Put Your Back Into It

posted in: almost famous | 4

If you’re a Gen X/Y Cusp like I am, we were all supposed to be astronauts, doctors, lawyers, pop stars, best selling authors, scientists and professors. For most of us, it didn’t work out. Maybe you’re lucky like me and have a mom who is willing to be proud of all of your weirdo achievements if you just give her the right keywords to crow to family (“Steampunk — no. No. No. Wild, Wild West–  No.  No.  Look, I’m getting interviewed by The New York Times.  Yeah!  Yay!”) But I think in the rush to make sure that we came from as much wealth and beauty (and education) as they could furnish us with, we didn’t really learn how to put our backs into it.

Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger

I didn’t.  For all my Gen Y “Go Team Venture!”-ness, I also had a healthy amount of Gen X elitism coupled with a slacker attitude about what I should be doing.  I spent most of my twenties burnt out from trying to be the best, best, best that I sort of job hopped from one random job to another.  Whenever I would gain momentum, something would happen – I would quit, get divorced, have the company fold, whatever.    Being a second generation American, I’m just removed enough from my Old (Sicilian) Country roots to not know what it was like to really have to struggle and do manual labor until my thirties.

Let me assure you, if you have a mind to get in touch with that old country manual labor/struggle to make sure that all your bills are paid, you’ll catch onto it fast.  The lessons will be hard and painful but you’ll get tricksy about it pretty quick.  Nothing like fear of loss of pride/loss of home/loss of having enough food to eat to make you cunning!  And we’ve had to learn, Gen X/Y cusps.  Because everything we were promised dried up.

This generational softness carried over into my magical practice too.  I was taught a lot of really great esoteric things that gave me a spine of steel but I was also taught more about research over practice and that if the gods are charmed enough by you, you can get by on that.  And you kind of can.  If you want a “normal” life and you have a “normal” practice with “normal” desires and you’re smart enough to see who thinks you’re charming and who thinks you’re an asshat, you can coast on that with the gods/spirits.  And I did, for a long time.   Because my spiritual practices came from parts of America during a time that if you went to college, got a job in your field, showed up, didn’t fuck up situations and contributed something you were going to be set in a career for life.

The older I get, the more I think of the old ways.  About how in some ways, I’m more like my grandmother than my mom.  I work long shifts doing manual labor, I spend long amounts of time cooking.  The home has become more familiar to me than the office.  The old ways also meant that you didn’t even have to believe in magic to put the malocchia on someone, you just had to be motivated.

And maybe, a little crazy.

Because when you are doing magic, you’re getting into a chicken fight with the Universe.  Only crazy people would think that they had a shot of winning that fight.  But we do.  All the time.

Was I feeling particularly motivated today after my third ten hour shift in a row, knowing that I will be working an even longer double tomorrow?  Especially after the dress I had envisioned myself wearing for my upcoming fiber arts shows came in the mail along with the necklace and both turned out to be ill fitting?  Um, no.  I wanted to crawl into bed like a sane person.  Who the fuck wants to bake scones after having held a sick baby for ten fucking hours?  Not me!  I’m tired, motherfuckers!  Tired enough to not care about cussing less!

But I don’t have time for that.  I have time for craziness (Georgina Sparks, Courtney Love) and focused motivation (Parvati, Kelly Cutrone) because I have publishers wanting proposals and a start up to start up and a craft business to run.

So I pulled my shit together and washed my hands with some lemon soap and then salt.  I lit my hearth space and got ready to put my back into baking scones.  But not just baking!  Nah, man.  I didn’t come here to just put on an apron.  It’s magic time, yo.  I put the herbs into my bowl and I focused my will to wake them up.  My incantation was informal and manic.

Before this act, I wanted to have as much yarn as possible for my second fiber arts show this month, the one I got my ass handed to me at last year.  I’ve been obsessive about it in fact.  Hardly surprising.  Most Workers tend to be obsessive.  It’s what makes us so damned charming and what wins many of our chicken fights with the Universe.  I wanted to have cascades of yarn at my table so everyone would be impressed and know I MEAN SRS BIZNESS.  Only, if I do that, it would mean that I wouldn’t sell much at my Tea & Trunk Show which is this weekend.  As I was enchanting my scones (for said Tea & Trunk), I realized it was awfully dumb to not want to sell as much yarn as possible where ever.  So I put my back into it.

My incantation went something like, You know what?  FUCK IT.  I WANT TO SELL ALL MY FUCKING YARN AT THIS SHOW THIS WEEKEND!  ALL OF IT!  GO ON, TAKE EVERYTHING, I DARE YOU TO!  I WANT YOU TO!  I’LL FUCKING FIGURE SOMETHING ELSE OUT FOR THE NEXT SHOW!  I’LL NUNO FELT SCARVES BETWEEN NOW AND THE NEXT SHOW EVERY FUCKING WAKING MOMENT!  I’LL SELL A DOZEN FUCKING NUNO SCARVES AT THE NEXT SHOW!  I DON’T CARE!  I’LL SELL CANDLES AT THAT SHOW!  I DON’T GIVE A SHIT THAT CANDLES AREN’T FIBER!  IT’S NOT AGAINST THE RULES AND BITCHES LOVE CANDLES!  I HAVE ALL SUMMER TO SPIN NEW YARN!  LET’S MAKE SOME MAGIC, UNIVERSE!  LET’S SEE WHO BLINKS FIRST!  BRING.  IT.  ON.

So.  That totally happened.  And, um, we’ll see where it goes.

It’s almost 8:30p and who has only had a Luna Protein bar so far today and no liquids?  This girl.  Motivated and crazy can be hard to tell apart.  I think success is the only real difference.  And I have a mind towards success.  And dinner and water.

4 Responses

  1. Wandering Fire

    Love that incantation. I have to admit that I actually used something similar when I was trying to get a new job a couple years ago. I hope your results are as successful!

  2. LET’S SEE WHO BLINKS FIRST! BRING. IT. ON.

    Deb, have I ever told you how much I love you?
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  3. You are so full of awesome! :)
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  4. I can relate to the “I’m more like my grandparents than my parents” thing. Even though my Mom always said “you can take the girl off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl” in reference to herself, she also kind of bought into (or seemed to) the idea that she treated staying-at-home “like a job”… unlike all those bon-bon eating freeloaders.

    It seems weird to think of it like this, but as far as years worked goes, most of my job experience has been manual labour (retail, modeling, crafting) and the more white-collar stuff has only been happening in the last five years. Who knew?

    Re: “slacker”: Look. I’m not really with you on this one. Job-hopping at random isn’t being a slacker. It’s finding the work that you need while you focus on stuff that matters to you.
    You don’t try to be the Best Best Best if you’re apathetic about anything that smells of effort.
    Trying to be the smartest, most articulate snowflake in the classroom, or trying to run an awesome convention, or even trying to be the socialest (or socialist?) butterfly in your friends-group, rather than Building Your Career isn’t slacking. It’s having a different set of priorities from what you have now. That doesn’t make it less-than or lazy or bad.

    Re: Magic and the Old Ways: This, yes. You’ve written before about Not Being Clergy and, yeah. That. I find that little, mostly on-the-fly magics and regular devotions are *good* for me. Maybe that means I’m relying on being charming, or maybe it means I’m building and maintaining relationships with People who matter to me.

    Your incantation was fabulously to-the-point. How did it go? :-)
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