Sunday, February 14, 2010

Living up to potential

Yesterday my Ahki posted on his Facebook that it's not what you believe, but what you do in life that determines where you go afterwards.

I was thinking about this for a long time yesterday. I'm a little bit agnostic about whether or not there is an afterlife, I must admit. It just is an irrelevant question to me because I've met too many people who are so focused on going to Heaven that they forget to live their lives here on Earth. I feel that life is a gift, a precious gift from the Divine, and that it is a tragedy to waste this gift we've been given.

Which brings me to the real point of this post.

Lately I feel I have not been living my life the way I should be. I work 40 hours a week at a job that barely pays the bills and most of the rest of the time I'm tired. I'm cold too because I can't afford heat. I have been blessed with amazing friends/family of choice, but I rarely get to see them anymore because nobody has any money.

I have so much I want to do with my life and it just isn't happening. Lately I just feel weighed down by everything.

What kind of life is this? What kind of way is this to use the gift I have been given?

I left Los Angeles for the same reason. Three years later, how much has changed?

I saw a speech JK Rowling gave recently where she said that when she had nothing she became determined to excel in the one arena she knew she belonged in, and that was how Harry Potter was born. "All I had was a daughter I adored, a typewriter, and a dream."

I feel the same way. Yet Shades of Gay sits dormant on my computer for days at a time because when I get home from work I'm too tired to work on it.

This is not what I want out of life.

This is changing. Now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thinky thoughts

So a few weeks ago, my brother David's fiancee broke up with him. She also, in a way, broke up with me. The three of us had been close friends and she said she considered me a sister, but as soon as they ended their relationship she put me on limited view on Facebook, and a week later she dropped me from her Facebook page altogether.

For a while now I've pretended I didn't really care... for one thing, as unhealthy as it is, for a long time I got into a caretaker mode where I tried to protect David from the consequences of his feelings... it's only two months ago, when that attitude nearly destroyed our friendship, that I started learning to step back and trust him to handle being alive without his big sis always being there to pick up the pieces... because I do respect him and his intelligence and sensitivity, because I know he's outgrown being overwhelmed by emotion, and most of all because I want our friendship to last the rest of our lives and I can't have that if I don't properly respect his boundaries.

Anyway, so they broke up and I slipped back into those old habits, wanting to make sure he was okay and not letting myself have any feelings about the situation whatsoever. But of course the feelings are there... although it wasn't a romantic break-up for me, she was my best friend...or I thought she was. And looking back, I can see clearly that something went wrong in our friendship around the same time as I decided to change my attitude towards David... because when she called me or texted me or IM'd me to complain that he was "an ass" because he'd forgotten to text her or whatever the issue was, I refused to get involved, I refused to take sides. I just said things like, "I don't like that either." or "I'm sorry that's happening." I mean, really, what was I supposed to do? It wasn't MY was theirs. And I did not want to take one person's side over the other. But I can see why in her mind, I WAS taking sides...because by not agreeing that he was inconsiderate or whatever it probably seemed like I was saying that he wasn't or that his behavior was okay.



Anyway so a couple weeks have gone by now and I'm gradually adjusting to her not being in my life just like he is. Well...not just like he is. He's doing better than I am. He's going out with new friends almost every night. I'm sitting at home reading posts on to try to distract myself from the pain I didn't think even existed last week.

So the other night she dropped him from her Myspace. I had been considering blocking her there for some time, because every time I signed on I saw her status updates, and quite frankly, they pissed me off. See, I hadn't meant to take sides... I'd meant to stay friends with both of them... but since she decided to cut me off without a word, it kind of forced me over to David's side... and he really is my best friend and I pray that I can understand how to give him the right amount of space so I don't act inappropriately or make him feel uncomfortable... I know things are fine between us right now but I also know I have Asperger's syndrome and don't know what the rules are, really, for treating people appropriately so that they don't feel like you're trying to make the relationship into something neither of you wants and cause them to be uncomfortable.

Anyhow so her dropping David was the last straw and I went ahead and blocked her.

So last night I got an Email from her. See, before all this crap happened, I paid her $300 in advance to do my photograph for my next novel. Right after the break-up I asked her if she still wanted to do the photo. She said she did. Then she went ahead and blocked me on Facebook.

So now she wants to know if I still want her to do the photo.

And honestly, I DON'T. I don't want the awkwardness, I don't want someone in my house who used to be my best friend treating me as nothing more than a photography client. I don't want the worry that she will accidentally find out what my brother is doing and I don't want stress or problems between me and David because of her.

And I'm really really hurt that she chose to handle things in this manner, that she thinks she can drop my friendship at will and expect me to still keep the lines of communication open, that she says its nothing personal but she just disappears from my life.

But I already paid her for it...and more importantly we signed a contract...she's supposed to do the photo and get a royalty for it when I sell books... legally can I change my mind? Morally, is it right to? The photo credit would be a boost to her career...that's why I offered her the opportunity in the first it right to take that away from her just because we are no longer friends?

This sucks. Really sucks. And I'm tired of it interfering with my life. I need to move forward just like David has begun to do.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Writing for the sake of writing

I am sooo exhausted.

I really wanted to write a blog about some of the things that have happened in the past two weeks. The good and the bad. I lost a friend and my brother David lost a fiancee... and for a while I've been wanting to write about that...not so much about the pain and anger and confusion, but about the way this seems to have somehow turned into a we're both turning our lives proud I am of the way he is dealing with things and how I hope I'm following his lead...

All those things will have to wait until I'm less tired (yes I'm writing a blog about the blog I'm going to write. I'm tired, what do you want from me?)

Anyway, tonight was Rosh Chodesh--the New Moon. I learned recently that some sects of Judaism believe the moon is symbolic of Shekhinah--the feminine aspect of G-d. The waning moon is symbolic of her exile from Jerusalem and the waxing moon the symbol of her return. The New Moon is a time of new beginnings, a time of positive energy when G-d will bless us and our endeavors.

I've been feeling the positive energy over the last couple of days. Last night I REALLY felt it. I stayed up until about 5 AM talking to David and I think we could both feel the energy... and I was so excited I barely slept. I got up at 10 AM and started my day.

This afternoon, I began cooking. I didn't expect it to take nearly as long as it did. I made a lemon meringue pie which took FOREVER... I didn't quite finish I don't think... the filling was supposed to boil, which it never did, not even after an hour...and I gave up because I was taking so many tastes in the mean time there was likely to be no filling left if I didn't stop. Then I made a lemon "chicken" (I used Morningstar Farms vegetarian chicken strips) and glazed carrots...the lemon chicken was easily the best thing I have ever made. The cat thought so too, apparently, since he kept climbing me and meowing. I think he thought it was real chicken.

Anyway, none of that is very interesting. I did a ritual that was pretty interesting. Basically praying for the new month and writing down some of my goals.

I keep feeling like I didn't do anything today but actually I did a lot. No wonder I'm so exhausted.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yom Kippor Contemplations

Today is Yom Kippor, the Day of Atonement. On this day, we are supposed to fast and pray. The point, as I understand it, is to contemplate where we've been over the past year and how we'd like to do better. We are also supposed to pray for others' sins, but this year I feel like being selfish. Maybe some people will think that should be first on my list of things to change, but I don't think so.

I don't like the idea of praying for other people to change, because really, other people's shortcomings are between them and G-d and it is NONE of our business. Nobody changes unless they want to or G-d changes their heart to want them to. And after all I have experienced in the past year and even in the past DAY, I would be very, very scared of people praying for me to change.

I have a lot of qualities that some people would consider "sinful". I am biromantic. I support LGBT rights. I support the right of people NOT to believe in Jesus or G-d if they so choose. I believe people ought to do what is best for themselves, in conjunction with G-d's will, even if it means hurting someone else's feelings or disappointing someone.

Don't anyone DARE pray for me to repent from any of those "sins".

I'm a little bit angry, which is a problem, because carrying around a ton of anger and pain is not the appropriate way to live your life. Last night, we went to Yom Kippor services, or attempted to, at the Messianic temple we once called home. Immediately, the three of us felt uncomfortable, and we soon left.

That was only the beginning.

I was remembering two things in the car on the way back. One was how my mother for YEARS went to temple even though she didn't believe in it, because she was afraid G-d would punish her if she didn't She was MISERABLE during High Holiday time. Rosh Hashanah, which is supposed to be a time of great joy, was always a horrible day growing up, because my mom was in such a bad mood from forcing herself to go to a temple she hated.

I didn't want to be like that, and I could see myself becoming that way. There is no WAY I will ever set foot inside that temple again.

The original reason I left was because of the homophobia there. Almost everyone knows my story already... my close friendship with a bisexual person (now a bisexual couple)... the fact that that person nearly COMMITTED SUICIDE because of homophobia... my passion as a result for reversing the high trend towards suicide among LGBT people... my coming to terms with my asexuality... and finally my realization that I want a female partner...

When I am dating my girlfriend, I will not be able to bring her to temple because of these people who think showing G-d's love = judging homosexuals... and to me that is offensive. Not as offensive as guiding someone towards suicide in the name of love, but offensive nevertheless.

Anyway, in the car on the way back it just seemed everyone was PASSIONATELY upset. My best friends, who are engaged to each other, were tense with each other... afraid that their passion and their religious beliefs could drive them apart. I just sat there thinking, This temple didn't kill my brother and it will NOT kill their relationship either. There wasn't any way to influence it, of course, but that's what I felt.

The problems with this temple go far beyond the homophobia that pushed me away from it. I am a Jewitch--a Jewish Pagan. I do not agree that Jesus was the ONLY messiah, or that He was the messiah for everyone. I can not worship Jesus the man. I worship G-d, the spirit.

I respect others' right to believe in Jesus and worship Him, and if that works for you I'm happy for you. But why why why do people have to try to make me believe what they do?

And THAT is what makes me so angry.

So here it is, halfway through Yom Kippor, and I'm supposed to be contemplating my walk with G-d and how to do better in the coming year. And I am so passionately ANGRY I can not think.

So I suppose that is the defect I should work on this year... all that ANGER. My life is not where I want it... I have a business that so far is going nowhere, no job, barely any income... I want a girlfriend and can not find one... I live in an area that is not Jewish friendly and not LGBT friendly... if I really wanted to I could just be very angry all the time and not do anything to better my life.

I'm off to light some incense and pray I suppose. I'm hungry and looking forward to the end of this fast lol.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Too much on my plate

I made $90 today writing 12 articles for a freelance client. Not bad money at all. I have three other projects I should be working on, plus Shades of Gay. But instead I'm sitting here playing with the computer and not feeling like doing anything. I want to take a bath, but the toilet in the master bedroom has been clogged for two days, and I don't have any money so I can't buy a plunger. I meant to borrow one from David yesterday but by the time we got back from Pagan Pride Day we were all exhausted and I forgot.

Some days I wonder why I'm doing this. This kind of life is far better for me than working at a job. It's supposed to help me support myself while I get my writing in place so that I can live the life I want to live. But lately it just seems like there's too much to do, too many projects that need doing in order to make enough money to pay the bills, too much other stuff in other areas of my life, too much going on at once. I'm overwhelmed just as much as I was at a regular job without the security of a paycheck, knowing this is not exactly how I want to live or what I want to do and not sure it'll pay enough to keep me going.

I've been broke for several days now. It's been a struggle to feed myself and my cat, never mind do anything else I need to do. I'm waiting endlessly for some money to transfer and to get paid from freelance jobs. I have to clean the kitchen. I have to plunge my toilet somehow. I have to find time to work on Shades of Gay.

I'm glad I chose this life, I really am. This is a lot closer to what I want to be doing, and I'm not wasting my days doing something for someone else that has nothing to do with my life's goals. But I'm still not living the way I want to live.

I'm trying to learn to follow my own path, myself, and the lack of money or schedules is not making it any easier. I want Shades of Gay to be a success. I want to continue to live in my apartment. I want to take care of my cat. I want to be close with my best friends/chosen family.

So overwhelmed...

Friday, September 18, 2009

The last night of the old year

Tomorrow night I'm going to Rosh Hashanah services with my family of choice. I'm excited, kind of. I'm glad to be sharing the holiday with them, and I believe this year will truly be a year of New Beginnings for all of us... great things are going to happen this year.

But tonight I am faced with the consequences of my past in a very hurtful way. My brother asked me to wear something white in honor of the holiday. So being a night owl, I'm looking through my closet at 3 AM for something to wear.

I can not find my good white shirt anywhere, first of all. I had it just a few weeks ago... I washed it... I put it away... and it is not in the closet.

I found a gorgeous cream colored skirt I would like to wear. I have never worn it. There is only one problem. It does not fit over my hips.

So here I am, at 3:15 AM the last night of the Old Year, sitting here crying because I've gained 30 pounds in the last year and can't seem to stick to my diet any more to get them back off. I do well for a few days, then I go back to the old habits. It's just too hard to try to figure out what to eat and when to eat it, especially when I'm constantly worried about money and spending it on food sometimes feels like a luxury.

I don't regret this life I've chosen. I'm following my dream and it's going to be hard for a while but then it'll be all right. But right now it feels like I just don't have the money to live right.

So I'm sitting here crying a little because the skirt I wanted to wear doesn't fit and I feel like I don't take proper care of myself because I either eat too much or too little and I'm living on bagels and frozen foods. And I'm going to wear a gorgeous blue flowered skirt with white centers in each flower which fits comfortably and I love, but what the hell am I going to do for a top? And my grandmother's light green scarf, which would have gone perfectly with the cream colored skirt, isn't going to go with the blue one, even if I can find a top. And I want to buy a new outfit but even if my unemployment check comes tomorrow like it's supposed to, there's no way I can afford it.

It seems ridiculous in the scheme of things, but tonight it's important.

Tonight is the last night of the old year, the old life. The old life apparently is trying its hardest to keep living, even though its time is almost gone. The new life, the future stretches before me, if I can just get past this one stupid obstacle.

I want to change. I've started changing already. I'm starting to make money as a freelancer and I'm sure that will only improve over time. But tonight, I just want an outfit to wear to temple tomorrow. I want to dress up and look beautiful and honor G-d. I want to show the judgmental assholes at this temple that I've moved on and am doing better than ever without their influence in my life.

I want a white dress that fits. I want money to buy a dress and a body it looks good on.

I'm ready for change, G-d, where do I begin?

Personality test

I thought this quiz was interesting. It only had two questions, and I had trouble choosing between the three choices on the first question because, honestly, they all sound like me.

Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test...

8 - the Asserter

Thanks for taking the test !

you chose AY - your Enneagram type is EIGHT (aka "The Challenger").

"I must be strong"

Asserters are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

• Stand up for yourself... and me.

• Be confident, strong, and direct.

• Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

• Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

• Give me space to be alone.

• Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

• I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

• When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a EIGHT

• being independent and self-reliant

• being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

• being courageous, straightforward, and honest

• getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

• supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

• upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a EIGHT

• overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

• being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

• sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

• never forgetting injuries or injustices

• putting too much pressure on myself

• getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

EIGHTs as Children Often

• are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

• are sometimes loners

• seize control so they won't be controlled

• figure out others' weaknesses

• attack verbally or physically when provoked

• take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

EIGHTs as Parents

• are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

• are sometimes overprotective

• can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele, The Enneagram Made Easy. Discover the 9 Types of People.

Harper: San Francisco, 1994, 161 pages

You liked the test? so S P R E A D I T ! tell everyone!!!


Take The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test
at HelloQuizzy

I think this is more my ideal self than necessarily who I am... I don't always assert myself because when I do, I generally come on too strong and scare people away with my passion. And I am passionate about EVERYTHING.

Hmm... I have to think about this some more lol.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Beginnings

I am so excited for the next Writer's Meet. I decided (at almost the last minute as usual) that I am going to make a Rosh Hashanah supper for the Meet so that the people who don't celebrate can at least sample the food lol. I may make some other things for Rosh Hashanah itself... if I have time...

I've been free lancing and I'm not making enough money to support myself yet, but boy do I have a lot of work to do! I am still trying to find the right balance and learn how to say No to jobs that are going to take too long when I have other projects going at the same time, but how do I do that when I am not making enough money yet? Free lancing pays incredibly low, yet I need these jobs right now to build a portfolio so eventually I can make a decent amount of money.

In the meantime... I guess it's a good thing I'm getting unemployment. I may have to work as a sub some this year as well, although I'm really hoping not to. I like having the freedom that comes from working at home, but I also like having a place to live and being able to pay my bills... sigh...

In any case, this is a year of New Beginnings for me! I'm praying G-d shows me the way to live a balanced life and make enough money doing what I want to do.

Two years later....

I haven't written in this blog in a long time. So much has happened... my life is completely different.

I feel inspired to write in this blog again now. I'm entering yet another new chapter in my life. I'm starting my own business and have a couple of freelance clients already. Tonight I'm sitting in my brother's house... my brother David... he and his fiancee Shona who is like a sister to me are my very best friends in the world... thinking about how I have to go home soon and not wanting to go. The life I lead now is not the life I led two years ago in any way, shape or form, and I doubt that I am really much of the same person.

It's too late now to go back and catch up on everything that's happened and everything that's made me who I am now. So instead I sit here looking at the candles that are no longer burning, being glad to be here... and starting again.