I can’t believe it’s been, what, 16 months since I last updated? That’s definitely more than a year and a day, isn’t it? I have to admit that 2009 and 2010 have been Really Hard Years. My family is totally kaput, and that’s been really hard to deal with. My parents’ divorce has not proceeded amicably in the least. My father has descended into pure and absolute madness. A really long story short, my mother ended up getting a restraining order against him, and my dad took up sending me hate mail. My brother Jordan went back to prison–a sad story as he was doing the best he could to keep from doing anything illegal while still trying to help a friend–and my brother Zachary attempted suicide in a misguided attempt to teach our father a lesson. He almost succeeded, and I still can’t quite wrap my mind around that.
This past August I went home to spend time with my mom and found out she had to move to Pennsylvania ASAP because my dad’s tax issues had caused her to lose her Indiana nursing license and she’d obtained a Pennsylvania one. It was really hard trying to get everything in the office/house packed efficiently, and then we found out that we’d really lost everything we actually cared about. Dad had all our good stuff in a bunch of storage sheds. He stopped paying the bills, and then Mom’s lawyer told her to stop paying them: the sheds weren’t in her name, so it was essentially throwing money away. Mom talked with the storage company, and they told her that they’d be sending a certified letter to our house when they would put everything up for auction and Mom could buy what she wanted. But they sent the letter to 113 Street Address instead of 133. The person at 113 signed it. We lost everything. Childhood items. Beautiful antique furniture. Art. All the stuff that made our house are home.
That was kind of the last straw for me. Over the past five years, I’ve lost my house, my security, my family, and everything that showed I had a past. And I’ve been struggling with graduate school, too. Last year, I wasn’t near as academic as I wanted or needed to be. I struggled with teaching, too. This year is shaping up to be equally difficult. I’ve got papers due just around the corner. I’ve got mountains of grading. Life is an awful lot right now, and it has been an awful lot for a really, really long time.
It’s not all bad, though. I’ve got a great friend out here: Johnathan. I love him to pieces, and will miss him beyond measure when he graduates and moves to Portland. I’ve also begun making more efforts to integrate myself more fully into local food and sustainability, and part of that was The Great Chicken Experiment. I’ve now got four chickens and a bad-ass coop in my side yard. And it is awesome. The Pop Stars (housemates named them Gaga, Beyonce, Lindsay, and Rhianna) have yet to lay an egg, but they keep me so grounded that I don’t mind.
Best of all, last April I started ‘Witch classes’ with a couple Gardnerian Wiccans: Z. and Y. The classes started off with a whole living room full of people, but went down quickly to about five people due to scheduling conflicts, lack of connection, and probably half a dozen other things. Me, T., K., S., and R. progressed through the first series of classes, then R. had to leave because of work schedule changes. The rest of us completed the second series of classes and all asked to be dedicated into an Outer Court. J. joined us at that time, and ever since September we’ve been working together as “Hartwood Grove,” which is currently to become a coven when the first of us dedicants becomes initiated.
It’s been really great working with people and slowly warming up to a community. Really, really great. I’m not 100% sure I can go through with initiation–I’ve got so many body image issues, I’ve got a huge hang-up about going skyclad like the Gardnerians do. But I’m trying, and taking it all–life, Wicca, school–one step at a time.