From Adam to the Gods… I’ve walked side by side with all

I have been travelling a very long time – but my gait wasn’t always so laboured, my strength so forced. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve come to be here, but the story is sketchy, parts distinguished only by those who I  happened to be travelling and who helped or hindered me along the way. It’s not a love story, it’s not a parable, it’s an account from my extremely subjective point of view.

It is about how I wound up, walking through their Inferno. 

“Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge!” – Robert G. Ingersoll, The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. Iii

Every Eve has an Adam- not necessarily her first but her genesis into a new story. Adam didn’t want me at first. Story of every girl’s life, there was another. But I befriended him and drew him in and eventually he was mine. Or so I thought. You see, Adam had a few issues. It could have been his one-rib-less inadequacy but Adam would blow hot and cold. I became his everything and with that, my behaviour was dictated to me, our ever-lasting planned. I put up with it, I mean my experience with men was minimal, him being the only one on Earth and everything, so I figured this overbearing nature was normal. But I always wondered what lay beyond the garden… surely there was more to my life than a luxurious episode of Survivor.

I went for a walk, near the edge of garden. I hadn’t travelled so far before but what I saw amazed me. So many paths were available to me, that diverged and intertwined and separated again. Paths that were far from the nicely laid out walkways that I was used to. The path abruptly ended, leading me towards a large tree. It was so massive, I couldn’t see around it. The branches too high, I didn’t dare climb it.

The wind rustled and shook the branches. I watched a gloriously red, shiny apple drop down from the bough. It hit the grass with a gentle thud and rolled away, around the roots of the tree, until I could just see it on the other side. I’d never seen anything like it, it was destined for me. I had to tell him. I ran back to the gardens. Adam sat languidly, admiring his surrounds. His life had not been changed like mine. After much coaxing, I took him back to the tree and tried to show him where the fruit had fallen.

At first he insisted that he could not see it, but after my insistence he began to feign interest. That was when I told him that I wanted to walk around the tree – leave the path,  pick up the fruit and try it. Adam thought me made- how could I leave the comfort of my home for the unknown. I was ungrateful, I traitor. I assured him that it wasn’t like that, that I had to see for myself if there was a better life out there than in here. His hazel eyes were hurt, as he acquiesced to by desire for adventure. Then he suggested that he come with me to see too. I could tell he didn’t want to, that he saw it as an obligation. But that was not why I recoiled and took a step back. This was my apple, I had found it. It was my desire to see the world not his. How dare he think he could share what was so sacredly mine? I realised then that there was no space on my journey for a companion. That day I left the garden, I picked up the fruit but chose not to eat it. Carrying it proudly against my body. I felt naked, but never more alive.

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”

The sign made me chuckle as I walked passed it. It was so sensational. You cannot lose hope from entering the unknown. I was in fact invigorated, hopeful that I was about to learn everything to my hearts desire and live through experiences never before felt.  I revelled in my new found freedom for a while, enjoying my social isolation and surrounding myself with all things beautiful and wonderful.

One night I wandered beneath a full moon- the fragrance are jasmine drugged me and I felt powerful and more like a woman than ever before. As I walked amongst the blooms, I came across a woman picking a stem and smelling with such a radiant look of ecstasy. It was such an intimate act I looked away blushing. I couldn’t help looking back and my eyes met piercing dark brown ones. They looked amused, intense and curiosity. She was so strong, so confident and sure. I’d never seen another woman, a person, the likes of her before. Silently, she offered me her hand and we danced, and danced underneath the moonshine, in a field of jasmine and sharing curious glances.

Her name was Persephone, and she was my guide into the underworld. The sign I had dismissed marked the entrance into hell- into a world unknown, into a cosmos of adventure and mystery. She called me Artemis, even though I told her that was not my name. She said it didn’t matter,  that no one here was who they seemed, but who we wanted to be. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, just different. Artemis, I found out, meant that I was strong, that I couldn’t be touched without permission and that I embraced womanhood and power. I liked that, those were ideals that seemed wise to embrace. From a wanderer I became a warrior, championing crusades with Persephone guiding me all the way. She awakened my thoughts, my questions and drew out within me, my anger at the world, at my confinement and my desire to be free. We met fellow thought leaders, Socrates and Homer, Cicero and Ceasar. I felt welcomed, I belonged to something greater than myself. I had purpose.

Oh she was amazing- so wonderful that I showed her the apple I had been carrying from the beginning. She marvelled at it, as if it was a prize, with such cautious desire. I offered her a bite. She took it. And then she shared it with me. The taste was heavenly. I’d been transported, I ascended over 6 feet – out of body and out of mind.

For much time I stayed with Persephone. However the sense of adventure waned and I begun to feel like I had stayed too long. We made each other so unhappy. She couldn’t leave the limbo we had found ourselves in, and I didn’t know if I could dedicate my life to being stuck in an in-between. Actually I did know, and the answer was that I couldn’t. So I left.

“Curiosity is the lust of the mind” – Thomas Hobbes

I should admit that I had an indiscretion. As I said, purgatory was not for me. During an argument with Persephone, I ran away.

He introduced himself to me as Amun. Amun was strong and funny, full of life with many consorts. He thought himself king of his world and many women agreed. To me he was “the hidden one” who didn’t necessarily provide me answers to what I was seeking, but gave me more questions. He was a friend, and then he was more and he had the power to make me overlook my morals and explore a darkness that I had not thought about before. With a presence that could be described as lion-like, I felt bewitched within his harem. I was a fool for what he could show me, a fool to my body, to touches, to desire. I had joined the harem of Cleopatra and Helen.

But with my actions came with consequences. Persephone discovered that I had entered the second circle and her fury and mistrust came down upon me like a tornado. All the we attempted to mend our relationship, it never reclaimed that wonderful experience that was. My relationship with Amun was never meant to be anything more – we both recognised that. Eventually we became friends, until he felt that ascended to greater things than I. But he will always remain an important reminder of my flaws.

“Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

After leaving purgatory, for what I’d decided was the last time, I continued on my travels. The questions that Amun had point in my mind needed answers and for that to happen I had to explore my own darkness and my own ideas of sin.

And when you are open to that, Dionysus will find you. Oh he was everything, everything that was opposite to what I needed. He brought humour to my serious world, boldness to my inhibition. We feasted on selfishness and worldly pleasures. Our gluttonous acts sated my curiosity again and again. It was a wild party everyday with women and men coming together to in a common goal of self-servitude.  We ate until we could eat no more and then ordered seconds. Life was a buffet for our enjoyment and taking. My apple was less shiny but there were those who I wished for them to enjoy in my discovery. Apple pies, toffee apples, sorbet and appletinis – what a feast!

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” – Erich Fromm

I alternated often between the banquet and another new discovery of a treasure trove. Here Pluto entertained me. We lived lavish lives where those we met were for our entertainment. Even when I thought I was satisfied, it became amusing to make a mockery of those who accidently joined our parties.  It was all in jest – there was no guilt.  But the addiction of needing constant entertainment weighed on us and I found myself pushing further and further the limits that were hardly set in stone in the first place. Lust was mistaken for lust. Enemies were mistaken for friends. But in this whirlpool of false pleasure, it is easy to be mistaken and stray from the path.

Which is what happened. And I will never make that mistake again.

“Now pierced is her virgin zone;
She feels the foe within it.
She hears a broken amorous groan,
The panting lover’s fainting moan,
Just in the happy minute.”  – John Wilmot

I knew him as Hades, he was often spoken about with disdain and no good will. Hades was pleasant to me, not a friend but hardly an enemy either. One night after a banquet, he offered to transport me across the river Styx. In that moment I recognised Hades for what he was, the Devil, Lucifer.

In that rickety wooden boat he took every sinful desire I had been celebrating and used them against me. With greed, lust and gluttony and a certain new anger he took it all away from me- my ability to explore, my curiosity and my hope. There were so many bodies around but no one could or would hear my screams… all inebriated or  sated by their hedonistic lifestyles. When I was throne off the boat, I battled to rise. I dragged myself along the embankment, not quite sure of what to do next, what I was looking for or needed.

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” – Voltaire, The Age of Louis XIV

I fell. I was lost, and I had travelled so far from comfort and from what I knew. No one would believe me if I spoke on what had happened in the 5th circle. I was a heretic – how could a hedonist possibly be telling the truth. There were flames everywhere, licking at my body as kept falling through the darkened tomb.

I committed violent acts to myself, destroying all forms of my identity and relationships in the process.

I met Poseidon and he helped me up and travelled with me for a while. I told him my story and he made me promises about exploring the sea together. But like the change in tide, Poseidon wasn’t there to stay long – betrayal never stops hurting.

Apollo swoops in and out of my life but he is honest about where he is at and how he wants to explore and discover greatness on his own.

I’m not sure why I felt I needed to put down my journey… maybe its because I’ve travelled so far, the only way to turn is back. Maybe it’s because I’m not sure which pathway I’m supposed to take next. Or maybe it’s because it’s time to rest for a while. I’m tired…so tired…

I shall not fear no man but God, though I walk through the valley of death, I shed so many tears (if I should die before I wake), please God walk with me.

The Break: S01E01

My head is pounding, something awful.  I’m taking unladylike gulps of my wine which is being drained fast out of a mug I was given in high school.  A horrendous purple mug with some girl shaking her booty on it, telling me about “shopping up a storm”. My floor is littered, it looks like a gay pride float made its way through my room-pity the tissues are filled with snot and not with glitter.

45 more days. And even then, what comes after I don’t know. The ridiculously irritating optimist in me has already planned how I’m going to spend my time: more new friends, with family, my studies. Truthfully I plan to be drunk.

Perhaps thats the real reason I should have given him as to why I didn’t want to go to Eminem- because my half full (see the optimism) bottle of vodka will be entertainment enough come Saturday.

Aside from the anger and pain I’m feeling,  with a sudden sense of clarity I realise how awkward a situation I’m in. I know more or less who I am, and what I want. So what am I going to use this 45 days to do if not to find my already found self.

Well first things first,  I don’t want to spiral into clichéd depression. Been there,  done that. I’ve done drugs, whored myself around (when I wasn’t being violated) allowed my academics to slip and destory every good and solid relationship around me. To return to that life would be so inconvenient.

And whilst I’m perfectly aware that I’ve yet to give up my alcoholic tendencies,  for fuck sake I’ve been practically perfect in every other aspect of my life- allow me just one vice,  please! Besides I’m supposed to be up and about at work tomorrow,  pretending everything’s okay (colleagues don’t like the idea of waterworks in the workplace). To do that, I need sleep. To sleep I need drugs (which I just said I’m not about that life) or wine.

So far day 1 sucks, but hopefully its sucky like how Game of Thrones was… we only really started paying attention when Ned Stark died.

I want to sleep now. And not dream of him. Or an ex. Even though he, for now is an ex. For now.

I hope I believe my own mantra: “I always get what I want”.

Serenity. Courage. Wisdom.

Michelle without her Obama
Gemini without her Aries
Water without a bucket (although I prefer air with no fire to excite)

Once again…

Serenity. Courage. Wisdom.

The Break: S01E01

My head is pounding, something awful.  I’m taking unladylike gulps of my wine which is being drained fast out of a mug I was given in high school.  A horrendous purple mug with some girl shaking her booty on it, telling me about “shopping up a storm”. My floor is littered, it looks like a gay pride float made its way through my room-pity the tissues are filled with snot and not with glitter.

45 more days. And even then, what comes after I don’t know. The ridiculously irritating optimist in me has already planned how I’m going to spend my time: more new friends, with family, my studies. Truthfully I plan to be drunk.

Perhaps thats the real reason I should have given him as to why I didn’t want to go to Eminem- because my half full (see the optimism) bottle of vodka will be entertainment enough come Saturday.

Aside from the anger and pain I’m feeling,  with a sudden sense of clarity I realise how awkward a situation I’m in. I know more or less who I am, and what I want. So what am I going to use this 45 days to do if not to find my already found self.

Well first things first,  I don’t want to spiral into clichéd depression. Been there,  done that. I’ve done drugs, whored myself around (when I wasn’t being violated) allowed my academics to slip and destory every good and solid relationship around me. To return to that life would be so inconvenient.

And whilst I’m perfectly aware that I’ve yet to give up my alcoholic tendencies,  for fuck sake I’ve been practically perfect in every other aspect of my life- allow me just one vice,  please! Besides I’m supposed to be up and about at work tomorrow,  pretending everything’s okay (colleagues don’t like the idea of waterworks in the workplace). To do that, I need sleep. To sleep I need drugs (which I just said I’m not about that life) or wine.

So far day 1 sucks, but hopefully its sucky like how Game of Thrones was… we only really started paying attention when Ned Stark died.

I want to sleep now. And not dream of him. Or an ex. Even though he, for now is an ex. For now.

I hope I believe my own mantra: “I always get what I want”.

Serenity. Courage. Wisdom.

Michelle without her Obama
Gemini without her Aries
Water without a bucket (although I prefer air with no fire to excite)

Once again…

Serenity. Courage. Wisdom.

The world doesn’t have a problem with me; I have a problem with the world

If you’ve been following up on my blog, I’ve been struggling with work issues lately- trying to better myself and becoming continuously frustrated when things don’t work out. After a long discussion with my boyfriend this weekend, he helped me identify that I was grappling with two issues: my work and the environment.

My previous posts have addressed the former, so today the focus is on the latter. It is wrong to say that I hate the environment that I am working in—it really can be narrowed down to a few people who really just grate my nerves.

However, since I am all about positivity and introspection I’ve decided to look at the characteristics that I so despise and which continue to upset me and try and find similar instances where I am actually a reflection of the problem I have with other people.

“He is rude; he talks to me like a dog. All he is missing is a bell”

This is the first thought I had, and I struggle to see myself every talking to someone so disrespectfully. Have a treated someone as inferior to me? I struggle to remember. But I do know that there have been instances where I do have a superiority complex, where I do have so much pride that I am unapologetic about the way I treat people.

“He is so arrogant, he always thinks he knows best and that he is always in the right”

Hmmm, definitely starting to sound more familiar. I know that I have trouble apologising, admitting when I am in the wrong.

“He is so lazy; he doesn’t do any work and expects me to pick up the slack”

I can be very lazy, due to my procrastination.  I think back on all the times where I didn’t show up to class because I was apparently too tired, or didn’t give it my all in group assignments- what about those who I had made pick up my slack.

“He is so dismissive, he completely undermines me”

I have been dismissive of many of my relationships, particularly with the feelings of my parents in the past. I took them, their love and support for granted and I am still suffering the consequences and attempting to repair the damage.

“She is so distant; she removes herself from the situation and really doesn’t know what is going on out here”

I’m definitely staring at my reflection with this one. All too often I choose to remove myself from a complicated situation, choosing instead to live in a fantasy world where I can have a temporary, false happiness. Whether it was relationships or school or family, living in my head seemed a far more wonderful place to live than in reality.

“They talk behind peoples backs, having their own private conversations”

I am definitely guilty of this gossiping trait, and maybe I misconstrued it as loyalty. But really I got involved in conversations that really weren’t my business and ended up putting myself in awkward positions I should never have been in.

“He is insensitive and inconsiderate, he only cares about himself”

Hitting the nail on the head again, my selfishness is reflected. I didn’t care who I hurt or was affected by my actions as long as I was ‘happy’.

Now this doesn’t mean that I deserve to be treated badly- however I am not completely innocent of such behaviour either. If I want to change the way I view the world and have a problem with the world, I need to source the problems within me.

If I am unhappy with the world, I am unhappy with myself.

I start to think about what I want from these people who upset me so much, and it is basically the opposite of what was mentioned above. I think I am mostly upset because I see myself as having changed or in the process of changing- moving away from the behaviour that is now being acted upon me. Karma is a bitch I guess.

But at the same time I realise how difficult it is to truly change oneself- our habits are kind of like an addiction. Once we are fixed, it is so easy to slip and continue.

The world is not asking me to be perfect; therefore I shouldn’t expect it to be.

But the changes I make in myself, I need to take them seriously and not be surprised that if I do slip up, to myself having a problem with the world again.

I don’t like looking at my reflection in the mirror- there are too many things to criticise. Looking out a window is much easier as there is no reflection to point at, but other people who have their own problems with the world.

Step 8: I make a list of persons that I have harmed and become willing to make amends

When you are younger they tell you that your actions have the ability to hurt other people. However, when we grow older, and possibly more selfish, this saying changes to the idea that we are only hurting ourselves in the long run. This hits closer to home because by nature, being selfish beings, and our actions driven by our own agendas, we realise that we our own destructive force and since our nature primes us to selfishly succeed, we avoid failure and avoid hurting ourselves.

Relationships are flimsy things- trust is hard to earn and is easily lost. There is a spider web that supports you, capable of holding hundreds of times its mass yet can easily be demolished with the sweep of a hand. Relationships are the strands of a web, intertwining you and whether you like it or not, supporting you from falling. It is easy to create new strands, but all that is left is multiple strands which are weak due to the lack of time spent working on the support system.

So when I do decide to venture out, possibly because there is something quite juicy dangling just out of my reach, and without checking that the support structures are there, I fall. I can be angry and resentfully- “you were supposed to catch me”- but it’s easy to forget that everyone else is busy nurturing and cultivating their own webs too.

imagesCAPBCRTQTo my family and my friends, I am sorry for not being as strong as I thought I could be… but thank you for still being there and holding me together.

Step 7: I humbly ask for help to remove my shortcomings

The problem with addiction is that it attacks and eats away at your own personal darkness, making you dependent on that feeling that it’s okay to be in the state you are in. It is difficult to ask for help, as you feel alone and unworthy of being aided.

It’s too easy to slip up, evil only goes after the weak and if there is weakness in your soul, you become a target. Anything from temptation to social pressures can bring about the darkness, and strangely enough the phrase: No man is an island, rings true. The whole idea of being forever alone is implausible as we are social creatures and life is a social game. No matter how you look at it, you need people in your life, whether to get ahead or to keep yourself afloat, we need to be connected with each other.

That is why I feel alive when I’m surrounded by those who I’m close to, those who I love. And it’s easy to lose hope and feel useless when I am alone. I have a genuine fear of being dependent on someone, it is too easy to transfer from one addiction to another- and it is possible to fear being addicted to someone. Because what happens when that person inevitable leaves? You will be left alone.

It shows how little trust I have in people, but can you blame me? If I see myself as flawed, there is 100% chance that the rest of humanity are just as flawed as I am. I guess that is something I need to rediscover- faith in humanity and realizing that humans aren’t perfect and we do fuck up occasionally… okay a lot.

I am so grateful to those who have stuck by me when times have gotten tough- they have been invaluable to my psyche and my life and they are in my prayers constantly. Its tit for tat- they’re kindness and support of me will allow me to serve them in turn.

Now I need to learn how to open up more, allow myself to open up to new joys and experiences and with that- new pain and to grow through that pain and suffering and now allow myself to be broken by it.

Step 5: I admit to the exact nature of my wrongs

My only limitation is myself, I am my own obstacle. It is so morbidly intriguing to realize that when it is so late a stage, but I guess that I am stubborn- hard headed in all the wrong ways. So yes, I realized my weaknesses through the trouble I have caused and the people that I have hurt.

It is hard to see myself clearly, and I’m sure it is the same for many people. My own perception of myself is high, to the point where vanity clouds my judgment and actions, and at times so low that you would scarcely recognize the person I believe myself to be. Whatever the perception of myself is, or the perception I put out there it really doesn’t matter as the constant view that society and your environment has of you dictates what you are, no matter how optimistic self-help books sell you dreams of otherwise.

For this rehabilitation, my family and friends are my support system. They are trustworthy and have guided me over the past few weeks, well. It has been a relief to have them in my life, and I thank the goddess everyday over how blessed I am. As I’ve said before, I am nervous at putting all my trust in these people, I am so used to getting things done by myself. But if I continue in the same pattern I have for most of my life, I will go crazy- or crazier than normal.