(something glitched and this didn’t post. Good thing I checked before closing it. Originaly from Jan 4)
2018! And it’s already day 4? lol Life goes so fast, it’s mindblowing. But, I’ve approached it totally differently.
I worked through Christmas Eve, and then just chilled. The mother-in-law went into the hospital for pneumonia Christmas Eve, so rather than try to push through everything by working and watching the kiddo, I decided to just read books and hang out with family. I drove Uber a bit on Thursday and Friday, but my wife needed my help as well due to health issues. So I tried not to stress or worry. Lots of people were taking this time off anyway. My intuition didn’t freak out about it either, so it was a good choice. And that choice lead to very interesting results.
I normally read a lot of non-fiction, self development books. But I’ve been feeling a pull to read fiction more to help my wife with her writing. I saw a post that were the 100 lesbian books to read and the very first book in the list grabbed my attention. So I looked it up, read the free preview, and liked it. Then I realized it was on Kindle Unlimited, which has a free 30 day trial. I signed up for that, then realized there was a free audiobook pairing if I signed up for the romance package on audible – again a free trial. And since then I have gone through at least 8 of Bridget Essex’s books which are all lesbian fantasy romances, with knights from other lands, werewolves, vampires and witches. Feel good stories that are amusing and interesting. I also read a cute book called Villians Don’t Date Heroes, which wasn’t nearly as good, but started me on this journey of lesser known books. In one of the last books I read, the main character is a normal witch living in an abnormal place. But what I realized as she would talk about rituals and the connections is that I actually wanted that. Not the details of it, but a spiritual practice that connected me to the larger energies of the moon and earth. So that lead me to my most recent endeavor.
It’s been years since I read anything witchy, so my memory was too hazy to know where to start. So I went online and started asking questions of my various pagan friends. I know I don’t want to do normal ritual. Calling a circle and all that just isn’t my thing. But I know there’s a lot of energy available to amplify my intention. So I received some good information, mostly about trusting my intuition, since I was being pulled in this direction. Tonight I did my first ‘ritual’, even though it’s a few days past the full moon. Here’s what I did.
First, I cleaned my office. I just couldn’t do ritual work in the mess. It’s not super organized, but the floor is cleaned up and well vacuumed, the general clutter is out of sight, and I had room to set up. Then I pulled down my salt lamp, which I turned on. I was told the colors of the full moon are white, blue and orange, so I chose 3 stones that matched from my collection: orange calcite, white quartz, lapis lazuli (egg shaped), and a selenite egg that I held in my hands throughout. I also added a nice big chunk of labradorite. Then I sat before them. First I took a few breaths, clearing my mind. Then I did an MBO for ease in releasing self judgment, which is what I’m focusing on releasing in the waning moon. I believe then that I called upon Luna, the Moon, and Gaia, the Earth, along with my spirit guides, to aid me with their energies with what I was trying to accomplish. I didn’t call upon any gods or goddesses, as that isn’t really my thing either. I had a nice little chat, felt the energy humming, and when I felt complete I did a bow. It felt very good to do something more purposeful than just saying a quick MBO. Then I put my primary stones in the basket of the salt lamp (it’s a basket of chunks of salt) and put it all away. Based on these results I plan to do this daily when possible to reinforce the intention and give me some connection time. I also have the moon phases in my calendar so I can now when to shift focus and pick a new one. I may try to do a longer ritual on those days, but I’m not worrying about it.
Another nudge my intuition gave was to make another lightsaber bracelet, after watching The Last Jedi twice. I felt like I needed the reminder again, given how challenging life has been. These bracelets take me about 4 hours to make. I could do it faster but the quality would suffer. And since I’ll wear this constantly for months I don’t want to sacrifice quality. Now if I can just take the time to make a how-to video I can check that off my list. I have been enjoying having it on.
The energies have been really odd the last few days. I find myself humming a lot. I don’t know what is all happening, but I’m assuming it’s changes that need to happen. It’s causing my appetite to be all weird. And sleep has been a challenge. But I’m trusting that it’s for the best. I mean, just getting nudges to do things for my spiritual life is a welcome change so it seems to be a good thing.
Business is starting to pick up. It’s looking like two projects are moving forward now, with potentially some others soon. I also met a guy who seems very nice and very interested in being an installer. He will be learning from my current installers and then should be a great way to simplify my project schedules. And we’re going to do our best to get into the home and garden show this year. Hopefully that makes for a great year of projects for us! And then with enough projects we have the money to invest in our own personalized lead generation system which keeps us growing quickly.
So right now, life is a challenge, but it’s looking up. Parenthood is quite the challenge with an almost 3 year old. It caused some major conflict between my wife and I last week. I reached out to friends again, and we have a plan of action. First, potty training. That is likely starting this weekend since we started getting Melody excited for it. This solves the biggest battle of the day – poopy diaper changes which are often painful for her. And I’m reading Happiest Toddler on the Block so I can be a better parent. I keep expecting too much from her cognitively. She’s so intelligent that it’s easy to do. There are so many awesome things about almost 3. Her understanding of holidays like Christmas and her upcoming birthday has been a blast. Her increased language, which was already impressive. Her new ways of playing with toys. It’s a lot of fun. What’s not fun is the other normal things about 3 – pushing limits, whining, etc. That’s where the book comes in. And soon we’re going to transition her to her own bed again and start weaning. It’s really time for me to have my body back completely. And it’s time for my wife and I to have our bed back, even though I love our cuddle times. It’s going to be hard for me to get used to not curling up with her. But it’s necessary. I know it’s not a one and done thing, but it’s time to give it a try again. I have two massive bags of m&ms for bribes. And toys. I think we can do it. lol
So that’s where I’m at right now to start the year. My physical is taking a break, though I’m looking forward to Tuesday night medicinal qigong with a little yoga mixed in. That will complement my Thursday morning qigong as well, so hopefully I start to feel better physically. I started doing the inversion table again, which I set to be more steep. And I am trying Moringa which is supposed to work even better than circumin for inflammation. I only just started, so I will see how I feel after working all weekend. We’re also researching kratom (I think that’s it) for my wife and maybe myself. I’d like to not be in pain so I can start exercising again. I know I could exercise at home, it’s just difficult to fit it in. So it’s going to be in there when I really feel the pull for it, like anything else in my life.
Always a work in progress.
I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of lesbian fiction, which is wonderful and new for me. It started with a post on twitter about the top 100 lesbian books to read, or something like that. That brought me to Bridge Essex and fun romance novels. That also brought me to this idea of lesbian book bingo – https://jae-fiction.com/lesbian-book-bingo/ It’s a way to explore genres I wouldn’t otherwise explore and keep reading.
Jae posted a list for Women in Uniform, the first square. I chose a book called Strong. It seemed like one that would be interesting and not annoy me with inauthentic military references and I was right. What I didn’t anticipate was all the old memories and emotions it stirred up. I spent so much time lost in thought last night, apparently I need to just let it out. Feel free to ignore this, as it may not make all that much sense.
It’s been almost 20 years since I went off to boot camp. And almost 18 years since I was discharged. During those years, Don’t ask Don’t Tell was in full force, tainting an experience that would have been very different in today’s military. The daily fear of being found out. Of being constantly guarded. It all came back reading this story of two women in Afghanistan. But it wasn’t all the bad either. The massage, which was one of the ‘safe’ ways to have physical contact without getting busted for anything. Granted, the day my short term roommate walked in on Holloway and I giving massages still raised red flags for her, but it wasn’t enough to worry about. Besides, we really needed them. But, it was also part of the feeling out phase, since people couldn’t be all that out. I’m still not sure how that all happened. I just can’t remember. I think it was all a careful dance of feeling things out and then, once we were totally alone, just going for it. It’s odd what I don’t remember…well, normal for me, but I suspect other people remember a lot more of these details. So even once we were together, there wasn’t enough communication about it. It wasn’t dating. More, friends with benefits. The benefits of comfort, not sleeping alone. And that’s another thing I really related to. As the characters just shared a bed, without sex, that’s an experience that I think others will miss the depth behind. When you are constantly on guard, having that private space to just be touching and comforted means the world. Though I still don’t know how we got away with that. Perhaps the Marines on guard duty at the end of the female wing didn’t put it together, or didn’t care. Either way, I’m grateful. It made things more bearable through that time.
Another thing that stood out was including the guitar. There’s usually someone with a guitar at some point. I spent a lot of time in Pensacola learning to play the easier Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge songs. It helped me cope with all the challenges of being hidden. And it turns out, it’s what brought me and Sara, now the godmother to our daughter, together. I never knew at the time, but she would sit outside my door, studying and listening to my awful playing. lol But it made her feel better too. It’s so odd what comforts us. But while she is bi, she was dealing with so many demons of her own, including, I’m sure, flying under the radar. So for both of us, music was that rebellion. My favorite memories of her are hanging out in her room listening to Ani DiFranco, which felt so brazen to me.
It was such a complicated time. It was worse in the fleet, losing my friends, losing a fairly liberal command who didn’t really care what we were doing. Having to be even more closeted and not even knowing if anyone had my back. Then, that one respite, the month of CAX training where I was away from my unit on mess duty. Where again, people didn’t seem to care all that much. They were just cool. Getting to know Susan for far too short a time. Once again, not knowing how that happened. I’m just so oblivious to girls and flirting. So it’s mostly brief moments, always coupled with fear of getting caught, especially as a butch in the Marine Corps. I mean, everyone had to assume, so I was always careful. Unless drinking. And then it was only after I drank a lot. I’m grateful to everyone who didn’t rat me out. I have to remember that. But what was interesting is how less careful the more femme girls were. Susan asking me to walk to the bathroom with her, and taking my arm as we walked. It didn’t seem to occur to her at all, but I could only think how ballsy it was. At the time I thought, only straight girls thinking nothing of this. But a week or so later I realized she wasn’t actually that straight. And god, how different would it all have been if all of us could just be out, without fear of reprisal? To have all the fear and stress be about whether someone liked me, and not whether I would be busted, charged, and discharged. To not fear physical assault. I know it doesn’t matter, because what happened is what happened. But so much of that stress is still in me.
I’ve always been more repressed, more closed down. This didn’t help. I still don’t trust people easily, especially if they served. I don’t know if they’ll totally reject me. It’s stupid, I’m a grown adult with an awesome family. But the fear, it’s there. The fear of the judgment. All of it just pushed away, partially dealt with but never fully. Still shying away from even holding hands with my wife in public. Damn sure never kissing in public. It makes me a worse wife for it.
In my ritual I asked to release judgment. I had no idea it would show up like this. That’s how it works though, doesn’t it? Never how you expect it. Not always very fun. But maybe, just maybe I can open up more now. Can be a more present wife. Can live with less fear.
I know there are younger folks who still face this, growing up in really homophobic families and areas. It seems like far less of a problem though. I hope it is. I hope they can just live and love freely. But maybe they will also, someday, start to understand why the older generations can be so guarded. Can be more cautious. Because having all of your dating life occur under intense scrutiny is challenging. It wears on you. And to a person already so guarded from the world, it’s so much harder to release.
I had no idea until I read this book. And now, maybe all these tears shed and thoughts written out will allow for a new start. I wish Sara was out here to talk about this with. It will require beer. Perhaps a lot of it. I’m not sure I could actually open up still. But I think she could fill in some memory gaps. Maybe she can fly out before my parents arrive for Melody’s birthday. Or I won’t have the need by then. Emotions are complicated. And now, as I listen to my almost 3 year old rage downstairs over who knows what, it’s time to get it back together and take care of her.