Tuesday, June 12, 2012
This blog post is for Liv Lane's e-course, "How to Build a Blog You Truly Love" - an utterly fabulous course. Learn more about it at http://www.livlane.com/. The exercise is to write about something from the heart, how to really bring it up and share it with others for today's bloghop.
For so long, my life has been partitioned. Here are the partitions I've had to live with: Sue the Mother Version 1.5 (in a fishbowl during the 15 years of court with the ex before his passing in October 2009). Sue the Mother Version 2.0 (sole custody, with a very very dead ex). Sue the Daughter. Sue the Ex-Wife #3. Sue the Worker. Sue the Teacher. Sue the Sister. Sue the Friend. Sue the Lonely. Sue the Psychic. Sue the Artist. Sue the Writer. (Uhhh, this kind of sounds like Litigation 101, doesn't it? But I don't need no stinkin' comma.)
Notice how these priorities are arranged? Notice very many overlaps there?
When the ex died of cancer two and a half years ago, I was able to drop the alias I used for doing readings...but it took me six months. He tried to get out of child support payments by claiming I was earning buckets and buckets of money doing occult work. Hello? I'm not Kenny, Psychic to the Stars, so I'm not living off readings alone. But I couldn't trust that he was really and truly d-e-a-d for a while at first. So that was one partition that fell over.
I was fired two days before Christmas 2010. I knew I could never work for anyone else again and I knew that the Universe had yanked me out of that job (but it still hurt, ya know?). Thanks to an angel on earth who believed in my dreams, I was able to open my own business in October 2011. The Owl's Lantern (http://www.theowlslantern.com/) combines California art and crafts with classes, workshops, etc. in New Age topics and I'm still able to do readings whenever time permits. Another partition down.
Look again. Sue the Daughter comes in third, right after Sue the Mother. My mother died on January 5th and I miss her terribly, more than words can speak; I wish I could go over and chat with her at her kitchen table. But...I'M FREE. So much of my spare time was devoted to assisting her (she had COPD for nearly 16 years and pneumonia got her at the very end) that I neglected myself, in a way that was eerily similar to losing my sense of self in my short-lived marriage. It was more insidious because...well, because she was my mother. But I have to admit here that she was a black hole at times, sucking up energies. Heresy to some but very keenly recognized between me and my two sisters. I gave up art for the most part or stabbed at it or dabbled in it (just how many rubber stamps do I have?) I had to juggle my business and her final illness for three months, and then helping to settle her estate for another two months. (If I had to do it all over again, I would, out of love for her, but maybe with a few differences.) So her passing sent THE BIGGEST PARTITION down, shattering it and pieces flying every damn where. Just like when my younger sister flung Mom's yellow Pyrex bowl at the freeway wall and most of the pieces didn't land on the sheet laid down to catch them.
I knew there would be a void. I knew I had to fill it in the right way, not succumbing to old habits or temptations (it's a wonder I regained only 8 lbs out of the 35 I lost). I had some money. Don't think I didn't feel it burning a hole in my pocket.
But I took a basic drawing class (it sucked, truth be told), and allowed myself to sign up for Liv Lane's e-course (see first paragraph). In the first week, we had to write down why we blog, what the purpose of our blogs are, what our core readers are - and over several days I made some Very Interesting Discoveries about myself.
Look at that list again. The artist and psychic parts are dead last. We are all interconnected, from the cosmos to the cellular levels. No man is an island. I had made myself into an island because I was strong, self-sufficient, I had my duties, yadda yadda yadda. This is leading to either revamping this blog or creating a new one, and it led me to realizing there are some things that bore me, but there are other things I want to do. I upgraded my point-and-shoot camera - loving it! - and the next thing I knew, I'd signed up for an autumn photography workshop at Mono Lake. Well, next thing I knew, I realized it was for DSLR cameras. I balked at that. Then I said to myself, "Who the hell am I kidding? I want a Canon Rebel camera, I've wanted one for six years, and I can afford the damn thing. Why do I feel I have to settle for less?" Another partition went kablooey and I trekked over to Sam's Club and got a great deal on a Canon Rebel T3i 600D with everything, just about. And I arranged for private photography lessons. I know my limitations. I'm deaf and classroom settings are dicey - I can't look through the camera while listening to a teacher. So private lessons it is.
There are some more partitions waiting to come down. After my last boyfriend of ten years ago broke up with me, my father died ten days later and let me tell you, that was a horrible one-two punch (along with a cancer scare). I had allowed myself to entertain the thought of remarriage...and...no, it wouldn't have worked but, like being fired, it still hurt like hell. I decided I could no longer be in the corporate world, it was literally sickening me, and I had to forget about men for a while so I could get my life where I wanted it to be, for my sake and for my daughter's sake. Little did I know it would take a decade and if I'd known, would I have gone through with it all? Gooooood question. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Now? I'm ready to open up my heart. I'm willing to entertain the possibility of sharing my life with someone else - especially now that I'm building my business and rebuilding my art and my daughter is nearly 20. Yeah, it's a scary prospect. I'm 55 now, will be 56 at the end of September. A lot of men out there think I can fix their problems as a reader. No. That's what I do for a living. Others are scared that I can see right through them. No. I'm not a psychic 7-Eleven. And still others don't like strong,self-sufficient women. Well, slim pickin's, right? No, that's not positive thinking! So that's another partition being worked on.
And I've had to be circumspect over the years, dividing my life between "normal" and "woo-woo" - there are those in my life who do not accept my psychic work. There are those who know it's part of the package deal but we don't talk about it. And there are those who truly do accept that part of me. So I'm kicking that partition away, too.
There are other partitions being torn down as well. But I'll save that for later.
I have to be authentic. I have to be true to myself, not to anyone else's notions of who I should be.
Down with the partitions!!