books, personal

hello, it’s me (back from the dead)

Thank you to everyone who has been patiently waiting for me to post again; my fiance and I have been in the process of finding an apartment, packing all of our shit, and moving said shit for the past two months.

I have a lot to catch you guys up on. I have two new tattoos – a thestral and a crown of thorns. We live in a brand new place, and so far, I absolutely love it. Jay graduated so we’ve been navigating that. My car broke down on the day we moved all of our furniture – so we’ve been carpooling ever since. I have a fuck ton of pictures to show you guys. But first, I wanted to tell you why I didn’t write while we were moving. Firstly, I work a shit ton. Spare hours are hard to come by and I was basically managing every aspect of our transport by myself so Jason could finish his classes in peace. There were not a lot of free seconds to devote to writing, unfortunately. Secondly. my space is so crucial to my sanity. I’m an introvert, an INTJ on some days, and an INFJ on others. I am an autumnal spirit who needs solitude and peace before I can function like a person. I also have OCD and anxiety, so everything must be in its proper place. (NOTE: When I say I have OCD, I don’t mean that I’m afraid of germs and dirt. I mean that I have a little voice inside my head that the psychiatrist I went to actual said “Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier? You have classic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and no one has ever diagnosed you properly, so that sucks”) My personal space is so fucking crucial to my mental health. My home is where I go to recharge, it’s my witch’s cottage, my castle. Don’t fuck with my home or the inhabitants.

I strongly believe my first home was a song. Maybe it’s because I was raised under the wings of two Cancers but “home” is a very fluid term for me. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time trying to reign in the fireworks under my skin that “home” has shifted from person to object to lyric so frequently.

Anyway, my first home was a song. It was the only thing that held a glimmer of safety and I tucked myself under the lyrics and stayed there until I was strong enough to be my own crescendo. That song was “Skinny Love” by Bob Iver. I know! You were expecting something by Johnny Cash, hang on, it’s coming. Wait for your fucking turn. You can tell me forty thousand times that Skinny Love is about unrequited love, which, for some, it might be. For me, Skinny Love has always been about suicide and depression. I’m going to tell you a secret. The years between my thirteenth and nineteenth years of my life saw NINE suicide attempts. You read that right, fuck off. I don’t really want to talk about them but they were never supposed to not work so let’s just leave it

I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s not so much a secret now because the shame is wearing off and replacing itself with something more vicious.

The years between my thirteenth and nineteenth years of my life saw NINE suicide attempts. You read that right, fuck off. I don’t really want to talk about them but they were never supposed to not work so let’s just leave it at this: I’m really horrible at committing suicide. Kind of like how I’m horrible at communication or not using “fuck” as a filler word. I can point out the lines in Skinny Love that helped me recover the next morning after I downed a bottle of narcotic pain pills. I can point out the lines that I sang along to with red-rimmed eyes and panic attacks crawling under my skin. This sucks to talk about so let’s finish on a high note – Skinny Love was something that I always thought was written for me. Not in an egotistical, people-are-writing-songs-about-me way but in “Listen you sad little bitch, the universe is trying to tell you something”

Hence, my latest tattoo. When I got my thestral patronus, I thought “Fucking perfect, I’m a morbid piece of shit with a death pony as a spirit animal. Who could love that?” Who will love you, who will fight? This leads me into a brief discussion of my second home: myself. I never really cared for myself as an object of permanence until I started decorating the walls. I think my partial sleeves actually started my journey into self-acceptance. Not self-love, that’s a work in progress.  I have all these pieces of my soul etched on my skin and it gives me great comfort to know it’s giving everyone a forewarning before they talk to me.

The other tattoo I got, my crown of thorns, lives ever-so-happily on my middle finger of my right hand. It’s a homage to two things – Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt and my Catholic upbringing. I’ve always felt like us reformed Catholics wear a crown of thorns. My crown is formed of guilt and grief. I’m sure there are other ties that bind us to our thrones, but those are mine.

Thirdly, as you can probably guess, I find a home in the books that I love. They become part of me, so I cover myself in them. I cover my shelves with them, my bathtub is lined with them. If I ever saw someone trying to hurt one of my books, they would get a right hook to the jaw.  Harry Potter, Wicked Lovely, Looking for Alaska, and the Raven Cycle are series that I consider to be especially comfortable.

Lastly, I find my home in other people. Before you get all judgy and start accusing of being a false prophet of introversion,  let me tell you something – I am very particular with the people that I settle into. Above all things that I am proud of, I am most proud of the fact that when I decide to love something or someone, I love them with all that I have. I made a home for myself within the confines of maybe four or five people, tops. One of them is my sister and one of them is Jason. Jason is a very interesting choice of residence, as I am always so sure that we could break each other entirely.  My OCD makes me think I am the catalyst to his destruction, my tarot cards say I am the catalyst for his resurrection.

By the way, my sister gave birth to my goddaughter on June 2nd. Little Annabelle Jade, my little Gemini trickster queen.

So now Jason and I have a tiny 900 square foot fortress and in turn, I have other dwelling places within that home.

I feel as if a home has a different definition to every individual, but I always think of it as a place where I can tell the truth of myself without judgment, a place where I can let my magic reign free with no fear of consequence.

Here are some pictures of my tiny home

deskliving roomravenwitch

Yes, that IS a Ronan Lynch quote above my witchcraft station. Call me morbid but I thought “Not death but his brother, sleep” was a perfect addition to my bedroom. Fight me, I dare you. Did I happen to mention that I got my DNA test back? Guess who is 65% Irish with a Russian and Bulgarian twist. It explains my kinship to the Lynches and Kavinsky.  It also explains my intolerance to the sun, weather above 60 degrees, the spectrum of human emotion, and my love of Jameson.

Speaking of books, I finished Labryth Lost and it was surprisingly really good.  The lore was interesting to read about and I appreciated the way the main character was written. I was surprised by the romantic twist but it was one of my favorite LBGT moments thus far in a book. I also read Diary of a Haunting and it was an easy read but the ending actually snuck up on me a bit. I am having a super hard time getting into A Court of Wings and Ruin, I think because I honestly prefer the Throne of Glass series and I think Aelin and Rowan could kick Feyre and Rhys’ ass. Fun fact: I like slow burn books IF YOU COULDN’T ALREADY TELL.

While we’re on the topic of my favorite literary couples, can we have a moment of silence for all the Dreamer trilogy niblets that Maggie keeps dropping? Not going to lie, I cry when I see them. I save them to my phone and look at them when I need a moment of cathartic release.

I’m currently listening to The Song of Achilles on Audible and reading a physical copy of  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and I have already picked out which quotes I’m going to get added to my Book Sleeve. These books are going to destroy me, I can sense it.

I will start blogging more often, I promise. I’ll have to give reviews of the books I’m reading now and keep updating everyone on my domestic bullshit. I’m back in business for tarot readings since I have more privacy, so tell your friends.

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

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Sunday Ramblings

So, I’m finally crawling out of the despair pit that was my Post-Raven Cycle Reading Slump. I’m still completely over the moon with that series – it was a life changer but I’m easing my way back into other literature. I read Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. Then I tried a contemporary romance and that was a mistake, so I gave it to a friend and moved onto Me, Earl & The Dying Girl which gives me a sneaking suspicion that I, too, might die at the end. I’m also listening to Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea and also enjoying it quite a bit.

On an unrelated note, I strongly recommend listening to podcasts about subjects that you enjoy if you ever feel lost, they’ll help you rediscover your love for “stuff”

On a semi-unrelated note, here are some updates about my life:

  • I’m coloring my hair to black in a couple weeks. I had a black fo-hawk a couple years ago and I loved the color but the length was a bit much. Trying to keep up with my growth right now is a bitch, so I’m going to nix that problem right in the roots. (That WAS a hair pun, you’re welcome)
  •  I have an appointment to get my thestral tattoo in a couple weeks and I’ll also be adding to my fingers; my tarot symbols didn’t take very well to my skin but my artist is the most amazing human ever and I have no doubt that she’ll be able to fix that.
  • I may be upgrading my camera! Seriously, I’m so excited. I did not expect to love photography this much. I also plan on giving my sister my Kodak, in the event of said upgrade, because she loves taking pictures and it would be nice to have a buddy.
  • I have been agonizing over my Imagine Dragons tattoo. Combining five songs into a single bicep-sized image is basically torture. I was stoked when I finally created this masterpiece on my computer and have thus decided to have thousands of tiny needles engrave it on my skin. imgine dragons
  • Last but not least: I ordered a DNA tracing kit in order to find out more about my personal heritage. That’s what this particular segment of my odd ramblings is going to focus on: family.

You know the word: family. Familia. Teaghlaigh. Семейный

It’s defined as all “descendants of a common ancestor”.

My mom is adopted so I don’t know anything about my ancestors. The fact that she was adopted has no relevance to my life other than that. My Papa and Mimi taught me that we chose our own family, and I’ve stuck to that doctrine throughout my whole life. I am closer to and more loved by people who aren’t even in the same genetic pool as I than some people that I share blood with. But, more on that later. The moral of the story is that my mom was so loved that my grandparents chose her to be their child. I share no blood with those same grandparents and yet, I share their hearts.

Let’s talk about my dad.

Our last name is “Primak”, which is a very Russian rooted word. So, we know that much. I go by “Hayden” because I feel as though an alias is something I was born to have and middle names can totally count for an alias, right?

Fucking right.

My dad…

dado

(The resemblance between us is uncanny, by the way)

My dad was in the middle of building a student union at my University when I was much younger. He was one of the upper dudes who told other dudes how to do math-y shit and how to not be idiots. My dad, for lack of better terms, is not an idiot. I keep thinking about this particular time period because there’s a memory that has lodged itself so far into my brain that I have theorized it would take some serious sort of accident to dislodge it. My dad took me to the University library. It was different than it was now, but I remember two things:

  1. I was scared shitless. These college kids were tall and smart as fuck and I was an awkward Catholic school kid. I imagined every one of them looked at me with disgust and years of wisdom beyond mine. Little did I know that they were all dying internally and had I paid better attention, at least 26% were in pajamas and 38% were hungover.
  2. My dad doesn’t have a lot of words to say. He’s one of those individuals who doesn’t fill your life with meaningless bullshit if he can help it. As a child, I did not understand that. I grew up around Italians and Italians are the loudest breed of human beings who love (I say this with as much endearing fondness as I can) meaningless bullshit. Today, I very much understand that my dad offering me admittance to this library of scholars was his way of saying “I see you reading, and I see your passion for it.” I had been put down for my love of books for so many years that this realization was a bucket of ice water to my brain.

Long story short, he’s someone that I do happen to have a blood relation with, and who I am grateful to have a blood relation with. My dad is the reason I have a caffeine dependence. I look for him tucked in corners of my town, in cafes, on Lander St, in the stars. Jason, bless him, can now take one look at my face, see the tears in my eyes, and know that I am about to say “My dad and I always came here” or “This is something my dad would love”.  I don’t have those moments as often with my Mimi, because she follows me in my grief, in my sorrow. She does not bind herself to places like the living but wraps her absence around my wrist like a leash. I always thought “I am not like the people I come from” and I will be the first to tell you, as an adult, how wrong I was. You believe yourself to be an individual completely separate from your paternal or maternal influences but I am at least 48.5% Lou Primak. My dad is the smell of really fucking good coffee and pine trees. He’s old leather briefcases and the ridges of a baseball glove. He’s learning to ride a bike and the first time I went to Seattle. My dad is a winter child, like me.

I have a few moms at the moment, so let me talk about that really quick. I have my biological mom, Violet. I have my stepmom, Heather. I have my god-mom, Tonya. I have other moms who have picked me up along the way, but these ones are the most prevalent in my everyday understanding of the world. My Mimi was also my mom but she’s gone now and crying was not the point of this post. Obviously, you know I’m blood-related to Violet so let’s discuss Heather and Tonya because they are prime examples of “The blood of the covenant”

Heather is my dad’s wife. They got married when I was, like, nine or ten. They gave me a brother –  Jackson, who looks like me in dude form and has more energy in his pinky finger than I do in my whole body.

Heather is autumn leaves, a river in the distance, a home cooked meal when you’ve been living off of Ramen. Heather is an ocean of creative energy, a new project, a summertime nap. She’s the moment when the season changes to autumn, the brief seconds between “then” and “now”. She is my kindred spirit, the whole reason I got into blogging and cooking and photography and crafting. She’s the driving force behind my ingenuity. She’s my model introvert; she showed me that being comfortable with yourself is what really makes us unique. So many people lack the ability to sit with themselves for an hour before they begin to hate it. I look at kids who have stepparents that they feel bitter towards or dislike and I can’t even begin to tell you how ignorant I am on that topic. I had someone who helped me through so many difficult areas of my life and still put up with my shit, even though she had no obligation to do so.

It’s one of those phenomena where you look at your life under a microscope and can say “Holy shit, thank you”

Tonya is my god-mother which means, if you haven’t a clue about Catholicism, that if everyone died, she would be my new mom. She has actually said at one point “If everyone dies, I get to be your new mom. I mean, I am your mom. But this would be, like legally. It’s on papers at the lawyer’s office”. She’s also said things like “If I ever heard someone talking to you like that, I would spider-monkey over the counter and rip their throat out.”

Tonya was my spirit guide in another life (more on that later) and she probably gave birth to me in another one, too. She’s a fucking badass and I feel quite a bit better when I’m in her presence. She has that calming, “All is well, child. I’ll fuck a bitch up” vibe going for her. Tonya is rose quartz on a living room table. She’s a cone of incense and smudging your home with sage. She’s a wildfire, a hurricane of kindness and honesty. She’s a Pride flag, bright and burning. She’s a tattoo needle, a patch sewn into your heart. She’s a leather jacket and a Johnny Cash shirt. I am not blood-related to Tonya, her dad was a firefighter with my Papa, but I would never be able to put a tangible amount on how much I love her.

In short, I am not doing a DNA test to find my genetic relatives. You know why? Cause fuck that. know who my family is. I refer to myself constantly as a “walking contradiction of impulsivity and contemplation” meaning I’m the type of person who moves on a whim but budgets for it, the type who decides to dye her hair black but waits a month, the kind who suddenly realizes that they need a motorcycle but sets up a piggy bank for it, the kind who thinks “I need a new tattoo” over twenty times a day but spends more time designing them than getting them. The kind who says “Fuck it, I’m doing a DNA test” but holds off for five weeks.

I am a pretty big believer in reincarnation. In fact, I would probably say that it encompasses most of my thoughts on the afterlife.  I don’t actually believe in an afterlife but I think most people are recycled into new things. I do, however, think that some of us don’t get more chances. Like, when Hitler died they were like “Bro, what the fuck? We were gonna make you a sunfish or some dumb shit so you could learn but you just kept going?! We’re gonna have to scrap you, this energy can’t go anywhere else. You piece of shit, what the fuck. We were able to recycle Pontius Pilate for fucks sake”

So, in my search of my DNA, I’m hoping to find pieces of me scattered amongst the globe. I’m hoping to put them together and maybe resurrect the story of my lungs, my hair, my eyes.

That’s all there is,

Carry on,

The Book Witch

 

 

 

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A Narrative; A Character Study

I picked my sister up in the Camry after work. I’ve preferred the Camry as of late because I have more control and more control equates to going faster. It’s not like driving the Explorer, which is all weight and no fluidity. There’s nothing gratuitous about driving a tank. We drove on auto-pilot to our restaurant, to our table – my camera loaded in the back, the weight of feeling everything at once on my shoulders. I had a beer with my lunch while we discussed Camaros and court cases. I had every intention of only going so far out of town that the fresh air would loosen the grip on my lungs. Breathing has been a labor of love the last couple of weeks; staying conscious has been accompanied by nausea and rage. The universe had other plans and I found myself bringing the accelerator to ninety as we careened around the snow-heavy mountainsides. Sometimes you go on a spontaneous adventure – sometimes you lie out of a ticket. Sometimes you talk about books and husbands but the words you need find themselves stuck between your teeth.

I wouldn’t tell her that the only religious experiences that I’ve had revolved around muscle cars, tattoos, and nicotine. The phrase “he was baptized under a stream of self-sacrifice and bare tree limbs but I see a sinner in the mirror when I tie up my hair” would not form itself without leaving the shadow of bitterness behind. I so desperately wanted to tell her that he had learned to love a god that had dragged me through embers and the only worship that I understand is self-destruction. I still have the hole in my palm where I had discovered how to turn their addictions into barbed wire while he brushed them away like sand. I wanted to tell her that he was the color of pine – a source of comfort and solidity – whose branches I could cling onto when the world tipped on its axis. I didn’t tell her that I was the color of a bruise blooming under tired skin, a storm of salt water and shards of stained glass. I would never vocalize that I felt as if smoke and ink replaced vital parts in me, my bones and blood had been insubstantial for longer than I could remember. The world was quieter when I was far away, under the tattoo needle, going too fast. I need substances to stay awake, substances to fall asleep… my own haunted house. I am a fragment of a constellation; the aftershock of a thunderstorm. I am petrified of heights but graveyards make me feel whole. I have bloodied my knuckles intentionally more times than I can count and he has always brought peace to any environment. He is the saved turned savior and I wear a crown of thorns to all my affairs. 

My sister knows about anger. She knows the walk that I make from driver seat to front porch is stained with grief. She knows that when I hear the sound of gravel under my boots that the years are soaking through to my skin and I’m imagining the slick crunching noises are actually femurs and scapulae. She knows of the night terrors that follow me around and the stories I read to make them subside. She knows that I wear oceans inside my veins and frost bite under my nails. 

I do not have to say it but 

she knows.

She always 

knows. 

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Three Years Later 


Tomorrow will be 3 years since I lost you. Holy. Fucking. Shit. I don’t remember everything about you, and G O D how I wish I could remember everything, but I do remember how you wore your emotions like a second skin. I never had to guess what you were feeling, but maybe we were so close that we felt the same things. In the last three years, I have heard more “she was just your grandma”s or “some people have lost parents, don’t be so selfish”s than I can count. “Just” does not begin to describe what you were to me and I miss you like fucking hell. I miss you when I’m wedding planning, I miss you when I touch my shoulder, I miss you when I sit with Papa, I miss you when I hold Jay’s hand. I wear my anger so close to me now. I miss you every time I fall apart and pick my pieces back up again.  I know I’m supposed to forgive the universe or whoever-the-fuck took you, but I can’t and I won’t. I feel like I was one person, then you left, and I became someone else entirely. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was this late in February and maybe it explains why the last couple of weeks have felt like a sucker punch to the ribs. Grief has never left my side. He clings to me like a stray dog and instead of shooing him away, I let him guide me home. Somedays, I feel like you took up the space of the whole world – you were the sun and we were the planets orbiting around you. You ripped a hole in the galaxy when you left and I have not stopped bleeding stars since. You left in a puff of smoke and mint, collapsing the ecosystem in your wake. I don’t blame you (maybe a little, but those are moments when I am lacking much of myself) for taking my gravitational pull. Today was a solar eclipse in Pisces and I think that’s fitting for how I feel. You are, after all, the solar eclipse and I, the Pisces. I lack words for how badly I wish this astrological alignment would ease the pressure on my heart. You taught me about the stars and their placements in my soul. Do you remember rolling your eyes at Capricorns and scoffing at Geminis? Your death was an explosion and instead of absorbing the shock, I combusted, too.

 I miss your acceptance of me, I miss our friendship. I miss how you were the glue to all my pieces. I remember how you hated Johnny Cash and cussed about him in the car. You hated tattoos and rock music and yet you loved me. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. 

God damn, me. 

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Thankful for Youtube Tutorials + Good Highlighter

I’m taking a break from Facebook for a few days; I am one of the millions of human beings who struggles with deep rooted mental illness and sometimes it makes me feel better to just exercise control over very insignificant things – it reminds me that there are so many aspects of my life that will never go the way I want them to, but I can always tackle the world one niche at a time.

Speaking of things to tackle, I have been watching lots of tutorials on YouTube about taking photos! I learned, and don’t judge me (I know that this is super basic rule #1 and I should’ve known already) that lighting is very,  very important. I know, I told you in advance. So, I played around with it today and….

KODAK Digital Still Cameramakeup5.JPG

 

KODAK Digital Still Camera

ITS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE KIND OF PICTURES I WAS CONVINCED THAT I WOULD BE TAKING FOREVER.

I got another book about DSLR tricks so that’s on my list of tasks to conquer this weekend. I’ve mostly been teaching myself by playing with buttons and watching YouTube tutorials. I love YouTube, it’s surprisingly educational and I’m fairly certain there’s a video for everything. If you’re angry because there’s not a video for something and you think there should be, make one. I watched some videos about flat-lays, which is the primary kind of pictures that I’ve been posting here and to my Bookstagram (@_bookwitchblog, I know you were wondering). Inspired, I grabbed my paperback copy of Raven Boys and some props (I say props because I don’t know how to explain the coyote bones that I collect or the massive amounts of crystals that I own).

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I think it turned out cute, look what Chandler did! I’m gonna go to Michaels when I can and get some new paper for the background – marbles, water, and whatnot. I also need to collect things to supplement my books. Books are friends and thus, need friends.

Also, are you guys makeup collectors like me? Incidentally, my love of makeup started through books. The first reason is that I had a couple thrift store books growing up that were all about the history of makeup and makeup artists. I adored those books. Secondly, I love book-character inspired makeup. I used to play around with Katniss themed smokey eyes when I was younger. I really think that makeup is either really loved or really hated; I think the creativity that people employ when applying their makeup is amazing. I have seen some of the most mind-blowing expressions of talent on Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook. Let me know if you’ve ever done a book-themed makeup, hair, or fashion look – I would love to see it.

Anyway, thanks for looking! I have a feeling that I will love experimenting with this project.

Carry on,

The Book Witch

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A Prayer for 2017

We’ve talked about this, I’m not much of a religious person. I do, however, sometimes say things aloud to the universe in hopes that they catch something. I say riddles, odd descriptions, things like: Hello, I enjoy coffee and baths and books. I have been told that I have a calming presence but that can mean a cup of chamomile tea or a shot of whiskey in the dark. My friend once said that I’m one of the only people who understand the way she speaks, in tongues and metaphors. I thought that was such an astounding sentence because who couldn’t use a bit of understanding in their lives? Especially right now. We’re so busy screaming at each other to be heard that we forgot how to listen. We forgot how to lend a copy of our favorite book in hopes that people could see glimmers of our souls tucked inside the pages. We forgot to observe the people around us in hopes of memorizing who they are when they think that no one is looking. We’re too busy trying to fit each other into little boxes and then attempting to change our loved ones when we don’t like the boxes that they fit in. We’re so full of anger and we’re so lost. Anger can be a beautiful component of our existence and so is being perfectly off the beaten path. It’s important to stop and remember why we’re so angry. This is a lot, coming from a tiny ball of rage and a walking storm, to be looking out amongst a sea of people and thinking “Why are they so hateful?” 

I throw this to the universe in the hopes that it’s caught by someone or something. I pray that we remember to feel anger for the right reasons. Stop being angry because your neighbor is different than you, start being angry because your soul is being chained. Stop being angry because you have all this time, an unknown variable, that you’ve chosen to live in a way you’re not proud of. Start being angry because there are people who were taken before they reaized where the numbers stopped. It’s taken me a long time to learn that we have our own hearts and lungs and minds – that we can not decide how much someone is hurting because we assume they are like us, with identical atriums and lobes. 

Teach your kids to be happy over a well-loved novel; a book is not the same without folded pages and pencil marks and we are not the same without the constellations of scars on our bodies. Share a cup of coffee with a friend, be silent, and remember. Acknowledge their hurt, be angry because someone broke them, not because you will never understand their pain.

Enjoy your time, I pray that everyone who reads this can stop and enjoy five minutes – to relive the moments that made them feel alive again. 

Carry on,

The Book Witch 

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An Introvert’s Insight Into Toxic Influences

So, learning how to use a DSLR camera is a fucking nightmare. I got some reading material to try and clarify some things but it looks like the mostly focus on Nikon and Canon…and I’m a proud Kodak owner. 

In addition, I haven’t gotten any positive news about my laptop so my nerves are a little frayed. On a brighter note, my fiancé started his new career yesterday. We have some bills to pay and some wedding costs to manage and then (hopefully) we will be able to move. I’m dying to have my own space and a push in the right direction is something we definitely need.

I was really excited this morning because I woke up, went to the gym, showered, and then had a personalized makeup lesson from one of the girls at my second job. Makeup is one of those daily routines that really empowers me.

Here’s the finished look:


In other news, I came across a few quotes recently that really resonated with me. The first one was:

You should give a fuck. You really should, but only about things that set your soul on fire. Save your fucks for magical shit.

and then this one, a quote about INTJ’s that I felt deep in my soul:

We love few people profoundly instead of several people sparingly.

and, finally:

Life is too short for bad books, decaf coffee, and toxic people.

I befriended my first toxic person in middle school, and much like I collect Virgos, I’ve been attracting them ever since. When I began this friendship, I had already been dubbed the “Harry Potter girl” and the “fastest reader” in my class of thirty-six students. I was strange and wall-flowerish and too sarcastic for my age. I rejected most of the religious readings and, above all, hated being separated from my books. For someone who had always been comfortable in my own skin, it was surprising how fast my friend was able to make me hate myself- I was called fat and emotional and weird. Suddenly, I wasn’t as at home in the silence of solitude or as in-love with the quirt nooks of my home. I needed to be reassured that my presence was important, desired. I didn’t care about any of this; I had found a friend! A friend with similar interests, as well!

Years passed before I reclaimed my self worth. After my first toxic influence, I continued to allow toxic people into mt life – welcoming their personal issues as my own – until recently. I cut the ties, fishing wire and red strings, holding me to the toxic people in my life. Re- learning to enjoy my own company was much more rewarding than being a doormat.

I’m not sure what it’s like for extroverts to have toxic influences in their lives, I have never been an extrovert. Even in the days that I spent covered in sunshine and chlorine, I craved solitude. I can tell you, however, how important it is for introverts to let go of negative people. Allowing toxicity into our lives is consenting to the idea that we aren’t worth more than their opinions. It’s letting go of Friday nights at home, with our hobbies and our thoughts, to go be with someone who will eventually turn us against ourselves. It’s saying
“I don’t love you, the bones that form my foundation and the mind that dwells inside, to keep you safe from voluntary harm”. It sounds harsh but it’s true; every time I’ve told someone “That friend doesn’t treat you with love”, I’ve watched the fear in their eyes so often that I feel it as my own. You shouldn’t fear cutting ties with someone, but that’s what happens with toxic humans – they inject themselves into our veins and take root in our hearts; they poison our blood with false promises and their own victimization.

I know lovely people in my life that I wish would cut ties with their toxic friends. I know it’s hard, I have toxic people in my family tree that I have no hope for severing, but I have learned to stand my ground and allow myself to create considerable distance.  I know people who light up my world that are friends with people who want to control them or change them or turn them into something that they aren’t.

If you come away from this post with anything, I hope you understand that you can’t fully love the right people or trust healthy relationships until you let go of the wrong ones.

May you always know your worth & let your truth shine,

The Book Witch

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