The fact that everything is so impermanent – that even us ourselves, as living, breathing human beings are impermanent is a beautiful thing. It means that we aren’t tied to anything, but that we are also tied to everything. It means that nothing we do today really matters, but it also means that everything we do today matters; it all depends on the approach you take. It will either depress you or motivate you. I choose to be motivated. I choose to live with the fire inside me knowing that I could be gone tomorrow, because it pushes me to want to create something that outlives me. I live with a burning desire to create writing or art that sticks with people, art that transcends time. I could name ten dead writers off the top of my head who have had a huge hand in the person and writer that I am becoming. I have a tattoo on my body that represents my love for writing and my desire to create something even more permanent than a tattoo. “For the ones that were never told” was pushed into my flesh with a needle covered in ink to signify my commitment to telling all of the stories I can within my lifetime; my own and others. I have so much inside of me that I wish to share with the world, so much I hope to leave behind long after I’m gone.
Emily Dickinson is the embodiment of this paradox I’ve been chewing on all day. She thought nothing she did was permanent; she died thinking nothing of what she was leaving behind, with no idea the impact her work would have on the world, even almost 150 years later. I admire her greatly because she never aimed for fame and notoriety; she just wanted to produce beautiful things. But she became a permanent fixture of literature, unbeknownst to herself. I hope to create a similar legacy. I don’t much care for being recognized right now but I want to create something that outlasts even my own death, simply to contradict every feeling I have of everything we do being so impermanent. Nothing is forever – that’s a fact. But it’s a fact that so many people have a hard time stomaching.
I was born and raised in a Christian family. I grew up attending church and intentionally practiced into my adult years. Christianity will teach you that there is permanence in God’s love. If you believe, you will die and go onto have eternal life. I spent the majority of my life subscribing to these beliefs. It wasn’t until a couple of tragedies occurred around me that rocked me to my core, that I began to question this all-powerful belief system my faith had never faltered in. I began to understand just how fragile life was, and how any hope of an eternal life after this one seemed so trivial considering the magnitude of what I was feeling at the time. I didn’t want to hear that it would be better someday, or that there was a bigger reason and a grander plan behind my friends being taken so young, or that they were in a better place now. I became a realist; it would be better someday because nothing is permanent (feelings, both good and bad will always pass), maybe there wasn’t a bigger reason or a deeper meaning to anything – maybe bad things just happened, and maybe they weren’t in a better place; maybe they were just gone.
You may call me a pessimist, but I do not say any of these things lightly, or with any sort of foreboding negativity. I say them as fact, devoid of as much emotion as possible because that is how I chose to cope with these awful things that happen in life. Some turn to God or religion for comfort, and I am not knocking that in the slightest. None of this is meant to put down Christianity or religion – I understand that it helps millions of people deal with this fucked up world. I don’t think any less or any more of religious people. I just have taken a different path based on the cards I’ve been dealt in life. After I sorted through my own faith issues with the religion that raised me, I set out to find a set of beliefs that aligned more closely with the person I was becoming; someone who understood the philosophical and psychological need to believe in a greater being or greater purpose, but was looking for more than blind faith that one day when I die it will all make sense. I did not want to live my life looking forward to the afterlife, as Christianity teaches you to. I wanted my life on earth to have as much meaning as possible so that if there is no afterlife, I could be proud of what I left behind.
That’s when I found Wicca. Let me preface this by saying that I have never considered myself a full-on practicing Wiccan. I don’t consider it to be my religion or subscribe to the belief system so much so that it was my identity (as Christianity once was). I practice rituals (or magick, but that word scares people) in order to connect with myself and nature. I was drawn to Wicca because of the power of femininity, the connection to Mother Earth, and the strong held beliefs in karma and that if you are not harming anyone, you should be free to do as you wish. The Wiccan ethical code states, “An it harm none, do what ye will.” I have explored Wicca since my young adult life, a fact that few know about me, and something my mother will learn about me shall she click on this post. I think the belief system is beautiful. There are so many different facets and ways to practice Wicca that I will never claim to fully understand or even know about, but it’s a highly personal and customizable spiritual path.
Currently, I practice no religion. I am a strong believer in some of what both Christianity and Wicca has taught me. I am also a holder of a strong set of self-made beliefs that do not come from any religion, but rather the experiences I’ve had in my life. I am a woman in my mid-twenties, just trying to figure out this godforsaken world just like everyone else. And I’m doing my best to make sure my time here is impactful, even if it’s just to myself. I couldn’t honestly tell you why all of this has weighed so heavy on my mind today, but I woke up with all of it tied to my heart like an anchor. I’m cutting it loose the best way I know how; putting it on paper. I don’t expect you to take anything away from this except what you wish, and perhaps a little bit better understanding of me.
I have stories in me; thousands of them. Stories that have shaped me, have changed my worldviews, and have molded me into the person I am today. I am aware that we are all living in a state of constant evolution and self-discovery. My path is different from yours, but I am a strong believer in the fact that we can all connect with one another somehow. All of these thoughts I’ve had running through my mind today about the impermanence of everything, the fact that nothing is forever, the circle of life – if you will, are all motivation for me to continue to sit at this computer and produce something from my heart. A sliver of my own truth to share with whoever chooses to read. I know it’s quite meaningless, but so is everything else. I hope that if nothing else, you take away from this the desire to examine your own set of beliefs and figure out how to best fulfill your greater purpose, while still understanding that everything you do only matters as much as you think it does. I’ll leave you with that. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone, thanks for stopping by.