Tuesday, March 20, 2012



This is the day out of the year that my sister and I, along with our friend Alex, celebrate the coming of Spring. It's a pagan/wiccan holiday and runs in correspondence with better-known Easter. My sister, Brittany, has made sure to include deviled eggs in our early-dinner-like celebratory meal. Eggs stand for fertility, birth, and growth -- all things that are iconic to this new season, no matter the religious belief. No one can deny that the animals are a little more lovey-dovey about this time, mm? But more than that, Ostara is the balance between the extremes of Summer and Winter; a time where the earth ceases its wobbling and begins anew. Everything is fresh, and green, and ready to be nurtured to its full potential.

Lately, I've been doing a bit of wobbling myself. 

I've just recently moved in with my boyfriend-of-6-months/close-friend-of-6-years due to the... all-consuming void that has become my wallet. I've been pushing it off. The offer was always there, but I just don't like the idea of being a freeloader, you know? I need to be able to at least take care of myself. And we've only been dating for this short amount of time, I would've hated for it to complicate the relationship... Well, when I successfully obtained a job, and other circumstances gave me little choice, it was decided for me. They -- we live with his parents and two siblings -- were moving anyway, so I was just a minuscule addition to the boxed bedlam. 
It's really nice. Not the house -- though the house is impressive -- but the family aspect of it all. A father, a mother. Three siblings. Then there's me, the youngest out of everyone. I feel like the runt of the litter! haha My family situation has always been a muddled mess and this is such a wonderful breathe of fresh air. I'm constantly asking if I can help, or if there's anything I might be doing wrong, or if there's anything I could improve on. The answer is always "No," or, affectionately, "Shut up, kid." Apparently I fit right in. It feels and seems like I do, anyway. No one has told me otherwise and haven't been inclined to think so either. 
Unfortunately, I've always been weak-bodied. I would wake up in the morning for school and spend an hour retching. I would get sick -- and really get sick. I would go outside and come back inside almost immediately, heaving, my back flat on the carpet. I would run up a short flight of stairs and hold my chest at the top, praying my heart would stop pounding and the black veil would disappear from in front of my eyes. It's always been these "little" things that no one can really pinpoint, aside from saying that I'm weak. 
It kills me. It always has. Especially when I would wake up, try to get ready for school, and end up missing my bus, then have to explain it to my uncle, who then would drive me to school. He never yelled at me, but I knew it frustrated him, having to do that. I don't blame him if he didn't believe me when I said I was sick. It was never obvious. I had no proof and whenever I did vomit up enough to show that I wasn't lying, I could still make it to the bus, I had no need to wake him. Besides, at that point, after 18 years of dealing with it all on my own, I'd stopped bothering with trying to prove my illness unless necessary, and instead of attempting to explain it to schoolmates, I would opt out of going places or participating in activities.
I've been called lazy a lot, thanks to these factors. It drives me nuts. My closest of friends have said it and broken my heart with each word, because I know, at least, that I'm not lazy. I try so hard to put every ounce of energy that I can into the work I do. Even when it starts to hit, I'll struggle through it until I can no longer do even that. And then there are those moments where everything seems hopeless, or less important on a grander scale, when I am a little "lazy." They only serve as fodder to the argument, piling up evidence against me in a battle that I have no will to win.
This is something that has affected everything I've ever done. You know, I loved playing baseball, running track, and doing gymnastics. All of those things inevitably dropped out of my life, never to be claimed again. But they were just sports, right? I could live without them. And I have. I still try to remain as physically fit as I can, but in no degree am I an athlete. That's okay. It really is. I never had a passion for that aspect of life as much as I do for writing. But now that I'm out in the "real world," I'm realizing that these illnesses -- my sheer weakness -- makes it impossible for me to blend in. 
The job that I obtained, a position at Old Navy, is too much. I help with shipments, I work the fitting rooms, and walk the floors. It's a lot of standing and constant back and forth but it's not like it's rigorous work. No, no. Yet, I find myself short of breath, hugging my legs to my chest in the bathroom, after two hours of work. This isn't even the busy season! What in the hell am I supposed to do come the holidays? I've had to go home early already, and call in once as well. My manager knows my situation and he's supposed to call me so we can figure out a way around my sickness, but my biggest worry is that we won't be able to.
If I lose this job, how am I going to start saving up for school? My boyfriend and his family would never make me pay for things while I was here, unless I offered, and they really, really needed the help, but I just... I don't want to be a freeloader and I hate not being able to do something when I say that I will. I said I could work the hours that they offered. I said that I could work hard and would work hard. I've been working hard every day that I go in, but then I feel like I'm going to die halfway through. It's so incredibly... hard. Hard to deal with, hard to live with, hard to accept. I want to be able to help the ones that I love and I'll never be able to do that at this rate. 
I don't want to have to call my uncle and tell him I can't even keep a job in retail. Retail, of all things. Folding clothing, for Christ sake. I mean, there's more to it than that, and I'm sure I'm being harder on myself than I should, but it's the freaking truth. How pathetic is it that I can't work for four hours every other day of the week!? 

I'm going to look for other work options, in the meantime. There has to be something out there that I can do.

I can't let my frustrations get the best of me. I'll be damned if I let my weakness get in my way either. I refuse to just coast through life, I refuse to be nothing when I have so many possibilities before me. I want to get back into school, I want to some day have a place of my own. I don't even have a driver's license. I'm just a tumor of existence, sucking off of people's kindness, draining them of their energy. I don't want that. I don't want to be a burden. 
I'm not lazy. I have a drive like no one would believe. I've dealt with things that few people ever have and made it out relatively unscathed. Most importantly of all, they're all things, people, instances, circumstances that are in my past. In no way will they be a hindrance, no matter their persistence. If anything, they'll be a lesson to me. The type of person I want to be, the mark I want to leave on the world, the things that I want to achieve... 

All of the black that has seeped into my memory will only push me further toward the light of each tomorrow.

So. Here's to Spring, to Ostara. I'm on the path to replenishing the good, to balancing and grounding my life, and slowly steeping the darkness out of it, one day at a time. I'm happy, so unbelievably happy, and I want to spread this happiness. Despite all of my frustrations, I know that there's no need to worry. Things will work out, things will always improve. I know things always get worse before they get better, but if you look at it all on a grander scheme, you can see that there's more good than bad. Every little flicker can outglow the shadows, even if only for a split second and that is what truly matters. Even when I think of the people who have hurt me, it's the memories of when we smiled that stick out the most.

I need to be easier on myself, more understanding. I'll make that a goal. To give myself the benefit of the doubt, that calm nod of appraisal when I do something well, and keep myself in check when something goes wrong so that I can learn from it, but not wallow in my mistake or negative surroundings. 
There once was a time when I placed no value in who I was or what I believed in. I was friends with everyone, but had no friends, and let myself be swept about like driftwood on the face of an angry tide, who dealt help and reassurance to each but my own weary heart. I sat with whoever beckoned and promised "forever" with a grim smile too easily. I wondered, every other day, how soon would I leave this earth, and how good it would feel when it was all over. I hurt others as much as I hurt myself in the process, even when I was trying to amend all of my wrong-doings and misleading promises. I don't regret everything that happened in those years, but I regret having caused even the smallest unhappiness, no matter the person, the relationship, or the situation. I could have easily lost all that is important to me now in that time, everything that I cherish today could have been washed away in a sheet of salt. 
I'd like to believe that I've gotten better. I know that I've gotten better. I can only go up from here. I can only smile. Accept that pain only lasts for so long. Live, breathe. Be thankful. Give good unto the earth and hope that someone sends it back around. Appreciate every little thing and expect nothing. 

Sigh. It feels so good to write again. Even if I've said these words -- ranted them out, cried them, thought them -- it just feels so much better to see them in front of me. These words are recorded in a place that they can't easily be removed. I can always remind myself of where I was and where I want to go. Where I need to be.
And that's why I've created a new blog, I think. Yeah. I won't delete my old one, but I will keep it separate from this to show that it was a different time, a different mindset. Between then and now, I've gone through a great transition, one that cannot be reversed or forgotten. I haven't written in that one in so long and feel no desire to do so, but I feel compelled to write in this one. 

I'm excited~.

I hope whoever decides to read this has enjoyed this glimpse 
just beyond the grey.
I don't know what I'll be writing about next, but hopefully it will appear as compelling, if not moreso, to you then. 

Blessed be.
Shannon Grey

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