I turned 36 a little over a week ago.
I ended up spending it Holding Still For As Long As Possible (25 minutes at a time) doing a two-full-day modeling job at a new drawing studio in town. It was a good gig, and I hope she’ll have me back next semester.
It feels strange to have not marked my birthday in a bigger way. A year ago, I was really hung up on the fact that, for the 3rd year in a row, my birthday had been pre-empted/over-shadowed by a local leather event and I was soooo determined that this year I would have Fuss.
… And then a whole bunch of Extenuating Circumstances happened, and my birthday “big event” ended up being having a quiet dinner in with my wife and two of her other partners. It was a really pleasant meal, and it also felt strange. Like “Why are my people not around me right now?”
I did get a surprise visit from my out-of-town partner – for reasons that had nothing to do with my birthday, although we did make a point of eating cake together to celebrate it, which was nice. I did get take out by a friend (currently in Berlin) who brought me to a fancy spa for a day in the hot tubs. I did get taken out for lunch by a friend who just wanted to check in with me, and didn’t even know it had been my birthday two days earlier. So I have had some fuss directed my way, and that’s been nice.
…And I still kind of want to have a party. Possibly in early December. I could call it my “unbirthday party” or something and have people out for martinis or similar.
Still. I got something that I asked for. Look at that. O.O
The past 10 days have involved changing up our home a little bit. My wife and I put up (most of) our art and (some, though nowhere near all, of) our ancestor pictures. We tidied the kitchen, emptied (again) the front room and started using it as a dining room. It’s also going to be a music-and-fibre-arts space, but that’ll come. We’ve got most of the furniture sorted out. I just need to add an extenion cord and my loom, and then I can start filling up my new book case with small bins of yarn, roving, fabric and books on sewing and self-suficiency (profided they’ll fit -I think I can make it work)… which will mean that my craft cabinet can hold my beading supplies and some of my less-frequently-used candle-making supplies, too.
I can’t tell you how good it feels to eat dinner at a table like a fucking grown up.
We haven’t had a (usable, available) dining room table since we got married. Right now, my big, drop-leaf table lives in our kitchen and is basically being used as a shelf. I want to get it cleared off so that it can be a functional work-surface that gets cleaned & tidied on the regular. That’s going to take some doing, but I think it can be done. Maybe even before Frost Moon is full (wouldn’t that be great? That would be great!)
If feels a bit like things are moving more freely in the house because of what we’ve done recently. My sewing scissors came back to me. I’m starting (in bits and pieces) to be able to Feel My Feelings on fronts where I’d been pushing them away – like pushing away good feelings that I want to experience out of fear that, in letting myself feel them, I’d just be setting myself up for more pain. I’m doing Sofia’s self-forgiveness challenge which… is definitely challenging, I don’t mind telling you.
I feel like I’ve been kind of a massive failure at adulting this year. Like I was supposed to get the hang of so many things, and I just didn’t. But I recently re-read a post from a little over a year ago and here’s what I said I wanted from 2015:
I want 2015 to be a year of (a) reliable, steady part-time employment (and, as such, income!), but also a year of (b) writing, and (c) food-ing – garden, kitchen, feasting and preserves, you name it. There are other things. All of my Shadow Stuff is going to have to keep happening. I want there to be enough modeling, mixed in with all the rest of it, to keep me happy (and in cash, and in art). I want there to be lots of sewing and fibre-arts-ing, lots of Making All The Things. Without having to worry about whether or not I’ll be able to sell them somewhere.
…And that’s basically what it’s looked like.
The part-time work hasn’t been steady, but it’s been available when I needed it: Repeat single-day contracts from close-to-home reception clients who requested me specifically. A few months of 10 hours/week doing data entry from home that let me pay my rent all through the summer.
I’ve been mostly (if barely) supporting myself with modeling work – which is amazing – and have a LOT of modeling coming up (starting in a few hours!) this week.
I’ve spent most of this year growing my garden, keeping people fed, and making preserves.
I’ve fallen in love with a new person, whom I hadn’t even met when I wrote the post I just quoted.
I’m maybe, possibly, starting to get the hang of making Secret Project X work out the way I want it to (fingers massively crossed – we’ll see what happens on this front, as it may be just a fluke).
I (self-)published a chapbook and have continued to work on my “How To Cook a Heart” poetry manuscript, with an eye to the kind of themes I want to explore.
I finished two weaving projects on my loom, and I know what sewing projects I’m going to do in order to incorporate them into further work. I finished my fetish shawl in time to wear it during Unholy Harvest.
My wife is offering me a way to (a) help her out, while (b) making some money for myself through Making Things With My Hands, which I think will be good thing for me to do.
… I think I’m sort of getting what I want.
Which is scary as fuck, I don’t mind telling you.
Scense From My Brain:
Me (wonderingly): … I think I’m sort of getting what I want…
Frightened Self: AUGH!!!
Reasonable Self: Uh…? What’s up with the flailing? Isn’t this a good thing?
Frightened Self: But if I get everything I want, then–
Reasonable Self: …then?
Frightened Self: then… then… I’ll be… happy?
Reasonable Self: … Is that a bad thing? To be happy?
Frightened Self: … Yes? Won’t something bad happen to me if I’m happy? Won’t I get punished? Won’t some huge hand from out of the sky come and break me into a thousand pieces and take away everyone I love and everything I’ve ever done and leave me destitute and alone and friendless and starving in the cold?
Mama Self: Oh, honey… Baby girl, listen to me. You are not going to get punished for feeling happy, for asking for what you want, for letting people love you, for shining as bright as you are, for singing like you do. You are not Oliver Twist. And this is not elementary school. You are alowed to want. And you are alowed to have. You remember Leah’s poem? About how a femme with her legs open, asking for more than a kick or a slur, is a blessing?
If you open your arms (your hands, your legs) and ask, say what you want, you are not going to get beaten down for the asking.
The thing is… I don’t know how to finish that Mama Self thought. I don’t know how to say “what will happen instead of getting kicked”. I’m afraid I’d be lying to myself if I said “when you ask, you will receive”. I’m not even sure if saying “I will take care of you” will make a difference, if that’s even a promise I can make myself. If that’s even the point.
Liz Worth has an elemental tarot spread that goes:
And I think that, if I were to pull those cards for myself right now (not happening – I need to leave for work shortly), that my Will card would be so scrambled. So much of magic – whether we’re talking Glamour or talking Changing Conciousness At Will – is knowing what you want. And I am SO afraid to want, let alone to voice those wants. The Queen of Cups is something that I wish I could be. Open. Receptive. Ready and waiting and knowing, trusting, she’ll be filled. I want it to be safe for me to receive.
Now how the hell do I make that happen?