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I am not a positive, shiney, optimistic person, despite my best efforts. Despite lighting candles and casting intentions and reading tarot and believing wholeheartedly in the energetic properties of crystals and in magick, I am cynical and pessimistic and deeply pragmatic. I am both sides of the athame, textbook Gemini, and forever apprehensive of sharing anything personal in a public arena such as this. I am also hard working and easily distracted, all reasons – and excuses – why my personal 2018 Post Mortem is only now coming into the light, already nearly a quarter of the way past its time frame.
Over the last few months, I’ve been actively working on focusing on the positive aspects of my life over the negative. It’s an effort in rewiring my thought patterns, ie: focusing on having the ability to remedy problems rather than on the problem itself. This is not an easy practice, and waves of despair and the void are always threatening to rise their tides and wash me away.
My first effort at this for this year was creating a list of my accomplishments of 2018. Some were major, some were minor, but it was a list of Completed Tasks, and many were not expected or set goals. They were not resolutions or habits I had tried to break and immediately reverted back to, and reviewing the list has helped me to acknowledge that the standardized set of goals that are typically put into place at the start of the year are not an effective methodology. Reviewing the achievements I had made throughout the year replaced the sternness of New Year’s Goals: I had already accomplished something, and it instilled in me a feeling of hope. If I had done these things, I can do more things, I can continue to manifest and create and sculpt my life and existence into what I want, rather than what is expected of me, and in turn, renegotiate the things that would normally feel like they could defeat me.
Mind, this is not 100% effective, and I still have plenty of days in which I would much prefer to avoid the world, so here are a few things that Have Also Helped.
We Came From Outer Space and Then We Were Ruled by Our Reptilian Overlords
I’m not a huge reader of fiction, nor do I watch a lot of television or movies, so in its place I devour UFOlogy and conspiracy theory on the subject like candy. In fear of losing the majority of our readers, I typically remain silent on the subject (I am aware some slips out from time to time), but I cannot get enough. Ancient Aliens, Last Podcast on the Left, Dr. Steven Greer, and the people that listen to me rant and haven’t left me yet, thank you, thank you, thank you. (image is from my visit to Avebury last summer, as most of my travel destinations are based off of tales of hauntings, alien visitation, and being overall old and/or spooky).
Moving Out of the City and Into The Swamp
Last year my fella and I decided that we wanted to buy a house, and we very quickly discovered that anything within New Orleans was well out of our price range. Instead, we were able to find a piece of property about 35 miles outside of the city. I’ve lived in cities my entire life: I grew up in Brooklyn, bounced back and forth from NYC to LA for years before winding up in New Orleans, so I was admittedly apprehensive about leaving it for The Country. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and the tranquility and energy of the land is almost transcendental. My yard has regular visits from alligators, vultures, armadillos, just to name a few, and the commute allows for my indulgence into conspiracy theory podcasts.
Tangible Things That I Have Enjoyed
(I’m allowing myself the addition of items from the start of 2019, as we are already a third of the way through!):
Personalized Potions, Candles, and Oils from Ritual Cravt : I highly recommend the magical products made by the kind and knowledgeable people at Ritual Cravt. I continuously have burning their house dressed candles, use their floor washes to cleanse my home, and have had incredible luck and effectiveness with the potions made by The Death Witch. I am hoping to finally visit their shop in person later this year!
CBD tincture for my rough, jagged edges. I slip a few drops into my dinner smoothie sometimes for nights at work that make me feel as if I’ll absolutely explode with stress, and it smooths over my surfaces into a calm shimmering glass. I personally take the Full Spectrum Hemp Oil from Honey Rose Botanicals.
Flying Ointments from Bane Folk for headaches and stress management. I’ve long suffered from headaches and migraines, and have been experiencing stiffened joints and aching bones, and these ointments have helped me to drastically alleviate these physical (and emotional) ailments. I will note that shipping times can be a bit lengthy on these, but they are well worth the wait.
Collecting Dirt from Places I Have Visited – I received many a strange look whilst digging up earth or collecting stones into ziplock bags from other tourists, but it has yet to stop me. I also like silly magnets.
Bullet Lipstick : I’ve been leaning more towards these than long wear liquids the last few months, as the newer formulas that have come out don’t have that waxy feel of their predecessors. The KVD Studded Kiss & Necromancy Cosmetica are my favorites!
The BloodMilk Planchette Moths : it fills my heart so immensely to see this collection that was birthed on a Thanksgiving night in my old living room when Jess & I asked my now partner if he would give us matching tattoos that weekend, and Aaron drew up the design overnight. Each time I see one of these moths in the wild, I hope that the love I feel for these people is cast out a little further into the world. I keep mine hanging when I am not wearing itin a place that my eyes fall on frequently throughout my day.
Savage Fenty: for the first time, I’m excited about lingerie. It’s super affordable, well made, and fits like a dream. I signed up for the VIB membership, which was slightly confusing at first, but has worked out well – short of it is you bank about $50 in purchased store credit at the start of the month, and then have access to exclusive sales and releases, with the option each month to opt out of the payment. The sales are 100% worth it, I’ve completely replenished and refreshed my knickers drawer for a fraction of what I used to pay for underthings.
Drunk Elephant Skin Care: I don’t want to like these products as much as I do, because the full sized are so expensive, but I started using them earlier this month and the difference in my skin is incredible. It’s super soft soft, my pores are shrunk down, and even the redness around my nose that I’ve had for ever has evened out. I’ve been using the sample size sets of “Rise + Glow” and “Night Bright”, and am counting down the days to the Sephora VIB spring sale to purchase the full sizes.
Shorter, but honorable mentions:
Splendid Spoon nursing me back to health after a horrifying bout of terrible illness. No more street fruit in Mexico City for me ever again. // Trader Joe’s Truffle Oil Potato Chips // discovering that I can order my beloved Lord of Misrule shower gel from Lush UK (and worth every cent of the shipping costs) // countless hours in countless museums with the people I love most // Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (this is a forever favorite) // acai bowls // crystals and crystals and more crystals // giving myself the time to actually finish a book // learning how to not beat myself up for not always being able to Do It All Immediately (learning) // The mini Smith Wait deck : tiny cards for my tiny hands // Matt & Nat handbags: Vegan purses and backpacks that don’t look like they’re made of burlap. Sold. // eBates – I fully thought this was a scam until I tried it, and now I get frequent cash back payments for online shopping (I opt for Sephora gift cards as payment!) // painting my entire house in reds, oranges, and purples and decorating it any way we damn well please // working with St. Expedite on a weekly basis // very actively reminding myself to not take social media at face value: You can be anything you want on the internet, including confident, magical and successful. // Static Nails because I just can’t commit anymore.