Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hilarity has ensued

Top of the morning to you, friends, and happy new year! 2013 promises to be a great new challenge and adventure!

I am learning more, each day, about my new relationship.  I am amazed that things are going as well as they are. I used to half-jokingly say, "I can't date under these conditions!" but the truth was, I haven't had this much raw material to work with in a long time. Astrologer Susan Miller wrote an article about how we had Neptune in Aquarius for 14 years; it just moved to Pisces in February 2012. Anyway, it turned matchmaking into a business and people's skills, youth, earnings, and appearance in the personal realm into currency.  She interviewed someone from a major business (like eHarmony or Match) who said that they could do so much more for their members to help them find compatible people rather than just fling hundreds of single people's profiles at them.  I tried that, and I didn't like it. It seemed so meaningless and pointless. I remember the dropoff of fun in the dating realm that I observed back in 1998.  Yes, 1998. And that's when Neptune moved into Aquarius.

Of course, my past boyfriends have fallen into a few categories: motivated at work and posting for jobs away from me, without consulting me or including me in their plans; up-front about not planning a future with me, and being some sort of hiking buddy/ dining companion; and there was, famously, that crazy one who wanted to be my economic dependent. He was the one most interested in marriage (of course).

But it's a new day and a new relationship, and now I have someone who is dependable and kind and wonderful who wants to share his future with me. Of course, we live near different oceans.  But I figure, in a way, that it's better to start out apart and figure out how to be together than go about things in the seemingly rational but totally ineffective way I dated locally before.  Besides, it's quality of time, not quantity. I'd rather be with him than go out into the dating world.

A good friend of mine from the old days, whom I saw on Christmas Eve, listened to my explanation of why I'm dating someone 3 time zones away, and said to me, "Well, you're supposed to find someone so that you don't have to date anymore." Like it was the easiest thing in the world to do. Said like a Smug Married from the Bridget Jones books. I mean, duh.

I remember reading this article about Neptune in Pisces early this year and discussing it with Diva. I know I said, "I don't believe it. Dating has sucked for me for 15 years. I can't believe it will ever do anything but keep on sucking."

So, you can imagine what a shock this is. I have to basically embrace a new reality to figure out my future with Mr. Wonderful.

It really is the end of the world!   ;)


Saturday, 3 November 2012

So, is it "ask and you shall receive" or "askin' ain't gettin"?

Diva and I have bonded over the fact that on the one hand, things are out in the world for your taking, and on the other hand, there are people and situations that like to play keep-away with you.

Right now, I'm dating someone who is truly generous and kind. It sounds great, but let me tell you, it takes some getting used to.  How am I supposed to transition from relationships where I felt like I was some inconvenience to the guy to being in a relationship where he actually wants to know how I'm doing? The answer, of course, is to transition as gracefully as possible.

Due to some health setbacks and subsequent pharmaceutical intake this year (doctor-supervised, of course), I have only some fuzzy memories of dating before now, but unlike the pictures, which have faded, the feelings are still with me.

One of my exes (Tim), who is a good guy in all fairness, called me up a few weeks ago.  He was traveling through town and wanted to meet for lunch, so we did. It was the first time he'd ever driven to me. In all the time we dated, I always had to go to his house.  Given, his truck was twice as expensive to gas up as my car, and I worked in his town anyway, so I was already there all the time, but it was always up to me to go see him.  (In time, he became too immobilized to send me a text or call; our dating relationship kind of evaporated.) Contrast this with my current beau, who got on a plane to come see me.  He rented a car, booked a place for us to stay in a beautiful town by the coast, and showed up.  Excuse me, what? Men are capable of doing such things? Yes, apparently they are, when they are motivated.

Once upon a time, when I was dating Iceberg, I tried to hang on to a dying relationship by moving closer to where he'd relocated for work.  It wasn't a total disaster... well, as far as our relationship went it was, but I had other things and people there so there was somewhere I could turn for fun and friendship. Instead of being greeted upon my arrival, he angrily talked into his phone about how he had to work the next day and didn't have time to come see me.  He didn't invite me to come see him, although I had nothing to do for the week before school started.  He didn't want anything to do with me.  I don't remember if we had any awkward encounters or not after I arrived (blame the pharmaceuticals) but I remember feeling very much turned away.  We were kaput a few weeks after that.

His roommate, whom we can call St. Adam because he was just that nice, said to me when the relationship was falling apart, "This just isn't right.  If my girlfriend were here, I'd want to spend time with her. I'd get off the couch and leave the video games alone.  It comes down to... social skills." St. Adam was the first person to use the phrase "social skills" in regular conversation with me, but he wasn't the last. I sent St. Adam a present when he got married; I'm sure he is a great husband. He called me to say thanks, and when I asked (out of obligation) how Iceberg was doing, he said, "Oh, he's right where you left him, playing video games on the couch."

I knew how to pick some winners, but of course they never started out that way.  I had more than one person say to me that it was my own lack of imagination,  my lack of asking for what I wanted, that was the root of the problem.  The reason why I kept attracting these lame guys was because I just didn't have the imaginative capacity to know what it was like to be with a good one.

Now just because I can't give you an exact description doesn't mean I won't know it when I see it.  I fell IN LOVE with my car, for example, the first time I saw it; had to have it.  If you'd asked me the week before what kind of car I wanted, would I have described it exactly as it ended up being? No. That's the issue I have with all this mumbo-jumbo.  I've met a few friends over the course of my life who've made an instant and great impression on me, and as I got to know them, I realized how easy it was to spend time with them, and how loving and cool they were in return.  I didn't go into those situations with mental images or drawings of who I would meet or having rehearsed in meditation what it would feel like to meet a great person. I showed up, and there they were.  I think that's really simple.

And then we have to tackle the opposite issue.  If "ask and you shall receive" works so well, then what about "askin' ain't gettin"? I borrowed this from Gone with the Wind; it's one of my favorite movies. Excuse me, I am not a world-famous novelist married to a rock star, having retired from a madcap dancing career as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. That is the only future I envisioned for myself when I was younger. Sure, maybe I could have been an actress instead of a Rockette. Perhaps I could have ended up with Daniel Craig instead of a rock star.  But you get the gist of it, right? I didn't think beyond 1) having a glamourous life and 2) what life would be like after age 35.  But there you have it- here we are. My life is not glamourous. Up until recently, I spent time dating guys who were incapable of sending a text or making a phone call after a few months of dating. The torpor would take them over and they'd just kind of get sucked into the couch or whatever.

And I'm left wondering, does it come down to the raw materials? Some people stand the test of time and others don't.  It's not a judgment, just an observation.  Some relationships grow out of a mutual desire to be friends, to know each other better, to spend time together.  Others that don't need to be weeded out over time. Now, I don't mean to sound high-maintenance about it, as in, "I just can't work under these conditions!" But sometimes, you just don't have enough raw materials to make something.

And sometimes you do.  But now the lesson I have to learn is, what do you do when he actually wants to be a part of your life? How exactly does that work?


Saturday, 6 October 2012

What is love? Baby, don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more...

Diva and I have talked a lot about love lately.  There's been a lot to discuss, whether it's my foray back into dating (with imported talented based somewhere else- he is a fantastic guy and very easy to love) or her dream about a connection she had with someone years ago.

She can tell you about the dream, if she wants. I've asked her to write about it, whether it's on this blog or just in her own personal journal. But I can tell you about my newest adventure.

I'm having an undefined relationship (he calls it "trying to date from across the country" and other such things) with an old crush of mine. We met when we were about 16 and 18, respectively. I liked him then, but in retrospect I was probably a bit hot-headed back in those days and wanted to be independent no matter what. Maybe it's good that we didn't date when I was younger; I don't know. By now, we have both mellowed out considerably.  He is divorced and I have never married, although I've had a few long relationships that always ended up with me being single again (and sometimes shouting, "Free at last!")

During the ride through the wringer called 2012 (so far), which has included over 2 months of illness, financial woes, numerous work problems, and storm damage to my property (worth half of what I paid for it), I decided it was time to just hang my problems out to dry.  It's just gotten to the point where life is ridiculous and impossible to take seriously.  If I try to solve all of these problems on my own, I'm just going to give myself a heart attack or an ulcer or something else that will make me miss work, lose out on earnings as well as happiness, and generally not enjoy life. So, I'm taking what I think is a wise approach: making time to see or talk to friends as often as I can, doing what I can to handle the issues at work and with my money, and having as many lost weekends as possible.  I think it's best for my own sanity.

One such lost weekend took place with my beau recently.  I could not have scripted any more fun than what we had.  I know, after 20 years, that he's changed, but in a way he's exactly who he was.  That doesn't get lost as you age.  It seems that he has more words for what's going on than I do. I just told him, "I like you a lot. And that's all I've got!" meaning I don't know what else to say about it.

But in the realms of what is considered to be traditional love, one of my siblings was engaged to be married this week. I am happy for both of them. They've had a short courtship but I don't see any reason to worry about that. Love is love. I'm happy that they are both excited about taking the plunge.

Finally, you can't talk about love without talking about love beyond one's life.  A good friend of mine lost her dog this week. She is upset, to say the least.  She is friends with a medium, who was able to see the dog on the other side with my friend's grandmother. While that is comforting, it doesn't take away the loss of the animal in your life.

In Don Juan DeMarco, our boyfriend Johnny Depp's character said this about love: There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love.

Ahhhh, love.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, 8 September 2012

In Search of Grace, Again

Managing a disease is a long-term activity.  When something like this pops up in your life, it's a shock.  Then later, when you're keeping on with your keeping on, these reminders of your old life pop up all over the place.  It's humbling. It's hard to look at sometimes. Well, it's hard to look at most of the time.

I used to be one of those really organized people who had everything done by bedtime.  Maybe I was cranky as hell, maybe I was tired and stressed by the time I got to bed, but by gosh, I didn't wake up to a mess. Stuff got done.  Bills were paid on time.  I was a freaking superhero, now that I think of it.

I'd always have projects going on. You know how much I like to write... well, I also love to act. Plus, there's the fun of going out to support my friends: musicians, actors, artists. It was a busy life but it was good.  Time with friends, work (usually not the most meaningful pastime, but I always had something to bring money in the door), and these artistic pursuits kept me busy. Somehow I got the laundry done and got myself fed often enough.  It was a different life.

Managing my disease means a lot of cooking.  I have to have special food that's low in sodium, free of caffeine and alcohol (that's right, no more rum and coke!) and wheat-free.  Dear God. I tell my friends it's like I have a part-time job cooking for myself.

I miss the days when I could go to Subway and order a BMT, for crap's sake.

My friend Rob posts pictures on Facebook of his old life, when he could drink. He had to have a heart transplant, and gave up drinking at least a decade ago.  When we were friends (who hung out in real life more than once a year), we'd see each other out, going dancing, drinking whatever we felt like, having fun. Those were good days.  I think he would agree.  But yet, we keep going.  It's what you do.

So, the search for grace comes from knowing all the things that I could do and knowing that some of those things I'll never be able to do again.  It seems ungrateful to keep noticing all these things that are no longer available to me, and I wonder if I should be ignoring them.

I wish I could ignore these things like I ignore the laundry that sits in the dryer for days after I've forgotten about it, like the full dishwasher with soap in it that I forgot to turn on.  I wish I could ignore them like the dishes I allow to sit overnight nowadays.  (They have to sit in the sink because I have yet to empty the dishwasher that I finally remembered to run earlier today, and can't be bothered to unload yet.) I am now a person who forgets things and lets things go.  I don't take care of things like I used to. Part of it is because of the medication I took.  I don't know if there are any other reasons for it, but there could be.

I have let things go, in both the good and bad ways.  It's an effort to get bills sent on time. I am out of shape, somewhat because of the illness, but still. I shouldn't be eating pudding if I'm not the slightest bit interested in working it off later.

I've had to let go of ideas about myself that don't really apply anymore.  I've stopped performing (dance, improv, and other acting) because 2 months of vertigo really put a hitch in your confidence in doing anything other than walking slowly straight ahead. I don't know if I'll ever do it again, which is sad to say. I've met so many great friends through doing community theatre.  The energy of the past 5 years, though, has kept me away from it for the most part.

Tonight, I saw a musical onstage.  When I was 19, I was part of the cast of the same show. I remembered the songs and the lines and some of the scenes.  There I was, comparing the choreography, costumes, and musical numbers to what I'd learned all those years ago.

Well, I left in tears, wondering: Why can't I do the things I used to do?

Then I thought: Everyone goes through this. Stop whining and being a brat.

But seriously, it is hard to take.

I am trying. I really am.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A Conversation with The Universe

JQP: Hi Universe, Jane here. I'm ready to collect on that lost weekend you promised me.

U: Oh hi, Jane! Good to hear from you. Yep, you should be all set. The only things you need are several last-minute wardrobe items, money, food for the road, and, of course, the guy.

JQP: YES! Universe, thanks so much for the guy. I never would have dreamed that was possible. Somehow, in this year of bad health and storm damage to my abode in Winterville, though, I figured something would have to go right sometime. But you have delivered me my crush from the 90s! Not Ian Astbury of the Cult, my other crush from the 90s!

(Disclaimer: Yes, I was a wee bit boycrazy then. I'm sure if people knew my true identity, they'd have all kinds of ideas about who this crush might be. Probably 20 of my mild-mannered public identity's male friends from that time period would think, Is she talking about me? Well, the answer is NO, unless you have a plane ticket to the Sunshine State and a rendezvous planned with me in a few weeks.)

U: Oooh, this is so exciting, Jane, just like the old days when you'd go traipsing across a fun exotic destination and I'd make sure you'd find plenty of adventures.

JQP: Yes, Universe! I've missed this too!

U: But you know, he's much older now.

JQP: Who? Ian Astbury or the guy?

U: Well, both.

JQP: You know, there's this guy I knew in high school who says he always remembers my crush on Ian Astbury. Whenever he sees Ian Astbury, he thinks of me.

U: Is this the guy who's coming to see you?

JQP: No, he's ummmm.... another crush from the 90s. But I could never take him seriously. He played football.

U: Oh, MY, Jane.

JQP: And you are right, we are all older.

U: And we are all exactly where we need to be, too. Remember that.

JQP: The guy wrote something to that effect to me months ago. I was having a really bad day, so it was funny to get that message from him.

U: See? I wouldn't put just anyone in your path.

JQP: Thank you so much, Universe. I can't wait to pack my bags and go!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

It's not there yet

A few nights ago, I had a dream I was on a train.

Unlike in real life, in which I'd have my suitcase zipped, all belongings secured, and be sitting at alert attention 10 minutes before we reached the destination, I had stuff strewn all over the train car.  My toiletries bag, which was see-through and orange in color, had upteen bottles and brushes and so forth, and was enormous. My suitcase was about 4 feet tall and looked ridiculous. (I am not sure about symbolism aside from the obvious implications of "big baggage" and the fact that orange is a fantastic color.)

The announcer came over the PA and said we were almost at my stop.  In fact, the train stopped moments later.  But when I looked outside the train, we weren't on the platform. The platform was still a small distance away.

At that point, I started to sing a song that I made up on the spot and set to work putting all my things into my bag and suitcase.  It's moments like this that I wish I could invite you all into my dreams, amigos, so that you can hear my ridiculous song and perhaps sing along.  It wasn't a beautiful song, but more of an informational song (I am picking up my brush, putting it in my bag, wonder why my stuff is spread all over, I might have sung). I grew up in a house of loud siblings and this is something that was done.  One sibling makes up songs to encourage her children to brush their teeth, wash their hands, etc.

I packed my bag, my train moved to the platform, and it was there I got off, with my giant luggage. End of story.

In real life, I think of this as a sign.  I'm going somewhere new, but I am just not there yet.  I can see it but I can't reach it.  My luggage (big as it may be) cannot be lugged through the grass. I have to wait until I reach the platform to get off this train.

I see this in my professional as well as personal life.  I see it also with my health. I am working toward changing things for the better.  And sometimes, I sing.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My response letter from The Universe

Dear Jane:

We regret that your recent "adventures" have involved nausea and other nasty symptoms.  We understand that you have had difficulty with the challenges you've faced and continue to face.  We apologize for these inconveniences, but must remind you that what appear to be problems are lessons, not punishment.  We tried to get you to appreciate life with a fully-functional body, decent cash flow, and an occasional beau, and sometimes you were a bit indulgent in your moods ANYWAY.  As a favorite song from your childhood goes, your motto has always been, "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."  So, your good fortune had to go away, at least for a while. You needed to see that "regular life" in the old sense of the phrase was really a great life, and that the world is full of possibilities and adventures. You needed to learn what real challenges were.  And now, you have.

What we gave you was strength. We know it seems like we gave you one unsurmountable problem after another, which we kind of did, but think about this: will you ever take the things you treasure the most for granted ever again? Will you ever get into anything that's over your head? Will you ever allow your "pride" to have a say in the choices you make? Hell no- because you know better. And that's that.

We are, however, more than happy to grant your request. If there's anything that you need, it's good times with friends. We will do our best to steer hurricanes away on any weekends when you have out-of-town plans. We will try to coordinate your life with those of your friends so that your paths can intersect.  Finally, we will do our best to keep you healthy and walking steady through life.

We wish you well on your endeavors.

As ever,
The Universe

Friday, 6 July 2012

I Remember... part 2

Oh, the trouble the internet causes.  The uniting and reuniting of friends and crushes. The mayhem that ensues!

There was this guy I knew who took me dancing once. I must have been about 18 years old, maybe 19.  I still lived at home with mom and dad. I remember this because my mother was quite taken with the young man. He has dark eyes and a Spanish last name, and my mother goes for that.

These 2 girls I knew from school, Jenny and Chris, told me that he was going to call me up and ask me to go dancing. They said, "He's not asking you out; he has a girlfriend. He just thinks it would be fun to go dancing.  You should go with him." So, I did. It was fun. We talked about a bunch of stuff, had fun at the club, and it was a good evening overall. I didn't think much about it afterward because I was under the impression he was with someone else. It was a pleasant memory. Time went on, and I didn't see him again.

Years later, he found me on the internet. Regrettably, he was going through a divorce. I tried to be a sympathetic ear but kept a healthy distance; I was, after all, involved with a man whom I hoped to have a future with.  (I didn't, but that's a story for another day.)  He told me at one point that he'd been interested in me on our non-date, but that another friend of his was going to come to the club and ask me out that night.

Who? I asked him. I couldn't figure out who he was referring to.

It was B. The very same B who I talk with now. I adored B and had absolutely no idea that this was an option.

So I asked him, "If I was the belle of the freaking ball, why didn't anyone tell me?" In retrospect, I don't think he appreciated that bit of commentary.

I will say in my defense that I was young and completely obnoxious.

I recently had the chance to ask B about this particular incident via email.  He said he didn't remember it specifically but said he had a big crush on me then. It made my week.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

I Remember... part 1

There's a writing exercise a friend told me about that helps with writer's block. You start with the phrase, "I remember," and go from there. Today's topic will be: a man from my past.

I remember his hair hanging in his face, and how he dressed like a skater.  He must have worn all-stars or something similar; I really don't know. I remember his eyes- they were kind, and still are, from what I can tell from photographs of him. I think the vibe he gave off was what I remember the most because it made me at ease, but then I also found him attractive, and given that we were both teenagers, well, the hormones won out. I had the stupidest crush on him.  I actually met him through his younger sister (I know, how very cliche), and she and I are very close in age- 9 days apart, to be exact. But one hopes that's where the similarities ends.  One doesn't want to remind a man of his sister, right?

I remember meeting someone like him the summer I turned 23.  He was like my Hobbes or my own personal Buddha.  He was a great friend and if the two of us hadn't moved 27 times since 1996, and if he didn't have such a common name that made searching for him on Facebook nearly impossible, I like to think we'd still be in touch.  The guy I met in the summer I turned 23 was named Aaron.  The guy I met as a teenager was named B, for our purposes.

I didn't hear B's name for a long time. I ran into his sister at our 10-year reunion and asked how he was. She said he was married. I was at that point of life where it seemed all the good ones were spoken for, so I was disappointed but it was OK. He was a person I hadn't seen for years, after all.

But before I attended this reunion, or maybe after (it's kind of a blur, my 20s), I heard another story about B, from someone else who played a peripheral role in my teenage years. It was most intriguing.  Recently I had the chance to ask B about it... and I'll tell that story the next time I sign in. For now, it's time to make the doughnuts.

Friday, 29 June 2012

My latest letter to the universe

Dear Universe:

So far this year, I've had 2 months of vertigo, the diagnosis of an obscure disease, and financial and weather-related disasters to keep me busy. I'd like to point out that while I like having your esteemed attention, I think we can both agree that this is not the kind of attention I would want.  I therefore submit a request for a break.  Specifically, I would like to request no fewer than 3 lost weekends, to be redeemed at the times of my choosing, in exotic locales with friends, where adventures will be limited to the "fun" variety.

I thank you for your consideration and look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What's worth fighting for?

Bear with me, I am just getting started with these thoughts... but I had someone recently say to me, "Don't give your heart away. You are worth fighting for."

But here's what's funny. It wouldn't be fighting in the traditional sense. Some guy walks up to Jane and notices Ryan Reynolds to her left and Daniel Craig to her right, and thinks, "Oh, shoot, I have to fight Green Lantern and James Bond to be with Jane."

Well, as awesome as that would be, I'm thinking it's a bit unlikely... however, there are things we have to fight against all the time, albeit less glamorous than movie stars.
We have to fight with the impulse to close ourselves off and withdraw from others, even when we can look at the situation and see very little chance of making or keeping a connection. We have to continue to try.

We have to fight with our own selfish tendencies and above all else, we have to fight to hold our loved ones in high esteem. Author Malcolm Gladwell wrote about a study of couples who were observed by psychologists. There was one determining factor that predicted if the couple would stay together: lack of contempt. If we feel like we are authorized to speak to others contemptuously, we poison the relationship (and deep down, are insecure ourselves). If we are addressed contemptuously and do not defend ourselves, we are not honoring ourselves. There is no room for contempt.

We have to fight with each other sometimes. I once dated a guy who didn't like me enough to fight with me; instead, he'd freeze me out with contemptuous eye-rolling and imply that he was so much smarter and more mature. Guess what? That romance went to hell in a handbasket. (Of course, this is open to interpretation. Disagreeing is one thing, slapping each other around is quite another.)

We have to fight for our ideas and opinions, or at least get to the point where the two sides respect (even if they don't agree with) the other side's views. If you don't have respect, you don't have much of a friendship. I know plenty of people who make decisions I'd never make, but that doesn't mean they can't be my friends.

We have to fight to get through the day sometimes. Do I ever know about this! I fought with pain and illness (still do!) and it's a process. I try to handle it gracefully, but don't always succeed. I also work in a place where shit happens all the time, and things do get ugly once in a while. If I come home, break out the comfort food, and pop in an Adam Sandler movie, guess what? My day just kicked my ass. But, as they say, the show must go on.

We have to fight to get respect from difficult people. This is always a challenge. I find that the minute you say to someone who is being difficult, "OK, have it your way, but I can't have any part of this," their respect for you grows by a hundred percent at least. I once worked with people who were constantly criticizing my work, even though they couldn't keep their business afloat. When I left, suddenly I was valuable. Suddenly, they didn't know what they'd do without me. Suddenly, my value was apparent; maybe it was because my work improved toward the end of my tenure because I knew more about what was going on, but in any case, it's hard for me to go to a place every day where I'm not treated with respect. I imagine I'm not the only person with this challenge.

We have to fight to change our situations in life. This can be one's weight, health, employment, housing, friends... anything. We have to be aware enough of patterns in our life to change them when they need changing. Overcoming addictions is a real test of a person. Here's a secret: I'm not strong enough to break an addiction so I can't let any addictions take hold. It's true. I never smoked. I never drank too much (except for that one time, and learned my lesson!). I never even learned how to BAKE because I didn't want to have to burn those calories later; have you ever seen how much sugar goes into making brownies? I mean, really!

We have to fight against our own bad habits. Even if something is normal doesn't mean it's good for you. Take, for example, the American diet. Why does KFC include a chocolate cake with their calorie-laden greasy family dinners? How on earth is this helpful to anyone? But people see this and accept it. Shoot, why not eat dessert every day? (Hint: it's because you will too much gain weight!)

We have to fight against our upbringings and make better choices for ourselves. An example of this is someone who grows up in an abusive home and chooses not to abuse others, even though he/she has been conditioned to do so. A less severe example is taking in a scene that is familiar and being able to say to yourself, "This isn't the kind of reality I want for my life; I'm going to make other choices to create a different outcome." Maybe it doesn't work every time- certainly, everything we attempt isn't always successful- but at least it's a step in the right direction.

I am just getting warmed up. Diva, feel free to add whatever you want.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Why do I have so many questions? Ha ha ha

Today, Diva and I met up in a spiritualist community. I was excited going into the situation; I wondered if we'd see a medium, if one of her deceased friends would have a message for her, if I'd get any advice for the issues that I constantly wonder about... as with most situations, I theorized more about what would happen than I probably should. I mean, I'm not exactly a role model when it comes to letting go and letting God. I'm a better example at running all possible scenarios through my head and wondering which will happen.

This is such a waste of time! This became clear to me twice today:

1) First, Diva and I had our auras photographed. Hers was balanced between the upper and lower colors in the chakras, whereas mine was red through green- the lower energies. I didn't hear enough of Diva's interpretation because they were playing great music and I was dancing around to ELO until I realized he was talking to her about it. Then, we get to my picture and before it even developed, the guy said, "Don't be ruled by your passions." Diva's man in tow asked if I was in love, because my aura had a lot of red in it. We laughed about that! No, that would be way too fun. I just pay way too much attention to the conflicts in my life... without even thinking about the new conflicts there will be when the current conflicts are resolved. Ah, jeez. I need to get back into meditating. The mind needs to quiet down for a change. I also need to get back into theatre. It's good for me to sit in the dark for 2 hours and be immersed in some drama is separate from my reality.

2) We met the most fascinating woman and talked with her for a while. It was a fascinating conversation that covered a lot of spiritual topics. In the age of Pisces, Jesus was the primary spiritual leader, but now that we've entered the age of Aquarius, it's a new kid on the block named St. Germain! I had no idea. We talked about healing and different therapies for ill health, such as using sodium bicarbonate to treat cancer! I have to look that up. Apparently someone with leukemia started taking Alka-Seltzer for stomach upset and reversed his disease. Amazing. The conversation meandered for a long time and was really cool.

After that, Diva said she was done, that we didn't need to do anything else today. We'd done enough.

It was a gorgeous day. I had the sunroof open and sometimes the windows too, as I drove. I sang along with a few songs and realized that I was truly in the moment. It was great.

Hope you had a fine and lovely Earth Day weekend,


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Venus in Hiding, Just Like Us

"Romantically, you will be hosting Venus in a very secret place in the chart for a long time, a place associated with clandestine relationships, but when Venus moves out on August 7, the affair would come out into the open, not necessarily of your choosing or your liking. The relationship may not be one you initiated, but one you were drawn into, and you may not know your new partner is not single and not available. It's a tricky situation, further complicated by the fact that Venus will retrograde May 15-June 27. Be careful.

A better way to use this energy is to make a move toward making reconciliation with a former love. Next month, Venus will retrograde, which means "go back" to an earlier time. Venus will retrograde from May 15 to June 27. No guarantees, but you might find your former partner feels the way you do."

-Excerpt from our horoscope by Susan Miller this month (my sun sign/ Diva's ascendant)

We were never together, so there has been no reconciliation per se, but I am emailing with an old crush of mine these days. It turns out he had a crush on me too, back in the day. Isn't that funny? He lives far away so there aren't any hopes for a hot date in the future, but it is nice to converse with a man once in a while. I've really missed it.

More than that, I've missed keeping company with men who hold down jobs and who aren't unmedicated and bipolar. Yes, I know it's important to love and accept people as they are, but my last boyfriend was a doozy! One of the best quotes about love came from my sister recently. She said, "I know my husband loves me, but I'm not going to test that love by quitting my job!" You have the ethereal (chemistry, love, compatibility) on one hand and the practical (ability to pay bills and not engage in consequence-laden high-risk behaviors, for example) on the other. I am no authority on love relationships, but at least I understand that. My ex-boyfriend had 3 jobs in 8 months, and that's not even half the story.

As much as I appreciate the work of astrologer Susan Miller (although she's taken 6 months to ship out the book we ordered, a "guide to 2012" which is 1/3 over in about a week), I highly doubt that Diva or I will manage a clandestine relationship while Venus goes into hiding. She has more options than I do, given her geographic location, bigger circle of friends, and better health, but she's getting her life together, and that's not the time to add in a secret boyfriend.

I am still regaining my foothold in the world of healthy people. It's amazing how far I got knocked down by illness. Certain new-agey theories say that I brought this illness on, but I have to disagree. When you have a genetic predisposition to something (and in my case, aren't even aware that the problem exists in your family tree until after the diagnosis), I'm sorry, but all bets are off. Shit happens sometimes, you know? You just have to deal with it and get better to whatever possible.

I thought it was funny that Venus is in hiding, because that is my and Diva's basic response most of the time anyway. We are both famous for taking loooong breaks from dating, and when things go bad, we run away, run away quickly. I don't know about her, but sometimes I'm struck by the futility of it all and just want life to be "normal," which of course means "single." It's only been in recent years that I've stopped trying to reset my life to what it was before said male came into the picture.

So it's Venus, Jane, and Diva in hiding. Will anything come along that's worth our while, that will draw us out of our shells? Apparently not until after August 7, but with all the stuff we need to do between now and then, who cares?

Yours truly,
Jane Q. Phoenix

Friday, 23 March 2012

Old-fashioned advice never goes out of style

Diva introduced me to runes a few years ago. Well, it could have been several years ago; Diva and I go way back. In any case, my runes are flat stones with ancient symbols carved on them. When we bought our rune kits, the bag and stones were accompanied by a book that would help us understand them.

I came up with my own quirky names for them, such as Argyle Sock (Inguz), F (Ansuz), P (Wunjo), R (Raido), H (Hagalz), Crowbar (Laguz), M (Ehwaz), B (Berkana), Lightening (Sowelu) and Bow Tie (Dagaz). Have a look at the symbols and you'll know what I mean. M (movement, progress, the horse) is my favorite. If you pick this rune, and it appears to you upside down (reversed), this is the interpretation:

Movement that appears to block. Be certain that what you are doing- or not doing- is timely. There are no missed opportunities. You have simply to recognize that not all possibilities are open to you, that not all opportunities are appropriate. The opportunity at hand may be precisely to avoid action. If you are feeling at a loss, unclear about your need to act, consider what is timely to your nature and remember: What is yours will come to you.

I added the words in bold for my emphasis. Why? Because I need to remind myself that every time a guy I liked didn't ask me out, every time my resume ended up in the circular file where I wanted a job, every time something didn't happen, it's because it wasn't supposed to happen. And I have to make peace with that.

Today's rune is pretty sunny and optimistic. I picked Kano, which looks like the Less Than sign used in math. "This is the Rune of Opening and renewed clarity, of dispelling the darkness that has been shrouding some part of our life. You are now free to receive gifts and to know the joy of non-attached giving."

Sounds lovely, doesn't it? I've run into a few dark situations these last several months, but springtime is the season of hope and new beginnings.

Your Jane

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Searching for Grace

Grace is defined as elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action. I am searching for grace.

I am trying to carry myself well, literally as well as figuratively, through a hard time. There are times when I want to throw a fit and ask why? Why is this happening to me? Why has my body betrayed me? Why has my life taken such a turn?

I have this theory that we have a 35-year, 100,000 mile warrantee on our bodies. People who are primarily healthy, I mean. After that, stuff starts happening. One's body starts to grow white hairs, for example. What is up with that? My hairdresser, a really fun and sweet friend of mine, shows me these hairs and claims they came off of my head. I tell her she's delusional and that those are left over from the last customer, but really... ah well. Apparently I have a few now.

But that's nothing compared with what's happened since then. What's happening now can only be described as a break from work that's no vacation. Although I cannot walk gracefully, I am trying to handle all the problems I come across with grace. That is the word I think of when anything challenges me. How can I manage this with grace?

More later. The meds are kicking in and it's bedtime...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Admitting the problem is the first step to solving it

Good day, amigas and amigos:

Your Jane has just become aware of a pretty substantial problem, while Diva has discovered some of her own emotional stuff.

My problem pertains to my health. I thought my body and I had a deal: I take care of you, you take care of me. Well, I've been thrown a curve ball. For whatever reason, all the healthy eating and exercise I've done couldn't head off the problem that is taking over my life now. There should be an end in sight, but no one, not even my doctor, can estimate when that will be, and even then, this could recur for the rest of my life. Sooooo, I'm a little bit thrown for a loop.

Our Diva is doing some soul searching and came up with the reason behind one of the blocks in her life. I've discussed this with other friends too. I think there are blocks in our bodies and our minds that prevent us from achieving what we could achieve. Sometimes a belief system takes years to form and it can't be torn down in a day, even if we know it's wrong. It's like it's taken hold of us and doesn't want to get flushed out.

An interesting parallel to my problem, because the sooner my problem runs through and gets flushed out of me, the sooner I'll be functional as far as my body is concerned. It's the same thing for Diva, but since her block doesn't keep her from sustaining her physical life (she has adequate food, water, and shelter) she could put off the exploration. I will be there for her whatever she decides. A friend is not a coach. A friend just knows that you are doing the best that you can do, and wishes you well, and encourages you.

Still, I am curious about the outcomes for both of us. We are both looking at a situation now and assessing what it is, how it works, and what impact it has on our lives

Good luck to us, huh?


Monday, 13 February 2012

Why can't we be friends????

So I'm talking to my ex-boyfriend. Just talking.

It's interesting because it's easier (for me) to talk to someone I am not dating. All those awkward things you don't want to talk about as someone's girlfriend just don't matter so much when it isn't your boyfriend you're talking to. It's very liberating in a way.

Friends are great because they can make decisions you'd never agree with but, as their friend, you can support them anyway. Decisions that impact their physical health, finances, education, etc. don't really need your buy-in because you're not looking at them as someone you'd need to keep healthy, to possibly raise a family with, combine credit with, etc.

Maybe the bottom line here is that the more serious I take anything, the less fun it becomes.

I keep having to realize this. Hmmmm...

Have a relaxed and stress-free day.

Jane Q Phoenix

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Love is what made the difference

Since I arrived in the burg of Winterville, I've been missing something pretty major: love. Everywhere I went, I dealt with scathing people and horrible attitudes. People were poor, crazy, miserable, projecting their own issues onto me, ripping me off, trying to rip me off, pissing me off, ignoring me, and generally being pains in my ass.

My ex is out of my life now, but he did something that nobody else could: he came into my life in this depressing town and loved me. Sure, it didn't last, and of course it wasn't perfect, but he did that: he loved me. And I must say that it's made me a LOT less edgy.

I find myself at peace now. I am able to accept Winterville's many constraints better and with more grace. I am better at planning my social calendar so that I'm in no way dependent on someone in this scary town holding up one end of an intelligent conversation; I do my socializing during the week now, near work, or in some other town at some other time. Home time is for writing, laundry, sleeping, and going through the mail. I can do that anywhere, even Winterville.

I am excited to announce that I am writing a mini-epic in 6 parts. Diva is providing witty commentary and they will be e-books available at some point this year. I've decided that this is my second job; I will devote time to it on the weekends and get it done in the silence of my current life in Winterville. We just have to make it happen. Diva and I have such great stories to tell and this is the year it will be done.

Of course, I won't be stuck here forever, but while I'm here I'm making the most of it.


Jane Q. Phoenix

PS Here is a cool poem for you to enjoy:

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be
shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may
be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have
and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
- Anonymous