Saturday, July 30, 2016

Symbols

Symbols are an important things. They represent a lot of different things. They hold power. I believe everyone has a symbol that they are drawn to. More than one usually depending on the topic.

 Roses - This is no surprise for anyone who knows me. Ever since I was little I have been drawn to them. Even in mediation, when someone would typically envision a lotus, I envision a rose. It's the same idea; a multi layered, multi-petal flower. Even roses have their own language of love depending on the color.

 Pentacle - Ever since I converted to Paganism, I have been drawn to the pentacle. I use it anytime I do spell-work or shielding. I have one tattooed on me to represent my beliefs and my power. It's a very personal symbol for me

 Claddagh - I have loved this symbol for about as long as I have been dating. I love what it represents: love, loyalty, friendship, foundations for any promising relationship. I have some claddagh pieces that I've stored away because they were too painful to look at when I was single. I feel myself being drawn to them again, and finding them more often.

 Triquetra - This has been a newer symbol in my life. When I see or use this symbol, I think family. I have a pendant with it on one side, and the Gemini symbol on the other side. I have a pendant for Rit with the triquetra on one side and the Leo sign on the other. This is another great protection symbol as well.

 Ankh - This is not a symbol for me. But it is one that my other brother and Gypsy both resonate with. Whenever I see it, I think of both of them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Too early for introductions

I have already had a few people ask me how Rit likes Fountain. I admit I look at them like they are crazy when they ask that, my own father included. I like Fountain, a lot. I am excited to see where this relationship goes. But we have only known each other 2 ½ weeks, and in a relationship for four days. He has not met, or even had a chance to meet, Rit. Nor will he for a while honestly. I am a protective mom. I don’t want to bring people in and out of my son’s life, have him get attached only for it to end and break his heart.

With Thespian, we were friends for two years prior to dating. He had met Rit many times at renfaire already, so it was not a matter of introducing someone new to Rit’s life. Even then, we took our time. He got really close to Thespian, and he was just as affected by our breakup. With Fountain, we don’t have that prior history. I want to wait until I know that what we have is serious and long term. Rit is the most important guy in my life. It is my job to protect him, and I need to know that the person I am introducing to him is worthy of the love that my son is capable of giving. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Religion

Religion is an interesting thing, and we all view it differently. Now that I am dating a Christian, it’s had me thinking about it a bit more.
I was raised Roman Catholic, and raised to believe that it was the one, true religion. I did all of the things a Catholic was supposed to do. I went to religion class up through most of high school. I was an alter attendant and then in the church choir. I still remember a lot of the songs from so many years of singing them. I received 5 of the 7 sacraments: baptism, first communion, reconciliation, confirmation, and anointing of the sick twice. Up until a few years ago, I helped my family run the Giving Tree program at Christmastime. I did and believed as I was told.
When I turned 19, I did a lot of soul searching, discovering who I was and what I truly believed, not just what I was told to believe. I realized that everything I felt and believed went against the teachings of the Catholic Church. So I left. I did a lot of research into other religions, other faiths and beliefs. I found Paganism to be the one that spoke to me. The more I read and the more people I talked to, the more it felt like the right place for me. A friend’s parents helped me along the way to understand the basics of the religion.

The path of Paganism I follow is closely associated with the Celtic Animism, the belief that all things in nature are alive, inhabited by spirits or divine beings. Do you remember the song from the Disney version of Pocahontas, “Colors of the Wind”? It’s a bit like that. Nature is not there for us to control, but to work alongside. I feel the energy in the gathering thunderstorm, the serenity in the shade of the woods, the power coursing just below the Earth. When I am feeling overwhelmed, burdened, or just not right I find myself needing to ground where I purge myself of the negative energies and feelings, sending them into the Earth. The Earth takes the energies and turns them into something useful, much like it does with fertilizer. The emptiness left by the loss of the negative energy is able to be filled with positive energy. I always feel better after I do this. I know this process is not unique to Paganism, but it does work with my beliefs of the spirits all around us.
I believe that there are several gods and goddesses and we are drawn to the ones we need. I have several friends who are Norse Pagan and associate with Odin or Thor. I associate closer with Danu of the Celtic deities (her better known Greek counterpart would be Athena). I don't believe the monotheistic religions are wrong. I think they just focus on a single deity, where the polytheistic religions acknowledge a broader range of deities.
I do consider myself a witch in that I do spell-craft with crystals, candles and symbols. Some may condemn me for saying this, but I see this as no different than a Christian’s prayer. I am simply gathering my wishes and intents and focusing them, then sending them out in the hopes the universe deems it worthy. I believe that what we put out into the world is returned to us as well. If I were to send out ill-will towards someone, it would be returned to me as well. Karma.

The thing I enjoy about Paganism is that it is a diverse religion. You follow the path that feels right to you. It’s about me following where my soul and my heart lead me. I truly feel that there is no “one, true religion”, just a one, true religion for you. It’s about finding that path that fulfills your soul. For some it is Christianity or Judaism or Islam or Hindu or Pagan. For some it is none of these. In my opinion, that is fine. It only becomes an issue when one person tries to force their beliefs on another. That is where I draw the line.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fast beginnings

So, the guy I went out with in my last post? We are officially in a relationship right now. Some friends are a little surprised at how fast that went, but they have all been supportive of it.
We met down at the Kentucky Renaissance Faire on the final Saturday, which was my final day. I was there early, as usual, and going around doing the morning hellos. I was asked to run one of the booths for the day because the owner was not well and they were worried about him. I agreed and worked it. It was the same booth I worked at for a few hours last year, so I at least knew the process. It isn't a busy booth, but this guy (let's call him Fountain for his love of Fountain Pens) came in looking for something to buy and we talked a bit. He seemed like a cool guy. He ended up returning several times, just to talk and hang out. I was ok with it as it helped pass the day quicker. If the booth got busy, he would leave for awhile and then come back later which I appreciated. Over the course of conversations, I discovered that he was actually younger than I expected and apparently I was older than he expected, we have a few mutual friends through Thespian, among a few other things. I enjoyed the conversations and ended the day thinking I had made a new friend.
The next day, I got a friend request on Facebook from him. I admit, I was impressed that he was able to find me since we only had one friend in common. We started messaging back and forth and he asked me for my number. The next day, he asked me out. I have this "rule/guideline" where I don't say no to a first date unless there are red flags. While there were a couple yellow flags with him (age and location), I couldn't think of a red flag so I said yes. As stated in my prior post, the date went really well. It is the longest first date I have had and the sparks were just flying between us. We have texted and talked every day since we met.
At first, I wanted to wait a few dates before we decided if we wanted to pursue a relationship. Especially with the yellow flags. I've mentioned these a few times, so let me explain. He is 10 years my junior, which is quite the age gap. It left me a little hesitant because the 20s are a time of self-discovery. I changed a lot in my 20s. Now, at 32, I'm pretty settled in who I am. As we get older, 10 years becomes less of an age gap but right now it seems a wide one. Also, he is a Christian and I am Pagan. I have had issues with a lot of Christians and their views of Pagans being Satan-worshipers, Heathens, and so on. And then their need to "save me" by trying to convert me. I am happy and firmly rooted in my beliefs and did not want to deal with the attempts to save me again. Luckily, he does not seem to be that kind of person. On top of all of that, he lives in Louisville. Thespian lives in Louisville,  so I know I can do the travel. I just was not expecting another long distance relationship. But with how often we were talking, we ended up delving into a lot of serious topics. We talked and connected and my affection for him grew.
On my end, it has been a little over two months since Thespian broke up with me. I didn't want to bring any of the hurt from the end of that relationship into this one. I don't want Fountain to be a rebound. I looked up rebound relationships, and I don't think that is the case here. I'm not looking to run from dealing with the breakup. I purposefully waited until I felt I was in a spot where I was ok to date again. Fountain just happened to have perfect timing when it came to that.

Last night, I had a girls night with my best friend, Gypsy. She knows me so well, and she could tell I was smitten with him. After talking with her, I knew I wanted to pursue something with him. After I got home, we had a Skype call, which had been scheduled earlier in the week. We talked and decided to make it official. I'm excited, and still a bit cautious. But excited to see where this might go.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Back into dating

Last night I went on a date. My first date since the breakup. I was nervous and excited, but at the same time I knew it would be what it would be. I guess I'm at a point where I do want to make a good impression, but at the same time I'm not going to hide who I am to make that good impression. I cleaned my house, but I didn't scrub it down. I dressed up, but I didn't put on makeup since I don't normally wear makeup. That kind of thing.
It was a good date. We went out for dinner, then a walk in the park, lots of conversation time, and then ice cream. It was the longest first date I have had, and it was a lot of fun. There will be a second date.
Right now, I'm taking this a day at a time. But I'm moving on, moving forward.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Friends with your ex

Most of the time, I forget how unusual it is for divorced people to get along after they have divorced.
ExH and I have reached a point where we are friendly with each other. When he brings Rit to Faire, we can walk around together and it not feel weird. Rit even enjoys having both parents with him for the day. Opening weekend of the KY RenFaire, he brought Rit down both days thinking it would help distract me since Thespian is on cast there (it did). It was a very sweet gesture from him, which I appreciated. I got a lot of questions from people on who the guy was since it had been so long since people had seen him, but overall they were happy to see that we got along.
What I don't understand is how many people are asking me if we are getting back together, and even those who give me that look of "If you say so.....*wink*" when I inform them that we are not. Why is it so hard to understand that we get along now because 1) we have a child together and it is easier to co-parent when we get along and 2) we are not married and around each other constantly?
When we were married, we realized too late that we are not right for each other other. We brought out the worst in each other, not the best. Now, we have grown up a bit more. We have a child that needs his parents to help him grow, not watch them bicker. I think Rit's speech delay, development delay, and ADHD did help us move past any remaining bitterness we had.
Tonight, ExH and I are going party supply shopping since we are co-hosting Rit's 5th birthday party. I think this has elicited the most comments! We figured that if we shop together we can make sure we don't overbuy on supplies, the cost is divided equally, and we can discuss plans quicker and easier than if we attempted to do it over text or email.
Why is it so hard to understand that two divorced people can be friends?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Plans and changing

I've always been one that plans ahead, plans for the future. I hate scrambling last minute if it can be avoided, as I find it to be rather anxiety inducing. However, nothing in life every stays the same. Things change and bumps happen.
I had plans with my ex-boyfriend for this summer and for a few years down the road. Having a plan helped me figure out what I needed to do now to help that plan happen. Those plans are obviously not going to happen so my plans for future have shifted. And if things change again, those plans with shift again. I plan for the future, but I also change those plans based on the current situation.

For example, being currently single, I am looking at traveling for mini-vacations. I doubt I will get to any this year but I think next year is a distinct possibility (though Mammoth Caves may still be doable this year depending.... I hope so!). I want to travel to Chicago, Ashville, Niagara Falls. I want to visit new renfaires. I want to add new experiences to my life. If I become no longer single, then my plans will change. It's the nature of life for me.

Having future plans gives me something to look forward to, something to work for and save up for. It makes me feel.....adult.