Are You Sure?

“Are you sure he’s not just confused?”

“It’s funny that your kid came out as trans and then the rest of the family followed suit.”

These are a couple of paraphrased comments that a few people have made regarding my family. I get it. It’s unusual to see a family with both parents and a child who are all transgender. As one person who made one of the above comments later put it, “Well, it’s none of anyone’s business, anyway.” She was just confused about how it happened like that and had felt comfortable asking.

The truth of the matter is, we can’t explain how it worked out that way. It’s the luck of the draw and I guess my family is special like that (insert awkward laughter). One thing that I want to set straight, first and foremost, is that my wife and I weren’t out yet as transgender when our child came out to us. Although we knew about each other, we were afraid that coming out could negatively affect our kid. Society had led us to believe that it was better to continue pretending to be a cis-het couple, masquerading as the genders we were assigned at birth.

It was when the kiddo, a pre-teen at the time, came out as trans that we realized we were being hypocrites. All of the times we’d told our child to be theirself and to accept others, we weren’t being true to ourselves. What would it teach our kid if they found out we’d been staying in the closet the entire time? Even worse, what would it say about us if we didn’t accept them as they are?

So, no, we didn’t somehow confuse our child and we definitely didn’t push it on them. In fact, we were scared for our child when they came out to us. I didn’t want to believe it, because I know that it’s not easy. I know that transgender youth are more likely to attempt suicide without gender affirming care, and that getting such care isn’t an easy process even for adults. The bullies and fascists that exist in society who push transphobia make it even more difficult. It’s unfortunate that the times we are living in are rife with ignorance and hatred toward the transgender community. I’m not sure if I know how to protect my child from that while still allowing them to explore their identity and be theirself. But, I have to try because I won’t allow my teenager to become another statistic.

As scared as I am for my child’s future, I want them to be happy and comfortable with who they are. I don’t want my kid trying to play a role in society that feels wrong to them. There will be those who don’t understand. There will be those who make assumptions. But we will love and accept our teen for whoever they grow to be.


Hey, It’s Me: They/ He

While I was never a consistent writer, I must acknowledge that I have really slacked off. For that, readers, I must apologize. There were a couple of blog articles that I had begun and simply could not bring myself to finish as of yet. I suppose the time wasn’t right for them to come to fruition. All of that said, I do feel a calling to write an update of sorts. I have been dealing with, among the usual ebbs and flows of life, some inner work that needed done regarding my identity. One aspect of that is still too raw for me to discuss here, but another wants to be said.

In the past, I have discussed my gender on this blog. I believe that the last thing I mentioned regarding who I am in terms of gender is that I’m non-binary. But, that may have been before I became sure that I wanted to drop she/her pronouns. I’m they/them, leaning toward he/him. Feminine pronouns and language directed toward me has become increasingly uncomfortable for me. Truthfully, it’s not an entirely new revelation. It’s more that the recent development is my acknowledgement of my feelings.

Ever since I was a child, being called a “girl” and “she/her” felt wrong. I pushed it under the rug, largely because I didn’t have the language or support to understand why I felt that way. I was a bit of a tomboy who didn’t quite understand why it was that I couldn’t be more like boys. As a teenager, I had found some of that language and questioned whether I might be a trans boy. Yet, I was still missing some of the language and any of the support I needed in order to further explore who I was.

Enter my twenties: This was in the 2010’s, when more information regarding nonbinary genders was become easier to happen across online. Something about that clicked with me. And yet, and yet… It took until I was about to turn thirty before I was able to allow myself to fully accept that I really am not a cisgender woman.

Pretending to be a woman was easier than facing the task of coming out as nonbinary. It hurt, but that pain of pushing who I am down was easier than telling people who I feared may reject me. Or so, I thought it was easier. Eventually, I had to stop playing the ill-fitting role that I was assigned.

At first, I only told those who were close to me, who I trusted. As is the case for most in the LGBTQIA+ community. Then, I slowly started updating my pronouns on social media and even started openly discussing it here and there online. I was becoming more confident in accepting and exploring who I am. I tried on the label of genderfluid, which fit like a comfy sweater. But there was a hole in that sweater. Something was missing and, any time I tried to express femininity in my appearance, I felt wrong all over again.

Just over a month ago, after many months of deliberation, I started T. I cannot express how freeing taking this step has already been. I now feel ready to say that I am transmasc nonbinary. (To be clear, medical transition of any sort is not required to be transmasc. Testosterone has only given me the push I needed.) I finally came out at work. I think the genderfluid label might still fit me, but I do definitely lean more toward the transmasc side of things. Perhaps, once I can pass as a guy more easily, I will become comfortable with presenting with femininity again. If so, I suspect it would be because then, I will not always be automatically seen as a woman by outsiders. I will be more free to express myself as a genderqueer person.

I am finally becoming more comfortable with myself. And, though I know I still have a long way to go, I am beginning to understand what it means to love oneself.

We Are The Weirdos

I was drawn to Unitarian Universalism because a Pagan friend recommended it as a safe place for Pagans who wanted a “church home”. It was described as a space where people of many faiths can worship together. Which sounds complicated, but really the services don’t feel overcomplicated. They mostly focus on what it means to be human and compassion for others. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, to be fair.

My real introduction into this congregation was through it’s Pagan goup. More than anything, I needed a space where I could connect in person to people who hold similar beliefs and practices. I love that the group is eclectic. I love that we can discuss spirituality and religion without many assumptions being made. It’s wonderful to share in ritual with them. As a whole, the people at the UUC are nice and everyone’s supportive of each other.

And yet, I often feel a disconnect. It could be that we’ve only had a handful of in-person events for the past two years. Or maybe it’s also because I’m the only active member of the group who is a polytheist and worships deities some consider “dark”. (There may be others, but they’re not often present during our discussions.) It’s difficult sometimes to click with them on a spiritual level when we talk about our paths.

It kind of hurts feeling like I’m still somehow the odd one out: The weird one among the group. It leads me to having to tone down what I disclose about my own beliefs and practices so I don’t risk being “too much” for the others. Even then, I sometimes worry I’ve said too much.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t intend on leaving the group or the UUC. The connections I make there are important to me. The people in my Pagan group feel like a family. It’s just a fact that even chosen family doesn’t always “get it” when it comes to certain things.

It’s a common enough theme in our discussions when the Pagan group is helping with a Sunday service, such as for Beltaine or Samhain, that we “tone it down” for our non-Pagan members. We usually use a shortened version of our rituals that leave some things out. To me, our rituals are tame already. There’s no invocations of deities that results in “horsing” or possession, or other “heavy” ritual work. Not that I would necessarily want to partake in these practices with my group. That would be too personal for me. My “heavy” work is private or occasionally shared with someone I am intimately close with. Besides, I get the feeling that some of those practices are something most of them would be uncomfortable with, anyway. Still, it would be nice to be able to openly talk about such things in a general way without fearing judgment from them or causing them discomfort.

It’s an odd feeling to sit among others who also follow an “alternative” spiritual path and still feel like the weirdo. It’s strange to realize that we sometimes view certain subjects so differently even when the surface of our conversations sound like we’re completely on the same page. There’s nothing wrong with that. It just makes it difficult to ascertain whether we’re actually talking about the same thing, or if we’re discussing separate concepts with shared language.

All of that said, perhaps what is needed is more openness. Not too much, mind you. I’m not setting out to divulge all of my secrets. It may be that I need to speak up more when I feel uncomfortable with feeling like I have to hide.

Halloween & Samhain

Halloween was always my favorite holiday. I have fond memories of dressing up in costume, going door to door for treats, and of being frightened by someone jumping out of a prop casket. That spooky time of the year was the one time of the year when I could freely explore the weird and supernatural without being judged as harshly. As I grew older, it became the time of year when I felt more like myself. The beginning of autumn and the sense of change leading up to Halloween were always energizing to me.

For several years, I struggled to really enjoy Halloween. My dad had passed away a few days before Halloween and so the date of his funeral fell on that day. By that time, I was a young Pagan and was aware of Samhain being the same date as Halloween. There was some sense of comfort in this. I wasn’t yet actively celebrating any of the Pagan sabbats, but I knew that Samhain was the time when “the veil between worlds was at it’s thinnest”. (That particular phrasing turned out to be a Victorian-era invention, but regardless…)

This autumnal harvest holiday is a day originating in Ireland. Samhain (pronounced “Sow-wen”) is the Irish/ Gaeilge word for the month of November, in fact. Many Pagans of various traditions celebrate Samhain to remember our ancestors and beloved dead. The “dumb supper” traditionally held at Samhain to honor the dead is an Irish tradition that has been adopted by those outside Ireland.

Because of the connection to the dead, I also have a personal/ UPG association of the day with Hel as caretaker of the dead. But, relevant to Samhain’s Irish origins, there is a mythic connection to The Morrígan in the Cath Maige Tuired that I feel should not be ignored. For these reasons, I like to honor both Hel and The Morrígan, separately, on Samhain. (The Morrígan is, after all, one of my primary deities.)

Though Halloween and Samhain are typically celebrated on the same day, it would be remiss to treat them as the same holiday. I love both, but I consider them separate. One is secular fun, while the other is sacred. And yet, at the same time, they are linked by popular culture in a way that perhaps cannot be fully undone. How many Halloween-themed movies and tv shows throw in the mention of Samhain (often while butchering the pronunciation) as a poorly researched plot tool? It can be difficult to untangle the threads between the two holidays. For me, these threads are further tangled by the loss of my dad just before Halloween and Samhain. They are tangled by the popular media association of witches with Halloween, and the celebration of Samhain by many modern day witches.

Halloween is still my favorite secular holiday. I love decorating, going to haunted houses, getting pumpkins, dressing up, watching spooky movies, and all of those sorts of things. Samhain probably ties with Bealtaine for my favorite spiritual holiday. It’s important to me to remember my beloved dead, celebrate the ongoing changing of the seasons, and honor my goddesses with whom I feel a stronger connection to on this day.

West Virginia, Take Me Home

I grew up in Florida until the year I became a teenager. My parents were from West Virginia and that was the year they decided to return home. I recall feeling a sense of excitement. West Virginia is where most of my extended family live. It’s the place where I would explore the mountains around my papaw’s house with the other children of my family in the summer. It was an ancestral home – the area my ancestors had settled centuries ago. Months before, when my parents were still looking for a new place in Florida, something inside me knew that I would soon enough be returning home to West Virginia. This Knowing made the announcement from my parents all the more exciting to me.
I had an idealized notion about this state until I moved here. Yes, this land is my home. But, I began to feel more and more distant from the people who had lived here their whole lives as I grew older. It took until I found my own community of people here, as well as learned more about the state’s history, before I began to feel reconnected to the people of this state.

West Virginia is one of those states that has a bad reputation to those who know we exist. Yes, oddly enough, I have found that there are Americans who don’t even know U.S. history enough to know that this is a separate state from Virginia. And, yet, they call West Virginians uneducated. What a laugh. When I was working in technical support, I spoke with New Englanders often who would ask where I was from. Upon hearing my state, they would shock me with another question. “Near Richmond?” What? No. We’re a whole other state away. Mentions of Charleston, West Virginia’s state capitol, are also often met with confusion from people out of state who automatically think of North Carolina instead upon hearing the city’s name.
That aside, there are plenty enough who know that West Virginia is a state of it’s own. Unfortunately, negative stereotypes are still commonly believed about the people of this state. It can not be denied that there is some small truth to them. The drug problem is rampant due to socio-economic issues such as a lack of mental health support, a poor economy, and poverty. I have known someone who lived in a shack up a narrow dirt road in the mountains and could not read. Many people, particularly in more rural areas and small towns, are conservative Christians who cling to racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, etc.
There are, however, many more people who do not fit these stereotypes. Charleston itself is a relatively liberal city where the LGBTQIA+ community is welcome, people of differing religions have a place to worship, and multiple groups and organizations work toward social justice. The coalfield county I lived in for years, although still problematic, is also slowly becoming better in terms of acceptance for those who may be different. It astounds me how anyone could think that an entire state of people is comprised solely of “dumb rednecks” and hillbillies. Further, it astounds me how educated people can make judgments on the citizens of this state without acknowledging the systemic issues West Virginians have faced.
Fun fact about “redneck”, by the way: This term actually originated during the Coal Wars when miners fought against the government for their constitutional rights and the right to join a union.

(Where Do Rednecks Come From? by Catherine V. Moore, Yes! Magazine.)

West Virginia has a rich history that is often overlooked. It is no surprise, then, that our modern issues are still overlooked. Many of these issues are overlooked throughout the U.S. as is. Take, for instance, transgender issues. West Virginia has the highest rate of transgender youth in the country. Despite this, it can still be difficult for West Virginians who are transgender to seek the medical care they may need. This circles back to the issue of poverty as well as lack of medical resources. Many transgender patients are forced to travel a few hours or more for needed care.

(Study: WV has nation’s highest percent of teens who identify as transgender by Ryan Quinn, Charleston-Mail Gazette.)

Another issue is that West Virginia, like much of Appalachia, is still at the mercy of the coal companies. Many of our youth are led to believe that they don’t have a good choice in career aside from the mines. In truth, the mines are both highly dangerous and unreliable jobs. The influence of the coal companies has kept our economy from growing, contributing to poverty; and polluted our environment, leading to illness. These also contribute to the addiction problem that plagues the state as more people seek to self-medicate for both mental and physical illness.

(The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal by Gwynn Guilford, Quartz.)

West Virginia is the definition of home to me. It’s where I feel a sense of connection to the land and the people. We have a shared history, although our individual backgrounds can vary. The struggles of this state are not new, nor do I expect them to be easily resolved. We still yet have a long way to go. But, there’s not another place I would rather home.

Boundaries With Grandparents

From the time that I was pregnant, my mother-in-law had a lack of boundaries concerning my child.

The first time that I noticed it was at my babyshower. I appreciated that she held it for me to begin with. The issue was, it felt like it was more for her than me. Though she had asked for a color theme, she poo-pooed my choice and told me what it should be. Not only that, but she never gave me the option to decide if I even wanted to reveal the baby’s gender to everyone. She decided that everyone had to know so they could buy presents. Counter this with a cousin-in-law’s babyshower that was clearly planned (by another party) with the pregnant mom in mind. Attending her babyshower was what made me realise that my preferences had been neglected.

The next big event was my child’s 2nd birthday. It was their first birthday party that we had invited a bunch of people to. Once again, my MIL pushed me to the side and stole the spotlight. Instead of offering to take photos while I helped my little one open gifts, she expected me to play the role of photographer. It was embarrassing and it hurt. I knew that I wasn’t being paranoid when friends and family members later remarked to me that the way MIL took over was wrong.

Several years later, my mother-in-law decided that my child should have a Facebook account. She insisted on creating one for her despite my telling her that the age was 13. I had to report the account to get it deleted.
After that, my MIL created a Kids Messenger account for my child without my permission. I was unable to get that taken down, but I did create a new one attached to my own account and started having my child use that one instead.

These are some of the biggest examples that stand out in my memory over the years. Having allowed my MIL so much control over my parenting in the earlier years is my biggest regret as a parent. I wish that I had spoken up sooner. I hate that I allowed her to shape how I raised my child and to tarnish memories that should have put mother and child first.
I don’t know if my mother-in-law thought that a grandchild was a second chance at having a daughter, or if she even realized what she was doing. She still seems to expect more than I think a grandparent should, but she has backed off since the spouse and I moved nearly an hour away. (I won’t get into the pity party she threw herself when she found out we were “taking ‘her’ girl away”.)

The spouse and I still let our child have a relationship with their paternal grandparents. We couldn’t justify denying them that at this point. I know that we are the ones raising them. They are kind, but has a dark sense of humor. They know that love is love, gender doesn’t always match what we’re assigned at birth, racism is a real problem, and spiritual paths/ religions of all kinds are valid. I am raising them to love theirself as they are and to accept others who might be different from them.
I just hope that my mother-in-law doesn’t try to cross any more boundaries as my child continues to grow up. If so, I will know what I’ll have to do.

Yearning For More

I have repeatedly expressed a sense of dissatisfaction of some type or another with my jobs. The job I have now (thankfully, still have in these trying times) is certainly one that I am more happy with than my previous ones. I enjoy driving and having more limited interactions with people. And yet, I cannot deny this feeling that I am meant to do more. I also cannot deny feeling like I am meant to surround myself with different people in my professional life.
As most in my personal life know, I went to college for salon management for a year. It was a poorly thought out plan – wrong time in my life and not enough preparation to ensure success. I had made Dean’s list for the fall semester, so the classes were certainly not a problem. Lack of self sufficient transportation (I was relying on my spouse to drive me), lack of appropriate funds, and negative impacts on my mental health were the real issues for me.
This experience has made me wary about going to college, or even taking online classes, again. That’s assuming that I can even decide for sure what I want to do in my life. There are so many things that I feel called toward. Spiritual work, herbalism, and art rank the highest on my list. How could I pick one with a sense of certainty? Especially when what I want most seems so uncertain in terms of income. I occasionally think that I could try beauty school again, but I don’t feel as if I’d feel settled enough with it. I don’t want to go to school for something just because the job I’ll be able to get afterward is in high demand and pays well. Also, I really can’t stand working with the public on such a constant basis (mainly due to mental health). The idea of that makes my heart ache. I do want to know that I can make a decent living, however.
There is this idea that goes around, saying something along the lines of, “You shouldn’t do something you enjoy for the money. You should do it because you enjoy it.” While true, this idea is highly dismissive of the fact that so much of our time and energy gets sucked away at jobs we need to do for money. It is dismissive toward those who have to use up most of their spoons just to survive. Why should we not prefer to make the money we need doing something we feel some sense of passion in?
During this pandemic, I cannot help but recognize that many people are out of work. Had I successfully gotten into the beauty field, I would have now been among those applying for unemployment. I am glad to still have an income. I only wish that I could know that I will be able to make up my mind, create a plan for success, and reach for something more after this has passed.


When I was a teenager, I had a friend who introduced me to the idea of vampires and werewolves as a real thing. I can’t say now whether they were involved in some RPG or LARP (role playing game, live action role play), if they were pulling my leg, or if they were actually serious in some sense. It never occured to me to ask. Whatever the intentions were, it fueled my imagination and gave me incentive to look these seemingly impossible things up.

Because of my family’s background, I knew already about what my relatives called “feelings” and “that stuff” in hushed tones. Premonitions, prophetic dreams, spirits, superstitions… these were already a part of my normal, to a point. My mawmaw was rumored to be a witch, which I didn’t get a chance to confirm directly with her until much later. It wasn’t much of a stretch for me to wonder what other possibilites were out there.
Wicca, Paganism, and other alternative forms of spirituality didn’t truly hit my radar until that same friend also introduced me to Wicca. Around that time, she had let me borrow another friend’s Book of Shadows. I copied down the information, which is now easily found on various websites and blogs online. I didn’t have access to the internet from home at first, but I used the school’s computers in the library to do my own research until my family got our hand me down desktop connected to the internet.
It was as if I had fallen down a rabbit hole. I learned of an entire world that I didn’t know existed. And, sure, it wasn’t anything like the fantasy books I’d read or tv shows I enjoyed watching. But, it was real! And that was what mattered.

Even for most Wiccans and Pagans, who tend to be more open to many things, werewolves and vampires are pretend. The laws of physics do not allow for human beings to rise from the dead and sustain themselves on blood, or to shapeshift into other creatures. Yet, despite these versions of the creatures being pure fantasy, I had learned in my teenage years that there are humans who identify as such. Instead of supernatural creatures, these are just regular people who have less common beliefs or practices. They are most often part of the therian and otherkin community – those who believe that their spirits and/or mental states are that of a nonhuman animal or being. (The vampire community also has members who don’t identify as otherkin, but simply as humans who have an obsession with blood.)

Today, we have many people still finding their spirituality and identities in similar ways. The Lokean community is one example that comes to the forefront of my mind. There has been much discussion about those who find the Norse gods via Marvel. It can cause confusion. Either they find a connection to the gods, or they remain stuck on their fandom’s watered down version. Some find that it’s not truly the gods they’re looking for, but an outlet for their imaginations. Truly, spirituality of any kind is an outlet to our collective imaginations. That I believe in real, individual gods does not mean that they don’t fuel my imagination as much as fantasy does. It does mean that I feel that they’re owed more respect and reverence, however. That I believe in the spirit worlds doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take imagination to accept what I view as truth.

The Unitarian Universalist church also incorporates imagination. From story time for all ages to sermons on how we can better the world, imagination is an integral part of their services. It is true that many UU’s aren’t quite as open to the possibilities that many Pagans and witches tend to be, but they certainly often have the imagination to find acceptance in that we each have our own spiritual paths to follow. That is enough. As humans, whatever our faith, we need imagination to flourish. Imagination empowers us to not only dream of the impossible, but to have hope for a better world and to create new possibilities.

Right now, in these difficult times, we humans are needing imagination more than ever. We need hope that we’ll come out of this pandemic okay. We need hope that we can create a better world once this has passed. We need art of all kinds to hold us through, and people from all walks of life to imagine “what if?” that we may be ready to accept the possibilities our futures may bring.

Getting Through Disconnect

Every now and then, one’s spirituality may find itself in a pool of stagnation. A disconnect from the divine, lack of direction, and perhaps mundane life itself gives the feeling that the water isn’t flowing. Some of us seem to complain about that feeling more than others. Maybe it’s due to a struggle with mental health issues, at least in my case. I could swear that I’ve been doing better. My own depression and anxiety is much more manageable than it used to be. And yet…

And yet, I long for something that I feel I lost somehow. Yes, I have my UU Pagan group meetings and rituals. I go to Unitarian Universalist services nearly every week. There is a deep connection there. I also try to go to other local Pagan meetups and events when I can. These are all things that are important to me. And yet, they do not offer the same connection to the divine that I found without them. They don’t offer a direct opportuninity to the connection to Loki, Fenrir, or The Morrígan that I crave. My relationships with Them is personal. It’s always been so. These gods whom I love in so many ways are a piece of the vase that I feel is missing. That shard allows the water to flow.

For a while, I had been dedicating a specific day a week for each of Them. I would keep it simple: light a candle and incense, maybe say a prayer, and briefly meditate. I’m finding myself fall out of that practice. It’s begun to feel hollow. Does this mean that it’s time to change it up for Them? Or move on from Them? That latter idea is heartbreaking to me. I don’t think that I can. Sometimes we simply have to push through. Gods, my gods are worth more than me giving up on Them. They are worth more than my begging for Their efforts while I do nothing.

This is far from the first time that I’ve felt a disconnect. Sometimes life happens. Sometimes They have Their own reasons to take a step back. They have always returned to me, in some way. If not by visiting me in a dream, then by doing so in my waking headspace, or sending a sign. I have to wonder if these deities have somehow spoiled me with the fleeting power of Their prescence. I am like a child who has had the most delicious chocolates every day for months on end now being told, “That is enough for now. Go eat something else.” It is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. When I feel as if the gods are constantly active with me, it can become almost overwhelming. I begin to stress out about discernment, about whether I really am worthy enough for their attention. And yet, it is like a drug. I am always craving more no matter how much it begins to hurt. This is truest of all in regards to my relationship with Loki. “You have my heart for as long as you want it. Return to me soon, stay with me. Allow me to feel Your presence.”

I say that I feel this disconnect. It is true, but it wasn’t so long ago that I dreamed of Loki and His blood-brother. It felt almost more real at the time than my waking life. I communed with Loki later via pendulum and He confirmed that They had visited. It is likely possible that there is some work that I have been avoiding, that I refuse to allow myself to recognize. That is certainly something that could make one feel disconnected. I suppose, in writing this, I may have begun to answer questions that I wasn’t sure I had. It also bears reminding myself that the gods are with me in some way, however small it may seem, as long as I am thinking of Them.

What I Want

This is going to get personal as I channel my inner emo kid.

I never knew what I wanted out of my life, career wise. The idea of being a stay at home mom was always an assumed dream. After working out of necessity, I’d decided that I would at least like to work from home regardless of need. Create things, sell makeup, whatever. The idea of being a creative business owner became appealing. It seems, however, that I’m no good at it. I sold handmade jewelry for a bit and sold Avon. That was before I’d taken a business class and learned a bit more about how to run a business. Neither of those worked out.
Trying to sell my art whether by offering commissions or using platforms such as Teespring/ Redbubble has thus far been a failure. Either I’m really shit at marketing or people just don’t like my art as much as they’ve said. I’m still trying when I can, but it’s discouraging.
I’ve recently started into a new venture with direct sales. A friend of mine is successful at it. Why couldn’t I be? Yet, so far, I’m feeling lost. So far, I’m already feeling cursed.

I’m still working a “regular” job, with a schedule set by a boss that’s not myself. This one’s better than the previous, at least.. Between that and sharing our only car with the spouse who also works, I can’t just go wherever whenever. I also can’t afford to invest a lot of money, either for materials (such as for creating jewelry again), ads, or classes. On top of that, I’m depressed and anxious. It comes and goes, but that bitch is always there sapping away whatever energy and motivation I have left.

I often want to give up. Maybe a part of me already has. Yet, I can’t allow myself to give up completely. I have to have some hope that something will come along and I’ll recognize it as an opening… and that I won’t be afraid to take it.

I have sometimes wondered if I really am somehow cursed. It feels like the things I reach for slip away so easily, either causing more harm than expected or simply not working out. I wonder if I can ever really be happy, or have something close enough to it. “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” sounds like some fantasy bullshit to me. If it exists, I fear whatever it is must be out of reach somewhere that I won’t find it.