Transition

Aug. 30th, 2016 09:54 am
vintagewitch: (Rory Reading)
 Ah yes! Student loan disbursement day! The day when I simultaneously feel relieved that some money will be put into my banking account, and also hella nervous about just how much of that money I need to pay back.

Tra la la it's a student's life I guess.

In all seriousness, I've been thinking a lot about money issues lately. I was hanging out with a friend, and I kept mentioning money and how stressed I am about money and she stopped me. She asked if I had read "The Art of Money." Then she promptly found the book and lent it to me. 

This book has the potential to radically change my life. 

It's about not just how to be "better with money," but about confronting your emotions and shame around money. It gives a script for talking about money in new ways, and understanding the roots of our kneejerk reactions about money. It's about thinking of investments, what you spend money on, how you save, etc. as a part of a values system. I also am really appreciating that the author is a money therapist, and she's worked with people at all income levels and talks specifically to vastly different experiences with money. So no matter where you're at, there is something for you in this book. 

So ... that's a cool way I'm spending this transition time.

My interview went ... pretty well last week. I'm feeling less confident about the second round interview than I did about the first round interview. Which is ok. 

This job would mean so many things for me. It would mean that I could finally - FINALLY - move to the northwoods. It would mean that I wouldn't have to worry about finding a job after I'm done with school. 

It would also mean making some sacrifices. There are certain classes I wouldn't be able to take. It would definitely take time away from Northern Lights Witch, and change my business strategy dramatically. But this job? It's something I've been working towards for years. 

I do have other opportunities. I have a job interview scheduled for Friday, and another job was recently posted that I plan on applying to. And ... I do have the student loans. I could always fall back on those while I try to scale up Northern Lights Witch. Which is a very exciting possibility, to be honest. 

Mostly this week I feel like I'm being held in suspension. I can't really dig in to much, and I also don't want to waste the time. So I'm reading, exercising, catching up with friends. I never do well with waiting periods, so I'm trying to be good to myself. Was super anxious yesterday, but I practiced some self care and reminded myself that relaxing is ok. 

Such a workaholic. I don't always need to be working. 

But I'm also ready to get back to it. Back to school, back to work, back to life. 

Whatever that looks like. 
vintagewitch: (Rory Reading)
 My cat is definitely punishing me for being gone. Mr. Wednesday is doing that thing where you try to reach out and cuddle him, but he keeps moving *just* out of reach. But then he does get very affectionate in the morning, so there's that. He's getting over it honestly faster than I thought he would. 

Just updated my google calendar with my class schedule! I don't start the next semester until September 7, which is nice because I could use the time to get some other life things in order. The time will go super fast, I know that too.

Here's what this semester looks like for me:

1. Economics for Public Policy 1 (3 credits)
2. Management of Organizations (3 credits)
3. Material and Energy Flows in Society (3 credits)
4. Climate Change Policy (3 credits)

I'm not sure, but I think it will be more relaxed than my last semesters. It's a bit econ-heavy (Material and Energy Flows is a lot of economics as well), but it will be good I think. I've heard Management of Organizations is a good class, and not too difficult. NO idea how Climate Change Policy will be, because it's the first year it's offered. But I've heard good things about the professor.

I have an interview for my dream job on Wednesday. If I get that job, I'll be shifting my schedule around substantially. I'll probably drop Management of Organizations (to take it next semester), and may drop Material and Energy Flows. It's an extra class that I'm taking to get a better understanding of energy economics. 

If I took the job, it would likely mean one more semester in this city, and then I would be moving to the North woods and finishing grad school remotely. Eeeee! I've been trying to move North for a good ten years, so this would really be a dream. 

Trying not to get my hopes too sky-high. Whatever happens will be ok. If I don't get this job, I will apply for other part-time jobs for while I'm finishing graduate school. If I don't get any of those, I'll try to scale up Northern Lights Witch so it's an actual income. I've got fallbacks, but this job is the one I really want.

Whew, anyway. I'm gonna get back to my very busy day of job hunting/cleaning/reading.
 


vintagewitch: (UP Coast Perhaps)
 I've been meaning to write a sort-of retrospective on the year since my birthday, and haven't gotten around to it because summer is Crazy. (I'm 27, y'all, when did that happen?!)

I spent all last weekend at or traveling to the Remember the Kalamazoo event. Five years ago in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, the largest inland oil spill in US History happened, and because it was tar sands oil it sank to the bottom of the river, where it still sits. In order to get it out of the river, they need to dredge it, and even that isn't working.

So it was a weekend of sitting with allies in Michigan as they remember what was once here, fight to stop the pipelines and to stop this from happening again, and looking forward to a future. We also took a toxic tour of the BP-Whiting refinery on our way home, led by the only activist in the small company town. It was horrific - to see what refinery communities have to deal with, have to live with. I stepped off the bus and could barely breathe because of the particulate matter in the air. There's an oil spill that's been sitting there for basically five years, with no real clean-up efforts because it's on industrial land. 

The whole experience was chilling. Some might even say Orwellian.

But that all deserves its own post!

There's an all-day climate change solutions visioning workshop today that I RSVPd for when I got back from Kalamazoo, but now that I've gone through a week of intense stress about grad school logistics, I'm feeling like I really just need to have a quiet morning with my coffee, my computer, my notebooks, and my plans. I feel more like reflecting, and then getting a ton of job applications done, some of my commissioned research, and maybe even writing.

Great Things About This Last Year:
  • Took a couple of great vacations with Matt - to the UP, and again to Lutsen Lodge
  • Applied to and got in to grad school
  • Deepened some friendships, let go of one particularly toxic friendship
  • Quit the horrible, soul-sucking job back in January
  • Was extremely productive with my writing - I am >thisclose< to finishing my first novel!
  • Got much more involved in environmental activism again - finding my place in the movement, after I was forced out by my previous job
  • Committed in a new way to my spiritual practice, with rituals almost every month. It feels like I'm really taking charge of life through spirituality.
  • Got commissioned to work on a huge march, which was really gratifying - yes, I have worth and am offering something to the movement.
  • Found out about Dreamwidth! This has been fantastic - and has also kicked my butt to journal a whole lot more.
  • I've seen some GREAT music live this year.
  • Women's weekend was fantastic - spending time with family was definitely a priority last year.
  • Figuring out that I need to cut dairy out of my life, and committing to being a healthier person physically, mentally, and emotionally. This has become more of a constant in my life, and I'm so thankful for that.
Challenges From This Last Year (OR: Why I'm a Much Stronger Person Now):
  • The parts of this year when I was working at Horrible Job were horrible. Dealing with constant ageist microaggressions, trying to change my boss' racist ways, feeling completely controlled and helpless, trying to work toward justice with people I was organizing with but being undermined by my boss and my organization's goals ... all bad news that meant almost daily anxiety attacks. That was hard, y'all.
  • It was really, really hard to break up with my old friend, but it had to be done. I'm still feeling really emotional about this in some ways, but it's getting easier.
  • This year, Matt and I went through a streak of being either apart or having tension in our relationship for 5 months. I think we've rounded the bend, have had some deep and open conversation, and things feel like they're finally coming back to a normal place.
  • MONEY. I had saved enough to cover a couple of months before I quit the job, but finding money and making ends meet has been a near-constant problem.
  • Depression has reared its ugly head, but I continue to work through it.
Looking FORWARD: The Year To Come
  • HOLY SHIT Y'ALL I START GRAD SCHOOL IN A MONTH.
  • Trying to find a balance with grad school and my volunteer work - which, while stressful, really gives me a sense of purpose.
  • Unforeseen opportunities: internships, research assistantships, meeting new people, building my network, all those great things
  • Finishing my novel! And starting the editing process.
  • Continuing my spiritual practice. I'm particularly excited to start in on the Alternative Tarot Course by Beth Maiden.
  • Matt and I are going to try to fit in some awesome backpacking trips! We're probably going to do an overnight this coming week, and will be doing a section of the Superior Hiking Trail. More camping and nature in general!
  • More live music, travel, festivals, play with friends, good times yay!
  • More writing - I want to write more about things like climate change, spirituality, feminism, anti-oppression work, my experiences as a queer woman, etc. Not only that, but I want to write more short stories - I'm not ready to dive into another novel, but I want to keep my chops up
Whew! What a year it's been, what a year it will be! I'm so excited for the things that I don't know about, and I'm so grateful for all the experiences of the last year. I'm a much stronger person now than I was before, and I look forward to this next year.

Thank you, everyone who's had a part in this, and to the Dreamwidth community! You're wonderful, and supportive, and this site has been a truly fantastic discovery.

Peace and love and kindness to all of you!
vintagewitch: (Default)
 The last couple of days have been sort of productive. I've been wrapping up things at my job - my last day on the payroll is tomorrow. I am both relieved and sad about that. I also have an interview at 9 am tomorrow morning for a temp gig, so here's hoping I can nab that one.

I have ideas for the next novel bubbling up inside of me. I've even been looking into the research. It will be set sometime in the 1910s or 1920s - and it will have to do with spiritualism, mysticism, and the early revival of ceremonial magick in America. I'm not sure exactly the plot, but I know where I want to do research, so that's a good thing! Of course, I need to finish the manuscript I'm working on at the moment before I can even begin to plot another novel out. I don't want to get ahead of myself.

I've been trying to make time for writing. I haven't been terribly successful. I feel like my work in progress right now has potential to be very good, but the structure has changed so much over the course of the writing of it that it's hard to see that potential. I know the Brain Demons don't really help much on that front. Camp Nano will be good for me this year - force me to write a bit every day, force me to finish this manuscript. 

I wish I'd known that particular, localized folklore would be such an important part of this novel I'm writing now. I could have done the research ahead of time. I feel like I just ... jumped in. I know that each project is a learning experience, and this one is a rather big one. 

I have also noticed it's difficult for me to be really open and creative when I'm doing the kind of work I've been doing. Calling people I don't know to try to get them to do things for hours on end? REALLY EXHAUSTING. And I'm not even as introverted as they come - I'm pretty smack dab in the middle. I am eager to get to a point where I'm doing more management, more long-term policy planning, rather than the constant, high-energy work that is organizing.

Social media? Another huge drain. Facebook more than Twitter - I feel like there's more on the line with Facebook. Like, the social consequences of facebook weirdness are worse. Actually, there's a whole post here waiting to be written, but I just haven't gotten to it yet. 

Add that to my list.

I've been getting to know a neighbor in the building. She's ... probably in her sixties? She's had a really interesting life.  But she's super secure in who she is, she's got a great perspective, and she helps me see things differently. She's also incredibly intellectual, which I've been missing lately.

Note to self: spend more time reading, analyzing, seeing things. It's way easier to turn on shitty tv at the end of organizing, but that doesn't feed my soul the way books and writing does.

I think I hang out with 20-somethings too much. When your friends are your job competition, that shit can get weird.

(folks reading this are excluded from the "I hang out with 20-somethings" thing. Even if we do hang out in person)
vintagewitch: (UP Coast Perhaps)
I'm writing this from my lunch break at work. Things have been just nuts this week! Part of that might be that Matt and I went home for the weekend to see my folks, and things move at a much slower pace out there. (My parents live on this farm about 10 miles from the closest town of 400, so ... yeah. It's quiet.)

This is the last full week that Matt's in town. He's headed off to work on another movie for 7-8 weeks. With how disjointed the communication has been, he's not sure exactly when he needs to leave, which is stressful. He got an itinerary, but from word-of-mouth from other crewmembers it sounds like it's likely to change.

I've been trying to spend as much quality time with him as possible before he goes. He's been depressed lately, and so I'm trying to give him some extra love. I think it's been good for our relationship that we both struggle with mental health issues - we get it, you know? - but it is also difficult when we're both up and down.

Anyway, I want this weekend to be really fun and special and romantic but we're both broke as hell. We'll figure something out - definitely don't need money to have a good time. It's more important to both of us to be mindful/thoughtful than it is to be flashy.

Some things, in no particular order:

1. While I was home, my mom and I looked through some of her natural healing books to see what to do for my gut troubles. And we found a couple of remedies that are working (for now!). This is especially important because on Friday, the pain was so bad I had to have Matt come and walk me up to the apartment from the parking lot. So I have an appointment to see my doctor again on Wednesday, but thanks to some natural remedies it's at least been tolerable this week.

2. I got a TON of writing done on Sunday! I did some word sprints with folks on the @NaNoWordSprints twitter account, which really got words out in a short amount of time. The writing has been going well now that I have decided that the novel will be JUST in first person, and I feel like I have a better blueprint to finishing the draft.

3. I might be brought on for a short-term environmental organizing gig. It would be part time, but pay well, and I would be able to keep part time hours at the accounting firm. Had a hurried conversation this morning with one of the supervisors, and am waiting to hear from her again.

4. I started rereading "The Spiral Dance" b. Starhawk. I noticed that I have a lot of pagan/Wiccan reference books (grimoires, herbal encyclopedias, mythology compilations, etc), but not too much for theology (thealogy). It's been very comforting, and I definitely want to read more of this kind of writing. Not just instructions - but spiritual.

I really miss having a coven to practice with. It's been 8 years since I had a good group. Sometimes I feel selfish practicing solitary - I want to send my energy up to a group of people. I want to commune, to build others up, not just myself.

There are Reasons why I haven't sought out a coven where I live (a former abuser is in the community here and I would rather not cross paths), but I think I need to take baby steps into the finding a coven. There is a strong community of pagans here, I just need to find the right group to join up with.

A friend and I are going to visit a local pagan bookstore soon. I've been wanting to pick up a new tarot deck to practice with, and she's got other things to be looking for. Perhaps I can start asking questions or learn how to find people.

Anyway, lunch break is up. Back to work with me.

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