Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around on Facebook. I love pimping out my profile with pictures of LOL Cats, badges from my favorite TV shows, and my stats as a Pirate sailing the cyber seas.
But I’ve made a few missteps too, such as declining an invitation from a friend who wanted to turn me into a zombie. Call me crazy but I’m kind of attached to my soul, and I’m really not that keen on becoming a minion of the undead.
Apparently it’s unwise to anger the undead however, because in response to my deciding to maintain my status as a human being my friend dedicated a song to me. And now, prominently displayed on my Facebook profile is the phrase, “Detachable Penis.”
I wasn’t really sure how to react to that, but one of my new friends was very excited. “How could I miss out on adding a friend who has “Detachable Penis” playing?” she asked. “If it weren’t for you, I’d not know this tune existed… and that would be wrong.”
On the one hand I thought, “Cool. Even though I’m in the metaphorical desert, I’m glad to see that I’m still using my powers for good.” And on the other hand I thought, “Hm, how interesting that now this is the kind of thing I’m known for.”
Once upon a time I was known for being “a good girl”, as defined by my family, church, and school. Now I am known for things such as my deep and abiding love of the word “ass”, and for introducing people to songs about removable genitalia.
And this? This has been the theme of the year I’ve just spent, traveling through my inner desert. Not so much random people’s private parts, as the fact that the “me” I have become is completely different than everything I was ever taught about how a woman is “supposed” to be. And I don’t really know what to do about that.
It feels a lot like coming out from having been under a spell. And that’s been the other theme of this past year; waking up from the various “spells” I and other people have cast on me in order to make me…acceptable…good enough…loved.
I have quite a bit of experience with emotional spell casting, and of course not all “spells” are bad. Someone can cast a spell through an amazing musical performance or a captivating story. Just look at the whole phenomenon that is Harry Potter and how that series of novels takes us out of ourselves and transports us all to another, more magical place.
But there is also a dark side to emotional spells, and that is what I have been coming to terms with over the past year. I’ve been identifying and breaking the spells I’ve been living under that have unconsciously been running my life and causing me a lot of pain and trauma.
There’s the spell that says, “You can only prove your worth through suffering.” There’s the spell that says, “You are not the authority in your own life.” There’s the spell that says, “You do not even deserve to be here, and so you must justify your very existence by completely eradicating your self and existing only for others.” There’s the spell that says, “If you can just find The One Right Way Of Doing Everything, then all your problems will be solved, all your questions will be answered, and you will live happily ever after, forever and ever, amen.” There’s the spell that says, “A woman can only be this, and no more.”
And it’s not easy, breaking these spells. It always looks so easy in stories because the spells people cast on each other are always very clearly defined as either “good” or “bad”. If someone is using the Imperious Curse on you, then clearly you’re under the influence of a “bad” spell and you need to break it.
But the kind of spells I’ve been dealing with are different. For one thing, there were lots of times when I had to go along with them in order to save myself. Sometimes they were the only thing standing between me and chaos, abuse, or exile. And for another thing, there were lots of times when it was just easier to go along with a spell and let someone or something else run my life for me. Because once I break a spell, then I’m the one who has to figure out what to replace it with. Once the spell is gone, there’s no denying that I am the one responsible for my own life.
And so that’s where I am right now. I know I haven’t been very funny lately, because this is really not a funny place. But I’ve gotten through a lot of other rough places, and the funny has always, eventually, returned. So that is what I’m aiming towards now, once I get past this intense patch of personal growth and character building. Sometimes, enlightenment is a real bitch.