Category Archives: goals

same shit different year?

what a difference a year makes, right? 52 weeks ago today i moved out of what had been a cute little house i had shared with someone who at one time had been one of my best friends. i was moving into a temporary situation where i was to sleep on my sister’s couch, with my cat who didn’t like other cats (of which my sister had three), working 15-20 hours a week at the b&n with the possibility of a second job on the horizon, but not certain. even if the second job came to pass (which it did), it was only seasonal work, and i had no idea what was going to happen once the season was over. my plan for spring/summer 2010 was to find a room rental that was month-to-month and would allow me to keep my cat. at the end of the season, if i didn’t have a ‘real’ job, i’d pack everything and go to new orleans and see what happened. fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how one looks at it), in a relatively short amount of time i got a ‘real’ job (with benefits and everything! please note the sarcasm attached…) with the state of kansas and was able to move back to kansas city.

so things have gone relatively well since my return to the city. i have a decent job in a medical academic library, and my current living situation i couldn’t have planned better if i tried. (actually, during a reading with my psychic last year shortly after my move, she told me that i had ‘created’ this ideal situation in my head, and made it happen, something she said i have a real ability to do. hmmm.)

on the surface, it all seems pretty sweet. i basically could work this current job until retirement (20-25 years!), after which i’d have a nice pension, and in the meantime, i could buy a cute little house in the volker neighborhood, and live happily ever after, maybe as part of a happy couple, maybe as a single old maid librarian-ish person with a bunch of plants and cats. point is, most people would look at my current situation and tell me i’m set. hell, if i were a normal person, i’d think i was set.

last weekend, talking on the phone with one of my best friends, i told her that i was thinking of doing all that, buying a house and settling down. her initial response was, ‘you want to spend the rest of your life in kansas city?’ when she put it that way, well, um, no. and that question and answer have been gnawing at me all this past week. i mean, it even kinda had before, but i had pushed my doubts under the rug. i figured i could buy a house here, and ‘bloom where i’m planted’, literally and figuratively. a cute little fixer-upper with a decent sized backyard would provide me with the space to do the urban farming thing, and i could work full-time to keep the roof over my head. never mind that i have hated the past two winters here, swearing that i needed to live somewhere warmer (new orleans?). never mind that while i do have friends here, finding freedom-loving sustainability-minded integrally-informed people with decent taste in music (no lady gaga allowed!) here in the nation’s breadbasket hasn’t been easy. never mind the fact that even though i have a good job, it has its pitfalls, namely that there are days where maybe i do 2 hours’ worth of work in an 8 hour day, and those two hours (or four or seven, but never eight) consist basically of my moving bytes of information from one computer to another. and i tell myself that i’m helping out society by giving current and future medical professionals the information they need to help people get healthy, but most of the information i’m moving about is nothing more than folks with a bunch of letters behind their names spouting conventional wisdom, and you can look in any doctor’s office waiting room, or even just take a look at people walking down the street, and you will see how far conventional wisdom has taken us. but i digress…

a couple of weekends ago, my roommate had a birthday party at which one of the guests included a professional psychic. after most of the guests had left, he gave readings for the few of us that remained. in my reading, i got several major arcana cards, which are the cards that indicate major life changes. (the 56 card tarot deck contains 22 major arcana cards. i drew six of them out of the ten cards contained in the celtic cross spread.) the cards i drew included the wheel of fortune, which the psychic told me indicated that something very good was about to ‘fall into my lap’; the magician, which he said indicated that my powers of manifesting were very strong, and i was good at getting what i wished for (which kinda backs up what my regular psychic said last year); justice, which he said indicated that i needed to take advantage of this upcoming opportunity because i passed it by in a previous lifetime; also, the hermit, the hierophant, and the lovers (reversed, which is just my luck) were pulled.

so, what does it all mean? even though i’m more settled down and things seem more stable this year, is it a case of same shit different year? maybe this current job is a temporary situation designed to get my feet firmly planted on the ground before making the next move. but what is that next move? i still want the little homestead where i’m raising veggies and chickens and making my own soap and knitting in front of the fireplace in the winter (some place where it’s not snowing every other day), and if i *must* work a regular job, it’s only for 20 hours a week, preferably in a library setting; otherwise i also make a little money writing about whatever it is i’m doing. i think some really bad shit is about to go down over the next few years, on a planetary scale, and there’s no reason to believe that the united states will be spared any of what might happen.  i don’t want to get all doom-and-gloom, but i think the ‘little homestead’, whether urban or rural, will be the best way to protect myself and whoever happens to be around it with me (because another piece of this puzzle is that i don’t want to do this alone). really, i’m not doing this for that reason, i genuinely love the idea of raising my own food and taking care of my own needs (whether by growing it myself or through barter/trade/etc. with others), and being more in tune with nature’s cycles, and more in tune with other people, and with reality. but there are definitely practical reasons why i’m interested in all this too. so we shall see. as i try to do with all matters, i put all this in the universe’s hands, and wait to see what happens next…

i want what she has (or something like it)

this woman is my role model and her lifestyle is the one to which i aspire. yes, i want to raise veggies and chickens and bees and whatever in the middle of a big city (new orleans, perhaps? but even kc would be okay…) and write and read and bring other people along with me.

OBSESSIVES: Urban Farmer – on CHOW.com from CHOW.com on Vimeo.

life alongside the trail

today at work i rode up to the tunnel and walked over to the diana bend conservation area. here are a few of the shots i took.

i’ve decided that a goal of mine for this fall (should i still be working at trailside) will be to ride the katy trail from columbia to rocheport and back and live to tell about it. i think it’s no more than 20 miles round trip, so it seems doable, especially since we have customers who regularly ride from sedalia to rocheport and beyond. so we’ll see.

when you find a fork in the road, take it

today i understand clearly, perhaps for the first time, that i will likely never again hold the type of job that is coveted by most job-seekers: the full-time position with medical benefits, paid vacay, paid sick days, and all those other little perks that come along with being a wage slave. it just isn’t going to happen for me. part of that is simply a function of the current economic climate. there are people in my town with masters and doctoral degrees competing with one another for retail and service-oriented jobs. (my degrees are in art and religious studies; seriously, other than teaching, what other job would i qualify for but retail?) to even get an interview at the local university is considered to be a major coup (a coup that i managed to achieve once but didn’t make it past the interview). so it seems that i have no choice in the matter.

yet, because of the lifestyle i ultimately want to live, it is a choice i’m making, a choice to end the futility but also a choice to consciously live a life more aligned with my values. and yeah, it’s obviously also a choice born of necessity. if i still held my last position at kcpl, i would hold onto it indefinitely, especially knowing what i know now, but you know what they say about hindsight. still, as i planned for library school and my eventual career as a professional librarian, part of the plan was that i’d also do this urban farm woman thing. i’d work a few years as a full-time librarian in an academic library to save up for a little fixer-upper bungalow. once i got the homestead into decent shape, i’d slip into part-time work (in this fantasy, i’m not alone; i have a significant other) and raise veggies and chickens and knit and preserve food and teach other people about these things and live happily ever after. well, i think we’re gonna have to skip over the full-time librarian part. therefore it’s gonna take a little longer than planned for the fixer-upper bungalow, but that’s okay for now. i don’t necessarily need to own a place to start growing veggies, etc. i just need the will and a few seeds and some dirt and a windowsill, and i’m in business.

what i do need immediately is a place to keep myself warm, dry, and fed, and yesterday i may have gotten some good news toward that end. i don’t want to jinx it so i won’t go into details just yet. however, if it works out i should be able to afford to volunteer at the integral theory conference in late july, plus save up enough money for a fresh start in the fall. i’ll either go back to kc, or who knows, i could end up in the big easy. meanwhile, this summer i’ll work my ass off and will work towards getting a freelance writing/editing gig set up via elance.com.

for the first time in days, i see a light at the end of the tunnel. i just hope that light isn’t a train coming at me!

the next move

tomorrow i’m having a moving sale and i have quite mixed feelings about it all. most of the stuff i’m selling was in storage even in kc, so it’ll be nice to get rid of shit and not have to tote it around from place to place. but, it has been so hard for me to get used to the idea of moving this time because i don’t have a real job or any money to speak of, so here i am, forced to sell my stuff so i can make enough money hopefully to pay for a p.o. box and storage unit for one month. i don’t even know where i’ll be staying after the 28th. maybe i’ll change the subject of this whole blog to what it’s like to be a homeless 45-year-old woman of color. like there’s never been such a thing before…

anyway. this sale is tomorrow and then after that who knows. i try to maintain hope that i will find a job and will once again be able to pursue my dreams (although admittedly part of the dream involves my not having a ‘job’ per se). at the same time there are certainly no guarantees, especially in this economy. and i don’t like at all the direction this country is headed, especially if congress does what i think it’s gonna do this coming sunday. so, in my head i’ve toyed with personal alternatives to the status quo and one alternative that keeps rearing its ugly head is suicide. no, i don’t *really* think i could do it, but i still think i have the right to do it and i think it should be a viable alternative for someone who has given up hope. i won’t do it because i haven’t completely given up. the worst case scenario would be for me to do it, and succeed the day before something positive was meant to happen. besides, i’m too chicken to physically harm myself. however, the fact that i’m writing even this little bit about suicide does suggest that it has been heavily on my mind, that i think my circumstances warrant considering it. so i need to change my circumstances. and i need a little help from the universe in doing so. i’m trying to do what i can, what i know, to change things around, and to control those things i can control. but i need some help here. as i said in my post the other day, is there anyone out there?

is there anyone out there?

yeah i know i’ve been away for awhile. it seems that ever since i left kc, things have gone downhill. things haven’t turned out like i planned and nothing is as i thought it was. right now i’m working 20 hours a week at barnes & noble (although for the next couple of weeks my hours have been cut to 15 a week because of low sales), while continuing to look for employment, either something full-time to replace b&n or part-time as a supplement. there is nothing here in columbia, so i expanded the search to sedalia and back to kc, and that’s not working out so well either. or maybe it would work out better if i were paying attention to what i’m doing: going through my voicemail today, i discovered a message that had been left by an employer in kc wanting to schedule an interview. that voicemail was dated march 1. i called the number back, and of course, that ship has sailed.

and, i have to move out of my current place of residence by the end of the month. the lease is up and my roommate is getting a place by herself, which is just as well. her dog and my cat do not get along at all, to the point where the cat’s home base is my bedroom, with a baby gate at the door to keep them separated. the thing is that i don’t really have the money to get a new place here in town, nor the inclination to sign a lease, since i’m trying to leave, but i have nowhere to go because i have no secure job offers, or even leads really. so i have to find a room to rent, or someplace to stay, someplace that will allow miss sofia to come along. i had planned to give her away, but really, she has been one of the rare rays of sunshine for me over the last few months. i would like to bring her along wherever life happens to take me.

i really feel helpless and alone these days. i don’t feel as though there is anyone i can really talk to, because everyone is involved in their own lives, which i suppose is as it should be. but really, i don’t even feel as though i can talk to my supposed closest friends, which is why i’m typing this out to you, dear anonymous reader. i thought my roommate was one of my best friends, and maybe in our own way we are still close, but she doesn’t have time for me. i’m not a past or potential piece of ass for her. if we do spend time together, i’m either invited along with her other friends, or she invites them along, or she asks me to do something with her and then doesn’t tell me she changed her mind because she found someone better to do. another person i thought was one of my best friends, i haven’t heard from him in months. he never forgets a date, but this year did not even call to wish me a happy birthday, so i guess that ship has also sailed. another close friend, well, there was some sort of farmville snafu on facebook, and she basically dropped me as a fb friend with no warning because i joined some anti-farmville group, as a joke. after being friends more than 20 years, it seems she took her relationship with her fellow gamers more seriously than our friendship. i don’t know. i don’t think i’m a clingy, needy person, and most of the time i keep things to myself, but i’m feeling let down right now. i just need someone i can really sit down and pour my heart out to, without them being on a schedule, without them being paid to listen to me (because i don’t have the money to pay regardless), without judgment or even telling me what they think i should do, but just listen. but that is a luxury i apparently don’t have these days.

so, things will get done eventually. i’ll find another library job that i actually care about in a place i care about and am cared about and it’ll all be fine. but, in the meantime, i have slept like 3 hours in the last two days and i have to get up in 2-1/2 hours to go back to that b&n hellhole (who would have ever thought i would hate working in a bookstore?!). my mind is racing; i can’t even form coherent sentences in my thoughts (which is one reason i’m writing this out, to help with that). i can’t pray and even if i could, i wouldn’t know what to ask for. so hopefully one of you out there reading this (if there is anyone), you can pray for me, pray that whatever i need will be provided for me. funny, because my needs have always been provided for and probably will continue to be taken care of. but right now, i’m not sure how that’s gonna happen.

a compulsive listmaker’s dream come true

via a series of click-throughs on various websites, i became aware of mighty girl’s mighty life list, which is her listing of 100 things she wants to accomplish before the end of her life. as i am moving to columbia at the end of this month (more on that in another post, i’m sure) and turning over a new leaf, i think this is the perfect time for me to compile my own version of a bucket list for all the world (or at least my corner of it) to see. i don’t have quite 100 items here, but i’m sure it will be added to over time. some things are goals i want to accomplish, some are habits i want to cultivate, and some are qualities i want to see in myself. in no particular order:

1. get serious about blogging
2. learn to build a website from scratch
3. earn m.a. in library and information science from the university of missouri
4. master microsoft office suite, especially word and excel
5. learn adobe photoshop
6. take usda graduate school basic and applied indexing classes
7. take usda graduate school proofreading class
8. earn m.a. in either integral theory or consciousness and transformative studies through jfku (depending on what sort of work i do after library school/where i end up living; integral theory is an online program, while consciousness studies is f2f)
9. become a shaman’s apprentice
10. become more knowledgeable about carl jung, dreamwork, applied mythology
11. become involved with a gnostic community, either online or face-to-face
12. buy a small house with a great little backyard
13. take part in/start (?) an integral salon, similar to this one
14. grow most of my own veggies
15. become much more knowledgeable about permaculture and its uses in an urban setting, and apply that knowledge
16. grow a small orchard in my backyard
17. raise chickens for eggs and meat
18. learn to swim
19. take a belly dancing class
20. knit a sweater that i’m not embarassed to wear in public
21. cook dinner from scratch most evenings
22. make my own wine using fruit from my backyard orchard
23. sky dive
24. make love in a cemetery
25. visit new orleans at least once a year (if i don’t end up living there), either for mardi gras or jazzfest
26. have my home featured in a tour on apartment therapy
27. do long term volunteer work in south africa
28. vacation in amsterdam
29. have a book of my poetry published
30. have an ayahuasca experience
31. write a book on true freedom
32. take a cross-country roadtrip
33. visit turkey, including instanbul (of course) and rumi’s birthplace
34. own a viking professional range
35. begin and continue a regular yoga practice
36. get a hood piercing
37. get a mermaid tattoo
38. attend burning man at least once
39. attend sxsw
40. submit a paper to the biennial integral theory conference (possibly on integral libraries, or maybe integral applications in the organization of information???) in 2012
41. learn to change my own oil
42. visit the grand canyon
43. do a firewalk
44. make a quilt
45. learn to throw pottery
46. be a volunteer at each integral theory conference from here on out
47. visit the chapel of sacred mirrors
48. earn the majority of my income through writing and doing freelance work
49. strip and refinish my green vanity
50. give 10% of my income to charity
51. save 20% of my income
52. compost religiously
52. read sex, ecology, spirituality in its entirety
53. become a reiki master (currently at level one)
54. get a professional massage at least twice a month
55. meet derrick jensen
56. remember to love on a moment by moment basis
57. host a thanksgiving dinner
58. visit new zealand – pictures i’ve seen of new zealand’s rain forest have me convinced that it is the most beautiful place on earth
59. see erykah badu perform live
60. learn to lucid dream
61. join the peace corps when i’m in my 60s
62. grow an avocado tree from a pit
63. become a confident public speaker
64. take part in nablopomo annually
65. share my life with someone who is available emotionally, physically, and spiritually to love me
66. learn not to take life so personally

this is enough for now; there will be more… 🙂