Jedi training

I recently acquired the digitally remastered three-pack of Star Wars episodes IV-VI on Blu-Ray. I already had episodes I-III, since they came out when I was old enough to be a DVD consumer. I was born 1 year after the Empire Strikes Back was released. I’d only ever seen Return of the Jedi. And I loooooved me some ewoks and their treehouse party pad. I figured it was about time I watched all episodes, all the way through. It’s something my dad would have enjoyed doing with me.

In hosting my own personal Star Wars marathon in the last week in my spare time, I exposed myself to some very thought-provoking material, there. Yoda is full of pearls of wisdom. “Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the present.” 900 years of seeing shit, and you get pretty wise, eh Yoda?

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It’s good to think about the future and next steps in one’s life, but there is no guarantee of a future. Like my favorite song in the musical Rent, “There is no future; there is no past. I live this moment as my last.” I try to live every day in the present, learn from past mistakes and take tomorrow as a new opportunity. It’s a good way to live. I’ve perhaps had my eye on the future a little much lately, and to my own detriment, the forces-that-be shoved me back into the present. Thanks for that. Not.

Yoda, that smart little green nugget, also said, “Fear of loss is a path to the dark side. Attachment leads to jealousy. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” I also try not to get overly attached to people or things. Sometimes though, someone special sneaks through the defense force fields. I find myself attached. The art of letting go is a trial I have not yet passed with flying colors, so I am doomed to repeat that scenario until I finally learn how to do it most gracefully. What happened, you ask?

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Finally, it was Qui-Gon Jinn in episode I who advises a young Anakin, “Your focus determines your reality.” Any reality is shaped by one perceives the world, and perception is affected by what stimuli you focus on. Or as Timothy Leary conveyed in one of his LSD infused tracks, any reality is an opinion. You form your own opinion. Therefore, you create your own reality. Always good to be reminded of that one.

The reality I’ve formed since my last post has been, well… complex. I have feelers and every once in a while, they get hurt. I’m no stranger to rejection. When one is born against the grain, every interaction causes friction. But it was a hard week. I had to dig deep to keep putting one foot in front of the other, for many reasons actually. I’ve made it out the other side, it’s a sunny cool day in San Francisco, and I survived.

During the week, a song came onto my iTunes when it was on shuffle that normally, on any other day, I’d skip over. I listened to it, and realized how appropriate the lyrics to what I was feeling. I had to say goodbye to some dreams this week. This song summed it up perfectly. So I share with you to gloss over the feelers I’ve experienced recently.

I’ve lived no song unsung, no wine untasted. But the tigers do come at night, and dreams are born, hopefully come to life, and pass away full and rich. Some dreams never see the light of day. Some dreams cannot be, and there are storms we cannot weather. Life may kill some dreams, but you can’t stop dreaming. Make new ones. It’s the only way to make it through. Don’t get too attached to any dream, because it can be ripped away at any moment. Fear of loss, a path to the dark side is.

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Green lights

Today, I logged into my e*Trade account to find a very nice surprise. I had previously gracefully embraced my stock-picking failure when it came to Netflix in my blog post Behavioral finance and bad decision making. I had dollar cost averaged this stock as it tanked and had chalked this up to typical crazy investor behavior of chasing after a loser. Turns out, I am wrong all the time, including that time I thought I was an idiot for buying more Netflix stock as it slid down. You can imagine my surprise followed by immediate smugness when I discovered last week, the stock had rebounded over $100 per share to a price above the price at which I initially bought the stock. Well, hallelujah, I love being wrong!

Apparently Netflix had a strong 4th quarter and earnings were extremely bullish compared to what analysts believed. The price hike it enacted which initially soured investors on the stock actually did what it was supposed to do – increased revenue. This means my account has gained nearly 10% in value in about a week, and is putting me close to a new milestone of savings as well. This obviously is burning holes in my pockets even as I type this, and I think about what it could be spent on. In all reality, it will fund my retirement, doctor/medical bills, fake teeth, a motorized scooter, and a healthy addiction to water aerobics, but it’s nice to think of the things I could do with the savings if I wasn’t so responsible.

So, seeing as I was so hard on myself for sometimes picking losers, I’ve decided today that just because the stock is up does not mean I should sell. One could say, well, I’ve recovered my investment, and I should sell while it’s high to take advantage of unloading a stock too volatile for my liking. However, that is not what I would say. When I made the purchase, I had a buy and hold strategy because 1) I thought the company’s fundamentals were strong, 2) Offered a business model that continues to innovate and adapt, and 3) I am a happy customer of Netflix. I have no desire to unload the stock now, and I want it to continue working for me.

I also re-optimized my portfolio toward a new strategy, as I discussed in this blog post, Project prophecy and the phinancial phuture. I’m also enjoying some modest gains on the stocks I added to my portfolio as a result of listening to the sage advice of former CIA Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor, Jim Rickards. Nothing to write home about, but enough to reinforce that I made a good decision at the right time in managing my portfolio.

Beyond my portfolio, I’ve also been researching major travel plans for 2015. I won’t officially unveil my list of destinations until they’re booked as booked can be. This means as an investor, I’ll need to use up some hard-earned savings to finance the trip. I need to reverse out of accumulation mode, and look into spending a little bit. It’ll be well-worth it, and I don’t think I’ll need to liquidate any positions, but I have no idea what my budget will be until I start officially booking things. Where I’m headed, it will be the peak season, and the area is known for being expensive anyway. So it will hurt my wallet and brokerage account a little bit. However, I’m mentally prepared, or at least soon will be, to part with the funds needed for this ultimate travel experience. It will contain so many firsts for me as an individual, as the first person in my family even, going to some of these destinations. To say I’m starting to get excited is the understatement of the year.

I’ll be making a withdrawal on my savings for a valuable life experience. I’ll get to take off the work leash, and roam free, for at least two months anyway. Beyond that, who knows? I spoke with HR at work today and have set the wheels in motion for the trip, let stakeholders know that I’ll be planning this, and ensured no future conflicts with my schedule.

Right now, I’m hitting all the green lights in planning for this trip, and hopefully this summer, I’ll see some extra special green lights in the sky, if you catch my drift… but that’s the only hint you’ll get!

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Courage to say things

I’m frustrated. I’ve spent the last 5 days seriously asking myself what it is I don’t have the courage to say – something I touched on in this post. I’ve got notes and kneejerk responses, and at this point, it’s a nebulous pot of popcorn, with kernels jumping to and fro, popped and unpopped. I’ve stimulated the electrons in my brain, and I can actually feel them firing. Synapses are at full blown warfare with each other as I delve into what it is I really have to say. I’ve asked myself about fears, about secrets so deep, I may have hidden them myself in the library card catalogue, and shoved bookcase upon bookcase in front of that card catalog to hide them.

I still don’t have an answer. I believe in simplicity. Usually the simplest answer, is. This is not a question with a simple answer for me. I wonder if anyone else has asked themselves this question, and if they managed to find an answer right away, or even at all, for that matter.

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I think about the times I hold my tongue. This mostly occurs in business and work settings because I’ve learned sometimes, it’s wisest to say nothing and be thought smart, rather than to open my mouth and prove otherwise to someone. However, I’m a pretty brave person, and on the spectrum of employees willing to be brave, open their mouths and say something, I’m on the far side of that. Sometimes, I say things no one else will say there, and they think me out of line for even proposing an answer that far outside the excel cell. So when I think about it, there isn’t much I don’t have the courage to say.

That is for co-workers though. I find the audience with whom I’m interacting can change my comfort levels with speaking publicly. I can get up in front of a room and share some most intimate details (as I’ve done a few times at LGBT events with the help of champagne courage in the corporate space while in Sydney, having served on panels and facilitated workshops in controversial topics at conferences.) As long as I find I don’t care about that audience, I can say anything and everything.

I find I begin withholding when I know people in that audience, or rather, they know me rather intimately. There is a public persona, and there is the real me. It’s not out of choice – it’s out of necessity. Don’t worry, if I’ve ever sworn in front of you, then you are in the inner circle, and you can be assured whatever pours from my lips will be brutal honesty. I think I read somewhere that people find you more honest, approachable, and trustworthy if you swear in their goddamn presence.

I swear in front of those in that intimate circle too – family and close friends. They are the ones I do not want to hurt with what I have to say, but they have the potential to be hurt the most by me not letting them in. I have a confession to make: none of my family reads my blogs. I don’t want them to. When I share the links to what I’ve written on social media, I purposely block my mother and family from reading what I’m saying here. Do me a favor, please don’t change that and go and tell my mother about it, if you are reading this. It’s better she doesn’t know – trust me.

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Maybe that’s my a-ha moment, as I find myself sitting here stupefied, as to why I didn’t see it sooner. There are things I don’t say to my family. In fact, I close off most of my life to my family. I simply don’t talk about things with them. I know about secrets they have no idea I know about, mostly from other blabbermouth family members. I have found my family says a certain amount to your face, but also reserves the harshest criticisms for behind closed doors, behind people’s backs. I don’t want to be like that. But I found I have been, just by hiding this blog from them. Further, there are things which should not be shared in the public eye, because my family, like yours, has its secrets. There are relationships, drugs, illegal activities, and issues buried deep under pain, anger, selfishness, and resentment. Every family has that.

Don’t get me wrong. My family knows I’m gay. That would be the first thing someone might think I don’t have the courage to say. My mother had the pleasure of letting that cat out of the bag for me when I finally came out to her. She took it upon herself to tell the whole family, when it was not her story to tell. My family has been great and supportive; it’s funny, it sort of turned on her. I think she was expecting sympathy from the family, and instead found they reacted better to it than her. I think in that whole coming out experience and how it went down, the most homophobic people were my parents. My mother tried to say it was my dad who was more bothered by it. I came out to him before my mother, and while he was said he was disappointed for me because my life would be harder, I know he still loved me. My mother was on a weekly regimen of Catholic regime when I came out to her, and I told her about a year after I told my dad. She’d been rediscovering the church at that time in her life, and had a harder time reconciling it with her religion. My father was an atheist, so he had no religious inhibitions to overcome. However, I think my parents may have possibly felt guilty that they caused me to be different. Straight people make gay babies, and I just don’t think they ever imagined it would happen to them. It’s perhaps like a parent who finds out pre-natally their child will have birth defects. They blame themselves, and think about what they did to cause this defect. But what my parents didn’t understand, because they didn’t share this diversity dimension, this minority, with me, is that I don’t have a defect because I’m gay.

I certainly have the courage to have the “I’m gay; so what” discussion with anyone. However, I find the intimate thoughts and details that I can easily share with you, dear reader, I cannot share with them. It’s almost like I don’t want them to know me. Why would that be? I know that I don’t feel afraid to tell my family. It’s more that I don’t want the inconvenience of having to talk about my personal life with them. I’m a very private person as it is. I don’t like that my family will talk about me without me there. I have a very “none of your business” attitude when it comes to my personal life. I don’t tell my mother when I travel or fly anymore (at least, not every time), because I know she will just worry. I see no need to worry more than she already does. She doesn’t need to know if I fancy someone cause it probably won’t work out anyway, and I’ll be damned if I ever talk with my mother about relationships in any detail, other than they exist at that moment, or they don’t. Maybe I’m just protecting her. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, right? I curse the day she discovered Facebook, that’s for sure.

I will say, that I have less courage to say what I’m about to say: I’m coming out as lonely. There; I said it. I think everyone has feelings of loneliness. There’s some random statistic that someone somewhere estimated that approximately 20% of the US population is lonely. That’s 65million people, give or take. So if I’m lonely, and I don’t want to be, why won’t I share who I am with my family? Great question.

I’ve gone to great lengths to take comfort in my solitude. Being an only child introvert, my nature simply is to recharge when alone. I am perfectly at ease, and actually prefer being alone. I love living alone. I’ve never actually felt lonely, except for very recently. Now, I long to have someone else hanging around the apartment with me. I simply want the quiet presence of another, companionship that transcends simply having a roommate or a pet. Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting; my desired solitude feels peaceful, creative, and restorative. Loneliness to me is the physical absence of someone meaningful in your life. Perhaps it’s a feeling of love that cannot be received. Somehow, you’re preprogrammed not to understand that someone out there loves you, but just not the way you want. Another way of thinking about loneliness is as a discrepancy between one’s desired and achieved levels of social interaction, while solitude is simply the lack of contact with people. But I disagree with that last one – my desired and achieved levels of interaction are both pretty low. I think it’s a discrepancy between desired and actual levels of interaction with someone meaningful, embedded in love, truth, and respect.

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I know I do just fine on my own, so why the hell would I want to screw that up, or complicate that by adding someone else to my mix? It sounds to me like I’m just complicating my true nature and going against my own grain by wanting to open my life to another person.

It would be nice if this companion shared a bed, was affectionate, loved me, and I loved them. Love, respect, honesty. I don’t just need another random person in the house. My fear is sourced from an even deeper spring. When I think about leaving this life alone, as we all do, and having no one to remember me, or to whom I can pass some sort of legacy, I lose hope. Deeper than that, I’m afraid I won’t have built any kind of memorable legacy. I am just dust in the wind, and will be unrecognizable in the grander scheme of things. I am so small, and no one will know I even existed. If that is truly the case in the grand scheme of things, then why must I go against the grain and aim to prove my existence to someone/anyone? Shouldn’t I take comfort in knowing that I, too, will be forgotten? Am I so vain to think I’m so important that I deserve remembrance over any other person? I’ve not done that much for which to be remembered. Remember, I’m barely getting by here. Certainly, many people have contributed far more to this world than I.

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So I embrace the loneliness I’ve developed – I have to believe it’s temporary. There is someone out there who can put up with me and my shit, who can love and respect me, and take care of me when I need it, who’ll let me love and take care of her too. I have to be optimistic and believe, nay, hope, she’s out there. Until then, I shall have to not let that loneliness, that aching feeling that a part of me is missing because it’s walking around in someone else and completely outside my body, get to me. My brain tells me I am a whole complete person, just as I am, with everything that I need. Makes total sense. My heart, however, is searching for the buried treasure of a real connection to another person that it cannot achieve alone. Stupid heart. Hrmph.

“Here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone” – Whitesnake

I’d take the red pill

This weekend, I watched a National Geographic educational program that took a peek inside North Korea. As an American, I don’t even think I’m really allowed in that country, even if I wanted to go. They hate Americans there. The only place more mysterious to me, as an American citizen, is Cuba, which may be changing soon enough. It shocks me that a whole nation of people could hate Americans so much, though it shouldn’t, given the programming that goes into creating a North Korean citizen. I shouldn’t be so naïve – many countries dislike the U.S. and its citizens. While my country is not perfect, our people are entitled to human rights, as are people everywhere. So I have to think they don’t hate us, but it’s more that they fear being seen as disrespectful of the supreme leader, a crime punishable by death.

Everything written herein is what I took away from the documentary, and has not been formed from my own personal travels/experiences. As a lesbian American with a big mouth and few inhibitions, I doubt I’d get much further than the airport before running into trouble there. I don’t do well with authority in most situations, even in the U.S., and especially those in jurisdictions with very strict regulations around decorum and respect things.

I had practically no knowledge about what life might be like there, but for what Team America (the movie from the creators of South Park) taught me about Kim Jong-il’s loneliness. I learned just enough from that movie to be dangerous. Also, rumor has it that North Korea was behind public threats if Sony released its satirical film “The Interview” and imminent danger for people who went to see that movie. So clearly, I know nothing. I know there was a Korean War, sometime during the 1900’s, and I think before the Vietnam War. Oh, and that the Olympics were held in Seoul, South Korea, once.

I don’t even know where to begin with what I didn’t know. It struck me is how much programming the people have when it comes to the dictator in power. I’d say it was dedication, a strong blind passion, stronger than a child’s belief in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Like everyone has had a lobotomy, standard issue from the government. There are statues, billboards, and pictures of Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, and those that came before them. Instead of personalized family photos gracing the walls of any given home, instead there are only pictures of the supreme leader to be revered. In fact, the home that the documentary crew went to had no furniture. Everyone sat on the floor, and there were only fans to cool what must be incredibly hot and muggy rooms packed with families in poor health. God awful. Inhumane. Now I see first-hand why the reports from North Korea about its own “rich culture” and commitment to “diversity” are such a big joke.

Don’t get me wrong – I have a respect for these people. Just because I can’t understand the faith they have placed in a leader that, in my opinion is misplaced, doesn’t mean it’s not important to them and valid to them. If I had half that dedication even for things I enjoy doing, and for people I like, I’d be a much better person for it. But this leader in whom they place their faith goes unquestioned, unchallenged, and the people blindly follow him. He cannot do anything wrong. Even a leader should not be above the law – the law gives equal rights to all people, and no people are “more equal” than others, or entitled to more/different rights.

In this National Geographic program, former View hostess, Lisa Ling, went with a camera crew to North Korea to work on a documentary about a doctor who wanted to perform over 1,000 eye surgeries for the blind there. The team was only approved to be in the country for 10 days, which meant he needed to perform over 100 surgeries per day, on top of navigating the miles of red tape. Further, the North Korea government required supervision of the crew at all times by North Korean government officials. That equals no privacy or freedom of speech.

From a general health perspective, I didn’t realize the rampant blindness and damage caused by cataracts. I didn’t know what they were, but that older people usually got them. I imagined as a child, that cataracts was a complicated pulley system like being in traction, but was miniscule and hidden inside the eye. The lack of proper nutrition can make one genetically pre-disposed to cataracts at even higher risk. Difficult and potentially unsuitable working conditions worsen the clouding of the lens within the eye. Most people lose their eyesight entirely, if cataracts are left untreated. In North Korea, yes healthcare is free, but you do get what you pay for. The country simply doesn’t have the facilities, trained professionals, tools, or basic infrastructure to provide the most basic health care for its people. There are so few surgeries performed there each there, with no anesthetic or pain medication. Unreal. I don’t even know where to start. Suddenly Obamacare doesn’t sound so bad, though.

When the patients began taking off the bandages from their eyes, they thanked the supreme leader and promised their future generations would strive to be worthy of the grace allowed them to finally see the dictator. They didn’t thank the doctor or the team that sterilized the instruments, or the nurses who supplemented the care provided.

That blew my mind. But wait, there was more. When the crew talked about citizens of North Korea attempting to defect to South Korea, the struggles they had to go through far outweigh the risks taken by slaves travelling on the Underground Railroad. The demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea is full of land mines, electric fences, snipers, and other deadly obstacles. Guards stand on the border for both North and South – the strongest, well-fed soldiers are placed in sight to induce fear in the other side. They stand in a posture that allows for flexed muscles. These guys are like body builders in a 12-hour posing show shift. Crazy.

As a writer whose job it is to connect the dots, I now meander to another program I watched over the weekend, on methamphetamine, commonly known as Ice, Tina, Crystal, and crank. I’d seen every episode of Breaking Bad and the blue moneymaker drug they crafted with test tubes in the middle of New Mexico. I’ve been to Oroville, a small town outside my college town of Chico, California, known as the meth-making capital of Northern California in its heyday. I can’t reiterate it enough having seen meth-heads first hand – Meth: NOT EVEN ONCE.

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I also learned that North Korea was originally invaded and inhabited by the Japanese, so there is a strong Japanese influence in North Korean culture. This is deeply rooted in respect, and even a samurai culture. Also though, legal doses of an equivalent of meth were provided to Japanese kamikaze fighter pilots to help them stay on track and complete their mission when dropping napalm in World War II.

Methamphetamine highs can last between 6-12 hours, and usually are approximately 3.5x the high from cocaine. The drug appeared in the pacific northwest of the US in its early days, which is just in my backyard, apparently. In California, the drug was manufactured by motorcycle gangs and sold with a street name of crank, named after the part of the motorcycle where the drug was stored when transported for distribution. I didn’t know that, either. The injection of meth by drugg-o’s using dirty, shared needles fanned the fire, and the spread of the AIDS virus became faster than wildfire due to the popularity and timing of introduction of the drug.

There is even totally legal form of meth used by blue collar workers in Thailand. It fuels the workforce and gives manual laborers energy when they are tired, and makes them not hungry when in fact, they are starving. I swear, I just thought the workers in Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands were just smoking regular hand-rolled cigarettes on a break. Chances are, at least one of those workers was probably smoking a small amount of meth in front of me, and I didn’t even know it.

From the dry mouth and going long periods without hydrating, meth is known for deteriorating teeth and gums. Think about it – if you’re high on meth, sure the house gets clean, but you don’t go to the dentist. The gums begin receding and the teeth rot, so you end up with a mouth rotted brown half-teeth or empty sockets, like Penn-sa-tucky and Edward Pizzahands in Orange in the New Black.

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As someone who has never tried cocaine, (though I’ve heard it’s a helluva drug, Dewey) nor meth, I can only draw a secondhand parallel between what meth heads feel when they are in the euphoric high of the drug, and the euphoria of the people of North Korea beginning to see again and thanking the supreme leader, not the doctor.

Supposedly, meth makes you feel like you can do anything, like you are invincible. You can completely lose yourself to meth, and you can only get yourself back once the high is gone. You’ll sell everything you own and yourself for more money to just get one more hit. You’ll spend everything chasing the high that only comes the first few times you do it. Meth completely screws up the dopamine release systems in your brain, and screws up the neurotransmitters once the dopamine is in your system. Some of those neurotransmitters permanently shut down. In laymen’s medical speak, that’s bad, m’kay.

The people of North Korea have no choice but to place their hope and faith in a leader and the life he chooses for them. I don’t even know that the people see anything wrong with that, and perhaps there is nothing wrong with that, for them. They do not question the absolute power their supreme leader has, nor do they think he would ever misuse that power. They, too, seem to not have control of their own thoughts, or being their own people, while under the influence of their ruler. Just like meth-heads aren’t in control of themselves either when under the influence of the drug.

I cannot see letting myself be edged out of my body to make way for a destructive drug, or a destructive state of mind. I don’t want to be ruled by a drug, by a political viewpoint, a religion, or anything, to such an extreme. I believe in moderation, and while the existence of a Republican party makes me shudder (including all the things that come out of its members mouths and FOXnews reports), I’d rather it existed, than live in a brainwashed state of mind that tells me what I believe and punishes me for not conforming to a regime. I’d rather form my own beliefs. Even if I’m wrong, and even if I misplace my faith, at least I can make my own choice about what I believe.

I’m not against drugs; everyone has their choice to indulge in self-medication and personal pain management and for many that could involve any number of over-the-counter or illegal drugs. For me, that drug of choice never has been and never will be cocaine or meth. Or politics, for that matter.

I’ve never had the opportunity to travel to North Korea, and if offered, I don’t think I’d turn it down, sheerly out of a morbid curiosity for a culture so different from my own. I’m intrigued by the blind hatred these people have of me without even knowing me, just because of my nationality. The people seem happier with a myth, not reality.

Some people think religion is the opiate of the masses. I would argue, after watching the people of North Korea mourn the death of Kim Jong-il, that the real opiate of the masses is wanting to be better and stronger at any cost. The North Korean people appear to have an altered view of reality, as does someone high on meth who feels their skin crawling with bugs. Sometimes, no matter how bad reality is, I’d rather have that, than a lie. A friend introduced me to Timothy Leary’s “Any Reality is an Opinion.” Riveting and mind-blowing, indeed. I have to echo his message and challenge you to place it in the context of North Korea and listen to it again.

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So if you were Morpheus, and you offered me a blue pill or a red pill, I’d refill my champagne stein and chug down the painful truth of reality with my red pill. Keep the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue pill) for the next North Korean or meth-head.

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The art of getting by

British poet Samuel Butler said, “Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” I completely and utterly agree with that statement.

I recently watched the film “The Art of Getting By.” Of course, it set me on a tangent and to thinking about how I get by in my own life. I was downright pensive and insufferable yesterday, fervently meditating, vigorously mulling over the bits of that film which spoke to me.

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Having always felt like the designated black sheep by default as the only child, and rainbow sheep as a lesbian, and the One Who Continues to Disappoint the Elders, I connected to George, the film’s protagonist. He shares a quote towards the beginning of the film that reveals the conundrum he faces, the answer to the question of life’s purpose, as he sees it. “We live alone; we die alone. Everything else is just an illusion. So why am I supposed to spend my life working, sweating, struggling? For an illusion?” Well, yeah, actually.

I have often wondered the same thing. Brass tacks, everything beyond being born and dying, what does it all really mean? I concluded after some pontificating and casual half-assed research that it means whatever I make it mean. It’s completely up to me. Unlike the protagonist, I didn’t use it as an excuse for doing nothing. I can’t do nothing. Doing nothing bores me. I’d rather do something. What I do, is I bounce to the beat of a different kazoo. I found my threshold of getting by that was good enough for me, being ambitious lazy (or lazy ambitious, depending how you like to see it.) I have no care or interest whether my “getting by” is enough for anyone else, or if it’s too much. It’s right for me right now. That is all that matters. Sometimes I feel like I’m absolutely full of shit too, sitting here pretending to make this life for myself. Sometimes I wonder what the point is too, and if I’m trying so hard to be “me” that I’m not being me at all.

When George took the blame for someone else smoking on the roof when busted by a teacher, he told the real culprit, “I run afoul of the authorities so often, I figured I could handle it better than you.” We are all equipped to deal with a certain amount in life, and I admit I was embarrassingly out of shape when it came to dealing with life’s curveballs. I’ve had to work out my heart muscle a lot in my life. I’ve had tests of my strength within the last two years, true questions of whether I had the will to continue living life while facing incredible loss, and not just for shits and giggles. I have had my heart swell and grow, basking in the sunlight of being in love, and I have had it broken by someone who probably never deserved to hold it in her hands in the first place. I find I’m pretty well equipped to handle just about anything that comes my way now. There is a sense of wisdom that has come with experience.

I, too, have practiced the art of getting by. Getting by is simply having just enough to do what you need to do – just doing the bare minimum to meet expectations and fly silently under the radar. There is a science to getting by, but when I’ve truly got that shit down to an art now, as the film title implies. There is more to ticking the boxes of getting by. I do it with panache.

With depression, (and having to work up the motivation to climb a whole mountain of care to even get myself going, before the mountain most normal people climb every day to be productive, contribute to society, do an honest day’s work, and live) I simply don’t have time or ambition to do anything more than just get by. I used to be a straight-A student; I did more than get by. I’ve observed one too many times in a jaded mindset that being the straight-A student earned me no better standings in anyone’s eyes but my own. As they say, doing well was just like pissing myself in a black suit. I got a warm feeling, but no one notices the difference. So eventually I stopped trying so hard. What’s the point?

Yet, as a writer, as a human, I find myself struggling with the challenge the art teacher gave George. For his final project, the teacher challenges George to find something he’s never had the courage to say before. Don’t just get by – do something, just one thing, make one piece. Even if it’s the only thing he does. Put something into it. Find his voice, and use it, even if just to say one thing, and even if his voice shakes.

Powerful stuff right there, and it speaks to the very core of what I aim to do in my life. I will land the plane, but it might be bumpy, and the plane may not be in one piece when I’m done with it. It won’t be pretty, but I’ll git ‘er done.

I never realized there were so many steps to writing. Even with these blog posts, which I do for fun and because I want to, I find writing is not as simple as sitting down and letting the words pour out. I actually have to expose myself purposely to ideas, to research, to something worth writing about. I wanted to pump out a few blogs a week, to perhaps just show myself I was still trying and dedicated to not letting this blog fall away, like every other hobby I have tried, crumpled, and thrown in a pile behind me in trying to find my life’s passion and purpose. For more on life’s purpose, check out my blog post specifically about that here.

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I don’t do this for the readers; I’d be disillusioned if I did. Is it better to pump out a lot of crappy posts, or leave my readers wanting more as I post fewer and far between better posts? I’m still trying to find what it is I’ve never had the courage to say before, and perhaps I’m still trying to find the courage to say it too. In the meantime, I’ll still keep pumping out the posts, in tribute to the greatest post in the world (Tenacious D reference, for all you savvy folks).

I take some peace in knowing, “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end,” from one of my favorite films, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. If I haven’t yet found what to say or the courage to say it, then it is not yet time for me to say it. I only have so much time, and I do not know when it will end. I’d like to have something live beyond me as a testament for having that courage to say it.

I’d add a post script to that film, or make a sequel, called the Art of Letting Go. That, too, is something I’m still learning. In another blog post, The space between spaces, I mentioned Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a great film with surprisingly insightful quotes. There is a tipping point we all reach in life, and perhaps I’ve begun my approach to mine: “where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.” As the teachings of Buddha show me, “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

I’m working on the graceful thing and I believe that grace will only come once I’m long past that tipping point. Letting go will become yet another language I speak. That’s not happening overnight.

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Tales of the city

A friend of mine from Florida visited me on Friday since he is in the bay area working on a job out here. He stayed with me Friday night, and I showed him a local’s view of San Francisco that no tourist would get unless they knew precisely where to go for what. The details of where we went were inconsequential, and the company was good, as I invited more friends to dinner and to go out and meet him. What struck me is that he confirmed what I believed firmly for the 8 years I’ve lived here (broken up by my stint in Australia): I cannot make this shit up. What happens when I go out on the town, on any normal given day, is straight from the imagination of someone on LSD. I loved seeing it through his eyes because it’s like feeling for the first time what a truly special life I have here in San Francisco. It truly does make for countless sequels to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.

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It started with his arrival at my building, a beautiful Victorian art deco building built in 1931. From the caged old-fashioned elevators from an old movie, to walking down the hallway to my apartment, he was hit with a story. An older gentleman who lives on my floor, carried his cat down the hall to a small room with a grand piano inside as my friend rolled his suitcase to my apartment. The man’s piano playing is impeccable, and the only people who can hear it are my neighbor Judith (see post here for more background on her), the guy on the other side of Judith, Dave, and me. We petted the cat Crispin for a moment, engaging in small talk, and Alex stepped into my apartment.

Even my apartment was a story to him, and he couldn’t pull his eyes away from my view out of the bay window. It’s a small apartment, and he appreciated that everything had its place, so I showed him the ropes and got him oriented to the space he’d call home for the next 24 hours. From my kitchen coming with only 6 inches of real counter space, to the artwork I have in my apartment, it was a culture shock for him. He loved the post-its of German words I have on most everything in the kitchen, since I’m learning a new language. He found his way straight to the sweet tea vodka and lemonade and crafted himself a cocktail as he settled into my couch to take it all in.

Being from Florida, and owning a home, he’s used to much more space, and totally different city vibe. If you want to go somewhere, you drive. You have space to move around and be in different rooms of your home. He even has a pool at his residence, and I don’t even have an outdoor space. He doesn’t have a smart TV with Netflix built right in, and is used to AppleTV (which I also have). It just takes longer to access. Since I don’t have children or flatmates this time around, he got to appreciate the cocktail, the other comforts that I offer to my guests to unwind in the oasis after escaping the bustle of the city to an episode of a new-to-him TV show, Archer, while taking in the view. It’s quite the life, and sometimes it even strikes me how lucky I am.

I had planned a dinner with my best friend, her girlfriend, and another friend who recently rescued a dog. I’d invited them all to mine for pre-dinner cocktails and conversation, but they arrived in waves. First, my friend with the German Shephard, Shanti, arrived. Shanti was not trained and was only 1 year old, which is basically still a puppy. She sniffed all over my apartment, jumped on my friend and me, and got acclimated to the new space. At one point, we pulled out my giant stuffed panda, Miranda, for Shanti to meet. Shanti proceeded to bite and wrestle with the panda, only attacking its lower half. Having the dirty minds we had, we had a chuckle at Miranda getting to 4th base on the first meeting of her new friend.

We had to separate Shanti and Miranda, and after meeting her new friend, Shanti calmed down and perched herself right in the middle of my bed, claiming it as her own. Adorable. My friend who adopted Shanti reflected on how people have been with Shanti. The company she kept earlier in the day was two gay men who tried to control Shanti and command her. As a contrast, my friend and I simply went with it, didn’t try to boss her around, and let her do what she needed to do to be comfortable. And we gave her pets and love.

Shanti’s mama left early and staked out a table for the restaurant for us, as we were a party of 6 and no reservations were accepted. Then, my best friend and her girlfriend arrived and stayed briefly to see the new rug, the layout, and walk with us to the restaurant. My Florida friend had not been around so many lesbians (did I forget to mention that all of us but him were card-carrying lesbos?) in a long time. It was very much a different vibe for a gay man who usually runs with swarms of other gay males. Shall we call them a pride? A bloom of jellyfish? A harem of chimpanzees? A thunder of hippos? As you wish.

As the four of us walked to the Castro (the gay neighborhood in San Francisco for those of you not familiar with the city), we encountered tent city along Market Street of displaced homeless people who’ve claimed that as home for the evening. Smells and shouts assail the senses, as we just kept walking unscathed through what most would be frightened to permeate.

The view walking down Market Street at sunset:

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Once we arrived at the restaurant, we learned one very awkward fact. Shanti’s mama invited a date to our dinner of what was supposed to be friends, people who knew each other already. Further, the tables were outside to accommodate having a dog in tow, and the tables were cemented to the ground. We ended up having to settle for two tables of 3, and I had the unfortunately luck of being seated at the table with the two on the date, away from my Florida friend… How awkward, indeed.

After dinner, we decided we could go see a bit more of Castro, as the date was pushing heavily to go to a clubby bar on Castro Street known for strong drinks and a dance floor. The date got more awkward, as the bar usually allows small lap dogs, but would not allow the massive Shanti for safety reasons. So Shanti’s mama had to walk her around the block to tire her out, then tie her to a post outside the bar. This took a good 15-20 minutes, which left said date hanging out with 4-friends-who-didn’t-realize-this-was-a-date in silence. Perhaps I don’t know much about dating, but dragging your date to a bar she can’t come in because of her dog and leaving her to walk the dog for a long time is probably an indicator that the date isn’t going well… Beyond that, the date was twitchy and drinking heavily, which led us to believe she was probably coked up or on some kind of drug. Another sign she’s not a winner – she does drugs and double drinks to be able to tolerate a night out with someone new? But that’s none of my business…

We went to another venue hoping to lose the twitchy date, but she persistently stuck with us. We brought Shanti into the second venue with no issue, and had a couple drinks there. I ran into my flatmate from when I first moved to the city in 2004, and hugged and wished each other well. I perched myself on a bench in the back, next to an Asian little person with the cutest little sausage fingers I wanted to bite even after a very satisfying meal at dinner.

Finally, worn out, we as a group left that bar with the intention of each going our separate ways to head home. Shanti’s mama, Shanti, and the twitchy date walked off quickly ahead of us and lost us without another word. We passed by the Hot Cookie on the corner of Castro and Market to catch a cackle of hyenas (translation: 20-something drunk girls) flashing the guy behind the counter for cookies. We passed a drag queen ordering sliders as well, with a fabulous red wig and sparkly dress. My best friend, the girlfriend, my friend and I made it as far as another bar before they wanted to go into another bar. We bid them good night and my Florida friend and I swooped into a Mexican joint and got bean burritos to go, and they turned out to be the best burritos either of us had ever had. God bless legit Mexican food at nearly midnight.

It was a random night, with situations in which we found ourselves having to improvise heavily. No judgment, just letting it all soak in and going with it. When you need to steer the ship, you do, but otherwise, you float down the river of San Francisco crazy and see what you see. When you are sick of that river, you escape to your sanctuary with your burrito in tow to soak up the alcohol so no hangover impedes activity for the adventures the next day.

Nights like that remind me how I fell in love with the city in the first place.

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Sustainable progress

Easter Island
I watched a National Geographic special on the statues of Easter Island yesterday. I had no idea about the backstory or cultural significance of the statues, and how they “walked” to their current locations. I also had no appreciation for those lying about not on deity platforms, but on the sides of roads, not standing upright. The special covered how the deforestation of the island for the farmers who populated it, combined with an invasive rat species, and poaching the bird life for food basically led to the island’s demise. I watched archaeologists experiment with mechanics and a model statue to postulate how early people without machinery and metal were able to move such large and heavy stones. The grade of the island was flattened to essentially not go above a certain % grade on both upslopes and downslopes. In moving the statues along the road, some landed face down on the downslopes and face up on the upslopes. I’ve always wanted to visit Easter Island to see these mysterious statues, and it helped to have the background and lore of their history to get more context on what I hope to see. I cannot wait to hit that destination. Also, I used to hate educational videos… it started with a love for shows on the history channel, mostly conspiracy theories, but then it moved to stories of Nostradamus, now Easter Island… I find my nerd quotient increasing at an alarming rate… but I’m okay with that, truth be told.

As part of the life changes I decided to make which coincided with New Year’s, I’ve done a few days of German practice so far. I started with numbers 1-10, then 11-20 and 21-30. I also started working in an app called Duolingo to begin practicing with reading, pronunciation, and basic simple sentences. I can say “I am a woman” (“Ich bin eine frau”) and I am eating the bread and drinking the water (“Ich esse das brot und trinke wasser”). Eleven is elf and twelve is zwӧlf, but five is fünf, and these are quickly becoming my favorite numbers in German. Siebenundzwanzig (27) is up there too. I’m enjoying myself, and not pushing myself if I’m not in the mood. Most importantly, I’m proud of myself for even trying. I had been wanting to learn Italian for an immersion into the culture before a much-anticipated trip there. I never did anything about it. I found a language that interests me, and that I actually have fun with saying because it’s so foreign to my tongue. So I’m holding off on the Italian to give German a good old college try. Besides Spanish, that is the extent of my language skills, and I’m hardly fluent in Spanish (unless you would like to know that my mother sleeps in the street, or I think it smells like codfish in here.) So I’m proud of myself for finally taking the plunge and jumping into a language since my high school days.

After my trip to Southern California just after New Year’s, I also find my body is fervently craving fruit and vegetables. I’ve been waiting for the day that a clementine mandarin sounded more appetizing than a double bacon cheeseburger! I’ve indulged my healthy cravings and stocked up my fruit bowl and fridge with healthy options. Besides being bloated for that time of the month right now, I can already actually feel the difference in my body by switching gears so abruptly. While I didn’t work out at a gym in SoCal, I did do quite a bit of beach walking, which made me appreciate new muscles in my feet and legs I forgot I had. Plus, since returning to San Francisco, I’ve been going to the gym everyday, and in fact, getting back into my old weights routine. I’ve done an upper body and leg day so far, both inclusive of time dedicated to abs, too. Today will be core/total body (cleans, deadlifts, abs, obliques) and more cardio. The New Years resolutioners have not dampened my gym experience because I adapted my workout schedule to avoid peak times like early morning, lunch, and just after work. I hope to keep up this routine as long as possible. Combine all this with not drinking except for social situations, and minimizing my social situations, and I hope to be getting fit and back in shape in no time. I don’t miss unhealthy foods, and I find myself wanting to move my body rather than be sedentary. So I’m going to ride this wave as long as it’s around, cause going with that flow is easy and great for me. I watched a TED talk that actually covered a scientific experiment around why some people find exercise harder than others. It comes down to your mind’s eye playing on tricks on you. If you keep your eyes on the prize, don’t get distracted, and consider your perspective, you can actually see an exercise challenge as easier or harder. It’s all about how you frame your attitude about the challenge.

Some shelves I ordered on Amazon finally arrived today. I need to get my apartment organized and get my books all in one place. I’m looking forward to dedicating some time to being with and feeling each book. It sounds weird; I know. I absolutely love books, and more often lately I go for electronic books I can access on my kindle or idevices for mobility purposes. So when I get to read or be around actual books, it makes me happy.

All in all, I feel a bit all over the place, but I am not minding it. I am making progress on things that matter to me. I’m being productive, and crossing things off the to-do list, that seems to have more and more items added to it faster than I can knock them off. I don’t know what happened, all of a sudden, life got busy again. It’s not stressful yet. I’ve not been cocooning at home wrapped in a blanket like a burrito as I would normally be inclined to do. I’m getting out, walking around, and actually liking it. I’m learning things, and pushing my brain.

At this point, it sort of feels like I’m on top of stuff, for the time being, anyway. I actually feel like I got this. Question is – how sustainable is it really? I might surprise myself. After all, this is officially my 100th blog post, for a hobby that I started 6 months ago, just to see if it would stick. Apparently, it has. Here’s hoping for the rest.

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I know this much is true

I’ve just come back from a lovely 4-day weekend in Southern California, visiting with college roommates from back in the day. It’s been 10 years since we graduated, and it was like connecting with extended family. We stayed in a nice housing community in Dana Point, California. The community had a clubhouse with a hot tub, which we put to good use, as well as a private beach only for members. We went tide pooling, looking for ocean life in the tidal zone when it was low tide. We saw lobsters, crabs, starfish, kelp, and baby seagulls.

We played games, like FastTrack (like Sorry), Cards Against Humanity, and reminisced about our days playing euchre for hours on end.

We made wonderful healthy meals together, with lots of fruit, and went out to a beachfront restaurant as well. There were beautiful sunsets with views of Catalina Island, laughing so hard our bellies hurt the next day, wine, and genuine reconnection. My friend’s mom hosted us and had a beautiful outdoor space with a fireplace, tiki torches, comfy seating, outdoor space heaters, greenery, and ambiance. We didn’t need to go out looking for trouble because we made plenty there.

I’ve written before about bringing old parts of you that may have been hidden, whether intentionally or not, out to the light after having been tucked away for a long time. It makes me feel like me again. On one hand, I killed so many brain cells in college that I can’t remember a lot of the details from that time in my life. But it’s funny how 4 days with these wonderful people brought a good amount flooding back.

I’d love to say I walked away with some profound epiphany, or something deeply meaningful. Reconnecting with old friends simply left me recharged. I slept a lot. Being with old friends simply reinforced all the things I already knew. That was my takeaway.

I know this much is true:

Nobody really ever has it all together.

We are all on our own personal quest for happiness, and laughing with friends contributes to this search for happiness a great deal. Try to do it as often as you can.

We all suffer pain at the loss of a loved one in very different ways.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

So a big heartfelt thank you to my friends, new and old. Starting the new year right!

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10 of swords, reversed

When I was a little girl, New Year’s Eve was almost magical in the power I had to stay up late just one night a year. My parents would drink, but I would get soda, or chocolate milkshakes, or whatever I wanted. Since I had a small family, comprised of only my dad, mom, and me, often we would play board games, or watch movies together.

One thing my mom did on most New Year’s Eves I can remember is do a tarot card reading for herself and me. My dad normally wouldn’t be interested in that kind of stuff. So, to rekindle the memory and see what 2015 had in store for me, I did a tarot reading for myself last night.

For those of you unfamiliar with tarot cards and reading, there are many spreads, or layouts, of the cards you can prepare. I chose a Celtic spread, which is shown just below.

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I used a universal waite deck of cards, which has traditional cards. There are 78 cards in a deck – 22 Major Arcana (these are the cards like The Temptress, the Hanged Man, Justice, etc.), 40 Minor Arcana (there are 4 suits numbered Ace(1)-10 of Wands, Pentacles, Cups, and Swords), and 16 Court cards (these are Queens, Kings, Knights, and Pages within the 4 suits). Only the Major Arcana transcend the 4 suits; all other cards are some court or number of those suits. Based on your astrological sign, you can have a particular suit which represents you in general. Being a Fire sign, I am generally represented by Wands. Water signs fill Cups; Earth signs are represented by Pentacles. Air signs are depicted by Swords.

You’re meant to shuffle the cards while you think of a question or issue. For me, I find I don’t need to think of a specific question – it still works if I just shuffle and be in my head and in my skin. I did that last night and could not have received a more helpful assemblage of cards.

The spread pictured above shows numbered cards, and each card translates to something about the question or issue at hand. I’ll go through each card in my spread and translate my reading for you, dear reader, just for shits and giggles. Bear with.

1: Concern, or issue at hand – 10 of Swords, reversed
Firstly, the cards in a spread can either be upright, or reversed. Orientation of the cards actually does have meaning and should be used when interpreting the actual cards themselves. A reversed card can have a very different meaning than an upright card.

My concern is there will be no changes in problems and troubles, but no new ones. I need to have the courage to rise again, as the situation is not as black as it appears. Stagnation causes misery and my mental focus is unclear. Excessive burdens cause back problems.

Now I will tell you the central issue I’ve been mulling over of late, if you hadn’t already guessed by my last two posts. I am not doing what I love at work. There isn’t much spare time outside of work to do the things I love. I don’t even know what the things I love to do are. I have wanted to take time and focus on what makes me happy, and doing more of it. Life is too short not to be happy. However, reality things, like bills, rent, retirement savings, have forced me to be responsible and keep working. What I’d really love is to take time off from work, to travel and find myself. I want to find what truly makes me happy and put more of it in my life. I have been so fed up with work that I actually contemplated burning bridges over the holiday break and handing in a resignation letter now, rather than riding out my responsibilities through the busy season and into the summer.

This card is spot on for the central issue at hand. I’m stagnant right now, waiting in the wings for this grand ideal I have for my life, and I’ve quite literally had backaches this year just from stress alone. As a Leo, I’m supposedly ruled by my back. Coincidence? Perhaps.

2: Obstacles – Page of Cups
The Court cards actually can represent key people in your life. The Page of Cups represents a Pisces, with willowy body, expressive hands, and light to medium hair. The Page of Cups also refers to love and emotions. Ironic, hey? My obstacles are my own goddamn emotions, me, myself. I’m my own problem. Wag the dog…

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This Page of Cups can be a homosexual and oversensitive. Who knew I was a Page of Cups?! I always thought my Tarot Court card representation was the Page of Wands growing up. Go figure. This Page may also have problems associated with liquor or drugs. The only “problem” I have is not drinking right now because it can negate the effects of my antidepressants. And it’s not really a problem since I woke up New Year’s Day without a hangover and being productive by writing this post right off the bat. But I digress…

3: Objective – The Devil, reversed
Less selfishness and greed for material possessions or social standing. Wow – spot on. I’ve a wonderful affliction called the Joy of Missing Out (#JOMO) and I honestly don’t give a crap about being a power lesbian or public persona. The goal in my life is to not relish in material possessions, and refusing to worship false gods. There is a desire to face reality, to lift the veil of illusion and be real. I want to use my creativity in beneficial ways. That has been goal throughout this lifelong process of finding out who I am and what I want. I want to be real, and I want to be happy. Not so hard, right?

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4: Thoughts and Feelings – 5 of Swords
I see these problems and troubles as very real. There is an unhealthy mental attitude and I’m subject to rash behavior. Desires cloud good sense, and changes may not be positive if made right now. I know I’d be an idiot to quit my job now, without a travel plan lined up, without a backup job, and burning bridges could have very real consequences. While my heart wants what it wants, I need to maintain a holding pattern right now, if it’s the last thing I do. This stagnation could not be harder for me to swallow right now. Word.

5: Past – 4 of Pentacles
I realize the value of material possessions, and avarice may have played a song or two. I knew I wanted to get a good job out of college, make money so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. I kept a balanced attitude about money – I knew what it could get, but I didn’t idolize it or love it. This card also signifies in the past I may have had an inheritance (yes, a small one after my father passed), good health, and a Midas touch. What resonated for me when reading the description of this card is that the Midas touch was also referenced in a lyric in a song I included in the playlist in yesterday’s post, which described the state of mind about looking back on my year. B.o.B.’s “I’ve Got the Magic in Me” – “every time I touch that track, it turns into gold…” Whoa. Mind minorly blown…

6: Immediate future – The Moon
I must learn to control my negative thinking, because refusing to face the truth is counterproductive to my objective. I can be swayed by my own emotions, and be indecisive/moody. I’m not using my intuition to overcome obstacles. There will be fears and doubts about life and my future. So I’ve got that to look forward to…

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7: Attitude about the Concern/Question – Death
Before you go assuming the Death card is something terrible, please know it is not. Death signifies the end of a situation and a change for the better. Be open to love and release resentments. New ideas and future plans are healthy – wanting to travel and sort myself out is totally acceptable. Destruction breeds creation. I should use my energy to gain enlightenment and let go of old experiences that no longer have meaning. I guess I couldn’t ask for a better attitude. I’m open and willing to make changes. That’s all I could ask for. The card also says take care of health issues. So I need to try to remain healthy and positive until the time comes for action.

8: Outside Influences – 6 of Pentacles, reversed
The outside environment is encouraging me not to make choices about money. It’s not charitable or sharing either. I have the potential to make unwise decisions about money – like say quitting a job and blowing a wad of cash on a huge trip. Not wise, indeed. I’ve got poverty on the brain and what happens when I deplete savings.

9: Hopes and fears – 7 of Cups
I hope for victory gained in love, and a path of creative visualization or daydreaming. Or perhaps that daydreams will come true… Yup, that’s fair. I’ll allow it. I want to demonstrate mental control over emotions and seek balance. The guidance I seek should come from within – remove the illusion and rose-tinted glasses that comes with liquor and drugs.

10: Final Outcome – King of Cups
This Court card is represented by a Cancer with large head and body, a broad chest, and full lips. He is emotional, loving, caring, and nurturing. He is a good family man when married. His interests are real estate, home products, interior design, food, arts, and science. He needs to feel safe and secure in whatever profession he follows.

So basically, don’t cock it up by hitting send on that resignation letter too soon. Ride it out, be patient, get your emotions under control, and don’t do anything stupid. It will be a good final outcome if you look for yourself within. Sometimes, no action is the best action, and I can forget that.

And for the record, I like to think I’d make a fabulous wife to some lucky lady out there. If she has kids or we have them together, I’d be an ok mom, I guess. I’d want to be able to provide and give my partner what she wants, so I guess being the lesbian equivalent of the King of Cups wouldn’t be all bad. I, too, like interior design, arts, sciences, and duh, food.

Why just yesterday on my impromptu trip to San Jose, I bought a new area rug for my living space. I thought, hey, new rug, new year. Yes, this is the coffee table and couch where I write most of my posts. Paisley (or as my ex-flatmate in Sydney calls it, brocade) suits me.

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All in all, the tarot reading did some good to settle my mind and orient myself on what I need to do. I need patience, a little faith, and not to jump the gun. As Bon Qui Qui, a MadTV character says of King Burger, “Welcome to King Burger where you can have it your way… but don’t get crazy!” I, too, can have it my way, just don’t get crazy. I’ll have to remember that one. Ha.