Reality vs. Intent

posted in: almost famous | 1

Hands down, the best part about the internet is that it never lets little things like reality get it down.  I applaud this.  I mean, Hipster Mormon Mommy Bloggers have managed to become an actual Thing.  I’m sure they want to drown the occasional spouse or child just like the rest of us but you would never even have the vaguest hint that a thought like that would ever cross their easy breezy cover girl brains if you went by their blogs alone.

Your Intention.

I like that the internet gives us space to be as powerful!!!1111!!!! or as perfect or as freaky as we want to be.  We can vicariously live through heart break, furrydom and magic gone wrong.  We can invent well dressed boyfriends and toddlers.

If you’re looking to add some pep to your magical step, blogging is the way to go.  You’re your own one person PR machine, you can paint yourself however you want with as many or as few imperfections/ failures/ boring daily life crap as you want showing.  Take pictures of yourself wearing a silk scarf and red lipstick or of your perfect weeknight French dinner or your weekend mini break to obscure places or you in your yoga gear, whatever person you want to be.  The more you talk the talk and start to walk the walk, the more reality will actually shape itself to your ether, for good or bad.  Ask any serious occultist.  There are still lots of people in my local occultist community who think I’m a twit who only knew magic through her ex-husband and only cares about her next Juicy Couture bag even though I’m the one published and I’m, like, totally into Kate Spade now (and shapes young minds daily for a living but whatever right?).

I think most of us who have blogged for any long length of time can tell you that there’s always a bit of a fan dance between who you actually are (likely a little boring, watching television in threadbare pajamas and eating Salted Caramel Gelato out of the container with your face) and who you want people to think you are (interesting!  knowledgable!  pretty!).

Your reality. (For more Pinterest Schadenfreude satisfaction: http://www.pinterestfail.com)

When I was a  younger blogger, I  wanted to be perceived by the internet, people I wanted to impress, exes and people I hated (the real reason most of us blog/ facebook/ tweet/twat/ whatever) as a suburban Jersey alterna/punk rock version of Blair Waldorf (we didn’t have Rich Kids of Instagram yet but we sure had the book version of GossipGirl).

Well.  It turns out if someone reads your writing for long enough , they believe you’re like that 24/7, all day every day.  I wasn’t even writing about my spiritual/magical practice during the earlier incarnations of my blogs yet (though I was seriously wrestling that tiger constantly and being ridden like a show pony by said tiger) but people who didn’t know me personally in real life but ran in adjacent circles thought I was a spoiled, shallow, vain brat who had never dealt with pain or loss like ever even though I wrote about pain, loss, and anxiety all the time.  All they heard was blahblahblah Moet/Coach bag/Cosmos* at X Swanky Bar/Dinner at Y Expensive Restaurant, omg I wore X hot outfit and Z person thought I looked sexxxy. 

Because, if  you have issues with those kinds of things, it becomes this crazy hate-dance of the reader going, Ugh, she thinks she’s so great!  She’s not great!  And the writing going, Please, please, I need you to think my life is great because I’m really not sure if it is!  I desperately wanted to give the impression of being able to roll, being popular, edgy and desired because I desperately wanted to be those things.  And I thought, if I pretended long enough, it would become true.

And it did.  Sort of.  Except eventually, it felt like a mask that I had glued to my face that I couldn’t get off and I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to see all the blotches and sticky glue marks on my actual face underneath.  I was deeply in debt trying to live this life that I thought I could manage financially, burnt out from the constant drinking/smoking/clubbing and not at all in touch with my deeper needs.

When I went through my divorce, I realized I didn’t want to be a pretend person anymore.  I wanted to be real.  And I started figuring out what that meant, and I started transitioning into Motherhood.

But there’s been something about this year in particular.  Maybe it’s feeling pretty confident that I’ll be able to stay married for more than a year this time (three months to go for that to be), realizing that getting my ass to a lot of my old haunts will be rare indeed, feeling pretty secure about my career as a nanny/writer/crafter, thinking about where I’m going and how I’m going to get there and now being deep enough into my thirties to really take stock of what I accomplished in my twenties.

At the same time, deep enough into my thirties to worry about being a standard middle aged cliche, concern about the lack of fun in my life and my ability to bring it back, fretting about having peaked already and gut churning anxiety about my ability to not get myself back into massive financial debt again from over reaching (again).

But still, any blogger who blogs publicly and tells you that they don’t care what you think is lying.  If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t blog/social media.  It’s a natural human thing to want to be envied/admired.  I know I do.  I would love for you to think that all my food comes straight from a farm, I spin all day outside in a field, throw/attend killer parties every weekend, I’m always happy with my body and thought process, I’m fiscally responsible, have deep and meaningful relationships with everyone in my life  and I get paid lots of money for all the delightful thoughts that I’m constantly thinking.

But there’s a difference between admiration and perfection.  My life isn’t perfect.  Most bloggers feel they shouldn’t have to say that, that it’s taken as a given.  But it’s not.  We build up these images of people in our heads.

My hair is still frizzy and ill-kempt on an average day.  I don’t wear make up unless I’m going somewhere.  I gained 5 pounds back from the 25 I lost.  My elder cat Max has decided it would be awesome to poop on the new carpet in little drips and drabs because he feels being twelve means he’s earned that right, my house is a mess, I magically cleansed my home and gave offerings for the first time in months a week ago and nothing else has been done since, I’m having trouble finding enough time to shower, my bras aren’t fitting right and I haven’t cooked anything grand in a long while.  Sometimes I don’t know what to write.  Sometimes, I think I suck at magic.  Sometimes I think I suck at life.  Sometimes I don’t know why I’m trying so hard, why I can’t just be “normal” and go to circle/grove, light some candles, go to work, come home and just . . .stop.

But I can’t.   My Muse won’t allow it and I don’t have the guts to just kill Her.  And I’m a tinker, I always have to be touching things and changing things.
Things I’m working on:

* 3.75 years from paying off my car

* 3 months from paying off my consolidated credit card mess

* 10 months from paying off my unconsolidated credit cards

* Not using my new Saks card . . .they reissued me a shiny new one with a shiny new limit that would buy me three pairs of Manolo Blahniks.  Jow wouldn’t let me lick it.

Me: Please!

Him (takes it as I’ve asked him to do with all my cards): No.  You’re not bonding with it.

Me: Can I send it love letters?

Him: Yes.  But the language of The Credit Card People is confusing and hard to translate back into English.  A lot of your Card’s responses may sound the same.  But they’re not the same, it’s just a very nuanced language that I can’t translate well.  It might always sound like,  “I’m so glad you’re living within your means!” “Budgeting is hard but worth it!” “A credit limit is not a natural extension of your salary but you knew that already!” but there are nuances to it that don’t translate.

* Studiously avoiding writing the three short pieces I have been contracted to write for Llewellyn

* Carefully avoiding starting the next research book for the next short book I’m writing

* Watching Clueless and using it as movie-mancy for my life

* Archiving all my pictures from my well-spent youth

* Shipping orders as fast as I can

* Starting a new diet using the MyNetDiary app.  Apparently, I mostly eat too little with an occasional splurge that my body interprets as starving then needing to store for shortages.  I need to be more consistent now if I want to make progress.  I view it as constantly yelling at me about my protein, sodium and saturated fat intake.   My bff is doing it with me.  It promises me to be five pounds below my goal weight (new goal weight would put me at a size 10/12, so don’t panic about me starving.  I’m a 14ish right now) in 10 months which is enticing.  I think I’ve finally made enough life changes to sustain it.  It’s Weight Watchers-ish without all the stupid points and it’s much easier with a smartphone.  I just plug in/barcode scan what I’m eating and it does all the accounting for me.  It’s actually been really hard to eat more and drink more water.

* Working on my #HipsterSuburbanHomesteadProject.  I will start by attempting to make pickles. I’ve already received many concerned looks from shopkeepers when hearing about my plans, so *obviously* I’m meant to be doing this.#VayaConDiosBitches

(In case you would like to follow along and make questionable life decisions as well, I will be using this for my asparagus: http://putneyfarm.com/2013/04/09/putney-farm-in-print-and-pickled-asparagus/. Assorted pickled vegetables {I’m going to try tomatillos, oyster mushrooms, radishes and carrots. I have 0 empirical data on how this will taste} and cucumber pickles will come from here: http://primandprimal.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/pickle-time/ I never like following a recipe because I always think I know better even before I make an item so mine will be altered somewhat. )

* Obvi, that’s not enough to start with, so I’m going to freeform some booze infusion as well because *obviously* I am experienced enough to make this delicious as evidenced by never doing this before. Let’s call it . . .Lucrezia’s Lament. Ingredients: Absolut Vodka, fresh blueberries and basil with honey.

* Finally got model shots for my scarves, starting to look into artisan shops who can sell my wares.

 

How do you think people see you?  What are you pretending to be so that you may become it?  How do you deal with people’s previous perceptions of you that run on an old busted meme (and let’s get a little deeper than the standard I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYONE THINKS, shall we?)  What magic have you done (successfully or unsuccessfully) to get to where you were trying to be as a person?

________________________________

* Look.  Sex and the City was A Thing during that time if you were a person with materialistic aspirations, no matter what anyone says now.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  

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One Response

  1. This is so true!
    I used to use Twitter for that, back when I first got an account. I blog entirely about all the Awesome Stuff (modeling and writing-related stuff) that I was doing or that I had coming up, and didn’t talk about how crappy and awful my then-day-job was and… I got to leave the day-job and start modeling and writing full-time. 😀 Go me!

    Of course, fast-forward three and a bit years, and there’s still the occasional temp job in the works but… it seems to be working. 🙂

    As far as what I’m pretending to be, so that I can become it… A Writar (which, actually, is less “pretending” and more “slogging”, but whatever). More than that, though, I’m pretending to be a more leader-y leader as I take this Kink Leaders course on line and, even more-so, I’m pretending to be an ultra-radical (ahaha) locavore urban homesteader because, well, that’s kind of the goal.
    Meliad recently posted..M is for Motherwort – Pagan Blog Project 2013My Profile

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