This list is a lot more difficult to write than it was when I was first presented with it. I feel like I have everything, and that makes me really … uncomfortable. I’m not used to it. I grew up where lack, absence, doing without, longing, yearning and never, EVER receiving was part of the deal – and done in that random reinforcement way where every so often I would get what I really wanted, so as to reinforce the longing and settling for less. I even got cornered into compromising on the laptop I received as a graduation from high school present; I wanted the Compaq with the better warranty and reviews in PC magazine; my parents made me take the color Packard Bell – and for those who remember 1990s Packard Bell, the error in that is self-explanatory.
As an adult, it’s always been just barely on the favorable side of hand-to-mouth; thankfully most of my weird addictions that helped me cope can be fed by a library card. G.O.D was merciful in giving me a peculiarly resistant brain chemistry, and I appreciate that since illness developed, it could have led to a downslide with state-supported rehab on it otherwise. I appreciate deeply that part of the artist’s deal is a certain amount of dependence on others if you’re not one of the few to achieve early success, and I’ve always been rated sort of the “worst of the best” so the top shots and first choices did not go to me; oh my work is appreciated, but it’s not purchased very often. Still, Mike has been willing to let me pursue the writing thing full time since 2006 since full time traditional jobs were making me sicker and I just can’t NOT write, which has no bearing on commercial success or failure. So now I have things, and I have resources, but I struggle to think of them as mine. It’s Mike’s money – I didn’t earn it. It’s Mike’s apartment – my credit was so bad on my own the apartment manager would have referred me to a lovely alleyway across the street. It’s this weird combination of “this isn’t mine, I shouldn’t” with the constant sense that “this will all go away, this will get taken away, it’s virtuous to settle for less than what I want.”
The only thing I’ve had to “settle for less on” was doing the wedding instead of eloping (which Mike now acknowledges was the better choice, but at least now he knows for sure I was in no way exaggerating about anything with my family, which at least helps our relationship in that respect) and in the past two weeks we went and bought a cheap $150 chair from Target so I’d have a reading space at last, since, despite my ambitions, a $4000 cuddle chair just isn’t a reasonable purchase at this point in our lives.
So, looking closely at these thoughts and attitudes, here’s what I want:
- Money of my own. A retirement fund, emergency savings, some stuff for fun and travel.
- Certification as an herbalist or an aromatherapist.
- A finished graduate degree. While friends argued that the Creative Writing MFA program was actually killing me creatively, I think that a less traditional system like the one offered at the Loft (which is not accredited, but that doesn’t matter as much to me if it gets results as in “finished work and professional connections”) might help. Better yet, getting a degree in something that interests me while leaving my writing to evolve in its own way might also serve me well; I’m fascinated by sociology and I regret that I allowed my mother to steer me away from it.
- Certification from the American Tarot association. This one I might be able to get on my own, without too much trouble.
- At least the textbooks from the Lucky Mojo hoodoo course. While I don’t share the hoodoo morality – don’t need to – the magical technique has a lot of sensible follow-up methods missing in Wiccan practice.
- A membership to Walker Arts
- A membership to the Russian Museum.
- Sandalwood, narcissus, catnip, guicawood, ho wood – a bunch of essential oils/absolutes for my perfumery
- Pillows, especially bright colored sitting pillows. I’m working up a meditation corner for one part of the living room.
- Soy wax good for pillar/independent candles
There’s always some fashion thing I get enamored with, too, but in the here and now, these are the material things I want.