succeed. The problem is if we don’t get enough of the right type of encouragement and support we never learn how to conquer the fear. It will have a ripple effect on everything we do throughout our entire lives. Every job, relationships, friendships, social situations, even answering the phone, all of these things that most people take for granted are major hurdles when you are so full of fear.
The question then becomes how do we learn to conquer those fears? Recognizing that you have a fear of failure or success is the first step. Just like an addiction, you have to recognize and admit that you have a problem before you can work toward fixing it. Once you see this fear for what it is, evaluate where you are and how you got there. Are you doing what you really want to do? Are you happy doing what you’re doing or do you go to work every day wishing you were somewhere else? Are you happy with your relationships? How you feel about every aspect of your life is impacted by these fears and how you react to them.
Here is another key word for you: react. The way to conquer these fears is to stop reacting and start acting. Don’t hesitate. Don’t stop and think about what may happen. Make a decision to do something and do it. Stop worrying about if you can do something and start wondering what will happen after you do it. Will you be happy? Will you be better off emotionally, financially, socially? Will you get a step closer to the place you want to be? The other thing to do is surround yourself with people who will encourage you and still be brutally honest. Friends that tell you what you want to hear are not doing you any favors. They are enablers that will only help you stay in the stagnant pond of week-old sweat you’re already wallowing in. Talk to the friends who tend to piss you off when they tell you the truth. I would bet dollars to doughnuts they piss you off because you know they are right. Start talking to them and really listen. Don’t be afraid to tell them they were right and you need help getting to where you want to be. True friends will always be willing to help as long as you are willing to put in the work.
We each have the ability to take control of our lives, our emotions, our fears and live happy productive lives doing something that makes us happy to wake up and go to work every morning. We have the ability to choose whether or not we let the circumstances of our current situations continue to control us. We can choose to learn from our parents and decide for ourselves if those lessons are effective for our lives. We have the power to conquer our fears.
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.