Cassandra Snow

Magickal. Practical. Radical.

Cassandra Snow is a tarot card reader, writer, and theater artist professionally. This website is focused on her life in tarot, with substantial references to witchcraft, LGBTQ+ community, and chronic illness.

Filtering by Tag: personal

All the Things I'm Dreaming Up For You!

Hey all,

Well we are a week into 2019 and this is my first blog post. I spent New Year’s Day being admitted into the hospital overnight because of ongoing health issues. We still don’t know what’s wrong but we’re going to figure it out. I’m home, I’m with my cats and my extremely beloved roommate, and I’m slowly easing my way into work for the year. Which means I’m off to a slow start but I’m determined to have a fantastic year in all areas of my life no matter what. So as I’m dreaming and scheming and writing I thought you might want to know what to look forward to throughout the year!

1.jpg

For starters, I am working on several pieces about tarot and/or witchcraft aimed at artists, as well as a similar set aimed at multipassionates. I will eventually teach classes on those things this year too but I have quite a year up until the end of March, and my book comes out in May so it will be after that.

I’m also really nervous but excited to bring some original content about chronic illness and mental illness and tarot & spiritual practice. I’m nervous because I don’t ever want you to think that you shouldn’t seek medical care when that’s what you need. I don’t ever want you to think that you can wish, hope, or essential oil your way out of a serious and debilitating illness. What I DO have to offer are tips, tricks, spreads and spells for aiding the rest of your care regimen and boosting your confidence to heal and make those illnesses manageable. I’m taking my time with this and I want it to be right. It may even be ambitious for this year, but certainly I’m in the planning stages.

I am literally always prepping pieces and content about using tarot as a form of healing and empowerment, collectively and individually especially for marginalized people.

In addition to a new workbook or e-zine about one of the topics listed above, I’ll also have a Tarot Keyword List for Creatives, Radicals and Other New Age Misfits coming out in the next several weeks.

Finally, I have been promising the world an essay about my journey out of restrictive (though self-imposed) Christianity and into occultism and alternative spirituality for a long time. This is just a one of essay, and may have follow up pieces with tips and tricks along your own journey. It is coming sometime this year. This journey was so rooted in seemingly unrelated trauma and my own queerness though, and untangling it all in my own brain to make it accessible and readable to you all is something else entirely.

In the meantime, I will also be continuing the work I’m already doing. Queering the Tarot articles are getting released monthly on Patreon along with scores of other goodies. The book comes out in May. My #dailytarot series runs almost daily on Instagram, alongside other tarot content and personal posts.

Thanks for following, and thanks for continuing to support my work.

Blessed be y’all,

Cassandra

A Year of Heart: My Hopes, Not Goals For the Upcoming Year

Tonight is the night, y’all. Midnight is going to strike and 2018 is DONE. I am elated, really I am. Mostly what I feel though, is tired. I am so, so tired.

For me 2018 was a year of a mild traumatic brain injury that it took me the bulk of the year to heal from, and heal is a weird word because I still get symptoms if I get sleepy or overwhelmed. My memory is not what it used to be. I am so, so, so much better than I was throughout spring and summer. I am so lucky that my brain injury was only what it was. I am still someone coping with a brain injury.

2018 was a year where I had my heart broken platonically, where some of the people closest to me were traumatized and went through really trying life experiences and transitions. This is a year that is even ending in injury and illness for some of the people closest to me.

This only scratches the surface. One of my business lives almost fell apart. There are stories that are awful that I am deeply embedded in but are not mine to tell. It is a year that I took a step backward financially (thanks to said brain injury) for the first time since I started full-time self-employment. I am ending the year back under the poverty line and that hurts given how hard I’ve worked through it all.

I am sure that I have learned lessons. I am sure that there are things I have gained. I am so grateful for the things and relationships I do have and that is always true. Normally though, at the end of the year, I do this great program and I revel in my success and reframe my failures. I think about what I learned and where I want to go. I write it all down, and I blog a lot of it. This year though, every time I’ve looked at that great journaling program and written down more goals beyond “produce plays, sell books” I have panicked. I’m not ready. I still need to take things slow. I still need to recalibrate. I am not done healing.

I am not done resting. Not even close. This is the hardest part for me. My last two years of college I slept maybe four hours a night. I had a full load of classes, directed and stage managed plays, celebrated Sabbats with the few other Pagans on campus, and pulled a struggling GPA from my previous school into a 3.7 GPA. I had two jobs and an additional one in the summer too. While sick. I graduated a decade ago and until my brain injury I kept that schedule except added in extra hours of sleep and doctor’s appointments instead of classes. Basically the only thing that changed was I slept more and I called that rest, and a reasonable schedule, and healthy. Maybe it was then. It’s not now. Some people thrive on being busy. I don’t. I write better, read better, create better when I am not running from place to place to place. It took a brain injury to teach me that. I’m sure that’s the lesson. I don’t care. I’m still bitter when I should be grateful.

This is not a normal mindset for me, and it’s been really hard to deal with myself in this process. In my life I have dealt with multiple sexual assaults, Lifetime movie worthy toxic friendships, and the trauma I endured in my upbringing with nothing but hope and love and gratitude in my heart for the things I did have. I have been oppressed because of my gender, my weight, my sexual identity, my health, and poverty and that only made me more determined to create safer spaces and try to make change for others going through the same thing. These things, for all of the horrors that they were (and I would not wish any of them on anyone) did not crush my spirit. My heart remained at the center of everything I did for my entire life. Until now.

My heart is not in anything I have done this year. I don’t know why. I’m not really even interested in finding out why, except to say that I want it back. In spite of my aversion to Unraveling My Year, I did still pull some tarot cards for next year. When I asked what my Word of the Year should be, I pulled the Ace of Vessels. Then, I started sobbing. For the first time in months I let myself mourn. The cards were promising my Double Pisces, Cancer rising butt that I would find me again in 2019, and that made it safe to cry and feel now. I am so sad that I worked so hard and this year made me feel like all of it was for nothing. I am so sad, and I am so tired.

Yet even as I type that I am preparing for a rehearsal process for a dream show and a book release in 2019. Obviously there were gains. I want to be there for them, not only in body but in mind, spirit, and HEART too. 33 is a coming of age year for a lot of people as they settle into what being in their 30’s means. I wasn’t here, wasn’t in myself and yet I can feel that I have changed in positive ways too. I hope to be present and accounted for for any changes or growth that 34 brings. I hope to love again and laugh again and mean it this time. I hope that that Ace of Vessels comes true. I hope that not only do I find myself again, but I find my heart along the way.

Theatre + Internet = My Entire March So Far!

Hello all!

I've been on a bit of an accidental blogging hiatus lately--tech week last week really took it out of me, and the only breaks I had were spent tiredly staring at my computer catching up on Autostraddle and other faves (and watching Penny Dreadful. I'm so in love with Eva Green.)

The good news is twofold! One) And Then They Fell by Tira Palmquist is up, running, and wonderful so far. You can grab your tickets here! Two) THIS IS THE MOTHER OF ALL LINK ROUND-UPS. SO much internet the past few weeks, y'all. Get ready.

Just Because: My friend Anne says smart things about women, theatres, and museums here. ~I love reading about Diane Arbus, and this article goes pretty deep. ~8 Female Surrealists Who Aren't Frida Kahlo ~ Sometimes I forget PostSecret exists, and remembering is always the best present to myself. ~ Nerdy fan theories about Steven Universe ~ A really in-depth piece about the soundtrack to My So-Called Life. It's worth the length, I promise. ~ A very cute, informative comic about puppy play (NSFW!) ~ I fell pretty deep into this article about Kudzu. ~ Women who changed science forever ~ Some stuff about Pluto as a planet (or not) ~ Daria turned 20 Y'all. ~ Sex ed falls short sometimes ~

How to Life Better: Something every chronically ill, anxious, or exhausted person needs: an At the Very Least List ~ Being Relatable Online ~ Some solid sales advice ~ I love Seth Godin. A lot. ~ Making a perfect speech ~ Please don't cancel ~Some deeper self-care options ~ Wasting money on your business? Whoops. ~ Someone in your life toxic? The solution might be waaay different than you think. ~ I love this!

Notes for the Intersectional Queer Feminist Revolution: Sex Workers and Activism <3 ~The Trash Heap Has Spoken is one of my favorite things I've read in probably a couple of years. ~ A photo essay of femmes and genderqueer POC. It's SO good. ~ Africa's First Female President! ~ On Britain and queer immigrants ~ Decolonize Your Science Reading List (so much added to my "to read" list!) ~ An interesting read on being gay in Colonial America ~ Raising a trans child in Texas ~ Unprecedented change requires unprecendeted self-love. ~ Teen Vogue, Moonlight, and Queer Black Men ~ ~ A tech boost if you need help with an eating disorder ~ Making peace with food (even when you hate your body) ~ Eight Native Women That Are Badass (a paraphrased title) ~ Jeanna Kadlec's Must-Read on Allyship ~ Sexism and Sickness ~ Keep having those hard convos in small towns, y'all. It's working. ~

Tarot, Witchcraft, Etc.: When Spirituality Sucks ~ The Tarot Lady gets so beautifully personal here ~ I LOVE this series at Briana Saussy's site and this one really made me dig deeper into The Emperor. ~ Anarchy, Feminism, and Goddess Energy with the writer of one of my very favorite books ~ So, um, Venus is in retrograde for a bit yet. ~ More on Venus moving backwards here ~ You should be following this short, easy but rad tarot series ~

Theatre Nerdery: Gender Parity in Theatre (An Overview) ~ Don't Write Checks You Can't Cash ~ Moonlight got it's start on the stage, and this piece about that is wonderful. ~Eleven Tropes I (and Bitter Gertrude) Could Not Be More Over

 

That's all, y'all! Blessed be!

Spring is Here--Sort of? Maybe? But March Definitely is!

While February is hands down my favorite month, I am elated every time March hits as well. My oldest younger sister was born in March, the mainstage work I do for Gadfly Theatre is usually in March, and while I like winter, the seasons changing in general tends to help me hit a reset button. Granted, this year the latter hasn't been quite the steady rise I had hoped, but everything else stands!

 

February was wonderful, busy and hectic, but wonderful. I'm still in the middle of putting together a mainstage show about queer homeless youth and victims of sexual abuse. It was my birthday month which took me out for Mexican food and my favorite drag show with so many of my favorite people. That Pisces energy is hitting me pretty hard though, especially in light of the New Moon and eclipse and everything else. My PTSD is having some issues, but I'm also working through some emotions positively too. I'm a lot more in touch with my sensitive Pisces soul than I have been in a long time. I don't feel the need to play tough anymore, and I'm ready for real again--real feelings, real relationships, real, deep love of all types. I find myself welling up out of joy and gratitude AND fear and sadness at least a few times a day, but I'm letting myself have and experience that even though I've been trying to shove it down for the past couple of years.

Other things I've been up too:

  • Tarot Stuff: I've got this really short but powerful mini e-book for sale. It hasn't quite gotten the attention I'd hoped for, but everyone who has snagged one has loved it--so maybe you want to be one of those people? I'm still down at Eye of Horus on Wednesdays, and come April I'll be picking up Sundays too! After letting a good friend crash with us for a few months because of some work hubbub, I have my at home tarot studio back! I also got to read for some of the absolute cutest, sweetest people this month, saw a small boom in my e-mail business, and am talking to a few potential students for my newly revamped coaching package. See my services page to grab your own slot in any of that! I also had new headshots taken! Wheee!
  • Writing Round-Up! I really love some of what I did on the blog this month--plus the aforementioned e-book. My favorites beyond that are here and here. Additionally, some Queering the Tarot goodness--the Ten of Wands and Knight of Wands on different sites showed up, as usual. I also got to highlight one of my very favorite artists and get more insight from what drives her. I also got to research, write, and explore the beginning and growth of ball culture in the U.S. for Gadfly's latest Drunk Queer History. Even though a drunk storyteller doesn't quite get word perfect, I was really pleased with how it came out.
  • Theatre (and beyond): In addition to the hinted at work above with Gadfly (see our site for more), I'm in a WTF improv class at Huge Theater right now. I was absolutely terrified and super caught up in "OH MY GODS WHAT AM I DOING?" But I wanted a foundation to improve my storytelling, the quick one-minute play style of theater I love doing so much, and even just to learn some new tricks as an instructor and director. All of that happened and is happening, but I, um, think I've been bitten by this improv bug I was warned about...
  • Life Outside of Work! (That's a thing, sort of?): Because this has been a pretty emotional month, I'm a little all over the place in terms of goals like "reading a book a week" and doing things like squad hangs, but I had a few fun adventures. My birthday party at Lush was one of the most fun nights I've had in months, and I'm so grateful for the people in my life and that Lush like, exists and does such wonderful LGBTQ+ nightlife.
    • Favorite things I readTell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica by Zora Neale Hurston has lots of rich myth and culture about the oft misaligned voodoo. It reads as easily as any of her other work too. I also devoured Octavia's Brood, a speculative fiction collection inspired by Octavia Butler, mostly writers from marginalized communities. 
    • Favorite Things I Watched: Moonlight winning the Oscar for Best Picture was SO SO important to me. And that's the part I choose to focus on. Swiss Army Man was even weirder than I anticipated. I loved it.
    • Other Things I Loved: My hair went even bolder in it's purple, blue, and teal glory this time and I loooove it. Two of my best friends are obsessed with these tiny hands and overly large hands and any time they get broken out to play it's a good time. I finally tried Glam Doll NE thanks to some birthday fun, and they have some unique to that branch flavors and this ridiculous couch (pictured below) that I'm in love with. My brother sent me this deck for my birthday. It's stunning. I also worked some pretty hardcore magick this month (hence the first photo).

I have big goals for March: one event is down, but I have And Then They Fell opening. I want to get a second e-book, this one a little more substantial up. I have a couple of new regular series that will hit. And I'm determined to make it to a few shows I'm not directly involved with, in spite of the time crunch. And I can't wait to officially add a few decks to my repertoire, mostly this week or next: the Fairy Lights, Modern Spellcaster's, and eventually the Slow Holler (right now I feel really personally connected to the deck and using it elsewhere feels weird, but I do know it well enough by now), to be specific. I'm also pretty interested in a web overhaul but not promising that within the month.

Until then, blessed be! Feel free to share your own adventures. Love y'all.

In Comes November

Unless you're here for the first time and know nothing about witches, you know by now that October is my absolute favorite month. This one was a little rougher than most, but in true October fashion it all came together and created a stunning bigger picture for the season and I am so happy with how it all came together. Here's some snapshots for the month as we move into November. I often forgot how lovely November can be too. This year I might have some fun semi-surprises going on in my personal life, and will have some events/press/etc. going on that I'll probably talk about here. Here's where October took me:

  • My Tarot Practice: took a bit of a hit this month, and after a real rollercoaster year in my creative life, I struggled to find spiritual and emotional centeredness, eventually getting there by the end of the month. I've decided to shelve my push to work events for awhile (inspired in part by this post), if not forever. I was shocked when that decision resulted in a new burst of individual client work, potential writing and collaborative opportunities, and a few exact ideal events (but not an overwhelming amount) cropping up. Sometimes you have to kill something that's been stressing you or bringing you down to achieve the greatness you know you deserve, and that's a core tenant of my life, yet I am always surprised by how quick that turnaround was.

    My tarot highlight of the month was reading at the anniversary party for the Eye of Horus--I had such a lovely time and got to read for a store regular dressed as Rose Quartz from Steven Universe! I love my work family so much. They have been so supportive of my tarot career inside and outside of the store and I really feel I've grown as a reader and a witch in ways I never anticipated when I nervously went in for my audition gig. I'm so grateful and so happy for such a celebration of their 13th year.
  • Things I Wrote: While I kept up with my steady writing gigs and am happy with the (sparse, few, but lovely) things I posted here, one of my best memories for the month (and year!) was featuring at Story Club, a local storytelling event in which I talked about one of my worst and least talked about trauma sources. The crowd was perfect and I feel such an intense relief--and an intense eagerness for more storytelling opportunities!
  • Theatre Life: GADFLY KILLED IT THIS MONTH. I am beside myself. Our first mainstage show at the Gallery sold out it's entire closing weekend, and in fact oversold one night (which was stressful in its own right, but the right kind of stress). In addition to that, we welcomed long-time queer art icon company Patrick's Cabaret into the space for regular events, and got to see some of our all time favorite performers at Outspoken queer open mic's third anniversary.
  • Other Things I Loved: Manny and I's queerplatonic partnership turned 13! Exciting stuff. We met right around Halloween--we didn't get to celebrate until just barely into November, but it was marvelous nonetheless. Our Samhain ritual with another friend was very special and really magick (and unexpectedly invigorating). Other fun things from the month:
    • All of my friends' Halloween costumes were so cute! Manny went as Tina Belcher, and I spent time with a Ghostbuster. Those were my faves, but everyone rocked it this year. You can see some on my personal instagram. I also do a (mostly daily) free promotional reading to help guide your day there.
    • I saw Chastity Brown in concert again, this time on her own! Her voice alone brings me to tears, and the intimacy of the space we were at made everything extra evocative.
    • I guess I live here now? A couple of my favorite nights of the month were spent with a fancy overpriced OR really crappy beer, long intense games of oversized Jenga, and some very hostile (on my end) pinball. They have them in more places than just Minneapolis, so see if one's near you if you aren't living here!
    • Walks along the Mississippi never get old, and Pokemon giving us extra candy and ghosts made that extra true. I also love just sitting by the dam and listening though, and there's usually a busker I really love right nearby.
    • I did try to go to the Luke's Diner pop-up because I am an unabashed Gilmore Girls fangirl, but the place I was at ran out of everything! I was so disappointed but consoled myself with Tiny Diner because it's also amazing.
    • Book recommendations! Even This Page Is White by Vivek Shraya left me unable to move or even blink in multiple places. One of the hands down best poetry books I have ever read in my entire life. Buy it right here. Just do it. In lighter news, Spider-Gwen took me awhile to get to. It was on my comics list, just not high priority. I'm glad I delved in though, it's pretty rad. I've also been plowing my way through 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I'm not finished, but I'm super into it. King is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me--I don't love his protagonists most of the time, and plotholes exist pretty plentifully in his world, but this one is really absorbing and a great offset to a hectic, tumultous, but ultimately good month.
    • TV & Music Recommendations: This season of How to Get Away With Murder is seriously heart attack inducing. I just want my big dumb babies to be okay. I also hopped on the Steven Universe bandwagon late in the game but I'm ridiculously here for it. I already talked to you about Chastity Brown but WOW. Her CD and EP will cut to your core. It didn't get much notice, but Rufus Wainwright has a CD of Shakespeare's sonnets set to music. It's not for everyone--but it is amazing if you're into that sort of thing.

That was my month! I hope you all had a marvelous month of spoop and celebration and witchery. Feel free to tweet at me, leave comments, etc. to tell me about your own month or chime in about my recommendations. Until next time,

Blessed Be.

August is Over--Praise Literally Everyone

Wow this summer was hard for me, holy crap. But you know what? Summer is always my worst season. I don't know what it is. It started in childhood, but almost every bad thing that's ever happened to me has happened in summer (ironically, except for the reasons I actually have PTSD). This was the worst one in quite a while, but it always give way to my favorite season. Autumn is always when I do my best work, plant my best seeds while pulling up from my best harvests at the same time. I know everyone loves autumn, Pagans especially, but it has always been when I get my fresh starts. And sure enough, I got mine this year. I finally found an amazing, affordable apartment for the QPP and I to continue our lives and start this next chapter and be happy and live comfortably indefinitely. The only thing on my wish list that I didn't get was "outdoor space" and we are shy one room--but there is PLENTY of space for my tarot studio in the main space if we ever need that third bedroom for something else. (Plus I have my own bathroom, my first walk-in closet, and the internet company randomly sent us a box that makes the network channels be on my TV at no extra charge?). I'm so grateful and feel like my old self again. (Which you'll note via silly cat pics and me in goofy hats while unpacking if you follow me on Snapchat.) Needless to say, hunting a place to live and then moving into absorbed most of my August, but I managed to squeeze in some work and play.

  • My Tarot Practice stayed strong, and the email side of things has already seen a spike since the energy of acquiring a tarot room came into my life. I acquired a few more regulars and my time at The Eye of Horus every week is such a saving grace spiritually as well as providing such a beautiful tarot opportunity.
  • Things I Wrote: Still in love with my turn at Little Red Tarot, and over at TheColu.mn I published this spotlight on a documentary some of my IRL friends were featured in. I also got comped into the premiere as a result and it was such a wonderful experience overall. Here on my own blog, I got to interview TWO queer deck creators and squeezed some other things out too.
  • Theatre Life: Prep, prep, prep! Cleaning out and rearranging our gallery, rehearsals for our mainstage show, and TWO big September events coming up. Not the most exciting to blog about, but our PlayGround is buzzing with energy and love. I did get to witness two amazing mainstays of the space: OUTSpoken, a queer open mic that meets there monthly, and New Sh!t Show, Minneapolis--a place for artists of all types to try out brand new pieces. I'm so in love with the space and my co-conspirators. To find out more including how to support, head here.
  • Other Things I Loved: My new neighborhood in NE Minneapolis, the view from my apartment, my new furniture--just, you know, new apartment life in general. Hitting up the Joke Joint in St. Paul (well, just outside of) with friends I don't get to see very often. Our first Squad birthday of birthday season which took us all over LynLake raising hell (with respect to neighbors of course). Getting to actually see several Fringe Festival shows thanks to generous friends and an unusually good client week right before. (And everything was so good!)

Finally I have to give a huge, huge shout out to my friends and family this summer. I was not easy to love when I couldn't find a place. I was miserable and I wanted everyone to know it and I wavered between needing non-stop attention and wanting to just hide and disappear. Not only was nearly everyone in my life wonderful that whole time, but so many people helped me move and were so happy to see our place. People rearranged their whole weekends super last minute and took me thrift shopping for furniture, gifted me furniture, gifted me money to help with all those last minute moving expenses, and of course came and did the (literal) heavy lifting to get us moved into the new space quickly. Once I settled a little (though I still have so, so much to unpack.) I realized how much love and magick I'd been gifted the whole time. It's not that I wasn't grateful in the moment, I just felt so panicked I couldn't process it. But now I never want to forget how loved I feel after this month, and to put that much love back out in the world moving forward. I know life always has its ups and downs but before I found a place I was so worried I was regressing. Now I'm so elated and really feel like I hit the restart button in all the right ways. So if you're my squad or my fam and you're reading this--thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you--I want to say it forever. I love you all (even those just reading or who just cam here for tarot or queer thoughts and insights) so much. I can't wait to see what this September brings.

Blessed Be,

Cassandra

No End of Month Wrap-Up for April

Hey All,

Just wanted to drop a quick note about the slight blogging hiatus. I've been really sluggish lately, and at first it was easy to chalk up to my depression, until I noticed I didn't feel depressed. I felt tired. Really, really tired. Then some other weird things happened, and long story short my thyroid is out of control right now. I love this blog, tarot, witchery, writing about it all--but I need the rest of this week and some of next to recover, and by then April will be long gone. Suffice it to say, things did turn around for me, and I love where things are headed.

You can read about queer tarot by me here and here. You can read some writing from a new friend I made here. You can support my tarot biz by ordering an email reading, making an appointment, or visiting me here. You can support my theatre biz by grabbing tickets to this, this, or marking your calendar for this.

Until next time, Blessed be.

Please send healing energy in the meantime! Much love to you all. Enjoy this gratuitous photo of my cat.

I Did A Bunch of Scary Stuff Lately

I live with pretty severe anxiety, and on top of that while I'm not super pro self-diagnosis, I'm almost positive I have Avoidant Personality Disorder. Some of the specific things I'm afraid of include (but are definitely not limited to): queer girls who are cooler than me, speaking in front of people, talking out loud about shit I've been through, asking for things, asking for money, dealing with conflict, receiving even the most well-intentioned critical feedback, and telling people out loud that I'm setting boundaries. So it might seem weird that I've chosen not one, but three career tracks (Renaissance Soul for life!) that rely heavily on engaging audiences or clients, asking for tangible support from theoretical supporters, and speaking my truth. I've managed to carve out comfort zones within that though: asking via internet, delegation when that can't be done, and setting firm boundaries and post-scary-thing self-care modules.

March and early April were rough for me for a lot of reasons, but truth be told I've been through much harder times in my life. After taking some time for self-reflection I think what wore me out SO much was how much I pushed my own boundaries, which is a good thing, but without taking extra time and effort for self-care, which is not. After realizing this, I'm really proud of some of the things I did: I directly engaged with queer girls who are WAY cooler than me. I maintained some substantial professional relationships that in the immediate rely on me asking for prolonged favors. A project failed and I had to look my collaborators in the eye and ask why. And ultimately I ended up on stage doing a story-telling feature about getting my period all over a nice restaurant in a nearby affluent suburb.

Some of the lessons I took away from this seem so basic. "Just do the scary thing" is obviously the biggest one, and I used to be a lot better about that. At some point I had enough professional colleagues or close friends to delegate scary things too and enough successes I could achieve without digging TOO deep that I really had ended up in a very comfortable place. This is such an achievement in and of itself for someone who doesn't trust people and is afraid of both fear and success in and of themselves, and it was important for me to get to that safe place to know that I COULD get to safe places in my life. But I know more than anybody that if we sit complacent for too long, we stop succeeding. So it was also important for me to get OUT of that safe place and into scary-land again. I didn't take the impetus myself, and the universe forced my hand, but it did remind me of how much more confidently I used to approach such things. Doing the things that terrify me never crushed me quite like it did this time, even when they failed, and sometimes the lesson we're meant to be learning are not new to us.

I also learned something kind of horrible: there's no easy answer to overcoming anxiety enough to succeed. There isn't. At some point my fear of continued failure became worse than my fear of talking to people, and that's what pushed me towards the scary stuff. I think getting to that point IS the point. There is no quick fix or easy answer for something that requires prolonged therapy and possibly medication. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and feel like I fit in with hip lesbians or more successful WTFs. I'm not going to overcome my fear of criticism in a day, or by receiving positive feedback. I'm not going to conquer my all-consuming fear of failure simply by having it come true once and being okay. There aren't easy answers. Sometimes you just have to do the thing anyway. You have to reach as far inside of you as you can to summon enough strength to get through that hour, or evening, or even day. 

And know this: everyone is afraid, all the time. Nobody feels like they know what they're doing a majority of the time. Maybe that's depressing because that means dealing with fear doesn't get easier, but I choose to look at as comforting, because it means I'm not alone in my fears, ever. Yes, there are confident people, and yes, that sometimes includes me--but for me, my confidence is now coming from knowing that I am going to be okay no matter what, and knowing that the things I'm feeling are necessary for growth. It comes from knowing I am perfectly competent at the things I do, even if in the movement I'd rather disappear than do the scary thing. It comes from knowing I am loved, on the right life path, and usually have karma on my side--in other words, I do tons of spiritual work and am a good person well BEFORE I need to be confident in a moment. And, yes, as a part-Slytherin sometimes my confidence comes from knowing everyone around me is just as scared and there is no way all of our fears are justified.

And the thing I re-learned this time, with a vengeance, is that when you summon up the courage, or the energy to override ANY neuroatypical or trauma-based coding, you have to, have to, have to take care of yourself afterwards. After my story-telling feature two of my best friends took me out for a nice meal and a beer and listened to me just whine about how scary things were. It felt great. It also reminded me that after all of the other scary things I'd done in the previous three three weeks, I should've had a glass of wine, a hot tub, a good book, or even just a fucking pizza waiting for myself when I was done. Because taking care of yourself in the moment may be beyond your control, but if you nurture yourself before and after, you WILL keep doing the scary stuff, and it's not gonna drain you nearly as much.

I don't have all the answers. I'm just a queer, disabled solopreneur and artist trying to survive capitalism and help others do the same--but I think I'm starting to get a handle on keeping myself together, even when all I want to do is fall apart. I can say with certainty after this month that the scary things are worth doing--but you should definitely have a safe place to land in between.

Blessed be.