Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ahh, new beginnings!

No pictures this time! Just me. December was rough, and it's taken me a while to get my bearings, but I think I'm well on my way to regaining myself!

This weekend, I went to March Crown, an SCA West Kingdom event, and had a marvelous time. I haven't been to events in nearly three years, because, well... *hopes the implication is clear without stating the obvious* It was just amazing to be back. My Household family was mostly all there, the core group at least, and there was much drumming. I saw friends in other Houses I hadn't seen in years, caught up on the latest news, and met new friends! (We also had a slight run-in on Saturday night, but I'm trying my best to ignore it.) I even *gasp, drum roll, please* put on The Outift. Tanya put hers on, so I did too. I was nervous, fearful, and postive that I looked a fool, but I put the sucker on anyway. (I did refuse to look at myself in a mirror, though.) Then the drumming started, and Tanya taught me some more moves, and we started to dance (and I downed copious amounts of rum). All of a sudden, I wasn't nervous or shy anymore! My family all told me how beautiful I was and how wonderfully I danced (aren't they sweet!) I got hit on by men and women alike. I danced some more, and had more liquid courage, and laughed, smiled, talked, and danced til 2am. I didn't stutter, or stumble over my words, and I managed to say the right things and make people laugh and smile. It was extaordinary!

I returned Sunday with my spirits amazingly lifted. It was exactly what I needed, I think- to be reminded that I am unconditionally accepted and loved by my true friends. It put the heart back into me, to know I was, after all, attractive enough to hit on. It restored my faith in myself, to know that I haven't lost ALL of my confidence and self esteem, and that I can, in fact, get up and put on a ridiculously revealing outift and do some hip bumps, even though you couldn't have convinced me, prior to doing it, that I ever had the courage.

So the first new beginning, for me, is really a return to the old me, the pre-Jake me. The me that liked the SCA, that loved to brew, and drum, and laugh, and just BS with my friends. The me that knew I had something to offer, that knew I was attractive to at least a minor segment of the male population.

The next new beginning is somewhat scarier, but this past weekend has given me more courgae about it. I'm moving! Yes, yes, at long last. Ever since I moved in with my parents, as grateful as I am, and will always be, for opportunity to go back to school, the rescission of that aspect of my independence has always shamed me, at least a little. There is no longer, obviously, any plan to move to San Diego, so I am moving to Carmichael, into a pretty little remodeled 1- bedroom apartment. The scary part is, I think, because I fear I have become too used to living with the folks. And I remember why I moved in with them in the first place. I'm a little afraid I won't be able to make it out in the big, scary world. On the other hand, I've been ready to get back out there for a long time now, and I'm very much looking forward to getting out and spreading my wings.

At least there will be enough floorspace to spread them, now!

Fechak's Moving Week From Hell fresh in my mind, I'm hoping I don't tempt the Great God Murphy into something similar. I have everything (I think) all carefully planned out, and am almost finished packing. Within a week, I'll be in my new place, putting my old things away in their new places, and I'm already smiling about the stuff I'll finally be able to have again, such as my brewing equipment, which has been in storage for nearly three years!

There will be room to dance, in this new place. I welcome the return of me!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Shopping at Rakkasah

For the past three years, I've been holed up in my room pretty much constantly, since that was the best means of being in contact with my boyfriend. I spent hours and hours online every day, either playing games with him or being on Skype when we weren't playing a game. Since he has removed himself from my life, I've been working out what to do with myself. I do still have fun playing WOW, but the urgency to log on every day is no longer there. At the same time, I realized I needed to get out of the house and the rut I've been in. I need more exercise, or at least activity, and I need to encourage myself to develop a more positive outlook, self esteem, and body image.

So I took up belly dancing.

A good SCA friend of mine has been dancing for 11 years and teaching for three. Her most recent class started up a month ago, and she invited me to join. Since it sounded like fun, and fit pretty much all the paramenters I knew I needed, I accepted with gratitude.

It has been a lot of fun, and I feel better than I have in, well, years. Until today.

Today, I had to go... shopping. Now, I'm not a shopper. I know a lot of women who are; my mother is one of them. I know many who aren't; I'm one of them. I've never had any fun going, least of all as a kid, when I'd hide, pouting, on the crossbars in the circular stands of dresses. It's boring and depressing and expensive. My closet is only so big, and my mother picks me up something I'll never wear every few weeks or so anyway. My aunt works at Ross. I get plenty of clothes for my birthday and Christmas, and she has very good taste and an uncanny sixth sense about what will look fabulous on me. For myself, if I need something, I'll eyeball a place til I find it, get it rung up, and leave. (This is clothes shopping we're talking about. Yarn, DVDs and books are something totally different.)

Ok, moving right along... This weekend was apparently the biggest festival for my new hobby in the world, and it took place 2 hours away. Rakkassah. My teacher "encouraged" me to go and pick out my costume. I got the distinct impression She Would Be Disappointed if I didn't. (Actually, she probably wouldn't care. But it makes for good blog fodder to pretend.) It was a lot of fun to go. I saw really beautiful people doing what I hope to be able to do with a few decades of practice. Seemed everyone was smiling, and helpful, and thrilled with our common bond of sisterhood.

And I shopped.

And I shopped.

And I shopped some more.

Got to be so's I knew every article of clothing in that place, and, let me remind you, this the biggest festival like it in the WORLD. My feet are killing me. Still, I sure as heck want to show off what I got to SOMEONE after all that work, because I'm not sure yet if I'm going to have the courage to actually wear it.

(The blue blob at the neck is a scarf. No matter how I work my camera or rearrange the scarf, it still looks like a blue blob.)

Please note this outfit is not a set. Each piece was individually selected, by moi (my teacher's response to my queries were: "Wear what you want!"). Each piece was also, frustratingly, at a different vendor. Pants, skirt, fringe belt, coin belt, coin bra, dangling jewlery thingy, scarf. I'm pretty sure my ATM card is suffering from a nervous breakdown by now.

I'm exhausted.

More baby things

I've knitted a bunch since Christmas, but haven't had the time to take pictures for more than the things I've send out. These items were sent to Amy for her new baby boy, and her toddler daughter, Alex. They only arrived a week or so late for the newest arrival, but I don't think that matters a whole lot- he'll still be a baby for a while! As for Alex, well, I thought she might like a little reminder that she's still the princess, regardless of the new troublemaker.

(Updating this post to add picture of Alessandra, wearing her crown and cloak. Isn't she adorable?! Thank you for the pictures, Amy!)