Bloom~

Almost four months ago now my 11 year relationship came to an end. If you follow me you-think-youve-been-buried-but-youve-been-planted3on Facebook then you know why, and it’s not a thing I want to go into right now. It’s not what I’m here to write about. I want to write about the transformation that’s taken place.

I don’t really even know where to begin, to be honest. All I know is having that relationship and most of my friendships end along with it, having to move away from the only city I’d known here in New Jersey, being almost completely isolated and alone, losing my job in the midst of all of it…it put me in one of the darkest places of my life. I’d never felt like life was so pointless; I’d never been so much on the edge of not wanting to live; I’d never hated myself so much in that time. I struggled, deeply. Somedays I literally felt crazy, like a cartoon character who’s head spins around on their shoulders. It was, hands down, the worst time in my life.

And I’m not out of it yet. I’m just now starting to feel like I can move forward some. It’s only now that I feel up to doing…anything. I live in a house with some really awesome roommates. Luna continues to be the light of my life and my everything. I’m slowly learning to cook more than frozen pizza. I’m starting to feel the spark of wanting to write again. But it took four months to get here. Four months.

I learned a lot about myself in that time, mind you. I did a lot of introspection, looked back to see what it was that I did to contribute to the way things played out and what I need to change about myself. I’m far from perfect, but I’ve come to realize I’m not the total pile of garbage I believed myself to be for awhile. I made some really bad choices, but they don’t define me. They shaped me and who I am now, but I can and have learned from them and I know what to do differently going forward.

In these four months I’ve sort of rediscovered a part of myself that I had tried to suppress, though it wasn’t done consciously. I’m a total nerd, a geek, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I never was, but for a long time I put all of that aside and tried to focus exclusively on being a YA author. I read a lot of YA books and met–via social media–several other authors, and I’m happy to have done those things. But I sacrificed a bit of myself along the way. I didn’t read the Lord of the Rings series or Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy despite really wanting to because I was so worried about keeping up with the latest queer YA books. I didn’t play many games because I thought the time spent gaming should be spent writing or plotting my next story. I didn’t watch much anime because that time was better spent reading.

Reading some YA books is still a thing I enjoy. Holly Black‘s latest release, The Cruel Prince, is on my TBR list for example. But what got me through these past few months? Games, specifically Hearthstone and Earthbound. Anime, especially The Ancient Magus’ Bride; and books like Hitchhiker‘s and Death by Black Hole by Neil Degrasse Tyson.

I’ve come to realize just exactly what kinds of stories I enjoy, too. Like thoroughly love and easily get lost in. Anything with a space theme will immediately get me. That’s why I adore Star Wars so much, and why one of my favorite shows growing up was Space Cases. I love Fantasy–high Fantasy or not. I love dark stories, stories that make you think and call you out (think stories like the one in Undertale).

It’s these kinds of stories that I want to write, too. The newest Hearthstone expansion is called the Witchwood and ever since I heard the name I’ve had ideas churning in my head for a story. The next anime I’m going to watch is the one that won Anime of the Year last year, Made in Abyss, and it too has my mind churning with ideas.

I hate that it took the ending of my relationship to make me step back and really examine what I was doing with my life, why, and what I really wanted to be doing…but it did. You can’t get something from nothing, I guess (thanks, Ursula).

I bring all of this up because it’s bound to influence what I write both on this blog and in my stories going forward. In fact, I want it to. I wasn’t a truly happy person before. I was content, but I wasn’t paying attention to what really makes me happy. I still plan to blog about writing and Pagan things, but the occasional post about science, gaming, and general geekery may show up, too. I hope you’re ok with that. ❤

Thank you for reading this. It felt good to write and share it.

Until next time,
DFTBA

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We’re All Human

I really hate that I live in a world where this would even be questioned or needed to be stated, but unfortunately that is the world in which I live.

Any space that is mine, online or off, is a Safe Space. That means trans people are welcome. I am a huge advocate for equality and for trans rights. I’m doing my best not to soapbox right now, but this is such a huge issue for me. I’ve known and loved trans people in my life and to think that they could be discriminated against and hurt because of their gender identity…it’s not ok.

Transwomen are women.

Transmen are men.

Trans people are not a burden.

Period.

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Happy World Poetry Day!

borders
are man-made
they only divide us physically
don’t let them make us
turn on each other

~we are not enemies

–Rupi Kaur, the sun and her flowers

~*~

Rupi Kaur is easily my favorite modern poet. If you haven’t read her books, do yourself a favor and go check them out. In her book, the sun and her flowers, she explores themes of depression, self harm, heartbreak, recovery, moving to a new land, and so much more. She honestly has something for everyone just in that one book. In milk and honey she has many more gems as well.

Recently in unpacking some boxes I found my notes for a Pagan Poetry anthology I had planned and kind of started last year. I never did finish it by any means, barely got anything on it done at all actually. As I kind of rediscover myself and start feeling better I’ve been thinking of revisiting this project. Some of the notes I made on it still jive with me, but others don’t. If I go back to this project, and I likely will at some point, I think I’ll start back over at the beginning and make all new plans.

Given that when I was a teenager I wanted to be a poet it shouldn’t surprise me that both of the deities that are most prominent in my life and spiritual practice (Odin and Brigid) are both deities of Poetry. Yet it somehow did.

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Happy Spring, Blessed Ostara~

This morning, despite it being freezing outside, I ventured out into my backyard for the first time ever. I moved into this house in January and due to weather and just dealing with a lot of heartache I hadn’t felt like exploring the yard at all. But being that this is the first day of Spring I wanted to get a closer look at it. So I ventured out there. I was very pleasantly surprised to find Crocus growing~

crocus

coffeecrocus

It was a very pleasant sight to see especially on this day. I heavily associate Crocus flowers with my patron goddess, Brigid, and seeing them out there was just like getting a reminder that She is always watching over me, spreading Her mantle above me.

The yard needs a lot of work. There are downed bushes to be cleared, a ladder that needs to be picked up, and the white picket fence needs some repairs. I’ll do what I can to make the yard a more pleasant place for me and my green friends when the weather gets a little warmer and we’re done getting pummeled by nor’easter after nor’easter. I’m excited to get back to gardening and spending time outside, and the backyard looks like the perfect place to do some yoga in the Summer.

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Get Moving, Raven

I can identify the exact moment I stopped living. It wasn’t recent. It wasn’t even in the past decade. I don’t know exactly how old I was, but I know it was before I met my ex and we were together almost 11 years.

I was riding in my mom’s car when I realized that I 100% without any kind of doubt in my mind believed in reincarnation. [When I say reincarnation I mean that the soul doesn’t die when the body I’m currently living in does. It goes onto other lives. In what form it does this I still don’t know, and if you want to have that discussion we can do so. I’d happily welcome it as I love discussing stuff like that.] In that moment I felt like I had infinite time. And I stopped seeing a “deadline” so to speak. If my soul would always live, then whether or not I did something now or in three months didn’t matter…right? Teenage brain logic.

Skip ahead to now. Clearly that logic is very wrong. It isn’t really logic at all, actually. It was a teenager giving herself permission to continue procrastinating and, ultimately, not caring about much of anything. This was especially beneficial to me because I’d been bullied so much not just by my classmates but also by my dad and my late uncle. They’d tell me I was stupid, worthless, a piece of shit, would never amount to anything, etc. Hear it enough you start to believe it. If I would never amount to anything I didn’t have to care about trying to. I could put it off indefinitely. I didn’t have to confront the fear that they were right. I still had dreams, but because I had infinite time and I was worthless I could just put them off forever.

Obviously that this very wrong. But this has been part of my problem for years. Not feeling like there’s a finite deadline to anything. Because of it I lived in a shell, took my dear sweet molasses-fast time with everything, and ended up ruining my own life because of it. Not just my life. My ex’s, too. And in doing so I hurt a lot of people.

According to an article in Psychology Today “Because neurons that fire together wire together, creating behavioral grooves, all your ducking instead of doing has turned ducking into your thing. You have become predisposed to duck.” The solution is of course to just do the thing instead of ducking it. This is what I have to do. Rewire my brain to know that there is NOT infinite time for anything and GET MOVING basically.

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28 Days of Posting: Day 21: Things I Can’t Live Without

So, I want to say there are very few things that I can’t live without. I don’t like that I can be so materialistic. Though when I think of the things I want to list they aren’t all material, a few are consumable things. So, okay, what are things Raven needs in her life? He’s my Top 9 list, in no particular order.

1. Luna. I swear that cat is my sanity. For awhile I was having trouble being out of the house for more than five hours at a time. That’s the point when I’d start feeling low and wanting to break down crying. Coming back home and petting her helped restabilize me. I’ve considered trying to register her as a therapy cat once I find a therapist.

2. Coffee. Really, caffeine in general–Mountain Dew is the other caffeinated beverage that I’m in love with–but morning coffee gets me going. Even on days when I feel sluggish and sort of apathetic towards life, often times coffee will give me the jolt I need to at least get some things done.

3. Music. I can’t articulate enough how much therapy music gives me. Feeling sad? Find a sad song and sing a long. Feel angry? Find an angry song and belt it. Seriously. I’m not the best singer, and it’ll take awhile before I’ll do more than murmur lyrics around you, but singing along to songs has pulled me out of some really undesirable moods.

4. Video games. I’ve loved games since I was a kid. I played my first video game when I was like 5 years old and Mario Bros was released on the NES. The SNES is my favorite gaming platform, and I adore any retro style game. There have been periods in my life when I didn’t play many games, for various reasons. But you know what’s always been able to distract me from weird brain things. Games. Not even books can do that. I wish they could. But they aren’t interactive enough, and sometimes my mind just wanders. But with games you have to be present and be aware of what’s going on all the time. Otherwise you get your head handed to you.

5. Writing. Whether it be journaling, bullet journaling, or working on a book writing is like meditation to me. I get very “zen” and often times have deep personal revelations when I’m writing. Sometimes I have trouble understanding various situations, but if I journal about them or make my characters act it out I find that whatever had been escaping me comes into focus. Writing is literally how I make sense of the world.

6. My cell phone. This one makes a lot of people’s list, and for good reason. For me, it’s how I get around due to GPS and having recently moved to an unfamiliar neighborhood; it’s my music when I’m out and about; it has several games on it like Pokemon Go and Fire Emblem Heroes; it’s my camera. And of course it’s a phone, too, but who makes calls anymore? ;P

7. Nature. Whether it be a forest, the beach, or just some flowers in a vase. There is something about the natural world that is just relaxing to me.

8. Friends and family. Another thing that makes everyone’s list, but they are always worth mentioning. I really don’t know how I would have survived these past few months without my friends. They’ve picked me up and carried me forward, made sure I was eating and sent me cute cat pictures if they couldn’t just give me a hug, they’ve offered support and hang outs and visits. I really can’t say a big enough thank you to everyone who has been there for me and stuck by me.

9. Netflix and chill nights. No, I mean literally Netflix and relax with blankets and popcorn and chocolate and Mountain Dew and a good movie or show. Sometimes what you need most is just to curl up and watch things whether it be with friends, by yourself, or with your furry friend. Once I get done writing this post that’s how I plan to spend the rest of the night.

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To see a list of the prompts, check out this post! And make sure to check out Kara at Boho Berry, especially if you like fountain pens or bullet journaling. She’s a huge inspiration~

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28 Days of Posting: Day 16: My Dream Job

Well, clearly I haven’t been doing the daily post thing like originally planned. That’s ok though. With everything I have going on, I’m kind of just expecting myself to do the best I can.

Anyway, today’s prompt is “my dream job” and…I don’t know what that would be if I’m totally honest. What I do know is that I enjoy telling stories, even if the motivation to actually sit down and put pen to paper–or fingers to keys–escapes me.

I also really enjoy taking photographs, whether it be landscapes or staged photos, there is something satisfying about capturing the perfect shot.

In recent months–the past year, really–I’ve also really discovered an enjoyment for drawing. I can’t really say I’d want to draw for a living, or even paint. I don’t know that I want to even try my hand at animation, though I tend to notice how things are drawn when I’m watching cartoons or anime. But I do enjoy doodling things.

I guess I would have to say my dream job would just be creating.

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To see a list of the prompts, check out this post! And make sure to check out Kara at Boho Berry, especially if you like fountain pens or bullet journaling. She’s a huge inspiration~

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