This week, my dear blogger buddy Allen T. St. Clair from The Midnight Goose has graciously provided a guest post about his experiences with spirituality. Allen is a hilarious blogger, the author of the awesome paranormal mystery series MKPI Odd Case Files, and just an all-around awesome human being. In addition to his blog, you can find him sporadically on Facebook and read his ranting on Twitter. If you’re not following him, you should be. Trust me, there is never a dull moment when the goose flies at midnight!
My mom’s family were devout Methodists and my dad’s family were devout drinkers. My mom’s people believed that spiritual needs could be tended to with food—Methodists, amirite? And my dad’s side believed that if the whiskey you drank Saturday night was strong enough, you probably already did your praying and could skip church Sunday morning.
Both sides of the family observed Christmas and we attempted Easter every other year or so…but for the most part, none of us were incredibly devout folks. Except to the food and drink, of course. My maternal grandmother had a few Precious Moments™ statuettes and a Bible buried in a cabinet somewhere, so I guess there was a little effort made. Sporadically.
The best my mother could tell me when I was growing up was that our family believed that we should always be kind to ourselves, to others, and do what was right. We weren’t observant, however.
I was basically left to my own devices when it came to figuring out God and everything that came with beliefs, faith, and spirituality. And, if you don’t know this about me, if I’m left to my own devices with, well, anything, there’s going to be a few bumps. Possibly a shoe thrown from a moving vehicle while a drunken soon-to-be-bride is having a meltdown in the backseat. But…that’s another story. And I probably need to confer with my lawyers first before telling it.
Anyhoozles, I never felt at home in church. They were always lovely—I mean, stained glass: pretty. But the few times I went involved listening to a thunderfuck (see: “gaggle-slash-cluster-fuck) of white folk singing solemnly about violence and sin, my grandmother threatening to punch me in the face, and a lot of strangers trying to hug me. I’m a “don’t get in my personal bubble” type fella.
Ultimately, I ended up going to a Methodist church in my early teens, joining the youth fellowship—then realizing that none of the other teens knew how to make a decent Martini and having to peace out of that shit. I mean, none of them even smoked cigarettes, so how the hell was I supposed to enjoy sleep away camp if absolutely no one is holding? I remember asking a tentmate if he had anything to drink and having a Coca-Cola shoved in my face. Okay. So, we got mixers…but where’s the rum? I was fourteen and he was sixteen. I was obviously dealing with a late bloomer. To answer your obvious question, my request for a tent transfer was met with a sermon about loving thy tentmate. I ain’t got time for all that, I’m starting to get the DTs. Seriously. Where’s the bar, Pastor?
To answer another question, my time at camp lasted one night. I was gone when the sun came up.
Ahem. This has gone off the rails.
So, my “come to Jesus” journey was a lengthy process that A&E probably would have been interested in making into a documentary if they were looking to bleep out every other word I said. The journey didn’t end at the feet of Jesus, either. Luckily, it didn’t end at the Betty Ford Clinic, either. Though, I probably would’ve met more like-minded individuals at Aunt Betty’s 30-Day Retreat.
Ultimately, after dipping my toes in everything from Christianity to Paganism to a brief (and impatient) introduction to Buddhism, I decided that religion just wasn’t for me. Christianity (for me) was too much fire and brimstone. Paganism was a little too passive and hippie. And Buddhism required way too much patience and understanding on my part—and they don’t really care for the drinkers, ya’ feel me? I mean, I’m a big fan of God—she’s my favorite celestial being. Love her work—even if she’s probably side-eyeing me on the daily.
But I realized that spirituality and a person’s relationship with God really has nothing to do with the building you’re in when having your “let’s have a talk” time with God. God hears you wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, or over whatever music you’re singing while celebrating your faith. And my version of God believes in reverence, but also has a sense of humor—so a traditional church and religion is not really made for my kind. We’re not as rare as one might think.
So, to wrap up this long stream of word diarrhea, I guess what I’m saying is that, to me, spirituality is settling into your beliefs, living by them, and having faith. Faith in God’s existence, faith in God’s ability to deal with you as you are, as you struggle to be who you are meant to be, to give you a kick in the ass when you stumble, and to smile down mercifully on you when you do well. When you’re kind to yourself, to others, and do good, God is there without question. Even when you stumble, God may be shaking her head, but she’s still there, too. Probably with a Martini in hand. No building or structured way of worshipping can change that. Faith for faith’s sake is good enough.
A big, heartfelt thank you to Allen for taking the time to write something up for me! It always pays to have friends who will do your work for you! 😉 Once again, you can find Allen at The Midnight Goose, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Like my content? Consider buying me a coffee. Less time worrying about paying my bills means more time creating content.
Alternately titled: What I was doing while I forgot the internet existed!
Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for the new semester to start, because I desperately need a routine to be able to function? If not, let me assure you: I can’t, because I do.
I mean, I think most people would be happy that their Real Lifeis so full and bustling that they haven’t had time for the internet. And, I’m sure if I didn’t know so many incredible people online and love you all so very, very much, I’d probably also be happy to forget the internet exists. But, I do enjoy keeping up with all of you, so I don’t like when I don’t have at least a little time to devote to my social media (which I consider myself lucky if I remember to check it twice a day) and to this space.
Although, in a general sense, I am happy with some of the things I’ve been doing, lately. Happy enough that I want to share them with you. Read More
I didn’t schedule a post for today, I’m sorry! I’ve been about three days behind this whole week and I’m not exactly sure why.
Okay, that’s a lie. I know exactly why, and it’s because I have this awful tendency of stacking up more plates than I can balance, then try to balance them anyway, and inevitably I drop the whole damn stack.
I blame summer. I don’t have a routine during the summer, because it’s just too hot where I live to create any routine that involves anything other than lying in bed with the fan blowing on me. If there is anything I’ve learned over the last two years, it’s that I need a routine.
I’m trying to institute one, but until the Fall semester starts up (in about three weeks) and I have a better idea of how I need to utilize my time, it seems pointless. Right now, I’m just focusing on getting back on a “wake up in the morning, go to sleep in the evening” schedule. It’s not going well.
But, I wonder, what exactly do I want in a routine? What would my perfect day look like?
I’ve always wanted to be an early riser. And for a while, I actually had that down for a couple weeks, going to bed at nine and waking up at five. But, then I got ill and slept a whole day away and ruined that.
So, I’d like to wake up early and fix myself a healthy breakfast. Nothing too fancy or time-consuming; maybe an egg on avocado toast, or maybe a whole-wheat waffle and turkey sausage if I’m feeling decadent. Then, I’d like to do a half hour of yoga, just to get my blood flowing for the day, with a short period of meditation afterwards.
I’ve always been a night-time shower-er, but I’d like to shower in the morning before getting ready. Put on a little makeup, get dressed, be ready to start my day.
Since this is an ideal situation, I would drive to school. I would take a full course load and be in school for most of the day, Monday through Thursday, so I can actually get my degree before I turn forty.
I always pack myself a lunch the night before; usually a wrap or sandwich, but sometimes just carrots and celery with peanut butter and a hardboiled egg. Again, if I’m feeling decadent, or I know I’m going to have a place to actually sit down and eat at a table like a human I’ll make myself a salad or something fancy like lettuce wraps (which you basically have to bring the ingredients for, assemble, and then eat immediately, because they don’t travel well once they’re finished).
Once I got home, I’d probably take a little time (half hour or so) to just sit and relax. Maybe watch an episode of something, or maybe listen to music. Then, I’d make dinner, cleaning as I went so I wouldn’t have a lot of dishes to do later.
After I ate, I would work on my homework for a couple hours, then work on my writing for an hour before going to sleep.
Weekends, I think, would be roughly the same, except instead of going to school, I would work on things at home. Homework, my writing, craft projects, chores.
Perfectly speaking, of course. Right now, my daily “routine” looks absolutely nothing like the pretty picture of function I’ve painted above.
And honestly, it probably never will, because I’m human and I don’t live an perfect life. I live a real life, where sometimes things get overwhelming and I forget that I need to post something because, holy shit, people actually enjoy reading what I have to say and wonder where I am when I’m not here.
So, try not to hold my imperfection against me, okay?
I love you all.
Like my content? Consider buying me a coffee. Less time worrying about paying my bills means more time creating content.
I mean, short answer: Yes, as long as you identify as a witch. Obviously. I just needed a catchy title.
I’ve hit a bit of a spiritual slump, lately. This is something that commonly happens with me (depression, anxiety, and the crippling inability to function that comes with them). When I feel overwhelmed, anything that is not absolutely essential to my survival gets left by the way side.
This is trying for me, because my spirituality is a very important part of my life. Read More
Here’s a little-known fact about me: This past June, on my thirtieth birthday, I took a one-year vow of celibacy and am considering maintaining abstinence until I enter into a serious, long-term commitment (but not necessarily marriage—which is another blog post entirely). This fact is little known because this is the first time I’ve told anyone outside my own brain, because what if I fail? Then everyone will… honestly probably not care, but I’ll still feel bad.
But, it’s not really a vow if I’m not allowing myself to be held accountable (and it’s a needed fact for this blog post to make sense), so there it is.
This might come as a shock to some of the people who know me, because I have always considered myself to be sex-positive. In fact, I still do. Read More
When I revamped my blog, I decided I didn’t want to make anymore random, nonsensical, stream-of-consciousness posts which amounted to little more than a voyeuristic look into the train wreck of my personal life. And, I’m sticking to that.
I also still want to share what’s going on in my life with you all, because you’re amazing and I love you and sharing is caring. And also, life caused me to miss last Friday’s post and I have a compulsive need to explain myself so you won’t be angry. Read More
I don’t like talking about political things too much, anymore. When people can justify taking children from their parents and putting them in internment camps, I know there is nothing I can say that will change their minds. A person needs to blind their self to science, logic, and compassion to look at what is happening and not be horrified. Read More
This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.
Sorry for getting this post out so late! I forgot my film class started this week, so I kind of had to rush to catch up with it a little bit (everything’s good now; all caught up) and just didn’t have time to draft up a post! Oops! Now that I know class has started, I’ll be better able to manage that time.
Anyways, on with the post! Read More
I’ve been very quiet regarding last week’s news about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. What is there I can say that countless others are not already screaming from the tops of their lungs with incredible desperation? Of course, everyone knows that healthcare, and mental healthcare particularly, in this country is broken, except for all the people who can actually do something about it. Talking about that would just be preaching to the choir.
But, it feels wrong to remain silent. Read More
I turn thirty in two days (on the 10th if you don’t feel like doing the math).
It seems inconceivable to me. I used to joke that I never thought I’d live this long. Honestly, I think a part of me really didn’t think I’d live this long.
Because I go to a community college where most of the students are younglings fresh out of high school, I get a lot of people assuming I’m younger than I am. When people find out my age, most of the time I’m met with, “Oh, I thought you were younger than that!” Generally, people assume I’m somewhere between 20-24.
Of course, I get it. Context matters and I’m surrounded by younger folks. Some people don’t look their age. Some people are a bad judge of age. I’ve mistakenly thought people were younger or older than they really were. So, I understand.
It doesn’t make it any less annoying. Read More
This isn’t a “real” post, but I wanted to pop in to wish all my LGBTQ+ readers a happy Pride month! Whatever your sexuality or gender, I see you. You’re valid. Even if certain purists want to take this month to tell you you’re not, you are.
If you’re bisexual, you’re valid.
If you’re pansexual, you’re valid.
If you’re asexual, you’re valid.
If you’re trans, you’re valid.
If you’re nonbinary, you’re valid.
If you just prefer to stick with “queer,” you’re valid.
If you’re questioning your sexuality or gender identity (or both), your struggle is real and you are valid. (I’m also here to talk if you need.)
If labels aren’t really your thing and you just love who you love and do what you do, you’re valid.
If you’re anywhere else in between those things, and I just can’t think of your specific label off the top of my head right now, you’re valid.
I see you. You’re awesome. Be proud.
I love you all.