Do any of you other Butches out there feel out of place when you wander into the women's lingerie section looking for a sports bra? I certainly do.
While wandering around my local Fred Meyers this afternoon I ventured over to the women's lingerie section to see about picking up a new sports bra. First off, I noticed that as I wandered through any of the women's sections I felt as though I was being watched. Like that pervy guy that wanders through those sections just to get his kicks or the guy who shows up trying to buy something for his girl and has no clue as to where to start. You know the guys I'm talking about?
Anyway. Whenever I wander into those sections, I always expect a sales person to stop me and ask if I need help picking out something for my girlfriend or my Mom. It's happened a time or two but what mostly gets me are the stares from other customers in the store. Those stares you get when they think you are somewhere where you don't belong. Maybe it's just because I really don't feel like I belong there and maybe it's all in my head, but maybe not. I've seen those stares from the women shopping around me. The Mom's who grab their little girls hands and stare me down as they pass by or the old ladies who quicken their step and head in the other direction. I've caught them out of the corner of my eye and do my best to ignore them and go about my business. I mean, seriously, I know I look like a guy but do I look like a creepy guy?
Today was no exception. There weren't any sales people around but the stares were there. Specially since I was wandering around in boots, dirty jeans (I just finished changing the brakes on a friends car so they were pretty dirty) and a black hoodie. I stood my ground though and looked around for all of 2 minutes. It was enough time for me to figure out that I wasn't willing to fork out $36 for one (yes, ONE!) sports bra.
So I walked away. Quickly.
I think I'll go look for something online and have it shipped to me.
I recently watched Fight Club again for the 10th time or so and seem to be putting all of my emotions and feelings into this form of expression. I am Wendi's overactive brain.
Anyway, on to what's going on with me lately. Besides silly Fight Club references.
After doing some soul searching and trying to figure out exactly what’s stopping me from accessing my creativity these days I have discovered that I am stressed. Financially stressed. It seems as though no matter how hard I try to let go of those concerns and trust in the Universe, I just can’t seem to do it and in that respect I feel as though I’ve failed in my most recent quest to follow my heart. The financial stress is blocking me from my creativity and here I sit with very little to no motivation to write or take photographs.
Then came the question, what do I do about that? Go back to an accounting job or go back to school? One choice leads to the possibility of making enough to get out of this financial situation sooner rather than later with the other possibility of doing something that isn't necessarily all that fun to me. The other choice leads to more debt and a bigger hole of financial disaster but with the possibility of eventually doing something that is fun to me a couple of years down the road.
The other day I spoke to my birthmother about it and as I was talking to her the answer for me became clear. I need to use my knowledge of the world of accounting for a bit longer. I want, more than ever, to be out of debt. There are debts that I have that will take a while to pay off (i.e. student loans and parent plus loans) but there are others that will only take a few years for me to pay off if I really buckle down and focus. I go back this time with the idea that I don’t have to stay in it forever. I have a goal in mind and will do everything in my power to reach that goal and when it’s reached I can let go of that world and that life and direct my focus elsewhere if I’m so inclined.
This struggle is one that I've dealt with most of my adult life. I know that it comes from the decisions I've made in my life but, still, it's something that I am so tired of. The only time in my life where I didn't struggle financially is when I worked a full-time and a part-time job. My work days were 6 days a week with 17 hour days. Why does that seem to be the only way for me to get ahead in life? What is it about my thinking that puts me in this place? Is it fear? I see glimpses of ideas that I'm interested in pursuing but I either find reasons not to or seek out 'safe' ways to pursue them.
Suddenly this post has turned into something much deeper than it's original intention. Writing does that for me. Gets my mind spinning and shows me certain aspects that I may not have considered originally. See? I am Wendi's overactive brain.
I'll have to keep working on this. I'll get back to you.
Irenic: (adj) Tending to promote peace; conciliatory.
Kelly and I learned a new word today. Irenic. It’s interesting to me that one letter change in the middle and you get ‘ironic’.
Ironic: (adj) coincidental; unexpected. Irony: (n.) the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.
The weekly email that I receive from Pema Chodron this morning talked about peace, as well.
Strangely enough, even though all beings would like to live in peace, our method for obtaining peace over the generations seems not to be very effective: we seek peace and happiness by going to war. Maybe we come home from work and we’re tired and we just want some peace; but at home all hell is breaking loose for one reason or another, and so we start yelling at people.
War begins when we harden our hearts, and we harden them easily whenever we feel uncomfortable. It’s so sad, really, because our motivation in hardening our hearts is to find some kind of ease, some kind of freedom from the distress that we’re feeling. We can do everything in our power, but war is never going to end as long as our hearts are hardened against each other.
We harden our hearts whenever we feel uncomfortable.
This used to be the way I worked. I hardened my heart to all things that felt good but then seemed to ‘turn bad’. At the end of my last relationship I didn’t want to get into another. I told myself that I could never go through that again. The pain and the sadness that comes when you’ve realized that someone has stopped loving or wanting you or just grew separate from you is something that I didn’t ever want to feel again.
In reality, that’s how relationships work. We, as humans, grow through these experiences and without them we wouldn’t know the opposite of that pain and sadness; the joy and the happiness and the love that comes with being in a relationship with someone. Whether it’s an intimate relationship or a close friendship, we grow and learn from each as they move in and out of our lives.
What I finally figured out is that I needed to love and find peace with myself before I could expect anyone to find love and peace with me. This is the lesson I took from all of the pain that came with past relationships that ended. Now, I’ve found love again and couldn’t be happier about it. I enter into this relationship feeling at peace with myself and have no fears of past pains.
Hardening our hearts will never work. We have to open them to find peace and to promote peace in this world. We have to open them in order to love.
Write. I scheduled time to do it and just haven’t had much inspiration lately. The creativity stopped flowing for a bit and I’m frustrated by it. I had so many ideas in my head for my book. Now just thinking about the term Butch and all that’s associated with it seems to be difficult for me to do. The issues that I normally face I’ve been avoiding. I can find ten million other things to do other than sit down and write, like find a second part-time job, clean, weed the garden or do laundry. There are also lots of blogs I like to read so I get on the computer and spend time looking at them. I haven’t been reading many books lately so I went to the library and checked out a book about a guy who left the legal profession to be a writer. I’m hoping it will jump start my process. Maybe reading about someone else doing what I did will motivate me to write about my own experience.
Daily writing has fallen to the wayside again, although I am doing more of it lately. So, maybe I’m just being hard on myself. Maybe I just don’t have much to say lately. The state of the world as of late has had me quite speechless, to be honest. I don’t even know what to say about all that’s happening.
Then there’s the fact that my brain has come back around to the financial struggle. I think that when I’m in this space I am not as creative. Well, I know that I’m not as creative because this is the side of me that stuffed away the creative Wendi. I’m allowing myself to get distracted a lot lately.
Yesterday I went to a ‘job interview’. I put that in quotations because I believe it was a staffing agency just getting me on their roles. I answered an ad on craigslist.org for a part-time accounting assistant for a local farmers market. Yes. I did say ‘accounting’. But, I figured that if it was for something that I believe in then it may not be all that bad. So I sent them my resume’. The next day I received a phone call from a woman at the agency that placed the ad. When she told me she was from a staffing agency I lost any excitement about it. Reluctantly, I made the appointment for the ‘interview’ and went in to their office yesterday. The ‘interview’ consisted of me filling out an application and a few other forms then answering your basic ‘interview’ questions. The woman who interviewed me looked annoyed and didn’t seem to want to make eye contact with me. I was dressed up in my new black Dickies pants, a collard shirt and a sweater over it. Plus, I had my Doc Marten’s on. I looked like an accountant. A male accountant. I got the feeling that she didn’t know what to do with that. I think that I was equally annoyed that I got sucked into their trap, put on accountant clothes, paid for parking downtown and took the time to stop at Kinkos to print off a hard copy of my resume’ all for getting on their roles and quite possibly not hearing from them again. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Now I find myself thinking of ways to sell my photos again. From my cards and prints online at the Etsy shop to just the cards at artist markets. I figure cards would sell better then prints because they have a practical use. Although, that brings me to another topic that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately. Society’s way of communicating in this day and age. Or, rather, indirectly communicating.
All we get are bits and pieces of each others lives these days. Facebook status updates, text messages, Tweets and other social media sites dwindle those bits down to 140 characters or less. We keep track of each other through Facebook and Twitter updates. Blogs have taken the place of pen pals. Remember pen pals?
The days of handwritten letters and long stories of what's happening in our lives have fallen to the wayside. At least it has in my experience. I can't remember when I last received a letter in the mail. An actual letter that someone took the time to sit down and write with me in their thoughts. I have to admit, I'm guilty of it myself. I haven't written a letter in I don't know how long. But, remember how exciting it was to get them in the mail?
Today’s ease of communication and our increased need for security has us disconnected even more so. You'd think with the ease of communication it would do the opposite, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I want to reconnect. Not just with the Earth and the things around me but with the people in my life, as well. I'm thinking that perhaps by writing letters to people in my life I might be able to jump start the process of writing.
Maybe someone will answer one of my letters and I’ll be excited to get mail again, too.