Saturday, November 9, 2013


Do you find that over time, if you've been having a bad go of things, that you continue to have a bad go of things? I'm sure you've guessed that although I haven't written anything in the last few months (sorry), stress remains in my house. Sure, we're content where we are in terms of our relationship to one another, but we've been trying to get out of the Phoenix area since, like, last year, and I hasn't been working.

Last October, as I wrote in a previous post, I sort of cracked. I realized that I hadn't been doing anything for myself and if I didn't choose at least one thing to do for me, I would not make it. So, I applied to USC's Producers Program.

I didn't get in.

Last Spring, Natasha had several misses on job opportunities in L.A. In early Summer, she was offered a job at a middle school out there, but the California credential office (for teachers) was three months behind, so she couldn't actually take the job. This, we found out in late July.

I also applied to some TV writing fellowships. All but one have closed and, guess what?... No go.

I did place in the Austin TV Pilot writing competition. That will definitely come in handy. Placing means that I got into the top 10%. I beat about a thousand other writers to get there, so it's nothing to sneeze at. Looks good on the old writing/producing resume. But it does me no good at the moment.

So, in August, after the school year had started, Natasha got a call from the principal of the middle school, asking if she would start in January if she held the position. Well, duh!

Unfortunately, a charter school opened up down the street and took the 23 kids she needed to fund Natasha's position.

Fortunately, the principle has a friend who is also a principal. Principal #2 said she would hire Natasha in January.

Unfortunately, the credential office HAS STILL NOT GRANTED THE CREDENTIAL! A stupid move on Natasha's part about 20 years ago reared its ugly head and sent up a red flag, which meant that her application had to go to review. The review isn't until the last week of November. We figured that we couldn't move by then anyway. I couldn't get work out there mid-year as a professor.

I'll stop there because a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine reminded me that I'm a crazy pagan and I do things like home and spirit cleansing. I burn herbs and petals and things and talk to the Universe and make declarations and things actually HAPPEN. It's all that Jedi Force stuff, you know. You can learn all about it in the What the Bleep series. :-)

Anyway, I went home that day, discovered that I did not have a smudge stick (that's a sage bundle for you non-Native American peeps out there), so I had to improvise with stuff from my kitchen. Long story short, I walked clockwise around my house, only mildly concerned that the smoke detector would go off, and declared to the Universe that I was done with the negative crap. I was done being on the receiving end of bad news.

I have to explain something here. I am a 3rd degree High Priestess in Wicca (no, I don't practice anymore for reasons I will explain if anyone is actually interested) and I'm a Reiki Master - that I do still practice. When one accepts the role of leader in a practice that requires a person to be open to receiving energies, one also accepts that the Universe doesn't discriminate between energies that come from good news of bad news. Especially for Reiki, we are told before taking the Master position that we are basically declaring that we can handle other people's sh*t in order to help cleanse them of it. If a person doesn't really feel he/she can handle it, taking the Master position is a very bad idea because it can really mess up your life. I've seen it happen to others.

Not that my life is a clean and orderly thing, but overall, what has happened has not "messed up" my life in the grand scheme. Yes, I planned to be married to my male soul mate for ever and ever, and now that's not gonna happen. But really, I'm still with my best friend and we still work very well together as a married couple and more importantly as parents who work as partners. I've handled the sh*t that's been tossed at me. Those damned shoes just keep falling and I find a place for them in Natasha's shoe shelf if they are her size.

So, back to my story. I declared that I was done with the Universal bad news shoes. I decided to believe that I deserved good news. I deserved what I asked for, which included getting out of the Phoenix area.

Last week, Natasha wrote to principal #2 to tell her what was going on. She said that the job is still waiting for her, so assuming that the credential review goes well, which it should, she'll move in December/January.

Last week, the community college in the LA area that first hired me about 14 years ago called me to ask if I could come out for an interview. They need faculty for the spring semester. You bet I'm going! It's on Wednesday morning, so put out the good vibes!

We even decided that if both my job and hers comes through, I would homeschool the kids for the spring if we can't get them into the school we want them to attend. This one's a bit of a stretch as far as good karma is concerned. It's a private school that not only would have to have spaces for the kids, but they would also be able to offer financial aid mid-year. We certainly can't afford to pay what it really costs. Ideally, the school would come through for us on both accounts. Still have my fingers and eyes crossed.

The last thing I'm waiting for is to hear that I've been accepted into UCLA's Producers Program. Won't find out until March about this one, but I know I deserve it.

So, did my little cleansing turn things around? Maybe. I choose to believe it did. I believe that I needed to make the mental and spiritual decision to allow good things to happen. I think that enough crap and bad news built up over the last several years (plus the fact that I really just don't like living in Phoenix) that I believed that bad news was the norm.

The Dark Side was winning.

Then, I smoked up my house with sage and dried yellow rose petals and told the Dark Side, "You have no power over me!" (name that movie!) I chose to change my mind.

Yes, there is still stress, but I have chosen to handle it differently. Maybe that's what this is all about. Can I use the Force to change what comes into my life? I think I can. I believe I can.

I think you can, too. I believe that you can take what comes into your life and handle it. I think that you can use your brain and your intuition and find the best course of action. I think you can decide how to handle what you are handed, including knowing when to ask for help and also when to stop being stubborn or when to stop being in denial or when to be honest.

What becomes of you is up to only one person. We can't control everything in our lives, but we can always control how we respond. We can blame no one but ourselves for our reactions, just as we must give ourselves credit for doing the right thing. There is so little support for transfolk and partners. You should all do a little cleansing now and again to remind yourself about what the right thing is: that as a good person, you deserve good news and good things.


B. said...

Oh, Labyrinth! I haven't watched that in such a long time. My sister and I watched that over and over as kids. I'm putting my good energy out there for you for Wednesday. :)

I'm also going to heed your advice and try to focus as much on the positives in my life and cleanse myself of the negative thoughts.

This blog inspired me to start writing down my feelings, no matter how crazy, irrational, sad or happy they are. I am not a writer by any means, but to be able to get it out helps me in some way. I can see things more clearly afterward and feel it's my way of cleansing. I even spoke with my spouse about it and said that there may be times where I just need to organize my thoughts and would need some space to do that. It doesn't mean I'm not being supportive, but I need to allow myself to go through all the feelings without having to censor myself for fear of hurting someone's feelings. I feel like when I don't take my time to really think about why I'm feeling a certain way and we're talking about emotional issues, everything just pours out at once and I can't be as rational about it. Our spouses need our support and love, but we also have tremendous fears and insecurities that need to be addressed.

It's scary to watch the person you love letting go of their own fears and following their heart to become their true selves. For me, I have the fear that as things change, maybe my spouse won't want me anymore. Maybe she will find other connections to people that will break our bond. I think that's probably true of any couple where one person is trying to make a fundamental change about themselves. Hopefully, the spouse can recognize that and reassure the other that although they need to make their lives the best it can be, the bond can still be there.

Something I always found inspirational:
“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else."

― Joseph Campbell

So I am cleansing. I am going to look at the positive and know that true love is allowing another to follow their bliss.

Marni said...

Hi B - I'm responding to you here for both your comment and your email because then I'd be repeating myself. :-)

Joseph Campbell was my hero for a very long time. Then, I met a guy who took his Hero's Journey and made it applicable to storytelling for screenwriters. Chris Vogler, as briefly as I knew him, was nearly as inspirational to me. So your quote from him is something that resonates with me immensely.

Saying and doing are not often the same. We become heroes when we do what we say.

You said that you worry that your spouse may find someone else and leave you. Perhaps you may find someone else and leave him/her. Your worry about being abandoned by someone who is changing before you and asking you to change yourself in order to stay reflects that insecurity you still have. You won't find that bliss until you are willing to face that fear of either outcome and determine that your reason for being in your spouse's life, and vice versa, may be yet unknown and unpredictable by anyone. Perhaps that's the real fear: the unknown. That's what it is for me. I'm a control freak. I've since learned that there are things I can control and things that I can't, but of those things I can't, I can control what I do in that moment.

I sometimes wonder what will become of our marriage. When I think about it, I get upset because on the one hand, I married the person I was supposed to be with forever... realistically. On the other hand, that person is not quite that person anymore in such a way that forces me to alter who I am inherently, and so there is just as real a possibility that I won't be with that person forever. I think that if that's the case, I fully expect to be "close" forever, but that still carries a weight of sadness. So, as another spouse says to me, we live in the moment. We have to live in the moment. That's where the strength to deal with reality resides. Writing a journal or blog can certainly help.

But even living in the moment, we as the other spouse live in the moment where our other half is changing or has changed and that moment sometimes has relevance to what's happening. That's when it can hurt, and that's when we have to consciously have to find the bliss in the moment. It's when any self-doubt that's been drummed up by our spouse's transition must be challenged and overcome, and believe me, the further down this path you go, the more it will be challenged.

Yes, true love is allowing the other to follow his or her bliss, but that's only half of it. You can't forget yours, or it's not true love at all.

Kat L. said...

Hope you get into that program. If you need material to adapt, I haz tonz of it.

B. said...

Marni, I agree wholeheartedly that each person needs to be true to themselves and follow their own bliss. If the paths can become one, that is wonderful. If not, hopefully people can be loving enough to allow the other to be true to themselves without resentment. Luckily, I chose to marry someone who has always been supportive of my dreams and encourages me to follow my bliss as well. That realization is something that helped me come to terms with the possibilities ahead. I still don't know where this will all lead, I know it is going to be a tough road with lots of emotions, but I am ready to go down that road without being obsessed with the "what ifs" that come along.