Renewal Revisited: The Halfway Point.

What a breath of fresh air 2012 and Renewal has been! I feel like much of this year is becoming a reward for all the hard work that I’ve put in before in the preceding years that were painful, lonely and difficult. This year is not without a learning curve, it’s been really quite intensive but it is a world away from the previous years. The learning is entirely in a space of expansion and joy and getting to be a Giant. So where am I with my enquiry?

 

I set out to pursue recovery, rest and rejuvenation of my spirit. I set out to become reconnected to a powerful sense of myself moving through the world as a Giant. I’d meant to do this check in a couple of months ago, but I’m glad that I waited because the present update is significantly more meaningful.  It’s been that kind of year though, starting out well and it has just kept getting better.

 

I’m always amazed that every time I stand in the present casting my view backwards that I can scarcely recognise the Me that has come before. And yet, those steps and those experiences and feelings are all still familiar, they don’t feel like someone else at all… just that there is distance. Then is not now, time and again there is progression and moving forward.

 

When I last wrote, I described a particular concern that I’d been wrestling with, trying to put to rest fear and distress around feelings of being ‘too much’ and ‘too intense’ and ‘too scary’. I’d reached the understanding where I logically knew that I was none of those things, that instead I am an incredibly engaged and focused person, I am passionate about my life and the world around me, and that the weight of my full attention can be disconcerting. I knew this logically but not in m heart. I was also coming to terms with understanding and accepting that the experiences and reactions of others are sovereign to them and not only are they not my responsibility, but it was often unlikely to be appropriate for me to engage with them about it. My responsibility is to be myself, to be the best self I can be to the best of my ability. My responsibility is to live my life powerfully and passionately, to make a difference and leave my mark on the world and be marked in turn.

 

I have a heartfelt understanding of these things now, that transition has taken place and that space of healing is complete. I was in Victoria at the time when this happened, at a party and spending time with someone incredible enjoying the intimacy and connection available with them. Like a switch being flipped, once on and now off, understanding and acceptance crystallised and I was completely overwhelmed by a rush of emotion, because in that moment… it became utterly absurd to think of myself as being ‘too much’, ‘too scary’ or ‘too intense’. The moment was powerful and I’ll carry it forever, I think particularly given the unusual context for realisation.

 

I’m now practising being done with it, the healing is done and now I am simply being with that understanding and not unravelling it. The results and benefits were pretty quickly apparent though, as I move differently… I am more confident and expressive. I don’t feel any desire to lessen my own impact in a space, and when I say that I don’t mean that I’ve suddenly become a dominating and obnoxious person, simply that… where once I’d have tried to stand out less or worried about consequences of being myself I am now trusting and confident in my ability to navigate spaces with skill and finesse, I can trust in my ability to relate and communicate. I also trust that when I make mistakes, that I can act on that appropriately with kindness as well. I don’t feel small at all… I feel like a Giant again, stretching ever taller as I learn and imagine and grow.

 

I get to be the Art I’m creating. I get to make a difference and I can see the difference I make. I’m not a small impact person and I get to notice and appreciate that too. I get to own that as being part of my super powers in the world, part of the reason I’m moving through the world and not be apologetic or humble about it. I get to be ambitious and passionate about all the things that I still seek and imagine. I get to move in a space of abundance and share that openly, gently and with kindness and compassion.

 

I came back from my trip to Victoria in February feeling more myself than I had in years, which felt literally true – I didn’t feel like I’d made my way back to a happier time, but that I’d transcended my previous experiences of that and had created something new and more powerful still. I created the space for Renewal to happen in my last post, and when I went to Victoria that space came into being powerfully and it has continued to rock my world since.

 

For instance, I’d looked to move to Melbourne after I returned from there this time around, and I’d made firm plans to do so. A significant part of my reasoning was to seek a better relationship balance that involved more physicality, sensuality, sexuality and availability than I was able to access here in Perth. It wasn’t that my connections here were terrible; they were completely wonderful but not able to provide me with the balance and abundance that I was seeking. Then, just as I’d started putting dates into motion, I stumbled into a new connection, a new triad dynamic with a wonderful guy couple that I know, and which has been deeply rewarding in all of the ways I’d been seeking and imagining for so long. This is the first serious connection I’ve formed in a few years… it’s been a big deal for me and the experience has been rather magical. Even the hard, working-things-out bits have been so very rewarding. There has been an abundance of all the things that I’d been seeking, some I’d known about and others I hadn’t imagined. I’m enjoying renewal in my spaces of trust, in intimate relationships and sexual and sensual spaces and it’s a very welcome experience.

 

Where am I with less intangible things… I have quite a comprehensive and specific list of things I’m hoping will mark my passage through Renewal:

 

Professionally: 

  • Explore the qualifications I may be eligable to pursue as a member of the International Institute of Business Analysts. 

Nothing on this as yet, still on the list.

 

  • Continue working professionally as a Business Analyst and seek employment opportunities that align with this. 

I’m working as a BA! I’m getting some great experience and feel valued and appreciated in my role.

 

  • Consider working as a volunteer in an open source project as a junior Business Analyst as a means of gaining development and mentoring, while improving and testing skills and contributing to something I believe in. 

Still looking at volunteering for OTW and the AD&T team so that I can get some Agile training and have fun with an awesome bunch of people.

 

  • Remember that I’m studying this year and that particularly in second semester, this will be very intense and I need to make space for study to happen. 

 Job stuff seems to be edging ahead in priority lists at the moment, more on that later.

 

Academically: 

  • Complete the 5 remaining units to make up my degree. 

 

I’ll complete a total of 3 units this year and 2 next year, and spread it out a bit more than I’d originally planned on doing.

 

  • Aim for distinctions in the work I am doing, but remember (particularly with what promises to be a grueling second semester) that as long as I am passing, I am doing sufficiently well. 

My marks so far this year are fantastic, all at the higher end of Distinction or High Distinctions.

 

  • Read outside the course materials, I have several texts that I have purchased and which to explore in more detail. I’d like to actually do this in 2012, as it didn’t happen in 2011. 

A little. I want to do more on this.

 

  • Do a practise run at writing and submitting either a conference paper or a journal article that accepts undergraduate submissions. 

This is in the works!

 

  • If I can magically afford it, go to the Crossroads 2012 cultural studies conference in Paris in July. 

I won’t be able to afford this, but I will hope to attend this next year or some year soon.

 

  • Remember that I’m likely going to be working full time throughout the year and that I need to take this into account and make allowances for how study will happen. 

This is in practice, I’m going to let job stuff take the priority for the moment as that is what is feeling right, and the other related decisions and needs support this. More time to work out how to approach postgrad and where I’ll be located will be welcome too.

 

  • Explore options for post grad study, talk to institutions and their academics as well as friends. 

I’ve done a little of this, I’d like to do more, some of it is time dependent, and since I won’t finish till the end of next year I’ve got a little more time which I appreciate too.

 

Culture:

  • Go and see performances because I want to, and enjoy the opportunities I get to see something alone as much as when I get to attend in a group.  

So far, lots of enjoyment had. I went to the Dresden Dolls and Roxette concerts, saw Meow Meow at Fringe and then Onqotô and Parabelo and Lauren Childs: Dance! at the PIAF. I’ve also watched a couple of movies too 🙂

 

  • Blog about the performances I’ve gotten to see over the year regardless of how big or small they were. 

Umm… I haven’t managed this almost at all. I managed the two concerts, but none of the theatre so far. I’d like to think I’ll get to it, but I’m unlikely to back date and will hope that anything else I get to see that I’ll manage to blog about.

 

  • Read fiction that takes me to a happy place, fiction that enrichens my experience of the world. 

Some very happy fiction reading! Rereading ‘Evolution’s Darling’ which is a joy as it’s a favourite and one of the best depictions I’ve seen involving AI erotica. I’ve also been delighting in finishing off Tansy’s series, and am enjoying the hell out of ‘Diamond Eyes’ by A.A. Bell right now.

 

  • Read fiction that is fluffy and light, that I can appreciate when my brain is tired from studying and working. 

I’ve been delighting in the fluffy rereading I’ve been doing, lots of LKH and rereading Nalini Singh and Patricia Briggs.

 

  • Use my enjoyment of television as study breaks so that there is an opportunity just to stop for a set period of time. 

Enjoying my television watching too! Picks so far this year include ‘New Girl’, ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Scott & Bailey’ and ‘Saving Grace’ as well as old favourites that include ‘White Collar’, ‘Leverage’ and ‘Covert Affairs’.

 

  • Read 100 books this year for the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and do reviews of them at the very least using that platform. 

Gosh, I have no idea of this, and I should really do some retrospective tracking.

 

  • Publish at least half of the reviews for the books I read this year on my blogs. 

This is looking unlikely, but I shall keep attempting to fulfill on the spirit of it which is namely to blog more reviews. Especially in my Retroactive Fiction Review Series.

 

  • Participate in and promote the Australian Women Writers Challenge for 2012. I’ve committed to reading 6 books by Australian women writers and reviewing 3 of them here on this blog. 

Two down! One to go! Yay!

 

Online:

  • Read the Down Under Feminist Carnival and submit to it at least 6 times throughout the year. 

My submissions are on their way there, but I am well behind on reading… hoping the uni break will be an opportunity to catch up.

 

  • Continue utilising online applications to streamline my information consumption and sharing. 

Still in progress, phone has definitely helped a bunch of things and I’m still working out tweaks to online systems and so on.

 

  • Blog more frequently here and keep up my personal blog elsewhere. I need to keep in mind, particularly for this space, that it doesn’t have to be perfectly polished. I can trust myself to write decently and that everyone get’s it wrong occasionally. I can trust my ability to deal with anything like that as needed. 

I’ve been really good about this actually and I’m *feeling* really good about it. Yay!

 

  • Continue to use my online tools to nurture my relationships and connections as well as to form new ones. 

I’m still succeeding in that, but my way of using various communication mechanisms to feed my connections is well established by now. Others around me still struggle with it as a quality form of connection, and that requires more energy.

 

Personal/Other: 

  • Travel to see my interstate partners at least once and preferably twice or three times this year. 

Have managed once and would like to manage at least once more. Also hoping to get to Brisbane to see Babalon and family.

 

  • Celebrate my 15th anniversary with K’ in style. 

This is currently in rain check 😛

 

  • Keep my relationship network map up to date. 

This has been a delight this year, and I am amused at my implication in writing this item that it would *need* updating 😛

 

  • Do an artistic mindmap on my 2012 theme of Renewal

Not yet, but would still like to do this…

 

  • Be gentle on myself with all the emotional intensity and work of last year, allow the healing to take place.

I’ve been really good with this actually, lots of gentleness and lots of appreciating that then is not now. I am appreciating now for now and also as a reward for and the result of so much intense and concentrated effort in past years.

 

  • Practise asking for more and not feeling guilty or fearful that I am asking too much. 

This has been getting such a work out this year! I’m so much better at this, and I still struggle with it, but I’m really aware of the space now and while I haven’t conquered it, I’m engaging and processing and unraveling.

 

  • Continue to address health concerns with professionals as required, and find ways of building in exercise that doesn’t result in more pain and less coping/energy. 

Am actually in a lot less pain in the past couple of months, I’m in desperate need of a massage even considering this, but it’s not feeling urgent and I’m not struggling with walking and standing and have even managed a couple of long walks and intense standing/walking/doing days. So I’m not sure what’s behind it, so I’m not sure what’s improving it and so on, but I’m going with it as best I can. Less painkillers is *awesome* though.

 

  • Continue to consider and engage with the idea of food and eating patterns and also enjoy any cooking I wish to do but without making it a focal point of the year. 

Gently ticking over, nothing to really say about this just yet.

 

  • Play games, guilt free just because you want to and it will be pleasurable once a week. 

Time is as always a premium for me and while I’m getting to play, it’s not really in the space of games and… I’m not missing it, the play I’m doing is more rewarding for me as it involves time spent with people special to me.

 

  • Continue exploring my talent and commitment for Conversations and being a Conversationalist and whether I could possibly make a living from this at some stage. 

I am still thinking, gaining confidence but no idea how it ties into income yet. More thinking required…

 

  • Maintain integrity with myself as my own best friend, my own partner and beloved and consider holding another ‘Dear Self: I Do’ event. 

So far going really well, and am still thinking of holding another self commitment ceremony.

 

  • Go on adventures and be less concerned with being well behaved – have fun and let go a little, don’t focus so much on how I look/sound and how I might be judged. 

Dear gods I’ve been so amazingly awesome with this!!! I am so unbelievably delighted with how successful I’ve been in this space! I’ve been doing all these things, going on adventures, saying ‘yes’ to things, trying new things, and trusting myself more, also I’ve been far, far less well behaved and have let myself just have *fun* and be silly and be irresponsible at times. It’s been deeply rewarding.

 

  • Explore new relationship opportunities if they arise. 

Oh my, have they!  My new relationships are so worth the wait, I’m deliriously happy in this space and don’t expect that to change any time soon.

 

  • Travel to Brisbane and Sydney if I can magically afford it. 

Still hoping to do this but Sydney after friend J gets back there after his around the world trip.

 

  • Explore how I will move to Melbourne and taking on the challenge of (even more) independent living. This involves grappling with money as well as massive fear of changes. 

This is still in the works but is looking to be for 2013 and not for 2012, partly tied in with new relationship stuff.

 

  • Continue to send postcards and letters to friends, Loves and strangers. 

I’ve done a little of this but not as much as I’d like and I’d like to get back into the habit now that the post office is so close to where I’m working again.

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