This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.
1. How have I handled goodbyes in the past?
I may be messed up in that I like goodbyes. If I can get to the point in a relationship where we’re doing a goodbye, we’ve come to the end of our roads still friendly. One exception, for a guy who I thought might be at the end of our road – I wasn’t sure. Then it came out exactly what a duplicitous and oppressive asshole he was, especially where I had been concerned. The word “goodbye” was used because “go fuck yourself,” would have been seen as a challenge for more discussion.
There were the ugly struggles between my family and myself for the sanctity of my early adulthood – I was ready to go. Since they had checked out on me during the key developmental stages where I grew into these decisions using the excuse of their various life crises, they suddenly backtracked to me expecting me to assume the role of a 16 year old when I was in fact 20 and had long since figured out for myself that a)they would never be there for me and b)they honestly expected me to just stay in place until they were ready, because they didn’t care at all what their total absence of support – or stealing my future for the sake of their own egos – would cost me. Most of these are cases where I want to say goodby, and someone isn’t just clinging or said, they’re actively trying to drag me down with them.
I’m not including the sudden “cut off” friendships – I’ve only had it done to me once, and recently. It was undeserved, definitely manipulated by third parties with alcohol and out-of-control ego problems, and was actually a case where I could recognize that two of the three men involved were in fact abusive. I would have never engaged, except I was concerned for two vulnerable people who were both too easily led, both of whom I had strong emotional attachment to.
Let me rephrase that. I’ve only had the friend cut off thing done to me once that I’ve noticed.
That was because it was so freaking dramatic. There are a couple other people who have fallen away, don’t answer my messages, and while it makes me a bit sad, there are other factors in play:
1)My friends with clinical depression have a pattern of thinking I’ll be angry with them for something they couldn’t help, and thus withdraw. Explaining I’m not/won’t be upset with them for their own neurology does not always seem to help.
2)Major romantic relationship changes create an alchemical change. I kind of expect people to cut me off for awhile when those happen, because I’m the one they go to for the reality checks after the love-bubble bursts.
On #2, until it bursts, I expect I’m out. I’d love to be one of those people that gets invited to weddings a lot, but I’m the one who gets tapped when there’s stuff to mourn. I really don’t like it, but my sense of decency always forces me to shove aside my resentment for being the one who only gets called in a crisis.
The thing I’m saying goodbye to at this point is internal, and that’s more and less of a struggle. I’m setting aside some old career ambitions. The world has changed; I need to adjust myself accordingly.
2. Morning pages – did them.
Enjoyed: Reading, exploring 7th Street – and will explore more 7th soon (Maharaja’s is peculiar), finding that bottle of Coco Chanel, finally decoupaging that old bottle so I can use it as a decanter even though I have a LONG way to go in decoupage design
I think over the years I’ll enjoy life more if I a)get my healthcare stuff on track at long last – I’ve made steps; b)finish this book and see what happens and c)get myself to a place where I’m just writing Fat Chic for awhile. I can always come back on the Pagan stuff when I’m older and I don’t have to fight with patronizing perceptions about my age. Then I just have to fight with patronizing perceptions, period.
3. Patterns about celebration
Aside from a peculiar inclination to skip this year’s Imbolc observance – the first time I’ve skipped Imbolc since I first began practicing Wicca (which is odd, since it’s about creativity) I’m pretty good at celebration and observance. At least, I think I am. I am strangely reluctant to invite friends into celebrate my accomplishments, perhaps because I’ve been burned by jealousy in the past. I am frustrated by how often people have gotten jealous of me when I was celebrating them.
4. I am excellent at wondering.