Challenges great and small…

I have been facing some interesting challenges of late. I don’t just have the challenge of trying to find a job. I have other challenges.

After being laid off my job, I was faced with having to cut back on expenses. As with most everyone, one of the larger bills is internet and cable, so I decided to cut out cable and just have the internet. I was spurred into action to do this when another company tried to win me over as a customer.

I had signed up to switch over because the new company had unlimited data for their internet solution. When my provider at the time found out I was switching they called and convinced me to stay as their customer. They did this by telling me I could reduce my plan and not worry about my data usage since they don’t charge their customers if they go over their data usage for their plan. I was reassured to not worry about it.

Since then, I have received two calls. One last month, trying to get me to switch plans due to exceeding my data usage. When I chose not to change my plan, they sent me an email with guidelines on what I could do to possibly reduce my data usage. I told them I would try but in fact, there wasn’t anything I could do.

I was called again today because they said my data usage had gone up. This is not surprising since my daughter is now doing all her school work from home and I am also taking classes, all involving a lot of video downloads. This time however when I asked what would happen if I didn’t lower my usage, I was told they may suspend my services for three days in an attempt to try and get me to comply. I told them, no problem, I’ll find another provider that has unlimited data usage. There are a few in Canada now that do provide this. In fact, the one I was going to switch to would provide it and the cost would be the same that I am now paying and being harassed about my data usage from my current provider.

Of course, when I told him I would find another provider, his response was the other providers would cost more. This is always their response and then when I find one that doesn’t cost more, then they offer me special cost reductions for a year, then we go through this all again. (yes, I’ve been through similar situations with this same company but for other reasons) My year will be up in August for this special pricing. I am sure I will find another provider and I won’t have to be bullied any more. So my work is ahead of me to research and have discussions with other internet providers.

The other challenge I am facing is trying to find my daughter an educational program that will fit her style of learning and her current situation. My daughter has missed a lot of school the first two semester due to a severe hormone imbalance that ends up with her out of school two weeks out of every four weeks. We finally transferred her to a distance education program recommended by her school counselor. However, the transition was not smooth.

The transition though quick, had problems. The work she completed in her classes in the public school was not transferred well to the new school. Her course schedule included a lot of repeating work she had already completed INCLUDING courses she learned in previous elementary grade levels. She had progressive teachers in her elementary school who included teaching modules that were in higher grade levels.

Inspiration and motivation to take the modules in her course curriculum was severely lacking. I can’t blame her. Especially when some of the modules were from her current year as well which she had completed. We sat down together and went through her science curriculum and by just looking at the titles of the modules my daughter was able to tell me all about the course and what she knew and when she had learned it and from which teacher.

The other challenge was, in essence, the distance education program she transferred into was nothing more than all the public school classes converted to online modules, videos, and reading materials. Very dry and boring stuff. Her assignments were the same only instead of handwritten assignments they were now typed and emailed to her teachers for grading or downloaded into a special folder for her teachers to access.

The first month to two months was fraught with issues. One assignment she turned in couldn’t be accessed by her teacher, it took three times and almost a week for her teacher to get it. Another teacher had assigned her to grade 9 math and she was supposed to be in grade 8 math. They were supposed to omit her from a portion of the modules that she had already completed from her previous school and yet looking at her curriculum it looked like she had all four semesters to complete and no idea of where to start except at the beginning. She ended up getting almost through one whole module before finding out she didn’t have to do that module.

This just added frustration upon frustration for her and her motivation ceased almost entirely. In the process, I, as her home facilitator, am supposed to monitor her progress. However, the tools to do so are completely non-existent. In order for me to see what she has done, I log onto her account, and can only look at the report where they log her grades. The only progress they show is when her grades are submitted and then the report is upgraded to show a percentage completed. I am unable to see her progress on a day-to-day level unless I’m sitting watching over her shoulder or she shows me what she has completed. Anyone having a fourteen year old will know that doesn’t happen.

Consequently, because of missed attendance and inability to keep up with her school work, she is facing the possibility of failing grade 8. Anyone who knows how smart my daughter is would be immensely shocked at this. I have been at a loss as to what to do.

Just walking by her the other day, I heard her exclaim, “Why can’t I just write my own story?” I asked her what that was all about and she said, the assignment was to write the next chapter to the book they had been assigned to read. In her opinion, the way the book had ended, there was nothing to write about for the next chapter.

I can understand her frustration. English is about learning the tools. It isn’t about whether you can continue writing a story someone else wrote. It isn’t even about whether you have the imagination to write a story. It is about learning the tools, can you put the words together to form a sentence, sentences together to form a cohesive paragraph, and then yes at least the understanding of how to formulate a story. Does it make sense. Did you leave out punctuation that can cause someone to understand the sentence, or paragraph differently from what you meant?

I agree that children should attempt to write a story, or poetry or other forms of writing because if they don’t then they will never know if it is something they would really enjoy doing. But teachers and sometimes those agencies who administer the requirements for education miss the point completely. If my daughter wants to write her own story then why not let her instead of writing a sequel to a story someone else wrote? Either one would provide the proof of my daughter’s knowledge in writing to satisfy educational requirements.

After hearing her exclamation and the frustration in her voice and body language, I realized I needed to find another solution. When she was having the issue with public school I considered home schooling and started researching it. Finding out she would not qualify for a graduate certificate if she is home schooled I spoke with her counselor about other options which is why she ended up in the distance education program.

With finally accepting that this particular distance education program isn’t a fit for her, I reconsidered home schooling and started researching it. I came across a Home Educators’ Association and found other resources which led me to other distance education programs and ultimately to SelfDesign.

SelfDesign is an education program which allows parents and students to have a say in how and what they learn. They still adhere to the education requirements and will qualify for a graduate certificate but in a much more fluid way. If it works as I hope it will and as it has been described to me, my daughter will be able to choose how she learns math, or what she will do for English and so forth. For instance, it was described to me this way, if a student loves art, then there are ways in which they can learn math through their art. Students are given an education counselor, these are certified teachers who will discuss with my daughter what she loves to do, and how she likes to learn, then with the cooperation of the student they create an education plan together and they offer resources or help her find resources she can use in her learning. They can use real life experiences as proof of her knowledge on a subject and any other various ways to provide proof of her knowledge to earn her graduate certificate.

I made the comment that this seemed so different from public school and the distance education program she was in that I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around how it would all work. I was told to throw away everything I knew about public school and the way they administer education. SelfDesign was founded in 1990, so they have been doing this for a long time. They are having more and more families enroll their children because the regular school system no longer meets the needs of their children.

I am excited about this for my daughter. She is also excited about it. It melds very well with what I have been teaching her since she was born. I have shown her how she can learn anything she wants to on her own with the right resources. Finding this school now, I feel, is a blessing and a confirmation of what I have tried to do with my daughter since day one.

It is my belief this will free her to grow in leaps and bounds and no longer feel restricted or confined or controlled by a governing system that in my opinion is becoming outdated. I think too it will help her build confidence and belief in herself and her abilities.

The first challenge I mentioned is really just a nagging pain in the ass type of challenge and a confirmation that corporations can’t be trusted to stand by their word. Integrity in large corporations seems to be lacking these days.

This second challenge, I feel, is a major life changing event for my daughter, as well as myself. It is my hope this will free us both up to become more than we ever expected to be.

~Kate

 

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Insanity

Waking up wasn’t so easy for her today. It wasn’t just because she hadn’t slept well. No. It wasn’t that at all.

She looked around her. It was something she did constantly, even in her sleep. It wasn’t habitual. That would indicate she had lost some control over it, but that wasn’t it at all.

What she saw eventually produced a mind numbing effect. There wasn’t anything grand about it. The space she inhabited would make any mind want to scamper into a place where the senses could no longer be acknowledged.

She welcomed the absence of thought and feeling. It was better than what had occupied her mind and senses only a few days ago. Could it have really only been two days ago? No, it couldn’t have been. It had to be far longer than that. If not a year, then at least a few months. But, the only telltale sign were the marks she left behind whenever she chose to try and open the door.

A door she knew she had stared at for hours, upon hours whenever she had finally allowed her mind to leave her. Did those hours add up to a day, or two days, or a week? There was no way of knowing. The only thing she was absolutely sure of was what she saw when she looked around her.

Looking wasn’t the only thing she did. She had to try the door again, if only to reassure her numbed mind that it was indeed closed beyond her ability to open it. Coming awake after having slept was harder than trying to open the door. For a brief instance, she would believe her situation was only temporary. Her dreams had allowed her to believe it was true. In her dreams the door would open when she turned the knob. In her dreams, she could walk out the door into a whole other world. When she woke, her brain, though numb and lifeless, would fight hard to stay within the land of her dreams.

Waking was like a stepping out of heaven and entering hell. She wondered at times if it felt anything at all how a baby would feel being forced into the bright cold world after living in a warm dark environment that provided everything it ever needed. The stark reality of it was enough to make her mind snap.

The movement of standing was harsh and brutal. After sitting or lying in the same position for hours, her body protested against any movement. Sometimes, she thought she could hear her joints and muscles scream but in reality there was no sound, only the painful firing of the neurons as she forced her limbs to straighten and hold her diminishing weight.

Her clothing hung limply upon her slight frame. A frame that once held an abundance of flesh. She had surpassed any feeling of emptiness or need her body once produced. Luckily there were no mirrors for her to witness what she had become.

The cold tile of the floor registered upon her naked feet. Every time her foot touched the floor her brain registered a slight jolt of surprise. Was it really so impossible to believe she could feel anything anymore, let alone the coolness of the tiles? Why was that so unbelievable and shocking to her mind? Was it because her mind had ceased to register how cold she really felt inside and out?

It wouldn’t be so unbelievable if there had been no more remnants of what her life used to be like. She didn’t acknowledge her past anymore, or it was a rare occasion when she did. Moments like this when she couldn’t stop her mind from examining everything around her, seeing it for what it really was.

Allowing herself to believe it, now that was a different story. She preferred to believe it was just her imagination, that this was really her dream life when she slept and her dreams were her real life. But waking always inevitably shattered the illusion she tried to weave around herself.

The coolness of the door knob barely registered as her fingers closed around it. The motion automatic to turn it. This was like a test she performed each time she woke. A test her brain devised to reinforce her captivity. Her inability to go anywhere but turn around and witness the expanse her mind conjured before her. Each time the knob didn’t turn, didn’t budge, didn’t wield the results she remembered from her dreams, she would turn a hundred and eighty degrees, like a soldier being commanded to do an about face.

For one brief second before her hand and her mind would register the refusal of the door knob to move, all her hopes and dreams would be allowed to awaken. For one split second, she would truly feel the joy, the excitement, the astounding belief that this would all be over. For that split second, she lived again in a world of never ending, unbelievable possibilities. For one split second, she wanted to dance a jig, sing a joyful song, and smile. For just one split second, she would hold the door knob, suspended in time, but only for one split second. Anything longer than that was torture. Torture for her soul.

Reviewing her surroundings was in essence like taking inventory. A mat, pushed into the farthest corner. Upon it, a thread worn blanket, extolling its endless use. A white porcelain sink floating upon the light grey cinder block wall, next to it a cold porcelain bowl jutting out from the same cold grey cinder block wall, each with their shiny silver tubing for input and output of the sustenance called water.

There was only one other oddity. An encasement within the wall which at times provided sustenance of the somewhat solid variety. Nothing else inhabited the room, except for her. In time, even she would cease to exist in solid form. Maybe she would remain here as a ghost once her body finally released its bonds upon this existence.

This was her captivity. The world of her own creation. This is where she would live out the rest of her days. The only contact, the only proof there was a world outside of her cold cinder block room was the delivery of the almost inedible matter within the encasement in the wall. She saw and spoke to no one other than the voices residing in her head.

There was no tomorrow. There was only now. This moment. This…. This… that was right now. It was her whole existence. It was all that kept her from going insane.

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She…

She… I call her ‘she’, because first and foremost my character is a ‘she’. I don’t want to give her a name, because ‘she’ can be any female, anywhere in life or in this world or universe.

She walked through the door, hoping for a miracle but knowing deep in her heart she was past being given any miracles. She wondered how much that attitude kept the miracles at bay.

Doors are for walking through, or so she told herself, even though she knew some people used them for keeping people out, or keeping themselves in. She had been one of each of those types of people at various points in her life. Currently, she was about finding ways to walk through them, no matter how scary she imagined it would be on the other side.

Today, at least, her fear didn’t keep her immobilized. It only marginally effected her digestive system. Thank god, nothing pushed her stressors like the last job she had and had to quit. She had lost ten pounds in just the two weeks following her training when she had started to actually do the job she was trained to do. She could never hold a job like that, not because she wasn’t smart enough but because she physically couldn’t handle the stress any more.

Two major life changes, possibly leading into a third, and she had reached her physical limit to containing and managing stress. At home, she did things she loved doing and utilized them to learn what she could about herself and to let go of the things she could not change.

Today, opening and walking through the door, was a symbolic act of where she was in life. Would this act alone bring her what she needed? Would it give her any relief to the worries and fears her life now contained? What could she do differently that would bring about a solution she was able to live with? Or was she already in that place?

That was the big question. Did she already have what she needed? Was she just making things seem worse than they really were? How could she ever know what was the truth and what was just made up in her own head?

She has always been the type of person who could see the whole range of possibilities from any given action or decision to be made. Most times, the ability, to do so, aided her in making a choice that she could live with and in some cases really feel happy about. On the rare occasion, that talent would cause her more angst than she wanted in her life.

Today was one of those days, or should she say, the past year has been one of those times. It was one of those times when the hard, the difficult, the more worrisome parts of her vision overpowered the truly wonderful possibilities.

Walking back out the door a few hours later, and nothing had changed. Well, that isn’t really true. What had changed was having to face facts. She couldn’t sit on her butt hoping someone would throw her the bone of her dreams. She would have to work for what she wanted.

She knew deep down what she wanted. She knew with all her heart. Would she be able to make it happen? Would she have the stamina required? Would she be able to open her heart and soul to the possibility and embrace it wholeheartedly? And the biggest question of them all. Would she be able to be open to embracing the challenges that would come her way as learning and growing experiences to aid her journey instead of seeing them as obstacles to make her fail or give up?

Getting into her car, looking at the gas gauge, seeing it so near empty, was so representative of where she felt she was in her life right now. It reminded her of how an optimist sees a glass as half full, and a pessimist sees a glass as half empty. She had always been the half empty type. Knowing this would not serve her, she decided it was time to change perspective. Even that seemed daunting.

In reality, there was only a small amount of room left for going down. Looking down was no longer an option. Everything she does from now on would be only done to lift her up, to see her next step as going forward upon the trail she was now blazing for herself. Well, blazing was a rather strong term, it was more like treading, leaving behind small footprints barely reflecting her passage.

She wasn’t out to change the world as everyone else knew it. She was out to change only her small significant world she lived within. That in itself was daunting enough.

 

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Just saying…

For those who feel a need to give me advice on what to do in regards to my current circumstances, all I ask is, be kind, be gentle, but most of all be positive. Leave your negativity, your narrow minded attitude, and your condescending attitude at home. I don’t need it here.

I have been fighting my own internal negativity my whole life. I am finally breathing fresh air and seeing the beauty surrounding me. I have chosen to eliminate as much negativity as I can from my life. Therefore, if you come to me with a negative attitude, hell bent on criticizing my choices, telling me I have fallen into a deep hole, out of desperation, take it elsewhere. You are not welcome here. Any such comments will be deleted, after of course, my friends have a hay day of slamming you into the deep dark despair which apparently is your life and you feel the need to take me down with you. Sorry, but I’m not going with you.

There, that is an uncensored view into my mind. I hope you enjoyed it.

Take care, you know who you are.

As for the rest of my followers, thank you for being there. Thank you for letting me ramble, and dump my brain all over these pages and supporting me  with kindness through it all. You are the best.

~Kate

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Update…

I remember one of the reasons I started this blog. Even so, I had no idea where I would find myself upon this journey. I love writing. I love creativity in all its forms but mostly in mixed media. It seems I’ve steered far off course, or had some interesting side trips along the way.

I foraged into unknown areas. Some of those areas are still mostly unknown. I still have questions about just how it does or does not fit into my life. I’ve had some major events happen which have made me change course. All of these are okay. For now, I’m enjoying my life and exploring my art, my creativity.

I have considered discontinuing this blog. It’s path has become a bit obscure. Should I continue writing things like my short stories? Should I share more of my art? Should I return to learning more about Dom/sub relationships?

It is sometimes hard to be honest with one’s self. I try, and sometimes my mind takes a U-turn to try and avoid what is really on my mind. This post might be one of those.

I want to share my art, but I want to do so authentically, in my own voice, in my creative person, not on an anonymous blog or somewhat anonymous. Dare I reveal my real face, my real name to this community? I’m not ashamed of anything here. There are just real life stories which might hurt those I love and hold dear. Are they ready for that? Am I ready for that?

Did I take another U-turn? Or did I avoid it?

I’ve avoided anything to do with Dom/sub relationships since my diagnosis of breast cancer. I am sure that has become clear to anyone who has or is following my blog. Having your mortality shoved in your face, which cancer does, there develops a shift in priorities, in what is considered important or not important.

I have learned from my research and explorations prior to my diagnosis that there are aspects of a Dom/sub relationship which appeal to me, in a very strong way. These aspects can also conflict with my programming, to the point, I may want to change channels.

In my research and explorations, it has become apparent to me that any continued exploration is pointless for me if there is no man in my life. In case you are wondering, no, there is no man in my life. It has also come to my attention that having a relationship such as a Dom/sub relationship online without any real life meetups or physical contact doesn’t work for me. This is why it looks as though I’ve abandoned this avenue of my life. I haven’t. I’m just in a waiting phase.

I have without a doubt come to understand there is an order to things. We can’t jump from never having touched water to suddenly being an Olympic swimmer winning awards. The same thing goes for healthy romantic relationships.

WOO! Say WHAT?

Yeah, that can be a huge one to grasp and has taken me my whole life so far to finally realize and admit. I need to be healthy, emotionally healthy or any relationship I have may fail and has failed.

This is the rather big elephant sitting in my living room right now. People are constantly surprised by how much I trust them, or at least did until my last relationship. I did trust people. I trusted them but not myself. There is so much I could go into right now about what I need to do. What I need to heal, but I won’t. If I learned nothing else, this is for me to understand. Me to accept.

When I think about Dom/sub relationships, and the trust each partner puts into the other, I know I don’t have that to give. Not until I learn to trust and love myself. I’m not a victim. I’m not lost and needing someone to find me and fix me. I’m a person who has some open wounds that need attention and time to heal. Some of those wounds have been open my entire life time. Others are fairly recent if you can call 14 years ago recent. Others are from not too long ago, tied to cancer, and layoff and tightly wound up in my earliest wounds.

As I write this, I’m realizing the answers to some of my earlier questions. Yes, I’ll keep this blog open. Yes, I’ll write, most likely fiction, maybe with a bit of erotica. Who knows. It will all be about my inner sanctum and working towards healing.

I once showed a new friend my story, Breath. He was put off by the graphic nature of it and the violence. My purpose in showing it to him, was the same purpose behind my writing it. Though the imagery was about choking someone, it was more about giving one’s self in trust so completely to another person that the walls the person had erected and kept in place for their entire life could finally be dismantled, destroyed, disintegrated.

This is what my writing is about. Those walls are mine. The struggle to let go is mine. The inability to trust myself to survive touching another person’s soul, is mine. I claim it.

I could argue that to reveal this, is a vulnerability I’m not ready for, but that wouldn’t be true. There are only a select few who know my real name and face. Is revealing it to strangers all the more difficult? It is the unknown. The unknown of just who is reading this. Whether I could end up meeting a stranger, someone I know nothing about and without me knowing it, they know more about me because of reading this blog. I can’t go into just how scary that thought is and how tightly it is bound to my last relationship. Which just goes to show you how my trust in other people has been broken.

As an artist, I want my art connected directly to me. I want people to be able to look at my art and know it is me. I want people to look at me and know the art is from me.  I may from time to time post something here that I have created. I’m not sure where my creativity will take me. I find very little art offensive, however, I do know in some of my art communities I’m involved with, there can be those who could be offended, or feel some art isn’t appropriate. If I venture in that direction, then those may be what end up being posted here.

I’m not just painting, or using mixed media. I’m also drawing, in graphite, and ink. I’m learning in small increments how to draw the human body. Currently I’m focused on faces or rather portraits both realism and whimsical.

Drawing whimsical had an interested effect on my ability to draw realism. Ever since I learned I could draw in 8th grade, everything I did was realism. I couldn’t comprehend how to do caricatures, let alone fantasy or whimsical. Luckily for me at the time, those weren’t stressed or a major part of the classes or grades. Now, though I wonder if they should have been. After graduating high school, any attempt I made at drawing was blocked. I always approached realism, and because it wasn’t perfect, I stopped trying.

My recent art endeavors involved learning from teachers who lean more towards whimsical. They stress how nothing has to be perfect. The eyes can be wonky. The hands don’t need to be detailed. The bodies don’t have to be anatomically correct or symmetrical. This was a relief. I could let those things go and just see what I could do. It gave me the much needed freedom to set my inner critic aside.

All those things I learned I could let go of when drawing whimsical characters, now became ingrained and carried forward with me when I picked up my pencil to draw a portrait in realism. It was freeing. It was liberating. I was amazing. It IS amazing.

I have yet to draw a portrait and have it look so much like the reference picture that you have no doubt it is the person in the picture. I have drawn a few portraits that look like real people just not a particular person. That is okay. In fact, that is better than okay. It tells me I’m on the road to being able to create some beautiful portraits in realism.

In doing this, I am moving a few walls. Some of them so deeply rooted, it takes a lot of repeating of the practice to get them to budge at all. I’m applying these techniques to other areas of my life. Sometimes without even thinking about it. Sometimes with sudden Ah-Ha moments that make a wall start crumbling in amazement. However, it is hard to break old habits. I’m working on it.

~Kate

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Multi Day Spread

Source: Multi Day Spread

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I don’t write much any more…

That isn’t exactly the truth. I write a lot. I write a lot in my journal. I started a new practice called morning pages after getting the book “The Artist’s Way”. I’m applying her techniques. I’m only in Week One but I’ve made it my first priority every morning.

After I do my morning pages, I then select a daily affirmation.Today’s is “Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.” I write this ten times after my morning pages. Following each iteration, I write down a negative thought I had as I wrote the affirmation. I don’t have to make up any negative thoughts, they come without any prompting on my part. By the end of writing the affirmation ten times, I have ten negative thoughts. I look these over and I rewrite them into positive thoughts. I write them as though they currently exist, even if they don’t.

Following the daily affirmation, I then create a section for me to write down something I’m grateful for that day. I fill this in usually at the end of the day or I will do it the next day when I’m setting up my journaling section for the new day. This is followed by a To Do list.

The To Do list is a simple one, containing only things I can get done in a single day. Items that take more time go on my weekly To Do list. This isn’t to say I actually do all the items on my To Do list for that day or that week. If not, I add them to the next day’s or week’s list.

Then comes my daily Tarot card pulling which I also write about in my journal. I pull only one card after asking what does the Universe have for me today, or what does the Universe want me to know today. Usually these are very insightful and give me much to think about or something to focus on discovering about myself or opens my eyes to something I’ve been ignoring about myself.

I’ve been alternating between two different decks. Osho Zen Tarot and Revelations Tarot. Today, I pulled one card from both. I was curious what would come up. The first was Four of Swords (reversed) , the second was XI Breakthrough. Both are interesting because the Four of Swords (reversed) means I’m being forced to rest, which helps me to understand why I’ve been unable to find a job over the past year and why I was laid off. The second, XI Breakthrough, is a card about transforming. I found this statement brought me clarity “To transform breakdowns into breakthroughs is the whole function of a master.” and then “The dawn is not far away, but before you can reach the dawn, the dark night has to be passed through. And as the dawn comes closer, the night will become darker.” From “Revelations Tarot Companion”.

I found both cards interesting in how they relate to what is going on right now. Since my breakdown last year in May, I have been on medication. The last time I saw my doctor he had me increase the dosage because I seemed too lethargic. The increased dosage just increased my feelings of sleepiness, fogginess and just not caring, so I got my doctor’s approval to discontinue the medication. I had to wean myself off of it. I’m now completely off of it and my mind is starting to come to the surface, and out of the fog.

This medication did not help me rest. It just numbed me, kept my emotions at a manageable level. It didn’t help me to understand what was going on, it just helped me to not think about it too much. Thinking about it, fighting against it, not accepting it and not learning used up my energies, depleted my resources, kept me from moving on. What it did do was give me time. Time that I needed to get enough distance from being laid off and not having a job, and to get closer to connecting with my inner artist.

This past year has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, mostly of despair and feelings of impending doom. I dislike feeling that way. Recently, in my ongoing artistic endeavors, I’ve been drawn to teachers who don’t just teach art and art techniques, they teach how to use art to heal, work through difficult periods of your life, recover from trauma and so forth. This has been an interesting journey. Even so, I’ve been finding myself going through the motions, taking the classes but not really connecting with what they were teaching about how to approach my art so it will help me heal. This just reveals how out of touch the medication was causing.

I’ve been so confused about why it is no one is calling me or hiring me for the jobs I apply for. Even as far as having one interviewer tell me she had a difficult time making a choice and that she was sorry to have to tell me she had chosen someone else. She told me she thought I would do well in whatever I did. Sometimes I know people say this to make the blow less severe and to give a person hope. However, I am sure she was not just saying it. I have reasons for believing this other than just the words she wrote to me in the rejection email.

It has been frustrating, even though I know things happen for a reason, I could not, no matter how hard I tried, come to a good reason for the Universe or God setting in place my not working. I couldn’t see anything good come out of my losing my job and having no income.  I could only see the bad outcome of losing everything, and not being able to feed my daughter. I felt like I was being punished for something no one was telling me I did wrong.

Pulling the tarot card four of swords helped me to understand this is a time of rest for me, of regrouping, of letting my mind stop, become silent and let my energy pools fill up, become restored. Fighting this only kept me depleted. It helped me to see, the Universe was forcing me to rest, something I desperately needed but fought against.

I can be rather stubborn. When I look back over the past few years I can see moments when I was being told to give myself time to rest. To work on recovering and allowing my energies to be restored. I stubbornly refused to pay attention to the signs.

Now, as I follow my inner urging, usually driving me to distraction, if I try to ignore them, I am given gradual direction into areas of learning how to do deeper and deeper inner work. Each step takes me further than the last. If I take the steps required that is. As long as I was on the medication, I wasn’t being given any direction other than some light inner healing work. I needed much deeper work but had no idea how to do it. Once I stopped the medication and my mind became clearer more direction has been given and I am seeing things I missed earlier. I am now learning and moving forward.

Actions, bear consequences, or they bear fruit. Taking the medication at first, helped me to calm my inner turmoil, long enough to gather myself and accept what is happening in my life. I want to say I took it too long, however, I’m learning we do things as they need to be done. I took the medication for as long as I needed to, in order to get me where I am today. Now that I have stopped the medication, I’m able to think more clearly and have the courage to look deeper at what is happening.

My life is changing. It is changing into something I never dreamed of but secretly desired my whole life. In order to get there, I have to do the inner work. I have to let go of my past preconceptions. I have to let go of the suit I allowed myself to wear in order to fit within what society makes us believe we need to wear, in order to fit in. I don’t want to fit in any more. I want to be who I am, in all my glorious being. Being accepted by others would be a wonderful plus, however, I will no longer live my life in order to be accepted, except in the only way I need to be accepted and that is by me.

I spent the past year fighting against what the Universe wanted for me. I fought so hard, I almost lost my mind. I fought against it, never dreaming what I was fighting against was my own happiness and feelings of joy, I can have with this new life.

Don’t get me wrong. I still have concerns about how we will survive. Whether I will have enough money to feed, clothe and keep a roof over our heads. BUT… and this is a big BUT… I need to learn to trust I have enough. I have what I need and if not, the Universe will see that I am given what I need.

I believe life is about learning to accept the struggles it brings with it but even more so to learn to trust we have what we need to work through those struggles. What I love doing, my art, my creativity, gives me joy, joy that carries over and surrounds my struggles with pure happiness and acceptance that all will be well.

I have to or otherwise, I’ll go insane from the fighting of it, from the worry of it, from not accepting it.

Sometimes we know things, deep down we know them, but we either forget about them or we choose to not believe they are true or real. I have known for a long time, that we are given challenges in our lives. Those challenges are to help us grow. To help us meet our true selves. The struggles we face are usually the Universe or God’s way of getting us back on track. When we choose a different path which is not for us, we are given obstacles to try and steer us back into our true life’s path. When we fight against this, is when the obstacles,  our struggles become so unbearable we think we will die or fail or our lives dissolve into a woeful mess. When we start working with what we are given is when our lives begin to change and become something we never thought it would be or imagine it would become.

I still can’t imagine where this path is taking me, where I will end up. I forget that life isn’t about where we end up but about the journey. Even though I am not sure I have enough to sustain us financially, I am enjoying the process of learning, of meeting my inner artist and helping her grow. I’m enjoying no longer working in a high stress, time driven environment in an increasingly unstable corporate environment. I don’t miss it one bit. If, however, I were yanked back into a similar job, similar environment or just working full time again, I would greatly miss what I am doing now. There is something to be said about that, something to be grateful for. It doesn’t mean I’m giving up on looking for a new job. It does, however, mean I’ll be approaching it a bit differently.

~Kate

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