The Curious Blog

curious by both definitions

Hey friends, I hope you’re all well! Today I turn 34 and to mark the occasion I’m going to run through the ways I’ve grown when I was 33.


Hopefully this retrospective can serve as a re-introduction in this space and perhaps as encouragement as the COVID situation drags on, that a lot of positive changes can occur internally even when from an outside point of view you may not be 'getting a lot done'.


My most favorite and lucky number has been 33 since I was in seventh grade and it was the number of the volleyball jersey I chose. I’d never given too much thought to numbers, but I was immediately and inexplicably drawn to it, and it’s stuck. The number seems to follow me, on clocks, on license plates. When I spent enough time with friends, even they would notice it. So, I'd been hyping this year in my mind for ages, and I'm happy to say it did not disappoint.

Through several moments of advice-sharing, I realized in my 33rd year that I’m an older and (dare I say) wiser person than I thought, as well as more scientific and analytical. I have messy handwriting and take complicated notes about my writing. I also analyze my own writing and take notes on that. I create systems for everything, like a programmer. Programming does deal in language, after all. My dad’s a programmer. I realized I’m like my dad, after all. I realized just how much I'm like my mom, as well- gift-giving and words of affirmation, deep-feeling helpers, careful and detailed nearly to a fault, into art and poetry (in short, very Piscean).


When I was 33 I got on a dating app for the first time in years and had an actual date for the first time in ages, and it went amazingly well. It was a park date on the first autumn-feeling day in Houston, he quoted poetry about the moon and I drew the Lovers tarot card in a Past / Present / Future reading, in the Future position.

A peek at the Torrid galaxy set I wore!

I also showed a new level of confidence in my body on that date. My appearance was a total non-issue as I sat there on the grass in my tight workout clothes, shoulder blemishes and stomach unhidden. I wasn’t even thinking about how I looked, and I used to feel bad every time I sat down, because of my belly. When the guy had said yes to meeting me, I was actually excited to wear the outfit and have him see how cute I was.


Even though the date didn’t lead to much afterward, the experience will stay with me because it was a huge mile marker for both my romantic life and for my evolving relationship with my body.

When I was 33 I started really putting myself out there as a writer for the first time-starting with Instagram, where I was already spending all my online free-time. I started to cultivate my online presence more, looking at analytics and best posting times, getting a theme going and making things visually flow from IG to Twitter to YouTube and beyond.


I started really engaging with the writing community and learned a lot about myself creatively. It’s hard to say exactly why it took me so long to seek community. I’d gone it alone for a long time. I simply didn’t feel ‘ready’ until recently, but I think that may translate to having just overcome a sense of imposter syndrome and inadequacy that had been holding me back for years, even if subconsciously.


I realized I’m a more experimental, poetic writer than I thought, and also more nostalgic, Texan, and family-focused. Through my community I’ve found more vocabulary to describe my writing process and direction, like how I perform role-playing exercises and how I’m part gardener and part architect, starting intuitively and polishing with detailed plans.


In a similar vein, I started reading horror and found a rare kinship with author Stephen Graham Jones that will surely impact many future works of mine. The last time I felt this kind of connection was in early high school when I first heard Audioslave's debut album. Jones’ writing has already spurred me to write and submit my first horror pieces, which were also my first flash fiction works. I see that, just looking at the tone of my diction, I’m more like a horror writer than I knew, although I would still call my main genre paranormal (of the New Adult variety).


I’ve now started the synopsis for my main work-in-progress, Syndrome, and even the pitch letter, which has really helped ground, focus, and encourage me. I decided not (!) to kill a major character and for the first time, I did a ton of tarot work to help with my writing. I also saw ahead and planted seeds for six books coming after Syndrome- a series of four books followed by a duology.

In my 33rd year I became truly comfortable calling myself a spiritual person. I started pulling a daily tarot card and speaking gratitude and affirmations aloud to the Universe on a regular basis. I started doing manifestation work regularly. I finally understood what shadow-work was and realized I was practicing a good deal of it.


As a result, my aura's shifted from pale lilac to magenta, and then most recently it's deepened and gained some truer red tones around the edges. Just a week or so ago I also started writing in my Book of Shadows, which I prefer to call a Shadow Journal, creating personal definitions of repeating numbers one through nine.


I’d been considering the moon cycle to make decisions and reading auras for a few years already, and these points combined with the others above so that I felt comfortable calling myself a witch for the first time when I was 33. (Even typing that is scary, scarier than saying I’m non-binary.)


Which leads me to say, during Trip 33 around the sun I officially came out as non-binary to close friends and family, though to mixed reactions. For a moment I also felt comfortable identifying as trans and was closely considering whether the term gender-fluid made more sense for me than non-binary. Of course, nothing is ever really set in stone with concepts like these, but I still surprised myself with these new ideas.


I’m exceedingly grateful to be starting Trip 34. I feel a similar sense of momentum this year than I did at the start of 2019, wherein in the span of two months I accepted a new job after 4+ years and moved out on my own for the first time.


Getting that job was a powerful moment for me because it was also the first time purposeful manifestation clearly worked for me. I remember typing furiously into a phone note during my long bus rides, claiming the job as mine, already giving thanks for it.

The note with my accurate predictions!

I wound up accurately predicting when I’d get the job within a four hour window, as well as the dates of my first and last days.

In sum, I feel like 34 is going to be similar to when I was 32, with more outward, visible changes as opposed to the mostly inner progress made this past year. I’m excited and honestly quite daunted because I know I have a lot of work to do to get closer to where I want to be in life- in love, work, and creativity.


So, I will close here for today, loves. I hope ya’ll have a great rest of your day, whenever you happen to be reading this.


[LD]

I mentioned before that I had drawn a ‘Year Ahead’ tarot spread for 2020. I chose three cards for each month, one Major Arcana, one Minor, and one card from what is called an Oracle deck, a deck of only 35 cards, each denoted with a single word/concept such as It Gets Better, Choice, or Healing. As April is now upon us, it’s only fitting to address what I drew for this month. (As always, I have chosen to include the key words as noted on biddytarot.com.)



Major Arcana The Tower (Reversed) Key Words: personal transformation, fear of change, averting disaster

The inverted Tower resonates with me quite easily in this case, as myself and the collective whole are working to navigate the unprecedented world climate in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. I feel that, for some, this situation is acting as a hard reset to prompt people to assess their path in life, their priorities.


I’m incredibly fortunate to be in the process of setting up work from home arrangements, which call to the terms fear of change and averting disaster. The first, because I worry how these arrangements will hinder the momentum I’ve gained on my novel, and the second is clearly in regard to the fact that I will still be pulling in a paycheck.

I live alone, and as hinted at above, in my quarantine isolation I have buried myself in creative work of various kinds, but most prominently on my novel, Syndrome.


Delving so deeply into this immense project has indeed started to transform me in two distinct ways

It stands to reason that these changes would continue into April. Firstly, and most obviously, I'm growing as a writer. Although it is a bit difficult to admit, I feel my skills are strengthening. I'm discovering aspects about my characters that are changing the way they live in their world, and most vitally, their relationships with each other are also transforming. Preconceptions I once held about ‘what kind of book’ Syndrome was going to be are falling by the wayside, and I’m being made to adapt accordingly. Secondly, really digging into my book has prompted my learning more about myself, as a person separate from my craft. Latent desires are being uncovered; personal fascinations and points of view are being brought forward into the light to be examined from undiscovered angles. Minor Arcana Two of Coins (Reversed) Key Words: over-committed, disorganization, reprioritization

This card follows the previous rather neatly, with the word over-committed, when considering the way I’ve buried myself in work these past couple weeks. Following this line of thought, this card could be telling me to slow down to avoid burnout.


More pointedly, over-committed combined with reprioritization speaks to a decreased focus on my other projects. Of course, this is only natural as I’ve been working on Syndrome for hours a day. However, I can’t help but wonder if this shifting of priorities is meant to be more drastic than it has been so far.


A few times recently, I would think to myself that I should get in front of my phone camera to make another YouTube video, and the thought was shoved aside rather roughly. I thought, Fuck that. I need to work on my book. This kind of dismissiveness is entirely new to me, but it was my gut reaction a couple different times. I wonder if this is my intuitive cue that YouTube will not be as vital a component to my progress toward my ultimate goal of publication.


Honestly, this saddens me. It doesn’t sit well. I’ve not stopped coming up with and working on video ideas, and I still want to make these videos. Maybe the harshness in my mind, when thinking about YouTube, was only because I was mentally in book mode and knew I shouldn’t break the flow I had in the moment.


Whatever the case may be, I’m definitely going to keep these ideas in mind moving into April. I will seek to give myself permission to take regular breaks without guilt.


Overall, I take this card as a sign that Syndrome is precisely where my focus is supposed to be right now

The Oracle Card Grieve


This card, naturally, gave me pause when I discovered it. But upon further thought, I realized maybe this card is like the Death card in tarot, not as dire and direct as it seems.


In the context of the other cards, I see the Grieve card as referring to letting go of my old self, to make a way for the new that the reversed Tower hinted at.


NOTE: I had paused at this point of writing to count the number of Oracle cards, and I discovered a booklet with a brief description of each card. Grieve read: Grieving is important. You don’t need to feel guilty for being sad. Let it take over; feel the grief fully.


Clearly this does not bode well for my circumstances in April, and I’m not sure what else to say in speculation. At least, not until addressing card number 4.


Here we have another example of how fluid communication from the Universe can be

As I was looking through my deck for the Tower card to take a photo of it, along with the other two April cards, a single card fell onto the floor, face down. I knew I was supposed to see it, so of course I'm obliged to talk about here, as I feel this communication is also regarding April of 2020.




Bonus Card (Minor Arcana) 5 of Swords Key Words: conflict, disagreements, competition, defeat, winning at all costs In its most basic sense, this card points to interpersonal conflict in someone’s life. No such tension has been building in my life at this moment, but I will take care moving forward to demonstrate patience and understanding in the interactions I have with my friends and family.


Competition and defeat are the words that by far trouble me most with this pull, as April is the month I am to hear back about a poetry contest I’d entered back in January.


I’ve not yet sent stronger work into a contest, and my optimism is still burning in my heart, although much more dimly than before I saw this card, especially incorporating the Grieve card I pulled months ago. I fear even as I write this, that I am undoing the positive manifestation work I’ve so far done concerning this matter. I admit to a small sense of dread.


Although it is quite remarkable to think that, combined with the timing in which I found the description of Grieve in the booklet, this card was meant to clarify what Grieve meant, almost for the express purpose of filling out this blog post (!)


… Now that I think on it more, I feel that this card could be reminding me that pursuing your artistic goals is in fact not a competition with other artists.


Just because one person is successful, doesn’t mean there’s now no room for you and your work ‘at the top’

If anything, I feel that a creative person will most surely thrive if they build up and support other artists and maintain a competitive spirit solely with themselves— always striving to have sharper skills than they had the day, or even hour before.


On this note I will close this entry, keeping in mind many potential lessons— and knowing that, as with so many things in life, only time will succeed to enlighten us further.


[LD]

© 2021 Lee Dobecka