I’ve been waiting.
Waiting for the perfect inspiration. The perfect subject. The perfect muse’s whisper in my ear.
To make sure that my first venture into writing on a “big blog” was perfect. That it showed the best me I could show. So people would like my writing, be interested, look for more. You only have one chance to make a first impression, I thought.
I’ve been waiting.
For months. Each day, hoping something would spark, the words would come to me, I’d be able to create magic again.
I’m tired. Tired of not being perfect. Tired of not having the fire flow through me like it used to. Tired of waiting.
So today, I just started writing. About my difficulties in being able to write. About how my brain doesn’t work like it used to, nor my body. About how feeling unable to write is like losing a piece of me.
Words have been my solace for most of my life. My place of comfort. Particularly written words. I make magic with my words. My poetry evokes the smell of autumn, the crisp crackle of fallen leaves, air that’s just beginning to chill. Prose written to beloved friends remind them of their inner heart, deep paths, and gods-given duties.
For years, though, it’s felt like those words have left me. I no longer hear them like I used to. The song is not the same, the breath of inspiration does not curl and wrap around me like an affectionate feline. My head does not fill with the words, waiting for my tongue to spin it into gold.
Truth be told, it’s not just the words that are different. I’m different.
I seem to be moving into crone-hood much faster than I’d ever guessed. I lack a template for the cycle of maiden/mother/crone as I’ve never been a mother. I quip that I don’t have kids, I have cats. It’s true and I adore my fuzzy feline familiars. And still… still there are subtle reminders. I am the last of my family line. Without children, my line dies with me. That feels like an awful responsibility, one I should clearly do something about. In reality, there’s not much to do about it. I turn 40 years old this month. I am almost certainly infertile and have been for years. I am sick, getting sicker, worse and worse each year.
I never had the desire for children. In general, I do not like children. I am an only child. When I was young, we moved so often, I didn’t have many friends. I rarely played with children my age. I somehow gravitated to, well, the woman I’m becoming. Independent women in their 30s and 40s with cats, artistic and creative. They taught me to cook, they let me discover creativity through their graciously-shared art supplies. They helped this strange young girl find comfort, with them, their cats, their kitchens.
I need to remember to be strange. Let myself be strange. Let myself be me.
When you’ve had a lifetime of not fitting into the molds that society set for you, there is a lifetime of memory that you don’t fit. It bleeds into everything, even when you DO fit. There’s always the sneaking, sinking feeling that you’re doing something wrong. It’s hard to shake.
There’s something about this year for me, though. Something about turning forty that’s “allowing” me to feel freer. Last week, I got a hair cut that I’ve been wanting since I was thirteen years old. I was gifted a pair of sunglasses for my birthday that are amazing and expensive, and I allowed myself to have them. I’m doing my best to make space for myself, take up space for myself. But it’s not easy. I constantly remind myself that it’s okay, that I’m okay, that it’s okay to be me, how I want to be me. When I struggle, I think of the words my heart-sister told me, “Do what you know is right, not what others tell you is right.” I take a moment to be mindful, to be with myself, that place where I know Truth, and figure out what I want or need to do.
Not surprisingly, this ties into my spirituality. I often have a sense of imposter syndrome when it comes to paganism. There are times when I know I’m right on the money, when my link to the divine is firm, and I speak the words of the gods. Then there is the rest of the time, where I think my altar isn’t good enough, my daily practice isn’t good enough, the way I talk to the gods isn’t good enough. That I should somehow be better at it. Don’t know how, just better. Just more than what I’m doing. Some elusive marker of “now you’re good enough”.
I pause, take myself back to the knowledge, both subjective and objective, that I need to do what is right for me. What I know to be good and right and true. My altar is “right” because that’s what I built. My relationship with my gods is “right”, because that’s what it is right now. It used to be different, yes. It will likely be different in the future, almost certainly. Right now, though, right now is it “right” because it is now. Allowing myself to be in the moment, not worrying about the past or future.
You don’t have to have the exactly-placed, perfectly pretty altar like you saw on Instagram (not talking traditions where you _do_ need things set perfectly). What you do does not need to satisfy anyone but you and your gods. Greeting the moon when you see her is a spiritual practice. Hailing your cousin corvids when they fly above your car is a spiritual practice. Finding a flower outside, placing it just so near some rocks and another plant is a spiritual practice.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough, including yourself. Especially yourself.
You are exactly enough. I am, too.