My Coming Future…Time to Make a Move

I have always wanted to write in some sort of professional capacity. But that desire has always butted heads with my desire to write code for a professional living as well. I have been in Information Technology in one job function or another since 1986, when I joined the United States Air Force, after two years of failed collegiate classes. I would return to those collegiate classes in 1995 and 1996, and then again in 2000 until 2007. I would achieve a Bachelor’s degree and two Masters degrees in the last eight years of college. During those collegiate years, I would continue working in Information Technology positions. It wasn’t until three years ago that I started writing code for a living, as my job with the college transformed into what it is today. But what about my writing career, whatever happened there?

About eight or nine years ago, I created this blog – not to write professionally, but to write. Six years ago, I entered a poem and a short-story into a writing contest here at the college. Every year I have entered, I have placed no lower than Third in the category I entered. But I have never submitted anything for publication in a journal or in a publication. So my writing career has always taken some form of a back seat to other endeavors.

This year; however, I decided to change all of that in my life. I have committed to provide an 800-word essay to Moon Books for one publication. Another publication is also asking for submissions on working with one’s Gods, and I have started writing my submission for that endeavor as well. I have had the idea in my mind for a book detailing some of my experiences on my Pagan Path – the fight to get “Pagan” included on dog-tags in the US military that Circle Sanctuary spearheaded; the struggle with the US Military Chapel Services to allow worship space in Chapel facilities for Pagans; and some of the face-to-face tussles I encountered in everyday life – thanks to the publication of those struggles in the October 31, 1993 Stars and Stripes publication; along with many other encounters, both positive and negative that I have had on this Path. Hopefully, I can find some publisher that would be interested in what I am writing. If not, there’s always independent publishing.

The point is that my life is evolving and changing, again. In more ways than I can count. After my diabetic seizure from less than a week, I can see the avenues where doors have been held open for so long. The doors aren’t closing, but I certainly need to either walk through those doors or silently shut them myself. Well, I don’t want to shut them. I feel that I have something to say. I feel that there’s a conversation I need to interject myself into. Whoever happens to listen, fine. Whoever doesn’t, that’s fine too. But I have to speak my mind. I truly cannot sit silently on the sidelines any longer. Even though that has been the position I have held for so much of my Pagan life.

So, this is the doorway I am walking through. Whether I am ready or not. I will be speaking as a Druid, as a Pagan, as a Polytheist, and as myself. For if I tried to take on any other perspective, well, to quote the band Icon For Hire, “I dare not preach what I don’t understand.” Now that my feet are set to their Path…its time to type the talk. So to speak….

Sometimes, Life Gets a Little Scary

Yes, it certainly does.

Every once in a while a moment happens that jolts you right out of your seat. I thought that moment was pneumonia. I was completely wrong. This past Wednesday, at the end of the work day, I had a major spike in my blood sugars, over 1000, and had a seizure. Luckily, my coworkers figured out something was VERY wrong and quickly called 9-11. That brought me to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where I stayed through the end of the day on Friday. I slept through most of the day on Thursday, and was quite coherent by Friday. I endured several battery of tests, had my medications heavily altered (as in removed – I am now on my hypothyroid meds, and my two insulin shots. All other meds have been removed), and talked with a nutritionist about necessary changes to my diet.

The last thing I remember, at work, was talking to a co-worker on the other side of the building from my office. I had repeated myself, and she suggested that we go to my office so that I could get my fast-working insulin shot. That’s it. According to what I have been told, I walked unsteadily down the hall, made it to my office, picked up my insulin show and headed around the corner to give myself the shot. I’m unsure that I ever did. When I returned to my office, I had a seizure, fell down, and stopped breathing for about a minute. Long enough that my coworkers were about to do CPR on me. I started breathing again, and apparently struggled with the paramedics when they tried to put me on the stretcher. Again, I do not remember a single moment of all of this. But I know this, I am lucky. Lucky to have the Gods on my side to stay here. Lucky to have quick-thinking, caring co-workers who were ready to do whatever it took to keep on this mortal coil. I am also lucky that while a serious moment, I am able to walk, talk, and function normally just a few short hours later.

I bitch and moan about work. But its only because of a few things. The people are some of the best I have ever worked with. They care about everyone they work, there’s a feeling of extended family from some of them. They give a shit about what happens to you. They laugh at your jokes, even when the jokes aren’t so funny. They listen to your stories about what happens in your life, and share stories of their own with you. Its a really sad statement on my current outlook that it took something like this for me to realize this. I think, going into the future, there’s a readjustment I need to make…not just because I am focusing on the wrong aspects of life while at work, but because I need to lower the self-induced stress that I bring on myself, simply because things don’t go the way I envision them to potentially be going. I cannot affect change on the pressure that gets put on me by others, but I can change how much I let that pressure really affect me.

Let me set this in front of you, for a moment. Look at how you are living your life at the moment. Not how you’re making your money,, but how you are living. As a Pagan, are spending time outside? Are you spending time in meditation with your Gods, with your Spirits of Place, and/or your Spirits of Ancestors? Are you working on your studies? Are you taking time for yourself? Are you seeking out time with other Pagans? Are you setting your work pressures in the corner by your office door every night, and coming home with a different perspective? If the answers are “no” or “sometimes”….take a stronger look at what drives you forward in life. If you’re still satisfied with where you are, wonderful. Keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re not, stop and take some inventory of where you are in life. I’m lucky enough to have the chance to do this now. Do your inventory before there’s no chance to do it. Or ignore what I am saying. Those choices are yours.

If you ever need a shoulder to cry on or need a fierce hug as a reminder that someone gives a shit, seek me out. I’ll be there in the best capacity that I can. Because I do know what that kind of support really means. It can literally mean everything. And as far as I am concerned, I want you to stay on this mortal coil.

Movin’ eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breakin’ all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searchin’
Searchin’ for shelter again and again

Against the wind
Little somethin’ against the wind
I found myself seekin’ shelter against the wind

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Against the Wind, 1980