Last Update Performed: 12 August 2005

Time: 11:00 a.m. EDT
Date: 12 August 2005
Reading: Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
Hearing: Celtic Traditions: Memorable Tales (Compliation)
Inspiration: That I'm still Inspired

Entry: Reiteration

For the record, this journal is about my personal growth. I'm feeling that as needing some reiteration with events that have transpired in the last few weeks. From this point on, it's entirely interior--others will enter into it only when they have given great advice or positive energy to fuel that growth. I am a work in progress--this is the roadmap.

Kelly has been such an inspiration to me in the past few weeks. Not only is she doing some serious growing herself, but she still has immense ammounts of energy left to send on to me. I feel I'm reciprocating, but most times I'm simply in awe of her. She has the knowledge of an old soul in many areas of her spirit. I am blessed that she has chosen to bestow this knowledge on me, share her journey and her own roadmap with me. I don't think I realized how much I missed her presence, her light, after her "disappearance" after her marriage and relocation to VA. Selfishly, I'm very glad she's returned, as she is one of few (precious few) actual friends I have here. I will also qualify that with: one of few actual friends I have, period. How easily we've reconnected after a year apart is astonishing. Picked up right where we left off. Part of that is the need she has for a confidant, part of it is my need to help her as much as I can. She re-affirms my confidence in myself as a friend, punctuates that I can be a good friend and that I am a good person. I needed that!

There are so many of my friends that I use as examples of what is possible for myself in this life. Those who are doing and have done a lot of work on themselves, both spiritually and physically, inspire me. It's not that I want to be just like them; I got over that some time ago. But, as in my relationship with Eric, I realize that there are much more difficult obsticals in life that have been successfully overcome where the person who came out the other side is still in tact. That last fact is very important to me since for a long time I did not want anything to do with myself, my authentic self. I have to chuckle at that a bit, because it sounds as though I know what I'm talking about. I have no idea who my "authentic self" is any longer. People who have known me for a long time believe they know the person I'm trying to reclaim. I don't see how that is possible since I'd been trying to be someone else a good five years before I even met them. There may be aspects of my personality that shine through all of that--I think that is true. There are aspects of myself that I like, that I am confortable keeping and expanding upon. I hope those are the bits these folks see. If not, I will not change them or defend them.

After everything I've done, all the lies, all the misrepresentations, selfish (in a bad way) motives, and even malicious conniving, I don't have any regrets. The missteps I've made on my path (MY PATH!) are my lessons to learn. As with anything, the repricussions of karma can come far later in life. I feel I've dealt with some repricussions already, and learned from them. The misstep is understood and not taken again. I don't see how anything can be predicted, so I simply walk my path as best I can, trying to end each day a better person than I was that morning. A long process that, one that requires patience and faith, faith that the baby-steps will pay off. I have faith in my efforts.

In other news, the wedding is going to happen. Not that there was any doubt, but the invitations have been sent out, and people are sending replies affirming their attendance. I'm excited! Only 90 days remain! It's going to be fun, beautiful, spitirual. Everything is coming together slowly. All the meetings, planning, coordinating, and even the stress are paying off. This is truly a celebration of love, the love of two people who have found each other in this world of love and obsticals. We are truly matched, anam cara, soul mates. This depth of connection to another soul has never existed to me in this memory. There have been moments that have come close, allignments of souls and planets and truly prefect moments where I have understood someone so well. But they were just that, moments. However brief, I cherish those connections, I honor them. Those are the people who have been invited to share in this celebration of love. Those are the people will honor at this feast. I hope to see you all there, in the candle light, though my tears of joy.


Time: 2:54 p.m. EDT
Date: 23 June 2005
Reading: Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
Hearing: Vasen, Kate Bush
Inspiration: Events of the last few days

Entry: Ghosts

Amazing what planning a wedding will do. It's as if there has been a call placed on the psychic plane and I am now the recipient of visits from resurrected ghosts. Some of them are pleasant, faces familiar to me despite months without contact. Others I've forgotten the language of, they are awkward to speak with because of a strange spiritual learning curve. Still others return like the undead, zombies with no other desire than to eat my very living flesh. These zombies are familiar too, I just thought that I'd shoved them very deep in the closet and buried them in the trappings of my quite happy life.

Some examples: I had put off calling my best friend and soul sister, the very obvious choice for maid of honor, until just last week. She is always busy, always. It's hard to even get her to write back a quick e-mail on a regular basis, let alone the tomes it takes for us to reconnect after months of not speaking, being present with the other. In the months since we've last spoken, a lot has progressed with me, but very little with her. Our hour long conversation consisted of my updates on graduation, job searching, and doing all the details of planning the wedding. Her end of the conversation included updates on her partner's book, the dogs, the house, and how much she hates her job. We could have had the exact conversation last summer when I visited had we not been preoccupied with the passing of ET's father two short weeks beforehand. We did have the same conversation the month before that visit.

On one level I believe this is karma for all of the years that I put my friends through my changeless time, my wallowing stagnant time, my absolutely lost in the depths of depression time just after graduating high school. I think I lost a lot of friends at that time, and the ones that stuck through it really put up with some monotonous, boring, whiny Jenn. What did Risa tell me during that time: change it! Only you can create the life you want to have. This is her way of saying, "put up or shut up." I wanted to recycle the advice, partially because I want her to be happy, satisfied with her life and work, and partially because I'm ready to get back to participating in her spiritual life again, rather than the mundane. That is entirely selfish, I know. How can I say that after knowing how patient and generous she was with me (for the time I was able to keep her) during my own major rut? I won't abandon her, but perhaps this is making me see why she also kept me at arms length for a long portion of that time in my life-because she just got sick of hearing me complain.

Example two: That old demon low self-esteem returns with a vengeance. I don't completely understand it, seeing as this year saw me accomplish some major life goals. I graduated with honors. I had my father saying he was proud of me with tears of sincerity in his eyes. I impressed friends and mentors in the academic world, was awarded honors for my mind and the application of it. But that pipeline is closed now…what avenue is there for me here in the real world for that sort of application? Nothing right away. So the glow wears off, reality sets in, and I'm a regular Joe-jobless, unmotivated, indebted.

This is familiar. This is exactly how I felt after high school. There are some different realities now, sure, better options, better digs. But I'm still a fat, uncertain escape artist who'd rather read a book than socialize, who'd rather listen to music than make it, and who's depressed enough about that to choose gorgeing on dessert before taking herself out for a greatly needed run. It gets worse each day, each day closer to the wedding where my dress will be made in a larger size than I wish to share and the photos of the happy event will bring tears to my eyes.

Example three: Adam. I sent an e-mail out requesting current physical/permanent addresses for those friends I knew had moved, or whom I hadn't spoken to for some time. Adam wrote back surprisingly quick, considering e-mailing him is so hit or miss in the first place. This e-mail, containing the trigger word "wedding," perked his ears enough for reply. Nice reply, something that is again hit or miss with him. Whenever he's nice, sweet even, I start thinking. Thinking about Adam is bad.

There is no danger. I am secure in my relationship with ET, certain without doubt that he is my match, and that I adore him. Adam drops the barometer, jettisons me back into a time when I was raging with hormones and still unconquered (*). He reminds me of innocence, freedom, risk, hope, reminds me that those these things were once harbored in me. Youth. First love. That electricity between two people star-crossed. Being friends just isn't the same; it seems tarnished in comparison.

I felt this in the summer of 2003, the last time I saw him in the flesh. I knew I did not love him, at least not Adam in 2003. I still loved Adam of 1994, deeply, painfully. The loss of that time is a haunting gothic ache. The 2003 Jenn knew that we had both changed, grown into better people. We were capable of being friends, which was something I didn't know I could do-I thought that he would always be "the one that got away." He didn't get away. He still graces my life, simply in a different capacity. I am blessed that things didn't get messed up somewhere along the way, especially with all the spanners I threw at him. The ghosts return though, every time.

Other ghosts are smaller, but their effect on me violent and devastating. Anything having to do with finances can sour my mood quicker than old loves or the numbers on the scale. I know it is a perennial problem with everyone planning any significant ventures such as a wedding, buying a home, graduating from university, searching for a career building job. For me, it tends to be the proverbial straw when everything above is considered. If I'm having an "I feel fat" day and the issue of money comes up, that's it. Teary mess.

Long entry. Just thought I would keep everyone up to date on the interior. Feel free to turn the station…

Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
Date: 21 June 2005
Reading: Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler, current Ikea catelogue
Hearing: iTunes (party shuffle)= Oingo Boingo, Tori Amos, Sanna Kurki-Sunio, Coldplay,
Hege Rimstead, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Madonna, Vasen
Inspiration: Slight frustration

Entry: The debacle of creating one's own wedding invitations...

This is my life. For the last two days I've been experementing with mock-ups for our wedding invitations with varying success. Last night I completed two decent samples for ET's approval. There are good and bad things about both samples, but I wanted to hear what he liked too, since it's OUR wedding. These invitations have to represent us, represent the mood and feel of our wedding ceremony (which is casual and rather informal). But this has been more difficult that I had expected, even having said that, and it makes me frustrated to think about what strange contortions my creative muscles will be doing for the invitations for the formal medieval-themed reception. I have some ideas, some period-esque fonts and design ideas. But having them turn out as I envision them is going to be the difficult bit. If I were extremely rich, I would have hand-wrought calligraphy on illuminated parchment scrolls inviting guests to the reception. Alas, no money, no wealthy benefactor (despite my attempts to scrape one up), and hence the "do-it-yourself" invitations. They don't look bad, they don't even look cheap, really.

I'm pretty happy with the photographs we had taken in March by a good photographer friend. We found our location, The Forest Theater on the UNC-CH campus, by chance. And even though it was spring, there were still plenty of leaves remaining on the floor of the ampitheater, lending an autumnal setting for our "sitting" and keeping with our fall wedding. We had her digitally tone the photos in sepia, and the photos turned out looking quite rustic when the backdrop of the rough-hewn stone walls and old weathered wooden doors with rusting hardware. Though some of our poses are reminiscent of Grant Wood's "American Gothic," and the fact that I was suffering from a headcold, there are still plenty of shots that will work for the invitations. The difficulty comes in the layout, and how one streamlines a process for mass producing it consistently and accurately. All of this will be good to know for future cardmaking endeavors--this is something I've considered doing as a small business.

It is time consuming at worst, but considering that I have nothing much else to do at this time, I'm not really complaining about that. I have very nearly finished my resume, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I had some help from a woman in the Career Services Center at UNCG, and through a series of e-mails and telephone meetings, we've honed the resume to fit the type of career building jobs I'm looking for--those in publishing at the entry-level, i.e. copyediting, proofreading, or contentediting. This iteration of the job will only be a short time, the two years I've alotted myself as "time off" for the wedding and working before entering into graduate studies in English/Medieval Studies. Why not try to get a job in a field I'm very intersted in, something that deals with literature and approaching it from an entirely different angle than point of sale retail?

Time: 1:30 p.m. EDT
Date: 15 June 2005
Reading: Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
Hearing: Coldplay, Hege Rimstead, Stevie Wonder (I love my iPod!)
Inspiration: Time on my hands, and this languishing blog

Entry: Updates Galore!

Some of this entry will be excerpts of posts to other of my blogs, as notated.

Firstly, I am graduated! (Taken from the Friendster blog)

I am an official graduate holding a Bachelor's degree in English Literature. My commencement took place on Friday the 13th, but despite the superstitious date, everything went incredibly well. My parents flew out for the proceedings, and it was a full weekend of celebration, emotion, and gluttony!

The general commencement was rather uneventful. I don't think I've ever been in a place where there were so many people on their cell-phones at one time, nor have I ever been in a more poorly behaved audience (heckling, persistent talking on the phone and over speakers, even booing!). Granted, the featured speaker, Muriel "Micky" Siebert was not very animated and I too nearly nodded off during her rambling resume of a speech, but the running commentary provided by the persons directly behind me was unnecessary, if not amusing. The one moment during the ceremony that appalled me was the Director of the Board of Governor's blatant requests for "new Alumnus funding." I've just finished racking up nearly $20,000 worth of debt for my three year education, and they are asking me for more money? Next they will want my first born child.

Happily, the second ceremony, put on by the English Department, was much more personalized and informal. All student honors were recognized, diploma covers were given out (diplomas always come later), and I and some of my peers were able to speak to our fellow English Majors, professors and families. They also had the opportunity to meet and greet each other at a light reception after the ceremony. For me, this was the highlight of the day. It was wonderful for me to hear my professors tell my family about my studies so that it kept me from sounding like I was bragging. Compliments are always good, especially when they are true, but even more especially when they fall on the ears of my father, who needs to hear them from someone else in order to believe they are true. He was very emotional this weekend, very proud, he said. I'm the first in the family to graduate from university, the first one to have the ambition to continue academically. He stopped just short of a business degree, and never had the urge to go back.

I have a new creative partner for writing music, and we are sharing our work here. We currently have four songs in progress, and plan to have a lot more by the end of the summer. I think we are looking to have enough material to perform during the fall months at local venues in Durham and Chapel Hill. I haven't performed for about three years, but I know I will be more comfortable with another person as I enter back into the world of music performance.

Wedding planning has been going full force. My other project this week and next is creating (manufacturing really) the ceremony announcements and invitations. The reception is another matter altogether, and those are second on the agenda. I decided to create my own invitations not only for the more obvious reason of saving some money (ET and I are financing this thing ourselves, with very little outside contribution, which means budget constraints), I also wanted them to be personal, handcrafted, and more in line with the overall tone of our ideas for the ceremony and our relationship. We think they will be just right. They are time consuming, but I have nothing but time right now!

Otherwise, I've been spending my free time enjoying not having any commitments outside of social engagements and errands and reading good books. I have been working on my resume and preparing it for submission to local publishers for positions at the entry level. I know that I will need to get a job soon, so the pressure is on for that. I'm actually excited to work in my field, and hope to obtain a position in the next month. If not, I will have to submit my will to retail again. This time I will not work in media retail, but rather wine. I love wine, and would love to have to opportunity to lear more about it in an environment surrounded with others who have a passion for it. Otherwise, it's back to B&N until I can get a copyeditor position...anywhere!

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