It has certainly been a long time since my last post, blog buddies. A lot has happened, good and bad. Ian and I broke up, I started working on a thesis, summer school, summer internship, travel, decided not to work on a thesis, and the list goes on and on. I’m going to spare the nasty details of my breakup and start where I decided to make a few changes, which will make a convoluted loop back to how I am currently visiting Austin, TX.
It all started with Vanessa. A few months ago, after Ian and I broke up, my dear friend, Vanessa, came to spend a few days with me while she studied for the Texas Bar Examination. Per our usual, we had a wonderful week together. One thing I love about Vanessa is that I can just give her a key to my house, tell her I have a busy week, and she just goes about her business. No drama. She even cooks. What a good Cuban she is. I digress…
At the end of her visit she decided to give me the very special gift of blessing my house. I know what you’re thinking, “Who the hell gives her the authority to bless anything?” Am I right? Well, let’s start with what a “house blessing” consists of. In all honesty, all of my acquired knowledge about blessing a home comes either from New Orleans voodoo tours or the Real Housewives of anywhere; needless to say, my knowledge is limited. Actually, I’m still ignorant of what a house blessing consists of, but I can tell you what Vanessa did. For the purposes of this post, lets call it a “Vanessa House Blessing” (VHB, if you will).
For a proper VHB one will need, 1) an open mind, 2) a smoke stick that smells like weed, and 3) a house with doors. Essentially, items 1 and 2 could be substituted, but item 3 is necessary. Luckily, I had all three.
The number of participants vary, but for a more intimate exchange I would suggest a smaller number of people. In my case, it was just Vanessa and I. Vanessa was the facilitator (grantor, mini-god, or giver of life) and I was the one being cleansed (dirty space, one needing blessing, sinner). Start by sitting or standing in a comfortable position. I prefer sitting whenever I reflect on my feelings, but to each his own. Then the facilitator follows a version of the following script:
Facilitator: “What are three things you like about yourself?”
One in need of cleansing: It’s okay to be standing at this point of the ceremony. Let’s face it, when you’re talking about how great you are, its nice to feel like an audience is watching. I don’t remember all things I said, but I do remember saying that I have a lot of love to give to people. I’m guessing of all three things I listed this was the most important to me, since it’s the only one I remember.
I do have a lot of love to give. I’m currently going through a weird transition in my life. I’ll be graduating from graduate school in May, which will lead to finally starting my career and possibly moving states. Also, most of my close friends are transitioning into different points in their lives, which is forcing inevitable adjustments. So, between school and the ever changing dynamics with my current friends, I’m pretty isolated. I’m not a complete sad sap, however, it has made me appreciate the people in my life and reflect on how I want my life to be like in the future. So, I do have a lot of love to give, I just don’t have many people to give it to at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with that. Honestly.
I’ve decided to think that my future won’t be this way. Perhaps in two years I’ll have a family with kids and I will be begging to have some time to myself. I mean, at the present moment I’m sitting at a coffee/beer shop in Austin, TX., drinking beer and writing. Hashtag, first world problems.
Facilitator: “What are three things you want to change about yourself?”
Sinner: This is where the sitting part happens. Who wants to stand in front of an audience and list the shitty things about oneself? I know I don’t. I take a seat and cowardly spout off the changes I would like to change.
Facilitator: “Of the three things you’ve stated, which one bothers you the most?”
Dirty, dirty, person with a home, who currently wishes they were homeless: At this point, you are too invested to create avoidance strategies. Which is ironic, because that is what I wanted to change the most: my avoidant behavior.
My ability to avoid things is really an art form. I’ve mastered it. I’ve also been trained in different tactics from my social work classes. Basically, I’m really fucking good at it. My problems really began after I got a divorce, then briefly got better, then plummeted again after something bad happened. I’m not going to bore everyone with those details, just know they exist.
Focusing on what you want to change about yourself can be hard and rewarding. In my case, it made me realize that avoidance is a theme in all of my interpersonal relationships and many other aspects of my life, if not all. The link was astounding.
So what do I do about it? Handle it, little by slowly. Take every task, whether it is in a relationship or deciding what time of the day is best to masturbate, head on. See what I did there?
Facilitator: “Now I’m going to repeat these three things (decided by the facilitator) that I want you to bring into your house and bless each doorway.”
At this point, the small weed smelling stick is lit and carefully danced around each doorway while the facilitator and the dirty whore are chanting the good things that were previously decided upon.
In closing, Vanessa gave me the greatest gift at a very pivotal moment in my life. I needed to address the aspects about me that need changing for future relationships. I needed to change them, but recognizing them comes first. Vanessa is a dear friend and I am constantly blessed by her friendship. Blessing a home doesn’t have to be some creepy bull shit, or a spiritual awaking with holy water. It can be a simple reflection and a loving friend. And let’s face it, if any of you know my friend, she’s cheap. It’s a free gift, just saying. hashtag, jew moment.
Oh… one more thing. I have a very special friend, that I won’t name, that inspired me to avoid being avoidant without even knowing it. I was planning on doing a thesis for school, but I never really wanted to do one. I basically was doing it to get the most out of my program and avoid continuing my writings. One night in a bar, my friend told me I needed to write a book. After reflecting on my avoidance, which is what I compare to all my thoughts to now, I decided that writing a thesis is just another way for me to avoid my personal writings. So, thanks, you. 😉 Maybe if I get published one day I’ll be the one buying the champagne.