This pair of Docs very much encapsulates my entire year. I don’t really go much into metaphors and whatnot, but this very much represents where I am now and how much I’ve changed and what I’ve left behind to get to this point, and where I am going next.
The context for why these Docs mean so much is that I’ve wanted a pair since I was 15 years old, but they were always too expensive, and I was never confident enough to feel I could wear them well either. But I was a confused queer kid who was shy and quiet at school and very slowly growing into myself, struggling without the words I needed to name myself correctly.
And now, at 36-and-11-1/2-months, I now own my first pair of Docs. Because, like everything in my life, I’m now ready for them.
I’m very much not the sort of person who does yearly Tarot draws, but if I’d done one this year, it might very well have shown me The Tower, because that’s very much been the energy that’s flowed through this whole year. Not just in terms of the world, but also in terms of me shedding a lot of things I’ve needed to shed, but didn’t have the push I needed to shed them until I was forced to do so.
My brain has been stressed in very intense ways this year that I’m very much still understanding. I’m even more certain that I’m autistic, though I’m not in a hurry to chase diagnosis bc it’s very much too expensive and out of reach here in my state. But it is helping me make sense of the how and why of myself, which has been useful. It’s making me look for better ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, and frustration that actually work and make me feel better.
I’ve rejoined the House of Netjer and Kemetic Orthodoxy as well. I’m a Shemsu again, and working my way through the beginner’s lessons again as I reaquaint myself with this religion again. I’m still trying to decide how I want my shrines to work now, and will post updates on that when I have things mostly settled down.
Maybe for some of you, you might think it can’t be that hard to reorient yourself to a similar flavour of Kemetic practice, but I haven’t been a shemsu for a decade now, and the House has changed a lot. I’m relearning a lot of things, and getting to know new people and new structures, and how things are working now. It’s very much A Lot to work through. Hence, reorientation, and the shift in calendar.
It’s getting my head around how to do things now and what routines and rituals are going to look like now. I’ve toyed for years with daily morning rituals, but I don’t know if I’m going to return to them. I have a feeling ten minutes of meditation is all I need, though I may ritualise it a little bit. This year has really drained my energy for morning ritual so I don’t know if I’ll do that now. So if I’m not doing that, then it comes down to what do I do instead, and that’s a question I’m still finding the answer to. I want to do Senut regularly, but not sure how regularly yet, nor when would be a good time. How I keep my shrines, and what I do at them, is also under review, as is Hekate’s place in things. She has stepped back for now, but I will come back to Her in February and see how things look then.
But there’s also been a significant reorientation in my life as well, given I went back to uni to become a librarian, and thus reorienting myself from a rando with a BA into someone with an actual profession. It hasn’t been easy, of course, because online study in the middle of a pandemic has not been easy for anyone, but somehow I got to the end of the year with mostly successes. I’ve also just completed my three weeks of library prac and came out of it feeling much more confident about my capacity to do this job now.
I fell in love, too, which wasn’t something I had anticipated or was looking for either. I’d been single for a very long time, and had accepted that. I was happy. And now I have a wonderful partner, even though they’re so far away from me in the UK. It’s hard. But somehow we’re still together. And I’m going to go see them when I can travel again, so I can hold them and kiss them and know for certain that they’re the one I’m going to marry.
Add to this a queer friend of mine sharing this video of Ivan Coyote, and a whole lotta stuff fell into place in my head, bc I finally felt I had the language to see what I’d spent most of my life trying to be. I’m still genderfluid, but butch was the missing piece. That’s what I’ve been trying to be since I was a kid, but without knowing the word for it. As I became more acquainted with queer culture, I learned about the word butch, but never felt it was mine, possibly because I assumed (incorrectly) that it was just a word that lesbians used, and as I’m bisexual, I dismissed it as Not Mine. But it is mine, and it fits now. I’ve finally grown into it. Those boots are proof of that.
My gender has evolved a lot this year, especially as I started buzzing my hair consistently and not just bc lockdown. That’s something I had been thinking of doing for a long time now, mostly in a priestly context, but never being brave enough to do it. What got me this time? My undercut grew out too long during lockdown to the point of borderline dysphoria so I buzzed it all off one night in April. I’ve had an undercut once since then. I just buzz it now. Also I’m now out to my brother as genderfluid and he’s on board with using they/them pronouns for me. <3
So I’m in this strange place now where I’ve changed a lot, and where I was at the start of the year is very much not where I am now. But so much of this is good and necessary and things that I want that I can’t really be negative about it. Sometimes you do have to burn yourself into ashes to come out of it as who you really need to be. And rebirth is uncomfortable, and difficult, and you end up having to relearn things. It’s like buying a new pair of Docs, and knowing you’ll have to slowly break them in until they’re moulded to your feet. That’s where I am now, in a whole new place, with shoes I now need to grow into, and not really knowing where I’m going, but trusting that Sobek knows the way and will guide me where I need to go. So expect this to be a messy process over the next few months, while I settle into this new place. But I know this is where I need to be. I’m much happier here. Much more myself. I’m 37 in a couple of weeks, and very ready to see what life brings me next.