Call Me Grumpy Pants If You Want…

I’ve intended to blog more lately, but silence has kind of… Well, happened. As has life.

1. Pregnancy continues with little real problems. We hit 18 weeks, and next Monday we have another ultrasound and hopefully find out the sex of the baby. I should probably plan to blog more on this subject. Basically, though, my romanticized ideas of a spiritually-centered wonderful happy time pregnancy has actually been a time filled with fatigue (Really? Still?), aversions to 99% of vegetables, feeling incredibly tiny in a giant world, wondering when I’m going to actually start to feel excited about a baby instead of swinging between downright terrified and numb, reminding myself that I want children, and listening to every woman I encounter (no matter how little I know them) inform me that I’m insane for wanting a natural childbirth (along with a healthy dose of the opposite side of the camp basically saying I will never bond with my child among other horrible things should I NOT manage to get through the entire experience sans medical intervention). Funny thing is that I never actually say that I want to try for a natural childbirth.  They just volunteer this information on their own.

Also, I’m apparently less of a woman if I don’t feel completely comfortable with the thought of breastfeeding at this point as a first-time-mother, and to make things better I have no self-esteem because I cover my hair and would never feel comfortable not having a cover for my breasts when publicly feeding my child. Seriously, ladies… Can we lay off the judgmental negativity on blogs and more importantly in real life? While I admit that I may not have the greatest self-esteem, my religious practices of dressing (semi)modestly and levels of comfort in letting body parts I consider sacred be on full display for anyone walking by to see has nothing to do with lacking in a concept of self-worth and confidence. In fact, it has everything to do with the fact that I have a personal concept of it – Just like you do. It’s just we see things differently. And yes, I belly dance. And yes, I think the female body is one of the most beautiful things the Gods created. But just like a mystery cult or what happens in the Temple of Vesta, I don’t particularly want the uninitiated knowing what’s going on, if you know what I’m saying. Think of me as a prude, but please shut up with the public judgment. If that’s what self-esteem looks like, I don’t want it.

2. I have a month-and-a-half to come up with a business plan for the classes that I’m taking. I have spent the last 4 months having no clue what I’m doing. I have few assets. I have no start-up capital. And it will be more than a year until I can even start working on said plan. Oh, and it’s for farming and I have no land… The plan was to work internships (typically unpaid and living on-farm) for a couple years, but the baby on the way has sort of thrown a wrench in that plan. I’m not really upset, because the reason for having to re-plan is a happy one. However, I found out I was pregnant a week before this program started, so I’ve not had time to regroup… Never mind how hard it is finding land to lease. Especially when you want to start urban and small.

3. We are looking to buy a house. We can no longer stand living where we do due to our neighbors constantly playing music too loudly and our property manager and police apparently not being able to (or are they just unwilling?) to help us with it. We’ve exhausted every option short of a lawsuit, and I’m just too tired to deal with that unless it’s a matter of getting out of our lease. We want to buy so we can do what we want on our property and not have to rely on others not fixing things when we could do it ourselves. (Hello leaky faucet I can’t seem to get anyone to fix but could easily do myself…)

Considering the rate this is going, we’ll be moving this next summer… And I’m seriously starting to wonder if with everything else happening (house and baby?) if we’ll be able to afford the small wedding we were planning on. I am so miserable in this duplex that I’m torn as to how I feel about it, and now I’m having to fight off the suggestion (from my fiancé of all people) to just go to the courthouse and get it done. I’m getting promised a big party when we can afford it, but I know how this goes… The party never happens. Never mind that the party isn’t the only part of a wedding to me… The, you know, ceremony part is the big deal.

So yes, gentle readers, I am stressed and unhappy at this point. And, despite my tendency to rant, I don’t feel right putting my negativity out publicly to the world day in and day out. I’m personally a little baffled as to how things can actually be going so well (these are happy situations for the most part!) and I can be simultaneously happy and unhappy or excited and unenthused. Is it pregnancy? Is it bipolar disorder? Can I write it off as being a Libra? Who the hell knows.

What I can tell you is that I’m more than willing to just keep trudging on to see where all of these things take me in the upcoming year. And I promise to let you know what our ultrasound reveals about the baby we have taken to calling Pony, because early on when asked whether we wanted a boy or girl we just replied with, “We really hope it’s a pony.”

The Death of an Enemy and the Ghost of Another

(Note: This was written when I should be sleeping, so please excuse rambling, typos, misspellings, and generally wackiness.  I should probably wait until I sleep to post things, but what would be the fun in that?)

Yesterday was International Pagan Coming Out Day. I was going to talk about it, but between my body declaring it International Stay In Bed Day and all this bin Laden junk I sort of lost sight of where I stand on being out.

It’s funny to me how the whole Pagan Coming Out Day and bin Laden’s death sort of melded together for me into one giant bucket of yuck. I made the personal choice not to draw attention to myself any more than I had to… I’m not exactly in the broom closet, but I wanted to take a moment to let people know what my experience has been like. People who don’t read my blog and probably don’t know it exists. People who are Facebook friends with me…

But then I started reading all the things people were saying about bin Laden. I have my own feelings about the whole deal, but once again I’ve decided that it is easier to just keep my mouth shut while emotions are running high. I will tell you, though, that I am absolutely horrified by the sheer number of times I read “may he rot in hell.”

It’s odd what will re-open old wounds… Apparently for me it was seeing the judging, harsh words of people I have known/know in my life over the death of an enemy.

You see, I was obnoxiously out about my new found religion back in my teenage years. I didn’t have much to lose then, and I was rightfully prone to outrage over people not accepting me for who I was. In a way, that has probably become a piece of my social anxiety. I don’t think I deflected as much as I stored away the bullying and harassment for later in life.

Being out as a teenager didn’t accomplish much of anything… Other than almost 11 years later my high school still has a dress code policy that bans “occult jewelry and make-up.” Way to go, Indianola, Iowa! At some point (when I’m in a better place to revisit the memories), I will talk more about being a Pagan in high school… Today isn’t it.

Today, though, I saw people who battered me with their religious views in the past not practice the compassion their religion asks of them. I saw judgment being passed. I saw lots of God talk. And I don’t know… This little box shoved into the dark corner of my mind was opened, allowing memories of sobbing in anger during the week of graduation, because I simply couldn’t understand how my high school could sanction religious events as a public school while not allowing me to wear a small sign of my faith and being so angry that people were willing to condemn me for my beliefs when I tried my hardest to be a good person.

It’s amazing to realize how much pain is still there for me. Last week, I was told by a spiritual advisor that I needed to let go of the past. I was pretty sure that I had, but apparently I’ve just pushed it pretty deep instead. It kind of makes me nervous to think what else may be lurking underneath the surface.

I’m in an odd place. Knowing that I am walking the path of healing myself so that I may go into ministry without finding myself crumbling, I have to stop and screw up my face over the absolute fear of being judged by people. About a month ago, though, I quietly changed my Facebook religious view statement from Unitarian Universalist to Eclectic Pagan. This may seem slightly minor, but I’m Facebook friends with my grandmother… Who has on more than one occasion said some very, um… Disconcerting things in regards to her totalitarian view of religion… Involving but not limited to my having a hole only Jesus can fill.

I also had the International Pagan Coming Out Day icon as my photo on Facebook for a few days… So right. Not really in the closet for the most part? But I wanted to share a bit more of myself with those willing to pay attention…

You know… Until bin Laden’s death reminded me that sometimes the people I know and/or love can be really judgmental, mean, and lacking in compassionate thinking… Or at the very least lacking in the ability to keep from publicly showing it.

My heart is broken over it all. I think, at least for tonight/today, I’ll blame it on hormones. The block of cheese and half a bag of pretzels I just consumed while writing this, the cramps that are plaguing me, and the fatigue I’m experiencing may very well back me up on this one.

I think all I can do tonight is go to bed, say my prayers and a few extra, and pass out.

(Haha, I said block of cheese and back me up in the same sentence!)

So. That was my International Pagan Coming Out Day… Did you do anything for the day? Did you blog about it – Either in support of or in criticism against it? Please share with me! I’m really curious about how things went and how the entire concept was received by the general populace but also the Pagan community!

Random Rambling About Mental Health

Lately I’ve stared at my word processing program and simply been unable to write. I liken it to my painting classes in high school when my art teacher told me that the hardest thing about painting was getting over the anxiety of a white canvas. Once you get those first few marks down, everything rolls out.

The problem is that lately things just haven’t been Paganism-related. I’ll admit it – In the last five months I’ve been a very lazy, very bad Pagan. Life has been too stressful, and I find it kind of ironic that my faith becomes stronger during those times despite the fact that my practice falls away.

Lately my focus has been on my bipolar disorder. It seems that I’m in the middle of a mild depressive shift. The boyfriend has been commenting about it for months, but I’ve been in denial. I’m just tired. I’m just stressed. I just work too much… The excuses are innumerable. I am fine. I am fine. I am fine. The truth is that I’m in survival mode. This is sadly a state of being that I’m quite used to. I work. I sleep. I eat when I’m actually hungry.

There is no creation. There is no outside contact with the world. There are no little rituals and habits. All that exists is survival.

For the most part I am rather good at convincing myself that I’m happy and that things are okay. As long as I’m going to work and not fantasizing about throwing myself in front of a moving car, I’m not depressed. Then spring started to happen, and I realized that while the world outside is shifting to another season, I seem to be lacking in that same shift.

So this is my world right now… Watching myself closely. Trying to keep things stable despite the fact that it’s not. These are the things that I need to write about and get out of my system.

The thing that I’m wondering is if I should simply keep it here in this blog, or should I move it to another one? I’m sure there will be some cross-over, but I really don’t want this blog to turn into my own personal The Bell Jar.

Well, I suppose that answers that question for me.

Writing does indeed solve everything.