"I mean, but for you, I am absolutely nothing I live for your sake and your future. I am nothing to myself."
Connie heard it all with deepening dismay and repulsion. It was one of the ghastly half-truths that poison human existence. What man in his senses would say such things to a woman! But men aren't in their senses. What man with a spark of honour would put this ghastly burden of life-responsibility upon a woman, and leave her there in the void.
Lady Chatterly’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence
What does it mean to want and be wanted? To need and be needed? We take it for granted that on a fundamental level everyone wants to be loved. But love means terribly different things to different people. The trick of love isn’t getting love itself, but getting the one you want, the one you need.
Comfortably resting in a relationship where I get both, I reflect on all the times I haven’t. All the times the wires have crossed, the signal hasn’t come in right. Inputs and outputs that don’t match. I wonder about the history of want. Perhaps there’s an innate sense of want when we’re born which takes time to articulate. You have it, you know it, but you can’t express it. Perhaps the journey is learning what you want. Starting with an idea then changing it, remolding it into that which you desire.
As humans, we’re inherently biased. We think everyone wants what we want –how couldn’t they? We forget that with so many variables, our priorities rarely align.
So I have faltered when I encounter relationships where people need me. Not “need” like my drill sergeant list of tasks “I need you to call the insurance company, take out the recycling and let the cat in.” No, the careful and ambiguous need. “I need you to love me. I need you to reassure me. I need you to accept me as I am to make me whole.” In short, “I need personal validation from you to complete myself.” What a foreign concept to rest your happiness and self-worth in the hands of a single individual.
It’s not that I don’t love and accept you. I do. But you should fuel your own fire of hope and light. The path to transcendence is to seek and gain these things for yourself. Carry them with you always. For heaven’s sake, don’t give them to me to keep care of!
Am I hinting too strongly here that clearly my deepest fears are of being dependent on another person? To me, love is about two independent souls coming together to build a better life. Teamwork is valuable in strategic maneuvers, so you need a second hand you trust to build your empire. Too callous? Hey, like I said, true love is about finding someone who understands and complements your needs. I know what mine are. Maybe you should scratch your remembrance of all these words so far and label me a cynic. Perhaps I should try harder fulfill needs and let myself be needed.
Or I could wait to find those like me. And others can wait to find those like them. Once again, it’s the perception that there’s a way it should be, and any conflict is a result of your deficiency which drives all the suffering. It’s not a deficiency, you’re just different. Rather than attempt to contort and fit the box of what you or someone else thinks you should be, don’t fight the fight. I know all the terrible, nerve wracking guilt and pain it can cause. Letting go won’t always be easy, but you’ll have the clean conscience of knowing you’re going for what you want. And probably, avoid some disaster in the meantime.
I looooooooove a good sugar scrub. Where once my pale, sensitive baby skin feared smearing itself in sugar and oil lest the bacteria take hold and make me break out, I now luxuriate in a scrub at least weekly. Why? Because it's so freakin' cheap and easy, why wouldn't you?
Every scrub I make comes together in my kitchen in 5 minutes or less. In the shower, I notice I'm running low and go make another one. No $10-20 scrubs purchased from retailers I'd have to remember to get or order online and wait to receive. No siree, you just crank another of these babies out.
As you can see in the picture, you have a few options for oil. I typically stock olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, and sesame oil in my house.Today, I found I was out of coconut, and I feel sesame clogs my pores so it's always a no-go (despite its being very popular in a lot of body products so I have no data to support my claim). Olive and almond it is. Though subtly different, they're all good to get you nice and oily.
I like to use brown sugar because it's grainier, but you can use simple white sugar too. Honey makes a great binder to keep everything together. Stick it in the microwave for a minute before you mix it into your scrub so it disperses well. Once it cools, it'll hold your scrub together better. The caffeine in coffee grounds helps perk up your skin by stimulating blood flow, and coffee is a natural, biodegradable exfoliator so it helps the environment too.(Have you heard about microbeads in cleansers disrupting the marine food chain? Well it was bad and we banned them.)
The amount of ingredients? When it looks right. Roughly, I start with a cup of sugar, half a cup of coffee grounds, three to four tablespoons of oil and two tablespoons of honey. Then I mix to find out what I need. Too oily and it won't stay together? Add more sugar or coffee grounds. Too dry and doesn't look mushy enough? Add more oil. And, if you want a nice scent at the end, add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil to make it smell even better.
Wham, bam, thank you ma'am, you're back to great skin care.
After the ferocious 30 blogs in 30 days, I haven't done enough on here. Fortunately it's because I have legitimate writing projects I'm working on which is satiating. Still, I feel bad so let's go.
Among my initiatives for 2018 are significantly increasing the amount of greenery I have in my house and creating a witches lair in my basement for all my herbal projects. We went out and bought quite the plethora of houseplants, placing them last weekend, but this project was one I've lusted after.
It's loosely based on this video I found on Facebook. By loosely based, I mean I watched this video one time and decided it was sufficient instruction for me to go make this thing -my succulent shadow box.
But especially on a Saturday with the intent to be more productive in 2018, I deem it a good project. You ready for these steps?
It's so easy to be mean about it.
It's so easy to see the news develop.
To watch the actions, to sneer.
It's so terribly easy to make people angry,
especially when they already want anger.
Especially when they feel they personally have been injured by the world.
Their sorrows are the greatest sorrows.
They deserve recompense!
am supposed to feel good about an extra two grand in my pocket.
Right as impoverished children lose their healthcare.
Right as their mothers and fathers will worry whether or not they'll live.
They, who have done nothing to deserve this, will worry.
I, who have done nothing to deserve this, will prosper.
Right as all of this happens, I want to be angry too.
I can, but I can't.
Anger never gets anywhere. I worry what does.
Is it hope? Is it resolve? Is it unwavering balance and fortitude?
The world is never stagnant. It swings back and forth.
A pendulum, never ceasing. One way, then the next.
Overall we grow, overall we move on.
Overall we conquer and develop into better, stronger, faster humans.
A better world and a better life for all.
But how do I not get angry about it in the meantime?
You're looking! You're really looking!
Above is my Weebly traffic for the past three months. As you can see, I got a pretty good spike in November. Don't worry, even though I really, really want to, I can't tell who you are. This is the highest degree of statistics I have available on my current platform -number of page views and unique visitors. Are you people I know? Are you people I don't know? Are you SEO scrubbers looking for a sale? Are you robots?
I don't know. But I am fascinated.
I don't do this for the views. I do it because I like it. More aptly, I do it because I have to. My personal journaling has significantly decreased since beginning this endeavor, but like energy, my writing is always constant, it just takes a different form. If I'm always writing anyway, why not share?
But even if I'm not doing it for the views, it's nice to know people are looking.
Why is it nice? What do I want from this? Do I truly believe my perspective is so wildly entertaining or revolutionary I just must share it with the world? Not really. That's the intriguing thing about memoir. We believe we're just tiny people in the world living our lives, then one day something happens and BOOM! Everyone wants to know everything about you. I'm sure Tina Fey didn't think she was terribly interesting when she was working at the YMCA. Then Mean Girls and 30 Rock and BOOM! Bossypants is a bestseller. Last year I read "Lab Girl" by Hope Jahren, a research scientist's story of her life in labs. Obsessed, I started following her blog. I wanted to learn absolutely everything about this fascinating human.
People are interested; they want to know. I want to know. What these people did to get where they did. I want to know what they're like. I don't know a reason to tell you why other than that I am human and love stories. We want real, we crave real. The stories I have that are the most successful are stories that are real. Not when I'm talking about anything in particular -they're ones where I talk about myself.
Blogging for 30 days has been a good endeavor. Especially during the time of year when I'm busiest, it's forced me to sit down and make time for writing. It wasn't always great writing, but I did (almost) always take the time. I plan to incorporate the planning portion now. Now that I'm taking on actual assignments, I'll have to. But it will be easier to sit down and just do it.
Practice my discipline, grow my art, and learn about my fellow F-Bombs along the way? It's been a pretty great month. Here's a snapshot of the past year. Let's do the same thing next year and see where we are then.
Goals for Myself in the Following Year. Well, I'm a year and some odd months from 30, so I'll throw some of those in too.
I'm not much of a "bucket list" person. There are things I wanted to do generically like travel and buy a house, but other than that, I tend to wander in my goals. Protect yourself from a dream never delivered. 30 used to seem so old, like you should have done so many things. Now I wonder how you could do anything -there's no time! Even so, I've gotten lucky enough to accomplish many of mine already which is delightful and pleasing but does concern me about what do next.
Are you a to-do list person? I am. Hereby, I give my list of things to do by 30 (excluding financial goals because I too, hold cultural weirdness for talking about money).
1. Write a book.
Specifically, a novel. I've had this one forever. If EL James can write a straight-up terrible novel to become a millionaire, so can I. Except for I can't. I write and try to put forth a story, then go off and read someone else's story, a master like Margaret Atwood for example. I look at my poor story and think, "This is terrible" and quit rather than polluting the noble art of literary fiction. So no, it will have to be something at least I deem as "Good." With this 30 day challenge under my belt, I may take on NaNoWriMo a different month so see if that helps.
2, Become an Herbalist
This is frankly a little further out, but I would like to get back into it. I therefore dedicate myself to reread both my biochemistry textbook and by Traditional Medicinals textbook to reacquaint myself with knowledge.
3. Get Paid for a Piece
It seems discordant to post this beneath "Write a novel", a little putting the cart before the horse, but hey, it's my list. I've been playing with the blog for a while, I've started putting pieces up here and there on actual websites. Dammit, I wanna get paid for it. I'm still turning tricks on this one, but I don't think it's too far out of reach.
4. Be Better About Friends
I suck at being friends. It doesn't help that work keeps me constantly busy leaving me unable even if willing, but don't let me use that as an excuse, I generally suck at it. Really, it's a luxury. re. When you've decided you'll probably be alone. it gets easy to do. I know that I can go read on my porch by myself and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. However, being granted the emotional stability of being at peace with yourself, you should probably reach out to spread that love. Puzzle night at my house anyone? Want to come to yoga? Want to get a beer or tea? Let's do it.
5. Travel to New, Fun Places
There's never a year this isn't on the list. Let's add, travel to new, fun places with my Boo.
Oh my, what a topic. I feel like we haven't gotten enough juicy topics this side of the month, so let's make it juicy.
Nobody knows that I....
I always thought I would end up alone.
*Exasperated roll of eyes from people that know me*. You always have a boyfriend. How can you even pretend you would end up alone?
I know, I know. It seems contradictory. Let me explain.
There's an interview with Shirley Manson, lead singer of Garbage and my personal goddess where the interviewer is plowing through a list of standard prompts. I want, I need, I love, that sort of thing. The interview gets to, "I am trying" as in, "I am trying to be a better person" or "I am trying to be healthier." And Shirley responds, "Yes, I am trying. Very trying."
I am trying, very trying. I'm bossy, I'm a know-it-all. I'm not terribly concerned about your opinion of this or that because I seem to be doing quite fine by myself thank you very much sir. I like things to be my way, and challenging me takes a very deft hand. A very deft hand.
Simultaneously, I must always be entertained. I'm a straight up addict for new and the unexplored. Combine that with the fact that love is an addiction, one that lasts only one to two years without the "work" part, and you've got a recipe for disasters. Now that we're making our way through Doctor Who, I'll liken it to the Doctor. I like having a companion. But the companions don't really stay for more than a season or two. A companion for everything. For music, for math, for wine, for travel -one for every occasion. After all, we're now a nation of specialists rather than Renaissance men.
If I had kids, I thought it would be a "Mamma Mia" situation. "Just one look and I forget everything" and wind up with a daughter and a parade of hosts for father. We'd live on our beautiful Greek island of bliss and they could wander in and out to teach her things when she needed. It helps when you like lone wolves. One's with their own agendas and lives to manage.
Alone never seemed like a bad life, just the likely life.
Comfort is my bed. My completely ridiculous princess bed. It doesn't appear too princessy here; I've misplaced my billowy curtains and the swinging candle holders have moved to the porch. Even so, it's heaven. Everyone enjoying firm beds is crazy. Give me that pillow-top I sink into. Give me so many fluffy but firm pillows instead.. Give me a down comforter so soft when you're squeezed between it and the mattress, you feel you're enveloped in a cloud . Give me sunlight dappling through the windows while I wander back and forth from consciousness. Sleeping on days puts you in the constantly dreamy state of "Wake up. No, don't wake up." And the cat purring on the corner nearby lulls you back under.
My sanctuary, my comfort, my bed.
What is your "religion"?
ie. What do you believe?
What do you worship?
I believe in souls.
I believe in an indefinable "You"
which is separate and unique from all the other "You"s
I believe you can
Feed your soul
Try as best as you can to feed it with good
Sometimes it will be fed by the bad.
Really, it's good as long as it grows.
I believe in the wisdom of the universe.
I believe "what goes around comes around"
I believe to go good for goodnesses' sake
And for goodnesses' sake alone
not for your eternal soul's.
I believe in "The Golden Path of Humanity"
Its ability move on, its ability to persist.
That humanity is continually learning
of itself, of its nature, of its environment.
And it's improving.
It tries something, it doesn't work.
It tries again, and again, and again.
Until it's better.
Continuous improvement through observation.
That's what I worship.
Let's do this backwards. The boxed sets of "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder and "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C. S. Lewis, (Please note the original ordering of the Chronicles of Narnia with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first.) We talked the other day about "Home is where the Books Live", today I'll reiterate. Books are my most prized possessions. These are my longest held sets, the first given to me right after I had been born by my Grandfather. Both sets have been with me since Michigan which is as long as I've had anything. I still have my stuffed animals from that time too, my Ba-ba bear and musical giraffe, but they don't provoke longing the way my books do. I've added more sets over the years and amassed a library of treasured good. If faced with the decision to get rid of my Harry Potter or Laura Ingalls set, I think I'd rather just die than make the choice.
Books are tangible knowledge. I can reach out and grab an item which will transport me around the world, to the edge of the universe or another realm all together. How can you not love that? And with libraries, it means knowledge is accessible to anyone who wants it. Isn't that beautiful?
Now for what I'm thankful for. My family. I mean, of course, that's obvious. I've also talked by now about great it is to have a family that gets along and legitimately enjoys each others' presence. I'm thankful for my family every day of the year.
Today I'll focus on one of those reasons. I'm thankful for my family because I was raised to be a thinker. I can see it happen now as an adult. A child comes up to an adult with a question, "Why this? Why that? What does this mean?" And what does the adult do?
They tell the kid to shut up and stop asking questions or, what I consider to be the higher sin, they start prattling off their beliefs to the kid, highlighting this or that as "the most important point."
Why would answering a question be a sin? It's not the answering, but the answering with certainty. The "I know and this is why. Believe me because I say so." I was never taught that; more importantly, I was taught to act against it. The minute I would start to spout something I'd heard at school, some outrageous backwards belief my friends told me, my parents would stop me and ask, "Well why?" What do you mean why? Because so and so said. "Well, why do they think that? What information are they using to deduce those conclusions?" And I'd have to pause. What are my reasons for saying that? Where is the evidence to support that belief?
Learning how to think takes practice. It's something that if you're not taught how to do it, you may never learn. If you're not practiced enough to stop and consider your point, to require quality evidence, to never take anything at face value, you could get caught up in the telephone game. He said, she said, fake news, alternative facts. I'm thankful I have a family to protect me from that.