Something About Survival.

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New Year’s Day, I had just started to come back to life.  I had gone to a party in Hoboken over the weekend with a bunch of friends and was clothed in mesh and glitter and had a properly raucous time.  New Year’s Eve was spent with some close friends in our pajamas eating Japanese take out and snacks we had no business eating followed by All the Chocolate Things and washed down with cheap champagne, watching The VVitch and The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell.


New Year’s Day was very satisfyingly spent by waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed so I could organize my Riley Rose and Lush year end sale purchases, I reorganized my closet to let go of some things that weren’t serving me any longer and to make room for new glittery items I’ve procured for myself.  I cooked bone broth, chicken tikka masala for lunches for the week and chicken marsala with air fried potato croquettes for dinner that night.  I was coming back to center.


If you follow me on social media, you may know that this hasn’t been a great holiday season for me personally.  I’ve been extra cranky and bitchy and just ran out of fucks right after Thanksgiving.  I’m struggling post-book as a more public figure figuring out what I’m “allowed” to say and “not allowed” to say.  It was easier when I worked in careers where no one knew how to use the internet because they were toddlers or uninterested elder baby boomers.  I’ve been struggling with depression pretty hard lately because my coping mechanisms haven’t really worked lately.  I think a big part of this comes from Jow having one semester left in nursing school and then his board exams and then . . .we don’t know.  Darkness and dragons.  I don’t know what kind of schedule he’ll have, we need new-used cars, we don’t know how much money he’ll make past some very educated guesses, we need a new central air conditioning unit.


On my side, I’ve been working so hard to keep our little family afloat for the last five years and keep us in health care and 401K for the last four years that this could be a big identity shift for me.  I’m struggling to figure out what my now much nearer future will be for myself.  I’m struggling hard in a current career that demands a level of perfection that I thought myself capable of but have come to doubt on many levels.  I’m struggling with what will be important – time or money.  Time is your life, not money but oh lordess we’ve never had all that much money and I’m not sure if I’m ready to eventually give up very hard won security that has come from money.


I have plans.  I have ideas.  But as I get closer to the point where I can make some changes, I keep doubting myself.  And part of that is my workplace because this place has wound up to be a dangerously seductive combination of perfectionism, silent emotional undercurrents punctuated by sudden outbursts and no space for downtime along with very strict expectations that include very restricted access to the outside world for eight hours + a day.  Like, I would never be in this relationship with a person.  Ever.  For so many reasons.  But because it’s a workplace, I keep making excuses like one does for a shitty partner.  I was the girl who wrote her book during tax season.  I could work an eighteen hour day as a nanny (no exaggeration) and then do a show the next day.  I was fucking invincible.  Now . . .I don’t know.  I don’t know.  Until I essentially had this conversation with my goddesses since yesterday:


Me yesterday: Maybe they are learning and growing and have come to value me!


Today: *a steady stream of berating so that I can be sure to understand their displeasure with me from yesterday*


My goddesses: Are you picking up what we’re putting down yet?  This is toxic af for you.  What are you going to do about it?


Because this is where everyone likes to be all, JUST LEAVE HIM SHELIA.  Which comes from a place of privilege when you are providing healthcare for your family and have looked into other options.  Spoiler: there are none.


I felt myself starting to become downtrodden for 2019 until I remembered who I am.  I remembered what Shantalaya said to me about how she hated to see me down like this but she couldn’t wait for when I got back up because she knew I’d be on fire creating everything I can create.


One of my insistent voices in me tells me I need to slow down.  People get upset about being “asked” to buy things via social media, email and blogging too often.  But like, man.  I am about to be locked down af for tax season in a month.  I don’t have time for everyone’s delicate sensibilities.  You don’t want to be bothered with me, that’s fine.  But I need to fucking survive on a spiritual level and creating is how I do that.  I don’t always have time to fill in with charming antidotes about how glamorous my life is and to give you tips ‘n tricks for your magic so you don’t feel like I’m shaking you down. You want to buy a thing?  Great!  You don’t want to buy a thing?  Great!  You want to pin it for later?  Great!  I’ve been blogging for over ten years, there’s plenty of free shit for you to enjoy if you want to trawl the archives.  I did my time.  I’ve earned the right to create things for others to purchase because this is how I get to keep creating things – by getting piggedity paid.


I have pages that I’ve written this morning, pages of ideas.  I need to make them into reality because this is what keeps me going – reading Tarot, running classes, writing chapbooks, making things for your practice.  So please be patient while I survive because that’s how I get back to thriving – I’m lighting myself on fire, 2019!  Keep trying to punch me in the face because that just makes me more determined, motherfucker so bring it on.


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.  


One Response

  1. “Because this is where everyone likes to be all, JUST LEAVE HIM SHELIA. Which comes from a place of privilege when you are providing healthcare for your family and have looked into other options. Spoiler: there are none.”

    Hear, hear. I also work in a toxic job and you know why I put up with whatever is dished out? Because without this job, I’ll end up homeless and dead and I haven’t been able to find another job in years. I’m not good enough for the standards these days and nobody else wants to hire me and I can’t blame them. I will put up with anything to stay alive, you know? Goddesses, if you want me out of a job, you gotta find me a carrot and a way out, not just keep bludgeoning me with sticks until I end up homeless.

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