who is this blog for?

When writing, you’re supposed to know who your intended audience is. Well, turns out, most of the time my intended audience is just me. Which is all well and good when it comes to reflecting, and knowing myself, and seeing my brain and picking out my habits, but none of that is the primary function of a blog; that’s what journals and diaries are for.

Saylor is here watching me type this; today she’s my audience. I definitely intend for this blog to be read by ALC students (including, but not limited to Saylor) which is why I’ve written posts like this┬ápost I wrote back in October (ages ago and just yesterday…) about holding boundaries. Other posts, like this one, are less clearly for other humans; they read very much like the reflective journal writing I do for myself. That doesn’t mean they’re not for other humans, necessarily. Are other humans interested in my reflective journal writing? I don’t know. I really like looking back on them because they show me myselves marked in moments in time, and I can track my changes from then to now (for example, in the two weeks since I wrote that post, I’ve gotten so much better at feeding myself! And I’ve eaten so many fruits and veggies! It’s awesome!)

I’m thinking about this in particular because Abby made a call for blog posts and I want to share these, but I’m feeling self-conscious about sharing. I’m not clear if I’m feeling self-conscious just because I’m in the habit of feeling self-conscious about sharing my words, or if it’s something else. Who is this blog for? Who are you reading this right now? Can you comment and tell me, internet? Here’s a pic of me holding a bunch of kale as a thank you <3

what a week

My Nana is in the hospital this week, and I’m so scared and worried for her. She’s my favorite person in the world and she’s also 88 years old, so I have so many complicated, hard feelings that I’m not sure what to do about them. I’m also feeling a bit self-conscious, wondering – do I have a selection bias for sharing my upset/bad feelings on this blog more than my good ones? It’s hard to tell – sharing is the hardest part of writing for me, and my self-consciousness makes accurate self-reflection hard. I feel more comfortable writing my bad feels here, in a blog I’m not sure anyone is reading, than sharing them by telling someone about them, or posting on social media where I know people will see them. But I don’t want to seem as though I’m experiencing all bad things, so here’s a video of a thing that made me smile this week:

I’m so grateful to be a part of this community, particularly when hard weeks come along, because I feel so supported and surrounded by love here.

Skin: The Bag You’re In!

March! Finally!

February is usually a hard month for me and this year was no exception. My body has been upset with me, and expressing it mainly in the form of eczema on my hands. I’m not sure if I’ve written about this here before, but a few things have happened that I’d like to document for my future self, right now in the time of shifting.

First of all, something (two things, actually) happened in my head: I accepted the fact that my eczema is actually just a symptom of a larger, ongoing problem with my gut – an imbalance of gut flora – and I finally decided that living in chronic pain was not a worth the convenience and yumminess of eating the junk food I love. As a person who identifies as a pizza witch, for a long time I resisted any solution that might involve shifting my patterns in a way that would change that. I love pizza, and every time I would read about gut-flora-changing-diets, right on the top of the list of foods to eliminate are gluten and dairy – the very foundation of pizza. But I just couldn’t handle the discomfort of itching, flaking, bleeding eczema anymore. So I decided to change my diet.

I don’t think the dietary changes will be a forever thing. I’ve already eliminated gluten, which has been super hard in a way I’m not sure is sustainable. But it’s only been about 2 weeks, and I know habits take longer than that to form so we’ll see. The most challenging part for me right now is learning that I need to plan my meals out further in advance/think about the timing of cooking and eating more than when I was on the glutenous train. Lots of convenient, cheap food in NYC – pizza, sandwiches, bagels – are, obviously, bread-based. Grabbing something to go isn’t really an option for me in the way that it was before I eliminated gluten. As a result, I’m struggling to eat enough calories to feel full/keep my blood sugar at a consistent level. I know I’ll get better at this with time, but I’m hungry now and it’s frustrating.

I also started seeing an acupuncturist this week! Acupuncture was appealing to me because I’ve seen a lot of doctors over the last few months and years who don’t actually tell me anything new, or address the underlying cause of my symptoms – they just tell me I have eczema (which I already knew) and prescribe me a steroid cream (which I don’t want to become reliant on to manage my symptoms). My acupuncturist and I talked about all my bodyfeels – not just about my eczema, but also my digestive struggles, anxiety, and history with nerve pain. He explained that my symptoms all are related to an imbalance of fire and water – an excess of fire, or deficiency of water, depending on how you want to frame it. It made immediate sense to me because in my natal chart (which shows which planets are in which signs at the time of my birth) contains lots of earth, air, and fire… but no water! I actually don’t have any planets in water signs, which is pretty crazy. I feel like this is probably another blog post so I’m just going to leave it at this and say astrology is a real, useful mirror and I <3 it.

Finally, I went to a witch shop in the East Village with Ash, Saylor, Zoe, and Jiana yesterday. It’s called Enchantments, and they specialize in candle magic. I’m a beginner when it comes to candle magic, but was excited to try something new because yesterday the sun was in Pisces and the moon was full in Virgo (my sign!), which is a very balanced combination of water/creative/emotional/chaos/mystical energy (Pisces) and practical/fertile/grounded/ordered/growing things energy (Virgo) – the perfect kind of day to introduce a new spiritual practice. After school, I went and saw the David Bowie exhibit that just opened at the Brooklyn Museum and was completely blown away (there’s definitely another blog post here!) – it felt like a very creative, spiritual experience and reminder from the universe that the self is something we choose and create every day, and that artists make prolific art. When I got home, I set up my alter and carved my candle and lit it and pulled a really powerful tarot spread that I’ve been thinking about all day. After that I did some drawing and writing – just for me, right now, but I see the seeds of something that I’m excited to share as it grows.

This blog post felt important because I want to acknowledge myself for three distinct but related ways I’m practicing self-love in response to my body’s crisis: changing the foods I choose to fuel my self with, seeking help from someone who sees the whole me, and trusting my mystical witch self to discover new, supportive, healing practices that work for her. February was a hard, hard month for me, but I can feel the tickles of spring in the air all around me, the promises of growth and new life and new cycles and and and…