Its that time of year again. Yep, my calendar shows we only have one more day after today before 2011 is gone forever. I don't regret it, with the coming of each new year there is always something exciting and different. I like change. I like newness. You know me well enough, novelty is always welcome.
But, as always, it is time to evaluate and look forward. Now, technically, I do that on October 31, and my new year started a couple months ago. But, if you separate the spiritual new year with the calendar one, well- now's the time, isn't it? I'm terribly afraid all of you religious blog readers are going to be bored, for I know every blogger must feel compulsed to do this kind of post. My only reassurance is that you must like me, or you'd not be reading, so progress for me might be interesting to you, no?
I suppose I ought to start off with what I was resolved upon last year. I can't seem to find my dang list, but I remember what I was planning on last year. My big ones were 1) to read a new book every other day or so for the whole year 2) not to reread any books I've already read and 3) to be down to two cigarettes a day by Jan 1, 2012. I failed. Epically. I did read quite a lot of books, but I have a tedency to pick big ones, so of course I never did make it to the 127 mark. But I did read quite a few new books this year and I enjoyed them very much.
Among my new ones that I enjoyed were the Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini; The Sex Lives of Cannibals and Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost and Band of Brothers by Steven Ambrose. I picked up some non-fiction too, reading about the court of Henry VIII and about Elizabeth I. That was fun. I have lately become addicted to the series of Books of Useless Information. They're great fun to read. So all in all, I'm not angry with my showing of new books. I did, also, reread my favorites. It turns out that the call of Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice and The Count of Monte Cristo were too much for me. Although I made it until March before I broke down.
I am obviously not down to one cigarette a day. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. I will say this- I smoke less than I did. I also realized I'm not a person who smokes because they are stressed or because they want to loose weight or whatever. I honestly like to smoke, and I like the flavor of tobacco. Since me quitting is more a health thing than anything else, I'm considering investing in a hookah. Shisha tobacco is less harsh and tastes better. I'm relatively certain if I had a hookah at home, I'd quit smoking cigarettes. I'm just snob enough to confess it. If I have good tobacco at home smoking Marlboro at work will not suffice for me, and I dont have time to roll my own or any of that sort of nonsense. And hookah takes too long to smoke at work. Haha.
Now, outside of those failed resolutions I have had a good year for personal change. I've learned a lot about myself.
Sometime just before May, when we officially formed our coven, I began to think about my personal flaws. I know I have many, but the one I kept coming back to most often was my anger problem. It was something I decided at that time that I really wanted to work on. Since then, with the help of my coven on occasion, I've really taken the time to think before I get angry and conssider whether or not I am really mad, or if I need to be. I've been taking a moment to consider whether or not a vertain situation that makes me angry will really effect me in the long run, and Ithink my temper has improved by leaps and bounds. Now, I'm not perfect, not even close...but I do think I am much closer than I was to embracing the darker side of myself and using it for something mroe than counter-productive and often futile fuming over nonsense.
As a result, I have found I am actually able to meditate. I can travel astrally with much more ease. My spellwork has seriously improved. Not to mention, I am much more plesant to be around. A side effect of me learning to control my temper is that I have been forced to work on my patience. I won't lie, sometimes work is a trial to me. Its not that I don't like my job or the people I work with. For the most part, I do. I'm really very lucky. But that doesn't mean there aren't days when I don't want to claw the walls. Instead, I am learning to take a deep breath and try for perspective. Even in my persoanl relationships, I find myself practicing patience. Part of it, for me, is realizing (as I did earlier this uyear) that I am a rather high maintenance partner. I'm nto demanding, but emotionally I carry a lot of weight. I also require a lot of physical affection and constant reassurance. My recognizing this has made me much more patient with regards to Oscleot and Kitten. I feel bad for them sometimes. I never regret them loving me, but I do know sometimes I don't make it easy. As a dedicated partner, I have foudnt here are often times I must be patient with them. I find it easier to do now, especially in consideration of how often I think they must be patient with me. Again, I know I fail more frequently than I ought, but I am much more in control now than I ever was.
This year at work brought promotion, and with it I learned to face my terror of failure. I aldo had to face my fear that everyone hates me- and accept it. I've come to terms with the fact that as an older staff member, one of the most senior ones, and one of the most dogmatic about the way I do things, I'm natually going toh ave people not like me. Add in that Ihave a reputation (rather deserved actually) of being a huge bitch, and yeah, I can't really expect most people to like me. I'm okay with it. Now, I have tried to be more reasonable, I have tried to be fair and good to our staff. I think its helping me succeed, because they are very willing to work with me, and for that I am really grateful. Of course, I know that I screw up now and again (okay, a lot) but I think I am gradually overcoming that terror that one day I'm going to walk into Casa Bueno and they're going to say "Alecya, you're a terrible supervisor,and we realized we don't like you. You're fired." I have to give my bosses credit, they wouldn't do that, but it doesn't mean that I don't worry about it all the same.
With regards to relationships (outside my romantic ones, with Kitten and Oscelot, which you get to hear about all the time) I've found a firm footing in my world for once. I thought that I was really a rather lonely person until this year. After years of feelig like my friends were not really my own ,I finally have that sense that I belong somewhere. The forming of our coven brought Sakura to me, much closer than we had been before. In the crosswires I was lucky enough thast Hedgewitch and her husband came into (or back into, rather) my life. I've missed that old sense of connection, and there's nothing like an old friend tohelp give you perspective and love, and remind you you aren't nearly as screwed up as you think you are- or that if you are, well, aren't we all?
I made a few mistakes, I think. I mistook some of the people It hought were my friends. I made some relationship mistakes that ended some friendships. But, I'm pkay with it. I think to myself now, I deserve people who love me at my worst. I do. And Ithink, sometimes, I erringly pick people who only see me at my best. It doesn't help me to do that. I have to be willing to let people see me when I'm not at 100% or hell, barely at 1%.
In that light, I lucked into Flyguy, who has already seen me sick more times than I care to admit, and who despite all of my oddities, has stuck me outand become a spectacular friend. His goodness is only equalled by his humor and his ability to see right through all my rediculous pretensions right into what I really am, which most days is a silly girl, playing at being a woman, trying desperately to cover up the fact that she is terrified of everything. In fact, I mentioned to him the other night, sometimes it amazes me how terribly vain and compeltelyinsecure I canbe all at once. He smiled at me, and his response makes me feel so much better, so terribly normal, that I can't help but love him for it. Of course, working with him is a bonus, because I feel much less isolated and old when I work with him. I can't believe I ever thought he was a personality void. Turns out, friends, first impressions are not everything (who knew?).
Through all of this year, and I have to mention her, because Iknow she's reading and wondering where the hell she's atin all of this- Perpet has become a better friend than ever. Seems like the distance between here and the rose City is gradually shrinking because we will it to. I was so happy to see her at Yule, I couldn't believe it. It seems like light has burst into myhome, and I am thankful she and the Boy were there to be with me for it. Also, in case you didn't know, she's going to be a famous author one day. Seriously. She's well on her wya. I couldn't be prouder. This year she has given me more good advice, more comfort and more laughs than just about anyone.
So, you see, I've been a very lucky woman. Of course, I have other friends, other people who bear mentioning here, but Iwould bore you with a laundry list of how fortuante I truly am. Although (Bobcat and Lynx) I have to make a special shout out to the people in my Kitteh family, because they do mean so very much to me.
Normally, I suppose, this would be the time when I talk about the resolutions I've made, and how I'm going to achieve them. But the one thing I've learned this year is that soetimes growth isn't quantifiable until after its been achieved, and the things you can count aren't always the ones that should count. Instead, I will say this. I want to keep working on my anger. I need to keep working on my patience. Spiritually, I've aquired apatron god, one who willingly reminds me that I am vain and rather silly. They are things I know will need to change for me to be a happy, successful person, and witch. At Yule, rather than wishing, I blessed myself, and I chose more friends, love, health and spirituality. These are things I already have, yes, but they are things I want to keep and to grow in this next year. I want to grow my skills as a witch, and I want to grow myself as a person. I can't quantify that. I can say, though, that in hte next year, we can watch my progress together. And you, my friend, will always be there to remind e that I've chosen to make myself better, and that once a choice is made there isn't a way to take it back.
I sincerely hope that each of you has found many blessings this year. I hope that 2011 was kind to you, and that when it wasn't you were able to bear through it. I think we can, together, approach 2012 with the Grace and Humor we all hold within us. We wouldn't be friends otherwise, right?
Lord and Lady Bless you. Be safe, and have a wonderful start to your new year. I'm glad for you being here. I can't wait to see what the future holds for all of us.